Follow TV Tropes


Accidental Murder

Go To
A little anger can lead to a lot of consequence!
Pi: I swear, that was an accident.
Ennesby: Congratulations. You just invented "negligent regicide".

Accidental Murder occurs when a situation that wasn't intended to be lethal ends with the death of someone anyway. Occasionally, this happens because a fight just goes too far (Bob and Alice start fighting, and the fight gets more heated than anyone expects, and Alice ends up braining Bob with a heavy object or accidentally knocking him onto something sharp... and she doesn't realize he's dead until it's over). Other times, this happens when innocent bystanders are caught up in someone else's fight and are dead before anyone else realizes they are there (Bob and Alice are fighting; Carol, a friend to both, tries to break it up and gets accidentally shot while Bob and Alice are wrestling for a gun). And sometimes there's no fighting involved at all; the person who dies is killed because the unintentional killer does something stupid.


Either way, it's simply bad luck for the dead guy, and for his killer. No one was meant to die, but someone died anyway. The ultimate result of an Accidental Murder varies. Bob killing Carol (or Alice killing Bob) may cause him to become The Atoner, or make a Deal with the Devil to bring her Back from the Dead. Often the character who committed the Accidental Murder will vow to become a pacifist, although it may just be the first step down a slippery slope of murder and mayhem.

See also I Didn't Mean to Kill Him, which is usually what Bob tells the police when he's arrestednote . Compare to Murder by Mistake, where Bob had every intention of killing Alice, but for some reason ended up killing Carol. If the accident involved a gun going off in the wrong place and direction at the wrong time, this trope overlaps with I Just Shot Marvin in the Face. Supertrope to Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon. It can also be caused by someone who's being reckless in a dangerous situation, such as a Drunk Driver or Reckless Gun Usage. Accidental Suicide, i.e. unintentionally killing yourself, is an inversion.


Legal note: by definition, in most legal systems "murder" requires that the death be intended by the killer or the result of deliberately inflicted injuries the killer could reasonably have expected might be lethal. In most of the situations described above, the charge would be manslaughter, or it might not even be a crime at all, but only a fatal and unfortunate accident. Between the two exists "negligent homicide," which may or may not be the name of the crime (if any).note  However, that makes for a less evocative title.

There is also a curious variation of the "Accidental Murder" trope, the "Let's Immediately Become Criminals" trope, which involves either an individual or a group. The situation may actually be that there is an abundance of physical evidence and eyewitnesses to corroborate that death was unintentional. Nevertheless, in this version of the trope, it is common for the witnesses and/or the accidental transgressor to decide on faulty logic that, since they will be seen as guilty immediately, that "we have to bury the body" and/or "hide the evidence", despite the fact that in many cases such an act could be ruled death by misadventure. In these cases, trying to cover it up is (ironically) the only actual crime committed.

Not to be confused with Make It Look Like an Accident, a which is when the murder was deliberate but is dressed up to look like this.

As a Death Trope, all spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Another, Reiko's friend Katsumi Matsunaga accidentally killed a student in his class when they were fighting during the summer trip, by pushing the kid to the ground and causing him to get stabbed through the neck with a pointy tree root (the manga has him grab a stone and whack the student over the head during the fight). The kid turned out to be the extra student that caused the Curse of Class 3-3, which made Matsunaga realize what had to be done to lift it. The tape he left hidden in the classroom would prove to be vital 15 years later.
  • Early on in Bokurano, the cast is standing on top of Zearth after the first battle after the "tutorial" when Ushiro bumps Waku, and Waku seemingly falls to his death as a result, causing Ushiro to become angry when it seems as though everyone is accusing him of murder. It turns out later that Waku died as a result of piloting Zearth, and he was already dead before he fell.
  • Being a mystery series, it happens many times in Case Closed. A good example takes place when Grumpy Old Man Watanuki tries to push the Office Lady Sanae away from him... but stupidly does so when they're atop of a flight of stairs, causing the poor woman to hit her head and die.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Goku's grandfather, Grandpa Gohan was killed before the story began. It later turns out that it was by Goku's own hands, after turning into a Great Ape. Since he never retains any memories of said transformation, he didn't put two and two together until Dragon Ball Z, when he's fighting Vegeta and sees him transform into a Great Ape.
    • The Tournament Rules state that killing one's opponent in the ring is forbidden. If it does happen, the implication is that the fighter is not held responsible for murder, but are disqualified from the tournament for use of unnecessary force. This almost happens to Videl when she fights Spopovich in the 25th Budokai when she kicks him so hard that his head snaps around a full 180 degrees, and Videl is horrified that it seems she has killed her opponent. However, Spopovich's Majin powers allow him to survive such an injury, so it meant she didn't have a kill on her conscience... and unfortunately, Spopovich retaliated so brutally against her that his partner was seriously creeped out.
  • Elfen Lied: When Aiko Takada's abusive father tried to cut a painting she made for her mother with a knife, Aiko pushed him away, causing him to accidentally slash his own throat. Unfortunately for Aiko, her dad's girlfriend happened to walk in at that moment and call the police on her.
  • In Fairy Tail Zeref can do this by standing too close to people as he has Walking Wasteland powers. Understandably, his arrival marks the end of the manga's days as a Nobody Can Die story.
  • In Full Dive, Hiro enters Kiwame Quest for the first time and encounters two NPCs, Martin and his sister Alicia. When Hiro asks how to exit the village, the pair believe him to be going mad and attempt to stop him from leaving, knowing that it is illegal to do so. The confrontation quickly turns violent and Hiro, reaching his Rage Breaking Point, tackles Martin. However, since Martin was eating an apple slice with a knife, Hiro's tackle caused him to shove the knife through his throat, killing him instantly. Hiro, quickly remorseful, tries to explain it was an accident and he's sorry, but Alicia, who witnessed the whole thing, is too distraught to care about that and is becoming more insane. Thus, Hiro runs out of the house... with a murderously vengeful Alicia following him.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Scar killed the Rockbells after regaining consciousness after his family was killed, discovering that his brother's arm was now attached where his own once was and freaked out when he saw them and was reminded of the Amestrian soldiers.
  • Future Diary: In Yuno Gasai's backstory, she got the better of her abusive parents and locked them in the same cage they locked her in as payback, intending to let them out when they repented. She left them in too long and they starved to death.
  • In Higurashi: When They Cry during the manga arc Onisarashi-Hen (Demon Exposing Arc), it's implied that Aki Kimiyoshi's death, Natsumi's grandmother, actually was an accident due to Natsumi shoving her away and Aki hitting her head. However, Aki's death is still responsible for leading to Natsumi's Sanity Slippage, which Aki herself started to go through as a result of the Hinamizawa Disaster and fear of "Oyashiro-Sama's Curse." Natsumi blocked it out and hallucinated that her mother Haruko had stabbed Aki to death.
  • In the Beginning: The Bible Stories: Moses accidentally kills the foreman with the decoration of his necklace when the former jumped over the latter to fight him.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Fighter G Gundam:
      • The rules specifically state that Thou Shalt Not Kill, but also that if a fighter is accidentally killed in battle, their opponent won't be held accountable. This plays into one episode's plot, where Sai Saici is hounded by a fighter who was killed by Explosive Instrumentation while fighting Sai's grandfather and got revived by the Devil Gundam. At first Sai, who is TERRIFIED of the supernatural, thinks the mummy wants vengeance, but it turns out that he just wants to have the fight that his death denied him. Sai obliges and his opponent finally passes on, but after the DG Cells forcibly revive him a second time, Domon steps in and uses his Shining Finger to destroy the corpse once and for all.
      • Also, George De Sand accidentally helped a sociopathic contestant accidentally kill an entire Coliseum crowd. See, the contestant was taking pot-shots at the audience, forcing George to block his missiles with his Gundam, and the president of Neo-France decided this was the last guy you'd let represent your country in the Gundam-Olympics and disqualified him. In response, the contestant decided to unleash his payload straight at the president, George grappled his opponent to save the president, but then the entire payload was misfired straight into the audience. Nobody in the bleachers survived.
    • The HD remaster of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED did this for Nicol Amalfi's death. In both versions, he's killed when he charges the Strike Gundam trying to protect his friend and teammate Athrun. In the original, Kira swings the Strike's BFS and cuts the Blitz in half; in the remaster, the Blitz runs into the outstretched but motionless sword instead. This change rubbed many fans the wrong way, since not only did it seem stupid for Nicol to just run into the sword, but it added to the perception that Kira is the Creator's Pet of SEED's controversial director, Mitsuo Fukuda, and the change was made to absolve him for the original killing.
    • In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, during one of the Titans' attempts to reclaim the stolen Gundam Mk-II, Jerid Mesa is given a bomb and ordered to shoot it if Kamille Bidan tries anything funny. It isn't until after he shoots it that he discovers it was actually a space capsule with Kamille's mother locked inside. Jerid honestly tries to apologize, but Kamille is too blinded by rage to listen and the whole thing just becomes yet another entry in their ever-growing Cycle of Revenge.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • Inverted: A bad guy manages to push Kenshin to the point where he reverts to Battousai and starts killing people, the first in line being said bad guy. Only it turns out that the sword Kenshin used was the other Reverse Blade Sword, meaning Kenshin has committed accidental non-murder.
    • Kenshin also accidentally kills his first wife, Yukishiro Tomoe, before the beginning of the series (he was trying to fight off an enemy, she attempted to help him, both enemy and girl get hit...), which is what motivates him to give up killing in the first place.
  • In the anime-only Asgard Saga of Saint Seiya, the warrior Volker was giving an unnamed Worthy Opponent a huge Curb-Stomp Battle but decided to let him go when he found out he was a married man. Said opponent, however, mistakenly thought that Volker was underestimating him and attacked anyway. Volker fought back and, much to his surprise, not only he fatally struck the other warrior but also killed his wife, who attempted to protect her wounded husband by Taking the Bullet for him. Then, Volker heard the cries of a baby boy coming from a nearby cabin, realizing that he had also orphaned an innocent kid... He'd spend the next 15 years harshly training and raising the boy, Mime, as his heir, brewing a Thanatos Gambit to have Mime grow strong enough to kill him and punish him for his crime.
  • The Testament of Sister New Devil: When Basara Toujou and Yuki Nonaka were about ten years old, a member of the Hero Clan got possessed by the demonic sword Brynhildr and went on a rampage. When the possessed man was about to kill them, a desperate Basara unleashed his ability, Banishing Shift, but used too much power, which completely annihilated not only the man, but everyone and everything within about a city block radius except for himself and Yuki. Even though it was an accident, the Hero Clan banished Basara and later tried to kill him out of revenge.
  • Wolf's Rain:
    • Toboe, a wolf pup, unintentionally killed his elderly human owner/grandma because he didn't realize his strength.
    • Toboe later killed a girl's pet hawk when he tried to grab it.

