|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
This trope occurs when a character is killed in an allegorical or lyrical manner; often this is due to their own actions. A favored fate of The Villain Of The Story. Dead Line News, Death by Looking Up, Hoist by His Own Petard, Karmic Death, and the more lethal variations of Turned Against Their Masters are all SubTropes.
Sometimes the connection is less pointed, the writer trying to show how clever he is. Some are so howlingly obvious that they challenge our Willing Suspension of Disbelief. Bond films have done this so much that we'll accept almost anything.
Anime and Manga
- In Fullmetal Alchemist the manga/Brotherhood version, each of the Homunculi dies in a manner thematically appropriate to the associated Deadly Sin:
- Lust is burned to death by a man whose probable love interest she was about to kill.
- Greed Mk.I is boiled down for his most valuable part. However, he came back later.
- Greed Mk.II performs a Heroic Sacrifice after admitting that all he wanted were friends, and that he doesn't need anything else.
- Envy commits suicide out of self-loathing because he envies his enemies.
- Gluttony is eaten.
- Sloth is worn out by a long fight.
- Wrath's Death By Irony wasn't necessarily appropriate for his Deadly Sin, but it was for his character. After saying several times that there is no such thing as God, the solar eclipse, the symbol of God in alchemy, plays an instrumental role in his defeat.
- Other bits of irony appear in his death. Wrath's actions lead to Scar becoming a rage filled killer and it is Scar who finally defeats him. Wrath's final words suggest that he dies completely at peace with the world.
- And finally based of his very name, Wrath, his death was ironic. He died with peace of mind, completely content with his life.
- Pride was stripped of most of his powers and lost to Ed after badly underestimating both him and what's left of Kimblee's soul. (Plenty of other irony relating to his previous actions, too)
- Pride tries to possess Edward's body. What does Ed do? Use a fraction of his soul to cut off the other souls in Pride's body. He essentially defeated Pride by possessing him.
- Pride had eaten Kimblee because he was no longer useful. Father abandoned Pride to die because he was no longer useful.
- Also, Kimblee came back to bite Pride in the ass too.
- In the final chapter, it is shown that Pride has lost his memories of being a homunculus, and is now being raised as a human child; ironic because of his hatred and scorn for humanity and the great pride he took in being a homunculus.
- Barry the Chopper, a bodiless soul bound to armor by a blood-seal, tracks down and supposedly kills his original body (now a mindless creature). Shortly after that Lust destroys the armor, leaving the piece of armor with the seal on it as the only part of him still alive. His real body then crawls over, picks the piece up, and scratches the seal off (which destroys his soul).
- The gold-toothed doctor, who had apparently participated in all kinds of hideous alchemical human experimentation and had just gone to some pretty despicable lengths to force Roy to open the Gate, gets transmuted into a hideous blob of Body Horror by Pride, in the process of forcing Roy to open the Gate.
- Macross Frontier. You just had to poke the fourth wall, didn't you, Michel?
- Fisher Tiger from One Piece hated humans for enslaving him and treating Mermen badly in general. Despite this, he fought to free all slaves, Mermen and human alike, and tried to avert the Vicious Cycle by not killing his pursuers. Then he was seriously injured in an ambush and his blood-type was unique among Mermen — none of his crew had the right type of blood to save him. The only blood that could save him was from the very humans Fisher Tiger despised. Which he refused because—to his own shame—he could not let go of his hatred.
- In Pokemon Special, the Big Bad of the GSC arc AKA Pryce tries to control time itself. He ends up being forever trapped in the time stream, albeit with no regrets, as he accomplished his goal of reuniting his baby Lapras with its lost parents.
- Also, in the Pokemon anime, Big Bad Cyrus gets close to undoing the world and creating his own, Palkia and Dialga open a dimension to start but cease when the heroes break Cyrus' mind control. Cyrus refuses to believe his plans have failed and jumps into the pocket dimension just as it closes, and while it's possible he's creating his own universe seperate from the main one, it's far more likely the dimensional gate destroyed him when it shut.
- In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, a group of socialist assassinates millionaires with a custom shrapnel gun loaded with rolls of coins.
- Higurashi no Naku Koro ni's Eye Opening Arc ends with local Yandere Shion Sonozaki falling from her apartment building to her death. The irony? She had spent the majority of the arc masquerading as her twin sister Mion so she could frame her for her infamous murder rampage, and she had just finished her grand plan by sneaking out and stabbing Keiichi. While she scales her apartment building to sneak back in, the fall is caused by the holster she is wearing (which is part of her disguise) snagging on the wall. Note this does not happen in Cotton Drifting, or in the original Visual Novel or Manga adaptation of Eye Opening.
- A Star Wars Tales comic is told entirely from the perspective of a career storm trooper who's about to board the Tantive IV. As he thinks back on his life in the military and the things he's done, his ruminations are interspersed with the present as the Star Destroyer pulls the ship into its docking bay and they prepare to board. The man dreads being chosen to be sent in first, because the guy sent in first always dies—he's seen it dozens of times. Naturally, the sergeant chooses him. They set the charge on the door, and the storm trooper dryly remarks on its functionality, designed to blow the door inward and hopefully make the enemy flinch. And for once...it works. The rebels flinch, buying the man time to get into the hallway and start shooting. And right behind him, the sergeant that ordered him in first is shot in the face.
- In DC Comics, this is the fate of Darkseid's mother, Queen Heggra. She didn't appreciate how her son was falling in love with a beautiful and understanding scientist, Suli, so she had the court poisoner, Desaad, poison her potential daughter-in-law. Darkseid returned the sentiment by having Desaad poison her, too. This parley would eventually come back to bite Desaad in the ass, too. When Darkseid accidentally freed his father, Yuga Khan from the Source Wall, Desaad grovelled before him, telling him how his service to Darkseid "was a lie." Yuga Khan then reminded Desaad how he murdered his beloved wife, then promptly disintegrated the sniveling toad. He came back with help from Darkseid after Yuga Khan, ironically, got himself re-stuck in the Source Wall.
- Another DC Comics example, this time concerning a possible future demise for noted immortal villain Vandal Savage. In DC One Million, after having lived up to the 853rd century, Savage goes back in time to the 20th-century and arrives in Montevideo, Uruguay just in time to get caught in a nuclear blast that devastates the city...an attack that is ordered by 20th-century Savage.
- Ra's Al-Ghul in A Spark of Genius claims that Xander is a more fitting heir than Batman as unlike Batman, he's willing to kill those who stand against him. He later pushes Xander too far by trying to take his fiances and minions hostage, causing Xander to kill him then vaporize the body to insure he doesn't come back.
- I Am Going To Save And/Or Destroy Equestria! Arabus gets eaten by King Sombra, who comments, "A fate both ironic and poetic: The shadow-eater, eaten by the king of shadows."
- Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations Volume 3: This is how villains in the story meet their comeuppance:
- The Reaper Bugster, born from the data of Kuroto Dan's Dangerous Zombie Gashat has been responsible for so many deaths of criminals and innocent people alike. Even worse, it also has Genm Zombie Gamer Level X's Resurrective Immortality, making it impossible to kill even with Maximum Mighty X. In chapter 45, Reaper is thrown into the sun, trapped in an endless cycle of death and resurrection.
- Soichi Isurugi/Blood Stalk suffered this fate in chapter 77. He betrays Night Rogue and leaves him to die at Shingetsu's hands after he becomes a liability; so Shingetsu gets to take over his place as the leader of Faust, he then betrays Sento after his identity of Blood Stalk is discovered and having used his daughter Misora to purify the Full Bottles to further Faust's plans. Only for Soichi to be betrayed by the same guy he asked to kill Night Rogue once his usefulness is outlived. Ultimately, he also dies protecting his daughter from Shingetsu who uses Cross-Z's sword with a Finishing Move meant for her.
- The irony is doubled even further as Stalk also controlled Guardians who used the G7 armors, which drew the ire of the creator of said Powered Armors. Stalk meets his defeat at the hands of said creator, thanks to his Super Mode being able to degrade his Hazard Level.
- Evolt, the actual mastermind who transpired the events of Build's canon series and who possessed Soichi the whole time, his final fate in chapter 158 is even more, if anything, karmic. Evolt planned to use Pandora's Box to destroy the world. Instead, Goro destroys the box, killing him in the process. The irony also helps that Evolt's existence is bound to Pandora's Box itself.
- Inverted with Gentoku Himuro/Night Rogue/Kamen Rider Rogue, who gets killed twice and his body being thrown into the sea, only to cheat death twice in two different circumstances:
- Night Rogue's demise by Shingetsu. It all started when Gentoku and the Touto Special Forces raided Takumi Katsuragi's laboratory where he conducts human experiments, among the victims rescued was Anzu Izumi. Gentoku's death is also masterminded by the same person he unknowingly rescued as Revenge by Proxy. He survives, however..;.
