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Dying Moment of Awesome

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"If I'm done for, then I'm gonna go out like a badass!"

To put it simply, when a character dies in a grand way. Though the plot may say that they have to die, the writer honors the character enough to not take them down like a nameless mook, but instead make their death something to be proud of. They don't run, they don't cry. They die standing, and they go down swinging.

The polar opposite of Dropped a Bridge on Him, the Dying Moment of Awesome is a Super-Trope for:

If done well, this can be a real Tear Jerker. It can be undermined somewhat if the character later gets better, but eh, what'cha gonna do...

Someone may note that it was a Great Way to Go. Out with a Bang is a rather more undignified way to die, but still enviable and cool in its own way.

Beware while reading this page. This article has been proven to cause Manly Tears in many tropers. Including female ones.

If an example fits in one of the subtropes, please list it there instead.

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


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    Asian Animation 
  • In Season 7 of Happy Heroes, Kalo sacrifices himself to save planet Xing Xing from an army of enemy spaceships. He quite literally goes out with a bang, producing a huge explosion that wipes out the entire opposing army.

    Films — Animation 
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: "Nothing personal!!!"
  • The Iron Giant. The titular character saves a town full of innocent people from an ICBM by flying straight into it. Subverted later when it shows that the Giant is Not Quite Dead.
    The Giant: "Superman..."
  • From The Princess and the Frog, Ray's big You Shall Not Pass! moment against the shadow demons Dr. Facilier has summoned. He heroically fends them off before Dr. Facilier crushes him.
  • Optimus Prime's continuous deaths in every Transformers continuity begins in 1986 during the G1 continuity, with his greatest moment being in Transformers: The Movie, in which after landing on Earth as the Decepticons are laying seige to Autobot City, he utters eight words that sets up what is going to be his most epic outing in Generation One.
    Optimus: "Megatron must be stopped. No matter the cost."
    • At which point The Touch begins playing, and Prime plows through three or four Decepticons and comes under fire from a host of others. He launches himself into the air and takes them all out with his rifle, and then confronts Megatron, leading to another of his classic lines, as well as a classic exchange with Megs himself.
      Megatron: "Prime!"
      Optimus:"One shall stand, one shall fall."
      Megatron: "Why throw away your life so recklessly?"
      Optimus: "That's a question you should ask yourself, Megatron."
    • Cue Prime and Megatron having a knock-down drag-out fight where they're throwing everything they have into it because they know it's their final confrontation no matter what. One way or another, this is it. Prime wins, and dies shortly afterwards, and in defeating Megatron, repels the entire Decepticon invasion of Autobot City.
  • Wreck-It Ralph: Subverted. Ralph fully intends to sacrifice himself to stop the Cy-Bugs by diving from a great height into a volcano, but is saved at the last second by Vanellope.

  • Elder Jang-Il Jeong from The Breaker :New Waves, he shields the main character, Shi-Woon, from a bomb blast with his body. Elder Jeong is Only Mostly Dead but everyone thinks he is prompting Shi-Woon to go into a Unstoppable Rage while his own injuries get worst in the fighting. Just as Shi-Woon is close to killing himself against his opponent and no one can reach him, Elder Jeong springs up to restrain and talk him down and in the end impart the last of his strength so that Shi-Woon's body could recover from the damage he took in the fight knowing it was the only thing keeping him alive.
  • Shin Angyo Onshi's protagonist Munsu has this at the very end. It really has to be seen to be believed. Missing an arm, he finally confronts the Physical God Big Bad Aji Tae. Aji Tae subsequently decides to take Munsus other arm and an eye. All that does is make Munsu taunt Aji Tae to try and crush his heart and continuing to walk towards him. Aji Tae, who was previously presented as by far the most powerful being in the story, nearly shits himself in fear until he notices Munsu has finally died. Still standing, staring at Aji Tae. The relief doesn't last long, as a very angry Sando attacks Aji Tae from behind. Now, Aji Tae would have vaporized her, except, the dead Munsu is standing on his cape, preventing him from turning around fast enough.
    • Ondal dies to stop a bullet, the awesome part is Ondal is not real.

  • In the Evillious vocaloid Servant of Evil, Allen pulls a Twin Switch to save his sister and queen from execution, stoically going to his death at the guillotine.
  • "The Wind" by Warren Zevon qualifies. He recorded it while dying from inoperable lung cancer and it was released two weeks before his death. The personnel listing is a who's who of guest artists honoring their friend, including Bruce Springsteen, Billy Bob Thorton, Emmy Lou Harris, Joe Walsh, Don Henley, Dwight Yoakam, and Tom Petty.
  • The robot at the end of VOiCE by Hatsune Miku. Also doubles as a tearjerker.
  • "Big Bad John" by Jimmy Dean tells the story of a giant of a man who saves his fellow miners from a cave-in by holding up a sagging support timber long enough for the twenty other miners to escape. The mine collapses before the others can go back in to save him.
    Now, they never reopened that worthless pit;
    They just placed a marble stand in front of it.
    These few words were written on that stand:
    "At the bottom of this mine lies a big big man.
    Big John."
  • Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory" is all about this.
  • A funny one: The swan song of Carmina Burana. A literal swan song - the swan is just being roasted for dinner and woes his fate.
  • Manowar, being a glorification (or Affectionate Parody) of masculinity has some, in particular these lyrics from "The Sons of Odin"
    One day too, I may fall
    I will enter Odin's hall
    I will die, sword in hand
    My name and my deeds
    Will scorch the land
  • Queen's last song released within Freddie Mercury's lifetime, "The Show Must Go On", is about Mercury facing death with dignity. When Brian May presented the demo to Freddie, he had doubts that the latter would be able to sing due to his illness the time. When the time came to record the vocals, Mercury drank a measure of vodka and said "I'll fucking do it, darling!", then recorded it in one take.
    The show must go on
    The show must go on, yeah
    Oooh inside my heart is breaking
    My make-up may be flaking
    But my smile still stays on"
  • David Bowie's final album, , was released only two days before his death from cancer on January 10, 2016. The album has met with both critical and commercial success, and Bowie's lyrics imply the experiences of "a man who appears to be grappling with his own mortality".
  • After lead singer Gord Downie was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, Canadian rock icons The Tragically Hip went on a farewell tour in Summer 2016, culminating on an August 20 show with the prime minister in attendance. The three-hour show had the band play 30 songs alongside three encores, and was seen by 11 million people worldwide.
  • Similarly to what would become of David Bowie roughly a decade later, J Dilla was dying of lupus and confined to a hospital bed in 2005. While there, he produced Donuts, what many consider his masterpiece and The Shining. He released Donuts on his 32nd birthday, February 7, 2006, and died just three days later on February 10. The Shining, 75% complete at the time of his death, was completed by Dilla's friend Karriem Riggins at Dilla's request and released on August 22, 2006.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Beowulf goes out in a manner befitting a legendary warrior and epic badass. As an old man (quite some time after his defeats of Grendel and Grendel's mother) his people are menaced by a dragon. Beowulf goes out alone to fight it, and although he ends up needing a little help from one of his warriors, he takes the dragon down. He dies a short while after the battle and is buried with the dragon's hoard.
  • The Bible:
    • Samson, in his final moments, used his newly-regained strength to pull down the Temple of Dagon and bury the Philistine government with him.
    • The prophet Elijah ascended to Heaven in a chariot of fire, promising to return one day.
    • Also, Jesus Christ. Not only dying for the sins of others, but forgiving those who executed Him. He came back (according to the resurrection), though.
      Jesus: Forgive them, they know not what they do.
      • Not only that, but his death caused the veil in the temple to split, the earth to crack, the sky to go dark, a hurricane, and a whole bunch of corpses to start walking around.
    • Alongside Jesus are the disciples. Peter asks to get crucified upside down, putting himself above them in power. Paul exercises his right as a Roman citizen to a speedy execution and gets beheaded.
  • Cú Chulainn, the resident Memetic Badass of Celtic Mythology, fittingly dies this way. When deprived of his invincibility and surrounded by his enemies, he keeps fighting until Lugaid mortally wounds him with a spear. He then ties himself to a nearby stone with his own intestines so he can die facing his enemy on his feet and keeps fighting. When he eventually dies, his enemies are so frightened that they refuse to get near enough to check until a raven lands on his shoulder, proving he is dead. Then, when Lugaid cuts off his head just to make sure, the "hero-light" burns around Cú Chulainn and his sword falls from his hand and cuts Lugaid's hand off.

  • Ianto has one of these in the Torchwood: The Lost Files episode "The House of the Dead", sacrificing his life by getting Jack out of the way to throw a bomb into the Rift, thereby preventing an Eldritch Abomination from laying waste to the world. It even comes with an Anguished Declaration of Love between him and Jack.
  • Lucie Miller in "To the Death" gets one of the best examples of this trope. Despite being a Handicapped Badass she crashes a Dalek Saucer into the Dalek mines, saving countless worlds. Her final words are telling the Daleks they were blown up by "Lucie bleedin' Miller!

  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Upon arriving in a Bad Future where Earth is ruled by dinosaurs, Doc discovers that almost everyone he cared about is dead. At least his parents went out fighting.
    Gordito: You should know, though, your parents went out spectacularly. They took out the Horrorsaurus.
  • Ed from Digger gets a badass demise, complete with Taking You with Me and Shut Up, Hannibal! for last words, both aimed at Sweetgrass Voice, a demon with the power to corrupt gods.
    Has a name! Name! Is! Ed!
  • Homestuck: Sollux gets two. The first is in Act 5 Act 1, when he withstands the Brown Note of an Eldritch Abomination in order to get Feferi into the Medium. He ends up getting better thanks to having an Extra Life. The second is in [S] Cascade, where he reprises his ancestor's role as the Helmsman and uses all his energy to pilot the troll's meteor to the Green Sun, killing himself in the process. He winds up getting better from that too, in a weird sort of way — Aradia describes him as having "a foot on either side".
    • AR has a minor one when he keeps blowing up the exiles' stations even as Bec Noir is heading straight for him. Having witnessed his creation, AR has a crippling fear of Becquerel, to the point where he had surrendered to WV earlier for just carrying around a pumpkin with his head carved on it. Noir was about to kill PM as well until AR distracted him.
    • Jade's dream self. Jack Noir attacked Prospit and cut the chain which connected it to its moon. As Prospit's moon fell towards Skaia, Jade flew after John's sleeping dream self and attempted to wake him up. When that failed, she threw him and saved him from being crushed by Prospit's moon, dying in the process.
    • Possibly Tavros. He died in an attempt to fight Vriska, whom he thought was evil at the time (and he was sort of right). Tavros was extremely passive and rarely stood up to anyone, while Vriska was a sadistic God Tier and one of the strongest characters in the comic. Granted, she just stabbed him with his lance before he could even do anything, but still.
      • It's more than that. Vriska had tormented Tavros for most of his life, and brainwashed him into jumping over a cliff and crippling his legs. Tavros deeply feared her because of this. That scene was the first time he'd attempted to assert himself to her, ever.
    • This trope seems to be a prerequisite for a Heroic Death, one of two ways a God Tier can die permanently. In fact, John was able to resurrect because his death wasn't awesome enough.
  • It's Walky!: Mike's death at the claws of the Martians. Even as he's being killed via tentacles, he still insults his killers and their mothers.
    Mike: You call this tentacle violation? Your mom's better than this. That's because she's a prosti-*SKLRCH*
  • From Schlock Mercenary we get (at the least) Hob's and later Brad's deaths. In both cases, they die ensuring that a lot more people won't.
    • Not to mention Tagon-Prime, from the alt-universe, who gets trapped inside an enemy fortress with a Schlock and an Elf, both of whom are too injured to be of any help, with the entirety of the galaxy's most famous mercenary force coming after them for revenge after he killed their Captain. To top it all off, his exfilitration has been jammed, and he can't send all three of them back together. So he sends Elf and Schlock, then grabs a gauss pistol and goes down shooting, having taken down 6 mercenaries before being set on fire and shot dead.
    • Tagon from the saved timeline later hand-carries a ship-to-ship warhead into an enemy position aboard his own ship and detonates it since there's no other way to prevent them from taking over the ship and killing his entire crew.
    • And of course there's Mako, who redeems herself for attempting to foment civil war by calling a "long gun" shot down upon herself ... and a column of enemy troops. (Maxim 20: "If you're not willing to shell your own position, you're not willing to win.")
  • Sleepless Domain: when a monster slashes both of Cassidy's clones she manages to stab the Purple One in the eye before disappearing without a trace. Notably, it's the only time the rule of thumb that sees the Alt Text disappear around the Purple One is ignored, to commemorate Cassidy's last stand.


The Death of Batman

Cornered in the Batcave by one of his deadliest opponents, Batman faces his end head on.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / DyingMomentOfAwesome

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