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Kiss of Death

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Silverbolt: I know what you're thinking. You don't know whether to kiss me or kill me.
Blackarachnia: I'm a black widow spider, you idiot! I can do both.

The primary instincts of all creatures — sex and death. If you can combine the two they become a bigger selling point. We're not talking about Sex Signals Death or Interplay of Sex and Violence but something else.

Though not exactly graphic, the Kiss of Death is still sensual, seductive, and very, very deadly. While a character may be anxious about administering the Kiss of Life, nobody is shy about giving the Kiss of Death. This may be for a practical reason — somebody catches onto what the kisser is going to do, they'd run for the hills. This is a favorite weapon of The Vamp.

The Kiss of Death comes in many varieties, including: hypnosis, narcotic effect, and sucking out the soul of the victim, which may or may not result in death, depending on the story.

In addition, the Kiss of Death can also be a symbolic gesture — the kiss itself does not bring death or harm, but the person who receives it knows that his days are numbered. The trope is named for the kiss from The Bible with which Judas Iscariot identified Jesus among his apostles and thus betrayed him to the Romans, making this Older Than Feudalism.

The PG-rated form of Out with a Bang. Not to be confused with Last Kiss, though it can overlap if the right circumstances are met.

See also Kiss of the Vampire, where a vampire's bite is both pleasurable and deadly. This trope is not to be confused with the 1947 film Kiss of Death, which does not even feature this trope.

Sister Trope to the Touch of Death.

This is a death trope, so Spoilers ahoy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Ayakashi Triangle: When Matsuri uses a Magic Kiss to exorcise Shadow Mei from Suzu's body, Mei tries to use the spiritual connection to channel her Life Energy Overclocking Attack through. Luckily, the kiss itself awakens Suzu enough for her to stop it.
  • From Basilisk, this is Kagero's primary ability. Whenever she gets aroused, she starts breathing out a deadly poison, thus, whoever she kisses, she kills. And in fact this is how she kills Koushirou Chikuma: since he's blind, Saemon confuses him via imitating Akeginu's voice, then Kagerou slips him a deadly kiss. Later, she tries to use this ability on Tenzen alongside a Neck Snap but it fails since his powers are coming Back from the Dead, and at the end only Oboro's Mystic Eyes could stop her from poisoning Gennosuke after Tenzen had driven her insane through Cold-Blooded Torture.
  • Kyoko Kirisaki from Black Cat is able to burn people alive by kissing them. She can do without, but enjoys it that way.
  • Case Closed: This was meant to happen when Vermouth put APTX-4869 in her mouth and initiated Mouth To Mouth Force Feeding with Mary to make the latter swallow the pill. However, considering it’s APTX-4869, Mary simply de-aged instead of being killed by the poison, although with the side effect of constantly coughing. However, considering the event took place when Vermouth had already met Shin'ichi and Shiho as Conan and Haibara before, she may had been already aware that the poison wouldn't kill Mary.
  • In Campione!, Athena can do this by breathing the "Winds of Death" into the other person's mouth. She specifically used this method on Godou because the titular warriors are extremely resistant to external magic, but that resistance can be bypassed via the mouth. In the anime, Athena ironically gets this pulled on her by Metis, who drains her life energy and powers with a kiss, though Athena barely manages to survive.
  • DARLING in the FRANXX: this is the title of the opening song for the show, and refers to how riding with Zero Two will kill the male pilot after only three rides.
  • In Dokuhime to kiss or come into any contact with a Poison Princess is deadly.
  • High school student Ooshima in Emerging throws caution to the wind and shares a first kiss with his girlfriend, who is infected with a fatal virus...making this example a kind of Suicide-by-Kiss.
  • Izumi from Full Moon prefers obtaining souls of dying young girls via kisses because it's "more pleasant" than a scythe. When he tries it on Mitsuki, Takuto stops him.
  • Love Hina: Naru Narusegawa, when possessed by a demon sealed within a sword, was also implied to have gained the ability to sap people's life force by kissing them.
  • Fuka from a Naruto: Shippuuden filler arc has a technique that can literally kill the victim with a kiss (she asks if the victim wants French or soft) by sucking out their soul and their life force. She uses this to steal techniques and elemental affinities (Fire, Wind, Lightning, Water, Earth).
  • Yuufa from Ragnarok the Animation kissed Roan and slipped a cursed ruby in his mouth, French style. Really. Subverted Sleight of Tongue.
  • Ranma ½: Shampoo gives one to Ranma (who's in girl form at the time) after s/he defeats her, as being defeated in combat by a female outsider is a matter of great shame for the Chinese Amazons, and the only remedy is to kill the outsider in question. Fortunately, once she gets it through her head that boy-type Ranma and girl-type Ranma are the same person, she desists, because the prescription for being defeated by a male outsider is to marry him. YMMV on whether he's better off.
  • During the final battle of Rave Master, Julia faces off against Jiero, an ice demon queen who can regenerate from any external injury. So when Jiero is paralyzed by an attack, Julia plants a wet one on her and uses her fire-breathing ability to flash fry all of Jiero's internal organs to kill her.
  • Used in Read or Die against Yomiko by Nancy, when it turns out she was The Mole for I-Jin leader Ikkyu (specifically, the lipstick mark it left had something that can affect her when activated by a remote). It doesn't kill her, but she does get knocked out for quite a while.
  • In Sailor Moon, one of Minako/Venus's light/energy attacks is called "Love and Beauty Shock" and she delivers it via first mimicking a kissing gesture and creating a heart-shaped projectile, then shooting the latter on her enemies.
  • Kagura "Divine Goddess" Tennouzou's kiss in Speed Grapher is lethal to anyone not infused with the Euphoria virus. And if you do have it, well, you get tremendous powers...that can be also pretty deadly.
  • In Umi Monogatari, Sedna's soldiers try to kiss Kanon to suck out her evil soul.
  • Ran from Urusei Yatsura has the power to suck the youth from someone by kissing them. She usually tries to use the power on an unsuspecting Ataru, who just thinks she liked him. She can also reverse the process with another kiss. Later in the manga, her "youth-stealing kiss" gets nerfed by the Rule of Funny, as all it does is essentially making the victims act like stereotypical Japanese senior-citizens.
  • In Yaiba, we have Princess Kaguya, whose kiss allows her to suck the Youth out of her victims. And it only works on pretty girls. Poor, poor Sayaka.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's Carly (as her Superpowered Evil Side) made Jack think that he had lost their duel and that she had done this to him, killing him with her kiss and turning him into a Dark Signer like herself (and that the world had been turned into a Hell that they could rule as king and queen). Possibly, she was indeed capable of doing this; however, it was all an illusion meant to distract him from the actual move she intended to use to finish him off, and he snapped out of it before she managed it.
  • In Fate/Prototype, Silvers Fragments, Seiji, Assassin's Master was kissed by Hassan of Serenity at the beginning and died to her Noble Phantasm

    Board Games 
  • Kiss of Death is also a move in chess. It means a moment where a Queen is right next to the opposite King, protected by a Mook (or the King) of her own army.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men: Rogue's primary power is stealing other people's life force and abilities by touching them. She first discovered her power by kissing her boyfriend for the first time, putting him in a coma. While any skin-to-skin contact will do, in her earlier appearances her Signature Move when using her power on men was to kiss them; for women she would simply take off her gloves. But by the end of the 80's, the writers must have realized that sexual assault isn't very heroic, so when the X-Men comics were revamped in 1991, she started taking off her gloves for all opponents.
  • Batman:
    • In Detective Comics #456, Bruce Wayne's socialite date Angie Larner is blackmailed into fatally poisoning him with a kiss, by taking the poison herself and then being given an antidote. Bruce is acting as Batman by the time he realizes he's been poisoned and badly weakened by the time he figures out by whom but Angie quickly gives him what's left of the antidote for Bruce when he shows up.
    • Poison Ivy's powerful floral toxins are often secreted from her lips and administered via a kiss. Like Rogue, she can use her powers through any skin contact but enjoys doing it by kiss.
    • In Wonder Woman (1987), Ivy is playing mistress to a wealthy old bachelor she intends to murder once he's signed over all or most of his will to her. When she gets a call from Julianna Sazia offering her a lot of money to kill Paulie Longo, she gives her Meal Ticket a parting kiss and tells him he was boring and took too long to do things as he lays dying, and she gathers up her things to leave.
  • Firestorm (DC Comics): Firestorm's archnemesis, Killer Frost, practically has this as her trademark: she can freeze people to death with a kiss.
  • The original X-Factor (which was actually made up of the original roster of the X-Men) dealt with a one-shot mutant villain called Infectia who could mutate humans and turn them into monstrous slaves (who eventually died) by kissing them, and it seemed kissing may have been a prerequisite. (She used her power on plants, and tried to use it on their living, sentient Ship, each time using her kiss.) Curiously, trying to use it on the Beast had an unexpected effect (most likely because he was another mutant), restoring his intelligence and furry form that had been stripped of him by Apocalypse. Much later, he tended to her as she was dying from the Legacy Virus, seeing as he kind of owed her one.
  • The Mighty Thor nearly caught one from Hela, but she was so touched that Thor would have sacrificed himself for his girlfriend, that she let both go scot-free.
  • A storyline in West Coast Avengers #98-100 (September-November, 1993), features a Historical Domain Crossover scenario. Lucrezia Borgia serves as an agent of the Hell Lord Satannish. She is granted the power to kill with a kiss.
  • Teen Titans villain Cheshire uses a much more gruesome version of this in an issue of Secret Six. She manages to convince a mercenary who is raiding her home to try to rape her. She then kisses him and bites off his lower lip in the process. Since her saliva is poisoned by a false tooth, this lets the toxin into his bloodstream and he dies in horrific pain.
  • The Marvel Comics character Satana is a succubus who uses this as her preferred method of killing her victims; her kiss sucks out the victim's soul (which emerges from their lips in the form of a butterfly that Satana then collects), leaving the body a shriveled husk.
  • A rare male-on-female example: A 1970s Man-Thing storyline features a villain named Scavenger who kills several women by kissing them, draining their life-force, and reducing them to skeletons.
  • In the reboot of Ric Hochet, a woman was killing her victims by kissing them. The police didn't found any trace of poison or chemical on the victims. She was actually using a hidden high-powered battery to electrocute them.
  • One Silver Age Superman comic has Lois Lane wearing a supposedly cursed headdress as part of a story debunking superstition. First a cute dog that she kisses on the head runs into traffic, and then two men who kiss her meet an early end. It ultimately turns out that a bunch of criminals are hoaxing her.
  • Avengers: The Initiative: One of the many creative ways Cloud 9 uses her powers is to use her cloud to suffocate people, even ones in a higher weight class than her. One such incident had her lure KIA in for a kiss by appealing to the memories he inherited from MVP, and then shoving her cloud down his throat to the point where it leaks out of his eyes. She doesn't hold on long enough to actually kill him, but demonstrates that a much weaker opponent of hers could be killed this way.
  • In Pumpkin (Jason Conley), Pumpkin's kiss causes bad man to crumble into dust.
  • Played with in one issue of Strikeforce: Morituri, when Toxyn protests against the Paideia by kissing her teammates to deliver a fast-acting neurotoxin. She then blackmails the Paideia to either pardon the team and let them return to battle, or they can lick their lips and die instantly.

    Fan Works 
  • The Bridge: Jeog's kiss temporarily paralyzes her victims, leaving her open to gut them or tear out their heart. Anguirus is so powerful that he recovers after a few seconds, allowing him to block her attack. Ki Seong manages to break free through sheer willpower.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Nana Shimura kills All For One with a kiss, turning his head to dust in the process with her Quirk. She calls it the most satisfying kiss of her life, as it signals her rebirth into Lady Inanna, the woman who would create a World of Smiles by any means necessary. It soon becomes her preferred method to execute those who annoy or oppose her, such as the reporter who asked too many questions.
  • Queens of Mewni: Queen Venus, being an Ethical Slut (despite her reputation), was a firm believer in consent and invented a spell that would cause one of these if the spellcaster was in danger of being raped.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A possible version in Anazapta. Jacques 'forgives' two men with a kiss, but they both die soon afterwards, implying that he somehow cursed or poisoned them.
  • Batman Film Series:
  • Black Wake: The Specimen (played by Kelly Rae LeGault), in one scene, is brought to the beach by a man with some less-than-noble intentions in mind for her. She decides to kiss him on the lips... and, in doing so, allows a parasite to enter his body through his mouth.
  • In Beneath the Planet of the Apes, a mind-controlled Brent tries to suffocate Nova by forcefully kissing her.
  • In Lifeforce (1985), a naked space vampire woman killed (and zombified) a man with a kiss by sucking out his lifeforce...therefore, the name of the movie.
  • In Elektra, Typhoid gives the eponymous character a lesbian Kiss Of Death which infects her with a deadly virus, complete with slow-motion falling over and a sickly CG effect moving over her skin. She gets better.
  • Kill Bill has a very graphic version of this in the Dude, She's Like in a Coma scene: the guy who's going to rape the Bride gets his tongue ripped out when he tries to kiss her.
  • In the movie Shinobi Heart Under Blade, inspired by the same novel that led to the creation of Basilisk, Kagerou also has this as her ability but as a result of having been fed poison her entire life. She uses this ability to kill off a wild-man shinobi early in the movie. Later, it is revealed that this poison is apparently powerful enough to kill another near-immortal, regenerating ninja who had perfected his art of "being bad at dying" over the course of three hundred years (She tried it in the manga/anime and movie, but failed).
  • In Species, Sil kills someone while kissing him by sticking her tongue out through the back of his head.
  • In the Hong Kong action movie Naked Killer, the lesbian assassin kills her former mentor/lover with the poisoned lipstick trick.
  • Subverted rather creepily in The Mummy (1999) when Imhotep, who is mostly regenerated at this point, happens upon Evey while she is sleeping and kisses her. While they kiss, his face rots away until his whole mouth is in its former state. She wakes up while this happens. Sort of like a reverse kiss of undeath.
  • Starship Troopers 2: Hero of the Federation. One of the Puppeteer Parasite-like aliens is transferred this way, from a female soldier who was walking around stark naked.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • Rogue's powers absorb the life force of anyone she touches. She has no control over this ability, and it first emerged while she was kissing her boyfriend, putting him into a three-week coma. In the second film, trying to kiss Bobby has a similar effect, but they end the kiss before any real harm comes to him.
    • In The Wolverine, Viper’s venom powers allow this. She uses this to dispose of a Japanese man who mistook her for a prostitute.
  • In Kull the Conqueror the Red Witch gives such a kiss to Kull, though taking a liking to him, she does not give him the fatal version. (Apparently she could have if she wished). At the end of the movie, she beckons to him with a promise of a kiss (she's transformed into a fugly demon by that point btw) and Kull gives her his own kiss of death, forcing the Breath of Valka into her body.
  • In the theme song of the James Bond film Goldfinger, girls are warned to beware of "The Kiss of Death from Mr. Goldfinger".
  • Pirates of the Caribbean

  • Most forms of the "Vampire's Kiss".
  • A Polish folksong known as 'The Kiss' tells the story of a young girl who gets kissed thrice by an unknown man (strongly hinted to be some form of a demon). She dies later that day, after relating the event to her mother.

  • The Draghkar in The Wheel of Time kiss their victims, consuming their souls the first time and their lives the second.
  • The Harry Potter series had the Dementor's Kiss, in which the victim's soul is consumed. Unusually for this trope, though, this particular example was never portrayed as being sexy at all. The victim technically lives, but only in a braindead state.
  • Lux: Lovestruck's power is a variant of this: by blowing a kiss at someone she can cause the flow of blood in their bodies to reverse itself - which causes a rather nasty death, since none of the valves are designed to operate in reverse like that.
  • For as long as she can remember, the female protagonist of The Raven Cycle has been told by everyone in her psychic family that if she kisses her true love, he will die. She gets pretty sick of hearing it after a while.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe novel Darth Bane: Path of Destruction, Bane's sometime helper Githany attempts to kill him by means of poisons applied to her lips. Upon kissing him - more than once, which ups the dosage, she gets out of sight to take the required antidotes. Bane detects and counters the poison with the Force...except there were two poisons, an easier one to lull him into thinking he was now safe, and a harder to detect one that nearly kills him.
  • Though she doesn't give it, the eponymous villain of The Snow Queen can kill with three kisses; the first one numbs you from the cold and the second makes you forget about your loved ones.
  • After Mina from Dragonlance allies with Chemosh, the god of death, he gives her the power to kiss people and turn them into a more good-looking type of zombie. They don't look dead, but technically, the kiss does kill them.
  • In the Michael Crichton novel Prey, Julia kills multiple people with a kiss that transfers the deadly nanobots into them, almost killing her husband, Jack, once. She later begs Jack to "save [her] babies" with MRIs (the magnets kill the nanobots), telling him she kissed them too. It's not quite sexy, but it does still kill.
  • In Neverwhere, Richard narrowly escapes having all his body heat siphoned away by the Velvet named Lamia.
  • In The Jennifer Morgue, by Charles Stross, Ramona Random, the hero's liaison with the American "Black Chamber" has a soul-eating daemon bound to her. The means of operation is more of a bite than a kiss, however.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • Thomas Raith has stated that Lord Raith, Thomas' father and the current king of the White Court vampires, is the one who invented the Kiss of Death. Whether or not any other White Court vampires can do this remains to be seen.
      Thomas: That whole kiss-of-death thing in The Godfather? He was where that phrase originated, only for him it was literal.
      Harry: Really?
      Thomas: Supposedly. I've never seen him do it myself, but Lara has, plenty of times. Madeline once told me that he liked to open conversations that way, because it made sure he had the complete attention of everyone still breathing.
    • The reason Thomas has never seen the ability in action, incidentally, is that Harry Dresden's mother, Margaret LeFay McCoy, neutered Lord Raith's ability to feed, preventing him from restoring the power he needed to use this ability.
    • In addition, the Red Court vampires have a drugged saliva which is addictive and keeps their victims from struggling before they feed. They call it their Kiss, which Harry lampshades as sounding sexier than "narcotic drool."
  • In "Rappaccini's Daughter", the titular daughter herself is poisonous, and won't let her suitor kiss her because she knows that would kill him. After spending enough time with her, however, Giovanni also becomes poisonous.
  • Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué's Undine, bound by the rules of her mermaid people, has to kill her cheating husband, but since she still loves him, she is happy to oblige as he asks her if she could do it with a kiss.
  • In Hardwired by Walter Jon Williams, "the Weasel" is a weapon that shoots out of your mouth; it is used to kill with a kiss.
  • C.L. Moore's Jirel of Joiry is a feudal warrior maiden. In the story "Black God's Kiss" Guillaume the Conqueror besieges and captures Jirel's castle after a prolonged fight, kills her retainers, and captures Joiry herself. He tries to force a kiss upon her whereupon she sinks her teeth into his neck, barely missing the jugular, and later she escapes from the dungeon where she was held. Determined to find at all costs a way of destroying Guillaume, Jirel enters a dark underground world, braving countless dangers, monsters, and perilous black magic. By kissing the statue of a sinister black god she gains the power of giving Guillaume a Kiss of Death, returns to the castle, kisses Guillaume, and has the satisfaction of seeing him immediately die in great agony. Only when seeing him dead does she realize that she had been passionately in love with Guillaume all along and that now he is dead "the light had gone out of her world" - and she bursts out bitterly crying for the beloved enemy she had killed.
  • In Those That Wake's sequel, What We Become, the Old Man kisses Rose to extract the neuropleth from her, which would doom New York and the world.
  • In the Sime Gen series of novels, humanity has split into two races, the Gens that produce selyn, and the Simes, who do not make their own and must take it from Gens to live (which is fatal if the Gen is at all afraid of the Sime). Simes draw selyn by wrapping their forearm-tentacles around the victim's own forearms and then making lip contact.
  • Please Don't Tell My Parents I Blew Up the Moon (sequel to Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain): After She Who Wots gives a boy a rather chaste kiss on the lips, he is paralyzed and his eyes start bleeding. It's not clear if she did it on purpose or not.
    She Who Wots: Andrew Stickler wanted to get to know me better. Now he does.
    Spider: I'll see that he gets medical attention.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Smallville:
    • Lex had a fiancée whose exposure to kryptonite while she and her boyfriend were in coitus gave her the power to hypnotize men (for the duration of one command) with a kiss.
    • Also, Maxima's kiss in this verse is highly toxic. Her main motivation is to find a man who can survive it. It ends up being Clark Kent.
  • The Flash (2014):
    • Killer Frost, Caitlin's Earth-2 doppelgänger, demonstrates a kiss that will absorb the body warmth of her victim and freeze them to death. It doesn't work on her husband, Deathstorm (Ronnie Raymond), though.
    • In season 3, Caitlin kisses Barry to cause hypothermia to him.
  • In the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Inca Mummy Girl", the mummy steals the life of various men in order to keep herself alive.
  • In Torchwood, Captain John Hart has "paralyzing lipgloss". It's a kiss of death because if you aren't treated for it within two hours, your major organs shut down.
  • In the Doctor Who episode ''Let's Kill Hitler", River has one of these for the Doctor. She later has a change of heart and resurrects him with another kiss.
  • In The Dresden Files, vampire saliva contains a narcotic that's powerfully addictive when absorbed through the skin (or ingested). Preferred delivery method? A kiss.
  • In Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Catharine Weaver, disguised as a different beautiful woman, seduces a victim, then sends a liquid-metal tentacle down his throat to strangle his heart through his esophagus and kill him.
  • In the Gilligan's Island episode "The Invasion", during a dream sequence where Gilligan is a secret agent, Ginger (as an enemy agent) tries to kill him with poison lipstick.
  • Get Smart: A KAOS femme fatale uses poisoned lipstick to kill Max, but he's wise to her and uses...fake lips.
  • Big Wolf on Campus takes its usual sober, low-key approach to the subject: Sloane the assassin blows a storm of projectile Kisses of Death at our heroes.
  • The X-Files: "2Shy"'s Monster of the Week uses kissing as a pretense to regurgitate acid into his victims, pre-digesting their flesh so that he can suck out their fat.
  • In Dark Angel, Diamond kissed the man who had her infected with a terminal disease, passing it onto him. Since she's a lesbian, he's also the first man she's ever kissed.
  • In the sixth season of Riverdale, Veronica Lodge finds out she has become venomous and can kill anyone with a kiss.
  • The Nine Lives of Chloe King feature a race called the Mai, who are only allowed to be intimate with other Mai and the results can be deadly for humans. Unfortunately, Chloe doesn't find this out until after she's kissed a human.
  • H₂O: Just Add Water had a one-off. Rikki lost control of her heat powers and nearly boiled Zane alive the first time they kissed. He was knocked unconscious and left with red skin for a few days, but it's implied how dangerous the situation could have been.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two", the kiss between Dean and the crossroad demon seals the contract, which will end in Dean's death in one year.
  • In American Horror Story: Asylum, this is how Shachath performs her Mercy Kills.
  • In CSI: NY one criminal dissolved a pill containing deadly nightshade in her mouth and then kissed her target, killing him moments later. She survived by taking an antidote earlier.
  • The "man allergic to peanuts dies after kissing his girl who had eaten peanut butter" situation is gender flipped in 1000 Ways to Die, where an Alpha Bitch in charge of a kissing booth (and who was stealing funds from there) kissed a hunk who had just eaten peanuts and died when the allergies kicked in.
  • In Luke Cage (2016), when doctor/herbalist Tilda Johnson decides to kill her villainous mother, she transfers poison to her by kissing her.
  • In the Joe Pera Talks With You episode "Joe Pera Takes You On a Fall Drive", Joe Pera muses about going to see all the waterfalls in Michigan's upper peninsula... ending in the curiously specific idea of not only dying at 85 but, he adds out of nowhere, "... probably by a poison kiss".

  • In GHOST's "Honey I'm Home, spider boy Charon tells Norman (the singer) that the only way to escape the reality he's stuck in is to "promise me a kiss". The catch? Charon's lips are poisoned.
    A spider preaching with poison on its lips,
    "To get out of here is to promise me a kiss."

    Music Videos 
  • Almost a decade before Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles example above, in the music video for "The World is not Enough" by Garbage, a robotic Shirley Manson (who would go on to play Catharine Weaver) kills a test subject by burning him to death through kissing him. "She" then kills the original Shirley Manson the same way, and then explodes during a packed concert.

    Myth and Religion 
  • In Jewish tradition, God honored Moses and his siblings Aaron and Miriam by taking their souls with a kiss rather than by sending the Angel of Death.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Ars Magica: One powerful spell lets a mage deliver these, killing instantly without the usual Magical Incantation. It's much more subtle than other death magic but leaves a telltale black lip-print on the corpse.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Succubi and Incubi in all editions have an energy drain attack delivered through a kiss or another "act of passion." It takes more than one to kill someone (frequently, eight or nine by the time the players are high enough level to encounter one), though. The kiss often has a suggestion with it, to convince the victim to keep kissing the demon.
    • Nereids in some editions can drown a man who kisses them, but a nereid usually only does this to someone who has the nerve to force a kiss from her. (Or to possibly to someone who steals the shawl that acts as her Soul Jar; a nereid can be Made a Slave by anyone who succeeds in taking it, but that person must be ever vigilant, as she can be cunning in trying to get it back.)
    • The darklord Ivana Boritsi of Borca in the Ravenloft campaign setting possesses this ability (due to various types of poisons applied to her lips). She is explicitly so toxic that she can kill even creatures immune to normal poisons. She also employs a team of enforcers called the Ermordenung who are given a lethally poisonous touch via an alchemic process known only to her (the leader of which was her best friend as a child); they only need to touch a victim with bare skin to kill them, but a kiss (their preferred method of killing a victim of the opposite sex, usually through deception and seduction) is the deadliest method of doing so.
  • GURPS: Ultratech advises using the Ripsnake (a mechanical weapon that shoots out of your mouth) while kissing.
  • Pathfinder has Psychopomps in service to the goddess of death; one variety, the Catrina, helps ease people into the afterlife with a painless kiss of death. As festively dressed skeletons, that's quite a feat.
  • Siren: The Drowning has Sirens most commonly replenishing their Pneuma by draining people's soul with a kiss. Downplayed in that it's not required to kill or even durably harm the victim; if they show restrain and stop in time, this will just drain willpower, which the person can then recover over time by resting. When they don't, however, it can result in the man falling into a catatonic state.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition has a Blood Sorcery power called the Scorpion's Touch, which allows the user to turn their own blood into a deadly poison. While there are more conventional methods of delivering said poison, kissing the target is explicitly an option (and also comes without the option for them to dodge).
  • Warhammer has the Dogs of War character Lucrezzia Belladonna, an expert with poisons and toxins, including poisoned lipstick. One story has her kiss the tip of a knight's lance, and his unhorsed opponent dying within seconds. When asked if the lance was poisoned, she replied that she had just kissed it and she didn't feel at all unwell...

  • In Kander and Ebb's musical version of Manuel Puig's Kiss of the Spider Woman, the titular (imaginary) character kills with a kiss. The hero, a prisoner in a hellish Argentine jail, sees her whenever someone around him is poisoned or tortured, and worries that she will come for him next.
  • In the Austrian musical Elisabeth, Death is a major character. He is made of this trope.
  • In the Austrian production of Romeo et Juliette: De La Haine a l'Amour , Tybalt plants a big kiss on Mercutio in the latter's death scene. Tybalt's actor, Mark Seibert, would go on to play Death in Elisabeth, who kills Prince Rudolf with a kiss. Lukas Perman was Romeo and Rudolf opposite Seibert.

    Visual Novels 

    Video Games 
  • From Fate/Grand Order, originally from the Fate/Prototype Silver Fragments, the Assassin-class Servant Hassan of Serenity body is made of poison itself. However she kisses enemies to drain them of mana while the poison melts their brain and heart.
  • Planescape: Torment features a succubus character named Fall-From-Grace, who (as is normal for her species in Dungeons & Dragons canon) can drain the life from her victims by kissing them. However, as a reformed succubus, she is reluctant to do this except in a dire situation (though the definition of a "dire situation" is whenever the player directs her to, considering she has the kiss as one of her attack commands). Whenever the protagonist speaks to her, you have the option of having him kiss her if his Wisdom score is low enough; due to his ability to come back to life every time he dies, it's only a temporary setback if you choose that option, but you quickly learn not to do it again.
  • Karim in Eternal Darkness Sanity's Requiem suffers from this fate. Interestingly, it's something he needs to do in order to be able to protect the artifact.
  • Mortal Kombat
    • The franchise is probably the biggest Trope Codifier here, where several characters use this as a Fatality. Sonya Blade blows her kisses and they either burn or eviscerate the enemy, depending on the game. Kitana and Tanya directly kiss the enemy on the head or the lips, causing them to either swell up and explode or twist in several painful ways...then explode, though it would have been arguably more gruesome if the opponent just fell to the floor a twisted, screaming mess. Mileena starts with kissing the enemy... before sucking them up and spitting out the bones.
    • Likely the grossest example of this Trope is Mileena's execution at D'Vorah's hands in X — she forcefully kisses her, vomiting a swarm of insects down Mileena's throat that proceed to tear her apart from the inside. Cassie, who witnesses it, remarks, "Well, thanks for that. I know I'll never eat again."
  • This is Tira's Finishing Move in Soul Calibur IV. Nope, I'm serious.
  • In Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door, Flurrie has an ability named "Lip Lock", which has her grab the enemy and pull them in for a forceful kiss, and if done correctly she will drain the enemy's life and heal herself.
  • Pokémon has the move Draining Kiss, which does damage to the opponent and absorbs said damage to heal the user.
  • In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, the vampire Nevan does this if you don't run away quick enough, making some fangirls commit suicide in order to see Dante kiss someone. If you have enough Devil Trigger, you don't have to retreat - she can't steal a demon's Life Energy, and she's a sitting duck while she's performing the move, so when she gets close enough hit the Devil Trigger and smack the hell out of her.
  • Subverted in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, when EVA/Tatyana threatens the always-nervous Sokolov with a tube of lipstick, who thinks she's trying to kill him. She then turns the lipstick around, puts it on, and walks away. note 
  • Karst's "Heat Kiss" attack in Golden Sun: The Lost Age, a powerful debuff in the form of a blown kiss.
  • A non-fatal variant occurs in The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky, when Joshua kisses Estelle. He has a fast-acting sedative on his lips, which knocks her out and prevents her from following.
  • EarthBound (1994) has an enemy that's actually called the Kiss of Death, which is only a smiling mouth with huge red lips. It has the ability to give the "kiss of death", which poisons the victim. There's a similar enemy called the French Kiss of Death.
  • In Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, Marjoly has the ability known as "Oh, Marjoly" in which she delivers a long and deadly kiss to her target that for some reason deals massive damage. It's Disgaea, so just roll with it.
  • In the first Darkstalkers game, Morrigan's ending has her kissing the defeated Pyron, leaving him as a lifeless skeleton. Considering she is a succubus, this is expected.
  • Played for Laughs in the medieval levels of Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped which feature Bewitched Amphibians hopping around as enemies. If one catches Crash (Or Coco in the N. Sane Trilogy) it pins him down, forces a big wet kiss on them, and transforms into a prince. It doesn't seem to actually hurt Crash but he's left so disgusted, it still manages to cost him a life.
  • Gall from Shovel Knight's Specter of Torment campaign tries to practice his technique for the kiss of death on Specter Knight. Unfortunately, it ends with him dying the first two times he tries it. The third attempt is a success, so if you ever want to Press X to Die, talk to Gall.
  • Ultra Toukon Densetsu has the Dada mooks, whose main attack is by planting a Forceful Kiss on your Ultramen. Which somehow drains their health, a move absent in their TV series counterpart.
  • Roller Brawl from Skylanders has this as one of her attacks as her new form in SuperChargers, Bone Bash Roller Brawl. Enemies hit by it will be weakened and have their health drained.
  • Injustice 2: One of Poison Ivy's special moves (performed by pressing Down, Back, Forward + Light Attack and meter burning) is named after this very trope. Her "kiss of death" move is one of the better assets of her moveset.

  • In Angel Down, Bernard kills Ward by stabing him In the Back while kissing him.
  • In 'Pandect'', all Servant Aces have a body part that is poisonous to anyone who touches it. For one character, it's his lips.
  • Webcomic/Nevermore: Annabel Lee has this power in her Lady in White form, and attempts to use it on Lenore, although she gets interrupted
  • Our Little Adventure: The succubus Yo-Lee prefers to use her Life Drinker power through an enthusiastic makeout session, complete with a Charm Person effect to keep the victim enthusiastic 'til the end.
  • The Order of the Stick: Sabine, being a D&D succubus, also packs a level-draining attack in her kisses. Thus, her lover Nale has resorted to buying Elixirs of Negative Energy Protection in bulk to keep their intimate life; this keeps him protected when facing a vampire much stronger than him later on.

    Western Animation 
  • Poison Ivy can not only kill with her kiss, she can occasionally hypnotize people with it. In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "House & Garden", she does this to get out of Arkham, tricking her psychiatrist into accepting a kiss, making him her slave and then ordering him to write her a clean bill of health. (Then pretending she married him; she almost has Batman himself fooled and might have gotten away with it completely if the same psychiatrist had not been one of Robin's college professors, and Robin knows that the guy's former wife has custody of the two sons who Ivy claims he had — and that his children are actually daughters.)
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: Operation: Z.E.R.O.: a zombified Kuki gives Wally The Virus by kissing him. A virus that, mind you, turns people into "Senior Citizombies" — that's right, zombie old people. Numbuh 362 and the other remaining operatives find this as Squicky as the audience does.
  • Transformers: Animated. Blackarachnia usually does a non-deadly version of this — and it's a spidery kiss, not a kiss on the lips: she stabs her victim with the legs that stick up over her shoulders and temporarily drains whatever special power they have. However, as proved by her attack on Prowl and Bumblebee in "Black Friday", she can give a deadly one by adding an extra dose of venom, giving the victim two hours to have the antidote administered before they die. Don't worry, while she never actually hands Optimus the antidote, when he goes to see Prowl and Bee and apologize for being unable to save them, he finds the antidote on the ground by them and muses that there may still be some good left in her.
  • Subverted in Adventure TimeJake is literally kissed by Death (complete with Foot Popping!), but rather than hurt him, it fixes the Laser-Guided Amnesia he got from drinking from the River Lethe.
  • Played straight in The Powerpuff Girls (1998). The girls kiss their male counterparts, which causes them to explode.
    • Completely subverted when the boys come Back from the Dead and the girls' kisses only make them bigger and stronger.
  • In the Spicy City episode ''Sex Drive" in which the prostitute Virus is kidnapped and implanted with cyber genetic parts, every time she kisses someone she electrocutes them to death because of a device hidden under her tongue.
    • The last episode "Raven's Revenge" Raven has been infected with a virus that causes anyone she kisses to slowly die.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), that's how a snake-mutated Karai gives Casey his dose of venom.
  • The introduction episode of Morgana in Darkwing Duck is about how Morgana's relatives want her to give one to Darkwing by using a poisoned lipstick.

    Real Life 
  • An rather depressing example: Some time after being born, a baby suddenly fell ill and, despite weeks of life support, passed away from major organ failure. The cause? A virus contracted from a cold sore... from the baby's father.
  • And the man who was allergic to nuts who died after being kissed by his girlfriend who'd just eaten some peanut butter.
  • Queen Victoria's daughter Princess Alice fell victim to a variation of this. She cared for her husband and children when they were sick with diphtheria, but she herself escaped the disease until she gave her son a kiss. She caught diphtheria from him and died of it shortly after.

Symbolic Examples

    Anime & Manga 
  • Downplayed in Assassination Classroom. In this universe, a sufficiently potent but otherwise mundane kiss can render someone paralyzed or unconscious. Irina uses this on Nagisa to assert dominance over the class early on. Nagisa later uses the technique he learned from her to calm down a rampaging Kayano.
  • The Chinese Amazon kiss of death delivered by Shampoo in Ranma ½: it's a tribal custom when defeated by an outsider woman to kiss them, which signifies a promise to hunt the recipient down to the ends of the earth and kill them. And they mean "to the ends of the earth" literally: Shampoo chased Ranma through all of China and to Tokyo to kill his female form...
  • Mireille Bouquet from Noir receives an excessively long one of these from a woman named Silvana Greone, aka Intoccabile. And she tries to punch her afterwards (episode 9, 11:25), as said woman is a Mafia Princess so the message behind the gesture is clear, and Intoccabile has scared the wits outta her since they first met as children. It's also clear that Silvana does it both for the fear effect and just to fuck with Mireille's head some more.
  • Princess Tutu: Rue kisses Mytho as she literally yanks his ability to love out of his chest.
  • In Prétear episode 11, Takako kisses Mawata after successfully driving her into despair, in order to use her soul as a power source for what turns out to be a huge evil tree and then lock Mawata inside of it.
  • In the anime of Chrono Crusade and at the culmination of his Break the Cutie, Aion kisses Rosette. Chrono does not approve.
  • Yoko of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann shares a kiss with two separate characters, Kamina and Kittan, immediately preceding their deaths. To be fair, Kittan kissed her knowing that his next mission was suicide.
  • In Berserk, it is debatable whether Femto/Griffith doing this to Casca counts; he was just about to brutally rape her, and so a Forceful Kiss is not exactly out of place. However, since Casca had already been marked for death by the demon brand, and did not realise yet that Griffith was the one causing all hell to break loose, the kiss served a similar purpose to this trope by making it clear just how much trouble she was in.
  • In Future Diary, if you kiss Yukiteru and your name isn't Yuno Gasai, you will be dead by the end of the episode.
  • Subverted in Fairy Tail: At first, this is heavily implied to be how the First Guild Master of Fairy Tail, Mavis Vermilion, died. She had the same Curse as Zeref that rendered her immortal and killed those she loved, whose only Curse Escape Clause is when one forgets the value of life. She suffered a rather ironic death after Zeref expressed love to her through a kiss and seemingly broke the curse for Mavis, leaving her vulnerable to Zeref's curse, thus killing her. In reality, Mavis didn't die; while her body was, for all intents and purposes, clinically dead, her soul was still tethered to her body, and it wasn't until nearly a century later that she was resurrected. She states that she forced herself to believe she didn't love Zeref, out of fear that the exact same thing would happen to him. Oh, and it wasn't a Kiss Of Death; she just apparently didn't want to tell the rest of the guild that it was actually Out with a Bang.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood contains an example of the purely symbolic kind. It also differs from a more typical example of this trope in that it has no erotic character, and the recipient doesn't realize what it means. It is obvious to the reader, however, that when Helena kisses her father on the cheek, that she is going to kill him.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Priscilla Rich slinks over and gives Wonder Woman a kiss on the cheek while saying how concerned she had been for her, right after Di narrowly escapes Pris' first attempt to murder her which Di finds a bit suspicious since Pris had most definitely not been acting concerned while Di struggled to escape. While the kiss is mostly to allay suspicions it's also quite obvious to the reader that Pris is playing at being friends and concerned while plotting Diana's death.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Just barely averted in American Gangster. When he sees one of his brothers in a flashy suit that might draw the attention of the cops, Frank Lucas sits him down to remind him that potentially drawing attention and notice is a bad thing for major drug dealers. When, during that conversation, the brother also lets it slip that he talked about Frank with one of his rival drug lords (and thus, in his naivete, possibly gave information to this other drug lord), Lucas, who has dealt extensively with the Mafia, gives his brother an enormous kiss and says "You know, if you weren't my brother, I'd have to kill you." They both laugh. Much later in the film, when the brother screws up again, however, Frank beats him viciously for it. And it's all the scarier for coming out of nowhere and with no warning.
  • Black Widow (1987): The kiss Catherine Petersen (murderess) gives to Alex Barnes (Justice Department investigator). Aside from providing some Les Yay, it also shows that Catherine intends to mess Alex over by framing her for Paul's death.
  • Blade Runner: Roy Batty kisses Eldon Tyrell just before squashing Tyrell's eyeballs into their sockets and crushing his skull, killing him.
  • The killer gives a kiss to Stacy before killing her in Cherry Falls.
  • Averted in the theatrical version of Daredevil (2003) and done in the Director's Cut. After killing Elektra's father, unintentionally framing her boyfriend, beating her while hitting on her, mockingly treating her revenge like a date, and instantly developing an attraction to her, Bullseye cuts her neck and, intending to use her own sai against her, tries to give Elektra her last kiss. In the Director's Cut, he manages to give her the kiss while she is gutted in the air.
  • Michael Corleone's kiss of death to the person who betrayed him in The Godfather Part II is one of the most iconic examples of the symbolic version ever. "You broke my heart. You broke my heart." Said person was Fredo, his own brother, who had betrayed him out of jealousy.
  • A big joke (almost to the point of Running Gag) in the Pirates of the Caribbean sequels is that every guy Elizabeth kisses dies. Jack in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Norrington, Sao Feng, and Will in Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. Even her father (who she probably kissed a few times, considering how big of a Daddy's Girl she is) dies. Lampshaded in the third movie by Jack, who tells her that "Once was quite enough" when she runs up to him to embrace him.
  • Terminator Salvation: Marcus Wright is about to be executed by lethal injection when he is visited by the terminally ill Dr. Serena Kogan to convince him to volunteer his body to science. He agrees on one condition: a kiss. She obliges, leading him to remark "So that's what death tastes like".
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Just before Ned's duel with The German, Jefe approaches him and kisses him on both cheeks, because he's sure the German will kill him.
  • In Underworld: Blood Wars, Semira mockingly kisses Alexia on the lips before slitting her throat.

  • Sort of in The House of the Spirits, when Esteban is moving Rosa's body to another tomb and opens up the coffin to have one last look at her. She is completely preserved until he kisses her, after which she degrades very rapidly (keep in mind this is occurring years after she died).
  • Holes: Katherine Barlow was originally a beloved schoolteacher in a small Texas town, who fell in love with the local onion farmer, Sam. As she was white and he was black, the townsfolk turned on them both when they were caught sharing a kiss, and when Kate went to the sheriff for help, he drunkenly asked her for a kiss as payment to "just" run Sam out of town instead of hanging him. Sam ended up killed while trying to flee. Three days later Kate returned to the sheriff's office and shot him dead, then applied a fresh coat of red lipstick and left a kiss mark on his cheek before leaving town. This subsequently became her Calling Card as the infamous bandit "Kissin' Kate Barlow," who robbed many (including the protagonist's ancestor) but would only kiss the men she killed.
  • In the Tomb Raider novel The Man of Bronze, Lara Croft mentions that she once killed a man while kissing him.
  • The Executioner. Lampshaded in "Tennessee Smash" when a Professional Killer is sent by mob boss Nick Copa to kill Crazy Gordy.
    "Nick said I should kiss you first. I told him you're too damn ugly."

    Live-Action TV 
  • An episode of The Dukes of Hazzard dealt with a group of mafiosos who were having a meeting in the Hazzard County Jail (long story). Bo and Luke got caught snooping around and were brought before the mob boss, who kissed both of them. Luke put it together that he just gave them "the kiss of death."
  • Oz. When Chucky Pancamo kisses Peter Schibetta in a prison corridor, the latter realises instantly what it means and starts shouting "No! No!" Chucky kills him seconds later.
  • Star Trek: Picard: In "The Impossible Box", Narek imparts the symbolic variation to Soji when he kisses her because his plan is to murder her soon after.
  • In Supernatural, when a person sells their soul to a demon, they seal it with a kiss, and then they die ten years later. Note that this applies to all demons — Crowley insists on following this particular rule.
  • On That '70s Show, Kelso is breaking off his cheating relationship with Laurie. Laurie sees Jackie, Kelso's cuckolded girlfriend, over Kelso's shoulder and asks for "one last kiss", thus ensuring that Jackie will see them kissing and break up with Kelso. The episode is actually titled "Kiss of Death."
  • One of the most poignant moments in Xena: Warrior Princess is when she has to kill her undead lover Marcus (long story). She stabs him with his sword, and then passionately kisses him as he dies in her arms.


    Myths & Religion 

    Pro Wrestling 
  • For a short time, Mickie James had her Long Kiss Goodnight finisher, but it disappeared when WWE went PG. Dammit!
  • It's also been used as a saying when a wrestler gets put with a gimmick that kills his career. An example would be Terry Taylor as The Red Rooster.
  • During their feud in late-2004, Trish Stratus called Lita "The Walking Kiss Of Death" and sarcastically asked whose career she'd kill next. Lita responded by kissing Trish.
  • Taeler Hendrix, who has trained in some of the same places as Mickie James, has her own variation of the kiss-kick-goodnight finisher. Her long kiss goodnight is a tombstone piledriver, however.
  • Bray Wyatt of The Wyatt Family occasionally kisses his opponent on the forehead before hitting him with his finisher.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer 40,000: Eldar Harlequins have the Harlequin's Kiss, a monofilament Razor Floss that does horrible things to individual units.

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • The Godfather's kiss of death gets parodied with the mobsters. "The kiss of death. That can't be good."
    • Parodied again during Homer's stint as Mayor Quimby's bodyguard. Fat Tony tells Homer to give Quimby this and he obliges. When Quimby tells him, "You moron, that's the kiss of death!" Homer worries that he did it wrong and goes in for another.
    • As a non-mafia related example, in one episode, the oldest man in Springfield dies after Britney Spears kisses him for winning an award for it. After Mr. Burns is called to take the award instead, he avoids Britney, calling the trope by name for his reasoning.
  • And in Futurama:
    "I know Big Vinnie said he was giving me the kiss of death, but I still think he was gay."
    "Did he use his tongue?"
    "...A little."

    Real Life 
  • There are instances when an individual tempts fate, such as declaring failure impossible in a sporting event, that is jokingly referred to as the "Kiss of Death", especially if said person is notorious for bad judgement.
  • Lampshaded, then subverted, in this skit from Anime Boston 2011.
  • When Josef Stalin kissed a guy on the cheek, he kisses him again at his funeral.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Kisses Of Death


Tess and the Lighter

Tess drops her zippo in a puddle of fuel and explosives to immolate herself and as many infected as she can so they won't follow Joel and Ellie.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / ReusableLighterToss

Media sources: