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Heel–Face Door-Slam

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"Perhaps, if you had more time... But then again, perhaps not. Redemption is a rare and special thing, after all. It is not for everyone."
Soon Kim, The Order of the Stick

The much more vindictive brother of Redemption Equals Death, where you have a villainous character who is beginning to realize that the way of evil is not the way, and is attempting or planning to redeem themselves, but is killed or otherwise brutally rebuffed, either by karma, the heroes, or even their boss (the latter most often crosses the Moral Event Horizon in doing so) before they can carry out their plans.

As a result, the character doesn't even get redemption and they will never throw off the darkness of their past. This will almost always be the response given to a villain who expresses a desire to redeem themselves, but whose past actions were too far beyond the pale for anything even resembling a convincing redemption to take place in the eyes of the heroes. And even if they got the chance to redeem themselves, fearing the redeemed would turn their blades, they're immediately dispatched by the heroes.

Less lethally, a Quirky Miniboss Squad may find they've been effectively chained to the role, and no amount of Character Development or viewer sympathy can free them. In this case, they at least don't die, but are still doomed to a lifetime of failure and villainy and realize it. Compare to Reformed, but Rejected, a light version of this trope where the other characters are distrusting but the narrative still grants the ex-villain room to atone for their past actions, even if they can never completely convince the heroes that their new life is genuine. But if they can't convince anyone that they've changed, you could be looking at Redemption Failure, where the character actually goes clean for a while but has to revert back to villainy due to unforeseen circumstances. When it's played lethally, Heel-Face Door-Slam can straddle the border of Redemption Equals Death or Death Equals Redemption, depending on how close to redemption the character comes before they're offed. May be the result of a Last-Second Chance offer that is later taken Off the Table. This is often the result of a character who is Trapped in Villainy. Contrast Redemption Earns Life, Karma Houdini Warranty, and Redemption Rejection.

See also Rejected Apology for the verbal variant. The Regretful Traitor may be particularly likely to suffer this fate.

Contrast with Go and Sin No More.

Not to Be Confused with The Door Slams You, although it may happen at the same time.

Warning: While Heel Face Door Slam does not always involve a character's death, it often does, so here be spoilers.

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

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    Films — Animation 
  • Coco: It turns out that Héctor would frequently travel with Ernesto in order to support his family by doing something he loved, but he soon realised that he missed his family too much and as he was preparing to return to them, his friend Ernesto, who wanted to achieve his dreams so badly, murdered him, stole his songs, and never told Héctor's family that he was dead, causing them to completely ostracize him.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 has the Wolf Boss refuse to fire cannons on his own men with a firm 'No', only to be immediately killed by Lord Shen's throwing knives to the throat.
  • The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special: When Darth Vader hurls Emperor Palpatine down the reactor shaft, Palpatine sees the present Vader had given him for Life Day that he had previously mocked, but now sees it was a good present. He reflects on everything that happened and decides to repent, calling it a Life Day miracle. Before he can do anything, he is vaporized by the reactor.
  • Ringing Bell has this happen to Chirin at the very end. He kills the Wolf, but the sheep throw him out. Chirin is left with nothing. This is one of the contributing factors to the tragedy of the story.
  • In the climax of Ugly Dolls, as Lou is thrown to the robotic dog, Moxy and the other dolls discuss what to do with him. Lou pleads for a second chance, only to be thrown in the washing machine by Nolan (whom Lou called "Ugly" in his song "The Ugly Truth").

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The ending of American History X involves a particularly memorable one; the day after Danny leaves the Neo-Nazi movement, he is killed because he pissed off a bully (who happened to be a minority) he had a feud with (and for further irony, was probably pressured into it the same way Danny was pressured into Nazism and then out again by his own Big Brother Mentor). Some alternative endings have this causing Derek to revert to Nazism, undoing all the Character Development of the film.
  • In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (the first movie), Number 2 pulls a gun on Dr. Evil, decrying his old-fashioned villainy and pointing out how he made Virtucon disgustingly rich through completely legal means. He starts to negotiate a surrender with Austin Powers, only to sit in the wrong chair... He returns in the next film, still on Dr. Evil's side and with just some slight burns on his face.
  • Avengers: Endgame: In the opening act, Thanos is moments away from some kind of reconciliation with his daughter Nebula when Thor unceremoniously decapitates him. Not that he didn't have it coming.
  • Batman Returns: This happens to one of Penguin's goons.
    Fat Red Triangle Penguin Goon: Ermm... Penguin? I mean, killing sleeping children... isn't that a little..?
    Penguin: [shoots goon with gun umbrella] No! IT'S A LOT! [kicks the dead goon into the sewage river]
  • Cold Turkey: "Heel" is a strong word, but in one scene, Reverend Brooks takes in the media circus and growing greed that the town's cold turkey challenge is causing and walks through the town in a daze while frowning. Then his bishop shows up to praise the publicity brought by his efforts while listening to his concerns and then dismissing them. Brooks is back to his Holier Than Thou self in the next scene.
  • Danger!! Death Ray, with a healthy dollop of Ho Yay beforehand.
  • The Dark Knight Trilogy:
    • Batman Begins: Played straight when Joe Chill, who agrees to testify against Carmine Falcone in exchange for early parole, is assassinated by one of Falcone's goons immediately after the hearing.
    • The Dark Knight: Gordon's blunt dismissal of Maroni's indignation at the murder of Rachel Dawes by the Joker's minions. Subverted when Maroni goes ahead with ratting the clown anyway ("You want him, I can tell you where he'll be this afternoon") and later reveals to Harvey Two-Face the name of the other traitor in Gordon's unit, then ultimately left up in the air when Two-Face kills his driver.
  • Mental in Dumb and Dumber, a kidnapper who stalks and plans to kill Harry and Lloyd after Lloyd swipes a briefcase full of ransom money. He finally realizes that they're just a couple of idiots naively returning a briefcase to its rightful owner and not rival criminals — unfortunately, they accidentally poison him immediately after he figures this out.
  • In Four Lions, one of the protagonists panicked and no longer wanted to be a suicide bomber, so he tried to turn himself in to the police. While he was yelling about how his costume was filled with explosives but he wasn't going to blow himself up, one of his friends blew him up to stop him from giving the rest of them away.
  • Glass (2019): In one of the most brutal examples, just as Casey manages to reach out to Kevin and he finally has the Beast and his other personalities under control, a sniper shoots him, and without the invulnerability of the Beast, he takes the shot like a normal human and dies in minutes.
  • The Great Gatsby 1949 plays this to the hilt. In the climactic poolside scene, Gatsby tells Nick that he plans to turn himself in and take the rap for what he has (and hasn't) done, and go straight. The Door Slams him immediately afterward.
  • Hardcore Henry: Played literally and awesomely. Estelle turns out to have been Akan's wife and had been emotionally manipulating Henry the whole time. After a short confrontation on her escape helicopter, she winds up hanging out of the door by her fingers, and she begs for Henry to "listen to his heart". After a brief moment, he slams the door down on her and she plummets to her death.
  • In Jurassic World, just after the Indominus rex has managed to persuade the raptors to her side, Owen spots Charlie in the brush. The raptor regards him for a moment, as if seriously contemplating whether going against her Parental Substitute was a good idea or not... and then she's blown to pieces by an InGen trooper armed with a rocket launcher.
  • The Lord of the Rings:
    • The pivotal scene of Sméagol's near-repentance on the stairs was omitted from the film The Return of the King due to the director feeling it necessary to maintain that Sméagol had never been redeemable in the first place. This decision to elevate Gollum from antagonist to outright villain was challenged by the writers, so the scene was replaced with another climactic episode in which Frodo spares Gollum and Gollum almost repents, but Frodo then admits the purpose of the quest to Gollum, at which he snaps and attacks Frodo again.
    • At the beginning of The Return of the King (in an extended scene), it looks like Wormtongue is about to accept Théoden's offer to leave Saruman and rejoin the heroes. Saruman responds by berating him and then strikes him across the face. Wormtongue is so upset by this that he stabs Saruman in the back and is shot down by Legolas, resulting in yet another point against diplomacy in Middle Earth.
  • In Manos: The Hands of Fate, the Crusty Caretaker, Torgo, decides he's had enough of being the cultists' whipping boy and announces his intent to help the family escape. Foolishly, he announces this to the cult's Master, who then hauls him off to be tortured before poor Torgo can put any of his plans into motion. He's able to escape, but that's the last we see of him, and he never gets a chance to come back and rescue the family.
  • My Soul to Take: Brandon becomes victim #3 right after he tries to apologize to Brittany for his lecherous Jerk Jock and Barbaric Bully behavior and indicates some love for his unborn child with Melanie Pratt.
  • The Patriot (2000) has two instances where it shows British officers being morally conflicted about their actions, but nothing is done with it:
    • First up is a lieutenant. The movie seems to make rather a big deal about him reacting with horror and distress at Colonel Tavington shooting Benjamin Martin's son Thomas and killing the wounded Militiamen. There is even a shot of him reacting to the sight of one of the younger boys crying before departing. But then the movie just kills him off in the very next scene.
    • Next we have Captain Wilkins, a Loyalist officer who joins the Green Dragoons and whose zeal leads him to boast that traitors to the crown deserve to die. However then Tavington tells him to burn a bunch of townsfolk in a church, he protests this as being dishonorable and murderous. Nevertheless, Wilkins readily caves when Tavington bullies him into it, essentially shutting the door on his own redemption himself. Despite this, there still seems to be some hope for him, given how visibly upset he is watching the church burn, however nothing is ever done with him and apart from a few snarky comments aimed at Tavington, he more or less vanishes from the movie entirely in the final battle (the novelization gives him a small The Dog Bites Back moment, where he passes up the chance to shoot Martin as he and Tavington fight to the death).
  • Psycho starts off with Marion Crane stealing $40,000 cash she was supposed to lodge in the bank for her work. She flees all the way to a motel near Fairvale, hoping to see her boyfriend Sam. After a talk with the motel owner, she has a Heel Realization and is implied to be planning to return home the next day.note  Unfortunately, this is the Bates Motel, and she's stabbed to death in the shower the same night. Her sister, boyfriend, and colleagues never find out that she was planning to turn herself in.
  • In Alfred Hitchcock's Saboteur, Nazi spy Frank Fry seems to have a change of heart in the final scene when The Hero Barry Kane tries to pull him back to safety before he falls off the Statute of Liberty; he begins to promise he'll confess to everything and clear Barry's name. Unfortunately, Barry's efforts go to waste, and Fry plummets to his death mere seconds later.
  • In Shaun of the Dead, David has been a dick towards everyone (but especially Shaun) pretty much throughout the entire movie, largely due to his unrequited love for Shaun's girlfriend Liz. This culminates in David forcing Shaun to shoot his own mother (not without cause, since she was a Zombie Infectee, but his insensitive and smug way of handling it didn't help matters) and then trying to shoot Shaun himself. After being called out by his own girlfriend about his actions, David is on the cusp of sincerely apologising to Shaun for all he's done... when an army of zombies break through the window behind him, drag him out, tear him to pieces and eat him before he can actually say it. Ouch. There was an alternate version of the scene where he's killed just after he apologizes, but the creators decided it would be more shocking if he never got the chance.
  • In Six: The Mark Unleashed, one of the carjackers who decides to turn himself in along with the smuggler takes The Holy Implant near the end of the movie and regrets his decision.
  • We get a version of this in Skyfall when Silva has M cornered and his gun in her face, when he realizes she's already mortally wounded and will die no matter what he does. He breaks down, puts the gun in her hand, raises it up to one side of her head while pressing his own head to the other side, and begs her to kill both of them with the same bullet. Then Bond barges in and throws a knife into his back. Silva gets demonstrably annoyed at this before keeling over.
  • In Twilight Zone: The Movie Vic Morrow's racist character, who was on a Quantum Leap-type trip inhabiting the bodies of various oppressed victims through time, is presumably on his way towards redemption; but real life writing the plot / Fatal Method Acting note  caused his character to be sent to a concentration camp, whence he presumably never returned.
  • Utu contains a rare villainous example, where a young Maori unsuccessfully tries to defect from the British Army to the rebels.
  • Talman in Wait Until Dark. He stops the con on Susy, promising to leave her and Sam alone and that she's safe... and is promptly killed.

  • HammerFall discusses this trope in "Last Man Standing." The song is sung by a man who gave up everything and refused to budge in his beliefs, only to now see that he's just about out of time to make things right.
    Seeing clearer what I've done, I refused to let things go
    I could never once admit I'm wrong, and what do I have to show?
    Seeing clearer what's at stake, and the things I have to change
    I just hope I can, it's not too late to get a chance to end this pain!
  • "Apologize" by One Republic (featuring Timbaland). The refrain says "I said it's too late to apologize, it's too late." Granted, it's probably less along the lines of "you can't have a chance to change your ways ever" and more like "this relationship is over regardless of whether you say you're sorry" or "if you want to have a relationship where you're not a traitor, it won't be with me."
  • George Michael's "Waiting (Reprise)"'s lyrics point to either this or a Heel–Face Turn.
    But you once said there's a way back for every man,
    So here I am.
    Don't people change?
    Here I am.
    Is it too late to try again?
    Here I am.
    • It can also apply to humanity as a whole in "Praying For Time".
      And the wounded skies above
      Say it's much too, much too late.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible:
    • The Book of Revelation points out that once a person has taken the Mark of the Beast and has worshiped the beast's image, they're screwed for eternity.
    • After betraying Jesus and regretting it, Judas tried to get the Sanhedrin to reverse the transaction, but they would have none of it. He was Driven to Suicide as a result.
    • Two passages from the Book of Hebrews suggests this trope as a warning: God can forgive almost everything, but the sole exception is if you've already come into His light, experienced all of His blessings, and still turned against Him—not just growing inactive, but being antagonistic towards Him. Repentance after that isn't enough to erase that sin; diminish it, perhaps, but not erase it.
      • Hebrews 6:4-6:
      For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to be renewed once more to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and subject Him to public shame.
      • Hebrews 10:26-31:
      For if we willfully continue to sin after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation, which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who despised Moses' law died without mercy in the presence of two or three witnesses. How much more severe a punishment do you suppose he deserves, who has trampled under foot the Son of God, and has regarded the blood of the covenant that sanctified him to be a common thing, and has insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, "Vengeance is Mine," says the Lord, "I will repay." And again He says, "The Lord will judge His people." It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.
    • God's likely reaction to His people Israel, as voiced in Lamentations 5:19-20:
      You, O Lord, remain forever;
      Your throne endures from generation to generation.
      Why do You forget us forever,
      and forsake us for so long a time?
      Restore us to Yourself, O Lord, that we may return!
      Renew our days as of old,
      unless You have utterly rejected us,
      and are very angry with us.
    • 1 John 5:16 in the Revised Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version says that "there is sin that is mortal" that believers should not bother to pray for, suggesting that whoever commits that kind of sin is doomed to Hell as opposed to those whose sins are not "mortal".
    • Christianity teaches that people only have an opportunity for salvation while they are still alive. When an unsaved person dies, they are separated from God for eternity. The most notable example of this is in the parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, the rich man begged for Abraham's mercy only to be denied of it.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • This happens a lot after someone rebels against a faction. After turning face, the wrestler gets a vicious beat down by the faction.
  • This was Owen Hart's justification for joining The Nation of Domination. He wanted a change in his life. The first change he made was trying "to be a nice guy", but since no one believed he was sincere he decided helping the Nation run roughshod over their opponents would be his change instead.
  • The Rock averted this happening to Hulk Hogan after defeating him and Hogan shaking hands with the Rock afterward. After that, fellow New World Order members Scott Hall and Kevin Nash started to beat down on Hogan until the Rock made the save and he and Hogan fought them off.
  • After Kevin Steen turned on El Generico and was ultimately kicked out of Ring of Honor for losing the resulting humiliating wager that came from the feud, Steen tried to get back into ROH by turning over a new leaf and behaving himself. Steen made the unwise choice of trying to prove how much better he had gotten by entering the services of Truth Martini, which resulted in an attack on Steve Corino that got Steen's ban extended. After that, Steen further invoked this trope by deliberately derailing the redemption quests of Steve Corino and Jimmy Jacobs to create S.C.U.M., a group dedicated to destroying the wrestling business, starting with ROH of course.
  • Sasha Banks in 2013 was a rookie repeatedly losing matches on NXT, and being taunted by Summer Rae about how she was too nice. After a hard-fought match against the reigning Women's Champion Paige, Sasha was visibly frustrated at her loss. Paige attempted to acknowledge her as a Worthy Opponent...but Sasha attacked her from behind to turn heel for the first time in her career. This was what led to the creation of her character 'The Boss', who would eventually become the top female star in the company.

  • In Dino Attack RPG, this was Pterisa's greatest fear. She knew that having a place in a post-war society meant that she had to make sure Dino Attack Team trusted her and knew that she was on their side; however, she feared that the reputation of Quasifigus Hybrids meant that, if they discovered her identity, she would forever lose her chance at gaining their trust. Once the Darkitect figured this out, he attempted to slam the door in her face by revealing her identity and reminding the present Dino Attack agents of the Quasifigus Hybrids' untrustworthy history. Fortunately, thanks to Andrew, Amanda, and Rex holding the door open, it didn't work.
  • Survival of the Fittest:
    • In v4, there's minor player Remy Kim. After leaving behind one person to die in a dangerzone after stabbing him and then also stabbing a battered girl, he runs into Sarah Tan, his friend from school, and has a Heel Realization. He vows to protect her, and it looks like she might be a Morality Pet — type figure... but not only is she angry at him for his actions, but he promptly gets headshotted midsentence by Ericka Bradley. Damn.
    • Lyn Burbank spends her early part of the game trying to play the game after killing her cousin, and even after she joins a group to repay being rescued from a nervous breakdown, it eventually falls apart, ending in her Mercy Killing one of the members and pulling a gun on the other one before leaving him behind, going on to return to playing the game. After she gets caught and brutally tortured by J.R. Rizzolo and left to die in a burning hanger, however, she gets rescued by her former party member, leading to her finally breaking down, tearfully admitting that she's sick and tired of trying to play the game and that she just wants to go home. Unfortunately, she ends up dying of blood loss shortly after.
    • Non-death variant; Reiko Ishida, after her murder of Carol Burke among other things, becomes more hesitant to play the game, and once she finds her girlfriend Sarah Xu, she's obviously happy. However when the escape boats arrive she is denied going with Sarah, on the basis that she was playing the game to begin with. It ends with Sarah going on the escape boat (though reluctantly) and Reiko staying.
    • In Program V2, Damien Stone has a breakdown after killing a third classmate, realizing that what he's doing is wrong, and resolves to change his ways. These thoughts are interrupted by Dylan Walker shooting him in the back of the head.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: A hellbred is an evil mortal who repents shortly before death, and is granted a new life by direct intervention of a deity, a final second chance to avoid damnation. While some manage to atone, many cannot, but failure does not kill them nor cause them to lose the status of hellbred. Failed hellbred have been known to become fouler villains than before.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: This is one of the fundamental flaws of the Court of Storms, and a large part of what makes them a Twilight Court rather than a [[Ideal Hero Radiant]]. While Storms is under no obligation to punish someone who has successfully cleansed themselves of the Darkness, their Invocation forbids them to show any mercy to those still Tainted even if they are actively working towards redemption.

  • In The Crucible, Mary Warren told the judges and everyone that she and the other girls were lying about being attacked by witches. Then she got scared and ended up accusing John Proctor of witchcraft instead. Truth in Television: Mary Warren did this in real life, from what historians know. She admitted that she and the girls were lying, but then they accused her of witchcraft, saying she'd joined the witches so they'd stop hurting her. Mary confessed to save herself, and "confirmed" the girl's accusations as true.
  • Ebenezer has this happen with Jacob Marley's death. Terrified of the evil he's done and of dying alone, he begs for mercy and says there's still time for him to be good, but it's too late and he's dragged down to be punished.
  • In Giulio Cesare in Egitto by George Frederic Handel, Ptolemy goes back on his word to give Cornelia to his loyal (if a bit more soft-hearted) commander Achilla, who immediately switches to Cleopatra's side and plans to have grand revenge against Ptolemy. Then Cleopatra's army suffers a crushing defeat, Achilla succumbs to a mortal wound, and the heroes throw his corpse into the sea.
  • In Shakespeare's King Lear, the villain Edmund, upon realizing he is mortally wounded, wants to do one good thing before he dies by rescuing people who he's ordered to be executed. He's too late.
  • A minor example in Les Misérables: Javert agrees to let Valjean take Marius to a doctor to save the latter's life, despite Javert's constant promises to arrest Valjean at the earliest opportunity. This shakes Javert's worldview to its core — how can a man he thought of as a criminal be helping an innocent boy to safety? — and he eventually kills himself because of it. At the end of the show, all the dead characters appear in heaven alongside Valjean ... except for Javert, who is nowhere to be seen. Especially impactful considering how fervently religious and certain he would get into heaven Javert was.
  • In the opera Susannah, Olin Blitch, the traveling evangelical preacher, forces the protagonist (who is not on good terms with the rest of the town) to have sex with him. Overcome with remorse, he tries to convince the people that she's not a bad person. They don't listen. He begs Susannah to forgive him; she doesn't. Then her brother kills him.
  • In Rimsky-Korsakov's The Tsar's Bride, Gryaznoy does it more or less himself in the end, not that there was an option. He schemes to slip a love potion into Marfa's drink, which leads his own Woman Scorned (whom he has treated terribly) substituting poison for it instead. When Marfa becomes ill, Gryaznoy blames her fiancé on poisoning her and executes him. And then he learns that it was him who accidentally poisoned the girl. He is overcome with remorse, but it's too late: Marfa dies in his arms, and he gives himself up for execution.
  • In Urinetown, Senator Fipp and Mrs. Millenium, realizing just how evil their boss Caldwell B. Cladwell has become, decide to leave him and run off to Rio together. At that moment, the blood-hungry rebel poor, on their way to the UGC headquarters to confront Cladwell, brutally kill them.

    Web Animation 
  • In Helluva Boss, I.M.P is sent to kill Lyle Lipton, an already suicidal old man and famous inventor whose life-changing inventions were paved (sometimes literally) on the backs and bodies of the poor and unwanted, including orphan children, and find that C.H.E.R.U.B is there because the people in Heaven whose lives were bettered by his inventions want him to live to the end of his life and find redemption. The two groups fight over breaking Lyle's spirit so he goes through with it and raising it so he changes his mind, until the very end when Lyle realizes that these two otherworldly forces openly fighting for him means there must be some good he can do with the rest of his life... right before a stray arrow one of the CHERUB members fired knocks a Piano on him, whereupon his misdeeds in life send him right to hell... not that he minds, since he's back with his partner and able to keep inventing with even FEWER scruples.
  • In the first season of Video Game Championship Wrestling, Little Mac quickly became the promotion's top heel after winning Money In The Bank under dubious circumstances, and very quickly aligned himself with Corrupt Corporate Executive and VGCW owner Baz McMahon. This prompted a long feud with Zangief, who felt that he should have been the winner. The feud ended in the season finale when Little Mac won an Iron Man Inferno match over Zangeif 8-4. At the end of the match, Baz threw a chair into the ring and ordered Little Mac to finish Zangief off, but Mac had a change of heart, threw the chair back at Baz, shook Zangief's hand, and ended their feud on a high note in a showing of mutual respect. It looked like Mac had a career as a babyface ahead of him until he was the victim of a hit and run on his way out of the arena.

    What makes this worse is that afterwards, Phoenix Wright headed up an investigation to determine who was responsible, but at the end of the second season, his investigation's focus turned to finding the identity of Mr. L, while Mac himself became an afterthought. No one knew who was responsible for taking out Mac, and Mac himself has not been seen until Season 4 when he returned from his long recovery. The season also revealed that it was Phoenix who ran over Mac thanks to Time Travel.

  • Akuma's Comics: Dr Wily initially works for the Ministry, however he asks to retire from villainy as he's feeling his age and wants to focus on being a father. The Undertaker declares this out of the picture and Doc Robot ends up killing him.
  • The plot of Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell can be summarized as "futilely banging on the door." Darwin only made one mistake, but the laws of the universe aren't letting him make up for it, since the incredibly bad luck he's been cursed with applies even when he's trying to help other people.
  • Homestuck:
    • Vriska Serket began to regret the endless wave of pain and misery caused by her actions after killing a friend, and began opening up to John and expressing that all she wanted was to leave it all behind and take a few cues from mankind on how to live, but before all that wanted to confront Jack Noir to try and save her friends. Then Terezi killed her to prevent the doomed future that would've come from her attempt to fight Jack.
    • When Jade was knocked unconscious after failing to disrupt Jake's hope bubble, she snapped out of her grimbark mode and, presumably, the Condesce's mind control. Then Aranea promptly dropped a house on her and rigged the God Tier clock to register it as a just (and thereby permanent-ish) death.
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Miko Miyazaki, a paladin who's unpleasant and fanatically devoted to killing what she views as evil, finally loses her paladinhood after she kills her liege lord Shojo for lying to her and his other subordinates. She gets imprisoned as a result, and during the invasion of Azure City, destroys Soon's Gate, which Xykon invaded the city to claim, and is fatally wounded in the resulting explosion. This would seem like a good choice, but Soon's spirit was about to defeat Xykon, so Miko's decision ensured his survival. Soon tells a dying Miko as kindly as possible that no, she cannot become a paladin again, since not only was her action counterproductive, but she never accepted that she was in the wrong.
    • The prequel book "Start of Darkness" reveals that Redcloak falls into the non-lethal type. For a brief moment, he considers setting his Evil Plan aside in favor of an ordinary life, but then Big Bad Xykon shows up and slams the door in the most tragic way possible.
    • Half-orc ninja Therkla gets this in a big way. She falls madly in love with Elan, but he's not willing to leave Haley for her, and nobody else on the Good side is willing to cut her any slack. She dies tragically.
    • In one strip, during a raid to free Azure City prisoners, among them was a goblin prisoner, who asked to join the resistance as he had no love for the other goblins. The elf commando seemed to be approving of it...then he shows his Fantastic Racism by ruthlessly shoving the goblin over a ledge. Disturbingly enough, the others are impressed.
  • Played for laughs in Servants of the Imperium #34. A pair of dark eldar decide they don't like being evil torture-loving psychopaths and that they want to leave. Next panel the heroes machine-gun them.
    Brianna: I don't know what they were talking about, but I bet it was evil.
  • Seymour attempts to do this to Fuschia in the "Bad Behaviour" strips of Sinfest. If not for Criminy, it would have worked. Is a major reason why he has a Hatedom.
  • Played hilariously straight in Penny Arcade (in reference to Uncharted) where a henchman writes a letter revealing that he started a small group to usurp his boss that may be losing his mind over the Cincimati Stone. Before he could finish his letter, he's thrown off a cliff by Nathan Drake.
    Tycho: Nathan Drake continues to suffer from his unique sociopathy, the one which allows him to crack wise between genocides. As usual, we at Penny Arcade are swollen with concern for those on the periphery.

    Web Original 
  • In Worm this nearly happened to Skitter when she turned herself into the PRT. Despite being willing to go hero and help with the potential end of the world, Tagg wouldn't bend and Alexandria was trying to provoke Skitter into attacking so she could be sent directly to the Birdcage.

    Web Videos 
  • In "Star Wars: Retold", the uploader asks his friend to tell him what she knows of the plot. Once she gets up to The Empire Strikes Back, Amanda says that Lando betrays the heroes, "feels bad about it," then dies(apparently from being stabbed by an Ewok) "feeling bad about it."
  • There Will Be Brawl:
    • Link was going down this path, realizing that he and Zelda were going too far to get their hands on the Mushroom Kingdom throne. Then Zelda literally stabs him in the back with the Master Sword and leaves him for dead. He survives this, however, and gets an actual Redemption Equals Death.
    • Zelda follows him down this road in the finale, in which she attempts to sacrifice herself in place of the "not yet dead" Link. Unfortunately, Ganondorf's attack is so powerful, it takes them both out simultaneously.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Face Heel Door Slam


Superman's Plan

Superman plans to destroy Metropolis and Gotham to set an example of what happens when anyone crosses the Regime. Then murders Shazam when he questions this plan.

How well does it match the trope?

4.73 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / MakeAnExampleOfThem

Media sources: