Why Won't You Die?

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Creedy: Die! (bang) Die! (bang bang) WHY WON'T YOU DIE? (bang bang bang click click) [more quietly] Why won't you die?
V: Beneath this mask is more than flesh; beneath this mask there is an idea, Mister Creedy -- and ideas. Are. Bulletproof!

An old and well-used Stock Phrases, most frequently used by villains who have seen a Made of Iron hero calmly walk through Death Traps, fought their way out of a carefully laid ambush, Outrun the Fireball from an explosion, or pull a Scope Snipe on their highly paid killers. And really, at that point, can you blame them?

Variations: "What does it take to kill you?", "How Many Times Must I Kill You?", and "Why won't you STAY dead?!!", which are generally reserved for when the hero comes Back from the Dead, or returns after a No One Could Survive That and/or Never Found the Body scenario.

Although it's far more common for the villains to say it, it's not exclusive to them. If it's a good guy saying it, it will most commonly come from a Muggles type of hero or character about some supernatural or Implacable Man villain, or by someone who is closer to the Anti-Hero side of the Morality Axis than to Ideal Hero and is getting frustrated with their enemy seeming to have Joker Immunity. Subtrope of Staying Alive. Contrast Dead to Begin With.

See also Healing Factor and Pulling Themselves Together for reasons that these people/things will not stay dead. Also Prepare to Die and You Have No Chance to Survive for what this trope defies. For Video Game Boss Battle equivalents that can provoke this reaction in players, see Marathon Boss, Sequential Boss and Damage Sponge Boss.

NOTE: This trope is about when the phrase (or something similar) is said in the story. For dead characters whose deaths never seem to "stick," see Death Is Cheap.

Examples of Why Won't You Die? include:

Anime and Manga

  • Polnareff says this to Vanilla Ice in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure after stabbing him all the way in the mouth. Vanilla Ice tells him that he "doesn't have time for dying", but Polnareff later realizes that he had been made into a vampire by Dio and can't be killed by such means.
  • Fans of Dragonball Z have certainly said this enough times while watching some of the fights, But two times of characters saying it comes to mind: when Frieza is fighting Vegeta, Krillin and Gohan, he begins to wonder if they're immortal because they keep coming back. (Then he notices Dende healing them). Later he says a variant when Goku reveals he's Not Quite Dead. There are probably plenty more.
    • Vegeta utters this line word-for-word while blasting at a regenerating Meta Cooler.
      • Even the DBZ Abridged Vegeta isn't an exception during his fight on Earth.

Vegeta: [While punching a transforming Gohan] No, no! Stop it! Stop, damn you! WHY?! WHY WON'T YOU PEOPLE JUST DIIIE?!

  • One Piece: Crocodile asked this question of Luffy after impaling him and dehydrating him, in that order.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion, when Asuka's trying to stab an angel that's been so strengthened by hatching in an active volcano, her knife can't pierce it: "Die, damn you!"
    • There is also Asuka fighting the 14th angel. "Why won't you collapse damn you!?"
    • A much, much nastier example can be found in End of Evangelion. This happens three times, maybe. The first is when the JSSDF decide to try and destroy Unit 02 with a battleship, a couple of artillery and tank battalions and a small army. Needless to say, they fail. Then Asuka fights the nine Mass Production Evas. She kills them all. And then they regenerate, despite being cut in half, missing the head, missing an arm etc. Asuka probably was thinking this, except for the fact she had been stabbed in the eye with a lance. Then, Unit 02 and Asuka are still alive after having been eviscerated, eaten and stabbed. And she tries to reach up and attack them. So they split her arm and impale her again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And again. And then they run out of spears, but by that time, Unit 02 and Asuka are both already dead.
      • And then, just to be sure, they take some of the remains and eat on-the-fly, and drop them as soon as EVA-01 shows up.
    • In the original Gainax Ending, Rei asks "Why am I still alive?"
    • In the original version of EVA-01 versus Zeruel, Zeruel still has the stamina to moan, even as it is being eaten. Don't ask how, it just won't die.
      • In the Rebuild Version of this battle, Zeruel kept getting beaten up for about 20 minutes, before EVA-01 and Shinji initiate Third Impact and cause Zeruel to explode in a huge explosion of blood (not as much as Sahaquiel, though. It flooded Tokyo-3 completely by dying).
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: "How many times do I have to kill you before you die?"
  • Gantz manga: The Nurarihyon fight went on and on and on, suffering quite a few explosive "deaths," just to show up in yet ANOTHER form. It gets to the point where one of the team members bemoans how this fight just never ends.
  • Koichiro Kase has this reaction towards the end of an episode of Weiss Kreuz after Ken returns unscathed from Kase's second attempt at killing him. Ken replies solemnly, "I don't like hell."
  • Done in Yu Yu Hakusho, although the circumstances are a little different than normal. When Kurama faces off with the elder Toguro, he tricks Toguro into being caught by a cursed tree that inescapably binds its victims, then fills their heads with hallucinations while it drains the life energy out of them. Thus, although he is simply bound to the tree, Toguro lives in an eternal hallucination of delivering fatal blow after fatal blow to Kurama, only for Kurama to shrug it off.

Why won't he die? Why won't he die?!

  • In Full Metal Panic!, Sousuke has a variant of this towards Gauron, most notably in TSR where Sousuke pretty much cries out, "But you're supposed to be--" with Gauron finishing, "dead?".
  • This happens in Fushigi Yuugi before the final battle. Complete with a freakin' Power Walk.

Nakago: (to Tamahome) Damn you... I thought you were dead.

  • Hellsing: At some point in the series, almost every recurring character receives this line or similar for their astounding survivability. One noteworthy instance of Alucard's insane durability has him flying a stealth plane at breakneck speed into a vampire Nazi-controlled battleship, wading into a hail of bullets and grenades from its crew, then taking over a dozen gut shots from an enchanted bullet the size of his noggin.
  • In Bleach, Szayel Aporro says this to Mayuri during their fight. "Why?! I destroyed all of your organs and tendons! So why won't you die?!"
  • Spoken word-for-word in Nabari no Ou by Kannuki-sensei after Kouichi was shot in the heart and came back to life.
  • Anti-hero Guts and the monsters that he fights say this back and forth to each other in Berserk.

Comic Books


  • In the Seed of Destruction storyline, Hellboy shoots Rasputin in the head...

Hellboy: Hey, fall down, man!

Fan Works

  • In An Entry With a Bang, one shipman has this reaction after a Dropship eats enough SM-2 missiles to supposedly take out a large chunk of the old Soviet air force and still isn't greatly damaged.
  • In Latias' Journey, this phrase is applied to most of the undead horrors that keep regenerating—some after multiple actual deaths, and one having been utterly vaporized.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho Abridged, Kuwabara has apparently already killed Byakko twice when Byakko comes back again, albeit horribly wounded. Kuwabara asks how many times he has to kill Byakko, only for Yusuke to snarkily reply "Well, once would probably suffice."
  • Vegeta in Dragonball Z Abridged does the same, hilariously, whilst trying to punch Gohan into oblivion as he turns into an Oozaru.
  • Rorschach does this towards Deadpool in I'm a Marvel And I'm a DC.
  • Kikami, when she takes control of Sarah's body in the Soul Eater fanfiction Witches Man, Witches [dead link] while swinging her scythe at the vampire Nikolai. "WHY...WON'T….YOU….DIIIIIEEEEE?"

Films -- Animation

  • Disney's Aladdin. Jafar says this almost verbatim to Aladdin.

"How many times must I kill you, boy?!"

  • Slight variant in Transformers: The Movie (the animated one) where Megatron screams "Fall! FALL!" as he shoots Optimus Prime until he finally does fall down.
    • Averted later by Galvatron, who laments, "It's a shame you Autobots die so easily."
  • Said by Nekron in Fire and Ice in a rather narmy fashion.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 2, Shen asks "How many times do I have to kill the same stinking panda?" when he sees and realizes that Po has recovered from the blow delivered to him by his anti-Kung Fu cannon.

Films -- Live-Action

Janus: Why can't you just be a good boy and die?
Bond: You first. (gestures to Xenia) You, second.

Hugo Drax: Mr. Bond, you persist in defying my efforts to provide an amusing death for you.

  • Two-Face and The Riddler say this to Batman in Batman Forever. Ironically, the attack the former unleashes on Batman immediately after saying this comes perhaps the closest either of them comes to actually killing him.

Two-Face: Why can't you just DIE?!

    • And then:

The Riddler: Why? Why can't I kill you?

  • In the original live-action Transformers movie, while trying to take down a particularly well-armoured Decepticon with a tank for a vehicle mode, one whose name is either "Brawl" or "Devastator" depending on who you ask, Captain William Lennox watches the robot shrug off a severed limb, several disabled weapons systems, and constant fire from Lennox and his marines, and says in disbelief, "These things just don't die!"
  • In X-Men 1 movie, a frustrated Toad shouts "Don't you people ever die?" Which is more of a shout-out to the fact that the answer to that question, considering the comics that originate them, is a resounding "NO."
  • One of the many things that gangster Bullet Tooth Tony from Snatch is infamous for is surviving being shot 6 times by an enemy. A Flash Back to that event shows the guy shooting Tony screaming "Why won't you fucking die?!!" just before he runs out of bullets.
    • Tony himself has this moment later with Boris "The Bullet Dodger", who takes an entire clip magazine from Tony's Desert Eagle before he finally dies.
  • Averted in The Princess Bride where rather than raging at Westley's unexpected return from the dead, Humperdinck calmly says "I killed you too quickly last time, a mistake I won't duplicate tonight".
  • Mrs. Lovett of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street shouts this at Judge Turpin, still partially alive and clinging to her dress after Sweeney Todd did him in.
  • In the 2000 movie Gladiator, Emperor Commodus says a variant of this to Maximus, after the latter has just won a match that was blatantly rigged against him.

Commodus: What am I going to do with you? You simply won't... die.

Lo Pan: Is it too much to ask, Thunder?!? Kill him! For me!

  • In The Sea Hawk (1940), the evil Lord Wolfingham (Henry Daniell) greets the hero, Geoffrey Thorpe (Errol Flynn) who has escaped from numerous perils, with the words, "Have you nine lives, Captain Thorpe? Surely most of them must be used up by now." Cue Flynning.
  • Parodied in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where King Arthur maims the Black Knight, who continues to try fighting even after losing his arm... and his other arm... and his legs. He decides to call it a draw at this point, until Arthur starts to leave, and which points the Black Knight declares he'll bite his legs off.
  • In Heroic Trio, the main characters have a brief discussion about this concerning The Dragon who doesn't even seem to feel pain. After that, the fight the Big Bad who goes through about three fake-out deaths before finally going down.
  • At the end of White Heat, a police marksman repeatedly nails Cody Jarrett with a sniper rifle, eventually muttering between reloads, "What's keeping him up?!"
  • In The Producers Franz says "This is not good. You, eh. I am not killing you. Don't you understand, you must die. Will you cooperate!?" The fact he hadn't successfully killed them before this has more to do with his bad aim as the protagonist's ability to try to not be easy targets.


  • In Animorphs, Visser Four yells "Why don't you die?!" after the characters survive yet another should-have-been-fatal blow (see, their trip through time to follow him was part of a Deal with the Devil - an evil Sufficiently Advanced Alien said one dying was the price. The alien's rival and sometime ally of our heroes added the stipulation that only one could die on that trip, so the team discovers that they're suddenly Nigh Invulnerable, regenerating even fatal wounds instantly.)
  • Ciaphas Cain says two variants in a single fight in the novel For the Emperor.
  • In Neverwhere, the Marquis can return from the dead. Thus:

Mr. Croup: I already killed you once today. What does it take to teach some people?

  • George Orwell's essay Shooting an Elephant. By the end of the essay the reader is wishing the poor damn thing would die, too.
  • From Mistborn, another of the "How many times must I kill you?" variety:

Lord Ruler: I killed you, once.
Kelsier: You tried. But you can't kill me, Lord Tyrant. I represent the thing you've never been able to kill, no matter how hard you try. I am Hope.

    • Kelsier seemingly goes down in a One-Hit Kill immediately after making this statement; and, well, that's where it gets complicated...
  • In Dead Reckoning of the The Sookie Stackhouse Mysteries Sandra pelt has a moment of this where she screams psychotically at the titular character over this as she has by this point taken countless attempts at Sookies life with the heroin surviving all of them mostly unscathed.
  • Redwall book "Mossflower" Martin beats the Big Bad with some help from a Badger Warrior Spirit by simply standing up and fighting after... five fatal wounds? (Someone get a count please)

Live-Action TV

  • Super powers and super power-related phlebotenum allowed several characters from Heroes to cheat death. Claire (and Adam Monroe, later Sylar and Arthur Petrelli, and sometimes Peter) can't die; Claire's father Noah can survive being Moe Greened by Suresh thanks to Claire's blood; Peter bounces back from a shotgun blast thanks to a boy's power of healing; characters have also died in timelines that were subsequently kyboshed.
  • A slight variation: the Doctor Who episode "Dalek" has the Doctor yelling, "Why don't you just die!" to the title monster in a death machine. Counts, though, because he went to a lot of effort to wipe out their race at the cost of his own, and isn't happy this one slipped through the cracks.
    • "I CANNOT DIE!!! I!!! AM!!! DAVROS!!!"
    • Averted by the Master after shooting the unkillable Jack with his laser screwdriver: "And the best part is, he's not dead for long! I GET TO KILL HIM AGAIN!"
  • Speaking of Jack, on Torchwood, his enemies (particuarly John Hart when they're first reunited) are "a little bit annoyed that they can't permanently get rid of him.
  • Psych episode "American Duos" Zapato Dulce: "You ruined everything! Why won't you die?"
  • The main characters of Stargate SG-1 do this in speaking about archenemy Apophis.

Teal'c: Apophis must have transported off of Sokar's ship before it exploded.
Col. O'Neill: Somebody's got to teach that guy how to die.

    • Also implied about Dr. Daniel Jackson more than once... But then he DID come back from deadly situations more than once.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: The evil Mirror Universe version of Dr. Phlox said "Would you kindly die?" to an alien prisoner who was proving frustratingly hard to kill with the (not so) good doctor's pressure chamber.
  • Used ironically on The Colbert Report, during a period where Colbert was taking any excuse, however flimsy, to repeatedly show a clip of controversial pastor Jeremiah Wright:

Colbert: (grinning) Why won't that story die?

  • Parodied in an episode of Bottom: On getting a whiff of the lethal alcoholic mixture Eddie carries around in his hip flask, Richie inquires 'How are you alive?'. Eddie grins, taps the side of his nose, and cheerfully replies 'I may very well not be.'
  • In the 8th season of Scrubs, there is briefly a new Chief of Medicine, Dr Taylor Maddox. Despite her very friendly and personable attitude toward her co-workers, she has a very cold-blooded and by the book approach to taking care of patients, which leads Cloudcuckoolander J.D. to imagine her trying to smother a patient with a pillow while shouting "Why won't you die?!!" because the patient's insurance coverage has run out.
  • In the first season finale of Leverage, there is a mundane example. An opponent growls at a badly-beaten Eliot Spencer: "Why won't you go down?" Eliot laughs.
  • Variation in Angel, where Angel is fighting a demon and decapitates it. The demon's body stirs.

Angel: Come on! I'm holding your head!

    • The demon needed to be killed a certain number of times before it died.
    • There's a more typical one on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer end, with Buffy going "WHY...WON'T...YOU...DIE?" as she's pounding.
  • Tina Greer asks this in the Smallville episode "Visage", as her Super Strength is not nearly enough to defeat Clark Kent.
  • Brad Willis from Neighbours: He was shot by Bob Landers, attacked by a shark, saved Beth and Hannah from a burning cottage... and none of it killed him.
    • Not to mention the various attempts on Paul Robinson's life. He has been pushed off a cliff (twice), sent poisoned letters, almost strangled to death, shot in the chest by his own son, kidnapped and mind-tortured, suffered from a life-threatening brain tumor, and pushed off the mezzanine of a building. Even he has expressed surprise over not being dead yet.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe gives us Abeloth, who even when her body is burned, survives.
  • Top Gear once tried to destroy a Toyota Hilux by having it suffering a series of increasingly terrible accidents. Driving down stairs, driving into a tree, leaving it at the beach at low-tide, driving through a hut, dropping a caravan on it, and bashing it with a wrecking ball didn't kill it. So they set it on fire. That's didn't work either. So they tried again in a later episode and cranked it Up to Eleven.
    • It didn't work either.
  • Scorpius in Farscape is really bad at staying dead through a combination of Made of Iron, really excellent planning, and some impressive body armor.

Crichton: Damn, what's it take to kill you? Explosions? Silver bullets? ...Buffy?


  • Morriseys song "Margaret on the Guillotine"; asks this question in regards to Margaret Thatcher.
  • the Eminem song Go to Sleep features a variation. Namely, "why are you still alive!?"

Professional Wrestling

  • During Triple H and The Undertaker's match at Wrestlemania 27, everything Hunter hit Taker with wouldn't keep him down. Pedigree? Nope, Three Pedigree's? Not even close, Steel chairshot to the head and The Undertaker's very own Tombstone Piledriver? gets a two and a half count...Triple H fucking loses it

Triple H: Stay Down! JUST DIE!

Tabletop Games

  • The reaction of many a Killer DM upon facing down a player Barbarian in Dungeons & Dragons. Dropped to 0 HP? Activates a death-ignoring ability, keeps fighting, is healed to above 0, ending the power effect. Dropped to 0 HP again? Activates the second ability, keeps fighting, is healed to above 0, ending the power effect. Dropped to 0 HP again? Activates another ability, keeps fighting. Built in such a way, a Barbarian can and, frequently, will keep fighting until he dies on his feet or kills the entire enemy group.
  • In Magic: The Gathering, New Phyrexia will continue whenever a drop of Phyrexian oil remains. Also, Squee, Goblin Nabob returns to your hand when he would otherwise go to the graveyard. There's also Platinum Angel, which makes it so you can't lose.
  • What many Warhammer 40,000 player say when facing a Necron army. Their rule "We'll be back!" effectively gives almost every unit killed a 50/50 chance of getting back up(doesn't affect all unit types, and if said unit was killed by certain weapons, this rule doesn't apply) Furthermore, the Necron player can give his units an even greater chance to get back up.

Video Games

  • Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. Null: "Why won't you die, Snake?"
  • Master Li says something along these lines when you succeed on breaking free of the cage he wove for you from your own doubts at the end of Jade Empire.
  • Vladimir Zakarov says this to Tequila at one point during the Penthouse stage in the John Woo game Stranglehold.

Vlad: Dammit! What do I have to do to make you die?!

  • Mission Vao in Knights of the Old Republic has an exasperated "Just Die Already!" as a Battle Cry. Other than that, this trope is conspicuously absent, while people will constantly comment on characters surviving situations where No One Could Survive That, they rarely seem to be angry or frustrated about this. They seem pretty willing to chalk it up to the Force... and who you were in a past life.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, hostile NPCs will sometimes shout "Why! Won't! You! Die!?" as a battle drags on.
    • Interestingly, in one of the expansion packs, the enemies won't die, prompting one soldier to loudly scream "Why! Won't! You! Stay! DEAD?!"
  • Max Payne
    • Nicole Horne issues this message to her men:

Horne: What do you mean, "he's unstoppable?" You are superior to him in every way that counts. You are better trained, better equipped. You outnumber him at least twenty to one. Do... your... job!

    • A similar message is issued to a group of Mooks earlier on in the game, with the inclusion of the phrase "He's just one lousy cop!"

Goon: Boss... Gognitti... it's Max Payne... he came and... started cappin' us... He killed... ugh...
Gognitti: Are you freakin' kidding me? He's just one lousy cop! You'd better be freakin' kiddin' me! Whack him! What's the freakin' problem?! Hello? Answer me! Hello?!

    • Vlad gives a much more explicit version of this near the end of Max Payne 2.

Vlad: What the fuck is wrong with you Max? Why don't you just die? You hate life, you're miserable all the time, afraid to enjoy yourself even a little. Face it, you might as well be dead already. Do yourself a favor, give up!

  • At a certain point in Half-Life 2, a frustrated Dr. Breen has this to say to the soldiers that Gordon Freeman's been killing for a while now:

Dr. Breen: How could one man have slipped through your force's fingers time and time again? How is it possible? This is not some agent provocateur or highly trained assassin we are discussing. Gordon Freeman is a theoretical physicist who had hardly earned the distinction of his Ph.D. at the time of the Black Mesa Incident. I have good reason to believe that in the intervening years, he was in a state that precluded further development of covert skills. The man you have consistently failed to slow, let alone capture, is by all standards simply that -- an ordinary man. How can you have failed to apprehend him?

Necrophobe: Enough of this. Die!
Gilgamesh: (snort) I believe that's MY line!!!

    • When Galuf battles Exdeath alone to save his friends, gets hit with everything the villain has got, gets his Hit Points down to zero, yet the fight doesn't end; Exdeath even asks Galuf why he won't die, and Galuf retorts, "Because they are my Friends!!". Sadly he dies after the battle.
  • In BioShock (series), Andrew Ryan delivers a more Sesquipedalian version: "Why are you so resistant to the traditional methods of separating a man from his soul?"
  • Iji

Various logbooks: She's just ONE HUMAN!

    • A variant of this is also used directly if you use a checkpoint before dying in a certain boss battle.

Asha: No! You can't still be alive! I KILLED YOU! Oh well... I should be grateful. This means I get to KILL YOU TWICE!

    • And whenever you're fighting Asha, he will occasionally scream out in frustration


Blutarch: I have mounted an epic campaign of leisure against the ravages of time. Waiting for nature to do to my brother what my men could not. And yet here we are at the end. And he...won't...DIE.

  • Lampshaded in ''First Encounter Assault Recon: Project Origin by Colonel Vanek, who demands to know why his five hundred-strong army of special forces commandos haven't been able to kill Becket.
  • Eldar Guardians in Dawn of War say this when locked in close combat, and inflect the words with a typically Eldar amount of venemous contempt.
  • In Portal 2, at the end of the game, when Wheatley finds out that Chell is still alive after part five of the four-part plan:

Wheatley: What, are you still alive? You are joking. You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!!

  • Lord Nergal says this word-for-word in Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword after Eliwood's father pulls a Taking You with Me and fatally stabs him before dying.
  • In BlazBlue, one of Ragna's battle cries is "Die! Die already!" In Jin's Story Mode in Calamity Trigger, he says this in one path after Nu refuses to stay down.
    • Hazama also does this a lot.
  • Mass Effect 2 hangs a lampshade on this after Commander Shepard is brought back to life.

Garrus: Honestly? The Collectors managed to kill you once, and all that did is piss you off. I can't imagine they'll stop you this time.

    • At one point the mercenary boss during Grunt's recruitment mission screams "There are three of them! 'Three! Anything can be killed if you'd just do your damn jobs!" as Shepard's squad smashes through her army.
  • Nathan Drake says this to Big Bad Lazarevic in the final battle of Uncharted 2. Something along the lines of "My god... why won't you die?!". Lazarevic may sometimes say it to Nate as well.
  • In Saints Row 2, after defeating Mr. Sunshine, the Sons of Samedi's resident voodoo practitioner, he keeps getting up after being shot repeatedly. Quite annoyed by all this, the protagonist shoots him a few more times shouting "For fuck's sake, die already!"
  • Minor example in Persona 4 is when Kanji attacks a shadow, but fails to finish it, he sometimes shouts, "Lay down and die already!"
  • In Tower of Heaven, the deity winds up shouting, "How dare you... How dare you continue to live?"
  • Reversed in Emperor: Battle For Dune. During the intro, the ruling body of House Ordos encourages you by showing the former supreme commander's... head. Connected to a machine so that it stays completely conscious and contemplates its failure for all eternity. It only has one line: "Let me die."
    • If you lose twice during the campaign, your head gets hooked up to the same machine, and you face that commander once again. "Why won't they just let us die?"
    • Fear is an efficient tool of management. Failure is not an option.
  • Fable III has a humorous version during an undead assault of a base, where wisps are possessing dead bodies, including those of recently-deceased soldiers:

Swift: LIEUTENANT SIMMONS! I specifically instructed you to stay buried!
Finn: Oh why do nobody follow orders anymore?

  • In Ratchet and Clank: All 4 One, Commander Spog will at one point, while pursuing you, say "How are you STILL ALIVE?!"
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni, Eva-Beatrice says this so often that it's practically her Catch Phrase.
  • World of Warcraft; the player says this in the Dragon Soul raid, after it becomes clear that, for the second time in the instance, Deathwing has survived something that could have killed ten dragons, something he has done repeatedly throughout the whole Cataclysm expansion. Fortunately, in the ensuing Final Battle, he is finally Killed Off for Real.
  • In Path of Exile, Daresso's Boss Banter is replaced with "Just bloody die!" when he gets close to defeat.

Web Comics

"what's with all these heads and where do you get off being so impossible anyways. we spent more than half the game fighting you."

Web Original

  • While not a video game per se, Zero Punctuation has used a panel of an imp desperately calling this out against the hero a few times now...
  • In his Halloween special, one of the toys says this to The Nostalgia Critic when they're punishing him for giving Teddy Ruxpin a bad review.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-682, the Hard-to-Destroy Reptile. The name is actually a misnomer, as it implies that it can be killed. The only thing they haven't tried yet is a 300 megaton nuke, and that's because the thought of a giant regenerating adapts-to-whatever-you're-using-on-it lizard that can resist nukes is too horrible to bear.
  • Chapel: Yvonne says this to Chapel in the first-season episode "Inked." Also counts as Punctuated! For! Emphasis!.

Yvonne: WHY...WON'T...YOU...DIE?!?
Chapel: Offhand, I'd say it's because YOU SUCK AT KILLING ME!!!

Western Animation

  • Dr. Orpheus from The Venture Brothers fights a vampire at one point, but is unacquainted with the proper vampire killing technique. He gets increasingly frustrated when the vampire he keeps blasting just gets back up. "Oh, for heaven's...Why won't he just die?"
  • Megatron must have been asking himself this in Transformers Animated after he kills Starscream, who comes back from the dead for revenge... and gets killed by Megatron again... and again and again (he was immortal at the time).
  • Samurai Jack. "Samurai, samurai... why won't YOU DIIIIIE!?"
  • In the first season finale of Jackie Chan Adventures, Shendu responds to Jackie interrupting his endgame plan with "How many lives do you possess?!" This is after he blew Jackie out the window of a skyscraper from the tallest floor with dragon fire.
  • In the Valentine's Day episode of The Simpsons, the skywriter with whom Homer has been struggling finally succumbs to the urge to vent:

"Doggone it, why won't you DIE?!"

    • In the episode Homer Scissorhands, driven mad by all the constant chatter by the women he styles, drives him to commit barbercide. Where he causally walks over and drinks a glass of blue cleaning liquid for his tools, only for nothing to happen.

"Awww why doesn't anything kill me?"

    • In the Halloween episode where Homer kills Death, the Springfield mafia pick a bad time to deal with Frankie the Squealer.

"Frankie the Squealer, why won't you DIE?"
"If I knew, I'd tell you, I swear!" (they keep shooting) "Better call my wife, tell her I'll be late." (takes out mobile while still being shot).

  • Gargoyles
    • In the four-part episode "City of Stone", a man in a mask who Demona identifies as "The Hunter" shows up to stop her. She says somewhat incredulously, "How many times must I destroy you?!" Subverted twofold: Demona has killed previous Hunters before, but their descendants always take up the mantle; and in this case the man in the mask was actually Macbeth, the one person she wants very much never to kill (since she would magically die along with him).
    • Before this, Demona gets such a line in "The Mirror". Towards the beginning of the episode, she orders Puck to rid her of "the human Elisa Maza." Puck playfully misconstrues this and, rather than use deadly force, turns Elisa into a gargoyle. When Gargoyle-Elisa shows up to kick ass and take names, Demona does a Double Take before raging, "What does it take to DESTROY you?!" Which is somewhat hilarious as she should have realized Elisa was still alive after she made Puck "do the same to every human in the city."
  • The Joker says this to Batman in Batman: The Animated Series in the episode "Joker's Wild".
  • In Futurama episode "ReBirth", after Bender survives being eaten by the Cyclops Eater and exploding from the doom's day bomb that was powering him up, he walks out asking "What does it take to kill me?".
  • In The Problem Solverz episode "Videogamez", Horace says this exact line when attacking the final boss in Tomb of Nefertiti, who seems invincible.
  • The Ice King of Adventure Time says this while using a magnifying glass to fry an ant... an ant that's bigger than he is.
  • Inverted in the South Park episode "Coon vs. Coon & Friends", where Kenny as his superhero alter-ego Mysterion asks Cthulu "Why. Can't. I. Die?!" in reference to all his Negative Continuity deaths.