- Gentoku is also responsible for Ryohei Kusanagi's Start of Darkness when he raided the laboratory where Katsuragi started experimenting Nebula Gas on humans. Kusanagi kills him in chapter 117 while masquerading as G7 Icarus XYZ. Gentoku is then revived by Goro three chapters after Kusanagi was killed by Kaguya.
- Bababatcheed's defeat by the Riders and the Go-On Wings in chapter is also this. The Gaiark desperately wanted to pollute the Earth and create it as their ideal paradise, fighting Kamen Rider Build and his contemporaries proved to be Bababatcheed's fatal mistake, getting exposed by a toxic gas, in this case, Nebula Gas weakened him.
- Grizzie Kurokuma enjoys murdering people just for his own amusement. Once he is at Goro's mercy in chapter 101, he pathetically begs for his life just as Goro kills him much like the same thing Kurokuma does to his victims.
- In chapter 157, Kaguya finally had it coming for all the torture and rape she inflicted on her own daughter, the same thing she has also done to Sawa and Misora by getting a Mind Rape from Evolt in an agonizing fashion before forcing her to shoot herself to death against her will.
- In Alien vs. Predator 2, a guard walks off to take a quick smoke. His partner warns him - smoking will kill him. Seconds later Predator rips out a hatch to enter the facility that these guards are guarding. Said hatch lands on poor mook, crushing him to death. Sign on said hatch says: No Smoking.
- In The Final, the Vietnam veteran winds up getting taken out by a punji stake trap—exactly the kind once used by the Viet Cong.
- Full Metal Jacket: Gunny Hartman. More emphasis on this in the book than in the movie. In the book, when he gets shot, before he dies, he says " Private Pyle, I'm so proud." He's glad that was finally able to make him a killer which he had been struggling to do all through boot camp.
- In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Oogie planned to make Santa and later Sally into snake-and-spider stew and ends up having all his bugs fall into the concoction, becoming stew himself.
- Used to surprisingly good effect in The Asylum's version of Sherlock Holmes. The factory owner who put bars on the inside of his windows to keep his illegal workers in? Can't get out when the monster comes to eat him.
- In Snakes On A Plane, one character throws a small dog to a snake to try and escape. However when the others gasp at his brutality, he stops to chastise them saying "Oh what, you'd have done it too!" But this is just long enough for the snake to eat him alive...and in the end, his corpse gets sucked out of a window into the engine. The moral of this story: if you kill a puppy, God kills you.
- Most of the victims in Theatre Of Blood, most notably George Maxwell, a pompous egotist who is killed in the manner of Julius Caesar (and who wouldn't have even been present at the murder scene if he hadn't allowed his vanity to override his common sense); Oliver Larding, The Alcoholic, who is drowned in a barrel of wine in the style of Clarence in Richard III; and Chloe Moon, a vain woman who ends up electrocuted at her hair salon.
- In The Mummy: Shortly after becoming undead due to Imhotep using the Book of the Dead to resurrect her (which is a side effect of her decomposing over the centuries), Anck Su Numan dies much like she killed the Pharaoh...being stabbed repeatedly.
- In Collateral, Vincent, for all his love of Hannibal Lecturing Max on the need to change, adapt, and roll with whatever life throws at you, shoots entirely by rote. He always uses the Mozambique Drill: two shots to the chest and one to the head. In the climactic shootout at the end of the film, which takes place in a blackout and aboard a subway train, this ensures that not a single one of his shots hits Max, as they all plunk dead-center into a set of sliding metal doors. Max, meanwhile, fires randomly and kills Vincent with a lucky shot.
- Avengers: Endgame: Thanos gets a receiving end of this twice: (1) In his confrontation with the Avengers in Titan II, Thor beheads him in revenge for his actions in Infinity War, most likely in response to Thanos goading Thor to go for the head. (2) Past!Thanos attempts to do what his future self did in Infinity War. Unfortunately, Iron Man turns the tables and took the Infinity Stones and wipes out most of Thanos's army and the Mad Titan himself. Realizing that he is about to die an ironic death, Thanos can only face his untimely demise with dignity.
- In the Codex Alera, Chronic Backstabbing Disorder-afflicted bitch Invidia Aquitaine dies by... being stabbed in the back by an invisible opponent.
- Count Dracula is always known for biting his victims' necks and then either kill them or turn them in to vampires. Guess how he finally dies in Dracula III: Legacy.
- In Eternity In Death, the killer, who thinks he's a vampire, attacks Dallas. In the struggle, he's stabbed by a wooden stake.
- In Game of Thrones, Viserys Targaeryn is obsessed with reclaiming his (golden) crown. Khal Drogo pours molten gold onto his head.
- The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy relates the story of a civilization whose world was doomed and decided to send everyone to safety in Arks... only that's a big fat lie they told to the "useless" members of society like the beauticians, telephone washers, etc. to get rid of them. Then the rest of the civilization dies when a disease spreads via dirty telephone receivers. As for the exiled Ark, it crash-lands on Earth; those useless people are in fact humanity's ancestors, which explains an awful lot.
- In Malevil, rogue army commander Vilmain is killed by Maurice, one of his unwilling, "join or die" recruits, who puts the discipline and training Vilmain inflicted on him to good use.
- In Suite Francaise, Charlie Langelet, a collector of fine porcelain, while making his way along roads full of refugees fleeing the fear of German bombing, reaches safety in his automobile by stealing gas from a pair of young lovers. Safely returned to Paris, he orders his cleaning woman to clean his entire apartment. When she protests that she can't do it in a single day, he replies that she'll just have to work faster. Before leaving the apartment, he puts his very favorite porcelain, a figurine of Venus, on display. He has arranged to have dinner with the beautiful dancer Arlette Corail; she said she'd meet him in her car. How did she get the gas? Well, a woman has ways. Charlie hesitates before crossing the pitch-dark, blacked-out street, but thinks that there won't be any cars on the road anyhow. And then he's struck, his head smashed, by a car traveling too fast with blacked-out headlights: it's Arlette Corail. Back in his apartment, the cleaning woman has been working long into the night, getting more and more exasperated. Just as she finishes, she knocks over the figurine of Venus, smashing its head. Imagining trying to explain this to her employer, she exclaims, "I don't care what he says. He can drop dead!"
- One of the nobles in A Tale Of Two Cities proclaims that the starving peasants can just eat grass. The rebels make sure to stuff grass in his mouth as they drag him to his death.
- In James Herbert's post-nuclear holocaust novel Domain, a particularly obnoxious character chortles with glee at having had the foresight to build himself a nuclear bunker. He takes great delight in denying his neighbours entry and when he discovers a cat has accidentally joined him ends up killing it. However, when he gets sickened by the stench of dead cat and tries to leave he discovers that the exit hatch has been blocked shut by the remains of his house landing on it.
- In The Pale King, a soybean farmer was decapitated by a Think Farm Safety billboard during a tornado in 1987.
- In The Color Purple, Celie's abusive step-father dies while having sex with his latest wife - definitely ironic, since he raped Celie and had at least three wives, the last two being in their teens.
- Tad Williams' Otherland applies a liberal dose of irony to the deaths of all of the members of the Grail Brotherhood conspiracy. Many die by committing suicide, believing that they are uploading themselves into virtual bodies, not knowing that the procedure has been sabotaged by Dread. (For further irony, the process does work, and the Other ends up using it on two of the heroes.) Shortly afterward, Daniel Yacoubian, a powerful general, is killed by getting stabbed in the chest by a teenage boy. After Dread's apocalypse, the remaining members die in similarly ironic ways: Jiun Biao, the powerful financier, is killed by a giant bug in Kunohara's simulation. David Wells, software mogul, is killed by Dread in a You Have Failed Me. And Jongleur himself dies at the hands of his own creation.
- In Tim Dorsey's first novel, Florida Roadkill, an assassin who is a member of a Satanic cult is preparing to sacrifice Serge and Coleman (By kneeling in the middle of the highway and praying in black clothing in the middle of the night) when he is run over by a bus full of devout Christians.
- Similar to the beaver in the picture, an Iguanodon dies in the 1912 novel The Lost World when it brings the tree where it was trying to feed on over itself.
- In Lost, a character whose name is a reference to Bram Stoker is killed by a piece of wood through the heart by a supernatural monster.
- Also, a character is killed in a dynamite explosion while giving a lecture on the dangers of dynamite.
- And then there's the guy who complained about how the survivors couldn't even make a fire. Cue flaming arrow hitting him in the chest.
- And Locke is murdered by Ben, who had just talked him out of suicide.
- On QI, Rob Brydon suggests killing a bee by drowning it in honey.
- There's a certain ironic beauty to how crazy vampire hunter Gordon Walker on Supernatural is turned into a vampire himself, and subsequently killed by Sam... the same Sam that Gordon had been ruthlessly hunting for like a season.
- Half the Title Sequence Victims of the Week on Supernatural get killed in some ghoulishly ironic way, the camera inevitably lingering for a few gruesome seconds on the instrument of their demise before showing the title card.
- The Mary Tyler Moore Show sees Chuckles the Clown die from a rogue elephant attack... while wearing a peanut costume.
Religion And Mythology
- The Bible describes one of the rebellious sons of King David, Absalom, as a very handsome man with a magnificent mane of hair. His death is therefore rather ironic.
- To clarify: Absalom instigated a revolution, and overthrew his father, King David. Eventually, David would regroup, and waged more battles in order to drive out Absalom. At the Battle of Ephraim Wood, Absalom got his magnificent mane caught in the low-hanging branches of an oak tree as his steed rode beneath, leaving him hanging there for days until Joab, David's chief minion, found and killed him.
- Greek Mythology is so rife with this trope, one could even say the Greeks lived in the "Irony Age." Case in point: Procrustes was an evil innkeeper who made all of his vict, er, "guests" sleep in an iron bed. If the guest was too short, he would stretch them to fit, too tall, and he lopped off whatever overlapped. When he took in the hero, Theseus, as his guest, Theseus killed him by putting him into his own bed. No one knows if he was too short or too tall, though, one version simply had Theseus chopping the jerk to bits.
- Another one of Theseus' villainous victims was an elderly bandit, Sciron, who lived on a cliff-side path. Sciron demanded, because of his apparent age, that everyone who passed by must give him his due respect by washing his feet. Of course, when the schmuck bent over to do so, Sciron pushed them off the cliff, where the corpse would be eaten by his partner in crime, a monstrous sea turtle. Guess what happened when he tried to pull this schtick with Theseus.
- King Diomedes was given a quartet of fire-breathing, man-eating mares by his father, Ares. Hercules stole these mares, and tamed them by forcing them to eat their former owner.
- A form of posthumous irony occurred with the Nemean Lion, which had an impenetrable pelt. After Hercules strangled it to death, he skinned the beast with its own claws.
- Hercules, himself, fell victim to this trope. He was fatally poisoned by the Hydra's blood when his wife, Deianira, mistakenly used the blood of the centaur, Nessus, whom Hercules slew with his poisoned arrows, as a love potion.
- To clarify (as much as one can, given the various interpretations of greek myths), the centaur attempted to kidnap Deianira, and Hercules came to the resuce and slew the centaur with an arrow coated in hydra-blood poison. As he lay dying, Nessus told Deianira to take some of his [the centuar's] blood, and if she ever feared that she was losing Hercules to another woman, use the blood as a love potion to keep Hercules faithful forever. Eventually, Dieanira became concerned that Hercules was straying in his devotion (whether or not he was depends on which writer you choose to believe) and spread the blood on his famous lion-skin cloak. Although Hercules was to strong for the potion/poison to kill outright, the pain did drive him to suicide (effectively), so this story actually contains heavy irony on multiple levels.
- To add insult to mortal injury, the primordial sea monster-goddess, Ceto, was slain when Perseus petrified her with the decapitated head of her own daughter, Medusa.
- Speaking of Perseus, the king, Polydectes, wooed his mother, Danae, hoping to marry, then ravish her. In order to get rid of Perseus, who knew of his foul intentions, Polydectes invited Perseus to a lavish banquet where all the guests had to bring a horse, as a gift. As Perseus had no horse to give, he, instead, was tasked with bringing back the head of Medusa, the only mortal Gorgon. Of course, Polydectes assumed that Perseus would either die trying, or live in exile as a failure. He did not anticipate that Perseus would receive divine assistance from Athena, and as a result, paid for it very dearly.
- In The Insect Play, the Chrysalis, after spending two whole acts promising to do great things when born, finally emerges in the epilogue as a Moth. She says she will explain the meaning of the whole world, then falls dead just like all the other moths did.
- In the play The Whipping Man, the whipping man is beaten to death (Off screen) by a slave, using the first whip that the whipping man had used on that slave.
- The Abbot in the 6th Chapter of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow suffers this after losing the relic in his tower, which could have saved so many needlessly sacrificed lives in the village from the vampires. He curses Gabriel and Zobek to hell for taking it from him, only to find himself THE one going to hell! Also counts as a Karmic Death.
- What's even more ironic about his last words is that Gabriel and Zobek do in fact go to hell, and Zobek was actually one of the bad guys who orchestrated the starting events of the game.
- Happens to both of the Combine Hunter-Choppers encountered in Half-Life 2. The first one stalks and hounds you through the Canals, tormenting you with a Heavy Pulse Gun mounted on it's underside. However, a group of Rebels have managed to scavenge the one of the very same Pulse Guns used by the Chopper, which is given to you to use against the Helicopter. The Pulse Gun tears the Helicopter apart, forcing it to retreat and leave you alone for a little while. Soon after you duel the Chopper 1 on 1, using the very same weapon it's been using against you the whole time. Then in Half-Life 2: Episode 2, another Hunter-Chopper again chases you to a Rebel Base, the chopper begins peppering the base with spherical mines, which are set to go off about 5 seconds after hitting the ground. You defeat the Helicopter by tossing these mines back at it until it's significantly damaged, loses control and spins out, then crashes into a hillside.
- From the Mass Effect series:
Morinth: I love any game where your opponent can believe he's about to win--just before you kill him.
- Of course, this can apply to the player, too. If you go in thinking you can out-Paragon/Renegade her without 100% in the appropriate track, things go...poorly.
- The DLC mission pack "Lair of the Shadow Broker" reveals that this is a favored trope for Garrus (during his Archangel days, at least). Examples:
Har Urek (saboteur)
- This can happen to Kai Leng in Mass Effect 3, depending on your choices in the series. During the attempted Cerberus coup on the Citadel, Kai Leng kills Thane by stabbing him in the chest with his sword. Then, at the end of the assault on the Cerberus base, Shepard kills Kai Leng by stabbing him in the chest with his/her omniblade.
- In Neverwinter Nights 2, Myrkul, the former god of death, is noted as being a huge fan of ironic deaths. Fittingly, you can utterly annihilate him using the powers his curse gave you.
- Volgin, the Psycho Electro of Metal Gear Solid 3 Snake Eater, gets killed by lightning. Naked Snake lampshades the irony of the situation.
- In The World Ends With You, you end up killing Game Master Konishi with the same pin she used in order to manipulate you and your partner. In fact, due to the way the boss fight works, it's impossible to not kill her like that.
- And a few minutes later, you find Sho Minamimoto "crunched" and added to one of his own trash heaps.
- In Team Fortress 2, one of the Medic's new weapons is the bust of Hippocrates, so now players can be beaten to death by the father of medical ethics.
- What makes this even more ironic is that if you zoom in on the bust of Hippocrates, there's a little brass plaque underneath that says "DO NO HARM", the time-honored motto of the health profession.
- In Heroes of Might and Magic IV, Mardor, captain of the town guard of Vitross, attempts to burn necromancer Gauldoth to death when the latter is wrongfully accused of being a child murderer. Gauldoth flees the town, and returns several months later with an army which he uses to besiege and capture the town. One of his first acts as lord of Vitross is to have Mardor burned at the stake.
- In Arcanum, Kerghan's goal is to create a technological portal that will exploit the fragile balance between magic and technology and free him from the void. The game encourages you to destroy him with the Vendigroth Device, a technological weapon which utilises the same principle to turn his own magic against him.
- If the player chooses to kill Sander Cohen in Bioshock, then they can add as many delicious layers of irony as they want. After an entire level has been devoted to you running about Fort Frolic, murdering Cohen's ex-students and using the photographs of their dead bodies to complete his self-proclaimed "Masterpiece", the player can kill Cohen and take a picture of his corpse to net the appropriately-named "Irony" achievement. But wait, there's more! For some sweet poetic justice, why not kill him with the crossbow he gave to you? Better still, load it up with Incendiary Bolts—because nothing says irony like burning to death in an underwater city.
- In one quest in The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim you meet a Dunmer trapped in a spider web. After killing the Giant Spider involved, he asks you to cut him loose in exchange for a MacGuffin. After you do, he shouts "You Fool!" and runs deeper into the dungeon. Should the player choose not to pursue and kill him, he wakes up draugr that kill him, or failing that, steps on a pressure plate and gets splattered by a booby trap.
- This is how Deathwing meets his end in World of Warcraft. The artifact he forged long ago to help him conquer the world, the Dragon Soul, is used by the heroes to kill him in the finale of Cataclysm.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, you can kill Caesar in a variety of different ways, some of them ironic:
Stab him with a knife, like how the real Caesar was killed. You even get an achievement for it!
- In the Dead Money expansion, you can seal Elijah permanently in the vault he desperately wanted to get into.
- Interstingly, Scorpion now has the original Sub-Zero's Spine Rip fatality as his own in Mortal Kombat Deception. For a real twist of irony, pull this classic fatality off on Sub-Zero and Noob Saibot. Maybe that'll teach them for pulling that stunt on him in Mortal Kombat 1 and Mortal Kombat 4.
- The Dangan Ronpa series lives and breathes this trope; for example Celestia is initially burned at the stake, a death she would have desired, only for a firetruck to crush her, a rather mundane death. In addition, her victim was the third killer, her own tubby sidekick, making the hefty firetruck, a vehicle which could normally be relied on to rescue people, even more karmic.
- In Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness, Right-Eye the rash, impulsive brother of analytical and carefully planning Redcloak is killed when he finally thinks something through carefully and formulates a well-thought out scheme... Only to have it ruined during the execution stage when his brother does something rash and impulsive. Redcloak Lampshades it.
- More recently, Tsukiko is killed by her own wights after Redcloak takes control of them.
- In Paranormal Mystery Squad's debut, the deer woman they are chasing is incapacitated when she runs in front of a car.
- In Homestuck, Equius, Kanaya, Eridan and Nepeta are killed in this way. Equius is garroted with his own bow - that is to say, the Heir of Void is left void of air. Additionally, he was shot through the leg with an arrow and strangled with a broken bow - after dedicating himself to being an archer, but always breaking his bows and never firing a shot successfully. Kanaya is shot through the stomach by the wand she made for Eridan; her sign is virgo and she's left barren. Eridan himself is chainsawed in half by Kanaya after she was revived as a rainbow-drinker, or rather, the magician was sawed in half by his lovely assistant. Nepeta's fate was been left unknown for some time after being advanced upon by Gamzee - that is to say, the catgirl existed in a state of possible life or death until it could later be observed; additionally, Nepeta was the Rogue of Heart, and had the person she cared about most taken away from her just before her death.
- How Adam Taurus meets his death in RWBY Volume 6's episode, "Seeing Red". Back in Volume 5, he kills Sienna Khan by stabbing her with a katana. In that episode, both Blake and Yang stab him with the Gambol Shroud's shattered blades.
- This is the most common way of choosing an execution method in Protectors Of The Plot Continuum.
- Season 3 of Penny Arcade's D&D Podcast ends with Aeofel dying in the villain's mansion by getting caught in a acid pit. Later in the first PAX live game, the group ventures to hell so they can bring him back while getting their revenge on the Big Bad. When they finaly get to her, she ultimately falls into an acid pit and dies.
- In Splinter Cell Extinction, Julian Hunter is ordered by director Ward to shoot Douglas Hyland (who didn't expect that) in episode 4. And then he's shot by Ward in episode 7. He didn't expect that.
- The Dethklok song "Bloodtrocuted" tells the story of an electrician who is being chased by bounty hunters because he happens to look like a dangerous criminal with a large bounty on his head. He escapes into the woods and stumbles across a power station, where he kills the bounty hunters by cutting his arm and electrifying a puddle of his own blood for them to step in. However, he cannot stop his arm from bleeding and dies as a result.
- Subverted in one episode of The Simpsons, in which Sideshow Bob is hoisted by his own petard when getting into a debate with Lisa that would end with his plan failing, but that was the plan all along.
- Ned Flanders decides to watch the car race from the top of the stands to avoid flying debris (and the drivers' swearing). Their spot high up helped do Maude in.
- Alright, he didn't die (given he's a spirit, he probably can't die), but Discord from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic receives his Fate Worse Than Death in this fashion. After spending two episodes using the mane cast's flaws to break and Mind Rape them, his own flaws — namely his inability to think the mane cast could reunite their friendship after he effectively broke it apart and his ego further blinding him to that fact—are his undoing. Because of this, he lets them take a second free shot at him under the belief the Elements Of Harmony are useless thanks to their broken friendship and it'll fail. He realizes he was wrong when the Elements actually fire and it's too late for him to do anything about it, resulting in him being Taken for Granite.
- The Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huang, was obsessed with obtaining immortality through alchemical elixirs. In Chinese Alchemy, mercury was considered a potent ingredient, so one of his solutions was to always have a daily dose of mercury everyday. In the end he died of mercury poisoning when he tried a new formula of mercury pill. The irony of it was in his quest for immortality, he instead found a way to dies faster.
- Even worse, his greatest friend and most trusted adviser told him that he shouldn't be taking the potion and that the apothecaries were killing him with it. A special in The History Channel showed him dying from the potion right after his adviser told him to stop. Though this may not be ironic and be more Too Dumb to Live.
- Legend says that the Chinese inventor of gunpowder came with the formula while also trying to fabricate an elixir of immortality... and promptly got a severe case of explosion to the face.
- According to legend, pirate Bartholomew Roberts's famous sobriety was a direct cause of his death. When the British Navy finally caught up to him, most of his crew was so hungover they couldn't stand up. As one of the few guys in any condition to move around and tend to the ship, Roberts presented a perfect target for the British guns...
- Sam Kinison, who had spent all eight years of his career either advocating drug use or sarcastically telling people not to, drinking heavily, and other such things, died in a drunk driving accident. The irony is that the accident was a totally sober Kinison getting hit by a drunk driver while in a crosswalk.
- Proving that it doesn't discriminate against good, bad or neutral parties, Amy Winehouse died in fall 2011 of a drug overdose. Her most famous song is "Rehab", which is about her desires to avoid going there.
- Grizzly Man: Timothy Treadwell, self-professed activist and friend of bears. Eaten by a bear.
- Believe it or not, the situation depicted in the page image (beaver killed by tree it cut down falling on it) actually happens occasionally.
- Chrysippus was a Greek philosopher who belonged to the school of thought known as Stoicism. He died of laughter.
- Harry Houdini was known to take heavy blows to the gut with little to no effect if he prepared properly. A sucker punch to the gut was what killed him.
- Even worse, Houdini was a very healthy man who stayed very fit. The sucker punch (which came from a guy who didn't know that Houdini had to prepare) caused his appendix (he had appendicitis, but refused to have it treated for days) to burst and the toxins contained within spread throughout his body. He was so healthy when this occurred that it took him days to die thus prolonging his suffering...
- Elvis Presley, otherwise known as 'The King', died while taking a crap in a toilet... otherwise known as a 'Throne'.
- Rene Goscinny died from cardiac arrest during a cardiac stress test.
- When the squirrel that just can't be kept from raiding the birdfeeder regardless of the contrivance used is nabbed by a hawk. Or, to put it another way, when the squirrel that takes food set out for the birds gets eaten by a bird, probably attracted by the other birds that go there to feed themselves.
- Basil Brown, an English health food advocate, died of liver damage caused by hypervitaminosis after drinking 10 gallons of carrot juice.
- Michael Anderson Godwin, sentenced to death by the electric chair but commuted to life in prison, was electrocuted while fixing a television while sitting on a metal toilet seat.
- Graham Chapman died on October 4, 1989. The same day, 20 years earlier, Monty Python's Flying Circus was first broadcast.
- W. C. Fields died on the day he despised the most: Christmas Day.
- Joseph Stalin terrorized Russia for decades. One morning when he couldn't breathe and was in desperate need for medical help nobody dared to enter the room without his explicit permission...
- General John Sedgwick was very dismissive of the other troops' shooting skills. At one point during the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House (1863) he said: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance". He was shot seconds later.
- Terry Kath from the rock group Chicago was toying with a gun when he said: "Don't worry, guys. It isn't even loaded. See?", before he accidentally shot himself.
- Myra Davis, stunt double for Janet Leigh in Hitchcock's film Psycho, was raped and killed in her shower by a lunatic who wanted to re-enact the shower murder scene from the movie.
- Dancer Isadora Duncan always wore a scarf in public. One day, when she was driving, her scarf got entangled between the spokes of her car wheels and accidentally snapped her neck.
- Stunt man Bobby Leach, who had crossed great heights during his career, died in 1911 when he slipped over a banana peel and broke his leg. His leg caught gangreen and he passed away.
- 19th century lawyer Clement Laird Vallandigham died during a court case. He tried to defend someone who was accused of murder by showing that the victim might have accidentally shot himself. Vallangdigham showed this by using a real gun and accidentally shot himself dead with it! To add more irony to this tale: his client was aquitted because the jury was convinced by Vallandigham's defense.
- Comedian Tommy Cooper died on stage during a live TV broadcast. While he suffered a heart attack the audience thought it was all part of the act and laughed as he drew his final breath.
- Playwright J.I. Rodale died while he was a guest on the Dick Cavett show. During the recordings Rodale ironically claimed he felt great and said: "I'm in such good health that I fell down a long flight of stairs yesterday and I laughed all the way", "I’ve decided to live to be a hundred", and "I never felt better in my life!" He had also previously bragged, "I'm going to live to be 100, unless I'm run down by some sugar-crazed taxi driver." A few minutes later he suffered a heart attack and passed away. The show was never broadcast.
- Singer Felix Powell, best known for the song "Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag (And Smile, Smile, Smile)", later committed suicide.
- Doubles as a Mythology Gag, showing the similarities of Phoenix's final fate in Kamen Rider Wizard 23rd episode.
- based on the flashback from Kamen Rider Build's 7th episode
- yes, the Legacy Character based on Batcheed from the Shinkenger vs. Go-Onger team-up movie, as well as Babatcheed who is the monster of the fortnight from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger's Go-Onger tribute
- provided he didn't die during the suicide mission in the previous game