    Comic Books 
  • Chip Zdarsky's run on Daredevil starts with one by Matt Murdock himself: after Matt goes out as Daredvil despite still being in recovery, he goes after a pair of petty thieves, and accidentally knocks one to the ground, slamming his head against a curb, and causing a fatal brain aneurysm. A lot of the rest of the book is Matt trying to deal with inadvertently violating his Thou Shalt Not Kill policy. Badly.
  • One story in Judge Dredd had the judges investigating the apparent suicide of radio DJ Cool Johnny Cool. The pre-cog's discover that the DJ himself was also a pre-cog who was picking up the combined thoughts of all of the people in Mega City One who hated him and how narcissistic and annoying he was and wanted him to kill himself, which due to his power he was compelled to actually do it. The pre-cog's even note that for Johnny to be affected like this with his power millions of people would have to have wanted him to kill himself in order for him to do it. Dredd notes they can't arrest people for just wishing someone would off themselves just because it resulted in him actually doing it.
  • In The Maze Agency #7", the killer never intended to kill anyone. They were attempting to erase sensitive information on the Victim of the Week's computer using a powerful electromagnet. However, the victim - who was seated at his computer at the time - had a bullet lodged in his chest from an earlier wound. The electromagnet shifted the steel bullet, which hit his heart, killing him: leaving a seemingly impossible murder of someone who had been shot in the heart with no entrance wound.
  • In Superman storyline A Mind Switch In Time, Euphor sends three minions after Superboy. Superboy notices they are expending energy from their power source to keep up with him, so he flies away to force them to run out of steam. Instead of exhausting themselves, though, the three mooks push themselves until their bodies become consumed by their own powers.
  • One of these factors into the pre-Crisis origin story of Superman villain Terra-Man. An alien currency thief attempted to stun a Wild West outlaw who attacked him, but overcharged his powers in rage and killed him instead. Feeling remorseful, he took the outlaw's son in as his protege, leading to the boy becoming Terra-Man.
  • During the X-Men arc X-Cutioner's Song, a mutant named Kamikaze attempted to sneak up on and attack Archangel. Unaware of his attacker, Archangel spread his metallic wings, decapitating Kamikaze.
  • Wonder Woman Volume 1: From their prior fights Diana knows that tossing Artemis' sword away will get the unrelenting undead Amazon to stop attacking her to retrieve it. In their final fight when Diana kicks the sword into a plane she is surprised and horrified to discover that being far enough away from the sword causes Artemis to crumble into ash and die a final death. By her people's reckoning Artemis was already dead, but Diana is still upset to have brought about her demise.

    Fan Works 
  • The climax of the Batman fic Angel of Death reveals Selina Kyle's first kill was her abusive stepfather when she was ten years old. He tried to sell her little sister Maggie to his pedophile boss in a drunken rampage, and while trying to make him let her go, Selina pushed the man into the path of an oncoming bus. Despite this being her greatest sin according to a magic conscience-reading sword, she's never been too torn up about it, since it was done in defense of Maggie.
  • In The Bridge's spin-off crossover with The Shimmerverse, The Bridge: A Shimmer in the Dark, the death of Sunset Shimmer's biological mother at the hooves of Countess Mircalla was this. The memory of it haunts Mircalla to the present day but Sunset Shimmer doesn't know it was an accident.
  • It's revealed in Chapter 8 of Daughter of Fire and Steel that Zod unleashed Doomsday to kill the council and that Zor-El's death wasn't intended, but he uses this to emotionally hurt Kara after she betrays him.
  • In the Danganronpa fanfiction Despair's Last Resort, Ayame's murder of Hikaru is revealed to be this. After disarming him and taking the razor he used in the attempt to kill her, she was waving it around in an attempt to intimidate him. She went a bit too far though, as she ends up slitting his throat. Feeling that she's gone too far, she tries to hide the murder and even moves the body.
  • In the RWBY fanfic Emergence:
    • Weiss Schnee wakes up in the real world in Ukraine. When she gets accosted by soldiers, she fights back, thinking that her attacks will simply knock them out. Since Earth humans don't have superhuman abilities like Aura, her attacks slice and skewer them, to her horror.
    • Similarly, Yang Xiao Long finds herself accosted by ISIS terrorists. She is surprised when her super-strong punches make them explode.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic novel Fools And Drunks, Grey Hoof did not mean to kill the peddler stallion, nor had he intended his patrol to kill anypony. Yet at the end three innocent peddler Ponies lay dead.
  • The God of Destruction comes to Remnant: While fighting some White Fang thugs, Yang Xiao Long punches one of them hard enough to break his Aura, but then he lands on a rock and breaks his head open. She gets traumatized.
  • In the Back to the Future fanfic Ich Liebe Dich, Marty worries that he could have killed George with the chloroform he used to drug him after his "Darth Vader" routine.
  • Anya's death in The Just Series.
  • In chapter 3 of Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations Vol 2 - Ex-Aid Era feat Cross Ange, Gou accidentally shoots Sylvia, unknown to him that she's Ange's sister while in the middle of fighting the Black Cross Armada. He freaked out suddenly when he shot an innocent bystander.
  • In The Loud House fanfiction Lincoln is Done, there's somehow an accidental attempted murder: Lola feels guilty for "trying to kill Lincoln" even though it was apparently an accident.
  • In The Loud House fanfiction The Nightmare House, Lynn has a nightmare about accidentally decapitating Lincoln during a boxing match.
  • Nutricula: Bakugou unwittingly kills Izuku during their first training exercise. The main reason nobody's immediately aware of this is because Izuku happens to have a Death-Activated Superpower, and the blast destroyed the cameras so that nobody witnessed the gory results before he pulled himself back together.
    • Later on, Izuku suffers a similar accident at the climax of his tournament match with Todoroki. In this case, Izuku isn't even aware that he died until he instinctively uses his new power.
  • In Perfection Is Overrated, Shizuru destroys Hitomi's Child while launching a surprise attack on her to save Mai and Natsuki, but since the Child is powered by the life of the person the Hime or SUE cares for most, and Hitomi cares for no one but herself, Hitomi dies in the process. Later on, Natsuki unintentionally kills an innocent bystander who happened to become important to an SUE, when she defeats that SUE.
  • A Rabbit Among Wolves: The plot kickstarts when Jaune accidentally slits Adam's throat when the latter takes the former hostage. The White Fang goons, thinking Jaune to be a master huntsman, make him their leader.
  • re:Bound (RWBY) starts with Ruby accidentally using the wrong side of her weapon on Roman during their confrontation in the first episode of RWBY. This incident was deemed an accident but it traumatized Ruby and hurt her reputation, with even her teammates being wary of Ruby.
  • Ruby and Nora: While Pyrrha was manipulated by Emerald into killing Penny in canon, it’s more pronounced here because Penny was human.
  • Invoked in RWBY: Scars. After the end of the Pyrrha vs Penny battle from the Tournament Arc, Emerald uses her illusionist semblance so that Pyrrha sees Penny as a Grimm. Pyrrha ends up brutally murdering Penny. However, no one ever accuses Pyrrha of murder because it's known that someone used a semblance against her.
  • In the Hunger Games fanfiction Some Semblance of Meaning, Vale Whitaker inadvertently kills the girl from District Seven, Cassia, when the latter hurts Vale's district partner and ally, Kit. Vale flies into Mama Bear mode, and before she can even realize what's happening, there's a knife in Cassia's heart. Vale feels very guilty about this later, though.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist fanfic Son of the Desert, Trisha accidentally slits a suitor's throat when she pressed the suitor's knife too hard during the suitor's marriage proposal to scare him away. Thankfully Hohenheim saves the suitor's life.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows: In the prologue, Saki kills Shen by accident when she tries to stop his fight with Yoshi.
  • Time Again Series: In the first chapter of Never and Always, Eventually, Pro Heroes Overkill (Bakugo) and Deku chase down a lowly thief. During their fight, she accidentally sends a metal crate falling down on a paralyzed Deku, killing him. She's horrified by what she's done and hysterically rambles that she expected him to be able to dodge since he's Deku. Bakugo attacks her and, in a panic, she accidentally sends him back in time, kickstarting the Peggy Sue plot of the fic.
  • Danganronpa: In Harmony's Wake:
    • This is a major part of the second trial. It is discussed that the Death Trap that killed Apple Bloom was activated by the stage lights, and Flash Sentry, realizing that since he was the one handling the light for the magic show, wonders if he is guilty for her death. Monoponi however declares activating a trap does not make you the blackened, only setting it up with the intent of killing someone. However, the true blackened was aiming to kill Sunset Shimmer with the trap, but Apple Bloom was killed by accident instead, because she spotted the trap and shoved Sunset and Trixie to safety at the cost of her own life.
    • It is later revealed that Adagio accidentally killed someone once. She explains a few years ago, she and her sisters came across three homeless men and they used their magic to manipulate them into arguing so they could feed off it as a quick snack. But they underestimated how much hate the three had for each other, resulting in one of them being beaten to death.
    • This is zig-zagged with Fluttershy's death. It is discussed in the trial that Pinkie Pie was the one who planted the ring on Fluttershy, which got her executed for allegedly breaking the rules. But, Pinkie Pie acted as an Unwitting Pawn, being tricked into planting it on Fluttershy as a surprise, and is thus considered innocent. The one who faked the note, tricking her into planting the ring, was actually Sci-Twi. Although she never intended for things to go that far, believing that Fluttershy would notice Pinkie planting the ring and stop her, as a way to teach Pinkie a lesson about the Killing Game, the fact was she still planned everything and put it in motion herself, meaning it was ultimately her fault and isn't considered an accident.
  • A Familiar Void:
    • When Louise summons the Knight after its demise, she believes that she accidentally killed her would-be familiar by her explosion. It is soon fixed when she kissed its mask.
    • Bug almost did this to Louise, as It not understanding what regular people need to survive means that when Louise fell face down into a large puddle and was drowning because she was too exhausted to move, it did nothing to save her because it didn't understand that she needed air.
  • In I am Bitch, the Shield Hero's Slut, Malty attacks the captain of the guard out of anger for his perceived insult towards Naofumi. But since she is a much higher level than she considered, she ends up cutting the man into thirds.
  • In A Wee Bit of Gaz, Gaz accidentally strangles a leprechaun to death and makes him explode into confetti for giving her a glass of Leprechaun Gold Ale instead of real gold, which gets her sentenced to 20 years of servitude by the Leprechaun King.
  • In Gaz and the Curse of the Clown, Gaz get revenge on a clown who publicly humiliated her twice by attacking him in the bathroom and shoving his face into a toilet while repeatedly slamming the seat onto him; by the time she stops, she realizes that he's no longer breathing. Because of this, she's cursed to become a clown and take his place.

