How Dare You Die on Me!

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If you don't come back alive, I'll kill you!
Cid, Final Fantasy IV Advanced

Guy falls while Taking the Bullet for the Damsel in Distress. It's not Only a Flesh Wound, nope, he looks dead. Enough to be Left for Dead by the villain. Possibly invoking Pietà Plagiarism, the damsel cries over, but curses the guy. She may even feebly beat up his dead body, admonishing him for:

In more optimistic works he'll wake up because, well, there's someone yelling and hitting him, and Death Is Cheap compared to that. Expect Slap Slap Kiss as he'll be annoyed at being yelled at after just saving her life, and they get over it and (mushy stuff happens here). If it's a really sappy setting, expect a kiss to be involved in waking up their beloved. Sometimes, if he does die, he will leave something of himself behind.

The genders can be reversed, and it's also a favorite trope to enact between Rivals or even enemies, especially if one of them died through means other than at the Rival's hands. Compare Antagonist in Mourning.

May happen some time after the wound, when the first person believes the other is dying, and tries to Converse with the Unconscious.

Can also occur after a failed attempt at resuscitation, often accompanied by a Big No or "live, damn you!". Common in medical dramas.

Compare and contrast Try Not to Die. May overlap with Died in Your Arms Tonight.

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

Examples of How Dare You Die on Me! include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

Thorfinn: "I'll never forgive you! How dare you die on me like this!? Get up! Let's properly finish this once and for all! I was supposed to be the one to kill you!"
Askeladd: "Geez... It's time for you to stop being a kid..."

  • A very emotional scene in the first episode of Yu Yu Hakusho, with Kuwabara barging into Yusuke's funeral demanding a fight with him. This might be considered an adult version of Please Wake Up. This is also a case of The Only One Allowed to Defeat You as this establishes that Kuwabara considers Yusuke a rival who challenges him and betters him the more they fight against each other.
    • Parodied in the Abridged series "You better come back to life or I'll kill you!"
    • Yusuke's mother Atsuko also gets one, in a drunken rage after the wake - "I didn't give you permission to die!"
  • Light from Death Note screams "Come on, Damn it!" "Don't you die on me you idiot!", at his father when he dies. It is debatable whether Light truly is mourning his father's death or is just acting to fool the other Kira investigation team members or outraged that he didn't at least kill Mello.
    • Death Note How to Read 13 would imply the former as it is stated that Light's father is one of the only people he would never kill.
    • Also, it's the only time we see him cry, including chapter 107. You'd expect tears-on-demand for his foe L, but there's no sign of them.
  • In the final chapter of Ranma ½, Ranma cradles Akane's inert body after she has seemingly died after the battle with Saffron. He berates her for being a dummy (and hits himself for it).
    • In the ice-skating arc, Ranma takes a blow for Akane strong enough to crush all the bones in a man's body. When he doesn't respond to her, she assumes he's dead, then cries on his chest and calls him a fool. That's when he sits up, insulted that she wasn't more grateful for his sacrifice, and lets her know he was faking it. (He actually is hurt at that point, but he's a Badass, so he walks it off.)
  • In Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro, Zenigata sees Lupin's gang escaping from the Count, Lupin himself gravely injured, and shouts "Lupin! You'd better not die before I get to arrest you!"
  • Code Geass got this as a Tear Jerker moment when Shirley bleeds to death in Lelouch's arms, promising to love him even if she's reincarnated, and Lelouch desperately and futilely trying to use his Geass to save her.
    • Not to mention in the final episode, when Lelouch dies. The juxtaposition of the scene is pretty striking, with the crowds celebrating his death and chanting the name of his assassin, and his sister Nunnally sobbing inconsolably over his body.
      • That was done in contrast to Euphemia's death. Think about it: Zero's the assassin, whole crowd of people chanting his name while verbally abusing the victim, all as the loved one cries over the victim's body.
  • Zoro from One Piece does this around the end of his flashback in the manga when his childhood friend Kuina died falling down the staircase and broke her neck. The anime version of the story tends to displace the original manga, but trust me, he was absolutely pissed at her for leaving him as well as saddened.
    • This becomes HORRIBLY SAD when you consider that he apparently still considers her his best friend. The poor guy can never catch a break.
  • Upon finding his True Companion motionless on the ground in a fight against the Big Bad, the title character in Inuyasha cries out "Miroku! Don't you dare die!". The hitting happens after he wakes up, unscratched.
    • He uses the same sentence on Sango later on, after she betrayed them and got severely hurt for her efforts.
    • Played straight by Kagome after the fight against the Peach Man. Inuyasha has fallen off a 20-floor cliff, badly injured and in human form. The others can't find his body, but assume he must be dead. When Miroku remarks that "Inuyasha probably died without regrets, for even as he sacrificed his life, he knew that he was saving yours", Kagome cries out that she didn't want him to and that he is an idiot. Miroku and Shippo join in, saying he was indeed a fool. Of course, Inuyasha is Right Behind Them, and not pleased to be called an idiot.
    • In the Inuyasha manga, Inuyasha has a similar moment when Sesshoumaru is severely wounded and crushed by Magatsuhi, after delivering a strike to Magatsuhi's true self. Believing Sesshoumaru to be dead or dying, Inuyasha tries desperately to free him, shouting "I'm not gonna let you die like this!"
  • This occurs in Fushigi Yuugi when Nuriko dies. It happens again with Hotohori's death. Miaka screams that he had lied when he promised to stay alive until his wife, Houki, gives birth to his son.
  • In the feudal arc of AIR, Ryuuya is badly injured defending Kanna and doesn't seem as though he's going to make it. He's told her that as he's her servant, he'll do anything she says, so she orders him not to die. He doesn't... she does, though.
  • In Count Cain - Godchild Cain yells at an unconscious Riff after he's been poisoned basically telling him he's not allowed to die
  • Inverted in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni. Being that Hanyuu is a ghost she cannot interact with anyone except a select few people who are born every once in a while. She becomes frustrated when Rika says she wants to not repeat the cycle again. Of course she didn't stay to her word.
  • In Black Lagoon, a small time crime boss hires some Mooks to take out the Lagoon Company for not playing exclusively for him. Naturally, they all die. Just before Balalaika pays him a visit, he's heard ranting about how the mook he hired completely screwed him over by dying.
  • In Bleach, Ichigo is killed by Ulquiorra and Orihime indicates this trope by repeating his name for several minutes. It works, he's not dead anymore.
    • Also invoked by Tsukishima, who flips the FUCK out when he learns that Ginjou is dying.
  • In Berserk, Guts gets bashed around by the apostle Wyald to the point where he is believed to be dead. Casca, now his lover, slaps him around in a fit of anger and tears as she tells the unconscious Guts that he couldn't be dead because he promised to take her on his travels with him. He eventually comes around, though to the sound of Casca's screams as Wyald apprehends her and tries to make her feel like a virgin again.
  • Happens afterwards, but in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: after Kamina dies, Yoko is in the shower and says to herself: "You said you would return that kiss a ten times over! Kamina, you jerk!"
  • Fullmetal Alchemist mixes it up with Pietà Plagiarism near the end of the series, when Hawkeye gets her throat slashed and nearly bleeds to death. Mustang, panicked and on the verge of Manly Tears, does a lot of screaming at her to "Open your eyes!" and "Get it together!" It's cranked Up to Eleven in the English dub of the Brotherhood anime, in which he says, "Don't you dare die! Stay with me, Lieutenant!"
    • And in the first anime, you have Hawkeye arriving too late to protect Mustang from Archer. She finds him shot in the face and lying motionless in a pool of his own blood.

"General! Dammit, Roy Mustang, talk to me!"

Barnaby: (Sobbing) Shut up! Don't talk like you're about to die!! You're not that kind of person! Your enthusiasm is your only strong point, isn't it!? I've been learning to make fried rice...so you have to try it someday! Kotetsuuu!

Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog comic series, Sonic's girlfriend, Princess Sally was devastated seeing Sonic "die" in an explosion after destroying a deadly alien weapon, not knowing that he was actually thrown halfway across the universe. A year later, Sonic returned, and the two kissed and continued their relationship. A following mission however, reminded Sally again of how easy it was to almost lose a loved one, and she begged that Sonic would step down from his role as a hero. He reluctantly declined because of the Eggman threat. She then slapped him in front of their family and friends and they argued on the bigger priority, love or duty. A break-up followed.
  • Another gender-flipped version in Runaways, when Gert convinces 80's!Geoffrey Wilder that Chase isn't innocent enough to make a satisfactory sacrifice to the Gibborim and ends up getting killed instead. Chase promptly has a Freak-Out and spends most of the next six issues trying to bring her back...using the Gibborim. The others convince him that it's not what she would've wanted, though, and he finally relents to letting her remain dead.

Fan Works[edit | hide]

Rika: "Damn you, Takato…I have cried more in these last few days than in my entire lifetime, and it's all your fault!"

Film[edit | hide]

  • In Sherlock Holmes A Game of Shadows, Watson to Sherlock, while trying to artificially resuscitate the latter.
  • Happens twice in The Abyss, first when Lindsey Brigman has drowned and her ex-husband Virgil "Bud" Brigman yells at her while performing CPR to try to bring her back. Later on in the movie, when Bud faces death thousands of feet below her, Lindsey returns the favor.

Bud: Goddamn it, you bitch! You never backed away from anything in your life!...Fight, goddamn it! FIGHT!
Lindsey: Bud, please! Listen to me, please! Goddamn it!...You dragged me back from the bottomless pit! You can't leave me here alone now! Please. Oh, God, Virgil, please.

Trinity: Neo, I'm not afraid anymore. The Oracle told me that I would fall in love, and that man, the man who I loved would be The One. And so you see, you can't be dead. You can't be, because I love you. You hear me? I love you.... Now * get up* .

    • This works because the kiss she administers along with those words makes him realize he isn't actually dead (only virtually dead and "Your Mind Makes It Real") so he revives. In other words, the input from the Matrix told his brain he was dead but the input from the real world trumped it.
      • An Alternate Character Interpretation (where-in Trinity is The One) would have Trinity resurrecting Neo as Jesus did to Lazarus and then being resurrected herself in the second movie.
    • ...and in The Matrix Reloaded:

Morpheus: Trinity, don't you quit on me now.
Trinity: I'm sorry.
Neo: Trinity. Trinity, I know you can hear me. I'm not letting go. I can't. I love you too damn much.

  • Happens in Lethal Weapon 3 film as part of Murtaugh's Heroic BSOD after having to gun down one of his son's friends in a shootout.
  • Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia had Tom Cruise's character doing this to his estranged father, in sort of a verbal Slap Slap Kiss.
  • Terminator had Sarah Connor trying to motivate a mortally wounded Reese (showing signs of the leader she's supposed to become):

Sarah: Move it, Reese! On your feet, soldier! On your feet!

  • In Pitch Black, this is Riddick's response when Carolyn Fry is dragged away and killed by the monsters. Immediately beforehand, this was also the motivation used to get him up after he was bleeding intensely and in a state of panic, just having been nearly killed by the creatures.
  • Subverted in WALL-E, when WALL-E's memory appears to be wiped, after trying various tricks to restore it, EVE vigorously shakes WALL-E with an angry expression in an attempt to "wake him up".
  • In the film Flatliners, David Labraccio (Kevin Bacon) is determined to resuscitate Nelson (Kiefer Sutherland), and continues even after it's clear that Nelson is gone, going so far as to hit him in the chest to try to get his heart going again and saying "Come on, Nelson!".
  • Happens at the end of Ong-Bak, Humlae dies and Muay spends her last lines of the movie cursing him for dying.
  • In The Long Kiss Goodnight, Samantha/Charly gets one of these from her eight-year-old daughter, combined with Worst Aid. It's just as Narmful as it sounds. Naturally, she gets right up, and takes on a rifleman in a helicopter.
  • Done comically in The Wrong Box - Morris and John Finsbury (Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) are taking their uncle Joseph on a train trip on the news that a relative's imminent death will net them a fat inheritance - after the train crashes, Morris finds a dead body he thinks is Joseph's, and tearfully curses him for selfishly dying and leaving two helpless orphans destitute.
  • Sort of subverted in Young Frankenstein. After it appears Frankenstein has failed to bring a corpse back to life, he begins to strangle the dead body claiming he has ruined him. Of course his two assistants attempt to pull him off for fear that he'll kill him.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens, when Insectisaurus is shot down, Link shouts at him, "Don't you dare close your eyes!" He becomes a butterfly.
  • In the beginning of Ever After, Danielle's father suffers a heart attack, and Rodmilla, his new wife, starts wailing "You cannot leave me here!" as he dies. Never mind, you know, his kid standing right there. She's not very nice.
  • Hulk has this line from Betty after Bruce declares he's fine after the gamma ray accident.

Betty: "Bruce, this isn't funny. I was watching you. You were going to die, and I was going to have to watch you die."

  • Twice in Red Tails:
    • Deacon has been badly wounded, and is suffering from both serious bleeding and a head wound. He fades out of consciousness, his plane sliding into a dive, as Easy screams helplessly at him to wake up and pull up. He wakes up, regains control of the plane, and crashes on landing. Despite being doused in gasoline before the plane caught fire, he is pulled out and survives.
    • Easy finds himself in a similar situation with Lightning towards the end of the film. Lightning's plane plows into the ground and explodes.
  • The Gauntlet: Gus to Ben, near the end.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • Arya Stark does quite a bit of this in A Song of Ice and Fire, angry at the adults who keep failing to protect her.
    • Also played with when Cersei demands that Lord Giles be told, "He does not have my leave to die."
  • Hogfather: Susan gets this when the Hogfather dies and she can't even figure out why.
  • The Outsiders: Right before and right after Johnny's death, his big brother figure Dallas curses him and Ponyboy for being stupid and naive enough for getting into the things that lead to his death, completely loses it, and ultimately commits Suicide by Cop.
  • The Redwall book series, by Brian Jacques. Two instances. One is after a character is found in the woods badly wounded and is told "If you die, I'll kill you!". Another version is in a separate book where a character that's been unconscious is told by a friend that if he dies, the other character will never speak to him again. This is lampshaded by the now-conscious character remarking that it'd be interesting to see that.
  • Nynaeve does this to a wounded Aiel Maiden in Book Three of Wheel of Time. On purpose, though: it helps her to get angry enough to channel and heal her.
  • In Labyrinths of Echo by Max Frei the protagonist once accidentally cured a wounded man suffering from magical compulsion by wishing aloud his "patient" would be okay. And later discovered that while his own domination spell is dangerous, ordering its victims to recover may fix even terminal disease or otherwise incurable insanity.
  • Variation: In the book The Princess Bride, after being stabbed by the six-fingered man, Inigo has a vision of his father:

Inigo: ...sorry, Father... I'm sorry...
Domingo: I don't want your "sorry"! My name is Domingo Montoya and I died for that sword and you can keep your "sorry". If you were going to fail, why didn't you die years ago and let me rest in peace?

YOU JUST TRY DYING AND YOU'LL GET A GOOD SLAP!

Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • In Babylon 5, Ivanova's emotional reaction after Marcus uses an alien life transfer machine to save her life at the cost of his own.
    • However, Ivanova doesn't give up easily. In the end credits of the series, Marcus is shown in a cryostasis tube with the accompanying orders from General Ivanova to store him until his condition can be reversed. A short story shows that it works in the distant future.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Last of the Time Lords", the Doctor almost demands that the Master not die on him. Made all the worse by the fact that the Master actually could save himself from death if he chose to. He's simply dying to spite the Doctor.
    • "REGENERATE!!"

The Master: Dying in your arms. Happy now?
The Doctor: You're not dying, don't be stupid. It's only a bullet. Just regenerate.
The Master: No.
The Doctor: One little bullet. C'mon.
The Master: I guess you don't know me so well. I refuse.

    • Also this exchange between the Doctor and Wilf in The End of Time Part 1:

The Doctor: [bluntly] I'm going to die.
Wilfred: Well, so am I one day.
The Doctor: Don't you dare!
Wilfred: Alright, I'll try not to!

    • And River, in her first-last appearance about the Doctor- "If he dies, I'll kill him!"
    • Who likes this one, they do it again in series six.

Doctor: "Come on, come on, Rory, not like this, not today!"

  • Gene Hunt gets one of these in Ashes to Ashes after Alex passes out from hypothermia.
    • Also when she was drugged by Summers and when she mysteriously stops breathing after being chloroformed
      • Also arguably when he drags her out of the road in the first episode

Gene: Do you know how much paperwork there is for suicides?!

  • Firefly:
    • In "Jaynestown", when one of the mudders dives in front of a shotgun blast intended for Jayne, even when it's been proved Jayne isn't the hero the village thought him to be, Jayne goes ballistic. Afterwards, he's really shaken up by the incident, not comprehending why the mudder had saved his life at the expense of his own. "Don't make no sense...".
    • in "War Stories", when Niska resuscitates Mal after having tortured him to death "Mr. Reynolds...? You died, Mr. Reynolds. If you die, I can't hurt you any more."
  • A "near death" version on The Closer after Sanchez takes three shots to save Provenza:

Chief Johnson: Detective Sanchez, listen to me! I'm issuing you a direct order. Keep breathing! Do you hear me? Keep breathing!

  • NCIS: Gibbs orders his subordinates not to die on a regular basis, and it seems to work. This occurs notably in SWAK, when Tony has the plague.
  • M*A*S*H may very well have been the first to popularlize the surgeon's "Live, Dammit, live!" line, with Hawkeye and his obsessive drive to prevent death in a line of work that's just crawling with it. No wonder he nearly cracks in the last episode.

"C'mon... live, dammit, live! Don't let the bastards win!!"

  • On The Mentalist, Lisbon keeps telling Sam Bosco that it'll be OK, that he can't little a lead stop him. Heartbreaking.
  • Charmed had Piper screaming and breaking down at her older sister Prue's grave, managing to be incredibly heartbreaking. Piper only did this after Paige told her it was okay to be mad at Prue for dying, and that Paige herself was angry at her parents for dying.
  • Wilhelmina in Ugly Betty yells this hysterically as Daniel's dad dies.
  • Happens in season 4 of Angel, when Gunn is momentarily killed and brought back by an electric shock and acts cavalier about it - Fred breaks down in tears and starts screaming "You died and left me all alone!"
  • One of the first scenes of the first episode of Red Dwarf involves a welcome back party for a dead crewman who has been resurrected as a hologram. During his toast, he says the following:

"As You Know, Holly's only capable of sustaining one hologram, so my advice to anyone more vital to the mission than me is, if you die, I'll kill you."

Music[edit | hide]

  • "Pretty Angry" by Blues Traveler. John Popper wrote this song expressing his sadness over the death of his bandmate/best friend Bobby Sheehan.

And I wanna shout from my guitar
Come out, come out wherever you are
The joke is over, open your eyes
A heart like yours, it never dies
And I found your keys behind your chair
I still can see you sitting there
This isn't funny; don't fool around
You let me go... you let me down

  • "Dark Wings" by Within Temptation includes the lyrics "Don't you die on me/You haven't made your peace/Live life, breathe, breathe".
  • Leæther Strip almost invokes the trope name with "Don't You Dare Die On Me".
  • The small time West Virginia rock band The Weber Brothers has a song called Don't You Die on me, which includes the lines "Don't you die on me! If you do, I'm never gonna forgive you. Don't you die on me! Such an underhanded thing to do!"

Theater[edit | hide]

  • The play Our Country's Good has Duckling pleading with a dying Harry to not die. When he dies anyway, without ever waking up, she lets out an anguished "I hate you. No, I love you. How could you do this to me?!"
  • Rent combined it with the Ironic Echo:

Who do you think you are / leaving me alone with my guitar?

  • In Next to Normal, Dan resents Diana, in part, because he's afraid she'll hurt herself again. Also, this trope is the underlying reason everyone resents Gabe so much.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In Disgaea, the gender-reversed variation happens when Flonne accepts to be killed by the Seraph in order to prevent him from punishing the entire group. Once Laharl realizes that she really is gone, he goes utterly apeshit.

"You're going to abandon me, like my mother did? I didn't give you permission! Is this what you call love? If it is, then I'll never believe in love! Ever!"

    • Disgaea 3 has something quite similar, where Mao laments the death of Almaz, claiming that he did not give his servants permission to die on him (all while trying his darndest not to admit that he actually cares about Almaz's fate.)
      • Cruelly subverted in the bad ending path, where he's painfully honest about not caring.
  • Jaheira to her husband Khalid in Baldur's Gate: "You die on me and I swear you'll never hear the end of it!" When he's Killed Off for Real in the sequel, It's Personal.
  • From Odin Sphere:

Mercedes: Ingway ... is that you? You lied to me! You said we'd meet again!

  • From Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days we have this line
    • Roxas: Xion! Who else am I going to eat ice cream with?
  • Tales of Symphonia has one for five characters out of the six character-team during that point of the game. Idiot Hero Lloyd gets angry at everyone for dying at a critical point of the game. Subverted when, about 10 game minutes later, you find out that every one of them was a Disney Death
  • Some companion battle cries for a fallen Hawke in Dragon Age II fit this trope: A shocked Anders shouts "No! Don't you dare!", while Aveline takes it personally: "Not today Hawke. Not while i am here!". Similar for Carver ("Don't you die on me. Not after all this.") and Isabela ("Don't you die on me!")
  • A very sad example from Arc the Lad: Twilight of the Spirits : When a Darc is finally reunited with a mother he has grown up assuming betrayed him and his demon father, he is first furious at her. Then she takes a soldier's bullet intended for him, causing him to yell at her, "No dying, you hear me?!? You can't die until I've killed you properly! Mother? Mother!?"

Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • From the Homestar Runner cartoon "Army": "Don't you die on me, Bennedetto! Not on my watch! You never gave me the five bucks...!" ("Bennedetto" is an inanimate popcorn popper.)
    • He then tearfully informs the microwave of her son's death.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

Web Original[edit | hide]

  • In Naruto the Abridged Series, Orochimaru does this to the third hokage. What makes it funny that he had just spent an entire episode trying to kill the third, and failed. The third beats him by giving up his life to seal away Orochimaru's arms and Orochimaru's exact words are "Sarutobi, don't you die on me! Give me back my arms, then die on me!"

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Briefly in Disney's Tarzan, when Terk is pulling unconscious kid Tarzan out of the water: "C'mon, don't die on me... don't die on me, you weren't supposed to do it-!"
  • In Gargoyles, as Magus lays dying, Princess Katherine says "Ye can nae leave me now!"
  • On South Park, when Kenny died in the episode "Rainforest Schmainforest". Kelly tried to give him CPR saying "Breathe! Breathe! BREATHE YOU SON OF A BITCH!!!!! he survived
    • A similar event occurred in the Imaginationland story arc when Cartman, of all people, managed to bring Kyle back from the brink of death after being injured by the portal to Imaginationland. It's hard to say whether this was a case of Antagonist in Mourning or Cartman just wanted Kyle to live long enough to fulfill his part of the bet (a.k.a. sucking his balls.)
  • In The Ripping Friends, Rip says something like this to a dehyrdated Chunk when he was attacked by The Indigestible Wad.