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Playing With / Go Out with a Smile

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Basic Trope: A dying character smiles at another as they die, indicating that they die happy or at peace.

  • Straight: Bob tearfully smiles at Alice as he dies, remembering their big love and their life together. He wants to encourage her during this difficult time.
  • Exaggerated: Bob's corpse is still smiling, even after he decomposed so much that his skeleton can now be seen, a smile can still be seen.
  • Downplayed:
    • Bob gives Alice a small smile as he dies, to show he is glad that she is with him.
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    • Bob smiles at Alice as he fades into unconsciousness.
  • Justified:
    • Bob smiles at Alice as he dies since he cannot feel any pain from his mortal injuries any longer.
    • Bob's a Death Seeker, who's finally got the honorable death he's spent decades fighting for.
    • Bob feels he did something right for the first time in his life.
    • Bob tries to comfort Alice not to mourn his death.
    • Bob has led a good life and he's ready to move on and see his wife again.
    • Bob is a Perpetual Smiler and will smile even while dying.
    • Bob is a Stepford Smiler to the very end.
  • Inverted:
  • Subverted:
    • Bob smiles at Alice as he's dying, but The Medic gets there in time to save his life.
    • The last thing Bob feels before he dies is a massive jolt of pain, so his smile turns into a distorted grimace.
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    • Bob smiles at Alice...until he's certain that she's no longer looking and/or left, and then his strong facade breaks down as the full weight of his impending death hits him.
  • Double Subverted:
    • ...Or not. Bob dies smiling at The Medic.
    • Despite being in pain, Bob still dies smiling, because he knows he will be free from it very soon.
    • But Bob still finds solace in the fact that Alice believed him before giving a small true smile before dying.
  • Parodied: "What are you smiling at?" "I just got that witty remark... good one!" [dies]
  • Zig Zagged: Bob starts convulsing, causing his expression to switch from a smile, to a frown, to a rictus of pain, to his "O" face, and finally, to a look that's partially a smile, partially sorrow, and mostly a reaction to the realization that he just shat himself.
  • Averted: Bob immediately dies without smiling or anything.
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  • Enforced: "Let's make this more of a Tear Jerker by having Bob smile at Alice while he's bleeding to death!"
  • Lampshaded: "I'll always remember how he smiled at me ever so sweetly just before he died."
  • Invoked: Charlie's friend Bob is dying and he hopes that Bob smiling at his wife Alice will comfort her and show her that she's not to blame for his death. Before Alice comes to the hospital room, Charlie asks Bob to smile at Alice.
  • Exploited: ???
  • Defied: "Bob, if you love me, won't you please smile?" "NO!" [dies]
  • Discussed: "Should I be seconds from death, I'd try to smile at others. I hope I won't be in too much pain. Otherwise I might not be able to pull it off."
  • Conversed: "Gasp! He's smiling at her! Do they have to break my heart even more with this season's ending?!"
  • Implied: Bob is dying but his face isn't visible, but Alice says tearfully, "I can't smile at you back, it's too hard for me." Viewers think he smiled at her.
  • Deconstructed:
    • Seeing that Bob dies smiling, Alice becomes a Death Seeker because she believes that hers is a Crapsack World.
    • It's obvious that Bob's smile is forced... He's in excruciating pain and might never see Alice again, but he forces himself to smile, for her sake.
  • Reconstructed: Alice, sobbing, calls Bob out for trying to mask his pain to make her feel better. He tells her that while he might be in agony, he's genuinely happy that he got a chance to be with her at the end.
  • Plot Foundation: Bob can Face Death with Dignity, while Charlie, clearly... can't. It's one of the marks that make it clear Bob is the more heroic of the two.

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