    Films — Animated 
  • Big Hero 6: Professor Callaghan stays in the burning building to fake his death; Tadashi Hamada runs in and tries to save him, so his death in the fire becomes Callaghan's indirect responsibility. At first, he callously dismisses this as Tadashi's own mistake, but in the end, Callaghan comes to regret it.
  • Played for Laughs in Coco. Ernesto de la Cruz died in 1942 when a stagehand was so entranced by his singing he ended up pushing a lever that dropped a giant bell, which crushed Ernesto. Not that Ernesto didn't deserve it after what happened to Héctor. Funnily enough, in the Land of the Dead, his ultimate fate is to get crushed by another bell.
  • Frozen (2013): Elsa accidentally strikes Anna's heart with a blast of her magic which leads to Anna freezing from inside out and eventually turning into solid ice. She gets better though.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: When Frollo chased after Quasimodo's mother to recover the "stolen goods", he caught up with her, ripped the bundle from her hands, causing her to fall down the steps of Notre Dame and fatally hit her head. Still, he has no remorse for killing her and thinking the baby that turned out to be in the bundle was a monster because of what he looked like, he attempts to throw the baby in a well, only to be stopped by the Notre Dame Archdeacon.
  • Minions have a tendency to inadvertently kill their masters:
    • Millions of years ago, when they first moved onto land, they served a Tyrannosaurus rex, until one of them inadvertently pushed him into a volcano.
    • When humans first evolved, Minions immediately flocked to them. One caveman died because a Minion took away his club and handed him a flyswatter to fight a bear with, apparently expecting it to work.
    • The Minions built the Pyramids. They were originally built sideways, then they fell over and crushed the Pharaoh.
    • During the Middle Ages, the Minions had "fun times" serving Dracula. Then they threw him a birthday party and opened a curtain to let in a little light.
    • The final death that caused them to give up on serving for a long time was Napoléon Bonaparte, who died when they accidentally fired a cannon at him.
    • During the '60s, while Kevin, Bob, and Stuart were sent to search for a new boss after all the time they'd spent hiding in a cave since the days of Napoleon, the rest of the Minions briefly served a tribe of Yetis inside the cave. One Minion blowing a tuba too loudly dislodges a chunk of ice which falls and crushes the chief Yeti's head.
    • They also nearly kill Scarlet Overkill by causing a chandelier to fall on her. Fortunately, she survives, but then gets humiliated by a very young Gru. Also, equally as fortunate, Gru found a way to keep the Minions from killing him.
  • The Prince of Egypt: Moses tries to stop an Egyptian foreman from whipping an elderly slave and accidentally pushes too hard, sending the foreman plummeting off a multi-storied scaffold to his death. This is Bowdlerizing the original story somewhat: in the Biblical account, Moses ended up beating the Egyptian foreman in question to death out of rage.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Act of Vengeance, Jack accidentally strangles Diane while attempting to keep her quiet while raping her. He decides he does not like the sensation of murder.
  • Bloody Reunion: While attempting to stop Sun-Hee from pushing Mrs. Park's wheelchair over a cliff, Mi-Ja winds up accidentally pushing Sun-Hee over the edge to her death.
  • Clownface: In the third act, Jenna is being pursued by Clownface in his own lair, she stabs someone around a corner, and realizes she mortally wounded Zoe.
  • Cruel and Unusual: Edgar kills Maylon by pressing down while struggling to grab the phone with his arm against her throat, strangling her.
  • In Curse of the Headless Horseman, the Horseman is attempting to scare Mark's friends off the ranch. This results in two deaths: one girl runs in front of a van while trying to flee from him, and another—who is high on LSD—seems to just drop dead after being splashed with blood (it's possible that she suffered a drug induced heart attack but, like almost everything else in this movie, it is never made explicit).
  • The protagonist of Damage, John Brickner, is released from prison on parole. His crime? Second-degree manslaughter. He killed a man named Matthew Reynolds in self-defense during a fight.
  • In Daniel Deronda, Gwendolen hesitates just... one... moment too long when her husband, Grandcourt, falls off their boat. He drowns, although she does make a belated effort to save him.
  • Probably the only unintentional death in Dead Birds is the child William accidentally shoots while the gang is fleeing the town. William even shows remorse over this death.
  • In Deep Rising, Canton accidentally axes Vivo in the head when he believes that it was the creature on the other side of the door.
  • Elevated: After Ben climbs on top of the elevator to get back inside, Hank and Ellen crush Ben against the building's roof by riding the elevator to the top, thinking he is one of the monsters.
  • Extreme Measures: The film's climax has Myrick killed when Luthan is fighting Hare over his gun, a stray shot from which hits him in the neck.
  • Flower (2017): Luke accidentally kills Will by pushing the latter onto a coffee table... and impaling him on an Eiffel tower figurine. Since he was roofied, this is not apparent right away.
  • In The Gentlemen, Aslan's death really wasn't planned. During the struggle in Noel's flat, Dave gives him a shove to get him off his back, and Aslan stumbles over the edge of the balcony.
  • In Ghost, after Sam Wheat was killed by a mugger who later on broke into his apartment, he enlists the help of Oda Mae Brown, a reluctant medium, to get a message to his girlfriend, Molly. When Molly tells their friend, Carl, about the conversation she had with Oda Mae, Sam follows him and finds out that the killer, Willie Lopez, was just supposed to steal Sam's wallet and give it to Carl, so that Carl could get hold of his access codes to their bank's system and launder the mob's money. Unfortunately, Sam fought back, and Willie ended up killing him.
  • The Ghost of Yotsuya: Iemon is being haunted by the ghosts of the people he murdered, namely his wife Oiwa and her friend Takuetsu. Iemon sees Ghost Oiwa, a Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl, on the bed mat looking all gross. He stabs her with his sword, only to find that he has really killed his new wife Ume. Then he sees Ghost Takuetsu approaching and runs him through with his sword, only to find that he has really killed his new father-in-law Ito.
  • Happens at the end of The Grifters: Lilly and her son Roy are fighting over Lilly trying to steal Roy's money which she put in a suitcase. When Roy tries to take the suitcase from her, she swings the suitcase into a glass of water that Roy is holding, shattering the glass and stabbing him in the neck.
  • In The Guilty, Iben kills her infant son Oliver by gutting him under the impression that she's letting snakes out of his abdomen during one of her psychotic episodes.
  • In the original Halloween II (1981) a speeding cop isn't able to brake in time and winds up hitting the drunken Ben Tramer, slamming him against a parked vehicle.
  • In Hood of Horror, Snoop Dogg's character, Devon, accidentally kills his sister, and sells his soul, becoming the Hound of Horror in exchange for her life.
  • Insomnia:
    • Will Dormer accidentally shoots his partner Hap while they're tracking Kay's killer through the mist, but he covers it up because he had a motive for killing him. Towards the end, however, not even he is sure whether it was an accident or not.
    • Subverted with Kay's death. Walter Finch claims that this is how Kay died, but he's just making excuses. When she died, rather than panicking, he meticulously and calmly prepared her body to remove any evidence. Dormer also reveals near the end that the research shows that he would have to have taken around 15 minutes to beat her to death, making it anything but accidental.
  • In Judas Kiss, the gang goes into the apartment building planning to pull off a kidnapping. The shooting of Mrs Hornbeck is seemingly an unfortunate case of 'wrong place, wrong time'. However, as events progress, Coco, Det. Friedman and Special Agent Hawkins all to feel that the killing might not have been as accidental as it first appears.
  • Kin (2018): Jimmy and Taylor struggle to control Taylor's gun. Taylor's brother, along with a couple of his soldiers, are killed when it goes off repeatedly.
  • Knives Out: Marta the nurse accidentally gives Harlan Thrombey a fatal morphine overdose after getting her medicine bottles mixed up after they'd been knocked to the floor, and she can't find the antidote in her bag... except not. Marta is actually good enough at her job that she can identify the correct medication by touch, since the medicine was actually switched and the antidote stolen by one of Harlan's family members, who was trying to make Marta responsible for his death because Harlan had left his entire fortune to Marta in his will.
  • A running gag in The Little Shop of Horrors: all the murders committed by Seymour are accidental, even if he does feed the bodies to his man-eating plant. (Not so in The Musical.)
  • The Loft: Believing that Sarah has committed suicide by overdosing on sleeping pills, Philip attempts to make the crime scene more dramatic by handcuffing her to the bed and then slitting her wrist. However, it turns out that Sarah was Not Quite Dead, but actually in an insulin coma, but she then bled out from the slit wrist.
  • In Magnolia, a very convoluted, accidental murder is shown in one of the tales at the start of the film. A boy attempts to commit suicide by jumping from the roof of his building. His attempt would have failed as he would have been saved by the safety netting below, installed by window washers but... he is fatally shot with a shotgun, fired by his mother, as he passes their window on the way down. She was threatening the boy's father with the shotgun when it unexpectedly goes off. She later tells the police that it was never kept loaded and that she and her husband often threaten each other with it all the time but... a friend of the boy says that the boy, having his fill of his parents constant arguing, had loaded the gun the day before, hoping something would happen during the next argument.
  • In Mario (1984), Mario accidentally pushes another boy off the top of the fortress Simon built, killing him.
  • The end of Memento reveals that Leonard killed his wife, who was diabetic, by accidentally injecting her with too much insulin. He copes with the guilt by imagining that his wife was killed by a burglar. The story of Sammy Jankis and his wife was Leonard projecting the true story onto Sammy.
  • M.F.A.: Noelle doesn't actually intend to kill her rapist. She just accidentally knocked him over the railing to his death when pushing him away. This inspires her to kill other rapists though.
  • Mixed Nuts: Stanley the landlord gets shot through the door when Gracie is emptying the gun by firing it wildly.
  • Money Movers: When Eric robs the cosmetic company, the manager manages to trip the alarm. Dolan comes to investigate and Eric runs into him as he is fleeing. Eric hits him to get away, but hits him too hard and Dolan dies.
  • In Mouth to Mouth, Axe helps Manson (a much younger kid than everyone else) flip into a trash can to get food. Manson lands on a nail which hits an artery, killing him quickly.
  • In Murder at the Baskervilles, Straker is kicked to death Silver Blaze while attempting to lame the horse.
  • In Pain and Gain, Daniel ends up killing one of their targets unintentionally by causing a stacked barbell to drop on the guy's head. Daniel himself frames it as an accident, but it's mostly because he's so stupid, as he was kicking the bench in a rage after beating the guy up.
  • Practical Magic has Sally putting belladonna into Jimmy Angelov's tequila to put him to sleep. Without something to measure the safe amount, she puts in too much and kills him.
  • Happens twice in Psycho II:
    • While frantic about Norman's Sanity Slippage, Mary accidentally stabs his therapist Dr. Raymond in fear of being attacked by Norman, causing him to fall downstairs to his doom.
    • Mary herself would suffer this as well. When she tries to lure Norman into a trap to kill him, the police arrive on the scene, mistake her as the real killer and shoot her dead before she notices them.
  • Pulp Fiction:
    • Butch accidentally kills another boxer in the ring and gives a quiet "Sorry about that" when he finds out.
    • Also Vincent killing Marvin: "Aw man, I Just Shot Marvin in the Face!"
  • In The Film of the Book Rebecca, Maxim accidentally killed Rebecca, his first wife; he got angry and pushed her, and she fell and struck her head. In the original novel, he shot her, very much on purpose. She rather had it coming, to the point of taunting him into doing it.
  • The Reckless Moment: Bea is so angry with her sleazy boyfriend that she hits him over the head and runs away. It turns out that she hit him so hard that he stumbled away and fell on an anchor that killed him.
  • Rough Night is all around this, when five women on a bachelorette night accidentally kill what they believe to be the stripper, and spend the next few hours making things worse for themselves as they try to cover it up, until they learn that the man they killed was part of a gang of thieves and their killing him can be legitimately classified as self-defence.
  • Salvation Boulevard: Pastor Dan accidentally shoots Dr. Blaylock with his antique pistol, and immediately panics at how it looks, thinking he killed him. He, therefore, attempts to make it look like a suicide. It turns out that Blaylock survived and knew it was accidental, however. He still goes to prison, presumably as a result of his cover-up, as he tampered with the evidence.
  • In Scarecrow Slayer, Caleb shoots at the Scarecrow, not realizing that it is lying on top of Dave. His bullet goes through the scarecrow and kills Dave.
  • A Shock to the System. The Villain Protagonist shoves away a homeless man who's hassling him at the subway station, only to watch in horror as the man falls in front of a train. To his surprise, however, he gets away with it, as no-one saw what happened. This starts him committing murders for real, to get rid of people who've angered him and to work his way up the corporate ladder because he now thinks he can get away with anything.
  • In Six Reasons Why, The Sherpa tells a story of how he 'borrowed' his brother's rifle and was practising his aim by sighting on a lone rider on the plain when the rifle went off in his hands and killed the rider (which exactly parallels the plot of the Johnny Cash song "I Hung My Head"). It is later revealed that he is originally from the Utopian community to the west and this crime got him exiled, and he is now attempting to find is way back.
  • Happens twice in Skins (2017). First, Samantha runs over Christin's legs. He had intentionally stuck his legs out, hoping they'd be damaged enough to amputate, but Samantha drives off and he dies of blood loss. Then, Vanesa's agent dives to catch a briefcase of cash thrown out of the window, only to die in the fall.
  • Subverted in The Skulls, where Luke's best friend Will ends up dead, and he suspects his new friend Caleb. He watches the security tapes and sees Will fall off a ledge to the floor below (which isn't enough to kill him), but Caleb grabs his legs to try to save him. He doesn't hold on, and Will falls on his head, and a cracking sound can be heard. Caleb assumes he accidentally broke Will's neck and leaves. However, Luke then continues watching and realizes Will is still alive until Caleb's father's men arrive and finish off Will.
  • In Slaughter High, Carol hears someone coming around the corner, and lashes out with an axe that she had in hand, accidentally killing Skip.
  • In Spider-Man 3, reveals Uncle Ben's death as this. Desperate for money for his ill daughter, Flint Marko attempted to carjack Ben, but sympathetic Ben replied, "Why don't you drop the gun, and go home?" Touched by the man's sympathy, Marko almost agreed. But just then, his accomplice Dennis Carradine ran by with the money he just stole and slapped Marko on the shoulder, startling him and causing him to jolt and accidentally shoot Uncle Ben in the chest. Marko tried to help Ben, but Carradine abandoned his partner. Carradine later tripped and fell out a window to his death during a fight with Parker that same night. Realizing now that Ben's death was a genuine accident (as neither Marko nor Carradine had any intention of killing him in the first place), Parker forgave Marko and lets him escape so that he can support his sick daughter.
  • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Adrian Toomes fires his minion Jackson Brice for incompetence. Brice threatens to out Toomes as a criminal to his family. In response, Toomes blasts him with a ray gun that reduces him to a pile of ash. Shocked, Toomes says he meant to shoot him with an anti-gravity gun, but the guns were near each other and he picked up the wrong one. He shrugs it off pretty much instantly. Considering the guy's behavior, you can't really blame Toomes.
  • Stag: The deaths of neither Kelly nor Stoker were planned. Kelly suffers Death By Falling over after the men tossing her in the air drop her on the tile floor and she breaks her neck. Stoker gets shot in a Gun Struggle as Taylor and Pete attempt to wrestle his gun off him. The epilogue states that those involved in Kelly's death were charged with Reckless Endangerment, and Stoker's death was treated as self-defense.
  • Things start falling apart for the two home invaders in Stronghold when one of them starts a fistfight with a guy who was trying to steal their loot and punches him accidentally towards rake-spikes, which impale him from the back of his neck.
  • In Snatched (2017), Emily Middleton keeps killing people by accident while trying to save herself and her mother from kidnappers, albeit always in self-defense.
  • In Summer Camp Nightmare, Stanley Runk (a.k.a. Runk the Punk) accidentally murders Mr. Warren, the Dean Bitterman camp director, with his knife during Franklin Reilly's takeover of Camp North Pines, and his body has been dumped into a cave to prevent anyone else from knowing what happened to him. The "official story" is that Mr. Warren has been transferred to the girls' camp for the time being.
  • In Superstar, Mary Katherine Gallagher's parents were killed by their step dancing group stomping them to death accidentally during a performance, when the music was accidentally sped up.
  • Tamara: Tamara is killed by accident when her head strikes a table due to struggling with Shawn when his prank is sprung.
  • Thelma: Thelma unwittingly killed her little brother and father using her powers. She also possibly killed Anja, though temporarily in her case.
  • In Tokyo Zombie, Mii-chan and Fujio's accidentally kill their boss by hitting him on the head with a fire extinguisher.
  • In Tombstone, Curly Bill Brocius accidentally shoots and kills the town marshal, Fred White, while high on opium. Historically, the real-life Brocius and White were friends, and everyone, even Wyatt Earp himself (who arrested Brocius after the shooting) said that it happened accidentally (and in the end, Brocius was acquitted of murder and the shooting ruled accidental). In the movie, this is made clear by Curly Bill repeatedly (and mournfully) asking, "Get up, Fred! C'mon now, get up!"
  • In Twelve and Holding, Jeff and Kenny accidentally kill Rudy while trying to burn his treehouse down.
  • In The Two Faces of Dr. Jekyll, Jekyll forcing control back from Hyde at the worst possible moment leads to him accidentally strangling Maria to death.
  • In Very Bad Things the titular action kicking off a slew of death and destruction was the accidental death of a prostitute due to a bathroom towel hook during coitus.
  • In Walk Hard, Dewey Cox accidentally cuts his brother in half with a machete. Later, his father cuts himself in half.
  • In The Windmill Massacre, Shell-Shocked Veteran Jack suffers a flashback while visiting a prostitute, thinks she is attacking him and kills her reflexively.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse: Magda and Nina are impaled together with an arrow after a policeman shoots it by accident.
  • In X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes, Dr. Xavier has to go on the run after he accidentally pushes another doctor out of an upper-story window.
  • In Bad Boys (1983) Mick accidentally runs over the 8 year old younger brother of a guy he tried to rip off. This, among other charges gets him sent to jail and the guy who's brother he ran over ends up in with him! Ever since then the guy who's brother he killed has been giving him hell.
  • Mr. Ricco: Steele broke into Mary Justin's house, thinking it was unoccupied. Instead Mary saw him and started screaming. Steele tried to shut her up but ended up accidentally killing her. All this comes as a surprise to Ricco, who honestly thought Steele was innocent.

