Follow TV Tropes


Happily Failed Suicide

Go To

"Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem."
— Old proverb

Bob puts a gun to his head, and the gun fails to go off. Bob's attempt at suicide has failed.

Afterward, he is very happy to be alive, glad that the suicide attempt failed. Maybe he's realized that he wants to live after all, or maybe he never truly wanted to die in the first place, or maybe he saw it as a sign that the Powers That Be didn't want him to die: The suicide attempt was not based on a genuine wish but rather in desperation — at the moment, he just couldn't stand his life.

Compare Driven to Suicide, and Mid-Suicide Regret. This is often an element in a Mental Health Recovery Arc.

This may be Truth in Television, as a big proportion of people who survive suicide by jumping report having regretted the act before they landed. Compare Serendipitous Survival and Lifesaving Misfortune.


    open/close all folders 
    Anime & Manga 
  • In 7 Seeds, Arashi had attempted to commit suicide by letting himself drown because he thought Hana had died during the apocalypse, meaning he had lost her forever. Taka gets his dog to pull him out in time, though Arashi remains suspicious, abrasive, and very unlike himself until he ends up getting physical proof that Hana is alive in this post-apocalyptic world. Arashi is happy that his suicide failed, returns to his usual self, and makes it his goal to reunite with Hana.
  • Kyoko Honda in Fruits Basket attempted to jump off a bridge in her grief of having her husband Katsuya die unexpectedly. Before she can do it, she hears a little kid and a mother, making her realize she severely neglected her three-year-old daughter during that period. She proceeds to run back and become the Doting Parent we know her as in the present (at least for another 13 years).
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016), Ilia considers using a broken cup's shard on her wrist while in the Bulblins' captivity, but ends up distracted by stray kittens that wandered into the cabin. She decides to hope that Link will rescue her, drawing inspiration from one of the kittens struggling to live, and moves to help them.
  • Robin in One Piece, twice.
    • After her hopes of finding the Rio Poneglyph were crushed in Alabasta, she decided to stay in the crumbling Royal tomb, when she could have escaped with her powers. An Unwanted Rescue occurs in the form of Luffy, which makes Robin want to keep on living after all, and she joins his crew.
    • Later, in the CP9 saga, her inner demons caught up with her, and she feared that her friends would eventually betray her and throw her away, as did everyone who took her in when she was a child. Preferring to die here and now rather than live a life she's going to lose someday, she decides to surrender to the World Government, on the condition that they leave the other Straw Hats alone. However, when the Straw Hats raid Enies Lobby to save her, and even burn down the World Government's flag, essentially declaring war on the entire world, Robin realizes that her friends will never betray her and that she really wants to live, a fact that she screams from the bottom of her heart.
  • In Planetes, a couple with a young child in episode 5 were planning to commit suicide due to some extreme financial burdens. But then a thief aboard the spaceship steals the medicine and later takes the young girl hostage. They try to dissuade the thief from killing her and begin to realize that they themselves were about to decide her future in a bad way themselves. After the girl is saved, she tells her parents about her hopes and dreams of going into space and piloting a spaceship, and they seem to reconsider killing themselves, and instead promise the little girl that they'll work hard for her as well.
  • In Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!, Mitsumi begs to be left behind in the collapsing Galactic base, feeling that it's penance for her pre-Heel–Face Turn actions. Jun saves her at the last minute, and she proceeds to thank him for it.
  • In Reborn! (2004) in the early chapters of the manga Yamamoto almost commits suicide. This was due to some bad advice that he broke his arm over, and he thought that his career as a baseball player was over. So he moseyed on over to the edge of the school rooftop and prepared to jump, and he was dead serious about it. With an audience of students trying to cajole him out of it, the only voice he listened to was Tsuna's. He ended up falling due to bad construction of a gate but Tsuna saves him. After that, he and Tsuna become good friends and he joins Tsuna's mafia family.
  • In a one-shot Girls' Love manga Rooftop Miracle by Natsuneko, two girls try to commit suicide after having been cheated out of all their savings by a lesbian swindler. However, they pick exactly the same spot to do it and soon discover that they were ripped off by exactly the same girl in exactly the same manner. The more they talk, the more similarities with each other they discover, and you know where this is headed.
  • Welcome to the NHK: At the end of the series, the perpetual loser Satou throws himself off a cliff in an honest-to-God suicide attempt, but discovers that a hidden metal net has been installed just below the cliff after the previous suicide on that spot. After that, he seems to become quite happy with his life again.
  • In Wolf Guy - Wolfen Crest, Akiko Aoshika tries to jump off the hospital's terrace when she hears about Inugami being dead; she is stopped by a wolf who resembled Inugami, and she realizes that he could be alive somewhere and that she has to live in his place and honor. In truth the wolf was local Intrepid Reporter Jin, Aoshika discovers this by herself and talks to Jin in Alaska about it, thanks to this she now can recognize each wolf individually and finds a new respect for them, that's where she decides to live in Alaska, rebuilding herself from scratch... which considering what just happened to her, is a massive feat.

    Comic Books 
  • Death: The High Cost of Living: A woman at the bar tells Sexton about a friend of hers who was raped repeatedly by older men in her life. She tried to kill herself but was somehow glad when she still woke up at the hospital. Her point is that there's never a good reason to kill yourself, but Sexton's ennui is a particularly insufficient reason.
  • In Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, Johnny tries to kill himself with a gun-toting robot that will shoot him if he tries to turn it off or answers the phone. After an indignant conversation with some of the voices in his head, he changes his mind and decides he wants to live after all, switching the robot off. As it turns out, the robot doesn't work, and Johnny exclaims that he was extremely lucky. The moment after, the phone rings, and Johnny, happy to be alive, turns to answer it. The robot then shoots him. He forgot to turn it on in the first place and only did so when he thought he was switching it off.
    • This was actually his third depicted suicide attempt (it's implied there were others), having first been distracted from killing himself by a funny commercial, and later having used the gun's only bullet on someone else, after which he immediately got distracted by soda and cheered up.
  • The Mickey Mouse comic strip story "Mr. Slicker and the Egg Robbers" actually involved him trying to commit suicide in various ways, all of which failed. In one attempt, Mickey jumps off a bridge but lands on a boat. An angry sailor (who resembles Pete) yells that he throws stowaways overboard. Mickey starts pleading by saying he can't swim.
  • Crossing over with Real Life, the disillusioned Marjane in Persepolis deliberately overdoses on anti-depressants. The result is that she passes out for three days then has several hours of hallucinations. When she meets with her therapist, he's at a loss as to how she survived, saying the amount she took should have been enough to kill an elephant.
  • Arseface in Preacher tried to kill himself because he was sad and lonely, and his idol and his only friend had both just killed themselves and the friend had told him to do the same. After the failed suicide attempt, he does all he can to turn his life around, but can never get away from his face being horribly mutilated by the shotgun blast that so fortunately missed his brain.
  • In a strip by Quino, a man is about to commit suicide via a gun to the head, but before he pulls the trigger he starts thinking:
    "Did I turn off the stove?" (checks) "Yeah, I turned off the stove."
    "Did I water the plants?" (checks) "Yeah, I watered the plants."
    (Now with the gun at his head) "Did I load the gun?" (Beat, pulls the trigger... click)
    (Jumping around happily) "Whooooohooooo!!!!!!"
  • Happens in The Walking Dead, seeing as it's a Cliffhanger to whom it happens and when and that he/she/it lives, so no other spoilers shall be needed.

    Fan Works 
  • Advice and Trust: Ritsuko attempted suicide via a painkiller and alcohol overdose after realizing that Gendo would never love her. In a moment of clarity, she calls Rei for help, who helps her down the (long and hard) path of redemption for her part in trying to cause Third Impact. On the plus side, she's now in an emotionally fulfilling relationship with Maya and is mending her friendship with Misato.
  • Doing It Right This Time: Asuka walks into the sea together with Shinji, hoping to rejoin Instrumentality or drown... and wakes up in her bedroom in Germany, three months before the start of the War. When she realizes she has a second chance she is ecstatic and thrilled about it.
  • Evangelion 303: In chapter 12 Shinji manages to stop Asuka's Survivor Guilt-driven suicide and give her a lecture about how she's the one that taught him about actually having something to live for (and suggesting they go make dinner to lighten the mood) which ends in her giving her first actual smile since she got out of her coma. Then it gets subverted in the next chapter when she runs off to Jessika's grave with the intention of leaving forever. It takes Shinji proposing to her for her to finally be able to lay her inner demons to rest.
  • Family Guy Fanon: "Between Sanity and Madness" has Francis and Thelma attempt to jump off the Holy Christ Church after Peter tells them he'll never love them again. This, however, causes Peter, who was acting cold throughout the third arc, to melt and save them from death. And ends up being what gets Francis to apologize to Peter for being awful to him and reconcile a new relationship together.
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: Asuka is ultimately glad when Misato finds her and stops her from committing suicide.
  • How the Light Gets In: There was realistically nothing "happy" about it, but Laurel attempted suicide at her absolute lowest point, only to regret it and double back on it. This was the trigger where she finally turned her life around and started to get better, but the attempt is a permanent source of shame for her and left a mark on her marriage.
  • In A Sky Of A Million Stars: The ultimate goal of Izuku's friends and family is to make his suicide attempt this after it's confirmed he'll recover. They succeed, partly because Izuku doesn't even remember the attempt.
  • Subverted in Last Light. Sunset Shimmer has jumped off a parking garage and, while comatose, is talking to Princess Luna in the dreamscape. It looks like Sunset will recover from her injuries, and she does seem regretful of her suicide attempt, but in the end, she does die.
  • At the beginning of Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, Asuka is comatose after a failed suicide attempt. When she comes around, she's glad to be still alive.
  • The K-On/Hyouka crossover video Our Tapes ends with Houtarou saving his girlfriend Mio from suicide. Afterwards, he proposes to her and she accepts.
  • Rick and The Loud House: In the story's retelling of Rick and Morty's "Auto-Erotic Assimilation", Rick's attempted suicide is stopped by Lana innocently barging into the garage to ask if he could teach her how to fix the car. Rick agrees to do so, appreciating the distraction.
  • In some sense the foundation of Time Out of Mind, which is set off by John Laurens' interrupted suicide attempt.
  • To Hell and Back (Arrowverse): Henry Allen attempted to commit suicide after the disappearance and presumed death of his son, Barry Allen. He was stopped and manages to cope thanks to the visits of Barry's childhood best friend Iris West; which pays off ten years later when Barry is found alive and returns to Central City.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Handmaiden: Lady Hideko is driven to despair upon realizing that she has fallen in love with Sook-hee, whom she has been planning to con and who has, apparently, been trying to con her, in turn, without requiting her feelings. As she tries to hang herself, Sook-hee catches her mid-air and holds her up, tearfully proclaiming to have abandoned her con because she loves her too. Eventually, Hideko is taken out of the noose, and the girls hatch a new con, that would see them escape together.
  • In Hannah and Her Sisters, Woody Allen's character considers life to be meaningless and tries to shoot himself, failing at it. Roaming the streets, he goes to see a Marx Brothers movie, enjoys himself, and decides life is worth it for such things.
    • Also in Allen's A Midsummer's Night Sex Comedy with a gun.
  • Hidden in Silence: In a Truth in Television example, Max Diamant jumps off the deportation train in a suicide attempt, but he survives the fall, and this leads to him and his remaining family members surviving the Holocaust.
  • Inside Daisy Clover: Towards the end, not wanting to return making a film for Control Freak producer Raymond Swan, actress Daisy Clover (Natalie Wood) attempts suicide by opening the gas in her kitchen (in order to suffocate herself at first). People keep ringing at her door, she stops to go open every time, then it's the phone. She then tries to put a burner on (to make the gas explode) and only manages to burn her hand. After that, she abandons her suicidal thoughts, puts the gas on again along with the burner, goes out, and happily lets the house blow up instead.
  • The Man in the Iron Mask has Porthos attempt to hang himself after he is...unable to perform. The beam he chooses, however, has been deliberately sawed through by Aramis (who suspected he was feeling suicidal) and he inadvertently collapses the entire barn. This somehow reawakens not only his libido but his warrior spirit as he conquers not only the woman he was suicidal over but also joins the final battle.
  • Creasy in Man on Fire is so haunted by his past that he gets drunk one night and tries to shoot himself, but the bullet doesn't fire. He takes this as a sign that he's supposed to live, and keeps the bullet as a reminder (because "the bullet never lies"). He stops drinking, opens himself up to human connections again, and starts to turn himself around. Just in time for things to start going really bad.
  • In the animated film Mary and Max, Mary unintentionally deeply offends her friend Max, which begins a spiraling descent in her life that culminates in an attempt to kill herself, and, unknowingly, her unborn child. Thankfully, the day is saved when Mary's neighbour overcomes his own fears just in time to deliver a letter to her, in which Max tells her that all is forgiven.
  • The 1952 film Moulin Rouge (1952) focuses on the life of artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. At one point he's despondent and decides to take the gas pipe. While he's lying there waiting to asphyxiate, he notices a detail in a half-finished painting and gets up to work on it. He becomes absorbed in his work and forgets all about his suicide — until he's overcome by the gas and has to fling a window open. He's not going to try that again.
  • Tom Smykowsky from Office Space. After getting laid off, he attempts to kill himself by leaving his car running, in the closed garage. When his wife walks in, he decides he's got something to live for, backs out...and gets rammed by a drunk driver. The next time we see him, he's in a wheelchair, with about every conceivable bone broken, but is on top of the world, thanks to the fat settlement he got.
  • The minor Rear Window character Miss Lonelyhearts constantly fails to find a good boyfriend. Eventually, she decides to overdose on sodium trieckonal capsules. Fortunately, right before she can swallow them, a band in another apartment entrances her with some beautiful music. The epilogue suggests that Miss Lonelyhearts will court the band's equally lonesome songwriter when she visits him and tells him that his music means a lot to her.
  • A darker take on this comes in the Saw franchise: John Kramer drove his car off a cliff after receiving a cancer diagnosis, opting to go out on his own terms rather than the disease's. To his amazement, he survived the crash, and gained a new outlook on life as a result. Unfortunately, this is what inspired him to become Jigsaw, in the hopes that he could get other people who he viewed as wasting their lives to gain the same appreciation for life he did, the same way he did.
  • In Titanic (1997), after her suicide was stopped by Jack, Rose goes on to live a long and meaningful life.
  • Heartwarmingly in the American short film "Trevor." Thirteen-year-old Trevor attempts suicide due to the problems of being gay, but his aspirin overdose fails and, thanks to a kindly male nurse and tickets to a Diana Ross concert, he ends the film saying he's "definitely decided to live... till tomorrow", then dancing up the drive to his house.

  • You can find plenty of these in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.
  • Dancing Aztecs: Maleficent White's suicide attempt is interrupted by the arrival of Frank and Floyd, causing her to faint. When she wakes up, she believes that the damage to the statue they'd come to check is a divine sign not to kill herself and to commit to fixing her marriage with Xavier rather than wallowing about it.
  • In Dragon Bones, when trying to commit suicide because his abusive father drove him to it, Tosten either fails to slit his arms open in the correct way, or the interruption by his brother Ward is what causes him to survive. After Ward takes him to a different city and apprentices him to a cooper, Tosten runs away from there and becomes a quite successful bard, music having always been his passion.
  • In Enchantress from the Stars, Elana, an agent from The Federation, is captured by The Empire. To avoid mindprobing, Elana runs towards the imperial rock-chewer, intent on being crushed by debris. However, Georyn, one of the natives, whom she taught telekinesis, sees this and stops the whole load of debris in mid-air, saving her. This scares the Imperials so much that they leave the planet and liberate all prisoners, conveniently removing the reason for Elana to die.
  • When Annie from Eye of a Fly was thirteen, she tried to throw herself and her baby brother off a bridge because her father planned to force her into prostitution to pay for his addiction, and she thought the whole family would be better off dead. Instead she fell down and was run over by a truck, resulting in brain damage that destroyed her ability to read and left her with regular seizures. Her uninjured brother was put up for adoption, while she was placed in an abusive foster home and later spent time homeless. Things started looking up for her after Father Maldonado took her in and let her stay and work at the Day Care Center, and now she considers the truck accident to be a gift from God because it prevented her from killing herself.
  • Pavela from Island's End attempted suicide after the death of his wife by setting out in a small boat, lying down, and waiting for it to tip over. Instead, the boat carried him to one of the Andaman Islands, which was inhabited by a nonviolent isolated tribe. The islanders nursed him back to health, and while staying with them he learned to enjoy life again. Lah-ame, the tribe's spiritual leader, persuaded him to return to civilization so he could be an advocate for the rights of tribes to live in voluntary isolation.
  • In Joey: A 'Mechanical Boy', nine-year-old Joey's withdrawal from human interaction makes him so miserable that he attempts suicide three months before entering the Orthogenic School. His autism is successfully treated, and in the end, he is glad to be alive.
  • In Nick Hornby's A Long Way Down, four people meet while trying to jump from the roof of a popular suicide spot on New Year's Eve. Feeling the mood's been spoiled, they end up going to a diner and forming a mutual support group. Ultimately, though, the trope's subverted as the characters don't like each other and only continue to hang out together because they have no one else to turn to, and what happiness they find is only just enough to keep them going.
  • Malgudi Days: Rama Rao, from the story "Out of Business". After a stock market crash causes him to lose his job at a gramophone company, his family is sent spiraling into debt. With no-one willing to employ an aging man, Rama develops an addiction to crossword puzzles, in the hope that by solving one of them correctly, he'll get enough wealth to turn things around for them. This actually makes their financial situation worse, and after losing a particularly large sum of money from one, he decides that everything is too much and that he wants to commit suicide. He goes and lies down on the train tracks... but the train he expects never arrives. Upon asking someone what happened, he is told that a goods train was derailed and blocking all the lines, meaning that all the trains would be three hours late. Rama joyfully accepts this as God's mercy and runs back home.
  • In G. K. Chesterton's Manalive!, a character named Innocent Smith employs this trope to his advantage. Straw Nihilists who talk about the greatness of death and suicide have a habit of changing their minds when their lives are actually threatened, and holding them at gunpoint usually "cures" them and makes them love life again.
  • A number of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's literary peers were troubled by the ending to his 1787 novel, Die Leiden des Jungen Werther (The Sorrows of Young Werther) and the behavior that it was inspiring among many of its youthful fans. One of them, a man named Friedrich Nicolai, wrote a satirical alternate ending called Die Freuden des Jungen Werthers (The Joys of Young Werther), in which Werther's attempt to kill himself is foiled by the husband of the woman he loved, who withdraws out of friendship and allows Werther to pursue her; he eventually marries her, sheds all of the "storm and strife" of his youth, and becomes a respected gentleman in society. Goethe hated this treatment of his work and wrote a poem in which Nicolai desecrates Werther's grave, starting a literary war between them that lasted the rest of Goethe's Nicolai's life.
    • Nicolai, who died in 1811, was one of the leading German literary critics of the Enlightenment and belonged to an older literary generation. He was rather sceptical of the new movements like Sturm und Drang and Romanticism. Die Freuden des Jungen Werthers is therefore correctly described as a parody, and it is worth noting that Goethe not only was angry at Nicolai specifically but was violently opposed to parodies in general. Nicolai meanwhile not only parodied Goethe but also the folk songs that were then being eagerly collected by the early Romantics.
  • Angus MacWhirter from Towards Zero attempted suicide by jumping off Gull's Point after losing his job and his family. He survives the fall and is bitter about it. A year later, he has secured a new job offer in South America; and while visiting the place where he had tried to kill himself, he saved a woman also trying to kill herself, convinced her that it is better to live, and marries her by the end of the novel.
  • In The Vampire Chronicles, Louis attempts to commit Suicide by Sunlight, after breaking his solemn vow and turning Merrick into a vampire. He does burn, but there is enough of him left that when his friends pour their vampire blood over his body he comes back to life. The incident ends up permanently waking up Lestat from his years-long stupor and bringing everyone involved closer together. Lestat, Louis, David, and Merrick form "a new coven, lively, and delighted in each other's company, and excusing each other all past sins."
  • The opening scene of the novel White Teeth is a complex example. Archie Jones is devastated after his Italian war bride from the 1940s leaves him three decades later to go live with her family (in her defense, she's a paranoid schizophrenic by this point and needs her family's care), and contemplates suicide mostly because he doesn't know what else to do. He finally settles for flipping a coin (his stock method of making decisions) but then doesn't immediately kill himself when the coin tells him to do so. He finally works up the courage to die about a week later and tries to gas himself in his own car but is rescued by a Pakistani butcher. Afterward, he is suddenly happy to be alive but he doesn't truly acquire a new lease on life until he journeys to a hippie commune and becomes infatuated with a Jamaican girl half his age, whom he later marries. One of those rare cases of a lighthearted book that begins with a Despair Event Horizon.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Addams Family:
    • "Green-Eyed Gomez": Believing that Morticia is having an affair with an old friend, Lionel Barker, Gomez attempts suicide twice and fails both times, much to his dismay. However, he ends up pleased about it when he realizes Morticia saw Lionel simply as a friend.
    • Gomez is trying to find an artist who can tutor Gran-Mama, so he calls a guy another friend recommends, an unsuccessful artist. Said artist is about to hang himself and gets the call from Gomez - with the job offer -right before he does so. (Of course, working for the Addams isn't all-too better...)
  • In season 2 of Boardwalk Empire, Richard Harrow sets out to the woods seemingly to go hunting, only to sit down, take his mask off, and put the rifle in his mouth. Suddenly, a dog shows up out of nowhere and steals his mask, causing him to run after it. He's eventually found by a couple of hunters who know the dog, and who give him his mask back and share their food with him. One of the hunters, showing a surprising amount of insight, gives him a short speech about the woods, telling him "These woods are for living, understand?" Richard then goes back to the city and talks with Jimmy, who reassures him of their friendship, helping him to change his mind about killing himself.
  • In the short-lived series FlashForward, the entire human race blacks out at the same time and sees a vision of the future. Bryce Varley is prevented from killing himself due to being in the late stages of kidney cancer. He comes to with a new lease on life having seen a vision of the love of his life, whom he hasn't met yet but will in the future.
  • In the pilot episode of God Friended Me, Miles barely manages to save a man named John from committing suicide by jumping in front of a train. John, still in a bit of stupor, runs off after Miles pulls him back and asks if he needs help, but when they cross paths again a few days later, he thanks him properly. It turns out John is a doctor who lost a patient and had a very difficult breakup on the same day, but he's very glad his suicide attempt failed—especially since his being alive means he's around to help Miles' friend Cara when she has a medical emergency.
  • In The Good Fight, Maia's father Henry, accused of running a Ponzi scheme, writes a suicide note, call his daughter's girlfriend to say goodbye, puts on a nice suit, and prepares to hang himself in his barn. Then he accidentally falls from the second floor while trying to grab the noose. His daughter and her girlfriend find him motionless on the barn floor. He then calmly tells her to hide all traces of attempted suicide and make it look like an accident, as he doesn't want to be put on suicide watch in prison. He doesn't attempt any more suicides after that, although he does skip on his bail and hide with his other wife.
  • This happened to a friend of Taub in House, or possibly to Taub himself.
  • Ex-Secret Service agent Paul Kellerman in Prison Break realizes that his life is meaningless and that the woman he has done so much for despises him. He puts on his parade uniform with all his awards and medals, properly cleans his service pistol, sits down on a chair, and prepares to pull the trigger. The scene cuts between this and his sister receiving a disturbing call and rushing to his place. She gets there and finds him slumped on the chair, the gun on the floor. He then stirs and looks at her, telling her in amazement that this is the first time in his entire career his gun has misfired. He then finds out that Sara Tancredi is on trial and, with renewed purpose, goes to testify, knowingly incriminating himself in the process. Later, his prison van is intercepted by masked people with guns. He faces them with dignity and prepares to die. He gets better.
  • Jodie, from the 1970s sitcom/soap opera parody Soap, takes a bunch of pills, falls asleep and wakes up as the most emotionally healthy character in the series. Go figure.
  • Supernatural subverts this in the Cold Open of "Hunteri Heroici": A man tries to walk off the edge of a building just as Toon Physics start to kick in due to the Monster of the Week. The man begins to celebrate the fact that he isn't falling, only to look down at the ground below. Since this is Toon Physics we're talking about, you can probably guess what happens next...
  • Invoked by Andrea in The Walking Dead. After being attacked by her zombified mother, Beth Greene starts to wonder if life is worth living in the post-apocalyptic world and is put on a suicide watch by the other characters. However, when it's Andrea's turn to keep an eye on her she merely locks the room and leaves, giving Beth a chance to try, reasoning that if she wouldn't be able to do it if she didn't truly want to die. She turns out to be right, but the other characters are still furious when they find out.

  • Art of Life by X Japan is about feeling suicidal yet overcoming those feelings and making one's desire to live stronger than one's desire to die. See the Real Life section below.
  • The video for Collective Soul's "The world I know" has the protagonist almost throw himself off a rooftop. Then a dove lands on his outstretched hand and he decides otherwise.
  • "Castles Made of Sand" by Jimi Hendrix:
    There was a young girl, whose heart was a frown
    Cause she was crippled for life,
    And she couldn't speak a sound
    And she wished and prayed she could stop living,
    So she decided to die
    She drew her wheelchair to the edge of the shore
    And to her legs she smiled you won't hurt me no more
    But then a sight she'd never seen made her jump and say
    Look a golden winged ship is passing my way
  • Subverted in the title song from Pink Floyd's album The Final Cut. The protagonist's (Who some speculate to be Pink from The Wall) suicide attempt is averted, but the way it is portrayed only makes things even more bleak and depressing.
  • "Minor Character" by Lloyd Cole has a very undecided girl - she threatens to throw herself from a bridge, but is laughed out of it. Cutting her wrists is also just an announcement.

  • In King Lear, Edgar sets up Gloucester to think he's had one of these in order to cheer him up, although his reaction is more of believing that fate ordained him to work towards some unfulfilled purpose.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy VI: Depending on how things play out, Celes may attempt suicide, but fail... happily, because from where she lies, she sees evidence that one or more of the others may have survived, which gives her the will to live.
  • Deconstructed in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. During Dimitri and Gilbert's B support, the former demands the latter kill him so he can be Together in Death with his family. Though Dimitri plays the whole thing off as a joke, Gilbert sees through it. After the Time Skip, he returns in their A ostensibly to carry out the deed: deliberately striking and missing to scare Dimitri into realising the value of his own life. This technically succeeds in making Dimitri feel grateful for being alive but it does not actually make him happier, as his traumas from losing his family still haunt him and are not so-easily cured.
  • At one point in Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony, Tony attempts suicide by gunshot, but the gun's safety is on.
  • In the Patient Zero campaign for Hitman (2016), Jeff, a disillusioned cultist, resists his girlfriend's attempts to force him into participating in Oybek Nabazov's mass suicide ritual in Bangkok. In the Sapienza mission, after finding that his girlfriend has been confirmed dead, he commits suicide by throwing himself off a cliff, but if Agent 47 subdues him before then, Jeff holds himself back. Then he pops up in Colorado and attempt to self-immolate, but if the barrel he intends to use is destroyed first, he appears in Hokkaido, content in the belief that his girlfriend has been repeatedly saving him from himself from beyond the grave...and all this has barely any bearing on gameplay.
  • In Life Is Strange, if you keep Kate from jumping off the school building, she will later express how happy she feels to still be alive.
  • Magia Record: Puella Magi Madoka Magica Side Story has this as a major part of the character Ren, who was driven to suicide over bullying and the cruelty of others twice. While the first time had her contract, the second time had her saved by Rika, who helped her see the beauty and hope in the world again, restoring her hope and making Ren much happier.
  • World of Warcraft: Sylvanas Windrunner, in between Wrath of the Lich King and Cataclysm expansions, tried to kill herself, and was very happy when val'kyrs brought her back... because she did die, and found what was her afterlife horrifying.

    Visual Novels 

    Web Comics 
  • Fans! used this with Aly, who was surprised at her happiness.
  • In Friendship Is Magic (an Alternate Universe webcomic based on My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic) Fluttershy of all people nearly commits this after being bullied at her school. She's thankfully stopped by a passing Rainbow Dash who berates her for even thinking about doing something like that.
  • minus., playing the role of a fairy godmother, grants a jumper's wish that his life didn't have to end. He splatters into miniature copies of himself, and they're next seen contently working his desk job.

    Web Original 
  • In the RWBY Volume 9 episode "Tea Amidst Terrible Trouble", Ruby, after suffering increasing mental problems for the past three volumes and arguably the whole series, drinks tea made of leaves that will cause a Death of Personality. When she actually arrives at the World Tree, however, she's scared and realizes she doesn't actually want to die, but to stop hurting so much. Fortunately, the Tree sees this and chooses to give her counseling instead, allowing her to return as herself and later reassuring her that she has done good for the world. Her final words before leaving are to thank the Tree for saving her.

    Western Animation 
  • An Eastern European cartoon from the '70s has a despondent man repeatedly trying and failing to kill himself. Then a man with a gun holds him up and, terrified, he hands over his wallet, watch, clothes, everything... and ends up overjoyed that he's still alive.
  • Bojack Horseman: Zigzagged with the titular BoJack. While he is grateful to be alive in the Grand Finale, he still has to deal with the consequences of attempting to drown himself. This includes serving time in prison, seeing his friends have happy endings without him, and facing the unknown of his future.
  • In Felix Out of Luck (1921), a despondent Felix the Cat is trying to shoot himself with a pistol—but misses.
  • In the pilot episode of Futurama, Fry meets his eventual Best Friend Bender for the first time when they both step into the same suicide booth (30th-century native Bender actually seeking death, 20th-century Fry just trying to make a phone call) and Fry saves his life. Bender later decides against making a second attempt when he realizes that Fry wants to be his friend, and his life rapidly improves from there.
  • In the 100th episode of Robot Chicken, the TV host hangs himself, only to be saved when Robot Chicken charges through during his Roaring Rampage of Rescue and cuts him down. For a brief moment, he thinks that his life is worth living before RC changes his mind and kills him.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Sweets and Sour Marge," a man jumps off the ledge of a building just as a massive ball of people comes rolling by. The tone of his voice implies that he is pleased with the result.
      Goodbye, Cruel World! (falls into the ball) Hello ironic twist!
    • A very heartwarming instance in "Moe Baby Blues": A lonesome Moe prepares to end his misery by jumping off the Springfield Bridge. Meanwhile, Maggie is sent flying from a traffic accident—and as Moe's about to jump, she lands right in his arms, saving her life. When Maggie gives Moe a kiss, he breaks into the tenderest smile—and touchingly remarks that "life...don't seem so hard no more."


Video Example(s):


Kouki Doesn't Commit Suicide

"Cats Don't Laugh". After escaping the Aoyama Pharmaceuticals lab, Kouki wonders if he is in fact one of the clones that were created there, and what to do with himself next. Rin hands him a pistol and tells him it's up to him whether he lives with the pain, or chooses not to. She returns to the truck, and we hear a gunshot. However, later, back at her and Mimi's office, Kouki shows up with his head bandaged: apparently he jerked the gun aside at the last moment and only grazed himself, and states that whether or not he's a clone, he's the only one who can live his life, and asks them if they're hiring.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / BaitAndSwitchGunshot

Media sources: