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Dying Alone

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"On the night of September 21, 1945, I died."

"Son. Everyone dies alone. That's what it is. It's a door. It's one person wide. When you go through it, you do it alone. But it doesn't mean you've got to be alone before you go through the door. And believe me, you aren't alone on the other side."
Malcolm Dresden, The Dresden Files

Being alone is bad. But dying alone is horrible.

It may factor in on the scale of the Heroic Sacrifice, that you must die alone. Sending someone away, so that you die alone, is often a generous gesture, and those who leave may be deeply criticized. When What You Are in the Dark faces you, the villain may taunt you with not only dying but dying alone.

Lonely at the Top almost always carries the threat that the character will die alone. It is frequently suggested to the single and childless that this may result from their actions.

Dying emotionally alone with other people physically present, as in the opposite of You Are Not Alone, is just as bad.

The one exception when a character is performing a Heroic Sacrifice, particularly after More Hero than Thou dispute: then, dying alone carries the consolation that the other characters have escaped with their lives.

Conversely, characters may go to great efforts to ensure that a dying character is not alone to defy this trope, which is often explicitly invoked as the reason for staying. Particularly True Companions — a You Are Not Alone moment of particular poignancy — but The Rival, the Worthy Opponent, the Friendly Enemy may all be willing to stay with the dying Hero, and he would do the same for them. Indifferent people don't count, but even a stranger willing to respond to a plea for comfort can help.

They may do this even if the dying person is apparently unaware of them. Similarly, the closest friend in a group of people may insist on being the one to deliver a Mercy Kill. If death takes a long time, Unbroken Vigil may result. Falling asleep by a deathbed is not always considered failure. Dying characters may try to force the issue if the other character is clearly on the verge of collapse.

When a character is Dying as Yourself, it may allow the others to prevent this.

When a character dies alone, Meaningful Funeral, To Absent Friends, and Famed In-Story may ensue, to ironically point out that the character actually had friends, or underscore the value of his Heroic Sacrifice. On the other hand, a funeral with no mourners reinforces the loneliness.

Note that this trope is not only limited to heroic characters. If used on a villain, particularly the Big Bad, it will serve to show us just what a miserable and horrible human being they really were, to the point where even their own supposedly loyal servants won't be bothered to accompany them as they die.

See also A Friend in Need, and Secretly Dying, which can lead to this. Distracted from Death (where a person may not necessarily die alone but they do die unnoticed by others around them) can be a variant. A character suffering from Karmic Shunning might end up dying this way.

This is a Death Trope, so all spoilers on this page are unmarked.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • 7 Seeds
    • Team Summer A's guide, Unami, gets shot multiple times by the team for things he did to all of them prior to being frozen for the project. They leave him alone, so he can slowly and painfully bleed to death. He's not very missed.
    • A sadder version occurs with Takashi's wife, Miho. When the food storages begin to flood, she saw that one emergency gate didn't lock on its own and proceeded to push it until it closed, leaving her no time to leave anymore. Takashi catches a glimpse of her through the emergency gate's window, as she smiles and drowns.
  • In Akame ga Kill!, Seryu suffers this after Mine carves her in half. As she lays dying, she laments on how she doesn't want to die in the middle of nowhere, as her fight with Mine took place in a valley far from the Capital, where she was born. Despite her being an Ax-Crazy Hero Killer obsessed with black and white morality, it's easy to feel sorry for her in her final moments.
    Seryu: I don't want to die... in a place like this...
  • In Bakugan, this happens a lot. Wavern warns Naga that his quest for power will end with this. Ironically, she inflicts this fate upon herself when she forces Drago to kill her. Naga winds up being trapped in the doom dimension, which was recently emptied when its inhabitants were freed.
  • In Danganronpa 3, this is how Ruruka Andou dies. After killing Izayoi and Kizakura indirectly, she runs off, alone. She spends the last few moments before the time limit having a monologue about how she'll never die and she can make as many friends as she wants after she gets out of the mutual killing... only to be murdered in one of the most gut-wrenching deaths of the franchise, alone and terrified.
  • In Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, there was one extremely powerful demon slayer who has come close to killing the originator of all demons, he dedicated his whole life to exterminating them, a Samurai dedicated only to his craft, he never stopped to make some happiness for himself, choosing to die alone in one last match against a demon he knew very well, his own twin brother.
  • To spare his friends the displeasure of seeing him die a gory, undignified death, Rei locks himself in a shed to die alone. Definitely THE most tragic, heartbreaking death in Fist of the North Star.
  • In Hoshin Engi, this is probably the death Taikobo AKA Fukki would have gotten if it weren't for Dakki. Joka, being afraid of dying alone, requests that Taikobo accompany her, to which he agrees. After she dies, he is left to crumble and die alone, away from all his companions and friends. Thankfully for him, Dakki revives him.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, what makes the death of Saji's older sister, Kinue Crossroads even sadder than it already is is that she bleeds to death completely alone in an alley, attempting to use a broken cellphone to call for help, weakly calling out to her loved ones with her dying breath. Also, the first Lockon Stratos, Neil Dylandy died alone in space.
  • In Scrapped Princess, what is arguably the worst Tear Jerker in the series is the death of Fulle. He dies a slow death alone, crawling through the rain, attempting to reunite with Pacifica (with their happy memories together flashing through his mind).
    • Here's one right up there: the death of the Queen, Pacifica's mother. She gets thrown in the dungeon cell adjacent an amnesia-ridden Pacifica. Neither recognizes each other. They talk for a while, and the Queen talks about the daughter she gave up, and at the end of the episode, the Queen succumbs to her injuries, all the while not realizing the daughter she longed to find was just feet awayDramatic Irony at it cruelest.
  • Nicholas D. Wolfwood from Trigun, who dies alone in the chapel after confessing that he's afraid.
  • Kamina from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann might sort of count - although he does give touching final words to the group, it's done away and out of sight, and they aren't really by his side.
  • Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust sees Leila admit her biggest fear is dying alone and unmourned. She and D make a deal - the one who lives longer will visit the other's grave, just to avert this. The Distant Finale shows Leila's grave, surrounded by her family - she managed to avert the trope, living out the rest of her life in peace. And D kept his promise and visited her grave, which is something of a Tear Jerker in itself given it emphasizes for the second time just how old D really is.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Hughes death is sudden and lonely, bleeding out in a phone booth from a gunshot wound administered by someone in the guise of his beloved wife. Even sadder seeing as how Hughes was one of the nicest characters in the show.
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), this also happens to Scar. He ends up taking a lot of people with him shortly after.
  • Wolf's Rain:
  • A flashback in ×××HOLiC has Watanuki standing alone in the rain cradling a dead kitten and saying, "I'll die like this too. Alone." This moment was also when Doumeki first saw him, which resulted in Doumeki deciding to protect him and stay by his side in order to ensure that this will never happen.
  • Liechtenstein from Hetalia: Axis Powers is just barely saved from this by her brother Switzerland after the war. "I would've loved to be a nation... a little longer..."
  • Yagami Light from Death Note, after being outwitted by Near, flees, and dies after Ryuk writes his name in the Death Note. In the manga, he dies surrounded by his enemies, while desperately calling his mistresses, one of whom he has killed recently.
  • It is prophesied that Ichise, the protagonist of Texhnolyze will die alone. In the end he does, with all of Lux except the Shapes (who will soon power down) dead, but a final vision of Ran's flower adds a note of ambiguity.
  • In Toward the Terra, Jomy and Keith die together, but Jomy dies first, prompting Keith to invoke this trope with, "Even at the end, I'm alone."
  • Jun Ushiro in the Bokurano anime. Fitting, as his is the last fight of the series, all of the other pilots are dead, and his sister Kana is at home since he and Youko saved her from being the last in the list. Also in the anime, the aforementioned Youko Machi dies alone and in the snow, in front of her brother Koyemushi's lifeless body.
  • In Cowboy Bebop, after spending most of the series being there for other people — both friends, foes, and bounties — as they died, Spike dies alone, surrounded by non-friendly mooks. He died alone because he died last, he made sure his Arch-Enemy Vicious went first, making this a Taking You with Me ending.
  • Bleach: It's a big issue in the manga that a person should, if possible, not die alone. As a result, it's a running theme that a dying person gives their heart to the person that was with them at the moment of their death. This is such a hugely important theme that, at times, it's a major plot point for certain characters.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Hayate notes in the introduction to Episode 9 that the thought of dying from her illness didn't scare her because she had been alone until the Wolkenritter came into her life, but now that they are depending on her, she wants to live and be there for them. Graham also suggests that if she were to be sealed away with the Book of Darkness, no one would have to mourn her.
  • In subverted in Zombie Loan, Touhou nearly does so after carrying out his hidden rebellion against Xufu, but in the end, Shito arrives and stays with him.
  • This is the sad fate of all Magical Girls in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, as they generally work alone and either die inside a Witch's Labyrinth or become a Witch themselves, also leaving no trace of themselves in the process. Episode 9 defies this trope, however; After failing all attempts at saving the witch that was once Sayaka Miki, Kyouko choses to destroy her soulgem, killing both herself and what was once Sayaka in the ensuing explosion. This was partially because she didn't want Sayaka to die alone, and partially because she couldn't go on without her.
  • One of the most defining moments in Legend of the Galactic Heroes is the death of Yang Wenli, who was shot and bled to death in an empty hallway with neither friend nor foe to either help him or finish him off.
  • Narrowly avoided by Shizuo from Durarara!! He is apparently shot twice by Horada and left to bleed to death, alone in an alley, but his natural resistance to pain saves him from this.
  • Defied in Battle Royale with Takako. She believes this to be her fate, slowly bleeding out from her bullet wounds, and mentions how hard and sad dying alone is. But then her childhood friend Hiroki Sugimura finds her and holds her close, which not only gives Takako a small comfort but also gives her a chance to warn Hiroki about Mitsuko playing the game.
  • Naruto:
    • This is the fate of any jinchuuriki captured by the Akatsuki. Beaten into coma-like states, their beasts are torn from their bodies and they die alone and unmourned by their village. This is a big part of Naruto's motivation.
    • Itachi Uchiha possibly comes close to this. He collapsed before Sasuke, but for all we know, he could have passed out and was slowly fading away due to the disease. Tobi then takes Sasuke to patch him up. Thus, Itachi is alone.
  • Halo Legends: In Homecoming, Spartan Daisy runs away from her training facility to be with her parents, and finds them only to see them living with a clone the facility made of her, none the wiser to them taking her as a child. When the clone degenerates, she dies peacefully in a hospital room, loving parents crying at her side, and buried as the real Daisy would be. Her parents would never know the real Daisy finally expires years later, alone on a battlefield under an alien sky, her mission to rescue some soldiers a failure as they tried to stay behind and take her with the rescue crew, which gets them killed. Some times afterward Master Chief passes her body, closes her eyes and folds her hands across her chest and around a tragic keepsake.
  • In Attack on Titan, the sheer anonymity of Marco Bott's death horrifies Jean - no one knows when or how he died, and until Jean identifies him he's just one of many nameless corpses. In later chapters, it's seen that he wasn't actually alone at his death, which makes it worse.
  • On The Galaxy Railways, much is made of the fact that Bruce dies alone, without the company of any of his shipmates to comfort him. It happens at a gas station, of all places.
  • This is what happens to Kimie Shiroyuki in Akatsuki no Aria when she falls victim to her tuberculosis in a hospital. For worse, her family is furious at her husband because he wasn't by her bedside and they mistakenly believe he was fooling around with the titular Aria, the student he secretly feels attracted to In reality Shiroyuki was trying to help Aria with her injured hand, and he feels horrible when he finds out Kimie died all alone.
  • In School-Live!, this was Megumi's fate. She tried to protect the others from the zombies, and later herself, after being bitten.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul Re, Ginshi Shirazu isn't actually alone when he dies. His fellow Quinx are with him and begging him not to die. Sadly, his dying body's senses are shutting down meaning he cannot see, hear, or even feel them. To him, it's just the same as if he really was dying alone. He keeps talking anyway just in case anyone can hear him.

    Comic Books 
  • Cerebus the Aardvark: It's prophesied that the title character will die "alone, unmourned, and unloved" - indeed, that's what happens in the final issue. It may be a pessimistic description of anyone's death as much as a curse on Cerebus.
  • Empowered: Sistah Spooky ended up in this position near the end of vol. 8. She is literally in Hell, seriously wounded, short an arm, staring down an artillery-sized death ray, all alone... and she is happy. The love of her life is not suffering the Torments of the Damned, the woman whose life she helped wreck out of petty jealousy is tied up aboard a doomsday weapon auto-piloting itself to Earth, this is as good a death as she could hope for a better outcome than she thought she would get... then someone who would rather not be forced to leave someone to die again comes riding a doomsday weapon to the rescue.
  • Fantastic Four: During the story arc "Wolf at the Door", Reed talks to a man who's about to commit suicide. His teenage son died in a car accident, he and his wife have divorced, and he just found out he has throat cancer, but the fact that he's going to die isn't what scares him - it's the idea of dying alone in a hospital bed with no-one there. Reed gives him a number to call and promises to be there for him, even if he's fighting a supervillain at the time.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac: Used for dark comedy when Johnny, suicidally depressed from not being able to buy a slushie, tries to take the convenience store clerk with him in a murder/suicide so he won't have to die alone. Johnny kills the clerk first using a gun and turns it on himself... At which point his Contractual Immortality kicks in and he finds out the gun only has one bullet. And then his ADD kicks in before he can find something else to off himself with.
  • The Mighty Thor: The Executioner was a fairly minor villain — until Walt Simonson gave him the heroic version of this trope, standing off the entire army of the Asgardian underworld in an awesome moment.
  • The Punisher: In The List: Punisher #1, Frank Castle, after being beaten and torn apart by Wolverine's son Daken at Osborn's request, does die alone. He has alienated his only friend, Henry. To make matters worse, this comes after he has re-killed his family, whom the Hood had brought back to life. No one is there to cry for him save Henry, who is there in time for him to see Daken decapitate Frank, though he does not know this at the time. This set-up provides the breaking of the Punisher and leads up to his coming to terms with his actions in "Franken-Castle".
  • Secret Warriors: One arc describes the last reunion of the Howling Commandos. As they go down the list of those who have fallen in battle, the life of each character is discussed. One particularly tearjerking one involves a man who was afraid of dying alone, but continuously put himself in danger to protect his friends and allies. As his death is described, he is mentioned to have died in his sleep with no family around him. But Dum Dum Dugan held his hand the entire time, ensuring that he would not die alone. Particularly poignant considering the conclusion of that arc...
  • Sin City: Many deaths reflect this but John Hartigan has the most gut-wrenching as he has to commit suicide alone in the woods so "a young girl can live".
  • Spider-Man: In the graphic novel Hooky, Mandy tells Spidey that she doesn't truly believe it's possible for him to save her from the lethal curse that has sent the demonic assassin after her. The reason she wants him to come along is that she simply wants someone to know it happened because otherwise, no-one would know she had died fighting it - or cared. Fortunately, it is possible to defeat it; to make a long story short, she misinterpreted the prophecy that made her believe its purpose.
  • Superman:
    • In Supergirl (2011) #23, Cyborg Superman is stealing Supergirl's flesh. As she (temporarily) dies, Kara cries she doesn't want to die alone.
      Supergirl: Please, I don't want to die. Not like this. I don't want to die alone.
    • In The Leper from Krypton, Superman is dying from an incurable disease that will kill him within hours, so he builds a one-passenger rocket and heads towards a faraway star to be cremated. Supergirl (carrying her cousin's past and present sweethearts Lois, Lana, and Lori in a survival pod) and a funeral cortege trail behind him, but they turn around when he is approaching the star Flammbron so he can face his end alone.
    • Subverted in The Jungle Line. Superman has been infected with a rare fatal disease, and he cannot find any cure. But he does not want his family and friends to see him pass away, so he decides to go to some remote uninhabited place where he can die alone.
  • X-Men: The fate of Mr. Sinister in Age of Apocalypse, giving the character a rare tear-jerking moment. Despite having kicked the dog a LOT both in the AoA continuity and the normal Marvel comics, his final moments have him realising that there's no one left to even mourn him.

    Comic Strips 
  • The infamous Garfield Halloween special deals with this.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: In chapter 2 Asuka gets trapped inside Leliel -whose body is a whole alternate dimension of blank nothingness- and she thinks she is going to die alone. The thought terrifies her.
  • Kristoph taunts Apollo with this in Dirty Sympathy, since Apollo has no friends nor family that would miss him.
  • At the Final Battle of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Thousand Year Door: Redux, when Iris is finally defeated for good, she tells the heroes right before she dies that before she became the Shadow Queen, so long ago, she was so far into a Despair Event Horizon that she had given up all hope that she would be rescued, that she would survive, or even that anyone would care. She only had one hope left, and one desire: She didn't want to die without anyone knowing she had lived, or that she had even been born. She didn't care if anyone comforted her or pitied her, she just wanted someone to know. The ironic part was, this one thing that was never included or even offered in the bargain she made with Graz'zt that made her the Shadow Queen, but ironically, as she tells them this, it seems she got her wish after all.
  • Ryuuko in the fic Everything Could Have Been Different, when most of the life fibers in her body have died off.
  • Subverted in the third of the Gensokyo 20XX series, as she doesn't actually die but, when she leaves without telling anyone, the others assume Yukari left to starve and subsequently die alone.
  • In Belated Battleships, this is one of the things that demonstrates shipgirl Blue-and-Orange Morality compared to normal humans. Shipgirls take pride in sinking alone because it means that the crew all got off and they are not dragging anyone else to the grave with them.
  • Due to the "Groundhog Day" Loop that Twilight Sparkle finds herself in Hard Reset, Twilight had multiple experiences with death throughout her loops trying to stop the Changeling Invasion, and in one of her loops, she shares with Celestia what exactly death feels like:
    Twilight Sparkle: I've died so many times and every one has been awful. Even when I believe in what I'm doing, the last moment before I slip away is always the same. I'm always alone, Princess. No matter what I do, or why I do it, or where I am in that last moment before I slip away I always feel completely alone. More alone than I've ever been. All my friends died alone.
  • Towards the end of The Rugrats Theory, Angelica dies from an overdose. No-one is there to comfort her in her final moments of life.
  • In Woolgathering, it is revealed that death itself doesn't bother Acutus so much as the idea of dying alone and friendless, without anyone on hand to comfort or support her as her life force fades. Ellen uses this fact as part of her case for trying to set Acutus on the right path before that fear is realized.
  • Simon Laurent in Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail dies alone, just like in the show. However, this time, he dies after turning into Destruction, and is pulled into Toluca Lake, screaming that he is the true Apex, drowning with the only person to have ever cared helpless and numb in shock at what she caused. Fittingly, Chloe even tells him that this is his fate just seconds before he killed her.
    • In the sequel, Infinity Train: Voyage of Wisteria: Grace Monroe ends up stabbed in the stomach by Ogami with no Apex to comfort her — as she disbanded them at the end of the Fog Car in the previous story — and only lamenting that she just wanted to be noticed (as in, let her parents love her)
  • What It Takes: Quentin, one year after the events of the story. By the time it happened, he had already alienated all his friends and loved ones for his previous choices, so it's hardly surprising. It's reinforced with his Lonely Funeral, as of his family, only Sara is confirmed to have attended.

    Films — Animation 
  • There is one scene in The Brave Little Toaster when the poor little flower realizes that it was loving its own reflection on Toaster after he runs away, and as he peeks into the bushes, he notices that the flower is losing its petals as it dies emotionally alone and brokenhearted.
  • Grave of the Fireflies: the WWII era film starts with protagonist Seita's death as he dies ignored by everyone around him in a train station of malnutrition, a sight in Japan that by the end of 1945 had become so commonplace that commuters barely even notice anymore. His ghost then recollects the months leading up to his death and the film is a posthumous How We Got Here story.
  • In Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, Pete leaves Mickey to this fate, rubbing it in that he's alone. This being Disney, everything works out.
  • Wish Dragon: Long eventually reveals that he used to be a human, a mighty king of China. But he was so cruel, selfish, and greedy that, upon his death, no one mourned him, leaving him to die alone. While he thought at the time that everyone had abandoned him out of cruelty, it was only after being a wish dragon for several centuries that he finally realized that he was responsible for driving his family and subjects away.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • J. Paul Getty dies alone in All the Money in the World, clinging to a painting of the Madonna and Child.
  • In Blood Diamond, Leonardo DiCaprio's character receives a severe bullet wound while escaping mercenaries in Sierra Leone, and tells the two people with him to move on and leave him there. He calls his love interest with a satellite phone and tells her "I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be". The line about him being where he was supposed to be wasn't about dying alone, but rather solidifying his love for Africa, despite what he went through in the movie.
  • What drives Bridget Jones to get out of her funk and do something is her fear that she will die alone and her corpse will be eaten by wild Alsatians.
  • Charles Foster Kane at the beginning of Citizen Kane.
  • The power-hungry, usurping villainess of Death Valley, who arranged for her own father's assasination after being denied leadership of her clan and systematically had everyone in her family massacred, including trying to have her righteous brother killed after said brother spared her life despite knowing her to be an absolute evil scumbag, ends up getting poisoned while trying to flee with her family's wealth. Her brother would then find her... dead in the middle of a valley, succumbing offscreen from the poison. Talk about Karmic Death...
  • Donnie Darko has a minor freakout over Grandma Death telling him that everybody dies alone. Both do, as does Sinister Minister Jim Cunningham (Cunningham's & Grandma Death's deaths were explained in the film's website). Gretchen & Frank each die with plenty of people around, but then Donnie prevents those events from happening, so they're both alive at the end anyway.
    • Donnie himself dies alone, it is arguably one of the major themes of the movie.
  • The ultimate fate of William Afton in Five Nights at Freddy's (2023). Abby manages to reveal to the ghost children (the ones possessing the animatronics) that Afton was the one who killed them and put their bodies into the animatronics. They turn on him, and activate the springlocks in Afton's yellow rabbit suit, then locking him in the pizzeria's kitchen where he slowly dies from his injuries.
  • Michael Corleone by the end of The Godfather Part III, in contrast to his father, who died while playing with his grandson in his own tomato garden.
  • Godzilla at the end of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah.
  • In Once Upon a Time in the West Cheyenne made an effort to return to Jill even asking her if he shouldn't stay, before leaving with Harmonica and collapsing just out of sight of everybody from a bullet he had caught a few hours ago because he didn't want her to know.
  • This is the fate of Doyle in Only the Lonely. In addition, only three people show up at his funeral. When Danny (played by John Candy) asks if they should wait for other mourners, he's told by Nick (played by Anthony Quinn) that there isn't anybody else.
  • In Saw VI, William must decide between killing a young, healthy man with no family or friends but a hard worker in his insurance firm, or his older, faltering secretary who has a husband, children and tons of friends. He decides to kill the young man after much agonizing because his loss wouldn't be felt as much as the secretary, and despite the secretary and William near him as he's killed he gets angry at them both for deciding he is worth less than them and stays emotionally cut off until the rather nasty end.
  • Tony Montana by the end of Scarface (1983).
  • In Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Kirk says that he's always known that he'll die alone (not just alone physically but "alone" as in forgotten by history). Star Trek: Generations gives him the chance to avoid the trope. Not only does he live long enough to "make a difference" in one last heroic mission, but he dies in the company of Captain Picard, who pays him Due to the Dead by burying him nearby and then holding vigil.
    • Although considering he was with Spock and McCoy when he said it, it's possible he meant dying without either of them there.
  • Doc Holliday dies alone in Tombstone, only because he told Wyatt Earp to leave the room.
    Doc Holliday: What did you ever want?
    Wyatt Earp: Just to live a normal life.
    Doc Holliday: There's no normal life, Wyatt, it's just life. Get on with it.
    Wyatt Earp: Don't know how.
    Doc Holliday: Sure you do. Say goodbye to me. Go grab that spirited actress and make her your own. Take that beauty from it, don't look back. Live every second. Live right on to the end. Live, Wyatt. Live for me. Wyatt, if you were ever my friend - if ya ever had even the slightest of feelin' for me, leave now. Leave now... Please.
    Wyatt Earp: ...Thanks for always being there, Doc. (Gets up and leaves)
  • In X2: X-Men United, Jason Stryker's left behind as Dark Cerebro collapses around him.
  • Luke Skywalker himself in Star Wars: The Last Jedi. As he exiled himself to a different planet, he managed to astrally project himself all the way to Crait to make amends with Leia and face down his nephew Kylo Ren. The strain of it all, combined with his age, led to him becoming one with the Force once the projection ended.

  • Defied in Ai no Kusabi. Iason has fallen victim to a trap: as a result, he has lost his legs, is helplessly trapped in an exploding building, and now calmly waits for his end. Then his lover Riki comes to join him so he doesn't die alone. After One Last Smoke that doubles as an indirect Last Kiss, Iason and Riki go down together.
  • This trope is the reason, in the poem, "All my friends are dead.", as to why the elderly subject attends a family gathering (something she would avoid otherwise), as with all her friends dead and being at (or close to) the end of her life, she wants to avoid this trope by attending said gathering.
  • Artemis Fowl: In The Lost Colony, Captain Holly Short dies alone, but is only dead briefly (hey, the author is the first person to point out — through Artemis — that time-related words are flexible in a time field). Soon though, Artemis finds a way to use the chaotic nature of the time distortion around them to fix it.
  • BattleTech Expanded Universe: Given how often death comes in a setting where men and women pilot giant war machines, often in single combat, it is no surprise that this happens to many characters; for instance, it seems all too appropriate that this is the fate of selfish schemers like Pavel Ridzik and Aldo Lestrade in during the Warrior trilogy. However, this is also done in a heart-wrenching fashion during The Dying Time to Lori Carlyle and The Hunters to Morgan Hasek-Davion.
  • In Charlotte's Web, Charlotte is too weak, after making her egg sac, to make the trip from the Fair back to the farm. Wilbur takes her eggs back with him, helping to raise her children the next spring. (However, this is averted in the 1973 film version, when Wilbur stays long enough to watch her pass away and cries as the humans come to take him home.)
    Next day, as the Ferris wheel was taken apart and the race horses were being loaded into vans and the entertainers were packing up their belongings and driving away in their trailers, Charlotte died. The Fair Grounds were soon deserted. The sheds and buildings were empty and forlorn. The infield was littered with bottles and trash. Nobody, of all the hundreds of people that had visited the fair, knew that a grey spider had played the most important part of all. No one was with her when she died.
  • In A Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows Scrooge that his miserly life will lead him to die alone and unmourned. To add insult to injury, his household staff steal and sell his possessions before his body has time to cool. This moves him to defy this trope and mend his ways.
  • In Dark Shores, Teriana comforts dying legionnaires in the medics' tent. She thinks nothing of it, but their commander Marcus explains to her that it was really important for them not to be dying alone, on the other side of the world.
  • Dragonlance: A mark of Raistlin's cruelty in The Test of the Twins is his threat to leave Crysania to die alone in the Abyss and actually going through with it.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Dead Beat, Harry has been death cursed by Cassius to suffer this. Then his father assures him that while death must be suffered alone, there is no need for him to be alone before, or after.
    • In Turn Coat, Harry is with the dying Morgan and assures Luccio that he was there.
    • In Changes, Harry dies alone — mostly.
  • Following an argument with his brother, Robert in The Emigrants novels walks out into the woods and lies down by a stream, sick with yellow fever. He dies before anyone can find him.
  • Forest Kingdom: In the Hawk & Fisher spinoff series' book 3 (The God Killer), the sorcerer Tomb regularly sneaks away from his work to provide company to a dying deity, Le Bel Inconnu, whose church became extinct many generations ago. He claims that even a god shouldn't be left to die alone. When Tomb is mortally wounded, the ephemeral god expends the last of its dwindling energy to join him, allowing both of them to avert this trope.
  • A major theme of Forward the Foundation, which chronicles the second half of Hari Seldon's life, leading up to his creation of the Plan, is the loss of everyone close to him. His wife, Dors Venabili is targeted by an anti-robot weapon and killed. His foster-son Raych dies during a riot on another planet. His daughter-in-law and grandson take a spaceship to a supposed safe haven, but it just vanishes without a trace. By the end, the only person Hari has left in his life is his granddaughter Wanda, but they are also separated as she and the other founding members of the Second Foundation are required by the Plan to go into seclusion, and thus he never sees her again before his death. However, while he may die alone, Hari also dies content in the knowledge that the future is safeguarded.
  • The protagonist of ghostgirl, Charlotte, was alone in a classroom when she died. She was choking on a gummy bear when the door was shut in her face. This caused the gummy bear to lodge itself even deeper into her throat. No one noticed her still in the classroom besides her crush, who thought she was waving at him.
  • This trope is discussed in Neil Gaiman's short piece "The Goldfish Pool and Other Stories," which is a Take That! against Hollywood and its transient, shallow nature. The narrator is staying in a hotel, and more specifically the same bungalow where John Belushi died, and everyone he meets offers a different version of the night, naming various celebrities who were present in the room. At the story's end, the ancient custodian of the hotel — who is probably the only person who remembers the truth — tells the narrator that everyone has it wrong: Belushi died completely alone, with no one to help him.
  • In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, this ends up the case for Marvolo Gaunt. When he returned from Azkaban, his son was still imprisoned there and his daughter had already run away from him to elope with a man she loved, leaving him spending the rest of his life in the filthy little shack that is the Gaunt residence, alone and without anyone to care for him. According to Dumbledore, Marvolo did not live to see the return of his son.
  • Defied in The Hunger Games when Katniss stays with Rue and sings her a song for her Last Request. Played straight with Foxface.
  • Referenced by Eragon and Glaedr in the second Inheritance Cycle book, Eldest. While tutoring Eragon in the ways of dragons and riders, Glaedr warns him against taking his partner's soul into his body, "as this will result in both your deaths." Eragon comments "How terrible, to die alone, separate from the one who is closest to you." To this, Glaedr responds "Everyone dies alone, Eragon. Whether you are a king on a battlefield or a lowly peasant lying in bed among your family, no one can accompany you into the void..."
  • Weaponized in John Dies at the End. Occasionally, Dave, the narrator of the story, will go on nihilistic, cynical rants about how the true horror of living on Earth is dying alone, and dying slow, with no one to help you — either because they don't know you're dying, don't care, or don't know you existed in the first place, and dying can happen to anyone at any time — just as simple as taking the wrong turn in your car. It turns out this is a worldview utilized by The Shadow Men, nihilistic multidimensional conquerors who spread misery and hate to add to their ranks.
  • From "The Lay of the Last Minstrel" by Sir Walter Scott, the fate of "The wretch, concentred all in self":
    Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
    And doubly dying, shall go down
    To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
    Unwept, unhonoured and unsung.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's The Long Watch, Interplanetary Patrol Lieutenant John Dahlquist, after a superior attempts to recruit him into a coup attempt, instead makes a Heroic Sacrifice by barricading himself in the nuclear armory and manually disabling all the nuclear weapons, taking a fatal dose of radiation in the process. He dies alone, sitting by the door he barricaded. Radiation levels are so high that robots have to be used to recover his body for a hero's funeral.
    He was not alone; there were comrades with him—the boy with his finger in the dike, Colonel Bowie, too ill to move but insisting that he be carried across the line, the dying Captain of the Chesapeake still with deathless challenge on his lips, Rodger Young peering into the gloom.
  • In Mystic River, Jimmy Marcus explains that he killed Ray Harris, not as revenge for Ray ratting him out to the cops but because it meant that Jimmy was in prison while his wife died alone.
    What killed me about it was that she had to go through it completely alone. I know what you're thinking, we all die alone. True. That last stage when you've slipped away, yeah, you're alone. But my wife had skin cancer. She spent six months dying slow. And I could have been there for that. I could have helped her with that. Not the death part, but the dying.
  • In Never Wipe Tears Without Gloves, Reine is one of the first people in Sweden to die of AIDS. He doesn't tell his family that he's sick nor does he tell most of his friends. The one friend he does tell rarely visits him as he lays dying, on Reine's own request. He's too ashamed of having the disease to want people around to see him in that state.
  • In One for the Morning Glory, the Duke remembers kneeling beside men he had just mortally wounded and holding their hands and assuring them in their last moments.
  • In The Pale King, Frederick Blumquist dies of a heart attack at his desk at an IRS office. He passes away on Tuesday, but no one noticed until Saturday evening when a janitor finds him sitting in the dark. It took over four days for any of 25 other employees in the room to realize that they were working with a corpse. Since he was a quiet person and died in his typical sitting position, everyone just assumed he was really absorbed in his work. His personality doesn't change when he comes back as a ghost.
  • Inverted in Perfume, where Madame Gaillard, who runs a boarding house, collects money so she could die alone in her own home, instead of a public hospital. However, she doesn't die soon enough, in the French Revolution her money becomes worthless, and she dies in the way she was trying to avoid in her whole life.
  • In Rainwater, averting this is the reason Mr. Rainwater chooses to spend his final months in a boarding house instead of in his own home.
  • This is possibly the fate of Chirin in Ringing Bell. He trains under Woe the wolf just so he could avenge the murder of his mother, and he does so by ambushing him. He feels guilty and things get even worse when he fails to find sanctuary within another flock of sheep, because the other sheep believe him to be neither sheep nor wolf and believing that no monster like this should live with them. Alone and full of despair, Chirin returns to the mountains and calls out for the wolf's spirit in the harsh winter storm. It's hinted that he had died alone, but many sheep have said to have heard the sound of a ringing bell every winter. Some versions of the story state that Chirin's tale has now been reduced to a nightmarish legend, an evil creature who kills baby lambs for crying.
  • In Scénes de la vie de bohéme, the source for the opera La Bohème, Rodolphe and his friends are mistakenly informed that the consumptive, hospitalized Mimi has died well before it actually happens, with the result that she dies alone in the hospital, never knowing why her lover has stopped visiting her. Puccini's opera softens this ending, though, letting her die happy with her lover and friends all around her.
  • In the Shandril's Saga novel Spellfire, Elminster says "If it falls within thy power, let no creature die alone."
  • The Shepherd's Crown: As with all witches, the Living Legend Granny Weatherwax knows when she wakes up on her last day alive. She spends it alone, getting her cottage ready for her successor and even making her own coffin. Downplayed since nobody truly dies alone on the Disc; when The Grim Reaper appears to escort her spirit away, she greets him as an old friend.
  • In Charles Logan's 1975 science-fiction novel Shipwreck, there is only one character, Isidore Tansis. Well, only one human character at least: there is a nearly-intelligent computer without consciousness, and also alien creatures of unknown intelligence. Tansis is the sole survivor of a spaceship nuclear power disaster (a few fellow survivors are mentioned briefly as having died of radiation sickness before the novel starts). He manages to escape in a scout craft and land on a nearby planet, where he has to figure out his own survival for years to come, as there is no hope of anyone coming to rescue him (no other ships are within many light-years, and the story is set in a universe with no faster-than-light travel). This is very difficult, as the planet is not quite hostile to human life, but rather inhospitable, and the struggle to survive gets harder and harder over some years, and his health eventually starts to fail. It is hardly a spoiler that, at the end, Tansis dies, since it is the inevitable outcome of the situation right from page 1; but what is not quite so clear is whether he is, in fact, dying alone when in the company of several seal-like sea creatures with whom he cannot communicate, because they speak only by dilating their eye pupils in complex patterns, but with whom he somehow feels a mystical union.
  • The Stand has a few:
    • There's a chapter dedicated to the deaths of people who are all alone because of the plague. Some are very depressing.
    • After betraying the Free Zone Committee and murdering Nick Andros and Sue Stern, Harold escapes with Nadine only to hit an oilslick and crash. Once he gets back to his bike, he writes a letter of apology to the Free Zone and then puts his gun in his mouth.
  • In Star Trek: Mirror Universe: The Sorrows of Empire, Mirror Spock and his wife, Marlena, have a conversation in which he promises her that they'll be together when they die, but notes that in the end, everyone is alone when they die.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • A villain in the X-Wing Series, Kirtan Loor, observes as he is dying that his most hated rival Corran Horn was right — there is nothing worse than dying alone.
      • The series is one in which Anyone Can Die, and anytime one of the good guys die - well, any time when they can see it coming, which isn't always possible in a dogfight - his or her wingmates are there, desperately trying to prevent it, and it's always seen as tragic and heroic. Kell's effort to save Jesmin Ackbar earn him one of the highest awards in the New Republic, the Kalidor Crescent, which he sees as a Medal of Dishonor because, well, he failed. When Phanan is shot down over a planet in enemy territory and Face follows and refuses to leave his dying friend, abandoning the others despite leading a mission at the time, it's not seen as Honor Before Reason. And Word of God holds that Phanan died in part because he felt that cybernetics ate his future, and he had no one.
    • In Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, the Big Bad has enslaved some bizarrely inhuman aliens and used their bodies to enslave and make puppets out of his Mook soldiers, lacing their brains so their minds are destroyed and they just try to berserker kill everything, screaming. Freeing the inhuman aliens triggers the deadman interlocks, killing the mooks. By going into the Big Bad's mind Luke can and does free all of the aliens — and he feels all of the mooks in the Force. None of them had signed up for this, had gone along with it, had even cooperated — it had been done to them with callous disregard, and so Luke stays with all of them, thousands, to feel them die, so they won't be alone — because it's all he can do for them.
    • Rebel Force has Ferus Olin left mortally wounded by Darth Vader. Leia comes across him and holds his hand as he dies — and he has a vision of a long-dead friend and partner coming to him, and it's not until Ferus sees Roan and feels him holding his hand that he is ready to go.
  • In A Tale of Two Cities, Sydney Carton talks with a seamstress on the tumbrel ride to the guillotine, confides the truth, and encourages her in facing death. He succeeds.
    Seamstress: I mind nothing while I hold your hand. I shall mind nothing when I let it go if they are rapid.
    Sydney: They will be rapid. Fear not!
  • Sasha from The Tenets of Futilism is terrified of this fate. So terrified that, upon noticing a predator drone headed towards her, she ties up her two adopted 'children' next to her so they would all die together when the bombs come. The children's pleas were disregarded.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: In Memory, Miles tells Elli Quinn that Taura will die soon and asks her to get him the news so that he can be with her.
  • Warhammer 40,000 Expanded Universe:
    • In the Blood Angels novel Deus Encarmine, Rafen hurries to the dying Koris on hearing he is asking for him. When Turcio pulls back — many Blood Angels fear that the Black Rage is contagious — Rafen is disgusted. Ironically enough, Koris had originally rejected Rafen for his failures at teamwork, and accepted him after Rafen had expressed his lesson as "He who fights alone dies alone, but those who battle as brothers will live forever" — but in the course of the duology, Rafen finds himself fighting and nearly dying alone and isolated.
    • In the Gaunt's Ghosts novel Blood Pact, Gaunt muses on why Ayatani Zweil is their chaplain; a big reason is his care for the dying and the dead.
    • Horus Heresy:
      • In False Gods, when the Chaos taint leaves the mortally wounded Temba, his tears convince Horus of his sincerity, and so Horus kneels by him and tries to comfort him (and cries himself after Temba's death).
      • In Galaxy in Flames, Tarvitz hunts for his battle brothers, the Emperor's Children, in battle — partly in hopes of getting the battle back together, but partly so that he will not die alone but with battle brothers, in defiance of Horus's treachery. It succeeds; he reflects when he gathers with the last handful, whether Emperor's Children, Luna Wolves, or World-Eaters, that he knew their names now, men who had just been grime-streaked faces were now his brothers.
      • In Fulgrim, Lucius walks away from the dying Captain Solomon Demeter, but in a complete inversion, Solomon is glad of it, finding it "peace", because he had betrayed them and tricked Solomon into killing men on his own side. On the other hand, the sun is setting, and he feels as if the world marked his passing.
    • In the Night Lords novel Void Stalker, Talos Valcoran allows his brother Cyrion to die in his arms after Cyrion is fatally wounded and blinded by Jain Zar, and upholds Cyrion's final wish to not have his gene-seed harvested so that he can rest from the Eternal War.
    • In the Space Wolf novel Wolf's Honour, Ragnar stays by the dying Haegr, holding his hand.
    • Ultramarines:
      • In Dead Sky Black Sun, the grieving Leonid laments that after he suffered so much, Ellard died alone; Uriel offers what consolation there was with Leonid's having been with him. Later, when Leonid realizes the woman the daemon freed is a member of his own regiment, he observes that may have happened so that he can die with his friends. Uriel looks at his fellow Space Marine and agrees that it is best not to die alone. When she shows some self-awareness and approval, it gives him the strength to make a Heroic Sacrifice.
      • In The Killing Ground, Uriel kneels by the gravely wounded Lord of the Unfleshed and comforts him before shooting him.
  • In Watership Down, this is subverted, as rabbits will usually slip away from the others before dying, so they can die alone. Presumably this is so their decomposing body won't cause disease inside the warren.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the final episode of Breaking Bad, Walt manages to ensure the last of his money goes to his estranged family, pays a final visit to his wife to make amends, and takes deadly revenge against those who wronged him, while saving his former partner at the cost of his own life. After Jesse denies him the Mercy Kill he requested and leaves, he ends up dying this way: bleeding out in the middle of a meth lab while waiting for the police to come.
  • In Better Call Saul Jimmy's brother Chuck commits an unforgivable offense against him. Chuck claims he did it for Jimmy's own good. Jimmy's cold response is that Chuck, who is mentally ill and only has his brother to look after him, is eventually going to be overwhelmed by his illness and die alone. His prediction is proven correct at the end of the season, when Chuck commits suicide by setting his house on fire.
  • Cally's first words in Blake's 7 are the curse, "May you die alone, and silent." She's an alien telepath who is the Sole Survivor on a planet whose resistance force was wiped out by biological weapons. For a telepath, loneliness is a Fate Worse than Death and Cally intends to commit Suicide by Cop so she'll at least have some "companions for her death". She becomes one of the Seven instead but suffers from constant loneliness as none of them are telepaths like her.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Slayers have this as a recurring death. Later seasons reveal that The Slayer always slowly drifts away from everyone else, who'll either abandon or die before her, leaving them alone to be killed. The First Slayer is a firm believer that this is how it should be.
  • On The Deuce Mike is dying of AIDS and chooses to spend his remaining days outside the city in a cabin in the woods. He is regularly visited by his friend Vince but he declines Vince's offer to stay with him in the cabin as a caregiver. One day Vince comes down to visit and finds that Mike died a few days earlier. It is implied that Mike prefered dying alone.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Earthshock": Adric. On a crashing spaceship. Thinking he just failed to save the world, when in reality, the crashing spaceship killed the dinosaurs and paved the path to human evolution. That is all.
    • The Seventh Doctor met his end with no familiar faces at his side. As did his successor, the Eighth.
    • The Dalek in "Dalek" uses this as a ploy to gain Rose's sympathy: "My race is dead. I shall die alone."
    • Pretty much the basis of the episode "Father's Day". Also a Tear Jerker.
    • Ida Scott in "The Satan Pit" begs the Doctor to come back up even though that would just mean both of them running out of oxygen, because "I don't want to die on my own." He saves her in the nick of time.
    • In "The End of Time", although not a death in the traditional sense, this is what happens to the Tenth Doctor, after he absorbs lethal radiation and says a final goodbye to all his companions over the years without telling them of his fate, though some of them seem to guess it. He then returns to the TARDIS and regenerates with no one around but his oldest friend (who, being a ship, can't really talk to him).
    • In "The Time of the Doctor", the only reason Tasha Lem brings Clara back to Trenzalore is so the Doctor won't have to die alone. She ends up persuading the Time Lords to give him a new set of regenerations.
    • In "Heaven Sent", a "What Do They Fear?" Episode, the Doctor is completely alone, trapped in what turns out to be his own confession dial, facing the possibility of this at the hands of the voiceless monster The Veil. Because he is desperate to escape in a way that won't require him to give a final confession about the Hybrid teased all season — which the next episode ("Hell Bent") reveals is because he's hoping to find a way to save Clara Oswald, who was recently Killed Off for Real, and needs some kind of bargaining chip to do so — he figures out a way to escape "the long way round". It requires him to die alone billions of times over, each time reactivating the teleporter that brought him there and summoning a copy of his younger self to begin the ordeal of the dial again...
    • "The Doctor Falls" Shot several times by a Cyberman, then triggering an explosion that wipes out the entire landscape, lying alone in the resulting blasted desolation, staring up at the last thing he'll ever see — flames and then blackness — his last thoughts were "I thought there'd be stars..."
    • The Tenth and Twelfth Doctors both died with no one around except for their TARDIS. However, given that said TARDIS is his oldest, best, and most loyal friend and companion, it's really an aversion of this trope.
    • "Demons of the Punjab": The Thijarians have dedicated themselves to acting as witnesses to certain people's deaths in order to prevent this.

