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Death Equals Emotion

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If an important character, often the Big Bad, is an Emotionless Girl or similar character, chances are that on their deathbed, they'll finally learn how to feel. Accordingly, their last words often reflect this. Often used to show that the character isn't completely emotionless but was simply not in touch with their own emotions until now.

Subtrope of Final Speech. Sometimes overlaps with I'm Cold... So Cold... or Alas, Poor Villain.

As this is a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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     Anime & Manga  

     Fan Works  

  • In "Brutal", Russia was relieved that he'd get to see his sister Ukraine again once he dies.

     Films — Live-Action  


  • In Robin Hobb's Liveship Traders, as a dying Kennit is absorbed into Paragon, his joining with the ship restores the empathy, memories, and emotions that he'd stored away, and he dies finally knowing love and peace.
  • This happens at the end of Broken Gate with the resident Emotionless Girl, Nezumi, who cries as she lay dying, feeling and expressing sorrow for the first time in 100 years.

     Live-Action TV  

  • On Once Upon a Time, this happens with the death of Cora. As her death is precipitated by literally restoring her heart (she removed it years ago), she is able to express her love for her daughter for the first time in Regina's life before she passes away.

     Video Games  

  • Byleth in Fire Emblem: Three Houses is known as the Ashen Demon for their reputation of emotionlessly killing their foes, and their father says that he's never seen them cry, even as a baby. Naturally, they cry when he dies.

     Western Animation  

  • In Rick and Morty, Birdperson shows emotion for the first time upon finding out that his significant other has secretly been enacting a Honey Trap on him on behalf of the Galactic Federation. Immediately after showing confusion at her betrayal, he is killed when he shoots him multiple times with a laser gun.


Video Example(s):


Adele vs Jigen

Adele and Jigen engage in a duel. Pistol versus revolver. Jigen (as per usual in the Lupin 'verse) was the better shot.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShowdownAtHighNoon

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