FANDOM


WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

Suicide pacts are when two or more people all decide to kill themselves at the same time, based upon a pre-determined plan that determines how, where, and when. They're different from mass suicides (such as when 960 Jews killed themselves rather than submit to being captured by the Romans at Masada back in 73 AD) because generally only a handful of people are involved; similarly, they differ from cult suicides because there's no dogmatic reason for the suicide itself. Suicide pacts, rather, usually involve small groups of people (such as married or romantic partners, family members, or friends) whose motivations are intensely personal and individual.

Compare Driven to Suicide.

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

Examples of Suicide Pact include:

Anime and Manga

  • Welcome to The NHK featured a group that went to a remote island to throw themselves off a cliff to their death, but eventually one of them hesitated at last second, resulting everyone reconsidering their reasons, and finally giving up on the thought, after their loved ones also show up.
    • There's also an interesting variation at the end where Satou and Misaki make each other promise they will not commit suicide without each other, so that neither will end up doing so. It Makes Sense in Context.
  • Paranoia Agent: "Happy Family Planning"
  • The second episode of Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei.
  • The first chapter of Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service has the main characters find the corpse of a man who killed himself as part of one of these. His wish is to be reunited with his lover, the other member of the pact. Turns out she was an Idol Singer who killed herself along with him when her father forced them to break up, and daddy's pulling a Mummies At the Dinner Table.
  • The second episode of Durarara features one of these made over the internet, though unbeknownst to poor Rio Kamichika it's really Izaya setting her up For the Lulz. Yeah, Izaya is an asshole.
    • In the manga he does the same, except he meets two girls at a karoke bar -- And then drugs their drinks and insinuates that he's going to murder them and stuff their corpses into suitcases as they're succumbing to the effects of the drug. He wasn't actually planning to kill them (he had Celty deliver the unconscious girls to their homes afterwards), but it was an incredibly dick move nonetheless.
  • Akira Otobe of Yoigoshi-hen of Higurashi no Naku Koro ni made one of these. He chickened out. The other members of the group didn't.
  • Used in MPD Psycho, with the mass suicide of Lucy Monostone and his fanatical followers in a church.
  • Rei and Fukiko from Oniisama e... create one as children to end their lives before the world can corrupt them, which fails and creates the rift between them through the rest of the series. At some point, Rei is very feverish and overloaded with drugs... and tries to kill herself and Nanako, the girl who's in love with her, under the belief that Nanako is Fukiko; Nanako manages to stop her, and Rei collapses in tears.

Fanfic

  • In South Park Monogatari, Stan and Kyle try to abide by this by jumping off of the bridge where Kenny drowned in the episode "The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000" when Stan's parents argued too often and when Kyle's pushed him too hard to study. It's thwarted because A. new student Hiromi (known from then on as Nekagi) saves Kyle, and B. the water was too shallow when Stan fell in.
  • After Mikuo tries unsuccessfully to commit suicide alone in this Vocaloid fanfic, he and Akaito form one. They never go through with it though, as it's implied by the end that they no longer want to die. (this troper highly recommends this fic to Vocaloid fans, by the way)

Film

  • The Korean horror movie A Blood Pledge revolves around a four-person suicide pact in which two people are still alive.
  • In the film Suicide Club, 54 schoolgirls leap in front of a subway train all at once. The rest of the film is figuring out why.
  • Subverted in Heathers, in that what looks like a huge suicide pact is actually a case of murder.
  • Aliens. Ripley and Corporal Hicks agree to kill each other rather than be used for hosts by the aliens. Which doesn't happen, though two other soldiers blow themselves up rather than be taken.
  • In All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, Mandy and Emmet enter one of these, killing a number of their classmates and intending to kill each other in order to get themselves immortalized in pop culture. However, Mandy backs out at the last minute.

Literature

  • The Jodi Picoult novel The Pact (and the Lifetime Movie of the Week adaptation) is built around a suicide pact that apparently goes wrong. The girl ends up dead. The guy survives, only to be put on trial for contributing to the girl's death.
  • In Arto Paasilinna's book Hurmaava joukkoitsemurha ("A Charming Mass Suicide") two men who by coincidence run into each other when both are about to commit suicide instead organize a mass suicide for people who don't want to live longer - they will drive a bus off North Cape. They reason a carefully organized and planned suicide will make everyone involved look better in retrospect. The authorities disagree, and the people gathered take a long way to North Cape. Hilarity Ensues - really, but with Paasilinna's usual macabre wit.
  • In a novelization of the original Doom series two people became fused together at the skull deep in enemy territory, apparently the result of some gruesome experiment. Left to suffer, the two carried out a suicide pact.
  • At the end of Double Indemnity, the main couple apparently does this after they are found out.

Live Action TV

  • At least one episode of CSI every forensic investigation drama series ever has revolved around the plot of a suicide pact gone wrong.
  • An episode of CSI New York has a group of terminally ill patients all giving themselves their ideal death. One of them doesn't go through with it, but I can't remember if they prosecute her for her part in the other deaths.
    • There was also an episode where two teenage circus performers who were Star-Crossed Lovers make one. The boy, who was a contortionist, stuffed himself in a box just like in his act, but in a way that made him suffocate. The girl, who was a trapeze artist, was about to jump off a swinging bar and not let her dad catch her...but she changed her mind, realising that she had a lot more to live for. The whole case was investigated after the girl discovers her boyfriends body and buries the box at the beach.
  • Battlestar Galactica Reimagined. In "Lay Down Your Burdens" when the Cylons have them pinned down, Kara and Anders agree to kill each other rather than be captured, and be sent to the Cylon breeding farms (which Kara had already experienced). Fortunately the Cylons withdraw instead.
  • The Stargate Atlantis episode, "Childhood's End" has the team find a village of kids and young adults who have agreed to kill themselves upon hitting age 25 in a perceived effort to keep The Wraith from "harvesting" the community. The team learns this is needless as the Wraith were kept because of a powering dampening field which was running out of power soon and the sacrifices were thought necessary in the beginning to accommodate the field's limits and they eventually convince the villagers to stop this practice.
  • In an episode of Law & Order: Criminal Intent a man is lured into a car that he thinks will take him to some party when all the others know they are going to park on railroad tracks and go together.

Music

  • The song "Here in Heaven" by Sparks features a suicide pact:

 Juliet, you broke our little pact

Juliet, I'm never coming back

Up here in Heaven without you

It is Hell knowing that your health

Will keep you out of here for many, many years

  "resigned to take our lives by the age of twenty-five"

  • The Therapy? song Little Tongues First plays with this (as well as naming the album) with the line "Suicide pact - you first".
  • Though the deeper meaning is anyone's guess, the lyrics of the song "Lie, Lie, Lie" by System of a Down's Serj Tankian paint a picture of the narrator feigning a suicide pact with his girlfriend but then letting go of her at the last second and happily watching her plummet off the cliff on her own.

Theatre

  • The two lovers in the opera A Village Romeo and Juilet by Frederick Delius sink themselves in a boat.
  • The Cantonese opera Princess Chang-Ping (Dai Nui Fa). Chang-Ping, the exiled daughter of the last Ming-dynasty Emperor, drinks poison with her new husband after settling the political negotiation with the new Munchauian Emperor.


Video Games

  • This was abused by Dahlia Hawthorne in the third Ace Attorney game.
  • Cyberswine: When Cyberswine and Lieutenant Sarah Lee become aware of the plague that seems to be killing most people around them, Sarah asks Cyberswine to kill her if she comes down with it. Cyberswine promises that he will kill her and then himself if it comes to that, because he does not think they will make it. Fortunately, it does not come to that.

Web Comics

Real Life

  • Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun made a pact to take cyanide together in a locked room as the Allies were marching into Berlin. Supposedly as a final act of cowardice, Hitler shot himself in the temple after taking the cyanide in order to spare himself the rather painful and grotesque death cyanide poisoning brings. With the only bullet on hand. Sorry Eva.
    • Could have been a cultural thing. Men shot themselves, women took poison.
      • Plus, if Downfall is to be believed, he only took the cyanide in case his Parkinson's prevented him from shooting himself in the head properly.
  • Inseparable East Village artists Theresa Duncan and Jeremy Blake killed themselves because they believed they were being persecuted.
  • House star Hugh Laurie has admitted that he and a friend made a suicide pact when they were 18 to kill themselves shortly before their 40th birthdays. Neither went through with it.
  • Subversion: Japanese serial killer Hiroshi Maeue lured victims by forging bogus suicide pacts with them, suggesting burning charcoal in a sealed car as a method of exit, only to suffocate his victims with his hands instead.
  • When Australia was a penal colony, conditions were so poor that some prisoners would enter a variation on the pact: One prisoner would kill the other, and then allow himself to be executed for the murder.
  • Fairly early in the Jewish War of 66-70 AD, the Jewish commander Josephus and forty men escaped the siege of Jotapata and hid in a cave. Once discovered, they formed a suicide pact, drawing (presumably numbered) lots and having each man kill the third one down the list from himself. According to his own account of the incident, Josephus survived by luck, talking the second to last man out of killing him and then defecting to the Romans. The Josephus Problem in mathematics is derived from the cynical presumption that he rigged the contest.
  • Sadly, truth in television. This troper recalls hearing this very tragic tale of two Scottish teenagers who made a suicide pact. One day the girls slipped away together from the group home where they lived, walked several kilometers down to the Erskine Bridge, and there they leaped off the bridge hand-in-hand into the River Clyde. That evening they were found below the bridge and airlifted to a nearby hospital, where they were both pronounced dead on arrival.
    • A lot of suicides happen at the Erskine Bridge. In fact, posters for suicide hotlines are everywhere there.
  • One of the theories about the Mayerling Incident, with Imperial Crown Prince Rudolf of Habsburg and his mistress Maria Vetsera. Historians still don't reach an agreement about it.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.