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Barney: We and two beautiful women just survived a mugging. Do you know what that means?
Ted: 'Thank God we're alive' sex?
Barney: 'Thank God we're alive' sex! It's even better than 'I can't believe you just proposed to me' sex, which I've only had like, four or five times.


The Heroes have survived a harrowing ordeal. It could be a major disaster, a battle or even an encounter with either The Dragon or the Big Bad. Whether they won or lost is immaterial. The important thing is that they are still alive and are so glad to be alive that they decide to celebrate the fact by doing the most lively thing of which they can think of.

This can actually take many forms. Perhaps The Squad takes a town and decided to enjoy the "hospitality" of the grateful female population. If the setting is a little more politically correct then it shall be made perfectly clear the female members of the group are as glad to be alive as the men are and thus they shall be more likely to seek out each others' company. As a matter of fact, this more or less defines the sex life of any Battle Couple that has gone all the way; it may constitute their Relationship Upgrade to a Battle Couple. Perhaps the Damsel in Distress doesn't think the Smooch of Victory is sufficient reward and offers Rescue Sex, especially if she, too, is glad to be alive. Many an Action Girl has become an Action Mom in the immediate aftermath of such a situation. May, in fact, lead to Babies Ever After. Can also be one of the attractions of In Harm's Way. On a darker and more disturbing note, these notions are probably a reason behind the "rape" part of Rape, Pillage and Burn when a victorious army is marching into town. If the writer has really done his homework, then he might connect it to the effects of winding down from an adrenaline rush.

Smooch of Victory may have to substitute, either for a G-Rated version, or because they lack the time and/or privacy.

Sometimes overlaps with Last-Minute Hookup, particularly in one shot works. Standard Hero Reward is a Lighter and Softer version of this. You Don't Want to Die a Virgin, Do You? and Pre-Climax Climax occur when they decide not to risk not surviving. See also Intimate Psychotherapy. Sex Is Good is the supertrope that allows this one to make sense.

No real life examples, please; This is All The Tropes, not Tropes After Dark.

Examples of "Glad to Be Alive" Sex include:


  • Invoked in an advertisement for Bridgestone tires, where the GPS advises an elderly couple the best route to a makeout spot:

Turn right in fifteen feet (car cuts across several lanes of traffic and into a narrow alley). Stomp on the brakes (car stops just before it drives off a cliff).
(Couple turns to each other and begins kissing furiously as romantic music swells.)


Anime and Manga

  • In Wicked City, Dark Action Girl Makie and Badass Normal Taki have sex after a Black World extremist ambush nearly kills them both. In a subversion, it's actually a huge plot point: a part of The Plan of their boss Giuseppe included them getting emotionally and sexually involved since not only Makie would became a Pregnant Badass and experience a big power-up from that... but her and Taki's future child would be the first human/demon hybrid kid, the living proof that humans and demons can live in peace together.
  • In Princess Lover!, after Teppei saves her from an out of control train, Charlotte thanks him (off-screen) in a gratuitously erotic way. Silvie's facial expressions tell the story.

Comic Books

  • Done in the J. Michael Straczynski upgrade of Squadron Supreme, Supreme Power. Mark Milton's government-assigned parents had just seen him vaporize a puppy by accident with Heat Vision that nobody knew he had and were so overwhelmed that they sneaked off into a closet with no cameras and did the nasty.
  • Watchmen, in the comic, after the heroes come to terms with the fact that the Big Bad attacked their city while they were away, killing millions. Strangely enough, averted in the Darker and Edgier movie.
  • Played straight and very effectively in Kraven's Last Hunt. After being buried alive for two weeks, the first thing Spider-Man does is return home to the arms of his wife Mary Jane, who had spent these two weeks worried sick and on at least one occasion getting into a very dangerous situation looking for him.
    • Subverted near the end of Spider-Man: The Other. Peter ends up carrying Mary Jane in his arms because she's moving to slow, leading Luke Cage to believe he's rushing to get laid. Next scene shows that Peter simply wanted to take Mary Jane out web swinging.

Fan Works

  • The Code Geass fanfic In the End: it's not exactly clear what happens in the haystack between Lelouch and C.C after she bathes him but the author mentions how they were sleeping side-by-side when Orange found them.
  • Somewhere on the internet, there has to be a Post-Third Impact story where Shinji and Asuka do this after the camera had cut away... It's best to go look for them..
  • In the DC Nation universe, this and Intimate Psychotherapy happened between Beast Boy and Fauna after Ra's al Ghul's plague. Their altered, animal-based physiology left them completely immune to the plague's effects while virtually everyone else was dying around them, and one of the ingredients Ra's used in the plague was some of Gar's blood.
  • A Persona 4 fanfic, Goes Down Alone is pretty much about Unresolved Sexual Tension culminating into this trope. It's actually more dramatic than erotic.
  • Ken Wolfe's series of Sailor Moon fics (found on the Sailor Moon Fanfics Recs page) have as a mostly-background feature an affair between Minako and Ami, founded on this following their revivals after fighting Beryl , and later, Galaxia.

Film - Live-Action


Jack: I have to warn you, I've heard relationships based on intense experiences never work.
Annie: OK. We'll have to base it on sex then.

  • The end of The Fifth Element.
  • Enemy at the Gates suggests this happened a lot among the defenders during the Siege of Stalingrad. Given the brutality of that conflict, likely Truth in Television.
  • Possibly implied at the end of Die Hard, in which John and his wife reunite, kiss, and climb into the back of a limo. Although it may be asking a bit much of our hero after his ordeal.
  • At least one of the many sex scenes in 9½ Weeks, with Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke.
  • Okay, so maybe Hermione and Ron's kiss in the Chamber of Secrets towards the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 technically doesn't qualify because it's not really sex, but think about it - it's practically the trope itself in PG-13 form.
  • An interesting example in the Japanese film Departures. Daigo comes home from his first session of preparing corpses for burial, and quickly gets hot for his wife Mika. It's not that he was ever in danger of dying, but being around a corpse just spooked him so much that he wants to have sex so he can feel alive again. (Made more interesting by the fact that Mika doesn't actually know what Daigo's current job is, since people who handle anything related to corpses and death are heavily looked down in Japan.)
  • At the end of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, this is likely what Jessica has in mind when she urges Roger to come home with the promise of a "carrot cake".
  • It's implied the Poe is suggesting this to Zorii in the denouement of The Rise of Skywalker. She rolls her eyes and turns him down. He takes it quite well.


  • In A Gift From Earth, a science fiction novel by Larry Niven, a woman is forced to undergo sensory deprivation, and uses this to bring herself back to feeling.
  • The novella version of The Mist.
  • Simon and Miriamele in Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.
  • Aviendha and Rand's first time in the Wheel of Time might qualify.
    • Faile and Perrin after the Trolloc invasion is defeated, though not actually shown.
  • Disturbingly enough, many writers of both genders will use this after a female character has been the target of an Attempted Rape. One Historical Fiction novel Two Brothers uses this when a Love Interest has been rescued after being raped. "I feel so dirty....will you make me clean?"
    • That line is not to be confused with a Mr. Clean seduction scene.
    • Well the novel Sirens by Eric van Lustbader had a Les Yay version of that, which made a bit more sense.
    • In-universe example and Zig-Zagging Trope: that's allegedly how Tyrion Lannister met his first wife Tysha. It was all a lie. Or not.
    • In a situation that was tacky even for a Hentai game, one Critical Point scenario involved this right after the female character had been raped by the same guy she was now coming on to! Technically, he was not in control of himself at the time and it wasn't consensual for either of them, but still, "fixing" the rape by having consensual sex directly afterwards...
    • It's turned around in Jo Beverly's Devilish; after she's abducted, tied up, and nearly raped, Diana tries to find a way to cope with the experience by asking her Love Interest to tie her down. He complies only reluctantly, and flatly tells her not to even ask him to have sex with her like that.
  • Sam Yeager and Barbara Larssen do this after nearly being killed by a Lizard Bomb in Harry Turtledove's Worldwar series.
    • There's an earlier one between Barbara and her husband Jens after they survive a Lizard bombing of Chicago.
  • Renie and !Xabbu in Otherland, actually three times.
  • One of the ways to "Turn Sexual Tension into Mad, Passionate Sex " in The Action Hero's Handbook.
  • In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "Black Colossus" Yasmela insists on this immediately in the wake of her rescue. Conan does not need much persuasion, to be sure.
  • Occurred in at least one of the Guardians of the Flame novels. I can't remember which one or which characters, only the line:

But mostly it's about almost having gotten killed. Or doesn't it make you horny, too?

  • In Sergey Lukyanenko's Seekers of the Sky duology, based on Helena's (a glider pilot) stories, this seems to be true whenever several pilots survive a crash-landing or a near-miss. This is considering that most of the pilots are male, with Helena being a rare exception. This lifestyle helps her develop a cavalier attitude towards sex. In her first appearance, the main character (a thief) kidnaps her and forces her to fly him from a prison island. After crash-landing, he is badly hurt. Does she run away immediately? No, she has sex with him before leaving "to work out the aching muscles."
  • In By the Sword, this trope combines with Rescue Romance and the Florence Nightingale Effect to kickstart Kerowyn and Eldan's relationship within no more than a few hours after she saves him from being tortured by a Karsite priestess. Kero acknowledges the trope in the process, reflecting that she's felt the impulse plenty of times before, just never around anyone she'd care to wake up next to.
  • Colonial Union Special Forces in John Scalzi's Old Man's War series have Glad-To-Be-Alive Orgies after every mission.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, Dora asks Lazarus whether it's odd to want this after a fight; he assures her it doesn't mean she's warped.
  • In Teresa Frohock's Miserere: An Autumn Tale, Lucian and Rachael get as far as the passionate kissing after a hard-won victory before they remember their past. Lucian tells her he's sorry; she tells him that no, he's not.
  • In East of the Sun, West of the Moon (from the Council Wars series by John Ringo) Megan's sexual relationship with Herzer has been delayed because she is recovering from repeated rape and Stockholm Syndrome. She finally demands sex after watching her friend get killed by a mutant-scorpion-thing and downing several shots of vodka to steady her nerves. Fortunately she falls asleep before he can comply, as that doesn't really count as Safe, Sane, and Consensual
  • Subverted in A Ring of Endless Light by Madeleine L'Engle, Vicky and Leo discuss how being close to death has made them more interested in expressing life. Leo uses this as a come-on (including mentioning that his parents had sex as part of their mourning process), but Vicky isn't interested.

Vicky: Why have I been so hungry?
Leo: Because eating is part of life. So is loving.
Vicky: Let's concentrate on eating, then.

  • A story in Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon involves a song about a woman freezing to death when her car breaks down in a blizzard. The song's last line tells that the boss of the road crew which found her two weeks later "went home and made savage love to his wife."

Live-Action TV

  • In How I Met Your Mother, it's #26 on Lily's reasons to have sex.
    • Also gets a mention in the episode where Ted and Barney pose as tourists visiting NYC in order to pick up girls.

Ted: Let's get out of here, this night's a disaster.
Barney: What!? This night couldn't have gone any better! We just survived a mugging; you know what that means!
Ted: Thank God we're alive sex?
Barney: Thank God we're alive sex! It's even better than I can't believe you just proposed to me sex, which I've only had like, four or five times.

  • Wash and Zoe from Firefly.
    • Jayne says something about this to Book in "The Message" when they are talking about how they deal with death. The also say something similar when they are defending the brothel in "Heart of Gold."
    • In the movie, Kaylee and Simon use this as their Relationship Upgrade. It's also implied in this exchange during a lull in a battle:

Simon: In all this, if there's one thing I regret, it's never having the chance... to be with you.
Kaylee: You mean to say, as in... sex?
Simon: (smiles) I mean to say.
Kaylee: (cocks gun) Hell with this, I'm gonna live!
Of course, anyone who's seen even a few episodes will see right through those spoiler tags.

  • Faith and Xander have sex in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "The Zeppo." Faith implies she may like to indulge in this trope often, stating outright, "Isn't it crazy how slaying just always makes you hungry and horny?"
    • Buffy and Angel having sex at the end of "Surprise" may also be an example, though it was less celebratory and more "I almost lost you, so I want to be as intimate as possible with you."
    • In "Forever" Xander and Anya have sex after Joyce's funeral, with Anya lampshading the trope. Angel, who's turned up just to comfort Buffy, has to leave her when Buffy's kissing becomes too passionate.
  • NCIS: After nearly dying at the hands of a serial killer, Ziva goes to a bar and picks up a guy. Subverted in that she looks more screwed-up then sad. Also, after his old Love Interest Paula Cassidy dies, Tony goes and tells his girlfriend he loves her in a more romantic form of this.
  • Amy all but requests this outright at the end of the Doctor Who episode "Flesh and Stone". Doesn't get further than a kiss before the Doctor puts a stop to it. Then came the next episode where he tells Amy's pissed-off fiancé what happened.

The Doctor: She was frightened. But we survived you know, and in the relief of it and so yes, she kissed me.
Rory: And you kissed her back.
The Doctor: No, I kissed her mouth.

  • Michael and Fiona from Burn Notice indulge in this at least once per season.
  • Inverted in the first season M*A*S*H episode "Ceasefire". Thinking the war is over, Hawkeye breaks all relationships with nurses he has been bedding by faking being married.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • In the first episode. Walter White has just escaped two drug dealers who were about to kill him and a fire that one of them set accidentally. And then he crawls back home to his wife.
    • In a later episode it goes much worse. He come home half-whimpering after a really traumatic ordeal and needs some sexual healing from his wife. When she's not in the mood for it he almost rapes her.
  • Mad Men: After Roger and Joan get mugged in an alley, they get busy immediately after in that same alley.


  • Bonnie "Prince" Billy's "Death To Everyone" combines this with a healthy doese of Existentialism.

Death to everyone
Is gonna come
And it makes hosin' much more fun


Video Games

  • The (optional) sex scene between Madison and Ethan in Heavy Rain could definitely qualify, considering the former almost got killed by Adrian Baker and almost raped by Paco Mendes, and the latter had a near death experience with a drug dealer whom he may or may not have then killed.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Presumably, this is how the Boss and the Sorrow produced a child.
  • You can bring up the subject with Zevran in Dragon Age--specifically, the idea of ravishing him during the celebration.
  • The first H Scene between Hisao and Lilly during her route in the Visual Novel Katawa Shoujo for all intents and purposes boils down this because it happens after Hisao experiences a heart flutter. It is more "Glad you're alive sex" in Lilly's case.
  • World of Warcraft; in the Molten Front (the Cataclysm expansion) there's a Daily Quest where you act as Combat Medic to a group of druids fighting a bunch of fire elementals. Sometimes, one of them will give you this dialogue:

Wounded Hyjal Defender: I owe you a very special thank you. Find me sometime when this fight is over.

  • Implied in Fire Emblem Fates, more exactly in the Birthright path. The paralogue featuring Kaze's fixed child, Midori, will only be unlocked after Chapter 15... and only if Kaze has an A support with the Avatar. If they don't reach that support level, he'll die in an Heroic Sacrifice to save the Avatar and Midori's paralogue will never unlock even if Kaze is married; if they do, both of them live and Midori can be recruited. Granted it's to not have any plot-related incoherencies (ie., Kaze MUST be deployed in Midori's stage and that obviously can't happen if he's dead), but still. . .

Web Comics

  • Unusually done in The Order of the Stick where Roy has sex with his girlfriend Celia after coming back from the dead.
    • And the famous strip 400, only it's more "glad that you're alive" implied sex.

Web Original

  • Done in Yahtzee's adventure game 6 Days a Sacrifice. Unfortunately, the woman involved ends up screwed in a totally different way as a result.

Western Animation

  • Done by Peter and Lois in an episode of Family Guy, after they survive an encounter with Mel Gibson (who was trying to kill them for stealing a reel with his latest movie on it).
  • Unsuccessfully invoked in American Dad, when Stan gets in a Mexican Standoff with his wife and expects it to end in "nobody-got-shot-sex", as it usually does.