  • Agatha Christie:
    • In Taken at the Flood, the first victim turns out to have been killed by accident after landing head-first on a fireplace fender during an argument. The crime scene was then tampered with to make it look like a murder. To make things even more confusing, there really was an actual murder in the story committed by someone else.
    • In Endless Night, the first murder victim lends their poisoned medication to another character, resulting in an additional, unintended death.
  • In Billy Budd, the title character accidentally strikes the villain to death. The bastard deserved it though.
  • In the Dutch novel, film, and musical Ciske de Rat, the title character is only 11 years old when he accidentally kills his mother.
  • In Darkness Visible, Marsh opens an unstable Threshold for him and Lewis to escape through, and slams it shut after them. Unfortunately, their pursuer was already half-way through at the time.
  • In The Drowning of Stephen Jones, the murder of Stephen Jones is CHARGED as accidental manslaughter. It wasn't, but hey, the judge said so.
  • Isaac Asimov's Early Sunday Morning: Gonzalo asks Henry why Alex may have killed his wife (Gonzalo's sister), and Henry responds that it was probably an accident; an argument that just went a little too far. When it was over, Alex panicked and called Gonzalo to create an alibi for when the neighbors would've heard the murder.
  • At the end of Ender's Game, it is revealed that Ender had previously killed the school bully he fought in kindergarten, and later Bonzo in Battle School. Both were committed in self-defense, although Ender hadn't intended to kill either (unless one accepts his explanation of "I wanted to win the future fights, too" as meaning he wanted to set an example by killing the schoolyard bully).
  • In The Ghost and the Darkness, Reno and Trig are being held captive by Kerres. In an attempt to keep Trig quiet, Reno smothers Trig moments before rescue comes.
  • This happens towards the end of Fort Hope. Greg didn't really mean to kill TJ, but TJ nonetheless ended up dead. No charges are filed.
  • In From a High Tower, neither Giselle Schnittel nor the air elementals she summoned wanted to do more than make the officer—who was at the point of either raping her or having her flogged (depending on if her claim she was a woman disguised as a boy to win sharpshooting prize money, rather than a draft dodger, was true or not)—pass out. Despite the nearest Earth Master confirming the man was teetering on the edge of a stroke for years and nobody that actually knew the deceased mourning the guy, his death plagues Giselle with guilt throughout the novel and enough pressure from up the chain of command was put on the matter to ensure 'Gunther Von Weber' would hang if caught.
  • In the backstory of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ariana Dumbledore was killed on accident by one of her brothers or Grindelwald (or some combination thereof) in the middle of a fight.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: In one of the short stories in Oathblood, Tarma accidentally kills the lord of Viden when he attacks her because he's drunk and he tripped over Warrl's tail.
  • In The History of Middle-earth, Fëanor sets fire to ships and accidentally kills his own son.
  • The Hunger Games:
    • In the first book, Peeta goes to collect some berries. However, his partner points out they are poisonous. A few moments later, Foxface (another contestant in the Hunger Games) dies after stealing some supplies from the duo after seeing Peeta pick the berries. Needless to say, Peeta is pretty ashamed of picking the berries in the first place.
    • In the third book Peeta, while driven insane from hijacking, attacks Katniss. Another member of the Star Squad tries to pull him off her and Peeta throws him aside, accidentally sending him right into a barbed wire pod, killing him.
  • In House of Flies, Shareash unwittingly kills her mentor Thermavorous while swinging at giant bugs.
  • In Little Star, after being taught that love is something found inside the mind, Theres dismembers both of her adoptive parents to try and find it.
  • In Magic For Liars a gruesomely dismembered body turns out to be an extremely difficult surgical procedure via magic that went wrong.
  • New Jedi Order: In Destiny's Way, Nom Anor tries to knock Yoog Skell unconscious during his attempt to escape after one failure too many and is briefly saddened to realize that he hit his boss over the head with enough force to be lethal.
  • Nick Velvet: In "The Theft of the Silver Lake Serpent", local fisherman Mr. Seeley is found dead on the lake shore with his head bashed in. It looks like murder, but he was actually kicked to death by a camel while trying to capture the serpent.
  • In Nightmare Alley, Stan's attempt to get his mistress Zeena's husband, Pete, to pass out drunk so they can spend time alone includes him offering the drunk a bottle of spirit, not realizing at the time that the bottle actually contains wood alcohol.note  Pete dies as a result of ingesting it and Stan worries that he will be caught and accused of murder, but his fears never come to fruition as Pete's death is ruled as accidental. This plot point becomes important later on as Stan admits his crime to Lilith in a counselling session and she ends up using her knowledge of it to blackmail him.
  • Happens in the Lord Darcy case "The Ipswitch Phial", when the Polish agent tries to get the titular phial from the English messenger who's retrieved it.
  • In Paladin of Souls, it eventually comes to light that Arhys dy Lutez was (initially) slain when he tripped over his own trousers onto a dagger that his half-brother was trying to wrestle from his young wife, who in turn was trying to knife the reason Arhys' trousers were hobbling him.
  • Done by Parrish in Parrish Plessis. When Parrish attempts to rescue the kidnapped Wombebe, she ends up accidentally killing the poor kid herself with an explosion that was intended as a diversion.
  • In the Redwall book Salamandastron, two stoats (who have taken refuge in Redwall Abbey) start playing with bows and arrows from a sports competition, until they accidentally shoot Brother Hal in the neck, prompting them to flee out of fear of retribution. They end up accidentally framing the protagonist, who stumbles across the abandoned bows and is caught while picking them up.
  • In the older version of The Saga Of King Heidrek The Wise, Heidrek is sent away from his brother Angantyr's party after causing a disturbance. Wishing to avenge himself, he throws a stone into the dark where people are talking. He accidentally hits Angantyr and kills him.
  • At the end of Speaker for the Dead, it is revealed that the Piggies killed the xenobiologists because they thought they were preparing the biologists for the next stage in their life cycle, like the Piggies.
  • In Thud!, the death of Grag Hamcrusher turns out to have been an accident during a violent, but not intentionally lethal, argument with other grags.
  • In Spinning Silver, when Wanda refuses to be married off to the village tavernkeeper's son so her father could get free booze he violently attacks her, her brother Sergey takes a desperate swing at him before he beats her to death with a fireplace poker, he reels back more in surprise than anything only to trip over the youngest child Stepon, and goes headfirst into the fireplace. Wanda and Sergey promptly send Stepon to stay with the moneylenders Wanda had been working for, digs up the earnings she had been hiding away, and flee lest at least one of them be hanged out of hand for patricide.
  • Threadbare: The series starts with Threadbare and a stuffed skunk, two toys that have just been awakened to sapience, trapped under some rubble. Threadbare innocently tries to pull the skunk out, but only rips him in half instead—giving him his first understanding of death at only a few minutes old. The family cat, on the other hand, doesn't understand that it was an accident.
    The cat didn't know exactly what was happening, but it did know one thing: This strange little creature had just straight-up murdered a fucker.
  • In Wander, Wander kills Heather, mistaking her for a smiler.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • In the Omen of the Stars book Fading Echoes, during a battle, Lionblaze tries to pull Russetfur off of his leader, but somehow manages to accidentally kill her in the process. They establish, however, that she probably should have no longer be fighting at her age.
    • In the Dawn of the Clans arc, the protagonist Gray Wing is out on the moor minding his own business when his brother's henchcat Fox attacks him. In the ensuing fight, Gray Wing accidentally kills Fox by slashing his throat. This leads Gray Wing's brother Clear Sky to declare their brotherhood over, with Clear Sky's hypocrisy reinforcing how far he's fallen.
  • Wearing the Cape: Since Breakthroughs happen by definition in stressful situations, it's not all that rare for people to accidentally kill someone when they first gain their powers. Flying Brick SaFire defended herself against an abusive boyfriend and accidentally turned him into paste, while schoolkid Mal gets run over by a bus and kills the bus driver when his rocket feet activate. SaFire seems to have come out okay, but Mal realizes that the media is quick to blame him for the bus driver's death (even though legally he is not culpable) and start building a narrative of him being a budding supervillain. The Sentinels are quick to scoop him up for their Young Sentinels program, and his image recovers as he saves the city several times over the next few months.
  • Wicked: Elphaba somehow subconsciously told her bees to murder a man she was travelling with. The two didn't get along on political and social manners. One day, Elphaba thought negative thoughts about him and then her bees attacked him in the middle of the night.
  • In The Worst Thing About My Sister, Marty wonders if Melissa will die after she accidentally knocks her out. Luckily, Melissa survives.
  • The case of Ronald Opus was a fictional hypothetical recounted by Don Harper Mills of a man who attempts to commit suicide by jumping out a tenth-story window, only to be killed by a misaimed shotgun blast from a man shooting at this wife on the ninth floor, and whether the death ought to be counted as an accident, a suicide, or homicide. It has since been adapted to the film, Magnolia, and has been an urban legend where the tale is recounted as a true story.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 100:
    • Teens sent to Earth from a dying space station launch flares in the hopes that their people in space will see them and realize that they are alive. Unfortunately, the flares land in a nearby village and burn it down, which is seen as an act of war.
    • The local Well-Intentioned Extremist planned to kill Clarke, whose relationship with his leader Lexa he saw as a threat to her safety, but accidentally shot Lexa.
  • Aishiteru: What happened between Kiyotaka and Tomoya was a children's fight gone horribly out of hand. It led to Kiyotaka's death.
  • Are You Afraid of the Dark?: In "The Tale of the Night Nurse", a girl begins to experience the death of a young woman many years ago at the hands of a murderous nurse. However, it turned out the dead girl was allergic to penicillin and wore a medic alert bracelet that fell off by accident. When the girl finds the bracelet and shows it to the nurse, the nurse angrily chides her for taking it off, saying she might have killed her. This changes time and the dead girl goes on to live a full life.
  • The Arrangement (2017): It's revealed in season 1 that Megan accidentally killed her stepbrother when she confronted him about him raping her when they were children, and he got so angry he attacked her and she kills him while trying to defend herself. She manages to escape the place and one of his friends gets wrongfully arrested instead of her. When Terence finds out he considers this a breach of her marriage contract, due to it possibly bringing bad attention to Kyle and he has her taken to The Facility for Brainwashing.
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead: A member of the Knights of Sumeria once visited Brock Williams to tell him that his son Ash is The Chosen One. Brock didn't buy a word of it and accidentally shoved the guy down a flight of stairs, apparently killing him. He just boards up the basement door and forgets about it. When Ash opens up the door years later to investigate, it turns out that the fall didn't actually kill the guy, since he still had enough time to draw a set of spells on the wall.
  • Believe: This is Dani's tragic backstory. Her older brother stole her diary, she got mad and lost control of her telekinetic powers, knocking over a loaded bookcase on top of him.
  • Big Sky: Alan kills Paul while they're struggling inadvertently in "All Kinds of Snakes", pushing him back into a taxidermy deer head, whose antlers he gets impaled on.
  • In Bones, a man is killed while having an argument with a colleague, who pushes him, not realizing that there is a plane propeller spinning up behind the former. This would not be a murder, except the accidental killer and his wife then decided to cover it up by dropping the body from a plane.
  • The Boys (2019): A-Train accidentally kills Robin by racing by at high speed, reducing her to a bloody pulp. Though this wasn't intentional, it was reckless and he shows zero remorse. It might actually qualify as murder legally, as he's under the influence of V at the time (or at least manslaughter), but he lies about what actually happened and most just take his word for it.
  • Brave New World: The Director is accidentally killed by John when struggling with him on the edge of a cliff, over which he falls to his death.
  • A fair amount of the deaths which occur in The Brittas Empire are examples of this. For example, the episode “The Trial” has Brittas, glued to a chainsaw and trying to help a gangster who is unconscious on the other side of the door, accidentally cut his head off with a chainsaw instead.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Warren tries to knock Katrina out by hitting her over the head, but she dies.
    • Earlier in the show, an Accidental Murder is the cause of Faith's Face–Heel Turn.
    • And then there's the worst case of Type 2; Warren fires wildly into the air after having shot Buffy, hitting Tara through the window and driving Willow insane with grief.
  • On Castle, one Victim of the Week turned out to have been having an argument with a client that was angry, but not bloodthirsty. The killer pushed her backward — not realizing she would fall and be impaled on the spikes of a tiny garden below.
  • The explanation for a good chunk of the murders on Cold Case. The final flashback often reveals that the killer accidentally shoved the victim to his or her death in the course of an argument or struggle.
  • Control Z: Gerry accidentally kills Luis, who dies after he lingers in a coma from striking his head when knocked down by a punch.
  • Most unsubs on Criminal Minds fully intend to kill their victims, but every so often there's one who plans on using them for something else and doesn't realize it's fatal. Some examples are a mad doctor who thought he'd developed a method of leg transplants, whose victims died from various complications; a killer who repeatedly resuscitated his victims to interrogate them about their near-death experiences and just went too far; and a mentally ill woman who just wanted a set of dolls but used paralyzed women, whose brains shut down from lack of stimulation.
  • CSI:
    • An episode involves the murder of a famous poker player known as the Candyman. Several people want to get back at him for something, but none claim to kill him. One drink server admits to putting eye drops in his drink, but only to give him diarrhea. The connection is that the Candyman's favorite table munchies were a certain type of chocolate piece made from chocolate from West Africa, where they still use leaded gasoline. Thus, combined with a bullet in his leg that had never been removed, there was enough lead in his system that he would have eventually died of lead poisoning. However, the eyedrops managed to spike his blood pressure enough to trigger the result: literal death by chocolate.
    • Another episode deals with a college student who goes missing the night she is supposed to return home. It turns out she was cleaning out her dorm room, went to empty her trash, and accidentally dropped the trashcan down the chute. Knowing she wouldn't get her security deposit back if the trashcan was missing, she tried to retrieve it from the outside Dumpster. Unfortunately for her, a passing motorist just so happened to accidentally ram the Dumpster at the precise moment she had climbed up the back and was leaning into it, pinning her between it and a back wall and crushing her. She later fell into the Dumpster where she bled to death. Her body was fed unnoticed into the trash compactor.
      • Her parents refuse to listen to this explanation, convinced that she was murdered by someone. It's human nature to want to blame something (or someone) specific instead of a series of unlikely events. Grissom is actually confused by this, as facts are everything to him.
    • And then there's the guy who slipped on Jello and in the process accidentally stabbed his wife with a shard of glass.
      • Same episode, same guy. One of his neighbors saw him kill his wife. When he tried to stop her from calling the police, he accidentally ran her head-first into her phone, killing her as well.
      • Same episode, same guy. During his childhood, he accidentally cut off the oxygen to his grandmother's nasal cannula (nose-tube thingy), causing her to suffocate.
    • Also the Season Two episode where two men got into a heated argument over the sale of their shared-ownership land, and the first punched the second in the chest — unwittingly causing cardiac arrhythmia and stopping his heart.
    • Then there was the Firing in the Air a Lot case where a stray bullet shot accidentally into the air (instead of a target in the shooter's backyard) ended up killing someone halfway across town.
    • In early seasons, especially, these types of accidental slayings were pretty common. Especially when perpetrated by a guileless party, like a child or someone just going about his business. Sometimes it would cause the investigators to angst over the necessity of upholding the law despite their sympathy for the "murderer."
    • A shootout in a mini-mart results in all the crooks dead. Unfortunately, an innocent bystander is also shot during the firefight. It turns out that the cop was aiming for the crook who was running and shot at him at the exact moment he was passing the bystander. The bullet hit the crook, came out the other side and killed the woman. The cop got a commendation for his actions.
    • And there was the episode where an angry woman walked into a sliding glass door so hard she shattered it, and the glass pierced her neck, causing her to bleed out in minutes. Her sister threatened to blame the dead woman's ex-con boyfriend; he didn't take it well.
  • CSI: Miami:
    • In "Stoned Cold", this is revealed to be the cause of death of the Alpha Bitch Victim of the Week. A trio of parents of the kids she had bullied merely wanted to teach her a lesson so they abducted her, tied her to a goalpost on the school football field, and forced her to listen to the guidance conselor sessions of the students she had tormented. Unfortunately, she was unremorseful and unapologetic, even continuing to call the kids losers to their parents' faces, enraging the parents to the point they started throwing stones at her to make her shut up, inadvertently killing her.
  • CSI: NY:
    • Danny takes his neighbor Ruben to the blessing of the bikes. On their way home, shots ring out. Danny tells the boy to go straight home while turning to help those involved in the robbery. Later the boy's body is brought into an autopsy. Turns out he had been struck by a bullet but didn't realize it at first.
    • A struggling actor accidentally kills another man when he fired a gun loaded with blanks into him from point-blank range. He only meant to scare him as payback for an earlier incident, but the force from the gun at that distance was still enough to punch a hole into the victim.
  • Dead Man's Gun: In "Death Warrant", Bounty Hunter John Pike's troubles start when he gets in a shootout with an outlaw he is pursuing, and one of his wild shots hits and kills a young man in the street.
  • Death in Paradise:
    • In the episode "Wish You Weren't Here", the first Victim of the Week dies after drinking a cup of coffee ordered by her boss. The drugged coffee would not have killed her had she not gone for a swim, where she passed out and drowned. This is what initially confused DI Mooney, as it seemed the murder relied on the murderer knowing the victim would take a midnight swim, which was a spontaneous decision.
    • In "Tour de Murder", an argument results in a forceful shove that pushes the Victim of the Week over the edge of a bridge into a deep ravine. Attempts to Make It Look Like an Accident actually convince the police that it was murder.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Tsuranga Conundrum": Senior medic Astos dies when the Escape Pod he enters is jettisoned by the creature attacking the ship. It turns out the creature, a Pting, is a Non-Malicious Monster which rapaciously feeds on energy and isn't sentient anyways, so it didn't intentionally kill Astos.
    • "Kerblam!": Charlie, the villain, was abducting random Kerblam! employees to test his bubble wrap bombs, and never meant to kill his crush, Kira. However, the Kerblam! computer system, fighting back against his hacking, gives Kira one of the bombs as a warning to Charlie not to go through with his murderous plot.
  • Endeavour: In "Canticle", the Rev. Golightly dies when he consumes a box of chocolates intended for Mrs. Pettybon, and a Laxative Prank triggers a fatal heart attack.
  • Father Brown:
    • The Victim of the Week in "The Resurrectionists" dies as the result of a Staircase Tumble after being shoved by someone who was in a state of shock and definitely not intending to kill him.
    • Both deaths in "The Theatre of the Invisible". The first occurs when the killer attempts to stage a hero moment that will allow him to rescue a litter of kittens from a burning house. No one was supposed to be home, but the landlady returned home unexpectedly and died of smoke inhalation. The second occurs when someone attempts to blackmail him over the first. He attempts to stop the blackmailer from drunkenly waking everyone in the house, but accidentally smothers him with a teddy bear.
    • The Victim of the Week in "The Passing Bell" trips and falls on to the blade being held by the man he was attacking.
  • In Glue Ruth speculates that Janine's attacker never meant to harm her that badly. She's right. Cal's Plot-Triggering Death also turns out to be a case of accidental murder.
  • Hemlock Grove: Roman accidentally hits Destiny so hard that she falls through a glass table when she confronts him about her fiancé's death, then breaks her neck since she's already dying. Peter later finds out the truth about his cousin's death, leading to their final fight where Peter kills Roman for good at the cost of becoming a wolf for the rest of his life.
  • Heroes:
    • Isaac and Peter are fighting, intending to kill each other, then Simone walks in and gets shot by accident.
    • Also, when Sylar/Gabriel is attempting to calm down his mother, he accidentally stabs her in the heart with the scissors she was wielding.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street: An old urban legend provides a story for an episode. A young man tries to commit suicide by jumping off a building. As he passes a window, a shotgun is fired inside by one of an arguing couple, and he is hit by the blast.
  • The I-Land: It turns out that Chase's mother actually died this way, rather than by deliberate murder. Chase didn't even kill her-her husband was fighting over the gun with her mother, and it went off.
  • Innocent: A flashback reveals that Yusuf and Taner were caught stealing a camera from an elderly homeowner when they were kids. When confronted, Taner whacked the old man over the head, unintentionally killing him. Yusuf has been haunted by the incident since.
  • Is It Legal?: Colin accidentally kills one of the firm’s clients in “Death in Hounslow” when he pushed a pen-stand with two sharp-ended pens over to him. One of them proceeds to lodge in his forehead and he dies as a result.
  • The Last Kingdom: Lord Uhtred slapped the sickly monk Brother Godwin after Godwin spoke against him in the witan (after having been paid off by Æthelwold, mind). To everyone's shock (not least Uhtred's), the monk fell dead on the spot. King Alfred eventually sentences Uhtred to pay a weregild to the Church (which Uhtred was fine with) and swear an oath to protect Prince Edward (which the proud and freedom-loving but supremely honourable Uhtred hates, since while he has no problem with Edward as future leader, the prince is much younger than him and so such an oath would bind him for life). This kicks off a series of events that eventually lead to Uhtred being banished from Wessex.
  • On The Listener a chef dies from an allergic reaction during a TV cooking competition when the cooking implement is laced with peanut oil. The people responsible only wanted to ruin the dish the chef was preparing and had no idea that the victim was allergic to peanuts. The show did not allow anyone with food allergies to compete so the victim lied about having a serious allergy. Also, he would have probably survived the allergic reaction by itself but he also had a serious heart condition that combined with the allergy to kill him.
  • In Lost, after hearing whispers in the forest, Ana Lucia accidentally shoots Shannon. Later on, while Michael kills Ana in cold blood to let Benjamin Linus escape, Libby walks in and he shoots her in a panic.
  • Lost in Space (2018): Aboard the colony ship Resolute, an altercation between two characters due to mistaken identity causes one to be accidentally trapped in an airlock with its automatic cycle activated. The other character hesitates to press the override, and is thus responsible for the resulting death by way of failure to act.
  • Midsomer Murders:
    • The first Body of the Week in "Left for Dead" occurs as a result of a Staircase Tumble when two characters are struggling at the top of the stairs. Although pushed, it was an accident and no murder was intended. The later murders, however...
    • The third Victim of the Week in "Till Death Do Us Part" is shoved by the killer who is trying to intimidate them, only for them to stumble over the edge of the balcony and fall to their death.
    • The first Victim of the Week in "The Point of Balance" suffers a fatal heart attack when her attacker shoves a length of tulle in her mouth and she starts choking. She suffered from an undiagnosed heart defect that made her susceptible to SCD (Sudden Cardiac Death).
  • In Misfits the protagonists have ended up killing multiple people by accident and would have killed more if Curtis hadn't rewound time to prevent them killing their third probation worker.
  • Motive: In "Foreign Relations", the killer attempts to slip a mickey to the Victim of the Week so she can interrogate him. However, she gets the does wrong and he dies of an overdose.
  • Mouse (2021): Su-ho didn't realise there was anyone still in Jae-hoon's house when he set it on fire. Unfortunately Jae-hoon's brother was still inside.
  • Once Upon a Time: Red accidentally kills her mother when the latter tries to kill Snow.
  • Orange Is the New Black:
    • Norma recalls how she became one of several wives to a hippie Cult leader back in The '70s. Two or three decades later, her husband's influence began to wane, the Cult disbanded, and all of Norma's sister-wives had left. So he was feeling distressed and purposeless, urging Norma to leave like all the others. Norma replied that she wouldn't leave him, and he responded by verbally abusing her. Norma became angry, called him a son-of-a-bitch, and gave him a shove...and ended up pushing him off of a cliff to his death. She is currently serving a sentence for manslaughter.
    • It's revealed in Season 4 that this is the reason Suzanne aka "Crazy Eyes" is in prison. She invited a small child home with her to play video games, unaware of the potential problems this might cause. The more time the kid spends with her, the more nervous he gets until he tries to leave and Suzanne flips out. He climbs out onto the fire escape to get away from her — and falls off to his death.
    • Poussey's death, though her friends firmly believe it was deliberate.
    • Piscatella is mistakenly shot in the head by a CERT member inside the prison.
  • Orphan Black:
    • Beth was suspended from active duty because of a line of duty shooting of a civilian. Though it turns out it wasn't accidental. Or a civilian.
    • Later on, there's an I Just Shot Marvin in the Face situation with Donnie killing Dr. Leekie.
  • In The Practice, Bobby hires a hitman to intimidate exonerated (but guilty) serial killer William Hinks into ceasing his harassment of Lindsay, but the hitman kills Hinks instead. Bobby is legally responsible for Hinks' death regardless of his instructions to the hitman but is acquitted anyway.
  • Prey (UK Miniseries): The man who broke into Farrow's home never intended to harm his family, only retrieve the disks that would incriminate Mackenzie in Hassan's murder. However, the scuffles that follow after his presence is revealed resulted in Max falling down the stairs and Abi getting stabbed with the knife she used to try and scare him off.
  • Psychopath Diary: Played with. Dong-sik and Mu-seok fall down the stairs. When Dong-sik wakes up he finds Mu-seok dead with a knife in his chest. He assumes he accidentally killed him in the fall. Actually In-woo killed Mu-seok while Dong-sik was unconscious.
  • Scholar Who Walks the Night: Gwi doesn't mean to kill Hye Ryung, but when he lashes out at her he cuts her throat.
  • The Sinner: The protagonist in the series, who has a sister with a congenital heart issue and a weak sternum, suffers death by a heart attack after engaging in consensual sexual intercourse with others present in the same room, and under the influence of MDMA ("Ecstacy"). Just before, or shortly after she dies, the man attempts to perform CPR, but breaks her sternum in the process. This could quite easily be ruled an accidental death, but those present decide they should "bury the body" because they were "on drugs", and agree nobody would want to "explain that to the cops." Instead, they soberly discuss the course of action to take, which is to bury the protagonist's sister's body next to a bright yellow school bus abandoned in some woods, and then excessively illogically, decide to have the protagonist repeatedly injected with heroin and other drugs until she forgets most of her adolescent life, whereupon she is thrown into an alley in skid row.
  • Tehran: Tamar, when disguised as Zhila, fends off her (Zhila's) boss during a rape attempt, accidentally killing him.
  • Vera: The Victim of the Week in "The Deer Hunters" is shot when he attempts to wrestle a rifle away from a friend who was attempting to illegally shoot a stag.
  • Zig-zagged on The Walking Dead. When Dwight claims to have shot Denise dead completely by accident, he admits that he was initially aiming to kill Daryl, but the kickback on his crossbow made him miss the initial target.
  • The White Lotus: Armond is killed by Shane due to the latter literally running into him with knife in hand while coming around a corner.
  • Whodunnit? (UK):
    • In "Teddy Bears Picnic", the Victim of the Week suffers Death by Falling Over when she hits her head on a dresser while fighting with a thief in a gorilla suit.
    • In "Time to Dye", the Victim of the Week is chloroformed with a towel. However, the chemical used to drug her interacts with the alcohol she has already consumed and she asphyxiates.
    • In "Final Drive", the killer cuts the brake lines on the Victim of the Week's car, intending to cause an accident and prevent the victim from racing. However, they underestimated the speed he would be driving at when he tried to brake.
  • Why Women Kill: Beth Ann and Rob's daughter Emily was killed through being struck by a car when she ran into the street chasing her ball. The driver is distraught at this.
  • Y: The Last Man: Hero kills her partner/lover Mike during an argument when she angrily throws a fire extinguisher at him, with its trigger puncturing his neck. Mike bleeds to death despite Hero attempting to stop this.

