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Died in Your Arms Tonight

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"Oh, I, I just died in your arms tonight
It must have been something you said"
Cutting Crew, "(I Just) Died in Your Arms"
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Death Is Dramatic, depressing, and emotional enough, but sometimes, just for the extra emotional kick-in-the-gut Tear Jerker, the author will make a character die in the arms of a helpless onlooker. As the onlooker (usually one of the dying character's True Companions) holds them dearly, the dying may flash them a smile or make a final dramatic statement before finally closing their eyes and succumbing to their fate.

If this is done on an Anyone Can Die show, expect the character to be Killed Off for Real (usually). Can turn into It's Personal for the witness, and very often overlaps with How Dare You Die on Me! and Dying Declaration of Love. May be an extension of the refusal to let your loved one Die Alone.

Compare with Pietà Plagiarism, the pose characters generally find themselves in, Cradling Your Kill, when a character dies in their killer's arms, and Deadly Hug, where the victim is killed during the embrace. Contrast Intimate Healing, where a wounded or ill character is less likely to die while in a loved one's arms. At least, not literally. (Though strangely enough, intimacy is exactly what's being referenced by the Cutting Crew song.) May overlap with Cradle of Loneliness, especially if the body of a loved one is cradled long after their death.

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This is a Death Trope, so be warned that UNMARKED SPOILERS abound.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Perhaps the most tear-jerking of them all is Misuzu dying in Haruko's arms in AIR. The kicker? It plays to the most heart-wrenching award bait song EVER.
  • In the anime version of Akame ga Kill!, Mine is not given the Plot Armor her manga counterpart was given, and proceeds to die in Tatsumi's arms after sacrificing her Imperial Arm to kill Great General Budo, who had fatally wounded her earlier in the fight. She manages to deliver a Dying Declaration of Love and a First Kiss slash Last Kiss to the man she was starting to crush on before letting death take her. All set to the short, yet somber cello of Yume Monogatari.
  • In Angel Beats!, Kanade Tachibana aka Angel finally manages to pass on in Otonashi's arms.
  • In Arata: The Legend, Akachi dies in Kannagi's arms after the former submits to him, complete with Kannagi not letting go of Akachi until Homura's flames have completely burned Akachi's body away.
  • In Battle Royale:
    • Yutaka is shot by Kiriyama while he's in Mimura's arms during their emotional embrace after Shinji accidentally shot Keita.
    • Earlier, Takako dies in Sugimura's arms, who had been trying to find her the entire time.
  • Berserk:
  • In Black Cat, Saya died in Train's arms.
  • Bleach:
    • When Hisana is bedridden with sickness, Byakuya is at her bedside clinging to her hand as she dies.
    • After failing to defeat Aizen to obtain revenge for something Aizen did to his Childhood Friend Rangiku, Gin dies with Rangiku almost sprawled over his broken body, crying helplessly.
  • In Bokurano, Anko dies in either Kanji's arms or her dad's, depending if you're following the anime or the manga.
  • In the anime of Case Closed, Ai's older sister Akemi Miyano bleeds to death in the arms of Conan Edogawa himself. And much later, we find out that decades ago, Matsumoto's partner Morimura died in Matsumoto's arms.
  • In the manga version of Chrono Crusade, Rosette does this in Chrono's arms. Twice.
  • CLANNAD: Ushio, the daughter of Tomoya and the already deceased Nagisa dies in Tomoya's arms from the same illness that took her mother’s life.
  • Code Geass:
    • Shirley in Lelouch's arms.
    • And then there's Lelouch, who was in Suzaku's arms for a while, but died in Nunnally's in the end.
    • Rolo in Lelouch's arms, Euphemia in Suzaku's arms, Marianne in Nunnally's arms in the past, and C.C. in Lelouch's arms in the beginning, though she recovered.
  • The climax of Count Cain takes this and applies Rule of Three: First, Jizabel Disraeli, already dying of a gunshot wound, slits his throat in Cassian's arms; second, Alexis succumbs to poison while being cradled by his dragon, Ida, and finally Cain refuses to save himself alone, preferring to be crushed by rubble to stay alongside Riff.
  • Julia dies in Spike's arms in the last episode of Cowboy Bebop. Her death scene is iconic as well as heartbreaking (until Julia was made to sing "(I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight" in one of the AMV Hell compilations).
  • Cross Ange: Right in the Downer Beginning, Empress Sophia dies in the arms of her daughter Angelise, after she takes the bullet for her.
  • The ending of The Dagger of Kamui features, among other things, the death of Oyuki, who eventually dies in Jiro's arms after making a last stand against Tenkai, her caregiver-turned-enemy.
  • L in Light's in Death Note, although Light cradling L in his arms as he dies is actually just an act; when Light thinks nobody but L can see his face, he flashes a smugly victorious Slasher Smile at L just before L expires.
  • Near the end of the Vamdemon arc of Digimon Adventure, Wizardmon died in Gatomon's arms after Taking the Bullet for her and Hikari. Then we have Wormmon in Digimon Adventure 02, who died in Ken's arms to kick-start his Heel–Face Turn. Wormmon got better... Wizardmon didn't.
  • In the Dragon Ball Z special, Bardock - The Father of Goku, Bardock finds his entire team dead save for Tora, whom he picks up and is told by him that Freeza is afraid of him and plans to kill the entire saiyan race. He shortly died in Bardock's arms afterward.
  • Alfeegi in Dragon Knights dies in his friend's arms after he was stabbed by the main character, who later cut off his own head.
  • Fairy Tail:
  • Happens several times in Fate/Apocrypha:
    • Achilles cradles Atalanta in his arms after he stabs her through the stomach to save her from her own madness, while he himself is dying from her arrows rammed through his back. They exchange tearful thanks and farewells before passing on, though the former lasts a little longer. Should it be mentioned that William Shakespeare (who was no stranger to this trope in Real Life) was a member of their team and offered to write a tragic story of unrequited love between them earlier in the series?
    • Sieg holds Jeanne in his arms as she's dying after the use of her La Pucelle to try and destroy the Holy Grail. In a twist, only Jeanne herself dies, while her host body Laetica remains in his arms unconscious, but alive.
    • Shirou Kotomine ultimately dies in the lap of his Servant Semiramis after he's fatally injured, being comforted by her as he passes away and even sharing a kiss.
  • Though it's not shown in the final version, in an early script of Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa Izumi died in Wrath's arms, complete with going out with a smile.
  • Nuriko of Fushigi Yuugi dies in Tamahome's arms, as does Tamahome's little sister Yuiren. Soi dies in Nakago's.
    • In the Suzaku Hi Den novel and third OVA, Shu Tendo dies in both Hotohori and You Houki's arms after Hotohori tells him they can fix the Konan nation.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: Genbu Kaiden has Takiko Going Out With A Smile in Uruki's arms, after summoning Genbu and being killed by her father to prevent her from being devoured by Genbu.
  • In Future War 198X Michael frantically searches for Marina after a fight breaks out in Neinberg, only to find her crushed under the rubble of a building. He pulls her out and she dies in his arms.
  • Another instance of this trope occurs in Gantz, where the protagonist's girlfriend Tae Kojima dies in his arms after being hunted down and murdered.
  • In the Ginga Densetsu Weed manga, Weed's oldest friend GB who's been a coward all his life finally finds his courage when they're fighting a giant hybrid bear and ferociously attacks it, only to suffer fatal wounds in the attempt. Upon dying, GB cries and asks Weed to hug him, and (as much as it's possible for a dog to hug someone) Weed concedes while crying heavily himself, and he keeps holding onto him until GB suffers death cramps and dies completely.
  • Hare, while being eaten alive by the Apocalypse Virus, dies this way in Guilty Crown. Averted, she was already dead, but her body shattered in Shu's arms.
  • In Gungrave Episode 24, Sherry ended up taking a bullet meant for Harry when he was attacked by an assassin. Harry screamed her name while he clutched her to his chest.
  • Pip Bernadotte in Seras' in Hellsing. Though technically he was just absorbed.
  • In Hello World Ruri is held by Naomi after the lightning strike that felled her. It is later revealed that this is downplayed as Ruri was only struck into a coma, but the depiction of Naomi otherwise conforms to this.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Meruem beautifully dies in Komugi's arms after he converses with her until his last breath, asking if she was there with him. Komugi dies soon after..
  • In Inuyasha, Kikyou dies in the title character's arms for the final time, after a Last Kiss.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Played straight early in Phantom Blood, when George Joestar, Jonathan's father, dies in his arms after being stabbed by Dio. Later Inverted during the ending, where Jonathan Joestar dies while holding Dio Brando's severed, but quite alive, head in his arms.
    • Stone Ocean: Pucci's sister threw herself off a cliff into a lake. After he found out she died, he runs through the lake over to her lifeless body and cradles her in his arms, mournfully screaming to the heavens that he wants his life to be taken instead of hers.
  • Happens twice in K. In the flashback in Episode 6, Totsuka dies in Yata's arms after being shot, and later Mikoto dies while slumped into Munakata's arms.
  • In Kaze no Stigma, Ayumi dies in Ren's arms.
  • In the first episode of Kotetsu Jeeg, Dr. Shiba arrives home gravely wounded after Queen Himika tried to silence him. He ends up dying in the arms of his estranged son Hiroshi, The Hero and the titular Jeeg.
  • The movie adaptations of Macross Delta have this happen, once per film:
  • Dream!Alicia Disappeared into Light during her Final First Hug with Fate in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, all while telling her how she wished she could have been her sister in real life.
  • Happens twice in Mobile Fighter G Gundam: when Gentle Chapman loses to Domon and collapses, he dies in his wife's arms (though he Comes Back Wrong later), while Master Asia dies in Domon's arms after their final battle.
  • Meer Campbell in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny dies in the hands of Lacus Clyne after Taking the Bullet for her. For an extra kick, Meer is Lacus' Body Double and her once biggest fangirl, now ridden by a volatile mix of jealousy, admiration, and the wish to be noticed by her.
    • Also, Stellar Louissier dies in Shinn Asuka's arms.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing Episode Zero, Wufei's wife Meiran dies in his arms after she tried to save her space colony.
  • In Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam, both Four and Emma die in the arms of Kamille. Whereas Blex Forer dies in Quattro's.
  • Naruto:
    • Sasuke appears to die in Naruto's arms in the very first arc, after stands in front of about twenty senbon heading for Naruto. Since Haku's attacks weren't intended to be fatal, he lives.
    • During the Fourth Shinobi World War, Neji really does die in Naruto's arms.
  • Kagero dies in Jubei's arms in Ninja Scroll. They kiss just before she dies, which, thanks to Kagero's Poisonous Person nature, provides the antidote to the poison in Jubei.
  • In Negima! Magister Negi Magi, Emily Sevensheep dies (or better said, was written out of reality) in the arms of Yue Ayase.
  • In One Piece:
    • Ace shields Luffy from a killing blow, and he dies while Luffy holds him in his arms. This trope contributes to the sheer emotional impact this death has on both Luffy and the viewer.
    • In a flashback of the Dressrosa arc, Scarlett died in her husband Kyros' arms. This one is especially cruel since Kyros had been turned into a Living Toy by Sugar, everyone had forgotten about him, which means Scarlett died not even remembering she had a husband, let alone knowing he was holding her. And Kyros couldn't even feel the warmth of her dying body. Holy crap.
  • Xerxes Break dies in the arms of the two people he loves: Sharon and Reim in PandoraHearts.
  • In Parasyte, Shinichi holds Kana this way, on the night she intended to declare her love to him. Her eagerness to rush to this confession led her to run straight into a parasyte he was too late to save her from. As an unrequited love interest, this was sadly the closest she'd get to him.
  • Two examples in Phantom Dream:
    • Early on in the series, Kaname dies in Tamaki’s arms after the Suigekka sword has been recovered by Eiji, leaving Tamaki alone with only the higoshi to aid him.
    • After Roka realizes that Hira is starting to lose himself to his hatred, she kills herself rather than let Mutsu be forced to kill her and she dies with him holding her in his arms.
  • Romeo dies in Juliet's arms, in Romeo X Juliet, after being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
    • Technically, in the manga they die at the same time.
    • Same goes to Lord Montague, who perishes in the arms of both Romeo and Juliet.
  • Happens in Rozen Maiden on two separate occasions. First, Souseiseki dies in Suiseiseki's hands after a futile attempt at taking on Suigintou, made especially heartwrenching because Suiseiseki had desperately tried to convince her not to do it up to that point. In the very next episode, Hinaichigo slowly unwinds during the course of the episode and finally in the hands of Tomoe.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Tomoe died in Kenshin's arms after he accidentally attackedher with his katana. In the OVA, this is when she decides to add the other stroke of his cross-scar (in the original, the scar happened accidentally).
  • Sailor Moon:
    • Sailor Mars dies in Sailor Moon's arms in the climax of Sailor Stars.
    • Prince Diamond dies in Sailor Moon's arms as well.
    • Mamoru, in his first death.
    • Nephrite and Blue Saphir, whose Redemption Equals Death demises happen while in Naru's and both Moon and Tuxedo Kamen's arms, respectively.
    • Kakyuu dies in the arms of the three Starlights. In the manga, it was Kakyuu in the arms of Sailor Moon.
    • Zoisite in Kunzite's arms.
  • In the final episode of School-Live! Team Pet Taroumaru died in Miki's lap. He had turned into a zombie and was given an anti-zombie vaccine. However it was too late and he died quickly after getting the vaccine, though at least he didn't die a zombie puppy.
  • In S Cryed, Ayase dies in Kazuma's arms when she loses the will to live. It sounds a bit idiotic, but it's justified in that being refined weakened her body severely, so the only thing she was living for was her brother. When he died, that was it.
  • In Snow White with the Red Hair prince Zen's first friend, an archer near his age working at the castle, died in his arms after revealing himself as a False Friend that was part of a plot to assassinate Zen in retaliation for the way his elder brother had removed an earl and his family from power.
  • In the Soul Eater anime, Crona appears to die in Maka's arms. Zhe gets better.
  • In Episode 14 of Sword Art Online, Asuna does this to Kirito after taking an attack meant for him. Thankfully, Kayaba put her in the waiting room rather than having her brain fried immediately, so when Kirito won the game a minute or so later, she was able to survive. Also in the last chapter of the second season of the anime Yuuki dies peacefully in Asuna's arms.
  • In Tiger & Bunny, the end of Episode 24 has a scene that looks like a classic example (which all the characters believed it to be), but this was subverted as of ep. 25.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul:Re, the blood flows freely.
    • Shirazu is mortally wounded saving his squad from Noro and ends up bleeding to death. After spending the entire series manipulating and plotting against him, Urie is the one that ends up comforting Shirazu in his final moments. Afterwards, he stays with the body and refuses to let go until medics come to retrieve it.
    • At the conclusion of their climatic battle, Arima commits suicide and dies in Kaneki's arms, confessing his many secrets. The chapter ends with a shot of Kaneki cradling his body in his arms, screaming in grief.
  • Tokyo Ravens: Twice, Harutora cradles Hokuto and later Natsume as they make their Dying Declaration of Love.
  • The Twelve Kingdoms: Seishuu dies in Youko's arms, and Ikuya Asano perishes in Shoukei's.
  • Vampire Knight: Shizuka dies in Ichiru's.
    • Later Ichiru dies in Zero's.
    • Sara dies in Takuma's.
    • Kaname at last dies/falls into coma in Yuuki's.
  • Weiß Kreuz gets some mileage out of this one: Aya gets to both Asami and Sena just in time for this, Sister Ruth dies in the arms of both Ken and Omi, Nagi catches Tot as Fafarello stabs her (she recovers) and has a nice Freak Out, and, most dramatically of all, Ouka Sakaki is shot as Omi embraces her, telling her they'll always be together...
  • X1999:
    • Seishirou dies in Subaru's arms at the Rainbow Bridge. Made all the more ironic since we also learn that when Seishirou killed Subaru's twin Hokuto... she died in his arms as well. (There was a famous Tokyo Babylon picture featuring that moment already, but only then we see the details.)
    • Potentially subverted when Kotori is killed, and once everything has died down, Kamui cradles her severed head while the Seals look on in horror and sadness. It's played straight in the anime series, however, since she still dies but doesn't get dismembered, letting Kamui hold her entire body — and later, Karen dies in Aoki's arms, while Hinoto dies in Kamui's and later Sorata perishes in Arashi's.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! LOVES this trope:
    • Yu-Gi-Oh Season 4: Joey dies in Mai's arms (it turns out to be of the undoable kind).
    • Yu-Gi-Oh Season 5: Kisara dies in Priest Seto's arms.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds:
      • Carly dies in Jack's arms (undone at the end of the season).
      • Kiryu dies in Yusei's arms, complete with Ho Yay shoujo sparkles.
    • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS: Ai dies in Yusaku's arms while confessing his love.

