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Death by Despair

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Citizen One: Indeed and it was at that very moment that Rachel Jackson began to die of grief.
Citizen Two: Grief?
Citizen One: It’s the nineteenth century. That’s the kind of shit that happened then.

Sometimes, life sucks. People go bankrupt. Plans go awry. People we love die. Terrible things happen to people. And sometimes the poor, unfortunate people to whom terrible things happen just... stop. Death by Despair is what happens when someone loses the will to live, and as a result, just dies. There's rarely a readily apparent medical cause for it. Just a broken heart, or a broken soul for those cases not caused by the loss of a loved one.

A Sub-Trope of Despair Event Horizon, since this is the result of despair that severe.

A Sister Trope to Driven to Suicide (especially since "died of grief" is sometimes a euphemism for that trope) and Death Seeker (when simple self-preservation instincts are ignored). Also see Victorian Novel Disease, of which physical suffering and illness from a moment of great psychological trauma may eventually lead into a case of this.

Truth in Television, to an extent, in that someone who doesn't care whether he lives or dies may start neglecting his health and slip into a downward spiral leading to death. A mirrored version is also noted in elderly couples in ill health where both will seem to stave off terminal conditions and endure uncomfortable treatments for each other, but "let go" when the other has passed. Also, there is a phenomenon known as "Broken Heart Syndrome" (or, to use the technical name, "Takotsubo cardiomyopathy") where sudden, excessive stress can weaken the cardiac muscle, which can lead to heart attacks and acute heart failure. It's rare, but not impossible. That said, No Real Life Examples, Please!

Compare Angst Coma.

As a Death Trope, many Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Shou Tucker's first chimera dies this way by ceasing to eat and eventually dying of starvation. This makes more sense when it's later revealed that this chimera was his wife.
    • Also, it's implied that this is what happened to Ed and Al's mother Trisha. Yes, it's true, she got sick, but it was stated that she was just never the same after Hohenheim left and that the lack of self-care between being a single mother and her broken heart weakened her enough to die from an illness she probably should have recovered from.
    • It could also be said that this is what almost happened to Riza. When Lust made the Badass Boast that she had killed Roy Mustang, Riza went on a brief Roaring Rampage of Revenge until she ran out of bullets... then slumped to the ground, weeping and waiting to be killed. She only recovered the will to live when she realized that Roy had survived.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Golden Wind: Proscuitto willingly keeps his powers and himself alive after surviving getting tossed out a train in order to make sure that Pesci stays focused. He then lost his remaining will after seeing Pesci torn to pieces by Bucciarati.
    • Stone Ocean: After Weather Report manages to use Ungalo's own Stand powers to negate itself, Ungalo was overcome with despair at the thought of regressing back into his previous drug-addled life and quickly died.
  • In Dragon Ball Z, the stress of his people being slaughtered by Frieza and his forces causes this to happen to the Grand Elder of Planet Namek. To be fair, he was extremely old and had been dying slowly for quite a while, so it amounted to dying a matter of minutes before he would have died 'naturally'. It nonetheless becomes a critical plot point because Planet Namek's Dragon Balls disappear when he dies. Luckily, when Kami and Popo use Earth's Dragon Balls to resurrect everyone Frieza's forces murdered, this brings back the Elder for the amount of time his life was shortened by.
  • Tomoya Okazaki of CLANNAD ~After Story~. When his daughter, his new reason to live after Nagisa's death, dies in his arms, he collapses in the snow, presumably dead from a broken heart. But he gets better. Really.
  • Parodied in Negima! Magister Negi Magi with Emily Sevensheep's mother. After she hears about her idol Nagi's death, we see her in her apparent death bed, telling her daughter that, just once, she wanted to see Nagi in person... then we cut to the doctor sweatdropping and saying that she only has a cold.
  • Subverted/Averted as all hell in Sayonara, Zetsubou-Sensei, much to the (non) consternation of Itoshiki, a man so steeped in despair that he will Wangst himself to suicide over the most outlandish theories and observations.
  • The Anti-Spiral tries to make the whole of humanity suffer this in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. It doesn't work.
  • This is what killed Allen Schezar's mother in The Vision of Escaflowne after she lost both her husband Leon (disappeared without a trace) and daughter Selena (kidnapped). Allen is deeply angry at his father for that. It's later explained that Mrs. Schezar's depression became worse when she learned that Leon was Dead All Along.
  • Kaede Fuyou from SHUFFLE! was close to this as a young girl, after her mother's death in an accident. Rin had to lie to her by putting the blame on himself so she'd recover the will to live.
  • Almost happens to Liechtenstein in Hetalia: Axis Powers, after World War I destroys her lands and kills a good part of her people. Fortunately, Switzerland finds her when she's about to give in and let herself die, and takes her in into his home (symbolizing the union between both countries, which still survives to this day).
  • In [C] - The Money and Soul of Possibility, Entres who go bankrupt lose their future and usually commit suicide afterward.
  • Barely averted in Bellemere's backstory in One Piece. She had fought in a terrible battle that destroyed a coastal city and was just waiting for her almost sure demise... then she saw little Nojiko carrying baby Nami in her arms and regained the will to live, taking the little girls in.
  • The succubi of Rosario + Vampire can literally die of heartbreak. Considering that Kurumu is in love with Tsukune who's in love with Moka, this can potentially happen to her as well.
  • Literally occurs in Puella Magi Madoka Magica in the new world in the endings. A Magical Girl's magic is somewhat based on her level of hope, so if they run out of magic (or hope), they die, and it's speculated that they might ascend to Goddess Madoka's Plane of Existence. This is a step up from the original timeline, where they turn into the very Eldritch Abominations that they fight.
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena was close to this after her parents died but thankfully her prince (or Touga) saves her.
  • In S Cryed, Ayase Terada goes out this way when she learns that her brother is dead (through a wireless heart monitor on her wrist). It might be justified since she went through a process to refine her power which is said to drastically shorten lifespan in some cases, but aside from some scarring looks perfectly healthy. Kazuma, who she was fighting, didn't even get a chance to land a hit.
  • Barely averted in Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds by Ruka and invoked by Aporia. In this duel, the hero's lives are connected to their life points and vice versa. When Ruka thinks her twin is dead, she falls to her knees, clutching her heart, as her life points ebb away... (They get better.)
  • In episode 10 of Space Patrol Luluco, Nova tears out and shatters Luluco's Aflutter Jewel (which is the physical embodiment of her love for him), causing her to die of a broken heart. Amazingly, she comes back to life after regaining her hope.
  • Heavily implied to be the fates of the protagonists of Girls' Last Tour. After a perilous journey through their After the End world, they reach the top of their Layered Metropolis and find...nothing. The two eat their last bit of food, go to sleep and are heavily implied to pass on during their slumber from the reveal that their journey was ultimately pointless.
  • Invoked in Overlord (2012). The Lich protagonist has a skill called Despair Aura. It has 5 levels of intensity, each inflicting increasingly debilitating Status Effects. The fifth level instantly kills those who fail to resist.

    Comic Books 

    Fairy Tales 
  • Betta of Pintosmalto predicts she will suffer this fate if her abducted husband doesn't answer her for the third and final night. Fortunately for her, he does.

    Fan Works 
  • In Earthsong9405's headcanon, Bright Mac was killed by timberwolves while Pear Butter was pregnant with Apple Bloom. Lingering trauma over the death of her husband is one of the reasons Pear Butter couldn't recover after birth, leading to her death.
  • Better Bones AU: Larkstripe dies shortly after her son Ripplekit is taken from her as punishment for her stand against SkyClan's exile (with the excuse that she is breaking the cleric code by having a kit), supposedly due to her grief at what happened.
  • The Bridge: Queen Amatheia's daughters were taken away by invaders and enslaved. After Amatheia used powerful magic to set up The Shroud to prevent future invasions, she passed away from both her exhaustion and her depression over the loss of her daughters.
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: Shinji's heart simply gives out less than three days following the passing of Asuka. They'd been inseparable for over sixty years by then, and people that knew them were not surprised he couldn't go on without her.
  • In Handmaid Cecily believes this is how her mother Anne Boleyn died, as she lost both the woman she loved and the man she came to care for in quick succession a year before.
  • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail: A denizen by the name of the Curry Prince/Clockwork Prince turns out to be a reincarnated Soma from Black Butler, who go onto the Train after the death of Agni. He ended up dying in his sleep, cradling Agni's urn.
  • Mind Brigade:
    • Jamie's mother died of a sudden stress-induced heart attack that is described similarly to a Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.
    • Jamie dies of a sudden heart attack after he freaks out, believing that he gave the dying Jill a fatal heart attack after yelling at her.
  • Not Old, Alone or Done For: Mrs. Darling died soon after her husband. The doctors say it was a combination of fever and heartache.
  • In Queens of Mewni, while it was ultimately Death by Childbirth that got Sky the Weaver, there's an element of this trope as well as her health had already declined significantly after the death of her husband, to the point that her family had to force her to eat so she didn't lose the baby.
  • Purple Days: In this A Song of Ice and Fire fanfiction, it's heavily implied that at least one of Joffrey's deaths after learning of his parentage was this, in Chapter 7.
  • In Recoil after Lisa died in the ruins of New Delhi, Taylor was entirely willing to sit next to her cairn until she died as well. Phir Sē discovered her corpse there before traveling back in time to recruit her before her death.
  • Sunshine: Satsuki's death of leukemia in is implied in part to be this after Ryuuko had died in the previous story, Raindrops. The story was even tagged as such.
  • In the Kung Fu Panda fic The Vow, this happens to Lord Shen's parents when there isn't any more news of the son — that they had to banish for committing mass murder — being alive somewhere.

    Films — Animation 
  • Evelyn in Incredibles 2 implies that this was how her mother died after her husband, Evelyn’s father, was killed by criminals.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, this is the implied fate of the villain's parents, who were heartbroken at being forced to exile their son.
    Shen: My parents hated me. They wronged me and I, I will make it right.
    Soothsayer: They loved you. They loved you so much that having to send you away killed them.
  • In Loving Vincent, Pere Tanguy says this happened to Theo: after Vincent's death, he lost his will to live.
  • This is what took Chef Gusteau in Ratatouille after getting his rating shot down to four stars by Anton Ego. This may come across as an overreaction on his part to much of the audience, but keep in mind that high cuisine is highly competitive. Anything less than the maximum rating will destroy a fancy restaurant, and sometimes even the chef; such was the case of Bernard Loiseau, the chef Gusteau was modeled after.
  • A variation happened to Spinel, the main antagonist of Steven Universe: The Movie. A long time ago, she was created to be a cheerful, cute playmate to Pink Diamond. However, when Pink was finally given the chance to have her very own colony, she decided that she no longer needed Spinel, and ordered her playmate to stay still in their special garden until she came back. Six thousand years later, Steven's special universe-wide broadcast managed to reach the garden, and Spinel realized in the span of one moment that not only did Pink abandon her, she's now effectively dead. The resulting emotional turmoil broke Spinel so badly that she "poofed" (a process that Word of God has directly compared to broken-heart syndrome), and in her place, a completely snapped Axe-Crazy Gem emerged.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the novel David Copperfield, David's mother Clara dies giving birth to Murdstone's child. In the film any reference to her being pregnant is dropped, and she simply dies from despair caused by Murdstone's mental cruelty and ill treatment.
  • Possibly Illanka in House of Frankenstein after she shoots Lawrence Talbot with a silver bullet after he attacks her as the Wolf Man. She shows no signs of injury afterward, and since she can move, her neck was clearly not broken, but she dies on top of Larry's corpse.
  • In Imitation of Life (1934), Delilah the black housekeeper weakens and dies of nothing more than despair after her passing-white daughter, Peola, cuts Delilah out of her life so she can continue to pass as white.
  • In Imitation of Life (1959), much the same happens to Annie, the analogous character to Delilah. In this version, Annie agrees to let her daughter Sarah Jane go because she comes to understand why Sarah Jane wants to pass (so that she can live her life unimpeded by racism), but the emotional impact of this kills her shortly thereafter.
  • Incendies: It's implied that this is the cause of Nawal's death, after a life of being a Determinator. Her daughter suddenly finds her catatonic, and she dies soon afterwards. Her will refers to a mysterious "broken promise" and asks to be given a pauper's unmarked grave until her promise can be upheld by her children. At the end of the film, we discover what drove her into sudden despair — namely, the discovery that her long-lost son (the brother that Jeanne and Simon never knew they had) and the man who raped and tortured her in prison (the father they never knew) were one and the same.
  • In Jumanji, Alan learns that after he disappeared his father gave up everything he had to try to find him. His eventual death of a broken heart likely wasn't helped by rumors that he himself had murdered Alan and hidden the body.
  • Contact with the "ghosts" of J-Horror film Kairo (Pulse) results in this. The ghosts don't even do anything, they're just there, but coming face to face with one results in the victim realizing that, even in death, everyone is completely and utterly alone. The soul-crushing despair from this revelation causes the victim to simply shrink away, their will to live fading, until they literally become nothing but an eerie stain of soot on the wall.
  • Lisa, from Letter from an Unknown Woman almost immediately dies after the death of her son, and finding out that her one true love never knew who she was.
  • Possibly George in A Single Man. Eight months after the death of Jim, his lover of sixteen years, George has been so ground down by grief (which he can't outwardly show, because it's the 1960s) that he decides to commit suicide... which turns out to be an unnecessary decision, since he dies of a heart attack instead, having been shown throughout the film to be nursing a chronic heart condition. Diabolus ex Machina, or stress-induced cardiomyopathy?
  • Padmé in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith suffered this according to the medbot attending her. Watching her husband turn evil and everything she worked for come crashing down around her as she witnesses the rise of a totalitarian government, combined with the stress of an impromptu and messy child birth, was likely too much for her although. It's unclear how much her husband Force choking her had to do with it.
  • Tevya: It's even explicitly stated that Mama Golde's grief over her daughter converting to Christianity and getting married to a Gentile is what ruined Golde's health. Sure enough, she croaks.
  • In Written on the Wind, Marylee's father dies after finding out from one of his daughter's sexual partners that she had a habit of instigating such encounters.

  • The Adventures of Pinocchio: After rescuing and healing Pinocchio from being hanged, the Blue Fairy tells him that his dad Geppetto is arriving, but he decides to go on his own to reach him faster. He ends up derailing himself through another series of misadventures, and when he returns to the house of the Fairy in the woods, it has disappeared and the only thing in its place is a marble tombstone that reads: "Here lies the girl with turquoise hair who died from the sorrow of being abandoned by her brother Pinocchio". Thankfully it turns out to be a Secret Test of Character and the Fairy returns a few chapters later.
  • In American Gods, a funeral director observes that an elderly man whose wife just dies will most likely be dead himself in about eight months. In his experience, elderly women who lose their husbands are usually able to live on, but elderly men can't handle it and will stop taking care of themselves and lose the will to live.
  • In And Then There Were None, General Macarthur's wife Leslie died of a broken heart after her lover, Arthur Richmond, falls victim to her husband's Uriah Gambit in World War I. Macarthur himself loses the will to live and so is easy prey for the murderer (it helps that was did feel quite guilty over the whole thing, unlike most of the characters).
  • Anna Karenina subverts this, along with along with many other common tropes of romance novels. Anna does go into a period of fever and delusion when her adultery is exposed, but when her husband manages to forgive her and her lover, she recovers. In a further subversion, however, she and her lover are both so ashamed by his magnanimity in contrast to their own behaviour that the latter (unsuccessfully) attempts suicide, and the former still can't bear to be in her husband's presence. She later commits suicide for real, when she realises that even though she got what she wanted, her life still wasn't the fairytale romance she anticipated.
  • In most versions of Beauty and the Beast, the Beast nearly dies of despair when Beauty fails to come back from her visit home at the time she promised and he thinks she's abandoned him. Only her belated arrival and Anguished Declaration of Love save his life (and turn him human again).
  • In The Bishop's Heir, when Caulay MacArdry learns of Dhugal's capture, he clutches at his heart and dies within seconds. The news was the last straw for Caulay's already failing health.
  • Isaac Asimov's "Blind Alley": The unnamed aliens were rescued from a dying planet, and are now kept in a gilded prison, with every necessity provided for them with no effort. When Antyok is assigned a job that is effectively their warden, he realizes that they have collectively given up on life because they have lost all agency. They cannot meaningfully affect their future as long as they are tied to humanity. So Antyok subtly arranges things to allow the aliens to escape to an entirely different galaxy without getting into trouble himself.
  • The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. An elderly man tells Tatiana how he spent hours trying to repair a faulty generator, with the NKVD standing over him ready to execute him for 'sabotage' if he didn't. He succeeds, but asks if it isn't bad enough with starvation and the Nazis trying to kill them. Tatiana finds him dead the next day.
  • In The Cardinal of the Kremlin, after both of Colonel Filitov's sons died young, one while fighting counterrevolutionaries and one due to his tank suffering a critical defect, his wife faded away. The loss of his entire family is what inspired him to start working for the CIA, becoming the title character.
  • In The Cold Moons, particularly grief-stricken badgers are known to die of a "death-wish". They long to be with their recently deceased loved one so much that they eventually die of unknown causes. It's not starvation or illness and no healer can help them. After Eldon's Heroic Sacrifice, the badgers have to help his adopted son Titan from dying of the wish of death.
  • Daddy's Little Girl:
    • Genine Cavanaugh technically died of liver failure caused by excessive drinking, though her daughter Ellie states in her opinion she really died of "a broken heart", given that the tragic loss of her eldest daughter and her failed marriage was what drove her to drink.
    • Near the end of the novel Dorothy Westerfield has a fatal heart attack shortly after Ellie publicly reveals proof that her grandson plotted to kill her decades ago. It was rumored for years that Rob was behind the near-fatal shooting of his grandmother in a supposed burglary gone wrong, but Dorothy was in denial over this until Ellie's research removed her doubts. The realization that her grandson truly is a monster (and that her son likely helped cover for him) is evidently too much to bear for Dorothy, who is already in her nineties.
  • Daystar and Shadow: Robin's mother Marge withered away and died after being forced to abandon him in the desert, saying life had no meaning for her. His father worked himself to death over the loss of Marge, Robin, and their other son Gregory, who was killed by a fireworm.
  • Don Quixote:
    • Parodied by the "resurrection" of Altisidora, a girl who claims to love Don Quixote and invokes this trope (it’s really a prank). Don Quixote and Sancho didn't believe it for a minute (this was at XVI century). When Don Quixote rejects her again:
      Hearing this, Altisidora, with a show of anger and agitation, exclaimed, "God's life! Don Stockfish, soul of a mortar, stone of a date, more obstinate and obdurate than a clown asked a favour when he has his mind made up, if I fall upon you I'll tear your eyes out! Do you fancy, Don Vanquished, Don Cudgelled, that I died for your sake? All that you have seen to-night has been make-believe; I'm not the woman to let the black of my nail suffer for such a camel, much less die!"
      "That I can well believe," said Sancho; "for all that about lovers pining to death is absurd; they may talk of it, but as for doing it-Judas may believe that!"
    • Forced to return to his hometown and lay down his arms by his defeat to the Knight of the White Moon (really his friend Sansón Carrasco), Don Quijote falls seriously ill. His friends believe he is dying of despair over his defeat, but unexpectedly the sickness snaps him out of his delusion, and he expresses relief that he has regained his sanity before dying.
  • In Anne Mcaffrey's Dragonflight, we learn that, when a rider dies, his/her dragon goes Between (a bitter cold, blackness through which dragons teleport), never to return. Also, dragon riders whose dragons die can become this.
  • Common in the works of V. C. Andrews, notably Cathy in the Flowers in the Attic series, who dies of a broken heart after Chris is killed in a car accident like their father. In the Landry Series, Gabrielle's Death by Childbirth is suggested to have happened because of her despair at having to give up another of her children.
  • In Gene Stratton-Porter's Freckles, Freckles's conviction that he is unworthy of Angel is killing him after his injuries.
  • An old legend is told in Galaxy of Fear; in it, a witch boasted that she was a Necromancer until people killed her son and challenged her to raise him. Instead, she cursed them before dying of despair.
  • The Captain of HMS Ulysses in the novel of the same title, the first published work by Alastair MacLean of The Guns of Navarone fame, suffers a variant of this. Soon after passing over his own personal Despair Event Horizon as his increasingly battered command limps towards the relative safety of Russia along with the dwindling remains of the convoy she and her crew have been struggling to protect, he's found on deck in nothing but his pyjamas and bare feet, horribly stricken by frostbite as a result. As the narration puts it (paraphrased from memory):
    The formal cause of death was "post-operative shock and exposure", but in truth, the captain died because he didn't want to live anymore.
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince presents Merope Gaunt, who is a Stalker with a Crush to a man whom she eventually tricks into drinking a Love Potion in order to become married to him and whom she rapes into pregnancy with their son. She eventually stops giving him the Love Potion, either due to her believing he has fallen in love for her in return or in the hope that he'd remain for their son's sake. He runs away from her instead, which causes her such a deep depression she loses all of her will to live, ending with her dying soon after giving birth at an orphanage. That boy eventually grew up to become the most dangerous Dark Wizard of all time, Lord Voldemort. Albus Dumbledore surmises that if Merope had hung on and raised him with love, Voldemort might never have come to be the homicidal monster he is.
  • Ford's father died from despair over the fact he [Ford] never learnt to say his real name in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Like everything else in the series, it's Played for Laughs.
  • The Hunger Games: Katniss attempts this during her confinement after Prim's death and her subsequent assassination of Coin. It doesn't work.
  • Michael Henchard, the title character of The Mayor of Casterbridge, leaves the town where he was once mayor and a successful businessman for the last time after his stepdaughter Elizabeth-Jane rebukes him for lying to her about her true paternity, then lying to her real father, Richard Newson, about whether or not she was still alive. He loses the will to live and lingers on for a few weeks in an abandoned house found for him by a former employee before dying alone and miserable. His last wishes are for a Lonely Funeral and for everyone to forget him.
  • Les Misérables
    • Fantine dies when Javert barges into her hospital room to arrest Jean Valjean – she was already near death from tuberculosis, and because Valjean was her only hope of ever reuniting with her daughter Cosette, the horror of his arrest kills her.
    • In the end, Jean Valjean dies like this after he is separated from Cosette, whom he's raised as his adopted daughter. Since Cosette is the novel's symbol of hope, it makes sense that both of her parents die when they think they'll never see her again – though unlike Fantine, Valjean at least gets to see her in his last moments.
  • In the novel The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham, after Walter dies of cholera, Kitty says that he really died of a broken heart.
  • The eponymous Phantom dies of a broken heart in The Phantom of the Opera.
  • In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Physiologist's Wife, the eponymous physiologist dies of this in the end, much to the disbelief of those examining the body.
  • Occurs at the end of The Pigman, where the eponymous character (having suffered a very long series of sad events) has a heart attack and dies after finding out that his best friend Bobo died.
  • Happens to Zilpah in The Red Tent, after she witnesses Jacob destroying and urinating on the last of her household idols. She becomes both physically and mentally ill for a few hours or days, then just up and dies. It was said that her body broke into many pieces.
  • Zhuge Liang in Romance of the Three Kingdoms has the ability to cause this. Several other people die of this naturally as well.
  • The Saga of the Faroe Islanders: When top villain Thrand hears that his nephews Sigurd, Thord and Gaut have all been killed in the Final Battle, he dies of grief. According to the internal timeline, he must be beyond 80 years of age at the time.
  • The Saga of Gunnlaug Wormtongue (implied): After Helga's husband Hrafn and her former fiancé Gunnlaug have killed each other in single combat, she marries another man, Thorkel, "although she did not really love him", but she cannot stop thinking about Gunnlaug ("She could never get Gunnlaug out of her mind, even though he was dead.") Though Helga has several children with Thorkel, her "greatest pleasure" is to a unfold a magnificent English cloak which Gunnlaug gave her as a present at her wedding with Hrafn (implying that he had intended it to be his present for his own wedding with Helga), and then just look at it "for a long time". One evening, when Helga is sick from disease, she lies in the main room with her head in Thorkel's lap, she has the cloak brought to her and spreads it out. After sitting up and looking at it for a while, she drops back dead into Thorkel's arms.
  • In More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, the story Cold As Clay involved this, when a farmhand "wastes away" after his employer moves his daughter in order to keep the two apart. The daughter is never told about this, however, which is why she isn't surprised when the farmhand arrives at her door to take her home... some time after his death.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, when Daylen first bonds Light to his memory, he remembers his entire life, and the pain of all his crimes causes his mind to break and him to die. His Healing Factor brings him Back from the Dead shortly after, with the unbearable memories safely tucked back away.
  • Talma Gordon:
    • Jeannette dies a year after the murder trial, the stress having taken its toll on her.
    • Isabel died after birthing her third child. Captain Gordon's raving accusations upon seeing the child's appearance were apparently too much for her after the stress of childbirth — she fell into convulsions and died soon after.
    • Near the end, Talma comes close to this; her emotional suffering causes her health to fail rapidly.
  • The Three Musketeers: In the book The Vicomte of Bragelonne: Ten Years Later, Part Three: The Man in the Iron Mask, Athos dies of a broken heart when he learns his son Raoul has been killed.
  • Tolkien's Legendarium:
    • Not a few cases in J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth (The Lord of the Rings, etc.), both Elven and Human. Specifically notable as a way of death for the immortal Elves. Elven spirits are noted to have a much greater influence over their physical bodies, so if they have the appropriate willpower and determination they can live and pull through almost anything; however it also works the other way round - if they lose their hope and will to live, their bodies just give out. In The Silmarillion there almost seems to be a tradition for the men to be killed and their wives dying of despair shortly afterward; this happening to Rian, Gloredhel, and Lúthien (although Lúthien's case is a little unique).
    • According to the appendix, Arwen eventually suffers this fate after Aragorn's death. Having chosen mortality, she is fated to die, but it's noted that, as a former immortal, she stays young and beautiful even as her husband ages. However, she does not live long after Aragorn dies, apparently retreating to her grandmother's long deserted domain of Lothlórien and dying of a broken heart, alone.
  • Iseult of Tristan and Iseult fame doesn't live long past Tristan's death.
  • Happens to the Aboriginal boy in Walkabout. He believes the girl's fear of him is because she's seen the spirit of Death on him (in fact, she's just afraid because she's been taught Aboriginals are savages and never actually met one before). Because he thinks death is coming for him, he then more or less wills himself to die. More precisely, he catches the flu from the girl's brother but has neither the inherited resistance nor the will to fight it. (The movie is more explicitly Death by Despair: he hangs himself after the failure of his courtship dance.)
  • In The Wheel of Time people who lose the ability to channel do this as well as Warders with dead Aes Sedai who aren't killed trying to avenge them. Warders who outlive their bonded Aes Sedai and can't avenge their deaths (if the Aes Sedai wasn't killed by someone, or died in an accident, or someone else gets there first, etc.) more become Death Seekers By Despair — they'll continuously throw themselves at Shadowspawn and dangerous problems until they finally get killed.
  • After the dog Old Dan dies of injuries in Where the Red Fern Grows, his companion Little Ann gradually wastes away (her owner literally has to pry her jaws open to force her to eat something) and joins him in death.
  • The iconic story of Wild Animals I Have Known, "Lobo, The King of Currumpaw", ends with Lobo captured and his mate dead. A few hours later, he dies despite no one touching him and without a mark on his body.
    A lion shorn of his strength, an eagle robbed of his freedom, or a dove bereft of his mate, all die, it is said, of a broken heart; and who will aver that this grim bandit could bear the three-fold brunt, heart-whole? This only I know, that when the morning dawned, he was lying there still in his position of calm repose, his body unwounded, but his spirit was gone—the old kingwolf was dead.
  • Milly in The Wings of the Dove is ill throughout the book but eventually dies due to a broken heart.
  • In With a Tangled Skein, we see this is apparently the reason people die after Atropos cuts their life's thread.
  • Wolf Hall
    • Implied to be the cause of Cardinal Wolsey's sudden decline and death. After an extended and humiliating fall from Henry VIII's favor, he was exiled to York. Being ordered back on the way there with charges of treason and probable execution was the final shock that finished him.
    • When one of Anne's "lovers" claims he might die of this, Cromwell reflects bitterly that it's not that easy—he wanted to die after the deaths of his wife, his daughters, and Wolsey, but his body kept on breathing anyway because "God takes your heart of flesh and replaces it with a heart of stone."
  • In World War Z some people are so traumatized by the horrors and hopelessness sometimes just go to sleep... and never wake up.
  • Catherine Earnshaw-Linton of Wuthering Heights — although the literal cause is premature childbirth while suffering from Brain Fever, her despair is what causes those two things. Nellie Dean personally believes Heathcliff died of this too and was not Driven to Suicide — she sees his refusal to eat or sleep for days as a "result" of his illness rather than a cause.
  • In Madame d'Aulnoy's Fairy Tale The Yellow Dwarf, Toutebelle dies of a broken heart after the titular villain murders her fiance.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Age of Steel": This is how the Doctor deals with the Cybermen. After their "upgrade", an emotional inhibitor is installed to keep them from freaking out or caring about how much it hurts to be unwillingly roboticized. Shutting off the inhibitor causes the Cybermen to go into What Have I Become?-mode, which overloads their systems and causes their heads to blow up.
      Cybercontroller/Lumic: What have you DONE?!
      The Doctor: I gave them back their souls! They can see what you've done, Lumic! AND IT'S KILLING THEM!
    • "Turn Left":
      • The episode is set in an alternate timeline where the Doctor dies underneath the Thames because he never met Donna Noble. It's implied that he was so depressed after losing Rose that he didn't really care whether he lived or died, hence his death. Meeting Donna helped him reconnect with the world, which is why she was able to snap him out of it and convince him to escape.
      • When the TARDIS appears near the end, it's all but said that, after the Doctor's death, she's going the same way.
  • In series two of Downton Abbey, Lavinia develops Spanish flu before her wedding to Matthew, forcing them to cancel. While Matthew thinks she is in bed, she witnesses him and Mary kiss, with Matthew explaining that Violet asked him to marry Mary. Lavinia tries to convince him to go back to Mary, but then her condition inexplicably worsens and she dies suddenly, leading Matthew to conclude that she died of a broken heart because she believed he did not love her.
  • Kamen Rider examples:
    • One way to interpret Fumine Sonozaki/Shroud's death on Kamen Rider Double.
    • The Phantoms of Kamen Rider Wizard are born this way. Despair given birth to Phantoms from within a Gates (humans with high magic potential). The Phantoms then burst out of those Gates, killing them in the process.
    • Almost happens in Kamen Rider Fourze where Jiro Iseki, who has just woken from a coma, loses his will to live and becomes close to death after he learns that Ryusei killed Gentaro and collaborated with Aries Zodiart to save him. The trope is ultimately averted when he does recover.
  • Seen in Scrubs in the episode "My House", when a patient whose husband had just passed was suffering from "Broken Heart Syndrome" (see above), though she didn't die from it. This happens to lead to one of the show's all-time great Imagine Spots: "Get me a box of kittens, STAT!"
  • In an episode of Six Feet Under, a woman died and her husband died a few days later, sitting beside her casket at Fisher & Sons.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:

