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Kiss of Life

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Naota: What did you do to me?!
Haruko: CPR. What do you think I did?
Naota: That's not what I meant.
Mamimi: Did she put her tongue inside?
FLCL, "Episode 1"

A character has been rescued from some sort of danger but they are now unconscious. Their rescuer, giving up on other ways of reviving them, attempts artificial respiration, also known as the kiss of life. Predictably, the unconscious character awakens at the exact instant their lips press together. Hilarity Ensues.

Distinct from Dude, She's Like in a Coma in that the rescuer isn't actually attempting to really kiss the rescuee. See also Indirect Kiss and Intimate Healing. Sometimes doubled up with some CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable for extra drama.

Sometimes happens with a pair of straight male characters, for the Ho Yay misunderstanding goodness.

In several cases, a character will fake drowning, in an attempt to get an opportunity to kiss a certain someone. Usually, they'll either mess it up and actually come close to drowning, or wind up with the "wrong" person trying to resuscitate them. In Real Life, this would never work. Lifeguards and other people trained in CPR are trained to look for signs of breathing before they ever begin. Furthermore, most carry a "Breath Barrier" which is designed to prevent the transfer of bodily liquids that could contain pathogens. Finally, if you are so determined to get that kiss that you legitimately stop breathing, well, we have tropes for that too.

See also Magical Defibrillator, Mouth To Mouth Force Feeding (which can be used for medicine), and True Love's Kiss. Contrast with Kiss of Death.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The 100 Girlfriends Who Really, Really, Really, Really, Really Love You: Inverted when Rentarou falls unconscious at the pool. Nano and Hakari's attempts at mouth-to-mouth turn into regular kissing and they need to find someone else to do it.
    • Played straight in Chapter 67, when Hahari gives Rentarou mouth-to-mouth after suffocating him with her breasts in order to win the sumo match (It Makes Sense in Context).
  • In Aldnoah.Zero, a flashback from episode 5 shows that Princess Asseylum pulled the trope on Slaine Troyard in the past. She helped him to get out of a capsule that was filled with liquid and then gave him this to draw out said liquid from his lungs, saving his life.
  • In Battle Girls: Time Paradox, Mitsuhide collapses from smoke inhalation. Nobunaga frantically says she's not breathing and gives her mouth-to-mouth without any chest compressions. Mitsuhide revives, but since she's in love with Nobunaga, pretends to still be out so she will keep kissing her. Nobunaga ends up kissing her twelve times.
  • Berserk: After both falling off a cliff in the battle for Doldrey, Guts resuscitates Casca he doesn't even check her pulse or push on her heart, once Guts understands she isn't breathing he goes immediately for the lips. It's also first time he kissed anyone in the series and Casca's first time as well though she doesn't remember it.
    • Guts is less enthusiastic later when he is saved from drowning by Farnese's fiance Roderick, he asks worriedly if the ship's captain kissed him.
  • Blue Seed. Kusanagi is forced to perform mouth-to-mouth on Momiji, who is then left with the question of whether or not it counts as her First Kiss (worse yet, in the next episode she ends up deciding that it does). This eventually leads to a cute scene at the end of the episode, when Kusanagi pretends to be unconscious just to make Momiji try to do this on him. She is far from being pleased by this, having been genuinely worried about him.
  • In a Case Closed Non-Serial Movie (The Fourteenth Target) Ran gives air to Conan in this manner when they're both trapped underwater. She passes out due to it, but they're rescued soon and live. Conan is the aged down self of Ran's sort-of boyfriend Shinichi and in a prior scene, he got a fortune about a kiss...
  • D.N.Angel anime:
    • In the anime, Satoshi performs mouth-to-mouth on Daisuke after he nearly drowns in the school swimming pool. Their female classmates (and some viewers) are... pretty interested in this, to say the least.
    • This was used a second time in the manga — Daisuke nearly drowns again, which means Satoshi has to give him CPR again — only Dark takes over Daisuke's body before Satoshi can, and punches him. He then has a fit over the implications.
  • Excel♡Saga:
    • Parodied in the manga: several members of the Daitenzin nearly drown (it's a long story) and Iwata is ecstatic at the chance to give the kiss of life to his beautiful co-worker Misaki. Unfortunately for him, she wakes up before he can get started. However, he later does get the chance to use his resuscitation skills... on the male and decidedly unattractive Sumiyoshi. Impressive that, unlike many other examples, he actually knows proper emergency procedures and CPR techniques (not just bending down and kissing the subject). The reason that Misaki didn't hit him outright is because he strictly followed the procedures, even pointless ones like trying to call for help in the middle of the sewer, making it the right thing to do even with obvious indecent intention. She only hit him later when he started babbling the usual nonsense like "At least you should've blush or something!"
    • Later on, Watanabe gets stuck on a raft with his beautiful, passed-out neighbor Hyatt. He gets into a fight with his Good Angel, Bad Angel because he wants to give her the kiss of life for purely selfish reasons.
    • Subverted later when Excel and Elgala are both trapped in a flooding sewer. Rather than sharing oxygen, Excel simply steals all of Elgala's air.
  • In the first episode of FLCL, Naota is KOed after his Crash-Into Hello meeting with Haruko. Haruko quickly decides to give him CPR, and here the "kiss of life" metaphor is played to the hilt as a flabbergasted Mamimi looks on.
  • Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu:
    • Tessa sees using CPR on a half-drowned Sōsuke as the perfect excuse for a kiss. Despite the fact that he is breathing and semi-conscious at the time and thus does not need CPR, a fact her rival for his affections is quick to point out.
    • In another episode, Sousuke inverts the trope when he fails to understand why Mizuki gets so upset over him kissing her (while posing as her boyfriend) - because he doesn't think of it as any different from CPR, which he has performed on other people many times before.
  • In Godannar, when mechanic Morimoto becomes gravely injured, Wrench Wench Hayashi plants him with a kiss after he proposes to her. Not only does the kiss save his life, Hayashi indirectly becomes the series' Chekhov's Gunman, because the effects of the Insania Virus on females can restore life through a kiss, though this is the third time it occurs in the show: the first was a resurrected Milla Ackerman waking Max back up with a smooch, while the second is Milla again with a kiss, this time with a Deader than Dead Shizuru Fujimura.
  • In episode 4 of Gokujo, after the main character Aya drowns in a pool, she is revived with CPR by Kaname and of course with the yuri themes of the show and Kaname's perverted nature, it resembles nothing less than a french kiss. Even waking up and struggling doesn't get her to stop.
  • Nagi and Hayate have drifted to a "deserted island" in the Hayate the Combat Butler OAV. She seems sure that this is (finally) her chance to kiss him. She notices that Hayate is looking at her.
  • Miroku tries to do it straight (for once) for Sango in Inuyasha. Unfortunately, the trope runs true, and with his reputation, you can guess what comes next...
  • In Kaleido Star, Sora makes a serious mistake when trying out the trapese on the set of the Kaleido Stage's latest production, The Little Mermaid. Yuri dashes in and saves her from serious injury at the last second, but still has to give her CPR. (And Ken, who's got quite a crush on Sora, is apparently pretty upset about this.) The actual mouth-to-mouth happens off-screen, but Sora has an interesting dream sequence about it. It's never brought up again, but from Sora's reaction when she finds out, we can infer that this was her first kiss.
  • In the Love Hina manga, the girls set up a situation for Shinobu to get a kiss of life from Keitaro, but she freaks out and accidentally kicks him in the crotch before he can actually do it. Keitaro actually follows proper CPR procedure, i.e. tilting her head back and pinching her nose shut, which impresses the other girls but kills the "romantic" mood.
  • One hilarious moment in Lupin III: The Columbus Files has a lightly-dressed Goemon attempting to revive Jigen through this after they and Lupin have washed ashore from an overnight storm. Jigen wakes up just before their lips touch and is shocked in horror at the revelation, to the point of threatening to kill Goemon. He is extremely unhappy when Goemon informs him that was not the first time he had made the attempt (it was the twenty-eighth). Goemon's dialogue during the scene plays up the trope, bordering on complete Ho Yay in the English dub.
  • In No Guns Life, EMS director Olivier does this at one point for the main character Juzo, although instead of oxygen she shares cigarette smoke.
  • One Piece:
    • Would technically happen more often on a world which is even more than 70 percent water and double so since most of the characters are aquatically disabled but thanks to Eiichiro Oda's stance on No Hugging, No Kissing almost-nobody gets mouth-to-mouth action in One Piece. Luffy, Usopp, and Chopper usually get their stomachs stepped on to expel the water in comedic fashion.
    • Mocked in Skypiea when Usopp isn't breathing and Chopper is panicking.
      Chopper: Somebody perform mouth to mouth!!!
      Sanji: Okay!! I'll do mouth to mouth on Nami
      Zoro: Idiot.
    • Mocked again in One Piece Film: Strong World when Billy accidentally knocks Nami out with his electricity powers he pulls her ashore and panics, he can't actually perform CPR since he has a bill instead of lips (he's a duck) so he pecks her head a dozen times before she beats him aside annoyed.
    • Finally played straight — though subverted — in the Whole Cake Island arc, when Luffy is brought to the brink of death because he ate the skin of a very poisonous fish that normally causes instant death. But Vinsmoke Reiju (Sanji's older sister) comes aboard and lovingly sucks the poison out of his body with no ill effects due to her own poison powers but with plenty of pleasure since she calls it a "treat". It's actually Luffy's First Kiss in the series.
  • In Promare, the Burnish are sometimes able to resuscitate their own by breathing the flames inside of themselves into a fellow Burnish. After rescuing Lio from the spaceship's core and noticing that he's turning to ash, Galo desperately takes the last of the Burnish power Lio granted him and attempts it himself. It works.
  • In My-Otome, Erstin saves Nina with one of these after the latter drowns in a swimming pool. The Les Yay-filled imagery is not lost on Nina (or the audience) when she finds out.
  • Early in My Bride is a Mermaid, Nagasumi gets one from Masa, a henchman in the mermaid yakuza. From then on, Nagasumi treats it like his First Kiss.
  • Early on in Peach Girl, Kairi spreads a rumor that he and Momo kissed, and when she confronts him about it, he claims it's true because of that one time at the beach where she rescued him from drowning and gave him the kiss of life. She points out that the lifeguard (who, by the way, was a man) did that, not her, shattering his fantasy... though he seemed pretty happy that she did later on in the episode.
  • In the first chapter of Pink Innocent, when Renji comes to save Kokona from a burning apartment, she, swooning, asks him to perform CPR on her. His response is simply a deadpan "I see you're fine."
  • Almost invoked in Rave Master: Haru is left bedridden after his first major battle. After patching up his wounds, he still remains unconscious, so Galein Musica suggests someone give him mouth-to-mouth. Elie immediately volunteers, but Haru wakes up right before she does. She becomes annoyed and punches him.
  • In Rent-A-Girlfriend, Kazuya saves Chizuru from drowning but nearly drowns himself, forcing her to give him mouth-to-mouth.
  • From Sailor Moon, after Helios had used up all his energy to protect Usagi and Mamoru and presumably has died, in a last attempt to revive him, Chibiusa kisses him, begging him to do so. And he does.
  • Subverted in Sakura Trick: Haruka tries to do this to Yuu while she's knocked out from faceplanting into a veranda. Yuu wakes up before she can do it, they clonk heads, and Haruka passes out. Yuu doesn't even notice.
  • In Seraph of the End, Mikaela Hyakuya, after being decapitated by Ferid and nearly dead, accepts his death coming to him. Suddenly, the vampire queen, Krul Tepes, instead of putting him down as he expected, bends down.....and kisses him. And unlike most other examples here, Mika's eyes are open the entire time
  • Momoka tries to set this up in one episode of Sgt. Frog, fake-drowning so that her crush, Fuyuki, will save her and give her mouth-to-mouth. Unfortunately, she is unaware that Fuyuki can't swim, and her tactics to keep from being rescued by anyone but Fuyuki (plus some interference from Giroro) end up making her almost drown for real. In the end, she does need mouth-to-mouth, which she gets from a Space Octopus (though she is mercifully kept unaware of this).
  • In an episode of Slayers, Zelgadis, who really was almost drowned, blushes when Amelia suggests giving him Mouth-to-mouth. Unfortunately for him, the ship's (male) Captain volunteers first. But wait, it gets worse! They immediately cut to a scene of the captain licking his lips, then later twist the knife further when it's revealed that Zel just happens to resemble the captain's late wife.
  • In Speed Grapher, Kagura Tennozou's kiss can either be a Kiss of Death or a kiss of life, depending on whether you having or not the Euphoria Virus in your body. In fact, when the male lead Saiga is kissed by her, he does have the Virus and acquires superpowers from it — considering that they were surrounded by blood-thirsty enemies who want Saiga dead, it definitely saves him.
  • This is exactly how Takuto, having washed up on a beach, meets Sugata and Wako (the latter actually carrying out the resuscitation) in the first episode of Star Driver. Takuto doesn't remember it afterward, but Sugata cracks a few jokes about Wako's stolen first kiss, to Takuto's confusion and Wako's embarrassment.
  • Completely averted in Wolf's Rain, where Cheza (a beautiful teenage girl with a Love Interest) willingly gives Quent (an aging man) CPR and no one seems surprised or invokes this trope at all.
  • This trope is played straight in various ways in YuYu Hakusho when to return back to life, Yusuke must get someone to kiss him at the correct time. This results in some hilarity when he sends dreams to his rival, Kuwabara, to suggest this, which Kuwabara takes as a nightmare (the actual kiss is censored in some versions). It's also milked for the Will They or Won't They? tension with his love interest, Keiko, as well as the overall drama of the situation. In the end, Keiko barely manages to arrive to Yusuke's apartment and kisses him right on time (and with less of a second to spare!), reviving him.
  • Yusei on Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds suggests that this might be necessary for Jack after he crashes his Duel Runner during a Turbo Duel. Jack's Unwanted Harem girls are only too happy to volunteer.
    Yusei: He may need mouth-to-mouth!
    Mina, Carly, and Stephanie: Great!
  • Yuuna and the Haunted Hot Springs: While on a date with Kogarashi, Sagiri pretends to be drowning in order to get him to perform CPR on her. She chickens out just as he's about to go through with it.

