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Slashed Throat

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"They say that, when the throat is cut, the breath escapes it with a sound like the winter wind. I have always wanted to hear that sound. But to hear it coming from my own neck is ridiculous..."

This Death Trope is one of the classic ways to kill someone in media. Take a knife, a straight razor, or some other nasty edged weapon and draw it across your victim's throat. In a lot of media, this generally means instant death, but in more realistic works, it is quite slow (unless the carotid arteries are all severed, in which case the target passes out after a few seconds due to lack of oxygenated blood to the brain—though it takes a certain amount of expertise to land such a strike) and VERY messy to boot, particularly if the carotid artery or the jugular vein are severed. Not to mention the victim usually drowns in their own blood before passing out. Naturally, people with a preference for knives are particularly fond of this method.

A Sub-Trope of Impromptu Tracheotomy. See also the lethal variant of Dangerously Close Shave. A Throat-Slitting Gesture is pretending to slit your own throat when threatening someone with death or punishment.

This being a common way characters are killed, beware of unmarked spoilers!

Example subpages:

Other examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the pudding case of God Child, the "pudding killer" commits suicide by slashing his throat with the kitchen knife after his wife learns that he is the killer and that society has broken him, including that he admits that now that he started killing, he'll likely not stop.
  • In Full Metal Panic!: The Second Raid, this is one of the bloodier killing methods, done by Creepy Twin Yu Lan to a guard. It is done to an Arm Slave at one point as well.
  • Bleach:
    • Cang Du slices Rangiku around her throat and delivers her dying body to her captain, Toshiro, stating that teammates should die together on the battlefield. She and Toshiro get turned into zombies, but they get better. Science.
    • This is how Kenpachi kills one of three Sternritters during the first Quincy invasion - he slashed her throatnote  right when she was in the middle of explaining her powers.
    • Captain Kyoraku uses his Bankai to slice Lille Barro across the neck and make his head explode shortly afterwards. Not only does this STILL not kill him, but his Vollständig reveals a third form that proves even more troublesome to deal with.
    • An anime-only example has Squad Zero Captains Kirinji, Hikifune and Nimaiya doing this to themselves to allow Captain Shutara to release her Bankai to kill the Schutzstaffel - the explanation being that each Squad Zero captain is so absurdly powerful, that all of them releasing their Bankai at once would destroy the very fabric of reality.
  • In chapter 51 of Future Diary Yuno slashes Akise through the neck rendering him unable to breathe or talk. She later beheads him.
  • From Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • This happens to Riza Hawkeye in chapter 100/101, when the Gold-Toothed Mad Doctor tries to force Roy into a Sadistic Choice with her life at the stake. She gets better, thanks to emergency treatment from May Chang.
    • Hughes uses his knives to do this to Envy, who is disguised as Maria Ross. Unfortunately, Homunculi don't die so easily.
  • Dragon Ball Super: Zamasu almost does this to Zuno with a wave of his Razor-Sharp Hand when the latter goes into one of his long-winded explanations regarding the Super Dragon Balls.note  He promptly demands Zuno to quit wasting his time and tell him how they work.
  • In Psycho-Pass, this is how Makishima disposes of Yuki, one of Akane's friends introduced early in the series, as punishment for the latter's inability to use an actual weapon to kill him instead of using her Dominator.
  • In Domu: A Child's Dream, a ronin student is possessed and forced to cut his own throat with a utility knife.
  • Attack on Titan:
    • Bertolt Hoover suffers one. Since he's a Titan Shifter, his Healing Factor allows him to survive and quickly recover from it.
    • Psycho for Hire Kenny the Ripper employs this as his trademark method of killing victims, hence his moniker.
  • Like in the Film example below, this is how Ogami Itto kills an assassin in Lone Wolf and Cub. The assassin, who survives for a short period afterwards, taking about the sound of his last breath.
  • In End of Evangelion, the JSDF invasion begins with a commando appearing behind a NERV security guard and opening his throat before letting the rest through the gates. It isn't instant death; the guard's mouth is clamped shut with a hand over it for the amount of time it takes him to bleed out.
  • In Black Lagoon, Frederica Sawyer "the Cleaner" managed to survive this in her past. However, she lost her voice to the injury and the subsequent scar left a rather massive impression.
  • In the School Days anime, after Kotonoha finds out that Sekai killed Makoto, she goes insane. Kotonoha cuts off the dead Makoto's head and brings it to Sekai, revealing that she knows what Sekai did to Makoto. She then proceeds to take a dozuki and slash Sekai's jugular vein open, killing her.
  • Being a fighting series, this is prevalent in Gamaran:
    • While making it through Ayanaka Forest, Shin and Zenmaru stumble in a bunch of dead bandits butchered by Muraku Matsumoto, all of them had their throat sliced open and was then finished off with a hard blow to the back of the skull.
    • In Shura, a wounded Jinkuu manages to kill Kaido Rin with a high slash attack aimed at the neck: thanks to the rushing momentum and the sliding motion, he was able to push through his defense and cut the throat open.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess (2016), Ganondorf takes control of Zelda's body and tries to kill Link this way. Link steps back just in time to walk away with a nick on his neck.

