A common one in Referenced by...: William Shakespeare. Just like in the original context, it's used at the death of a young man; though the variation "good night, sweet princess" is occasionally used for women.
As this phrase borders on Narm at the best of times, twists and parodies vastly outnumber the dramatic use.
- Used in the English Dub of Dragon Ball Z when Frieza was going to kill Vegeta. Of course, Vegeta actually is a prince... and in comparison to Frieza, quite sweet.
- In the dub of Dragon Ball Kai, it's Perfect Cell who delivers the line as he prepares to finish an unconscious Vegeta. He's interrupted by Trunks powering up.
- According to the directors of The Lion King Scar was originally going to whisper this line (instead of "long live the king") in Mufasa's ear just before he murders him. They changed it on account of it being "too self-aware." He also says it to Simba in the alternate ending on YouTube.
- From Hell, after Inspector Abberline dies from drug overdose, Sergeant Godlay says it.
- Jim Ross said this on commentary when Vince McMahon was forced to leave the WWF "forever" at Fully Loaded '99. He's continued to use this line throughout his career, sometimes sardonically (as when a hated heel is about to be defeated).
- It's used straight as an Image Board meme. The anonymice using it tend to be lying, though. Making it all the more jarring when it is true.
- Smythe uses this in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, even throwing in the line about angels.
- If you read a lot of biographies of male royalty you'll know this is often the title of the last chapter. Or the second-to-last chapter if the last chapter is about the funeral/finding the bodies/the widow's rapid descent into insanity.
Parodies and Twists
- 101 Dalmatians II: Patch's London Adventure referenced this. The dog who's saying this thinks he's playing it straight re: his old boss, who he betrayed... but, really, his boss is playing dead to buy the puppies some time.
- In Last Action Hero, which starts off with a violent parody of Hamlet. Narrator: "No one is going to tell this sweet prince good night."
- RoboCop (1987): Joe Cox, after Clarence Boddicker finishes Alex Murphy off using a pistol to do a headshot. "Good night, sweet prince. Hahaha...!"
- Interview with the Vampire: "Good night, sweet Prince, may flights of devils wing you to your rest...." - Claudia DeLioncourt says this to Lestat, thinking she finished him for good... He gets better.
- The Big Lebowski: Walter Sobchak: "And so, Theodore Donald Karabotsos, in accordance with what we think your dying wishes might well have been, we commit your final mortal remains to the bosom of the Pacific Ocean, which you loved so well. Good night, sweet prince." And as he spills the ashes out of the coffee-can, the wind blows them all over The Dude.
- Quoted in Wonder Boys, as Grady, Terry and James place Walter Gaskell's dead dog (shot by James the previous night, and stuck in Grady's trunk for the next 24 hours) into James's bed so that they can sneak James out of his parents' house.
- Said in Room Service when the play's author "dies".
- Said by Katherine Hepburn's character about Spencer Tracy's character in Desk Set, after the computer Tracy designed has fired everyone in the company, including the CEO and Tracy (who doesn't even work for the company except as a contractor).
- Deirdre says this to Andrew in I Hate Hamlet. However it just pisses him off because it continues to remind him that he's going to have to tackle the challenging role he's not ready for.
- Dracula: Dead and Loving It does this only to have the graveyard keeper find Lucy 'awake' having turned into a vampire.
- The most-repeated Polish comedy movie, Miś, has the Dumb Blonde utter this line while covering a (very un-princely) sleeping man of her acquaintance with a jacket. When asked "why prince?", she says it's her other friend's Catch-Phrase.
- Several times over the run of M*A*S*H, Hawkeye has said this to someone as they lost consciousness.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000:
Mike: Goodnight, sweet thin guy.Crow: A flight of Jaguars sing thee to thy rest.
- It pops up in The Movie, when the satellite crashes into the Hubble and Mike has to fix it. It crashes.
- In the final episode, Danger: Diabolik, the title character fakes his own death.
- On Boardwalk Empire, Margaret says this when tucking her son Teddy into bed at night. She just means it in a normal, sweet way, but given his clearly complicated feelings about his 'adoptive' father Nucky, who had his real (and abusive) father Hans killed, this could be some serious Foreshadowing...
- The Simpsons Game: Sideshow Bob to Homer and Bart when they meet aboard the alien mothership: "Goodnight, sweet Simpsons, may flights of aliens sing thee to thy rest." And then he immediately steps on a rake. That's just laying around on an alien spaceship. ("I told you to pick up your space rake!") This bit is a reference to the "Cape Feare" episode of The Simpsons television show that includes Bob saying the more-straight version of the line, then walking through a veritable field of rakes and getting hit in the face with each in turn.
- Max of Sam & Max: Freelance Police uses a variation while pretending to die in the game episode "The Mole, The Mob and the Meatball". "So goodnight, fresh prince! And may Charlie's Angels sing thee to to thy rest."
- In Far Cry 2, the trophy gained the first time you choose to euthanise a teammate is called 'Good-night Sweet Prince'
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series:
- When "Tristan's Voice" (don't ask) dies.
- At the end of the Noah arc as they say goodbye to 4Kids.
Mokuba Goodnight, sweet dubbing company. And a flight of Winged Kuribohs sing thee to thy rest.
- When it looks like Kaiba died in the destruction of the duel tower, Joey gets halfway through this before it turns out he survived.
Joey: Goodnight, sweet douchebag. And a flight of Blue-Eyes White Dragons sing thee to thy —
(Kaiba's dragon-jet emerges from the smoke)
- It's also become a meme for its use by trolls. It's used to announce the fake death of celebrity and trick you into wasting time looking it up.
- The Nostalgia Critic twists this during the Downer Ending of The Room.
Goodnight sweet prick, and flights of assholes sing thee to thy rest.
- An early reaction to the shutting down of Sky Mall.
- In one Strong Bad Email, Strong Bad says "Sleep tight, sweet prince!" before he puts The Cheat to sleep using a roach fogger.
- Iroh to Zuko at the end of this parody of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
- Futurama: Both What-if episodes feature this line when Bender dies. Delivered by Fry in the first, The Professor in the second.
- "Buckaroo Bugs": Bugs Bunny to Red Hot Ryder: "That's right! That's right! You win the $64 question! Ha-ha-ha-ha! Good night, sweet prince."
- In the episode of SpongeBob SquarePants titled Frankendoodle, after drawing a crown on Gary with his newfound magic pencil, SpongeBob tells him "good night, sweet prince," before turning off the light and going to sleep.
- In the El Tigre episode Fool Speed Ahead, their race car ends up exploding after getting spit up by a giant white alligator.
Frida: Good night, sweet prince, and flights of—hey, a quarter!
- A group of workers at a Shakespeare Dinner Theatre say this after the building is burned down in an episode of Dan Vs..
- In an episode of Batman: The Animated Series, the Joker apparently dies (again) and Harley Quinn uses this line in mourning.
Harley: Good night sweet prince, and may flights of whoopie cushions sing thee to thy rest.