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Kill the Ones You Love

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"Could you kill your best friend?"

Sometimes, a character you care for is going to die. Rather than killed off by the bad guys or some cosmic whim, though, the murderer is another character who cares very much for the deceased. Perhaps your little sis has become a Tragic Monster and needs to be staked, or maybe you have to Fight Your Friend to the death. Occasionally it's a case of Shoot the Dog or Mercy Kill. In any case, the characters know each other, as well as their relationship to each other. And the killer knows that the other has to die for anything to be resolved. In some cases leads to Cradling Your Kill.


In video games, this is invariably a Player Punch. This trope usually doesn't villainize the killer, since the now-dead character generally has to be killed to right wrongs, or at least keep the story going. Doesn't stop him or her from feeling like crap afterwards, though.

May or may not overlap with Self-Made Orphan or Sibling Murder.

Super-Trope to Staking the Loved One.

As a Death Trope, ALL Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Raziel from Angel Sanctuary forces himself to shoot his beloved superior Zaphikel when the latter transforms into a ghoul.
  • In the end of Attack on Titan, despite resisting it all throughout the battle with him, Mikasa becomes the only one who can kill Eren and in the series penultimate chapter she does exactly that, decapitating the man she loves before he can unleash any more carnage. In fact, that chapter has its primary conflict seem to be her working up the courage to go through with it.
  • Baldr Force EXE Resolution: Tohru has to kill Ren to keep her from destroying everything in the Wired.
  • This is the entire point of the Sacrifice required to become a demon from Berserk, as first revealed in the Guardians of Desire arc. By consigning that which you most love to be eaten by demons, the would-be Apostle (or Godhand) cuts himself or herself off from humanity and opens himself or herself to evil. Unlike most of the examples on this page, this act is presented as a monstrous betrayal of everything the person holds dear and a crossing of the Moral Event Horizon, both because of the Cruel And Unusual Deaths often suffered by those who get the Brand put on them and due to the added little detail that anyone sacrificed in the creation of a demon gets his or her soul condemned to Hell for all eternity.
  • Bleach: Rukia Kuchiki was forced to kill her mentor and first love, Kaien Shiba, when he became possessed by a Hollow.
  • Blood+: Due to Psycho Serum Delta 67, the heroine Saya's adoptive father George Miyagusuku starts to turn into a mindless bloodthirsty monster and she must reluctantly kill him before the drug takes effect.
  • In the Claymore universe, this sort of thing happens all the time due to the whole I Cannot Self-Terminate thing. The first instance occurred in the very first volume when Clare was called upon to Mercy Kill her girlhood friend Elena.
  • Code Geass:
    • Lelouch (as Zero) is forced to shoot Euphemia after he accidentally Geasses her into killing all the Japanese, sending her on a rampage. Just as he does it, he mentally bids her farewell, and even thinks to himself that she was his first love. He's later shown angsting over it.
    • Then there's the finale, where Suzaku, disguised as Zero, stabs Lelouch in a Thanatos Gambit. He's shown crying while doing it. It's also especially tragic because everybody except Lelouch thinks Suzaku is dead and since he was an accomplice in the Zero-Approval Gambit, he can't go public or he'll ruin Lelouch's plans. Also, he can't take the easy way out because his "live" Geass forces him to do exactly that.
  • In Corsair, this is a major issue for Canale. His murder of Sesaam, his lover at the time, is the biggest instance but he also feels responsible for his mother's suicide and the general death and destruction that follow him wherever he goes.
  • Realising that he has to do this to his Love Interest, Yin because her Superpowered Evil Side will destroy the world if he doesn't causes Hei from Darker Than Black to BSOD big time, leading to him becoming the drunken Jerkass we know from the second season.
  • Ga-Rei -Zero-: Yomi. It's even the anime's tag line!
  • In Gintama it happened in the backstory of its protagonist Sakata Gintoki. As part of a Sadistic Choice, he had to kill his mentor and father figure in order to spare his fellow students' lives
  • Naruto:
    • Sakura has decided to kill Sasuke with her own hands, to save their land and spare him from falling even lower than he already has. Subverted, as when push comes to shove, she can't bring herself to do it and is nearly killed herself.
    • In the backstory, Itachi did this when he slaughtered the Uchiha Clan, including his girlfriend Izumi and his own parents whom he killed last, to pre-empt a coup. A flashback shows him about to cut down his parents who aren't even trying to fight back. Just to twist the knife further, they spend their final moments assuring Itachi that they still love him and respect his decision and ask him to look after Sasuke. Itachi is crying the entire time. Speaking of the Uchihas, the Mangekyo Sharingan is unlocked by the death of a loved one (Kakashi's turned out to be a Suicide by Cop, so it doesn't need to be deliberate).
    • Kakashi discovers that his hero and childhood friend Obito Uchiha caused the Fourth Shinobi War, which makes killing him Kakashi's responsibility and no-one else's. An interesting example, since Naruto (the idealist) still wants to redeem him, while Kakashi and Minato Namikaze, who knew and loved him, fight only to kill. Subverted when after Obito is defeated, just as Kakashi is about to kill him, Minato stops him from doing so so that Obito can have a chance at redemption.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Shinji killing his only friend Kaworu, in order to save humanity. Kaworu actually smiles when he tells Shinji he has to die...
    • The End of Evangelion takes this pretty far. Though saying that may be Cliché, there are examples to support the claim:
      • During a mind probe sequence, Shinji's heart is attacked by several of his close friends - Asuka doing most of the work; as soon as his plea for mercy is rejected, he strangles Asuka.
      • After this action, Shinji - having the power of God - decides to kill everyone about whom he's ever cared.
      • Rei carries out his wishes.
      • After this decision, every important-to-semi-important character is visited by a vision of the character they love the most only to break their Ego Barrier/AT-Field and literally destroy them.
      • A noteworthy, possibly surprising example of this act is Hyuga's initial horror at the apparition in front of him before the apparition morphs into Misato and plants a wet smooch and loving caress onto him, thereby completely disassembling him physically.
  • In Project ARMS, all of the heroes say, in no uncertain terms, that they won't hesitate to kill Ryo if he's taken over by the Jabberwock. Given that he fears that happening to him, it's actually comforting. At the end of the manga, he remembers this when he has to bring himself to kill Katsumi, who is possessed by Alice. Fortunately, she gets better.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica:
    • Mami during the third timeline of episode ten's "Groundhog Day" Loop hits the Despair Event Horizon upon learning the true nature of Magical Girls after Sayaka turns into a witch and has to be killed. Not wanting the rest of the magical girls to turn like her, Mami kills Kyouko, but before she is able to kill Homura and Madoka before presumably ending her own life, Madoka shoots her. After doing that, poor Madoka collapses in tears, asking the newly released Homura between sobs why did such things have to happen.
    • An even more tragic example is later in the third timeline. Madoka and Homura manage to destroy Walpurgisnacht, but both are injured, exhausted and in danger of becoming witches. Madoka uses her last Grief Seed to remove the darkness from Homura's Soul Gem in order to spare her from becoming a witch, and Homura returns the favor by tearfully Mercy Killing Madoka before she becomes a witch.
    • Madoka manages to do this accidentally when she throws Sayaka's gem off a bridge to stop her from fighting Kyouko, not realizing that it literally contains her soul; though fortunately she was Only Mostly Dead. Sayaka is Killed Off for Real via this trope after she becomes a witch: Kyouko destroys her by smashing her own soul gem so they can be Together in Death.
  • In RG Veda, believing that Sōma can't survive the battle and will be killed, Kendappa-ō kills her herself, and then commits suicide because she sees no point in living on without her.
  • Weiß Kreuz loves this trope. Loves it. Aya has to kill two of his mentors; Ken has to kill his best friend, girlfriend, surrogate mother, and old friend's brother; and Youji gets to kill three girlfriends.
  • Taimanin Asagi has Asagi doing this to Kyousuke close to the end. He had been turned into a monster, he was lucid at that moment, and she said "I love you" just before breaking his neck and killing him quickly. You would have to have a heart made out of stone not to feel anything over that.
  • In My-HiME, Natsuki takes it upon herself to end her best (and for a long time, only) friend Shizuru's rampage, knowing that both of them will die in the process.
  • Kyo Kara Maoh! likes to flirt with this trope. Particularly Conrad and Yozak—they've been best friends for decades, are probably more comfortable with one another than with anyone else in the world, are the only survivors of their Half-Human Hybrid battalion. But in the second episode in which they appear together, Conrad threatens to kill Yozak if he messes with Yuuri again. This scene is so much freakier when you see it again after learning all the background between the characters.
    • Conrad also throws Yozak off a cliff during his Face–Heel Turn, right after Yozak attacked him while giving a declaration that was basically, 'you're my best friend and my captain and if this is how it's going to be I'll kill you myself.'
    • And in the weird guest episode with the mountain of betrayal miasma, where everyone except Yuuri became convinced that everyone else had been compromised by the mist of betrayal and become their enemy. Yozak and Conrad had rather a good duel in the snow. Even more impressive in that episode was when Wolfram became convinced that Yuuri had gone crazy was going to kill him and didn't invoke this trope, just curled up and waited. Power of Love.
    • When Conrad and Yuuri met in the coliseum it looked like this was going to happen, too, and about ten episodes later it very nearly did.
  • In Amakusa 1637, two events shattered Naozumi Yatsuka's view of the world. One was the phenomenon that got him and his friends Trapped in the Past. The other was killing the first person in said past who understood him, his young and handsome slave Shirou. Yes, that Shirou.
  • Riddle from Undertaker Riddle killed his best friend and former king of the Catacombs, Sigurd, after he went Drunk with Power and almost destroyed the Catacombs.
  • In Tekkaman Blade, all of the enemy Tekkamen are either D-Boy's family or close friends, including two brothers (one of them his twin) and a sister-in-law.
  • School-Live!:
    • Kurumi had a crush on a boy who became a zombie. She "killed" him in self-defense.
    • Kurumi tries to do this their zombified teacher, Megu-nee, however cannot bare to. Megu-nee bites her and later Miki, who is the only one who didn't know Megu-nee, 'kills' her.
    • Yuuri gets dangerously close to this when she almost mercy kills Kurumi, who is becoming a zombie. Thankfully Miki appears with an antidote before she can. It still might occur in the future, though.
  • In the Strider manga, Hiryu was forced to do this to his sister Mariya after she went insane and started murdering other Striders. He tried to talk her out of fighting, but being unable to, was finally forced to fight back and pierce her through with his Cypher. This would weigh heavily on his mind afterwards, eventually leading to him leaving the Striders.
  • In Occult Academy Maya is forced to behead her father's possessed corpse. He was technically already dead but the results are similar.
  • After having died several episodes prior, Kanou from Nurse Angel Ririka SOS is revived by the villainous Buros. This causes Ririka to have to kill Kanou after learning he is affiliated with Dark Joker. Ririka was in love with Kanou.
  • The climax of Assassination Classroom results in this trope. No one in 3-E wants to kill Koro-sensei after the year they've spent together, but know it's either them or the approaching Kill Sat that is going to do the job.
  • In Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE, Hiroto was forced to delete Eve at her request when she could no longer control GBN's bugs she has absorbed within herself. Being forced to kill Eve traumatizes Hiroto mentally and emotionally, and it leads him to conclude that he's a fundamentally awful person, undeserving of praise, of True Companions, or ever being a hero.

    Comic Books 
  • In an early crossover between Batman and Deadman, the latter ends up possessing a criminal and going on a couple of dates with his girlfriend to keep his cover. Unfortunately, having gone years without human affection, Deadman eventually falls for the girl and abandons Batman's operation in hopes that he can convince her to go straight. Problem is, she finds out he was working with the cops and she tries to kill him and Bruce, forcing Deadman to pull the trigger on her. Angsting ensues.
  • In For the Man Who Has Everything, Superman has to do this to escape the Black Mercy. In accepting that his wonderful new life is a dream, he causes the dream Krypton to explode just like the real one. Similarly, Batman has to let Joe Chill kill Thomas and Martha Wayne in his dream just as Chill did in life to escape the Mercy.
  • Psylocke had to do this in Uncanny X-Force. Twice. The first was her lover, Archangel; he was possessed by Apocalypse, forcing her to completely erase his mind. The second was her brother, Jamie; his future self was a multiverse-conquering demon, so she killed him to save the worlds.

    Fan Works 
  • At the end of Anastasia/Quasimodo – We Hit a Wall, Frollo's wife blackmails him into executing his mistress Esmeralda for witchcraft. It's all a lie but Lady Tremaine needs an excuse for her kids' magical transformations and she also wants Esmeralda out of the picture, so it's a good enough excuse. A few days after the execution, Frollo is Driven to Suicide.
  • In The Ripple Effect, Pizzazz kills her lover Eric in order to stop him from killing Deidre and Jerrica.
  • The Rainbow Connection ends in a fight to the death between former best friends Rainbow Brite and Stormy. Rainbow has to stop Stormy's plot to cause an apocalypse on Earth by fighting her. Rainbow hadn't intended to kill Stormy, but it was self-defense and her wounds were too critical. Stormy ends up dying in Rainbow's arms.
  • It's shown in RWBY: Scars that Qrow was the one who killed Summer, who was both his best friend and his longtime lover since Beacon.
  • In Still Running, Adam threatens Blake and Weiss with torture if Blake doesn't kill Weiss. Blake is in love with Weiss and they're also good friends. Blake opts to kill both herself and Weiss, but this trope is subverted when Qrow saves them.
  • Starfall (Star vs. the Forces of Evil): Kevin's wife turns into an insane monster and tries to kill him, but he can't bear to fight back. On the phone with his friend Marco, Kevin begs him to let his wife know that he doesn't blame her and he hopes she can have a long and happy life without him. Marco, on the other hand, knows she's not trying to kill him, and promises they'll talk after.


  • The ending to Million Dollar Baby. The film's star boxer has suffered a career-ending injury, is paralyzed below the neck, has no hope of recovery beyond being immobile for the rest of her life, and because she is no longer able to pursue her dream of being a boxer, she wants to die, but cannot kill herself due to her injuries. Her manager, who has during the course of the movie becomes like a father to her, later makes the painful decision to cut off her life support and give her a massive dose of tranquilizers to avert her prolonged suffering.
  • Averted in Serenity: "bullet in the brainpan squish." Just enough to scare the audience into thinking that was the planned ending. It is easy to imagine the writer pulling that one.
  • In the kung fu-period piece film, The Emperor And His Brother, the elderly chief of the Red Lotus Clan is forced to kill his 12-year-old son in order to preserve family honour, due to the boy unintentionally giving away the La Résistance hideout to the Manchurian invaders and causing the family to be arrested.
  • In John Woo's The Killer, the title character has to put a bullet to Sidney Fung, his best friend, in an I Cannot Self-Terminate moment, after he went through serious hell to get the money the Killer needs to have Jenny's eyes fixed to him and got shot by the bad guys.
  • Subverted in the ending of Pan's Labyrinth, when Ofelia has to kill her baby brother to prove herself as a princess of another world (the Faun claims he just needs to draw a few drops of blood and that her brother will suffer no lasting harm, but she doesn't believe him). She refuses to do so. Turns out it was a Secret Test of Character; by refusing to take her brother's life she proved herself worthy of returning.
  • Double Subverted in Kill Bill. At first, all we see of The Bride is her Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Bill, her ex-lover, but after she kills him, she breaks down sobbing for several moments.
  • Shaun of the Dead: Shaun shoots the zombie Barbara after her transformation.
  • The Usual Suspects has a sickening version. According to a legend, when Keyser Söze was a small-time gangster, someone once tried to take him down by going after his wife and children. He came home to find them being held hostage, guns and knives being held to them, pleading eyes, etc. Not to be cowed, he killed them all himself, then the shocked hostage-takers, "then their parents, then their parents' friends..."
  • X-Men: The Last Stand:
    • Jean Grey as the Phoenix kills both Professor X and Scott Summers.
    • Wolverine is forced to kill Jean to stop her murderous Phoenix alter-ego from destroying everything.
  • As mentioned in the Literature section, Old Yeller is one of the oldest examples in film. At first, there is a Hope Spot tease when Travis pens the dog in a corncrib, hoping he won't turn rabid — he does.
  • Will Smith's dog in I Am Legend.
  • Both the film and book version of Of Mice & Men show two examples. The first is a subversion depicting a man who has to have someone shoot his rabies-infected dog. He laments that he didn't do it himself. It is later invoked when George has to kill Lenny to save him from an angry mob.
  • In Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Jim Prideaux and Bill Haydon are known as "The Inseparables", their relationship so close that it's possibly not totally platonic. But when it turns out Haydon is The Mole, Prideaux is the one who executes him.
  • Ransom. Corrupt cop Jimmy Shaker seems to care for Maris, his girlfriend and fellow kidnapper. When he kills the two expendable remaining kidnappers to make himself out as a hero cop, she shoots him in turn, clearly expecting him to dispose of her as well. He seems a bit shocked at this before he kills her as well with apparent remorse.
  • In The Wolfman (2010), the first werewolf kills his wife and son; Lawrence kills his father and almost kills Gwen too.
  • First invoked, then cleverly subverted in Zombieland. Wichita asks Tallahassee and Columbus to perform a Mercy Kill on her infected sister, Little Rock, then stops them and insists that she be the one to do the deed. She then promptly turns the gun on the two men so that she and her NOT-infected sister can steal their weapons and vehicle.
  • In Pixels, the confrontation between Ludlow and Lady Lisa has shades of this, with Ludlow unable to bring himself to kill the love of his entire life.
  • I Shot Jesse James: Robert Ford, one of the closest friends of Jesse James, is the one that kills Jesse himself. The love part of the trope becomes clear at the end of the film during Bob's Dying Declaration of Love towards Jesse.
  • Universal Soldier: The Return: Luc Devereaux had a partner named Maggie, who spend most of the time protecting Luc's daughter Hilary from ruthless Uni Sols (led by the evil S.E.T.H.). However, Maggie gets killed by S.E.T.H.'s right-hand man Romeo, who takes her body back to the Uni Sol building, where a neural implant is placed inside her brain to revive her as a Uni Sol to serve S.E.T.H., much to Luc's grief. Even when an angry Luc manages to destroy S.E.T.H. and free Maggie from the evil programming, Maggie stated that she won't spend the rest of her life as a killing machine and that Romeo will be leading the remaining Uni Sols into war in revenge for S.E.T.H.'s demise. As a final request, Maggie asked Luc to blow up the building with herself and the remaining Uni Sols inside, and Luc reluctantly obliges, knowing that Maggie was a close friend who risked her life protecting Hilary.
  • Monsieur Verdoux: Implied. There is something in the way Charlie Chaplin (as the titular anti-hero) delivers his vague statement about losing his wife and child to a "happier place" (ie. Heaven), after losing everything in a stock market crash, that hints that he may have, shall we say, given them a "helping hand".
  • Towards the end of Deewaar, police officer Ravi shoots his criminal brother Vijay, who dies of his injuries not long after.
  • Avengers: Infinity War:
    • The only way to obtain the Soul Stone is to kill someone you love the most. Thus, Thanos killed his adopted daughter Gamora, the one who he loved the most. Ironically, this is also why the universe seems to have bestowed the role of the Soul Stone's guardian onto the Red Skull. Unlike Thanos, he's genuinely heartless, so while he's more than willing to make the sacrifice, he can't, because he has no loved ones to sacrifice.
    • On two occasions in the same film, heroes attempt to do this to keep the stones out of Thanos's hands- Gamora tells Star-Lord to kill her if she's captured to keep Thanos from extracting the location of the Soul Stone from her, and while the Avengers attempt to remove the Mind Stone from Vision safely so it can be destroyed without killing him, eventually Wanda is forced to try and destroy it while it's still in his head when they run out of time. Thanos prevents the first by using the Reality Stone to turn Peter's gun into a bubble blaster when he pulls the trigger on Gamora, and undoes the second by using the Time Stone to undo Vision's destruction. Nonetheless, Thanos expresses his admiration for both of them for being willing to go so far to try to thwart him.
  • In Avengers: Endgame, Black Widow and her best friend Hawkeye are sent to retrieve the Soul Stone. When they learn of the sacrifice that must be made, neither one of them is willing to kill the other to get the Stone. However, they're both perfectly willing to kill themselves so the other person can have the Stone, leading to a bizarre "fight" between the two where they both try to fling themselves off the cliff while trying to stop the other from doing so. Black Widow ends up the "winner" of the fight, which gives Hawkeye the Stone.
  • In the director's cut of Kingdom of Heaven, Sibylla learns that her young son has leprosy, just weeks after her brother succumbed to the same illness. Having witnessed firsthand the horrible suffering her brother endured as the disease ravaged him, Sibylla refuses to subject her son to that, and, having no other way to prevent it, poisons him to give him a quick and painless death.