    Comic Books 
  • In the V for Vendetta graphic novel, Heyer dies after his throat is slashed, but manages to take his assailant with him.
  • The Rumor's throat is slashed with a note from a Musical Assassin in The Umbrella Academy. It's a rare case when the victim doesn't end up dead though she was immediately rushed to a hospital and bears an ugly scar afterwards.
  • Constantine Drakon slit Arsenal's throat so that he couldn't fight back and had to submit to being kidnapped. Interestingly, it makes use of the slowness of dying from the wound. Constantine instructed Arsenal to put pressure on the wound to keep himself alive (a trick he had already done with an anonymous businessman, who applied too much pressure and died of suffocation instead).
  • Another example from the DCU is that Jericho was mute due to some of his father's (Deathstroke's) enemies capturing him in order to get Deathstroke to reveal information. Deathstroke refused, and killed the assassins - but not before one of them severed Joseph's vocal cords. This also led to the fight between Deathstroke and his wife where Addie tried to kill him, but only managed to put his eye out instead.
  • In Batman: Hush Clayface, pretending to be Jason Todd (though later retcons make out Jason to have been involved in the plot meaning it may have actually been Jason), slashed Tim Drake's throat after kidnapping him, though the wound wasn't as deep as most of the examples on the page and Catwoman bandaged it up pretty quickly.
  • In Red Robin when Tim, Pru, Z, and Owens were ambushed by the Widower he slashed Pru's throat. She managed to survive but her larynx left is badly damaged.
  • The 2007 revival of the DC Comics series Checkmate begins with two Checkmate agents, one of whom is the superhero known as "Fire", slitting the throats of two Kobra soldiers.
  • In Batman Eternal, the secret mastermind, Cluemaster, has his throat slit by Lincoln March before he can culminate his plan by killing Batman and publicly proclaim his victory, Cluemaster wanting to prove himself more than a C-list villain while March wants to kill Batman anonymously to undermine the myth of the Dark Knight.
  • Family: Variation when Silver uses his explosive powers to silence someone rather than using something sharp.
  • Watchmen has the infamous prison cell scene where Big Figure's obese henchman Larry gets stuck in the bars of Rorsarch's prison cell when Rorsarch breaks his thumbs and ties his arms in place, blocking the door. Unlike the significantly more brutal scene in the movie where BF's other Mook saws his arms off, in the comic, they just slit his throat.
  • Burlap: Chuckles opens up a woman's throat on Cottontail's command.
  • Silverblade: Jealous of his father's power, Adruu slit his throat to take the power for himself.

    Fan Works 
  • A Darker Path: The first kill that Atropos has announced in advance is Coil. Since his power is to run two timelines at once, she cuts his throat with a pair of bodice shears (after first hanging him with a coil of rope in his backup timeline). The autopsy concludes that even if an ambulance had been on site already, he wouldn't have survived to reach the sidewalk.
  • In Hellsister Trilogy, Satan Girl attempts to tear through Supergirl's throat with her sharp teeth during a battle.
  • In Incarnation of Legends, Bell kills the man holding Haruhime hostage this way, batting away his spear before dragging his knife across his throat.
  • In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, L'le of the Circle survived one of these once; she kept the scar as a reminder of the only truly bad mistake she ever made.
  • Lost to Dust: Penny slits Neo's throat with a sword. Irisviel manages to heal her, but her throat doesn't heal all the way, rendering her truly mute.
  • In Medicinal Lullaby, Sakura finishes Sasuke off by cutting his throat.
  • The Night Unfurls:
  • The Palaververse: The Tempest: Chapter 2: The Crown asks about the need for any slashed throats when wondering why madness has happened to him:
    Is there some entity or entities behind all this in dire need of a throat-slitting?
  • In Patroni In Winterfell, this is how Cersei kills Robert.
  • In Pony POV Series, when General Lone Ranger attempts to attack the Mane Six, they effortlessly beat him and Rarity slashes his throat, then reveals she was skilled enough to do it without killing him.
  • Pop Quiz: Charlie suffers a minor version of this, as Robert Evans had a knife to his throat and he ends up with a gash after Don shoots the student in the head and Charlie survives the injury.
  • The Prayer Warriors often do this to their victims. This also how Annabeth is killed by her opponent in the coliseum.
  • This is how Ayame accidentally kills Hikaru in Despair's Last Resort.
  • In Two Sides of a Coin, Eleya slashes the throat of a Romulan soldier with the bayonet she uses as a combat knife after emerging from an Air-Vent Passageway next to him.
  • Kaneki Tenmaru is murdered this way in Fractured Fates.
  • In Summer and Winter, Ace "dies" from this in many of his nightmares, usually at the hands of his "family".
  • Remnant's Reclaimer: This is Future!Ruby's finishing blow against Future!Roman Torchwick in Chapter 1.

  • The Corrupted Chronicles of Coco Claramisa: The notorious serial killer, Bloody Rose, chooses this as their method of offing their victims, and uses the blood coming from the neck to coat a rose in the victim's blood.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo: The Count and his guests witness an execution by mazzolata (based on the Real Life capital punishment known as "Mazzatello/Mazzolatura")—The condemned has his head smashed with a mace, and his throat is slit. The executioner then stomps on the dying man's stomach, and "at every stroke a jet of blood sprang from the wound."
  • The giant in the fairy tale of "Hop-o'-My-Thumb" kills his daughters this way.
  • Saruman dies this way in The Lord of the Rings. In the movies, he's stabbed In the Back and impaled on a spike.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's novel Sixth Column, also known under the title The Day After Tomorrow, one of the characters kills a "traitor" this way. This "proves" he is fit to continue as an undercover agent.
  • In the book The Five Fingers about combat in Vietnam, the author mentions that the "commonly known" way of cutting a throat, by slashing across it, does not work if you wish quick, silent killing. He says the proper method is to jam the knife into the throat and rip forward, tearing open the windpipe and veins.
    • The banned book Hit Man: A Technical Manual for Independent Contractors agrees, and further recommends that a six-inch, double-edged, half-serrated blade be used.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
  • Averted in Tom Clancy's Without Remorse, where John Clark opts to stab his target through the base of the skull, severing the spinal cord for an instant kill. This tells the investigating policemen that they are dealing with a professional: a slashed throat is noisy (all that escaping air) and very, very messy, but it's much easier to do than a stab through the base of the neck.
  • This is how Snape (via Voldemort’s snake Nagini) meets his end in Harry Potter .
  • It happens in Iron Fist; Deadly Doctor Ton Phanan cuts a man's throat with a laser scalpel, and the man staggers, glassy-eyed and trying to stop the bleeding, for a moment before he falls.
  • This is how murder is usually committed in Warrior Cats.
  • In Dale Brown's Wings of Fire, Wendy McLanahan gets her throat slashed with the swipe-along-the-neck method and survives... only for Vasilyeva to throw a knife into her chest and kill her. When Chris Wohl kills Pavel Kazakov, he stabs into the neck before slashing out, slicing it nearly in half.
  • Happens to Catelyn Stark at the Red Wedding in A Storm of Swords. It doesn't take.
    • And shortly before that, she does some cutting of her own on one of Walder Frey's grandsons.
    • This also happens to Lord Manderly in A Dance with Dragons, though, in a subversion, he survives.
    • The last free king of Astapor was known as King Cutthroat. He got to that position by, well, you know.
  • Richard Marcinko describes the act of cutting a throat in some detail (emphasizing the difficulty of the act) in one of his early Rogue Warrior novels.
  • In Lois McMaster Bujold's Shards of Honor, Sgt. Bothari slits Admiral Vorrutyer's throat with a pocket knife, spraying blood all over Captain Naismith, whom Vorrutyer was about to rape.
  • A mugger in Virtual Girl tries this on Maggie. It doesn't work, her being a robot and all.
  • Long before The Last Dragonlord, Linden encountered Harper Satha, a harper-healer who had gone into a magical sleep for a century, during which someone had come by and cut his throat. Thanks to the magic, though, he didn't die of it. Linden recalls the whistling bubble of his voice as some air inevitably escaped through the cut.
  • The Mortal Instruments:
    • In City of Ashes, Valentine does this to collect Simon's blood. He gets better.
    • Clary comes very close to this in City of Fallen Angels, courtesy of Jace (to be fair, he was under Lilith's Mind Rape at the time).
    • Maureen Brown is found in a dumpster with her throat slit.
  • In The Last Wish's short story "The Witcher", Geralt barely survives having his neck ripped open by the striga Princess Adda. He got lucky: The claw swipe in question missed anything really important, and he got medical attention soon after. He still spent a few months in a hospital.
  • The Union, a Nebulous Evil Organization from Raymond Benson's James Bond novels, has its victims' throats cut as a Calling Card, even if they were killed by other means.
  • In Gone Girl, Desi has his throat slashed by Amy as both are having sex.
  • In Midnight’s Children, Zafar kills his father Zulfikar this way.
  • No Gods for Drowning: Serial Killer Lilac Antonis finishes off her victim Flip by using her knife to cut his throat open, using his spilled blood as part of a Human Sacrifice.
  • In the short story Fanatic set in the Honor Harrington series Victor Cachat mentions that the State Sec academy assassination course recommended the use of a seven-centimeter blade for cutting throats.
  • In the Elsabeth Soesten novel Bait And Switch, Elsabeth kills Husson in a duel this way after he and Maerten betray her, by slashing out his throat with her sword.
  • In Richard Laymon's Savage, this is the fate of Roderick Whittle, aka Jack the Ripper.
  • In 11/22/63, Johnny does this to himself.
  • Retired Witches Mysteries: Olivia's body is found with a slit throat in the first book. Her ghost later explains that she didn't see them, but they came up from behind her.
  • While My Pretty One Sleeps:
    • Renata Kearny's throat was slashed twice with a blade, in a V-like pattern, with one cut going up to her left ear and slicing through her jugular vein.
    • Ethel Lambston's throat was cut with an ornate Indian dagger she used as a letter opener, which she kept on her desk; a medical examination finds that her throat was slashed first horizontally then vertically, in a V-like shape, severing both her jugular vein and her windpipe. The fact she was killed in the exact same way as Renata eventually leads the police and the Kearnys to suspect it was the same killer. They're right.
  • The Chronicles of Dorsa:
    • Joslyn cut the throat of her sadist master Captain Samwin before escaping from slavery.
    • Wise Man Evrart kills his friend Crestin this way when he raises the alarm upon discovering that he's sneaking Tasia out of the palace.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 24 made repeated use of this trope. In season 5, Jack Bauer actually instructed a Naval engineer young enough to be his son how to discreetly slit the throat of a mook who was in his way. The boy carried out the kill successfully.
  • Happens far too many times to even count in American Horror Story.
  • In Angel, Wesley gets his throat cut. He survives, though he is unable to speak for some time afterwards.
  • In the Band of Brothers episode "Bastogne," one of the Easy men has his throat graphically ripped out by an MG42 when their patrol stumbles across a German machine gun nest. It takes him several minutes to die, while wordlessly pleading for his buddies to save him. However, they're pinned down by the machine gun and ultimately forced to withdraw, leaving his body behind.
  • Jimmy from Boardwalk Empire has done this multiple times. Notable ones include killing one of the D'Alessio brothers during a montage of their assassination, cutting the throat of a would-be mugger, and disposing of a Mole within an ally's organization.
  • The Boys (2019): During his covert invasion of Naqib's compound, Black Noir slices the throat of a woman who unknowingly approached him. Her blood spills directly into the empty glass she was carrying, which Noir is quick to catch. He does the same to another terrorist before subsequently splitting his partner's head in half.
  • In the first episode of Breaking Bad's fourth season, Gustavo Fring does this to one of his goons to punish him for not preventing Gale Boetticher's murder but also to create a Past Victim Showcase and scare the crap out of Walt, Jesse, and Mike so that they never step out of line again. The goon on the receiving end of this treatment was not only not expecting it, but the throat-slitting was conducted with a box cutter (complete with a blood spurt). Just to make this throat-slitting creepier, Gus simply removes his bloodied hazmat suit, puts on his business suit, tells Jesse and Walt to clean up the mess, and calmly returns to work.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Becoming Part 1", Kendra gets her throat slashed by fingernails and dies instantly. Though to be fair, she was under hypnosis at the time, and they were vampire fingernails.
    • In "What's My Line Part 1", Buffy used her ice skates to slit the throat of her attacker. He grabs his throat and falls to the ground, seemingly dead. Notable (and lampshaded in the DVD Commentary) in that there is no blood from his wound.
    • In "Touched", Giles cuts the throat of a Bringer they've taken prisoner once he's given the information they want. The Bringer was psychically linked to Andrew at the time, who complains loudly and demands a lozenge.
  • Francis Wolcott likes to off prostitutes this way in Deadwood.
  • Dexter:
    • This is how Dexter kills his brother, the Ice Truck Killer. It's staged as a suicide.
    • This happens to a hostage after Debra falls prey to Put Down Your Gun and Step Away. He survives and is able to speak quite soon after.
  • Eye Candy: The killer murders multiple victims by this method.
  • The Following: When Jacob tells Emma that he's leaving the cult, she pulls him close for a kiss, and slits his throat open with a knife while doing so.
  • Used a few ways in Forever. When immortals Henry and Adam die, their body vanishes, including clothing and any spilled blood, so the messy aspect is avoided in their case.
    • Threatened by the killer in "Look Before You Leap" when holding Henry hostage with a scalpel right over his carotid artery.
    • How Adam kills Henry quickly in "The Frustrating Thing About Psychopaths" when Henry is paralyzed and close to dying, in danger of being discovered by Det. Martinez and potentially having her see him die and vanish. Adam considers this to be doing Henry a favor.
    • Self-inflicted in "The Night In Question" by Abigail, when Adam tries to kidnap her to force her to tell him how to find Henry. She kills herself to protect Henry, telling Adam he's alone, meaning there is no other immortal.
    • Casually used by Adam as a quick way to disappear when about to be discovered by Jo in "The Last Death of Henry Morgan."
  • Game of Thrones:
    • This happens to Catelyn Stark, at the hands of Black Walder Frey.
    • How Arya Stark kills Ser Meryn Trant, Lord Walder Frey, and Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish.
    • Not exactly slashed, but Ramsay kills Osha by stabbing her in the throat.
    • Since Aerys Targaryen believed he would turn into a dragon upon death, Jaime did this just to make sure it wouldn't happen.
    • This seems to be the Sons of the Harpy's preferred method of killing their victims.
    • How Irri was killed by Doreah.
  • Gen V: Cate makes Indira Shetty kill herself this way.
  • Goodbye My Princess: This is how Xiao Feng commits suicide.
  • Harrow: This is how the Victim of the Week is murdered in "Aurum Potestas Est" ("Gold is Power"). Her body is then dumped on the railroad tracks in an attempt to mask the cause of death.
  • Heroes:
    • This happens to Nathan, with the throat-slashing being done telekinetically.
    • At one point when the powers are off, HRG slices Sylar's throat with a box cutter. Not quite ruthless enough; he really should have followed that up by destroying the brain and/or burning the body...
  • Highlander: The Series had Kalas, the third season Big Bad, who had a nasty scar on his throat after a fight with Duncan in the 1920s. Since his head wasn't cut off, he didn't die, but neck wounds don't heal properly on Immortals, so he was stuck with an ugly scar and a messed-up voice. As Kalas was always proud of his singing voice (he was an opera singer at the time of the fight with Duncan), this was the big issue for him and why he still held a grudge against our hero.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In the Season 1 finale, Louis de Pointe du Lac unsheathes the knife from his Sword Cane and slices Lestat de Lioncourt's throat with it.
  • The Killing: How the Pied Piper kills his victims, cutting their throats ear to ear so deeply some of the victims are nearly decapitated.
  • The King's Woman: Min Dai commits suicide this way.
  • Happens a lot on Legend of the Seeker. Most people who get it simply clutch at their profusely bleeding throat before falling to the ground. Cara, on the other hand, manages to put off death long enough to beat the hell out of the attacker, and get information out of him as well.
  • Legends of Tomorrow: In season 4, Neron does this to Ray while possessing his body, Constantine then instinctively heals him with his magic.
  • The Longest Day in Chang'an: Wang Run Xiu takes Wen Ran hostage and holds a knife at her throat. Wen Ran uses the knife to cut her own throat.
  • Lost:
    • Zoe gets her throat cut by the Man in Black.
    • Lennon had his throat sliced by Sayid.
  • Lost Love in Times: Yuan Ji commits suicide by cutting his throat.
  • Midsomer Murders:
    • The method used by the murderer to dispose of his two victims in "The Great and the Good".
    • Two people (and several sheep) were killed this way with the skull of a smilodon.
  • Jessica's pushy suitor in Misfits ends up with his throat slashed. Alisha also dies like this.
  • Motherland: Fort Salem: The Fixer in "Mother Mycellum" demonstrates how important their role is to the cadets by slashing one's throat as they watch in horror. She lets the young woman bleed for a while before healing it.
  • This pops up occasionally on NCIS:
    • One episode involved the murderer using the Marine sentry removal technique (described in The Five Fingers example above) to kill the victim...while she was having sex with him.
    • In an episode revolving around a revenge plot against Ducky, when the team rescued Ducky, one of the perps slashed his own throat with a scalpel rather than go back to jail.
    • In one episode, Abby pretends to do this with a fake knife, getting the attention of her audience.
  • Happens several times in Oz.
  • Scholar Who Walks the Night:
    • The king kills himself by cutting his own throat.
    • Hye Ryung dies after Gwi cuts her throat.
  • Search: Corporal Oh discovers Private Gwon's body with his throat slashed open.
  • In Smallville, Stiletto, a thug tries to do this to Chloe Sullivan, but he probably got the message that it is a bad idea when Doomsday emerges, drags him away, and kills him messily.
  • Special Ops: Lioness: Cruz finishes off Amrohi by cutting his throat after stabbing him repeatedly.
  • Spooks: Connie does it to Ben with garrote wire from her bra. It's very realistic.
  • Stargate SG-1: Apophis slashes the throat of one of Sokar's Jaffa using a concealed blade.
  • Star Trek: Picard: In "The Impossible Box", at least two out of three Romulan guards die in this manner when Elnor severs their jugular vein with his tan qalanq, and green arterial spray gushes out from their wounds.
  • Strangers From Hell:
    • Deuk-jong dies of a cut throat and several stab-wounds.
    • Moon-jo dies after Jong-woo cuts his throat.
  • Supernatural:
    • The demon "Meg" does this in season 1 on-screen while hitchhiking
    • In season 2 after the Croatoan Virus is introduced. Two of the survivors are driving away from the empty town, one asks the other to pull over so he can make a call and once the driver does, the man is revealed to be possessed by an unnamed demon (possibly "Meg") who then slashes the driver's throat reminiscent of the season 1 usage.
    • In "The French Mistake", this happens to Misha Collins. Yes, Misha Collins.
  • Tidelands (Netflix):
    • Colton is murdered this way at Adrielle's command.
    • It turns out that Durborrow was really killed this way too.
  • The Umbrella Academy (2019): In the eighth episode of the series, as Viktor Hargreeves learns that his adoptive sister Allison was complicit in making him believe he was a normal human when he actually had the god-like ability to turn sound waves into energy all along, he lashes out in rage and accidentally slashes Allison's throat with his violin bow (which was in turn powered by the surrounding sounds of wind and a song he was practicing), and immediately regrets it. Thankfully, Allison manages to survive through a blood transfusion, but is rendered mute.
  • Happens to Therese in Vikings. She is garotted from behind, and the wire cuts so deeply into her neck while she's strangled that her carotid is severed.
  • In Ultraseven, this is how Seven finished off the monster Starbem Gyeron, resulting in a massive geyser of high pressure yellow blood all over the Ultra's face. Pretty nasty for a kid's show.
  • The Walking Dead (2010):
    • In "Conquer", Pete slashes Reg’s throat with Michonne's katana when Reg tries to calm him down.
    • In "Wrath", Rick slits Negan's throat after trying to talk Negan down and into peace as part of Carl's dying wish. However, right afterwards, the attacker tells their crew to save the victim's life.
  • The Wheel of Time (2021):
    • Thom relates to Rand that his nephew Owyn killed himself by cutting his throat after he was gentled.
    • Lan's throat is cut accidentally while Logain escapes, with Nynaeve healing this.
  • The X-Files:
    • In "Chinga", one character gets her throat cut by a broken phonograph record.
    • This is how the alternate version of Reyes is killed in the opening of "4-D".

  • In The Protomen's Act II, Emily dies in this manner. The Sniper does too, in a sense.
  • In the music video for the Insane Clown Posse song "In Yo Face", there are a pair of showgirls with the classic "slashed throat" blood trails. It's just there to make them look creepy.
  • Macabre‘a song about Peter Kürten, names after his alias, "Vampire of Düsseldorf", tells how Peter would slash his victim’s throats because the blood helps him get off.
  • In "'97 Bonnie and Clyde", Eminem is disposing of the body of his ex-wife as well as her husband and stepson, whose throat he slit.
    • The above is referenced in "Stan": "I didn't slit her throat, I just tied her up; see, I ain't like you. 'Cause if she suffocates she'll suffer more and then she'll die, too".
  • "Otherside" by Red Hot Chili Peppers: "Slit my throat, it's all I ever..."

  • The Bat: This is how the Bat murders his victims; slashing their throats with his steel-taloned glove.
  • Invoked by Julius Caesar who offers his throat, and averted by Casca:
    Casca: Marry, before he fell down when he perceived the common herd was glad he refused the crown,
    He plucked me ope his doublet and offered them his throat to cut.
    An I had been a man of any occupation, if I would not have taken him at a word,
    I would I might go to hell among the rogues.
  • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street features several throat slashings, as it's Todd's M.O. as a barber serial killer. Sweeney himself would suffer this fate at the end of the musical...though since by then he found out he accidentally killed his wife Lucy, Sweeney no doubt welcomed the death...and in a few productions, does.

    Video Games 
  • Bladed Fury ends with your final confrontation against Lord Tian, the main villain responsible for your predicament after slaying all of Tian's summons. Tian instead decides to slit his own throat in a last act of defiance.
  • It's possible to do this in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It's not possible to see it in the console version since the third-person camera view obscures the sight, but it sounds pretty messy. The PC port, on the other hand, allows for the player to see it in full – it's an initial deep stab followed by CJ ripping the blade out the front of the victim's neck.
  • Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance has Arruntius the main villain sacrificing his own daughter in a cutscene for more power, by slashing her throat.
  • Hero of Sparta allows you to pull this off as a special Finishing Move on centaurs and gorgons, where after dealing enough damage on them and landing an execution blow you then get s Coup de Grâce Cutscene of you slicing their jugulars out.
  • Quite a few Stealth Based Games allow you to do this to some unsuspecting Mooks. The first Hitman game does not encourage such, however, because slashed throats leave a lot of blood behind in comparison to the Fiber Wire that a true Silent Assassin uses for close-up killing. (Later Hitman games, however, don't take this into account and a throat-slit is treated as an effective stealth kill.)
  • In Metal Gear games (from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater and onward), the player can choose to grab an enemy soldier and then kill them by cutting their neck with a knife.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines has unique stealth kill animation for each melee weapon, and the one you get with a knife is the good ol' throat-slashing with lots of blood (if the enemy has it). However, since stealth kills generally go unnoticed by the enemies, nobody will give a damn even if you shower them from head to toe with their colleague's blood.
  • In Assassin's Creed II it is possible to cut the throat of a grabbed enemy. Quite amusingly, this can be done with a mace or war hammer. Or with a broom.
  • This is how GDI collaborator Hassan is executed in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun.
  • B.B. Hood's standard throw is this in Darkstalkers and Marvel vs. Capcom.
  • One of the executions you can inflict in Sharpshooter 3D, if you happen to be using a sharp weapon (knife, broken bottle, etc.) and aim it at enemies' jugulars. Mooks killed this way even have a special death animation where a small waterfall of red bursts from their throat as they grab their necks before keeling over.
  • The magazine ad for the first Tenchu game is an image of main character Rikkimaru shown through a narrow slit, which it's caption states is the view seen from some poor guard's vocal cords. Indeed, while Rikkimaru has used many different stealth kills across the games (some more spectacular than others), approaching the enemy from behind and slitting their throat with his sword has remained a constant part of his moveset since the first game.
  • Wing Commander IV has Captain Paulson being killed this way by Seether in a cutscene. In some versions of the game (such as the Playstation version and versions sold in Europe), the slashing uses Bloodless Carnage; in the American PC version, quite a bit of blood spurts out of Paulson's neck.
  • Mafia II has both the Hollywood way and the "real" way to do this. It happens in a cutscene where a minor villain pulls a knife on the main character, who disarms the chump and kills him with his own knife. At first he cuts the guy with the usual Hollywood "ear to ear" slice, but this is just to torture the guy; afterwards, he kills the guy the "proper" way by jamming the knife sideways into his neck.
  • Happens rather frequently in the Call of Duty and Modern Warfare series.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, there is a chance for this to happen in one of the knife and sword backstab animations. However, only about half of the knives in the game have edges on both sides, so by the time you're using Daedric and Ebony weapons, you're slaughtering people with the non-sharp side of a knife.
    • They also don't account for height differences, which means you'll slit someone's neck after drawing your knife across their torso, or rather disturbingly, their face!
  • Alpha Protocol has the much faster and more realistic side-stab variant as one of Thorton's lethal takedowns.
  • In Dishonored, Corvo prefers to end fights quick and cleanly, and will throat stab someone if he manages to stealth kill them from the front, he'll also do this to several major assassination targets as special parry-finishers.
  • Done very brutally in one of the infamous "Bad Endings" from School Days. If Makoto doesn't find out how Sekai's friends are bullying Kotonoha to keep her away from him and Sekai, Kotonoha will snap due to the harassment and her own mental/emotional instability... and confront both Sekai and Makoto in broad daylight. Then she'll uncover a cleaver and slash Sekai's throat, bloodily killing her in front of everyone.
  • Waxworks (1992) pits you against Jack the Ripper in one of its stages, and losing all your HP to him, or turning your back on him, will end in an unpleasantly detailed description of this as your death scene.
  • In Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair, Hiyoko Saionji is killed this way by Mikan Tsumiki (who has been infected with Despair Fever) after she sees Ibuki Mioda being strangled by Mikan.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor has Talion, his wife and son ritually killed by the Black Hand slowly drawing his sword across their throats at the opening of the game, in order to summon up the elven wraith that shares Talion's body for the rest of the game.
  • Happens to Chieftain Vol'jin in the Mists of Pandaria expac of World of Warcraft, at the hand of one of Warchief Garrosh's assassins. Luckily thanks to his troll regeneration he survives but exhausts himself so much that he ends up bedridden for weeks after his escape. It also convinces him that Garrosh needs to go down.
  • This is Jenny's fate in GUN at the hands of Reed.
  • Fallen London: This is Jack-of-Smiles' usual preferred method of killing. Unfortunately for him, Death Is Cheap in the Neath, and while there are ways to kill people for real, a slit throat is decidedly not one of them.
  • The fifth Fatal Frame game, due to suicide being one of its central themes and it being set near a suicide hot-spot, has this apply to 3 characters (2 of them were Driven to Suicide, while one of those 2 forced the last one into a Psychic-Assisted Suicide), who all become hostile ghosts after dying this way.
  • Mortal Kombat 11: Several characters, such as Jade and Kollector, inflict this on their opponents in the new Fatal Blow attacks.note  Of course, this being Mortal Kombat, they're back on their feet in no less than 2 seconds.
  • Ghost of Tsushima: You can do this if you happen to nail an opponent in the neck with the same move as drawing your katana from its scabbard. Notably, it's neither quick nor clean, as the enemy will stagger choking on blood for a few seconds before collapsing.
  • This happens to Aisha in Saints Row 2. She attempts to alert Johnny and the Boss that they're walking into a trap, only for Jyunichi, who's holding her hostage, to slit her throat mid-sentence.
  • Extremely early in Dead Space 2, Isaac's shrink does this to himself, having been driven insane by the Marker playing on his guilt in regards to the memory-supressant medication he'd been giving Isaac until the containment breach. He makes absolutely sure to get the arteries in his neck, too. He probably nicked a cervical vertebra.

  • Stunt from Dominic Deegan is fond of this method. Pictured above is him killing Urban Eddie as part of his Heel–Face Turn; this particular case also counts as Hoist by His Own Petard, since Urban Eddie's the one who taught him to slash throats.
  • Komiyan of Darken eventually kills Blackshard this way with a pair of daggers.
  • Freija in The Senkari had her throat slashed in her Death by Origin Story
  • A somewhat subverted example happens in Grim Tales from Down Below. Mandy, upon finding that her time was up in her hourglass, slashes her throat. The somewhat subversion is that Mandy finds she's immortal and cannot die unless Grim says so.
  • In Terra, Agrippa Varus uses this as a Coup de Grâce against Kaleb Ceros, bloodily slashing his throat with a swipe of his combat knife.
  • In Drowtales Shala subverts the "instantly fatal" part when Kalki cuts her throat as a taunt, managing to keep up the pressure on her throat to avoid passing out and manages to stop the immediate bleeding. She does, however, die later as she's being carried to safety by her brother and boyfriend, who don't realize she's died until they set her down.
  • Slightly Damned: Azurai kills the angel Sanjulo by slicing his neck with his extending claws after Kazai cuts off part of his horn.
  • Both Kale and Krunch have been on the receiving end of these in Looking for Group. Kale survived. Krunch did not.
  • Unsounded: Chalmer was killed by having his throat slashed by Iori when he got back up to keep trying to attack the girls after Sette cut his thigh and Sara stabbed his face, through his cheeks.
  • Muted: Camille has her throat slashed by Athalie/Strix; in a last ditch attempt to stop the bleeding, she wraps a vine around her throat. The bruising this causes leaves her unable to speak for a while.

    Western Animation 
  • In Batman: Under the Red Hood, The Joker kills a mobster by breaking a glass and slicing his throat. Graphically. If the movie were in live-action this would never be made, with this trope and the brutal beating of Jason Todd (which was actually toned down for the movie)
  • In Season 5 of Samurai Jack, Jack kills one of the Daughters of Aku by slicing her neck with her own sword, making her the first human he's ever killed.note  Jack's reaction is one of shock and horror.
  • South Park:
    • Kyle kills Jesus this way in "Fantastic Easter Special". It was willing on Jesus' part, since it would allow him to resurrect outside his cell and use his divine powers to stop Snowball's execution, but Kyle was reluctant to do so at first, him being Jewish and all.
    • In "Cartman's Mom is Still a Dirty Slut", several people with gashed throats can be seen in the hospital's waiting room... somehow being alive long enough to be waiting in the first place.
  • American Dad!: Francine accidentally slits Steve's throat with a butter knife after practicing being left-handed for the first time in years. Of course, he's perfectly fine by the next episode.
    • A non-lethal example occurs when Steve does this to a VC with a marker in a Vietnam paintball reenactment.
  • The Legend of Vox Machina: When Percy finds Professor Anders, he discovers that he has Percy's sister Cassandra as a hostage. Percy points his gun at Anders and tells him to let go, but Anders, unwilling to negotiate, slits Cassandra's throat right in front of him. Realism-Induced Horror fully applies here — Cassandra spends the next few minutes of screen time clutching at her throat and staggering around the room as she drowns in her own blood, only barely surviving due to a timely intervention from Keyleth.

    Real Life 
  • The brutal social/political scandal known in Chile as "caso degollados" ("case of the slashed throats"). In 1985, three well-known professionals affiliated with the opposition to Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship (artist Santiago Nattino, teacher's union leader Manuel Guerrero and sociologist/activist Jose Manuel Parada — also the son of a famous stage actor and father of a then very well-known child actress) were kidnapped by a national police agency, and the day after that their lifeless, torture-marked bodies were found with their throats slit.
  • The seppuku ritual for women didn't have the ladies slitting their bellies like the samurai since it would be seen as an Undignified Death in the face of defeat. Instead, the woman about to commit suicide would go through jigai to avoid being taken alive by tying her legs to not fall in a spread-eagle position and invoke this trope on herself, via slashing her own throat with a dagger. On several occasions, invaders would storm a castle only to find the lady of the house sitting quietly, having already ended her own life before they got there.
  • Ice Hockey skates are sharp metal blades and the people wearing them fly down the ice at high speeds, frequently running into each other and getting knocked over. It's amazing that so few throats have been slashed by errant skate blades throughout the sport's history. The unlucky few include Clint Malarchuk and Richard Zednik, who fortunately survived their brushes with death.
  • As stated in the main description, this isn't nearly as quick (or painless, or clean) a manner of death as Hollywood would like people to believe. In fact, there are many recorded cases of failed suicide attempts using this method where the victim didn't damage their carotid arteries at all, merely ruining their trachea and making themselves mute (sometimes permanently) and ended up having to walk to the hospital since calling 911 wasn't an option.
  • Saint Gleb Vladimirovich, Prince of Murom, is said to have been murdered like this by one of his servants, in the middle of a brutal Succession Crisis in Kievan Rus.
  • Dromaeosaurs have a sickle-like claw on their feet that allowed them to perform this on prey. One famous fossil has a Velociraptor with its claw embedded in the throat area of a Protoceratops.
  • While the main purpose of a garotte is strangulation, depending on the material it's entirely plausible for the cord to slice through the throat of the victim and sever the carotid and jugular, resulting in not only being strangled to death but death from exsanguination (if not outright decapitation).


Video Example(s):


Tower Commands You To Die

The Tower uses her divine will and commanding voice to force you to slash your own throat for daring to defy her.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / PsychicAssistedSuicide

Media sources: