Death by Sex

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to: navigation, search
Information icon4.svg This page needs visual enhancement.
You can help All The Tropes by finding a high-quality image or video to illustrate the topic of this page.


"There are certain rules that one must abide by in order to successfully survive a horror movie! For instance, Number One: You can never have sex. Sex equals death, OK?"
Randy, Scream

Well, the young couple had sex. You know what this means -- they are doomed. Anyway, more often she is.

Shows where lots of people die tend to have a strange conservatism about who gets killed. Anyone who engages in nonmarital sex, especially unprotected and/or with someone they don't really know, is almost guaranteed to get offed by the killer, even if the killer is choosing their victims totally at random. Fanservice Extras are particularly vulnerable to this trope.

Very common in slasher movies, such as the Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street series. This could be a metaphor for the then-new AIDS scare, or for STDs in general, although according to one of the makers of Nightmare On Elm Street, it was simply because he thought that people having sex will forget about everything else and be especially vulnerable to serial killers. Which wouldn't be an Ass Pull if they only died during sex, but when they're prone to it after...

For a literal application, compare Out with a Bang, Death by Childbirth (yeah, we know...), Curiosity Killed the Cast, and The Murder After. For the lite version, see Kiss of Death. Mate or Die is the inverse of this trope. Contrast A Man Is Not a Virgin and Her Heart Will Go On, where the man is doomed, but the woman has Contractual Immortality. In some cases, the doomed man will leave Someone to Remember Him By (Hur, hur, hur...). Don't even get us started if it's with the same gender. Compare Cartwright Curse where death can happen even before the sex merely for being a love interest.

Sometimes a consequence of Can't Get Away with Nuthin'. Can be full of Unfortunate Implications, especially in countries where abstinence-only sex education is prominent.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.

Examples of Death by Sex include:

Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Genderflipped in Narutaru. Takeo Tsurumaru impregnates several girls in the course of the story. In the second-to-last episode of the manga, he has sex with main girl Shiina Tamai after she tells him that she loves him. Soon... he dies. Shiina, along with her Shadow Archetype Mamiko, makes it to the end.
  • X 1999. Sorata and Arashi. Subverted because he dies - first in the movie (though she follows him later), later in the TV series. He's still alive in the manga, but it's a sure thing he'll die sooner or later.
    • In a subversion, it's less about the sex than it is that Sorata, even before the story begins, was destined to die for a woman. Sorata didn't know who he would die for or how; he just jokingly said that, since he absolutely has to die for the sake of a lady, he'd like to die for a really pretty girl. It was many years later (which is the beginning of the story) when he actually met Arashi; knowing that You Can't Fight Fate, he decided to die for her.
  • Also genderflipped in Trigun, with Nicholas D. Wolfwood and Milly Thompson. He dies in the same episode he sleeps with her. She makes it to the end.
  • In the Full Metal Panic! novels, apparently, after all these years, Kurz Weber finally manages to get it on with Melissa Mao (after years of Slap Slap Kiss). He dies during his very next mission. Ultimately averted! Guess who's back after being rescued by the Spetsnaz in the penultimate volume of the novel series??
  • Yuria 100 Shiki actually lampshaded about this
  • Avoided in Crying Freeman. Yoh has to kill Emu for witnessing his crimes, so she asks him to have sex with her as her last wish... but after that, Yoh not only doesn't kill her, but he actually takes her in and they become a Battle Couple.
  • Strangely inverted in Red River, most of the important characters who die are the ones who never got the chance to have sex.
  • Episode 32 of Blood Plus probably counts when Riku is raped by Diva and then turns to stone right in front of his brother Kai and her sister Saya.
  • Every man who's ever slept with Ryuuko Konuma has died. Like her father, and that man he sold her to. That's not to say she murdered them directly, either. Apparently sleeping with Ryuuko just sucks away your will to live unless you're a callous, violent maniac... like her boyfriend Haguro. Eeeeek.
  • At one point in the yaoi manga Under Grand Hotel Swordfish has sex with Sen to the point where Sen would have died if Swordfish wasn't stopped by guards.
  • Implied to have happened to the other cabin attendant in Cage of Eden. Subverted in the fact that she was raped to death.
  • In Urotsukidouji, sex with the Chojin causes this.
  • In Basilisk, Action Girl Kagerou's powers can cause this as her breath becomes poisonous when she's aroused. She in fact uses it to kill Koushiro Chikuma with a poisoned kiss, and later when Tenzen rapes her, poisoning him and then snapping his neck. Then it's horrifyingly subverted, as Tenzen's powers allow him to come back from the dead.
  • Macross Frontier: Sheryl Nome and Alto Saotome have sex not long before battle and then, one is dead/missing and the other has terminal illness. In the series they both get better, in the movies, this is the end!, Or is it?
  • Happens in more than one Hentai, logically. A good example is Sexy Magical Girl/Mahou Shojou Ai. In episode 3, Touru wails his Naughty Tentacles on the Magical Girl Warrior Ai. Standard hentai fare until now, right? Well, he goes on to describe that the white liquid in his tentacles is a poison that, when absorbed during orgasm, causes poor Ai to orgasm to her death.
  • My Balls: This one guy has the demon queen sealed inside one of his testicles. Would he cum, the demon queen is released and he dies. Well, him and the rest of world. Talk about taking it to the extreme.
  • This is what led to Gilbert's death in Kaze to Ki no Uta, although other factors helped as well.
  • Iason Mink's and subsequently Riki's deaths in Ai no Kusabi are a direct result of the former's refusal to let the latter be in order to continue having forbidden sex.
  • One early client of Fran Madaraki ends up like this after Fran saves his girlfriend by making her part insect. Apparently the species of insect in question instinctively eats its mate.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Played with in Warren Ellis Black Gas The main characters avoid being turned into zombies because they go off to have sex in the remote mountain cabin. Too bad they eventually died anyway.
  • The power of The Darkness of Image Comics is passed from father to son at the moment of conception. Once the son is conceived, the old Darkness dies. Jackie Estacado, the current Darkness, is forced into a celibate life, much to his displeasure.
  • In the X Wing Series comics, Ibtisam dies in the same issue that she and Nrin finally officially become a couple. Feylis and Avan, on the other hand, make a no-dying pact, and they both live.
  • In the Elf Quest spinoff New Blood, the villainous rock-shaper Door seems impossible to defeat until the jackwolf-rider Dodia beats his brains out with a club. As Door and Dodia had just recently Recognized one another, Door took it for granted that she wouldn't be able to hurt him; because they'd already had sex and conceived a Recognition-sired child, however, she was no longer biologically compelled to be his mate and could fight back against his evil.
  • Sin City has a few examples:
    • Blue Eyes is an assassin who lures men to their deaths via seduction.
    • When Marv has sex for the first time, it eventually leads to his death.
    • The poor shmuck in Daddy's Little Girl also meets his end by sex and even for sex.
    • Ava Lord uses a mixture of sex and Wounded Gazelle Gambit to get men to do her bidding, often leading them to their demises.
  • Narrowly averted in the "Darkest Night" arc. Writers initially planned to have the current Firestorm, Jason and his girlfriend Gehenna, doing a make-out session prior to Gen's death. This was later changed to a quiet conversation about getting married and having kids. Then they changed their minds and had it re-drawn into the make-out scene, but this was fortunately lost somehow and they ended by putting in the conversation.

Film[edit | hide]

  • Species. Not just the original, of course. All four movies in the series fit this trope so well, that the original movie deserves to be on top of the list.
  • The entire plot of Basic Instinct (Catherine Tramell lives, however).
  • Justification: In the first Friday the 13 th, the killer, Pamela Voorhees, specifically targeted the people who were having or going to have sex, because the two camp counselors who were supposed to be monitoring her son Jason Voorhees when he drowned as a child were too busy getting groiny with each other.
    • Although there are later claims that the counselors tried to catch Jason who ran off and fell into the lake because he saw them going at it.
    • A most notorious moment in the second movie is where two teens got killed while in the middle of getting it on. Jason killed them shiskabob style by skewering them both with a spear.
    • A significant Lampshade is hung on this trope in the tenth film in the series. In a virtual reality simulation meant to distract Jason, a pair of scantily clad teenage girls exclaim (among other things), "We love premarital sex!" He proceeds to kill them with each other.
    • Done heavy-handedly in the newest movie, every character who has sex, or wants to have sex, or fantasizes about having sex, or is a creepy redneck who has sex with mannequins gets killed. There are a few others of course.
  • Cherry Falls had a serial killer that targeted virgins. When the Genre Savvy town teenagers figure this out, they decide to throw an orgy... which the killer, having gone completely Ax Crazy (complete with axe) by the end, crashes and massacres.
  • In The Day After Tomorrow, two workers at the local weather service station are making out passionately on the couch when tornadoes strike Los Angeles. In the chaos that ensues, they die, while the Mexican janitor (who was diligently cleaning the floors while the people who were supposed to be monitoring the weather were making out) survives.
  • Lampshaded in the movie Scream, where this is the very first of the rules posited by Genre Savvy horror geek Randy Meeks for successfully surviving a horror movie. The other two rules cover drinking and doing drugs, and saying that you'll be right back. He later gets killed in the sequel, and it's revealed that he spent a night with "Creepy Karen" before getting whacked.
    • Not to mention it's hilariously subverted when Sidney bangs the damned killer and gets to survive the movie!
  • More or less every B-Movie and thus, rightfully parodied in the "Thanksgiving" segment of Grindhouse.
  • Used in the original Halloween, where three of the five victims had just had sex, and the fourth was on her way to do so. It's heavily implied, however, that Michael Myers has some severe issues with sex, and the selection of victims is not at all coincidental.
    • In an interview with AMC, John Carpenter (the Director) states "I have been accused of ending the Sexual Revolution, and for that I sincerely apologize."
    • The same happens in the new remake: Everyone seen having sex dies horribly. Most of the other victims probably weren't virgins either (this pattern is so glaringly obvious in the movie that it must have been intentional). They even went out of their way to mention Laurie hasn't gotten laid. Although, the trope is surprising averted with Annie who actually survived her attack to appear in the second movie and THEN die.
  • In the 1970s Day of the Jackal, The Jackal meets an attractive married woman at a hotel, has a torrid affair with her, then later discovers her address and goes to her home. When she asks him about what he's doing, because the police were looking for him, and he's driving a car with local plates, which means she knows he stole it, and if he'll just tell her, she won't say anything, he breaks her neck.
  • Done literally in one of the latter Wishmaster films, when one of the characters wishes for "killer sex".
  • Xenia Onatopp love of Murderous Thighs in the James Bond movie Goldeneye is more an example of Out with a Bang, but it's worth noting that several Bond Girls and henchwomen die after hooking up or flirting with Bond:

Trevelyan: ...or if you find forgiveness in the arms of all those willing women for all the dead ones you failed to protect.

M: Look how well your charm works, James. They'll do anything for you, won't they? How many is that now?

    • This happens to James Bond himself in the Fake-Out Opening of You Only Live Twice, as he's killed by assassins shortly after boinking a Chinese girl.
    • Parodied in Illuminatus!, wherein the British agent Fission Chips leaves a trail of dead Eurasian girls wherever he may go.
    • Played straight and averted in Live and Let Die. Rosie Carver is killed after Bond seduces her. Solitaire, who is supposed to remain a virgin to retain her psychic powers, is also seduced by Bond and was supposed to be sacrificed in a voodoo ritual, but Bond saves her.
  • In Snakes on a Plane, a couple sneaks into the bathroom to have sex. They are the first to be killed by the snakes. Their drug use may have contributed, too.
  • Interestingly, the slasher film did not always contain this trope: in the 1976 Canadian film Black Christmas, the heroine is pregnant, though the movie ends with her alone in the house with the killer.
    • The first victim is also described as a "professional virgin."
  • In Boa vs Python, the python stalks a teenage couple that is having sex, and actually licks the girl, who, because her eyes are closed, thinks it is her lover. Then the python, which should be a constrictor, bites them squarely in half.
  • In Once Bitten, the hero is targeted by the vampire Countess because he's a virgin. He and his girlfriend end up having quickie sex in a coffin.
  • Piranha II :The Spawning opening scene had a couple discussing where they failed to have sex because the guy found fault in everything. The hotel room was too dry, the beach too sandy and the boat too uncomfortable. They then go scuba-diving into a shipwreck and decided to have sex, you know nothing better than that, right? Well okay the killer piranha did kinda ruin the mood.
  • In Taken, as soon as the slutty best friend says she's going to have sex with a random French guy because "Who cares? He's hot!" it was obvious she was a goner.
  • In the film Tormented, a schoolboy who killed himself because of bullying comes back from the dead to take fatal revenge on the bullies. One of them decides to go to the cemetery and dig up the killer's body, but is sidetracked by having sex with his girlfriend while his car is parked there, which turns out to have been a very bad idea because the killer drags him out of the car and castrates him by repeatedly stomping on his genitals, leaving him to bleed to death. Ouch.
  • Two of the youngsters that stop by in the Mario Bava movie Reazione a Catena who are speared while having sex. Friday the 13th Part 2 copies this very scene, only putting the guy on top instead of the girl.
  • Subverted in The Godfather, where a conservative senator who hates Michael Corleone's crime-racket, is made to believe that he accidentally killed a prostitute during "weird sex-games" at Fredo Corleone's brothel; after this, the senator is indebted to Michael for covering up the incident, but is also blackmailed by him.
  • Invoked in Evolution where an Asshole Victim actually sings the song quoted at the top while preparing a rendezvous on a golf course... and is promptly eaten. Slight subversion in that the pair hadn't actually gotten around to the deed (and the woman survived)
  • In Revenge in the House of Usher: zombi 5, the resurrected wife of the Mad Scientist has a very odd way of getting her revenge on the villainous Doctor Orloff as his last act on Earth: she threatens to make love to him. He reacts with horror.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean shows us the family-friendly version of this trope: Death By Marriage as soon as Will and Elizabeth are hitched in the third film, you know one of them is about to die. (Also kinda inverted, in that the sex comes after. No, not like that.)
  • Inverted in Death Proof. The first group of girls, while they act fun, are surprisingly conservative, especially Arlene/Butterfly, who actually seems to have some kind of aversion to sex. They die. Horribly. The second group, on the other hand, are very open about their sex lives(He likes to watch me pee), and Kim at one point in the final chase scene yells "I'm the horniest mother-fucker on the road!" Not only do they live, they kill Stuntman Mike.
  • Played so straight it's almost a parody in Jennifer's Body, where the title character uses the promise of sex to lure boys into places where she can eat them. It's revealed though that the whole "demonic possession" thing gets kicked off, only because it's perpetrators thought they had gotten their hands on a virgin sacrifice.
  • Sarah Connor's roommate in the first Terminator movie.
    • And Kyle as well, after he serves his purpose by impregnating Sarah with John and delivering her to the point where she can defend herself from then on (partly because he's already damaged the Terminator so badly himself).
  • In the fourth Final Destination movie, Hunt has steamy sex by the pool and shortly after dies a very gruesome death by being sucked into a high pressure drain hole. It doesn't help that he was a Hollywood skeptic that was warned about some weird stuff going on... or saying earlier that if he was going to die, he was gonna get laid first.
  • In The Towering Inferno, Dan Bigelow and his secretary/mistress die almost immediately following a tryst in his apartment.
  • Sort of referenced in Manhattan. A character at one point mentions a book he's writing about a guy who's so good at sex, the women die from the intensity of the orgasm.
  • Although there's no actual sex, the sultan's death in The Thief of Bagdad has overtones of this—he's given a mechanical woman as a gift, who dances seductively in front of him, and when he goes to embrace him, "she" stabs him in the back.
  • In the shlock blood-and-boobs horror film Piranha 3D, most of the victims are promiscuous spring breakers. A pornographer gets his penis bitten off by a piranha, a woman is sliced in half by a high-tension cable (which first removes her bra, then her entire upper torso) a girl gets her hair entwined in the propeller of a speedboat and has a face ripped off - might be one of the definitive "death by sex" compilations.
  • In Starship Troopers, Dizzy Flores dies within 24 hours after finally having sex with Rico. Something she'd been wanting since the beginning of the movie. The sex, not dying.
  • In All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Marlin gets killed just minutes after giving a blowjob to Jake. The cause of death? Getting a shotgun barrel shoved down her throat.
  • Scott Pilgrim Vs The World has an unusual take on this trope. In the Scott/Ramona vs Roxie fight, Scott defeats Roxie by poking her in the back of the knee after Ramona tells him that it's her weak spot. Roxie immediately has what is unmistakeably an orgasm, and bursts into a giant pile of coins.
    • Watch the whole fight here, Spoilers ahoy.
  • Inverted in Norwegian slasher Cold Prey/Fritt Vilt. The virgin who just refused to have sex with her boyfriend is the first one to die.
  • Played straight in horrifying fashion in Se7en, as one of the victims is killed not just during or after the sex act, but BY the sex act with a bladed sex toy.
  • In Cabin Fever a flesh eating disease scares off most of the teenagers spending their break in a Cabin in the woods. When only two are left behind, the requisite horror-flick babe figures that, seeing as their doomed to die anyway, she and the hero might as well go out with a bang. Only after the horny hottie gets his pork in her pouch does the guy question why they aren't using a condom. Of course, the woman tells him not to worry because "She's healthy." Oh good! Seeing as how all their friends had come down with this deadly illness, I was afraid she might be sick, too. No need to worry about that sinister soundtrack playing as she grinds you into the matress, pal... Or those sickly red rashes that just appeared where you grabbed her back while you blew your load. But, just to be on the safe side, you should probably rinse off the salami with some Listerine when your done.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • Ex Heroes has Cairex the Demon-Human Hybrid die in the backstory due to getting a blow job from zombie Jessica Alba. No one is sure how to react to this story when they hear it.
  • "Sex equals death" is the main theme in Kurt Vonnegut's short story "Welcome to the Monkey House," in which a dystopian society prevents people from having (or enjoying, if they do try to have it) sex. The "villain" responds by basically raping women to force them out of their belief that sex is wrong. It works.
  • In Arthur Machen's The Great God Pan a sinister woman drives prominent men to madness and suicide. The unspeakable horror they experienced is strongly implied to be sexual in nature, although Victorian propriety prevented Machen from elaborating.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, it's revealed that the H'nemthe have evolved (naturally or socially, it's not clear) this trait due to their 20 males to 1 female gender ratio. The females, who are otherwise vegetarians, eviscerate their partners after sex with their razor-edged tongue and they sincerely believe this is actually the greatest expression of love between the sexes. One of the short stories in Tales From the Mos Eisley Cantina revolves around an alien Corrupt Bureaucrat named Feltipern Trevaag wooing and having sex with the alien identified in the movies only as "Yamnose", here revealed to be a female H'nemthe named M'iiyoom Onith. When the inevitable happens, the folks who clean up the mess consider Trevaag to have truly been Too Dumb to Live, not only for trying to sleep with a female H'nemthe, but for not realising the Genius Bonus Bilingual Bonus in her name; "M'iiyoom" is the H'nemthe word for "Nightlily", a beautiful but carnivorous flower that uses its sweet scent to attract prey.
  • In Stephen King's short story The Raft, four college students swim out to a raft in the middle of a remote lake. A mysterious oil slick-like creature appears, and devours two of them; the first one touches it, the second steps on a crack on the raft and grabbed by his foot. Hours later, the remaining two (a guy and his girlfriend) end up having sex; the girl's hair falls off through the cracks of the raft and the creature absorbs her.
  • Mentioned in reference to Shelob in The Lord of the Rings, who killed her mates. However, this is a case of Truth in Television, since spiders do actually do this.
  • In the second Night Watch book, Alisa and Igor have sex, then discover who (and what) each other is. Light magician Igor then kills Alisa for being a dark witch, then goes into a depression and ultimately lets himself die in remorse.
  • If it's not clear enough in Troika that Veness is doomed when Indigo sleeps with him, it becomes painfully obvious when she admits to reciprocating his love for her.
  • In Jaws, the book actually kills off the character Matthew Hooper during the cage scene. Earlier in the book: he was having an affair with Brody's wife, Ellen. She avoids the trope by never being in the water. The first victim in the book was taking a postcoital swim.
  • In David Eddings' Tamuli, the emperor of the Tamul empire is required to marry a woman of each subject kingdom at the same time, and then consummate with all of them that night. After mentioning this, Emperor Sarabian recalls that his grandfather had not survived the night.
  • Played straight in some ways, averted in others in The Dresden Files. White Court vampires (specifically, the Raith family) play it straight, by feeding on Lust, sometimes to the point of killing their partner. On the other hand, the White Court is vulnerable to love, so sex that comes from real, genuine love will grant protection to the participants, which saved Harry on at least one occasion.
    • Also joked about in the first book when Harry is asked in investigate a couple who's hearts exploded during sex.

Murphy:So is it [magic]?
Dresden:Either that or that was some great sex.

  • In Vampire Academy's third volume, Shadow Kiss, Rose and Dimitri finally give in to their passion for each other...And right after the school is attacked by Strigoi and Dimitri is "taken." Right when they whipped it out, you knew something bad was going to happen to one of them, at least, since a huge plot point of their relationship is that it's forbidden.
  • In Rainbow Six, part of the villains' testing of their lethal-if-not-vaccinated biological agent involves getting uninfected captives to have sex with infected ones while both sides are drugged. True to form, said virus can be spread by intercourse.
  • While it is not a quick connection of "sex then death", Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles is certainly doomed by sex. The titular character is either raped or seduced (it's slightly ambiguous, but most assume rape) early in the book by a distant relative. This completely destroys her life and sends her on an ever-increasing spiral of despair for the rest of the book, repeatedly rejected because of being Defiled Forever, until at last she murders the man who deflowered her and is hanged for it.
    • Also, while one may argue whether it happened or not, it's implied Tess and her husband Angel, who once abandoned her just because she was not a virgin then came back and tried to rescue her from execution, consummate their marriage in their hideout. And their hideout scenes are supposed to be those moments of (false) hope.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • VH-1 did a special regarding horror movies (I believe as a tie in to Scream 3.) Throughout the show, they listed "Horror Movie Rules." One of the top rules was simply, "Virgins live, sluts die."
  • This enduring trope may have had its first instance on TV with the Alfred Hitchcock Presents episode aptly entitled "Coming, Mama" (episode #217, originally aired 4/11/61).
  • Let's not even get started on Law and Order SVU
  • Subverted on an episode of Special Unit 2, in which the Monster of the Week only targeted virgins.
    • Although those girls all recovered in the end, as opposed to many victims of the week.
  • Miniseries and book example: in Porterhouse Blue a middle-aged bedder, who senses a college's only research graduate student's secret obsession for her, sneaks in his room in the middle of the night and rapes him. However, moments into the act they both explode because, while sneaking in, she lit the gas without knowing the chimney was blocked. (For reasons too complicated to explain, the blockage consists of gas-filled condoms, I kid you not, so the explosion is pretty spectacular.)
  • This happens almost every episode in CSI. If two characters are shown having sex, and it's enjoyable and unwed and not in the missionary position, one or both of them are doomed. This has more to do, however, with the fact that any character outside the main cast whose personal life the show delves into is doomed, regardless of what they're doing.
    • Done entirely straight with two of the regulars on CSI: NY. That's not Danny and Lindsay, yet. It was Flack and Angell.
  • Also common in House, where sex and sexually transmitted diseases are routinely the cause of a number of horrific medical cases, up to and including heart failure, car crashes, paralysis, life-threatening pre-teen pregnancies, and even African Sleeping Sickness.
    • "Sex Kills" is the title of one of the episodes.
    • Subverted Trope in one episode, where we're led to believe that a woman's sexual promiscuity may have led to her illness, but it turns out that the cause is something completely unrelated that she couldn't possibly have foreseen.
    • Subverted in another episode where Cameron assumes the (male) porn star they're treating is sick because of his profession, but it turned out to be caused by his over-sanitary childhood instead.
  • The first two times Lost depicted couples having sex on the island, the female of the couple (Shannon, Ana-Lucia) was shot and killed later in the same episode; the latter was the one who killed the former (accidentally).
    • Also Libby, whom it's strongly implied was about to do the deed, if she hadn't already.
    • Also, sleeping with Sayid is practically a non-stop ticket to the afterlife. In fact, this is what kills Shannon. He later marries Nadia, and actually ends up shooting Elsa himself.
  • A running joke on the Television Without Pity recaps for Supernatural is that every woman that has sex with Sam must, by rule, die. Began with the Pilot, confirmed with Heart in which Sam is forced to kill the first woman he has brought himself to sleep with since his girlfriend's flaming death and in recent episodes seemingly subverted until we find out that it is actually a demon in a dead body, so she was already dead!
    • Ruby should still be added to Sam's sex hit list, now that she's been skewered with her own knife. That leaves Sam's track record at 3 out of 4!
    • Subverted later in the season. The next woman Sam has sex with experiences no karmic retribution whatsoever we are led to believe that she is the demon they're after, until it is discovered the real demon is the guy Dean is cosying up with.
    • Also heartbreakingly inverted in the middle of season 5, when Jo refuses to sleep with Dean on their 'last night on Earth', saying she'd prefer to keep her self-respect...and dies later in the episode anyway.
  • Disaster occurs after the first time Angel and Buffy sleep together. Enter Angelus, who then kills Jenny Calender and tries to destroy the world.
    • Xander attracts quite a number of demon girls who want to have sex with him and kill him. At once for the first case, the substitute teacher who turns out to be a female mantis.
  • One episode of The Practice involved the firm's client being accused of killing her rich, elderly husband in this manner, by giving him a heart attack so she could get his money. At some point in the episode, the attorney realizes, with dawning horror, that she has daddy issues from her childhood, so it was more of a plain ol' murder. Too bad. Ethically, they can't disclose it.
  • In the first season of 24, Kim Bauer sneaks out with her friend Janet York to meet up with a couple of college guys. Janet has sex with one of the guys while Kim just makes out with the other one. When it turns out the college guys are set to kidnap the girls, it's the start of a pretty bad day for Kim, but Janet? She gets her arm broken, doped up on heroin, run over by a car, and is finally suffocated to death.
    • In Season 8, Renee Walker is killed by a sniper after having sex with Jack.
  • In Torchwood, a woman is taken over by an alien who feeds on the energy released by the male orgasm. He comes, he goes.
  • The Hard Times of RJ Berger: R.J. Berger and Lily Miran... in a hospital bed while she is in critical condition no less. Although viewers will have to wait; due to the machine indicating that she flatlined, it is unknown if she is truly dead.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Let He Who is without Sin...", Dax host Curzon was jamaharoned (sexed) to death by Arandis.
  • Not a horror setting, but in an episode of Night Court, Dan is dating an older widow whose husband died while they were having sex. When Dan asks if they can have sex, she says, "I've killed before." His response is that he's VERY intrigued.
  • Invoked in a Halloween Episode of Boy Meets World where the kids are being stalked by a killer out of the Scream movies. The Genre Savvy in the group recognize that people who have had sex are going to be killed off.

Eric: I'm dead!
Jack: I'm dead.
Shawn: I'm as sick as you can get without actually dying.

  • The premise of the comedy series Laid. A woman discovers that all the men she's ever had sex with are dying. In the order she slept with them. All in really random ways, like getting hit by a car or getting an aneurysm or getting hit in the head with an indoor cricket ball.
  • On Heroes, Elle and Sylar entertain a brief sociopath/psychopath romance and immediately have sex when they realize that the second eclipse was blocking their powers. Once they regained their powers however, he murders her after they fail to murder Bennet and he realizes that their relationship had no possibility of being sustainable.
  • Golden Girls: Rose Nyland's husband Charlie died while they were making love.
  • Alana De La Garza, who plays Marisol Delko Caine on CSI: Miami, has said that she knew her character was going to die when she heard that Marisol and Horatio were getting married.
  • In Outrageous Fortune gold digging Pascalle marries the much older man but they can't consumate the marriage because he has a serious heart condition. I could kill him with my body!
  • Take Up to Eleven with Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps in the episode When Janet killed Jonny when Gaz is killed by Donna's severed legs. And he's doesn't mind it.


Music[edit | hide]

  • "White Pearl, Black Oceans," a song by power metal group Sonata Arctica. A reclusive lighthouse keeper heads into town one night, meets a woman, and later sleeps with her. On his way home, her husband beats him so badly that he's unable to make it back to in time to light his lamp. Naturally, a ship crashes that very night, everyone on board dies, and the lighthouse keeper is so ridden with guilt that he throws himself from his tower.
  • Briefly treated for laughs in the video for "Sweet N Sour" by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. A couple are making out in a bathroom and then a monster comes out of the toilet are decapitates them.
  • I'm surprised the video for "Bad Romance" hasn't been mentioned.


Mythology[edit | hide]

  • The wrong kind of sex in a lot of mythology and classic Literature (premarital, adultery, incest, impulsive, etc. depending on the age) could lead to various unpleasant fates, from infertility to being turned into trees. See also Good People Have Good Sex.
    • For instance, in Oedipus Rex, Oedipus accidentally marries and has sex with his mother Iocaste. And just to show that sexism is timeless, guess which one of the two of them dies, and which one goes on to become a cult hero in Oedipus at Colonus?
      • To be fair, Iocaste commits suicide, specifically because of her learning that Oedipus is her son. Oedipus apparently thinks it sufficient to tear his own eyes out of his eye sockets.
      • And according to Aeschylus' Seven against Thebes and Euripides' Phoenician Women, his sons Etheocles and Polyneices thought of him as a curse and a pariah to the point of forcing him to step down as king, locking him away and later kicking him out of Thebes along with his daughter (and their sister) Antigone.
      • His father Laius abducted and raped Chrysippus (who he was the tutor of) and the gods placed a curse on his family, saying that Laius' son would kill his father and marry his mother.
  • Most Death by Sex tropes originate about from the fact that Scripture prescribes capital punishment for many forms of sex: Adultery, homosexuality, bestiality. Many experts now believe that this was the Jewish way of increasing their population-numbers through increased births, in comparison to other nations that allowed and encouraged other kinds of sex. When Christianity also adopted these laws among other cultures, the moral became woven into stories ever since, as An Aesop theme that "God Is Watching" and that He punishes those who choose to violate his law; this is also symbolic for the idea that such types of sex are essentially "killing" the persons in an extended sense (i.e their descendants, society, etc).
    • Not all violations were punishable by death, however. If neither of the lovers was married (or betrothed), the Bible commands the couple to be married immediately, unless the woman refused. Note, this order to get married (and pay the dowry associated with the marriage) stands whether or not a child was conceived. Oh, and a man who married his wife this way can never divorce her.
      • Though this also held for rape. It just about makes sense within the view at the time of women as property - you break it, you bought it, essentially. However, from the wife's point of view, when compared to spending the rest of your life inescapably married to your rapist, death by sex might be preferable. It should be borne in mind that the victim was never required to live with her rapist or ever sleep with him again.
        • Hence why she can refuse and he can't.
          • The reason for this being that in Bible times non-widowed non-virgins had virtually no chance of being married after being deflowered, (unless already betrothed) so marrying her rapist/lover was the only way she could get married and have some status in society. Getting married was woman's only option in those days unless she wanted to be an outcast.
  • Discussed Trope and averted in The Epic of Gilgamesh, where the titular character refused Ishtar, a goddess, seducing[1] him, in a very interesting case of genre-savviness (remember, this is THE oldest written story EVER), by naming the mythological figures who met horrible demise accepting such offer. It's debatable whether he knew what his refusal would mean or not.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Mortasheen has two creatures designed to administer this: Abysmal, an anglerfish with an illusionary ideal mate as a lure, and Widoweed, a venus flytrap creature that attracts men via pheromones.


Theatre[edit | hide]

  • In the Broadway musical Into the Woods, the heroes split up to search for Jack to protect him from a marauding Giant. While she's searching, the Baker's Wife meets up with the Prince and has sex with him; she's crushed by the Giant immediately afterward.
    • Well, after she has a soliloquy/musical number that sums her mindset up as "my affair has made me more grateful for what I have but hey it was kind of nice." She's more killed by barely-repentant adultery than killed by sex, since she's a married lady with a child.
    • Meanwhile, by contrast, the entirely unrepentant and equally married Prince is punished by hooking up with Sleeping Beauty. Then again, who was expecting something by Stephen Sondheim to be fair?
  • In Victorian theatre, the only accepted way for a "fallen" woman - that is, any woman who had sex outside of marriage, or had an affair - to redeem herself was to die. Preferably after seeing the horrible consequences of her actions. One notable example is East Lynne: A woman is convinced by a rival of her husband that her husband is having an affair, and so agrees to run off with him. The husband supposedly was meeting the woman for purely innocent reasons. Which is why he's married to her in the second act. The man his first wife ran off with abandons her, so she returns to her former house in disguise as a governess to her own child. When she reveals herself to him, he dies. Everyone then finds out who she is, but she falls ill and dies shortly thereafter. And this was considered one of the classics of Victorian literature and theatre. Her melodramatic cry on her child's death, "Dead! And never called me mother!" is still somewhat well-known today.
    • Aversion: W. S. Gilbert (of Gilbert and Sullivan)'s 1874 play, Charity has up a woman, Mrs. Van Burgh, who was virtuous in every way, except she had never actually married her husband. She has spent all her time since his death doing good deeds, and trying to rescue other women back to the path of virtue. Victorian theatre demanded that she be ruined, and die in order to be redeemed. Gilbert allowed her to be ruined by public opinion and the hypocritical antagonist (he lectures Ruth, one of the women Mrs. Van Burgh gave a second chance to, on how abominable it is that she is being foisted on society as if she was an unfallen woman. Guess who had seduced her?) - but then both Mrs. Van Burgh and Ruth head off to Australia as traveling companions for a colonial bishop whose son is in love with Mrs. Van Burgh's daughter. You wouldn't believe the uproar this caused in the newspapers of the time, which fell over themselves trying to see which could declare the play more immoral.
    • Another aversion. Dickens' David Copperfield has Emily, David's first love, dumping her fiancé Cam right before their wedding to run away with David's best friend James Steerforth and become his concubine. She ultimately lives, and after LOTS of misfortune (principally, Steerforth being an absolute Jerkass to her), she goes to Australia with her father Daniel. The book also includes Emily's best friend Martha, a prostitute, who helps Daniel and David to find the missing Emily and also survives.
    • Dickens used the trope straight in Oliver Twist with poor Nancy, who also was a prostitute and ended up dead.
  • Stephen Sondheim does it again in Passion, where Fosca dies three days after, um, a final bit of passion.
  • Romeo and Juliet would be an example, except the two secretly marry before they do that sort of thing.
    • Although since they marry against their families' wishes, and the story was originally meant to be a warning tale of young people who fall in love too quickly, do foolish things, and suffer horrible consequences, it still counts as an example of "death as a punishment for socially unacceptable sex".
  • Done after a fashion in Wicked where the very next scene after Fiyero and Elphaba have their G-rated sex scene in 'As long as you're mine' and kiss Fiyero gets beaten to death. He gets better though. Sort of.
    • The novel, of course, plays it straight.
  • Two Words: Spring Awakening.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Speaking of Yahtzee, he's also used this trope... Literally. Well, almost. Occurs in 6 Days a Sacrifice, part of the Chzo Mythos. Janine having sex with Theo was what ended up allowing John Defoe to take full control of her. By the end of it, she got impaled in the chest and literally crushed inside a wall. NEVER have sex when there's obvious signs of someone being partially possessed.
  • In the Gamecube game Cubivore, you play as a titular creature, who, as an animal, likes to talk about how much he wants to kill and eat things and also mate. Of course, "mating" in the Cubivore-verse involves the females slaughtering the male in some obscure way. We later find out that what appears to be the dominant female in all of Cubivoredom apparently devours the male when mating with him.
  • In Phantasmagoria 2, it's more like Death by Kinky Sex. The female BDSM fanatic is murdered, while the woman who is having monogamous vanilla sex with the protagonist and wants a committed relationship survives.
  • In the Leisure Suit Larry series, this trope appears twice. In the first game, sleeping with the hooker at Lefty's Bar without protection causes your family jewels to explode a minute or so later. In the second game, you can seduce the maid in your resort hotel room and sleep with her, only to have her brother (who's in the military and likes to shoot things) walk in on you.
  • In WhichWay, a flash adventure game, every time you end up with a naked or half-naked woman on screen, you will be ambushed by a monster within seconds.
  • A variation occurs in the H-Game of SHUFFLE!!, where one of the more magically-inclined characters you can choose erases Rin's memories of her during sex. His memory is returned to him by an act of The Power of Love, which she wasn't expecting.
  • In the Silent Hill series, any woman who implies that she might perform sexual favors on the protagonist will die in an agonizing way within a few scenes. It began with Maria in Silent Hill 2 and continued with Cynthia in Silent Hill 4.
  • In Mass Effect 2, Shepard learns of a rare Asari genetic defect known as Ardat-Yakshi, which destroys the minds of anyone who has sex with the infected. It's possible to later replace Samara with her daughter Morinth, who has the symptom and choosing to have sex with her leads to a Nonstandard Game Over.
  • Inverted in the third God of War. Aphrodite has sex with Kratos late in the game. She is the only Greek God spared of his wrath.
    • This is more a case of Dummied out, the designers originally planned for aphrodite to pull a knife on Kratos if you went back for round two, which would end in her death, but decided against it.
  • In Snow Drop, there's a Snow Lady. Her two main powers are the ability to change appearance and the ability to kill men by having sex with them. The secret to beating the second half of the game (the first half of the game is pure Guide Dang It) is learning when to keep it in your pants (read: 90% of the time).
  • In the Neverwinter Nights module series The Bastard of Kosigan, you can go through it in such a way that every woman you make out with or have sex with dies soon afterward. Of course, being the non-linear sort of story it is, all of them but Alex can survive too.
    • Several quests in A Dance With Rogues, most notably the Dhorn Generals' Heads quest in the first chapter, involve having sex with someone to get something before killing them.
  • In Fallout 2, the player can get his/her car stolen in New Reno. After finding the chop-shop with their car in it, the player can buy it back, threaten to kill the owner, T-Ray, or if female, pay in other means. Female players can keep doing this to get car upgrades and fuel cells. However, doing it too quickly in a short span of time will make T-Ray explode after having too much sex.
    • In Fallout: New Vegas, the player sometimes gets the opportunity to invoke this on others—most notably, a female main character can opt to screw and then murder Benny in his sleep!
  • In Sengoku Rance the head of the Miko Institute, Natori kills anyone she has sex with. Rather unfortunate in a H-game. Well except the fact that our heroic protagonist Rance is somehow immune to it and actually gets stronger by it instead.
  • After awhile of playing Kara no Shoujo you begin to wonder if maybe the writers were trying to scare teens away from sex. The first set of victims are targeted partially because of this and most of the time the main character has sex he ends up dead soon after. That or the girl does.
  • Katawa Shoujo doesn't have a straight example, but it comes close enough to count. Protagonist Hisao has a bad heart and his (blind) girlfriend Lilly decides to go for blindfold sex. She gets him so turned on he keels over before the foreplay is even finished. He lives to tell about it though.
  • Implied in F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin if Beckett is killed while Alma is "grappling" with him. It turns out that she is actually trying to rape him, and process will actually kill Beckett if he doesn't fight her off. She eventually manages to succeed when Becket is strapped into the Telesthetic Amplifier, which boosts his psychic abilities. Ostensibly those powers were supposed to be used to kill Alma, but instead they apparently strengthened him to the point that he could survive being raped by her.
  • Happens to a seduced NPC in the Human Noble origin in Dragon Age. He or she opens the door of the playable character's room to investigate a noise and gets an arrow in the chest. However, you can find the noblewoman he or she arrived at the castle with dead later in the origin, meaning they'd have likely died anyway.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: Penny dies in the third act, which was also when Captain Hammer started bragging about sleeping with her. During a PRESS CONFERENCE. While it is possible that he is lying (Captain Hammer being a total Jerkass, after all), the fact that Penny looks uncomfortable at his assertion, not outraged, suggests they did it.
    • Of course they did.

Cpt. Hammer: [singing] This is so nice; I just might sleep with the same girl twice.

835. I cannot lure out the Psycho Killer into an ambush by having sex with another character.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • An episode of Futurama parodies the B-movie tradition by having a robot couple making out in a car say things like "It's okay to let our guard down, even for a moment!" before being attacked by a "scary human".
    • Also in Futurama, Death by Snu Snu. In all honesty this could be the trope namer.
      • Except that then it only makes sense to Futurama fans.
    • What about the Decapodians, the species of Dr. Zoidberg? They have sex once in their lives, and die immediately afterwards.
  • South Park: One of the many causes of death for Kenny.

Doesn't matter, had sex!

Notes

  1. can't remember the original context...