  • The subject of "W" by Van der Graaf Generator. A man is described as being twice as unhappy as he's been in his life and wakes up one morning to find that he's dead.
  • The Wallflowers' "One Headlight" has the protagonist talk about losing a friend to exactly this.
    That's when they say I lost my only friend.
    Well they said she died easy of a broken heart disease.
  • In possibly the most depressing song ever (according to Tom Reynold's book I Hate Myself And I Want To Die), the infant protagonist in Harry Chapin's "The Shortest Story" dies of despair after days of starvation and neglect.
    It is twenty days today
    Mama does not hold me anymore
    I open my mouth but I am too weak to cry
    Above me, a bird slowly crawls across the sky
    Why is there nothing now to do but die?

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • In Genesis, the chapter immediately after the Binding of Isaac concerns the death of his mother Sarah. The actual text doesn't link the two events, but The Talmud says that after Sarah was informed by an angel that Isaac was to be sacrificed, she became so overcome with grief that she died.
    • Later on in Genesis, Jacob's son Judah, after seeing that the youngest son Benjamin has been implicated in a theft he didn't commit and was subject to becoming Joseph's slave in Egypt, feared that if he and his brothers didn't return with Benjamin, their father Jacob would die of despair, and so offered himself in place of Benjamin to spare his father of that fate.
    • Some argue that a broken heart, in addition to crucifixion, was responsible for the death of Jesus. He died within just three hours, unusually quickly for a crucifixion victim, and this could be a possible explanation.
  • Classical Mythology: In the story of Queen Niobe, the titular hubristic fool claims that she is greater than Leto, mother of Artemis and Apollo, because she has 14 children, 7 children and 7 boys, while Leto only had two. All of them are instantly struck down by celestial arrows on the spot. Niobe is so full of grief that she flees to a mountaintop and weeps until she turns to stone, and then some. A real-life rock formation exists on Mount Sipylus, near modern-day Manisa in Turkey, where she reigned, that looks similar to the face of a woman protruding from the rock. This rock does indeed "weep" when it rains on Mount Sipylus, thanks to its porous limestone composition.
  • Norse Mythology:
    • Prose Edda: When Baldur is laid on the pyre, his wife Nanna dies of a broken heart.
    • The Saga of Arrow-Odd: When Odd tells Ingibjörg that Hjalmar is dead, Ingibjörg looks silently at the bracelet that was Hjalmar's last present to her, then dies.
  • According to Gesta Danorum, aged king Gorm the Old of Denmark died from grief after he was told that his favourite son Knut had been killed.
  • Celtic Mythology: Queen Medb's daughter Findabair was fought over by many for her beauty. After over 700 men were killed in battles over her, she dropped dead of shame.

  • One of the regular "callers" on The Coodabeen Champions was Digger, an aged fan of the Collingwood Magpies. On one show, Tony asks him if there is a Mrs. Digger, and he reveals that she died "In 1970, around this time of year (late September), about halfway through the last quarter, trying to ram a can of Fanta down her throat." - the implication being that it was at the 1970 Grand Final, where Carlton staged a Miracle Rally to defeat Collingwood. "They told me it was asphyxiation, Tony, on the can of Fanta, but I knew. I knew it was the 'pies letting us down what had done it."

  • Ink City: while not explicitly played out, Word of Mundane gave this as the reason for Misery's departure: the horrifying fashion in which her best friend departed from the City and the Awful Truths he unintentionally shared with her beforehand caused her so much grief that she curled up and wasted away.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Elves in Dungeons & Dragons who have formed an empathic bond with another person can fall to the depths of despair when that person dies. The shock and grief of the bond breaking can sometimes kill the elf in question, and vice-versa. Likewise, if confined away from nature itself and other elves for a long time, elves can simply literally lose all hope and force their own death.
  • In Role Master, critical hits on the "depression damage" table can cause the target to assume a fetal position on the floor and literally lose the will to live, dying by despair.
  • The Villain Iron Legacy from Sentinels of the Multiverse can cause this with the Demoralizing Presence card. Not only does it increase the damage Iron Legacy deals by 1, but at the end of each of his turns, all of the hero targets deal 1 Psychic damage to themselves. It's especially dangerous if any hero has damage buffs up (such as Legacy, Naturalist, Chrono-Ranger, and Knyfe).
  • Durthu from Warhammer Fantasy has weaponised his own despair and self-loathing, projecting it as a missile attack called "The Lamentations of Despair". The sheer force of his grief kills anyone who comes into contact with them.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Gnomes who become too bored/depressed suffer from the bleaching, which, in addition to turning their skin and hair white (hence the name) drains their mental abilities until they die. Some gnomes survive but are known as "bleachlings" and are still distrusted and seen as freaks by other gnomes.
    • Characters may follow Sifkesh, the Demon Lord of despair and suicide. To her Demoniacs and Exalted, one of the abilities she grants is Mass Suicide, allowing the caster to compel a group of people to commit Exactly What It Says on the Tin, noting that "if no method of suicide is available for one who succumbs to this effect, the victim simply dies outright of sadness." Likewise, her Sentinels can cause a creature's body to "lose the drive to maintain life", which makes "its body’s life-sustaining autonomic processes irreparably and lethally shut down" if it fails to resist the ability.
  • Dead of Winter: Some traumatic events cause survivors to take Despair tokens, which count against their Hit Points just like physical Wounds and can cause their death. Despair also tends to be trickier to heal.

  • Lots of characters in Shakespeare, especially:
    • Romeo and Juliet contains two examples, one played straight and one subverted. Lady Montague is said to have died of despair after she learned about Romeo's banishment. Also, Juliet is believed to have died of grief over the death of her cousin Tybalt. Subverted because Juliet isn't dead (she wasn't at that level of grieving over Tybalt anyway), but rather is Faking the Dead to run away with Romeo... though despair does drive her to kill herself when she finds Romeo dead upon waking.
    • Enobarbus in Antony and Cleopatra after he realizes betraying Antony was too much for him. Manages a long monologue before he dies (and there's also an opera of the play, where he sings an aria in good ol' operatic tradition).
    • John of Gaunt in Richard II, when his son is sent into exile.
    • Falstaff in Henry V after Hal breaks off contact with him. Arguably the most poignant death in the play, despite its being the offstage death of a character who never appears in this play, as we hear Mistress Quickly describing his death. Perhaps it had to be unseen to be believed - if we actually watched Falstaff die, we would probably assume he was faking again, as in Henry IV, Part 1
    • Prince Mamilius in The Winter's Tale after his mother is accused of adultery and thrown into prison.
    • In King Lear, the titular monarch collapses and dies of a broken heart when his daughter Cordelia, the only one who ever truly loved him, is executed as a political prisoner (although he does get one last Papa Wolf moment by murdering her executioner with his bare hands). It's inverted with Gloucester, who, upon discovering that his son Edgar is alive after mistakenly believing him dead, is so overcome with joy that his heart bursts, killing him.
  • Isolde of Tristan and Isolde, after a long monologue.
  • Elsa of Brabant in Lohengrin. She's tricked by her Wicked Stepmother into learning her beloved husband Lohengrin's true name and revealing his origins — which means that he must leave and never return. Once Lohengrin does this and takes off, releasing Elsa's younger brother from the spell that had turned him into a swan in the process , Elsa's grief and guilt reach a breaking point and she drops dead.
  • Elisabeth in Tannhäuser, most likely. She dies without a physical reason. Tannhäuser himself does this too when he sees Elisabeth dead.
  • Also happens to Gudrune in The Ring of the Nibelung, who collapses when Siegfried dies and Hagen kills Gunther.
  • Rachel Jackson in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, after her bigamy is made public by Congress. As quoted above, play even calls out how ridiculous such a death sounds.
  • In The Yeomen of the Guard, this may or may not happen to Jack Point after he loses Elsie to Fairfax for good.
  • It could be argued this is how Elphaba's and Nessa's father dies in Wicked. According to Nessa, he was "embarrassed to death".
  • In Waterfall, after Noppon leaves Katherine and marries his childhood friend Pree instead, Katherine succumbs to the same heart condition that befell her mother, in other words, a literal broken heart. Similar to Tristan & Iseult, Katherine's maidservant Nuan summons Noppon to her deathbed, where they confess their love for each other before she dies.

    Video Games 
  • Minnie 'Stronie' Goodsoup from The Curse of Monkey Island died of a broken heart after her fiancee (revealed to be LeChuck) left her at the altar.
  • Oswald from Odin Sphere lets himself be carted off to the underworld by a Halja (a grim reaper-type servant of the Queen of the Dead) after his mistaken conclusion that Gwendolyn doesn't feel anything for him and that he is imprisoning her in their marriage causes him to lose the will to live. Fortunately, he's saved when Gwendolyn, who really does love him, invades the Underworld and rescues him.
  • In The Sims 2, Sim children who are left alive, after their parents die, eventually die due to despair, even if all of their other needs are addressed.
  • In Final Fantasy X, it is heavily implied that Tidus' mother died this way after Jecht vanished and that this is one of many reasons that Tidus hates his father so much.
  • No More Heroes III: After Travis beats Velvet Chair Girl at musical chairs, she kills herself out of shame of being surpassed as the champion.
  • In Team Fortress 2, you can inflict this on your enemies: The Jarate weapon causes anyone hit by it to "lose the will to live" and take more damage from you and your allies' weapons. Played entirely for laughs- this is TF2.
  • Persona:
    • The Apathy Syndrome victims in Persona 3 suffer from this after Shadows from humanity's Collective Unconscious feed on their sense of "self." All they do is shamble around and vegetate, doing nothing but wait to die while letting out the occasional moan if you try to talk to them. In the Bad Ending of the game, Nyx inflicts this upon everyone and everything on Earth, including the main characters.
    • Despair is a status effect in Persona 5. Anyone who's inflicted with it will be unable to act and lose SP for three rounds, then automatically die on the third round. This makes curing it quickly rather important if a party member gets hit by it. During days when the Flu Season status is active, enemies in Mementos may randomly start the battle afflicted with it, even The Reaper.
  • The Lord of the Rings Online, possibly uniquely among fantasy MMORPGs, replaces the admittedly conceptually illogical "hit points" most games use with "morale points." The general idea seems to be that the only way to die is literally from despair, though this despair is most commonly caused by the pain of being surrounded by enemies and stabbed repeatedly. Given the legendarium of Tolkien, mentioned in the Literature section of this very page, it's actually harder to argue against this being canonical than you'd think.
  • Dragon Age: Origins:
    • King Endrin Aeducan goes through this when his eldest son is murdered, his middle child (the player if the Dwarf Noble origin is chosen) is exiled and possibly killed, and his youngest is behind it all. This becomes a major problem that the player has to deal with, as his line of succession is now in question.
    • The Dalish Elf Warden's mother is implied to have done this as well as Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence shortly after giving birth to her child shortly after her husband was killed by humans. She simply "vanished into the forest".
  • Ib herself, during the final scene of the 'Welcome to the World of Guertena' ending, after soaring over the Despair Event Horizon, she seems awfully still.
  • The Chao from both Sonic Adventure and its sequel will go into a grey cocoon and die if it was treated badly during most of its life.
  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War gives this as the demise of Tailtiu, a seemingly bright and cheerful young mage in the first generation, by having her survive the horrific Battle of Belhalla which took the lives of many of her friends and possible husband, get separated from her son and then endure physical and mental abuse by her completely evil sister-in-law to protect her infant daughter. All these took such a great toll on her psyche that she degraded to a sorrowful woman that went no day without crying until at one point she succumbed to illness after losing her will to live.
  • In one of the endings for Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness Sicily sacrifices her life for her older brother Laharl (much like how their mother did when he was a child). The narration states that Laharl was so overcome with grief that he simply waited at the spot where she disappeared until he eventually died.
  • Defied in Deus Ex, in which Nicolette muses that mansions don't crumble to dust because their beloved owner (in this case her mother Beth) dies tragically.
  • In Rain's ending in Mortal Kombat 11, it is revealed that his father, the Edenian God Argus, had an affair with a mortal woman, Amara. After Rain's birth, Argus gave a newborn Rain away to a poor family while telling Amara that Rain was stillborn, she died from grief. Upon learning this, Rain gets even by killing Argus and his sons Taven and Daegon, and allows Argus' wife Delia to live so she could experience the same pain and despair his mother did.
  • Knight Bewitched: Alduin's mother, who also turns out to be Gwen's mother, died from heartbreak after her husband died protecting her while she fled from a city that found out she was a witch, and couldn't bring Alduin along, believing he might have died with his father.
  • If Sergei Taboritsky unites Russia in The New Order Last Days Of Europe, this is his ultimate fate. A new item is added to the info screen, a clock counting down to Midnight. When it reaches Midnight, Taboritsky has a vision of Tzar Alexei... that melts into a picture of his corpse as he finally admits to himself that Alexei is dead. This is too much for Taboritsky's already-shattered psyche to take, and he dies screaming of a massive stroke.
  • Happens in the worst ending of Dead Rising 2. Having lost his young daughter Katey, Chuck ends up so broken that he does nothing when zombies break in to devour him.
  • At the very end of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney, your defendant is in hospital while you establish the verdict. Get a Not Guilty verdict, and she lives. They vote Guilty or the jury is hung, and she dies before court reconvenes.
  • Corpse Party features The Darkening, which takes over a person completely when they lose all hope. While they don't technically die, they're made into mindless slaves of the Stringy-Haired Ghost Girl and can never leave Heavenly Host, so it's as good as death for them. Notably, this is arguably a better option than dying, as death causes your spirit to feel the pain you felt at death for all eternity.
  • In the beta of Katawa Shoujo Shizune ends up horribly depressed after Misha's death. She ends up in the hospital due to dehydration and in the Bad End (which occurs if Hisao leaves the hospital) you learn she removed her IV and she ended up dying of dehydration.
  • One possible ending for Kara's story in Detroit: Become Human sees her and Alice crossing the Canadian border via boat only for a patrol boat to fire on them and hit Alice, who dies just as they reach the other side. Kara can choose to give up living and shut down on the spot if this happens.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • In Homestuck, this possibly happens to Dirk in the Game Over timeline. After finding the session destroyed and his friends dead, and believing himself to blame, he apparently allows himself to be dissolved into the cloud of glitches that's slowly overcoming the remains of the session. Only a possible example because it's ambiguous whether this actually "killed" him (though, given the dead-end nature of the timeline, it's arguably more depressing to imagine that he survived), as well as whether his glitching out was partly caused by his "soul-splintering" powers and triggered by the despair he was feeling (thus fitting this trope) or just an accident that happened to conveniently mirror his state of mind for symbolic purposes.
  • Loving Reaper: The mother swan whose eggs were crushed by teenagers is so heartbroken that she dies and welcomes death without any hesitation.
  • In No Rest for the Wicked, Beauty sees the Beast down and is convinced that it's this, and agrees to marry him.
  • Twisted Tropes: The strip shows Artax choosing to drown in the Swamps of Sadness because Atreyu didn't give him enough sugar cubes.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Occurs in-universe in BoJack Horseman. In Horsin' Around, the series finale has the Horse dying of a broken heart because his adoptive children didn't appreciate him enough.
    Bojack: Yeah, we might have gone a bit too dark for the series finale.
  • This is the origin story of the Danny Phantom villain, Desiree. Who, after being denied her hearts desire promised to her by her lover, and then being driven away from him by his jealous wife, died of a broken heart (and old age).
  • The Legend of Korra: A criminal in Republic City's past, specifically Yakone, died a broken man after his son Noatak (Amon as he would later be called) ran away, thus robbing him of his petty revenge against Aang.
  • In Over the Garden Wall the Beast breaks down the hope of his victims until they reach the Despair Event Horizon and turn into Edelwood trees.
  • Primal: When the Chieftain sees his son's bloody corpse sprawled before him on a rocky island in the middle of the river, he just collapses and lets the water drag him away. He doesn't get the chance to visit the afterlife upon being dragged to the underworld by The Demon.
  • Robot Chicken mocks Padme's death in the Revenge of the Sith with Dr. Ball, M.D.
    "She's lost the will to live?! What is your degree in, poetry?!"
  • The Simpsons:
    • Parodied in "Old Money":
      Abe Simpson: They may say that she died from a burst ventricle, but I know she really died of a broken heart.
    • In "Curse of the Flying Hellfish", this is implied to be the cause of Asa Phelps' death:
      Reverend Lovejoy: He worked at the United Strut and Bracing Works as a molder's boy until he was replaced by a Molder-Matic and died.
    • Parodied in "C.E.D'oh" where Mr. Burns talks to Homer about how he was so busy working to build his career that he completely neglected his fiancee, and missed their wedding, anniversary and divorce proceedings.
      Mr Burns: She died of loneliness. And rabies.
    • Homer's mother Mona returns in "Mona Leaves-a", where she wants to become a part of Homer's life again. Because she has left Homer so many times, he refuses and says he doesn't forgive her. Later that night, when Homer changes his mind and prepares to apologize, Mona dies.
  • South Park:
    • Almost happens to Kyle when Cartman receives $1,000,000 from his grandma upon her death and buys a failing amusement park with it, and keeps it all for himself, having the time of his life and gaining national fame. This causes Kyle to have a hemorrhoid in his ass that is slowly killing him because he loses faith in God and the will to live. But at the end of the episode, when a series of hardships causes Cartman to lose his park and be utterly miserable, Kyle's hemorrhoid vanishes and he instantly becomes better, realizing that there is a God.
    • Kenny's only death in season sixteen was the result of terminal boredom induced by crappy ziplining and horseriding experiences topped off with a tedious boat trip.
    • Parodied in "Stanley's Cup", where the Littlest Cancer Patient's health is tied to the fate of his peewee hockey team. When he sees his team of kindergartners getting brutally beaten by a professional team on live television, he immediately dies with his final words being "No hope... no hope...".


Dead Naming

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