    Comic Books 
  • In an issue of X-Men, Northstar gives CPR to the homophobic Paulie Provenazo, with whom he was paired. Paulie wasn't happy.
  • Played with in Runaways. Gert revives Chase, which apparently causes them to fall in love with each other. Not that Gert will admit this.
    Chase: ...think I got... brain damage... 'cause suddenly... you're the hottest chick... I've ever seen... (they kiss)
    Gert: I was reventilating him. Anyone who says otherwise gets fed to my %$@#ing dinosaur.
  • Used and lampshaded in Ruse, when Simon revives Emma this way and Emma promptly scolds him for "skipping the chest compressions".
  • In a Star Wars story called "Tides of Terror," blue-skinned Ms. Fanservice Aayla Secura falls into the waters of Kamino and nearly drowns. Thanks to the timely intervention of her amphibious co-worker, Kit Fisto, she survives. Unsurprisingly, this turned out to be the start of a relationship between the two.
  • Averted - in more than one way - during The Clone Saga; Ben is about to try this on Phil Stacy (both are fleeing from assassins hired on the behalf of the Friends of humanity) but Phil comes to on his own and shouts "Don't even think about it!". (Not that Ben had been very eager to try it.)
  • Dan In Space: After towing a barely-conscious Dan back into the ship, Joules has to give him mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She's repulsed by his coffee breath.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Pokémon fanfic Forsaken, this is done on a more spiritual sense until it's played straight when Mew drowns.
  • Somewhat literally in the Inuyasha fic MemoirsKogane gets revived with a mouth-to-mouth soul transfer.
  • In the Homestuck fanfic Promstuck, John practices giving CPR to Karkat in Gym class.
  • In the Lilo & Stitch fanfic Alpha and Omega, 426 claims he saw 349 (Bonnie) and 350 (Clyde) snogging in First Aid class. 349 retorts that they were practicing artificial respiration, and insists that she used almost the whole bottle of mouthwash after that one.
  • In The Lion King Adventures, Nala suggests that Simba gives one to Zazu in Dead as a Dodo. He declines instantly.
    Nala: How can we try and bring Zazu back?
    Simba: It's simple.
    Nala: Mouth-to-mouth?
    Simba: Eww! No way! Gross!
  • Universe Falls: In "The Deep End", in addition to Dipper's "reverse CPR" scene with Mermando, Sadie hastily gives Lars CPR when the latter bangs his head and falls into the pool.
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist doujinshi Nightingale, Edward is too feverish to take his medicine, so Roy places the medicine in his mouth and "kisses" Ed to transfer it.
  • The Worst Prisoner: Zuko saves Sokka from drowning during the storm with this.
  • In the Aaahh!!! Real Monsters fanfic Testing the Waters, Ickis gives Oblina mouth-to-mouth when she nearly drowns during a swimming lesson. When she comes to, she slaps him for using his tongue.
  • In The Lord of the Rings fanfic Moria's Revenge, Haldir gives Frodo CPR after the hobbit is attacked by Gollum.
  • Played straight in the alternate ending to Ivy and Freckle in Watered Daisies, with Freckle doing multiple of them after rescuing himself and Ivy from their perilous trip to the bottom of the Mississippi.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Emperor's New Groove:
    • Trope Namer: this is exactly what happens when Pacha attempts to revive an unconscious Kuzco (who, for good measure, had previously been transformed into a llama). When Pacha tries to explain the true nature of the situation, Kuzco refers to it as "your little kiss of life" with a heavy sarcastic lilt.
      Pacha: For the last time, it was not a kiss!
      Kuzco: Well, whatever you call it, it was disgusting! And if you'd done what I ordered you to do in the first place, we all could have been spared your little kiss of life.
    • Beware the pop-out llama tongue.
    • Lampshaded by a cutaway to Pacha's children later in the film:
      Chaca: Well in my dream, Dad had to kiss a llama!
      Tipo: Yeah, like that would ever happen!
  • In the epilogue of Ice Age: The Meltdown, Scrat wakes up from his heaven-full-of-acorns fantasy after being resuscitated by Sid, whom he viciously attacks for crashing his dream.
  • In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, this is used as a diversionary tactic by Private, who pretends to get hit by a Jeep of tourists then plays dead. When the tour guide tries to administer CPR, Private and the other penguins promptly carjack the van.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Anazapta (aka Black Plague). A mob of villagers attack Jacques and drown him in the well as a witch. As he's a hostage under the protection of Lady Matilda, she orders him fetched out, but he's already drowned (too bad he wasn't a witch, eh?). An old man advises her to breathe life into his mouth, but no-one else is willing to touch him so she does it herself, first blowing air on his face, then directly into his mouth. Naturally this is cited as proof that there's something going on between them when it's later cited how she "brought him back to life with her kisses".
  • A good candidate for Trope Codifier would be The Sandlot. One of the boys, Squints, tries to fake drowning at the community pool to get a shot at kissing an older girl who's working as the lifeguard. Not only does he pull it off, but in the narrator's epilogue, we find out that he eventually marries her.
    • The narrator mentions they were banned from the pool for life, and about how every time they passed by the pool she would smile and wave at them so...
  • Unique example in The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers when Aragorn falls off a cliff after fighting the Warg Riders. Aragorn gets washed ashore and Arwen seemly appears, bending down, kissing life into him, It's more of a metaphysical moment as Arwen is projecting her spirit to revive Aragorn and is not actually there. (It's actually Aragorn's horse that gets him up, leading audiences to humorously believe it was the horse kissing him).
  • Tragic example in James Bond Casino Royale (2006) during the finale. Vesper is trapped in a sinking lift and Bond desperately tries to pull her out before she drowns. When Bond does get her out he beats on her chest and gives her mouth-to-mouth but sees that it's pointless and consents to just kiss her one last time. A very sad moment and only the second time Bond has grieved heavily over one of his many lovers.
  • Played with in the movie Honey, I Shrunk the Kids: after Amy nearly drowns, Russ performs artificial respiration. It's played straight and not sexualized - but not long after Amy has revived, her little brother Nick asks Russ where he learned how to do that. Russ replies, "French class", a reference revisited at the very end of the movie when Nick finally gets the joke.
  • In Hot Rod, after Rod nearly drowns during his training, Denise uses CPR on him, which he is informed of later. He asks his stepbrother Kevin if it looked like they were making out, and Kevin tells him it did, a little. Rod's response: "Awesome." He also pukes all over Denise after the CPR, at least partially thwarting CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable.
  • In Robin Hood (2010), after Marion has been knocked out by the Big Bad. Starts out as this - but once her arm comes up around his neck, all bets are off and they just start snogging. In the middle of a battle.
  • Johnny English Reborn: This is how Kate revives English when he was passed out from the drug, he starts breathing again but half conscious he asks for "more" and Kate giggling obliges. The tech guys who were monitoring English's heart notice while kissing that his heart rate has gone from flatlining to beating a mile a minute.
  • Nowhere: Dingbat has a crush on Ducky and tries to kiss him at one point, only to chip his tooth with her braces. He tries to drown himself in the pool. So she pulls him out and needs only to breathe into his mouth once in order to save him.
  • The X-Files: Fight the Future: After Mulder pulls Scully out of her cryopod and carries her out of the spaceship, she stops breathing. Mulder performs CPR and she begins to cough and splutter and she regains consciousness.
  • Friday the 13th: Done as a prank Sandlot style, complete with grabbing and rolling around.
    • Freddy vs. Jason just barely averts this. Freddy forced Jason to dream of drowning, and the unfortunate Kia almost has to perform mouth-to-mouth on him. It's Jason Voorhees (who looks like a rotting corpse underneath the mask); you can hardly blame her for being reluctant. Fortunately he wakes up just in time.
  • It (2017) unique example, when Pennywise has captured Beverly but is unable to eat her since she's not scared of him, Pennywise furious decides to show her small glimpse of his true form aka the "Dead Lights". This hypnotizes Beverly and she goes into a trance, none of the boys can wake her up but Ben, who is deeply in love with her, wakes Beverly up with a kiss. This is quite symbolic as in Beverly's room a copy of the The Frog Prince and other fairy tales can be seen, signifying her romantic nature and this was the way either she or Ben believed she could be revived. It's also the ultimate sign despite Beverly having mutual feelings with Bill, Ben is her true Love Interest.
  • In Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Greg's brother Rodrick pretends to be drowning in a pool in order to attract the attention of Heather Hills, who's acting as a lifeguard. However, since Heather is only doing it to look good on her college applications, she ignores him and a big burly guy jumps in to save Rodrick and administer rescue breathing — despite Rodrick clearly being both conscious and breathing while he's doing it.
  • Parodied in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. When Alex was on the verge of losing his last life, Bethany tries to save him by administering CPR. However, it is revealed that doing so would transfer one of her own lives to him although she finds that it works too.
  • Referenced humorously in The Avengers (2012). After Iron Man wakes up from unconsciousness/near-deadness, his first words are: "What just happened? Please tell me nobody kissed me."
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again begins with Dreyfus, due to be released from the mental hospital, getting knocked in the head and propelled into a lake by a croquet ball Clouseau had launched. Clouseau 'rescues' the unconscious Dreyfus, using pumping resuscitation then moving in for 'the kiss of life', just as a matron swats him with her purse, shouting "Pervert!".
  • Suicide Squad (2016): After the Jokermobile crashes into the river, Batman knocks Harley Quinn out and pulls her from the wreck. Back on the surface, he notices she is not breathing and starts to perform mouth-to-mouth. As soon as he does so, she wakes up and smooches him. From the disgusted look on Batman's face, the interest is entirely one-sided.
  • Black Widow (1987): The female FBI agent and the Femme Fatale she's investigating first meet during a scuba-diving course where they practice this trope on each other, an early sign of their Foe Romance Subtext.

