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I Cannot Self-Terminate

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War Is Hell, but Hell sounds better than this.

"I cannot self-terminate. You must lower me into the steel."

Perhaps the Body Horror has almost completely taken over a person and with their last ounce of humanity, they beg to be killed. Perhaps they've just been wounded in a vital area and know they are going to die slowly and in agony, and just want to die with dignity/end the pain quickly. Perhaps they're losing the battle with an Enemy Within and they need the hero or sidekick to throw the airlock switch/fire the Forgotten Superweapon at them/lower them into the steel. Perhaps they are prisoners and being tortured, and the hero cannot break them free but could shoot them. In any case, while they're ready or even eager to die, they cannot do it on their own. This can also count as a Heroic Sacrifice, sometimes.

If the character is robotic, this may occur due to influence from Asimov's Laws. Specifically, a robot may not harm itself, or through inaction allow itself to be harmed, unless it is in direct opposition with the first two laws. Even when not following the hierarchical laws of robotics, it could still occur if a robot is simply programmed for self-preservation.

In a series set in Jidaigeki, this trope may appear when a Samurai character commits seppuku — ritual suicide — to redeem himself. Traditionally, a person committing seppuku, after disemboweling himself, was allowed to have a "second" (kaishakunin) behead him before the pain would destroy his composure. Sometimes, the "second" will volunteer for the job, as a token of respect for a friend or Worthy Opponent.

Instant Death Bullet is likely. Then, usually the killer has no difficulty getting to a position and attacking in a manner that would cause quick death. When the character is Fighting from the Inside, but not very effectively, the death can be long and gruesome.

The victim may plead for death even when it is possible for them to be saved, owing to the pain. The hero is likely to override that, often saying No One Gets Left Behind.

Compare to Mercy Kill, when the target cannot even request death; Death Seeker, where the target can't even find anyone willing (or capable, if the Death Seeker still wants to fight to the best of their ability); and Driven to Suicide, when they can self-terminate, though sometimes they just can't find the ability to do it themselves, and need help. Also compare Trial by Friendly Fire.

As this is a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Baccano!:
    • This is the ostensible reason immortals were given the ability to "devour" others. It took at least a few seconds before they realized they could use it to murder each other, though at least two immortals (Maiza and Sylvie) have considered asking Firo to end their lives this way.
    • This is why Lua is with her fiancé, Ladd, who promised to kill her last, though it's not really explained why she wants to die. For reason, according to the novels, she thinks "suicide is a foolish option for her", so it's more like she could kill herself but chooses to be a Death Seeker instead.
  • Early on in Bleach, Orihime's Hollow-fied older brother Sora has a flash of Heroic Willpower, removes his Hollow mask and asks Rukia to perform konsou on him before he hurts anyone else. (Mild subversion, since technically he's already dead, but the afterlife concept in Bleach is weird as hell anyway.)
    • And later, we learn that this is not the first time Rukia has done that. The guy she had to kill back then was actually her Big Brother Mentor and first love, Kaien Shiba, whose body had been taken over by the same Hollow that had just killed his wife Miyako aka Rukia's Cool Big Sis. Poor Rukia was so badly traumatized that she saw her upcoming execution in Soul Society as a way to get a Suicide by Cop and atone for her actions.
  • Blood+: Early on during the war against Diva, Saya makes Haji promise her that he will kill her after she finally kills Diva so as to end the threat the Chiropteran race poses. Ultimately subverted when Saya finally succeeds and is about to do the deed herself, and defied when Haki and Kai convince her to live on.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Aiwass has no intention of dying, but comments that it can't commit suicide because of automatic defenses programmed into its body.
    • Fraulein Kreutune attempts suicide upon developing Horror Hunger, but fails because she is immortal. She gets her will to live back when Touma cures her hunger instead of killing her.
  • The half-demon warriors in Claymore eventually reach a state where they can no longer contain their demonic side. At this point they send a "black card" bearing their personal symbol to another Claymore as a personal plea for that particular warrior to kill them while they still have their humanity.
  • In the end of Code Geass, to keep the world form discovering that he is Zero and the Emperor, Lelouch asks his Dragon Suzaku to dress up as Zero and kill him in public. Suzaku tearfully does so, and after Emperor Lelouch is out of the picture in a very dramatic way, he becomes Zero and aids Lelouch's little sister and successor, Empress Nunnally. However... some fans keep insisting that Lelouch may be still alive and Walking the Earth with C.C.
    • The writer has repeatedly stated that he's dead in interviews (e.g. Animage 10 and 11, Continue Vol.42, etc), tweets by the director (translation), the official guide book, ..., and is listed among the dead in the Death List for R2. Then it was announced that he was confirmed to be the main character in the sequel which is officially named "Lelouch of the Resurrection", which aligns with the mountain of official statements (database with official statements)about his death.
    • It's important to note that the hay cart scene in the epilogue, which is central in the fan theory, was dropped and replaced when they made the Zero Requiem blu-ray in 2009. Because this hay cart scene was so often misunderstood and misrepresented it was replaced by a brand new epilogue in which C.C. narrates to the audience and explicitly explains that Lelouch is dead and that she mourns him, but she comforts herself with the thought that Lelouch died while achieving his goal of a gentler world, the Zero Requiem. this much clearer and much more explicit epilogue rules out the misinterpretation that Lelouch could have had the code.
    • And let's not forget that this trope is the particular compulsion that Lelouch puts on Suzaku, sealing his Fate Worse than Death as well.
    • C.C., being immortal, fit this trope until near the end of the series. In fact, the "contract" she makes turns out to be "evolve your geass fully so you can kill me and take my code", the same as the witch before her did to her.
  • In Descendants of Darkness, Tsubaki Kakyouin begs Hisoka to kill her after Muraki injures her fatally, since she (or better said, her alter-ego Eileen, created by another girl's anger at how she was murdered to give her heart to Tsubaki) is to blame for the murders that had just taken place, and she wants to die in peace. Hisoka tearfully complies to her wish and shoots her to death, then cries in Tsuzuki's arms.
  • In Dragon Ball, this is the reason Kami trains Goku to kill Piccolo Jr. Since he and Piccolo are two halves of one being, if Piccolo dies, Kami will as well. Kami feels that he deserves to pay for bringing Piccolo into the world in the first place, but as a God, he can't kill himself.
  • Ellis in El Cazador de la Bruja asks Nadie to shoot her so she she can avoid being enslaved by the Big Bad. Nadie does so and dies herself shortly thereafter of undisclosed reasons. Luckily, both characters are resurrected a few minutes later.
  • Zeref from Fairy Tail seems to be counting on Natsu to come and kill him.
    • Neo-Minerva asks Erza about it after she has been turned into a demon. But Erza rejects this request, saying that there are people who waiting for Minerva's return.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, doctor Marcoh is being held prisoner by the homunculi and made to work for them under threat that if he doesn't cooperate or dares to run away or kill himself they will obliterate the village where he spent the last years in hiding. When Scar sneaks into his cell, he begs him to kill him, thinking the homunculi wouldn't take revenge on the village if he was killed by another, apparently against his will.
  • In Ga-Rei -Zero- Yomi tries to do this to herself after realizing that she's been killing her friends out of hatred. The banestone in her prevents her from getting her own sword anywhere near herself to cause injury.
    • Yomi also repeatedly tells Noriyuki to kill her to prevent her from killing Kazuki. At first it seems like she might just be taunting him, until she starts crying while she screams this.
  • In Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE, this is the fate of the EL-Diver Eve. Her and her sister Sarah were the first EL-Divers in GBN with Eve watching Sarah from afar. When Sarah accidentally caused her data to be scattered across the game, putting a massively heavy strain on it, Eve started absorbing the data to stop the spread. When she couldn't hold any more, she asks Hiroto to delete her. He can't bring himself to do so, but, seemingly, his Core Gundam can. Unknowingly, Eve is seemingly reincarnaded into May afterwards.
  • Gun Grave: In the anime Harry McDowell begs Brandon/Grave to kill him that because he can't live in disgrace.
  • In Half & Half, Shinichi and Yuuki try to say screw you to the light that saved them before and gave them 7 Days of reprise before one of them has to die, by wanting to commit double-suicide. They succeed in jumping off a high cliff, but are again saved by the same light and realize they can't kill themselves before their days are up.
  • The Original Reinforce in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's has Nanoha and Fate seal her program because if they didn't, her Self-Defense Program would regenerate itself and kill everyone.
  • At the very heart of Magic Knight Rayearth, in which which the Pillar of Cephiro, who supports the stability and peace of her entire world, is no longer able to bear the burden of her responsibility. She must summon the Magic Knights from another world, for nobody in all Cephiro can kill the Pillar and it's impossible for the Pillar herself to take her own life. After learning of the true situation, the Knights reluctantly accept what must be done, setting the stage for a truly heart-breaking climax as well as for the second season, where the Knights must defend Cephiro from the foreigners who want to take over and become Pillars.
  • Played with in the case of Kaidou in One Piece, who can't self-terminate because he's just too tough to die. As a result, attempted suicide is one of his hobbies, with even such extreme attempts as jumping off a Sky Island (an altitude of 10,000 meters or over 6 miles) leaves him completely unharmed when he hits the ground.
  • In Pokémon: Diamond and Pearl Adventure!, when Jupiter is about to blow up the Galactic base and tells Mitsumi to get out with everyone else, Mitsumi says she can no longer live with the memory of what she did as a Team Galactic agent and asks Jupiter to blow her up too. Jupiter is taken aback but is ultimately convinced to do so. Of course, this being Pokemon at heart, it's revealed in the next chapter that Jun saved her.
  • At the end of one timeline in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Homura and Madoka face Walpurgisnacht and lose miserably. Just when all hope seems lost, Madoka reveals that she has one last Grief Seed, using it on Homura's Soul Gem in order to purify it and allow her to continue living. However, Madoka's nearly-corrupted Soul Gem is liable to become a Grief Seed at any moment. Her final request to Homura: Use her time powers to go back and Set Right What Once Went Wrong... but first, destroy her Soul Gem before she turns into a Witch. Homura's agonized wail as she does so is heart-rending.
    The Nutcracker Witch. Its nature is self-sufficiency. Its gallant form, which once split many nuts, is now useless. Without any other purpose, this witch's last wish is her own execution. However, a mere decapitation will not clear away the witch's sins. This foolish witch will forever remain in this realm, repeating the procession to her execution.
  • In Re:Zero, one of Subaru's many reasons of death. He at one point gets possessed by the Sin Archbishop of Sloth, Betelgeuse, and asks his allies Julius and Felis to kill him before he can cause any harm.
  • Very cruel example from Saint Seiya: An Ansgard warrior named Volker abused his adoptive son Mime for years and once taunted him with the fact that he had killed Mime's biological parents, which sent Mime in an Unstoppable Rage and made him his father. What seemed to be a case of revenge is actually one where Volker, haunted for years for accidentally killing Mime's parents during a civil war, wanted Mime to punish him. (Mime's dad was The Rival and refused to be spared because of his family, and when Volker attacked him in self-defense, he hit both him and his wife who was trying to stop them). Volker couldn't be easily killed by anyone in Ansgard since he was the top Retired Badass there, so he played a Thanatos Gambit to have his wish to die honorably at the hands of someone who'd take his place in the top ten of Ansgard's military force, while also atoning for a double kill that he never truly intended to commit.
  • The Gecko Ending of Saiyuki RELOAD Gunlock basically boils down to the Sanzo-ikkou beating up the possessed arc villain until he temporarely regains control and begs Sanzo to shoot him, because the path he has chosen was so wrong that everything he has done was for nothing anyway, and the demon inside him can take over again at any moment. Sanzo complies, though not before remarking that nothing in the world is ever done for nothing.
  • In Tekkaman Blade, the main character has a strict 30-minute timer on his battle form before he loses his mind and becomes a savage destruction machine. Early in the series, he asks another member of the team (his Lancer in the group, Noel) to shoot him if he goes over.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Done in a weird way in the series finale. Atem, in order to finally Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, MUST be defeated in a duel by Yugi. He cannot just forfeit the duel; he must be defeated honorably by the person who he shares a body with. What results is the most epic duel in the show's history.
  • In Yuki Yuna is a Hero the girls Fairy Companion's protect them from lethal injuries, whether it be suicide or battle damage. This is not a good thing as whenever they fight their Mankai get leveled up. Eventually they automatically use the Dangerous Forbidden Technique which causes them health consequences, anything from losing the ability to use your legs to not being able to taste anything. After several uses they end up severely crippled and it's basically a Fate Worse than Death.
  • In the Tournament arc of YuYu Hakusho, Yuusuke faces three fighters who are little more than People Puppets and have beaten up Kuwabara brutally. Upset at Kuwabara being injured for trying to free them, he angrily asks them if they're heartless or what... and he sees them crying Tears of Blood, stopping their attacks and begging him to kill them so they're free of the control devices implanted into them. Luckily, Genkai manages to destroy the devices without killing the fighters.
  • In Zatch Bell! the demon-bookkeeper pairs cannot burn their own books; therefore there were many cases of demons(or their bookkeepers) asking others to burn their book for them. It could be either because any more damage to the demon could actually kill the demon(their bookkeepers would rather have the demons sent back to the demon world than having them die) or because they do not feel like participating in the battle anymore. Examples include Koruru, Rein, Wonlei, Leira, Bari, and Umagon.

