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Sam: "All right. We don't have that much left. We have to be careful or we're going to run out. You go ahead and eat that, Mister Frodo. I've rationed it. There should be enough."

Frodo: "For what?"

Sam: "...The journey home."

Our heroes seem to be in a spot of mortal peril. It's pretty well-represented today, but it's nothing they haven't handled before.

Wait... did that secondary character just express an intent to eat sundaes with the gang once this was all over? Why would she do such a thing??

Note that she doesn't always spell death for herself when she utters such a schmaltzy future plan. If multiple characters are in peril, basically any character she mentions who is a) recognizable as a character and b) not so major that their death would totally alter things could be killed by her pronouncement.

One popular twist on this trope is the character becoming a Determinator just so s/he can eat sundaes/go to a theme park/whatever.

See also Retirony, a major development a random Red Shirt will never get to see, and Fatal Family Photo. A kind of Tempting Fate.

Examples of If We Get Through This include:


Anime and Manga

  • A scene from Blood Plus has one of these, mentioning a walk in Paris.
  • Sailor Moon: That thrice-damned chocolate parfait. One of the most well-done deaths in the series, and it's a villain death.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, this is done immediately after the legendary "kiss of doom."
  • Happens tragically in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. They will never have the cake for augury celebration.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion uses an extremely dark variant of this: during The Movie, in an attempt at Get a Hold of Yourself, Man! mixed with Cooldown Hug, Misato French-kisses Shinji and promises to "do the rest" when he gets back... knowing full well that she has been mortally injured and is moments away from death.
  • In RahXephon, one of TERRA's fighter pilots reveals that he wants to ask out his superior officer if he makes it through the next mission alive. Naturally, he doesn't.
  • Inuyasha: It takes most of the manga for Kohaku to stop thinking that his only right is to die for the crimes he's committed in Naraku's name. It's lampshaded towards the end of the manga (shortly before the Final Battle begins) by Kohaku himself when he asks his sister if, when this is all over, he has the right to keep living, after all. Just as he asks his sister this, a hidden trap by Naraku is sprung, slicing through his neck to obtain the last shard needed to complete the Shikon no Tama... and incidentally removing the one single thing that was keeping Kohaku alive. He gets better.

Comic Books

  • In the Postboot Legion of Super-Heroes story "Widening Rifts," Saturn Girl tells Live Wire that if they get through this, she'll marry him. They end up as two of a group of twelve Legionnaires who are trapped on the team's satellite when it's sucked into a spatial rift, sending them who knows where and leaving them presumed dead by the teammates who stayed behind. The next story, however, focuses on this "Legion Lost," and gives the readers another whole year with them, alive, together, before they return home. Live Wire, however, doesn't come back with them. He does reappear later, though, in a very different shape.

Fan Works

  • In Heta Oni, the countries all discuss how, after they ALL escape from the mansion, they're going to have a huge party, and what they're going to do there. And we all know what happens next.

Film

  • Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid has one of these in the middle (they jokingly discuss moving to Australia) but the same is notably missing from the ending where they actually do die -- script writer Goldman said that omitting the reminiscing gives a sense of obscure bravery to the death scene, since once they realize that they really are going to die they completely refuse to act like it.
  • In Rest Stop the policeman who has his legs broken says he wants to get home to his kid so he can apologize for the one time he yelled at him.

 "What a fucking stupid thing to think as I'm dying."

He then realizes that the girl's life is more important than his own and orders her to kill him before they both get burnt alive. He gives her a gun, and tells her to shoot him in the head. She misses.

  • On Get Smart Max told 99 that if they got through this one he'd ask her to marry him. Cue 99's Ass Kickery of all the Mooks.
  • In Return of the King (film), Sam announces apropos of nothing that he'd have liked to marry Rosie Cotton. Which, naturally, he later does. This may have been an excuse for his failure to snog Frodo when it was clearly called for.
  • In Das Boot, the Captain tells the crew that "it's half a bottle of beer for each" if they can make it safely back to La Rochelle. They do, but they're hit with an Allied air raid almost immediately after docking.
  • In the fifth Harry Potter film, Sirius tells Harry that "When all this is over, we'll be a proper family. You'll see." No, they won't. For anyone who read the book before seeing the film, this doubles as Dramatic Irony.
  • Used to good effect in Serenity, as they're gearing up for a last desperate stand and Simon finally tells Kaylee that he regrets never acting on her obvious desire to hook up. Kaylee takes this as fuel for her determination, but to the Genre Savvy viewer, this (coupled with the recent realization that Anyone Can Die) creates more genuine fear for the characters' fate than most action movies produce. Of course it ends up being a subversion.

Literature

  • In Animorphs Jake does this in the next to last book, asking Cassie to marry him "when this is all over". Ends up a subversion, since they don't get married.

Live Action TV

  • Parodied in Blackadder Goes Forth, in which Wide-Eyed Idealist George states that he would like them all to come together once the war is over and reminisce about the good old times. Blackadder comments that the best way for George to 'reminiscence' back to the war would be to dig holes in his back yard for them to stand in and have his gardener hide in the hedge and occasionally shoot at them.
  • The Grand Finale of Buffy the Vampire Slayer has an odd example, when Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles get together and discuss going to the mall after the First's defeat (mimicking a similar conversation from the second episode of this series). Which member of this conversation doesn't make it through the battle? The mall--it and the rest of Sunnydale are destroyed when the Hellmouth collapses in on itself.
    • Xander also proposes to Anya right before the battle with Glory. They both survive, but the wedding doesn't work out.
  • A non-action example in Boy Meets World: Shawn's father, in the hospital after a heart attack, promises his sons that he will stay with them this time. He promptly dies.
  • An exchange between two Mauve Shirts in the first Season Finale of the Doctor Who revival. She sarcastically asks if she's supposed to say "If we get through this, maybe we could go for a drink?" When he admits that'd be nice, she first says "Tough" but then winks at him. Unfortunately for them both, they're up against the Daleks.
  • In Community episode Modern Warfare: "What are you guys gonna do if you win priority registration?" As soon as Shirley mentions her kids, you know she's out the game.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, back in 1996, when College-Ted and Marshall got trapped in a blizzard while driving to Minnesota and were in danger of freezing or starving to death, Marshall, who had been previously boasting that he couldn't be tied down by a woman and Lily was just one of a long string of girlfriends he was planning on having, confessed to Ted that he just realized he was in love with Lily and if he got through this alive, he was going to marry her. Ten years later, he did.

Theatre

  • A Cut Song from Little Shop of Horrors, We'll Have Tomorrow, was Seymour and Audrey singing about the wonderful life they were going to start tomorrow. "We'll have tomorrow/If we/Make it through tonight". They don't.

Video Games

  • Averted in Revelations: Persona: the party promises two side characters that they'll go to Dreamland. The epilogue shows the five meeting up in Peace Diner.
  • Aeris in Final Fantasy VII does this on a near-constant basis. "One day, we'll look back on all this and laugh."
  • In Final Fantasy X, Tidus in retrospect sounded like this to the rest of the cast, talking about seeing places oblivious to that in theory, their journey should be Yuna's last.
    • This is practically metairony, given the late-game backtracking, retreading and levelgrinding typical to the franchise, he does get to see all places again. Then it becomes clearer that it'll be the last time he will get to see them.
      • Until the sequel, that is.
  • Inverted in Resident Evil 4 after Leon receives some backup in the form of some guy named Mike, who's piloting a helicopter, in that it's done after the danger has passed and it's the protagonist who invokes it;

 Leon: When we get back, drinks are on me.

Mike: Yeah? I know a good bar.

  • Zealot shoots down the helicopter with a rocket launcher*

Leon: Miiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiike!

  • In the last level of Call of Duty 4, Gaz and Griggs talk about going out and getting drunk after the mission. Both of them die in the final showdown against the Big Bad and his henchmen.
  • In Defense Grid the Awakening, the general will sometimes say during a battle, "if we get through this, I'd buy you a drink, if I could," since he's an uploaded brain with no physical body.
  • Fire Emblem: Seisen no Keifu does this so much in chapter 5. All the lover convos are about going home, seeing their kids, Sigurd talks about getting compensation for everyone who helped him out in the war... And then come the flaming rocks. Whoever doesn't die at Bahara dies by some other means later, with the exceptions of Edain and Bridget.
  • If the player pairs Eagle and Sami in the final battle of Advance Wars: Dual Strike:

 Eagle: "I want you to promise me something, Sami. Promise that if we both return from this battle alive..."

Sami: "Oh no you don't! Stop it right there! If two people make a promise like that, one of them is going to end up dead! You might as well tell me that you're two days away from retirement! Save the promises for later, OK? We'll talk when we get back in one piece."

  • Metal Gear Solid has this exchange between Otacon and Snake after Sniper Wolfs death.

 Otacon: "SNAKE! What was she fighting for? What are you fighting for? What am I fighting for?"

Solid Snake: "If we make it through this, I'll tell you."

Otacon: "...ok. I'll be searching too."

Web Comics

Western Animation

  • If you watch the fourth season of Winx Club with knowledge of what happens in the last three episodes, then Nabu proposing to Layla in episode 11 might feel like this... For a better example, at the beginning of episode 24, Layla tells Nabu that once everything is over, they can finally begin their lives together...
  • Danny Phantom does this in the Grand Finale.

 Danny: If we make it through this --

Sam: When we make it through this.

Danny: Right. When we make it through this, there's something I'd like to talk to you about.

 Dimitri: If we live through this, remind me to thank you

(which Anastasia repeats in the ending sequence before Dimitri cuts her off)

Anastasia: If we live through this, remind me-

Dimitri: You can thank me later.

  • Peg to Pete, in Goof Troop, when a Zany Scheme results in falling really really far: "If by some chance we don't die... I'M GOING TO KILL YOU!" (All involved wind up in Bandage Mummy status in the end, so she doesn't get to throttle him later.)
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