  • In the Irish ballad "Molly Ban", Molly's boyfriend mistakes her for an animal while hunting.
  • In the Porcupine Tree song "Way Out of Here", the protagonist's depression is implied to be because of this.
    And I'm trying to forget you
    And I know that I will
    In a thousand years, or maybe a week
    Burn all your pictures, and cut out your face
    The shutters are down and the curtains are closed
    And I've covered my tracks
    Disposed of the car
    Trying to forget even your name and the way that you look
    When you're sleeping
    Dreaming of this
  • YNW Melly's song Murder On My Mind is a chilling and real-life example of this. In the song, Melly accidentally shoots his friend because he "caught him by surprise." He even says that he shot his friend two times which was enough to kill him.
    I didn't even mean to shoot 'em, he just caught me by surprise
    I reloaded my pistol, cocked it back, and shot him twice
    His body dropped to the floor, he had teardrops in his eyes
    He grabbed me by my hands and said he was afraid to die
    I told 'em it's too late my friend, its time to say goodbye
    And he died inside my arms, blood all on my shirt.
  • On the same note, Melly released a counterpart to the song named "Mind on my Murder." and it's equally as disturbing. In this song, the murder is told from the victim's perspective:
    Sky is getting red, body getting cold
    Losing hella blood, Lord, please save my soul
    If I have to die, don't know where I'll go
    I don't want to die, I'm only 10 years old, oh
    My mama cried
    Yellow tape around my body, it's a homicide
    And he told me it was accidental, by surprise
    Ambulances everywhere and I just pray that I survive

  • Less Is Morgue: Riley has a nasty habit of doing this, on account of their poor impulse control, paranoia, and Horror Hunger. In Episode 1, they accidentally attack and eat Jon, a Pizza Guy, because they forgot they ordered a pizza and mistook him for an intruder. In Episode 2, they eat zombie beauty guru Brains Vincent because they lost control of their appetite after skipping breakfast.
  • The Magnus Archives: In "Vampire Killer" the statement-giver claims to have killed several 'people' who were certainly vampires, but also two people he's not sure about and one who definitely wasn't (but that one was a violent criminal, so he doesn't lose much sleep over it).

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Zia loses her temper while arguing with Ivy and Jessica and nearly uses her telepathy to psychically strangle them both. She stops herself before it becomes fatal, but she's still horrified at what she nearly did.
    • During the Time Skip leading up to finals, Jacob accidentally uses his time manipulation powers to rewind a screwdriver into Barbra's body, killing her. Fortunately for her, this triggered her immortality power, but the incident had a horrible mental toll on Jacob.
  • This happens quite often in Survival of the Fittest.
    • A notable example during V4 is Kris Hartmann getting spooked by Reika Ishida and shooting her in the chest. Eric Lorenz's death at the hands of Alex Rasputin was also accidental.
    • In V3, Abel Williams is accidentally tripped up by Michael Anders and falls over... hitting his head on a rock and dying.

  • Romeo and Juliet - Tybalt kills Mercutio, bringing a plague on both Montagues and Capulets. Though it's up to the show whether their fight was in deadly earnest, or if they were just fooling around and it got out of hand. What everyone agrees on is that Romeo really messed it up.

    Video Games 
  • In Ayakashi: Romance Reborn, it's revealed in his route that Koga has a Power Incontinence and accidentally killed his childhood friend with it. He feels terrible about it and tries to make up for it by caring for the friend's younger brother.
  • Gaige from Borderlands 2 created her robot, Deathtrap, as a slightly overpowered bully deterrent. When her classmate Marcy pushed her at the science fair, Deathtrap registered Marcy as a threat and Marcy, well... exploded.
  • In Captain Morgane and the Golden Turtle, this is the reason why Anita's husband is in hiding. While fighting off a drunken guard captain who was accosting Anita, he caused the captain to hit his head, which in turn caused the captain to stagger off the edge of the dock and drown. The other guards didn't believe it was an accident.
  • In the CSI Nintendo DS game: One case involves the team investigating the death of a man who apparently got impaled on the sword of a statue. It turns out that a man who was angry at the victim stabbed him with a knife with the intent to harm but not kill. The victim drank some wine to calm himself which caused his body to go numb. While walking around on a balcony overlooking the statue, the victim, due to this injury and the state of his body caused by the injury, falls over the side and is impaled on the sword of the statue. The man who stabbed the victim gets arrested for causing the man's death through his actions.
  • Even For Eternia: The first Despair Shift that an Umbra experiences results in an controllable explosion, which can range from small to devastating. Rubellum goes through her first Despair Shift when King Callister tries to hang the party, wiping out nearly everyone in Kingsridge with the ensuing explosion.
  • inFAMOUS: First Light: After Shane injected Fetch with some drugs, she started hallucinating that someone was "stealing her stash" and attacked them with her powers in a fit of rage. That someone turned out to be her brother who was trying to snap her out of her delusions. Needless to say Fetch was not happy with the results...
  • In the backstory to Injustice: Gods Among Us an encounter between the emerging Regime and Insurgency groups at Arkham Asylum had Damian Wayne angrily throw an escrima stick that ricocheted and hit Nightwing's exposed head. Nightwing collapsed, causing him to break his neck on the rubble. Damian attempted to say this was a mistake, but Batman would have none of it as he carried Dick's body away. This would lead to Damian siding with Superman.
  • Kindergarten:
    • After the player presents Cindy's dead dog he found in the Nugget Cave to her, Ms. Applegate confronts Nugget about it, and accidentally pushes him into the Nugget Cave, AKA a very deep hole in the sandbox. She meant to just get him expelled, but decides that this works too, since she doesn't have to deal with him anymore either way.
    • The player character can do this if he presses the red button while Billy's tank is selected, as the game gives no instruction on what any of the buttons do, leaving it to the player to find out through trial and error.
  • In Life: the Game, if you lose on "puberty", you'll get a note saying that after a pimple led to a scar on your face, your cousin Alan accidentally killed you trying to remove it.
  • In Mafia II Joe Barbaro gets drunk after his friend is killed and starts waving his gun around in a local bar. When the situation appears under control, Joe suddenly angrily slams his gun against the table, accidentally pulling the trigger and killing the barman.
  • Near the end of Mortal Kombat 9's Story Mode, Raiden accidentally kills Liu Kang by electrocuting him while Kang is attempting a fatality, with the resultant shock causing Kang to lose concentration and scorch himself to death.
  • The Valstrax of Monster Hunter is an Elder Dragon that can zip around the skies at supersonic speeds by using its wings like jet engines. It’s also known for brutally goring several humans and large monsters this way, simply because it had locked onto something and can’t adjust its flight path in time.
  • Persona:
    • Persona 3: Shinjiro learned the hard way about losing control of your powers. When chasing a Shadow, he lost control and ended up killing an innocent woman. Who left behind a vengeful son. Tragedy ensues.
    • Persona 4: The first murder was a complete accident. The culprit was trying to rape the victim when he accidentally pushed her into the TV. Averted in the case of the members of the Investigation Team, since the second fall guy note  honestly believed that pushing them into the television world would protect them from the real killer (because of his manipulations). Obviously, the trope is still played straight when the player fails to rescue a trapped person in time.
  • Pillars Of Dust: In Gregg's third chapter, he has to rescue a man who is frozen in a block of ice. If anything other than the basic Fireball spell is used, the man is killed and the party doesn't get the reward.
  • In POPGOES, it's revealed that Fritz had accidentally murdered his his own daughter Bonnie when she scared him wearing the Bonnie animatronic's mask, causing him to chop her into pieces in a PTSD-induced fury, since he had his frontal lobe bitten off by said animatronic in the past.
  • In The Reconstruction, after Dehl's father snaps and tries to kill everyone while searching for a cure to the Blue Plague, he is about to kill Dehl when Dehl's magic powers manifest. This knocks him back and into a sword he left lying around. Also a case of Offing the Offspring and Self-Made Orphan.
  • Invoked Trope in Saints Row 2. The Boss captures Jessica Parish, the girlfriend of Maero, the Brotherhood leader, locks her in the trunk of her own car, and leaves it at a monster truck rally that Maero's attending, so that he runs her over and crushes her without realizing she's there. Then, directly afterwards, the Boss gives Maero Jessica's car keys so he can see what he's done to her. Why did the Boss do that? Jessica had their friend Carlos chained to the back of a monster truck and dragged to near-death, forcing the Boss to Mercy Kill Carlos. Talk about Kick the Son of a Bitch.
  • At the climax of Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alex finally remembers that Josh has been Dead All Along and his own role in it. During a fishing trip in a nearby lake, Alex — finally fed up with how his parents had always neglected him in favor of Josh — gets into an argument with Josh over their family's signet ring. During the argument, Alex accidentally knocks Josh off the boat, breaking his neck in the process. The final boss, Amnion, is essentially a manifestation of both Alex's guilt over Josh's death and Josh's desire for Alex to accept responsibility for his role in it.
  • The Big Bad of Spookys Jumpscare Mansion, the ghost of a 12-year-old girl named Spooky, was killed when she scared a man suffering from PTSD, causing him to shoot her.
  • In Twisted Metal: Black Agent Stone (Outlaw) accidentally kills a girl and her mother while taking out some terrorists. There's even an Empathy Doll Shot.
  • In Undertale, the boss at the end of the Ruins can get both sides of this. If you try sparing Toriel by reducing her HP, you'll suddenly deal 10 times as much damage and kill her without meaning to. And while she's trying very hard not to kill you, if you do the exact right thing, you can die anyway.
  • Played for Laughs in Spyro 2: Ripto's Rage!, in the outro of the Magma Cone level, the fauns are having a party and one of them tries to give a high five to the faun next to him but accidentally pushes him into lava, after realising what he did, he gently pushes the dead faun's party hat into lava to avoid suspicion.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Dee Vasquez killed Jack Hammer, but it wasn't her intention. He was trying to murder her — she just pushed him away from her, resulting in him falling on top of a wrought iron fence that impaled him. Self-defense, in a nutshell. Crosses over with Death by Irony, since Hammer had previously accidentally killed someone by pushing him on top of that same fence. In fact, the whole reason he tried to kill Vasquez was that she covered up the incident and used it to blackmail the hell out of him.
    • Discussed in "Turnabout Goodbyes". Miles Edgeworth has been plagued by guilt and nightmares for fifteen years even since the day his father Gregory died, inspired by the fear that he's the one who accidentally killed him as a child when he tried to another man from strangling him; he picked up a gun that was lying on the floor, threw it at them, and promptly blacked out from oxygen deprivation from being confined in a sealed elevator. When he came to, his father lay there, dead from a shot to the heart. Phoenix and Maya eventually prove that Edgeworth wasn't the killer; the bullet pierced the elevator door and shot Manfred von Karma, who despised Gregory for incurring the one and only penalty on his legal record by exposing him for coercing a confession. The doors opened, von Karma saw Gregory passed out and vunerable, picked up the gun, and got his revenge.
    • Discussed in "The Magical Turnabout". Everyone but Apollo, Athena, Ema Skye and Nahyuta Sahdmadhi thinks that Trucy accidentally killed Manov Mistree when she thrust a sword through the coffin where Mistree was found (this was part of a magic trick where he was supposed to come out alive, of course). Subverted — it was a premeditated murder that had nothing to do with Trucy's sword, and the killer was someone who tried to frame Trucy.
    • Beh'leeb Inmee was the target of Puhray Zeh'lot, a member of the Secret Police who hunted down and killed members of La Résistance. While defending herself, she pushed a gigantic slab towards Zeh'lot, whose weight pushed him backwards and accidentally got him impaled by a statue's spiky feathers.
  • Amnesia: Memories: Explains where Shin's father is. His father was drunk one night, got into a fight with another drunk guy, and one hit caused the other guy to lose his balance and fall badly onto the ground, dying from the impact. This has lead to Shin's father being incarcerated for involuntary manslaughter.
  • Danganronpa:
    • In the first game, Mondo ends up accidentally killing Chihiro in a fit of rage after Chihiro accidentally presses Mondo's Berserk Button.
    • Twisted around in Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, where an accidental murder does indeed happen... exactly as the victim planned! Nagito Komaeda engineers an elaborate suicide-by-proxy where nobody, not even the killer, would realize a killing had even taken place until it was too late. He did this because he discovered that the entire class including himself were members of Ultimate Despair, except for the traitor. Since the rest of the class symbolized despair in his mind, the traitor must, therefore, symbolize hope, and thus he felt that only the traitor deserved to live. However, he didn't know who the traitor was, and thus counted on his Ultimate Luck to make it so that the traitor was the one to actually murder him. The idea was that the class would either assume he committed suicide on his own and vote for him as the culprit, or they would figure out his plan to make one of them accidentally kill him but wouldn't be able to figure out who it was and have to blindly guess, most likely guessing incorrectly. Chiaki, however, figures out his real motivation and outs herself as the traitor in order to spare everyone else.
  • The "Bad Boys Love" route of Hatoful Boyfriend is kicked off when the heroine is found dismembered. Much horror-mystery and exposition later, it is found that Dr. Shuu was secretly weakening Ryouta Kawara's body to make him the carrier of a fast-acting lethal-to-humans virus for use as a bioweapon, and the (human) heroine died when she went to the infirmary to check on her friend Ryouta and was exposed to the virus. This revelation sends Ryouta across the Despair Event Horizon.
  • In Kiss of Revenge, the protagonist's mother died in surgery twelve years ago due to a mistake on the part of the operating surgeon. This sets off the game's whole plot, as the protagonist spent the following twelve years planning revenge for her mother's death and how it was covered up.
  • Virtue's Last Reward: This is what Clover ended up doing when she pulled an injection gun full of a lethal drug on Luna only for the trigger of the gun to accidental get pulled mid-struggle. Or, at least what she thinks she ended up doing. Luna never actually died from the injection due to being a robot.
  • In Murder by Numbers (2020), Fran wanted to collect insurance to avoid going broke, but in her attempt to stage a crash ended up running someone over.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: In Volume 3, Cinder fixes the Tournament fights to ensure Penny and Pyrrha fight while Emerald controls what Pyrrha sees. Pyrrha accidentally destroys Penny on global television, generating such a negative backlash that the Grimm are empowered to start an all-out assault on the City of Vale — exactly as the villains planned.

