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"See, say what you like about us British, we're punctual and clean - none of this shitting-out-our-internal-organs-in-a-screaming-blubbering-heap for us. No, we just lay down and die, in neat piles."
—Charlie Brooker, commenting on Survivors
People die, for whatever reason. Some die a natural death, some get killed, some kill themselves, but still dead is dead. A natural occurrence is after all is said and done, is that someone tries to retrieve the body of the dead person. However, biology does not stop at death. Muscles control the retention of wastes in the bladder and the rectum, and these muscles relax soon after death. If the rectum or bladder happens to be occupied at the moment of death, the result in Real Life is the people who find the body wishing the dead person had worn brown trousers (and wishing they had brought a gas mask).
Girls and women are far more likely to soil themselves in death, as females typically urinate using gravity, while males have to use muscle movement.
In fiction, this practically never occurs. Therefore, we have a case of No Dead Body Poops, where the death scene is almost always much much much less nasty than it could be in real life. This is not surprising, given that most people are not aware someone dying can be a crapshoot.
Even rarer than the post-mortem evacuation in fiction is recognizing the fact that serious abdominal injuries - gut shootings/stabbings and the like - can often let out what's supposed to stay in.
No examples of this trope being played entirely straight are listed below. We're not interested in having a huge list of every character dying without soiling themselves.
Anime and Manga
- In Yoshiyuki Tomino's Mobile Suit Gundam novels, a female character is described as losing control of her bowels while suffering a particularly violent death. Interestingly, she also seems to suffer a psychic version of this effect & begins uncontrollably broadcasting her worst memories into Amuro's mind in her death throes.
- Referenced in the Rurouni Kenshin manga when Jin-e tries to kill Kaoru by paralyzing her lungs, talking about how asphyxiation was an "ugly way to go", as Kaoru would salivate and soil herself as she died.
- Rgarding Eiji Mishima's murdered parents, in the manga there's quite a mess at the feet of their hanged, bloody and mutilated corpses. The anime, however, plays it straight since it features blood but no excrement.
- The female characters of Queens Blade are frequently seen wetting themselves in fear and pain, and also when they are killed.
- Both installments of Yoshitora's manga Brain Eater avert this trope; numerous schoolgirls are killed by giant insects which invade a girls' high school, and almost all of the girls urinate upon their deaths, with some of them defecating as well.
- Averted in Blood-C, where the up-until-then beautiful, elegant Kanako is killed via an Impromptu Tracheotomy, and her body is shown twitching and urinating as she dies.
- The Corpse Party manga averts this when Seiko Shinohara is hanged to death. (The anime, however, plays it straight). Seiko's best friend Naomi Nakashima finds her struggling at the end of a noose, and tries unsuccessfully to save her; urine is first seen trickling down Seiko's thighs as she loses control of herself, and Naomi realizes it is too late when she sees it soaking through the front of her skirt and running freely down her legs as she dies.
- On two separate occasions in Preacher (Comic Book), a man is hanged, and on both of them, the corpse visibly voids its bowels. On one of them, a man who doesn't know better was standing under the body.
- on Johnny the Homicidal Maniac's twitter account he acknowledged it at least three times, one time being about how they pissed themselves though.
- Trivia and AKK's Fanfics will mention this. Not so shocking when you consider the fanfic writers themselves. Both have medical backgrounds and are known for their brutally frank exploration of things floated under the radar...including the obvious.
- Brutally averted in chapter 88 of the Fallout 2 fanfiction Travels of the Chosen One, Lara goes up to fight against Lo Pan, hand to hand. After Lo Pan takes one too many hits and is reduced to crawling on the mat, he cheats by pulling out a handgun and blows off half of Lara's face. As Lara lies on the ground dying, a character nearby witnesses "a dark stain spreading on the crotch of Lara's red shorts, soaking the fabric and becoming a rapidly expanding puddle on the mat. At the same time, semi-solid brown matter dribbled out between the fabric of her shorts and the inside of her thighs."
- In the Girls und Panzer fanfiction One Shot, the girls drive real tanks with live ammunition to battle. All of the girls are eventually killed in the ensuing battles, and mentions are made of the girls' urination and defecation as they died. When the recovery teams retrieved the girls' corpses, they recoil at the sight and stench of the bloodied remains and the girls' urine and feces.
- Tiberium Wars doesn't shy away from this (War Is Hell being a central theme) with several scenes mentioning the stench of "corpse-shit" from the bodies littering the urban battlefields.
- In the Hong Kong film Madam City Hunter, a man shoots a group of youngsters in front of May, who urinates in fear before she is also shot dead, and her urine can still be seen flowing down her thighs after her body collapses. A detective examining the scene after that notes that the other girl in the group had also soiled herself in her death.
- A related example is from the film Point Of No Return, the American Remake of La Femme Nikita, where Maggie urinates after being given a lethal injection.
- Averted in Sympathy for Mr Vengeance by Yeong-mi, when Ryu electrocutes her on an improvised electric chair; her yellow urine is shown pooling under her chair and flowing across the floor.
- In the live action movie for Nou Shou Sakuretsu Girl, girls who fail the challenges are killed by a gun which destroys their brains. The gamemasters comment that though the gun inflicted no external wounds, the girls still made a mess as they died as their bodies released their bowels.
- The Takashi Miike film Visitor Q shows the father having sex with the corpse of a young female coworker. The movements cause the dead woman's urine and feces to flow out of her. He eventually realizes this and reacts with mild disgust...but keeps going.
- Averted in Battle Royale II by Miki when she is killed. She first begins urinating in fear when her explosive collar starts beeping, causing a wet stain to form on the crotch of her pants. Her collar then explodes, killing her, and a scene of her collapsed body shows the wetness on her pants continuing to spread. Her urination as she died has earned her the moniker "peeing girl" by fans of the series.
- Kate Hudson voids her bladder in The Killer Inside Me after Casey Affleck beats her to death.
- Averted in the 1994 thriller Sensation, where detective Ron Perlson describes a murder scene to Kari and states that the naked young victim released her bowels as she was strangled to death.
- In the Russian film The Sovereign's Servant (Sluga Gosudarev), a young woman urinates as she is hanged. Her urine can be seen dripping off her bare feet, splattering the ground under her body as she dies.
- In The Witcher novel, when Ciri's team gets slaughtered by a Psycho for Hire, he makes her take a look at the bodies "See, that's how people die. In their own piss."
- Averted when Junior in Under the Dome strangles Angie and Dodee to death; both girls defecate as they are killed. Junior later cozies up to the dead girls, calling their bodies "beshitted".
- Averted in the Japanese novel Vivid Creations when Saeko is strangled to death. Her killer stated that she had urinated and defecated as she died, and her body was later found with a pool of brown-tinged urine between her splayed thighs.
- In The Dark Sleep, Escott first realized that his acting-troupe colleagues ... all 12 of them had been murdered when he catches the scent of blood, urine and excrement at the crime scene. He recognizes the significance of this, because he'd smelled the same thing during his WWI military service.
- Averted in Omni, where teenagers control characters in a deadly survival video game via mental link. When the team from Asia is attacked, Ella and Xue's characters are brutally slain, and the violent neural feedback kills both girls. When their teammates open the doors to their pods, they find that the girls had soiled themselves as they died.
- In Making Money Moist von Lipwig has just, for intents and purposes, inherited the Royal Bank after its president passed away. He's trying out the bed in the suite provided, noticing that it feels all warm and squishy, then immediately shoots up and asks where his predecessor died. He's informed she died at her desk, sitting in her chair (which has since been replaced).
- The Ender's Game companion, Ender's Shadow, averts this, as Achilles talks about how Poke voided her bladder and bowels as she died.
- In the Korean novel Kay-Oh, Nayeon urinates as she is strangled to death by garrote wire. Her urine is described as soaking through her underwear and flowing down her tights, gradually forming a puddle under her twitching legs as she died.
- In Jean Genet's Our Lady of the Flowers. Divine is described as voiding herself quite graphically after her miserable death from tuberculosis. The author doesn't shy away from the subjects of various bodily functions (even when one might want him to) and it's not a terribly romantic scene.
- In Chris Ryan's Strikeback, the Hezbollah mention that the reason they're starving their captive Kate is so that she does not defecate when she's executed.
- Averted in The Riftwar Cycle; the stink of the bowels being voided is often mentioned when someone dies.
- Not quite dealing with post-mortem defecation, but corpses in The Things They Carried are mentioned as belching as they are loaded onto carts.
- In Mike Brown's Slug Bait, Rachel wets herself as she is suffocated to death by the numerous slugs attacking her.
- Implied aversion in the Xeelee Sequence story Raft. One character sees "a shape hanging from rope" and "a pool of something brown and thick" beneath it.
- In George Hutton's Zapotec, a thirteen-year-old virgin girl urinates and defecates as she is killed on an altar as a live sacrifice, forcing the priests to stall the ceremony to clean up her underparts so as to offer a "dignified sacrifice".
- In James Thompson's Lucifer's Tears, when the cops discover the dead body of Iisa Filippov lying on a hotel bed, they also note that she had voided her bowels in her death, as the sheets under her thighs and buttocks were stained with her urine and feces.
- In the novel The Other Side of Midnight by Sidney Sheldon, Noelle is given an enema before her execution to prevent her defecating in death after she is killed. However, she still urinates as she is shot dead by the firing squad.
- In Mark Baker's Cops, the protagonist pulls a dying young girl out of the wreckage of a massive car accident. The girl urinates as she dies, soaking his arms and uniform.
- In Tourniquet Heart by Christopher Teague, Belle commits suicide by overdosing on pills, and her bladder released as she died. The main character found her body splayed on her bed, wearing only a pair of white panties, which was soaked and stained yellow with her urine.
- In Sudden Death Playoff by Brian Strangman, Igor drowns Anna by holding her head underwater in a tub, and she urinates involuntarily as she dies.
Live Action TV
- Actually played for humor in Supernatural, believe it or not. Sam is stuck in a Groundhog Day Loop where Dean dies (in various, hilarious ways) every day. Sam is aware of the repeating days; Dean is not. Sam tries to explain that in another version of that day, Dean got hit by a car and killed:
- One episode of Twin Peaks had Agent Cooper mention this fact, but never actually depicted it.
- In Hong Kong drama Hospital Nights, social worker Kathleen is electrocuted and killed by a sabotaged defibrillator, and her convulsing body urinates as she dies, creating a small puddle under her skirt. Her lifeless body is not discovered till morning, and the brown color of the pool of urine indicated that her bowels had also released.
Where is this from ? I haven't managed to find anything about a so-called Hospital Nights drama. Do you have a source ?
- Happens in Six Feet Under when a character is transporting a corpse back to the morgue and has to clean it up later.
- On NCIS, the presence of urine on a carpet provided the first confirmation of an eyewitness's claim she'd seen a murder through her window. McGee explains this trope to account for it.
- Referenced (sort of) in Waiting for Godot, except it's about the penile sphincter rather than the anal one.
Vladimir: What do we do now?
- In the online flash game Don't Shit Your Pants, the goal is to... well... If you kill yourself, you appear to succeed at first, but then this trope comes into play.
- Averted in Yume Miru Kusuri, of all games. This occurs when Aeka and Kouhei strangle Kyoka to death...or try to. Considering Kyoka actually survives (if barely, and thanks to this trope), it might not count.
- Some of the shown deaths in Kara no Shoujo, particularly those of Tsuzuriko and Orihime; both girls void their bladders and bowels as they die, though for Orihime, this only occurs if Reiji dies alongside her.
- The patient in Trauma Center doesn't die, but one of them has a hole in her intestines that is, essentially, leaking shit into her blood and poisoning her to death; you have to remove some of it from the liver and then patch the hole.
- The three female protagonists of the shooting game CrackleCradle often soil themselves when they are killed. Nana and Yuki, in particular, are almost always seen urinating and defecating when they die.
- In the horror survival game Demonophobia, the protagonist Sakuri is often shown urinating after she is killed by the numerous brutal enemies and traps in the levels.
- The game's sequel Xenophobia also has its protagonist urinate and defecate as she dies. This is made worse given the game's protagonist is a preteen girl, and her death animations are just as, if not more brutal and gory than Sakuri's.
- It's mentioned in Laura Bow and the Dagger of Amon Ra that several victims have "additional wet marks", which Laura declines to touch.
- Many of the female characters in the fighting game engine MUGEN urinate upon their deaths.
- VG Cats example here.
- A now missing fan-edit video for Puella Magi Madoka Magica crossed over with Hidamari Sketch showed Mami/Miyako averting this as she was killed by Charlotte - urine is seen flowing down her legs as Charlotte shook her body. Note that this didn't happen in the actual episode, but for a while the quite confused fans believed that it DID take place.
- In Sensou Schools, a Battle Royale-esque web manga, Eri grows fearful of losing her dignity when she realized that girls tended to soil themselves when killed. Due to their short school skirts, and as most of the girls wore lightly colored panties, the girls who died often exposed the fact that they had released their bowels in death.
- Comic artist Scribblekid averts this often in his Angel Corps series, which features a group of young female secret agents. Each comic strip typically ends with the girls failing in their missions and being brutally killed, with their bodies shown urinating in death.
- Averted in South Park as a Running Gag in Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes.
- In another episode, specifically as a Call Back to the above, it was an indication that a major character, Chef, had been Killed Off for Real. Cartman says "The last thing you do before you die is crap your.."- cue poop. Also see, Crosses the Line Twice.
- To the point where it's now become a running gag to show a dead body unceremoniously letting out loud fart sounds to purposely ruin the drama going on.
- Refered to in one episode of Family Guy. When Quagmire is playing dead to be rid of a woman, Peter attempts to confirm it by shouting "You know what'll prove it? When people die, they void their bowels. I said, when people die they void their bowels!" Quagmire sells it. Peter then makes fun of him for it.
- In Freddy5353's video A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, seven girls are hanged for witchcraft and treason, and five of them, including beautiful Queen Guinevere, urinate themselves as they die.
- Some Samurai would fast before a battle so that "their bodies would not pass dirt upon death" in order to avert this trope.
- The classic joke where the condemned orders fiber muffins for their last meal. Think about it...
- Some places in the United States where capital punishment is still practiced place the condemned in an adult diaper.
- When the killers were about to be hanged for the Clutter family murders in Truman Capote's non-fiction novel In Cold Blood, one of them kept asking to use the bathroom because they wanted to avoid this. They had to be told no matter how much you get out before you die, it will still happen.
- When a programmer says that their computer, program, or operating system "shit the bed," they mean that the computer/program/operating system crashed horribly. The phrase comes from this trope.