You all know about people's dying moments, how they'll give you a plea to take care of the boy, train the boy, or how they love the protagonist (who may be a boy). Some of these quotes can go down in history as some of the greatest lines of all time.
Some last words only sound lame without context. If the last words Bob said were "Man, Alice is gonna kill me." then it could be this trope. However, if Alice is a deity and has powers over death, then Bob's last words made sense in context.
These last words are often played for Black Comedy, but can also be played for tragedy if they show how pitiful the character is at the moment of their death.
Since this is a Death Trope, spoilers are left unmarked.
- Attack on Titan
- Lampshaded in the first season by Jean when Reiner jokingly suggests an alternative method to killing Titans.
- After the Time Skip, Sasha succumbs to a gunshot wound in a surprise attack. Her dying words, said in a delirious haze while bleeding out? "Meat." It's played with a bit, since the Japanese word for "meat" is "niku," and the name of the man Sasha loved is Niccolo, so she might have been saying his name.
- Cerebus the Aardvark: When a being that thinks it's the personification of Death learns that it's actually an insignificant minor entity, that the gems it believed were the source of its power were actually leeching its very essence away, and that it is just about to be completely obliterated from existence, it has just enough time to say "Well, fuck me." before vanishing.
- Jour J: One Alternate History scenario starts with King Louis XVI of France and his family escaping the royal palace in a hot-air balloon. However, the attempt fails and the king takes a bullet, his last words being the unimpressive "I'm slightly hungry."
- Dragon Ball Z Abridged: After Tien's heroic attempt to kill Cell via repeated Ki Ko Ho fails (although he did manage to stunlock him for quite a while) and Cell floats out of a hole, he contemptuously tells Tien he could've chosen better last words (before Goku teleports in, rescues everyone, and teleports out).
Cell: Y'know, if you want my personal opinion, "kikoho" is a pretty poor choice of last words. But to be fair, it's far from the worst decision you're made today.
Tien: Ki ko fuck yourself.
Cell: Aww, see? That's the spirit.
- Infinity Train: Voyage of Wisteria: Grace Monroe's final words — as she dies from stab wounds from Ogami — is to apologize for everything she did over the past decade on the Train before crying how she just wanted to be noticed.note
- The Devil's Rejects: Invoked by Otis Firefly as he tortures Adam Banjo. Banjo tries to be Defiant to the End by telling Otis "fuck you" and Otis points out that it doesn't intimidate him and doesn't paint Adam as any kind of badass.
- For Your Eyes Only: Ernst Stavro Blofeldnote 's immortally feeble bribe offer of "I'll buy you a delicatessen! In stainless steel!" about five seconds before James Bond kills him by dropping him down an industrial chimney.
- Heathers: Heather Chandler chose to go out on a weak "Corn nuts!" before she choked to death on drain cleaner.
- John Wick: When John Wick finally gets his hands on Iosef, the Smug Snake wannabe gangster that stole his car and killed his dog; the sorry little bastard whines out in Russian "It was just a fucking—" before Wick shoots him.
- The Matrix: Cypher starts unplugging the team one-by-one after his Face–Heel Turn. When Switch's turn comes all she can say is a fearful "Not like this!"
- Cypher gets his own lame last words when Tank turns out to be Not Quite Dead:
No! I don't believe it!
- Cypher gets his own lame last words when Tank turns out to be Not Quite Dead:
- Pulp Fiction: Right before Marvin gets accidentally shot by Vincent said character gets a pretty lame send-off after he doesn't get involved with Vincent and Jule's discussion on Divine Intervention.
- Marvin: Man, I don't even have an opinion.
- The kung-fu film Shaolin Daredevils ends with the titular Daredevils being surrounded by the Military Police, after killing the villains. Ultimately deciding one of them will act as a diversion, via a game of Rock–Paper–Scissors, eventually it's the main hero who ends up being chosen. Getting shot to death by multiple rifles, succumbing to his injuries, the hero blurts out his last words:
"I should've picked scissors." (dies)
- Speed: Conversed by Howard Paine, the Mad Bomber Big Bad, in the opening sequence when he grabs Officer Harry Temple and Temple tells him, "fuck you". Payne makes clear that he thinks using that specific insult as a way to showcase you're Defiant to the End has become an unimaginative cliche.
Howard Payne: In two hundred years, we've gone from "I'm sorry that I only have one life to give for my country" to "fuck you"?
- In Tomorrowland, seconds before his Monitor crashes down on him, all the normally prim and proper Nix can muster is an undignified, "Oh, bollocks."
- The last thing the White Death from Bullet Train says before accidentally blowing half of his own head off? "DO NOT CALL ME BRO!"
- Aru Shah and the End of Time: As Aru and Mini pass through the Halls of the Dead, they can hear the final words of dead people, which include: "No, not yet!", "Please make sure someone remembers to feed Snowball", and "I hope someone clears my Internet browser."
- Going Postal: "Albert Spangler", standing on the gallows after his prison break is foiled, rather lamely says "I wasn't really expecting to die". Subverted when the hangman allows him a do-over and he comes up with some well-received last words ("I commend my soul to any god that can find it."). (Unknown to the public, "Spangler" survives his execution and discards the alias anyway.)
- Old Man's War: The protagonist's wife has a stroke while making pancakes. Her last words are "Where did I put the damn vanilla?"
- The Stephen King short story "Lunch at the Gotham Cafe" features a darkly humorous example, when a character shouts "Boot!" while being stabbed in the head. The narrator even muses on the word's significance (or lack thereof).
- In Romeo and/or Juliet, this trope is affectionately used to indicate how the protagonists are just normal teens who won't immediately burst into flowery Shakespeare prose all the time, even before dying. That said, the Lemony Narrator is not enthused about this concept when this happens.
- In the main route, the narrator is annoyed at how Romeo chooses to say "DAAAAAAANNNNNNGGGG" as his last words and decides that between the reader and him, it was always "Thus with a kiss I die." He is much more impressed with what Juliet says.
- Not that Juliet gets the impressive last words in all the endings. In one ending, after stabbing herself and falling down on Romeo so her butt lands on his face, her final words before dying are is "I hope we spend eternity with my butt on your face." The narrator is not happy.
- A Song of Ice and Fire. Tyrion Lannister is in a cell facing execution the next day. He tries to think of some appropriate last words, but all he can come up with is "Bugger you all!" which he admits won't get a place in the history books.
- In the Vorkosigan Saga novel Barrayar, the Pretender Vordarian's last words were "You're a Betan! You can't do-" Also an example of Killed Mid-Sentence.
- In The Big Bang Theory episode "The Cruciferous Vegetable Amplification", Sheldon states that he once had an Uncle Carl whose last words were "I think there's a badger in our chimney. Hand me that flashlight."
- Blake's 7. In "Weapon", Coser goes on long rants about his loathing of the Federation hierarchy to justify his stealing of the eponymous superweapon, yet when the Supreme Commander turns up to kill him and take the weapon for herself, all Coser has to say is a pathetic "I didn't mean it!"
- Chuck: Narrowly averted in "Chuck Vs The Suitcase". When Chuck thinks the Time Bomb strapped to his hand will kill him and Sarah, he confesses he still loves her despite her Commitment Issues about being unable to unpack in their house. When they survive, she's pissed at him that his last words to her were going to be nagging her about it.
Sarah: Chuck if we hadn't stopped that bomb, your last words to me would have been about my weird unpacking thing!
- Dead Like Me: Discussed when a team of Psychopomps record decades' worth of people's last thoughts in a database. Daisy is deeply disturbed by how banal and repetitive they are, but the team still finds them very relatable in the basic elements of humanity they portray.
Mason: "I should've apologized to Mr. Roy about the broken phonograph." Now what the fuck am I supposed to file that one under?
- Diagnosis: Murder Episode "Georgia On My Mind" sees Private Detective Charlie Hawkins die in Community General, with his last words being "Tell Georgia Jerry Mathers" which Jack is baffled by. Later subverted when Georgia (Charlie's secretary) figures out that in his last words were actually "Tell Gerogia Cherry Matter", referring to the Ice Cream container in his office where he hid his dictaphone, which has evidence about the case he was working on, which is why he was killed.
- Doctor Who: In "The Doctor Dances", the Doctor disperses the advancing monsters by yelling "Go to your room!" (It Makes Sense in Context). He then comments that he is really glad that worked because those would have been terrible last words.
- Game of Thrones:
- A Discussed Trope with regards to Jon Arryn's death. When asked about his word, "The seed is strong," Grand Maester Pycelle notes that for all the importance attached to them, a man's dying words are seldom more meaningful than his first ones. Turns out in this case they really were importantExplanation .
- When Sandor Clegane kills some rogue Brotherhood Without Banners members, all one can say is a whimpering "Fuck you". When Sandor mocks him for his rather uncreative choice in last words, he follows it up with an equally pathetic "...Cunt!" causing Sandor to snark "You're shit at dying, you know that?" In fairness, Sandor had just axed him in the groin, so he wasn't at his most articulate.
- The Goes Wrong Show: In There Is No Escape, Stu Malone gets shanked, but has enough life to give a heartfelt monologue about vengeance being a prison. He then dies, and the voiceover tape accidentally loops, replaying "Then he looked at me and said his last words." This forces Vanessa to ad-lib the infinitely worse line "Prison, prison is...we're in prison." To maintain narrative continuity, Chris repeats those last words later on.
- The Good Place: Though he didn't actually die, Glenn's last words before he was blown up by the "lie detector" were simply stating his name.
Janet: What's your name?
Glenn: Well, everyone calls me Glenn, but the name on my demon certificate is actually Snakes Pour Forth From His Anu— [explodes into blue goo]
- How I Met Your Mother: When Marshall's father died of a heart attack, the last words that he gave to his son personally were "Rent Crocodile Dundee 3. I caught it on the cable last night and it totally holds up." During the funeral, Marshall is upset that these are really his father's last words to him and is expecting something very meaningful. Later, he listens to his last voice mail which is a pocket dial turned on until his father tells him he enjoyed his visit at his home and says, "I love you". Then, the message continues with him asking for his foot cream as his rash had started to act up again. During the procession, Marshall decides to share that his father's real last words to him were telling him to rent Crocodile Dundee 3.
- Late Night with Conan O'Brien: an audience member stated that the host wouldn't shoot him, saying "There's no way my last words would be 'Dollars to donuts.'" Conan then shoots him.
- Mad About You: Paul is filming an interview with his uncle when he has a heart attack, and the last words he says are "Hoooo mooos!" Paul and the other characters try to find the meaning of those words, but can't find a satisfactory answer. In the end, Jamie happens to look at the serial number of the camera Paul was using — Hoo-Moo5.
- Married... with Children: In their lone Halloween Episode, Death (in the guise of Peg) discusses with Al how disappointing William Shakespeare's last words were upon dying being a simple utterance of "Argh, argh, argh!"
- Mystery Science Theater 3000: In The Day Time Ended, Jonah uses his newly-invented Fortune Meal to skip ahead and see the end of his own life. Allegedly, he'll tag the person next to him and say "You're it," just before he passes.
- In the 1996 BBC series Rhodes, Dr Johnson is asked by reporters what were the last words of the famous Cecil Rhodes. He replies: "So much to do, so little done", whereas Rhodes was actually griping: "Why can't that woman (Catherine Radziwiłł, who was stalking him) leave me alone?" and then an instruction to his servant to roll him over.
- Scrubs: An early episode sees JD about to be grilled by hospital higher-ups. He keeps thinking to himself "I'm okay, I'm okay, I'm okay," eventually misthinking it as "I'm a K." It then switches to an Imagine Spot where he's blindfolded and getting a last cigarette lit as though about to be executed by firing squad, when Dr. Cox asks for his last words.
JD: I'm a K. That was bad. Can I have a do-over? (BOOM!)
- A broadcast Second City show featured a sketch with a dying writer wanting to make a good impression with his last words, and so comes up with what he thinks is a very poetic final statement. note His attendant thinks it's a terrible line, and politely encourages him to use his remaining time to think of a better one. This leads to an argument and tantrum by the writer, who suddenly stops yelling to exclaim "I crapped myself," before he dies. Dutifully, his attendant writes down "I crapped myself."
- The Studio C sketch "Man's Last Words Before Execution" takes this to its logical extreme, with the man in question coming up with increasingly worse and worse last words. Even the executioner thinks they're the worst last words ever.
- In Too Old to Die Young, right before Janey gets shot in the eye, she weakly lets out a "Mom" before she's killed, which is understandable as she's a teenager.
- In Alpha Protocol's "Thorton Inc." ending, if you choose to kill Leland, then Mike tells Leland that the data disk he gave Leland was actually a mine. Leland's last words are a confused "What?"
Mike: Terrible last words.
- Referenced by crazed Vault Hunter Krieg in the Borderlands 2 short Krieg: A Meat Bicycle Built For Two. His inner voice (and remaining sanity) tries to get Maya's attention by saying something normal, but his insanity wins out and he screams "I'M THE CONDUCTOR OF THE POOP TRAIN!" Which leads to Maya assuming he's a random Psycho to be killed, and his inner voice admonishing himself.
Krieg: It's over, idiot! You're gonna die here, now, and the last words out of your mouth will have been 'poop train.'
- Hi-Fi RUSH: Kale Vandelay, fitting for a villain motivated by Laborious Laziness, goes out saying: "This is just too much work..."
- Final Fantasy VII Remake: Lampshaded when Aerith, Barret, and Red XIII are surrounded by Heidegger's men with guns pointed at them. Heidegger demands to know where their comrades are and Barret defiantly says, "Up your ass!" Heidegger says, "Charming. Though not what I would've chosen as my last words." He commands his men to secure Aerith and kill the others, but Cloud and Tifa arrive to save them.
- The Deadly Six in Sonic Lost World were given Uncertain Doom when beaten in the final Boss Rush, disappearing in a puff of smoke like normal enemies. While later games and spinoff comics would confirm they survived, within the context of Lost World itself some of their defeat quotes are very much this trope.
Zomom: Mom was right, I'm a failure.Zik: You've beaten an old man, are you proud?Zeena: I can't believe I lost to a boy.
- After getting thrown onto a landmine which destroys most of his body, Pyotr from Hunter: The Parenting whimpers "I don't wanna die", goes into Torpor, and is then burned to cinders by the sunrise.
- In Red vs. Blue, several character deaths are preceded by them literally saying "Herk... bleah!". This was most prominent during the first five seasons, "The Blood Gulch Chronicles", before the show shifted to more serious writing.
- Gunnerkrigg Court: The Realm of the Dead records the final statements of the newly deceased, which Annie and Kat use to investigate the Court Founders. One's is an eloquent statement about his hopes for the future. The other's...
Steadman's recording: I really wish I hadn't tripped over that damned dog.
Annie and Kat: Huh.
- Darths & Droids has some fun with the climax of The Phantom Menace with this trope.
Qui-Gon: I get heroic last words, right? ...I just want to say something important. You know, some real "roleplaying drama" stuff.
GM: Okay, I'll allow that.
Qui-Gon: Obi-Wan... I'm fading... come here... There's something... I have to tell you... before I die...
Obi-Wan: You want me to train Anakin as a Jedi?
Qui-Gon: Ooooh, yeah, that's even better.
- Unsounded: Spoofed with Hetr, who lives just long enough to regret them.
Hetr: My name will blaze on history's page! My sacrifices leave schoolchildren in breathless awe! My soul is not a fart—!*
Hetr: Don't... let those be my last words...
Emil: Don't worry. No one's ever gonna look them up.
- Daithi De Nogla, while playing Grand Theft Auto V once shouted "I'm the swinger for the LA Lakers!" before being immediately gunned down.
- The Last Podcast on the Left: In part three of their series on Ed Gein, the hosts can't help but find amusement in the last words stated to have been said by Gein's second victim, who was looking out her store's window just before he shot her from behind.
"I don't like Chevrolets."
- Final Space: Infinity Guard member Chuck would have had a heroic death if he didn't go out on "I am not a douche-canoe!"
- At the beginning of The Simpsons episode "Days of Future Future", Homer suffers heart failure while walking up the stairs, and as he lays on the floor, he notes, "All that's left are clever last words." He ironically dies right afterward.
- In Ben 10: Omniverse, Ben's last words (he thinks) are "I can't believe my last words are 'Snot rocket'!" That said, if he had stayed silent, they would have instead been "I thought it."
- Zig-zagged in BoJack Horseman: The final words of the dreaded Horseman matriarch, Beatrice, was "I see you" as she looked towards her son BoJack. BoJack ends up spending an entire episode mulling whether it was a Dying Declaration of Hate, a Dying Declaration of Love or something more profound. Only near the end of the episode does he realise that they were in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and that she was probably reading a sign, rendering her last words devoid of any deeper meaning.
- Futurama: When Zapp Brannigan attacks the Neutral Planet, all its leader has to say is "If I don't survive, tell my wife 'Hello'".
- General John Sedgwick's last words are often reported as "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance." before being killed by a sniper (or even "They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist-"). While he did say the full sentence shortly before being fatally shot, his actual last words were telling a soldier to return to his position.
- The almost final words of writer Roald Dahl, were "You know, I'm not frightened. It's just that I will miss you all so much," to his family. After appearing to fall unconscious the nurse then injected him with morphine to ease his passing and he said his actual last words: "Ow, fuck!"
- Invoked by Pancho Villa, whose last words were "Don't let it end like this. Tell them I said something!"
- Many last words spoken by aircraft pilots are pretty mundane, which enhances rather than detracts from the tragedy of the event.
First officer: Larry, we're going down, Larry...Captain: I know it.