    Comic Books 
  • Comic book covers in general, especially in the Silver Age and the Bronze Age, absolutely loved this trope. Almost always accompanied by a Tonight, Someone Dies.
  • While he was technically already dead, Jason Todd (Robin II) was held in the arms of Batman during A Death in the Family.
  • Elektra had her first death in Daredevil. After taking a vicious curbstomping from Bullseye that ends in her throat getting slashed by a thrown card and then her getting impaled on her own sai, Elektra crawls out from the parking lot they were fighting in. She stays alive long enough to crawl to Matt's house and call out to him, before dying in his arms.
  • Green Lantern Alan Scott's friend (and secret lover) Jimmy Henton died in the same act of sabotage that led to Alan becoming the Green Lantern. In the Golden Age the first thing Alan did after regaining consciousness was to stumble over and cradle his body, and in the DC Rebirth era Alan actually got to Jimmy before he died and they exchanged a few words before he died in Alan's arms.
  • In "The House That Haunted Batman", one of the many tortures that Dr. Tzin-Tzin uses on Batman is a simulation of Robin/Dick Grayson aging into dust as he holds him.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Renee Montoya takes an enormous dose of a special durability pill, hoping to take down Superman once and for all. After a brief fight, however, she suffers a massive heart attack, and Superman holds her in his arms as she dies.
  • After sacrificing himself to kill Kang, Tony Stark dies in Steve Rogers' arms. Very dramatically.
  • Near the end of the second volume of Justice League Dark, John Constantine is struck down by the Upside-Down Man and dies in the arms of a grief-stricken Zatanna.
  • In the Amazing Spider-Man comic, in the end of The Night Gwen Stacy Died, Gwen doesn't literally die in Spider-Man's arms (she dies many feet below him), but he cradles her body in his arms as he cries out that the Green Goblin will pay for her death.
  • Troia died in Nightwing's arms in Graduation Day. As they were each other's closest friends and Like Brother and Sister, it really messed him up.
  • In the Belgian comic Papyrus, the issue Tears of the Giants finishes with Papyrus cradling and later carrying the lifeless body of a Hitite princess who loved him but couldn't spit it out since she was to marry the Pharaoh aka Papyrus's boss, and could only tell him as she lay dying in his arms.
  • Happens twice in Runaways. To the same person. Both times are with the same guy, too.
  • Skull Island: The Birth of Kong: Dr. Matemavi is shot by Riccio and she dies being held in Aaron's arms — or she was killed instantly and her body landed in Aaron's arms while falling backwards.
  • On one occasion, it was a Berserk Button for Namor that entirely too many people over the years had died in his arms after Taking the Bullet for him, and the latest one didn't even get to speak any Last Words.
  • Superman died in Lois Lane's arms in The Death of Superman.
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • The Ultimate universe's version of Peter Parker ended up dying in Mary Jane Watson's arms, after succumbing to wounds he received after Taking the Bullet for Captain America and fighting the Green Goblin and (what was left) of the Sinister Six to protect her, Aunt May and Gwen.
    • Ultimatum:
      • Angel rescued Alison, but she had drown, and died in his arms. Cue a Big "NO!", and a Little "No".
      • Thor had the corpse of Valkyrie in his hands, but refused to accept her death. So he went to Hela's domain to reclaim her life.
  • In both the comic and movie versions of V for Vendetta, V dies in Evey's arms after being shot.
  • Done, by all people, Wolverine in a What If?? comic. Granted, he had just killed his son Daken and was moments away from killing himself but it doesn't make it any less sad.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): After being fatally wounded by the White Magician and forcing Diana to take the item keeping her alive so that Diana can win the fight Artemis takes her last breaths being cradled by Diana.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Terry and the Pirates, Raven Sherman dies in Dude Hennick's arms after Captain Judas shoves her out of the back of a moving truck.
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    Fan Works 
Crossovers

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Batman

  • the superhero game:
    • Curing the Olympian/Titan war, Cassie wound up dying in Donna's arms. This naturally had a profound impact upon Donna, who struggled heavily with the guilt of not being able to save her afterwards.
    • Donna herself died in the arms of Terry McGinnis in the previous timeline.

Buffyverse

  • What You Do Afterwards: Wesley winds up being held by Angel as he dies, taking the opportunity to apologize for how his choices led them to that point.

Danganronpa

  • Three-Point Shot has this happen to Kaito, courtesy of his illness, with Maki as the one who holds him.

Disney Animated Canon

Fullmetal Alchemist

Harry Potter

Horatio Hornblower

The Hunger Games

Kingdom Hearts

  • Though the fanfic video has not been released yet, it's confirmed that Rinzler dies in Sora's arms in The Return of Bad Alert.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

Naruto

  • In Wind Monk Banishment, Sasuke finds himself in the uncomfortable position of holding on to Itachi while they pass.
  • A Wrinkle in Time: Hinata died in Naruto's arms during the war, while once more declaring her love for him. Her death nearly drove him over the Despair Event Horizon and into committing suicide.

Phineas and Ferb

  • Subverted in The Bitterness of Phineas Flynn. After a fatal fall, poor Ferb spends some time cradled in Phineas' lap, whispering their final words. However, they don't actually pass away there, but while ensconced in the emergency aid.

RWBY

  • In The Princess and the Rose, this gets averted; while Ruby Rose briefly stops breathing due to the beating they'd received from Torchwick while Weiss is holding onto them, the timely arrival of Qrow and Yang helps save their life.

A Song of Ice and Fire

  • In Asshai's Flames, High Priestess Joanna dies in her sort-of granddaughter Arkhia's arms after revealing that it was her younger daughter and Arkhia's aunt, Selye who poisoned her.

Star Trek

Superjail!

  • All in the Family: The Mistress, after being mortally wounded by the recoil of her weapon, dies in Warden's arms in Chapter 19.

    Films — Animation 
  • A variation in Antz: Barbatus's severed head dies in Z's hands, after surviving and still talking much longer than a human head would.
  • Beauty and the Beast: Beast dies in Belle's arms. Thanks to Belle's timely, spell-breaking "I love you," he recovers. The live-action remake also has Plumette dying in Lumiere's arms after that last petal falls. Naturally, her death also proves to be of the Disney variety.
    • In perhaps the only example in film history of an INVERSION of this trope, Garderobe and Cadenza REVIVE in each other's arms once the curse is broken.
  • In Epic (2013), Queen Tara dies in Ronin's, much to his chagrin.
  • Hans in Frozen claims to the diplomats that Anna has died in his arms and has made a Last Wish Marriage, making him the King of Arendelle. Of course we know that's not true at all as he actually leaves Anna behind to die but not before callously revealing his motives in an intent to psychologically break her.
  • In Frozen II, Olaf disintegrates in Anna's arms after Elsa turns to ice. Fortunately, both he and Elsa get better later.
  • Christophe/Ze Mole in South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut died in Kyle's arms after failing to free Terence and Phillip. The two then take part in La Resistance's Dark Reprise duet. Cue the shipping..
  • After Superman rescues Svetlana in Superman: Red Son, she dies in his arms a few moments later.
  • The Swan Princess: Odette dies in Derek's arms due to Rothbart's evil magic. Fortunately, after Derek kills Rothbart, the spell is broken and Odette gets better. Her father King William also dies in Derek's arms after Rothbart mortally wounds him earlier in the film, and unlike his daughter, he stays dead.
  • Tangled: Flynn dies in Rapunzel's arms. Thanks to a teardrop and the healing incantation, he gets better. The position of the characters in this scene is very reminiscent of Belle and the Beast.
  • White Snake (2019): Xuan is frozen to death while still hugging onto Blanca to protect her from the cold of The General's trap device. She manages to save his soul from being destroyed by The General's contraption and he is able to reincarnate.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The little boy who survived the Persian Immortals sacking his village in 300 survived long enough to die in Leonidas' arms.
  • 1408: Room 1408 gives Enslin has a vision of his already dead daughter. She dies in his arms, and then her body crumbles into ash. And the room keeps going.
  • Alibi: Tommy and the other cops burst into Buck's apartment seconds after Danny the undercover cop gets shot. Danny has an extended death scene in Tommy's arms in which he makes a self-deprecating joke about not being a good detective, before doing the whole "it's getting dark" thing.
  • Matthew Cuthbert dies in Anne's arms in the 1985 film of Anne of Green Gables after suffering a Hollywood Heart Attack.
  • Like the animated version, Beauty and the Beast (2017) has the Beast die in Belle's arms at the climax; so does Plumette in Lumiere's arms (this really does happen to Ewan McGregor a lot!) as the end of the curse changes all the Enchanted Objects into ordinary inanimate objects. Of course when the spell breaks, everyone comes back to life.
  • Blade II: Nyssa disintegrates in the sunlight while Blade cradles her.
  • There is a variation of this trope at the end of The Boondock Saints. Rocco is shot while tied to a chair, which is knocked down by the force of the shot. Connor and Murphy are tied to chairs on either side of him, and Murphy falls to the ground beside him, taking his chair with him. While there can be no arms involved (because they are all tied), Rocco dies with Murphy's head buried in his shoulder while the brothers scream with grief. It is a very touching scene, and conveys the general emotion of this trope, complete with Rocco's last speech.
    Rocco: You can't stop. You get out of here. Don't ever stop.
  • In Greta Garbo's 1936 classic Camille, Marguerite dies in Armand's arms in the very last scene. The 1982 film version of Annie, which has the titular character attend the film at the cinemas, includes this scene, making it a case of It Was His Sled.
  • Chai Lai Angels: Dangerous Flowers: After Gus is shot In the Back by Mei Ling, he collapses forward into Rose's arms, where he expires.
  • In Cimarron, after not seeing her husband Yancey for at least 12 years, Sabra discovers him just as he's been mortally injured in an oil rig accident. She cradles him as he dies.
  • Inverted in Cinderella (2015), when the King dies with Kit in his arms.
  • Adam Sandler's character in Click dies in the arms of his son. However, it turns out to be a dream of sorts.
  • Fiamma dies in Miss. G's arms in Cracks. Revealed that Miss. G is killing Fiamma by withholding her inhaler while she has an asthmatic attack, making this an example of Cradling Your Kill.
  • In Cruel Intentions, after performing a Heroic Sacrifice to save Annette from being hit by a speeding car, Sebastian dies in her arms, but not before telling her that he loves her.
  • The Live-Action Adaptation of Death Note had Light dying in his father's arms (made all the more poignant on Soichiro's part by the fact that Light tried to kill him only minutes before).
  • DC Extended Universe
    • Wonder Woman (2017): When Antiope is fatally shot, Menalippe cradles her body.
    • Zack Snyder's Justice League: One glimpse into the Bad Future reveals that Harley Quinn died in Batman's arms. Her last words words to him were a plea for him to kill the Joker slowly and painfully, a vow that he intends to make good on when the time comes.
  • Twice in Deewaar:
    • Anita dies in Vijay's arms.
    • Vijay dies in his mother Sumitra's arms.
  • In the 1932 version of A Farewell to Arms starring Gary Cooper and Helen Hayes, Catherine dies in Frederic's arms. In the book he just sits by her bedside as she dies while unconscious in typical Hemingway Beige Prose, but the movie offers a more classically romantic Hollywood death scene, complete with the Liebestod from Wagner's ''Tristan & Isolde'' to accompany it.
  • Faust: Love of the Damned: John Jaspers manages to destroy Mephistopheles after he is released from his contract, but he then dies in Jade's arms as the only thing keeping him alive were his hellgiven powers.
  • Bubba dies in Forrest's arms by a river in Vietnam after being mortally wounded during a battle in Forrest Gump.
  • In Galaxy Quest, Quellek gets shot by one of Saris' minions after he and Alexander Dane free some Thermians from certain death. Before dying in his arms, Quellek tells Alexander that he (in the persona of "Dr. Lazarus," his character on the Show Within a Show) was like a father to him. Alexander quotes his character's famous line seriously for the first time in the film before rushing and attacking the minion, who's having some gun jamming issues.
  • In Gang of Roses, Chas is shot in the back by one of the bandits and falls to the street. Babyface rushes to her side and gathers her in his arms as she dies.
  • Sam dies in Molly's arms in Ghost (1990).
  • During the final showdown in Ghost Rock, Song and Wu Chen have a fight through the saloon. Wu Chen finally has Song has pinned on the balcony railing with his hand round his throat. Despite having the opportunity to kill him, Wu Chen lets him go. this causes Song to rethink his life choices. As he is doing so, other members of the gang grab Wu Chen and start kicking him to death. Song turns against his former partners and jumps into the fight: saving Wu Chen, but dying in the process.
  • In Rob Zombie's Halloween II (2009), Annie dies in Laurie's arms.
  • In Hard Target, Nat cradles the fatally wounded Detective Mitchell in her arms as she dies.
  • In Highlander, Scottish immortal Connor Macleod does this with his mortal wife Heather as she is dying of old age. It's a hell of a Tear Jerker.
  • In Hook, Rufio dies in Peter Pan/Banning's arms.
  • In The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Peeta cradles the District 6 morphling as she dies from the monkey-mutt bite.
  • A version in Inception: Mal is already a Posthumous Character, but she "dies" one last time in Cobb's arms when Ariadne shoots her in Limbo, where Cobb is finally able to make peace with her death and let her go.
  • In Infamous (2020), Dean gets fatally shot during the botched bank robbery and dies in Arielle's arms; telling her that now they will both get what they want.
  • Subverted in John Woo's The Killer when the title character dies. He and his love interest Jenny miss each other as they grope for each other on the ground near the burning church due to both of them being blind at this moment, Jenny due to the tragic mistake that kicked off the whole thing, and Ah Jong due to getting shot in the eyes by Wong Hoi. The reason the scene came out like it did was because Chow Yun-Fat and Sally Yeh, the actors of the two in question, could only be scheduled to shoot on different days.
  • The Last Days on Mars (2013) shows the problems of doing this trope with a Zombie Infectee; notably being attacked at close quarters after they've died.
  • The original ending to Little Shop of Horrors has Audrey dying in Seymour's arms after the plant, Audrey II, tried to eat her.
  • The Lure (2015) Silver in Mietek's, turning into sea foam the morning after his wedding to another girl.
  • Macho Dancer: Noel dies in the arms of his friend Pol during a dramatic rainstorm/shootout.
  • A Man Called Sledge: After agreeing to leave the gold in the town square, Sledge finds Ria dying of injuries inflicted by the gang. He holds her in his arms as she dies, and she says they did not need the gold to be happy, and uses her dying breath to warn that Bice is behind him with a rifle.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Moulin Rouge!: Satine's body succumbs to tuberculosis while cradled in her lover Christian's arms.
  • Mythica: Caeryn dies in her sister Teela's arms after being mortally wounded by Kishkumen.
  • The Negotiation: Hyun-ju dies in the arms of the crisis negotiator who was trying to save her, Chae-youn. This event shakes Chae-youn so badly that she tries to quit.
  • In Onmyōji (2001), Hiromasa dies in Seimei's arms. However, he gets better.
  • In Outlaw Women, Ellen dies in Iron Mae's arms after she shot by Sam Bass while attempting to thwart him robbing the safe.
  • In Pan's Labyrinth, Ofelia dies in Mercedes' arms, while Mercedes hums a lullaby to her, trying (and failing) not to cry
  • As Dan Curtis breaks into the house in The Phantom of Crestwood, a mortally wounded Jenny Wren stumbles down the stairs and collapses in his arms; gasping out the words "The face!" before dying.
  • Poor Pretty Eddie: After Eddie is shot, Bertha cradles him and cries as he bleeds out.
  • Pumpkinhead has Ed Harley washing his son, Billy's, face with a washcloth after the latter was mortally wounded in a hit-and-run.
  • In Purgatory, Dolly Stone dies in Sonny's arms, which is why he's so adamant on who she is when she turns up in Refuge.
  • Nathan in Shilo's arms in Repo! The Genetic Opera.
  • Reservoir Dogs ends with Mr White cradling the mortally-wounded Mr Orange and finishing him off after the latter confesses he was the rat. It's pretty ambiguous on whether White shot Orange or if the cops just started shooting at him before he would have the chance. This is Tarantino we're talking about here, so this is probably completely intentional.
  • In Robin Hood: The Rebellion, the serving girl the Sheriff shoots In the Back with an arrow dies in Robin's arms.
  • Serenity: Shepherd Book dies in Mal's arms after the Alliance attacks Haven.
  • In Sodom and Gomorrah, when Astaroth is killed in a Duel to the Death with Lot over having seduced the latter's daughters, Shuah and Maleb, he takes comfort in being able to die in Shuah's arms.
  • Special Female Force:
    • During the Downer Beginning, Fong cradles her dying Best Friend Macy after their mission went terribly wrong.
    • The entire Team D cradles Honey after she's shot in the neck during a rescue mission.
  • Harry Osborn in Spider-Man 3. The light in his eyes fades away as Mary Jane Watson and Peter Parker hold him: just after he finally forgives Peter and helps him defeat Sandman.
  • Film/Nymph:
    • Scylla in her guardian’s after being harpooned and stabbed.
  • Star Wars:
    • The Phantom Menace ends with Qui-Gon Jinn dying in Obi-Wan's arms. (This seems to happen to Ewan McGregor a lot -– and also to the character of Obi-Wan, whose love interests from the EU and other non-film stories always seem to go out this way. His love interest in Star Wars: The Clone Wars who dies this way is even named Satine as an allusion to Moulin Rouge!)
    • Likewise, Shmi Dies Wide Open in Anakin's arms in Attack of the Clones. Also, at the very beginning of the film, Padme's handmaiden bodyguard Corde' makes the ultimate sacrifice and expires in the Senator's arms.
    • Happens several times in Rogue One. The first time Jyn Erso sees her father in thirteen years is just after Galen is shot leading to him dying as she holds him. During the final mission Baze Malbus holds his Platonic Life Partner Chirrut Îmwe after the latter is caught in an explosion. Finally, Jyn and Cassian Andor do a mutual version as the Death Star fires a low-level blast that destroys the beach they're sitting on.
    • Darth Vader dies in Luke's arms in Return of the Jedi.
    • In The Rise of Skywalker, Ben Solo dies in Rey's arms after giving up his life to save hers.
  • In Stitches (2012), the titular villain holds Bulger in his arms after removing his brain with an ice-cream scoop.
  • Terror at Black Falls: At the beginning of the Hostage Situation, Johnny shoots Quito, who dies in his father Juan's arms.
  • Terror Of The Tongs: After she leaps in front of him and takes the hatchet that was intended for him, Captain Sale holds Lee in his arms while she dies. with her dying breaths, she manages to tell him that Harcout is The Mole for the Red Dragon tong.
  • In Test Pilot Gunner dies in Jim's arms after Jim pulls him out of the plane they just crashed together.
  • Morgan Earp dies in his brother Wyatt's arms in Tombstone.
    Morgan Earp: Remember what I said about people seein' a bright light before they die? It ain't true. I can't see a damn thing.
  • In The Untouchables (1987), Malone dies in Ness' arms after Nitti ambushes him with a Tommy Gun, but not before passing on vital information about the bookkeeper whose testimony can bring Al Capone down.
  • In The Wages of Fear, Jo dies in Mario's arms just before they would have arrived at their destination.
  • Wild at Heart: Sailor and Lula kneel beside a dying car crash victim as she coughs up blood and mutters nonsense.
  • Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet:
    • Mercutio dies in Romeo's arms.
    • Romeo dies in Juliet's arms after he takes the poison right when Juliet awakens.
  • In The Wolfman (2010), after Gwen's Shoot the Dog moment, Lawrence returns to human form and spends his last moments of life in Gwen's arms before he appropriately dies at the end.
  • Cathy dies in Heathcliff's arms in the 1939 film version of Wuthering Heights, though not in the novel or most other adaptations.

    Literature 
  • Hank Rearden picks up the Wet Nurse and carries him until after his death in Atlas Shrugged.
  • In Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Carlo holds Francesco when he dies, telling him that he always loved him.
  • In Cold Mountain, Inman dies in Aida's arms after being shot by the Home Guards.
  • At the end of The Courts of the Morning, the reformed Castor is murdered, and dies held in the arms of the woman he loves.
  • The anarchist murdered at the start of Death at Victoria Dock dies in Phryne Fisher's arms.
  • A Dog's Purpose:
    • Bailey is put down in the arms of his owner Ethan, while Ethan sobs into his fur.
    • At the end of the book, the now old Ethan suffers a stroke and dies cradling Buddy, a reincarnation of Bailey (who remembers his past life with Ethan).
  • In Dragon Bones, Ward has to kill Oreg, his immortal slave, whom he inherited, and whose life is bound to Castle Hurog, in order to make the castle collapse and stop the villains. Oreg has wanted to die for a long time, so it is a mixture of Mercy Kill and Heroic Sacrifice. Ward holds him as he drives a dagger into his brain, a method that he supposes "is painless. At least for Oreg."
  • Happens on occasion in The Elenium. Notable examples:
    • Sparhawk cradles Sir Parasim as he dies during his first battle.
    • Kring cradles a dying Peloi after the battle with the Dawn Men.
    • Sephrenia gives Martel her blessing (which involves a similar gesture) one last time before he dies.
    • Subverted with Ehlana. Sparhawk cradles her immediately after she is cured of poison.
  • The Empirium Trilogy: Eliana holds her mother's deformed body as she Mercy Kills her.
  • In Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Evangeline tracks Gabriel from Canada to Louisiana only to find him moments before his death.
  • Fox Demon Cultivation Manual: Changchu dies in Song Ci's arms.
  • In The Goblin Emperor, Maia remembers the story of Hanevis Athmaza, who was horribly injured in protecting the emperor Beltanthiar III against Orava the Usurper, and died in his emperor's arms. Disturbingly enough, this story is implied to have inspired Maia to want to become one of the four nohecharei who are sworn to die before they would allow harm to come to the emperor. As an unloved son, he saw this as a chance to win his father's (the emperor's) love.
  • In The Great Brain, after finding out too late that he had been starving due to being completely wiped out financially, Abie Glassman dies in Mamma Fitzgerald's arms.
  • Harry Potter:
  • The Hunger Games:
    • In The Hunger Games, Rue dies in Katniss Everdeen's arms after being hit by a spear.
    • In the Catching Fire, an old recording about Haymitch Abernathy's game reveals that he cradled his district tribute, Maysilee Donner, as she was dying.
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Inverted. Esmerelda was already dead and thrown into the charnel house when Quasimodo found her. He spent the rest of his life cradling her corpse, and his skeleton was found locked in embrace with hers. As the French excavators begin to pry the two apart, they both crumble into dust.
  • Les Misérables: Éponine dies in Marius's arms. In the movie musical, we also see other students dying in their friends' arms. And in the stage musical, Fantine dies in Valjean's.
  • In Little Men, John Brooke dies in his wife Meg's arms while holding their twins Daisy and Demi in his own.
  • Little Women implies that Beth dies in Marmee's arms, stating "... on the bosom where she had drawn her first breath, she quietly drew her last."
  • At the end of The Mark of the Lion trilogy, Julia dies in her brother's arms after making peace with Rapha/Hadassah. Given the context and her history, it doubles as a Tear Jerker and a Heartwarming Moment.
  • In The Maze Runner, Chuck dies in Thomas' arms.
  • No character ever dies alone in Percy Jackson and the Olympians. All deaths are slow, and many in the arms of a significant other, platonically or otherwise:
    • Zoe Nightshade dies in the arms of her beloved goddess Artemis from internal bleeding.
    • Silena Beauregard dies in the arms of her unlikely friend Clarisse La Rue.
    • Luke Castellan dies in the arms of his former adoptive little sister Annabeth.
  • Ralph dies in Isabel's arms in The Portrait of a Lady.
  • At the end of the Six of Crows duology, Matthias dies in Nina's arms after being shot.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • Joffrey Baratheon dies in the arms of his helpless, grief-stricken mother, Cersei Lannister.
    • This is how Ygritte dies. Her boyfriend Jon Snow holds her and gives a rather desperate Planning for the Future Before the End speech, to which she responds sadly, "You know nothing, Jon Snow."
    • In the prequel The Princess and the Queen, Joffrey Velaryon fell from the back of his mother's dragon, Syrax, onto the city streets below. Witnesses claimed a commoner girl held him while he died, but Archmaester Gyldayn believes that part was just a folktale.
    • Lyanna Stark died in her brother Ned's arms when Ned found her in the Tower of Joy.
    • During the War of the Ninepenny Kings, Ormund Baratheon, the grandfather of Robert, Stannis, and Renly, was fatally struck down by Maelys Blackfyre and died in the arms of his son, Steffon.
  • In The Song of Roland Roland's best friend Olivier dies in his arms while Roland weeps.
  • Space Glass: Amy dies in Ratroe's arms and Bob dies in Nicora's.
  • The Sunne in Splendour:
    • Anne dies in Richard's arms. No, Richard did not poison her as portrayed in Richard III. In reality, although it's unlikely that Richard poisoned her, she probably died alone due to protocols of the time.
    • The death of Edmund, Earl of Rutland. Though he didn't get the chance to say anything after being wounded, his friend Rob Apsall was cradling (or trying to cradle) him as he died, and kept trying to save him "long after he knew Edmund was dead". When all else fails, Rob just sits there holding him and weeping.
  • In Anthony Price's spy thriller Tomorrow's Ghost, Frances Fitzgibbon performs a Heroic Sacrifice at the end and dies in the arms of Paul Mitchell, her colleague and would-be love interest.
  • In Wolf Hall, Cromwell's youngest daughter dies in his arms.
  • Scavenge the Stars: Boon ends up taking a bullet for his daughter, Amaya, and passes away peacefully in her arms, telling her he loves her and information on the person responsible for leaking the supply of fake coins that are causing a disaster in the city-state of Moray.

    Music 
  • "Run, Joey, Run" by David Geddes, where Julie, a teenaged girl who had become pregnant by her boyfriend, is accidentally shot by her father. When he realizes what he's done, he rushes to her and holds her in his arms as she whispers her last words:
    Daddy please don't
    It wasn't his fault
    He means so much to me
    Daddy please don't
    We're gonna get married...
  • "Arms Tonite" by Mother Mother.
    I died in your arms tonight,
    I slipped through into the afterlife,
    It was nice.
  • "This is because I can spell confusion with a K and I can like it/It's to dying in another's arms and why I had to try it..." Konstantine, Something Corporate.
  • "My Last Breath" by Evanescence. The narrator in the song is dying, and singing the song to her lover.
    Can you feel me in your arms?
  • Naked as We Came by Iron and Wine.
    I lay smiling like our sleeping children / One of us will die inside these arms.
  • "Sons of Fate" by The Protomen has Megaman cradle his dying brother Protoman in his arms.
  • Concrete Blonde's 'The Sky Is a Poisonous Garden'.
  • J. Frank Wilson's Last Kiss (The Pearl Jam version is a cover.):
    But somehow I found my baby that night
    I lifted her head, she looked at me and said,
    "Hold me, darling, just a little while."
    I held her close, I kissed her our last kiss;
    I found the love that I knew I had missed.
    Well, now she's gone, even though I hold her tight.
    I lost my love, my life, that night.
  • The album titled "My Arms, Your Hearse" by Opeth.
  • The song "El Paso" from Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs by Marty Robbins, told in Posthumous Narration, ends with the cowboy dying in the arms of his Spicy Latina lover Feleena after being fatally shot down by a posse for killing a guy who tried to rape her. The song's sequel confirms this, as his death also drives her to suicide.
  • "The Ghost of You" by My Chemical Romance makes mention of it.
    At the top of my lungs, in my arms, she dies.
  • "Last Dance" by Covenant:
    My heart is blackened
    I am dying in your arms
  • "In Your Arms" by Magenta:
    I just wanna die in your arms
    Found I had lost my chance
    I just wanna die in your arms
    I just wanna die tonight
  • "Annie's Song" by John Denver:
    Let me drown in your laughter
    Let me die in your arms.
  • Hidden Citizens' cover of Cutting Crew's "I (Just) Died In Your Arms" takes the song's title literally.

    Radio 
  • Dimension X's "Dwellers in Silence": Dr Hathaway sneaks away to the graves of his family, and two of the Martians follow. When Dr Hathaway begins to die, Evans is instructed to hold him.

    Theater 
  • Many, many operas and ballets based on Abbé Prévost's character Manon, who dies in the arms of her lover Des Grieux.
  • In Aida (John/Rice) there are two examples:
    • The titular character's former servant Mereb dies in her arms, fatally injured trying to protect her and her father.
    • Aida and Radames die in each other's arms in the tomb.
  • Antony and Cleopatra: Mark Antony with Cleopatra.
  • Happens twice in Artus - Excalibur. First Ector, then Lancelot die in Artus' arms.
  • In bare: a pop opera, Jason dies in Peter's arms.
  • In Bonnie and Clyde, Buck dies in the arms of his wife, Blanche, after being shot.
  • Henrik Ibsen used this in his early plays. Thus, Catilina dies in the arms of Furia in his very first play, and Sigurd dies in the arms of Hjørdis in The Warriors at Helgeland. Both also doubles as Cradling Your Kill. Further, Peer Gynt arguably dies in the arms of Solveig. After that, Ibsen seems to have discarded the trope. Although this may be a possible position for Oswald and his mother in Ghosts
  • Both Christian and Cyrano in Roxanne's arms, in Cyrano de Bergerac.
  • Rodrigo in Schiller's and Verdi's Don Carlos dies in the title character's arms.
  • In Dream Girl, in the Dream Sequence where Georgina becomes a fallen woman, she takes a lethal dose of poison and melodramatically collapses into the arms of the brother-in-law she used to love.
  • In the famous dramatization of East Lynne, Lady Isabel, disguised as Madam Vine, takes her son William into her arms in his dying moments, and asks him to call her his mother. He does so, and dies. Isabel's ensuing lament that her child died without knowing she was his mother is famous although invariably misquoted.
  • In Hamilton, Philip dies in his parents' arms.
  • Hamlet:
    • Hamlet dies in Horatio's arms. Hamlet had been poisoned by Laertes during their duel. Upon realizing he was dying, Hamlet stabbed his Uncle, the king, who was technically also Hamlet's father because he married Hamlet's mother. Hamlet's mother had already died because she drank from a poisoned cup that the king had meant for Hamlet. Anyways, everyone's pretty much dead except Hamlet, Horatio, and Osric by this point. Hamlet lies dying in Horatio's arms, telling Horatio to live and "report [him] and [his] cause aright to the unsatisfied." Horatio offers to die with Hamlet by drinking from the poisoned cup, but Hamlet tells him to continue living "to tell [his] story."
    • In some adaptations, Queen Gertrude dies in her second husband Claudius' arms.
  • In many if not most productions of Henry IV, Hotspur dies in Prince Hal's arms, and it's also a case of Cradling Your Kill.
  • In the Darker and Edgier stage version of Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Esmeralda dies in Quasimodo's arms of smoke inhalation from her near-burning at the stake.
  • Schiller's Kabale und Liebe: Luisa to Ferdinand.
  • King Lear: "Enter Lear, with Cordelia dead in his arms."
  • In L'Orfeo, after her fatal snakebite, Eurydice died in Sylvia's arms, with her last words being Orpheus's name.
  • Mimì in Rodolfo's arms in La Bohème by Puccini; subverted in the modern musical RENT, where Mimi has a new lease of life.
    • Then played straight in Rent, when Angel dies in Collins' arms.
  • Eponine in Marius's, after being shot returning to the barricades in "Les Misérables".
  • Audrey in Seymour's in Little Shop of Horrors.
  • As written, the musical of Little Women has Beth die offstage, but some productions have her die in Jo's arms at the end of their duet "Some Things Are Meant To Be" instead. See, for example, this video.
  • In Love Never Dies, Christine dies in the Phantom's arms.
  • The title character, Kim, of Miss Saigon. She dies in the arms of Chris after shooting herself.
  • In William Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing, Benedick swears to Beatrice that he will die in her arms. Typically for Shakespeare, however, it's a Double Entendre; yes, he is swearing to be with her forever, but he's also using "Die" as a euphemism for achieving sexual release...
  • Tristan and Isolde has Tristan dying in Isolde's arms, cutting their feverishly anticipated Big Damn Reunion tragically short.
  • Verdi LOVED this trope actually. Here's a list of characters of his that die in the arms of others:
    • Rigoletto: Gilda, in her fathers' arms.
    • Il Trovatore: Leonora, in Manrico's.
    • La Traviata: Violetta, in Alfredo's.
    • Aida: Aida and Radames, in each other's (see also the Elton John/Tim Rice musical).
    • La forza del destino: another Leonora, in Alvaro's.
    • Simon Boccanegra: Simon, in his daughter's and Fiesco's.
    • Ernani: Ernani to Elvira...
    • Un ballo in maschera: Gustav (Richard) to Amelia.
  • Der Ring des Nibelungen:
    • In the Royal Swedish Opera’s 2008 staging of Das Rheingold, Freia rushes to Fasolt when he is fatally wounded, and they have a chance to say farewell to each other before he dies in her arms.
    • In most Walküre stagings, such as the 2010 Metropolitan Opera production, Siegmund dies in Wotan’s arms.
  • In West Side Story, Maria cradles Tony in her arms as he dies.

    Video Games 
  • ANNO: Mutationem: In the bad ending, after Ann refuses to trust The Consortium, Ryan makes a sudden move to help Ann escape which only resulted in him getting shot. Ann cradles Ryan's body in shock, moments before Amok uses the opportunity to take over Ann's body.
  • The first Baten Kaitos game has Xehla die in Kalas's arms after you beat the final Big Bad.
  • Happens quite a few times in the Batman: Arkham Series:
    • Batman: Arkham City:
      • One happens in a strange way: when Hugo Strange is stabbed by Ra's al Ghul, Batman cradles the dying doctor in his arms while sharply arguing with Ra's. But by then, the doctor initiates Protocol 11 before dying in Batman's arms, seconds before Batman quickly lets go of him and escapes from the exploding tower along with Ra's.
      • Near the end, Talia al Ghul gets shot In the Back by the real Joker after falling for the "fake Joker gag" and falls into Batman's arms before dying.
    • In Batman: Arkham Origins, Alfred Pennyworth sadly dies in Batman's embrace right after being rescued in the damaged Batcave. Only temporarily, though, as the former is Only Mostly Dead and can be revived by Batman and the power of Electrocutioner's Magical Defibrillator Shock Gloves.
    • In Batman: Arkham Knight, Poison Ivy collapses in Batman's arms after using the last of her strength to disperse Scarecrow's fear gas spread by the Cloudburst. After muttering, " Nature always wins," she dies and her body disintegrates into pollen.
  • In the Code Geass Dating Sim Lost Colors, there are two downer endings in which the Player Character dies in the arms of either Kallen Kouzuki or Nagisa Chiba
  • Several scenarios in Detroit: Become Human result in Connor dying in Hank's arms. Most notably, finding the deviant in the kitchen of Stratford Tower results in Connor getting a vital biocomponent ripped out. Fail to recover it in time, and Hank comes in just in time to cradle Connor in his arms as he shuts down.
  • Digital Devil Saga does this three times over the course of its two games. In the first game, Jinana and Lupa die in the arms of, respectively, Argilla and Gale. In the second game, Angel and Gale are Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by one another and die in an embrace.
  • In the opening level of Dishonored, Empress Jessamine dies in her bodyguard Corvo's arms after a supernatural assassin runs her through.
  • Dragon Age II:
    • At the end of act 1, your sibling will die in your arms if you brought them to the deep roads mission but didn't bring Anders, as they will succumb to the taint.
    • At the end of "All That Remains", Hawke's mother dies this way.
  • A few Dynasty Warriors/Samurai Warriors endings have a character's love interest dying like this. In at least one case, it's because the player killed him.
  • Final Fantasy XIII-2: At the end, Serah has her final vision, and as she collapses, Noel pulls her into a hug to hold her upright. After a few seconds, Serah dies, and both of them fall to the ground together, still embracing. When Hope arrives a few minutes later, Noel is still cradling Serah's body against his chest.
    • Yeul is shown dying several times throughout the story; on at least two of these occasions, she is cradled in either Noel or Caius' arms.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • As seen in the Fire Emblem: Champion's Sword manga, Hector dies in Roy's arms from the injuries he sustained from fighting the forces of Bern during the events of Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade, this happens three times:
      • The first is Marquess Elbert, who dies in the arms of his son Eliwood after getting fatally wounded while fending off Nergal.
      • The second is Ninian, who also dies in Eliwood's arms, after he unwittingly struck her down in dragon form with the newly-acquired Durandal. She gets better in the final chapter, however, courtesy of Bramimond.
      • The third happens at the end of the game with Athos, who passes on in Hector's arms.
    • In Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones, if the player chooses Eirika's path, one of the images (seen again in the epilogue) shows her holding the dying Queen Ismaire in her arms.
    • In Fire Emblem Fates, if the player chooses the Birthright path, later in the story Elise dies in her brother Xander's arms after she takes a hit from him that was meant for the Avatar. Xander does not take it well.
    • Almost at the end of Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, Alm's group finds a mortally wounded Fernand. He dies in the arms of his once-best friend, Clive.
  • A couple of examples of this in the .hack series:
    • Mia dies in Elk's arms after the party defeats her true form Macha the Temptress, the sixth phase of the wave. She gets better..
    • Alkaid gets data-drained by an AIDA and "dies" in Haseo's arms, providing one of the saddest cutscenes in the G.U. games.
  • The Galerians series has one of these per game, involving the same characters, though they trade places. In the denouement of the first game, Lilia holds Rion as his brain shuts down from psychic overstress. As the second game approaches its finale, Rion holds Lilia as her body shuts down from radiation poisoning.
  • In the ending of God of War (PS4), Kratos and Atreus see a mural left behind by the Giants (who had the gift of prophecy) depicting the events of their journey to Jotunheim. Right before they go outside to scatter Faye's ashes, Kratos sees a section of the mural hidden by a cloth depicting him dying in Atreus' arms. He does not tell his son what he saw.
  • Halo:
    • In Halo: Reach, Kat dies in Six's arms after being headshot by a sniper, and is cradled in Pietà Plagiarism fashion.
    • Sgt. Johnson in Halo 3, while being held by Master Chief.
  • At the end of Jak 3: Wastelander Damas dies in Jak's arms after he is crushed beneath a vehicle.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days has Xion's death, or rather Xion's individuality as a separate being. As it wasn't depressing enough already imagine dying in the arms of someone who's forgetting you even as he tries to hold on.
    • Kingdom Hearts almost did this when Kairi is revived and Sora has stabbed himself with the Keyblade of People's Hearts. Sora falls backwards, Kairi goes to catch him, and...he disappears, sparkling out of existence. Yes, folks, this is when Roxas was born.
    • Something similar happens in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, as Master Eraqus dies in Terra's arms.
    • In Kingdom Hearts III Saix dies in Lea's arms after being defeated by Sora, Roxas and Xion. As both are aware of the temporary nature of "death" for Nobodies, they promise to meet up again once Saix — Isa — returns to life as a human.
  • Pictured above: In The Last of Us, a Zombie Apocalypse breaks out, and when trying to carry his daughter Sarah to safety, Joel runs into a soldier who's ordered to shoot them both. He mortally wounds Sarah, who dies in Joel's arms while he pleads for her not to leave him. It got to the point the voice actors/motion capture performers themselves cried.
  • After the climactic battle with the Climax Boss of The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II, Crow dies after performing a Heroic Sacrifice in Rean's arms to the latter's regret.
  • In the final photo memory of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Zelda unleashes a burst of holy energy to protect Link from an attacking Guardian, incapacitating said Guardian. However, Link still collapses from the mortal wounds he took fighting the other Guardians earlier and promptly takes his last breath in a tearful Zelda's arms. Thankfully, he gets better.
  • Mass Effect:
    • Depending on your choices throughout the game, any of your team members in Mass Effect 2 can die in Shepard's arms during the assault on the Collector Base
    • Mass Effect 3:
      • This can happen with Conrad Verner in one of the ways his story is resolved. Also hilariously subverted, as depending on your actions, Conrad has the touching death scene with Shepard... only for another of Shepard's old acquaintances, Jenna, to reveal that she sabotaged the gun and that Conrad was never shot at all.
      • Miranda will die this way if you don't complete certain prerequisites.
  • Mega Man X:
    • In Mega Man X4, if you choose to play as Zero, after you defeat Zero's love interest, Iris, Zero cradles them in his arms until they "dies".
    • Similarly in Mega Man: Maverick Hunter X, Zero's death scene is redone to have Zero die in X's arms.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode: Either Ellegaard or Magnus will give you their armor before the confrontation with the Wither Storm and will end up being fatally wounded in the ensuing chaos. After the Wither Storm is defeated, you find Soren cradling his dying friend.
  • At the end of Mother 3, Claus dies in his brother Lucas' arms.
  • NieR's third ending has Kainé dying in your character's arms after you're forced to kill her when the Shade inside her takes control. There's also Fyra in the King's arms, and Devola in Popola's arms.
  • In Ni no Kuni, when the party suddenly ends up back in time, they meet the Emperor of Hamelin, whom they already know died fifteen years ago. He dies being cradled by Swaine, whom he knows perfectly well is his son from the future. The elder Swaine has just had to watch his younger self run away from home, fully believing his father only loves his younger brother. The elder only realizes how wrong this is as he embraces his father one last time. This naturally leads to a hugely, giganticly, screen-shaking "NOOO!"
  • In Of Love and Eternity, when the Knight's lover is run through in the intro cinematic, he runs over to her, drops his sword and cradles her as she passes. He's so overcome with despair that he allows her killer to kill him too.
  • Persona:
    • In Persona 2: Innocent Sin's ending, Maya dies in Tatsuya's arms.
    • In Persona 3, during the October Full Moon operation, Shinjiro is shot to death by the leader of Strega. His childhood friend Akihiko is the one who holds him as he passes away and and the others grieve. Also, at the very end of the game, during graduation day, a weary protagonist, having used all of his (or her, if the player chooses a female protagonist for the Playstation Portable version of the game) power to seal away the harbinger of death, falls asleep and dies in Aigis' arms.
  • Happens to Grovyle and Celebi in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon. Except it isn't just one of them. It's both of them that disappear.
  • In Project Firestart, if Mary dies while following Jon, the player gets a short cutscene of her last moments while cradled in Jon's arms.
  • Resident Evil:
  • In Project Justice's Taiyo High ending, Hyo dies in his brother Kyousuke's arms.
  • Sands of Destruction features two, one which happens during play and one which is only told about through Flash Back:
    • In the Valley of Dragons, a very desperate Kyrie asks Naja to kill him. Naja obliges, but it's Morte who holds him as he makes his Final Speech before he Disappears into Light.
    • In the Cave of Memories, Taupy is forced to recall killing his best friend, Ace, and mentions that he held him as he died.
  • In Snatcher, Harry dies in Gillian's arms.
  • Shauna dies in Trish's arms in Soul Nomad & the World Eaters.
  • Splatterhouse: After putting her out of her misery, Jennifer fades away in Rick's arms.
  • Nanami in Riou's in Suikoden II. She gets better if you collected all 108 stars before this scene.
  • In Sunrider Liberation Day, Chigara, who had just been mind-controlled by the Big Bad into kicking off the Liberation Day massacre, gets shot by Veniczar Fontana mere seconds after kicking the Big Bad's spirit out of her body. As Kayto cradles her in his arms, she apologizes that they won't be able to open their bakery and dies.
  • Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood:
    • Guybrush finds Morgan LeFlay mortally wounded by her own Blade of Dragotta and runs to her side, holding her in his arms (or rather with his hook hand) as she slowly dies after telling him about the incident in the Marquis De Singe's lab.
    • Elaine holds Guybrush in her arms as he is slowly dying from his wounds inflicted by LeChuck's Cutlass of Kaflu, and after she tearfully makes her promise to stop LeChuck for him, Guybrush slumps down to the ground as he dies while still in her arms. (He gets better later in Chapter 5.)
  • Both General Frings and Ion die in Luke's arms in Tales of the Abyss. Can't catch a break, can he?
  • In a discarded storyboard for Team Fortress 2 promotional video Meet The Medic, a BLU Sniper dies dramatically in the arms of a BLU Soldier. Cue Big "NO!"... and then both of them get run over by an incoming train.
  • In Thor: God of Thunder (2011), which is set before the events of Thor, Sif becomes dead for a short time. She pushes another Asgardian out of danger, is impaled, and dies in Thor's arms, causing him to be enraged and seek vengeance for her death.
    Thor: Sif...
    Sif: Stupid. I should've seen it coming.
  • Arcueid dies in Shiki's arms in the end of her route of Tsukihime. She gets better. Double subverted in the True Ending, in which she decides that she can't stay with Shiki.
  • The absolutely heartbreaking death of Isara in Valkyria Chronicles.
  • XenoGears: Abel cradled Elhaym in his arms after she was killed by Cain.
  • Zero Escape Trilogy:
    • Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors: June dies in Junpei's arms in the "safe" and "submarine" endings.
    • Virtue's Last Reward:
      • Luna's ending ends with this between Sigma and Luna. Possibly doubles as Final First Hug.
      • Phi and Sigma will die hugging each other if you fail to defuse the bombs.
    • Zero Time Dilemma:
      • Sigma in Diana's arms in the ending where Diana didn't push the blue button.
      • Inverted in Monty Hall segment if you get the answer right. While the room is filled with carbon dioxyde you'll get a gas mask but only one. Junpei will give it to already nearly passed out Akane and she'll be held in his arms while he dies. Getting the wrong answer leads to straighter example, except they both die.

    Web Comics 
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja has this played out word-for-word. After Gordito kills the zombified Ben Franklin, Doc accusingly says "You just killed my mentor. He died in my arms." Gordito reprimands him by saying "It must have been something you said," and reminds him they still have work to do and don't have time to mourn.
  • In Girl Genius:
    • Lars in Agatha's.
    • It seems to be happening with Zeetha, after she was run through and Higgs is cradling her but she got better.
  • In Homestuck: in one of the final acts, Rose dies in Roxy's arms. Made all the more poignant because Rose got stabbed trying to avenge her girlfriend, and because both girls had only just met each other after years of eagerly waiting for it, especially since they are each other's mother in two different realities.
  • Therkla in Elan's in The Order of the Stick. To make matters worse, despite the fact that resurrection is relatively easy for an adventuring party...
    Therkla: "I'll take my chances that the Afterlife won't have any punishment worse than not being with you."
  • Zoë from Sluggy Freelance was last seen cradled in Riff's arms, although no one knows if she's really dead or not. It still counts because Riff believes she died. She didn't. It was actually far, far worse. Until it wasn't.
  • Growp from Spacetrawler, in the process of being disintergrated, is caught in the arms of Emily before confessing his love. He proceeds to break up into small pieces.
  • TAL has Hiljo's death in Chapter 47, in which he dies in Yu Jin's arms. Doubles as Tear Jerker when Haje and Jenna, who he raised from their childhoods, show up; Jenna panics, noting that Hiljo isn't moving or breathing, and asks Haje what they should do... Haje, being mute, can do nothing but cry.
  • Unsounded: Duane and Sette break into the Red Berry Boys' hideout while the criminals are cutting open Cara to smuggle First Silver in her. They flee and leave the young girl to bleed out, and Duane arrives in time to try and fail to heal her, cradling her as she dies and murmurs innocent reassurances.

    Web Original 
  • At the climatic ending to the Reflection arc of AJCO, the Doctor perishes in the re-education chamber and A_J gathers her corpse up in her arms while the others watch on, horrified at what they had just done.
  • Homestar Runner: Parodied in the Strong Bad Email "army"; one of Homestar's soldiers in the "Homestarmy" is a popcorn popper named Frank Bennedetto, and when Strong Bad kicks the popper Homestar rushes to Bennedetto's side as if he'd been mortally wounded.
    Homestar: Don't you die on me, Bennedetto! Not on my watch! Don't you give up! You never gave me the five bucks...
  • In The Life of Death, Death kills those that he touches. He befriends a deer and avoids touching her. After she gets too old/weak to be with her herd, she encourages Death to pet her. The deer and Death have a Final First Hug.
  • Ma-Ti in The Nostalgia Critic's arms at the end of Suburban Knights.
  • In the penultimate chapter of The Pirates Covered in Fur, Tully dies in Michum's arms after being fatally wounded in the swordfight against Lyle Krinkor.
  • In the 10th season Red vs. Blue CT in the arms of The Insurrection Leader after being mortally wounded by Tex
  • The RWBY episode "The Lost Fable" somehow manages to make this trope even worse than usual. Having already lost her lover Ozma to illness, Salem had to undergo the trauma of him being resurrected then killed again in her arms twice within the span of a few minutes when she tricks the gods into bringing him back.
  • Clio Gabriella died this way in v4 of Survival of the Fittest, in the arms of her boyfriend Simon Telamon. She even begged for him to help her.
  • A fan's take on a Team Fortress 2 "Meet the Spy" animation has the Spy over-selling his "death" to an Engineer who just shot him, collapsing dramatically into the Engineer's arms (complete with Pietà Plagiarism), so he can have a point blank shot to the Engineer's head, just as planned. (See it here.)

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender Aang dies in Katara's arms in the season two finale. He got better with the assistance of the spirit water and Katara's healing powers, though he can't access the Avatar State until the final battle against Ozai.
  • In a Batman: The Animated Series episode Batgirl gets pushed off a building by Scarecrow. She just happens to (graphically) fall on her father's police car and dies in his arms. This causes Gordon to blame Batman and try to capture him. The episode was thankfully All Just a Dream and Barbara is alive and well decades later in Batman Beyond.
  • Beast Wars: Silverbolt thinks this happens with Blackarachnia (complete with Big "NO!"). Rattrap and Rhinox let him get it out of his system, before mockingly pointing out that she's merely in Stasis Lock.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers:
    • Downplayed in "Heat Wave". After rescuing Linka from Dr. Blight's barge, the Planeteers return to Hope Island to find Gaia too sick and weak to stand without leaning on something or someone. Thus, Wheeler cradles her while she begs them to save Hope Island – and at the same time, herself, as her health and life are closely tied to the island. Fortunately, she gets better.
    • Played straight in "A Mine Is a Terrible Thing to Waste" during Gi's flashback. When she was a little girl, circumstances forced her to abandon her dolphin friend named Tisa. When she managed to come back some time later, she found Tisa so sick from the water pollution that all she could do was holding the poor creature as it died.
  • Celebrity Deathmatch:
    • After Christopher Walken enters a psychotic rage and crushes Gary Oldman's head, he then snaps out of it and cradles his opponent in his arms.
    • During Nick Diamond's version of Moses leading his people out of Egypt, Moses loses to Rhameses the Pharaoh, but the fight is interrupted by Harrison Ford, who holds Moses in his arms before he dies and agrees to lead the Israelites out in his place.
  • In Gargoyles, during an episode that takes place in a Bad Future, where Broadway has been blinded for years, and is fatally wounded during a battle. As Goliath comforts him in his arms, and tells him the sun will rise soon, and he will be able to heal. Broadway mistakes the light for the sun as he dies, this TearJerker moment happens.
    Broadway: The sun! I haven't seen it for years. Can you see it Goliath, it..its beautiful (dies)
    Goliath (crying): Goodbye my friend
  • The Owl House: Played for Laughs in "Echoes of the Past" when King throws a stuffed toy at Lilith and Hooty jumps in the way of it before collapsing in her arms, hamming it up, and asking Lilith to avenge him.
  • In Disney's Legends the story of John Henry is told, where he challenges a steamroller to finish a railroad using only his sledge hammer, in order to ensure all the railroad workers keep their jobs. Despite winning the race, John dies from overexertion, and dies in his loving wife's arms, and with the sledge hammer still in his hands.
  • Rick and Morty: In "Ricktional Mortpoon's Rickmas Mortcation", Rickbot dies in Morty's arms after Taking the Bullet for the President, once Rick has returned them all to Earth.
  • In the Grand Finale of Samurai Jack, Ashi fades from existence in Jack's arms. On their wedding day, to boot.
  • In an odd example of this happening between lifelong enemies, the final confrontation between Maul and Obi-Wan ends this way in Star Wars: Rebels, with Obi-Wan cutting Maul’s lightsaber in half as he delivers the fatal blow, and catching him before he hits the ground. They then share a few words about the boy Obi-Wan is protecting, the latter confirming that he is indeed the Chosen One.
    Maul: He... will... avenge us.
  • Thundercats 2011 has The Hero Lion-O doing this twice:
  • In Wakfu, Idiot Hero Sadlygrove dies in the arms of his Love Interest, Evangelyne. Luckily, he gets better and returns early into the following season.
  • Yakko Warner cradles his sister Dot as she dies near the end of Wakko's Wish, breaking down in tears as she makes him tell her special story "one last time." We see later she, and arguably he, were just acting but it's no less heartbreaking to watch.
  • The first Bugs Bunny cartoon, A Wild Hare, has Bugs stage a fake death scene in Elmer's arms.

 
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Death of Sarah Miller

Sarah dies in the live-action TV version of "The Last of Us".



Even so, it's a tearjerker moment and it sets the mood of what viewers should expect out of this show.

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