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Nothing Left to Do but Die

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"I have done all that can be done. There is nothing left. No quests to be undertaken. No villains to be slain. No challenges to face. Except for you. Only you can send me to Sovngarde with honor."
The Ebony Warrior, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

One of the reasons that immortality or agelessness sometimes sucks is boredom. Eventually you've seen everything, done everything, eaten everything, had sex with everything in every possible way, and you haven't read, seen, heard or played anything for a thousand years that seemed truly new or original. So, it's time to end it all.

This is when a pseudo-immortal (can die in some particular way but doesn't die of old age) character decides to kill themselves simply because they're bored.

Can occasionally happen with a character with human lifespan, if they're very old or if their life has been very eventful.

See Seen-It-All Suicide for when a disposable character is shown to do this as a gag to hammer home how weird some event they've just seen is. Contrast Living Is More than Surviving and Worth Living For.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Shiba from Zombie Loan kills himself just because he was bored with life, but wound up being the undead Big Bad of a Story Arc.
  • Baccano!: This is Maiza's reasoning for approaching Firo and asking the kid to kill him (more specifically, he's both Seen It All and finally received closure over his dead younger brother) at the end of the first arc. Firo's response is to nod, smile... and then give a number of entirely bullshit reasons for why he can't do that, Dave, before admitting that he really just doesn't want to lose his mentor.
  • Dead Mount Death Play: Serial-Killer Killer Misaki killed the man who murdered her parents and then her first innocent target, Polka, only to realize she had fulfilled her life's ambitions. She then attempted suicide, reasoning the only type of person she hadn't killed yet was herself.
  • Done by Light Yagami in an alternate ending of the manga version of Death Note. He's now in his 50s or 60s and has been ruling as Kira for many years... and decides he's bored. So he asks Ryuk to write his name in the book. In the afterlife, he gets killed many times over, for every name he wrote in the notebook. Light, being who he is, chooses not to take that sitting down, and goes to bargain with the Shinigami King. This may or may not tie into the popular fan theory that Light became a Shinigami after he died.
  • Ultimately Dio's fate at the end of Casshern Sins. Killing Casshern was his main and only goal, and he succeeds, so all that's left to do is wait for the ruin to take him like everybody else.
  • The Tatsuki Fujimoto oneshot Shikaku has the vampire Yugeru hiring the titular Cute and Psycho assassin to kill him because he's lived for 3500 years and is bored with everything. Unfortunately, she's unable to defeat his regenerative powers, but Shikaku's bizarre personality gives Yugeru enough entertainment to want to continue living.

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics: this was the origin story of the first Mr. Terrific, who was seriously considering suicide because he was just too damn good at everything to find anything interesting anymore. Then he discovered crime-fighting. Problem solved.
  • Kraven's Last Hunt: After shooting and burying his nemesis Spider-Man, Kraven has no further goals and commits suicide.
  • The Sandman (1989):
    • One of the possible motivations for Morpheus's probable suicide.
    • But not Morpheus's long-time friend Hob Gadling. Despite being nearly a thousand years old, having held innumerable jobs and done and seen as much as a human can, and after losing countless friends and wives and lovers, and generally holding a cynical view of his fellow human beings, he's finally offered a chance to die by none other than Death herself. After thinking about it for a minute, he tells her, "I can't die yet. There's still too much to do."
  • At the end of Superman: Red Son it's the far future, humanity has become quasi-immortal and the Earth is about to be swallowed by the Sun which has grown into a red giant. Lex Luthor's distant descendant Jor-El tried to come up with a plan to stop it but was ignored, theorizing that the trope is applying to the species as a whole. He then decides to send his son Kal-El to the past so that humanity doesn't become "this cold complacent lot"...
  • At the end of The Punisher Kills the Marvel Universe, the last remaining superhero, the Punisher himself, decides to end it all for this reason.
  • At the end of one Deadpool story, Deadpool says this after slaughtering his enemies.

  • Inverted in an advertisement for high-end bathroom fixtures, when a bedridden grandmother reassures her gathered relatives that she's already experienced everything good in life, so is content to pass on. Then she glances out a window and notices the fancy new tub in a neighbor's bathroom, and uses her last breath to curse that she missed her chance to try it.

  • In Hook, Captain Hook remarks, "There is no adventure here," and puts a flintlock to his head, but Smee stops him from killing himself. Subverted in that Hook has no intention of actually killing himself, and has to order the dumbfounded Smee to stop him from doing so. It's implied that he does this a lot.
    Captain Hook: Prepare to die, Peter!
    Peter Pan: To die will be a great adventure.
    Captain Hook: Death is the only adventure you have left...
  • In Only Lovers Left Alive, this is Adam's attitude. He's very jaded by the progression of human society. This is directly opposed to his wife's point of view.
  • Rogue One: After giving Rogue One what they need to find Galen Erso, losing most of his Partisans, and seeing the Death Star firing on Jedha, Saw Gerrera decides on this, choosing to stay behind and die with Jedha while Rogue One makes their getaway. He likely wouldn't have lived much longer anyways; by that point, he had already lost both his legs and suffered lung injuries that left him constantly using a respirator and oxygen mask.

  • 2001: A Space Odyssey had a companion volume titled The Lost Worlds of 2001 featuring unpublished early drafts from both the book and the film script. In one of these, the ageless being who kicked off humanity's evolution and is now encountering the results of his handiwork millions of years later reflects on this trope:
    "To an immortal, there was nothing more valuable than surprise. When there were no more surprises, it would be time to die."
  • The plot of Cory Doctorow's novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is driven by a character's desire to commit suicide after succeeding in his life's mission to convince every human being on earth to join the Bitchun Society, since they cured death a long time ago. Because he put it off too long for it to count as going out with a bang, he couldn't go through with it, and so the protagonist spends the rest of the book helping him try to top it. One of the kicking-off points is hearing that a friend of theirs did the closest thing possible and had themselves frozen indefinitely.
  • Larry Niven wrote a short story set in The Draco Tavern called "The Schumann Computer" where the title AI shuts itself down because it's solved every possible problem. The builders/investors are then told that this eventually happens to every AI.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, Lazarus Long thinks he really has seen it all (in over two thousand years) and decides to die. He only agrees to continue living if someone can find something he hasn't yet experienced. His millions of descendants, who practically worship him, succeed twice over. They manage to develop a pair of female clones of him, and a time machine.
  • In Harry Potter, Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel okay the destruction of the Philosopher's Stone because they've had enough of life and are ready to move on. Of course, this choice is less remarkable than most because they've both been alive since the fourteenth century.
    • He's also nearing his 666th birthday (depending on when the book Hermione was reading from was published).
  • Paulo Coelho's Veronica Decides To Die. The titular character decides that she's seen all that there is to be seen in life (at age 24) and that once she gets old, everything will only go downhill from there.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • Referenced in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. The planet Ursa Minor Beta is so beautiful that when a travel guide announced, "When you are tired of Ursa Minor Beta you are tired of life", the suicide rate there quadrupled overnight. Although given that the description of the place doesn't sound all that great if you don't like surfing and clubbing, perhaps the point was that nobody wanted to admit it wasn't all it's cracked up to be.
    • In Life, the Universe and Everything and And Another Thing..., we have Wowbagger the Infinitely Prolonged. In an accident that has never been successfully repeated, he made himself immortal. In the former volume, he is using his immortality along with time travel to insult every single being who has ever existed in the galaxy. To their faces. One at a time. In alphabetical order. In the latter, he's given up on that and spends the entire book trying to find a way to die. He eventually finds a reason to live when he falls in love with Trillian, but he still goes through with it. Fortunately, the chosen method doesn't kill him immediately but restores his mortality so he can grow old with her.
  • Strata by Terry Pratchett has really good life-extension treatment that effectively leads to immortality. People still tend to die after three hundred years or so, though. Generally it's not technically suicide, it's just that they get bored enough that only increasingly risky stunts hold any interest for them, and eventually the risk doesn't pan out.
  • In "Grendel", a story in the Known Space series by Larry Niven, Larchmont Bellamy dies in an extremely risky stunt that he was doing to liven up a life made incredibly dull by its length allowing him to have done so much.
  • H. Beam Piper wrote a story titled "Last Enemy," about a culture that had accepted reincarnation as a scientifically proven fact. As a result, they'd developed a rather different attitude toward death — it was, at worst, a (temporary) inconvenience; often enough, it was a social event. "Evidently when the Akor-Neb people get tired of their current reincarnation they invite in their friends, throw a big party, and then do themselves in in an atmosphere of general conviviality."
  • Isaac Asimov:
    • "The Last Answer": [link] A superior entity turns out to have created the universe and everything in it, but isn't in fact any sort of god as imagined by humankind. It has grown to know everything, with the exception of anything concerning its own origin and ending. Thus it collects countless intellects from the universe, and gives them just one thing to do: think. The intellects soon find out that they can do nothing else as they are disembodied, and even suicide is easily reversed by the entity; left with no alternatives, all the intellects eventually resolve to find a way to destroy the entity so they themselves can cease existing. The entity is satisfied, for that is exactly why it has created the intellects in the first place.
      "For what could any Entity, conscious of eternal existence, want – but an end?"
    • Robots and Empire: (Subverted Trope) Gladia describes to D.G. how the long-lived Spacers someday reach a point when life becomes boring, and they feel they have seen it all. However, when he asks her how common suicide is among Spacers, she answers "Zero. Suicide is impossible when surrounded by Three Laws-Compliant robots."
  • Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought series, beginning with A Fire Upon The Deep, includes a region beyond the rim of the galaxy, the Transcend, where technologies impossible everywhere else are commonplace. Civilizations that move from the Beyond (where Faster-than-Light travel is possible) to the Transcend routinely go through The Singularity into incomprehensible digital forms (Powers) whose interaction with the Beyond rarely lasts more than ten years; it is unknown whether they die of boredom, burn out or wind down, or merely lose interest in the limited people of the Beyond and move further out. However, a Transcendent Power can in one month evolve more than humans in ten thousand years, so that comes out to something like a million years subjective time, if such a comparison has any meaning. Yes, they get very bored, judging by the actions of a Power called The Old One because it is more than ten years old at the time of the story, playing with one of the characters as a meat puppet just before it gets eaten alive by a hostile power known as The Blight.
  • The Culture: In The Hydrogen Sonata Ngaroe QiRia is a deliberate if narrow aversion. He's the oldest biological citizen in the Culture and has seen pretty much everything the galaxy has to offer in 10,000 years and still keeps living, albeit in a rather jaded, eccentric way. In the rest of the Culture, living forever is completely possible but considered rather tacky, so most hyper-elderly citizens tend to euthanize themselves when they've seen it all. One of these people is shown in Look to Windward — in a subversion, he considers delaying his suicide to see the concert being organised by the protagonist, but says that there's always one more thing to see, so it would just be putting things off.
  • In God's Debris God had done everything except die. The big bang was God killing himself and the universe is his remains.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Shows up in Star Trek: Voyager, where one member of the Q continuum, bored from reliving eternity from start to finish, begs sanctuary on Voyager so as to be able to commit suicide. Which he eventually manages, with the help of the Q who had originally argued against him. A quite literal case of committing suicide after having seen everything. Multiple times. From every possible point of view.
    Q: "We've all been the scarecrow."
  • In True Blood, Godric, a bored 2000-year-old vampire, decides to stay in the sun. "Bored" may be the wrong word. Godric has seen human death and suffering in all variations, and his attempts to end vampire-human conflict goes poorly. He may just be tired of the futile cycles vampires and humans go through.
  • Subverted in Scrubs, when JD listens to an old patient saying she's lived a long life, he believes it's code for being ready to die. Dr. Cox soon sets him straight. Played straight in an earlier episode, where JD is forced to accept an old woman's desire to refuse the treatment and die, claiming to have lived a full life and seen it all. His attempts to show her that she hasn't all end in failure. Turns out she wasn't exaggerating; she really has done everything but die.
  • Casanova. Casanova runs into his old flame Billino in Naples, where she's staying with friends despite Mount Vesuvius ominously belching smoke and fire nearby. Billino says that she's achieved everything she ever wanted in life, and Casanova belatedly realises that they're all waiting for the volcano to erupt and end their ennui.
  • Pierce/Cain on Lucifer (2016) has, in his words, seen and done everything there is to do on Earth, and all he wants at this point is for it to end. Unfortunately, he has such an absurdly powerful Healing Factor that nothing he's tried has been enough to kill him — and that includes jumping into a volcano. "That was a rough six months."
    • In Season 5, we find out that this happened with Maze's mother Lilith. Having existed since the dawn of time, in 1946 she finally had an epiphany that mortality is what makes life worth living. So, she gave up her immortality in order to live like a normal human; the episode after all this is revealed, she's discovered to have died of old age.
  • A variant in The Good Place: much to the Soul Squad's surprise, they discover in the Good Place that an eternity of having everything given to you and being able to do anything slowly dulls your mind until you can't really care about anything anymore. To combat an eternity of ennui and knowing that the end makes the journey meaningful, they create a door through which the satisfied can walk, leave the Good Place, and experience peace. But no one, not even the omniscient Janet, knows what's on the other side. This works, giving the Good Place residents a new lot in the afterlife. The finale sees three of the four finding contentment and walking through the door (Tahani decides to become a Good Place architect); in the process, their energy is returned to the universe and they become the inspiration for good deeds in others.

  • Fall Out Boy's song "Thriller" (no, not a cover of the Michael Jackson song) contains the lines "The only thing I haven't done yet is die/and it's me and my plus-one at the afterlife."
  • R.E.M.'s song "Try Not To Breathe" appears to be written from the point of view of someone with this attitude.
  • "Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies" by The Association is all about this. The final line of the song changes the chorus' "all that's left/for me to do is cry" to "And all that will be left/for me to do is die"
  • The narrator of the Velvet Underground's "Heroin" is trying to "nullify his life" using the drug.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Happened in Exalted- in the First Age, some Celestial Exalted died because they were just bored and wanted to start over.
  • In Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Not quite suicide, but similar: in the Classic game, characters who attain supreme Immortal status, but get bored with playing super-godlings, can forfeit their Immortality to be reborn as a mortal again. Characters who do this once, then work their way up to supreme Immortal status again, Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and are permanently removed from play.
    • Inverted by the Society of Sensation in Planescape: since they aim to experience everything The Multiverse has to offer, having died and returned to life is a prerequisite for promotion in the ranks. (While Dimensional Travel lets them drop in on the various afterlives without dying, it's just not the same as doing it the old-fashioned way...) Despite having both in and out-of-universe reputations as The Hedonist, this is actually considered to be counter to the actual goals of members: the sensation of agonizingly dying of a gut wound is just as important as the sensation of attending a wild orgy.
    • Dragons are noted as sometimes reaching a point where they're so old and world-weary that they have no interest in living anymore. A metallic dragon is likely to simply curl up on its hoard and sleep out the rest of its life, but a chromatic dragon frequently will go on a wild rampage that devastates entire kingdoms in order to lure a group of adventurers to slay it in an epic last battle.
  • In Scion, there's a character named Niobe. Ever hear the story from Greek Mythology about how the gods created a cloud that looked like Hera to test Ixion's intentions? She was that cloud. She's lived for thousands of years, taken hundreds of husbands, and borne thousands of children, and she can't die. Even if someone kills her, she comes back a few minutes later. Players can get on her good side by either rejuvenating her will to live or coming up with a way to end her life for good. (A major reason to do so: she always knows where the Golden Fleece is.)

    Video Games 
  • Broforce: Defied in the Golden Ending. Jesus notes that, having thoroughly brought peace to the world, there's nothing left for a soldier like you to do in the world, so he has you Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence...more specifically, to Texas. It's that kind of game.
  • In Dark Souls III, many of the good endings for NPC sidequests are this. Once you've helped said NPC complete their quest, said characters are usually found dead later on. It's implied many of them killed themselves, since, as an Undead, they would eventually go Hollow and become mindless zombies once they no longer had any purpose (which they fulfilled by completing their quest). They must have learned from previous iterations, as in Dark Souls you'd often find NPCs and merchants Hollow and hostile after completing their quests or buying out their whole inventory.
  • The reason the superboss of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, the Ebony Warrior, seeks out the Dovahkiin for a fight to the death. And given the power needed to attract his attention, let alone defeat him, at this point this could be true for the Dovahkiin as well.
    I have done all that can be done. There is nothing left. No quests to be undertaken. No villains to be slain. No challenges to face. Except for you.
  • Everhood: Many of Everhood's denizens have reached this point. All of them, in fact, but far too many of them are so afraid to die, and of what might come after everything is over, that they've driven themselves deep into denial and slowly lost their minds as The Fog of Ages comes and goes. Which is where the main character comes in, as the designated Grim Reaper.
  • Two examples from the distant past pop up in the Endwalker expansion of Final Fantasy XIV:
    • The first being the nigh-immortal ancientsnote  whose culture dictated that once one had seen their official tasks to completion to the best of their abilities, the only thing left to do was to "return to the star" and await one's next Reincarnation. There were, however, some oddballs among them who sometimes decided to remain in this life even after abdicating their positions and duties to an inheritor and then finding purpose in life beyond that of their official tasks.
    • The second example were the Nibirun, a people of a distant Star whose society had advanced even beyond that of the highly advanced ancients, to the point that they had discarded all that which gave rise to sorrow and hardship. So, when the ancient Hermes sent the Meteia out in the universe to inquire about what filled other living beings' existences with joy and meaning, the Nibirun arrived at the conclusion that, without sorrow, joy had lost its savour, and with their civilization having reached the absolute pinnacle of what could be achieved, they no longer had any further reasons to continue living, either. Consequently, they all happily decided to commit collective suicide.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: Ultimate Custom Night: There's an easter egg that may imply Old Man Consequences, essentially a living Fishing Minigame, believes this as he tells someone to sit next to him, leave the demon to his demons, and "rest [their] own soul. There is nothing else."
  • In Hollow Knight, after the Nailsmith upgrades your nail to its maximum strength, he feels that there's nothing else left for him to do in life after forging a blade of such perfection, and asks to be cut down by his creation, earning you the achievement "Purity". If you just walk away without killing him, he finds something else to live for by hooking up with Nailmaster Sheo and taking up painting alongside him, earning you the achievement "Happy Couple" instead.
  • NEO: The World Ends with You has a variant with Shoka. Tired of being a Reaper, she leaves the Reapers to join the Wicked Twisters, despite knowing that she'll be erased when the Reaper's Game ends. Luckily, thanks to Joshua's intervention, Shoka is restored to life along with the surviving Players.
  • If successful at the button input at the end of Zasalamel's story in Soulcalibur 3, he sits down and writes book after book (eventually enough to fill a city library), all based on his past lives. With the last book done and his quill dry, he just sits back and waits for his long-welcomed end.
  • Sylvanas Windrunner in World of Warcraft dedicated her energies to the singular goal of Revenge against Arthas Menethil for killing her, raising her as an undead slave, and using her to help him destroy her own homeland. Once Arthas finally met his end in Wrath of the Lich King, Sylvanas committed suicide so she could finally enter the beautiful afterlife Arthas ripped her away from. Though she finds to her horror that her dark and extreme methods damned her soul to eternal torment in the Maw. After making a bargain that brings her Back from the Dead, Sylvanas now has the goal to never die again.

  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja Dracula considers dying for this reason. However, first he wants to do some research on what will happen to him next.
  • El Goonish Shive: As immortals age, they get more powerful and more intelligent, to the point where they eventually become effectively precognitive because they can so accurately predict what's going to happen next. After they reach that point, it's usually not long before they get so incredibly bored that they "reset" (dying and being reborn with minimal power and without most of their memories).
  • The Perry Bible Fellowship did it with dinosaurs.
  • YISUN, the creator god of Kill Six Billion Demons was also The Omniscient, and thus became bored of reality, so it committed suicide. At least that's the narrative, as YISUN itself claims to be a Consummate Liar.

    Web Original 
  • Afterlife SMP: After regaining her status as the Hero of the Village and ensuring her Villagers' safety, building a memorial for her lives, and touring her builds in flight, Half-Dragon Gem launches herself into a wheat field to die from fall damage with nothing left to do with her tenth and final life.
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: After Linkara poked a MASSIVE hole in Missingno's plan to absorb all of existence, he followed that up by suggesting that it kill itself. And it works.
  • This site suggests the possibility that humanity could all one day evolve into a super-intelligent singularity, learn everything there is to learn, get bored and decide to end their own existence.

    Western Animation 
  • The Legend of Korra combines this with Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence with Iroh, who didn't so much die as he did decide he'd done everything he had to do in the real world and retire to the Spirit World.
  • In the Looney Tunes short Cheese Chasers, Hubie and Bertie pig out on cheese to the point that they get sick of the stuff and they, feeling there's nothing left to live for, decide to commit suicide by cat.
    Hubie: Bert, an average mouse eats 12 pounds of cheese in a lifetime. I figure tonight, we've lived 2,000 years!
    Bertie: Hubie, I'll never be able to touch the stuff again.
    • Later in the short, Claude Cat, disturbed by the two mice wanting to get eaten by him, decides to get pulverized by Marc Antony, a bulldog. Marc attempts to mathematically (as in, actually using a mechanical calculator) look at the situation, but can't make heads or tails of it either, and decides to purposefully get caught by the dog catcher.
      Marc Antony: IT JUST DON'T ADD UP!
      [A dog catcher's truck drives by. Marc begins to chase it.]
      Marc Antony: HEY! WAIT FOR ME! WAIT FOR BABY!
      Claude: [chasing Marc] Hey, wait for me! You gotta massacre me!
      Hubie and Bertie: [chasing Claude] Wait, you cowardly cat!
  • In the Metalocalypse episode "Dethkomedy", after Pickles has a breakthrough about being a comedian and starts killing it on stage by attacking the audience (literally), the man that had been advising Dethklok on comedy decides he 'can't teach them any more' and shoots himself in the head.