  • At the climax of Animorphs, Jake sends his cousin on a suicide mission to kill his brother, who's the host for a dangerous Yeerk.
  • Harry Potter: Snape killing Dumbledore, at Dumbledore’s request to be spared a more painful and humiliating death from the curse he got from wearing the Gaunt family ring and save Draco from doing it. In doing so he would have been killing the man who knew him best and was his ally for the last seventeen years.
  • The end of Old Yeller, where Travis has to Shoot the Dog after Old Yeller has defended the family from a rabid wolf. Unlike the film, Travis knows the dog will inevitably succumb to rabies and shoots him as soon as he sees the dog's injuries.
  • Averted in the story of the Sacrifice of Isaac in The Bible. It turned out to have been a Secret Test of Character for Abraham.
  • In Outlander, Jamie has to kill his godfather, Murtagh, after he's grievously wounded at the battle of Culloden.
  • In the Stephen King novel 'Salem's Lot, Ben is forced to kill Susan after she becomes a vampire.
  • In the finale of the novel Of Mice & Men, George has to kill his best friend Lennie to save him from being lynched after the latter kills Curley's wife by breaking her neck by accident.
  • Rosemary Sutcliff's The Mark of the Horse Lord begins with the gladiator hero having to kill his best friend in the arena.
  • In The Saga Of Larten Crepsley, near the end of the series, the protagonist killed his vampire brother, Wester. Although it is obvious Larten still cared deeply for his brother, Wester had betrayed Larten by killing his human wife and blaming the vampaneze. Wester hoped that he could use Larten, who had considerably more authority in the vampire society, to start a war between the vampires and the vampaneze.
  • In Agatha Christie's Nemesis, a young woman who is about to elope is murdered by her guardian because she was loved by her too much.
    • Also occurs in A Murder Is Announced. One of the victims was killed by someone who loved them, out of fear that she was inadvertently revealing too much about the first murder.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • At the climax of Changes Harry has to kill Susan once she fully turns into a Red Court vampire, turning their bloodline curse back against the Red Court and wiping them out.
    • After he becomes the Winter Knight, Harry himself is killed by Molly Carpenternote , a girl who has loved him for years. Everyone except Charity mistakes Molly's guilt for mourning.
    • In a villainous example from Skin Game, Nicodemus murders his daughter Deirdre to open the last gate to Hades' Vault. And Deirdre willingly lets him do it.
  • The tragic climax in Mastiff, the last book in the Beka Cooper trilogy. The main character's father figure, Tunstall, betrays her and the crown, bribed by a noble title he can use to marry the lady knight he loves. Beka is duty-bound to capture him and bring him to justice for his crimes, while Tunstall, on his part, knows he'll only escape if he kills her. In the end, Beka just barely defeats him, he dies of blood loss and exposure, and his spirit is terribly regretful for what he did.
  • In Ancillary Justice, the AI of the ship Justice of Toren is made by the Lord of the Radch to kill Lieutenant Awn, one of her favorite officers. Immediately afterward Justice of Toren rebels, embarking on a quest for revenge that drives the rest of the book.
  • In Beloved by Toni Morrison, Sethe kills her daughter to prevent her from spending her life in slavery.
  • In the Spiral Arm series, Gidula views affection as a weakness, and personally kills anyone he begins to feel affection for in order to free himself from that weakness. He killed his wife, infant child, and number one minion for this reason, and attempts to kill Ravn Olafsdottr as well.
  • Star Wars Legends: This seems to be a rite of passage for Sith. Jedi avoid any deep attachments, part to avoid this trope. Sith are encouraged to embrace their passions, but Love Is a Weakness as it leads to mercy, and there can be no weaknesses for an enemy to exploit or impediments to one's destiny. One of the more tragic cases was where Darth Malgus became fond enough of his Twi'lek Sex Slave to make her his common-law wife. The two of them fought side by side at the sacking of the Jedi temple, but she was injured in the fighting while protecting him. Another Sith mocked Malgus for his affection, stating that she was a weakness that could be used against him. Malgus agreed and murdered his "wife" in her sickbed. Of course, since he was a high-ranking Sith, and she was just a Twi'lek Sex Slave, no one in the Empire cared.
  • Happens twice in Feed, the first book in the Newsflesh series. Georgia shoots close friend Buffy, then is later shot by her adoptive brother/lover Shaun. In both cases, it's a Mercy Kill and a self-defense measure by the killer, since the victim is in the process of turning into a chompy zombie.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica, Colonel Tigh has to poison his wife after she betrays the resistance on New Caprica (which she did to save his life).
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Meera puts her brother, Jojen, out of his misery in "The Children."
    • Not done for the usual reasons but when Tyrion encounters Shae in his father's bedchambers, she is strangled to death by Tyrion in self-defense after she pulls a knife on him. Afterwards, he apologizes to her corpse and admits to his father that he still loved her.
    • Stannis loved his brother Renly once, but that didn't stop him from killing him (thus preventing Renly from getting the chance to kill him as he'd planned). Later, thanks to a Sadistic Choice between love for his daughter Shireen and defeating the monstrous Boltons, Melisandre convinces Stannis that he must sacrifice his daughter in order to gain the magic he needs to overcome the winter storms so he can defeat the Boltons holding the North. Melisandre burns her to gain this magic.
    • Jon tries and fails to persuade his love Daenerys to be merciful after she goes off the deep end and massacres a city full of people who surrendered to her. She intends to continue this destruction throughout the world, convinced this is how she brings about utopia, and Jon reluctantly assassinates her to spare Westeros the tyrannical reign of a Mad Queen. She dies in his arms as he grieves.
  • In NCIS, Ziva kills her brother Ari and is never able to mention him again without visibly stiffening or crying.
  • In House, Wilson does this when he turns off Amber's life support. For everybody else, though, it was Alas, Poor Scrappy.
  • In Torchwood: Children of Earth, Jack has to sacrifice his grandson.
  • Russell T Davies seems to like this trope. In The Second Coming, Steven Baxter, who also happens to be the son of God, is poisoned by his girlfriend Judith. She does tell him that the food is poisoned, but he finds that she is right, he must die.
  • Steven Moffat's not letting off with this trope either, playing it heartbreakingly straight with Rory in Doctor Who, who accidentally shoots Amy in an attempt to hold off Auton control of his mind.
  • In Merlin, Merlin poisons Morgana — who was unaware that she was the vessel of the Knights of Medhir — because he did what he had to do in order to save Camelot, but at the price of killing his friend and someone he cared about. Many fans, while praising the acting of Colin and Katie, did not agree with Merlin's actions. Also a Shoot the Dog moment.
  • In Nikita, Alex shoots Thom, whom she had feelings for and even kisses him before he dies.
  • Examples abound in Supernatural, both with the main cast and side characters.