  • Averted many times in the City Watch stories of the Discworld series, when the Watch are trained in the Kiss of Life and Nobby seems the most eager to practice it at every opportunity — he never gets the chance. Generally because as soon as he even mentions the possibility, most people suddenly find themselves feeling a lot better, really, that won't be necessary at all, bye now.
  • Mord-Sith in the Sword of Truth have the "Kiss of Life", where a recently-dead victim with their trachea and lungs intact can be revived. It's never explained how. Made fairly squicky because usually it's used so that the Mord-Sith can kill and revive their torture victims over and over. Yeah. They are not fun people.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has two types. The Ironmen, who worship the Drowned God and practice a type of baptism in which the subject is drowned, have developed a crude form of CPR called the Kiss of Life to revive each other. The death rites for followers of R'hllor include a kiss on the lips of the deceased, which starts to occasionally bring certain people back to life.
  • From Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, David Sedaris relates a story of when his brother was drowning:
    "I headed back in his direction, trying to recall the water safety class I'd taken at the country club...all that came to me was the instructor, an athletic seventeen-year-old named Chip Pancake. I remembered the spray of freckles on his broad, bronzed shoulders, and my small rush of hope as he searched the assembled students for a resuscitation victim...and the crushing disappointment I'd felt when Chip selected Kimberly Matthews, who would later describe the experience as 'lifechanging.'"
  • Played with in the second Slayers light novel. When Lina wakes up after nearly drowning, Gourry says he performed CPR on her. Lina gets flustered, thinking he gave her mouth-to-mouth. However, it turns out Idiot Hero Gourry doesn't actually know what CPR means, as he then goes on to specify: "I laid you down on your stomach and kicked you in the back".
  • Princess Petulia does this to Roger in A Barrel of Laughs, a Vale of Tears.
  • In Suzanne Collins' Catching Fire, Finnick revives Peeta with CPR. Katniss, who is unfamiliar with the procedure, is momentarily shocked by the sight of what she describes as "Finnick kissing Peeta".

    Live-Action TV 
  • 2 Broke Girls:
    • Caroline resuscitates Max when she accidentally tripped on a wire and got electrocuted.
    • A later episode shows Han teaching CPR to the diner family.
  • The A-Team, "Bullets and Bikinis". Face fakes trouble breathing after Denise pulls him out of the water, presumably hoping she'll attempt artificial respiration (aka, the "kiss of life"). When one of her bodyguards steps up to do it instead, Face's breathing trouble instantly improves.
  • In Breaking Bad Tuco criticizes Walt's efforts to perform CPR (using chest compressions only, and pretty obviously futile anyway) by shouting that he's supposed to breathe into the victim's mouth. Walt yells back that's not right and they don't teach that anymore (almost correct; see the Real Life section below for why).
  • Dear John: The divorcees' support group is signed up for CPR training, complete with a female dummy to practice on. Kirk approaches the dummy for his turn, and after a spritz of breath spray, he starts energetically making out with Resusci-Annie.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Smith and Jones": Martha gives the Doctor CPR that manages to revive him after he had a large amount of blood drained by a plasmavore.
    • "Utopia": Martha tries this on Jack (technically, she's trying to perform CPR), not knowing that he can't die. The Doctor stops her before Jack can wake up, but the first thing he says? "Was someone kissing me?" Then he looks back and forth between the Doctor and Martha, as if figuring out which one he'd be kissed by.
    • "Let's Kill Hitler": River Song, after originally giving the Doctor a Kiss of Death with her poisoned lipstick while she was still brainwashed by Madame Kovarian, realizes what she has done and prevents him from dying by giving him a very glowy Kiss of Life that presumably gives up the rest of her potential regenerations.
  • Eureka uses this in "Shower to the People", when Tess' lungs are filling with irradiated expanding artificial water that got into her bloodstream, Sheriff Carter uses the kiss of life to bring her back, and then to keep her alive for several minutes. He even quips that it's "...not how I imagined our first kiss."
  • In Game of Thrones, Talisa recounts how a slave from a fishing ship resuscitated her brother from drowning using CPR, causing her to pursue a life of medicine and turn her back on slavery.
  • Deconstructed in Good Luck Charlie. Gabe pretends to faint to distract a large crowd so Teddy could sneak Charlie in to a concert. However, the only attention he gets is from a doctor who offers to do mouth-to-mouth forcing Gabe to drop the act in disgust.
  • In Heroes Reborn, Carlos saves an unconscious Farah from being tagged by a Renautas minion. He tries to wake her up with taps to the face and then tries this when that didn't work. She does regain consciousness and then subverts the trope by smirking and saying that the face taps woke her up.
  • In the season two episode "Single Stamina" of How I Met Your Mother, this is shown as an example of how Barney and his brother James work in tandem to pick up: James pretends to have passed out, while Barney frantically asks nearby men if they know mouth-to-mouth, and turns down one man for not being good-looking enough.
  • The title character in Kyle XY jumps into a pool in an early episode without knowing how to swim and is rescued by his crush, Amanda, who is a lifeguard.
  • In the Legend of the Seeker, the Mord-Sith's Kiss of Life becomes a staple strategy for everything the protagonists need to do. While it does show up in the original work (Sword of Truth) exactly as portrayed, the adaptation does it significantly more frequently. But then, as the director, would you ever pass up a chance to watch Tabrett Bethel kiss someone?
  • On NCIS, Tony has to do this for Gibbs after saving him from drowning.
    "Don't make me kiss you, boss!"
  • Punky Brewster uses CPR to revive Cherie, who had been discovered unconscious after getting trapped in a disused refrigerator. The episode in which this took place, "Cherie Lifesaver," got the series an Emmy nomination.
  • In Quantum Leap episode "Moments to Live", Sam leaped into a doctor who was in an operating room just as soon as the heartbeat monitor stops. When accused by the patient that he killed her, he tries CPR, which becomes a literal kiss of life. The producer watching the scene announced cut, revealing that Sam actually leaped into an actor.
  • Seinfeld: After Newman accidentally knocks out Ramón the pool guy by doing a cannonball into the gym pool, he and Jerry argue over which one of them will have to perform mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Eventually, someone else comes along and does it.
    Elaine: He could have died.
    Jerry: Yeah, it was a gamble.
  • Shake it Up:
    Ronny: I caught her kissing my boyfriend!
    Angie: He was drowning! I was giving him mouth-to-mouth!
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In one later episode, someone who really should be more mature freaks out when he might have to give mouth-to-mouth to General Hammond, and is profoundly relieved when he wakes up on his own. Likely a great part of the discomfort comes from the fact that this is his superior he's being forced to "kiss".
    • In "Menace", Jack suggests that Daniel kiss the android girl to wake her up. Daniel just glares for a moment, then she wakes up on her own.
  • In Step by Step, in revenge for a prank Dana pulled on them to prove that men will fight over a girl just like women would fight over a boy, J.T. and Rich, who have caught on to the prank, pretend to still be mad at each other, and J.T. makes it look like he hit Rich in the head with a shovel, goes in to beg Dana to help revive him, and she starts to administer CPR on him, and he wakes up and pulls her in for a smooch while J.T. takes a snapshot.
  • The Suite Life of Zack & Cody:
    • Occurs in an Out-of-Context Eavesdropping when London walks in on Maddie practicing the kiss of life on a pretend-dummy Lance and thinks they are kissing.
    • During a full-on dispute during the "Manager of the Month" contest, Lance throws London on Maddie's counter cart and tries to forcefully breathe into her (even though she wasn't even drowning) to prove himself. He also does this when Mr. Moseby accidentally gets covered in cake and Lance thinks the man needs help.
    • London also tricks Lance into kissing her by asking for such lessons.
  • Torchwood:
    • At the end of the first season finale, Gwen kissed Jack after his Heroic Sacrifice and he awakened. He may have just revived under his own power, though as he awoke, the first thing he said was thanking Gwen.
    • Jack does this in an earlier episode, to Ianto, who had just been attacked by Lisa. Lisa is a half-converted Cyberwoman, and the method of attack she used on Ianto is lethal. Jack had already died at least once as a result. Thus, we can assume that Jack actually brought Ianto back from the dead.

  • Sade's song 'Kiss of Life' is based on this trope.

  • In the opening scene of Cactus Flower, after Igor turns off the gas in Toni's apartment, he rushes back to Toni and, finding her still alive, turns her over to give her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. As he puts his mouth to hers, she instinctively folds her arms around him and whispers Julian's name.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy VII: When a girl named Priscilla is knocked into the water by a monster and nearly drowns, Cloud revives her with CPR. This causes her to develop a one-sided crush on him.
  • Used in a roundabout way in The King of Fighters 2000. Ever since Bao's arrival to the Psycho Soldiers team, Kensou has been Brought Down to Normal... In the team's ending, Bao takes a massive energy beam from a big-ass Kill Sat to protect the group and then falls in Kensou's arms in great pain, begging his "brother" for help. To relieve him, Kensou gives Bao a kiss on the lips and absorbs a good part of the energy in the kid's body through it; this action not only saves Bao from a fatal Super-Power Meltdown, but it restores Kensou's lost powers.
  • Pucca: Power Up has Garu fall into a river and start drowning, followed by a touchscreen minigame to give oxygen to him by kissing.
  • Subverted in Tears to Tiara 2. Hamil drinks lots of water after their ship sinks. Heal spells have no use and Tart is getting desperate. Kleito and Charis say he needs proper care, hardening Tart's resolve. Then she gives him a full-force punch to his stomach to get him to cough up the water instead.
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon:
    • Yu Nanba's special, "Essence of Resuscitation", is him attempting CPR on a fallen comrade, only for them to wake up after taking a whiff of his breath.
    • Played straight with Saeko Mukoda and her "Essence of Motivation".
  • When the player character is waking up on Herta Space Station in Honkai: Star Rail, March 7th suggests that Dan Heng do this to help them. They wake up before it's actually needed, and the first thing they see is Dan Heng leaning in quite close.

  • Problem Sleuth Hysterical Dame the titular character's Distaff Counterpart does this to him during the final moments of the "game" with some wake slaps for good measure.
  • A frequent occurrence in Homestuck, where kissing the corpse of a dead Sburb/Sgrub player causes their dreamself (assuming the dreamself isn't also dead) to take over the body and give the player an extra life. Probably the most extreme example was Dirk's Thanatos Gambit during [S]Sychronize and [S]Unite, which culminated in Jake kissing Dirk's severed head.
  • In Housepets!, Fido gives Sabrina mouth-to-mouth after he saved her from drowning, and she promptly barfs water in his face.
    Fido: That wasn't very romantic.
    Sabrina: Sorry to ruin it for you, hon. Now get me to the Vet before I die of pneumonia.
  • In Magellan, Badass Normal Kaycee Jones is teamed with Half-Human Hybrid Fatima, who is half squid and an Innocent Fanservice Girl because she doesn't have experience with human quirks. They have to dive to the bottom of a pool with no time for Kaycee to don scuba gear, so Fatima gives her air by kissing her and exhaling. The guys on other teams definitely notice.
  • In Sticky Dilly Buns, lifeguard Andy fishes the drowning Ruby out of the swimming pool and revives her with CPR. She doesn't recover consciousness before he's finished — but Dillon has obligingly filmed the process on his phone. This causes the virginal Ruby some confusion, as she's unsure if she's just had her first kiss, until later reassured otherwise. And she ends up on a date with Andy, though rather against her better judgment.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • Averted in Avatar: The Last Airbender: Katara merely removes the water from a person lungs and out of the mouth using her Waterbending without the need for physical resuscitation.
  • Code Lyoko:
    • In episode "Marabounta", Ulrich almost drowns at the pool after belly-flopping in the water. It is unclear whether he's hoping for Yumi to give him mouth-to-mouth afterward (he does blink, but seems still out of it). Unfortunately, it's Jim Moralès who does save him.
    • Repeat incident in "The Lake", where Jim almost gives mouth-to-mouth to Suzanne Hertz... but she wakes up before his lips can make contact, threatening him with his life if he gets closer.
  • In one episode of Dilbert, the title character does this to the Pointy-Haired Boss after he became a target for the dunk tank thanks to a crowd of people. The crowd seemed really interested in the gay aspect when he attempted it, so Dilbert just pokes a hole in a napkin to put over his Boss's lips. When he regains consciousness, he asks if he had just been date raped by Dilbert.
  • In the Gravity Falls episode "The Deep End", Dipper gives Mabel's merman crush Mermando "reverse CPR" (spitting mouthfuls of water into his mouth) to keep him from drying out and suffocating. Dipper face-palms when Mermando points out he was only a few feet from the lake, and Dipper could have just rolled him into the water.
  • Done on Hey Arnold! for an in-universe television show where Arnold and Helga win a sand castle contest and get to be on the show. Arnold is playing a boy who's drowning and gets rescued by the lifeguards, however, Helga pushes them aside and goes straight for the kill... I mean, kiss of life. However, she turns it into a kiss rather than just mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Johnny Bravo provides an example where Johnny attempts to save a drowning person at the beach to impress girls. His rescue attempt fails miserably and he ends up needing to be rescued. Seeing no other option, Johnny's annoying, nerdy "friend," Carl, administers the kiss of life. Johnny regains consciousness, freaks out, and rushes to the ocean to wash out his mouth with salt water, knocking the person he initially tried to save out of his way and back into the ocean. Also Carl gets the girls.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In one episode, Pretty decides to rescue Mr. Cat, who is stranded on an island. When she does find him, she offers him CPR. He points out that he is perfectly fine and doesn't need it, so she knocks him out with a baseball bat and does it anyway.
    • In Episode 113, Stumpy, Smileyland's resident moron, tries doing this to his phone after it runs out of charge.
  • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness. Averted in "Chain Reaction" when Po jumps off a cliff while chained to Tigress. She is not happy, especially when he lands on top of her.
    Po: Tigress, wake up! Show me how to revive you! [Tigress punches him in the face] OK, not sure that works. [falls over]
  • Ren & Stimpy - In "Fire Dogs", fireman Ren goes into a dead faint trying to rescue Mrs. Buttloaves. She gives him mouth-to-mouth, inflating him like a balloon with each breath - he comes to, gets a good look at her, shrieks, and faints again.
  • The Simpsons: After Bart accidentally falls off the school rooftop and falls into a coma, everyone gathers around the body and Groundskeeper Willie asks if anyone knows "muttin' hole-to-muttin' hole". Niki, Bart's Girl of the Week, starts kissing him giving Bart a whole fantasy about kisses before finally waking up.
  • Stōked: Ty once gave Emma CPR after she nearly drowned while surfing. While Emma remembers it quite romantically, Lo points out that Emma was very unromantically coughing up seawater and snot and ticking off Ty's girlfriend in the process.
  • Stripperella gives the kiss to a supermodel who bloats up to enormous size and falls in a swimming pool (it makes sense in context... somewhat) leading one onlooker to state that if the supermodel looked like she did five minutes ago, that scene would look really hot.
  • Done in one of the new Teen Titans shorts, "Cyborg the Lifeguard". After numerous attempts at trying to save a girl from drowning. Cyborg just jettisons his cyborg body (revealing a thinner frame), leaping in, trying to carry her... and ends up sinking. The girl saves him instead and gives him mouth-to-mouth. Cyborg gives the screen a thumbs up.
  • Total Drama:
    • Trent gets poisoned by the fugu sashimi that Lindsay prepared for him in "Who Can You Trust?" The first aid he receives comes from Chef in a nurse uniform, who, to Trent's horror, moves in to perform CPR.
    • Chris plays a trick on the contestants in "Get a Clue" by pretending to be murdered. He leaves a rubber copy of himself in his place, which Harold gives CPR on Courtney's orders. He tries very hard, but obviously can't get "Chris" to start breathing again.
    • In "Niagara Brawls", all of the contestants are at risk of going over Niagara Falls until Cody promises that if he lives, he'll kiss Sierra. Sierra wants that kiss and in a moment of raw determination saves everyone. They are all exhausted when they hit the bank, though, and Sierra forcefully combines her promised kiss with the excuse of giving Cody CPR, even though he's fine and well enough to say so. Afterwards, he tries to scrub the taste of her off his tongue but ends up vomiting anyway.
  • The Venture Bros.: Hank nearly drowns in the pool, and Molotov administers mouth-to-mouth. When Hank starts to respond by frenching her, she recoils in disgust. He then sees he has a visible erection, and exclaims in terror "My pants are haunted!"
  • Wakfu:
    • Attempted in episode 15, with Sadlygrove on an unconscious Evangelyne. But Eva wakes up a split-second before the kiss and instead gives Grovy a faceful of jellyfish.
    • Later in season 2 he does this for real after Evangelyne nearly drowns, this time played more for drama.
  • X-Men: The Animated Series: In one episode, Cyclops and Rogue were fighting a Sentinel; Cyclops was knocked unconscious and stopped breathing; Rogue realised she would have to give him CPR; as she was alternately blowing in his mouth and pumping his chest, she screamed, "Come ON, Scott! Make a girl HAPPY!" Almost as though they were having sex...

    Real Life 
  • In real life, mouth-to-mouth resuscitation is no longer recommended in most cases of someone stopping breathing.note  The Red Cross pretty much anticipates that if someone has stopped breathing, then it's most likely they are already in a pulseless arrythmia. In most cases, CPR with compressions only is recommended, circulating blood to the brain and using oxygen already dissolved in the bloodstream, waiting for a defibrillator or paramedics to be present. Another theory on this is that chest compressions alone still can move enough air in and out of the lungs to provide some oxygen exchange. The concept is that stopping compressions to give breaths could be enough of a delay to cause brain death. If, however, you have two people performing CPR, by all means, administer rescue breaths without interrupting chest compressions.


Video Example(s):


Dilbert saves the PHB

Dilbert resuscitates the Pointy-Haired Boss after he becomes part of a carnival dunk tank. The crowd is amused for the potential gay moment.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / KissOfLife

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