Nothing Left to Do But Die
One of the reasons that Immortality or pseudo-immortality sometimes sucks is boredom. Eventually you've seen everything, done everything, eaten everything, had sex with everything that's a consenting adult in every possible way, and you haven't read, seen, heard or played anything for a thousand years that seemed truly new or original. So, it's time to end it all.
This is when a pseudo-immortal (can die in some particular way but doesn't die of old age) character decides to kill themselves simply because they're bored.
Can occasionally happen with a character with human lifespan, if they're very old or if their life has been very eventful.
See "Seen It All" Suicide for when a disposable character is shown to do this as a gag to hammer home how weird some event they've just seen is.
- Inverted in an advertisement for high-end bathroom fixtures, when a bedridden grandmother reassures her gathered relatives that she's already experienced everything good in life, so is content to pass on. Then she glances out a window and notices the fancy new tub in a neighbor's bathroom, and uses her last breath to curse that she missed her chance to try it.
- Shiba from Zombie Loan kills himself just because he was bored with life, but wound up being the undead Big Bad of a Story Arc.
- This is Maiza's reasoning for approaching Firo and asking the kid to kill him (more specifically, he's both Seen It All and finally received closure over his Dead Little Brother) at the end of the first arc of Baccano!!. Firo's response is to nod, smile...and then give a number of entirely bullshit reasons for why he can't do that, Dave, before admitting that he really just doesn't want to lose his mentor.
- DC Comics: this was the origin story of the first Mr. Terrific, who was seriously considering suicide because he was just too damn good at everything to find anything interesting anymore. Then he discovered crime-fighting. Problem solved.
- After shooting and burying his nemesis Spider-Man, Kraven had no further goals and committed suicide.
- One of the possible motivations for Morpheus's probable suicide in Sandman.
- The plot of Cory Doctorow's novel Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom is driven by a character's desire to commit suicide after succeeding in his life's mission to convince every human being on earth to join the Bitchun Society, since they cured death a long time ago. Because he put it off too long for it to count as going out with a bang, he couldn't go through with it, and so the protagonist spends the rest of the book helping him try to top it.
- Larry Niven wrote a short story set in the Draco Tavern called The Schumann Computer where the title AI does this. The builders/investors are then told that this eventually happens to every AI.
- In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, 2,000 year old Lazarus Long thinks he really has seen it all and decides to die. He only agrees to continue living if someone can find something he hasn't yet experienced.
- His millions of descendants, who practically worship him, manage to develop two things; a pair of female clones of him, and a time machine.
- In Harry Potter, Nicolas and Perenelle Flamel okay the destruction of the Philosopher's Stone because they've had enough of life and are ready to move on. Of course, this choice is less remarkable than most because they've both been alive since the fourteenth century.
- He's also nearing his 666'th birthday (depending on when the book Hermione was reading from was published).
- Paulo Coelho's Veronica Decides To Die. The titular character decides that she's seen all that there is to be seen in life (at age 24), and that once she gets old, everything will only go downhill from there.
- Subverted in Robots and Empire. Gladia describes to a Settler how the long-lived Spacers someday reach a point when life becomes boring, and they feel they have seen it all. However, when he asks her how common suicide is on her planet, the answer is "Zero. We are surrounded by "Three Laws"-Compliant robots who cannot allow suicide."
- Referenced in The Restaurant At The End Of The Universe. The planet Ursa Minor Beta is so beautiful that when a travel guide announced, "When you are tired of Ursa Minor Beta you are tired of life", the suicide rate there quadrupled overnight.
- Strata by Terry Pratchett has really good life-extension treatment that effectively leads to immortality. People still tend to die after three hundred years or so, though. Generally it's not technically suicide, it's just that they get bored enough that only increasingly risky stunts hold any interest for them, and eventually the risk doesn't pan out.
- In Grendel, by Larry Niven, Larchmont Bellamy dies of a case of this.
- H. Beam Piper wrote a story titled "Last Enemy," about a culture that had accepted reincarnation as a scientifically proven fact. As a result, they'd developed a rather different attitude toward death—it was, at worst, a (temporary) inconvenience; often enough, it was a social event. "Evidently when the Akor-Neb people get tired of their current reincarnation they invite in their friends, throw a big party, and then do themselves in in an atmosphere of general conviviality."
- Isaac Asimov's The Last Answer (not to be confused with the more widely known The Last Question) deals with a superior entity which turns out to have created universe and everything in it, but isn't in fact any sort of god as imagined by humankind. It has grown to know everything, with the exception of anything concerning its own origin and ending. Thus it collects countless intellects from the universe, and gives them just one thing to do: think. The intellects soon find out that they can do nothing else as they are disembodied, and even suicide is easily reversed by the entity; left with no alternatives, all the intellects eventually resolve to find a way to destroy the entity so they themselves can cease existing. The entity is satisfied, for that is exactly why it has created the intellects in the first place.
"For what could any Entity, conscious of eternal existence, want – but an end?"
- Shows up in Star Trek: Voyager, where one member of the Q continuum, bored from reliving eternity from start to finish, begs sanctuary on Voyager so as to be able to commit suicide. Which he eventually manages, with the help of the Q who had originally argued against him. A quite literal case of committing suicide after having seen everything. Multiple times. From every possible point of view.
Q: "We've all been the scarecrow."
- In True Blood, Godric, a bored 2000-year-old vampire, decides to stay in the sun.
- "Bored" may be the wrong word. Godric has seen human death and suffering in all variations, and his attempts to end vampire-human conflict goes poorly. He may just be tired of the futile cycles vampires and humans go through.
- A dramatic version of this was the originally explanation for Gideon's disappearance on Criminal Minds after Mandy Patinkin quit. However, Patinkin refused to do that scene and it was changed to an indefinite road trip.
- In the Twilight Zone episode Time Enough at Last, Henry Bemis is the only survivor of an H-bomb. Since almost everything is destroyed, there is not much to do. This upsets Bemis and he pounds his hands on his knees and says "If only there was something to do!" He sees a gun and puts it up to his head to shoot himself, but he sees a library and doesn't shoot himself.
- Happened in Exalted- in the First Age, some Celestial Exalted died because they were just bored and wanted to start over.
- Not quite suicide, but similar: in the Classic D&D game, characters who attain supreme Immortal status, but get bored with playing super-godlings, can forfeit their Immortality to be reborn as a mortal again. Characters who do this once, then work their way up to supreme Immortal status again, Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and are permanently removed from play.
- Some tabletop RPG players, not realizing that it's possible to simply retire a player character if they've gotten bored with it, have had their PCs commit suicide so they can roll up a new one.
- In Scion, there's a character named Niobe. Ever hear the story from Greek Mythology about how the gods created a cloud that looked like Hera to test Ixion's intentions? She was that cloud. She's lived for thousands of years, taken hundreds of husbands and borne thousands of children, and she can't die. Even if someone kills her, she comes back a few minutes later. Players can get on her good side by either rejuvenating her will to live or coming up with a way to end her life for good. (A major reason to do so: she always knows where the Golden Fleece is.)
- Common when people have run out of things to do in EVE Online, and often can be justified as in-character.
- This site suggests the possibility that humanity could all one day evolve into a super intelligent singularity, learn everything there is to learn, get bored and decide to end their own existence.
- Apparently the result of drinking "the perfect drink" as brewed by SCP-294.
Subject later committed suicide, leaving a note which read "I'm sorry, but at this point everything's just one big letdown." Requesting such a drink again is highly discouraged.
- Raocow, during his Let's Play of Vip 5 (a Super Mario World hack). Upon seeing the overworld map for the first time, he scrolls around the whole screen to look at everything, then he stops talking so he can hum along with the background music. Then:
Raocow: Well, now I've got an argument that life isn't worth living anymore, because I doubt I'll ever experience anything better ever in my life. So, um, this is the last video ever I'll ever make as I'm going to end my life shortly. See y'all in the afterlife.
- Chuck Jones' Cheese Chasers uses this and "Seen It All" Suicide. Two mice discover that they have eaten every type of cheese there is and decide to commit suicide by cat. Their efforts cause the cat to go mad and try to commit its own suicide by letting a bulldog "massacre" him, driving the dog mad as well.
- In another Jones cartoon, "The Scarlet Pumpernickel", Daffy Duck's script ends with this: "There was nothing left for the Scarlet Pumpernickel to do but blow his brains out, which he does." And so does Daffy. Being Looney Tunes, however, he recovered. "It's getting so you have to kill yourself to sell a story around here."
- Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths: Owlman becomes an Omnicidal Maniac through an extreme version of this trope.
Owlman: It doesn't matter.
- Futurama does a version of this in "The Late Phillip J. Fry". After witnessing Earth become nothing more than a charred, dead planet and there being no way to get home, Fry suggests to Farnsworth and Bender that they might as well watch the universe end, and with nothing else to do, they agree.
- Actor George Sanders committed suicide and left a note behind saying he'd done it because he was bored.
- Same with Hunter S. Thompson, though he also claimed to have done it because he had been alive for seventeen more years than he actually wanted to be. His family states it was a well-thought out act resulting from Thompson's many painful and chronic medical conditions.
- Also George Eastman, the creator of Kodak left a note saying "To my Friends, My work is done. Why wait?"
- This also appears to be the reason for Ernest Hemingway's suicide, as well.
- An old Italian saying: "Vedi Napoli e poi mori" (See Naples and die) plays with this trope. It can mean that after seeing beautiful Naples, you can die happily. Joke is, it can also mean "See Naples and then Mori" (Mori is a town in northern Italy).
- Naples is also an Italian euphemism for Hell. So it can also be interpreted as something along the lines of "See Hell and die." (Va fa napoli, or something very close, is essentially the Italian bowdlerised version of Go to Hell.)
- The possibility of this was invoked by Dr Johnson when he stated, "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life." (Parodied in the Douglas Adams example in the Literature section.)
- Certain real-world religions allow suicide in this situation, usually by self-starvation and often only for those considered particularly spiritually advanced, including Hinduism, Jainism, and in the past Japanese Buddhism and Catharism.
- Greek philospher Democritus, father of atomism, allegedly decided to starve to death once he had reached the age of 100, stating that he has lived enough and wanted to die with dignity.