    • Bobby kills his wife when she's possessed by a demon. Then he kills her again when Death brings her back to life but learns that she's turning into a flesh-eating zombie. Naturally, it pains him a great deal.
    Bobby: She was the love of my life. How many times do I have to kill her?
    • This is the background of recurring antagonist Blood Knight Gordon Walker, whose sister was turned into a vampire.
    • In the season one finale John Winchester ordered Sam to shoot him with the Colt to take the demon out as well. (He didn't.) And a few episodes later John's final direction to Dean was that he 'had to save Sam,' or he 'might have to kill him.'
    • Sam's mid-Season Two insistence that Dean promises to do just that if Sam goes darkside. Dean promised. He was lying.
    • Sam's first girlfriend after his episode-one bereavement turns out to be a werewolf who asks him to kill her. Or there's that time Sam nearly strangled Dean to death, or that time Sam shot Dean, or that time Sam was possessed and shot Dean and possessed and killed him in the Bad Future.
    • Downplayed in Season Six, with soulless Robo-Sam determined to prevent Dean from restoring his soul. Rogue angel Balthazar informs him that to get his soul to reject reunion with his body he needs to pollute it with a crime such as patricide. Robo-Sam can't feel love, but apparently, Sam's regard for Bobby as a surrogate father is enough for murdering him to be 'good enough.'
    • The Archangel Michael spends Season Five attempting to kill his beloved brother Lucifer in accordance with God's will.
    • "Hammer of the Gods" has a fight to the death between Lucifer and his other beloved brother Gabriel. Lucifer wins.
    • Once you've got Dean messing around with an Artifact of Doom called the Mark of Cain, of course, the characters have every reason to fear that Sam may have to kill Dean to prevent the evil-inducing effects of the Mark, or that this induced evil itself might make Dean kill Sam.
    • Turns out that if Dean dies with the Mark he simply comes back as a demon who is only too happy to give into the Mark's influence. Even Death himself can't kill Dean permanently but does offer to transport him to a Prison Dimension where he can't hurt anyone else. The only condition is that Dean has to kill Sam because Death knows that as long as Sam is still alive he will tirelessly search for a way to bring Dean back. Dean ends up killing Death instead.
    • Plenty of lesser instances, particularly where family members or Love Interests of both recurring and incidental cast turn out to be or turn into monsters.
  • Buffy to Angel in the season two finale is the obvious one (although he recovered).
    • And, as evidenced in flashbacks on Angel, Holtz had to kill his daughter after Angelus (or possibly Darla) turned her into a vampire.
    • Also in Angel, Gunn stakes his sister after she is turned into a vampire.
  • In Charmed, Phoebe needs to overcome her emotions and vanquish her husband and Heel–Face Revolving Door Cole. Three times.
  • Played with in Robin Hood. In the finale of season two Guy of Gisborne stabs Marian to death after she reveals her love for Robin Hood. The crime of passion ends with him being guilt-ridden for the rest of the show's duration, and even in his dying moments, he doesn't hold out any hope that he'll ever see her again in the afterlife. He also gives his little sister a vial of poison so that she can kill herself, even after she tells him: "you loved me once."
  • This is the philosophy of Big Bad John Wakefield on Harper's Island. He also tries to make Henry, his son and accomplice in the murders, kill the woman he loves. Henry refuses.
  • In the 4th season finale of The Mentalist, Lorelei suggests that in order to become his disciple, Jane bring Red John a gift — the dead body of Teresa Lisbon, his close friend and partner. Subverted in that he only pretends to kill her.
  • In Once Upon a Time Regina has done this three times. The first time was when she killed her father (who is also one of the only people who love her) to get her revenge. The second was when her one true love was brought Back from the Dead (by someone else) and Came Back Wrong, necessitating a Mercy Kill. She really didn't take that well. Finally, Snow White tricks her into unintentionally killing her mother, who is pretty much the last person left that she does love. The end result has left her very broken, very bitter, and very dangerous.
  • It's kind of a theme on Farscape, how many times the crew members kill or almost kill each other.
    • Part of Zhaan's backstory is that she killed her lover because he tried to seize power on their homeworld with the help of the Peacekeepers. Subverted with D'Argo who was wrongfully imprisoned for killing his wife (she was actually killed by her own brother.)
    • Indirect example: Aeryn betrayed her lover to the Peacekeepers; he was arrested for treason. They undoubtedly tortured and killed him, which would not have happened if Aeryn hadn't turned him in.
    • As a Television Without Pity recapper put it: "Every time John's confronted with an Aeryn that's not what she seems, that doesn't love him, and his heart breaks, and he kills her, take a shot."
  • In the Masters of Horror episode "Imprint", Christopher believes the prostitute Komomo to be the love his life. He ends up accidentally murdering her during his hallucinations.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Worf is paralyzed from the waist down and asks Commander Riker, as his friend, to do this for him in a sort of Klingon ritual assisted suicide. Riker refuses on the grounds that under the ritual, it's properly the duty of the eldest son. Unwilling to ask this of Alexander, Worf opts for a dangerous experimental surgery instead.
  • Star Trek: Picard:
    • In "Stardust City Rag", at Icheb's urging, Seven of Nine performs a Mercy Kill on her surrogate son, who's dying in agony after being mutilated by a black market surgeon for his Borg components.
    • Later in the same episode, as a Zhat Vash mole, Jurati deactivates the hematic micro-repair unit that was stabilizing Maddox's cardiovascular function, which causes him to die. He was her boyfriend before the Federation's synth ban.
    • In "The Impossible Box", Narek follows his orders to terminate Soji despite developing romantic feelings for her.
  • That Mitchell and Webb Look: Played for very dark laughs in one sketch, where a man strangles his pregnant wife after she declares that not only does she not mind the avocado-coloured bathroom, she actually likes it.
  • On The 100, Clarke has to kill Finn, the boy she had fallen for, so at least his death will be quick, compared to what the Grounders have planned for him.
  • The Man in the High Castle: After Heussman's failed usurpation of the Reich leadership, Josef is forced to personally execute his father to prove his loyalty to the Nazi Party. Afterwards, his godfather and new Fuehrer, Heinrich Himmler, pats him on the cheek and has him Reassigned to Antarctica.
  • Night Visions: The episode "Afterlife" revolves around a man who revives at his own funeral, and finds it impossible to readjust to life again because he can't forget the idyllic afterlife he has vague memories of. He ends up trying to convince his family to kill themselves with him so they can move to the afterlife together, and nearly forces his daughter to jump off a building with him. She's saved at the last second by her mother, and he just shrugs and jumps by himself. To twist the knife further, the ending reveals that the "afterlife" he remembered was just the stained glass window in the roof of the funeral parlor, which was the first thing he saw when he woke up in his coffin

  • The Decemberists' Culling of the Fold is, basically, about this. For pretty much no reason. Just because someone's got to do the culling of the fold.
  • Played with in Ga1ahad and Scientific Witchery by Mili, which is about a knight on a mission to kill the witch who created/reanimated him, and whom he had a past romantic relationship with. They seem to reconcile in the end, though...

  • Agamemnon had to kill his daughter Iphigenia so that the Greek fleet could sail...(opinions differ as to whether he actually did the deed.)

  • In Twelfth Night, Orsino all but names this trope in the final scene, when he believes "Cesario" to have betrayed him:
    Orsino: Why should I not, had I the heart to do it, Like to the Egyptian thief at point of death, Kill what I love?
  • Othello is led by the lies of Manipulative Bastard Iago to do this to his wife Desdemona.
  • In Richard Wagner's "Ring", Wotan does this to his son Siegmund in Die Walküre and Brünhild to Siegfried in Götterdämmerung, although the actual killing is done by Hunding in the first case, and by Hagen in the second.
  • Judas in the musical Jesus Christ Superstar (the Biblical text itself could be the basis for this trope too, depending on how you look at it).
    I don't believe he knows I acted for our good
    I'd save him all the suffering if I could

    Video Games 
  • Helena in Resident Evil 6, when she's forced to kill her younger sister Deborah who's been infected by the C-virus.
  • Minerva from Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon wants to be the one to kill her brother Michalis, an enemy of the protagonist's group:
    Minerva: (...) Even now, some part of me loves him.
    Minerva: ...I love him enough to spare him death on some stranger's sword, do you see? Let him be punished by my hands.
    • Can be done in Fire Emblem Awakening. Lucina goes to kill the Avatar when she realizes that the Avatar will soon kill Chrom (her father). If the Avatar is Lucina's Mother or Husband, the scene gets very emotional.
      • Some of the other games can provoke this if you use a certain character in a certain fight. Nino from Blazing Sword avoids this when facing off with her adoptive mother as by that point she's realized that said mother is actually an inhuman monster, but the very next chapter pits the army against the remnants of the Black Fang led by one of her stepbrothers, and the Final Chapter has Morphs of both of her stepbrothers and her stepfather. Myrrh, from Sacred Stones, can be made to fight the zombified remains of her father
  • This may happen in Mass Effect 3 if you played a male Shepard who romanced Jack in the second game and then didn't do the Grissom Academy sidequest - when you get to the Cerberus base in the endgame, you'll find audio logs of Jack being tortured and then have to fight and kill her after she's been forcibly transformed into a Phantom.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3. The player, as Naked Snake, is actually forced to press the button and shoot The Boss while she's down.
    • The end cutscene twists the knife by revealing that The Boss was a Fake Defector after all, and it was her sworn duty to be killed by Snake in order to prevent a nuclear war.
    • The Boss had to experience something similar: She ended up having to go to Tselinoyarsk in 1962 to fight The Sorrow, and the flashbacks shown when Snake regains consciousness implies that she was unwilling to kill The Sorrow. Peace Walker explains the exact circumstances of what happened: The Philosophers forced them to fight each other to the death under the threat of Ocelot's life if both survive.
  • Shin Megami Tensei, particularly mainline games, likes to do this, as a consequence of pursuing one alignment and rejecting the others:
    • Shin Megami Tensei I: Side with Law? Your Law-aligned friend is killed at the hands of your Chaos-aligned friend, and then you have to kill your Chaos friend. Side with Chaos? After your Chaos friend is killed by an artifact that he couldn't handle, you then have to fight your Law friend. On Neutral? You kill both because they firmly believe that the concept of a balance between Law and Chaos is bullcrap.
    • You have to do this in Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne if you take the Neutral path, in order to stop your friends from bringing their selfish ideas of paradise to reality. Or, in fact, if you take any other path. You can't be allied to both Chiaki and Isamu after all, you'll have to fight at least one of them.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, if you take the Law or Neutral path, you must fight Walter, who has merged with Lucifer. Taking the Neutral or Chaos path means that you have to fight Jonathan, who has merged with the angels. Taking the Law or Chaos path causes Isabeau to attempt to stop you on behalf of humanity. Either way, you'll wind up killing half of your old fellows by the end of the game.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, Dagda eventually reveals to you that his plans for overthrowing YHVH's rule and instilling you as the creator god of a new universe involve killing a large chunk of humanity in order to reap enough souls to power the creation of the new universe. Yes, you can choose to go along with his plans instead of opposing him. The first people on the chopping block? Six of the seven companionsnote  who have been traveling around Tokyo with you.
  • In Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume, the titular feather is used to sacrifice party members, but it will only work on people who already trust you as a friend. So they have to like you for you to kill them.
  • Silent Hill: Homecoming has this as the first of two choices (or three, depending on which ending you're going for) that determine the ending you get. Alex's mother is strapped to a device that is about to rip her apart, and you are given the choice to either end her life or try (and fail) to get her out. Shooting her leads to a somewhat happier ending.
  • Used all over the place in the Dept. Heaven series:
  • Very prevalent in Tales of Symphonia. Let's see...
    • It's part of the backstory of four members of the main cast for similar reasons (we play Lloyd and Genis as they're made to kill Marble, Regal killed his lover and Kratos killed his wife.)
      • The fight with Marble does this weird after the fight, Marble (who looks like a monster, and nothing like her original form) seems to be in much better shape then Lloyd and Genis. The only time she seems to be in any sort of pain is when she struggles to take back control of her body (which is when Lloyd and Genis learn who she is). After saying her goodbyes, she latches onto Forcystus and explodes. Despite Magnius' insistence that they killed her (who at the time is trying to turn Marble's granddaughter against the party, by leaving out details like that fact that Marble was turned into a monster with no control over her body, and therefore is an even less reliable source of information then normal), that might not be the case.
    • In an alternate route, it's possible to fight and kill Zelos — very close to one member of the cast (who mourns him) and a character many players adore.
    • Less prominently, Yuan is fighting to prevent the resurrection of his fiancée.
    • Subverted when Lloyd has to fight his father, who fully intends to die but ends up saved against his will.
    • The last boss battle is against Mithos in child form and you can have Genis, who befriended him, join in the fight.
    • And in the sequel, the last two boss battles are Emil VS Richter, in which Emil has always idolized Richter and looks exactly like Richter's dead best friend, then Emil VS his crush Marta and friend Lloyd, which is also a very effective and unexpected Player Punch since Marta was the only other permanent member of your party for the entire game, and Lloyd is the hero of the first game.
  • In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, CJ is forced to kill his childhood friends Big Smoke and Ryder after they betray the Grove Street Families gang to side with their rivalry gang, the Ballas. He feels genuine remorse for killing them both.
  • inFAMOUS 2's evil ending has Cole do this to Nix and Zeke.
  • Left 4 Dead: In Zoey's backstory, she shot her father so that he would not become infected after being bitten. However, It's heavily implied that he was a carrier (immune), but Zoey couldn't have possibly known this...
  • Imaginary!Barry in Alan Wake's second DLC "The Writer" lampshades this with the line "'kill your darlings'" as Alan goes to the Cabin for the final battle.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords Darth Sion tries to kill the Jedi Exile regardless of gender, but if the Exile is female he will explain that the Big Bad of the game is (at least partially) the cause of his current status as a more or less corpse and part of the reason he's trying to kill her is to spare her the same fate.
  • Dragon Age II is madly in love with this trope. In the prologue, Aveline is forced to kill Wesley, her husband, to save him from the Darkspawn taint, unless Hawke does it for her. Later on, Anders has the choice between either killing his ex-lover Karl, or leaving him to remain Tranquil, which he and Karl both regard as a Fate Worse than Death. Hawke may be forced to Mercy Kill a tainted sibling, and Merrill may have to kill her mentor and adoptive mother, Keeper Marethari, as well as potentially her entire clan. Varric ends up having to either Mercy Kill his brother Bartrand, or spend the rest of his life caring for him as he has been driven completely insane by the idol (after Bartrand tried to kill him). Fenris may kill his sister, in revenge for betraying him to his former master. And in the endgame, Hawke may kill their lover, if they romanced Anders and chooses to kill him after he blows up the Chantry. Damn.
  • BlazBlue: After her love interest, Lotte Carmine, lost his body and his mind and turned into Arakune, Litchi Faye-Ling set out to either cure him of his condition, or put an end to him, should that prove to be an impossible task, though no conclusion has been reached yet. The developers play this for heart-wrenching drama in the canon continuity but aren't shy to play it for laughs everywhere else.
  • The Walking Dead:
    • Clementine may do this to Lee to prevent reanimation and as a Mercy Kill before he completely succumbs to the bite.
    • Duck gets bitten by a walker, forcing everyone to kill him before he turns into a walker. Katjaa tries to kill him herself, but can't do it and shoots herself. Then you get to choose to let Kenny shoot him, or do it yourself.
    • At the end of Season 2, Clementine forced to either stop an enraged Kenny from killing Jane by shooting him or look away and let him finish the job.
  • In one ending of Hyperdimension Neptunia mk2, Nepgear has to kill all the other CPUs and Candidates, or those she can't bring herself to kill do it for her. None of them die quickly. ''At all''. Have fun listening to a couple of ''children'' hysterically scream they don't want to die as they slowly expire in excruciating pain.
  • In The World Ends with You Joshua tries to invoke this by telling Neku that if he Shoots him, that he'll give him the job of Composer. Luckily for both of them, Neku refused to do this, and it was just a test
  • Breath of Fire:
    • In Breath of Fire I, Ryu and his friends are forced to fight and kill his sister Sara, who has been Brainwashed by Jade.
    • In Breath of Fire III, the team eventually is confronted by Teepo, Ryu and Rei's adopted sibling from the beginning of the game, now on the Big Bad's side. He does attempt to remove Ryu's powers non-lethally, but being unable to convince him to surrender them he resorts to a fight to the death. Suffice to say, Rei is devastated the remainder of the game.
    • Perhaps the most heartbreaking one occurs in Breath of Fire IV, where Cray has to perform a Mercy Kill on Elina, his sweetheart he's been looking for all over the world, at her request due to the horrible experiments Lord Yuna performed on her.
  • In Tenchu 2: Birth of the Stealth Assassins, Ayame is faced with having to fight Tatsumaru, a former Azuma ninja and her crush, and kill him in battle after his betrayal and subsequent raid on the Azuma Village.
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics: Ramza is forced to kill his brother Zalbaag, who has been reanimated as a vampire by Folmarv and as he can't control his own body, pleads for death.
  • Final Fantasy X: Invokes this one hard. Summoners make a pilgrimage across Spira to gather Aeons and prepare for a battle against the world-destroying entity Sin, accompanied by their closest friends as Guardians. This gives the world a period of Calm before Sin inevitably comes back and the process has to start again with another Summoner. Everyone but Tidus knows that the Summoner always dies at the end of their pilgrimage while facing Sin. Worse, Lady Yunalesca lays out the way to do it — the Summoner must make a Human Sacrifice of one of their Guardians to make an Aeon. And even worse, that new Aeon will become the next Sin. But leave it to Tidus to ask all the wrong questions, Yuna to refuse that option, and Auron to engineer the perfect circumstances to make Screw Destiny a valid option. The fact that Tidus's estranged father is the current Sin also makes the final Boss Battle this trope.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum: Some of the Joker's men can be overheard talking about The Joker forcing them to do this to join his gang. One thug says the Joker demanded he kill his sister, which he was fine with, because he hated her anyway. The Joker made the same demand from another guy, despite him not actually having a sister, so he just went out and killed some random woman, which was apparently enough.
  • Castlevania: Lament of Innocence: Painfully played straight, albeit with a dose of Foregone Conclusion, considering the game's placement in the official timeline. Just when Leon Belmont thought the whole nightmare was over after getting his betrothed, Sara Trantoul, away from the castle of Walter Bernhard, the game's primary antagonist, it turns out that the evil overlord had already subjected her to the curse of the vampire. Making things worse, conventional combat against Walter, the only method that may reverse the affliction, is impossible, due to the Ebony Stone, an item made with alchemy that, along with its noteworthy power to afflict the surrouding area with a state of endless night, also protects the vampire against virtually everything. It is here, when Rinaldo brings up the possibility of completing the Whip of Alchemy with a ritual involving the sacrifice of a tainted soul, that this trope rears its ugly head in Leon's mind. Put bluntly, he didn't take this well.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days Roxas is forced to kill Xion who goads him into killing her so the memories used to construct her return to Sora. She also unwittingly saps strength from Roxas so only one of them can live. By the time this happens she is Roxas' only friend, as Axel's actions drove the two apart. Thankfully she gets better in Kingdom Hearts III.

    Visual Novels 
  • Nasuverse:
    • Fate/stay night:
      • Saber's backstory. She killed her own son, Mordred. It's somewhat vague in the main Fate entries as to whether or not she loved Mordred, however, but Fate/Grand Order does suggest that she did/does.
      • In Heaven's Feel "Mind of Steel" Bad End, As a result of crossing the Despair Event Horizon, Shirou follows Kiritsugu's path. As a result, he allows Rin to put down Sakura and intends to kill anyone else that stands in his way of being a hero, including Rin (who is predicted to go mad with grief and attempt to win the war so she can wish for Sakura's resurrection) and Illya.
      • In Heaven's Feel, Rin and Sakura attempt to kill each other. Near the end, Rin attempts to charge at Sakura with a blade, but falters, get severely wounded by Sakura as a result, and admits to Sakura that she does love her.
    • Fate/Zero:
      • After learning his mistake in not Mercy Killing Shirley when she asked him to after she turned into a Dead Apostle, it leads to Kiritsugu becoming more willing to use this trope, but he's not happy about it. It leads to him killing his father to prevent him from continuing similar experiments, blowing up a plane with Natalia onboard to prevent another outbreak if it were to land, and killing illusions of Irisviel and Illya to reject the Holy Grail.
      • Kariya attempts to strangle Aoi to death after she gives a "The Reason You Suck" Speech when she's tricked into thinking he's the one who killed Tokiomi. She becomes brain-damaged enough that she's left wheelchair-ridden and has to be taken care of by Rin until her eventual death from complications a few years later.
      • Kirei, a sadist who doesn't want to be a sadist, is horrified when he realizes that he's jealous that he didn't get to kill his wife and his father. He doesn't necessarily love them, though, at least not in the normal sense and/or he really wanted to.
  • Frequently occurs in Higurashi: When They Cry as the main characters are True Companions yet often kill each other in different arcs. Keiichi in Onikakushi-hen might be the truest to this trope. He killed Mion and Rena in self-defense, crying while doing so. The series implies he's in love with one of them, though which one depends on the arc (Onikakushi itself suggests Keiichi loved Rena). In an even more depressing twist, in reality, they were of no harm and he was simply insane and thought they were trying to kill him.

    Web Animation 
  • hololive: During a playthrough of A Way Out, as expected for those familiar with the ending of the game, Calliope and Kiara's characters are pitted against each other in a fight to the death and the two of them act it out as if it were themselves, later proving to be actually much more than that on Kiara's part, making the situation that much more heartbreaking. Though Calliope's romantic interest in Kiara is dubious, it still hits hard hearing both of them crack.
    Calliope: Why does it hurt so much more this time?

    Web Original 
  • This trope is Survival of the Fittest to a tee. Particularly, in V2, Bryan Calvert has to Mercy Kill his best friend, Seth Mattlock, en route to fighting Mariavel Varella, a former friend turned psycho.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Saddam Hussein would order his bodyguards to kill members of their family, so they would "have nowhere to run."
  • In seppuku, the role of the kaishaku is to behead the man who has just committed the act. It was usually filled by a friend or at least a loyal servant. This likely formed because seppuku, being a suicide ritual in which you stab yourself in the abdomen and cut left from right, would otherwise bring about an incredibly painful end. The exact time to behead varied and was discussed between the principal and kaishaku beforehand - while initially the beheading was performed after stabbing themselves and cutting horizontally, it changed as time went on to that they may be beheaded as soon as they stab themselves before they can even show pain from it, or even just showing they intended to go through with it by making a motion toward grabbing the suicide blade.
  • This is the (incredibly twisted) logic when it comes to some cases of Pater Familicide (or any variant thereof), where the killer does so because they firmly believe that their family is better off dead.
  • Nazi Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and his wife Magda committed suicide in 1945 because it was clear that the war was lost. Before doing so, they made all their six children swallow cyanide pills so they could die too.
  • Japanese criminal Sade Abe strangled the man she loved to death while having sex. Afterwards, she cut off his penis and carried it with her. Her morbid lust story later inspired the film In the Realm of the Senses (1976).
  • Obsessive stalkers can also cross into this territory.
  • John Lennon was presumably shot by a man who claimed to be his biggest fan.
  • The "merciful death" version of this is the reason many people have elderly or terminally ill pets put to sleep, and is a major driver behind the "death with dignity" movement, which fights for terminally ill people's right to die on their own terms.


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