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Tear Jerker / 1000 Ways to Die

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Despite it being a show about death, this show actually averts the trope by showing the victims as jerks and deviants who deserve to die. Then, there are the handful of deaths in which the victims were more-or-less innocent (or at the very least Unintentionally Sympathetic) and didn't deserve what was coming to them.

As a Moments subpage, all spoilers are unmarked as per policy. You Have Been Warned.

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  • #1: Ichi-boned: The story about Serika and Hitoshi, the Twice Shy Japanese couple who died of a heart attack while having sex for the very first time after trying several times to consummate their marriage and failing. Being a Tear Jerker (and, according to the narrator, the least horrific and most awesome way to die), it's officially why it's listed as number one on the list.
  • #72: Bowed Out: The story was about a nervous Japanese applicant who hit his prospective boss on the head while bowing, accidentally rupturing an aneurysm in his brain. He didn't even know about his condition, and the fact that he was so nervous makes it even sadder.
  • #76: Crash-endo: A violinist meets her end when she falls down a flight of stairs and smashes her head against the wall of the stairwell. While the narrator claims that she instinctively refused to let her hands (which, given her career, she prized above all else) break her fall, it was clearly not a conscious decision on her part, and given the angle of her body as she fell it's highly unlikely that it would have accomplished much regardless.
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  • #96: Poi Vey: An Orthodox Jewish rabbi who had a crush on a hula dancer, got rejected by her and died when he drunkenly stumbled into a Hawaiian torch ceremony. His attempts to woo her were invasive, but getting burned alive for it is a bit harsh.
  • #105: French Fried: A Dirty Old Man nearing the end of his life dies when the stripper who is doing maid work for him accidentally shorts out the power in the building by using Christmas lights as part of a striptease, causing the man's respirator to stop working and suffocating him. While he would have been dead soon regardless, the stripper is absolutely devastated for having accidentally caused him to take an "early exit".
  • #113: Tanks for Nothing: A New Age practitioner in Florida builds a homemade sensory deprivation tank to help her to meditate. After several successful meditations, a highly venomous snake (specifically the Florida Water Moccasin) finds its way into the tank while she's preparing for her next session. In the middle of her meditation, the snake bites her in the neck, causing the venom to pass through an artery and shut down her heart, killing her before she's able to leave the tank to seek help. Her only mistake was leaving her tank open while she was getting undressed, and it's one that proves fatal.
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  • #114: Vegged Out: A gardener prepares for a date with a man with a very large... ahem... by practicing getting her mouth around a large zucchini in her garden. In a freak accident, she accidentally steps on the digging end of a garden hoe, causing the handle to strike the zucchini at just the right angle to shove the zucchini into her windpipe, causing her to suffocate to death. While she probably shouldn't have been walking while she "practiced", she definitely didn't deserve to die for it.
  • #118: Blown Job: You think the perverted boss would get the death instead, but no, instead it's the innocent secretary who just was trying to make a living, who at worst was easily agitated and addicted to energy drinks.
  • #145: Mary-nated: The unfortunate couple who unwittingly hires Mary Mallon, aka "Typhoid Mary", as their live-in cook. What makes it saddening is that neither the couple nor Mary were malicious in any way and this was just a series of unfortunate circumstances.
  • #146: Belly'd Up: A belly dancer training for a competition accidentally hangs herself on a moving ceiling fan. Other than leaving the ceiling fan on while practicing, she didn't seem to be a bad person (she even put herself through veterinarian school with her talent). At least she died doing what she loved.
  • #169: Chess Pain: A Soviet chess player in the 1970s played a match with a computer that could use magnets to move its metal pieces. The chess player ends up electrocuted because the chess pieces of the computer were made of a conductive material. He didn't seem like a bad person, aside from some instances of poor sportsmanship during the match — which could easily be explained by him being stressed at the prospect of being sent to Siberia if he lost the game. The fact that he was about to win makes it even worse. The guy died playing what he loved.
  • #171: Nite Capped: A random man is killed when a group of revelers having a New Years' barbecue several miles away fires a gun into the air. The bullet came down and killed the random man on impact. Made worse that this takes place right before the poor guy is about to score with a cute girl he met at a New Year's party.
  • #175: Dead by Dearest: A former military father bursts into the bedroom of his teenage daughter and fires a gun at her and her boyfriend. It turns out he was playing a cruel joke on them and he demonstrates to the shocked, angry teenagers that the gun was filled with blanks as he points the gun at his head and pulls the trigger. However, the blank ends up killing him the same as if it were a real bullet. While the father was cruel, overcontrolling, and downright abusive, the daughter and her boyfriend had to watch him shoot himself right in front of them.
  • #196: Radium Girls: Based on a true event and its horrifying consequences, a group of female workers from the 1920s discovered that the radioactive paint that they use for the watches they detail can make skin glow in the dark (one of the workers uses this as glow-in-the-dark Body Paint during sex). Over time, the radioactive paint gets absorbed into their bodies and causes bone cancer. Some of the women died; those who survived filed a lawsuit against the company and pushed for better safety standards in the workplace.
  • #203: Trailer Trashed: A newlywed husband dies while fixing up an old RV for him and his wife to live in after he tries to unclog the plugged septic tank with bleach, which mixes with the acidified waste in the tank to create chlorine gas, essentially turning the RV into a gas chamber. Since bleach is commonly used to clean toilet bowls, thinking that it might work on the tank itself is an understandable mistake, and the husband himself seems like a decent human being, undeserving of getting gassed to death.
  • #208: Semi-cide: Frank Soriani, who got cut into two while working on his car at a gas station. Not only was his death among the ugliest in the bunch (and both halves were sent to different hospitals by mistake), but there was nothing that suggested he was a Jerkass or anything. Worse still, the story was set up with the viewer thinking that a honeymooning couple who made a pitstop were the ones that were going to die (whether by a gas station explosion or one or both of them getting hit by a car that didn't see them on the road). Instead, the couple will be haunted by the image of a still-living man cut in half for the rest of their lives.
  • #210: Pissed Off: When a pair of drunken golfers play a round, one of them launches the ball into the rough. While searching for his ball, a rat climbs up his pants, scratching his leg and urinating on him. He becomes infected with Weil's disease, which shuts down his organs and ultimately kills him. Making matters worse is that his friends stay by his side as his health deteriorates, and he passes away before their very eyes, with the final shot being them covering his face with a quilt after they can't find a pulse.
  • #232: Nine Inch Nailed: A trio of cleaners at a local dump slack off, deciding that it'd be more fun to roll down a hill in a giant tire with a ramp at the bottom. When one of the men rolls down and hits the ramp, the ramp collapses and exposes two nine-inch framing nails from the ramp that puncture through the tire and sever the man's spinal cord. You may be saying to yourself, "These are the typical idiots that appear on 1000 Ways, so why is this in the Tear Jerker section?" Shortly after, one of the cleaners runs for help while the other lets out an anguished Big NO, and cries as he cradled the now-deceased man in his arms, wailing that "he was like a brother to me!" DAMN. Talk about Mood Whiplash... even the narrator shifts from mockery to pity as he sums up the story.
  • #239: Crib Your Enthusiasm: An innocent man who just happens to be an infantilist (a guy who gets his kicks dressed up and acting like a baby) ends up dying by complete accident when the drop gate of his adult-sized crib severs his spinal cord. While the guy had an interest that wasn't commonplace and could be perceived in a bad way due to common misconceptions, he was completely innocent, since the worst thing he did was throw a fake temper tantrum. It's made even worse when you already have a bit of knowledge on the whole subculture - he could not control his interests and probably struggled to come to terms with them. When he finally finds a nice woman with similar interests and builds himself a nursery, he is almost immediately killed by something neither of them knew would happen.
    • Made even worse by the narrator's attitude towards poor Barnaby. He talks about the man as if he were a complete and utter freak, and seems to be a bit more condescending, and even downright cruel in the way he mocks the poor man's interests.
    • Just as bad is that drop gates on baby cribs have been outlawed in the US due to safety concerns—too bad the same doesn't apply to adult cribs, even if they are fetish equipment.
  • #298: Signed Off: A young sign-spinner dies when he accidentally slices his jugular vein open with the tip of his sign, which had been sharpened to a point after it struck the pavement one too many times. While he nearly gets himself hit by a car as a result of trying to show off to a girl prior to his fatal accident, he dies in a completely unrelated way as a result of doing his job.
  • #322: The Choke's On You: A midget (played by Wee-Man from Jackass, no less) practices his lame music and comedy routine in front of his girlfriend. She gets fed up with him and whacks him with her purse, causing him to choke to death on his harmonica. He didn't seem like a bad guy; hell, his worst sin was being unfunny; but what truly makes this sad is that the narrator mentioned that his girlfriend got off on controlling and even abusing little people. She suffers no consequences for her actions.
    • She does manage to pull on a blink-and-you'll-miss-it My God, What Have I Done? expression right before the segment ends, so maybe she'll change her ways.
  • #385: Sh*t Faced: An alcoholic who can't ingest alcohol due to a recent throat operation persuades his wife to feed it to him through an enema bag. The alcohol bypasses his liver and goes straight into his bloodstream, bringing his BAC to a whopping 0.57 (0.4 is the usual threshold for coma/death). The narrator says his wife is expecting him to sleep it off like usual, but instead he silently dies of alcohol poisoning. Seeing his wife stroking him to sleep without realizing he's never going to wake up, not to mention the later realization that she killed her own husband...that'll be a tough truth to swallow. It gets even worse when you consider this exact scenario *actually happened* to a man in Texas named Michael Warner, and in that case, his wife was indicted on charges of negligent homicide and it ruined her relationship with her husband's family.
  • #389: Jelly-Belly-ed: The obnoxious girl who scared everyone with a fake shark scare and then dies a painful death after accidentally swallowing an Irikundi jellyfish. She was socially awkward and just wanted attention.
  • #393: Deep Sleep (Walk): A woman sleepwalks off a dock into the water and drowns before she can wake up. Nothing indicated she was a jerk or an idiot note .
  • #396: Onesie & Donesie: An accident-prone infomercial salesman, after near-misses with a folding ladder and a Japanese katana, accidentally lights himself on fire by standing too close to a set of aromatherapy candles that came with a novelty pair of pajamas that he was demonstrating, and dies after the stagehand is unable to put him out with a fire extinguisher. Like many of the victims on this list, he's pretty much completely innocent (with the narrator noting that he was "a nice enough guy") and dies horrifically as a result of a single careless mistake alongside a heavy dose of bad luck.
  • #402: Constriction Accident: An incompetent (and hungover) construction worker accidentally dumps gravel on another worker who's working in a pit. The victim initially survives the dumping and is not completely buried, but the weight from the gravel on his chest is enough keep his lungs from expanding, eventually asphyxiating him. The construction worker was a man with a family, making his way in the world and putting food on the table. Then he was killed by a careless drunk.
  • #412: Hair Today, Dead Tomorrow: A nudist painter compulsively eats her own hair (a condition known as trichophagia), which causes a large trichobezoar (hairball) to form in her stomach from the hair she's ingested over the years, because hair isn't digested; she dies when her stomach ruptures from the bezoar exceeding her stomach's capacity. The worst this woman did was eat her hair (which she couldn't control because of her trichophagia) and not go to a doctor (probably justified because the story took place in 1968).
  • #414: Hydrau-licked: YMMV on this one. A man who is a low rider (a sport where you rig the hydraulics of a car to make it bounce) is fixing up his car when he catches someone eyeballing his girlfriend (of whom he's overprotective of). While he goes out to confront the man, a nut pops off his car without him noticing. After winning, a large coil (which was loose after the nut popped off) hits him and causes the other car to bounce on him until he dies. Sure, he should've checked his car again, but that nut was really small and it popped off when he wasn't looking. Other than that, the worst he did was being overprotective of his girlfriend, which isn't uncommon for guys to do sometimes. The doctor said it wasn't a good way to go (suggesting he felt the whole thing) And to top it all off everyone watching went to check if he was okay and his girlfriend started crying after he died. He wasn't the nicest guy, but he wasn't nearly as bad as most other victims on the show and having a car bounce on him to death was pretty harsh.
  • #432: Coming and Going: A woman who rides as a passenger on her boyfriend's motorcycle has an orgasm from the vibrations coming off of the bike, and as a result involuntarily loosens her grip on the biker, causing her to fall off and hit the road at a high speed. While she should have been wearing a helmet, this was one case where it wouldn't have mattered as she dies from internal bleeding from having her ribcage shattered on impact.
  • #444: Deadliest Munch: A lesbian chokes to death on her lover's edible G-string. Aside from being somewhat oversexed, neither was a particularly bad person.
  • #447: Water Logged: In a freak accident, a partying college student jumps off a cliff into a reservoir, as many college students tend to do, but hits the water at 30 MPH at precisely the right angle for the water to shoot up his rectum and his large intestine with enough force to rupture his colon, causing him to drown while passed out from internal bleeding. While there's no shortage of ways that this particular party could have ended tragically, it's heartbreaking to see someone die from something that no one could have expected.
  • #451: Ass Phyxiated: A traveling salesman who sells weight-loss products in the hopes of meeting and dating plus-sized women is smothered when one of his one-night-stands passes out on top of him during sex, trapping his face underneath her bosom. While his methods of finding romantic partners might be considered a bit sleazy to some, it was completely consensual and the salesman doesn't seem to do anything illegal. On top of this, the woman who accidentally smothered him is left heartbroken.
  • #452: 'Dis Still Killed 'Em: During the Great Depression and the tail-end of Prohibition, a broke and desperate couple turns to making moonshine in the hopes of becoming successful bootleggers. They successfully begin brewing and celebrate with a toast. Sadly, they don't know that the first product (the "foreshot") of the distilling process is essentially pure methanol, which turns into formic acid when their bodies start to metabolize it, causing organ failure and, eventually, death. While they were committing a crime, it was an act of desperation during the worst economic crisis of the 20th century, and other than this, the couple is not shown doing anything that would remotely justify their eventual death.
  • #457: Blend-Dead: A woman tries to stay healthy by doing yoga and eating vegetables from her own garden. Unbeknownst to her, her landlord has been spraying her garden with rat poison. While she stubbornly refuses to believe that her diet could possibly be doing more harm than good, the poison weakens her blood vessels until one day while she's exercising, they burst, killing her instantly. Unlike most of the people on this show, she was actually trying to live longer and didn't intentionally do anything wrong to deserve her fate. In fact, the landlord is the one who should take the blame since he never once told her about this.
  • #496: Recep-shunned: A Jerkass wedding singer ruins a wedding reception, and in a freak accident (the groom gets up to confront him, the best man tries to stop him, the groom shoves the best man out of his way, and the best man hits the microphone stand as he falls) gets his microphone stuck in his throat, causing him to choke to death. What makes this one sad isn't the victim since he had it coming, but everyone else. The wedding was probably ruined even before the death, but because the groom caused the death by assaulting the best man, refusing to let go of his anger, he's technically guilty of involuntary manslaughter. So basically, the newlyweds got robbed of a proper wedding and now one of them will most likely be going to prison because he let his anger get the best of him.
  • #505: Verminated: An escaped convict runs into a sewer pipe to escape from the officers chasing after him. He crawls further in until it gets too narrow and he gets stuck. He may have been a criminal, but it's hard not to feel a little bit sorry for him when he starts desperately calling for help and apologizing, before eventually breaking down crying because he's so terrified. And then he dies horrendously and painfully, eaten alive by a swarm of rats (they start at his EYE for goodness sake) while screaming in terror...
  • #518: Jake-N-Baked: A metal worker who suffered from narcolepsy and ended up sleeping inside a curing oven and getting burned to death. Other than constantly falling asleep in unusual places (like the bathroom or at his work station), he seemed like a pretty okay guy.
  • #534: Chucked Up: In an attempt to spice up her and her husband's sex life, a housewife tapes her mouth shut and handcuffs herself to a chair while her husband watches via webcam from work. However, before the husband can leave for home, a burglar breaks in, and makes off with some valuables (including the laptop she was streaming from), but leaves her unharmed... until he mockingly thanks her for making his job easier, unknowingly causing her to vomit after he leaves as a result of his particularly bad breath. With her mouth taped shut and no way to remove it, she chokes to death on her own vomit before her husband (who helplessly witnessed the burglary through the webcam) gets home. What started as completely innocent foreplay turns absolutely tragic by no fault of the victim or her husband (both of whom, in their depictions, seemed like decent folk), and was completely unintentional on the part of the guilty party (who, unlike most "bad guys" in the show, gets away completely scot-free), and worst of all she gets one of the slower, agonizing deaths in the series.
  • #595: Wedding Crasher: Perry, an angry drunken man, attends his ex-girlfriend Carla's wedding to an older, wealthy man. When Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace is spoken, he stands up and rants at Carla, stripping down in the process, before turning and running through what he thinks is a door. It's a glass window. What makes this sad? When he dies, Carla breaks into what looks for all the world like genuine tears of anguish. And then the priest gives him last rites. This proves that even disruptive jerkasses like this sometimes have people who care about them.
  • #622: Brain Worms: A young dating couple end up in hospital after the boyfriend, having convinced the girl that he was a skilled chef, makes a salad with live snails (under the guise that they were prepared like escargot). What neither on of them realized is that the snails contained a parasite that worked its way through their circulation and eventually got into their brain matter, slowly killing them. Just before they die, the man reveals that he was gay and only wanted her because she "had the chest of a 12-year-old boy" while the woman just says, "I hate you."Their final words before brain death are how much they hate each other.
  • #630: Ex'd Ex: A couple enjoying a hayride are surprised by a stalking ex dressed as an ax murderer. The new boyfriend pushes him off, and he gets crushed by the tractor's wheels. What makes this sad? When the new boyfriend pulls the attacker's ski mask off, he and his girlfriend are horrified that it was their former friend. The girlfriend bursts into tears and the boyfriend hugs and comforts her.
    • This gets even worse when you realize the boyfriend technically committed involuntary manslaughter and has ruined both of their lives in an instant. The guy, if he turns himself in, will likely spend the rest of his life in jail and the girl will likely be mentally scarred.
      • Although, it may not be as tragic as it may appear. To start with, the entire death was caused because the ex-boyfriend was stalking them both. There's also the fact that the current boyfriend's attack was not premeditated or done with malicious intent, only in self-defense (which rules out murder, and would be considered involuntary manslaughter at worst). Finally, he has two eyewitnesses who could back him up (his girlfriend and the tractor driver). At best, he may be found not guilty; at worst, he'll get a year or two in prison, but not a life sentence.
  • #645: Amish-Tinguished: It features Jebediah, an Amish Naïve Newcomer in his Rumspringa, gets caught in the middle of Halloween celebrations, meets a hot girl, and seems to be having a good time... only to get drunk and die for it from something that was completely out of his reach (being born without an enzyme that processes alcohol, making the chemical act like literal poison when ingested). Poor dude!
  • #657: Dead Heat: An asthma sufferer ends up a victim of involuntary manslaughter, triggered an asthma attack, when his angry girlfriend (unaware of his condition) forces him to smell her spicy cooking. The only thing we see him do wrong is hide his asthma from his girlfriend because he's worried it'll make him seem weak, but he DOES keep an inhaler on him at all times (hidden of course). Of course, since somebody has to die in this story, his inhaler runs dry after multiple uses that evening, leaving him with no means to stop his asthma attack and resulting in him dropping dead on the kitchen floor. To top it off, the girlfriend is shown absolutely devastated.
  • #710: Tanked Girl: After making an emergency swim back to the surface, an attractive female scuba diver explodes violently into pieces after a careless maintenance worker doesn't check to see if anyone's in the room before upping the pressure in the room. The woman seemed to actually care about her health, mentioning that she would prefer to do nothing in the chamber than risk her life by going outside, and the worker is not portrayed as an idiot like usual.
  • #734: Die It: This overweight young woman has tried and failed at so many diets just to get skinnier, she ends up resorting to consuming a tapeworm and finally manages to fit into a size 4 dress...at her funeral. It wasn't the smartest move but given the fact that there are many people, especially young women, that go to extreme measures to lose weight, this seems very acute.
  • #818: Fright-Mare: A poor woman with a history of suffering night terrors dies of SUNDS (Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome, also known as Brugada Syndrome) in her sleep while dreaming that a goblin is strangling her to death; in real life, her heart began beating arrhythmically and suddenly stopped, causing her to suffocate. Not the nicest way to go. What’s worse is that Brugada Syndrome is a genetic disorder and has no cure, and is always fatal. It’s enough to make anyone afraid of falling asleep.
  • #832: Lesbocution: A young woman who has been in a string of bad relationships with men gets up the nerve to go on a date with a female friend. As she and her date step out of a club that evening, she stops at a crosswalk to remove her uncomfortable high heels; she accidentally steps into a puddle as she rests her hands on a traffic pole, completing the arc and dying instantly. Going barefoot on the city streets isn't the brightest of ideas, but she was young and had only just found a chance at real happiness. Moreover, she died because of someone else's negligence.
    • You also have to feel for her date, who had to watch her romantic interest get fried on their very first date.
  • #913: Dead Meat-Eorite: A young man goes to a party to talk to people about Christianity. Granted a party probably isn't the best place to talk about that sort of stuff, something the narrator even lampshaded, he wasn't a jerkass about it. He definitely didn't deserve to be hit in the chest by a meteor. It's made all the worse by the narrator, who just treats it like any other jerkass or dumbass getting killed.
  • #700: This Just In...My Chest: A news reporter doing a report on a turbulent hurricane in Florida suddenly gets skewered with a mailbox that the strong winds ripped right out of its post, and sent flying stake-first into his chest, fatally impaling his heart. Sure he was rather arrogant and only cared about his good looks, but other than that, he really didn't seem like a bad guy, and he certainly never did anything wrong to deserve his fate.
  • #873: Bad Max: Not the death itself, since the victim deserved it, but the death it was based on which actually happened to a six-year-old girl. The Narrator mentioned that liberties had to be taken because it was too violent and tragic for the show.
  • #877: Caulk Blocked : A young party girl wanted to impress a hip hop artist who made songs about big butts. Only he had no interest in her because hers was too small. So she went to a doctor to have it enhanced, but the doctor turned out to be a fraud. Instead of using silicone, he used common bathroom caulk. Even worse , the guy injected some of the caulk directly into her bloodstream, which blocked her pulmonary artery causing respiratory failure and making her have a heart attack right on the dance floor. What makes this sad is that she didn’t seem like a bad person. Sure, part of her reason for getting close to this rapper so he’d listen to a song she wrote, but beyond that she just wanted to fit in with the popular crowd.
  • #948: Titty Titty Bang Bang: Similar to the above episode, a desperate failed-actress turned waitress decides to get breast implants in order to try for a new career as a stripper. Unfortunately for her, the only surgeon she can afford turns out to be a quack who uses incredibly poor quality implants, which end up inflating like balloons to the point of crushing her chest and exploding from increased air pressure the next time she takes a flight on an airplane. Like Caulk Blocked, while having a low-budget surgeon perform invasive surgery on her isn't the smartest move she could have made, it's not hard to sympathize with the victim for turning to stripteasing to try to make ends meet. On a happier note, the person who suffered this in real life survived.
  • #963: Fin-ished: Much like Vegged Out above, in a freak accident, a young would-be fisherwoman suffocates to death when she pulls her fish out of the water with too much force, causing it to fly into her open mouth and get lodged in her throat. It goes to show that sometimes, death can strike for reasons far beyond your control.
  • Contact Die: The geek's heartbroken reaction to finding the dead body of the popular girl who was flirting with him into doing her homework only to have her contact lenses melted from his chemistry experiment while he was distracted and in her haste to remedy her eye pain tripped on a waxed floor and broke her neck.
  • #1000: Premature Endings: Much like "Ichi-boned," this segment featured a death that wasn't caused by stupidity or accident or a freak medical condition. The death was an elderly man (seen as a caring, hard-working, and faithful man to his family and friends) dying peacefully in his sleep while his adult daughter stayed by his bedside, sad that he's about to die, but understanding that he's been sick for a while, he's lived a rich and full life, and it's his time to go. As he dies, the narrator notes that the show, as a whole, is more than just a lurid docu-fiction on strange and brutal deaths; it's a show about how to live, summed up in this Aesop: you can either end up like the idiots, freaks, and jerkasses in the hospital waiting room (or, worse, like all of the people who have died in past episodes) and end up as a 1000 Ways to Die story, or you can just watch the show as entertainment, try and live a good life where you use your common sense and brains, and get rewarded by dying of natural causes with your family and friends at your side. Considering the show's content, that's pretty deep.
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