    Audio Plays 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who story "Peri and the Piscon Paradox", the Fifth Doctor and Peri encounter an alien fish named Zarl, who believes that if he dies on Earth, he will be reincarnated as a human and reunited with his already-reincarnated wife. Since he has a limiter chip in his brain which prevents him from committing suicide, he commits various acts of villainy to encourage the Doctor to kill him. Subverted, however, as this story is made up: "Zarl" is actually the Sixth Doctor, who killed the real Zarl by accident, and now wants the Fifth Doctor to "defeat" him as he remembers and thus preserve the Web of Time.
  • In chapter 41 of We're Alive After Datu is bitten, he begs Michael to kill him before he turns. Michael tells him he'll leave a suicide syringe where Datu can reach it if he feels like he's going, but Datu declines because killing himself would be "unforgivable".

    Comic Books 
  • Rogue Trooper encounters a subverted version of this trope. Having thought that he was the last remaining super-soldier, he is amazed to find a much older prototype living as a hermit on the poison-choked planet Rogue roams. The old man says he is waiting to die and that he feels like nature is going to take its course very soon. When enemy troops approach, Rogue's friends - personality-chips of fallen comrades embedded in his helmet and gun — vote to leave the old man to his fate. Rogue declines — the old man wants to die with dignity — and his already impressive abilities are ramped up to eleven in order to massacre the enemy patrol and give the old man something Rogue hopes to have himself one day.
  • In an old Batman comic, Batman is possessed by Manuel, the ghost of a Satan-worshipping pirate, who's trying to bring himself and those stuck in purgatory back to the real world. Batman pleads with The Flash to kill him before that happens. Luckily, the Flash chooses to Take a Third Option.
  • In Batman: Holy Terror, one of the subjects of the experiments to replicate Aquaman was a manta ray with a vaguely human head and enough intelligence to realize that it's an abomination of science. According to Barry, it has tried repeatedly to kill itself, but since it lacks proper limbs, the most it can do is smash its head against the walls of the tank repeatedly, which isn't enough to kill it.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10 Dracula pleads with Buffy to kill him before he fully transforms into the Old One Maloker again.
  • Anika Wells of Clean Room was abducted and subjected to medical experimentation, the result of which was a decade-long withering of half of her body leaving her bedbound. She begs Astrid for death since she lacks the physical ability to attempt suicide.
  • A story arc of Fantastic Four has the Thing, being possessed by Dr. Doom, put the Torch in a death hold. Doom is laughing that the only way to stop him is to kill him — that is to say, kill Ben. Ben manages to wrest just enough control to tearfully tell Reed to do it. For once, Reed gets stuck in a situation where he can't Take a Third Option.
  • In A-Force, during the events of Civil War II, Nico Minoru is forced to go on the run again after Ulysses predicts that she will kill a woman named Alice, despite not knowing anyone by that name. It later turns out Alice has been infected with some sort of alien virus that has turned her into a bug monster and is rapidly spreading to the rest of her hometown. Naturally, Alice wasn't happy about what she had become and what she was unintentionally doing to everyone around her, but was unable to kill herself, and thus begged Nico to do it.
  • In Ghost Rider, when Lucifer tricks Ghost Rider into bringing him to Earth, Lucifer's essence is split into six hundred and sixty-six fragments, which possess bodies that died around the same time as they broke out of Hell. As each fragment dies, the remaining fragments will become stronger, to the extent that only Ghost Rider will be able to kill the last few Lucifer fragments; an angelic being who appears to Ghost Rider reveals that the Lucifers cannot simply kill themselves as suicide would damn them back to Hell due to it being a mortal sin, and Lucifer would obviously not choose to go back to Hell after spending millennia trying to get to Earth.
  • Inverted in French comic Les Légendaires. The Big Bad points out that he's a god. In this verse, only gods can kill gods, and other gods have deserted this planet. So, he states that the only hope for the heroes is that he would suicide. The loophole was to kill him with a sword forged with his own blood (actually the blood of the guy he possess the body).
  • A similar example to the above occurs in Lucifer. Due to a promise she broke as a temple maiden, a Babylonian woman is punished with immortality; as a particular condition of the immortality, every day for the last four thousand years has featured her miscarrying her fetus. She ends up seeking out a bargaining chip for Lucifer, who revokes the immortality and watches as she blows away to dust.
  • In The Sandman (1989), retired DCU hero Rainie Blackwell (a.k.a. Element Girl), who feels alienated from humanity due to her transmutation powers, longs to kill herself but can't because regardless of the method she chose her body would automatically transmute itself into another substance. Death of the Endless, having failed to talk Rainie out of dying before her time, suggests she ask the Egyptian god Ra, the source of her superpower, to handle it. Ra silently tells her to look directly at him, whereupon she disintegrates.
    • At the end of the series' take of the tragedy of Orpheus and Eurydice, Orpheus is set upon by the maenads and reduced to an Oracular Head. He requests that his father Morpheus kill him, because as a divine being he can't die naturally or be killed by a mortal. Morpheus denies him and leaves him alive as a severed head. The two eventually reconcile some two-and-a-half thousand years later and Morpheus fulfils his request, in the process setting in motion the events of the comic's final arc.
  • Spider-Man villain Kraven the Hunter Came Back Wrong during the Grim Hunt storyline, being unable to die unless he killed "the Spider" or "the Spider" killed him, so he's been trying to get Spider-Man to pull a Suicide by Cop by trying to force him to kill him. Ultimately, in the storyline Hunted, he ultimately finds a bit of Loophole Abuse to finally get his wish.
  • The Transformers (Marvel): Early in the run, the Space Bridge does this, as the bridge itself is the horribly twisted body of its designer, Spanner. He begs Blaster to kill him, considering life as an immobile transporter for the Decepticons A Fate Worse Than Death.
  • Ultimate Vision: Is the Gah Lak Tus module forcing the satellite to reentry to kill everyone in it, by Taking You with Me? Vision does not believe so. He's not programmed to kill himself. He must have some other plan.
  • In part two of the classic Alan Moore "Imaginary Tale" Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? which brought an extra-continuity close to the Silver Age Superman mythos, Lex Luthor's body is essentially possessed by the disembodied head of Brainiac, which he is forced to wear like a rather macabre helmet. When confronted by a temporarily superpowered Lana Lang (who, pre-Crisis, he had some history with), Luthor valiantly struggles against Brainiac's control long enough to beg her: "kill me!", rather than remain the living computer's meat-puppet. Lana complies and snaps Luthor's neck... but (unfortunately for Jimmy Olsen) even the death of his host body wasn't enough to keep Brainiac down, as he manages to continue stimulating the corpse's nerves and muscles for a while longer, Luthor's head grotesquely lolling to one side on its broken spine. Eventually the rigor mortis catches up with him, forcing the malignant robot head to dismount and crawl after Superman with futile murderous intent before finally expiring.
  • X-Men:

    Fan Works 
  • Champion: Fen's father spends six months in a paralyzed state after being stung by dozens of tracker-jackers before begging his son to kill him, which Fen does with a Vorpal Pillow.
  • Played with in Dragon Ball Z Abridged.
    King Kai: Wish these guys back to life before I kill myself.
    Krillin: Wait, can gods kill themselves?
    King Kai: I'm about to try!
  • Kyon: Big Damn Hero has Ryouko Asakura asking Kyon to kill her, mentioning the trope name word by word, because she can't stand feeling guilty due to putting Kyon's sister in peril.
  • This occurs twice in Stray. Adamska does it at Shadow Moses for his older alternate-future self, who had spent three years after his supposed "death" being used in the Patriots' Cyborg Ninja project. Esau later requests this of Otacon after he's gravely wounded.
  • In the Jak and Daxter fanfic Whispers from the depths by Weiila, Jak repeatedly begs to be killed during his transformation into a Metal Head. First because of the massive amounts of pain it comes with, later because The Corruption is taking over his mind.
  • In the alternate ending to The Killer Rarityverse, "the Word is Fear", Blossom traps Shining Armor with her magic, and proceeds to play a game of spin the bottle with him, in which she spins a knife, and cuts whoever it lands on. Whoever doesn't bleed out first will then be free to get the healing potion she has placed just out of reach. When Shining asks her why she is doing this, she tells him that she doesn't want to live anymore, but still fears dying, and this way, she won't know she is dying until it is too late. This fails, as Shining succumbs first, leaving Blossom to face Celestia's wrath.
  • Peace Forged in Fire has a variant. Merik tr'Kiell tries to provoke D'trel to kill him because the final volleys from the Kholhr and Eyhon Ehludet'eri knocked out his ship's computers and Self-Destruct Mechanism. Technically he could still shoot himself, but it wouldn't stop the heroes from getting large amounts of usable intelligence from his ship.
  • In The Last Connor, Pops faces an unusual variation of this when he realises that one of the Terminators created by the ‘new’ Skynet is his own past self; due to this programming restriction, neither Pops or his past self can kill each other, which gives Pops and his allies time to capture and reprogram that Terminator to fulfil Pops’ place in history.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: After the final battle, Maggie Walsh is too badly injured to finish herself off, so she persuades her pet velociraptors to do it.
  • Drakigo: Yori, here protrayed as one of Shego's vampire brides, hates being a vampire and after fending off the other brides from claiming Kim alongside Demens, asks that she be staked to end her immortal existence.
  • Referenced by name in Doing It Right This Time by Shinji, who is really rather bitter about the whole Kaworu thing. Though in Kaworu's defence, he really couldn't; he tried, but it didn't stick.
  • Don't Breathe Too Deeply is a Frozen oneshot where Anna finds old suicide notes that Elsa wrote as a teenager. Years prior, Elsa had tried to kill herself, but she eventually learned that her powers couldn't be used against her.
  • Played for Laughs, Spice Fortress: Is there a Medic in The House, AU Spice Girls/S Club 7 fic, has Geri the Hacker without her body. While Victoria the Medic was working with Melanie the Fighter, Victoria had Geri’s head in a fridge while getting Melanie a new heart. Geri just asks Victoria, “Just kill me… will ya!”. Victoria denies this, much to Geri’s annoyances.
  • In this tragic Pokémon fan comic Team Rocket caught Ash in a pit that slowly fills with water, so Ash asks Pikachu to deliver a coup de grâce through an Electric move so he'll die faster and under less pain than through drowning.
  • The Return Of Tambelon features a villianous example of this trope that crosses over with a Thanatos Gambit. The final step for Grogar's transformation into a lich requires that he die, but because being a lich is all about defiance of death he cannot die by his own hand. So instead he carefully mistreats his Dragon until he does the deed.
  • Tom has this attitude at first in What Tomorrow Brings. When he's sent back in time along with the Animorphs, his first thoughts are about how he'd rather be dead right now, and his first action after he regains control of his body is to hug Rachel in gratitude for killing him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alien:
    • A deleted scene from the first Alien, cut because it broke the pace of the finale, shows that some of the crew are still alive after being implanted, and they beg Ripley to kill them. She obliges.
    • Set up in Aliens, but the chest-burster kills the host/victim before the soldiers know how to react.
  • Inadvertently applied to David from An American Werewolf in London, because the restless spirits of his victims waste so much time dreaming up ways for him to kill himself that he runs out of time to act on their advice and succumbs to another transformation.
  • In Daft Punk's Electroma, one of the main two robots gets his friend to switch on the self-destruct sequence on his back after he crosses his Despair Event Horizon, since he can't reach it himself. When his friend himself crosses it, there's no one to switch it on for him. He later subverts this by breaking his helmet and using the pieces' reflectiveness to set himself on fire.
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004) remake has Tucker, being devoured alive by zombies, pleading with CJ to shoot him.
  • In the most tragic scene of John Woo's The Killer (besides the ending), the title character's best friend Sidney, after delivering the money he needs to have Jenny's eyes fixed and being shot by the main bad guy's men, asks for a last bullet from his friend so that he doesn't die like a dog, because he didn't save his own last bullet for himself. The Killer tearfully complies.
  • The Descent. After being accidentally stabbed by Juno, Beth gets Sarah to kill her, rather than die slowly and painfully or be ripped apart by the Crawlers.
  • Subverted for the ending in End of Days, wherein Arnold's character is possessed by Satan himself, but before he's forced to rape the girl he tried to protect during the movie, regains control long enough to jump straight on a sword held by a statue, killing himself and banishing Satan just as the year 2000 rolls along.
  • This trope is the main plot point of the 1978 Burt Reynolds movie The End. A man with a terminal disease tries to kill himself in every way he can think of, and none of them work.
  • Several characters in the Final Destination franchise try to end their lives when they can no longer live with the terror of Death waiting to claim those that cheated him by surviving something they shouldn't have. However, if they aren't the next in line to be claimed by death, they find themselves unable to kill themselves. In the second movie, a character tries to shoot himself with a fully loaded revolver, only for all 6 bullets failing to fire.
  • In the end of The Fly (1986), Seth Brundle, now fully transformed into a hideous fly/human hybrid is trying to get out of a telepod after Stathis managed to free Veronica, but he gets teleported along with bits of the broken pod and emerges as a fly/human/metal thing, dying and in agony. He, or rather, it, crawls up to Veronica and gently directs the shotgun she is holding to his head so she could end his suffering.
  • From Dusk Till Dawn has Scott do this. Injured, immobilized, and vampires already feeding on him, he asks Kate to kill him.
  • The Great Waldo Pepper has the title character's friend trapped in a burning airplane after a crash. When Pepper is unable to free him, he begs, "Don't let me burn!" Pepper then euthanizes him with a blow to the head.
  • In The Hazing, Professor Kapps needs to die in order to complete the magical ritual. However, killing himself would corrupt his 'purity' and cause the ritual not to work for him. As a result, he commits several murders in order to force detective guarding him to shoot him.
  • Debatable in the case of The Hitcher, in which serial killer Ryder keeps asking protagonist Jim to "stop me" and gives him several opportunities to kill him. Questionable as to whether Ryder is simply looking to die, as per this trope, or if he's specifically trying to make Jim into a killer like himself.
  • The protagonist in the 1986 horror/comedy House is troubled by memories of Vietnam, and especially his own failure to carry out a Mercy Kill when a trap-snared friend invoked this trope. Sure enough, the source of the haunting is the ex-friend's ghost, out to for revenge because he'd been captured by the enemy and tortured for weeks.
  • In Kamen Rider OOO: Nobunaga's Desire, Nobunaga is given three black Core Medals and sent out of control. He manages to hang onto himself long enough to beg Eiji to kill him before he goes out of control. Eiji ultimately defeats him, allowing him to die peacefully.
  • At the end of Killer Party, the possessed Jennifer manages to regain control of herself long enough to beg her friend Phoebe to kill before the demon takes over again and kills everyone. After a moment's hesitation, Phoebe obliges by stabbing a long wooden paling through her chest.
  • Million Dollar Baby has the main character paralyzed from the neck down in a boxing match. After a few weeks of rarely getting out of bed (and then only with a team of nurses doing all the work for her), having a leg amputated from blood loss, and her family only concerned with taking control of her estate she bites her tongue in order to drown in her own blood. The nurses stop her, but just a little while later she tries the same thing. Now in a near constant state of sedation to keep her from trying again, she convinces a friend to give her a drug overdose.
  • In RoboCop (2014) Alex asks to die when he first realises his condition. Dr. Norton talks him out of it.
  • The Sea Inside: Ramon becomes paralyzed from the neck down after a diving accident. He then spends 28 years battling the Spanish legal system for the right to end his own life.
  • In Serenity, River is in the middle of an emotional breakdown while handcuffed to the floor, and begs for Simon to kill her, interspersed with images of her with a gun to her head. However, he immediately rejects that.
    River Tam: Put a bullet to me. Bullet in the brain pan. Squish.
  • The 1990 comedy Short Time stars Dabney Coleman as a police officer who erroneously finds out he has a terminal illness. The problem is, his wife (Marge in Mom and Dad Save the World) only gets his pension pre-retirement if he is killed in the line of duty. Since suicide is also out of the question, he starts taking massive risks on the job in an effort to get a perp to kill him.
  • Species II: Patrick has been infected with an alien parasite on his prior mission to Mars that spreads through sex, so he unwittingly ends up killing his fiance after spending the night with her. He attempts to put an end to it by blowing his own head off with a shotgun, but it just grows back within minutes.
  • Stargate: Stargate: The Ark of Truth. Merrik, possessed by replicator, is briefly given back his free will after being electrocuted. He begs Mitchell to kill him, as he can't do it. Seeing as Mitchell is unarmed, and Merrik is now (literally) Made of Iron, possessing Super Strength and Immune to Bullets, this proves to be easier said than done.
  • In Starship Troopers, Rasczak, the leader of the Roughnecks, informs all of his new recruits "I've only got one rule: everybody fights, no one quits. You don't do your job, I'll shoot you myself." Later, during a battle, he is being consumed from the waist down in a pit he's been sucked into. He tosses his rifle to Rico and screams for him to "Do it!" which prompts Rico to empty the magazine into Rasczak. Not that bad as a rule, considering the alternative to being shot in the head by the teammate is getting slowly devoured and/or brain-sucked by aliens...
  • Terminator:
    • Terminator 2: Judgment Day, where the quote for this trope comes from, has the title character insisting on this, in order that the technology inside him be destroyed completely.
    • As a nod, in Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, when Katherine Brewster (whom, unbeknownst to herself and the audience at that point, the T-850 must obey), says "Drop dead, you ASSHOLE," the T-850 responds: "I am unable to comply."
  • Another horror film example. In the remake of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003), Andy was hanging on a hook in the basement, missing a leg and with salt pressed into his wounds. When Erin happened across him, he didn't waste much time in getting her to finish him off.
  • In the 2011 film of The Whisperer in Darkness, Henry Akeley, who has been reduced to a Brain in a Jar by the Mi-Go, begs Professor Wilmarth to kill him after learning that his son has been killed by them. In a subversion, Wilmarth cannot bring himself to do it.
  • Wishmaster: Due to his Complete Immortality and Healing Factor, wishing for the Djinn to kill himself doesn't really work. However, it does hurt like hell.
  • When the full moon rises in The Wolfman (2010), Lawrence, strapped to a chair, implores the doctors in the room to kill him because he knows he will go on another murderous rampage when he transforms.
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, Jean Grey asks Wolverine twice to kill her as she senses the Phoenix taking over. The second time, the request is fulfilled.

  • Animorphs:
    • When Jake gets a glimpse of Tom's memories in book 6, he learns that Tom has been crushed by despair from being a Controller and desperately wishes he could die.
    • Early in the series, Visser Three's host is briefly freed from the And I Must Scream state of Controllerhood and asks Aximilli to kill him before he can be recaptured. Ax refuses.
    • In one of the special additions, an Andalite gets trapped in Taxxon morph and asks a comrade to take his life. When the aforementioned comrade refuses, the trapped individual tries to trick him into killing him, without success.
    • David finally asks Rachel because it is more gracious to him than to be returned to the lonely island and live as a rat for the rest of his life. Whether Rachel has fulfilled his request is unknown, but it is generally assumed.
    • Aftran wants the same from Cassie, because otherwise she would die much more cruelly. But the Animorphs find a way to save her. They give her the power of morphing when she chooses an animal in whose shape she will stay for the rest of her life.
  • Self-preservation is Isaac Asimov's third law of robotics, making it the third-most-important moral imperative for a robot. Unfortunately for the robot, it's overridden by the first two laws, so a robot can (and indeed must) kill itself if ordered to do so or if there is no other way to protect a human.
    • In Asimov's short story "All the Troubles of the World," the computer Multivac, which manages all of humanity (and thus must deal with all their problems), tries to use a Thanatos Gambit to arrange for itself to be destroyed.
    • In the Asimov short story "The Last Answer", an atheist physicist dies and finds himself in what appears to be an afterlife. He eventually determines he and many other beings are being held by a Voice. But, the Voice wants to die, and does not know how. Nor does it remember its creation. So, the Voice has a slew of beings thinking of nothing but how to kill it, for it wants to be released from life.
  • In a possible future shown at the beginning of the Belisarius Series, Belisarius and Justinian want to die to avoid being captured by the Malwa soldiers who are overwhelming the city but don't want to commit the mortal sin of suicide. A Hindu slave, whose religion doesn't have the same prohibition, is given the task of pushing them into a pit of molten metal before killing himself.
    • Somewhat subverted in that the slave notes he barely touched Belisarius and knew that he actually jumped.
  • In The Book of Lost Things Jonathan Tulvey, who wants to die but can only grow progressively older.
  • "The Bride Of Corinth": When discovered, an undead young woman who has left her grave to consort with her former fiancé asks from her mother to be burnt on a pyre, because every man she sleeps with must die, and she knows that she would return to kill more young men if her body is not destroyed.
  • In Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Michael Finn was sent by an alien force to determine whether Earth is so dangerous that it needs to be destroyed; however, he's decided (after an evening at Callahan's) that he likes us Puny Earthlings. Should he fail to report in, they will assume we destroyed him and stay well clear of us — but it's impossible for him to intentionally fail to report, as long as he's properly functioning. When he gives his name as Michael Finn, Callahan the bartender takes the hint and slips him a "mickey", which renders him unconscious during the assigned reporting period. (Also of note here is that Michael himself refers to his mission as a "geas.")
  • Conan the Barbarian:
    "He told me what he was going to do to me!" she panted. "Kill me! Kill me with your sword before he bursts the door!"
    Ali! I feel their pull upon me now! Your cry and the grip of your fingers brought me back, but I am going fast. My soul clings to my body, but its hold weakens. Quick—kill me, before they can trap my soul for ever!
  • An interesting example occurs in the young adult novel The Crossroads where Billy O' Claire is possessed by an evil spirit who is trying to force him to murder his own son. This leads to a half-tragic, half-comical three-way exchange between Billy, the spirit inside of him, and the cop trying to stop them both.
    Hargrove: Mr. O'Claire, put down the knife.
    Billy: Shoot me! Please? Stop me!
    Hargrove: Drop the knife and no one needs to shoot anybody.
    Billy: You don't understand. It's the only way.
    Clint: [through Billy] Don't listen to this coward!
    Billy: I can't take this anymore!
    Clint: Shut up!
    Billy: Shoot me! Shut up, shut up, shut up!
  • The Dark Artifices shows a world called Thule, in which the warlocks have turned into demons. Magnus Bane asked Alec Lightwood to kill him when his transformation began. And Alec met his request.
  • Deltora Quest: Doran the Dragonlover can't die since he's the Guardian of a Sister, the very thing he goes out to destroy many years ago, therefore asked to be killed to end his suffering. Fortunately, he dies with great relief once he saw that the Diamond Dragon's egg hatch, therefore will continue to live in its mother's place.
  • In The Dinosaur Lords, Bogardius pleads with Melodía to kill him, as Raguel has turned him into a puppet, leaving him only with freedom to speak.
  • At the end of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novel The Fifth Elephant, Angua's (a werewolf) brother (the main villain of the novel) goes batshit insane after his plans are foiled and goes on a rampage. When he is dead she makes Captain Carrot promise to kill her if she ended up in a similar state.
    • Also, in another Discworld novel A Hat Full of Sky, The Hiver cannot die because it literally does not know how. However, it does know that it wants it, and Tiffany helps it find the gate to Death and the next world.
    • One of the creepier parts of Guards! Guards! is a brief passage from the perspective of the Master of Assassins. He reflects on how Wonse mouthed "Help me" to him, and that as far as he can see, there's only one kind of "help" he's qualified to give...
    • During the climatic battle at the end of Mort (winner becomes Death, loser gets death), Ysabell believes her father wants to lose, but will nonetheless be fighting to win.
  • In Dragon Bones, Oreg reveals that, although thought of as a ghost and immortal, he can feel pain. He is a slave, bound by magic to the heir of a title, and ... let's just say, he flinches away whenever he thinks he may have insulted his new "owner",Ward. He can't kill himself, only his owner can kill him ... and his attempt to provoke a former owner into doing this ended in him being whipped by someone else. Which he survived, because of the near-immortality. In the end, Ward is the one who kills him, on his own request.
  • At the end of The Draka, the heroine is trapped in a nuclear bunker with her ally and a member of the Domination's secret police. As a member of La Résistance, her duty is to detonate the bomb she is carrying, thus destroying the experimental nuclear device and setting the Domination's nuclear arms race back several years. Regrettably, that will kill everyone in the bunker, and as a devout Catholic nun she cannot commit the mortal sin of suicide, nor can she allow her ally to commit it for her. The secret policeman solves the problem for her by remarking that there's no way he's getting out of there alive, and though he has contempt for her religion he respects her faith in it... so he kills her, thus detonating the explosive and in so doing, saving both her and her ally from the sin of suicide.
  • In The Dresden Files, Lloyd Slate to Harry once Mab begins torturing the former. Harry eventually does, but refuses to think of it this way because that would be the easy way out and he did it for ultimately selfish reasons.
  • In An Exaltation of Larks by Robert Reed, the dean of a university is ousted for corruption by the journalist protagonist. The dean invites the journalist to his office just in time for him to blown his own brains out with a revolver. Fortunately for everyone involved, The Singularity has come and gone without anyone realizing it, and the dean surprisingly finds himself very much not dead despite half his head decorating the wallpaper. As the protagonist leaves the room, he hears five more shots. The dean later shows up working as agent for the time travelers that kicked off the singularity and is none the worse for wear.
  • The Protomolecule victims in The Expanse suffer from And I Must Scream, being kept artificially alive as brain patterns within the Protomolecule. The lucky ones are aware of this, the unlucky ones are instead stuck experiencing their last moments over and over, repeatedly begging for death. Unfortunately for them the Protomolecule, while smart and adaptive, is non-sapient so it's not even capable of hearing them, let alone killing them. In the end the one that does it is The Investigator, one of the Protomolecule's constructs, who performs a Heroic Suicide to shut off the Protomolecule, killing them.
  • In Neil Gaiman's short story "Feeders and Eaters", a man crushes a literally half-eaten cat with his boots; he says "It may have been a cat, but I knew what it wanted. It was in its eyes." And then later on this character seems to imply that he's in the same position.
  • Forest Kingdom: In the Hawk & Fisher spinoff series' Book 6 (The Bones of Haven), one of the prisoners in the Hell Wing (reserved for inhuman monsters) is Johnny Nobody, thought to be a sorcerer who's now just a human shape held together by surface tension, and stealing skin and bones from other people to survive because his body keeps rejecting the replacements. He's apparently tried to kill himself several times, but it's never worked because his curse won't let him die.
  • In Dean Koontz's Frankenstein, the New Race of Dr. Frankenstein/Helios's creation can't commit suicide, or do anything that would force Helios to kill them. This isn't because he values their lives, but because he's a control freak that wants total control of them from life to death. Several of his creations ask to die at a couple of points, and others want to, but can't, driving them into greater fits of rage and making them rather psychologically messed up, as it just reinforces the fact that they have absolutely no control of their lives.
  • In Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novels, Soric is handed over to the Black Ships. Several books later, he communicates with Hark, who finds him, cries (which all the deaths in all the books have not drawn from him), and at his request, kills him. (He makes it look like an execution at Soric's request, to save himself.)
  • Gone series:
    • Hunter, who is being slowly eaten by parasitic wasps, begs Sam to kill him.
    • Brittney begging Sam to kill her (and Drake) in Lies and Plague.
    • In Plague after Dekka gets hit by a greenie, meaning the parasitic wasps will grow inside her.
    Dekka: "Don't let it happen. Swear to me Sam. Swear it to me by God or by your own soul or whatever you believe, swear to me, Sam."
    Sam: "I won't let it happen, Dekka. I swear it."
  • In Lois McMaster Bujold's The Hallowed Hunt, Wencel kin Horseriver is perfectly capable of killing his current body — too bad his soul and consciousness will simply jump to the body of his next living heir, devouring that individual's mind in the process. Actually dying requires two other people and a lot of magical oomph. His plan to arrange just that is, it turns out, his primary goal.
  • In the short story I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, the survivors of the apocalypse caused by Master Computer AM eventually realize that while they cannot kill themselves, they can kill each other. Unfortunately, this leaves one of them alive to suffer a Fate Worse than Death at the hands of AM by being turned into a 'soft jelly thing' that can't harm itself.
  • In Julie Kagawa's The Iron Daughter, Ash under Virus's control, pleads this.
  • "The Longest Joke Ever":
    • Jack's predecessor, Samuel, was unable to kill himself due to his supernatural Healing Factor, so he asked Nate to kill him when grew tired of living.
    • Nate is unable to die by most means. When he grows tired of life, he asks Jack to kill him with a sword.
  • In The Lord of Opium, Cienfuegos and other "high-functioning" eejits cannot kill themselves, as their chips prevent them from doing so.
  • The fate of Mishra, brother of the planeswalker Urza, for irritating Yawgmoth. Mishra, along with dozens of other beings who have earned that ire, lie strapped to tables in one layer of Phyrexia with dozens of whirring circular blades suspended above them. Every few seconds, the blades descend and slice up the skin of the victims, but never kill them. When Urza is brought to his brother, Mishra pleads for him to end his life. Instead, Urza turns his back on him and walks away, succeeding in his test of devotion to Yawgmoth.
  • In the climactic scene of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, when the Big Bad Storm King is in the process of being summoned back into the world, King Elias (who has been an unrepentant Jerkass to this point), has an Oh, Crap! moment when he realizes that his promised Immortality will come about thanks to Demonic Possession, condemning him to an eternity of And I Must Scream. In his very last moments of sanity prior to being taken over completely, his daughter Miriamele shoots him with the White Arrow, killing him. Later, Miriamele laments to Simon that she saw in his eyes that he wanted her to do it.
  • In The Pact, Emily is suicidal and plans to kill herself, but can't make herself finally pull the trigger. When her boyfriend Chris tries to stop her, she instead puts his hand on the gun and pulls the trigger using his finger. She dies, but he is arrested for murder, since his prints are on the gun.
  • Portrait in Sepia: Tao Chi'en survives the attack by the assassins sent by The Tongs And Triads, but is left paralyzed and barely able to speak. Since Eliza cannot bring herself to withhold food and water as he asks, she follows his instructions and mercy kills him.
  • Rhythm of War: As one of the Fused, Raboniel has Resurrective Immortality and can only truly die if her soul is annihilated by an anti-Light weapon. Near the end of the book, Raboniel has been badly injured and her soul is heavily damaged, so she begs Navani to stab her with an anti-Light dagger so that she will not come back mad.
  • In Larry Niven's novel The Ringworld Engineers, Teela Brown has become a Protector whose descendant-protecting instincts are paradoxically making her try to stop the main characters from saving the Ringworld. She is, however, just rational enough to provoke the main characters into killing her so they can get on with the job. It helps slightly that Louis is literally the only creature on Ringworld who is technically the same species as she is, so her protective instincts are slightly stronger towards him then they are towards the humanoid-but-not-quite-human Ringworld natives. She doesn't feel any instinctive compunctions to keep Chmeee alive, though. Luckily he's a half-ton of obligate carnivore from a Proud Warrior Race, and therefore no slouch himself. She still half-kills him while desperately trying not to fight as effectively as she can, though.
    Chmeee: She let her instincts fight for her. Not her mind. You were right, Louis, she fought to lose. Kdapt help me if she had fought to win.
  • In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion, when Fingon tries to rescue Maedhros from Morgoth after Cold-Blooded Torture, and it looks like he won't succeed. (However, in the end, Fingon frees him by cutting his hand off.)
  • The Stormlight Archive: As Truthless, Szeth is not allowed to take his own life. Once he learns he isn't Truthless, he lets Kaladin finish him.
  • Denna in Wizard's First Rule states that she tortured the protagonist worse than she did anyone else, suspecting he's the one a prophecy says will kill her, and thus trying to push him to do so. In the end, he kills her out of love.
    • Also applies to the victims of a Mord-Sith. They're held so that they magically cannot kill themselves, even though the Mord-Sith let them keep their weapons.
  • Horace McCoy's They Shoot Horses, Don't They? ends with Gloria asking Robert to shoot her because she can't bring herself to commit suicide. He complies, and later when the cops ask him why he did it as they're taking him away, he offers the title phrase in reply. (The film adaptation ends the same way.)
  • The Traveller in Black is tasked to eliminate Chaos so that Order can prevail over the universe. To this end, he has trapped powerful elementals in the landscape and other forms. In the earlier stories they plot against him, but as Chaos diminishes they realize they're never getting out, and start pleading for the Traveller to cause them to "cease".
  • In New Moon, second in The Twilight Saga, Edward wants to kill himself because he thinks Bella is dead, but because he's nearly impossible to kill, he has to go to the Volturi to ask them to kill him.
    • Specifically, he was going to reveal his Bishie Sparkles to the city, somehow revealing the existence of vampires and forcing the Volturi to kill him. Which is a bit confusing, since the vampires of that series are described as basically stone statues with lighter fluid for all bodily fluids and immolation as the only surefire way to kill one of them, so he should have been able to just set himself on fire to kill himself... But Edward is at least strongly hinted to have been raised Catholic, and wouldn't be the first to use Suicide by Cop to try and rules-lawyer their way out of the mortal sin of suicide.
  • In The Vampire Chronicles, the older the vampire, the harder they are to kill. The oldest and most powerful ones cannot die even if they step outside during the day. There are some instances of vampires failing to commit suicide this way, including Lestat, Louis, Armand and Mael. Marius actually cites the inability to self-terminate as a reason a younger vampire may choose to not drink blood of an older vampire to strengthen themselves.
  • In William King's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Ragnar's Claw, when they go through the plague-stricken city, they walk through the dead, and the half-dead, many of whom plead for death. Gul kills one, but looks at the number of them and goes on with the rest.
    • In Wolfblade, when they find a mortally wounded but not yet dead Eldar, she asks them to kill her, and they do.
  • A nice spin on this in Gerald Morris' The Squire's Tales. After Sir Gawain accidentally kills a man's wife, the man falls to his knees and begs Gawain to kill him. Gawain doesn't, instead forcing him to go to Arthur's court.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Nightbringer, when Uriel finds a victim of torture still alive, he is capable of mouthing Kill me. . . .
  • In Lee Lightner's Warhammer 40,000 Space Wolf novel Wolf's Honour, on the shadow planet, they find crops that have human faces and beg for release. What is worse, the Space Wolves can not burn them, though they wish to. The Inquisitor explains that they stem from the sacrifices used to make this duplicate planet.
  • In Andy Hoare's White Scars novel Hunt for Voldorius, the Bloodtide tells the Raven Guard and White Scar scouts that it can not kill itself, but they can Kill It with Fire.
  • Asha is immortal, enduring excruciating pain, and cannot grant her own wishes in The Wishing Maiden.
  • Played for extreme horror in the science fiction novella With Folded Hands... by Jack Williamson, when the reader realizes that not only have human lives been reduced to complete irrelevance by their robotic "servants", but there's no way to end the despair because they are always right there with you. And the robot guardians have become very good at preventing humans from taking their own lives....

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Season 4 of Angel, the titular character asks his son Connor to kill him if his Superpowered Evil Side gets free. He does this in private though, so when it inevitably does the others think he still just wants to kill Angel.
    • Angel has pretty much asked this of anyone who's ever worked for/with him. Most of them kind of suck following through on it. Wesley is pretty much the only person Angel thinks might be able to follow through on this request and is one of the reasons Angel trusts him.
    • In the first season, Faith asks Angel to kill her for realizing how cruel her actions really were. Angel refuses, and it works better for Faith.
    • In the fifth season, Nina Ash initially refuses to be rescued by Angel. She has become a werewolf and nearly mangled her niece, so she considers herself a monster. But Angel can convince her that she can not help the werewolf's actions.
    • Spike claims that almost all huntresses wish that because they have nothing else in life left and are only alive to fight demons.
  • In Babylon 5, Londo, under the long-term control of an alien mind-controlling parasite, gets it drunk and asks his old foe to kill him, preventing the alien from forcing him to thwart the heroes' daring escape. "I am as tired of my life as you are." His old foe turned friend G'kar complies, but the parasite forces Londo to kill him as well. And thus Londo's prophetic vision of his death at G'kar's hands finally comes to pass.
  • The humanoid Cylons in Battlestar Galactica (2003) are forbidden from committing suicide by their religion (although at least two have successfully self-terminated by putting themselves in close proximity to explosives); given the overall tone of the series, it is perhaps not surprising that this has led to multiple instances of Cylons begging someone else to pull the trigger on them. This appears to be purely a psychological effect rather than something hardwired into them — Brother Cavil, the one Cylon who doesn't believe in the Cylon god, is shot by the underground resistance on New Caprica in the third season, and, upon coming back sometime later, casually mentions that he had to cut his jugular vein open with a shell casing to kill himself. And he does it again in the final episode as well, shooting himself in the head after Tyrol makes resurrection impossible by killing another one of the Final Five. "Frak!" *bang* Keep in mind that "real death" is clearly regarded differently from being killed and resurrected. Once the resurrection ship is destroyed, Gina hands Baltar a pistol and tells him to shoot her, as suicide is a sin. On the other hand, Doral has no problem carrying out a Suicide Attack as he'll simply be downloaded into another body.
  • Mitchell, in Being Human (UK), begs his best friend George to stake his heart before his Horror Hunger makes him kill anyone else. After they introduce the next season's Big Bad by way of him threatening to kill George if Mitchell doesn't leave with him (and help him commit further horrible crimes), George does it. Of course, he'll probably be back...
  • In Norwegian comedy series Brřdrene Dal, Robinson Caruso (that's not mispelled) tried to kill himself in his youth by drowning. Unfortunately, the place he chose was particularily shallow, so he kept walking for a while. The tide did come eventually, and we don't know what happened after (his assistant was vacuuming as he told the story), but he clearly never died.
  • Over the events of Charmed (1998), Cole manages to escape hell and return to his beloved wife Phoebe. Unfortunately, the the powers he had absorbed to achieve this only cause problems for her and her sisters, so she ends up divorcing him. To his dismay, he finds that his powers have also made him Nigh Invulnerable, and, as such, render him unable to kill himself from the grief. He even starts causing trouble for the girls in a bid to get them to vanquish him for him... only to subvert this trope when he explains that he just wanted to test whether he really was indestructible and goes Ax-Crazy for good after the confirmation.
  • In Community, Abed is incapable of stopping himself from humiliating others, he has to give out "destruct codes" for himself.
  • Criminal Minds:
    • In the episode "Reckoner", a judge suffering from terminal cancer hires a hitman to carry out a series of Vigilante Executions on people he considered Karma Houdinis (mostly for crimes against children), culminating in the man who killed the judge's wife while driving drunk. After the last criminal is killed, he admits to the BAU that there is still one more name on his hit list... and is promptly shot dead by the hitman.
    • In the episode "Doubt", a clearly depressed young woman takes desperate steps to insure that the (supposed) killer of the week stays out of prison in the hopes that she will become a victim of his, as she can't bring herself to end her own life.
  • In the fourth episode of Dead Set, Alex is attempting to open a lock gate so that she and Riq can escape further down the river, when she is suddenly attacked by a zombie, and is bitten in the struggle. After she kills it with an axe, and knowing that she will soon turn into a zombie herself, she quietly hands Riq the axe, their only weapon, and he agrees to kill her with it.
  • In the third-season episode of Dexter, "Easy as Pie", Dexter does this for Camilla Figg, who is suffering terribly from lung cancer and has been told by doctors she's going to live at least another month. Because she's Catholic, she can't kill herself, or she'll go to Hell; but Dexter, who isn't religious, can kill her. She begs him to help her, and he injects a lethal poison into a piece of key lime pie and feeds it to her. To cap it off, he tells her just before she dies that he killed Rudy/Brian, and she gives him her blessing for doing so.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Dalek in "Dalek" is developing more emotions than just hatred — a situation that its species cannot stand. Its casing has a built-in self-destruct, but it has to be ordered to die by someone else, as its training will not let it commit suicide under other circumstances. Rose finally (and reluctantly) gives the order.
    • In "42", the Doctor, blind and in agony — courtesy of being Mind Raped by a Sinister Sentient Sun — begs Martha to kill him so that he won't be forced to kill anyone when the sun takes over his mind.
    • A Riddle for the Ages turns up in the Twelfth Doctor's debut story "Deep Breath" regarding this issue. The head of the evil cyborgs claims he can't self-terminate, but his demise is the only way to stop not only him, but his underlings and their murderous efforts to become human and reach "the Promised Land". The Doctor claims that he can't bring himself to murder the Half-Face Man — but then he notes that one of them is lying about their "programming", and they both know which one it is. All the viewers see is the Half-Face Man falling to his doom... did he jump and thus was never subject to this trope, or did the Doctor push him because he was?
  • In Dracula (2020), a vampire can't commit suicide even if the method they choose would normally be lethal, like a stake through the heart for instance. The death blow must be administered by someone else to be effective.
  • Near the end of the second season of Farscape, Crichton incoherently rambles about how he's trying to do something but the mind-control chip in his head won't let him and vaguely gestures at a gun amidst scattered chess pieces. When his best buddy D'Argo presses the matter, ("Do WHAT, John!?") Crichton asks D'Argo to kill him.
  • Eye Candy: Tessa, who's dying of a brain tumor, makes herself a target of the killer and even begs him to kill her, saying she can't do it herself. He grants her wish.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Maester Luwin asks Osha for a Mercy Kill and she obliges.
    • Theon's torture culminates in him pleading for death, which his tormentor has no intention of granting.
    • Having lost his knife in the fight that breaks him, The Hound is forced to beg his companion for a Mercy Kill, which she refuses to grant.
  • On Haven, this is Duke's fate in season 5. He is turned into a walking Trouble bomb, and asks Nathan to kill him to avoid hurting anyone. He is afraid to do it himself because doing so might release all of the Troubles within him at once.
  • In the fifth season of Highlander Duncan accidentally kills Richie because he has been deluded with illusions, and considered him a demon. He asks Methos for it, but he rejects it.
    • In the third season, it's the other way round. Methos asks Duncan because Kallas is following him. And Methos would rather have Duncan get his powers than Big Bad. But Duncan refuses, and can defeat Kallas.
  • Jack Denton from Jessica Jones (2015) had a stroke after being brainwashed into donating his kidneys (plural) to Kilgrave, leaving him unable to walk or talk, stuck to a dialysis machine. When Jessica visits him to learn about what happened to him, she gives him a piece of paper and a pen. When he writes "KIL", she assumes he's trying to write "KILGRAVE". He was writing "KILL ME".
  • In Kamen Rider Kuuga, Yuusuke requests that if he cannot control the power of Ultimate Kuuga and becomes the 'Ultimate Darkness', his friend Ichijo to shoot him through the Arcle and kill him. Thankfully he doesn't become evil, just badass.
  • Lost:
    • Subverted when the characters try to do this to the marshal, but the one bullet they have misses his heart, and it would have taken him hours to bleed out had Jack not euthanized the marshal some other way (offscreen).
    • Richard enlists Jack's help in committing suicide in "Dr. Linus", since he cannot do it himself. It turns out that Jack can't commit suicide either, so he stays by Richard to stop either from dying.
  • Love and Destiny: Yuan Zheng begs Jiu Chen to kill him after he gets possessed. Jiu Chen does, but doesn't explain what happened. This leads to him being accused of murdering Yuan Zheng.
  • In Maddigan's Quest, Timon begs Garland to shoot him after narrowly avoiding a trip over the Moral Event Horizon, explaining that next time he's asked to kill someone, he won't be able to stop himself. Boomer approves of the idea, but the answer's ultimately a no.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "The New Breed", a scientist tinkers with Nanomachines and makes himself nearly unkillable. Unfortunately, the techniques that the nanomachines use to protect him give him a monstrous appearance and prove to be potentially harmful to those around him. When he tries to commit suicide, it fails spectacularly.
    • In "Resurrection", the androids cannot shut down the Innobotics Corporation power grid which provides them with the energy that allows them to function as doing so requires a human handprint.
    • In "The Haven", the artificial intelligence Argus, communicating through the holographic interface George, tells Caleb Vance, Alyssa Selwyn and Morgan Winters that it cannot destroy itself, so they must do so.
  • The insurgent prisoner from Over There:
    Prisoner: Kill me you savages, you heathens cover are you devils, kill me! NOW!!! Ashadu an l? il?ha illall?h! [beat] Kill me please. I beg of you.
  • Power Rangers own iconic Zordon is a rather justified example: he wanted to commit suicide by way of a Heroic Sacrifice in Power Rangers in Space, but needed to convince someone else to help him do it as he lacked, you know, limbs.
  • Stargate Universe features this trope, albeit with a rather minor character: when a crewman is trapped in a cave-in, his injuries are so severe that not only is his death certain, but any attempt to move him will only hasten the inevitable. Because Universe featured a recurring Race Against the Clock plot mechanic, the rest of the team must evacuate quickly or be trapped on the planet they were exploring forever. Not wanting to be left to die alone, the crewman begs Colonel Young to give him a Mercy Kill, and Young agrees; the act is shown to have taken a toll on the Colonel in following episodes.
  • One episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation sees Worf paralyzed from the waist down after an accident, Worf is so depressed by his inability to be a warrior that he asks Riker to kill him using a ritual knife, as dictated by Klingon custom. Riker refuses to kill his friend, and Worf tries to browbeat Riker by calling him a coward, Riker counters with knowledge of the tradition by pointing out that it's the eldest son's duty. Considering that his son is a young child raised by humans, this convinces Worf to try the experimental surgery to fix his back.
    • Called back in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine when Worf's brother asks Worf to kill him in the same way. In Kurn's case, however, it's a cultural barrier rather than a physical limitation preventing him from doing it himself; for Klingons, taking your own life is dishonorable (unless the alternative is greater dishonor, such as when facing capture by an enemy), but the ritual assisted suicide is considered an honorable way to die.
  • Subverted in Supernatural. In season two episode "Born Under A Bad Sign" Sam has just killed a hunter and is pleading with Dean (who obviously can't) to kill him before he gets any worse. It turns out that Sam is possessed and the demon inside him just wants to break Dean as much as possible and hopefully get Sam killed in the process. At the end of season four in "When the Levee Breaks", while suffering withdrawal from demon blood, Sam tells Bobby to shoot, moving the gun's muzzle to his own heart, if Bobby wants to help him.
    • Played straight in "Heart". Sam's one night stand was a werewolf, but they cured her... except not. There's no cure and she'd already killed a few people, so she asks Sam to shoot her instead. Ouch.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles episode "Ourselves Alone", Cameron's continued uncertainty about her own ability to control her actions following the damage to her chip prompts her to build a self-destruct device. She gives this to John, saying that she can't self-terminate, so she'll trust him with the device in case she goes rogue again.
  • In Titans (2018) episode "Blackfire", the sister of Starfire begging her to terminate herself, because she has lost her powers and don't want to be reduced to living in a prison.
  • Beth, in the Torchwood episode "Sleeper", couldn't actually kill herself because of her position as a sleeper, but because of the grief she'd caused herself, she took Gwen hostage to force the team to kill her.
  • In Season 5 of True Blood, Tara is turned into a vampire, and quickly tries to kill herself. Her sire Pam saves her and orders her not to do it again, rendering her physically incapable of harming herself due to the show's concept of a sire bond.
  • The early FOX series Werewolf (1987) would have been one episode long if Eric's roommate had committed suicide rather than invoked this trope. Eric's failure to comply fast enough when his friend transformed is how he got bitten himself.
  • The X-Files
    • Episode "The Walk": The killer of the week used his psychic powers to kill his victims' families first and then prevented them from committing suicide. His victims survived jumping to a bathtub with scalding hot water or shooting themselves in the head.
    • The Monster of the Week from "Tithonus" was a man who gained immortality but became very tired of life. He tried to kill himself by pills, cutting his wrists or jumping off bridges. Nothing worked. Until Scully was mortally wounded and he died in her place (possibly passing his immortality onto her in the process)

  • Ice Age's "Dead But Wide Awake" very clearly describes this.
  • The Megas' interpretation of Crasstarfh Man actually wants to help Mega Man (if for no other reason than because he hates Wily), but his programming forces him to fight against him. He actually comes close to beating him too (which not many Robot Masters can say), but at the last second, he manages to summon enough willpower to overcome his programming just long enough to either kill himself or let Mega Man kill him.
  • JerryTerry's "Kiss Me (Kill Me)" — the singer, after being infected with some kind of mind-altering, mutagenic parasite, eventually starts pleading with her unknown companion to kill her, implicitly after already being subdued ("I won't stay down much longer") so that she can't attack or infect anyone else. At the end, a figure in a hazmat suit arrives and finishes her off instead. The Last Note Nightmare at the end implies that it didn't work.

     Puppet Shows 
  • Parodied in the Lamb Chop's Play-Along episode "Charlie Horse Western." Charlie Horse and Lamb Chop are making their own Western movie with Lamb Chop as a Native American warrior and Charlie as her faithful steed; in a battle Charlie is "shot" and begs Lamb Chop to "kill" him. She pantomimes annihilating him with a machine gun.
    Charlie Horse: What are you, a fanatic or something?

    Myths & Religion 
  • In Roman mythology, a famous Sybil (please note, that's the title of a seer/oracle, and is not yet used as a name in Rome) from the nearby city of Cumae was turned into a cicada by Apollo when she refused to sleep with him. Cicada Sybil was kept in a cage in the temple of Apollo at Cumae, where people would continue to ask her questions; one day a young child asked what she wanted, and she replied that she wanted to die.
  • Norse Mythology: In "Sorli's Tale" Hedin, one of the two kings cursed to fight an everlasting battle, asks the Christian warrior Ivar Gleam to kill him and his warriors, because only when a Christian kills them they will they be dead for good and no longer forced to fight, die and come to live again every day.

  • The Dalek in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio Jubilee had had its self-destruct system disabled and, more than just ordering it to self-destruct, the Dalek demanded that Evelyn actually shoot it with its own gun.
    • The Eighth Doctor himself in the audio play Zagreus, echoing Charley's request in the previous story.
      "Kill me."
      "I can't!"
      "Kill me."
      "I love you!"
      "Kill me."
      • She does.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Averted in Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution. It's harder than normal, but you can force a person that's been psychokinetically Dominated to commit suicide.
  • Young Erasmus van Richten of Ravenloft invoked this trope, begging his father Rudolph to drive a stake through his heart before vampirism could extinguish his compassion and make him a killer. Justified in that, while Erasmus could theoretically have committed suicide by sunlight, he was only a kid and probably couldn't have endured the 10 rounds of agony then required under D&D rules.
  • When vampires in Vampire: The Requiem want to commit suicide by sunrise, they need to chain themselves down first or otherwise render themselves immobile, as their Beast will otherwise likely send them fleeing for cover before they have succumbed (Vampires with enough willpower to prevent their Beast from "saving" them probably have enough willpower to endure vampiric existence in the first place).
  • Dwarfs in Warhammer are an interesting example, in that their culture allows for death to atone for a terrible shame or failure, but is strictly opposed to killing oneself- according to some sources, dwarfs are mentally incapable of suicide. Instead, a suicidal Dwarf becomes a Troll Slayer, which mostly entails dyeing their hair and beard, cutting it into a mohawk, and going out to find something really nasty to kill them in battle. And since Dwarfs are similarly opposed to throwing a fight, the more successful (or unsuccessful, depending on how you look at it) Slayers are fearsome warriors indeed.
    • Amusingly enough, the normally-branching "career paths" detailed in the Warhammer RPG handbooks break down slightly for Trollslayers. A Trollslayer's only "exit career" is "Giantslayer," and a Giantslayer's only possible exit career is "Daemonslayer," each one describing a correspondingly higher level of Awesome. And under the listing for "exit careers" for Daemonslayers...? "A glorious death."
  • The Sisters Repentia from Warhammer 40,000 are similar to the Trollslayers. They are made up of Sororitas who have somehow shamed themselves and seek redemption through death in battle. They are essentially naked women toting gigantic chainsaw swords whose only purpose is to charge the nearest enemy and cut it to pieces.
    • Then there's "the Emperor's Peace," which is simply a mercy killing, used In-game by Space Marine medics on other members of their squad; the rest of the squad just forgets about them.
  • This appears as a gameplay mechanic in Yu-Gi-Oh! with cards that can't be tributed, and thus can only be killed by a card effect or by battling an enemy monster. Often it appears in Poison Mushroom type cards like Ojama Duo and Ojama Trio which clogs your opponent's monster slots with useless creatures that he can't easily get rid of by simply tributing them, or in Scapegoat which is intended to fill your own monster slots to protect against an enemy attack with the tribute restriction meant for balancing purposes.

  • In Antony and Cleopatra Antony asks his loyal subordinate to kill him when it's clear he's lost and Cleopatra makes him think she's dead. The man in question kills himself rather than kill his general, and is posthumously commended for being "thrice-nobler" than Antony. Unfortunately, when Antony tries to follow his example, he botches it and dies in protracted agony, with other soldiers being as unwilling as the first to strike the final blow themselves.
  • In William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Brutus asks for one of men to hold his sword so he can run himself on it, as his Stoic philosophy forbids him from directly committing suicide. Cassius, meanwhile, has one of the men stab him himself, whereas Brutus technically did self-terminate because he ran on the sword.
    • Could be Science Marches On however, since Stoic philosophy actually prescribes suicide as an honorable death (second only to death in battle) and that allowing someone to commit suicide rather than execute him was oft reserved for the Worthy Opponent as a way of letting him go out on his own terms. The offer was more often taken than rejected.
    • Brutus does a similar thing after the Battle of Philippi in the series Rome. He dismisses his guards, takes off his armor and marches straight at the advancing enemy soldiers, sword in hand. At first the soldiers just block or dodge his attacks, but when he wounds one, they stab him to death.
  • In Henry VI Part 3, Young Clifford begs for "dispatch" from Richard of Gloucester (the future Richard III) after Clifford is mortally wounded. Richard leaves him to die in an act of Cruel Mercy. Much later, Henry himself finds Clifford still slowly and painfully dying and Clifford makes the same request, but Henry can't bring himself to kill a man and flees.
  • In Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jekyll admits during the final confrontation that he's unable to kill himself to stop Hyde, and needs his friends' help.

    Video Games 
  • In BioShock, Andrew Ryan uses the compulsive phrase "Would you kindly..." to force the main character to kill him with a golf club, ending his life on his own terms.
  • In BioShock 2, Gilbert Alexander, a scientist who worked for Andrew Ryan, knowing what he will become, leaves behind pre-mutation audio logs, asking whoever finds them to kill him. When the player finds him, however, "Alex the Great," now mutated and trapped in in a containment tube, begs the player to spare his life.
    • Augustus Sinclair, changed into a Alpha Series Big Daddy, and forced to obey Sofia Lamb's every command. He begs for you to stop him, and apologizes for not being able to help you anymore.
  • Borderlands 2 plays this for laughs with the psycho bandit Face McShooty. He's a bandit who just wants you to shoot him in the face, and he rants endlessly about you shooting him in the face until, well, you shoot him. In the face. When you finally do shoot him in the face (and nowhere else, as he's completely invincible to the rest of his body) he'll blurt out a "THANK YOU!" as he dies. Meanwhile, a decidedly not-for-laughs case is Angel, who has been locked away by Handsome Jack, her father, and is asking you to kill her by destroying her life support, going so far as to pointing out the weak points and sending you health and ammo.
    • The Fight for Sanctuary DLC has Cassius, who constantly keeps apologizing for involuntarily attacking you and congratulates you when you damage him.
  • In Breath of Fire II, the main character will discover his long-lost father attached to a machine in the bowels of a dungeon. He asks you to kill him which you can do during the boss fight immediately after his request but the game also subverts this trope by allowing you to solely attack the machine during the battle instead. This will result in the machine destroyed, the father saved, and you on the path towards the best ending.
  • Castlevania
    • Happens in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance in one of the bad endings. Juste finds Maxim barely holding on to himself, and Maxim begs Juste to kill him before his Enemy Within takes over. Juste refuses, and (predictably) Maxim's evil side does take over, and you have to fight him.
    • In another example, Soma in Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow and Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow made Julius promise to kill him if he ever loses out to his Superpowered Evil Side. It's unusual in that it's the protagonist that makes the request.
    • In Castlevania: Lament of Innocence, the origins of the famed Vampire Killer are revealed, as Leon finds himself being asked by his fiancée, who has already begun the irreversible process of turning into a vampire, to kill her. He does so, and her soul comes to reside within his whip, giving it its holy power.
  • Cave Story has Ballos, a magician whose powers, during his punishment torture, went awry and brought about the destruction of his kingdom. When the protagonists find him at the end of the Bonus Level of Hell, he begs, "Kill me! Or I—shall kill YOU!"
  • In The Darkness, Jackie gets sent to Hell, where World War I never seems to have ended. Even so, the soldiers can't die. Several of them have been mutilated, but aren't dead. In one particular tent, there's a soldier humming a song to himself while repeatedly shooting himself in the head with his gun, which doesn't work. Once Jackie gains The Darkness Guns, he can execute the soldiers with a Mercy Kill, as the powers of the Darkness finally end them.
  • In Deadly Premonition, the shadows will sometimes shout "Please kill me!" or "Make me die!" when attacking.
  • Dead Rising has a scene to this effect. Brad ends up getting zombified in the most physically graphic way possible in the game (you can see the parasites eating his intestines). When Frank finds him Brad states "It doesn't even hurt.. I'm already dead", and then proceeds to slide Frank a pistol while saying "Don't tell Jessie about this."
  • Deus Ex: A secret room in Morgan Everett's compound reveals his ageing predecessor, Lucius DeBeers, sealed in a life-support system and acting as an adviser for the Illuminati. DeBeers is under the impression that, when he recovers, Everett would allow him to return to power. The player has the choice to inform him of Everett's true (and rather bastardly) intentions. DeBeers promptly pleads Denton to pull the plug as he'd rather die than divulge any more wisdom to his usurper. You don't have to, though.
  • One of your final missions in DOOM (2016) is to destroy VEGA, the sentient Artificial Intelligence and Master Computer of the UAC, because its power is needed to send you to the heart of the Hell portal so you can shut it down forever. VEGA walks you through each step of the process, and even gives you a variant of the Trope Name at the start. The Doom Slayer makes a backup of VEGA for his suit at the end of the mission, because it is the only major entity in the game that did not seek to either use him for self-serving purposes or try to kill him.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the main character will encounter a Dalish elf who has turned into a werewolf. Her transformation has left her in excruciating pain and she will beg the character to end her suffering. If you do, she will thank you. If you don't, she will attack and force you to kill her.
    • Played with by the Grey Wardens. While there's nothing in their creed stating they can't commit suicide, the fact that they're Tainted — meaning they will eventually turn into a darkspawn beast if not killed beforehand — means that as soon as they hear the Calling, they generally choose this way out by storming the Deep Roads alone and killing as many darkspawn as possible before being slain by sheer numbers.
  • Dragon Age II: The Serial Killer Kelder Vanard asks for this when you finally catch up for him, because he's too mentally ill to stop himself from killing elven children, but just sane enough to realize how horrible his actions are and there's no other way to stop him since his magistrate father will cover up his crimes.
  • In Duke Nukem 3D, Duke comes across various attractive young women with Body Horror problems who beg you to kill them. Given the nature of Duke to "borrow" lines from other sources this is very likely a Shout-Out to Aliens.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • At several points in the series, depending on the mode of resurrection, some ghosts and forms of reanimated dead are still conscious but have no control over their body. They will sometimes be Apologetic Attackers and will thank the person who kills them for freeing them as they die (again).
    • The Underking in Daggerfall suffers from this due to the fact that he cannot die until re-united with the Mantella, which is effectively his Soul Jar. His goal in the game is to do just this, and since the canon ending turned out to be 'all of the above' via Time Crash, it can be presumed that he was successful.
    • In Morrowind's Bloodmoon expansion, Ulfgar the Unending is looking for a way into Sovngarde, the Nordic paradise afterlife. He recruits the player to help him find the way in. As it turns out, you must die in battle. And seeing as how the player is the only person around badass enough to defeat Ulfgar in combat, he asks him/her to do this]].
    • A variation occurs as part of a minor quest in the Shivering Isles expansion of Oblivion, where an Imperial named Hirrus Clutumnus in Crucible asks you to kill him. He's perfectly capable of doing it himself and would be happy to, but doesn't want to end up on the Hill of Suicides like the others before him. Fortunately, he happens to spend time on the rail-less staircase to the New Sheoth palace grounds — and you have the option of pushing him off in-dialogue...
  • In Fallout 3, the recurring series character Harold has completely merged with his parasitic tree Bob, and tells the player to put him out of his misery, although the Treeminders want to keep him alive.
    • Subverted in Fallout: New Vegas with Mr. House. While it's never revealed whether or not he can die by his own hand, he certainly doesn't want to. However, if the Courier chooses to remove him from his life support system, he begs the Courier to just kill him instead of leaving him alive, thus invoking the trope. The reason being, having been removed from his life-support pod and exposed to the various nasty diseases and radiations of the wastes (or at least those that could get into the basement of the Lucky 38), putting Mr. House back into the pod alive will leave him incapacitated and dying over the next 60 or so years. Killing him is certainly the merciful option at that point.
    • In Fallout 4, John Caleb Bradeberton, the inventor of Nuka-Cola, is kept alive by a life support system in the form of his own severed head underneath Nuka-World (parodying a popular urban legend that Walt Disney's cryogenically frozen head is kept underneath Disneyland). However, in a cruel twist, he is unable to control or do anything but stare at a wall for the 200 years since the bombs fell. When the Sole Survivor finds him, he begs him/her to turn off the life support and let him die, much to the shock and anguish of Nuka-Cola fanatic Sierra Petrovita.
  • In Far Cry Primal, Dah the Udam is sick with "skull fire", a disease which is slowly killing his people. In order to make sure he doesn't die a slow and humiliating death, Dah asks his Worthy Opponent Takkar to kill him. Takkar grants Dah's wish.
  • Occurred sometimes in Final Fantasy
    • Shadow's flashback dreams in Final Fantasy VI shows him being asked by his partner Baram to kill him, as he was mortally wounded and couldn't do the deed himself. Shadow freaks out and runs away, leaving Baram to die slowly and painfully.
    • Final Fantasy X: Tidus' father, Jecht aka the monstrous Sin, although it doesn't come as a surprise to Tidus, who spent most of the game coming to terms with the fact that he'll have to kill his father. Still, even though Tidus always claimed his dad was an idiot, it hurts him when Jecht asks him to do it quick, because there's not much of his own mind left.
      • And then the other Aeons follow suit as Yu Yevon possesses them one by one.
    • In Final Fantasy XIII, this trope is the driving force behind Barthandelus and Orphan's plan to use Pulse l'Cie to destroy Cocoon. Since fal'Cie in general lack the free will to perform actions outside those predefined for them (hence the reason why l'Cie exist in the first place) and Cocoon fal'Cie cannot assign a Focus that would endanger Cocoon, they needed a Pulse fal'Cie, who could assign such a Focus without issue, to create l'Cie of its own to do the deed.
    • This is part of Ardyn's plan in Final Fantasy XV. Because he was made immortal, and denied his birthright after all he did to heal the starscourge, he could not self terminate. Thus, part of his plan is not only to get rid of the bloodline that denied him, but also for his life to be ended by Noctis.
  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn:
    • Bertram, a boss in Path of Radiance, enters battle with incoherent babbling that seems to be a plea for death. The heroes don't comply, and in Radiant Dawn, they are able to free "Bertram" from the influence of the same Psycho Serum that produced the Feral Ones—he's really Elinica's uncle, Duke Renning, who was thought to be dead.
    • Lehran, who set up the entire scenario with Tellius being subjected to Ashera's judgment because he wanted to be destroyed with the rest of the world.
    • Pelleas, who has to be killed by someone else in order to nullify the Blood Pact. Notable in that while at first you're only given the option to have Micaiah kill him herself or make Tauroneo do it, on your second playthrough, you can refuse his offer entirely and have him join your party later.
  • Rita from Galerians is unable to kill herself and begs Rion to do it for her, likely for reasons similar to what a robot's would be, though she's not one.
  • In Gears of War 2, Dom, after spending the better part of 15 years searching for his wife Maria after losing her during the chaos of Emergence Day, finally finds her to be alive, well and as beautiful as the last time he saw her. Of course, this is either wishful thinking or a hallucination — she then appears to have been tortured to the point she's in a psuedo-catatonic state, looks to have physically aged another 40 years, appears to be developing scaly skin like a Locust (depending on how you look at it) and is generally unresponsive to anything he does. "It's me, Dominic! It's Dominic!". Eventually he euthanises her. You can guess what happens next. This scene was particularly impressive in that Gears wasn't the most emotionally deep of games, up until around that point.
  • Prometheus repeatedly begs Kratos to kill him to end his cycle of torment in God of War II.
    • According to the novelization of God of War (2018), this is the reason why Kratos survived his attempted suicide at the end of God of War III: an unknown force was preventing him from dying by his own hand.
  • In Gradius Gaiden, when the Deltatry in Formidable Guardians is defeated, it uses its two Intruders to destroy itself because it cannot explode after the core is destroyed.
  • In .hack//G.U., Ovan has a plan that will solve all the problems plaguing The World. Problem is, said plan requires him to die, and the AIDA possessing him will not allow him to commit suicide. Thus, he spends the series trying to pull a Suicide by Cop.
  • In Half-Life 2, Gordon comes across humans who have been taken over by headcrabs. Though hard to make out, they beg for death even as the headcrab forces them to attack the player.
  • In one quest in Jade Empire, you encounter a man who has been infected by cannibalistic demons and begs to be killed before he becomes a cannibal as well. You'll actually gain a few "Open Palm" points on your Karma Meter if you kill him; if you don't, he succumbs to the infection and you'll have to fight him.
  • In Killer7, Ulmeyda publicly challenges the titular assassins to kill him. When they reach him, he reveals that he's terrified at the thought of becoming a Heaven's Smile and called on them to kill him in case he becomes one. He promptly does when the Army intervenes, and his Heaven's Smile form is the Boss Battle of the chapter.
  • Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords takes the trope further: not only can an HK-series assassin droid not self-terminate, it also can't harm other HK droids because its programming still considers other, mostly identical units to be itself. In HK-47's cut solo mission against the HK-50's, they would weaponize this by informing him over the intercom that various actions would be harming them, and thus himself as far as his programming was concerned. He'd eventually get around it, but only by disabling the intercom, wiping their messages from his memory and then altering his programming to allow himself to harm them.
  • In an alternate timeline in Life Is Strange where Chloe's father William is still alive, Chloe is quadriplegic after being in a car accident with the car William gave her. After meeting up and spending a day together, Chloe explain that her respiratory system is breaking down and ask Max to increase the morphine amount and kill her since she can't do it herself. It's up to the player whether or not to go through it.
  • Machina of the Planet Tree -Unity Unions-: The Big Bad, Nova, is a negative ether being that was formed from the hatred of King Megistos's victims and can control monsters to do its bidding, but cannot control its own destructive impulses, which is why it asks the heroine, Corona, to kill it.
  • Spiral Pegasus and Tidal Whale in Mega Man X5 lost the will to live by the time X or Zero reach them, and so ask for death by combat. Crescent Grizzly and Shining Firefly admit to already being infected by The Virus and ask to be put down as themselves before they're turned by it.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Fortune from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty is unwilling to kill herself, and wants to die in a blaze of glory in a battle against Solid Snake, whom she blames for her father's death. Unfortunately, Fortune has an electro-magnetic device on her body without her knowledge that prevents her from ever dying in combat, and every grenade thrown at her is a dud. This is a major motivator behind her constant Wangst. The Boss Battle against Fortune plays on this trope heavily; you spend it dodging her shots and taking cover until the timer runs out.
    • A variation on this trope appears in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, in which The Boss is under orders to sacrifice herself for the sake of a cover-up, allowing herself to be taken out by Naked Snake so that the US and USSR will not engage in nuclear war. She is not allowed to kill herself, and she cannot tell Snake the truth about her mission. It speaks volumes about her strength of character that she does not angst about this in the slightest; in fact, she seems glad that Snake is the one to finally finish her.
    • Vamp starts displaying signs of this trope in the fourth game, but it's not due to any sort of moral dilemma; he is literally unable to kill himself, since he instantly recovers from any wounds, due to nanomachines that enhance his natural Healing Factor. He eventually dies when he injects himself with nanomachine suppressants before the wounds he received from his battle with Raiden can heal.
  • At the conclusion of Mother 3, the Masked Man regains his old identity whilst battling his brother, Lucas. After removing his helmet, he directs a bolt of PK Lightning at Lucas' Franklin Badge (an accessory which deflects electric attacks), killing himself in the backfire.
  • In Neverwinter Nights 2, the dragon Nolaloth has spent millenia 'living' as a ghost, bound to the Prime Material Plane by an artifact called the crystal heart. He asks you to destroy the heart so he can finally make his way to the afterlife.
  • Zig Zagged in NieR: Automata:
    • Androids are basically built with a program that severely guilts them if they develop suicidal ideation, making it technically possible, but psychologically difficult for them to commit suicide. This led to Anemone developing massive Survivor's Guilt as a result of being the Sole Survivor of a mission where her entire squadron died, but unable to go through with killing herself to join her comrades. However, commiting suicide in a way that ensures a completed mission (e.g., 2B and 9S detonating their black boxes to destroy a bunch of Goliath-class machines headed their way, or A2 destroying the Tower with herself at the top) is possible, at least for YorHa androids.
    • Machines, however, presumably due to being networked and designed to be expendable, can and frequently do commit suicide, either with their built-in self-destruct feature, "human" methods like taking a plunge into a canyon, or by destroying their own core with a weapon.
  • In Odin Sphere, the noble dragon Belial's heart was cursed by the Three Wise Men, forcing him to serve them. Even though he really doesn't want to hurt anyone, he's forced to be their attack dog. In the final battle of Cornelius' chapter, Cornelius mortally wounds Belial by piercing his heart. When Urzur investigates the aftermath, Belial reveals that he is free of the Wise Mens' spell since his heart was pierced. It ends badly for Urzur.
  • In Oni, Shinatama, after being put back together as a Deadly Brain after having her Xiox destruct mechanism activated, she repeatedly says things like "I'm so sorry!" and "Konoko, kill me, please!" while trying to shoot you. After breaking free, she walks towards Griffin. He tells her to stop, but, of course, she doesn't due to the fact that Griffin sent the security department way over budget after ordering a lift to be made on his office, so they disabled a few low-level overrides, such as "Griffin Alpha Zero", and Shinatama wants to die. He shoots her, Konoko disarms Griffin, and the player has a choice of whether or not to shoot him.
    • If you choose to walk away and not shoot Griffin, not only does Mai/Konoko make a comment about "being better than that," Griffin will have a Redemption Quest later on by leading reinforcements that cover her ass near the end of the game.
  • In Planescape: Torment you come across a woman who is dying of a painful illness but whose race has a taboo against suicide, and who requests that Dak'kon (a priest — sort of — of that same race) end her suffering. You can use this as an opportunity to psychologically torture him.
  • One theory states that GLaDOS puts Chell though hell because of this trope, in order to give Chell motivation to kill GLaDOS.
  • In Prey (2006), Tommy finds his girlfriend Jen but she has been fused onto a monster and he is forced to fight her. In the end, she begs him to kill her.
  • This trope is built into the gameplay mechanics of Prince of Persia (2008). The Prince cannot die either in combat or during the acrobatic sections of the game. Even if you intentionally throw yourself of a cliff, Elika will save you and take you back to the last flat ground you stood on. Even when facing off with the dark god Ahriman he cannot die because Elika will save him. It's even used as a story element at one point: the Concubine, after trying repeatedly and failing to seduce the Prince, finally resorts to using illusions to cause Elika to disappear, and then she summons many, many illusions of Elika and demands that the Prince choose the right one. But they're all fake: the correct choice is to throw yourself off the tower, because Elika will then be forced to save you. The Prince points out that he "hopes this works" as he does it, and Elika lampshades the insanity of his plan.
    Elika: What if I was unconscious?
    Prince: Ah. I...didn't think of that.
  • In Quake II, there are levels where you see captured humans being experimented upon. "Make it stop" and "Kill me now" are two rather common sounds.
  • Rengoku:
    • Minos in the first game complains that as an immortal who can't resist commands in his head, he can only wish to be "released".
    • Mars in the second game lives in constant pain, which is a reflection of his human self being consumed by the AI Suit, and thanks Gram for putting him to rest.
  • When Chris finds Forest in the (definitely strange but oddly... effective in a certain way) Resident Evil Pachislot game, when he gets up as a zombie, it can be made out in his standard undead moans that he's asking to die — Chris apparently misses it, since his retaliation is regretful, but when he makes it, the zombie also thanks him right before the bullet/round hits. Also, in 3, there is one scene where one of Carlos's fellow U.B.C.S. members is infected and tries to convince him to kill him, which he finally does just as he starts to turn.
  • Oichi in Sengoku Basara 3. Controlled by hellish forces, she can be heard to desperately whisper "Kill me!" when conjuring up smoky black demon hands to block an attack.
  • Shining Force II's Lemon, who goes on a killing spree as the Red Baron, snaps out of his trance and now wishes to atone for his sins. However, since he is no longer human but now a immortal vampire, he finds that he can't kill himself. The first time he attempts suicide, he tries jumping from a cliff, with Astral commenting "That couldn't have felt good".
  • In Soul Nomad & the World Eaters, Feinne ends up asking the main characters to do this, as the alternative is to be consumed by Drazil, which would not only strengthen your enemies but also deny her the ability to return to the cycle of death and rebirth.
  • In Star Ocean: The Second Story, Philia's programming makes it impossible for her to commit suicide.
  • General Pepper in Star Fox: Assault. The Aparoids have taken over his ship and threaten to take over himself as well. During the fight, he keeps asking to be killed before that happens. Subverted in that Peppy dives in to soften the ships fall and Pepper survives in the end. Also later in the game, Peppy sacrifices the infested Great Fox to break through a defensive shield.
  • In The Suffering, Torque finds a prison guard — or more accurately, the torso and head of a prison guard who has had his limbs and tongue chewed off by rats, locked in a padded room. You can either leave the blood-gurgling man there to suffer, or kill him, whereupon your dead wife will applaud your decision and grant some karma points towards your ending.
  • Sword of Paladin: When Alex is possessed by Ragnarek, he tries to kill himself, but is unable to, so he asks Nade's party to finish him off before Ragnarek uses him to destroy the world. Fortunately, Nade helps Alex regain control of himself.
  • In System Shock 2, the annelid hybrids (humans who have been assimilated by The Many) will often beg you to kill them, even as they attack you.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, Estelle begs Yuri to kill her before she causes anyone anymore pain while she is under Alexei's control. He saves her in the end.
  • At one point in the Meet the Medic video for Team Fortress 2, the BLU Spy's disembodied head is seen stuffed in the back of a refrigerator. He's on screen just long enough to deadpan "kill me" before the Medic shushes him with an irritated "later!"
    • In the storyboards for the unused version of Meet the Medic, BLU Spy's head is not nearly so deadpan, frantically begging the RED Medic to Mercy Kill him. It's phrased very similarly to the Stargate: The Ark of Truth example in Film, and most likely a Shout-Out:
    Red Medic: (attempting to headshot the BLU Spy with his own revolver) I''!
  • The original, Japanese version of this appears in both Tenchu and Sword of the Samurai II, where the player character can end up acting as the 'second', depending on various factors.
    • A notable occurrence in Tenchu involves infiltrating the manor of a corrupt lord. If you do this mission with Rikimaru, he repents and asks for your help committing seppuku. He then stabs himself in the stomach, and Rikimaru takes off his head.
  • In Thief 2, you encounter a near dead and more then half frozen Pagan. After speaking to the Pagan, he asks you to do one last thing for him: end his pain. Garrett calls the Pagan his friend just before he kills him. This is notable as just about the only time in the game when you're permitted to kill a human on Expert difficulty.
  • In Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior Admrial Constantine (voiced by BRIAN BLESSED!) begs you to shoot him before he turns into a Chaos Spawn. Demon-possessed Brian Blessed just asked you to shoot him.
  • In an astonishing example of loyalty, Asgard battles your party after he saves them from Beatrice, just so he can get around his self-preservation programming and follow his masters to hell in Wild ARMs 3.
  • In Wolfenstein: The New Order, one of the bosses is a Mini-Mecha controlled by the brain of whoever you nominated to be Strasse's test subject during the Sadistic Choice at the start of the game. It will beg you to find a way to destroy it; B.J. ejects the glass tube containing the brain, and shoots it at point-blank range.
  • World of Warcraft features a couple of bosses that are under the effects of Mind Control or, in the case of Thaddius, are a horrific patchwork construct, and either before, during, or after the fight, beg you for death or thank you for killing them.
    • A good example is the final boss of the Nexus, Keristrasza. She's a Red Dragon captured by Malygos, the leader of the blue dragon-flight, after she aids the players in a quest chain and is bent to his will and he takes her as an unwilling consort eventually driving her insane. During the fight with her, she'll at one point say "Finish it! Finish it! Kill me, or I swear by the Dragonqueen you'll never see daylight again!"
    • There is also Vaelastrasz the Corrupt who begs the players to kill him. His dialogue when killing a player character is an apology to that player.
  • In the final chapter of Xenoblade Chronicles X, Lao and Luxaar fall in the Lifehold Core's protoplasm, containing all the stored human DNA. While Luxaar dissolves, Lao mutates into a montrous chimera, and since he doesn't have control over his body anymore, he requests his former teammates put him out before he destroys the Core.
  • Miang, the quasi-Big Bad of Xenogears is unable to kill herself (it's never really explained, but it is probably some form of in-bred psychological programming by Deus that leaves her unable to take her own life), despite being virtually immortal thanks to her ability to Body Surf. Instead, she manipulates her former superior and lover, Ramsus, into killing her so she can Body Surf into Elly and complete Deus's 10,000 year old Gambit Roulette.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, Pegasus sacrifices himself to seal Reshef away, asking the player character to perform the ritual since he can't do it himself.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night has Saber Alter, corrupted and controlled by Dark Sakura, lose in a fight to Shirou. She calmly asks to be finished off, warning that she will likely heal in time to stop him should he not. If you choose to spare her, she does just that.
    • Sakura herself realizes that she needs to be stopped, but will only allow Shirou to do it.
  • Saya no Uta, with your former girlfriend whom Saya has... modified.
  • As a spirit, the Screaming Author from Spirit Hunter: NG is trapped in the Miroku mansion with no way to die and free itself from its tortured existence. When facing off against it, the Author pleads Akira to 'burn it', which he correctly guesses to mean that it wants him to set it alight and end its misery.
  • Steam Prison:
    • In the ending "Words Unspoken," Cyrus is taken captive by Rafale and asks Ulrik to kill her rather than let them use her as leverage to force him to cooperate with their plans. He can't bring himself to go through with it, but Vice injects her with the drug Ulrik was going to use and she dies anyway.
    • In the ending "One-Winged Bird," Ulrik asks Eltcreed to shoot him in exchange for stopping the collapse of the Heights, feeling that his life has no purpose but saying he's too much of a coward to kill himself.
    • In one of the branches of Eltcreed's path, Fin asks Cyrus to kill him after she prevents him from attacking Eltcreed. Refusing to comply leads to the "Sweet Recompense" bad ending.

  • The Suicide Fairies from Gunnerkrigg Court. Upon meeting Antimony, they almost immediately ask her to squish them flat with a rock. As it turns out, dying is a test they must pass to gain new bodies and enter the Court. Outright killing themselves (or each other, apparently) constitutes cheating.
  • Homestuck: After Aradia beats Vriska within an inch of her life, Vriska uses her psychic powers to beg Tavros to kill her quickly so that she can ascend to godhood before she slowly bleeds to death on her quest bed. Tavros, unable to even fathom the thought, flies away crying moments before the building explodes.
  • Legio Arcana: Nolan finds Maya, the werewolf the Legion had been tracking, in the forest bleeding out from her gunshot wounds. She begs him to end it.
  • This series of Penny Arcade comics utilizes the trope in a very efficient fashion. The Cardboard Tube Samurai must kill one of his oldest friends when he becomes possessed by an evil sword.
  • Happens in Stand Still, Stay Silent. An infected dog that attacked Emil earlier, but got a grip on its old self, comes to lie down in front of Emil so he can kill him. Emil does it.
  • Tower of God
    • Urek Mazino's sworn enemy has been left behind in the virtual reality of the Hidden Floor even after Urek left. Since Urek has a huge ego, and the sworn enemies represent something like one's worst fear, the sworn enemy is apparently an imperfect version of him. Since he's a version of Urek, he too agrees such a thing as an imperfect version of Urek shouldn't exist, and plots to get himself deleted. It's not stated, but presumably the reason it's a difficult thing for him to achieve is because the sworn enemies are all programmed to have Resurrective Immortality within the virtual reality.
    • Arlen Grace, one of the original companions of the future God-Emperor of the Tower who has been erased from historical records, reportedly became suicidal after being granted Complete Immortality, which didn't make things any easier.
  • Unsounded: Duane finds his condition an undying hell and could put an end to it easily by burning his spelled body, but his religion forbids suicide and he's a devout former priest. He has inconsistant hopes that his brother will put an end to his suffering, though when Lemuel cuts off his head he wanted answers instead.
  • Vexxarr: ...and now they cannot.
  • This is why Pices of the webcomic Zodiac joined the team of superheroes. Having been gene-spliced with an alien Eldritch Abomination, he wants to ensure that, should he lose control, there is a team of superheroes ready to take him down.

    Web Original 
  • Sad Larry, in this Cyanide and Happiness video, faces the problem of wanting to commit suicide, but being unable to do to a wide variety of Contrived Coincidences.
  • The Murderhobos had to kill Urabrask, who's suffering from Phyresis, because he wanted to die as himself.
  • Whatever it is behind the channel NOC +10 is alive, but wants desperately to die. It tells Dr. Helen in a video that it wants to be killed. In a later video, it tells the viewer to "SHUT DOWN ME".
    Helen why won't you respond I want to die
  • In Red vs. Blue, after years in isolation, the A.I. VIC has gone insane (rampant?) and suicidal, and upon meeting Dylan all he asks for is "reach back behind me here and go ahead and pull that plug. I'd do it myself, but I ain’t got no hands! No hands! NO HANDS!" He ultimately manages to die once he's uploaded into a dangerous machine which after being stopped vanishes.
  • Ruby Quest:
    • Bella requests that Ruby detach her from the life support equipment which has kept her alive in an And I Must Scream situation for over a year, and refuses to allow Ruby to proceed any further until she complies.
    • Jay is found hooked up to the water filtration system and begs Ruby and Tom to kill him. They have other ideas.
  • In Survival of the Fittest Version Three, this happens with Will Sigurbjornsson and Christian Rydell. Christian is severely wounded by Bobby Jacks, and pleads for death after the wound worsens when another creature rips it apart. Will kills him.
  • Xionic Madness: After the last battle, knowing that it's only a matter of time before he fully succumbs to XV's virus, Omega eventually convinces Xero to cut him down.
    "This thing has already taken over most of my body and mind... I am struggling just not to kill you right now... So, do it already!"

    Western Animation 
  • In the episode "Trouble in Lumpy Space" of Adventure Time, there's a conversation where Finn thinks Jake (in the throes of the Lumps) is about to request this of Finn, should he go completely Lumpy. Yes. They actually got away with referencing this. It's never actually stated, and it turns out that Jake just wanted Finn to still be friends with a Lumpy Jake. "What did you think I was saying?"
  • Gargoyles never directly brings up the issue of suicide, but the reason Macbeth keeps picking fights with Demona is because she's the only one who can cancel out his immortality. The thing is, she's fated to die too if she ever kills him, leading to an awkward situation whenever he forces her into a battle.
  • In the Samurai Jack episode "Jack And The Lava Monster," the titular "monster" turns out to be a Norse warrior who was cursed by Aku; placed in a crystal prison. He eventually gained the power to control the earth around him, and created a Death Course for the purpose of finding the warrior who could defeat him in battle, allowing him to finally pass on to Valhalla with the rest of his comrades. Most telling is his anguished cry of "I must be defeated honorably! I cannot let up!" during his fight with Jack. The Samurai grants his wish.
  • In the South Park episode "Fantastic Easter Special," Jesus and Kyle have been imprisoned in the Vatican. Jesus realises that if he dies, he can resurrect himself outside the bars. He's unable to kill himself, as suicide is a sin, so he asks Kyle to do it. After initially refusing ("I'm a Jew. I have a few hang-ups about killing Jesus."), he reluctantly agrees, on the condition that "Eric Cartman can never know about this."
  • In The Venture Bros. episode "Midlife Chrysalis," when Rusty has been turned into a giant caterpillar due to an injection Dr. Girlfriend has given him, he tries to get Helper to shoot him. Helper refuses.
    • Sergeant Hatred also begs Doctor Venture to kill him after his wife hints at wanting to leave him, and can't do it himself because he is "a warrior, and will die by the hand of [his] archenemy". He eventually pulls himself together and replaces Brock as the Ventures' bodyguard.
    • The episode "Now Museum, Now You Don't" has Richard Impossible attempt suicide by jumping off a balcony, but he lives because of his rubbery body.

    Real Life 
  • Very much Truth in Television on terminal and/or severely debilitating diseases or injuries, such as neuromotor diseases like ALS, which usually are also terminal, or a quadriplegic who has lost their will to live. Also an incredible Tear Jerker and the very reason why euthanasia laws exist in the first place.
    • The case of Sue Rodriguez, a landmark decision in the Canadian euthanasia debate. Rodriguez suffered from ALS and feared that by the time she reached the point of wishing to die, she would be unable to carry it out herself; she took her case to the Supreme Court twice but was struck down both times. (She eventually died in 1994 with the assistance of an anonymous physician.)
    • The case of Ramón Sampedro in Spain (the Real Life case that inspired the film The Sea Inside. He became paralyzed from the neck down after breaking his neck in an accident as a young man. Unable to commit suicide on his own, he spent years fighting for the right to assisted suicide, and was repeatedly denied by the Spanish government. He eventually died in 1998 with the help of friends, each of whom performed a single act so minor that they could not be charged with a crime.
    • In a similar case, an American teacher and artist Christina Symanski, who became quadriplegic, losing the use of all limbs. She was denied euthanasia, so she starved herself to death.
    • A talented UK rugby player, Daniel James, got similarly paralyzed in an accident. Unable to use his arms and hands, he sought euthanasia in Switzerland.
  • While Seppuku is frowned upon now, there is still a large cultural mindset in Japan towards self-punishment for dishonor. Although it doesn't usually reach I Cannot Self-Terminate levels, it can result in an odd (for Westerners) predeliction towards redemption.
  • The kaishakunin or "second" in a seppuku ritual has a role somewhere between this and Mercy Kill. He decapitates the person committing seppuku after the cut is made, to kill the seppuku performer before the pain becomes so great that he cannot help but dishonor himself by showing pain.
  • There were quite a few Roman Catholic samurai during the Sengoku period. They could not commit seppuku due to religious reasons even though it would be culturally appropriate to do so. The alternative is suicide by enemy soldier.
  • In a weird way, this trope is why people get cancer. Normally, once a cell becomes cancerous (i.e. its DNA has mutated to the point where the cell cannot control its growth), the immune system will recognize that this has happened and will essentially force the cancerous cell to self-destruct. The Warburg Hypothesis is based on the observation that most tumor cells have damaged mitochondria, which then disables the cell's ability to destroy itself. As a result, it can continue to grow unabated and cause problems while the body's defenses are unable to stop it.
  • A real life example, one of the theories behind the Malaysian phenomenon of "running amok," was that it was a suicide attempt. Because of the taboo towards suicide, a man would retain his honor by attacking as many people as he could until someone finally killed him, since he could not kill himself.
  • The phenomenon of "police-assisted suicide," in which people who can't bring themselves to end their own lives commit a violent crime, such as taking a hostage, in order to provoke the police into shooting them. Only officially considered "suicide" if the person left a note to that effect.
    • Historically, dueling probably served the same purpose.
    • Serial killer James French was sentenced to life in prison. He wanted to die, but was afraid to commit suicide - so he murdered his cellmate, and subsequently, was executed. He also had some hilarious last words:
    "How's this for tomorrow's headline? French Fries!"
  • A good practice in computer systems is that a user who has the maximum privilege cannot delete their own account from that account, they must delete it from someone else's account that also has maximum privilege (basically so that an administrator doesn't accidentally delete the last or only account having maximum privilege and thus making it impossible to perform whatever action requires that privilege.)
  • When a cell in the human body is infected by a virus, the cell will chop the virus up and stick the pieces out on its surface, couched inside proteins that basically say "Hey killer T-cells, this thing is inside me, please kill me and record who did it."
  • Windows 10 includes the option to reset your operating system back to its factory settings. If something goes wrong, it can fail any reset attempt you attempt.
  • Records exist of Horny Vikings on their deathbeds who asked their friends to "speed the process along," so to speak. Beyond functioning as a Mercy Kill, this practice was associated with the kind of honorable death favored in the Martyrdom Culture of The Viking Age — a bit like seppuku in Japan. See, according to Norse Mythology, dying outside of battle wouldn't get you into Warrior Heaven, but if your friend finished you off, then you technically "died by the sword".
  • King Mithridates VI of modern-day Anatolia was a rather humorous example. He regularily ingested small doses of poison to build up immunity, which seems to have worked since he survived all assassination attempts we know of (and probably a few we don't). Once Rome came knocking, however, he attempted to kill himself using poison, which didn't work due to his immunity. He had to have an underling kill him with the blade instead.
  • While no one can say for sure, it's entirely possible that Marvin Gaye is an example. After having attempted suicide several times in his lifetime, one of them reportedly days before his death, he was shot to death by his father in 1984 after the two got into a bitter argument. According to Marvin's brother, who was alerted to the shooting and arrived in time to comfort him in his last moments, Marvin's last words were:
    "I got what I wanted... I couldn't do it myself, so I had him do it... It's good, I ran my race, there's no more left in me."


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Cannot Self Terminate, Kill Me, Please Kill Me



Zen the Undead King lures Satou to the tower in order to finally die before he loses his self and gets turned into a Demon Lord.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / SuicideByCop

Media sources: