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"Too Young to Die" Lamentation

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Sokka: I'm too young to die!
Old Fisherman: I'm not, but I still don't wanna!

A character bemoans the fact that they are too young to die and they have yet to experience life fully when faced with danger or death. The things they wish they would have done before their life are often things like traveling, personal goals, and love/sex.

When played dramatically, this is often used to set up a tragic character or be a catalyst for character development if the character ends up not dying.

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When played for comedy, this trope often used when a character faces unusual punishment or humiliation. Sometimes the character(s) in question lament about being too young to die to avoid punishment or simply trying to get out of doing something they don't want to do. In some shows, they replace the die part of the "I'm too young to die" phrase to another word that fits the situation for laughs.

See also Death of a Child, Too Good for This Sinful Earth, and Littlest Cancer Patient, for characters who literally are too young. May overlap with Must Not Die a Virgin, where characters rush to have sex thinking that they will otherwise die as virgins.


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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: During the lowest point of their training, Alphonse says he doesn't want to die because there is so much he still hasn't done that he wants to.
  • In Love Pistols, the main character, Norio, gets into a scooter accident. As he realises his life is in danger, he quickly realises he doesn't want to die a virgin, "without ever knowing the soft, sweet figure of a woman, and tasting—"... well, he gets detailed.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel run of The Transformers issue #59, Blurr once laments that he is too young to die, as he is "only" 4 million years old. While it sounds like it was intended for comedy, given the ridiculous length of time that is to a human, it actually isn't. Cybertronians are so ridiculously long-lived that a million years is very close to their age equivalent of a human decade. As such, Blurr is reasonably dismayed at the prospect of being blown up by Decepticons in what would be his early 40s.

    Fanfic 
  • In the Miraculous Ladybug fic New Year's Dance by Thelastpilot, Adrien thinks that he's just a boy and too young to die when he sees Marinette arriving as his date for the gala. Not played seriously; he's merely about to see her all dressed up.
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    Films — Animation 
  • In Shrek, where Fiona points out Shrek having an arrow stuck in his butt, to which Donkey begins to panic, and even exclaims, "I'm too young for you to die!"

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • Before Johnny from The Outsiders dies, he says that, although he used to talk about killing himself, he now realizes that sixteen isn't old enough to do all the things he wanted to do.
  • Wild Cards: When Jetboy fails to save New York from Dr. Tod, resulting in the release of Xenovirus Takis-A, his last words are, "I can't die yet - I haven't seen The Jolson Story." These words end up engraved upon his tomb.
  • “Seventeen,” an essay by John J. Berrio about the post-mortem reflections of a teenaged driver who had just been killed in a car accident. Focusing on driver safety and responsibility, the teen recalls how he boasted that driving was a sign of freedom and he could take chances, but now that he has paid the price of reckless driving with his life, he can see that he will be losing out on life and its many opportunities and that he has left behind many grieving family and friends. As he is being buried, he begs God for another chance, vowing to do better: “Please God, don’t take me ... I’m only 17!” In the years since its original publication – Berrio wrote the piece in 1967, reportedly after a friend lost his son in a car accident – "Seventeen" (aka "Dead At Seventeen," "Please God, I'm Only Seventeen" and other titles) has appeared multiple times in advice columns (including Dear Abby, Ann Landers (and its successor, Annie's Mailbox) and Dr. Robert Wallace's 'Tween 12 and 20, always at the request of parents and teachers who want to impart driving safety onto teenagers), and has been adapted into both musical prose and television specials.
  • This is the central source of tension in the second Young Wizards novel, Deep Wizardry. The protagonist accidentally signs herself up for a Heroic Sacrifice and gets practically a whole page of quite lovely verse on the central dilemma: "Not old enough to love as yet, / But old enough to die indeed." Averted in the end when the guy who eventually performs the Heroic Sacrifice is really, really old - like just-out-of-the-Primordial-Slime old.
  • In Zuleika Dobson, when the whole university decides to commit suicide for love of the eponymous lady, Noaks keeps saying that he's too young to die, despite the fact that half of the suicides-to-be are in fact younger than him.
  • In The Curse of the Cheese Pyramid, Geronimo thinks one when he suspects his Dirt Cheap Airlines flight is about to crash. The experiences he laments missing out on are climbing Mouse Everest, "trekking through the great Mousewood Forest," and eating a box of popsicles he just bought.
  • At the beginning of A Wizard of Earthsea, the protagonist laments that he is about to die as a child when a band of enemies approaches his village. Fortunately, he figures out in time how to use his limited magical knowledge to drive them off.

    Live-Action TV 
  • ABC Afterschool Special: A 1992 episode was a dramatic adaptation of John J. Berrio's "Seventeen" essay, again focusing on his post-mortem reflections and promising to heed driving safety and traffic laws (as he was supposed taught to but chose instead to ignore) if God would grant him a second chance.
  • In the first Bottom live show, Richie says he doesn't want to die upon discovering he is marked for death by a debt collector. He then follows with a Preemptive "Shut Up" when Eddie is about to counter this claim.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Gina attempts to invoke this trope in the episode Lockdown.
    Gina: I'm twenty-five years old, I'm a celebrity, and I'm going to die.
    Rosa: Not one of those things is true.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the season 1 finale, Buffy learns of a prophecy that she will face the Master and die in the process. She tries to get out of this by outright quitting and walking away, not ready to face death at such a young age.
    Giles: Buffy, if the Master rises...
    Buffy: I don't care! [calms down] I don't care. [softly] Giles, I'm sixteen years old. I don't wanna die.
  • On Cheers Rebecca and her sister play a prank on Sam in which Rebecca pretends to shoot her sister. To sell the act, Rebecca's sister screams "I'm too young to die" just before Rebecca pulls the trigger.
  • The Good Place episode "Dance Dance Resolution". Someone has to get in an obelisk sent by the Bad Place. Jason bemoans this. Ironically, all the characters are dead at this point.
    Jason: I can't go! I'm too young to die! And too old to eat off the kids' menu! What a stupid age I am!
  • House of Anubis: In an episode following Patricia's kidnapping and ensuing rescue, she has a minor PTSD freakout when the Sibunas get taken to and locked in Victor's office under mysterious circumstances. In response to Patricia demanding she be let out, Amber jumps on the bandwagon and claims she's "Too young and too pretty to die."
  • A running gag in The Mighty Boosh is Howard lamenting "Don't kill me, I have so much to give" whenever he's threatened with death (almost Once per Episode). This fits with his characterization as a self-aggrandizing Miles Gloriosus who talks big but inevitably fails or chickens out when faced with actual danger. This is milked for extra Hypocritical Humor in "Bollo", where he gives this lament when the grim reaper comes for him, after declaring earlier in the episode that he would Face Death with Dignity if death, hypothetically, arrived.
  • Played for laughs in the Red Dwarf episode "Future Echoes", where Dave Lister goes into details about all the things he'd always meant to do but won't if he dies now. "And I've never read... a book."
  • In Sledge Hammer! episode "Sledge Rattle 'n Roll", a rock band's airplane crashed and got the band killed. When the police officers listen to the Blackbox recording, we hear one of the band members crying that he was too young to die and hasn't seen Europe yet. He gets reminded by another member that he actually is from Europe. Watch the scene here.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger: Several episodes where child or teenage victims are in deadly situations, fearing they are about to die (before always being rescued by Walker, natch). One particularly infamous example was in the 1996 episode "Deadline," where the teen-aged daughter of a state senator is buried alive in a coffin with a short supply of air (in an attempt by that episode's bad guy to extort millions from the senator). After a commercial break – the senator had just been given false information as to where his daughter is buried – the scene focuses on the daughter, having been buried for several hours. The thought of what was likely going through her mind at that moment – very likely, contemplating her death, never being with friends again, getting married and having children, and being denied her dreams and goals in life – is downright chilling, frightening and nightmarish.

    Music 
  • "Head Above Water" by Avril Lavigne says, "I'm too young to fall asleep." She started writing this song while bedridden with Lyme Disease and thought she was going to die.
  • The Eagles song "James Dean", about the well-known actor, is all about how he was "too fast to live, but too young to die".
  • "Seasons In the Sun," a No. 1 pop hit by Terry Jacks from the winter of 1974, is a lamentation of a young man dying and having to say goodbye to loved ones.
  • "Seventeen" has also been adapted into musical prose, always spoken recitation. Even though he was almost 60 when he recorded it, country music legend Red Sovine comes up with a convincing interpretation of the teenager who now can only watch post-mortem as he now realizes what he has lost by driving recklessly.
  • "'Til I'm Too Old To Die Young" by Moe Bandy, a 1987 country hit wherein a middle-aged man reflects on his fears of dying young and how he wants to be able to see his children into adulthood ("to see what they become"), meet his grandchildren and so forth. He also takes time to remember beloved family and friends who had died young, recalling what it was like to grieve their passings, and shows gratitude for each day he does get to live.

    Theatre 
  • Hairspray: During the song "The Big Dollhouse," when the girls are imprisoned after the protest, Amber wails that she's "too young to fry" (referring to the electric chair).

    Video Games 
  • In Doom, "I'm Too Young To Die" is the easiest of its Idiosyncratic Difficulty Levels.
  • In Dynasty Warriors 3, Lu Xun’s death cutscene has him say “I’m too young to die”.
  • Final Fantasy X: Played for laughs when Rikku claims she is too young to die as a desperate plea to keep from having to cross the Thunder Plains, due to her immense fear of lightning.
  • In Persona 2 Eternal Punishment, when the group is knocked out by the JOKER and transferred to Philemon's realm, 24-year-old Ulala wonders if she's dead.
    Ulala: What the hell was my life all about?

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: A Running Gag in one episode has Sheen frequently saying "why must the good die young?" when it appears someone has died.
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: In various different situations where The Chipmunks fear they may die - such as being trapped in a burning house, or are about to crash into an oncoming vehicle - Alvin will exclaim that he's too young, too handsome, too talented, too popular, et al to die. On one occasion, he even adds having a full head of hair as a reason for being too young to die.
  • In American Dad!, after Stan has a falling out with his insanely rich half-brother, the Smith family finds themselves wandering the Arizona desert, which gets extremely cold at night. Stan dismisses Steve's worries about dying.
    Steve: I'm too young to die!
    Stan: No, you're not, son. Just let go.
  • In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Storm", Sokka offers to help out a fisherman after hearing that he would be paid. Later, they are out at sea, struggling to stay afloat during a large storm.
    Sokka: I'm too young to die!
    Fisherman: I'm not, but I still don't wanna!
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In "Mean Seasons", Calendar Girl's second heist is at a car show where the owner is displaying the summer line. After she captures him, the showgirl, dubbed "Miss Solstice", tries to sneak away only for Calendar Girl to grab her.
    Miss Solstice: No! Please! I'm too young to die!
    Calendar Girl: Honey, you're never too thin and you're never too young.
  • BoJack Horseman: When an earthquake strikes Mr. Peanutbutter's house party in "Underground," one guest laments that she can't die yet because she's not famous enough to be in the Oscars' In Memoriam presentation.
  • Chowder: In "A Taste of Marzipan", during Mung and Endive's food war started over the fact that they prepared the same dish at an annual street fair, one of them hits Gaspacho in the chest with a tomato. This makes him think he's dying and laments that he's too young and handsome for this.
  • Parodied during Scrooge's fake funeral in the DuckTales (2017) episode "The 87 Cent Solution!", where Donald is seen crying over his casket and proclaiming "he was too young!" Bear in mind that Scrooge was 152 at this point.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: Much like Alvin, if the Eds find themselves in a desperate situation, at the mercy of either the Kanker Sisters or even the other cul-de-sac kids, Eddy will cry, "I'm too young... and handsome!"
  • The Little Rascals: In "Rascals' Revenge", a fake spider sends Alfalfa backward into a coat rack with one of Captain Mildew's jackets hung on it. Thinking he's been captured by the ghost of Captain Mildew, Alfalfa exclaims, "I'm too young to walk the plank!"
  • The Simpsons:
    • In “Radio Bart,” when emergency personnel refuse to rescue Bart from being trapped in a well (after he admits he pulled a hoax on the town), he is resigned to possibly dying alone in the well and not getting a chance to do the things he wants to do someday: “Smoke a cigarette, use a fake I.D., shave a swear word in my hair ... .”
    • When everyone on Burns' yacht gets hijacked by Ruthless Modern Pirates, Moe is sure they're all going to die and laments, "I never even tasted cantaloupe!"
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Bully", SpongeBob laments that he's too young to get his butt kicked because there's so many things he hasn't gotten to do in life. Cue a Cutaway Gag of SpongeBob working in an office as a phone operator.
  • Total Drama:
    • The Island episode "Hook, Line, and Screamer" has Owen saying he doesn't want to die in Third-Person Person when the psycho (Chef) confronts him and Izzy before Owen shoves her at him and runs away.
    • Three seasons later in "A Mine Is a Terrible Thing to Waste", Zoey screams out that she doesn't want to die when she, Scott, and Anne Maria are all in a minecart traveling to the end of the track. Anne Maria, on the other hand, cries that she's too hot.
  • The Venture Bros.: Invoked by Billy Quizboy, who makes this argument against being the human test subject for Rusty's Shrink Ray. Rusty being, well, Rusty, This naturally doesn't work, and he replies that it makes him the perfect test subject. Arguing that as a virgin, his death would count as an extremely late-term abortion.

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