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Strike Me Down

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When a character, usually after a defeat, commands the victor to kill them. Whether because they are bound by a Code of Honor to be killed after a defeat, have despaired due to their defeat, were already a Death Seeker, or just because their Pride won't let them rest knowing they were beaten. They will also ask this if it is a Mercy Kill, and they are threatened by a Cruel and Unusual Death or a Fate Worse than Death if the victor doesn't do this. Either way, they figure dying is better than going on living.


...Or do they? Alternatively, their death could be just the beginning, and they are using this opportunity to set their Evil Plan in motion as being spared would be great but their death leads to other benefits. Then again it could be the latest move in Xanatos Speed Chess, as a Secret Test of Character, or the enacting of a Thanatos Gambit.

Either way, it is crucial to them that they be killed, and if the potential killer be reluctant, they may try to provoke them in any way they can, whether through a particularly vicious Break Them by Talking or perhaps revealing (or lying) that they have his wife.

Please don't confuse with Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter. Compare I Cannot Self-Terminate and Please Kill Me If It Satisfies You. Contrast Get It Over With, where the character usually doesn't want to die but sees it as a foregone conclusion. See also Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred!.



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     Anime & Manga 
  • In Bleach:
    • Ulquiorra asks for this before he dies. Ichigo doesn't, and, well, Ulquiorra ends up disintegrating anyway.
    • That Nelliel won't do this is one of the major reasons why Nnoitra claims to hate her.
  • This is the whole point of the two Mikos true purpose in Destiny of the Shrine Maiden: one must kill the other in order to fix the damage done to the world by Orochi. Too bad they are eternally in love with each other.
  • One Piece had Zoro order Mihawk to do this to him after he lost the duel. At first it seems that he complied, but he made sure the wound was non-lethal so they could duel again in the future.
  • In Trigun, Legato uses his Mind Control powers to make a group of civilians tie up Meryl and Millie and hold them at gunpoint in view of Vash. This is an attempt to force Vash to break his refusal to take life, as any attempt to non-lethally subdue Legato would give him time to make his mind control victims shoot Meryl and Millie. Vash eventually stops Legato by reluctantly shooting him in the head, which leaves him horrified.
  • Combined with Defiant to the End in Hunter × Hunter when Kurapika has Uvogin cornered and demands him to reveal the identities of the other Phantom Troupe members or be killed. No matter how many times Kurapika attempts to get the information out of him, Uvogin answers only with, "Please kill me now." Eventually, Kurapika realizes Uvogin will never rat out his comrades under any circumstances and kills him. Despite being bad guys, this appears to be a common trait of Phantom Troupe members; if they are ever overpowered, they will gladly die if it means they don't compromise their colleagues' safety. Members who aren't like this, like Hisoka and Kalluto, are treated with suspicion and kept at arm's length.

     Comic Books 
  • Rorschach from Watchmen, when he's caught in a moral dilemma that his Black-and-White Insanity simply can't handle. "Do it!"
  • Green Goblin does a legitimate version of this in the "Return of the Green Goblin" storyline; after receiving a righteous beating from Spidey, he quietly asks him to just kill him and end it (the story had revealed that he has considered killing himself probably more than once, but simply cannot do it).

     Fan Works 
  • Peace Forged in Fire: Merik tries to provoke D'trel to kill him by ranting about how he helped rape her lover to death decades before. It backfires: D'trel decides death by exploding starship is too merciful. Daysnur later determines the intent was to deny intelligence to the enemy—the Self-Destruct Mechanism and computers had been knocked offline so he couldn't get rid of the data himself. Still disgusting.


  • In Harry Potter, a Thanatos Gambit is set in place by Dumbledore when he urges double agent Snape to kill him - as he is already fatally wounded - to solidify his cover.
    Dumbledore: Severus, please.
  • In The Sapphire Rose, a mortally wounded Martel asks for Sparhawk to finish him off. Sparhawk comforts his Evil Former Friend in his dying moments instead.
  • In the first book of Warrior Cats, Into the Wild, Yellowfang tries to convince the main character to kill her, because she is shamed by being defeated.
  • To quote Glokta from The First Law, "I am ready." He says this a number of times.

     Live Action TV 
  • In Luther, Ian Reed tries to make the title character do this because he doesn't want to live with the shame of having his crimes exposed. Luther, however, decides to give him Cruel Mercy instead.
  • In Supernatural, Sam Winchester has just been killed by two hunters for starting The Apocalypse. A fuming Dean turns to his soon to be killers. He isn't afraid because he knows killing a Winchester doesn't make them dead, it just makes them angry.
    Dean: Go ahead, Roy, do it. But I'm going to warn you, when I come back I'm going to be pissed.
    • Despite his threat, he apparently never bothered to hunt them down. The two of them aren't seen again for another seven years, until the brothers call them in for help with the current problem. Dean just dismissively says "We're good", having apparently decided that death wasn't worth being angry over.

     Video Games 
  • This line is invoked twice in Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II. The first is when Kyle has to choose between the Light or Dark Side when Jerec has captured Kyle's pilot Jan Ors and goads him into killing her to get Kyle to turn to the Dark:
    Jerec: Strike her down and realize your true power as a Dark Jedi - your true power!
    • The second time is in the Light Side ending, after Kyle has defeated Jerec. Again, Jerec is trying to goad Kyle into tapping into his dark side potential:
      Jerec: I am defenseless! Strike me down, and the the power of The Dark Side will be yours.... I'm sure you haven't forgotten I was the one who murdered your father.
    • Instead, Kyle turns his back on Jerec, who retrieves his lightsaber and attacks him. But Kyle was still fully on guard despite looking away and dodges the attack while calmly cutting Jerec down. Killing is not an inherently Dark Side act, but killing an unarmed man for revenge would be.
    • The line also shows up in the prologue, when Jerec has captured Qu Rahn, a Jedi Knight and friend of Kyle's father.
      Rahn: Why hesitate? Strike me down.
  • Takaya Sakaki in Persona 3 demands this of SEES after they defeat him near the top of Tartarus on the day of the Fall. They just walk past him, leaving him pissed off.
  • In Knights of the Old Republic, after your duel with Bastila on the Star Forge, she asks you to kill her. You can oblige her — for zero Dark Side Points, no less — or, if you try and fail to convince her to turn back to the Light Side, she attacks you and makes you kill her.
    • Subverted in the sequel, where you can't kill the Big Bad after (s)he says this. Nope, you've got another fight on your hands instead.
  • Bioshock 1, Andrew Ryan's death
    A man chooses...a slave obeys! OBEYYYYYYYYY!
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: After Agronak learns that he's a Dhampir, he falls to despair, refuses to defend himself in the next Gladiator Games match, and begs the Player Character to kill him.
  • Used in a tragic way with Miguel in Chrono Cross. The only way for Serge and his party to leave the Dead Sea is to kill him. He's well aware of that, and after fourteen years trapped in it, he wants nothing more than to die. But FATE forces him to act as the guardian of the Dead Sea, making his body fight back against his will.

  • Drowtales: Syphile: "Go ahead mother. Do what you do best. Do the only thing you know".
  • In The Order of the Stick, Belkar keeps provoking Miko into fights so that he can try to pull this on her and make her fall from paladinhood. Mostly because it would be funny. When she finally does fall, it actually pisses him off - both because he can't kill a paladin and she does it by killing Lord Shojo, the only person he has any respect for that we know of.
  • Near the end of the Battle for Gobwin Knob in Erfworld, Wanda is lying broken and beaten before Prince Ansom and begs him to strike her down, just to let her touch "them" (the Arken Pliers). Ansom is so creeped out by it that he leaves her where she is without attacking again. Things might arguably have gone much smoother for him shortly there-after if he had just done as she asked at first. But then again, maybe not...
  • Dellyn Goblinslayer in Goblins goads Thaco to kill him, believing it would cement his legendary reputation. Thaco lets him live instead.
  • Powerpuff Girls Doujinshi: After losing their epic fight, Mandark begs Dexter to kill him, having lost all will to live since Dee Dee's death. Dexter refuses so Mandark triggers his base's self-destruct mechanism and is presumably killed in the explosion.
  • In Homestuck

     Real Life 
  • After the attack on Pearl Harbor a Japanese sailor of a mini-sub was captured. He begged his captures to kill him because no Japanese soldier was to be taken alive. The U.S. soldiers did not abide by his request.