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"I didn't make it. Twelve freaking times!"

A Stock Phrase used whenever somebody wants to avoid saying "died". Or it could be used for its literal meaning in some other context.

Sometimes it's a case of one person asking how the victim is, and the other person just sadly shakes their head no. Or they look down.

Sometimes this doesn't work, and the person has to lay it out.

Frequently preceded by Breaking Bad News Gently.

Compare Bearer of Bad News or Death Notification. Contrast No Longer with Us.

See a video with many scenes of this being said at the Huffington Post.

Not, in this exact wording, what Mario said to Luigi about the origin of his football.

Examples of He Didn't Make It include:

Anime and Manga

  • Ojamajo Doremi Naisho, in episode 12 near the end when Non-chan's mother comes to see Doremi, she tells her that "she couldn't make it". Cue one of the biggest Tear Jerkers of the series.
  • In a late episode of X 1999, Karen and Yuto kill each other, while Satsuki struggles with the Beast and is eventually killed by it, too. As Yuto lies dying by the fountain, he remembers making a promise with Satsuki earlier and says with a faint smile: "It seems tonight, I won't make it for tea..."
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist when Hughes dies, he apologizes to his family for not being able to make it home.


  • Search the IMDb.
    • I got a 404 Error :/ Apparently the page didn't make it.
  • The Two Towers movie has a strange example because that scene was filmed before the script was totally ironed out, the director wasn't sure what actually did happen to Aragorn, so decided to keep the dialogue vague to save time:

 Eowyn: Where is Lord Aragorn?

Gimli: He fell.


 Harry: Where's Paul?

Grant: He didn't make it.


 Tron: Where's Ram?

Flynn: He didn't make it.

  • Speed has a particularly dark variant.

 (Jack answers his phone)

Jack: Harry! Tell me good news, man.

Howard Payne: Oh, I'm sorry, Jack. He didn't make it.

  • In the movie Airport, it's used exactly as it means: someone failed to do something.

 Demerest: When I'm flying over 200,000 pounds of 707 I want a runway that's mighty long, and mighty dry.

Bakersfeld: It'll be dry all right, but not very long.

Demerest: What's that supposed to mean?

Bakersfeld: Runway 29 is closed. A jockey from your flight 45 tried to take a shortcut across the field. And he didn't make it.

Demerest: What are you doing about it?

Bakersfeld: Well, when the snow melts in April, we'll get it out.

  • Serenity (made all the more devastating by the fact that it's Zoe invoking the trope.)

Kaylee: Wait...Wash! Where's Wash?

Zoe: (Wash's wife) He ain't comin'.
Said as she quietly and carefully loads a shotgun, one shell at a time.

 Whitmore's daughter: Is Mommy sleeping now?

Whitmore: Yeah... Mommy's sleeping.

  • Used interestingly in The Fifth Element: towards the end, when they're in the temple, David says quietly to himself "We're not gonna make it" and sighs, unwittingly activating the 'air' stone (by breathing on it), which leads to their figuring out how to work the rest of the stones and saving the world.
  • Laconic version from Jaws:

 Hooper: Quint?

Brody': ...No.



  • In the novel Jurassic Park, Grant asks about the ultimate fate of Ian Malcolm, who was badly injured when the T-Rex escaped. The character being asked only shakes his head. He got better and showed up in a later novel, stating that rumors of his demise were grossly exaggerated.
    • The standard line is used in the sequel, The Lost World, after the antagonists' attempt to steal a T-Rex egg goes very badly for one of the trio:

 King: Where's Baselton?

Dodgson: He didn't make it.

King: What do you mean?

Dodgson: I mean he didn't fucking make it!


Live Action TV


 Sheppard: Where's Ronon?

(Lorne sadly looks down)

Teyla: ...I'm sorry, John.



Video Games

  • Rucks of Bastion delivers a long string of them; as the Kid wanders through a village, Rucks gives the name of every ashen corpse they walk by, before adding "...didn't make it".
  • If you screw up, this is what you'll get to hear from Joker regarding some of your team (if not your ENTIRE team) after the Final Battle in Mass Effect 2.
    • In the first Mass Effect, one of your party members does the nonverbal version after the Final Boss (before Shepard emerges unharmed).
  • In Halo: Reach this is how Noble 6 tells Kat about Jorge's death.
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, right after the end of the True Final Boss, Sonic returns to the space station alone, where everyone else was waiting. Rogue notices this and hesitantly asks, "Shadow...?". Sonic just shakes his head and brings Shadow's bracelet to Rogue to tell her what happened.
  • In World in Conflict, a private gets sniped in a cutscene. Directly after the scene, this phrase is used about him.

Western Animation

  • Disney's Hercules. Herc sees Megara lying there, and doesn't ask. But Phil looks up at him sadly and shakes his head anyway to confirm his fears.
  • Pixar's Cars T oons, in the Mater the Greater episode of the series, at the end Mater is relating the Jump over Radiator Springs gorge, which was made by Lightning Mc Queen, and then they cut back to them, when Mc Queen asked what happen he gets a "You didn't make it" and then Mater goes out, followed by the two forklifts from his story who sadly look at Mc Queen as well.
  • This is Early Cuyler's casual reaction to using his son's eggs for target practice.

Real Life

  • As many tropers can tell you, this phrase is often Truth in Television. Sometimes you just can't admit that someone died right after it happened.


 Waldorf: Did you hear about the guy who tried to watch all of these horrible shows without committing suicide?

Statler: No, what happened?

Waldorf: He Didn't Make It!

Both: Do-ho-ho-ho-hoh!