Was captured by the enemy, across the River Rhine.
The captain of the firing squad asked:
"Is there a last request?"
My Uncle Alex smiled and said:
"Yes please - a bulletproof vest!"
Common possibilities include:
- Something you can use to pull off a surprise escape
- Something that will exonerate you of your supposed crime — bonus points if it also exposes the real perpetrator
- Something you can use to achieve some post-mortem goal
- Something that will take time to deliver, delaying matters while you wait for rescue or an escape opportunity
- A chance to convince your captor that you're worth keeping alive
- One last moment of personal indulgence
- A quick death
- Abject pleading to be spared (usually in comedic situations)
You can also transfer your responsibilities to someone else with your last breath. Asking someone to take care of your family, deliver a message, avenge you, or generally keep up the good fight is almost playing low though, as a deathbed promise, even by request, is very hard to refuse and nearly unbreakable — even if no one would ever know. (Though if you are Dying as Yourself, you may have no choice.) You can even do it with your enemies if they accept a Dying Truce. This can be made especially touching with added Pietà Plagiarism, or even Cradling Your Kill.
If you are dying very slowly, as of cancer, you can, in fact, make it a period before death; for instance, at the last visit to the hospital, even if you die a week later. Requests made by ghosts and other undead qualify only if undeath is ending quickly.
Occasionally a character will pretend to be at death's door, in order to get someone to agree to something; most often played for comedy.
Of course, this trope only tends to work if you're dying slowly enough. Since this is a death trope, expect spoilers below.
- A famous campaign for Tombstone pizza (here's one example) featured a man (always the same one) about to be executed by some method; his executioner asked him "What do you want on your tombstone?" to which he'd reply "Pepperoni and cheese" or some other pizza topping. The executioner always complied.
- In Brazil, a sweets brand named "Mirabel" had an ad featuring a man sentenced to death. As his last request, he asked "Que as balas sejam Mirabel." Everyone laughed. "Bala" can mean either "sweet" (noun) or "bullet". The man asked that the bullets/sweets were Mirabels.
- The Alec Baldwin Capital One credit card ad, where Baldwin starts out having the guy wipe out his flight record,then has him press a button that gets him knocked out,so Baldwin can escape.
- An old man dying in a small Italian village requests honey fresh from the hive, grapes plucked from the vine, and a glass of beer. The youngest member of the family has to run off and get all these, and so can't resist swigging down the nice cold beer. He then hands the empty glass to the priest who's come to give the last rites, so he'll be blamed.
- Belphegor offers this to Rudolf in Umineko: When They Cry. He asks for a duel. He wins.
- Gren from Cowboy Bebop. He knows he'll be dead by before the end of the episode, so he asks Spike to fulfill his dying wish by towing his ship into orbit and letting him float off in the direction of Titan, the moon he wished to see one last time.
"I won't be able to make it anyway. I figure dying on the way there would be the next best thing."
- A dying Hisana Kuchiki asks her husband Byakuya to find her sister Rukia and adopt her into his family 50 years before the story begins. She had abandoned Rukia due to being unable to care for her in Inuzuri, but after marrying Byakuya, spent the last five years of her life searching for Rukia.
- Tousen, having regained his sight at the end of his life, asks his faithful lieutenant, Hisagi, to show him his face before he dies.
- In a late episode of Gundam X, Ennil El pretends that Dr. Tex Farzenberg is her lover and ask their captors for one last moment of intimacy. When she unzips her shirt, it reveals a set of flashbang grenades, which they use to escape.
- In one timeline in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Madoka's soul gem is depleted to the point of where she will inevitably will become a witch. Her last request is for Homura to mercy kill her before that happens.
- In the ending, Sayaka, before ascending with Madoka, asks to hear Kyosuke's last concert.
- Done cruelly in Tenchi Muyo!. Tenchi's mom, a horrible prankster, demanded Katsuhito and Noboyuki, when Tenchi asked for why his mom died, to read off a script of how she died before saying the real thing. Tenchi didn't take it too well.
- In Naruto, there are a few.
- Zabuza's last request is for Kakashi to bring him over to Haku's body.
- Chiyo's last request, while sacrificing her life to resurrect Gaara, is for Naruto, the only one who truly understands Gaara as a fellow Jinchuuriki, to stay close to him.
- Asuma asked Shikamaru to relay a message to Kurenai, entrusted their unborn child to him. With his last words he also asked for One Last Smoke.
- At the beginning of Axis Powers Hetalia, when Germany captures Italy and Italy thinks he's going to be executed, he begins to cry and begs to be allowed to eat pasta before dying. (Keep in mind that Germany never showed any serious inclination to execute him)
- On Sailor Moon, the dying Zoicite tells Kunzite that he wants to "die beautifully". Kunzite conjures up a garden of flowers for him.
- In xxxHOLiC, Watanuki pleads to a vanishing Yuuko that she can't go because he hasn't fulfilled his promise to grant her a wish yet. Yuuko replies that the only thing she wants is for him to continue existing.
- In Bokurano, the pilots sometimes make one before they die.
- Chizu asks that her body be hidden in one of the holes within Zearth.
- Daiichi also asks for his body to be hidden in Zearth, and before he dies, asks Ushiro to be kind to his younger sister, Kana. The latter request is especially significant because Daiichi looked after his younger siblings after his father left.
- Moji asks that he be transported to the hospital so that his heart can be transplanted into his best friend.
- In the manga, Kirie asks that his cousin be told about him if a time comes when it is possible to do so.
- In My Bride is a Mermaid, when Kai is Mistaken for Dying, he says as his last request to have a final duel with Nagasumi for Sun's hand in marriage. Kai says he knows it will be meaningless if he wins because he would die anyway, but that he needs to settle the score and go out fighting. Unfortunately, Kai humiliates himself because his depression and panic over "dying" causes him to swing his sword around like a child throwing a tantrum instead of like a trained swordsman, allowing Nagasumi to beat him down easily. He's humiliated again when everybody finds out he isn't dying.
- In Aesthetica of a Rogue Hero, when Akatsuki defeated the Demon King, with his last breaths, the King begged Akatsuki to take care of his daughter Myuu. Akatsuki found this odd, but honored his foe's request, taking Myuu under his protection.
- Dragon Ball Z: After Vegeta is shot through the chest by Freeza, his last request to Son Goku is to avenge the genocide of the Saiyans at Freeza's hands and for turning Vegeta into the monster he became. Goku buries Vegeta afterwards and promises to honor his last request.
- In Noir, the last wish of Odette Bouquet was for her killer, a very young Kirika Yuumura, to take care of her daughter Mireille. Around ten years later, Kirika becomes Mireille's partner and ultimately honors it.
- After Saber of Black (Siegfried) sacrifices his life to revive the Homunculus, he asks Ruler (Jeanne d'Arc) to do her best to give the boy his freedom. She honors it.
- After Rider of Red (Achilles) mortally wounds Archer of Black (Chiron), Chiron asks him to give one of his Noble Phantasms to the Black side. Despite his misgivings, and the fact that after making the request, Chiron decided to give Achilles a parting shot to his heel, stripping him of his invulnerability, Achilles fulfills the request by giving his shield to Rider of Black (Astolfo).
- In One Piece, after being fatally shot, Queen Otohime asked that her children not hold hatred for the one who shot her. Even though she knew it was Hody Jones who killed her mother, Princess Shirahoshi honored her mother's wish for ten years, not telling anyone the secret she knew. Unfortunately, this allowed Hody to cultivate his powerbase in that time, a fact that he took delight in rubbing in her face.
- On her deathbed, Kathy in Shade, the Changing Man makes Shade promise to care for their baby.
- Adventures Of The Rifle Brigade. One of the privates has the hots for his commanding officer and takes advantage of each minor bump and wound. One time it was a request for a handjob like 'Nanna used to do'. Nanna did no such thing.
- Nick Fury fufils one of his dying men's request to watch out for his kid. Said kid is a simpleton who, despite supervision, keeps injuring himself. Nick almost shoots the boy to put him out of his seeming misery.
- In Superman & Batman: Generations, a dying Joker asks Batman to reveal his identity to "confirm a suspicion" (namely that he's not the first Batman; Joker's right, this Batman is Dick Grayson). Batman refuses, saying "You're the last person I'd want to see die happy!"
- In Monica's Gang, there was a story where Franklin, Maggy, Smudge and Jimmy were about to be killed by an alien who allowed them to say their last words. Franklin wished he'd not be eliminated; Maggy said she was hungry; Smudge cheered for his favorite soccer team (Corinthians); and Jimmy shouted "Golducha"! Hearing someone call her "fat", Monica threw her fluffy bunny, hitting the alien and saving the kids.
- My Little Pony Micro Series Issue #2: "Tell Tank to polish my trophies every year on my birthday and never forget me. Never... forget..."
- During the Grim Hunt storyline in the Spider-Man titles, Mattie Franklin and Madame Webb are both being held hostage by Sasha Kravinoff, who intends to use Mattie as a sacrifice to raise her son Vladimir from the dead. Before she is killed, Mattie asks Webb to tell Spider-Man that it wasn't his fault and that she didn't cry. (Sadly, Webb herself is killed before she can do this.)
- At the end of the Carnage Axis tie-in comic, when Carnage is about to perform a Heroic Sacrifice to stop a bomb from destroying everything, he makes Spider-Man promise him one thing:
- Aquila: Before Aquila kills Queen Boudicca because of her having put entire Roman towns in Britain to the sword to have her own revenge, she asks him to send her regards if he ever kills a Roman emperor. He ends up honoring her wish.
- In Death of X Cyclops's last words are this.
- When he was arrested and sentenced to death, Diabolik requested that his body would be cremated... So that, if Eva (who at the time wasn't yet known to be his accomplice) managed to find someone to replace him with thanks to a judicious use of drugs and Diabolik's perfect masks, the exchange wouldn't be noticed. Eva managed to find a replacement and break Diabolik out, but Ginko realizes the exchange... Just as Eva's Stalker with a Crush is beheaded.
- U.S. Acres: Booker asks if a worm has "any last requests" and the worm suggests "Melancholy Baby".
- Often played for laughs in The Wizard of Id. For example, in one Sunday strip, Turnkey asks a condemned prisoner what he wants to eat before he's hanged; "a helium sandwich", say the guy. In another strip, Turnkey tells spook that a hoagie about twenty feet long is for "Dirty Dirk", who hangs tomorrow, although the sandwich will clearly take a week to eat.
- In Donkeyskin, All Kinds Of Fur, The She-Bear, and many of their variants, the dying queen asks the king never to marry a woman not so beautiful as she is, and it turns out only their daughter qualifies.
- Alternatively, as in The King Who Wished to Marry His Own Daughter, it's to one who can not wear an article of her clothing.
- In Prince Fickle and Fair Helena, the titular prince's father, on his deathbed, requests that his son marry a certain princess. Though the prince is already betrothed to Fair Helena, his grief over the death of his father makes him forget this, and he agrees.
- In many fairy tales, if a magical animal owned by the heroine is to be killed (usually by a jealous parent), the animal will beg the protagonist to perform some ritual with a part of their body, usually along the lines of burying their heart in a certain location, or eating an odd part of the flesh. Doing this will give the protagonist some good fortune, either with an ability of some sort, or (in the case of burying a body part) causing something like a magic tree to spring up.
- In The Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen, the queen has the king promise to keep their three sons in a tower, to keep them safe from a Wicked Stepmother.
- Luke Castellan's in the fifth and last Percy Jackson novel (before the spin-offs were spawned) was "Not to let it happen again.", by which he means demigods betraying the Gods to fight for the Titans. Sadly, this is how he lived his life, and this is responsible for his death.
- Subverted in the Asbjørnsen and Moe fairy tale Frik with the fiddle. Our hero is about to be hanged, sitting on a ladder with the noose around his neck. His last request is to play a tune on his fiddle. He is saved because the fiddle is magic and gets everyone who listens to get up and dance, and nobody can deny him the first thing he asks for.
- In The Green King, the king promises the dying queen, on her request, not to refuse their daughter what she asks for. All the Wicked Stepmother has to do to get the king to marry her is persuade the daughter to ask.
- In The Black Thief and the Knight of the Glen, the queen persuades the king to promise to protect her sons by any Wicked Stepmother by raising them in a tower. The stepmother manages to talk him into bringing them back.
I am now going to leave you, and as you are young and in your prime, of course after my death you will marry again. Now all the request I ask of you is that you will build a tower in an island in the sea, wherein you will keep your three sons until they are come of age and fit to do for themselves; so that they may not be under the power or jurisdiction of any other woman. Neglect not to give them education suitable to their birth, and let them be trained up to every exercise and pastime requisite for king's sons to learn. This is all I have to say, so farewell.
- In an Icelandic fairy tale, the queen asks the king to promise to marry a great princess, someone accustomed to courts, so she would not have her head turned by becoming queen. Unfortunately, when the king's men seek a new bride for him, they are taken in by a woman's claim to be a princess in exile.
- In The Discreet Princess, Rich-Craft's last request is for his Prince Charming brother to marry the titular princess and then kill her as soon as possible.
- DC Nation: When it seemed that Roy Harper wasn't going to survive the Olympics, he had three. The most serious one was asking his family (Titans and Arrows) to raise Lian. The other two were to will the recently-divorced Flash his Porn Stash, and to request his ashes be shot out of a cannon ala Hunter S. Thompson.
- In From Fake Dreams, a Fate/stay night fanfic, Gilgamesh makes two last requests of Shirou: that he add Enkidu to his reality marble, and that he complete his reality marble.
- The Hill of Swords: Right before Shirou kills Fouquet of the Crumbling Dirt, Fouquet asks that if he ever meets her friend Tiffania, to lie and tell her that Fouquet (whom Tiffiana knows as Mathilda and is unaware that she is a criminal) got married and retired to a far away land. Several chapters later, when Shirou meets Tiffania, he remembers and honors the request.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Thousand Year Door Redux. Andy, Stan, and Francesca encounter the Shadow Queen after she finds out they know most of her backstory. She agrees to tell them how she gained her power and immortality (the part they don't know), but it counts as their last request should they be defeated. She changes her mind about that later, after Andy's defeat, saying they'll get three days to live and conjugal visits if they want; likely, however, this change of heart is due to her desire to intimidate her subjects by executing her enemies publicly when she's ready to address them in person.
- The Last Kiss Goodbye (a Star Trek: Voyager uber fic). While being held at gunpoint by notorious hitman The Bermanator, Hollywood private eye Jane Kates requests this trope as it's a standard Hollywood cliche. The beautiful Damsel in Distress assumes it will be a Last Kiss, and is not amused when Kates wants a hot cup of coffee instead. Which she then throws in the Bermanator's face.
- James Bond
- In You Only Live Twice, Bond has a cigarette that fires a rocket when lighted. While Blofeld holds him captive (and threatens him with death), Bond asks to be able to smoke, and Blofeld orders a guard to give him his cigarettes. Bond uses the explosion as a distraction to open the false crater and allow the NINJA army to enter.
- However when Bond asks for One Last Smoke in From Russia with Love he's curtly refused by SPECTRE assassin Red Grant...until Bond offers to pay for it with fifty gold sovereigns he has hidden in his attache case. It's a ploy to get Grant to open the booby-trapped case.
- The Spy Who Loved Me. Major Amasova has promised to kill Bond after the mission is over to avenge Bond's killing of her boyfriend. He asks to make a last request - for them to "get out of these wet things". Since he's Bond, it works and she forgives him.
- In the 1967 parody Casino Royale Jimmy Bond (Woody Allen) is in front of a firing squad, and requests a last cigarette, which is a bomb he throws at the firing squad. This distracts them which allows him to climb over the wall behind him. Of course, behind that wall is another firing squad performing another execution at that very moment.
- Subverted in Wild Wild West. When Artemus Gordon is about to be executed, he asks to be shot in the heart because he's secretly wearing a bulletproof vest. The Diabolical Mastermind calmly orders that he be shot in the head.
- Rick O'Connell to a nameless guard in the 1999 version of The Mummy.
Any last requests?Yeah, loosen the rope and let me go.
- Hilariously, the executioner isn't sure if he should honor the request or not.
- The Mask. As Tina is about to be blown up by her former boyfriend (who is wearing the title item), she asks him to take it off for a Last Kiss. She then kicks the mask out of his hand after he complies, giving Stanley a chance to take it back.
- Vibes. The Dragon Carl is holding Nick at gunpoint in Ecuador.
Carl: I'll give you a break. Where wouldn't you like to be shot?Nick: South America.
- In the first The Naked Gun movie, Frank Drebin is being held at gunpoint. The gunman asks if he has any last requests.
Frank: Can I... have the gun?Villain: Oh, no; I'm not falling for that one!
- Undercover Brother. Before injecting James Brown with a Mind Control drug, Mr. Feather asks him if he has any last request. He does: "Say it loud!"
- Near the end of Independence Day, when Russell is about to perform a Heroic Sacrifice he asks an officer to tell his children that he loves them.
Russell: Please do me a favor, tell my children I love them very much.
- Flash Gordon. When Klytus visits Flash in his cell before his execution he asks him if he has "any final requests". Flash asks to see Dale Arden.
- In Spider-Man, the dying Green Goblin asks Spider-Man to hide the truth from his son.
"Peter, don't tell Harry."
- In Pee-wee's Big Adventure the title character asks an angry biker gang for a last request before they kill him. They agree, and he uses a jukebox to perform his signature Big Shoe Dance. This impresses the gang so much, that they not only decide to let him live, but help him out.
- In The Amazing Spider-Man, Captain Stacy tells Peter that as his superhero life is dangerous, he should keep his distance from his daughter Gwen in order to spare her from danger.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Eddie Valiant asks Judge Doom to grant one to Roger before "dipping" him. Doom agrees, and Eddie gives Roger a double shot of bourbon. This causes Roger to do his "steam whistle" impersonation, which distracts Doom and the weasels enough for Eddie and Roger to escape.
- TRON: Ram's Famous Last Words. "Flynn, help Tron..."
- In Die Hard with a Vengeance, McClane asks Gruber if he has any aspirin. This doesn't help McClane escape his predicament, but it does give them a lead on where to find Gruber later.
- Star Wars:
- In the 1962 Jidai Geki film Harakiri (aka Seppuku), a roninnote arrives at the Ii clan's castle and humbly asks to be allowed to commit honorable suicide on their grounds. As a final request he asks for a major retainer of the clan to assist his suicide. Oh no, that retainer has called in sick. Another named retainer, perhaps? Same thing there. When the ronin asks for a third retainer who happens to be absent that day, the clan lord senses something is wrong. The ronin's real business is revenge for the Ii forcing his son-in-law to painfully kill himself with a bamboo sword. He has already defeated and disgraced the three retainers, and wearing his suicide robe proceeds to wreak Roaring Rampage of Revenge on the Ii until gunned down.
- In The African Queen Charlie and Rose ask the German boat-captain to officiate their wedding.
"I pronounce you man and wife. Proceed with the execution."
- Rock N Rolla: Well, technically Handsome Bob wasn't dying when he made of request, but since he was so devasted about the impending jail time, One-Two let him have the lovely slow dance in a gay club. When he finds out that Handsome Bob didn't go to jail after all, his colleagues tease him about this.
- Ichirō Yashidas in The Wolverine is to see Wolverine one last time. Turns out there are far more nefarious motives for it
- Scary Movie 3: Parodied when Tom, in a flashback, finds his wife breathing out her last after she's pinned to a tree as a result of a tragic car accident. Her last request is that he never sleep with another woman again, and he quickly pretends that her last words are too unintelligible to make out and tells her to go into the light.
- Choon-Hwa from Sunny is dying of cancer. Her dying wish is to be reunited with her high school True Companions again. She doesn't get to, but they reunite at her funeral.
- In The Little World of Don Camillo, the town's schoolmarm asks that the Italian monarchist flag is put on the casket at her funeral. Given the circumstances of Italy becoming a republic and that it was not long after World War II, this is a big request and many of the town council try to veto it... Then the mayor Peppone (a communist, who voted to depose the king in the referendum) reminds everyone that in town it's the communists who are in charge and he, as their leader, will grant her dying wish and personally throw out of the window anyone who tries to stop him, and is among the pall bearers (wearing a red scarf, of course).
- Saving Private Ryan: As Miller lays dying, his Famous Last Words are to ask Ryan to earn the sacrifice of the men who came (and died) to relieve him from his duty on the battlefront. Although he passes on before getting a reply, Ryan certainly took his words to heart, as we see his older self paying his respects to Miller's grave, telling him how he tried to live his life the best he could, hoping that it would be enough.
- In Inside Out, Bing Bong does a Heroic Sacrifice so that Joy can stop Riley from running away back to her old home after a traumatic move to San Fransisco. His last request is for Joy to take Riley to the moon.
- Planet of the Apes (2001): General Thade visits the deathbed of his father Zaius, who asks him to wipe out all humans before providing him with a human relic: a Ray Gun.
- Dunkirk: As he lays dying from a head wound caused by a fall on the Moonstone, George mentions that he'd always wanted to be mentioned in the papers. After Moonstone returns to England, his friend Peter goes to the town paper with the story and a class photo. The next day, the paper has a front page article reading "Local Boy Hero At Dunkirk".
- Undercover Brother. A Running Gag involves Mr Feather struggling to resist the subversive influence of African-American culture. When he kidnaps James Brown, he makes the mistake of using this trope.
Mr Feather: (Playing with Syringes) So, Mr Godfather of Soul, life as you know it will soon cease to exist. Any... final requests?James Brown: Say it loud.(Oh, Crap! look from Mr Feather. Brown gets to his feet)James Brown: Say it, loud!(Feather starts twitching, throwing away his syringe)Doctor: What are you doing?James Brown: (dancing) SAY IT LOUD! (everyone stares at Feather as he convulses madly)James Brown: (pointing at Feather) SAY IT LOUD! SAY IT—Mr Feather: ARRRHM BLACK AND ARRRHM PROUD! (slaps hand over his mouth)
- An elderly Jewish man is on his deathbed and tells his son that he wants one last piece of his wife's apple strudel before the end. The son runs off to get it but returns empty-handed. "And what happened to my apple strudel?" "Mama says the strudel is for after the funeral."
- In Dragon Queen, Trava's father asks her to both take care of his tavern and tell her mother that he loved her.
- In the Framing Device for Arabian Nights, the Last Request that Scheherezade makes to her husband and sultan Shahryar (which he grants) is an important factor in the gambit named after her; she asks to see her little sister one last time, and while the little sister is visiting, she asks Scheherezade to tell her a story. Being both a gifted storyteller and rather clever, Scheherezade tells a captivating story but leaves it unfinished, promising to relate the ending the following night. The sultan delays the execution so his wife can finish the story, but that night and every night thereafter, Scheherezade finishes the previous story, begins a new one, but ends the evening on a cliffhanger so the sultan will spare her life another day. This goes on for years, but the sultan is enjoying the stories, so he doesn't really mind. By the time she runs out of stories, he's fallen deeply in love with her (and she's borne him three sons) so he decides to let her live.
- In Poul Anderson's The Broken Sword, the dying hero's last request is for a Last Kiss.
- In Ben Counter's Warhammer 40,000 Grey Knights novel Grey Knights, when the daemon declares it has defeated Alaric, Alaric declares he wishes to go out with defiant last words. He actually uses its True Name against it, which doesn't kill it, but so binds it that the brunt of actually killing can be carried out by the Imperial Guard.
- In Star Wars: Allegiance, Mara Jade's erstwhile ally Tannis tells her, while dying of burns, to give him a Burial in Space. She does.
- Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception. Right before Julius dies he tells Holly something about saving Artemis, and you know what? He dies, and Holly goes to save Artemis.
- In Les Misérables, Eponine asks Marius to kiss her on the forehead after she's dead. He obliges.
- In Suzanne Collins's The Hunger Games, Rue asks Katniss to sing for her. Despite not singing for years, Katniss comes through.
- The Way of Kings (first book of The Stormlight Archive): King Gavilar gives his assassin a dark-glowing sphere of unknown origin and nature, to keep away from "them", and a cryptic message for his brother. The assassin obliges in taking the sphere and leaving the message because he believes the last wishes of the dying are sacred.
- "Look at me..." Snape's Last Words to Harry, he wants Lily's eyes to be the last thing he sees.
- In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Cedric Diggory asks Harry to bring his body back to his parents. An unusual variant, in that the last request actually comes posthumously from Cedric's ghost.
- In John C. Wright's The Golden Age, it turns out that Phaethon is suing to have his father declared dead after his father had died to save him and been revived from a noumenal recording, not because he is an Ungrateful Bastard but to carry out his father's Last Request.
- In Kristina, The Girl King her Aunt Katrina's last wish is for her to marry her cousin Karl.
- In The Heaven Tree by Edith Pargeter (better known as Ellis Peters of Brother Cadfael fame), the protagonist Harry has defied his patron's orders, because he felt he had to do the right thing (the order was to hang a child, Harry instead saved the child and brought him back to his father). The patron cannot forgive him this and will have him executed. The patron's wife, who is in love with Harry, manoevres the patron into acknowledging that a last request must be granted. Harry's last request? To have the wife as his bedfellow on his last night. (It's not what you think - they just talk, but it's a magnificent Take That!.)
- In Jane Austen's Love and Freindship, Sophia urges Laura to profit from her example and not go in for Fainting.
- In A Song of Ice and Fire King Robert asked his friend Ned to assume the regency because his stepson isn't old enough to rule. What is not known is that all his offspring is the product of queen's Twincest , and Ned took advantage of a quibble prepared by himself to prevent the illegitimate son Joffrey to ascend the throne. He fails in this.
- Jeor Mormont asks Sam to tell his son to take the black to atone for his crime.
- Lyanna Stark dying asks something to her brother Ned... probably to raise her son (AKA Jon Snow), and to keep him safe, since Lyanna's old fiancé Robert (now the king) would want to kill Jon if he found out that Jon's father was Prince Rhaegar.
- In The Saga of Darren Shan Arra Sails' dying request to her old "mate" Mr. Crepsley (Darren's Parental Substitute Badass Teacher) was to swore he wouldn't let the Princes to execute Darren for his earlier failures.
- As she lays dying, Penny of Edenborn asks that she and her lover be the last two people on Earth. Subverted in that she's not actually dying, just vindictive.
- Weathers' final request in Tyrannosaur Canyon is what brings the protagonist into the story, substantially complicating the villains' plan.
- In The Clockwork Angel, Thomas asks Will to take care of Sophie, because Sophie is...something.
- In the X-Wing Series, Ton Phanan has three last requests for Face: that he look after his pet bug, that he remove his signature facial scar, and that he move on from trying to atone for what he did when he was a child.
- In the ''Inda books, Noddy asks Inda to promise there will be no more war. Inda promises, without actually having heard what he said.
- In Larry Correia's Hard Magic,
- Pershing gives his directions to Jake on his death bed.
- Delilah makes one as a zombie, rather commandingly. Jake is to get over her, marry, have kids, and live to a ripe old age.
- In the second of G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown stories, a last request features as a stage setting; Father Brown, having attended a dying waiter at a restaurant, asks the proprietor if there's a place where he can do something the dead man asked. (It's the place, rather than the request, that the subsequent mystery turns on.)
- Requiem for an Assassin by Barry Eisler. After being wounded by John Rain, Jim Hilger asks for a chance to call his sister before Rain finishes him (we know from Hilger's thoughts earlier in the novel that he'd been thinking along these lines). Because he's thinking of reforming Rain allows the call, but suddenly suspects that Hilger is activating a bomb remotely and shoots him. Later Rain wonders if he allowed Hilger to make the call just so he'd have an excuse to kill him.
- In the 21st Madgie, what did you do? story Bullets and Sunshine, Toki's last wish was for Bunny to say "hello to the sunshine" for her, before passing away the next day.
- In Angel, Fred's last request is that lover Wesley tell her parents that she was brave when she died. Or possibly averted since in a very uncharacteristic move: he forgot.
- Well, he did try, but telling her parents that Fred died bravely involved telling them that Fred, you know, died. It seems like he was just at the point in their conversation where he was summoning up the nerve to tell them that (since, presumably, he wanted to do it face to face) when Illyria walked in pretending to be Fred, which gave Wesley just enough of a reason to chicken out.
- Later on Wesley's last request is for Illyria to shapeshift and pretend to be the deceased Fred, and it (she?) complies.
- In "Babylon5 Commander Susan Ivanova, mortally wounded after the Battle of Sector 300 and fading in and out of consciousness, requests that her best friend and comrade Captain John Sheridan wins the Earth civil war from the bridge of the destroyer EAS Agamemnon. He does.
- In the last episode of Flight of the Conchords, the Imagine Spot song features three Russians played by Bret, Mel and her husband stranded on a small boat, with the Bret character continuously being asked for his Last Request before the others eat him. He keeps asking them to sing and dance in the hopes of exhausting them too much to do it. It doesn't work.
- One episode of Reno 911! featured a injured and bleeding Junior being held by the new recruit while they await an ambulance. He seems like he's dying so she agrees to sleep with him if he pulls through. They keep talking and realize they are, in fact, cousins. As the ambulance arrives, Junior hops to his feet (not nearly as injured as he was leading on) and she finds herself shocked and disgusted that he intends to hold her to agreeing to have sex with him.
- In Tin Man, the Mystic Man's direct order to Cain to protect DG "at any cost" becomes this.
- The Twilight Zone (1959) TOS episode "The Obsolete Man". The title character is about to be executed by the State for having an obsolete job: being a librarian. He is allowed to choose the method of his execution, which he takes advantage of to show how cowardly and weak the State is.
- More than one episode of Get Smart had Agent 99 get the better of her captor by way of a seemingly innocent last request. Eventually, a defeated Siegfried declared, "From now on, no more last requests!"
Max: 99? If anything should happen to me...take care of the Chief?99: [she and the Chief look worried] Of course, Max.Max: [heading out the door] Oh, and 99? Take care of Fang.99: [gently] I will, Max.Max: [poking his head back in] ...and my plants should be watered about once a week...Chief: MAX!!
- In one episode, Max is headed out to face off with some KAOS agents...
- On Las Vegas, Cooper and Piper's Back Story involves her father, his best friend and war buddy, requesting him to look after his recently-born daughter (Piper) just before he died in the conflict they were involved in.
- On Torchwood, Ianto asks Jack not to forget him, and Jack tells him he never could. Still up in the air as to whether Jack keeps his promise.
- Jack's speech to Angelo in Miracle Day seems to imply he will be keeping his promise.
- On The Vicar of Dibley, Letitia requests that Geraldine take over her role as the easter bunny, secretly delivering chocolate eggs to people on the night before Easter, dressed in a rabbit suit. On her way around the village, Geraldine is surprised to run into another easter bunny, quickly converses with him and arranges to do different parts of the village, before running into a veritable throng of people in rabbit suits whom Letitia has pulled one final prank upon.
- In the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "For Him The Bell Tolls", Aphrodite puts a spell on Joxer that turns him into a badass fighter whenever he hears a bell and revert when he hears it again. When he gets arrested and sentenced to death, he says as his last request to ring a bell. His captors, who were unaware of his secret, decide to be dicks and deny his request. Xena and Gabrielle save him.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In "Armageddon's Game", representatives of the T'Lani and Kellerun arrive in the abandoned town where O'Brien and Bashir are holed up, intending to kill them, as They Know Too Much about the harvester viruses. O'Brien has a request that's rather simple - let Bashir help him stand up, as he doesn't want to be shot lying down. (He's been infected with the virus, and is too weak to stand on his own.) They let him do so, and fortunately for them, this brief delay gives Sisko and Dax enough time to beam them to safety.
- In Smallville, Ryan's last request was to spend his last day with Clark.
- When Caradoc!Alex is about to be executed for treason in MythQuest, he requests that he be killed by the man who challenged him to the beheading game, rather than by King Arthur. This ends up saving his life, because they see his actions as being guided by honor in a difficult situation, rather than treachery, and let him off.
- An episode of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys had Autolycus about to be hanged for a crime he didn't commit. In an attempt to stall while Hercules tracked down the real thief, after some very lengthy last words, he made a last request of a fresh, ripe peach. The executioner mentions that peaches were completely out of season, so Autolycus agreed to wait. At this point, the crowd got fed up and was about to hang him until Hercules arrived.
- The only televised episode of failed 60s series Turn On included a sketch where, as it was a beautiful woman being executed, the firing squad had a last request.
- In an episode of Saturday Night Live Eddie Murphy plays a condemned man who is trying to stall his execution as long as possible. After being reminded that he has already had his last meal, he has a last request - meet Johnny Cash (the guest host of the evening). He expects to have to wait for Cash to be flown in, but the warden just happens to have him in his office. Then the prisoner wants Cash to play his favorite song, "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall" - the uncut version, which is "999,999 Bottles of Beer on the Wall."
- In Doctor Who Davros sends out a message to the Doctor that he's dying, and wishes to speak with him one last time. While he knows it's a trap, and strongly suspects Davros isn't actually dying, the Doctor still goes. He is dying - he plans to steal the Doctor's regeneration energy to rejuvenate himself and strengthen the Daleks.
- In the David Bowie song "Space Oddity", Major Tom's space capsule has a serious mechanical failure. He is, apparently, slowly dying. His last request:
Tell my wife I love her very much.
- In The Mariner's Revenge Song by The Decemberists, the singer's mother begs him for vengeance against the man who ruined their lives before she dies:
"Find him, bind himTie him to a pole and break his fingers to splintersDrag him to a hole until he wakes up nakedClawing at the ceiling of his grave..."
- Camoflage by Stan Ridgeway is a Ghost Story about a PFC in Veitnam who runs into "a big marine" nicknamed "Camoflage", who helps him fight his way out of an ambush and escorts him to his camp, along the way demonstrating an immunity to bullets and an ability to swat them away. It turns out that "Camoflage" had died the night previous, and his Dying Wish was to have run a rescue op.
- In Dino Attack RPG, J.D.'s final request was that Minerva used his prototype Maelstrom cure to save Zach.
- Although he did not die, Wallace Bishop's Last Request before his self-induced lobotomy was that Frank Einstein take care of his family.
- Amanda Claw's Last Request was that Rex find a way to defeat Dr. Rex, since that would bring an end to the Dino Attack and all the death - including her own - that it brought about.
- In Into the Woods, Jack's Mother, right before dying, requests that the Baker protect Jack from the giant. And the Baker obliges to the best of his ability.
- Audrey gets one in Little Shop of Horrors, which proves to be a very dark variant, as her misguided dying wish ultimately dooms the human race to extinction: "Give me to the plant, so it can live to bring you all the wonderful things you deserve."
- In William Shakespeare's works:
- Hamlet's Roaring Rampage of Revenge has already claimed the lives of seven major characters, and now the prince himself lies dying. His devoted confidant Horatio attempts suicide to follow him, but Hamlet prevents it, imploring him to live and tell Hamlet's story. Since Horatio is the Audience Surrogate in the play, Hamlet's request is also for us to go on telling his story.
Hamlet: If thou didst ever hold me in thy heart,
Absent thee from felicity awhile
And in this harsh world draw thy breath in pain
To tell my story.
- In The Merchant of Venice, Antonio, who is about to have a pound of his flesh removed for defaulting on a loan, makes one of his dear friend Bassanio. Subverted when he doesn't end up dying at all.
Antonio: Give me your hand, Bassanio. Fare you well.
Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you ...
Commend me to your honourable wife:
Tell her the process of Antonio's end.
Say how I loved you, speak me fair in death;
And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge
Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
- Hamlet's Roaring Rampage of Revenge has already claimed the lives of seven major characters, and now the prince himself lies dying. His devoted confidant Horatio attempts suicide to follow him, but Hamlet prevents it, imploring him to live and tell Hamlet's story. Since Horatio is the Audience Surrogate in the play, Hamlet's request is also for us to go on telling his story.
- In The Witcher Geralt uses this as part of a Batman Gambit to escape Princess Adda.
"If you're given a last request, always ask for water. Anything can happen while they fetch it."
- Like master, like student as Vesimer seems to be fond of using this as well, indicated by his "profile quote" in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.
- In Mitsumete Knight, after you defeat Wolfgario the Ravager in Raizze's Route, he'll tell in his dying breath to his daughter Raizze, who witnessed the scene and tried in vain stand between them, to "live, as an ordinary woman". These last words later become crucial in convincing Raizze not to suicide after she's defeated by you in the duel she asked you for avenging her father.
- In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness, the dying king asks Etna to raise his son to become the next overlord.
- After Taking the Bullet for Valvatorez in Disgaea 4, Fenrich begs Valvatorez to drink his blood despite his Heroic Vow so that he can regain his power as Tyrant. Valvatorez refuses... so Fenrich gives up on the whole "dying" act, annoyed, and admits he was just faking the whole thing in hopes that he could get Val to break that stupid promise of not drinking blood. The rest of the team is not amused.
- Governor Dorr of Palmacosta in Tales of Symphonia extracts a promise from you as he lies dying to save his transformed-into-a-monster wife and return her to human. You can say no* , which affects Relationship Values in the party.
- In the finale of the Dark Brotherhood questline of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Emperor Titus Mede II asks you to consider killing the man who contracted the hit on him in the first place. It's more an optional objective than anything.
- If you side with the Legion, Ulfric Stormcloak's last request is that he wants the Dragonborn to be his executioner because it would be a better song that way.
- Oblivion begins with the dying emperor giving a quest to the player to find his lost son.
- After asserting It Has Been an Honor, Damas's last request to Jak is to find his son, Mar at the end of Jak 3: Wastelander. Sadly he dies before Jak can tell him that he is Mar.
- Provides a puzzle in Zork Zero, where an execution-happy religion offers all of their victims a last request. If the request can be granted on the spot, they're hanged; if not, they're beheaded. The solution is to Logic Bomb the executioner by requesting to be beheaded.
- Final Fantasy XIII-2: An odd example, in that the character is already dead by this point; Serah reappears to Lightning, who has just discovered that she has died, and makes a final request of her - to promise she'll remember her - before her soul completely vanishes.
- Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days: As Xion lays dying in Roxas' arms after their fight at the end of the game, she asks him to "set Kingdom Hearts free" from Organization XIII. He fails due to being captured by Riku on the way over to the Organization's castle, though it's heavily implied that she knew that would happen and made the request to give Riku an easier time finding him.
- In LISA, after killing his own party members and Rando's army by himself attempting to reach Buddy (who, at this point, abhors and has completely rejected him as a father figure and friend), right before he begins his mutation into a Joy Mutant, Brad requests that Buddy hug him, something nobody has ever done for him, just so that he can know what it feels like before he dies.
- In Persona 5, after Akechi saves the Phantom Thieves from an army of Shadows led by a cognition of him by sealing himself in with them, he asks to make one last "deal": take down Shido in his stead.
- In Devil May Cry 4, a dying Credo begs Dante to rescue Nero and Kyrie. Of course, Dante was planning to do that anyway, but says he will honor his request.
- Pibgorn Have you any last requests?
- In Nip and Tuck, the Show Within a Show Rebel Cry has our hero get a free meal per the last wishes of the founder.
- In Erstwhile, the dying queen asks for a promise not to marry anyone less beautiful than she is, and gets it. Unfortunately, the king can't find anyone who rivals the late queen in beauty, except their own daughter...
- In The Order of the Stick, Haley's dead mother asked her and her father to be better than the Wretched Hive city they lived in as her last words.
- Done again with Durkon here.
- In Manly Guys Doing Manly Things Commander Badass claims that The Expendables is the result of his own last request and time travel.
- In one Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal comic, a murderer is told he gets one last meal. What does he request? The executioner.
- Mario's dying request in the season 2 finale of "Sonic for Hire". Sonic actually fulfills this request in season 3.
"If you see the princess... tell her... she's a bitch."
- Chief asks Arbiter to wait at the gate of the Afterlife for him so they can go in together and "fuck shit up", in "Arby 'n' the Chief".
- Parodied in the video "Tu diras à ma femme" ("You'll Tell My Wife") by Studio Bagel. A soldier named Steven is dying from his wounds on a battlefield and asks another soldier named Cameron to do something for him. He wants his wife to know that he loves her and wants her to find someone who will care for her... unless he's a black man. Cameron reluctantly agrees, but then Steven adds that he wants his son to know that he'll always be watching him... to make sure he doesn't turn up to be gay, and death won't stop him from beating him with his belt. As he makes increasingly offensive requests, Cameron decides to fasten his death so he won't asks anything else.
- Birdman episode "Meet Birdgirl". After Birdgirl captures him and imprisons him in darkness (which drains his power), Birdman makes a last request - to see the sun again. She agrees and takes him into the sunlight, where he recharges his power and escapes. She was far too trusting...
- In "Fresh Hare," Bugs Bunny is pursued by Elmer Fudd, who is a Canadian Mountie seeking to arrest him. After Bugs pushes Elmer past the breaking point and reduces him to a sobbing wreck, he takes pity on him and agrees to turn himself in. Fudd puts him before the firing squad immediately.
Bugs: Let's see...I wish, uh...I wish, uh...Iiii wish I was in Dixie! Hooray! Hooray!
- The version currently shown on TV cuts after that, but the original has the whole group - executioners and all - performing "Camptown Races" in a minstrel show in Dixieland...complete with Black Face.
- Parodied in The Venture Bros. when Brock non-fatally stabs a Guild Henchman. The Henchman still thinks he's going to die and requests Brock sing to him the technotronic song "Move This".
- The Simpsons used this in "Cape Feare": to stall for time, Bart's last request to Sideshow Bob (Bob is the sort of smug, overly dramatic villain who would actually ask if he had any) is to perform the entire score of H.M.S. Pinafore. He does, and it works.
- Used again when Homer is about to undergo surgery to donate a kidney.
Homer: I'll do it! But if I die during the operation, will you do one thing for me?Marge: Oh, anything sweetheart!Homer: Blow up the hospital.
- Used again when Homer is about to undergo surgery to donate a kidney.
- In the series finale of Superman: The Animated Series, Superman gets subdued with kryptonite and red sunlight and gets captured. On the verge of getting executed, Superman asks for a last request. Lex Luthor leans forward and asks what it is, and Superman punches him out. "Thank you." Lois Lane breaks in and saves him.
- Johnny Bravo and the Amazon Women: Johnny was about to be thrown at a volcano and he asked for a last wish. He was told he'd get nothing and to be grateful for that.
- In the Season 3 finale of Star Wars: The Clone Wars Ahsoka is kidnapped by Trandoshan sporthunters as prey. She winds up with a group of Jedi younglings led by Kalifa, who have also been kidnapped. Upon her death, Kalifa asked Ahsoka to take care of the others.
- Done in the tv movie "Abra-Catastrophie" of The Fairly Oddparents where after Crocker is about to kill Timmy, the latter asks to have a moment with his parents. Crocker is skeptical about this until Timmy lampshades the fact that all great evil villains grant last requests. He neglected to mention that more often than not, that led to their demise.
- An episode of Popeye had Bluto about to make Popeye walk the plank. Popeye's last request is to eat some spinach. You can guess what happened after that.
- During a riverboat themed episode of The Super Mario Bros Super Show!, Mario is forced to walk the plank and asks if he gets a last request. Bowser just reminds that he's a Card-Carrying Villain and has no obligations to grant him one.
- Danger Mouse: "Planet Of The Cats" had DM and Penfold transported thousands of years into the future where London is ruled by cats under the leadership of a Big Leo. DM is suddenly confronted by a huge robotic dog who plans to destroy him, but not before giving DM a final request—the answer to a question. He asks "What's big, grey, and has sixteen wheels?," which causes the robot dog to short circuit from the question's lack of logic. During the epilogue, the robot returns to demand the answer from DM, who says it's an elephant on roller skates. The robot doesn't believe it until said elephant crashes on him.
- Similarly in "Demons Aren't Dull," the Demon of the Fourth Dimension grants DM a final request before destroying him. He asks to tell Penfold how the Demon was victorious with him explaining it and the Demon demonstrating it. DM eventually traps the Demon in a corridor between dimensions.
- Stunt Dawgs: When Airball fakes Richard P. Fungus' death as part of a plan to become the Stunt Scabs' new leader, he tells them Fungus' last request was for him to become the new leader.
- Mentioned on the Evil Overlord List as one of those things not to do. As in not letting the Heroes get one.
- On the 20th Century, Oscar pretends to be dying to get Lily to sign a contract.
- The Make-A-Wish Foundation is a non-profit that grants the "wishes" of children with life-threatening diseases; for example, the foundation was inspired by the 1980 story of a 7-year-old boy with leukemia who was befriended by a U.S. Customs officer who granted his wish to be a police officer by having a custom-tailored police uniform made for him, giving him a ride in a police helicopter, and arranging for him to be sworn in as an honorary Department of Public Safety patrolman.
- The last conversation Neil Gaiman had with his friend Terry Pratchett was Terry asking Neil to be showrunner on the Good Omens TV series, and ensure it actually happened. Neil has said that when Terry died, one of his thoughts was "You bastard. Now it's a last request."