  • Farscape. In "The Flux", Aeryn Sun can choose to complete the repairs to her spacecraft which is trapped in a Negative Space Wedgie, or revive John Crichton. She chooses to do the latter, figuring that she's dead either way and would rather not experience a lingering, lonely death. They decide to go Out with a Bang instead, but someone turns up to rescue them.

  • In Firefly, when Serenity is crippled by an explosion, Mal evacuates the crew but stays onboard himself in the slim hope their distress signal is answered before he freezes. When told by Inara he doesn't have to stay behind and die alone, Mal (a war veteran and former infantry sergeant whose home was destroyed early in the same war—and his side lost) counters: "Everybody dies alone." This convinces her despite her Tsundere tendencies because she's Secretly Dying, which is why she doesn't pursue a relationship with him. A bit sadder in hindsight.
  • In "Guilt" from The Following, Ryan Hardy and his friend Tyson have a conversation about this in which Tyson says that nobody wants to die alone. Hardy replies that everyone dies alone and Tyson says that while this may be true, there's no reason to live that way.
  • The Full Monty (2023): Horse is in hospital and overhears staff discussing whether he is well enough to discharge to make room for incoming patients. Despite nobody discharging him, he struggles to dress and walk to a bus stop. The exertion is too much and he dies alone on the bus stop.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Pycelle in season 6. Qyburn (the one who has him killed) says he wished this could have happened in better circumstances. This happens to Lancel Lannister and Tommen Baratheon in the same episode. Lancel, paralyzed by a stab wound and alone in the tunnels beneath King's Landing, futilely tries to stop the wildfire from going off and is its first victim. Tommen, staring at the still burning ruins of the Great Sept, is alone when he takes off his crown and calmly steps through the open window. The "Inside the Episode" segment even notes that if Cersei had been present to console him over becoming a widower, rather than doing other things like torturing Septa Unella, he may not have taken his own life.
    • After Olly deals the fatal blow, Jon is ultimately left to die alone in the snow by the mutineers. He gets better.
    • Olenna Tyrell's ultimate fate. She dies alone sitting on a chamber shortly after ingesting poison given by Jaime Lannister. She doesn't mind since she managed to Face Death with Dignity by doing one last act of spite towards her enemies.
  • In Heroes, Hiro fulfills his promise to Sylar to tell him all he knows of the future — which is that Sylar will die alone. Which is true: it happened in season 1, the past from Hiro's standpoint, but the future from Sylar's at the time of the conversation.
  • In Kamen Rider Ryuki, a particularly cruel example occurs when Sano Mitsuru/Kamen Rider Imperer is trapped in the Mirror World and disintegrated in it even as he's desperately trying to beg for help from his girlfriend in the real world (who can't see him).
  • Lost
    • Jack tries to unite the survivors, who were starting to fight with each other, with a Rousing Speech that ends with the oft-quoten line: "If we can't live together, we're gonna die alone."
    • In the finale, Jack prepares to die alone, having saved all of his friends...and then Vincent the Labrador comes into the clearing and lies down beside him as he dies. One word: Jears.
  • On My Name Is Earl, Earl has to make up for accidentally kidnapping a man in a previous episode. Great, except it turns out he died in a Murphy's Bed mishap in his apartment. Earl decides to give him a decent funeral... which proves to be a challenge, since Earl did not know him, and this man apparently did not have any family or friends. At least not in Real Life; it turns out that all his friends are online.
  • In Person of Interest this theme occurs at several points. Notably, it is an underlying theme in the finale, as The Machine discusses how she was forced to watch millions of people die in order to fully understand human behavior. She points out that most of them die alone. Though she also points out something else: "Everyone dies alone. But if you meant something to someone, if you helped someone, or loved someone, if even a single person remembers you, then maybe you never really die. And maybe, this isn't the end at all." (The Machine, to herself; the last words of the series.)
  • The Punisher (2017); As Billy Russo is bleeding out, he places a phone call to Curtis asking him to come and be with him so he won't die alone. Curtis sends Frank Castle instead, who wordlessly puts a couple of bullets into Billy as he's trying to apologize for his evil deeds.
  • Robin Hood: Robin himself dies alone after bidding goodbye to his friends and wandering into Sherwood Forest by himself. He is apparently met by the spirit of Marian as he dies, but this could be a hallucination brought on by the poison in his system. A subversion considering Robin chooses to die alone, specifically telling the others "I have to do this alone."
  • Search: Min-gyu. After being fatally injured he walks away and tells Dong-jin not to follow. When he's alone he collapses, and dies soon after.
  • Smallville: This is the best way to describe Tess' death in the finale. She spends the entire episode completely cut off from all of her friends, almost dying at the hands of her own father before ultimately being killed by her half-brother Lex.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Kira Nery's father Kira Taban was shot by the Cardassians. Although she was by his side for most of it, she left with the rest of her resistance cell to kill those responsible. Her father died alone, calling out her name, she only missed it by a matter of hours. It haunted her for the rest of her life. The episode that reveals this, Ties Of Blood and Water, also has a Cardassian who became a surrogate father-figure to her dying. After learning of something he did during the Occupation she storms off, only to be convinced to return as "he doesn't deserve to die alone." She returns and stays with him until he dies, and then buries him next to her father.
  • At the end of Star Trek: Picard season 2, we find out that Q is dying and had essentially sent Picard, Seven of Nine and their companions on a whirlwind time-travel adventure designed so that Picard can overcome a childhood event that would make him suffer this fate. However, Q was ready to accept this himself before Picard is able to convince him that he won't die alone, making his peace with his former foe.
  • In Stargate SG-1 episode "Singularity", a young girl named Cassandra is implanted with an explosive device to be used as a living bomb against the Tau'ri. When this is discovered, she is sent to an abandoned nuclear disposal facility to explode there without causing damage to Stargate Command. Maj. Samantha Carter defies orders to leave her there and escape, instead choosing to stay with her and die with her. The bomb fails to detonate.
  • In the Supernatural episode Swan Song:
    Castiel: I just want you to understand... the only thing that you're gonna see out there is Michael killing your brother.
    Dean: Well, then I ain't gonna let him die alone.
  • Near the end of the Tales From The Dark Side episode "Miss May Dusa", the gorgon protagonist wanders back into the room where she spent years trapped in mannequin form and accidentally looks into a nearby mirror. She turns back into a mannequin, freeing the burglar that she turned into a mannequin at the beginning of the episode. At this point the blind man she recently started a relationship with enters the room searching for her. The burglar shoots him in a panic before fleeing. The blind man slumps to the ground in pain, begging May to hold his hand because he doesn't want to die alone. He dies professing his love for May while all she can do is stare silently and motionlessly at the scene.
  • Voyagers!: Robin Hood attempts to invoke this after being wounded during a fight with Prince John's men. He decided to crawl off by himself to die so his men wouldn't see their leader weakened.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger had a weird variation at the climax of the Chairman four-parter, where the villain arranges it so that in five minutes, Walker will have two choices: to chase him down, or stay and die with his wife. Naturally, Walker finds an alternative that involves delivering a beatdown ahead of schedule.
  • The old male Ornithocheirus from the fourth episode of Walking with Dinosaurs dies alone on a beach from a mix of exhaustion and starvation after using up all his energy in an unsuccessful attempt to attract a mate.

  • Embrace of the Endless Ocean by Amon Amarth is about an escaped dying alone at sea when a storm hits him. Directly invokes this trope with the lyric "Father, I die alone".
  • Alt-country music artist Rodney Crowell, in one of his mainstream hits "Many a Long and Lonesome Highway" from January 1990, uses the trope as metaphor when he muses about the distant relationship he had with his father:
    My father, on his death bed told me
    There's really nothin' left to hold me
    Though I was there, he died alone
  • Space Oddity by David Bowie is about an astronaut who has a loving wife and celebrity-like status back on Earth. He is floating away in "a tin can" all along the way he continues to talk to ground control, not realizing that the connection was lost probably right away after the launch. In this context, the very most unsettling line of the song is "This is Major Tom to ground control, I'm stepping through the door."
    • "Rocket Man" by Elton John is eerily similar.
  • "Deathbed" by Relient K:
    But this is my deathbed
    I lie here alone
    And if I close my eyes tonight
    I know I'll be home...
  • Related to the Real Life example, there's Space Robot Five by Brave Saint Saturn
    So very alone
    So far from home
    He has no home
    He is... alone
  • In "Adam's Song" by blink-182, the lyrics twice mention the words, "I never thought I'd die alone."
  • Paul McCartney may be better known for his more upbeat tunes—"Silly Love Songs," "Got to Get You into My Life"—but let this track from The Beatles' album Revolver remind us that he was capable of some truly dark imagery (made all the more disturbing by a frantic string octet backing his vocals):
    Eleanor Rigby died in the church
    And was buried along with her name
    Nobody came
    Father McKenzie, wiping the dirt from his hands
    As he walked from her grave
    No one was saved
    All the lonely people, where do they all come from?
    All the lonely people, where do they all belong?
  • "Afterlife" by Front Line Assembly seems to be about the last moments of a soldier dying on the battlefield. "No longing moments, no one goodbyes, what are we fighting for?", etc.
  • "Cubicles" by My Chemical Romance contains the line, "I think I'll love to die alone."
  • "The Hell of It" by Paul Williams:
    Love yourself as you love no other
    Be no man's fool and be no man's brother
    We're all born to die alone y'know
    That's the Hell of it
  • From "Dogs", which takes up nearly all of Side A of Pink Floyd's Animals:
    And in the end, you'll pack up
    Fly down south
    Hide your head in the sand
    Just another sad old man
    All alone and dying of cancer
    ...And it's too late to lose the weight you used to need to throw around
    So have a good drown as you go down all alone
    Dragged down by the stone
  • "Videotape" by Radiohead, although the narrator is strangely okay with it:
    This is my way of saying goodbye
    'Cause I can't do it face to face
    No matter what happens now
    You shouldn't be afraid
    Because I know today has been the most perfect day I've ever seen
  • "W" by Van der Graaf Generator:
    You wake up, look to your left
    And see no reassuring head
    You stay in bed all day
    At six o' clock, you realize you're dead.
  • The song Jesus Christ by Brand New references this a few times
    And I will die all alone
  • Five Finger Deathpunch's "Remember Everything" music video ends this way.
  • Metallica uses examples of this. From "Disposable Heroes" you get:
    Left to die with only friend
    Alone I clench my gun
  • A favourite lyrical theme of Finnish gothic metal band Sentenced.
    And the wind blows through my heart
    Shivers me one last time
    As I now reach out in the dark
    No one there
  • In the Dropkick Murphys song "Loyal to No One", the song's subject tells anyone who will listen "we all die alone". In turn, he dies alone, the song saying "in this case you were right/No friends by your side, or family in sight", as his callous use of others for his own gain and refusal to ever give anything back has alienated any friends and family he ever had.
  • In "My Life Before My Eyes" by the band Famous Last Words, the dying subject of the song wishes his family were by his side so he wouldn't die alone. Especially heartbreaking since it's implied he outlived his children. In the end, however, he does die alone.
    As the last beat of my old heart subsides
    The doctors call the time, it looks like I've died alone.
  • “Last Wave” by They Might Be Giants is all about this trope:
    We die alone, we die afraid
    We live in terror, we’re naked and alone
    And the grave is the loneliest place
  • Opeth: The Ghost Reveries song "Isolation Years" has Rosemary outright state she would die alone in her letter. The narrator notices the pen slipped to the side by her lover's name, implying she died just as she finished writing the letter. It's unclear how the narrator got hold of the letter, but he is moved by it nonetheless.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • The Four Gospels: This is what happened to Jesus at his death. Not only is he betrayed by one of his disciples, but the others — who truly respect him — are unable to be with him as he enters his final hours. As he is praying in preparation for his eventual fate, the three disciples who he takes to wait with him fall asleep. Peter, one of his closest followers, denies he even knew Jesus in order to save his own skin. The whole atmosphere of alienation is a contrast to the traditional pictures of a triumphant Messiah entering into glory. The worst of it? This abandonment by those nearest to him was a necessary part of his unglamorous death. No wonder even Jesus was apprehensive of what his end would entail.
    • Book of Exodus: Moses dies alone as well. "Then Moses climbed Mount Nebo from the plains of Moab to the top of Pisgah, across from Jericho. There the Lord showed him the whole land...And Moses the servant of the Lord died there in Moab, as the Lord had said. He buried him[a] in Moab, in the valley opposite Beth Peor, but to this day no one knows where his grave is." (Deut 34:1-6)

  • In Dino Attack RPG, as punishment for all that he had done, Rex's intended fate for Dr. Rex was to rob him of the dignity of dying with others around him. As Dr. Rex lay on the ground dying, Rex told everyone gathered to leave him to die alone. Unfortunately, Baron Typhonus just had to step in with his Divine Intervention and prevent this from coming to fruition.

  • The song "Mama, Look Sharp" in 1776. It's sung from the point-of-view of a young militiaman, mortally wounded at Lexington and Concord, as he calls for his mother to find him before he dies. She doesn't find him until after he's gone.
  • Even though he was likely surrounded by his men when he died, John Laurens' death in Hamilton evokes this trope by having it be a Dark Reprise of the Friendship Song "The Story of Tonight" sung by Laurens, who is standing just to the right of the Hamiltons, looking on mournfully.
  • In The Ladies of the Corridor by Dorothy Parker and Armand d'Usseau, one Posthumous Character, a retired Shakespearean actress by the name of Viola Hasbrook who tended to shut herself in her hotel suite for long periods, was eventually discovered dead there when the "do not disturb" sign on her door was up so long the staff got worried.
  • Timon of Timon of Athens starts the play surrounded by friends and servants. Over the course of the play, he casts off all his friends (to be fair, they started it) and becomes a hermit. He ends up not only dying alone but composing his own epitaph. Ouch.
  • Discussed in Wicked. In the beginning, the Ozians sing "Goodness knows, the wicked die alone!" Elphaba isn't dead though, she's just gone from Oz. (And she wasn't actually alone either; she met with Glinda just before "dying" and left Oz with Fiyero.)

    Video Games 
  • The Mass Effect series features at least one example per game.
  • The entire point of Fragile Dreams: Farewell Ruins of the Moon is for the main character, Seto, to avert this trope and find someone else just to talk to. He prevents several characters from falling to this fate like P.F, Crow and Chiyo and then finds the mysterious girl, Ren, thus averting this trope... until older, and possibly dead Seto mentions that something happened after many summers together and she's not there anymore, leaving him to die alone.
  • It is all but spelled out in the ending sequence of Final Fantasy VI —as Kefka's Tower collapses from Magic vanishing from the world, Shadow silently breaks off from the party to hide in a secluded niche, and face Death both as penance as well as defiance. He even sends Interceptor away to spare him this fate.
    • It's less obvious but implied that this is what happens to Shadow if you don't wait for him at the end of the floating continent panic sequence - and it's also implied that this happens to anyone you don't retrieve in the World of Ruin: all you get for their part of the ending is their portrait floating above their last known location. With a couple of exceptions: Terra, who shows up regardless; and Sabin, who's mentioned in the scene he would normally share with Edgar - although he would likely survive regardless.
  • In Kingdom Hearts II, this is what Roxas implies will happen to him when he talks with Axel as he's leaving Organization XIII. When Axel tries to convince him not to leave, telling him the Organization will kill him, Roxas says indifferently that "no one would miss me". And in a way, he did sort of end up dying alone. Or, at least, having the majority of his personality go dormant inside of Sora, with no one being there with him at the time when he returned to Sora's body.
  • In Tales of the Abyss, that happens to Asch. Probably. The fandom is still mulling it over.
  • Somewhat subverted in Mother 3, where Porky traps himself in the Absolutely Safe Chamber in a self-induced version of And I Must Scream. However, Dr. Andronuts states that because he was at heart a lonely child who lived his life on the fact that everyone hates him, dying alone is perhaps the closest thing he can ever get to being happy at this point.
  • Warcraft III:
    • It was thought that Maiev the Warden had died on Outland some point during or after The Frozen Throne. A text from god-knows-where says that she died "alone on the red sand, unmourned, unsung, with none to remember her fall, her soul empty of all but rage". It was later retconned when she was brought back for the Burning Crusade expansion of World of Warcraft. And after defeating Illidan with the help of the players, she admits that she is empty now, and as she's never seen again, is possibly subject to this trope. Maiev reappears in the novel Wolfheart, which takes place back on Azeroth, and has become something of a police sergeant for Darnassus until it's revealed she had gone mad without Illidan to chase, and was murdering the Highborne herself. Jarod hesitated and she escaped.
    • Lilian Voss specifically requests this after she's possessed by Darkmaster Gandling and the players are forced to kill her. But she survives, as she returns in Warlords of Draenor should you build an Inn in your garrison - apparently, she's looking for a weapon that can kill Necromancers with great efficiency.
  • Kratos' ultimate fate in God of War III. Until he came back in God of War (PS4).
  • In Final Fantasy IX, Zidane goes back into the Iifa Tree to prevent Kuja from suffering this fate, defying the trope.
  • In Halo: Reach, Noble Six, ironically enough, dies alone in an epic Last Stand, seemingly the only human (or even non-Covenant animal) still alive on his continent of the titular planet, Reach. Especially tragic, as Six had historically been a Lone Wolf, but recently became assigned to Noble Team, gaining some True Companions in the process. Throughout the game, Six watches every member of his team die (except Jun), one by one, and three of the occasions were Heroic Sacrifices either directly or indirectly done to save Six's life. Still, given that he died amidst the fresh corpses of a bunch of Elites, it's perhaps slightly less alone.
  • Left 4 Dead: Bill ends up dying alone in "The Passing", but just before he does, he takes comfort in the fact he saved the other three.
  • Emil in NieR spends his last moments cowering in fear of his imminent death, wishing he could see his friends just one more time.
    • The Masked King, too, who bleeds to death surrounded by the bodies of his fallen warriors and thinking about being reunited with his deceased wife.
  • In Shadow of the Colossus, Wander is left to die in Dormin's temple alone during the final cutscene. He ends up getting resurrected in the form of a small horned baby.
  • Defied twice in Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 4: The Trial and Execution of Guybrush Threepwood: once when LeChuck fatally stabs Morgan in De Singe's laboratory and leaves her alone to die, yet she lives long enough for De Singe to discover the incident before he leaves, and for Guybrush to discover and hold her in her final moments as Jacques the Monkey sadly watches; and once at the end of the chapter, when it appears that LeChuck would leave Guybrush alone to die after stabbing him, with only Elaine right by his side, but then the villain returns as a transformed Demon Pirate at the last second to taunt him and watch him die in the arms of his grieving wife.
  • Played for laughs inside the Developer's Room in Final Fantasy IV: The After Years. One of the Developers asks if you'd help and if you refuse several of them will attack you. After defeating them, one will say his mom always wanted him to die alone.
  • While subverted in that it doesn't actually happen in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory when Sam is asked a question, he replies "we all die alone."
  • The player character of nearly every game in the Fallout series is heavily implied to die alone. The Vault Dweller of Fallout has it particularly bad, he is implied in the original game to wander the wastes alone forever. In Fallout 2 you find out he did have a family (including you) but his wife died before him and he felt he had the leave the village so others could take his place as an elder. He wandered off into the waste alone again, this time as a frail old man with his life behind him. Ironically, The Lone Wander in Fallout 3 averts this and will either die with a close friend nearby (if Broken Steel isn't installed) or is shown to walk into the wastes with his loyal dog.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas the only one of the Couriers loyal companions to stay with him to the end is ED-E, but this is only if the player makes certain choices in the game. If the wrong choices are made, and your companions haven't already died in your company, several of your loyal followers die alone and bitter.
  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations reveal that this is the fate of Altaïr, who seals himself and the Apple of Eden in the Masyaf library in order to protect the Apple. However, before he does the deed he at least shares one final moment with his son Darim.
  • Shin Megami Tensei II has you find the corpse of The Hero of Shin Megami Tensei I alone, in a secluded cavern.
  • E-102 Gamma in Sonic Adventure after being mortally wounded by his "brother" E-101 Beta who he previously "rescued", the only one to witness his Heroic Sacrifice is the little bird that escaped from it. Subverted in the Sonic X adaption where Amy puts two and two together about her bird Lily's parents just before finding him in time to watch him perish. She's pretty choked up about it.
  • In MARDEK Mardek's best friend Deugan dies alone after fending off Moric's Dracelon. This doubles as a heroic sacrifice, buying Mardek and his allies time to escape. It is heavily hinted that Deugan survived and took the name "Lone Wolf" and wore green full body armor to conceal his identity.
  • Ms. Yui from Corpse Party: Blood Covered performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Ayumi from dropping into a Bottomless Pit and being crushed by falling boulders, resulting her to slowly bleed to death alone in a hellishly depressing fashion.
  • This is revealed to be the fate of Purple Guy from Five Nights at Freddy's 3. After Returning to the Scene of his crimes, he dismantles the abandoned animatronics, but in doing so releases the spirits of his victims. They haunt him, chasing him into a back room, where he puts on a Flawed Prototype wearable animatronic suit to hide from them. The prototype's locks fail and hideously maim him to death, but the ghost children have already faded away before he's even done twitching and bleeding. In the end, Purple Guy suffers and dies alone on the floor in a pool of his own blood, his absence and mummified corpse both going unnoticed for a very long time.
  • In the Fade, this is revealed to be Solas's greatest fear in Dragon Age: Inquisition. Even if you romance him, he will break off the relationship himself, meaning it will very likely be his fate.
    • What nearly happened to the human Cole, had he not attracted a compassion spirit in his final moments. Made worse in that keeping him company was quite literally the only thing it could do for him.
  • Infinifactory combines this with Apocalyptic Log for Floyd, whose cheerful recordings really helped liven up one of the dullest worlds you work on. The log author on the next world is not happy about it.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2: In the High Honor ending, after Arthur Morgan has successfully convinced Dutch van der Linde to abandon Micah Bell and leave, the villain spares Arthur instead of shooting him and runs off, allowing him to spend his final moments alone on the mountaintop, content that he has sacrificed himself to help John escape and secure a better future for his family, and watching the final glimpses of the sunrise at dawn, shortly before passing away from tuberculosis. It's both heartwarming and heartbreaking at the same time.
    • The same can also apply if Arthur returns to Beaver Hollow for the money in High Honor mode, but with Micah knifing him in the side and Arthur fighting back by slashing out the villain's left eye before being stopped by Dutch. After Arthur reiterates that Micah is the rat, Dutch walks away, and Micah takes the money from Arthur before following after Dutch, leaving our protagonist to watch the sunrise in his final moments alone before succumbing to his TB and injuries.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 1: Invoked near the end of the game by Dickson. After being mortally wounded by Shulk, Dickson stops fighting and sends the heroes to Zanza's location, as he doesn't want to give them the satisfaction of watching him die.
    "Damn... how did that kid get so strong? I ain't gonna let you see me die... I won't give you the satisfaction of victory. See ya, kid... it looks like the student has finally surpassed the teacher."
  • Henry Stickmin Series; Henry's fate in the "Revenged" ending of Completing the Mission, after he receives fatal injuries in the process of destroying the Toppat Clan and killing Reginald. He only has enough strength to crawl into the jungle and find a nice tree to prop himself up against before drawing his last breaths.

    Visual Novels 
  • In the Normal Ending of the last route of Fate/stay night, Shirou Emiya dies in the act of destroying the Great Grail, ending the Holy Grail War for good. He dies just before the Great Grail is obliterated; his body is only following the last instructions received from his dead brain. We even see his last thoughts as he slowly fades away, which are mostly about how he doesn't really want to go.
    • Archer is said to have died alone in his back-story, which is what caused him to become so bitter as a Heroic Spirit and reject his ideal of trying to save everyone. At the end of the Fate route, so does Saber, after commanding Bedivere to leave her. Last Episode makes it hard to say if she really died, though it's likely that they were simply reunited after death. Shirou likely followed the same path as Archer; however, unlike Archer, he did not regret his life, nor did he make a deal with the World to become a Counter Guardian, as it would be a betrayal of Saber and their ideals if he did. Also unlike Archer, he had a clear goal in mind: the endless pursuit of the golden-haired girl, eternally waiting for him alone on the fields of gold.
    • Berserker outright defies the trope in "Unlimited Blade Works" when he stays alive long enough to be there for Ilya as she dies. Once she's passed on, so does he.
    • Kuzuki does the same thing for a mortally wounded Caster, only collapsing from his own injuries once she's already faded away, convinced he's okay.
  • In one of the unused executions in the fanbook of Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc, Byakuya Togami would've been dying alone in the snow after being stoned and ending up in an empty snowy place.
  • At the end of Rose Guns Days, Richard, whose allies either betrayed him or are dead, ends up meeting with Philip Butler while he's escaping alone. The latter informs him that the mastermind behind the death of his sister and nephew wasn't the Chinese mafia, as he believed, but the major Gabriel Kaburaya. Richard goes the American army's HQ to kill Gabriel… and gets his chest full of lead in the ensuing duel. Butler then quietly shows up and kills Gabriel with the already dead Richard's gun, to make it seem it was his doing (he tried to use him as an assassin from the start). The whole scene has a tragic and crepuscular feel to it that makes Richard really pathetic, as he has literally nothing left and dies like a mere pawn. And in the same scene, Gabriel sort of counts too.
    As the curtain fell on this one's clapping could be heard. Neither for Richard. Nor for Gabriel. Not even for Butler.
  • This ends up being Rusalka's fate near the end of Rea's route of Dies Irae. After being defeated in battle by Machina, she is simply dumped in front of the city's church and left to contemplate her life's choices as her body is slowly being torn apart as a result of Machina's abilities and as she herself breaks down in tears.

    Web Animation 
  • Helluva Boss
    • Episode 6 (season 1) has Blitzo be subjected to a really bad Truth Serum-induced Disney Acid Sequence that devolves into everyone he knows yelling at him that he is going to die alone, revealing this to be his deepest, darkest inner fear. Tragically, while Blitzo Desperately Craves Affection, he also subconsciously self-sabotages all of his relationships, thus running the very real risk of turning this into a self-inflicted fate. It's also presumably why he's so awkwardly keen on turning his coworkers into his Family of Choice.
    • Episode 8 of the first season has a drunk and depressed Blitzo explicitly bring up the idea of dying alone again. It's no wonder considering that the same day (in the previous episode) includes him going on a fake date with someone who could very much be his devoted lover, except Blitzo can't believe he's serious about it, just to spy on his Happily Married friends on their first anniversary date, and it ends up with him getting a public "The Reason You Suck" Speech from both his former girlfriend and his former childhood friend, both of whom he alienated. Pretty much shows what his problem is. At least he's got his adopted daughter by his side to promise to "be there," even if she probably doesn't understand where he means.
  • In Volume 8 of RWBY, General Ironwood's actions slowly but surely drive away everyone who ever stood by his side, leaving him to die alone, crushed beneath the kingdom he revered.

    Web Comics 
  • The queen in Am I Your Daughter was locked away by her paranoid husband. Her head maid left her after poisoning her food and water. Her body was left to be found days later.
  • Diva'ratrika of Drowtales had this fate inflicted on her by three of her daughters when they betrayed her in a coup since they decided that dying alone was a Fate Worse than Death as well as Dramatic Irony since she'd lived much of her life in self-imposed solitude. But even though she did technically die alone, she cheated death by putting her aura in the body of her servant, Ragini, and now that she's back in control is a Spanner in the Works.
  • Homestuck: After Terezi stabs her to prevent her from flying off to fight Jack, Vriska is left alone to die from her injuries.
  • MAG ISAEman Cruz seems to have accepted that dying alone is a FACT for him.
  • Played for Black Comedy in the Oglaf strip "Survival*"; a man lost in the woods is afraid of dying alone, so when he finds a skeleton lying on the ground, he curls and dies in its arms.
  • Space Kid faces this eventuality head-on in Episode Three.
  • Dying alone is Barbecue Sauce's greatest fear in Unwinder's Tall Comics.
  • xkcd:

    Web Original 
  • The SCP Foundation universe has SCP-4999, an entity who seems to exist solely to defy this. If an eligible participantnote  is going to die alone within the next twenty or so minutes 4999 appears next to them, offers them a cigarette, and waits beside them until they finally expire. In a rare case, the Foundation is not even attempting to try to contain this particular SCP, since not only can they not really contain it, but they would consider it unethical.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • The final fate of Mr. Freeze as revealed in Batman Beyond, lethally poisoned by Blight's radiation powers and suicidal over the breakdown of his clone body, Freeze seals up the doorway into the lab he's in, preventing Batman from saving him, then tears down the building on top of himself.
  • Yumi was threatened with this in the Code Lyoko episode "Lost at Sea". A battle in the virtual sea had caused her craft to separate from the others, and they couldn't find her. (What made this even more horrifying is that drowning in this place doesn't result in death, but something worse, probably even more terrifying for Yumi because she had to be rescued from it once before.) What made this more agonizing was the fact that Yumi had previously lost her temper with her younger brother and cussed him out, and all she could think about now was that they had parted company on that very bad note. (Fortunately for all involved, she survived, and made up with her brother.)
  • Drawn Together:
    • In "Spelling Applebees", Foxxy mentions that her only fear is dying alone before hinting that she might want a boyfriend to ensure that doesn't happen.
    • In "Captain Hero's Marriage Pact", the reason Unusually Flexible Girl is so desperate to get married is this trope, due to her grandmother dying alone and her being terrified of having the same fate. She gets her wish, as she is killed at the end of the episode when Toot's potato gun backfires, but she is with Hero and Wooldor at the time and doesn't die alone.
  • The Elena of Avalor episode "Flower Of Light" reveals this to be the fate of a spirit named Guillermo, who was so focused on music in his lifetime that he cut himself off from others, dying alone.
  • In the "Epilogue" episode of Justice League Unlimited, Royal Flush Gang member Ace, whose psychic powers were killing her, is a potential Person of Mass Destruction as the fear of her imminent death is causing her to rapidly lose control of her incredible psychic powers. Amanda Waller insists a Mercy Kill is the only solution but Batman refuses. Instead, he braves a gauntlet of deadly terrain created by Ace's Reality Warper abilities, just to reach her side and quietly sit with her so that she wouldn't have to die alone. As a result, her final moments are peaceful and calm instead of terrified and panicked. She doesn't lose control and thus the day is saved by Batman's compassion for a scared little girl.
  • In King of the Hill, Peggy Hill suggests that Cotton Hill should do this as part of her Calling the Old Man Out routine after he's been tormenting Hank while lingering on his deathbed. He then defies her by dying right there and then, with her as his only company.
  • The Loud House episode "A Flipmas Carol" had Lucy playing the role of the Ghost of Christmas Future when she shows Flip a Bad Future in which his eventual fate will be dying alone and going unmourned following an accident he had at his store, which went out of business due to his customers being fed up with being swindled by him, unless he changed his greedy ways. A giant pizza box also served as his tombstone.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Patty and Selma's maiden aunt warns them to have children or risk dying alone, prompting Selma to attempt to marry several times. When she finally hits menopause about 10 seasons later, she adopts a child from China. Patty's a lesbian.
    • Mona also dies alone, watching TV in Homer's living room after she can't convince him to forgive her for being a Missing Mom. And he's the one who finds her lifeless body... right when he was about to tell her that could finally forgive her.
  • Revealed to be the fate of Nox, the sympathetic Big Bad from Wakfu.

    Real Life 
  • Joe Simpson says in his memoir Touching the Void that he thinks it was not so much the fear of dying but the fear of dying alone that kept him committed to the apparently hopeless task of crawling back to camp after he suffered a broken leg in the mountains and was left behind by a climbing partner who believed him already dead.
  • According to her legend, St. Jacinta Marto said she'd die completely alone more than once, during her time as an ill girl affected with chronic purulent pleurisy brought on by Spanish Influenza. Her chaplain and treating doctor/nurses told her that they'd be there for her... but the kid spent her last hours pleading for Holy Communion and Last Rites, because the chaplain didn't take her seriously and said he'd come back in the morning. A couple of hours after he left, she was dead.
  • Accident on bluewater Solo Sailing... and there you go. With hundreds, perhaps thousands, of (nautical) miles to the nearest human being. Most drowning victims, in general, die alone, mainly because if someone else was present, they wouldn't be a drowning victim. People who go out swimming alone in uncertain waters, people who go out fishing by themselves and fall overboard (often men, standing to relieve themselves and losing their balance), even children in backyard swimming pools.
  • The fate of space probes and rovers sent out into the abyss of space. The scientists and engineers who build them often spend years dreaming, planning, constructing, and testing them, then wait years as they hurtle through the void towards their destinations, then see them shine in glory as they add to the sum of human knowledge. But, inevitably, and often all-too-soon, wires corrode, performance declines, and batteries fade. Then the people who have spent years together with both their colleagues and their creations must say goodbye as a chapter of their life closes. And far away, so far away that even their death is known only to themselves for minutes or hours because light itself is too slow to bring the news to their creators, a small, hardworking machine made of materials that have known a single world for 4.5 billion years only to be sped away on plumes of smoke and thunder has died while crushed under acid-soaked oceans of air, or while the screech of thin, frosty winds swept about it, or burned up like a falling star in an alien depthless atmosphere, or in the dim starlight that breaks the eternal darkness to which it has been consigned... forever.
  • Laika. First animal to die in orbit.
  • Anyone who has worked in a hospital or hospice can testify to the fact that many people actually want to die alone. They may want to face the mystery of death on their own, or (more commonly) they might want to spare their families the anguish of witnessing the death. Some will ask the family to leave the room "for a minute" (if they're able to communicate at that point), while others will simply struggle to remain alive until the family leaves for the night. Unfortunately, this often causes unnecessary guilt among survivors who buy into this trope and who punish themselves for "selfishly" not having been there. In recent years, some hospitals have made efforts to avoid this for their more isolated patient populations by implementing programs where volunteers are brought in to befriend and comfort the terminally ill during their last weeks of life.
    • One of the major ideas behind a hospice/palliative care is to avert this. While one reason is to ensure that the dying is both mentally prepared and physically without pain, it usually also provides the service that the dying isn't alone in their last minutes. Depending on how fast they die, they will either be with a nurse or said nurse will have alerted the family so they can be with their beloved one last time.
  • In a veterinarian's personal account, though pet owners are given the option to leave the room when their pet is euthanized, he pleads for them not to. The pets always become scared and confused, desperately looking for their master right when they're about to die. However, it turns out this may not be as true as people think.
  • Cats, if dying, have a tendency to find a secluded place in which to die. This can be inverted, as a cat with a loving family will continue living in pain because it can't die alone. Some dogs will do this too.
  • Why does this link to Manitoba conservation and stewardship exist here? Look up the phrase "Lone Grave." A miner not only drowned alone but is also buried alone, in the middle of a provincial park.
  • The Last Moment Robot was built to examine the possibility of dying alone. In a way, its parting monologue is touching. On the other hand, its cold mechanistic appearance and GLaDOS style voice make it disturbing. A question that comes up is whether a cold, unfeeling companion in death is better than no companion at all. Which, according to its creator, is the point of the machine - to highlight that dichotomy and, hopefully, spur people to change.
  • "I am just going outside and may be some time." Capt. Lawrence Oates, in a message to R. F. Scott during the return journey of the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition to the South Pole. Oates felt his injury was delaying his team mates and so walked out into an Antarctic blizzard and was never seen again. The rest of his team died anyway. But then again, they would have died anyway even with him, so it was still very brave.
  • The last member of the Norse population of Greenland was found face down by accident when an Icelander sailed that way in 1540. He had apparently lived in isolation for some time, and there was no one left alive to bury him. The Inuit had taken over the mainland, and this man had retired to a small island off the coast.
  • The Opportunity Rover, was officially declared dead on February 13, 2019, roughly 15 years after it had made landfall on Mars, and almost 9 years after Spirit died. Its last message, though translated into something a bit more fanciful than the diagnostic data read-out it was delivered on, is often read as "My battery is low and it's getting dark." But while she may have died alone, she didn't die unloved; NASA's final farewell to "Oppy" was to play her Billie Holiday's "I'll Be Seeing You", and the whole world paid tribute to the "little rover that could."
  • Isolation is a problem for patients of obstetric fistula. This is a condition caused (most often) by prolonged labor, in places where C-sections are unavailable. (It is most prevalent in developing countries, particularly ones where girls are married off and become pregnant at a young age and/or have many closely-spaced pregnancies, there's famine and/or drought, and obstetric and prenatal care are limited to nonexistent.) What happens is the baby's head presses on blood vessels in the mother's pelvic region, cutting off circulation and leading to the necrosis of surrounding tissue. note  The result of this is a hole (fistula) left between the urethra and vagina, or between the rectum and vagina, or both, which leads to the uncontrollable leakage of waste through the vagina. Because of the bad smell (and sometimes other complications, such as infections, paralysis from nerve damage, and lack of energy), and sometimes cultural views of this condition as being a divine punishment for some type of wrongdoing or the result of evil spirits, many such girls and women find themselves abandoned and forced to live alone, often dying from infections in the process. (It is estimated that 50-80% of OF patients are divorced by their husbands.) Some are lucky enough to receive treatment and help to rejoin society, but most are not.
  • Chris Farley died of an overdose following a weekend-long binge of sex and drugs in his apartment in Chicago. The last person to see him alive was a prostitute, and his final words were a desperate attempt to get her to stay: "Please don't leave me. Please don't leave me." Sadly, she did, and Farley died alone.
  • The story of a woman named Joyce Vincent, who died alone in her London flat and remained undiscovered for almost three years, became the subject of a documentary called Dreams of a Life. She was young, well-liked by friends, and once even mingled with celebrities (while dating a music producer), which make the circumstances of her death all the more perplexing.
  • In a particularly tragic example; due to many of them wanting to be done behind closed doors or generally away from others to avoid them seeing their death, many victims of suicide end up dying alone.
  • One of the many side effects of strict lockdown policies during the COVID-19 pandemic: many people who died (whether from the disease itself or from unrelated causes) could not spend their last moments with loved ones. It even extended after death; a funeral would draw too large of a crowd and was thus forbidden. This is partly why the Partygate scandal in the United Kingdom so quickly went nuclear in 2022 - during the main wave of the pandemic, when people were living alone, subjected to horrific isolation, many of these people did indeed die alone. The public was told it was for the sake of protecting the country, and so most did as they were told. Yet, despite the tragic losses of tens of thousands of people, many of whom had been following the instructions to the letter, the government had been holding lavish parties, callously breaking the very rules they had told everyone else to follow.


Video Example(s):


Chuck McGill

Chuck sets his house on fire with no one else around but him inside.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (22 votes)

Example of:

Main / DyingAlone

Media sources: