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Never Say Goodbye

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"No. Anything you say is gonna sound like good-bye."
Dawn to Buffy, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Chosen"

So, the chances of survival look slim. Maybe there really is no way out. So one of our heroes tries to take a moment to let his or her companions know how much s/he loves them, and what a hell of a ride it's been, etc...

But their companions aren't having any of it. "Whoa, whoa, whoa," they will often say. Maybe because they don't want their loved one to accept death as inevitable, maybe they just find the whole idea of a touching goodbye speech embarrassing and awkward. But in any case they refuse to let the would-be speechifier continue.

But if either one of them really is going to die, the one who cut off the other will often, quite hypocritically really, deliver a speech of his own. Sometimes even immediately.

Compare Never Say "Die", How Dare You Die on Me!, Never Got to Say Goodbye, I "Uh" You, Too, Cannot Spit It Out.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, Shinji finds the tone of Rei's goodbyes so distressing that he begs her, "Don't say goodbye when you leave on a mission. It's too sad."
    • In Japanese, "sayonara" does mean "goodbye" but it generally carries the connotation that you are unlikely to see that person for a long time, if ever. "ja ne" or "ja mata ne" (or some variant) is used for a more friendly "see ya later" sort of connotation, instead. Hence, since Rei uses "sayonara", she seems to be expecting each mission to be her last. Which is pretty sad, actually.

    Fan Works 
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger: In preparation for the Final Battle, Ozpin has all of Beacon's students evacuate the school while he and his allies set up a trap for the Big Bad. Pyrrha chooses to stay behind rather than evacuate alongside her fellow students. Just before parting ways, Ren gives her one last hug and says his goodbyes. Pyrrha responds with, "Don't say goodbye. I hate goodbyes. Too final."

  • The characters of Masters of the Universe are always interrupting each other's farewells to say, "Don't say goodbye. Say good journey."
  • Prince Caspian. During the break in the duel, Peter starts wondering what would happen if he died in Narnia. He starts to say a goodbye speech, but is stopped when Edmund pushes the armor on his bad arm hard. No speeches that time.
    • In the book, at a similar point, Peter actually does give a brief, if more indirect, farewell speech uninterrupted.
  • A variation occurs in Serenity when Kaylee and Simon are saying their goodbyes before facing certain death. When Kaylee realises he's saying he's attracted to her (and more importantly, wants into her pants), she cuts short the farewells with, "To Hell with this. I'm gonna live!"
  • Titanic (1997). As the main couple float amid the wreckage of the doomed ship, Rose begins, "I love you, Jack," and he responds, "Don't you do that! Don't you say your goodbyes," - despite immediately launching into a long speech himself about how thankful he is he met her.

  • When Amelia Emerson, of Elizabeth Peters' series, and her husband are trapped in the waterlogged heart of a pyramid he begins a speech about 'dying in each other's arms' only to be cut off decisively by his wife. When he complains of this, after they're safe, she replies she never doubted he'd find a way out of their predicament.
  • Played with in Turn Coat. Murphy warns Harry not to die, kisses him, and tells him she loves him. They take turns expressing how they care for each other, but when things start getting awkward, Harry offers to restart the conversation. Then he kisses her and tells her he loves her, too. Murphy responds, "You jerk."
  • In the Warrior Cats series, Fireheart finds Yellowfang after a fire. She starts to tell him something she wants him to hear before she dies, and he stops her, insisting she isn't going to die. She knows she's dying, though, and continues speaking.
  • In Worm, Skitter and Tattletale have established this as a rule after Skitter leaves the team for the first time, and again when Skitter goes to turn herself in.

    Live Action TV 
  • Happens on CSI: NY . Jo makes Sid promise he isn't saying goodbye when he reveals he's dying of lymphoma..
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor has at times been reluctant to admit when he's not going to see somebody again.
  • Parodied by Not the Nine O'Clock News with the song "Kinda Lingers," where the singer says that he finds it hard to say goodbye, so instead he'll say... "cunnilingus."
  • A surprisingly touching version appears in Power Rangers in Space of all things, during the Countdown to Destruction two parter, when Andros prepares to confront the Big Bad and says goodbye to Ashley.
    Andros: If I don't...see you again-
    Ashley (cuts him off): I will see you again.
  • Supernatural, specifically Dean, likes this one a lot.
    • In Season 1, Sam tries to thank Dean for everything before they try to kill the Big Bad, and Dean cuts him off, complete with "Whoa, whoa," explaining, "Don't say, 'Just in case something happens to you', I don't wanna hear that freaking speech, man. Nobody's dying tonight."
    • At the end of Season 3, with Dean fated to go die and go to hell at midnight, Sam tries some kind of "in case we can't win" speech, which again Dean ignores, this time because it would be "socially awkward". Sure enough he's speechifying himself before long.

  • The point of the Skillet song "Don't Say Goodbye".

  • Parodied in Beyond the Fringe's World War II sketch, after an officer orders a soldier to go off and get himself senselessly killed for no other reason than that it will "raise the tone."
    Officer: Goodbye, Perkins. God, I wish I was going too.
    Perkins: Goodbye, sir... or is it au revoir?
    Officer: [glaring at him] No, Perkins.

    Web Animation 
  • In Red vs. Blue, this is a running theme throughout Seasons 9 and 10, and the source of many heartwarming and tearjerker moments.
    Allison: But don't say goodbye. I hate goodbyes.

    Western Animation 
  • Happened on the "Max Out" episode of Ben 10: Alien Force, though there wasn't a body, so who knows...
    • Anyone who watched Season 2 and the Grand Finale knows — since it was an uncontrolled Null Void generator, Max got out of the explosion and into the Null Void.