Impaled with Extreme Prejudice

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When the irredeemably evil villain just needs to be run through with a big rod. Bigger is better in bad. The defining element is the shock value of the impalement. Imaginative impalements qualify. Death by bladed weapon (knife, sword, foil, lightsaber, beheading) generally does not qualify. Garden-variety vampire stakings, à la Buffy the Vampire Slayer, don't count, but extraordinary stakings do count. Often appears with Anvilicious symbolism.

Sometimes it's done to a good guy (or girl) in a type of visible Stuffed Into the Fridge moment in order to tick off the audience.

When a person is impaled through their... ahem... alimentary canal (starting at either end), it qualifies as a Cruel and Unusual Death. If the victim is impaled through their neck, it's an Impromptu Tracheotomy. If the victim is impaled multiple times, you have an example of Human Pincushion.

Examples of Impaled with Extreme Prejudice include:


Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • This happens fairly often in Naruto:
    • Kakashi uses his Raikiri against a held-in-place Zabuza, only for Haku to take the blow for him. In the anime this gave him a sizable stomach wound, but in the manga, Kakashi's forearm went most of the way through his abdomen.
      • Twice
    • Sasuke does something similar to Naruto in their fight at the end of Part I, with a similar degree of censorship in the anime.
    • Killer Bee turns Sasuke into a pincushion by impaling him with six swords at once.
    • In the Rescue Gaara arc, Sasori impales Sakura with a poisoned sword. Luckily, Chiyo is able to save her with a forbidden life-giving technique.
    • Pain does this quite brutally against both Jiraiya and Fukasaku, although it's unclear whether Hinata was actually impaled or just "poked".
    • Hidan pretty much makes this trope his way of life. He does this to himself, but a combination of Immortality and a voodoo-like technique he gets the pleasure of it happening to whoever he used for a ritual.
    • A flashback shows Madara was impaled after fighting the first Hokage, and everyone assumed he must have died.
    • Jugo was partially impaled by the Raikage's arm, even after it went all the way through his shield. Luckily for Jugo, he can survive that.
    • In chapter 504, Minato and Kushina sacrifice themselves to save Naruto by letting the Kyuubi impale them on his claw.
    • A flashback to the 8-Tailed Beast before Killer Bee was its host showed impaling Motoi's father was the last thing it did with its left horn before A cut it off.
    • Konan was killed from impalement with a broken pipe.
  • Mazinger Z: In the Mazinger Z versus Devilman feature, Mazinger-Z cut Silene's wings off during one aerial battle. She fell towards the ground below and was impaled through her stomach by the sharp branches of a dry tree. Also, one of the {{[[[Robeast]] Mechanical Beasts}}, Toros D7, had a huge metallic spike on the front side to ramming the enemy and impaling it.
    • Great Mazinger: Big Booster -Great Mazinger's Mid-Season Upgrade- consisted of a Jet Pack with a huge, retractable metal spike. One of the Tetsuya's favorite moves was throwing the Big Booster suddenly and impaling his enemy when it was flying.
    • Shin Mazinger Zero gave a Nightmare Fuel example when in one of the first chapters Sayaka was impaled by several huge, metallic rods.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, The Movie: Poltergeist Report, Kurama grows an entire bamboo forest in the battlefield he's in, impaling one of the villains with several bamboo shoots. Pissing off Kurama is never a good idea.
    • Elder Toguro curb stomps three members of the Gorenja team by stretching out his body to impale them. One dies instantly, and Toguro offers to spare one of the other two. He impales the one who begs for his life through the head, then, despite claiming to respect the other one's warning him to kill him lest he take revenge, kills him too because he is not a man of his word.
  • Survived in Suzumiya Haruhi, when, during her chronologically first on-screen battle, Yuki was suddenly run through with a big collection of nasty-looking shards of metal. It is a testament to this character's awesomeness that she was undeterred by this development.
    • Played straight in the Disappearance film, where Asakura manages to stab Kyon as he's about to shoot alternate Nagato with a gun to fix the broken timeline. She nearly succeeds in killing him too, if not for the meddling of a future Kyon, robo-Nagato, and young Mikuru, who then successfully fix the timeline for the dying Kyon.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion does it twice: first with the Mind Raping Angel, where Rei throws him the Lance of Longinus; then, in The End Of Evangelion, one of the vulture-esque Mass-produced EVAs attacks with a blade that magically becomes a replica of Lance of Longinus and impales Asuka's EVA-02 right through the eye. When Asuka manages to move her powered down and crippled EVA with her sheer force of will/hatred another one strikes, slicing the EVA's and Asuka's arm in two. And then they throw about a dozen more...
    • And then in Rebuild Of Evangelion 2.0, Kaworu shot Shinji's now God-level Unit 01 through with a lance that, curiously, does not seem to be the Lance of Longinus that featured so prominently in the original series.
  • Both the Anime, the Manga and the OVAs of Hellsing shows this, mostly because of Alucard being Vlad the Impaler.
    • In the ending of the Hellsing TV series, Alucard manages to use a half broken gun and the molten silver from a cross to shoot a lance of molten metal into his opponent, thereby evoking the whole Vlad the Impaler thing. Never mind that guns don't work that way by any stretch of the imagination.
    • The manga and the OVAs also presents a few examples:
      • One time when Alucard confronts an enemy with a magic rifle (late 1700s musket style). When Alucard defeats and disarms her, he impales her with her own rifle through the stomach.
      • When he telekinetically impales an entire Brazilian police commando team on the flagpoles outside a brazilian hotel.
      • And near the end when he impaled all citizens of London after they were turned in ghouls.
  • The ultimate villain of Saint Seiya, Hades, dies when Athena hurls her Staff of Nike through him. Quite a mean feat, considering the artwork depicts him run through with the staff portion (with a hole about one or two inches wide) even though the headpiece of the staff is a golden circle about two feet wide.
  • In Utawarerumono a villain is slowly impaled with a folded metal fan. While we don't actually see the impaling, we can definitely hear his ribs cracking under pressure. Ouch.
  • In the first Unico movie, the big bad falls on top of a huge spire, complete with squelching sound. Pause, and then he freaking gets up again, eyes glowing. Cue whimpering children.
  • A sort-of good guy example in Kamen no Maid Guy episode 12. In a surprisingly serious moment, Kogarashi is paralyzed by a special whistle and impaled by several spikes, apparently killing him. Since he's Kogarashi, Maid Guy, he gets better.
  • In Zeta Gundam, Scirocco is impaled by the titular Humongous Mecha. He manages to fry Kamille's brain before dying.
    • In Gundam Seed Destiny, Shinn loves doing this. Too bad for him, he only stabs main characters who refuse to stay down.
      • He does it successfully a few times, such as against the Abyss, along with its pilot with a beam javelin, and later on against some Destroy Gundams.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, Kou Uraki stabs the Dendrobium Orchis's beam cannon into the Gerbera Tetra, and then he fires it.
  • Gemmu in the second Galaxy Fraulein Yuna OAV is impaled on one of the giant spikes she herself had raised throughout the city. Karmically appropriate, both for the irony, and for how she'd killed her sister.
  • In One Piece, The first of Luffy's three battles with Crocodile ends with Crocodile impaling Luffy on his pirate hook. Crocodile soon does the same to Nico Robin after he realizes she won't tell him where Pluton is.
    • In a Wham! Episode, Whitebeard gets impaled with a BFS, wielded by one of his own allies, no less.
      • The rest of these are tame compared to Admiral Akainu punching a hole through Ace with his Lava powers, destroying most of his torso in the process. Ace actually dies because of this. He later pulls the same trick on Jimbei, managing to not only burn through his chest but hit Luffy, too. Both barely survive with medical attention.
    • Poor Hachi being attacked by a hail of arrows sent by Van Der Decken, almost killing him.
  • No one's mentioned the revelation in Revolutionary Girl Utena of Anthy being a... goddess?... who put herself between a mob and her love, and thus got impaled (onscreen but in silhouette) with about a hundred sharp pointy objects?
    • Hundred? Canonically that is million. "The Million Swords of Humanity's Hatred". Of course, only some of them are actually visible in most of these scenes, but in the Grand Finale all one million are shown in their full glory, all seeking to impale poor Anthy simultaneously.
  • Inuyasha gets impaled several times, the most extreme example being early in the manga when Sesshoumaru plunges his hand all the way through Inuyasha's torso, in what is Sesshoumaru's signature unarmed attack. Inuyasha is hard to kill, however.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima does a variation of this on a good-ish character. Of course, Evangeline is a vampire with regeneration powers, so when Fate impales her with a chunk of stone, she just gets pissed off at him.[1]
    • Later on, Fate also impales Negi with a stone spear. Unlike Evangeline, Negi nearly dies of blood loss before Konoka heals him.
    • Negi has Jaculatio Fulgoris and Titanoktonon spells, both having shape of spears made of lightning. Titanoktonon is actually huge enough to leave the target hanging a few feet above ground.
    • It's also subverted in chapter 225. Dramatic use of black makes it look like Setsuna got impaled by a stone spike, but it really just ripped her suit.
  • As an unfortunate victim of The Worf Effect, poor Haji in Blood+ falls victim to impalement on a regular basis (read: pretty much every single fight), sometimes with actual weapons, but just as often with things like sharpened logs and people's arms.
    • Haji redeems this trope when he turns the tables on the villain Amshel in the penultimate episode by dramatically impaling him on the tip of a skyscraper. Which is then struck by lightning. It slows him down for about ten minutes.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, this is also how Marcoh tries to kill Lust early on in the manga. Too bad she's immortal.
    • Lust manages to impale Havoc through the spine, paralyzing him.
    • This also happens when Edward got caught in an explosion causing the mine he was in to collapse. When he started to get up after the explosion, he found that he had a huge metal beam through his gut. It took a risky trick with alchemy that shortened his overall lifespan to heal himself.
    • This is how Sloth is finally killed. After already being impaled a dozen times in the preceding fight, so it fails to be really spectacular...
    • Also done by Ed to Father in chapter 107. It worked much better.
    • In the 2003 anime version, this is also how Ed (unintentionally) kills Greed.
      • Also in this version, Envy kills Ed in this manner with his fist after revealing that he was actually Ed's half brother, Hohenheim's son from a previous relationship. He got better, though.
  • Toward the end of the fight between Rukia and Aaroniero in Bleach, Rukia is impaled on Aaroniero's trident, but after a flashback, manages to gain enough of her resolve to use a technique to reform her blade and impale him through his head after he carelessly lowers his trident and brings her closer to him.
    • Rukia has been impaled many, many times. It's become a rather morbid running joke among fans.
    • Hinamori. For the second time, we must add. First, it was her Evil Mentor Aizen, who hugged and then stabbed her to kill her right before revealing his treachery. Later, Aizen himself uses his zanpakuto's shikai powers to fool Momo's childhood friend Hitsugaya into stabbing her. Poor kid DEFINITELY has no luck.
    • In the anime, Hiyori got impaled by Gin's shikai. It was to censor the more... gruesome version from the manga.
      • Gin does it again to Aizen but it failed
    • For no apparent reason other than the fact the captain was looking his way, Wonderweiss puts his arm through Ukitake's chest. He gets better.
    • Grimmjow/Ulquiorra does this to Luppi/Ichigo with his hand. The latter gets better.
      • Ichigo gets this A LOT.
    • Mayuri kills Szayel this way and gets bonus points for combining it with an Impaled Palm.
    • During the Training from Hell, Ichigo gets impaled by Ginjou. And then, in 457, Ginjou saves Ichigo from Tsukishima by jumping in front of the blade. In a subversion, that wasn't to save Ichigo, but to set out a part of a much bigger plan.
      • And this is how Byakuya defeats Tsukishima, with his bare hand - albeit full of Senbonzakura blades.
    • As of 492, the most recent victim of this is Apacci, "thanks" to Kirge Opie.
  • Okoi dies in this way in Basilisk when Nenki's hair impales her all over her body. It's messy. Very messy.
    • Her brother Saemon dies this way too, but he's impaled with several lances after his cover is blown, gets mocked by the man he was impersonating (Tenzen) as he dies, and then his body is dumped into a river.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S has Vita's surprise impalement from behind by a Type IV Gadget Drone's massive, sickle-like arms immediately after Tempting Fate. Considering how the impalee had the body of a little girl, the blade punched through around half the length of her upper body. Cue Vita having to show just how much of a goddamn Plucky Girl she really is.
    • In Force, Signum and Hayate follow the suit.
    • It's implied that Due was killed this way toward the end of StrikerS, after inflicting this on Regius.
  • In Fushigi Yuugi: Tamahome kills Nakago by running his fist riiiiiiight through the latter's chest. He did promise to kill him with his own bare hands, right?
  • Towards the end of Ayashi no Ceres, Shiso stabs Aya and by extension, her and Tooya's unborn child bigtime. And what's worse is the blade in the anime is much bigger than the one he used in the manga. She and her baby got better.
  • Gara in Bastard!! gets impaled on a bony spike extruded by an Eldritch Abomination, and does the pulling-himself-along-the-impaling-instrument trick. And then the Eldritch Abomination helps him the rest of the way along it.
  • This is the favorite tactic of the Zaibach soldiers in Vision of Escaflowne
  • In Fairy Tail Gray gets impaled through the stomach with a sword while fighting Leon. This, of course, does not impede his fighting ability AT ALL.
  • In King of Thorn, the "cyclops" monster which was partially blinded by Marco ends up dying after having its head impaled on a statue of the crucifixion. What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic?
  • In the Soul Eater anime, Crona is impaled by Medusa's arrows which had been aimed at Maka (they got better}. Maka, naturally, is not best pleased (as if she needed more of a reason to go after Medusa). Actually the second time Crona got run through with something sharp, poor thing.
    • Can't forget the Dangerously Genre Savvy Asura impaling Death The Kid near the end of the anime.
    • Black Star kills Mifune in the manga this way.
  • Happens often in various Kamen Rider manga. Kamen Rider Spirits alone, we have Kazami Shiro getting impaled through the side with a giant spike, the replica of King Dark having a harpoon kicked through his head, Kamen Rider Stronger taking a grappling spike and chain shot through the chest, and... Needle. Needle's entire deal is that he can make spikes shoot from the ground. Anyone that pisses him off gets impaled. Many, many times. Hell, even the original Kamen Rider manga featured a scene with Rider 1 impaling a monster through the back with the cross of a church.
  • The hero-as-victim (and very What Do You Mean Its Not Symbolic) instance in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, when Kamina is fatally wounded by way of being impaled, both mech and body, by Thymilph.
    • Again in the finale, to a certain extent, after Simon's last bad-ass boast, the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and Granzeboma each create 2 drills and impale eachother with them. Of course, this doesn't prevent Simon from launching in the smaller versions of Gurren Lagann.
  • In the final great battle of his childhood, Son Goku punched a hole clean through Demon King Piccolo in Dragon Ball. Goku himself is impaled in Dragonball Z when holding Raditz still so Piccolo Jr.'s Makankosappo (Special Beam Cannon) wouldn't miss.
    • Freeza runs Kuririn / Krillin through on one of his horns after his first transformation (good thing Dende was there). Unsurprisingly, most of the videogames have this as that form's ultimate move.
  • Happens to an Asshole Victim in Detective Conan, who is thrown off a balcony by his killer and ends up impaled on a statue. (See Real Life below.) It actually was a coincidence, as a strong wind was blowing when he was dumped off said balcony and made him hit the pole instead of the ground. Conan used this detail to find out which balcony he fell off, thus guessing who killed him as well.
  • In Mai-Otome, Fiar Grosse, the Otome of Cardair's emperor Argos, gets impaled when Midori's Gakutenou bursts through the castle roof beneath her.
  • In Karakuridouji Ultimo, Eko, on two occasions, gets impaled; the first time, by Rage, the second time, by Vice. This also happens to Iruma, who gets stabbed by Jealousy.
  • In Muhyo and Roji's Bureau of Supernatural Investigation, Panza is mortally wounded this way while protecting Roji from Mick's thrust.
  • In Berserk, while rescuing Griffith, the Hawks get locked in Griffith's prison cell by the butt ugly warden and torturer, where he commences to brag about exactly how he tortured Griffith for a year, including showing off Griffith's severed tongue. The torturer does this under the impression that the door is solid and unbreakable and so he's protected during this Evil Gloating session. But, being Too Stupid to Live, he didn't take into account what Guts' Unstoppable Rage is capable of doing - like ramming his humongous sword straight through the door and impaling the warden right in the heart (keep in mind that Guts' sword isn't meant for piercing and impaling, but rather smashing, cleaving, and smashing). And before Guts lets the warden slowly slide off his sword into the pit below he takes the time to cut off the warden's tongue.
  • Happens to Madoka Kaname in the Oriko Magica manga, when Oriko gets the last laugh before dying at Homura's hands by shooting a huge shard of the already dead Kirika's witch body and hitting Madoka in the torso from beyond the witch barrier.
    • And right before that, Oriko allowed herself to be impaled by Kyouko's spear to prevent her from destroying Kirika's body and breaking the barrier. Then Homura shot her Soul Gem and destroyed it, killing her... but she still wasn't able to stop Oriko from checkmating her and killing poor Madoka.
    • In the official manga adaption, Oktavia von Seckendorff impales Kyouko.
  • In Air Gear Mimasaka Ryou gets impaled with a helicopter rotor blade.
  • Happens at least once during the Elder Bairn's destruction of Saya's hometown in Blood C.
  • Taimanin Asagi: Asagi kills off her Arch Enemy Oboro in this way at the end.
  • Happens to Class Representative Yukari Sakuragi in Another. In a very odd fashion: she was running down a flight of stairs with an umbrella, but tripped up and fell over -- then the umbrella opened in the worst moment possible... and poor Yukari ended up impaled through the neck with the sharp end.
  • This is how Shougo and Sayo's father was murdered in Rurouni Kenshin, during the annihilation of their Doomed Hometown for being Japanese Christians. And it happened in front of his kids.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Also not bad guys, but there are two examples from Elf Quest. In the first Lord Voll and his giant bird get run through by a giant ground-to-air crossbow bolt. Since the bird is in flight at the time and also carrying Cutter and Ember, this gives them a bumpy landing. Shortly afterward in a climactic battle scene Cutter gets speared through the gut and subsequently lives. Artist Wendy Pini once joked that she did it so they could put a pencil sharpener in the character's action figure.
    • The elf Redlance owes his name from having done this to save his chief from a rampaging monster.
      • During the same battle referred to above Redlance uses the same technique on a charging troll, who has time to see it coming.
  • Dick Tracy foe the Brow ended up impaled on a flagpole.
  • Non-bad-guy Marvel Comics example: Openly-gay hero Freedom Ring fought an evil Alternate Universe version of Iron Man, with neurokinetic (controlled by his brain) armor. Unfortunate Implications abounded.
  • The first Green Goblin in The Amazing Spider-Man, impaled on his own glider.
  • Punisher. The 'Max' series, which is in a different continuity. Frank punches the bejeebers out of The Dragon, then throws him onto a wrought iron fence. He is impaled all down through his body. Notable, in that he shows up later, most of the fence still WITH him, and tries to get Frank. The Punisher blows his face clean off his body. The Dragon takes two more steps, then dies.
  • In Marvel, Omega Red frequently impales people with his tentacles and drains their life right out of them but what happens to his captive, Jubilee, isn't his fault as the building they're in is bombed and a beam falls through her chest.
  • A Golden Age hero named (or numbered) #711 is probably most famous for killing a crook by throwing a harpoon through him once.
  • Wormwood. Just... Wormwood. At the climax, to prevent armageddon, the title character runs Satan (a badass horned devil) and God (a masturbating, levitating old man) through with the Lance of Longinus. They stay that way. Shish-kabobbed together, floating through space, forever.
  • Subverted in the early 1990s Sleepwalker comics when a villain attempts to impale the alien hero on a roasting spit and appears to succeed. After the villains leave, Sleepwalker gets up, revealing that he merely warped the spit around his body to make it look like he'd been skewered, as a means of getting the villains to leave so no Innocent Bystanders would be hurt by their fight.
  • Daredevil #181: The death of Elektra.
  • Most of Wolverine's enemies die like this.
  • Dee Tyler (also known as Phantom Lady) was killed by Slade Wilson (also known as Deathstroke the Terminator) this way. See here.
  • Ryan Choi (also known as Atom) was killed by Slade Wilson (also known as Deathstroke the Terminator) this way. See here. Is this Slade's modus operandi or something?
  • Angela del Toro (also known as White Tiger) was killed by Lady Bullseye this way. See here. She was revived soon after though.
  • Kendra Saunders (also known as Hawkgirl) ended up experiencing this in the Blackest Night storyline. See here.
  • G.I. Joe: Snake Eyes actually does this to Scarlett! See here. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • X-Men: Mystique did this to Rogue at one point. Gambit and Rogue both received this simultaneously at another point!
  • Ultimate Universe: Loki did this to Valkyrie. See here.
  • Elektra eventually returned the favour to Bullseye. See here. Sweet revenge!
  • Daredevil ended giving this treatment to Bullseye. See here. Bullseye will Never Live It Down when it comes killing Elektra.
  • Superman, having a very bad day. At the end of "Reign of the Supermen", Supes jams his arm through the chest of the cyborg Hank Henshaw and vibrates so fast that Henshaw is torn apart into individual atoms. Worth noting that Henshaw's current body was largely made of cloned Kryptonian tissue, meaning he was almost as tough as Superman himself.
  • Magik does this to Karma. See here.


Film[edit | hide]

  • In Dracula Has Risen From The Grave, the Count falls off his castle and is impaled on a large wooden cross.
  • In a deleted scene of Donnie Darko, Donnie is impaled on a rafter when the plane crashes through his bedroom roof.
  • In Andy Warhol's Frankenstein, after having his hand severed (and throwing it at his attacker) Baron Frankenstein manages to give a final monologue while impaled on a sharp-tipped pole.
  • The Underworld series:
    • Underworld: Evolution - Marcus impales Kraven to a wall with his wings while extracting information from him; he also fights Michael and seemingly kills him by shoving him onto a raised and sharpened piece of debris-- Michael later heals from this; later, Seline rips one of Marcus's spiked wing pinions off and impales him through the head with it before shoving him into a helicopter's rotating blades.
    • Underworld: Rise of the Lycans - Lucian, after agreeing that Viktor should have killed him when he was born, impales Viktor through the mouth with his sword.
  • Excalibur. "Come, father. Let us embrace at last." Mordred impales Arthur, pulls himself down the shaft and returns the favour with Excalibur. In Le Morte Darthur, though, he just bashes Mordred over the head.
  • 10,000 BC: The Pyramid God is impaled by the White Spear, which The Hero hurls over the heads of his guards.
  • In The Condemned, when the prisoners are flown to the island and pushed/thrown out of the helicopter, one lands on a wreaked ship and is impaled. He never hits the ground
  • Flash Gordon: Emperor Ming is impaled on a freakin' spaceship.
    • Also, Ming's right-hand man, Klytus, is impaled on the spike-covered floor of an arena in the hawkman city.
  • Dark City: Villain alien Mr. Book is impaled through the body. However, it's not until he's thrown into a watertower that he's killed.
  • The well deserves death of a child-killing brute in Cliffhanger, at the end of a meter-long stalagmite.
  • Commando: The Hero hurls a pipe that impales the Big Bad, and steam vents through his torso!
    • Steam that's flowing oddly well considering there's a chunk of Bennett in the pipe...
    • Earlier Cooke is impaled on a table leg.
  • No Escape: The Big Bad meets his end impaled on a pole after falling. It was bloody as hell.
  • Hot Fuzz: Hilarious impalement with survival.
  • Conan the Barbarian: During the Battle of the Mounds, Thorgrim, one of Thulsa Doom's two Dragons, gets impaled by a big old trap set up by Conan, which involves a spike the size of your average birch tree getting him right through the chest. ((BROKEN))Ouch.
  • Apocalypto: The villain is impaled by a trap made for boars.
  • Saruman dies in the extended version of the third Lord of the Rings by getting shot, falling off the tower of Isengard and onto a spiky wheel of a machine. For bonus symbolism points, the wheel then shifts because of his weight and turns until Saruman is on the bottom, hidden beneath the pool of water.

Treebeard: The filth of Saruman is washing away.

    • The fact that Saruman is played by Christopher Lee adds extra significance to his impalement (which of course doesn't happen in the book).
    • Aragorn also stabs the Uruk-hai leader Lurtz in The Fellowship of the Ring, who merely pulls the sword into himself to get closer to him. Aragorn promptly pulls the sword out and beheads him.
    • Special mention should go to Sam's stabbing of an orc from behind in Return of the King, as he does this with Sting and the orc-detecting blade glows blue as it emerges from the target's chest.
  • Star Trek: Nemesis: The villain Praetor Shinzon gets impaled by a length of pipe and pulls himself along the bar towards the cornered Picard. It's extremely creepy if it's the first time you've seen this done.
  • The Hand That Rocks the Cradle
  • Not a bad guy, but Trinity of The Matrix dies this way during the final movie.
  • In the Mortal Kombat movie, Shang Tsung meets his end when Liu Kang learns how to throw a fireball and blasts him off a ledge and into the Spikes of Doom below.
  • The Green Goblin in Spider-Man.
  • Mr. Han from Enter the Dragon meets his end when Lee kicks him right into a spear sticking out of a wall, a spear that Han threw at Lee to try to kill him in the adjoining chamber earlier on in the fight.
  • Averted in Three Hundred, when the spear thrown by King Leonidas wounds, but fails to kill, Xerxes.
    • Something similar to the above example happens to the Captain; in the last stand he's impaled on a Persian's spear and a couple swords, so he hacks at the soldiers holding the swords, then pulls himself up the spear to finish off its (at this point terrified) wielder.
  • Top Dollar meets his end in The Crow this way after living through "thirty hours of pain" all at once courtesy of Eric Draven.
    • Judah in the second film is also impaled, though that's not what kills him.
    • Not to mention Sarah.
  • At the end of The Lost Boys, Grandpa piles fenceposts on the hood of his jeep, drives the vehicle in through the window of his house and impales the Head Vampire.
    • Mere minutes earlier in the same film, Michael impales David on the horns of a stuffed antelope head.
  • The Big Bad in Exit Wounds died this way. What added to the "ouch" factor was the girth of the pipe he fell on and that it wasn't sharp.
  • In The Name of the Rose (though not in the original Eco novel), enraged peasants push Inquisitor Bernardo Guy's wagon off a cliff, and he is impaled on a piece of farm equipment. A harrow to be precise. Yes it was a "harrowing" experience for him.
  • The Rock: one of the rebel soldiers falls on a stake after being pushed by a rocket ("Well, I only bring it up because, uh, it's you. You're the Rocket Man.").
  • Hollow Man has the Invisible lead doing a non-fatal impalement with a crowbar.
  • In End of Days, Jericho (Arnold Schwarzenegger) stops his demonic possession after jumping on the sword of a statue.
  • Subverted in Doomsday, as nobody gets impaled in a fight on an arena full of spikes.
  • After Indiana Jones is poisoned in Temple of Doom, he throws a flaming shish-kebab at the son of the villain.
    • And in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Satipo's betrayal of Indy leads immediately to a case of multiple spikes through the head. "Throw me the idol, I'll throw you the whip."
  • Serenity. However, in this case, its not a bad guy who gets impaled, but Wash. Also, in the final battle with the Operative, Mal gets run through the stomach with his sword. It doesn't do much more than annoy Mal, though.
  • Subverted in Black Rain. The final fight ends with Michael Douglas' Rogue Cop wrestling the Big Bad towards a large pile of jagged spikes. The camera cuts in a way that seems as though he's going to impale the guy, but the scene immediately cuts to Douglas bringing him in to the police instead, alive, well, and unimpaled.
  • Also subverted in The Cable Guy. During the climactic fight Jim Carrey's unnamed titular villain suffers a nasty fall onto a giant satellite dish which sports a central spike, but instead of landing on the spike, he lands next to it and survives the fall to be rescued by helicopter.
    • Given how trope-obsessed he is, he is visibly disappointed by this development.
  • In Death Wish II, after Kersey's daughter has recovered from being raped into catatonia in the first Death Wish, she is kidnapped and raped again, and while running from one of the rapists, falls out a window to where she's impaled on a fence. Kersey's response is a second Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • In Sudden Impact, trying to chase the love interest of Dirty Harry, whom they had raped years before, one of the bad guys falls off a platform and is impaled on the spike of a unicorn on a merry-go-round.
    • Another example occurs in the final scene of The Dead Pool. After delivering his final line Dirty Harry Shoots the big bad with a harpoon gun pinning him to a wall with camera shot showing the tip of the harpoon piercing the wall.
  • In Australia, Fletcher is impaled by a metal rod thrown by King George. This is a Karmic Death, as Fletcher speared the husband of one of the protagonists at the beginning of the movie in order to gain his property and frame King George.
  • In Frostbite, one of the vampires is impaled upon a garden gnome.
  • In Cobra, Stallone lifts up the Big Bad and impales him on a hook which then proceeds to wheel into a furnace. It's just that kind of film.
  • In Dog Soldiers, Bruce is impaled on a broken tree branch whilst fleeing the werewolves.
  • A velociraptor dies like this after being kicked out of a window in The Lost World: Jurassic Park.
    • Narrowly averted, twice, when a Stegosaurus swings its spiked tail at Sarah Harding.
      • And then a third time when Peter Ludlow is nearly gored from behind by a charging Triceratops.
  • In Sleepy Hollow, Baltus is impaled through the chest by a fence post attached to a rope that the Headless Horseman launches at him like a javelin, in order to pull him out of the church, which the Horseman cannot enter. Of course, the impalement isn't what kills him, given the Horseman's love of head-chopping...
  • In the Hellboy movie Implacable Man Kroenen is impaled (at least) twice - obviously the first time didn't take. The last time he's hurled into a pit of giant spikes and then has a giant cog slammed onto him for good measure.
    • And apparently even that wasn't enough: rumor has it that Kroenen will be appearing in Hellboy III, if it gets made.
  • Trevelyan in GoldenEye has a giant satellite dish slam into him from above.
  • In Ladyhawke, the evil bishop is impaled quite suddenly, with the blade going right through a stone pillar behind him while he was attempting to impale the heroine.
  • Parodied in Robin Hood: Men in Tights. The Sherriff of Rottingham is impaled this way accidentally. He rushes Robin, who's busy with something else entirely and has shoved his sword underneath his armpit so he can work better. The camera angle makes it difficult to see what happened, but the Sheriff gets a pained expression on his face when he notices the hilt in his stomach. He says, "It's not so bad..." then turns around so we see the rather large sword stuck straight through him, says, "I was wrong!" and falls flat. He recovers, but immediately wishes he was dead, given the alternative.
  • Star Wars:
  • In Switchback, Bob the killer lands on a sharp log/stump while rolling down a hill falling off of a train. It's satisfying to the point of being funny because before that he was cackling madly at having escaped the hero.
  • Near the beginning of |Mission Impossible one of Ethan's team, sitting on top of an elevator, gets a ride straight up into triggered spikes, and gets his face impaled.
  • Aliens: Near the end of the movie, Bishop the gentle android (one of Ripley's surviving allies) gets impaled from behind quite suddenly and unexpectedly by the sharp spike on the end of the Alien queen's tail. And then the queen rips him apart, literally. Being an artificial lifeform, he does "survive", although badly damaged.
    • When she wakes up on the prison planet in Alien 3, Ripley learns that Corporal Hicks was impaled in the crash. (And that Newt "drowned".)
  • Alien vs. Predator: The Predators attack and impale several people with their spears (and in one case, their retractable claws). Later, the lead Predator (having performed a Heel Face Turn) is himself impaled from behind on the Queen Alien's tail (obvious nod to Bishop from Aliens).
  • In Predators, the RUF soldier sets off one of the Predators' booby traps and is impaled multiple times by spikes rising from the ground. Also, the Mexican drug cartel enforcer is shown to be impaled for bait to lure the other humans into an ambush.
  • In film of Transformers, one of the commandos is impaled through the chest from behind by Scorponok's tail.
    • In the sequel Revenge of the Fallen, Optimus Prime does this to The Fallen, with the bad guy's own weapon.
    • Then again, Optimus himself was impaled by Megatron in the forest scene.
  • Patrick Troughton's priest character is transfixed and killed by a falling metal bar, knocked loose from a lightning-struck church, in The Omen.
  • In The List of Adrian Messenger, the bad guy gets impaled on a harrow.
  • Gore-fest Cannibal Holocaust has a pretty infamous scene (that also served as the movie poster) in which a native girl is impaled in a way that makes most of the other examples on this page look tame. It was so Squicky that the director was actually accused of murdering the actress for that scene and had to show how he pulled the scene off and present the very much alive actress to avoid the charges. The most unnerving part of the impaling (besides, well the impaled girl) is The Reveal that the titular cannibals didn't kill her. The camera crew did it to get more exciting footage.
  • The Butcher from Wanted dies by being shot with a sharpening steel (Wesley even kicks it to ensure it really impales).
  • In the 2008-2009 film version of Russian science fiction classic Inhabited Island, resident Drill Sergeant Nasty Captain Chachu is eventually staked with a military standard.
  • Team America: World Police has Kim Jong-Il meet his doom on top of a Prussian spiked helmet.
  • In Repo! The Genetic Opera, Sarah Brightman's character Blind Mag falls to her death on a wrought iron fence on a stage, during the titular opera.
  • Scotland, PA has the tragic hero Joe McBeth get impaled on the cattle horns on front of his own car.
  • A humorous double example: In Forklift Driver Klaus (watch it here), a parody of safety videos, Klaus first impales a man with a chainsaw on the fork, followed by a man with sound-proof headphones. At the end, Klaus now headless, thanks to said chainsaw keeps driving away from the factory with both of them still impaled.
  • Subverted in Hero, where it looks for a moment like the Emperor has been impaled on the protagonist's sword, but he actually just rammed the hilt against the Emperor's abdomen.
  • In Dead Again the main villain is impaled by a giant pair of scissors.
  • In The Crazies one of "the crazies" (armed with a pitchfork) shambles into a field hospital full of people who are strapped to beds and cannot move - completely helpless and unable to escape. You can guess what happens next.
  • The House of Wax remake has Paris Hilton being impaled in the head with a pole. Arguably the best moment of the film.
  • The T-1000 kills a security guard in Terminator 2: Judgement Day, stabbing him through the head with a finger grown into a metal spike.
  • After kicking arse for the Lord in Braindead a priest ends up getting impaled on the stone hand of an angel statue.
  • Early on in Braveheart, one of the English soldiers gets impaled on a wooden stake which the forms part of the wall surrounding the fortress.
  • In the film version of The Virgin Suicides, one of the daughters is killed by landing on a picket, as in the book.
  • In First Blood, one of the traps Rambo constructs during the manhunt in the woods impales a marine with spikes.
  • Many of the deaths in the Halloween series are an example of this trope:
    • Bob being pinned to the wall with a knife in the original film and the remake.
    • Kelly being impaled to the wall with a shotgun in The Return of Michael Myers.
    • Spitz getting impaled with a pitchfork in the midst of sex in Halloween 5.
    • Jamie getting impaled on a tractor in The Curse of Michael Myers, plus John Strode being pinned to a fuse box later on.
    • Rudy's impalement to a door with three knives in Resurrection.
    • A redneck's impalement on antlers in Halloween II (2009).
  • In Lethal Weapon 4 Big Bad Wah Sing Ku is impaled by a spear from Murtaugh, this doesn't kill him he does die later when Riggs shoots him with a machine gun.
  • This has happened a few times in the Friday the 13 th series:
    • Jeff and Sandra are impaled by a spear in bed in part II.
    • Chili impaled with a firepoker in part III
    • Roy the killer in part V is impaled on a tractor harrow
    • Burt is impaled on a tree branch and Jeff and Sandra are impaled on a machete in part VI
    • Jane is pinned to a tree with a tent spike in part VII
    • Jim is impaled with a spear gun, Miles is impaled on the mast, and one of the gang members is impaled on a syringe in part VIII
    • Vickie and Robert are impaled on fire pokers on two separate occasions in Jason Goes To Hell. The unrated version shows Deborah being impaled and ripped apart by a signpost (this is only implied in the normal cut.)
    • In Jason X Dr. Wimmer is impaled on a metal pole, Stoney is impaled on a machete, Condor is impaled on a drill, Briggs is impaled on a hook, and Brodski is impaled with a spike and a machete but he somehow survives and later sacrifices himself.
    • And in Freddy vs Jason Trey is impaled three times with a machete, Gibb and a raver who was trying to rape her are impaled on a pole, Shack is impaled on a flaming machete, Charlie is impaled on a shelf bracket. The monsters don't get off either. During the final battle Jason is impaled by multiple metal bars and Freddy Krueger is impaled with his own arm.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, Kira is casually thrown by the Big Bad after a Heel Face Turn (following a Face Heel Turn) and ends up getting impaled on a random spike decorating the hall.
  • Narrowly averted in Bulletproof Monk, when the Big Bad throws Kar at a jagged end of a pipe. The Monk, expecting this, jumps and manages to redirect Kar, so they both end up hitting a wall.
  • One of the thieves in Dracula 2000 is impaled by spikes in Van Helsing's vault, triggered by their attempts to open Dracula's coffin. Given what happens later, he's the lucky one.
  • A redneck in Drive Angry gets half a broken baseball bat thrown through his head, while ALREADY hanging impaled by the other half of the bat through his shoulder.
  • The protagonist of Nightbreed gets a sword through the back, pinning him to a card table. Being semi-undead, he removes the table and continues fighting with the sword still in place and a card stuck on it. He finally kills his enemy by hugging him, impaling him on the sword as well.
  • In Santo Y Blue Demon Contra Dracula Y El Hombre Lobo, the monsters maintain a pit with wooden stakes at the bottom, apparently for the sole purpose of entertaining themselves by making captives try to cross it on a narrow plank, as werewolves shake it back and forth. They force a captive Blue Demon to do this. Ultimately, this proves to be an extremely poor interior design decision.
  • What the British and the Zulus do to each other whenever the Zulu's Zerg Rush manages to get through the British's dakka in Zulu.
  • At the end of Chronicle, Matt impales Andrew using a statue's spear.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Just before Sir Robin and company meet the three headed knight they pass by the evidence of his combat ability: three knights impaled on a lance which is stuck into a tree.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The Bridge On the Drina features a slow, harrowing impalement, although in this case it's the Turks punishing a would-be saboteur.
    • Just to make this clear, they carefully inserted a long wooden spike trough the guy's rear end, while carefully avoiding all vital organs. He was then left dying in agony for days. The executioner's pay depended from the time the victim stayed alive. The longer, the better.
  • Reversed in The Virgin Suicides, when the first daughter is impaled on the fence.
  • In Dan Simmons' Hyperion Cantos the Shrike[2] impales its victims on a vast tree of metal spikes - where they all remain indefinitely, incapable of escaping the pain. Mega ouch. It's hinted in a later scene that the tree of spikes is actually a virtual reality construct, but their agony is no less intense for being artificially induced.
  • Also note that most vampires die this way. The most famous one, however, was actually killed with knives.
    • Averted in J R Ward's Black Dagger Brotherhood as the vampires kill their enemies, the Lessening Society, by stabbing them back to The Omega by staking the area where their heart used to be.
    • Also averted in Sherrilyn Kenyon's Dark Hunter series, where the Dark Hunters destroy the Daimons that prey on human souls. When they are stabbed in the black spot on their chest, they explode into gold powder.
  • A very unfortunate man in one of Simon Scarrow's Eagle series gets impaled in a most brutal fashion in 'Where the Eagle Hunts'. For clarification it was via the rectum piercing method from the Truth in Television examples.
  • Mossflower features Skipper of Otters taking vengeance on Tsarmina's chief minion Cludd by setting up several javelins in soft ground and challenging Cludd to a fight to the death. When he's pinned Cludd, he wraps him up in his cloak and flings him into the air, causing him to come down directly onto the javelins. The author then points out that otters point their javelins on both ends.
  • In Garry Kilworth's Welkin Weasels: Vampire Voles Montegu Sylver defeats the vampiric villain Count Flistagga by leaping onto his back from a rooftop and tearing his cloak, which he used to glide rather than actually fly, so they both fall. Monty lands in the river, and Flistagga is impaled on a broken pole, killing him.
    • Slightly less impressively, in the first book, Sylver is caught in a snare by Magellan, and attempts to attack him one last time before he dies. He manages to charge with enough momentum that the stake the snare is attached to is yanked out of the ground and spears Magellan, killing him.
  • Warrior Cats: Hawkfrost is impaled in the throat with a wooden peg. Of course, the impalement itself does kill him, so much as the gallons of blood that come gushing out after the spike gets yanked out.
  • John Nike from Jennifer Government ends up impaled on the sharp end of a Nike store's swoosh-shaped door handle.
  • The Saga of Darren Shan loves this one. The preferred method of executing one of their own kind, the vampires tie the victim and drop them into a pit of stakes. Sometimes, it takes more than one drop before they die. It's how Kurda Smahlt died. And Crepsley. Poor Crepsley. Steve likes to use these for theatrics. the one Crepsley fell in was even on FIRE.
  • In Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn, the Lord Ruler gets this in a gory-poetic callback to the earlier incident when the same was done to finish off Kelsier. Impaling criminals through the neck with a hook and leaving them to hang somewhere visible is also the Steel Ministry's favourite method of execution. In the sequel, Well of Ascension, Lord Venture could be said to get this, except the sword in question is so big he may have been bisected.
  • According to Non Campus Mentis,[3]

An angry Martin Luther nailed ninety-five theocrats to a church door. The Pope's response was to declare Luther hereditary.

  • This was the over-the-top cause of death in the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of Black Peter", in which the retired sea captain is found pinned to the wall with a sealer's spear.
  • In Dragons, an ice spike through the chest is what does in David, the protagonist himself. Yes, it is gut-wrenching.
    • It Gets Worse, because they weren't just impaled by the ice spike, they were also slowly frozen from the inside out due to it.
  • In Le Morte Darthur, Thomas Malory's definitive rendition of Arthurian Legend, Arthur runs Sir Mordred through with Sir Lucas the Butler's spear. Unfortunately, with his last bit of strength, Mordred manages to cut Arthur in the head before collapsing dead.
  • The heroic demise of Oy the billy-bumbler in The Dark Tower.
  • A character in The Lost World finds skeletons of victims who were obviously thrown onto bamboo trees from the plateau.
  • Biblical examples:
    • In Judges 4, the enemy commander Sisera is fleeing a losing battle with the Israelites. Jael, wife of Heber, invites him into her tent, waits until he is asleep, and drives a tent peg straight through his temple.
    • In the book of Esther, some translations have Haman plotting to impale Mordecai on a sharp pole. After his treachery is discovered by the king, he is impaled on the pole.
  • Count Olaf gets impaled by a harpoon in the last book of A Series of Unfortunate Events. Dewey died the same way in the preceding book as a heroic variant.
  • In the Belisarius Series, this is the Malwa Empire's favorite method of execution.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • On Desperate Housewives, Gabby's evil mayor husband ended up impaled by a white picket fence. Symbolism anyone?
  • One particularly tough Locked Room Mystery in Jonathan Creek appeared to be caused by a suit of samurai armour stabbing someone through the chest. It was actually caused by animal rights protesters sending the victim an envelope laced with a hallucinogen. When he licked the envelope, the delirium caused by the drug drove him to climb his bookshelf, slip, and fall onto the raised katana of his lovingly restored samurai armour, the whole thing being one giant Necro Non Sequitur.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cordelia Chase is impaled on rebar and subsequently lives.

Angel: Do you have any idea how much it hurts to get a piece of rebar through your chest?
Cordelia: Actually, yes.

    • Another Buffy example is the MoTW in "Gingerbread," who is impaled on the stake on which they were going to burn Buffy, while Buffy is still strapped to it.
    • Also, most vampires, generally in a fairly perfunctory fashion. The Master and Kakistos got the more dramatic version. Angel also got repeatedly impaled, always non-fatally.
      • Well, except that one time, though in that case it wasn't the impalement that killed him. It was a metal sword after all. And probably not through his heart.
  • In the Lost episode "The Other 48 Days," Ana-Lucia discovers Goodwin is The Mole. He attacks her, flinging himself onto the pointy walking stick she's been carrying around all episode. Because of Anachronic Order, we actually see the grisly result in the episode before that one.
    • Phil gets a magnetically-thrown iron through his chest in the season 5 finale.
  • In the Stargate Atlantis series premiere "Rising," the Wraith Queen gets impaled on the rather large poky bit on the back of a Wraith Stunner rifle by Sheppard, killing her.
  • In Heroes Claire gets impaled in the head after falling on a tree branch and temporarily dies.
  • Spike TV's Deadliest Warrior featured a showdown between Shaka Zulu and William Wallace. It ended with Shaka being impaled. On a claymore.
  • In the Harper's Island episode "Sploosh", Madison's jerkass dad Richard is killed when he is impaled through the chest with a harpoon and pinned to a tree. Then again, he kind of had it coming with the affair.
  • In the BBC's Robin Hood Maid Marian is impaled on Guy of Gisbourne's sword. He gets a Karmic Death at the end of the series in which he's likewise impaled on the Sheriff's sword.
  • The A&E production of The Lost World has an allosaurus falling into a deep, spiky trap at the beginning of Episode 2. Toward the end of the episode, another allosaurus gets a spear through the upper jaw, but survives that. It later gets killed with an elephant gun.
  • Many a Smallville character has died this way: it seems everyone is Made of Plasticine and metal rods (however blunt) will punch right through you as if you were made of tissue paper. This even extends to Jimmy Olsen, of all people, though he turns out to be the older brother of the Jimmy we know - James is his middle name.
  • In the superhero drama Misfits, while trying to rescue his friends from the Virtue organisation, Nathan falls off the roof of the community centre and is impaled on a metal spike. He dies instantly, but due to his power of immortality, he is resurrected several days later (by which time the poor guy has been buried alive)
    • A day after being unburied, the poor guy is impaled again- on a metal pipe by Simon's crazy stalker friend. He is immortal by now, but still. This time wasn't instant.
    • Extra brutality points for the fact that this happens to one of the good guys.
    • And in the season two finale, Daisy gets impaled on her own "Mother Teresa Young Humanitarian of the Year" award.
  • Doctor Who goes even more extreme in its impaling in State of Decay when the Doctor impales the Great Vampire with a rocketship.
    • Rory has one of his own in "The Pandorica Opens." To summarize, a view of the scene from the side: Tip of sword, gargantuan-and-thick-as-hell door, head of a Cyberman, hilt.
  • In an episode of 24, this happens off-screen. As part of Jack's Roaring Rampage of Revenge, we are led to a display of the entire Russian Delegation massacred, only one survivor who makes a trail of blood trying to reach the phone of the Big Bad The Dragon Minister Novakovich... who is then shown to be dead, impaled with a FIRE POKER!!!.
  • On Primeval, a Future Predator is killed by a Columbian Mammoth in this fashion, impaled on one of its tusks.
  • It seems to happen a lot on Supernatural, although often because its literally the only way to kill something.
    • They do it to Gabriel some four or five times before it actually works. And this is a character who's in a total of four episodes.
  • The US version of Being Human has Aidan being impaled on a metal stub by a guy seeking revenge for his father. Of course being a vampire, this just pisses him off.
    • Bishop's staking Aidan in the second-last episode of Season 1 deserves special mention. Though it's unsuccessful, Bishop jumps through a window into the house uninvited (burning himself as a result), impaling Aidan and just missing his heart. The "extreme prejudice" part is covered for sure.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • This is one of the Arishok's attacks in Dragon Age II. He lifts Hawke up into the air on the point of his sword and thrusts up and down several times. Good thing Hawke is Made of Iron; a real person or NPC would not get up from that if they survived at all (which Hawke may not if the attack comes at bad time).
    • Also a line in the first game, when a scholar is asked if an ancient temple is really cursed and the Maker will punish infidels who set foot inside it:

"After all, no one wants to hear 'Willie toiled for many a year to perfect the curious mechanisms that would sent a sharpened spike up the arse of the unweary intruder'."

      • Also in the first game, killing an enemy with a melee attack will sometimes result in a short death sequence that can involve this; notable against Ogres, where the character delivering the attack will climb up them and knock them prone before killing them by stabbing them through the roof of their mouth. Hilariously, the game doesn't actually track what kind of melee weapon is used, so it's entirely possible to do this using a two handed warhammer.
  • In Bullet Witch, Alicia is able to summon a small field of bloody spears that burst up from the ground and impale all foes within the area of effect.
  • In Mass Effect, the geth impale their (not always dead) victims on spikes that turns them into zombies. The geth are actually using Reaper tech.
    • In Mass Effect 2, if you don't upgrade the Normandy's weapons systems, Thane is impaled by a bulkhead during the trip to the Collector station. If you never recruited him, Garrus is impaled instead. Ow.
    • In the third game, this is the fate that awaits you if you are foolish enough to remain within arm's reach of a Banshee. Arm through the chest. That's gotta hurt. Phantoms also do this, using a sword. For added insult, getting killed like this in multiplayer prevents you from being revived until the end of the round.
    • Also, Kai Leng does this to his victims, stabbing them to death with his sword. Unfortunately for him, he also does it to one of Shepard's friends. Shepard responds in kind.
  • God of War enjoys this trope. Reversed and subverted in the first game where Ares throws a pillar which is flying many many miles into Pandora's Temple impaling Kratos. Kratos, however, finds his way out of Hades.
    • The Blade of Olympus is essentially the embodiment of this trope starting with the second game. First Kratos uses it to impale the magic out of the Colossus of Rhodes, then Zeus impales Kratos and kills him, at the end of the game Kratos tries to return the favor (which he eventually does in the third game). Also in bonus play you can use it to impale everything else.
    • Basically if Kratos isn't murdering you by magic, fire, crushing, slashing, bare hands or anything else, he's usually impaling you on something. Various spike traps exist to return the favor for careless players.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Rundas, the ice Hunter, dies by impalement on one several of his own icicles.
  • Lyle in Cube Sector: the final boss is impaled on a spike in his base, in hilarious fashion.
  • In Command & Conquer Tiberian Sun Big Bad Kane is impaled on a spike by the protagonist at the climax. This being Kane, he doesn't stay that way.
  • In Devil May Cry, Dante is introduced to his Empathic Weapon Alastor in this fashion. In Devil May Cry 3, taking his own sword Rebellion through the chest is how he awakens his Devil Trigger powers. In Devil May Cry 4, Nero is the one who gains the Devil Trigger, although it is not his own sword that impales him. Nero also manages to pin Dante to a statue of his father via Rebellion delivered at range with high velocity during their first major fight, but being a Made of Iron half-demon Badass, this doesn't much faze Dante.
  • Most of spear skills in Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten either begin or end with the opponent being run through. The most painful looking one of them has the character piledrive the target through their spear after planting it in the ground.
  • The third case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney had this happen to the victim. It turned out that he was actually pushed onto a spiked fence. Plus, he himself killed someone that way five years before then.
    • Let's not forget in the last case of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney which has Jake Marshall's brother Neil killed by Damon Gant on his suit of armour's sword. Trying to frame Ema Skye was just mean...
    • And in the final case of Trials and Tribulations, the victim is found skewered on a large ceremonial sword held by a gold statue, and the scene puts extra emphasis on the shock value. In fact, later in the case, we learn the scene is fake, and it is mentioned that Iris purposely made the fake crime scene so shocking so it would confuse the investigators.
  • The fate of anyone who gets knocked into The Pit (or the Ceiling of Spikes) in the Mortal Kombat games.
  • Daniella in Haunting Ground (who is the second boss), dies via being impaled with a large broken shard of glass. She dies happy though, because even though it was only for a few moments, she finally was able to feel pain.
    • It is also possible for Daniella to kill Fiona this way if she performs one of her kill moves; she'll grab Fiona's arm and laugh maniacally, and if you don't manage to get free or have Hewie attack her, she'll impale Fiona with that lovely glass shard (or fire poker) of hers.
    • Daniella can also dish this out with one of the many dead ends.
  • RuneScape: Zaros, the dark god, meets his end by getting impaled with the Staff of Armadyl. His impaler, Zamorak, then takes his place.
  • In the original Prince of Persia, pushing Mooks backwards into spiked pits is very satisfying. It's arguably the easiest way to off the first guard in level 8 and the second guard in level 9. Of course, falling on Spikes of Doom is just as lethal to the player.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, Midna impales Zant with her ponytail.
    • The Wind Waker has Link impaling Ganon in the head with the Master Sword. In Twilight Princess, he gets impaled through a glowing scar in his chest, and remains standing as he seems to die.
    • Spirit Tracks has Malladus get the Lokomo Sword lodged into his skull courtesy of Link and Zelda.
    • Skyward Sword ends with Link driving an electrified Master Sword right into Demise's chest. Memories of Twilight Princess, anyone?
    • Way back in Ocarina of Time, Link finishes off the bestial Ganon with a stab to the face. Unfortunately, because of the Triforce of Power he possesses, even this is not enough to kill him and the Sages have to banish him to the Sacred Realm.
  • Not done to a villain per se, but in Final Fantasy VII, Big Bad Sephiroth impales a giant serpent on a tree. Too bad we don't get to see him do it; when the heroes find it, it is the Crowning Moment of Awesome that firmly established Sephiroth's Badass status.
    • It's also another case of Faux Symbolism, as the image of the Crucified Serpent is important in Kabbalism, which is where Sephiroth's name comes from.
    • Don't forget Cloud himself, who has both given (his limit break Climhazzard) and received (from Sephiroth).
      • He also ran Sephiroth through with the Buster Sword in the Mt. Nibel reactor. That Sephiroth got back up and continued fighting is either a demonstration of his superhuman strength or a sign that it's time to invoke the MST3K Mantra, as given the size of that sword, it would have cut him nearly in half.
    • In Advent Children Complete, Cloud is impaled and suspended by Sephiroth's sword, in an explicit recreation on Sephiroth's part of the 'impale Cloud' scene in the Nibel Reactor years ago.

Sephiroth: "Is this the pain, you felt before, Cloud? Let me remind you, this time you wont forget" cue cloud getting extra stabbings in mid air before being tossed to the ground. Ouch

  • Adventure Quest Worlds has the DragonSlayer class. One of its class abilities is Impale. What makes it worthy of this trope is that the ability can be done with a fish.
    • Not done to a fish, mind. With a fish.
  • Dark Messiah allows the player to kick enemies into spikes for instant-kills. So often in fact, that one review referred to the game as "Sir Kick-Alot Deathboot in the Land of the Conveniently Placed Spikeracks".
    • Also, Arantir impales Sareth on a stone spike after there meeting in Asha's temple.
  • One of the most common mook deaths in MadWorld. For an added spice, corpses impaled on handy meat hooks, wall spikes, and the like (collectively called "Rose Bushes" by the game) are the only ones that do not fade out over time, allowing you to... redecorate. The one drawback is that anything you've shoved through their bodies (like street signs and lampposts) get stuck on the wall with them.
    • The Shogun boss ends up with one of these as well.
  • Done to the hero in Final Fantasy VIII: despite defeating Seifer and Edea, Squall is impaled by a giant magic icicle courtesy of the latter, and he plummets over the edge of her platform as he loses consciousness. He awakes in prison quite some time afterwards, no worse for wear, and even he wonders where the hell his injury went.
  • Happens in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, when Kain impales Moebius with the Reaver. It helps that Moebius completely doesn't see the attack coming, as he previously thought Kain to be dead (and permanently this time), and his staff, which has the power to incapacitate vampires, no longer works on Kain at this point.
    • After Moebius dies from that, his soul goes on to the Spectral Realm where Raziel is waiting unseen behind him and impales his very soul with the Reaver yet again!
      • At which point, Raziel then takes over Moebius' body to return to the physical realm and is impaled once again by Kain all according to plan.
    • This is also one of the most useful tactics for killing vampires in Soul Reaver: Because Nosgothic vampires regenerate their wounds, one of the few ways to kill a vampire for good is to impale them with staffs and spikes...but removing the instrument causes the vampire to spring right back to life. This mechanic is also worked into one of the game's boss fights, where Raziel finds the corpse of one of his vampire brothers, lying on his throne with three spears shoved through his chest, and has to remove them to bring him back to life so he can kill him for good.
    • In the original Blood Omen Kain himself gets impaled with a sword one minute into the game.
  • In Doom II, impaled people can be seen in many places, some of which are still alive and wriggling.
  • In Drakengard's fifth ending, Angelus ends up impaled on the tip of a Tokyo skyscraper after being shot down by Japanese fighter jets. Talk about your Downer Ending.
  • This is yet another one of the ways Alex Mercer can kill things in Prototype. Run people through with claws, cause spikes to erupt beneath them to eviscerate them, explode into tentacles that rip through everything in a city block, it's all good. The Supreme Hunter, sharing some of Alex's abilities, can do the same to him.
  • Lars Halford is killed by Lord Doviculus this way in Brutal Legend.
  • Silent Hill 2: One of Pyramid Head's preferred methods of execution.
  • All over the place in Quake; traps with spikes are quite common.
    • In Quake 4, Bidwell meets his end this way when he is impaled by the leg of a Strogg Harvester.
  • In Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, Layle does this to Bahamut, of all opponents, in a boss battle about three hours in. For bonus points, he skewers Bahamut with his own tail!
  • In the second Assassin's Creed game, the majority of Ezio's spear counter-kills involve spearing the various that come his way as an especially brutal way of finishing them off.
    • You can also throw spears at the enemies for long-range impalement.
  • Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards: How Kirby dispatches people with the Needle power. Needle + Needle takes this Up to Eleven by turning Kirby into a giant Swiss Army knife.
  • Lenneth's Finishing Move. Three spears stab her enemy and hold it in the air, while she summons an additional stupidly huge fourth spear that turns into a fricken dragon before she throws it. Tsubaki's finisher is a Shout-Out to this.
  • In Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica Croix Bartel's Limit Break has him doing this with maximum PENETRATION!!!
  • Impaling someone with Gungnir is Remillia Scarlet's signature attack in Touhou. In the fighting games, this attack can be made uninterruptible and unblockable. Well, she does claim descent from a certain Vlad.
  • Wesker impales Ozwell Spencer on his arm, and he can do the same to you. Post-Uroboros, he can impale you on a massive drill arm.
    • Fittingly enough, Wesker in the original Resident Evil is on the receiving end of Tyrant's very large, prong-based hand, resulting in him looking very much like a tomato salad. Wearing sunglasses. This can also happen to you.
  • In Godzilla: Unleashed, Destroyah can impale his enemies using his laser horn and then throw them behind him using his tail.
    • Likewise, Kiryu can use his energy sword to impale enemies and throw them.
    • Megalon takes this even further. Not only does he impale his enemies with his drill-like hands, he even spins them around before throwing them.
  • The video game for Spider-Man 3 was less discreet about Venom's demise. Follows a Disney Villain Death.
  • Dissidia Final Fantasy, particularly the prequel Duodecim, is in love with this trope. No less than five characters explicitly work impalement into their EX Bursts, more have attacks that explicitly evoke the idea (even if swords and spells are set to "stun"), and with application of Fridge Logic, the movesets of the Blade on a Stick users pretty much consist entirely of variations on impaling the enemy.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island, Guybrush does this to LeChuck with a botched spell that only manages to turn him human. However, LeChuck suddenly turns good and becomes an ally. However, LeChuck later reveals that he was faking it and does it to Guybrush himself and manages to kill him.
  • Painkiller has the Stake Launcher, which pins baddies to walls with entire trees.
  • In the sequel to No One Lives Forever, Cate Archer entire the katana-wielding kunoichi Isako at the end of the first level. After a short dialogue, Isako runs Archer through with her katana. However, sometime later, Archer is shown recovering nicely in a bed at UNITY headquarters. Apparently, UNITY agents were able to recover her quickly and save her, despite her supposedly being stabbed through the heart. Oh, well.
  • You can do this to people in Team Fortress 2 if you're a Sniper using The Huntsman (a bow). This troper enjoys nailing people to walls with it.
  • In Deus Ex Human Revolution, Adam Jensen, can have blades come out of his mechanical arms during lethal take downs, which he uses against his enemies in a manner that rivals Assassin's Creed in brutality. He can also take down two enemies at the same time for double Video Game Cruelty Potential.
  • Two examples in The Reconstruction: One is the Cryomancer, who is actually impaled by one of his own icicles.
    • The second example is Dehl's father, who, unlike the Cryomancer, is graphically impaled in an aversion of Bloodless Carnage. Also a case of Hoist by His Own Petard, as he's impaled by falling into a sword he left lying around.
    • I'm surprised by no mention of the Mortal Kombat games. The infamous pits through out the games are shear impalement fun(minis the second game, where the spikes are not at the bottom of the pit, but on top of the FUCKING CEILING!) Then There is Scorpeon's spear which is definitely tossed at the opponents with extreme prejudice(GET OVER HERE BITCH!) Then there is Baraka's arm blades going through you if you lose to him, or chose to do that fatality. And of course in MK 4 the spikes at the bottom of the continue screen if you chose not to continue....its a wonderful failure.
  • In Arkham City, Ra's Al Ghul. Not only does he get stabbed by his sword but also gets impaled the gates of Arkham City!
  • Demon's Souls has an example where a boss named Penetrator used his sword to impale the Fat Official that you have been chasing throughout the entire level. And he can do it to you too with the same results. You can also do this to the enemies too.
    • Dark Souls, Dragonslayer Onstein's most dangerous attack does this to the player while simultaneously shocking them with lightning. Abysswalker Artorias is seen doing this to a monster in one of the trailers for the Updated Rerelease.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning this can occur, among other things, when you do your fate reckoning, effectively creating a huge spike from the very Threads of Fate and jamming your victim onto it, thus killing them.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Menacing spike traps are hilarious about this. If a spike trap is activated while someone is standing on it, something bad will happen to that person. It gets worse for them as the material of the spike gets nastier. For added hilarity, falling from a higher level onto an active menacing spike - say, because the bridge the goblins were standing on was retracted - it counts as a successful activation too.

Visual Novels[edit | hide]

  • In one of the endings of Fatal Hearts, the vampire meets his end when the PC channels mystical strength to drive her hand through his chest and PUSH his heart out of his body. That's a romance that did not end well. For bonus points, it's implied that he ripped the heart out of a woman in the past in order to become a vampire in the first place.
  • Several Fate Stay Night characters get this treatment. Gilgamesh has an attack that launches hundreds of swords at one target; he uses it most memorably on Archer in the Unlimited Blade Works route,, mirroring how that Servant's human life ended, and Caster in the Fate route. And in the anime, we see Berserker impaled by dozens of swords after his fight with Archer—this was not an easy win.
    • And in Heaven's Feel, Shirou, overusing projection using Archer's left arm (which earlier replaced his own), gets to spend the last few minutes of his life getting skewered by swords. Swords slowly growing out from inside his body. In the Normal End we see him losing bit by bit his identity, memories and cognitive functions, until he dies in the process of Excaliiblasting Angra Mainyu. In the True End he is saved by Ilya at the last minute and put into a new body, at the cost of her life.
  • On the third Episode of Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Maria and Rosa die this way in the second twilight. At the end of the fourth Episode's Tea Party, Beatrice gets impaled by Battler's blue truth stakes after their duel. And at the fifth Episode, Battler gets this from a red longsword. He gets back up on his feet later on, and boy does he come back spectacularly.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • A number of characters in Survival of the Fittest die by being impaled in all three versions, but the one that fits this trope best (mostly in the "dispatching of a Big Bad" way) occurs at the end of v1 where Adam Dodd uses a katana to pin Cody Jenson to a tree, and then uses a knife to carve the word "Rapist" into his chest as he bleeds to death. Cody dies before Adam finishes carving, but he doesn't care.
  • The canonical Whateley Universe example: A student with the revealing codename 'Bloodwolf' decides to pick on the wrong little girl and ends up nailed to a tree by multiple railroad spikes. He lives -- regeneration is your friend --, but he hasn't tried that again since.
    • The same little girl gets stabbed through the heart with an athame much later and also survives through regeneration. Karmic retribution?
  • In Red vs. Blue: Revelation, Agent Texas is stabbed through the face with a two foot-long spike by the Meta
  • In the Xombie flash series, the fight with the zombie velociraptor ended with it impaled on the ribcage of a fallen dinosaur skeleton. Being a zombie, it was little more than an inconvenience, but it was enough to keep it in place long enough for its owner to arrive and befriend the heroes.
  • Penny, the designated love interest, is impaled and killed by a shard of the exploded Deathray gun near the end of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.


Webcomics[edit | hide]

  • Fafnir the Dragon: Vlad Tepes does this to some of his opponents. "Just like the good old days."
  • Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes: The sadistic Dellyn Goblinslayer falls into a sharp, upsticking bit of broken pipe during his duel with Thaco the old goblin monk. Although the impalement doesn't kill him, he probably wishes it did shortly thereafter, as he finds he cannot pull himself free and is effectively stuck, and Thaco is advancing on him with sword in hand and murder in his eyes...
    • and then horrifies him by...telling him he's Not Worth Killing, definitely not his nemesis, and then walking away.
  • In 8-Bit Theater White Mage gets (accidentally) impaled by a tendril of dark energy - caused by Black Mage whilst he's in 'full evil' mode.
    • And finishing an Rasputinian death-attempt, Vilbert von Vampire is impaled with the Armoire of Invincibility. It doesn't go through his heart, so he survives.
  • In Parallel Dementia Alexi sticks a pole from the base of a woman's skull so that it pokes through her mouth.
  • In MS Paint Masterpieces, one-shot villain Allegro is impaled with his own laser sword. Which wouldn't ordinarily count, except that said sword went through his face.
  • Mijuu of Juathuur gets impaled on a flower.
  • Penny Arcade makes fun of this in their strip about Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Gabriel Belmont is leaping down upon a hapless werewolf, who cries out, "Don't stake me, bro!"
  • Zeetha and Higgs have this happen to them in Girl Genius.
  • This seems to be the preferred way of offing characters in Homestuck. Bro, John (twice), Dream Nepeta and the White Queen were killed by Jack Noir in this fashion, though John recovers both times. Vriska kills Tavros this way with his own lance, and Terezi does the same to her in turn using her cane. In addition, many Mooks in the kids' session, as well as the Prospitian and Dersite royalty (and by extension, Jack Noir) and Davesprite, sheath swords through their chests by default as a result of Dave prototyping a crow accidentally skewered on a katana.
  • In Problem Sleuth, Mobster Kingpin befalls this fate by way of the Ham Needle after being defeated and falling all the way down.
  • A flashback in Twokinds, shows a couple of examples from when trace went on a rampage in a wolf village.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In Buzz Lightyear of Star Command, NOS-4-A2 eventually suffers this fate - the only major villain to be Killed Off for Real.
  • The Futurama episode "Anthology of Interest I" (with a section called "Terror at 500 Feet") has a 500 ft-tall Bender impaled on the Empire State Building.
    • Fry was impaled twice: once by a pipe shot from an exploding boiler, and once by a giant space bee.
      • Amusingly, neither injury was treated as serious, though in the latter case, we don't find that out until the end of the episode.
  • Saddam Hussein dies(?) this way in South Park: The Movie.
    • In an episode of the series Kenny dies by getting impaled on a flagpole, then sliding to the bottom of it.
  • Ursula in The Little Mermaid winds up speared by the broken spar of a ship. In an original draft, she was actually going to be impaled by the Trident.
  • Mel Gibson on The Simpsons impales a member of Congress on a flagpole, complete with waving Stars and Stripes.
    • Also spoofed, when in a scene from one of Wolfcastle's movies (where he is playing a nerd character in a highschool setting) he impales a bully with...another bully.
    • In "Treehouse of Horror XI", Groundskeeper Willy is cleaning a window when a dolphin jumps through it... and through him.
  • Rampage from Beast Wars, a seemingly-unkillable Predacon mutant meets his end when Depth Charge runs a spike of pure energon through his spark. Depth Charge is killed in the resulting explosion.
  • The Ren and Stimpy episode "Pixie King" at one point has Ren impaled on a giant bee stinger.
  • Has happened many times in Happy Tree Friends.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • A not entirely uncommon, though very harsh, medieval punishment. A certain Wallachian Voivode named Vlad III, whose surname would later be used for the lord of all vampires, used this punishment to put the fear of god into his numerically superior enemies. And just anyone he hated. Or was annoyed by.
    • To be fair, a lot of those stories were made up by his enemies to discredit Vlad. While people and especially rulers in the Dark Ages tend to be brutal jerkasses by todays standards, there are multiple sources which indicate that the people of Transylvania even liked him. He was seen as a strict, but very fair ruler, and there are no indications that he was more violent than any other king during his period.
      • They may not have all been made up, due to the fact that the nickname his Turkish enemies gave him translates to "The Impaler Lord" and that according to history- the infamous "Forest of the Dead" he had created made a pursuing Turkish (a superpower in that era known for their own barbarity) army commander vomit, and then retreat in fear.[4]
  • Indians of Northeastern America would impale captives, then burn them alive.
  • As mentioned in the Detective Conan example, there exist a number of tall buildings with flagpoles in front of them in Real Life. Invariably, urban legends (sometimes true) spring up of suicide jumpers missing the ground and hitting the pole instead, resulting in this trope.
  • A hand rail impaled Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in a bus accident. Which was probably the least painful of her injuries.
  • Gather round and hear the story of Phineas Gage. While working on a railroad crew laying track in 1848, a dynamite mishap projected a metal rod 1.25 inches wide through his cheek and jaw, then behind his left eyeball, finally exiting through the top of his skull and landing 80 feet away. Despite both of his frontal lobes being damaged, Gage was sitting up and speaking within a few minutes. His skull is on display at the Countway Library of Medicine.
    • Of course, he spent the rest of his life Not Himself. The only upside is that biologists learned more about what frontal lobe damage does to a person.
    • Gage was essentially the first example of a frontal lobotomy—contrary to myth, however, his case did not inspire the medical procedure (his symptoms weren't anything people would want to replicate).
  • Newbie insect-collectors sometimes fail to use a killing jar properly, and pin their specimens while they are unconscious rather than dead. A pin through the thorax is fatal, albeit not instantaneously.
  • There was a story on A Thousand Ways to Die about an overzealous gym teacher lecturing his students about throwing a javelin. This doesn't end how you think it does. After throwing the javelin the teacher ran to get it back, but was looking over his shoulder while doing so, not looking where he was going. at the very last moment he turned around, and was stabbed through the right eye up into his brain by the end of the javelin. He was killed instantly, but was held standing upright by the javelin in his head, which was gruesome for the students to look at when they eventually came over to see why he was just standing there. This falls into Eye Scream territory.
  • In line with the many examples of the "baddie pulls himself up the spear to fight" subtrope, boar-hunting spears are forged with large crossguards to prevent this sort of thing from happening.
  • This is how Mapuche chieftain Caupolican was executed by the Spanish conquistadores, according to his legend.
  • In the US Army's SL-1 nuclear accident, one of the operators was impaled on the ceiling by a control rod when he attempted to pull it out.
    • Note that it was the only control rod in the reactor. Its servo had a tendency to stuck, though, so when this happened a technician tried to help the motor with his hands. He was so successful, though, that instead of couple of inches he managed to pull the rod almost completely, King Arthur-style. The reactor immediately went prompt-critical, flashing the cooling water into steam and shooting the rod (with the unlucky guy) into the roof, impaling him.
  • Legend has it that Edward II died this way, involving a red hot poker up a very sensitive place.
  • Shrikes, those adorable lil' birdies, are known for their habit of impaling insects and small vertebrates on thorns. This helps them to tear the flesh into smaller, bite-sized fragments, and also allows them to store uneaten portions for later. Hey, they don't call 'em butcher birds for nothing!

Notes

  1. She's called "The Undying Mage" for a reason.
  2. see "Real Life" below for the origin of that name
  3. i.e. American students
  4. What's not commonly known is that Turkish commander was Vlad's own brother.