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Death. This is (usually) the final time this character will ever get to do anything. This gives us such tropes as Anguished Declaration of Love, where a Bob realizes this is the last chance he'll ever get to say, "I love you."
But sometimes Bob doesn't want to announce love, but isn't exactly smiling either. He didn't get to do what he wanted to, and he can't be loyal to what he wanted to be, because he can't be anything.
- Buckaroo Banzai. The black Lectroid John Gant is about to destroy his thermopod (and himself) to prevent the red Lectroids from capturing it.
John Gant: My most profuse apologies to my homeland and loved ones...Perhaps John Parker will get through with our message to Buckaroo Banzai.
- In Serenity Simon, while lying on the ground shot, and thinking he is dying, apologizes to River for not protecting her enough. Gee whiz, I hope the patron saint of big brothers (whoever it is) puts in a good word for him. Good thing he gets better.
- You won't see the shots going through car windows. how guys burn alive in armor, and how guys fall over amid bullet holes, going quiet forever. Do you see the holes in my armored vest? How many guys lie here? How many wasted years? Mom, mama, forgive me, I couldn't save myself. Bullets hitting me... I didn't look.
- On Growing Pains Mike's big acting break (or so he thinks) is when get gets a gig on a Police Procedural as a cop who gets shot in a shootout, saying something like "I guess I'll never get to [something]." But when it's shown on TV his one line gets cut.
- Season four of Dexter gives us a non-verbal variant: Agent Frank Lundy, after having rekindled his romance with Deb Morgan, is shot dead a few episodes in. Deb watches him take his last breath. Although he says nothing, she describes the look on his face as he's dying as "apologetic."
- Doctor Who has a few of these:
- Rory's last words to Amy after throwing himself between the Doctor and a laser blast are "I'm sorry".
- In the series 6 opener, the Doctor apologises to his horror-stricken friends just before the mysterious astronaut shoots him mid-regeneration, killing him for good.
- Near the end of Act 2 of Infinite Space, after he fires exalaser cannon to take down the enemy ships those are pursuing Yuri, Dietrich apologizes to Yuri for not being able to keep his word to him to stay alive.
- In Disgaea 3, Almaz apologizes to Princess Sapphire that he couldn't keep his promise to not die for her sake, after being pricked with a poisoned needle in a trap aimed at her.
- Kingdom Hearts - After biting off more than he could chew with Riku, Lexaeus's last words are an apology to Zexion (who isn't even present).
"Forgive me, Zexion...this was a fight I should not have started."
- Order of the Stick: A random hobgoblin sees a boulder flying in and knocks his commander out of the way. Last words, and possibly two out of his only three lines are:
I regret to report that I am no longer fit for duty...Supreme Leader...
- Dogfight's lasts words before he was crushed in the collapse of the North Tower after the 9-11 attacks was an apology to his son for not being there to watch him grow up. This was part of his son's Freudian Excuse to become a supervillain.
- Liberty's Kids has an episode that starts off with Nathan Hale (see Real Life), and the British commanders commenting that they can't let word get out that an American was able to face death so calmly.
- Nathan Hale said, just before being hanged at 21:
I only regret, that I have but one life to lose for my country.
- Actually, he said "It is the duty of any good man to oppose tyrants". A writer at the time said one life to give about his death.
- Satoshi Kon, after expressing regrets about being unable to finish the movie he was working on at the time, ended his farewell letter with a phrase that is used when somebody leaves work while others have to stay and roughly translates as "Sorry for leaving early".