Fate may have kept them apart, the world may have frowned on their love, and conflict may have wormed itself between them, but they're finally together—too bad they had to die for it to happen.
Together in Death is when a couple is literally or metaphorically reunited in death. They might be buried together, seen together in the afterlife (most often in Heaven or a similar paradise, but not always), or their corpses discovered embracing one another. It's not necessarily a romantic couple—it can just as easily be a pair of siblings, a parent and child, or a couple of True Companions.
This is a good way to show the couple's devotion to one another, even unto death; it is also a tidy way to show a (lasting) reconciliation. Often forms part of a Bittersweet Ending. Less positively, the death of a loved one can be a popular motivator for suicide, in an attempt to invoke this trope. For the inversion of this trope, see Necromantic, where devotion to a loved one drives them to bring them back from death.
This is a death trope so spoilers below.
- Anime and Manga
- Fan Works
- Films — Live-Action
- Live-Action TV
- Mythology & Religion
- Video Games
- Real Life
- Ralph Dibny, the Elongated Man, always saw himself more as a detective than a superhero — and after his wife Sue's murder, it seemed the DCU was determined to make him a Butt-Monkey as well. But he got a measure of victory by the end of 52 — he trapped Felix Faust and the demon Neron in Dr. Fate's tower, while they thought they were tricking him. It cost him his life, but he was reunited with Sue — and it seemed they were going to spend the afterlife as Topper, instead of Nick and Nora.
- There's a comic book version of the Turandot opera where this is invoked: Instead of committing suicide, a maddened and thoroughly broken Liu stabs Prince Calaf to death just as he manages to get through to Princess Turandot and is about to give her a True Love's Kiss. Cradling Calaf's lifeless body, Liu says they will be Together in Death while Turandot remains alone forever, as punishment for her cruelty; she then stabs herself and dies, leaving a sobbing Turandot with her hands empty.
- Green Lantern: The battery of the Star Sapphires is built around crystallized remains on Zamaron found this way. They turn out to be the original selves of Hawkman and Hawkgirl.
- Judge Dredd: After the Apocalypse War wiped out half of the Big Meg, a comatose patient remained alive for 8 years because his life support system continued to run as an independent unit after the hospital was destroyed. His wife's body was still sitting at his bedside after she died in the blast, but her ghost remained trapped in the ruins. When Judge Dredd and Psi-Judge Anderson find the patient on a routine check through the area and conclude that they can't take him back due to the years of radiation exposure, they turn off the unit. The couple is then reunited in the afterlife.
- At the close of The Final Days of Superman, Wonder Woman comforts the dying Superman by telling him that all four of his parents (Jor-El and Lara, Jonathan and Martha Kent) will be there waiting for him when he gets to Heaven.
- In Bronze Age story Adventure Comics issue #423 an alien conqueror is -deservingly- left to die by his crewmen as his ship sinks. However his brother goes back to die with him.
Supergirl: It was one of the eeriest scenes I've ever witnessed. The two of them just sitting there together— entombed in the darkness of that wrecked craft...
- In "My Heart of Darkness", a rewrite of the Falling in Love comic story, "Lesson in Love", by Jeanne Martinet (found in Truer Than True Romance), Nan falls in love with her teacher, Wayne Allen, but can't impress him because of her writings that deal with nuclear war, existential angst, and death. She tries to keep a straight face, but this turns From Bad to Worse. She even notices that he has a thing for Dumb Blondes like his student Marsha. But one rainy day, while Wayne is driving in the car with Nan, she discovers that he too is angsty like her, dislikes sappy stories about cherry pie, and secretly wants to die. As the car they are in purposefully swerves off the road in the path of an oncoming truck and plunges into the river, she realizes that she and Wayne will finally be together eternally in the afterlife.
- In Corpse Bride, the undead Emily falls in love with Victor, but their Accidental Marriage isn't legal because of the fact that Emily is dead and Victor alive. In order to validate the marriage, they must repeat the ceremony in the land of the living, and Victor must kill himself during it. Victor, devastated by the loss of his living love, Victoria, accepts this plan and proceeds to go through with the ceremony, but is stopped before he kills himself by Emily, when she sees poor Victoria spying on them and realizes what she's doing will hurt Victoria the same way she was hurt.
- Occurs in The Princess and the Frog. Ray gets to be with his Evangeline, in the end.
- The king and queen of Atlantis from Atlantis: The Lost Empire, who are both last seen as a recently added giant floating stone head and the Atlantean Crystal, respectively, while their son-in-law and daughter become the next king and queen.
- In Bolt, when Bolt couldn't find an exit large enough for Penny, she insists that Bolt leaves her there. But Bolt chooses to lie beside her in their potential last moments. Fortunately, they make it.
- During the song "Worthless" from The Brave Little Toaster, a Texan wedding car and a funeral hearse are both crushed to death at the same time by a Car Crusher at the end of a conveyor belt.
- The Book of Life:
- Attempted by Manolo after Maria's apparent death. It fails because she's still alive.
- Carlos and Carmen are reunited following the former's death and seem quite happy together.
- In When the Wind Blows despite the Downer Ending this was the one faint bright spot. Hilda and Jim died of radiation sickness
- In Kubo and the Two Strings, Kubo's parents Sariatu and Hanzo are finally reunited in death with their memories and true forms restored.
- The ending of the Durch animated short' 'Father and Daughter'' appears to be this. A man hugs his little daughter goodbye and commits Suicide by Sea, rowing away in a rowboat, never to return. The shallow sea coast is drained and turned into dry land, a Dutch polder. Decades later the girl, now an old woman, finds the boat and lies down in it. She wakes, and sees something. She goes running off, and ages backwards into a young girl again. She runs up to her father, looking as he did all those decades ago, and embraces him. It's implied that they reunited in death.
- In Toy Story 3 this is attempted by the toys when they are trapped in the furnace. Instead of fighting, they all hold hands and wait. Fortunately the LGM's and the Claw save them.
- In Coco, Miguel's great-grandmother is the only one left keeping her father's memory alive, because the rest of the family has been taught to hate him. By extension, this memory is the only thing keeping him from fading away in the afterlife. At the end, they are together in the afterlife as they prepare to visit the family on the next Dia de los Meurtos.
- Appears in "The Highwayman" by Alfred Noyes.
- Radames and Aida from the opera Aida are buried alive in a single tomb.
- In Donizetti's Lucia di Lamermoor, Edgar stabs himself when he learns that Lucia has died, singing an aria about joining her in heaven.
- In Wagner's Götterdämmerung Brünnhilde immolates herself in Siegfried's funerary pyre.
- Wagner's adaptation of the Tristan and Isolde legend is one long exploration of this trope.
- Tosca throws herself over the wall of the prison after her lover Mario is killed. And in doing so, she calls the name of Scarpia, not her lover.
- In The Flying Dutchman, as the Dutchman crosses the Despair Event Horizon and takes off in his cursed ship under the belief that Senta doesn't love him enough to break his curse, she proves him wrong via telling him she'll be faithful to the death and then throwing herself off a cliff to prove it. Her suicide releases his soul and those of his sailors; at the end, the souls of the Dutchman and Senta are seen ascending to Heaven together.
- Haemon and Antigone in the Greek tragedy Antigone.
- Romeo and Juliet, the modern archetypal Star-Crossed Lovers.
- Most versions of Swan Lake end with some version of this - unable to be together in life, Princess Odette and Prince Siegfried plunge together into the lake to be united in death. In the Matthew Bourne version, when both the Prince and the (possibly imaginary) Swan are dead, the Prince's younger self is seen cradled in the Swan's arms as the ballet ends.
- Attempted by Horatio at the end of Hamlet, but his best friend Prince Hamlet (who's dying in his arms) stops him before he can drink the rest of the poison. Which makes Horatio a lot luckier than most characters in a Shakespearian tragedy.
- Audrey and Seymour both wind up eaten by the same plant in Little Shop of Horrors, and at the end their heads appear in adjacent pods.
- All of the students in Les Misérables (and actually everyone else who died over the course of the show). When they realized their death that night were certain, they all silently decided to have one last drink together and fight till the end. In the finale, after Valjean's death, his ghost joins Fantine and the other deceased for the closing reprise of "Hear The People Sing".
- Subverted in The Adding Machine. After Zero dies, Daisy appears to him in an Arcadian afterlife, where she suggests that they "can always be together now." He doesn't care for it and decides to leave the place.
- As listed above, the musical version of Aida also has Radames and Aida buried alive in a tomb. The musical adds the framing story of their reincarnations finding each other in the modern day.
- At the end of 25 Saints, Charlie commits self immolation while holding his dead star-crossed girlfriend Sammy.
- Hamilton: Alexander and Eliza's final singing appearances both invoke this trope.
Alexander: My love, take your time. I'll see you on the other side.
Eliza: Oh, I can't wait to see you again. It's only a matter of time.
- In a bittersweet aversion, the end emphasises that Angelica was only buried near, not with, Alexander, symbolising her unrequited and unfulfilled love for him.
- One of the endings of Saya no Uta has Saya and Fuminori end up like this. It is absolutely heartwrenching, the way that Saya ignores her wounds (with Kouji still repeatedly delivering blows as she does so) and drags herself over to Fuminori's corpse so she can embrace him before slipping away herself.
- Saber and Shirou finally get a proper happy ending in Fate/stay night's Realta Nua's bonus ending of Fate. To unlock it, you have to die every way possible, and finish all three routes, and get all five endings... but by doing so, you get what might well be the most heartwarming scene in the whole game. Whether you like or dislike that Shirou and Saber's route was denied an alternate ending (unlike with "Unlimited Blade Works" or "Heaven's Feel" which gave genuine happy endings that didn't require this trope) this new ending manages to combine I Will Wait for You, Died Happily Ever After and Together in Death for an undeniably impressive effect.
- One of the ending in Yuri Genre Visual Novel Akai Ito had Kei and Sakuya replacing Yumei in being the Ohashira, after Kei was fatally wounded by Nushi and Yumei decided that she can't live without her.
- Sora and Takeshi in Ever17 get trapped in HIMMEL together after Takeshi refuses to escape without her. Takeshi makes a backup of her data, leading to a Hope Spot, but ultimately no rescue comes and they drown together.
- Umineko: When They Cry:
- In the second twilight's requirement of "tear[ing] apart the two who are close" often winds up playing around with this trope. Probably the most notable one was actually an intentional aversion where Beatrice erases Kanon's corpse particularly so he and Jessica can't be together in death. And in the process frames him for the entire thing. Or Did She?
- The magic ending of the series plays this effect. Battler takes Beatrice (and a gold ingot) with him, even though she thinks she won't be able to fit in the world outside Rokkenjima. When they are on the boat in the middle of the ocean, she asks him to close his eyes, kisses him... and jump into the sea with the 10kg ingot. Battler's response is to jump and drown with her, saying "I won't let you go" (in reality though, he somehow survives, and loses his memories after an accident on the land). Add this song to the scene, and you get a big fat Tear Jerker.
- The Order of the Stick:
- Dorukan and Lirian, with the twist that rather than having gone to the afterlife, their souls are trapped in a gem in Big Bad Xykon's pocket.
Lirian: No... not a prison. Not anymore.
- Non-romantic semi-example: Miko and her horse, Windstriker. "Semi" because only one is dead, the other is merely stuck in the Celestial Realms. When she realizes that she is going to die and doesn't even have a chance of redemption, she only asks if she'll be able to see him again. For her, that's good enough.
- Another non-romantic example: Roy finally gets to see his little brother again, who had been killed when one of their father's experiments with magic went awry, when he gets to the Celestial Realm after dying in his battle with Xykon. Then they play blocks together. It was quite the Tear Jerker / Heartwarming Moment for many people.
- Dorukan and Lirian, with the twist that rather than having gone to the afterlife, their souls are trapped in a gem in Big Bad Xykon's pocket.
- According to Word of God, RED Spy and BLU Sniper in Cuanta Vida.
- The first panel of this◊ Simulated Comic Product comic shows a young man next to his dead wife's tombstone, vowing he will use science to be re-united with her. The rest of the comic shows a montage of his scientific career, older in each panel, until the last shows the same scene as the first, with two tombstones.
- Parodied in Buttlord GT after nearly everyone dies. "Awesome! All my friends are dead and safe!"
- Mandy and Grace, two minor characters in It's Walky!
- Something of a recurring theme in Homestuck. John and Vriska, Tavros and Vriska, Karkat and Terezi in two different alternate timelines, Karkat and Nepeta, Post-Scratch Rose and Dave, and John's Dad and Rose's Mom all end up this way.
- Parodied in Oglaf here.
- In the Cracked short film "Worst Second Date Ever", the main character attempts to enter a suicide pact with a Hispanic maid he's dating, claiming that they're Star-Crossed Lovers. It doesn't go as he planned and it ends in a rather lighthearted note.
- He doesn't manage it (nope, his actual ending manages to be worse), but Donnie DuPre from Demo Reel might be one of the few characters who wants to die so he can be with his dead mom rather than a dead partner. And while he dies alone, at least Tacoma, Quinn, Rebecca and Carl fade away into nothing together.
- In The Nostalgia Critic's Christmas Story II behind the scenes, Doug and Tamara say that during the couch scene, Hyper wanted to slit her and Critic's throats to preserve the moment.
- SCP Foundation: SCP-1522-1 and 1522-2, When SCP-1522-2 is heavily damaged by the GOC in an unprovoked missile strike, 1522-1 goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge at Mach 4 and annihilates the GOC warship that attacked its mate. It returns to find its fellow ship unresponsive and sinking. It desperately sails a pattern around SCP-1522-2 to try and raise it using advanced water-pressure techniques, but does not succeed and 1522-2 sinks. It stops responding for seven hours. When approached by an SCP search-and-rescue helicopter, SCP-1522-1 lets of a single, loud, sustained blare of its foghorn in the ship version of a Big "NO!" and wills itself to fall apart and sink next to SCP-1522-2. Their remains were salvaged by the SCP Foundation and their rusting hulls now sit together on a beach in Svalbard.
- In Spider-Man: The Animated Series, of all things, Mysterio's lover is an actress who was disfigured. She kidnaps Mary Jane for a body-swap, but Mysterio's body-switching machine turns out to not actually work - and never had. He'd been trying to give her hope. When she discovers this, she activates the Self-Destruct Mechanism because she'd rather die than not be beautiful. Spider-Man urges Mysterio to run, but Mysterio chooses to stay behind and die with her. No, they don't get better. In fact, though viewers still don't get the word "dead," there were none of the expected attempts to sweep it under the rug or make it Only Mostly Dead - it even gets referenced later on.
- Presumably this was the logic for Nox killing himself on his late family's grave in the season one finale of Wakfu. With no-one to bury him, his remains are blown away by the wind.
- Happens to Ferdy the fox at the end of There's Good Boos Tonight. He is shot by a hunter, only to come back to life as a ghost after Casper mourns his death.
- In the American Dad! episode "May the Best Stan Win," Francine wants to be buried with Stan, but he apparently signed an agreement with the CIA to have his body made into a cyborg. Things get weird when cyborg!Stan comes from the future, regretting his decision. The episode ends with a Distant Finale showing that Stan changes the future and is buried with her after all.
- On Gargoyles, the Emir uses magic to capture Anubis and tries to force him to resurrect his young son, who died in a car accident. Long story short, the episode ends with the Emir being buried in a collapsed pyramid, and Goliath says that if there is any justice in the universe, the father and son are together again.
- The Justice League Unlimited episode "Shadow of the Hawk" ends with a shot of the mummies of the first incarnations of Hawkman and Hawkgirl holding hands.
- In just one of the many Tear Jerker moments of The Animals of Farthing Wood, this happens to the charming old hedgehog couple as they're crossing the motorway. The noise of the traffic proves too much for Mr. Hedgehog and he freezes in fear, and while Mrs. Hedgehog has time to escape the path of the oncoming lorry, she refuses to leave her husband behind.