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High on Homicide

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"It was definite now... I had absolutely... killed him. There was no sense of accomplishment, nor one of regret. [...] Instead, right now... I was feeling like my heart had been stolen by the downpour [...] and how comfortable it felt."
Keiichi Maebara, Higurashi: When They Cry, Ch. 3 — Tatarigoroshi

So you've just killed a person...and it feels good. Like, really good.

This trope is common both to vendettas and to serial killings. Vastly different motivations aside, the following euphoric calm can be one and the same. All that bided time, all that anticipation and planning, finally pays off. Now able to admire their work, the killer basks in the moment and takes it all in.

Compare Evil Feels Good and Smiting Evil Feels Good, with either of which this may overlap. May lead to This Is Your Brain on Evil if the killer chases this high again. Contrast Laughing Mad, which is Ax-Crazier (though that certainly may follow this trope); Blood Lust and Orgasmic Combat, where the ecstasy is fairly sexual but not necessarily derived from killing; Blood Knight, where the fight is enjoyed as much as (or more than) the kill; and Dissonant Serenity, where the killer is this calm during the struggle. Not to be confused with Tranquil Fury, which wouldn't kill a fly but is no less terrifying. Frequently combined with Blood Is the New Black.


Since the notoriety of more recent real-life killers can deeply affect their victims' loved ones, please be cautious when adding Real-Life examples!


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Death Note. While Light Yagami starts off as a Knight Templar who kills criminals out of an extreme sense of justice, he becomes more corrupt over the course of the story and it becomes increasingly clear he enjoys killing and takes glee in it.
  • Heavy Object. Skuld Silent-Third is a Serial Killer who experiences a near sexual pleasure in the act of killing. A glimpse in her mind when she was getting ready to murder showed she was seeing psychedelic colors.
  • Tokyo Ghoul is effectively built around this trope, with many of the bad (and on occasion even the good) Ghouls murdering huge amounts of humans for the fun of it. This is one of the more justified examples as Ghouls need to eat human flesh to survive, but on rare occasions, it's this trope played straight.

    Comic Books 

    Films — Live-Action 


    Live-Action TV 
  • Invoked in the first vignette of Black Mirror: Black Museum, which features a doctor with a prototype implant that lets him feel the pains of others to help him make better diagnoses. While it worked wonderfully, the implant malfunctioned after he was reading somebody as they expired, causing him to start feeling pain as addictive pleasure (which was explicitly compared to a drug). After habituating, he eventually resorted to torturing a guy to death and had the high of his life and then fell into a coma. In the "present day" of the story, the doctor is still comatose and awaiting trial.
  • Dexter: The title Serial-Killer Killer gets a rush out of killing — one of the few emotions he ever feels— and likens it to an addiction, complete with withdrawal symptoms. He's often shown sighing in relief after claiming another victim.
  • Doctor Who: In "Spyfall", the Master admits to the Doctor that he gets a buzz in his chest when killing someone for no reason.
  • Though Dr. Hannibal Lecter's kills in the Hannibal TV series more often exemplify Dissonant Serenity, some of them — such as of his old colleague Dr. Sutcliffe — show him overtaken by tranquility specifically after his work is done. Then, of course, there's the whole cooking-them-for-himself-and-for-unwitting-guests bit.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: Inverted with Angron and several of the World Eaters marines, who have cerebral implants known as the Butcher's Nails that cause them to feel pain whenever they aren't killing something.

    Video Games 
  • The Roguelike Serial Killer features a serial killer whose homicidal urges have to be fulfilled by emptying the bloodlust bar, lest the player became an Omnicidal Maniac.
  • In Mass Effect, Ardat-Yakshi, asari with a rare genetic disorder, are considered dangerous because they experience this trope in a very literal way. Asari reproduce by mentally linking with their partner's nervous system to read their DNA and use it to randomize their own. When an Ardat-Yakshi does this, she causes a brain hemorrhage, with the most extreme cases of the condition causing instant death to their partners. The feedback from doing this causes a narcotic effect that proves extremely addictive, and the ones who turn into serial killers leave behind astronomical body counts in their never-ending quest to experience this high as much as possible.
  • The Cyclops Killer of AI: The Somnium Files was unable to produce the hormone oxytocin, which rendered him incapable of feeling positive emotions except through killing. He claimed his first victim at the age of twelve. When he undergoes a "Freaky Friday" Flip, he is unable to get the same rush when he murders, so he hunts down the person with his original body.
  • In Far Cry 3, Jason claims that he was upset the first time he killed somebody, but that he's gotten so used to it that he's not just no longer bothered—it actually feels very, very good.

    Visual Novels 


    Real Life