Pre-Mortem One-Liner

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Jump to navigation Jump to search

"When you kill your enemy, you wanna look in his eyes so he knows you're the one who beat 'im to death!... It also gives you the chance to give off some really zippy one-liners. Like, 'I hope you brought your wallet, because the rent in hell gets paid in advance!' Or my personal favorite, 'You just got Sarged!'"

SargeRed vs. Blue

What's better than killing your most hated enemy? Sending them into the afterlife with your voice in their ears and the knowledge of your badassery in their head, that's what.

This finishing quote need not be a One-Liner, but the longer your little speech goes, the more likely the bad guy will find some way to evade your intended killing blow or worse, make you Talk to the Fist. Consequently, Genre Savvy heroes are advised to just Kill Him Already and save the pithy quotes for immediately afterwards. Of course, sometimes (as in the Heroes and Matrix examples) it seems that a Pre-Mortem One-Liner somehow paralyzes your enemy while you deliver it, or maybe they're just courteous.

The monstrous equivalent is less articulate. Not to be confused with a Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner, which is used at the beginning of a fight; these quotes are used to end the fight. Also related but different is a one-liner delivered when escaping from battle.

Compare with See You in Hell. Contrast Bond One-Liner, aka Post Mortem One Liner which is a humorous aside for the audience. If the victim is the one speaking, it's Defiant to the End.

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

Examples of Pre-Mortem One-Liner include:


Anime and Manga

  • Many characters from Dragonball Z are fond of these, particularly Vegeta. Although after 70% of them, it turns out the target is OK after all.
  • In Bleach, after Avirama berates Kira for not fighting like a warrior should and Kira traps him with his sword underneath his neck, ready to decapitate him:

Kira: "A warrior does not beg for his life."

    • Mayuri Kurotsuchi, after incapacitating Szayel Aporro Granz with the superhuman drug and a sword to the chest, not quite piercing his heart.

Kurotsuchi: Alright, then. Enjoy the next hundred years.

  • Fist of the North Star: "You Are Already Dead."
  • Death Note's Light Yagami: "I win, Near." Unfortunately for Light, about five seconds after said one liner is delivered, we discover that Near is one step ahead of the game and has set events in motion to counteract Light's grand plan. The Pre-Mortem One-Liner instead becomes a confession.
    • That's only his last one, he actually uses "Good bye (Name of the victim)" several times, "Good bye Lind L. Taylor" "Good bye Raye Pember" "Good Bye, Naomi Misora" probably to gloat in the fact that he can kill them because he knows their names.
      • "Why do you keep looking at your watch?" "Oh that? That's because I'm Kira."
  • Hellsing's Alucard when he kills Luke Valentine: "I'm a dog? Then you're dog food."
  • Guts from Berserk: "When you meet your god, tell him to LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE!!!"
  • Kiyomaro was fond of using "Checkmate" for awhile in Konjiki no Gash Bell.
  • Aya gets a number of these in Weiss Kreuz. Particularly notable examples:

"I am neither the devil nor Death. I am just a murderer," just before killing Wunder X.
"Don't look. It's the death of a man whose life is not worth living," to Kaori just before Ken unloads a shotgun into the villain's mouth in the OAV.

  • When manga artist Rohan Kishibe defeats Cheap Trick in part four of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure by tricking it into getting dragged off to the afterlife. Before it goes, he uses his stand, Heaven's Gate, to open Cheap Trick like a book and write in a command. "I don't know if there is a Heaven or a Hell. But just in case, I will write... GO TO HELL!"
  • In the manga of Fullmetal Alchemist, straddling the line between this and Bond One-Liner (being said after the killing blow but before actual death) is Major-General Armstrong's "You are among the weak who will become the foundation of this country," as she pushes General Raven into a wet concrete floor after stabbing him. Not only is it a pun, it echoes the Social Darwinist speech Raven had just been giving her.
    • Ed's defeat of the two brothers in Lab 5 fits this. Specifically, his line just before blasting their Animated Armor body in half using Scar's signature trick:

Edward: "I just remembered this guy I don't like."

    • In first anime, Roy gets one before killing King Bradley, who has been revealed as a homunculus.

Mustang: "I don't know how long you've lived, Fuhrer, or how many times you've cheated death, but not anymore." *sets Bradley/Pride on fire* "It's the end of the line."

Kallen: "What do you value most, Vampire of Britannia? That's right, your own pitiful life!"
Bradley: "You think an Eleven can threaten me!?"
Kallen: "Send a postcard."

  • Medabots' Metabee ends his fights like this every time his Medaforce is activated in the dub.
  • At the end of the first episode of the Read or Die OVA, Nancy uses one of these just before she applies an anchor to Otto Lilienthal's glider, sending him spiraling to his death on the Statue of Liberty. "Thanks for flying the friendly skies."
  • Macross Frontier at the end of Episode 24: "Be scattered to the ends of the galaxy." Delivered by Brera Sterne just before he blows a meter-wide hole in Alto's fighter, which explodes shortly afterward.
  • Shikamaru of Naruto to Hidan: "Right now, the god you should be worried about isn't your stupid Jashin or anyone else; it's me... because I'm the one who's about to pass judgement."
  • "A god that man can perceive is no god! *BLAM*
  • Black Lagoon has a number of these, given it's a 26-episode love letter to '80s Hollywood action. Revy vs the neo-nazi captain is a good example.

Revy: Say hi to the Führer for me, would ya? *BANG*

  • Ninja Scroll: Genma, BURN IN YOUR GOLDEN HELL!!
  • In episode 21 of the gag spin-off series The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi-chan, Ms. Mori the maid delivers the following line while in the air, just before drop kicking (and deliberately missing) Tsuruya:

Mori: I'll respect your strength and give you a piece of advice: there's always somebody above you!

Comic Books

Red Skull: I am God!
Captain America (comics): Then I'm Nietzsche.

Maul: What could you hate enough to destroy me?
Vader: Myself.

  • Bullseye before killing a group of Mooks with a handful of screws:

"Screw you!"

  • The Dark Knight Returns: A variation, where the winner of the climactic fight dies, after delivering his last line: "I want you to remember the one man who beat you."
  • In The Punisher MAX story are, "Long Cold Dark", Frank comes up with a suitable reply to Barracuda's endless chatter:

Frank: "Shut the FUCK up." (Empties an AK-47 into his head)


    • And again when he's got a gun stuck in Nathan Twist's mouth:
  • Subverted and played straight at the same time in a Star Wars: Clone Wars comic. Adi Gallia, member of the Jedi Council member, is dueling General Grievous and her attempted pre-mortem one liner is countered by his actual pre-mortem one liner:

Gallia: You'd better hope they gave you deflector shields.
Grievous: No. Just extra arms. (Crushes her throat with aforementioned arms)

Fan Works

Eija: Do you wish to drown in blood?! Well I can do that for you!

Dread Raven: I'm going to turn you into ashes.

Kyubey: You?
Kyubey: And what word is that?
Dalek Sec: EX-TER-MINATE!!! *blasts Kyubey*


  • Silent Night Deadly Night Part 2 has the infamous "GARBAGE DAY!"
  • Full Contact: "Then masturbate in Hell!"
  • Dirty Harry has his famous speech, which is actually an offer for his enemy to surrender. The second time he gives it, at the end of the film, is very much in keeping with this trope, as Harry Callahan is in no mood to let Scorpio live after all he's done:

Harry: I know what you're thinking, punk. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, I've forgotten myself in all this excitement. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've gotta ask yourself a question: "Do I feel lucky?" Well, do ya, punk?!

"Go ahead. Make my day."

Paul Kersey: [notices that the punk has a cross] Do you believe in Jesus?
Punk: Yes, I do.
Paul Kersey: Well, you're gonna meet him.

Bergman (Danny DeVito): Don't you want to hear my last words?
Joe (Gene Hackman): I just did.

Little Bill: I'll See You in Hell, William Munny.
Munny: Yeah. (Shoots Little Bill in the face)

    • A bit anticlimactic, but blowing someone's head off is a fairly snappy retort all its own.
      • The preceding exchange should also qualify.

Little Bill: I don't deserve this. To die like this. I was building a house...
Munny: Deserve's got nothing to do with it.

No living man can hinder me!
But no living man am I. You look upon a woman.

    • From the same movie:

Worf: "Assimilate this."

Kirk: I got your gun.

  • The Thing. You can't really give him points for eloquence, but MacReady's One-Liner before blowing up the title monster is memorable enough:

MacReady: "Yeah, fuck you too!"

Evil Alien Bastard: I come in peace.
Dolph Lundgren: And you go in pieces, asshole.

Chucky: "Andy, no! We're friends to the end, remember?"
Andy: "This IS the end, friend!"

Frank Nitti: I said your friend died screaming like a stuck Irish pig. Now you think about that when I beat the rap.
Eliot Ness (pushing Nitti off the roof): Did he sound anything like that?

  • True Lies: "You're fired", just as Arnie fires a missile on his Marine Harrier fighter, from which a terrorist who attempted to blow up Miami is hanging, sending it through a building and into a terrorist helicopter. After a prolonged fight on the Harrier.
    • Nicolas Cage in a similar situation in The Rock (though firing at the enemy): "Well, I only bring it up because, uh, it's you. You're the Rocket Man."
      • He also does one while "force-feeding" Deadly Gas to a mook: "Eat that, you fuck!"
    • Hmm, while we're at it, here are a few more Arnold Schwarzenegger comedy gems:
      • SCHKROO EWE!! (Screw YOU!!) Literally doing this to a villain with a power drill in Total Recall.
      • Knock Knock!! After bursting throught a door into a room full of soon-to-be-dead soldiers in Predator.
        • Since you've mentioned Predator, Danny Glover in the second movie: "That's right asshole, shit happens!".
        • Predators has a Russian saying in his mother language: "You're one ugly motherfucker!"
      • Need a lift? (Throwing a guard off a ledge) and How about a light before incinerating Fireball in The Running Man.
    • "No sequel for you." in Last Action Hero.
      • Lampshaded once he gets to the real world. "You've seen those movies where they say 'Make my day' or 'I'm your worst nightmare'? Well, listen to this one. Rubber baby buggy bumpers!"
    • "Let off some steam, Bennett." From Commando. After Arnie impales the Dragon-in-Chief with a broken pipe, which cuts into a steam vent and causes steam to shoot out of the whole in his body. Yeah.

Matrix: Remember when I said that I'd kill you last?
Sully: Yeah! Yeah, you did say that!
Matrix: I Lied.

Inigo Montoya: Offer me money.
The Six-Fingered Man: Yes!
Inigo Montoya: Power, too, promise me that.
The Six-Fingered Man: All that I have and more. Please...
Inigo Montoya: Offer me anything I ask for.
The Six-Fingered Man: Anything you want...
Inigo Montoya: I want my father back, you son of a bitch!

  • The Beast of War (1988). The Soviet tank crew leave Koverchenko tied to a rock for the Afghan rebels after he threatens to report them. As one of them places a grenade with the pin out under Koverchenko's head he says: "If you want anything, just nod."
  • In Hot Fuzz...well, let's just let the main characters explain it.

Danny Butterman: How's Lurch?
Nicholas Angel: He's in the freezer.
Danny: Did you say "cool off"?
Nicholas: No, I didn't say anything actually.
Danny: Shame.
Nicholas: There was a bit earlier that you missed when I distracted him with the cuddly monkey, then I said "playtime's over," and I hit him with the peace lily.
Danny: (pumps shotgun) You're off the fuckin' chain!

    • According to Word of God , the pun "rest in peas" didn't even occur to them until a friend mentioned it after the first screening.
    • What about the scene with the kid shoplifting biscuits? Inspector Butterman tells Nicholas that he'll get his "just desserts." Of course, it's only revealed to be a Pre-mortem One Liner late in the movie, when Nicholas finds the boy's body buried with the rest of the NWA's victims. Then again, most of Skinner's comments prior to the nasty "accidents" that make up the first two thirds of the film might well apply.
      • "It's not your village any more!"
  • Detective Spooner's last exchange to V.I.K.I. is like this:

V.I.K.I.: You are making a mistake. My logic is undeniable.
Detective Spooner: You have so got to die. He then injects nanites into V.I.K.I, killing her.

  • Tony Stark tries this several times. The first, after being hit (in a primitive Iron Man suit) with a lot of bullets, he hisses, "My Turn!" and proceeds to cause lots of explosions in a munitions dump.
    • Later with an improved version of the suit, he punches through a wall to get at one of the terrorists who had imprisoned him, pulls him through the wall, and drops him in front of the villagers saying, "He's all yours."
  • This one from the end of Blade: "Some motherfuckers are always tryin' to iceskate uphill."
    • Or the line from Blade 2 "You obviously do not know who you are fucking with!"
  • Optimus Prime: "Give me your face!" (would qualify if he hadn't meant it literally...) "I rise, you fall!" kinda counts, as The Fallen is dying as Optimus says it.
    • Another literal example: "You want a piece of me, Megatron?! You want a piece?!" "NO! I want TWO!"
    • In Dark of the Moon

Megatron: Besides, who would you be without me, Prime?
Optimus Prime: Time to find out. (closes face mask)

Elle Driver: That's right. I killed your master. And now I'm gonna kill you too, with your own sword, no less, which in the very immediate future, will become... my sword.
The Bride: Bitch. You don't have a future.

Dibs: I've got the power! I've got the treasure!
Carrigan: And you have a flight to catch!
Dibs: Huh?
[Carrigan flings Dibs out the window]

  • An indirect albeit amazingly badass example can be found at the end of Batman Begins, when Batman leaves Ra's Al Ghul stranded on a train that's about to crash and explode:

Batman: I won't kill you... but I don't have to save you.

Kahmunrah: What are you?
Larry: I'm the nightguard.

As he knocks out an enemy mook - "I can't see you any more."
And upon coming face to face with the film's supposed Big Bad - "In the name of the damned Inquisition, I hereby adjourn this meeting!"

  • Tank Girl. Both Tank Girl and Jet Girl.
    • After dropping a bucket of water on Kesslee's head and shorting him out:

Tank Girl: Have I hurt you yet?

    • As Jet Girl points a gun at her sexual harasser Sergeant Small:

Sergeant Small: Fuck Me!
Jet Girl: How many times do I have to tell you? I don't want to! [shoots him]

  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, just before Flint uses the kill code on the FLDSMDFR, he says, "Sorry, old friend, kitchen's closed."
    • Sort of wasted when it's revealed that he didn't have the right code. However, he got another one when he sealed up the machine's exhaust with a coating, saying "When it rains, be sure to put on a coat!"
  • In Independence Day, Russell K flies up to one of the alien ships and screams: "In the words of my generation: UP YOURS!!!!!!!" then collides with the aliens' death weapon and destroys the entire ship


Alice: Off with your head!

Jack to Oogie Boogie: "How dare you treat my friends so shamefully!"

Jim West: No more Mr. Knife Guy.

  • The Crow: "Is that gasoline I smell?"
    • Averted. Gideon survives.
    • T-Bird gives one to himself that is rather fitting, as it was from Shelly's book that he took on the night she was killed: "Abashed the devil stood, and felt how awful goodness was."
  • The 1991 biker film Stone Cold:

"Chains" Cooper:This reminds me of my father's last words: "Don't son, that gun is loaded!"

The Old Man: "Dick, you're fired!"
RoboCop: "Thank you."

Nobody hurts my horse!

  • Judge Dredd: "Court's adjourned."
  • The Running Man: Stalker Buzzsaw is about to cut Ben Richards (Arnold Schwarzenegger) in half with his chainsaw and says, "I love this saw. It's a part of me. Now I'm gonna make it part of you. Richards turns the chainsaw back on him and before lifting it in between his legs to cut him half, says "That's okay. Keep it."
  • The Devil's Advocate has versions of this, notably several pages worth by John Milton as his demons pursue Eddie Barzoon (although the speech is not for the benefit of Barzoon). Also, Kevin Lomax's simple statement of "Free will", before launching his kamikaze ploy.
  • Unknown: "I didn't forget everything. I remember how to kill you, asshole."
  • How can we forget Freddy Krueger?

Before pulling a girl's head into the TV: Welcome to Prime Time, bitch!
How sweet. Fresh meat.
Before pulling a kid into his water-bed: How's this for a wet dream?
Before sucking the air out of a girl: Wanna suck face?
No screaming while the bus is in motion!
Before cutting off a kid's ear: Oh, Carlos. Lend me your ear.
Before shooting a bunch of gas canisters at Jason Voorhees: Man the torpedoes!
Hey! Asshole! Up here!

Brick Top: Pete, talk to me!
Traveller: If you want your friend to hear you, you'll have to talk a lot louder than that. [Boom! Headshot!]

  • Paul: This one had a comedic variant. One of the guys out to capture/kill the alien Paul keeps going on about how he's on a mission from God. The FBI agent also pursuing Paul (and, as it turns out, actually on his side) gives us this gem: "Tell him you failed. *headshot*"
  • Con Air has "You're not getting near my daughter. Buckle up!" and "Cy..." "...onara!"
  • Hollow Man: "Go to Hell" (just as she drops him into an... inferno)
  • Innerspace: "Well buddy, this is how I spell relief!"
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (movie and Arcade Game): "MOLA RAM - you're about to meet Kali - in HELL!"
  • Grosse Pointe Blank -- "Popcorn!"
  • Battleship: Cora gets one in as an alien footsoldier standing on the deck of a ship finds himself standing directly in the line of fire of one of the turreted guns.

Mahalo, mother-*BOOM*

    • A veteran manages to one-up her later.

Let's pump some lead into these mother-FIRE!


  • In Michael Crichton's Timeline, the douchey Big Bad's attempt to mock the hero turns back against him. He had been telling the hero he would have to 'watch his death happen,' but when the hero finds a way to burn him alive before exploding him into pieces, he charmingly repeats the Badman's douchey line 'Watch it happen,' which sounds infinitely more badass in our hero's mouth.
  • In an otherwise thoroughly disposable trash novel in a series I think was called The Wingman:

Wounded, Half-Dead Adversary: Am I going to die?
Wingman: Yes.
WHDA: How can you be sure?
Wingman: Because I'm going to pull this trigger.

  • In Hamlet: "Follow my mother," as Hamlet kills Claudius. Damn that was cathartic.
    • In some versions when the above line is cut, the PMOL duty falls to the equally cathartic "The point envenomed too? Then venom, TO THY WORK!"
  • In a Spelljammer novel The Maelstrom's Eye happened when a half-kender who "studied art of some kind" in "some place called Kozakura" decided she's a Combat Pragmatist after all. So she picked up a double-barrelled scro harpoon-bombard and walked to the thing's previous owner, about twice her height.
  • In the Alex Rider book Crocodile Tears, Desmond McCain, the villain, is about to shoot Alex, and says "You're going on a short journey to Hell." Alex has, in fact, just sent a barrel of petrol with an armed explosive device rolling towards him, and just before it explodes, killing him instantly, he replies to this with "Let me know what that's like."
  • Dresden Files:

Duchess Adrianna: Cattle. You are c-cattle.
Harry Dresden: Moo.

    • Although if his first shot had succeeded beforehand his phrase would have been "Bitch, Come get some." Which would have also worked well.
  • Outcast of Redwall: "You have lived like a coward, now die like a soldier, sah!"
  • In Stephen King's Wolves of the Calla, a character tells the legend of Lady Oriza, who, before killing Gray Dick, who killed her father, tells him this: "May your first day in hell last ten thousand years, and may it be the shortest."
  • In the novel version of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, before Dark Vader kills Gunray:

Gunray: "Please! He said... we'd be left in peace!"
Vader: "The transmission was garbled. He said you'd be left in pieces."

  • Ciaphas Cain, Cain's Last Stand: "Commissar Donal sends his regards."
  • Bored of the Rings: "...and this is your gall bladder, right above your chitlins!"
  • Classic example from Ashes of Victory: Oscar Saint-Just: "So now what? A big show trial before execution? Proof of my "crimes" for the proles and the newsies?" Thomas Theisman: "No. I think we've seen enough of those sorts of trials. Good-bye, Citizen Chairman."
  • A Storm of Swords has a particularly dark one from Roose Bolton before he slays Robb Stark.

Roose: Jaime Lannister sends his regards.

    • An even darker one comes from Ser Gregor Clegane, before he crushes Oberyn Martell's skull.

Gregor: Elia of Dorne. I killed her screaming whelp. Then I raped her. Then I smashed her fucking head in. Like this.

  • In Sidhe-Devil, Rudi Bergmonk catches the man most responsible for him being forced to kill his eldest brother. The guy tries to surrender. Rudi, a crook who's working with Doc Sidhe only in order to avenge his brother, replies, "You've mistaken me for one of the good [guys]." Bang.
  • A slight subversion in Eoin Colfer's The Wish List, considering both people involved are already dead. Meg Finn has earned her final reward and is on the fast track up the tunnel towards Heaven, but the dog/human hybrid spirit of Belch Brennan attempts to drag her in the opposite direction, prompting (according to Saint Peter afterwards) the first instance of violence in the tunnel, accompanied by this:

Belch, you can go to Hell! (kick to the face)

  • Toward the end of Low Fantasy Shy Leopardess by Leslie Barringer, seventeen-year-old Duchess Yolande has trapped her sadistic, treacherous husband in a fairly confined space, surrounded by and beneath Yolande and her most loyal supporters — all armed with bows or crossbows. She takes the time to let him know that his treason against the king has been exposed and foiled, but the last thing she says before they start shooting is a reminder of his first act of cruelty to her (the italics are in the original text): "It was very foolish of you to kill my kitten."[1]

Live-Action TV

  • In Heroes, Thompson tries one while doing a Click. "Hello."... but Noah Bennet (AKA Horn-Rimmed Glasses) does it on him on him instead.

Thompson: "What am I thinking now, Parkman?"
HRG: "Your last thought." [shoots Thompson]

    • Sylar gets a good one while killing Ted, after flipping over the security van transporting him.

Ted: I'm hurt!
Sylar: Let me help you with that. * slices off the top of his head*

    • Noah does one to Sylar (though he ends up resurrecting): "Poor Gabriel. You always wanted to be special. Look at you now. You're nobody."
  • iCarly: Attempted by Spencer when he surprises Sam by hiding inside her locker. Sam slams the locker shut in his face, and he lampshades the trope:

Spencer: (annoyed at himself) I've gotta quit saying witty things before I blow.

  • Twenty Four season three, "No, you don't," as Jack kills Nina.
  • Chuck has Roark saying "Hmm, real Shotgun Wedding," just before shooting Chuck at his sister's wedding, then immediately lampshading it by adding, "Just think, that terrible pun is the last thing you'll ever hear."
  • NCIS has a version: at the end of an episode, Gibbs says "Enjoy Hell" to an unrepentant Serial Killer whose execution is imminent.
    • "You have thirty seconds to live, Salim." *chuckle*
  • The titular character of Merlin to Nimwueh: "You shouldn't have killed my friend."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer's Willow before flaying Warren Mears: "Bored now."
    • That phrase, previously uttered a couple of times - in less dramatic circumstances - by a vampire (and thus explicitly evil) version of Willow from an alternate timeline, is a signal of how far "our" Willow has gone to the Dark Side.
    • Buffy herself was so well known for offing baddies with one-liners that they lampooned it several times - examples include "Anne" where Xander and Willow fail in making good puns "I've always been amazed with how Buffy fought, but in a way, I feel like we took her punning for granted" and in "Bargaining" by having the Buffy Bot screw up pun attempts.
  • "I can hold my breath for a long time."
  • In the grand finale of Angel, Angel's opponent hands him the perfect straight line for him to not only triumph, but to spin a CMoA-caliber Pre-Mortem One-Liner off of:

Hamilton: Let me say this as clearly as I can: you can not beat me. I am a part of them; the Wolf, Ram, and Hart. Their strength flows through my veins! My blood is filled with their ancient power!
Angel (a blood-sucking vampire): Can you pick out the one word there you probably shouldn't have said?

Petaline: Ranse, this is Jonah. Say hi to daddy, Jonah.
(takes a gun from Mal and shoots Ranse point-blank in the forehead)
Petaline: goodbye to daddy, Jonah.

Miguel: You little freak! You think I'm done with you? You think this ends here?! IT DOESN'T!
Dexter: It does for you.

A mook, to Winston, as Winston points a gun at him: "You hold your gun like a cop. From what I understand, cops don't go around shooting people."
Winston shoots the mook several times
Winston: "I'm retired."

Jeff: Checkmate, bitches!

  • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Rita tries her hand at this during the arc where Kimberly is transitioned out of the show to be replaced by Kat, but it's subverted because Kimberly doesn't die, she just suffers a concussion.

'Rita: Thisll ruin Kimberly's chances of being in the Pan-Global Games.

Darkening: I'm disappointed, Miss Smith.
Sarah Jane: Well, I do hate to disappoint. (Springs the real trap)

  • Jacqueline in the first episode of Young Blades after Mazarin's guard kills her father:

Jacqueline: You sent a good man to Heaven -- now you go to Hell!


  • Jekyll and Hyde: "Bad news from God, Teddy."
    • Most of Hyde's victims get this treatment, including "General, I'm happy to inform you that you have been relieved from your duties... All of them!", and "You shouldn't wear your diamonds out on the street; you never know who you might encounter!", and all of them happen during short breaks in which the music gets softer in a big musical number.

Video Games

  • In Neverwinter Nights 2 Mask of the Betrayer, you get to say one ironically to the former god of death, Myrkul, just before you destroy him for good.

Myrkul: ...In all you do, you glorify me, stoke the embers of my soul.
PC: And now, I will snuff those embers out. Farewell, Myrkul.

  • There's at least one example in Deus Ex. After using Gunther's killphrase and setting off a bomb inside him, JC finishes the conversation with a sarcastic "Sticks and stones..."
  • Killing Floor's Patriarch's "One in the pipe!" commonly ends with rocket launcher-induced death of at least one squad member
  • Warcraft III, as Arthas prepares to run Terenas through with his sword:

Terenas: What is this? What are you doing, my son?
Arthas: Succeeding you... father.

  • World of Warcraft
    • Subverted, kinda in the Lich King fight, when he has taken the time to make this very long speech that all of the players he killed with his Sealed Badass in a Can would stay dead. Sadly, he forgot to kill one NPC, which turns his Evil Plan into a free kill.
  • Mass Effect has one (probably more, knowing Shepard) in Bring Down the Sky; after doing something morally questionable to catch a bad guy, the bad guy asks Shepard "Who's the real terrorist?" to which Shepard replies, "You. But you're dead." BLAM!
    • Thanks to the interrupt system, the second game features even more opportunities to do this. Like telling a ranting krogan "You talk too much" before shooting at the tank of flammable gas he's unwittingly standing over.
      • The one which was used to show off the interrupt system was the one where Shepard interrogates the Eclipse merc about Thane's location. Near the top of a large skyscraper. In front of a large glass window.

Mercenary: I've got nothing else to say to you!
(Shepard pushes the merc out of the window.)
Shepard: How about 'goodbye'?

Collector Drone: You are insignificant.
Aria T'loak: Maybe...
(Aria shoves a grenade into the Drone's mouth)
Aria: But you're dead!
(Aria biotic uppercuts the Drone into a Praetorian. Cue explosion)

    • Miranda does one (along with Killed Mid-Sentence) right at the beginning of Mass Effect 2: when you reach the shuttles, Wilson opens the door... finding himself face to face with Miranda. A scowl immediately appears on her face as he goes "Miranda! But you were--". *BLAM* "Dead?".
  • Tales of Symphonia : Kratos' most famous line, mostly for its punctuation: "Feel the pain (* stabs the villain* ) of those inferior beings (* stabs* ) as you burn in Hell."
  • In general, finishing any boss in the Tales (series) with a Hi-Ougi/Mystic Arte can feel very much like doing this.
  • No More Heroes is full of these. "It's open mic night in Hell, old man."
    • The most ironic of all has to be the one after Bad Girls fight,she refuses to lose,so she starts beating Travis up with her bat with his sword through her chest.The last thing Travis says before she dies is "I give up,you win!"
  • Gig from Soul Nomad and The World Eaters uses this trope a lot. Mainly because he's an insane psychopath who enjoys watching people suffer.
  • Halo 3, in the Arbiter's Crowning Moment of Awesome;

Truth: "I! Am! Truth! The voice of the Covenant!"
Arbiter: "And so, you must be silenced."

"Welcome to the Tyson Rios show!"

    • And again, just before killing Richard Dalton:

Salem: "Survey says?"
Rios: "You're dead."

    • From the 40th Day, the two have several post mortem-one liners, but special mention goes to Salem:


  • Lulu does this in Final Fantasy X before casting elemental spells if they're one-shot kills.
    • The Death spell has the delightful "Nice knowing you."
    • Everybody except Kimahri has a premortem comment. Similarly, Tidus may deliver a one-liner when using Flee.
  • At the start of a battle in Final Fantasy X-2 (and occasionally before casting spells or using similar special abilities), the girls toss one-liners between themselves, which are context-sensitive depending on the enemy. Clearly the spirit of Woolsey had a hand in them, because there's Shout-Out after Shout Out.
    • And at the end, you get some good ones too, including a Marx Brothers reference:

Yuna: Duck soup!
Paine: Duck what?!

  • In every Devil May Cry game (except for Devil May Cry 2) the last boss would always be finished off by the main character saying "Jackpot", though the line in question is only optional in the fourth game.
    • Although DMC 2 has this piece of awesome.
  • The Gears of War series is full of these, especially in the second, where if you land a shot with a Torque Bow, your character will comment on their opponent's imminent demise.
    • Sometimes the victim will give an Oh Crap instead.
  • Seether drops a simple, "Goodbye!" on a hapless Hellcat pilot in Wing Commander IV before dispatching him with his fission cannons.
  • Tales of Vesperia's Yuri Lowell does this to a few people, notably Alexei and Zagi.
  • God of War's considerably more badass Kratos does these as well, but his best so far?

Ares: "I was trying to make you a great warrior"
Kratos: "You succeeded"

Leon: Game over.
Claire: You lose, big guy.

    • In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, if you go out of your way to finish off Nemesis in the final battle and risk getting killed by the nuke:

Billy: Hey queenie! Feast on this!

Chris: Suck on this, Wesker!

  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night: "Go back whence you came! Trouble the soul of my mother no more!"
  • At the end of Soul Reaver 2, Raziel to Serafan Warrior Raziel: "I renounce you."
  • "Regenerate this."
  • In Halo: Reach, a truly outstanding moment of badassitude- Emile, after manning the mass driver, and giving the Covies hell, has a Phantom drop two Zealots over. What does he do? Well, he manages to shotgun one of them in the face, before being impaled by the others' Energy Sword. Undeterred, he stabs the other Elite in the neck with his signature, pulling off this epic line:

Emile: "I'm ready! How 'bout you?!"

Nolan: "What do you say, buddy? Punch out now, and I'll give you a job... scrubbing toilets!"
Mc Clair: "Thanks... I'll pass."

  • Portal 2: I already fixed it! And you are not coming back!
    • During the fight, if you let Rick the Adventure Sphere talk long enough, he will eventually ask if you have a "Cool Line" prepared for when you kill Wheatley. After some unsuccessful attempts to think one up himself, he will try to invoke one by asking Chell to get Wheatley to say "You two have been a thorn in my side for long enough!", reminding you to do so as he is plugged in. Once all three cores are plugged in and the final part of the fight starts up, Wheatley's dialogue will have now changed slightly to include Rick's setup line verbatim. Rick then delivers his "Cool Line". It's... a little underwhelming.
  • Regina in the first Dino Crisis to the T. Rex: "End of the line for you, handsome...You're extinct!"
  • Duke Nukem, being an Expy for '80s and '90s action stars has a few and a ton of post-mortem ones. The most memorable for me is probably just before the final boss in the second act: "I'll rip your head off and shit down your neck." Guess what happens in the ending cut-scene?
  • Probably one of the most epic uses of this trope ever in Metroid: Other M, added into the climax of Super Metroid in a manner that shows the fury Mother Brain unleashed by killing the baby Metroid in front of Samus.

Samus: Mother...Time to go! (Fires Omega Beam)

Shiki: You're not scared, are you? The path called death is something you're familiar with. If there's a difference now, it's only one thing - this time, you can't come back.

  • Two of the three endings to the Mystery Island Quest in Kingdom of Loathing have Bond One-Liners. The third, and hardest to get (a few small mistakes, and it can become impossible to get) instead have this trope: the player character points out that even with all the shouted accusations, thunder, rain, etc, The Big Wisniewski and The Man have forgotten one little thing in their dramatic final battle: "Explosions. Giant explosions in slow motion.". Said missing element is quickly introduced by the player, courtesy of a pirate flaregun.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine has this little exchange:

Grimskull: I ain't finished with you yet, Space Marine!
Titus: But I am finished with you, Ork.

  • Roger to the endodroid in Space Quest 6: "Frosta la keister, baby!" Of course, since not only the line but the whole subplot is a Shout-Out to Terminator 2, the endodroid, like the T-1000, can recover from being frozen and shattered.

Web Animation

  • Parodied in episode 33 of the Machinima series Red vs. Blue, when Church pulls off a string of these at O'Malley while Tex mutters in the background - "You're a real headache-" "What?" "-and I've got a gun full of aspirin." "That was terrible!" "It's time to split, -" "Now that's just embarrassing." "-personality..."
    • Also, one of the Red vs. Blue bonus videos, called "Sargeisms", was entirely dedicated to Sarge giving off large quantities of Bond- and Pre Mortem One Liners.
    • From Church's string of one-liners: "I've got half a mind to kill you-- and the other half agrees."
    • Subverted in episode 3 of Revelation. Sarge aims his gun and begins to deliver his one-liner, only to fire before he's finished the sentence.

Sarge: Agent Wash, you just got- * explosion* Damn it! I messed up my one liner!

Web Comics

"A properly-executed pre-mortem One-Liner is vital to our health. It intimidates our enemies, pumps us up, and most importantly, that little satisfaction from some quick wit goes a long way in keeping us from buckling under the stress of it all."

    • Further parodied when Gordito tries to put this advice into practice and starts giving one liners with every kill.
    • It even gets used as a Brick Joke at the end of "Punch Dracula": Gordito says nothing when he shoots the Ghost Wizard, but that's because he' saving the one-liner for much later. The Alt Text even Lampshades this.
    • An alternate-universe Chuck Goodrich has a good one in this panel
  • In Concerned, Gordon Frohman almost succeeds in sneakily killing Gordon Freeman, if not for his inability to come up with one of these.
  • Parodied in Eight Bit Theater, where the Light Warriors are attempting to come up with a pre-mortem one-liner. Black Mage says one so bad that it kills the very enemy he was attempting to taunt.

"Astos? Mo' like, yo' ass is toast!"

    • Red Mage is worse:

"I think 'ass toes' is very appropriate. Because, you see, we're going to kick your ass, and that will put our toes in close proximity to..."

    • So is Fighter:

"We will fight to the death! (It will be your death)"

"Hate to cut and run..."

Hate to chop all of your heads off with this sword. Real sorry about that. My bad.

Maybe we ought to call you...Brainy Pete.

I got a riddle for you. What's green and black, squeals like a pig, and has two pieces of steel where its lungs used to be? *stab* You.

Buon Appetito.

  • Zokusho Comics: After killing a room full of mafia henchmen and standing in front of his former boss, Serge get's an excellent one.

Giovanni: "Last words... I have a few if you're willing to listen to them."
Serge: "I think I just did."

Web Original

Azazel: You're old. Washed up. Your power is MINE.
Umbra: I don't think so. *puts Azazel in a Neck Lift* I'm a Greater Demon. Absorbing me won't kill me. But, you're just an Eidolon. Granted a powerful one, but not a Greater Demon. Not a Greater Demon at all. *proceeds to begin drainig Azazel of his life force* Your overconfidence is your undoing. *drops Azazel, who falls into a Crucified Villain Shot and turns into dust* *Umbra walks away without a word*

Western Animation

  • Awesomely, awesomely subverted in Captain Simian and The Space Monkeys. The villainous Rhesus-2 (voiced by Malcolm McDowell) has our heroes cornered. He says, "This is the moment where I say something clever, then kill you." (Beat) "Sorry. Nothing clever comes to mind." (Rhesus fires his blaster into the camera; cut to commercial).
  • Kung Fu Panda: "Skadoosh."
  • Used frequently in The Batman.

The Joker: (after feeding Mayor Adam West spicy chili and putting a hose full of gasoline in his mouth) Now remember, chili gives you gas!

Dracula: "I am the Prince of Darkness!"
Batman: "Rise and shine. (activates a solar-machine)"

    • (This instance was subverted in that Batman saved the day, so don't worry)
      • The true Pre-Mortem One-Liner comes just after he activates the solar machine as Dracula realizes how he got the solar machine.

Dracula: "You're Bruce Wayne!"
Batman: "No. I'm The Batman". (Cue bat-silhouette with the cape, then a final drop kick.)

  • From Batman Beyond, when Mr Freeze was revived, he went on a rampage, and killed the doctor who revived and later betrayed him, using an Ironic Echo of her own words.

Mr Freeze: Remember: There may be some momentary discomfort.

  • Used right before Kim Possible kicked Shego into an Electric Transmission Tower from a 20 store building in The Movie:

Kim: Do you know what I really hate?
Shego: That your... date melted?
Kim: Nah... you!

  • Disney's Doug pokes fun at this with the movie-within-a-show Target Man. The lines are particularly cheesy. "Don't lose your head over it. <blam> Oops. Guess you did." "Breaking up is hard to do. <Blam>" "Make a wish. <Blam>"
  • In The Simpsons episode "Itchy & Scratchy Land", before Bart dispatches a robotic mascot with a camera flash he says: "Hey mouse... Say Cheese!"
    • He immediately lampshades this by saying "With a dry, cool wit like that, I could be an action hero..."
    • And is further parodied later when Homer, doing his own fair shake of robot-mascot-slaying, yells "Die, bad robots! Die!... and then chuckles and says "With a dry, cool wit like that, I could be an action hero." Everyone ignores him.
      • In fact Bart cuts him off before Homer finishes.
    • In "Itchy & Scratchy: The Movie", Bart is impersonating a Bond villain while melting a plastic 007 action figure in the microwave: "Stick around, Mr. Bond. Things are really cook."
    • When Mel Gibson did his remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and goes on a shooting rampage: All those in favor, say die!
    • Being a thinly-disguised version of Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rainier "McBain" Wolfcastle uses these.
      • The best was from an episode where Wolfcastle played a CIA agent posing as a nerd for some reason or another. After getting taunted by some jocks, he quips "The geek shall inherit the earth!"...and throws one of them through the other.
      • McBain bursts out of an ice-sculpture of Venus DiMilo: Ice to see you!
  • Swat Kats; a minor villain announces "I'm outta here!", prompting Razor to level a bazooka at him from about ten feet away. "You said it." Bang. Did it get mentioned that SWAT Kats was completely kickass for a 90s kid's show?
  • Scooby Frikin' Doo gets one in episode 10 of Scooby Doo Mystery Inc. And it is awesome.

Scooby Doo (after running over the Fright Hound with a forklift): "Play Dead."

  • In the Family Guy episode "The Big Bang Theory", Stewie fights his half-brother, Bertram:

Stewie:: Hey, Bertram! What's your favorite kind of bottled water? Mine's Arrowhead! (shoots him in the head with a crossbow)

    • In "Emission Impossible", a shrunken Stewie chases a housefly:

Stewie:: I'm afraid you're in a no-fly zone.

    • In "Chitty Chitty Death Bang", just after a cult leader has shown up looking for Meg:

Cult Leader: What the hell is this?!
Stewie: It's a boy!

The Joker: Hey boys! Stop me if you've heard THIS ONE before! *Fires his gun while doing an Evil Laugh*

  • Bartok the Magnificent: "See ya next fall!"
  • Archer: It's a Running Gag that eponymous hero and James Bond expy Archer is terrible at these. He usually winds up pausing and saying, "Wait ... damn. I had something for this." On one occasion when he was stumped he went with "Eat grenade, stupids!"
    • He has a great one at the end of "The Placebo Effect".
      • Archer before shooting an unarmed man in direct parody of Magnum, P.I.: "Did you watch Regis this morning?"
  • Parodied in Codename: Kids Next Door in Operation LICE. Numbah Five is just moments away to pressing the (nacho) cheese purge button (which is the poison to the lice) as a giant mother lice was eating her ponytail. All of the sudden, Numbah Two comes in, all battered and covered by baby lice, screaming:

Numbah 5 & Lice Monster: Huh?
Numbah 2: You gotta say something cool first! Like: Say cheese, bub! Or Cheez to meet you! (Numbah 5 reaches over to press the button) Waitwaitwait! How about this one? Cheese! (BOOM!)

    • Even better, Numbah 5 and the monster actually share a "What is wrong with this guy?" look before she pushes the button. wh
    • Ashely from Sector Z says "This is going to be delightful!" before her and her friends/team fight the zombified Sector V.
  1. He pulled the poor kitty from Yolande's arms and tossed it to be torn apart by his hunting-dogs. It was his demonstration to his then-fourteen-year-old bride that as her husband, he owned her.