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A character kills one or more victims and then kills themselves at the end, either because they planned to from the beginning to avoid the inevitable consequences, because they've gone on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge and they have nothing left to live for, or because they were Driven to Suicide and decided that they were Taking You with Me.

Super-Trope of Pater Familicide, where a parent kills their partner and children. Not to be confused with the mutually-consensual Suicide Pact. This does not count if the murderer attempts to get away with their crimes and continue their life. It has to be part of the same crime, not a later attempt to avoid guilt or punishment.

Related to Suicide by Cop if they organise it so that someone else kills them. Sister tropes to Self-Disposing Villain and Driven to Suicide.

Though this is Truth in Television, No Real Life Examples, Please.

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

Examples of Murder-Suicide include:

Anime and Manga

  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Discussed Trope when Riza tells Roy that she is willing to keep her word and shoot him if there is no other option, but then she'll kill herself too as she sees no point in living without him.
  • Gunslinger Girl: Elsa murdered her handler Lauro and then killed herself because she felt that he could never love her the way she did him, and he actually treated her like shit.
    • And later Jose does this to Henrietta as a part of a Suicide Pact.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Attempted by Asuka's mother Kyouko, except the "Asuka" that was murdered was the rag doll that Kyoko thought to be Asuka. It's not clear whether Asuka's more angry that her mother committed suicide or that she didn't get to die along with her.
    • Naoko Akagi also may have killed herself after murdering Rei Mark I, though it's also possible that Gendo was the culprit.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Mami of all people attempts this in episode 10. In one of the alternate timelines, she completely snaps when she finds out Magical Girls eventually become witches via witnessing Sayaka becoming one and having to put her down. She succeeds in destroying Kyouko's Soul Gem and killing her, then she captures Homura and almost does it to her too, but is then mercy killed by Madoka who then collapses in tears over it.
    • In the story proper, when Sayaka becomes a Witch and Kyouko and Madoka fail to return her to normal, Kyouko fights her and decides to pull this so she won't die alone.
    • In the backstory, when Kyouko's preacher father found out that she used her Wish so he would have followers and their Christian church would flourish, he completely lost it and killed the whole family and then herself. Kyouko was the Sole Survivor and that's just because she was a Magical Girl.
  • Sailor Moon: In both the manga and Crystal, the titular hero attempted to do this on a Brainwashed and Crazy Tuxedo Kamen, but fortunately, neither died. (He was protected by his watch, she by the just-manifested MacGuffin.)
  • Minai from Shikabane Hime did this in her backstory. She killed her boyfriend after being beaten and abused by him and then committed suicide, only to come back to become a Shikabane Hime.
  • Attempted by the emotionally broken Francoise in Honoo no Alpen Rose, as punishment for her husband Germont's evil deeds.
  • It's mentioned in the original Fushigi Yuugi that the translator of The Universe of the Four Gods, the famous writer and scholar Einosuke Okuda, killed his daughter Takiko (the Priestess of Genbu) and himself when she returned alive from the world in the book, but fell fatally ill as a consequence of being devoured from the inside by Genbu. The end of Fushigi Yuugi Genbu Kaiden switches things around a bit: Einosuke stabbed himself dead while holding the Universe in his hands when Takiko was still inside the book and being actively devoured, in an attempt to Mercy Kill her before the God absorbs her. To everyone in Japan (save for Einosuke's pupil Takao Ohsugi and, to a smaller degree, Takao's wife Tamayo), Einosuke killed Takiko, hid her body in the mountains and then commited suicide out of despair over her having tuberculosis like her mother Yoshie, who has just died of her illness when the series began.

Comics

  • Sin City: Hartigan commits suicide after killing Roark, Jr., realizing that he's the only link left leading to Nancy (the latest victim). By killing himself, he ensures that she is left alone.
    • Also, a minor character in A Dame To Kill For is seduced into helping the Femme Fatale, and murders his partner when he tries to make him listen to reason about her. He then kills himself out of remorse.

Film

  • This is Richard's plan in Dead Man's Shoes.
  • Full Metal Jacket: After Private Pyle kills Sgt. Hartman, he seems to realize that he'll be severely punished, perhaps even executed, for his crime, and shoots himself in the mouth.
  • Exaggerated Trope for laughs: At the end of Penn and Teller Get Killed, Teller accidentally kills Penn, then shoots himself. A guy who was just an actor, hired by Penn to play a trick on Teller to make it look like someone was trying to kill Penn, realizes that What With One Thing And Another there was no proof that it wasn't him, so he kills himself. Then his friend and a friend of his show up, whom he had invited to party with P&T after the planned Reveal to Teller. They kill themselves because there was nothing to prove that they didn't do it. Then the cops come in, see the situation, and off themselves too. A long Zoom Out occurs, as more and more people come in, discover all the dead bodies, and shoot themselves. We hear these rather than see them. The End.
  • Titanic: William Murdoch shoots and kills a fictional third class Irish passenger, then commits suicide from guilt. A Historical Villain Upgrade, as the real William Murdoch was regarded as a hero and was last seen helping passengers.

Literature

  • Agatha Christie often uses this trope to deliver Karmic Death to particularly nasty murderers:
    • In The ABC Murders, the murderer tries to commit suicide, but Poirot prevents it, because he doesn't believe that the murderer deserves an easy death.
    • And Then There Were None: Judge Wargrave commits suicide after arranging the deaths of everyone else, as he felt himself to be no better than his victims and he was fatally ill anyway.
      • And right before that, Vera (under the effects of Wargrave's mundane Mind Rape) kills Colonel Lombard and then hangs herself.
    • In Appointment with Death, the perpetrator commits suicide to avoid exposure and prosecution.
    • In Death on the Nile the perpetrator commits one final murder (of an accomplice) before turning the gun on themselves.
    • A huge plot point in Elephants Can Remember, and a more tragic version: ten years before the plot began, a man killed his wife and then himself... though the one he actually killed was NOT the wife, but said wife's twin sister who had killed the real one (and as the wife died in his arms, she made him promise to make her sister [who was in love with him AND had lived an absolutely horrifying life] pass as her).
  • In Death Note: Another Note, Beyond Birthday is his own final victim.
  • Brave Story, Mitsuru's father killed Mitsuru's mother and sister and then himself, which is Mitsuru's Freudian Excuse for being a complete dick. Another character also attempts murder-suicide, but fortunately doesn't succeed at either.
  • In The Great Gatsby, George Wilson shoots himself over the death of his wife Myrtle, taking Gatsby with him.
  • This comes up in a few Lord Peter Wimsey books:
    • In Whose Body?, Peter stops the exposed murderer from committing suicide, so he can stand trial.
    • Conversely, in Murder Must Advertise, he reluctantly encourages the murderer to take actions that are tantamount to suicide (going out alone at night when there's a gang of drug smugglers who want to kill him) to prevent his inevitable exposure from ruining the lives of his family.

Live Action Television

  • Generally played straight on CSI, though it was inverted in one episode where a stalker attempted suicide in his crush's house, resulting in three people dying.
  • A number of killers in Criminal Minds do this rather than be caught.
  • In the Korean Historical Drama Emperor Wang Guhn when Gung Ye is deposed and on the run, he has his highest General kill him by cutting off his head. The general has his second kill him, and then the second commits Seppuku.
  • The horror anthology The Hunger has this in its second-season premiere "Sanctuary" as the backstory of its host character, Mad Artist Julian Priest: having lost his audience via his increasingly grisly work, even his agent no longer believed in him. Julian murdered the agent and proceeded to turn his own death into a grisly piece of performance art, figuring he would attain immortality as an artist this way...

Theatre

  • Arguably, Brutus and Cassius in Julius Caesar, though the suicides happen well after the murder.
  • In Othello, Othello stabs himself after he realizes that his wife Desdemona, who he just strangled to death, wasn't actually cheating on him, and everything was a ploy by his Number Two Iago.

Video Games

  • In Remember 11, Utsumi does this in two Bad Ends, killing Keiko and then herself (and Satoru in the second one).

Web Comic

Web Original

  • Spoofed in College University:
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 Santa Claus: "Looks like it's time for a good old murder-suicide."

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