  • Banished: Rak is held captive on Strix 13 due to this crime.
  • Played for Laughs in Captain SNES: The Game Masta. In Mysidia, the Elder attempts to thank Frog for his valiant efforts by lifting the curse of his frog form, over Frog's objections. One quick casting of Esunaga later and Frog is once again Glenn... albeit very briefly, as the curse quickly takes hold again. After the Elder has tried again and again without lasting success, he explains in frustration that Esunaga should be working just fine even on such a powerful curse, because it works by directly addressing whatever cause is keeping the curse in place, to begin with. Frog explains that the curse is tied to the life of his old arch-enemy, Magus, which means the Elder, unbeknownst to either of them at the time, had killed Magus with each casting of Esunaga. The reason why it didn't stick? Magus had been adventuring with Mario for a while in the Mushroom Kingdom and had been collecting extra lives all the while.
    Elder: So tell me, how many drinks does it take to forget you killed a man ninety-five times?
  • Played with in Eerie Cuties. A demon that came out of a magic mirror in Nina's form tied vampire hunter Tiffany's shoelaces together to trip her. Unfortunately, Tiffany was carrying a sword and impaled herself on it when she fell, becoming a ghost, temporarily. However, it turns out that she's not really dead, the sword causes someone's astral form to be thrust from their body while leaving the body intact. One vampire bite later, Tiffany is back where she belongs, albeit with other concerns now.
  • Escape the Night has Matt accidentally kill Sierra during an exorcism. Matt truly didn’t intend to kill her, but has a reputation of a Dirty Coward, so when the others find out he had the choice of killing Sierra or himself (something which Matt only figures out after Sierra has died) everyone thinks he did it on purpose. In his defense, however, Sierra had told Matt to hurry up, so he skimmed through the instructions, causing him to miss the part where the choice was mentioned.
  • Played for Laughs in Hell(p). While team 11 is sneaking up on an enemy, a cameraman gets recklessly close to them, almost sticking his camera right in their faces. Cue Marcus getting startled and kicking the poor idiot down the hill and into a landmine.
  • In chapter three of The Powerpuff Girls Reimagined, Buttercup hit Sadusa with the intent of just knocking her out, but accidentally hits her hard enough to snap her neck.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, a set of mines set for security purposes accidentally blow away King LOTA, resulting in the page quote. However, like every good robot dictator, LOTA had a secure backup system.
  • Welcome to Hell: Sock kills his parents... in his sleep. He soon joins them in the cemetery.

    Web Original 
  • 7-Second Riddles: The solution to a riddle involving a man's girlfriend dying while at his proposal dinner involved the man putting the ring in her food- causing her to accidentally choke to death.
  • The 15 Experience: In a drunken fight with Catherine when she insists on leaving the house due to her bad headache, Anthony ends up pushing her down the stairs, accidentally killing her. They then learn they were caught on security camera.
  • This happens in the Black Box TV episode "Zombie". When caught embracing Adrian, the main character, by his friend, Adrian's unnamed boyfriend panics, accuses Adrian of coming on to him, (all while Adrian repeats, "What are you talking about?" while on the verge of tears), and then punches Adrian, knocking him down. Adrian hits his head on a rock and lies, staring and lifeless. It is implied it cracked his skull.
  • In Noob, Master Zen's backstory includes doing a Hair-Trigger Temper-induced Appliance Defenestration right when an old lady happened to be under his window.
  • On Cinema: The vapor device made by Dr. San and given out by Tim at the Electric Sun Desert Music Festival causes the accidental deaths of 20 teenagers and gets San and Tim arrested for Manslaughter charges.
  • Jane of Outside Xbox has a pattern of accidental fatalities in her Hitman (2016) and Hitman 2 outings, as opposed to Andy (who rarely kills anyone but the targets) and Mike (who tends to be a bit casual with his collateral damage and has, on more than one occasion, ended levels with a score of zero). So far, she's absent-mindedly mauled someone in a hay baler, attempted to choke someone out into unconsciousness with a garrotte, and watched an NPC she had just knocked out slide off a riverbank and disappear into the water.
  • In the Real-Time Fandub of Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), Sonic's death is framed this way. Mephiles tries to scare Sonic off his lawn while he's distracted by a "corrupted weed gem", but he accidentally impales him with an Energy Weapon and goes into full-blown panic mode as he and Elise witness his death.
  • In a Red vs. Blue season 15 flashback, Biff is fatally impaled with a flag thrown by Tex at Carolina, who casually swats it away. To make matters worse, neither Freelancer is concerned with the guy bleeding out right in front of them. This is Temple's Start of Darkness.
  • From the RPC Authority , RPC-049 accidentally kills three members of the Site-049 archival team by exposing them to papers embeded with a memetic kill agent.
  • In the final Rockman 4 Minus Infinity video, raocow accidentally sucks up Eddie when attempting to suck up some extra lives.
  • In Sex House, the housemates accidentally kill the repairman they took hostage by keeping him in a room full of mold.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Boondocks, Granddad accidentally kills Colonel H. Stinkmeaner in the rematch to their fight. While everyone assumed Stinkmeaner had a Disability Superpower, he turned out to just be a blind old man who got lucky.
  • In the Grojband episode "Myme Disease" the townspeople kill Statue Steve because they thought he was a statue; however near the end of the episode, they realize that he was actually a statue performer, and a good one at that.
  • In an episode of Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures, a man and a woman were arguing and the man accidentally pushed the woman down the stairs and killed her (broken neck). How did he cover it? By burying her in a wall.
  • In the Justice League episode "Only a Dream", Superman (in a dream) kills at least three people because he loses control of his abilities.
  • Solar Opposites: Pretty much the norm for the Shlorpians, and every other unfortunate human that comes across them.
  • This accounts for one of Kenny's various deaths in South Park, where Stan and Wendy uncover Bebe's deep-lying conspiracy to get free shoes. Wendy and Bebe end up fighting for a gun, and after several seconds, a shot fires out. Wendy and Bebe both back away... but neither is injured. We then cut to Kenny eating dinner with his family, when the bullet manages to hit him.
  • Star Wars Resistance: In "Signal from Sector Six", Poe fires his blaster into the ceiling to scare off several Kowakian monkey-lizards harassing Kaz… and, to his surprise, a dead one falls from the ceiling.
  • In the Steven Universe: Future episode "Fragments", Steven gets Drunk with Power while Jasper trains him to control his immensely powerful new abilities. She pushes him over the edge, which results in him maniacally shattering her (the Gem equivalent of murder). He's horrified when he realizes what he's done, and rushes home to try and bring her back to life.
  • Thomas & Friends: Douglas tries to assist James up Gordon's Hill with the Spiteful Brake Van in the way, but he inadvertently ends up crushing the Brake Van as James is running out of steam. Of course, the Brake Van was such as a Jerkass that he easily had it coming.
  • Season 3 of Young Justice starts with Black Lightning accidentally killing a fourteen year old girl with a weak heart. Being a teacher in his day job and one of the people in the series who has kids, it causes him a bit of Heroic BSoD.



A young Black Bolt accidentally kills his parents.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / AccidentalMurder

Media sources:

Main / AccidentalMurder