Follow TV Tropes


Why Won't You Die?

Go To
Who wants to tell him?

"Stop that! Stop... not-dying!"

An old and well-used Stock Phrase, most frequently used by villains who have seen a Made of Iron hero calmly walk through Death Traps, fight their way out of a carefully laid ambush, Outrun the Fireball from an explosion, or pull a Scope Snipe on their highly paid killers. And really, at that point, can you blame them?

Variations: "What does it take to kill you?", "How many times do I have to kill you?", "Why are you still alive?", "Just die already!", and "Why won't you STAY dead?!!", which are generally reserved for when the hero comes Back from the Dead, or returns after a No One Could Survive That! and/or Never Found the Body scenario.

Although it's far more common for the villains to say it, it's not exclusive to them. If it's a good guy saying it, it will most commonly come from a Muggle type of hero or character about some supernatural or Implacable Man villain, or by someone who is closer to the Anti-Hero side of the Morality Axis than to Ideal Hero and is getting frustrated with their enemy seeming to have Joker Immunity. Subtrope of Staying Alive. Contrast Dead to Begin With.

See also Healing Factor and Pulling Themselves Together for reasons that these people/things will not stay dead. Also Prepare to Die and You Have No Chance to Survive for what this trope defies. For Video Game Boss Battle equivalents that can provoke this reaction in players, see Marathon Boss, Sequential Boss, and Damage-Sponge Boss. Compare and contrast Suicide Dare for expressing the wish that someone would take a more active role in their death.

NOTE: This trope is about when the phrase (or something similar) is said in the story. For dead characters whose deaths never seem to "stick," see Death Is Cheap.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Anti-hero Guts and the monsters that he fights say this back and forth to each other in Berserk, Guts due to the demons' supernatural toughness and endurance, and the demons due to Guts' Made of Iron stature and sheer refusal to die.
  • In Bleach:
    • Szayelaporro says this to Mayuri during their fight. "Why?! I destroyed all of your organs and tendons! So why won't you die?!"
    • Nnoitra screams this during his fight with Kenpachi, who is not only taking all of his attacks without apparently feeling them but is also laughing with glee even as he gets torn apart. "You've pissed me off long enough. Die, God Damnit!"
    • Ulquiorra more or less asks a freshly revived and Hollowfied Ichigo this, stating that he can't possibly be alive and demanding to know just what the hell he really is.
    • Driscoll's last words were to ask Yamamoto to die already after his stolen attack had no effect on him. Yamamoto then reduced him to a pile of ashes.
    • Candice says this to Kenpachi when she zaps him with lightning twice and Meninas punches him into a crater. The Red Shirts of Squad 11 shout this to Giselle Gewelle after she shows no signs of pain and keeps talking when they slash her from shoulder to stomach.
    • Ichibei thinks he has thoroughly defeated Yhwach and has crushed his opponent to death like a feeble, black ant, until he finds Yhwach standing behind him. He demands to know why Yhwach won't die, which leads to the reveal of Yhwach's true abilities.
  • Anyone who encounters an Abyssal One or Priscilla in Claymore will end up thinking this.
  • Cowboy Bebop: In "Ballad of Fallen Angels", Vicious (who is a Straw Nihilist Blood Knight to his very core) shouts a similar phrase at Spike during their confrontation in the cathedral — "Why are you still alive?!". Vicious is both amazed and furious that Spike and he are evenly matched and all of Vicious's efforts (past and present) to kill Spike have failed despite the fact that Spike no longer shares the bloodthirsty outlook that Vicious adheres to, and which Vicious sees as being the key to being strong.
  • Fans of Dragon Ball Z have certainly said this enough times while watching some of the fights, but two examples of characters saying it come to mind: when Frieza is fighting Vegeta, Krillin and Gohan, he begins to wonder if they're immortal because they keep coming back to continue fighting no matter how badly Frieza injures them. (Then he notices Dende healing them, and quickly decides to Shoot the Medic First.) Later he says a variant when Goku reappears and keeps fighting after Frieza had left Goku for dead. There are probably plenty more.
  • In DEEN's movie for the Unlimited Blade Works route of Fate/stay night, Lancer is forced to commit suicide. He stabs himself in the heart and hits the ground, going still. It turns out he isn't dead yet as he kills Kirei, the one who forced him to commit suicide, a few second later. Kirei's corpse lands on Lancer and the latter groans before going still again. Shinji, who was in the room, takes this chance to try raping Rin, who's tied up and also in the room. But before Shinji can, Lancer gets up. Shinji says this trope word-for-word in English dub.
    Shinji: Why won't you die?!
    Lancer: You first!
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: "How many times do I have to kill you before you die?" Though in this case it's treated more as an annoyance.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, Sousuke has a variant of this towards Gauron, most notably in TSR where Sousuke pretty much cries out, "But you're supposed to be—" with Gauron finishing, "dead?".
  • Gantz manga: The Nurarihyon fight went on and on and on, suffering quite a few explosive "deaths", just to show up in yet another form. It gets to the point where one of the team members bemoans how this fight just never ends.
  • Nike, The Dragon in Air Gear can take horrendous amounts of punishment. In every single battle he's been in, he's been taken down only to get back up for more mutual asskicking with his opponent. In his fights, he tends to actually take more damage than his opponents do, but his vast endurance helps him survive when his opponents generally don't. His refusal to stay down has several characters saying, or at least thinking, "What the hell does it take to put this monster down?"
  • Hellsing: At some point in the series, almost every recurring character receives this line or similar for their astounding survivability. One noteworthy instance of Alucard's insane durability has him flying a stealth plane at breakneck speed into a vampire Nazi-controlled battleship, wading into a hail of bullets and grenades from its crew, then taking over a dozen gut shots from an enchanted bullet the size of his noggin.
  • Polnareff says this to Vanilla Ice in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure after stabbing him all the way in the mouth. Vanilla Ice tells him that he "doesn't have time for dying", but Polnareff later realizes that he had been made into a vampire by Dio and can't be killed by such means.
  • Spoken word-for-word in Nabari no Ou by Kannuki-sensei after Kouichi was shot in the heart and came back to life.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • When Asuka's trying to stab an Angel that's been so strengthened by hatching in an active volcano, her knife can't pierce it: "Die, damn you!"
    • There is also Asuka fighting the 14th angel. "Why won't you collapse damn you!?"
    • A much, much nastier example can be found in End of Evangelion. This happens three times, maybe. The first is when the JSSDF decide to try and destroy Unit 02 with a battleship, a couple of artillery and tank battalions and a small army. Needless to say, they fail. Then Asuka fights the nine Mass Production Evas. She kills them all. And then they regenerate, despite being cut in half, missing the head, missing an arm etc. Asuka probably was thinking this, except for the fact she had been stabbed in the eye with a lance. Then, Unit 02 and Asuka are still alive after having been eviscerated, eaten, and stabbed. And she tries to reach up and attack them. So they split her arm and impale her again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And then they run out of spears, but by that time, Unit 02 and Asuka are both already dead.
      • And then, just to be sure, they take some of the remains and eat on-the-fly, and drop them as soon as EVA-01 shows up.
    • In the original Gainax Ending, Rei asks "Why am I still alive?"
    • In the original version of EVA-01 versus Zeruel, Zeruel still has the stamina to moan, even as it is being eaten. Don't ask how, it just won't die.
      • In the Rebuild Version of this battle, Zeruel kept getting beaten up for about 20 minutes, before EVA-01 and Shinji initiate Third Impact and cause Zeruel to explode in a huge explosion of blood (not as much as Sahaquiel, though. It flooded Tokyo-3 completely by dying).
  • Speaking of someone named Asuka, there is also Shinn Asuka from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.
  • One Piece:
    • Crocodile asks this question of Luffy after impaling him and dehydrating him, in that order.
    • A lot of Luffy's pre-Time Skip opponents are pretty much asking this question towards the end of their fights with him — the thing is, Luffy doesn't know how to die.
    • Silent one from Arlong, after ripping off Zoro's bandage and seeing his wound. He's so shocked that Zoro managed to fight in such a condition that he decides he has to kill him as quickly as possible, because he's scared of what Zoro might do if he remained alive.
    • From the same arc Kuroobi says it after giving Sanji a brutal No Holds Barred Beat Down underwater even dragging him down deeper causing decompression to crush Sanji’s stomach making him cough up blood, yet to Kuroobi’s astonishment Sanji is still alive and pointing his finger.
      Kuroobi: This man still won't die?
    • Rob Lucci's facial expression when Luffy survives his ultimate attack for a third time is a perfect mixture of this, Oh, Crap!, and This Cannot Be!.
    • Taken to a logic extreme with Whitebeard after Blackbeard and his crew have shot him at least 152 times until they ran out of ammo. Shiryu says they should just push him over since he’s clearly dead, but Whitebeard corrects that by managing to speak at which Blackbeard exclaims “You’re still alive?” in pure Dirty Coward terror.
    • In the second round of their fight, Katakuri actually starts getting angry when Luffy refuses to stay down despite getting pummeling and supposedly being unable to counterattack. Eventually, he comes to respect Luffy as a Worthy Opponent because he's survived this long, to the point where he won't let anyone else interfere with their fight, not even his siblings.
    • Similar to the Whitebeard example, in a Flashback Smug Snake Shogun Orochi screams this verbatim after discovering that his nemesis Kozuki Oden was too badass to be die from being Stewed Alive for a full hour.
  • Koichiro Kase has this reaction towards the end of an episode of Knight Hunters after Ken returns unscathed from Kase's second attempt at killing him. Ken replies solemnly, "I don't like hell."
  • Done in YuYu Hakusho, although the circumstances are a little different than normal. When Kurama faces off with the elder Toguro, he tricks Toguro into being caught by a cursed tree that inescapably binds its victims, then fills their heads with hallucinations while it drains the life energy out of them. Thus, although he is simply bound to the tree, Toguro lives in an eternal hallucination of delivering fatal blow after fatal blow to Kurama, only for Kurama to shrug it off.
    "Why won't he die? Why won't he die?!"
  • In the manwha/manga Shin Angyo Onshi. This is Hong Gildong's reaction to Munsu still being alive despite having a massive Ki bomb fired at him.
  • In the English dub of Panty & Stocking with Garterbelt, Scanty screams this word-for-word during her battle with Panty.
  • In Is This A Zombie?, Kyoko screams this when Ayumu won't die no matter how many times she stabs or blasts him.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Accelerator screams this to Touma during their rematch in Volume 20, when Touma keeps surviving every attack Accelerator launches at him.
  • Happens in Betrayal Knows My Name with the Duras Ashley. She first gets Shuusei to admit that he wants to die and stops his heart, then almost kills Hotsuma whose Voice of God then revives Shuusei. They proceed to kick her ass, because they ARE stronger together, and she really doesn't like that.
    Ashley: Just a minute ago, you were dying!
  • Naruto: During Sasuke and Naruto's final battle, Sasuke starts desperately wishing for Naruto to lose after one too many times of Naruto standing back up after every one of Sasuke's attacks.
  • Fate/Apocrypha: Assassin of Black's knives serve as a One-Hit Kill if she stabs a woman in a foggy night. Ruler survives getting stabbed because of her Anti-Magic. Shocked, Assassin of Black asks, "Why didn't you die?"
  • Ninja Scroll: Jubei towards Big Bad Gemma, especially since Jubei thought he had already killed him once! As Jubei finds out when Gemma resurfaces as the leader of the 8 Devils, Gemma has Complete Immortality as his special power, he'll simply heal any injury he gets, including Jubei cutting off his head in the past, and even getting his head bashed in and getting cut in half during the climax. He ends up getting encased in molten gold and sunk to the bottom of the ocean, trapping him forever in an undying golden Hell
  • Rebuild World: Akira facing a Full-Conversion Cyborg sometimes leads to this.
  • Tomorrow's Joe: The non-fatal example "why won't he stay down?!" occurs during Joe's final fight. Mendoza delivers multiple knockdowns on Joe over the course of the match, only for Joe to stand up again every time and keep coming, eventually causing Mendoza to have a Villainous Breakdown since he'd have folded long before taking that much damage. Joe collapses post-match, with the implication that the damage might actually have killed him.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, after Yugi defeats Panik in a duel, Panik tries to kill Yugi with so many flamethrowers that he creates an entire firestorm — and he fails.
    Panik: You...survived! How is that possible?
    Yugi: My Millennium Puzzle protects me from your cowardly assault, but nothing will protect you from...OBLIVION! (mind-crushes Panik)

    Comic Books 
  • Deathstroke asks this of an alternate version of himself that really doesn't at all look like Deadpool.
  • Doctor Doom is flabbergasted by Reed Richards' perseverance to the point of expressing this trope word-for-word in ALL CAPS ON MANY DIFFERENT OCCASIONS. Special props to Fantastic Four #200, after Reed escapes from a sealed incinerator by squeezing through the tiny pipeline leading from a jet blasting poisonous chlorine gas into his face.
  • Spoken word for word by Green Goblin to his nemesis Spider-Man in Final Battle of the The Clone Saga.
    Norman Osborn: I had you unconscious — At my mercy! How could this have happened? Why won't you just DIE??
    Peter Parker: Because... then you'd win. And I'll NEVER give you satisfaction! [POW]
  • In Infinity, Promixa Midnight one of Thanos's Elite Mooks utters this word for word while having a glorious Villainous Breakdown during her earthquaking fight with Luke Cage in New York. In fairness to Midnight, prior to coming to Earth she had conqured thousands of worlds with Thanos and killed many powerful cosmic beings with him. So the idea of any non-immortal, let alone a puny Earthling like Luke, giving her so much trouble and being able to No-Sell her full might understandably shatters her arrogance and freaks her the hell out.
  • In an issue of Adam Warren's Dirty Pair, Kei, fighting an artificially created "warbeast", starts unloading into its head at point-blank range with a gun capable of stopping a Power Suit with one shot.
    "*BANG* DIE! *BANG* DIE! *BANG* WILL YOU @&$(# DIE!?"
  • In the Seed of Destruction storyline, Hellboy shoots Rasputin in the head...
    Hellboy: Hey, fall down, man!
  • Scud the Disposable Assassin: Scud shouts this or something similar at a zombified Tyrannosaurus Rex, after emptying a combat shotgun into its face. Destroying the brain is a lot harder when said brain is the size of a pea.
  • The Joker says this in his very first appearance in Batman #1. Ironic, given Joker's later ability.
  • In Whatever Happened to The Caped Crusader?, this is said by the Joker during his eulogy as he's retelling the story of how he killed Batman:
    Joker: Smile damn you, why don't you smile?! You've got enough Joker Venom in you to finish off a regime of elephants. Why don't you smile? Why don't you die?
    Batman: Because it's not funny.
  • A variation appears in 52, during the climactic battle between Lex Luthor (armed with all the powers of Superman) and Steel (armed with basically some armour and a big hammer). After Steel responds to the predictable Curb-Stomp Battle that ensues by continuing to keep getting up no matter how hard Luthor hits him, Luthor — after first mocking the increasing number of injuries that Steel is racking up — bellows "Are you still getting up? Lie down and die!"
  • Ultimate Marvel:
    • The Ultimates: Heroic example, Cap says it about Kleiser, an alien that's really hard to kill.
    • Spider-Men II: Green Goblin boasts that he can't be killed. Spider-Man already knows, and does not want to be reminded of it.
  • World War Hulk: General Ross asks this of the Green Scar Hulk, when he's pumping the Hulk full of More Dakka.
    Ross: Why won't you die already?
    Hulk: That's your job, isn't it?
  • Banished from the Hero's Party: When Red and Rit are sent hurtling down an elevator shaft in the ancient elf ruins, they survive by virtue of Danan being at the bottom and using one of his techniques to send them flying back up. This inexplicable occurrence causes Ares, who had attempted to kill Red to remove his influence over Ruti, to wonder why Red can't just die already.

    Fan Works 
  • In An Entry with a Bang, one shipman has this reaction after a Dropship eats enough SM-2 missiles to supposedly take out a large chunk of the old Soviet air force and still isn't greatly damaged.
  • In Latias' Journey, this phrase is applied to most of the undead horrors that keep regenerating — some after multiple actual deaths, and one having been utterly vaporized.
  • Rorschach does this towards Deadpool in I'm a Marvel... And I'm a DC.
  • Kikami, when she takes control of Sarah's body in the Soul Eater fanfiction Witches Man, Witches while swinging her scythe at the vampire Nikolai. "WHY... WON'T... YOU... DIIIIIEEEEE?"
  • Burning Black: Remy screams this often at Timothy after the latter continues to survive all the possible ways a person can be killed that Remy can think of. When Remy tries ways to kill magical creatures on him, the effects are soon neutralized with the help of anti-fairies and Caleb's magitechnology.
  • A quite hilarious example in Fate/Stay Night: Ultimate Master, where Zouken, after learning about Ben Tennyson joining the Holy Grail War, immediately sends True Assassin to get rid of him as quickly as possible. Cue an extremely frustrated True Assassin trying to stab Ben... in Ampfibian form.
    True Assassin: Just Die!
  • In the Pony POV Series, during the Final Battle of the Dark World Series, Nightmare Eclipse/Paradox, beginning to suffer a Villainous Breakdown, asks this of Minty Pie as the latter continually resists her efforts to kill her.
  • A deranged Pandora Lovegood asks this in Harry Potter and a Brand New Start when all of her inventions fail to kill Harry due to his status as the Master of Death making him immortal.
  • In No More Lucius asks this when Harry is still alive after being hit by multiple killing curses.
  • The Super Mario World ROM hack creepypasta has this written in blood on the wall after Mario obtains infinite invincibility.
  • In Brutal Harry Voldemort asks this when faced with an unintentionally-resurrected Lily Potter.
  • In The Last Son, Graydon Creed yells the trope verbatim when he tries to shoot Superman.
    Graydon Creed: Die!!! Die!!! DIE!!! WHY WON'T YOU DIE, YOU FUCKING FREAK?!!!
  • Luigi has "Why won't you die?" written in blood along the walls in I HATE YOU. The "you" in question is his brother, Mario.
  • In Harry Potter and the Wardrobe Voldemort asks this when Harry uses Deep Magic to survive several killing curses.
  • In The Night Unfurls, the creature that was once the sorcerer Shamuhaza proves to be so tough that Kyril, Sanakan, and Hugh's flurry of blows seem to have no effect. Naturally, Sanakan gets frustrated by this, eventually slamming her Holy Blade onto its back repeatedly, cursing "Just fucking DIE ALREADY! DIE!" Hugh cannot speak, but from how his internal narration remarks that "the blasted thing's not dying", the readers can feel that he is getting impatient as well.
  • True Potential:
    • Raiga screams "WHY AREN'T YOU DYING YET?" to Anko during their fight.
    • During his fight against Kabuto, Naruto grits his teeth together and asks "Why won't you die already?"

    Films — Animation 
  • From Disney's Aladdin:
    • Jafar says this almost verbatim to Aladdin during the climax.note 
      Jafar: "YOU! How many times do I have to kill you, boy?!"
    • And again in Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, after the Genie saves Al from being executed.
      Jafar: "The street rat! Still alive? NO!"
  • Said by Nekron in Fire & Ice in a rather narmy fashion.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Shen asks "How many times do I have to kill the same stinking panda?" when he sees and realizes that Po has recovered from the blow delivered to him by his anti-Kung Fu cannon. Which is just the start of Shen's own Villainous Breakdown.
  • The Transformers: The Movie:
    • Slight variant when Megatron screams "Fall! FALL!" as he shoots Optimus Prime until he finally does fall down.
    • Inverted later by Galvatron, who laments, "It's a shame you Autobots die so easily."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • One of the oldest examples in film can be found at the end of Alexander Dovzhenko's Arsenal (1928): "Fall, damn you, FALL! Are you wearing armor or something?" (go to about 1.20, is where it starts)
  • Austin Powers says this in his second movie to Robin Swallows, who inexplicably survives being shot, stabbed, falling from a building, being blown up, and quite a few other things. A deleted scene has Austin take advantage of this by keeping her in his car to serve as a bullet shield.
  • That joke was an intentional satire of one of the supposed rules of James Bond. The joke was lost when James Bond killed a woman in cold blood the same year as this film came out (The World Is Not Enough), and indeed, Bond had previously killed at least two other women before that point (Xenia Onatopp in GoldenEye, Naomi in The Spy Who Loved Me, as well as pushing Fiona Volpe into the line of fire of one of her henchmen in Thunderball).
    • Speaking of GoldenEye, Trevelyan delivers this after yet another failed attempt at killing Bond:
      Trevelyan: Why won't you just be a good boy and die?
      Bond: You first. (To Xenia Onatopp) You, second.
    • Also done in more erudite fashion by Moonraker's Hugo Drax, with a side of How Many Times Must I Kill You:
      Hugo Drax: Mr. Bond, you persist in defying my efforts to provide an amusing death for you.
    • In similarly erudite manner by Kamal Khan in Octopussy:
      Kamal: You have a nasty habit of surviving.
      Bond: Well, you know what they say about the fittest.
    • A rather subdued example in Diamonds Are Forever. The last time James Bond had crossed paths with Albert Wint and Charles Kidd, they had tried to incinerate him. Imagine their surprise, then, when the man they thought was securely a pile of ashes by then was lying unconscious in the elevator of the Whyte House after being gassed by Blofeld.
      Wint: If at first you don't succeed, Mr. Kidd...
      Kidd: Try, try again, Mr. Wint.
  • Two-Face and The Riddler say this to Batman in Batman Forever:
    Two-Face: Why can't you just DIE?!
    • Ironically, he then unleashes an attack that's perhaps the closest either of them comes to actually killing him.
    • And then, later:
    The Riddler: Why? Why can't I kill you?
    • An odd line, considering that not only does The Riddler never really try to kill Batman at any point in the movie, he actually prevents Two-Face from doing him in earlier.
  • In Big Trouble in Little China, the villainous, and now exasperated, Lo Pan expresses a similar sentiment to his underling when he finds that Jack Burton has cheated death yet again...
    Lo Pan: Is it too much to ask, Thunder?!? Kill him! For me!
  • Used in the movie version of The Crow where Funboy shoots the hero several times, only to watch in horror as the hero's Healing Factor kicks in and closes the wounds right before his eyes, leading him to cry "Don't you ever fuckin' die?"
  • Frequently said by foes of Die Hard's John McClane.
  • In Freddy vs. Jason, a frustrated Freddy Krueger asks Jason Voorhees "Why won't you DIE?!" Freddy is an undead ghost, Jason an undead zombie, and both are absolutely infamous for having Joker Immunity. Irony that thick could only have been intentional.
  • In the 2000 movie Gladiator, Emperor Commodus says a variant of this to Maximus, after the latter has just won a match that was blatantly rigged against him. Since Commodus is the Emperor of Rome and Maximus a mere slave at that point, he could simply have his rival executed, but Commodus' being a Slave to PR and his flair for the dramatic limits his options.
    Commodus: What am I going to do with you? You simply won't... die.

  • In a borderline case of Beam Me Up, Scotty!, Lord Voldemort does this with Harry Potter only in the trailer for the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows film(s).
    Lord Voldemort: Why do you live?
    Harry Potter: Because I have something worth living for.
    • In the film proper, he has this reaction when his killing curse fails to kill Harry for the second time. While he doesn't say anything, his look of disbelief, followed by angry explosions, which is then followed by physically attacking Harry shows it.
  • In Heroic Trio, the main characters have a brief discussion about this concerning The Dragon who doesn't even seem to feel pain. After that, the fight the Big Bad who goes through about three fake-out deaths before finally going down.
  • In the true story of Kill the Irishman, the Cleveland Mafia are frustrated that they can't kill Irish mobster Danny Greene. Eight attempts were made on their Irish rival's life, including shootings and bombings. Greene walked away every time until October 6, 1977.
    Jack Licavoli: [from trailer] We've shot him. We've blown him up. He just won't die!
  • By the end of the The Lone Ranger, Cavendish (and Cole) become very frustrated about the Lone Ranger and Tonto's refusal to die.
    Butch Cavendish: These two have a hard time stayin' dead!
  • In the movie Me, Myself & Irene, one scene has Charlie finding a cow lying in the road, and he tries to put the poor thing out of its misery, thinking it had been hit by a car. It refuses to die despite having a gun emptied into its head, being pistol whipped, and then choked unconscious. The cow shows up again before the credits, bandaged up but otherwise okay.
    • A deleted scene taking place afterward has a farmer warn Charlie to watch out for his cow, who got loose and has a habit of taking naps in the road.
  • Parodied in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where King Arthur maims the Black Knight, who continues to try fighting even after losing his arm... and his other arm... and his leg... and his other leg. He decides to call it a draw at this point, until Arthur starts to leave, at which points the Black Knight declares he'll bite his legs off.
  • Averted in The Princess Bride where, rather than raging at Westley's unexpected return from the dead, Humperdinck calmly says "I killed you too quickly last time, a mistake I don't intend to duplicate tonight".
  • Ivan Drago has one in Rocky IV. "He is not a man. He is a piece of iron."
  • In The Sea Hawk (1940), the evil Lord Wolfingham (Henry Daniell) greets the hero, Geoffrey Thorpe (Errol Flynn) who has escaped from numerous perils, with the words, "Have you nine lives, Captain Thorpe? Surely most of them must be used up by now." Cue Flynning.
  • In The 6th Day , Arnold Schwarzenegger's character gets annoyed that the Quirky Miniboss Squad keeps cloning themselves.
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004). Sky Captain says "Why won't you die?" to the Robot Girl just before he finishes her off for good.
  • Snatch.:
    • One of the many things that gangster Bullet Tooth Tony is infamous for is surviving being shot 6 times by an enemy. A flashback to that event shows the guy shooting Tony screaming "Why won't you fucking die?!!" just before he runs out of bullets.
    • Tony himself has this moment later with Boris "The Bullet Dodger", who takes an entire clip magazine from Tony's Desert Eagle before he finally dies.
  • Mrs. Lovett of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street shouts this at Judge Turpin, still partially alive and clinging to her dress after Sweeney Todd did him in.
  • In Thor: Ragnarok, as Valkyrie's More Dakka proves ineffective against Fenris, she expresses her frustration to Bruce.
  • In the original live-action Transformers movie, while trying to take down a particularly well-armoured Decepticon with a tank for a vehicle mode, one whose name is either "Brawl" or "Devastator" depending on who you ask, Captain William Lennox watches the robot shrug off a severed limb, several disabled weapons systems, and constant fire from Lennox and his marines, and says in disbelief, "These things just don't die!"
  • The V for Vendetta movie has a terrified Creedy asking V "Why won't you die! Why won't you die!" after V massacres his men despite having been shot dozens of times.
    V: Because beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas. Are. Bulletproof.
  • At the end of White Heat, a police marksman repeatedly nails Cody Jarrett with a sniper rifle, eventually muttering between reloads, "What's keeping him up?!"
  • In X-Men, as Storm flies out of the elevator shaft, Toad complains "Don't you people ever die?" (in a possible reference to how Death Is Cheap in the comics).
  • In Sharknado, Nova screams this to an attacking shark that she stabs repeatedly. After a few more stabs, it does eventually die.
  • In Dead Heat, Vincent Price's character says this towards the end.
    Loudermilk: Kill him! Why can't you kill him!
  • In Madhouse (1990), Jesse Bannister is an anchor at a news station that regularly does man-on-the-street questions. As houseguests slowly take over her house and her life, she gets increasingly unhinged, leading her to ask "How would you kill someone?" to her interviewees. The very thinly veiled subtext of her rant after the segment (in which she complains that the drug mentioned by a doctor is almost impossible to get a hold of, and that bleach in the bean dip just gave her guests diarrhea) is that she tried several of their suggestions and nothing worked.
  • Face/Off. After an explosive boat chase, shootout and fistfight, Sean Archer is reduced to choking Castor Troy and yelling at him.
    Sean Archer: Die! Please God, die!
  • Murder on the Orient Express (2017). Poirot is shot by a suspect who confesses to the crime, then tries to finish off Poirot, saying "Why aren't you dead yet?" Afterwards Poirot realises that's a fair question as the suspect is a marksman and a surgeon. He never intended to kill Poirot; he was Taking the Heat and wanted his confession to appear convincing.
    It wasn't a Murder, it was a Surgery
  • During the Final Battle in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, Walker says this to Ethan: "Why won't you just die?!"
  • In the Action Prologue of Death Race, Machine Gun Joe says this re Frankenstein, and actually does kill him shortly afterwards, a fact that he's ignorant of because the protagonist Got Volunteered to impersonate Frankenstein to keep up the ratings for the eponymous race.
  • Knight and Day: June, Roy, and Simon face an assassin that is able to No-Sell everything they throw at him, even being stabbed in the chest. Roy knocks him through a window, but he starts coming back, causing Simon to scream, "Oh my God! Just die!" Seconds later, the assassin is hit by a train, which does kill him.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022): Knuckles gets increasingly frustrated with Sonic not falling easily. He doesn't actually say this phrase word-for-word, but his sentence carries the spirit.
    Knuckles: Why - don't - you - stand still and DIE?! WITH HONOUR?!

  • Animorphs:
    • Visser Four yells "Why don't you die?!" after the characters survive yet another should-have-been-fatal blow (see, their trip through time to follow him was part of a Deal with the Devil — an evil Sufficiently Advanced Alien said one dying was the price. The alien's rival and sometime ally of our heroes added the stipulation that only one could die on that trip, so the team discovers that they're suddenly Nigh-Invulnerable, regenerating even fatal wounds instantly.)
    • The Animorphs' recurring nemesis Visser Three has much cause to see the Animorphs the same way. Not only that, but in the book where they fight David, Rachel thinks to herself about how it's going to be very frustrating and scary to have a mortal enemy who has their powers, and she thinks of the tricks that David could pull, and has pulled on them already: "I was beginning to understand why Visser Three hated us so much."
  • Ciaphas Cain says two variants in a single fight in the novel For the Emperor.
  • Hardgore Alice from Magical Girl Raising Project has the ability to regenerate from any damage done to her, which frustrates Calamity Mary greatly as she blows apart Hardgore Alice and sets her on fire and then shoves her into a steel container and tosses her into the sea. Hardgore Alice still survives, destroying what little remained of Calamity Mary's restraint.
  • In Neverwhere, the Marquis can return from the dead. Thus:
    Mr. Croup: I already killed you once today. What does it take to teach some people?
  • George Orwell's essay Shooting an Elephant. By the end of the essay the reader is wishing the poor damn thing would die, too.
  • From Mistborn, another of the "How many times must I kill you?" variety. Kelsier seemingly goes down in a One-Hit Kill immediately after making this statement; and, well, that's where it gets complicated...
    Lord Ruler: I killed you, once.
    Kelsier: You tried. But you can't kill me, Lord Tyrant. I represent the thing you've never been able to kill, no matter how hard you try. I am Hope.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire during the Trial by Combat between Oberyn Martell and Gregor Clegane that is supposed to resolve whether Tyrion killed King Joffrey, when it seems like his champion Oberyn seems to have scored a perhaps critical wound, Tyrion finds himself repeatedly thinking "Fall down and die. Fall down and die!"
  • From The Stormlight Archive, this is Odium's reaction when Dalinar summons Honor's Perpindicularity
    Odium: No! No, we killed you! WE KILLED YOU!
  • In Dead Reckoning of The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries Sandra pelt has a moment of this where she screams psychotically at the titular character over this as she has by this point taken countless attempts at Sookies life with the heroine surviving all of them mostly unscathed.
  • Redwall book "Mossflower" Martin beats the Big Bad with some help from a Badger Warrior Spirit by simply standing up and fighting after... five fatal wounds? (Someone get a count please)
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us Abeloth, who even when her body is burned, survives.
  • In the first two books of the Silverwing series, Shade becomes very used to his nemesis Goth surviving seemingly impossible situations. (Caliban: "Chances are he's dead..." Shade: "He doesn't die.") In the third book, he rages this trope inwardly when he faces Goth in the bat underworld — not because Goth won't die, 'cause he had at that point, but that he won't do so in a way that would involve no longer plaguing Shade and his family.
  • In Honor Blade, Romulan Praetor Gurrhim tr'Siedhri miraculously survives a gunshot wound to the chest and an intentionally botched surgery to ostensibly repair the damage. Those responsible, his political rivals in the Praetorate, complain that "Farmer Gurri" can't even die right. Note he would have died eventually, but his aides and some of the soldiers manage to break him out of the warbird's sickbay and get him to the Enterprise, whereupon Bones McCoy redoes the surgery properly.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Variation in Angel, where Angel is fighting a demon and decapitates it. The demon's body stirs.
    Angel: Come on! I'm holding your head!
    • The demon needed to be killed a certain number of times before it died.
  • Parodied in an episode of Bottom: On getting a whiff of the lethal alcoholic mixture Eddie carries around in his hip flask, Richie inquires 'How are you alive?'. Eddie grins, taps the side of his nose, and cheerfully replies 'I may very well not be.'
  • There's a more typical one on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer end, with Buffy going "WHY...WON'T...YOU...DIE?" as she's pounding.
  • Used ironically on The Colbert Report, during a period where Colbert was taking any excuse, however flimsy, to repeatedly show a clip of controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright:
    Colbert: (grinning) Why won't that story die?
  • Doctor Who:
    • "I CANNOT DIE!!! I!!! AM!!! DAVROS!!!"
    • "Dalek" has the Doctor yelling, "Why don't you just die!" to the title monster in a death machine. He went to a lot of effort to wipe out their race at the cost of his own, and isn't happy this one slipped through the cracks.
    • "The Sound of Drums": Averted by the Master after shooting the unkillable Jack with his laser screwdriver: "And the good thing is, he's not dead for long! I GET TO KILL HIM AGAIN!"
    • In "Kill the Moon", this is anticipated by the Twelfth Doctor as a problem, should they try to shoot him — because right now he's not sure, but he might just keep regenerating forever, and that would take a while.
    • Honestly, villains say some variant of this about the Doctor all the time.
    • Speaking of Jack, on Torchwood, his enemies (particularly John Hart when they're first reunited) are a little bit annoyed that they can't permanently get rid of him.
  • Scorpius in Farscape is really bad at staying dead through a combination of Made of Iron, really excellent planning, and some impressive body armor.
    Crichton: Kryptonite? Silver bullets? ...Buffy? What's it gonna take to keep you in the grave?
  • Game of Thrones: When the Clegane brothers finally face off in "The Bells", the now undead Gregor is easily able to shrug off everything Sandor throws at him, even what would be fatal wounds for normal people. Naturally, Sandor gets frustrated by this, eventually shouting "Fucking die!" Then he tackles Gregor through a crumbling wall, sending them both falling to their death in an inferno below.
  • A variant in The Good Place. As the show is set in the afterlife, Eleanor can't actually die, but she can be tortured. However, Michael's plan to torture her fails so many times that at one point he resets the neighborhood not to try and torture her again, but to ask her how on Earth she keeps beating him.
    Michael: You keep making crazy choices I don't understand. Am I missing something?
    Eleanor: I'm sorry, can we rewind for a second? Who are you?
  • Guiding Light. In an all-out fight with local psycho Brent Lawrence, who over the past year has raped, stalked, kidnapped, and tried to kill his girlfriend Lucy Cooper, Alan-Michael Spaulding finally gets the upper hand and declares, "Die, you bastard. Die."
  • Super powers and super power-related phlebotinium allowed several characters from Heroes to cheat death. Claire (and Adam Monroe, later Sylar and Arthur Petrelli, and sometimes Peter) can't die; Claire's father Noah can survive being Moe Greened by Suresh thanks to Claire's blood; Peter bounces back from a shotgun blast thanks to a boy's power of healing; characters have also died in timelines that were subsequently kyboshed.
  • In the first season finale of Leverage, there is a mundane example. An opponent growls at a badly-beaten Eliot Spencer: "Why won't you go down?" Eliot laughs.
  • In the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode featuring Hamlet, Crow and Tom pull a Bedsheet Ghost prank on Mike, claiming he's his dad. When Mike reveals he's still alive, they keep going through a list of other relatives with Mike shooting them down until Crow explodes with "Don't your relatives ever die?!"
  • On NCIS, Leon Vance once survived a Uriah Gambit with help from Eli David. Years later, an assassination attempt sends him to the hospital. While there, he's visited by his twice-attempted killer Agent McCallister, who decides to pull a Sickbed Slaying while saying "Just for once, can't you just die right?" Fortunately, Gibbs had already slipped Vance a knife (Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife), which he puts to good use defending himself.
  • Brad Willis from Neighbours: He was shot by Bob Landers, attacked by a shark, saved Beth and Hannah from a burning cottage... and none of it killed him.
    • Not to mention the various attempts on Paul Robinson's life. He has been pushed off a cliff (twice), sent poisoned letters, almost strangled to death, shot in the chest by his own son, kidnapped and mind-tortured, suffered from a life-threatening brain tumor, and pushed off the mezzanine of a building. Even he has expressed surprise over not being dead yet.
  • Once Upon a Time: The Black Fairy to Emma after she can't crush her heart in "The Song in Your Heart".
  • One Life to Live: After local villain Carlo Hesser returns from the dead yet again, his archenemy Asa Buchanan explodes at him, "Damnit, Hesser! Can't you even stay dead?!"
  • The Outpost: Ambassador Dred asks this of Talon during their showdown in the Season 1 finale.
  • Psych episode "American Duos" Zapato Dulce: "You ruined everything! Why won't you die?"
  • In the 8th season of Scrubs, there is briefly a new Chief of Medicine, Dr. Taylor Maddox. Despite her very friendly and personable attitude toward her co-workers, she has a very cold-blooded and by the book approach to taking care of patients, which leads Cloudcuckoolander J.D. to do an Imagine Spot of her trying to smother a patient with a pillow after the patient's insurance coverage has run out. When he survives the first round of this, she tries again while shouting "Why won't you die?!!"
  • Tina Greer asks this in the Smallville episode "Visage", as her Super Strength is not nearly enough to defeat Clark Kent.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The main characters do this when speaking about archenemy Apophis.
      Teal'c: Apophis must have transported off of Sokar's ship before it exploded.
      Col. O'Neill: Somebody's got to teach that guy how to die.
    • Also implied about Dr. Daniel Jackson more than once... But then he DID come back from deadly situations more than once.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: The evil Mirror Universe version of Dr. Phlox, frustrated at how long the Tholian captive he's been ordered to eliminate is managing to cling to life (especially since it's transmitting a short-range distress signal to all the other Tholians in the area, and they're rapidly closing in on the I.S.S. Enterprise), growls "Will you kindly die!?"
  • In Supernatural, this has become what every force of evil (and sometimes good) thinks of the Winchesters (and Castiel). They have died literally COUNTLESS times, but none of it sticks. Even Death himself gets frustrated at this, saying he's mad at them for constantly coming back to life and ruining the natural order. This gets so bad that eventually the King of Hell imposes what is basically a "stop trying" order on killing the Winchesters, although this doesn't stop some of his (stupider) demons from trying.
  • The Tick of the 2016 Amazon Prime live-action series has the perfect response when Miss Lint throws this question at him while blasting him with the full force of her electric powers:
    The Tick: I! DON'T! WANNA!
  • Top Gear once tried to destroy a Toyota Hilux by having it suffering a series of increasingly terrible accidents. Driving down stairs, driving into a tree, leaving it at the beach at low-tide, driving through a hut, dropping a caravan on it, and bashing it with a wrecking ball didn't kill it. So they set it on fire. That didn't work either. So they tried again in a later episode and cranked it up. It didn't work either.
  • Van Helsing (2016) has this exchange from the Season 2 episode "Save Yourself", after Vanessa gets a Heroic Second Wind during a particularly intense fight:
    Sam: [annoyed] Why can't you just die?
    Vanessa: I was just thinking the same about you.
  • Walker, Texas Ranger: The 1998 episode "Warriors" has an instance of this, where Walker tries to kill the enforcer of a supremacist group, whose ringleader is attempting to create an army of genetically superior, undefeatable soldiers to aid in his ultimate goal of world domination. The trope comes into play when Walker and Trivette were attempting to stop the group from kidnapping a genetic researcher. After Trivette is roughed up by the unbeatable enforcer and about to be killed, Walker shows up and attempts to shoot the enforcer... emptying his gun while shooting him in the head and chest. The enforcer merely absorbs the bullets as a dumbfounded Walker tries to reload his gun, before Walker is also beaten up. After the villains leave, the dazed Walker and Trivette try to figure out why they couldn't even so much as make the enforcer flinch, despite following procedures and aiming at vital areas. (Not to worry: In the end, Walker — with some help — does figure out a way to beat the enforcer.)

  • Morriseys song "Margaret on the Guillotine"; asks this question in regards to Margaret Thatcher.
  • The Eminem song Go to Sleep features a variation. Namely, "why are you still alive!?"
  • The Goons' song, "Bluebottle Blues", is a duet between the usually-heroic Neddy Seagoon and perpetual Butt-Monkey Bluebottle, in which the former does his best to kill the latter. Finding Bluebottle still bemoaning his lot after one particularly nasty attempt, Seagoon comments irritably, "...still ALIVE?"
  • Stephen Lynch in "Grandfather", as he wants his inheritance from the old bastard.
    Oh why won't you die, grandpa, why must you fight? You old motherfucker, just walk towards the goddamned light!

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Portia Perez took offense to the fact Cheerleader Melissa still had anything to do with wrestling after all the losses she suffered to her and Nicole Matthews, stating at nCw Femme Fatales IV she had Melissa dead and she should have stayed that way.
  • During Triple H and The Undertaker's match at WrestleMania 27, nothing Hunter hit Taker with would keep him down. Pedigree? Nope. Three Pedigrees? Not even close. Steel chair shot to the head and The Undertaker's very own Tombstone Piledriver? gets a two and a half count... Triple H loses it:
    Triple H: Stay down! JUST DIE!
  • While he was "Mr. Money In The Bank", Seth Rollins had this question for Dean Ambrose, who kept preventing Rollins from using his briefcase.
  • At The Horror Show at Extreme Rules (2020), Dolph Ziggler yelled "Why won't you die?" at Drew McIntyre when he couldn't keep him down.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The reaction of many a Killer DM upon facing down a player Barbarian in Dungeons & Dragons. Dropped to 0 HP? Activates a death-ignoring ability, keeps fighting, is healed to above 0, ending the power effect. Dropped to 0 HP again? Activates the second ability, keeps fighting, is healed to above 0, ending the power effect. Dropped to 0 HP again? Activates another ability, keeps fighting. Built in such a way, a Barbarian can and, frequently, will keep fighting until he dies on his feet or kills the entire enemy group.
  • Especially nasty DM's can throw monsters at the party that evoke this response. In particular a Half Black Dragon templated War Troll. The war trolls regeneration is only halted by acid damage while the Half Dragon template grants it immunity to acid damage. This creates a nigh-unkillable monster that will regenerate from any amount of damage no matter how far below 0 it's left.
  • Exalted:
    • Same as the above often goes for Lunars, who pack massive damage absorption, lots of health levels, regeneration and top it off with ability to outright not die when killed so long as they have Essence to spare.
    • Alchemicals have a couple similar abilities — getting massive layers of armour installed and getting (a limited amount of times) after getting killed.
    • In general, any Exalt can stay invulnerable for some time by using perfect defences to evade attacks, but it's mainly the above that may roll with taking them and just keeping going despite the damage.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, New Phyrexia will continue whenever a drop of Phyrexian oil remains. Also, Squee, Goblin Nabob returns to your hand when he would otherwise go to the graveyard. There's also Platinum Angel, which makes it so you can't lose.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • What many player say when facing a Necron army. Almost all Necron infantry has a rule that gives a slain soldier a chance to stand back up — previously called "We'll be back!" with certain stipulations, then called simply "reanimation protocols" with different stipulations. Furthermore, the Necron player can give his units an even greater chance to get back up. And as if that weren't enough, Necron vehicles all trade the ability to reanimate with simply being nearly impossible to take down in the first place.
    • The same thing applies to the "Feel No Pain" rule, which gives models a 33% chance to ignore any wounds that don't cause an instant kill.
    • Not to mention the "It Will Not Die" rule that grants models the ability to regenerate.
  • Often heard as a traditional response to any player forced to oppose a BattleMech classified as a 'zombie flashbulb' in BattleTech. 'Zombie' means that the 'Mech is designed with thick armor, hardy physical construction, and will generally keep fighting short of shooting out the fusion engine or the cockpit, and 'flashbulb' means that the 'Mech carries an arsenal designed solely around energy weapons, which have no volatile ammunition to detonate and no limit on how many shots they can fire beyond the risk of overheating. This translates into a BattleMech that can be reduced to a head perched precariously atop an engine with a leg attached that might still be attacking. Few BattleMechs are naturally that tenacious, but there are designs which take Made of Iron to a very literal extreme.
    • The Archangel in 4 of its 6 variants (the other 2 mount heavy explosive components). It's 100 tons (as heavy as mechs get), and has max armor (307), so combined with internal structure it can feasibly absorb over 400 damage and keep fighting. If that wasn't enough, it's got a Compact Engine and Gyro, cutting the chance of engine or gyro hits in half, from 6/12 and 4/12 to 3/12 and 2/12. Oh, and it carries several Head and Center torso mounted weapons.
  • From New World of Darkness:
    • Prometheans are the hardest one to put down. For a game that averts Critical Existence Failure, Prometheans play it straight. They don't fall unconscious nor gain any roll penalty from Bashing or Lethal damage, the only way to put them down is to deal enough Aggravated damage (which may cause roll penalty if you manage to hack one of their limbs off). Easier said than done when the creature in question still functions at full capacity, and very likely to disagree with you hacking them to pieces. Fortunately, fire deals Aggravated damage to them easily. Unfortunately, they can just grab electric cords and heal themselves and even if you do put one down, they get a free resurrection out of it.
    • Sin-Eaters are human enough to die from enough Lethal damage, and gaining roll penalties as they get more battered. However, they come with increased resistance against disease and poison, Mana Shield, and can restore lost health by destroying Mementos or ritual-murdering someone else. Their Geist can also bring them back from the dead, although this comes with Sanity Slippage and worse. And if they have the Stygian Caul, they become as hard to put down as the Prometheans above without the weakness against fire.

    Theme Parks 

    Video Games 
  • In Assassin's Creed II, Francesco de'Pazzi shouts something along these lines when he catches sight of Ezio: "You again?! Why aren't you dead?! Men, slaughter him!"
  • In Chapter 4 of Bendy and the Ink Machine, Twisted Alice says this to Henry after he manages to kill Brute Boris, screaming "No! No, no, no...! Why can't you ever just die!?" The attacker then tries just frantically charging to kill Henry herself, only to be Impaled with Extreme Prejudice from behind with a sword by Allison Angel.
  • In Sonic Unleashed, Eggman has a few choice words when Sonic, even while falling towards the molten core of the earth and battling against Eggman's most powerful combat armor to date, keeps fighting hard as ever.
    Dr. Eggman: Stubborn little pincushion...! Give up and die, already!
  • Kingpin: Life of Crime gives a nice example from Nikki Blanco. "What the fuck's it gonna take to kill that slippery motherfucker!?"
  • Metal Gear:
  • Master Li says something along these lines when you succeed on breaking free of the cage he wove for you from your own doubts at the end of Jade Empire.
  • Vladimir Zakarov says this to Tequila at one point during the Penthouse stage in the John Woo game Stranglehold.
    Vlad: Dammit! What do I have to do to make you die?!
  • Mission Vao in Knights of the Old Republic has an exasperated "Just Die Already!" as a Battle Cry. Other than that, this trope is conspicuously absent, while people will constantly comment on characters surviving situations where No One Could Survive That!, they rarely seem to be angry or frustrated about this. They seem pretty willing to chalk it up to the Force... and who you were in a past life.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, hostile NPCs will sometimes shout "Why! Won't! You! Die!?" as a battle drags on. As seen here
    • Interestingly, in one of the expansion packs, the enemies won't die, prompting one soldier to loudly scream "Why! Won't! You! Stay! DEAD?!"
  • Max Payne:
    • Nicole Horne issues this message to her men in the first Max Payne:
      Horne: What do you mean, "he's unstoppable?" You are superior to him in every way that counts. You are better trained, better equipped. You outnumber him at least twenty to one. Do... your... job!
    • A similar message is issued to a group of mooks earlier on in the game, with the inclusion of the phrase "He's just one lousy cop!"
      Goon: Boss... Gognitti... it's Max Payne... he came and... started cappin' us... He killed... ugh...
      Gognitti: Are you freakin' kidding me? He's just one lousy cop! You'd better be freakin' kiddin' me! Whack him! What's the freakin' problem?! Hello? Answer me! Hello?!
    • Vlad gives a much more explicit version of this near the end of Max Payne 2: The Fall of Max Payne.
      Vlad: What the fuck is wrong with you Max? Why don't you just die? You hate life, you're miserable all the time, afraid to enjoy yourself even a little. Face it, you might as well be dead already. Do yourself a favor, give up!
  • At a certain point in Half-Life 2, a frustrated Dr. Breen has this to say to the soldiers that Gordon Freeman's been killing for a while now:
    Dr. Breen: How could one man have slipped through your force's fingers time and time again? How is it possible? This is not some agent provocateur or highly trained assassin we are discussing. Gordon Freeman is a theoretical physicist who had hardly earned the distinction of his Ph.D. at the time of the Black Mesa Incident. I have good reason to believe that in the intervening years, he was in a state that precluded further development of covert skills. The man you have consistently failed to slow, let alone capture, is by all standards simply that — an ordinary man. How can you have failed to apprehend him?
  • The trailer for LucasArts' canceled sequel to Sam and Max Hit the Road has Max yelling "Why! Won't! You! Just! Die!" at a foiled carjacker while jumping up and down on his stomach. Later given a Mythology Gag in the Telltale Games series, made by the same people who were on the Lucas project.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island, while LeChuck continuously beats up Guybrush near the end of Chapter 5, the villain at one time says, "How I can't WAIT for you to give up and just... GO AWAY!"
  • Final Fantasy V:
    • This exchange:
      Necrophobe: Enough of this. Die!
      Gilgamesh: (snort) I believe that's MY line!!!
    • When Galuf battles Exdeath alone to save his friends, gets hit with everything the villain has got, gets his Hit Points down to zero, yet the fight doesn't end; Exdeath even asks Galuf why he won't die, and Galuf retorts, "Because they are my friends!!", or in the Advance translation: "Takes a lot more than that for me to kick the bucket!". Sadly, he dies after the battle.
  • Final Fantasy X has Seymour Guado come back a total of three times, making for four fights against him, and after one fight, Tidus shouts, "And stay up there!".
  • Final Fantasy XIV: The second boss in the first NieR: Automata Crossover raid is a massive GLaDOS Shout-Out, and it grows increasingly irritated with the party’s continued survival as the fight wears on:
    "Danger: Subjects advised to die faster."
    "Flagrant disrespect for science detected. “How dare you?” queried."
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: William Afton has been killed twice and manages to come back both time, the first as Springtrap the second as Glitchtrap.
    "I always come back!"
  • In BioShock, Andrew Ryan delivers a more Sesquipedalian version: "Why are you so resistant to the traditional methods of separating a man from his soul?"
  • Iji:
    • Both the Tasen and Komato ask this about Iji, whether you play a Pacifist Run or Genocide Run.
      Various logbooks: She's just ONE HUMAN!
    • A variant of this is also used directly if you use a checkpoint before dying in a certain boss battle.
      Asha: No! You can't still be alive! I KILLED YOU! Oh well... I should be grateful. This means I get to KILL YOU TWICE!
    • In fact, it's possible to use both checkpoints in the level and still make it back to Asha. The player has to know the game inside and out and go well out of his way to pull it off, and Asha is absolutely infuriated at the implausibility of it all.
    • And whenever you're fighting Asha, he will occasionally scream out in frustration
    • Iji herself will sometimes shout this at her enemies if you're playing as a One Woman Army.
  • Wild Dog from Time Crisis. He will ALWAYS return for the next game, no matter how much damage he takes or how unlikely his survival is. In 3, the heroes actually ask him, right after his appearance, "Don't you ever die?"
  • In the official comics for Team Fortress 2, Blutarch Mann, CEO of Builders League United (BLU) has this to say about his twin brother, Redmond:
    Blutarch: I have mounted an epic campaign of leisure against the ravages of time. Waiting for nature to do to my brother what my men could not. And yet here we are at the end. And he...won't...DIE.
    • Not in-universe, but new players will often think of this trope when being constantly killed by the same Dead Ringer Spy over and over again.
  • Lampshaded in F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin by Colonel Vanek, who demands to know why his five hundred-strong army of special forces commandos haven't been able to kill Becket. Some choice quotes:
    I don't give a shit if it's Godzilla, kill the bastards!
    Just what I need... Somebody kill this son of a bitch! Bury him!
    Why is that fucking soldier still fucking alive?! JUST FUCKING SHOOT HIM ALREADY!
  • Eldar Guardians in Dawn of War say this when locked in close combat, and inflect the words with a typically Eldar amount of venomous contempt.
  • Portal 2:
    • At the end of the game, when Wheatley finds out that Chell is still alive after part five of the four-part plan:
    • The way she escapes counts as this too: GLaDOS deems her too difficult to kill and decides to take the easy way out, by just setting her free so she can't mess up anything anymore.
  • Lord Nergal says this word-for-word in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade after Eliwood's father pulls a Taking You with Me and fatally stabs him before dying.
  • In BlazBlue, one of Ragna's battle cries is "Die! Die already!" In Jin's Story Mode in BlazBlue: Calamity Trigger, he says this in one path after Nu refuses to stay down.
    • Hazama/Terumi also does this a lot, usually when a particularly stubborn character starts interfering with his plans and/or shows smug defiance despite his best efforts to break them.
    • Terumi's true form, Susanoo, has one of the most vicious yet emblematic examples of the trope out there with about half of his battle quotes amounting to assorted death threats and yells of just what horrible suffering he's inflicting on his enemy. His theme, 'MUST DIE', is this trope distilled into musical form with lyrics like "WHEN YOU DIE, WHERE'S YOUR GOD?!" and invitations for his enemies to give in to pain as he murders them. Special mention goes to his "Strike of The Possessed God" attack.
      Susanoo: Die! DIE!! DIE!!! DIE, WON'T YOU?!
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • It hangs a lampshade on this after Commander Shepard is brought back to life.
      Garrus: Honestly? The Collectors managed to kill you once, and all that did is piss you off. I can't imagine they'll stop you this time.
    • The Reapers are definitely getting tired of Shepard.
    • At one point, the mercenary boss during Grunt's recruitment mission screams "There are three of them! Three! Anything can be killed if you'd just do your damn jobs!" as Shepard's squad smashes through her army.
    • Any player feels this with enemies covered with Plot Armor in the third game. Kai Leng deserves a special mention because you just know that if the mechanics were being fair during their fight on Thessia, you could blow him to pieces no problem.
  • Nathan Drake says this to Big Bad Lazarevic in the final battle of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Something along the lines of "My god... why won't you die?!". Lazarevic may sometimes say it to Nate as well.
  • In Saints Row 2, after defeating Mr. Sunshine, the Sons of Samedi's resident voodoo practitioner, he keeps getting up after being shot repeatedly. Quite annoyed by all this, the protagonist shoots him a few more times shouting "For fuck's sake, die already!" After about the third time he falls, the protagonist makes sure he's dead by chopping Mr. Sunshine's head off and throwing it into a meat grinder.
  • Minor example in Persona 4 is when Kanji attacks a shadow, but fails to finish it, he sometimes shouts, "Lay down and die already!"
  • In Tower of Heaven, the deity winds up shouting, "How dare you... How dare you continue to live?"
  • Reversed in Emperor: Battle for Dune. During the intro, the ruling body of House Ordos encourages you by showing the former supreme commander's... head. Connected to a machine so that it stays completely conscious and contemplates its failure for all eternity. It only has one line: "Let me die."
    • If you lose twice during the campaign, your head gets hooked up to the same machine, and you face that commander once again. "Why won't they just let us die?"
    • Fear is an efficient tool of management. Failure is not an option.
  • Fable III has a humorous version during an undead assault of a base, where wisps are possessing dead bodies, including those of recently-deceased soldiers:
    Swift: LIEUTENANT SIMMONS! I specifically instructed you to stay buried!
    Finn: Oh why do nobody follow orders anymore?
  • In Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, Commander Spog will at one point, while pursuing you, say "How are you STILL ALIVE?!"
  • In one of the endings of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors, Ace (who has had his heel nature exposed to the cast) is discovered by Snake to have been the one who killed his sister, Clover. He proceeds to empty an entire clip into the enraged Snake, including a shot to the forehead, and Snake still gets up and tries to kill him. He then exclaims this trope's title exactly.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has the pharaoh Ed the Undying, who must be fought seven times before being too disassembled to fight. On the seventh time:
    Player: Stay down, damn you!
  • Many enemy NPC's say this to player characters in Star Wars: The Old Republic. And sometimes player characters say this to enemy NPC's.
  • The Sorceress from Orcs Must Die! screams as much to the Apprentice when he's slaughtering her army of orcs.
  • A certain boss in Mario & Luigi: Dream Team actually says this in Robo Speak quite late into the battle.
    "Foe still active: Why?"
  • Far Cry 3, both Jason and Vaas to each other. Vaas tries to hunt, burn, drown, and execute/bury Jason, and Jason still gets back up. Jason tries to shoot Vaas multiple times and it barely slows him down, because Jason is hallucinating from the knife wound and shooting hallucinations, while the real Vaas is about 100 yards away. The player can either shoot down about 20 Vaas ghosts or rush through the melee-only hallucinations and just kill him already. This is also an insult to both the player and Vaas because repeatedly shooting Vaas instead of spicing it up means that the player is not improvising and stuck on the same level over and over (insanity), and Vaas is repeatedly trying to permanently kill a player character. Yeah, good luck with that.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor: Orc Captains and Warchiefs who killed Tallion will sometimes say this after they've already killed him. Others speak a variation, eagerly killing to kill him again. Inversely, sometimes Orc Captains or Warchiefs will say something along the lines of "Don't you wish *I* would die already?" They can only be perma-killed by beheading.
  • A rare non-lethal example happens in Ace Attorney Investigations, with the Marathon Final Culprit Quercus Alba. Even as the evidence against him piles higher and higher and as Edgeworth tears through the contradictions in his testimony, Alba just keeps twisting every loophole and diplomatic convention he can find to get him out of the mess he's in, prompting several characters (and probably more than a few players) to call him out for not simply confessing and getting it over with.
  • Devil Survivor 2 has the battle against Mizar, preventing itself from being eaten by the Dragon Stream by clinging onto a building. Each time you attack its arms, it clings back onto the building further away. If Airi happens to be on the battlefield, she'll get frustrated and just demand Mizar to "get eaten already"!
  • Ring Runner: Flight of the Sages has ships with descriptors such as "hard to kill," "low durability but hard to kill," and "extremely hard to kill" depending on how tough they are and how many abilities they can equip that let them come back from death.
  • An exchange during Batman: Arkham Origins highlights Joker's disbelief during his first encounter with Batman:
    Mobster: I'm tellin' ya — he ain't dead.
    Joker: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Must be a bad connection. I thought I heard you say that after I SHOT HIM, and BLEW UP a building on him, THE BAT, SOMEHOW SURVIVED?!!?
  • Batman: Arkham Knight has the Riddler saying this during his final racetrack, which results in the funniest Villainous Breakdown in the game. Bonus points for borrowing from Frieza.
  • One mission from Brood War had you constantly being hounded by a special Ultralisk named Torrasque. This monstrosity is tough, deals an assload of damage, fast, but most importantly keeps being revived by the nearby Cerebrate every time you put it down. Kill the Cerebrate to make it stay dead.
    "Sir, we've just had a whole cargo-ship full of whoop-ass dumped on us! We ran into a new strain of Ultralisk and it took a lot o' pepper to bring it down. To top it all off, our recon squad reports that the critter's been reincarnated by a nearby cerebrate and is on its way back for more!"
  • In the God of War III, Zeus says this line word for word to Kratos in their final battle.
  • In God of War (PS4), Baldur says this word for word a few times during the many boss battles that Kratos has with him throughout the game. Towards the end of the final encounter, he starts screaming it at the top of his lungs, incredulous that Kratos won't stay down after everything he's been hit with.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode: In episode 5, Aiden has this response when Jesse comes back to fight him, after Aiden previously had thrown Jesse off Sky City into what was presumably the Void below, unaware that there was actually land down there.
  • In Crusader Kings II, if you're playing as a child character, your regent will sometimes try to kill you in order to usurp your throne. Multiple times. If you survive all of the attempts (usually by dumb luck), they will eventually go insane and an event will pop up where they try to stab you to death in your sleep, all the while yelling the trope name word-for-word as he/she gets dragged away by your guards. Meanwhile, you have no idea what's going on.
  • By the end of Star Fox Zero, Andross is shouting this. However, it's not Fox McCloud he's talking to.
  • In Undertale, Undyne's Boss Banter includes shouting several variations on this phrase.
  • Injustice 2:
    • Non-canon pre-fight banter between the Joker (long since dead in the Injustice universe) and other fighters has the latter wondering why the Joker simply refuses to stay dead despite a Fallen Hero Superman unambiguously killing the Joker with his bare hands by punching a hole through his chest.
    • One of Red Hood's occasional clash quotes when he talks second is "Why are you still alive?"
  • In Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls, Plutia says this of the Big Bad during the Final Battle. A rare case of her Superpowered Evil Side tendencies showing up in her Sleep-Mode Size form.
    Plutia: Why won't it die?!
  • In Darkest Dungeon, the Prophet was a man with uncanny knowledge of the Ancestor's experiments into monstrous things. When he began to inflame the people of the Hamlet against the Ancestor with his preaching, the Ancestor tried to kill him, first through locking him in a pillory until he starved — which he didn't. Then he tried to drown the Prophet in the ocean... which also failed to take. Then he just started furiously stabbing the Prophet over and over. That also failed to take. Ultimately, the Ancestor got rid of him by simply exposing him to the nature of the excavations beneath the Estate, which broke the Prophet's mind and sent him fleeing, screaming madness and gibbering nonsense.
  • Resident Evil:
    • In Resident Evil 5, Irving drops this to Chris and Sheva before his boss fight.
      Irving: Won't you two just die already? You're making me look bad.
    • In Resident Evil 6, Ada has this to say about the chainsaw-wielding B.O.W. Ubistvo:
      Ada: Does nothing stay dead anymore?
    • Resident Evil 7:
      • Ethan spouts something to this effect after winning the chainsaw battle against Jack.
        Ethan: Do me a favor and stay dead! note 
      • Lucas growls out a "Mutherf**ker! You're supposed to die!" after you solve his Happy Birthday puzzle. In the Not A Hero DLC, he likewise becomes more frustrated at his inability to kill Chris.
    • Similarly, in Resident Evil 2 (Remake):
      • When the heavily mutated William Birkin appears after seemingly having been "killed" three times already, cue a very frustrated and desperate holler from Claire:
        Claire: Why can't you just die?!
      • And when he shows up AGAIN for one more final battle:
      Claire: For fuck's sake, HOW ARE YOU STILL KICKING?!
      • Leon also feels this way about Mr. X in his scenario.
        Leon: Uh... Is this a fucking joke?
    • In Resident Evil Village, Miranda is less than amused when she sees that Ethan is still walking after she ripped his heart out. It starts calmly, but as the battle goes on she becomes increasingly desperate in her cries for his death.
      Miranda: Why won't you die?!
  • Block Man in Mega Man 11 will become frustrated after Mega Man destroys his giant Power Gear form, and resorts to hanging back in one corner of the room while frantically tossing bricks at the hero and shouting things like "Break already!"
  • Jagged Alliance: In Jagged Alliance 2, the Big Bad's lackey Elliot seems to be made of iron, despite being a sniveling coward and a sycophant. He bears the brunt of his boss's abuse as the success of the player's troops further enrage Queen Deidrenna, culminating ultimately to him telling her that they are now entering her capital city, prompting her to shoot Elliot in the head at point blank range...which he survives. Deidrenna proceeds to berate him on not being able to even die properly. It's possible for the player to engage Elliot in combat, and he has most hit points of all enemies in the game.
    Queen Deidranna: What? OH MY LORD! Elliot! You idiot! Are you so stupid you don't even know how to die properly?! Can't you do anything right?
    Elliot: [cough] Apparently... not, Your Highness. I will try harder.
  • Jon Irenicus of Baldur's Gate has this reaction when you catch up to him at the end of the game after surviving every obstacle he threw in your direction.
    Irenicus: You... You live yet?! You have less than a fraction of your soul, and yet somehow you continue to oppose me?!
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel II has Rean scream the "Why are you still alive!?" variation towards Osborne after everyone present sees him alive and well after he was shot in the heart at the climax of Cold Steel I.

    Web Animation 
  • While not a video game per se, Zero Punctuation has used a panel of an imp desperately calling this out against the hero a few times now...
    • In the battle between Genos and War Machine, Rhodey continues to No-Sell Genos' Incinerator Attack, leading Genos to cry out "Come on! Die already!"
    • In the battle between Goku Black and Reverse Flash, both combatants travel back in time and kill their opponent's past selves, but since they are both immune to changes in the timeline, neither of them are affected. They scream at the same time, "WHY AREN'T YOU DEAD?!"

  • Bob and George has at least two variants here and here.
  • When suffering deeply from Cerebus Syndrome, Exploitation Now has this line being said to the villain: "Please die this time, OK?"
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • In this strip, Nale tells Elan, "I'm reasonably certain I've already killed you once today. I'd hate for things to get repetitive."
    • Big Bad Xykon combines the two phrasings, albeit for non-main characters in this strip (source for the page pic). Of course, a skeleton saying this to a bunch of ghosts is charmingly hypocritical.
  • Goblins:
    • When Goblinslayer's Dragon tries to kill Big Ears with an axe that Ears is immune to, he winds up asking "How many times do I have to kill you before you'll die!?" after seeing Ears survive several killing blows unharmed.
    • The same thing occurs between a Min-max and a Forgath in the Maze of Many, again with a version of the Axe of Prissan.
  • Ms Paint Adventures:
    • Of course, this is one of the complaints Problem Sleuth politely draws attention to with his special POISON PEN LETTER attack.
      "What's with all these heads and where do you get off being so impossible anyways. We spent more than half the game fighting you."
    • In Homestuck, this is invoked when Caliborn blasts a few hundred full metal jacket rounds through Gamzee's torso with an assault rifle. He's still alive. Minutes later, he repeats the process, and beats the shit out of him with a magical crowbar. Still alive. Word of God chalks it up to in-universe clowns basically being inexplicably invincible, or at least ludicrously difficult to kill.
      • Happens again with Gamzee when Terezi invokes the trope by name when trying to stab him with her caneblades after having broken off their stormy kismessitude.
    Terezi: WHY WON'T YOU D13?!?
  • In Dubious Company, though never said directly, Tiren definitely thinks this of Mary after the latter embarrassingly curb-stomps the former. In turn, Mary thinks this of Walter after he interrupts her In the Name of the Moon speech. Naturally, both jump at the chance to attack their subject of loathing and have yet to succeed after numerous attempts.
  • Maki in Drowtales after getting pursued up the sewers by two very determined Sarghress who refuse to give up or fall.
  • In Godslave, Turner says it almost word for word (only with "break" instead of "die") when his third attempt to murder Edith fails due to her Nigh-Invulnerability.
  • implied in this strip from Oglaf.

    Web Original 
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-682, the Hard-to-Destroy Reptile. The name is actually a misnomer, as it implies that it can be killed. The only thing they haven't tried yet is a 300 megaton nuke, and that's because the thought of a giant regenerating adapts-to-whatever-you're-using-on-it lizard that can resist nukes is too horrible to bear. The closest the Foundation has come to destroying it is the discovery of a parallel universe where it's death (and that of all other life) has occurred. Knowledge of this anomaly gave 682 a panic attack.
  • In episode 10 of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, after losing a card game to Yami, Panik instead decides that killing Yami by burning him alive is the next best option. Unfortunately, Panik underestimates the power of Plot Armor.
    Panik: Why aren't you dead?!
    Yami: As I explained earlier, I'm the main character.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged, Kuwabara has apparently already killed Byakko twice when Byakko comes back again, albeit horribly wounded.
    Kuwabara: How many times do I have to kill that guy!?
    Yusuke: Once would suffice.
  • In Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • As quoted above, Freeza tells Goku to stop not-dying when he begins to grow frustrated with him.
    • Vegeta says this quote whilst trying to punch Gohan into oblivion as he turns into an Oozaru.
    • A bit later, he screams, "Oh, you have GOT to be kidding me! They're still alive?!" after trying and failing to kill Goku, Gohan and Krillin all at once with an explosion.
    • Vegeta does this again against Cell. After Cell No-Sells the Final Flash, Vegeta blasts him over and over with smaller attacks and shouts this at the top of his lungs.
      Vegeta: WHY WON'T YOU DIE!?
      Cell: Prince, has this ever worked?
  • From Naruto: The Abridged Comedy Fandub Spoof Series Show's movie, M. Night Shyamamalama-sama-kun says a lighter variation after Naruto shows up once again despite his previous attempts to kill him.
    M. Night Shyamamalama-sama-kun: How many times do I have to spank you before you stay spanked you little bitch?!

    Web Videos 
  • In his Halloween special, one of the toys says this to The Nostalgia Critic when they're punishing him for giving Teddy Ruxpin a bad review.
  • One of Bennett the Sage's Masterpiece Fanfic readings had him kidnap and tie up Linkara while reading an Old Shame crossover fanfiction he wrote as a 15-year-old. When Bennett finally pushes Linkara over the edge by insulting Doctor Who, Linkara breaks free of his bindings and starts punching Bennett, snarling, "Why won't you die?" Bennett, meanwhile, cheerfully closes the episode.
  • Chapel: Yvonne says this to Chapel in the first-season episode "Inked." Also counts as Punctuated! For! Emphasis!.
    Yvonne: WHY... WON'T... YOU... DIE?!?
    Chapel: Offhand, I'd say it's because YOU SUCK AT KILLING ME!!!
  • Caddicarus: After the end of Resident Evil Zero which he was been killed by Jordan with the Voodoo Doll but still lives and kills him instantly.
    Jordan: What would you have to say for yourself Caddy?
    Caddy: You're an asshole? [Jordan stabs the voodoo, Caddy groaning]
    Jordan: What a sec... I'm the only one who kill Caddy at his own show... [laughing]
    Caddy: You're an penis winkle.
    Jordan: [stabbing the voodoo over and over] Yes.
    Caddy: You're smell funny.
    Jordan: Die. JUST DIE! JUST DIE!!
  • Said verbatim by Stuart Ashen to a dancing JarJar figurine he was "reviewing" (read: smashing with a pair of hammers).
  • In his Haters' Guide to the 2019/20 NHL Eastern Conference (All-Star Edition), UrinatingTree asks this question verbatim about the Columbus Blue Jackets, who, despite having a large chunk of their best players leave during the offseason and then suffering a plague of injuries throughout the season, were still thriving at the time.

    Western Animation 
  • The Ice King of Adventure Time says this while using a magnifying glass to fry an ant... an ant that's bigger than he is.
  • The Joker says this to Batman in Batman: The Animated Series in the episode "Joker's Wild". (Right, look who's talking...)
  • In the DuckTales (2017) episode "The Duck Knight Returns", a fight breaks out between two people dressed as Darkwing Duck: Jim Sterling, the actor who played Darkwing Duck in the Show Within a Show, and the actor playing Darkwing in the film reboot, with Sterling being the more antagonistic of the two. Over the course of the fight, the more heroic of the two Darkwings gets beaten down over and over again, only to keep getting back up, prompting the villainous Darkwing to angrily demand "Why won't you stay down?!" The line carries some added irony, since the Show Within a Show Darkwing's tendency towards being a Determinator is what inspired the heroic Darkwing to take up the role in the first place.
  • In Futurama episode "Rebirth", after Bender survives being eaten by the Cyclops Eater and exploding from the doom's day bomb that was powering him up, he walks out asking "What does it take to kill me?".
  • Gargoyles:
    • In the four-part episode "City of Stone", a man in a mask who Demona identifies as "The Hunter" shows up to stop her. She says somewhat incredulously, "How many times must I destroy you?!" Subverted twofold: Demona has killed previous Hunters before, but their descendants always take up the mantle; and in this case the man in the mask was actually Macbeth, the one person she wants very much never to kill (since she would magically die along with him).
    • Before this, Demona gets such a line in "The Mirror". Towards the beginning of the episode, she orders Puck to rid her of "the human Elisa Maza." Puck playfully misconstrues this and, rather than use deadly force, turns Elisa into a gargoyle. When Gargoyle-Elisa shows up to kick ass and take names, Demona does a Double Take before raging, "What does it take to DESTROY you?!" Which is somewhat hilarious as she should have realized Elisa was still alive after she made Puck "do the same to every human in the city."
  • In the first season finale of Jackie Chan Adventures, Shendu responds to Jackie interrupting his endgame plan with "How many lives do you possess?!" This is after he blew Jackie out the window of a skyscraper from the tallest floor with dragon fire.
  • In King of the Hill, when Cotton is on his deathbed, he enters cardiac arrest several times before Hank and Peggy, but manages to come back each time, spiteful as ever. Peggy tries to send him off herself before shouting this quote and giving him a piece of her mind.
    Peggy: [gently] It's okay. I'm here. You can go now. Go... go! Into the light! The light is good! You can just let go now!
    Cotton: [opening his eyes to see Peggy] Mr. Reaper, I'd prefer it if you put your hood back on.
    Peggy: WHY WON'T YOU DIE!?
  • In The Problem Solverz episode "Videogamez", Horace says this exact line when attacking the final boss in Tomb of Nefertiti, who seems invincible.
  • Samurai Jack:
    • "Samurai, samurai... why won't YOU DIIIIIE!?"
    • It gets even worse for Aku in the 5th season. After failing to kill Jack by plot or assassin, Aku destroys all the means of getting back to the past, hoping that Jack will someday die of old age. Turns out being flung into the future also made Jack The Ageless.
      Aku: Well, I just assumed that eventually, over time, he would just DIIIIIIIEEEEE!!! But he hasn't even aged. I mean, like, at all. He just grew that stupid beard. It looks like he'll be here forever!
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the Valentine's Day episode, the skywriter with whom Homer has been struggling finally succumbs to the urge to vent:
      Skywriter: Doggone it, why won't you DIE?!
    • In the episode "Homer Scissorhands", driven mad by all the constant chatter by the women he styles, drives him to commit barbercide. Where he causally walks over and drinks a glass of blue cleaning liquid for his tools, only for nothing to happen.
      Homer: Awww why doesn't anything kill me?
    • In the Halloween episode where Homer kills Death, the Springfield mafia pick a bad time to deal with Frankie the Squealer.
      Mafia thug: Frankie the Squealer, why won't you DIE?
      Frankie: If I knew, I'd tell you, I swear! [they keep shooting] Better call my wife, tell her I'll be late. [takes out mobile while still being shot]
  • Inverted in the South Park episode "Coon vs. Coon & Friends", where Kenny as his superhero alter-ego Mysterion asks Cthulu "Why. Can't. I. Die?!" in reference to all his Negative Continuity deaths.
  • Dr. Orpheus from The Venture Bros. fights a vampire at one point, but is unacquainted with the proper vampire killing technique. He gets increasingly frustrated when the vampire he keeps blasting just gets back up. "Oh, for heaven's...Why won't he just die?"
  • Mrs. Puff in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Demolition Doofus", when her plan for SpongeBob to get killed (yes, killed) at a demolition derby is backfiring and he doesn't get hurt because he's an invertebrate and his bad driving causes the other drivers to crash.
    Mrs. Puff: WHY...ARE YOU STILL...ALIVE?!?!?
    SpongeBob: "Put it in drive"? Thanks, Mrs. Puff, you're the best!
  • The Biker Mice from Mars episode "Steal of the Century" has Lawrence Limburger make such a statement after the Biker Mice once again evade one of his death traps.
    Lawrence Limburger: How dare you escape certain destruction! Again!
  • In Megas XLR's series finale, Evil Coop says this verbatim when he finds out his good counterpart not only survived Megas's destruction and returned to his own dimension, but did so with his copy of Megas in tow.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) episode "The Ever-Burning Fire", while Lord Dregg is getting beaten up by the Turtles and their allies, he bellows out "Why won't you let me end your pitiful lives?!". Naturally, the feeling is mutual when Casey Jones remarks that he's harder to squash than a cockroach after he's (seemingly) knocked down towards a sea of lava.

    Real Life 
  • Usually happens when someone's playing a hard video game or tabletop game, usually accompanied by Angrish.
  • Someone trying to kill an insect/spider/any sort of creepy-crawlies might utter this. An example where one terrified arachnophobe ended up having the police called on him because his child was crying and his neighbors heard him yelling the trope name verbatim (fortunately all parties involved came to realize the misunderstanding with no further casualties beyond the spider).


Video Example(s):


Black Lagoon

Revy and Roberta spend the entire night in a bloody fistfight, with neither of them willing to go down until both ladies simultaneously land a punch that knocks them both down.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / WhyWontYouDie

Media sources: