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Accept no substitutes.

Michelangelo's sculpture depicting Mary holding the body of the crucified Christ is the best-known example of one of the most popular poses in art. There is a whole class of artwork, referred to as "pietàs", that depict Mary (usually seated) holding the dead Jesus, going back to at least the early 14th century. It includes two other pieces by Michelangelo himself - one in the Cathedral Museum in Florence and known as the Deposition or Florentine Pietà, the other one one in the Castello Sforzesco in Milan and known as the Rondanini Pieta, as well as a third work in the Academia in Florence not generally attributed to Michelangelo today.

This specific pose is often used either following a Heroic Sacrifice or on a comic book cover, in which case it will likely be accompanied by a Tonight Someone Dies. It's frequently gender-flipped (i.e. the man holding a dead/dying/comatose woman), perhaps because the latter is more dramatic in modern media.

A subtrope of Faux Symbolism. May be mixed with Touch of the Monster. Super-Trope to Cradling Your Kill and Died in Your Arms Tonight. See also Background Halo for related subliminal symbolism. Compare Last Supper Steal and Crucified Hero Shot for other examples of frequently homaged Christ-iconography. Owes its existence to Pop-Cultural Osmosis.

Examples of Pieta Plagiarism include:


  • Kookai used it (here and here ),to express a "love at first sight post catatonia".
  • Appears in one of the Compare the Meerkat adverts.

Anime & Manga

  • The first opening sequence of Death Note features Naomi Misora cradling (apparently recently-killed) fiancee Raye Penber about halfway through as just one of countless biblical references.
    • Also, Light Yagami holds L's dead body in this position, while grinning evilly after L dies in his arms.
  • Final Fantasy VII Advent Children used this in promotional artworks, most notably for the front cover of the OST. It shows Cloud and Kadaj.
  • CC in the first Code Geass OP. It's self-conscious, given that she seems to be in a church.
    • Suzaku pulls this off absolutely straight with Euphemia...
    • CLAMP have drawn an illustration of Suzaku holding Lelouch.
  • Mazinger Z: Several times in the manga and in the anime series Kouji held Sayaka -or vice versa- in that position, usually when one of them lay unconscious on the ground. Actually the cover of one of the volumes features a grim-looking Kouji holding a fainted Sayaka.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: It happened near from the end, when Rubina got murdered and Duke held her as she died.
  • Sailor Moon R does this near the end, when Prince Dirmando carries his brother Safiiru's lifeless body away of the battlefield, after he's killed by Wiseman. This is repeated in the S season, after Super Sailor Moon rescues Sailor Saturn from her last fight with Pharaoh 90 and takes her back to Earth, now as a newborn baby, in her arms.
  • The DVD cover for Anime Legends: Wolf's Rain Complete Collection II depicts (among other things) Kiba holding Cheza in his arms. Which should be impossible, because (in case there's anyone who isn't aware of the show's basic concept) Kiba is actually a wolf and is only projecting the illusion of being human - he doesn't really have arms, and couldn't possibly hold this pose in wolf form - it would look pretty silly too.
    • Turns out this is an actual scene from the show. Presumably he's actually carrying her on his back.
    • In addition, it isn't as though weight would be an issue, seeing as how Cheza is literally a flower. Within the context of the show, it seems significant that she's the only one able to be carried like that by the wolves.
  • Quite unsurprisingly given the title, the Girls Love manga Pieta uses this pose at a climactic moment, with one of the protagonists holding the other after the latter's suicide attempt.
  • Used on the spoilerific Vol. 6 cover of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS' Japanese DVD, which has Subaru cradling the seemingly dead body of her sister Ginga.
  • Daram holds his girlfriend Harulu like this After the End of Space Runaway Ideon. It is especially poignant since both characters are dead at that time and appear as spirits. Don't ask.
  • Ranma ½ several times, but at least twice in a definite parallel: first, a chapter-cover illustration with Ryoga thus cradling an unconscious Akane during an ice-skating battle; second, at the end of the series when Ranma thinks Akane has died.
  • One chapter of Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro ends with X holding Yako like this. An image of the sculpture is behind them, except Mary and Jesus are wearing bondage masks.
  • The cover art for the latest release of the remastered Platinum Collection of Neon Genesis Evangelion features Shinji holding Rei in this fashion. Of course, given everything else in the series...
    • IIRC, there's art of the original series with Misato holding Shinji similarly.
  • In One Piece, Usopp holds Sanji like this when he thinks he's dead. Turned out he was just checking the wrong side of his chest for a heartbeat.
  • In the Fullmetal Alchemist manga, Armstrong holds a dead child like this.
    • Also seen in the Brotherhood anime, when Riza Hawkeye is dying from having her throat slit. Roy Mustang cradles her Pieta-style, urging her to stay with him, until May Cheng performs the alkahestry ritual that saves her life. Once he realizes she's going to live, Mustang scoops her up again the same way, this time pressing his face into her hair.
  • The cover art for Volume 13 of Berserk has a bloody Guts, minus a hand and an eye, holding a naked and unconscious Casca like this, in what is presumably the aftermath of Casca being raped by Femto.
  • In Gundam Seed Destiny, after Meer Campbell dies in the arms of Lacus Clyne, her friend and unrequited crush Athrun briefly carried around her dead body as well.
    • And some time before that, Shinn Asuka carried Stellar Loussier's body after she perished in his arms.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, after Toguro kills Genkai, Yusuku holds her in his arms, telling her not to die.
    • And Itsuki holds his lover and leader Sensui's body after he dies.
  • In the Inuyasha manga and Final Act anime, Kikyo dies in Inuyasha's arms in this manner.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!!. Yami pulls this with Yugi after defeating the latter in a duel, the price of which was at least one of their souls, in the episode Self Destruction (Showdown! The Two Yugis).
  • In Pokémon Special, Red holds an unconscious Yellow in this fashion, and to drive the point home, they're both frozen in stone in this position for presumably some time.
    • Wallace also briefly holds Steven's dead body in this manner.
  • At the near-end of the series of Tokyo Mew Mew, used twice with Tart and Pudding and Kisshu and Ichigo. The former being the dead one in both cases.
  • Hei does this at the end of the second season with Yin's body.
  • Saint Seiya: When Seiya saves Saori from crows and then catches her before landing
    • In the anime, this is also pulled by Hyoga, who carries Shun in his arms after the other almost sacrifices himself for him, holding Hyoga in his own arms and then burning his Cosmo to its limits to literally de-freeze him.
  • There is official art of Heero from Gundam Wing holding Relena this way.
    • Link please? And anyway, she returns the favor in Endless Waltz, when Heero collapses out of exhaustion when it's all said and done and Relena catches him mid-fall, then cradles him gently to her.
  • The second opening of Soul Eater shows Soul holding Maka in this fashion, like this. Never happens in the series, though.
  • Tetsuya emerges from a burning building carrying Luna this way in Casshern Sins. Cue music, then the single-handed Curb Stomping of an entire robot army.
  • Happens in the Bleach anime, with Hitsugaya holding a seriously injured Hinamori this way... after he wounded her, under Aizen's hypnotism.
  • A slightly more frightening example appears in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle in the arc that delves into Kurogane's past. During this part, the character, in a bloody, senseless rage, ends up being shown, his entire face, except for his eyes, totally shadowed, holding his murdered mother's bloody corpse. This goes on for quite some time, with the only other feature being shown being the occasional appearance of his mouth, usually open in a shout or growl. Then finally, Tsukiyomi stops him and, in an attempt to calm him, closes his dead mother's eyes, telling him that she should rest. During this whole time, he never once dropped his mother's body.
  • In Eureka Seven episode 13, Renton carried the unconscious Eureka this way when Nirvash started to move on its own.
  • The last we see of Hei in the final episode of Darker Than Black Ryuusei no Gemini was him carrying Yin this way. Yin's fate is left unknown.
  • In G Gundam, this is done with Gundams twice. The first is when the old Shuffle Alliance heal their successors through a Heroic Sacrifice. The second is after the Shining Gundam is destroyed, seen here.
  • The movie Momoko, Kaeru no Uta ga Kikoeru yo has the titular Momoko being held by her and Riki's father after she dies of her illness and the family carries her away to be buried.


  • The Pietà was already a long-established representation of the sorrowful Virgin Mary by the time Michelangelo started work on his first one. It first arose in Germany, where the form is known as Vesperbild ("vespers image", because it portrays a moment after the crucifixion, around the time of evening prayers on Good Friday), and spread to Italy from there. The oldest surviving Pietàs date back to the early 1300s, over 150 years before Michelangelo was born.
    • Some ancient sculptures and paintings depicting scenes from pre-Christian mythology also have Pietà-like configuration, e. g. Niobe holding the body of one of her children, Eos (Dawn) with that of her son Memnon etc.
  • While it lacks the Mary figure, David's Death of Marat has the subject mimicking Jesus' pose.
    • Although that portrait supposedly was taken from life, er death.
  • An even closer version is this image of the death of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church, from 1851.
  • Lego Tragedy
  • Even Robert Downey Jr. partakes in a little plagiarism.

Comic Books

  • Many, many comic books. The examples below are just a brief overview. As citing the numerous examples would take up way too much of this page, here's a nice big list for ya.
    • The cover of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7, showing Superman carrying Supergirl's corpse whilst screaming in anguish, is one of the best known examples in comic books, and is frequently referenced and/or parodied, effectively making the origin of the trope Older Than They Think.
    • The cover of Uncanny X-Men #136 (Cyclops holding Dark Phoenix) is equally well known; ironically, it wasn't until the next issue that Phoenix died.
      • This cover came about five years earlier than the Crisis cover mentioned above, so it's at least passably likely that the Crisis cover was an homage to THIS one.
      • Two more X-Men examples, both all-female: The cover of Uncanny X-Men #255 shows Mystique kneeling, holding the body of her leman Destiny in a pietà pose, and that of X-Men Annual #1 (2006) shows Mystique sitting on the ground holding her injured daughter Rogue.
      • Subverted slightly in X-Treme X-Men #2, where the villain arranges a dead (at the time) Psylocke and bloody-and-broken Beast in a reversal of the Pietà. Might be calling back to the Dark Phoenix cover, as a good portion of the fandom indulges in Shipping where these two are concerned.
    • Likewise, the cover of The Death of Captain Marvel is very explicitly based on the Michelangelo work.
    • One of the most notorious examples is from the cover of one of the Teen Titans 'Drug Awareness issues', with Speedy holding the corpse of a boy who dies on-panel from a drug overdose in the comic.
    • Another very famous one comes from A Death in the Family, with Batman holding Jason Todd as Robin's body. This picture.
    • Captain Atom probably deserves mention for doing it twice, first on the cover of #8, with Plastique cradling a badly wounded Cap, with bonus points for Cap having a very visible wound in his side, and then inverting that image on the cover of issue #44, with Cap now cradling an unconscious Plastique.
    • It's a fictional comic book, but the cover of issue 1 of Rage: Gay Crusader from the US version of Queer as Folk.
    • The last issue of the fictional Bluntman and Chronic, from Kevin Smith's Chasing Amy, references the Batman example with "the inevitable death of Chronic!".
    • Dark Reign had one of these in a promo poster.
    • Witchblade #128's cover.
  • Issue 217 of Hellblazer literally copied the statue.
  • Two-Face holds a drugged and bleeding Batman like this in Batman: Jekyll and Hyde.
  • One of the earliest Star Trek: The Next Generation comics had Data cradling Geordi's dead body this way. Then Q resurrects him.
    • This cover was a double whammy: Data's not only holding Geordi's dead body, he's also in tears.
  • The Avengers: Red Zone Part 5 cover features this with Iron Man holding a very dead Captain America. Note that Tony's angst is so great that even the armor is emoting.
  • The "Death of Captain America" plotline has Steve Rogers taking a bullet and collapsing outside the court, only for him to be cradled by Sharon Carter and a federal agent (spoilers).
  • Marjane in Persepolis recounts how she got into the Iranian art school; in the entrance exam, she drew a copy of Pietà, with Mary replaced by a veiled Iranian woman, and Jesus replaced by a martyr.
  • Spider-Man holds Gwen Stacy in this way, in the last panel of The Night Gwen Stacy Died.
  • For the Marvel reprints of Elf Quest, a new series of covers was made. Issue 24 also used this pose for Clearbrook and One-Eye.
  • A cover of Batman and Son has Batman do this to the Joker
  • In All Fall Down, the Ghoul holds Portia this way after rescuing her.

Fan Works

  • In With Strings Attached, immediately after the Heart of Evil has been destroyed, the Hunter comes walking through a curtain of rain carrying Paul's naked body (though he isn't dead, and he didn't perform a Heroic Sacrifice; he got drained by wraiths that he overconfidently attacked).
  • In A Captive Light a Digimon fanfiction, Kari cradles TK's body after Ken's monsters attack, with the intent of actually killing his hostage. The holding and sobbing last for a good chapter and a half, and reduced more than one reviewer to tears.

Film - Animated

  • Nearing the end of The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack lies defeated in the arms of a graveyard statue of an angel.
  • Meg's death in Hercules. And it's not just Hercules cradling her in his arms as a powered mortal, but he also holds her spirit once he is restored to godhood as well.
  • In Tangled, Rapunzel is holding Eugene/Flynn after his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • At the very beginning of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the Archdeacon actually does this to Quasimodo's mother after she has been trampled to death by Frollo for being a Gypsy and is about to drown baby Quasimodo by dropping him into a well because of his hideous appearance.

Film - Live Action

  • The live-action Chop Sockey movie The Protector ends with the hero and the lead villain falling through a skylight onto the mounted skeleton of the elephant he was supposed to be protecting from poachers; his body ends up cradled in the elephant's tusks.
  • The last scene of Dead Ringers.
  • The film version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street has this. The twist is, they're both dead.
  • The Jane Howell film of Richard III ends with a reversed Pietà pose: Margaret holding Richard's body with its head cradled in her left arm, laughing.
  • Superbad, when Seth carries a drunk Evan out of the party.
  • Happens in The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with Rocky holding Frank-n-Furter. Considering the nature of the movie/play...
  • Used blatantly, and intentionally, in the Argentinian film Hombre Mirando al Sudeste (Man Looking Southeast), because one of its many, many possible interpretations is that the character Rantes is what he says he is, The Messiah (or rather, a messiah).
  • The first example of this in film is, predictably enough, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, as Cesare kidnaps Jane
  • At the very end of Dogma, Silent Bob and Bethany mimic this, with Bethany playing the role of Christ. Don't worry, she's not dead.
    • Well, not very, anyway.
    • And it's incredibly appropriate, considering she's the last living relative of Christ.
  • Another Kevin Smith example: the last "Bluntman and Chronic" in-universe comic shows Bluntman cradling Chronic in a similar way.
  • Used intentionally in Children of Men, with a refugee mother holding her dead (or at least severely wounded) son. The commentary reveals this was a reference both to Michelangelo's sculpture and a real-life photograph.
  • Parodied at the end of Wayne's World when Wayne stumbles out of the burning house cradling the dead Garth and shouting "Why, God?! Why?!"
  • Used blatantly and purposely in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, when the dead Christ is removed from the cross. Mary cradles him in Michaelangelo's pose while the camera slowly pulls away.
  • In Hannibal, the title character carries Clarice this way towards the end.
  • Inverted In Tom Yum Goong (The Protector).
  • Parodied in the Strangers with Candy movie when Noblet attacks Jerri over the science fair and then collapses backward into the arms of the other students.
  • Starman carrying Jenny away from an explosion. She gets better.
  • Parodied in Mr. Bean's Holiday - Bean attempts to earn some money by dancing to music from a CD stall, then the music switches to an opera piece, prompting Bean to stage his own improvised opera, with himself and his new friend in the roles of Mary and Jesus. It's Better Than It Sounds.
  • Scott cradles Mike in My Own Private Idaho - more than once. However he's only sleeping. He suffers from narcolepsy and it's up to Scott to look after him, and yes, carry him about when he's asleep.
  • In the Australian film Animal Kingdom, Pope carries Nicole out of the house like this. he just killed her by smothering and proceeds to dump her body under a bridge
  • In We Were Soldiers, an American helicopter returns to base carrying dead and wounded from an intense ongoing battle during the early stages of the Vietnam War. A large black soldier picks up a dead white soldier and carries him away while weeping. Truth in Television, as the authors of the book the movie was based on indicate that it actually happened.
  • In The Fugitive, Richard Kimble holds his dead (or dying) wife in his arms this way.
  • In Don Juan Demarco, the pose is enacted when John's father is fatally wounded in a sword duel, and dies in the arms of John's mother.
  • The Incredible Hulk carries Betty away from the battle on the college campus.
  • In RoboCop 3, the titular character carries the dying Anne Lewis into a church in this fashion, and sets them down on the altar before she finally succumbs to her gunshot wound.
  • Used in Robot Monster, as immortalized on the poster.
  • Scotty carrying his dead nephew Ensign Prescott onto the bridge in The Wrath of Khan
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Severus Snape cradles Lily Potter's body after finding her dead.
  • Used in Transformers: Dark of the Moon when Optimus holds Sentinel's body, which has been on the moon since The Sixties and is locked in stasis due to lack of Energon.
  • Erik cradles a wounded Charles on the beach in X-Men: First Class.
  • The last shot of The Roaring Twenties leaves Eddie dead in Panama's arms after his Heroic Sacrifice.
  • The spectacular shot of Sam cradling Frodo on the slopes of Mount Doom in The Return of the King.
  • In Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows, Sim does this to her brother after they collapsed from a poisoned dart.


  • Rare non-visual example: in Justina Robson 's Living Next Door To The God Of Love, the Stuffies' Cathedral has a stained-glass window showing Francine with a "sexy dark chick" in her lap: it's Cadenza Fortitude, the titular God's female version.
  • The Executioner. On the cover of "Day of Mourning" in which Mack Bolan's long-term Love Interest April Rose is killed, Bolan is shown cradling the latter's dead body. And it's raining.

Live-Action TV

  • Veronica Mars began and ended its second season with the Pietà; in the first case, Veronica tends to Logan, and in the second, it's reversed.
  • The Season 7 finale of Smallville had Lex Luthor cradling a (Weakened? Paralyzed? Don't really know.) Clark Kent in a similar fashion as the Fortress of Solitude crumbled around them. It's further enforced by the former repeatedly apologizing to him and apparently seeing this event of killing his former-best friend as a great personal sacrifice.
  • Used at least once in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, after Drusilla is restored to health and Spike is injured, she holds him in this manner.
    • Also used in the episode The Puppet Show, when Buffy cradles the Demon Slaying puppet after his death.
  • Heroes used this twice in season 3 in paintings of the future. One of Matt holding a burned Daphne in a possible-future where Sylar goes nuclear and Noah holding an injured Claire, foreshadowing the eclipse during which the powered people lose their abilities.
  • The last episode of the first season of Merlin plays it straight with Uther holding Arthur. It's ok though, he gets better.
  • Used in, of all places, the first season of The OC, with Ryan and Marissa, who had just taken a painkiller overdose washed down with a lot of alcohol in Tijuana.
    • And in a deliberate parallel to the above scene, he carries her the same way in the Season 3 finale, "The Graduates", following a car accident. She's suffered head trauma and he has to carry her away from the burning car. She dies in his arms, and the final shot is him huddled over her body.
  • Spoofed in an episode of Upright Citizens Brigade in the Camp Kalterman sketch.
  • Done a few times in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, usually whenever Iolaus dies. (Yes, it happened more than once.) In a commentary, Michael Hurst got his Michelangelo sculptures mixed up and compared it to David.
  • Worf carrying Data during the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Brothers". Data was only deactivated at the time, though.
  • In Doctor Who, the Doctor holds the Master in this way in the Series 3 Finale. Somewhat ruined by his odd squatting pose on the floor, although that was only as narmy as the odd position of his legs while dramatically floating.
    • He did it again with Jenny in 'The Doctor's Daughter,' complete with that little hug-rocking motion. Once again, a secondary character shot the closest thing to family he had left out of almost nowhere; it was a bit of a callback.
      • Given the way the Doctor tends to feel responsible when people die around him, this almost plays as Cradling Your Kill.
    • The scene in "Smith & Jones" where the Doctor carries Martha after she passes out from the lack of oxygen could be seen this way, especially since there was no particular reason she couldn't have stayed where she was besides drama.
  • In the Dark Angel episode "Pollo Loco," Max holds her "brother" Ben in this manner after he asks her to kill him and she complies.
  • Seinfeld - Jerry has a bad dream where he ends up in this pose after getting illegal cable and the Cable Police gun him down. Kramer cradles him crying "What have you done to my little CABLE BOY???"
  • Power Rangers in Space: Andros holds the body of Karone after Zordon's Heroic Sacrifice to stop the attack on the world. She is revived by Andros' love for her.

Tabletop Games

  • A picture on the page explaining the rules for Resonance (that's the accumulation of the wrath of the undead creators of the world to you and me...) in the Exalted 2nd ed Abyssals book. Something of an inversion, however- the character doing the cradling is presumably an Abyssal, and has probably just invited the anger of the Neverborn by attempting to do some good in the world- renegade Abyssals can quite easily hit Messianic status, Dark or otherwise.


  • The script of the play for Little Shop of Horrors mentions Pieta a few times when discussing how to act Audrey's death and subsequent feeding to the plant.
  • Shakespeare example: King Lear carrying Cordelia's body at the end of the play. Well, near the end.
  • The very last pose in Elisabeth. See that show's trope page for an illustration.
  • Miss Saigon, after Kim shoots her cousin Thuy (she was protecting her son from him), then at the end, after she shoots herself.

Video Games

  • A pretty clever example occurs in Assassin's Creed Brotherhood. In one particular story mission, you are tasked with preventing someone's assassination in the middle of a play, where said person is playing Jesus. Let's just say things take a turn for the bad, so they cut him off the cross, and Ezio picks him up and carries him off. Perfect Pieta pose included.
  • When Shin Megami Tensei II was remade for the Playstation, its original poster featured the protagonist being held by the angel Gabriel in this position.
  • In the fifth case of the original Ace Attorney game, Lana Skye holds her unconscious younger sister Ema in this manner after Ema is attacked by a serial killer.
  • Kefka of Final Fantasy VI mimics this as one of his final forms, with himself replacing Christ.
    • Notably, in the Japanese version, the female torso and head floating behind Kefka was named "Maria", as in "Mary", as opposed to the western translations in which she was named "Girl" or "Lady" depending on the console version. (Quite obviously to avoid pushing any berserk buttons.)
  • Tellah of Final Fantasy IV takes both sides of this trope in the DS remake, holding his daughter Anna as she's just been shot full of Baronian arrows, and then being picked up by Cid after sacrificing his own life to power his uber-doom Meteor spell against Golbez.
  • The standing Pietà could be found on the box art of Shadow Hearts with Yuri carrying Alice. The sequel Shadow Hearts: From the New World mimics this with Johnny and Shania, except that Johnny is not strong enough to lift Shania. The art effectively looks more like the picture above (Lamentation) as Johnny is kneeling. Ruined, at least for this troper, as Shania's neck is straight up; she is clearly supporting it herself.
    • You can see the sculpture itself in Apoina Tower in Covenant.
  • Mega Man X 4, during the infamous "WHAT AM I FIGHTING FOOOOOOOOOOR" scene, where Zero carries the dead Iris.
    • Another one in X8, with X carrying a comatose Axl before and during their journey back to Earth.
    • And again in Mega Man Zero, where Zero saves a falling Ciel this way.
  • Done twice in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. Link holds Colin in this manner after rescuing him from abduction by the Bulblins. Later, when Midna uses the power of the Fused Shadow for the first time and it renders her unconscious, she likewise is held in Link's arms until she wakes.
  • An interesting variation from Final Fantasy VIII: Rinoa does this with Squall after she finds him unconscious in the desert after Time Compression, but it's mostly shown from the back - most likely to highlight the wings on the back of her outfit.
  • A statue in Chorrol in Oblivion resembles this.
  • Snake holding Big Mama in Metal Gear Solid 4 is an interesting twist, because all the symbolism up until that point was that Snake was the self-sacrificial, messianic one and Mama was his mother (she even blatantly described Snake's birth as an 'immaculate conception').
  • in the .hack series, Kite holds the dying Mia in this manner.
    • In G.U., Haseo does this when Alkaid is PKed.
  • ...And now someone's gone and made a Real Life statue of Peach holding Mario in that pose. From styrofoam. It's titled "Game Over".
  • In Umineko no Naku Koro ni's PS3 remake, Battler is holding Beatrice like this on the cover.
  • In Dragon Age 2 Hawke does this with his/her mother when he/she is too late to save their mother from an insane blood mage who sought to 'reassemble' his late wife.
    • Later in Act 2, Viscount Dumar does this with his son Seamus after the latter is murdered by Petrice in her attempt to incite war with the Qunari.
  • In Fable III, The Hero does this as Walter dies in his/her arms after the final battle.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, done by Batman during the ending after the Joker dies from TITAN poisoning.
    • Made somewhat hilarious by the fact that he seems to have left Talia lying in a pool of her own blood without a second thought.[1]
    • This is also an Ironic Echo to the first image we see in the Catwoman opening - Cain doing the exact same pose with Abel.
  • Despite being the furthest thing from a messiah imaginable, Alex Mercer in Prototype cradles his sister's unconscious body this way when he rescues her from a kidnapping, before he lifts her effortlessly and tears out of the building to find medical care.


Web Original

  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog has one heralding its finale in Act III: Billy carries the lifeless body of Penny to a stretcher as he sings "Everything You Ever" and makes his final transformation to Dr. Horrible.
  • Invoked at the end of Brad Neely's China, IL.
  • Linkara does this with Marz Gurl in Kickassia when she's knocked down by an explosion. Played for Laughs, since the entire time he's doing it, she's protesting that she's fine.
  • Chaos Fighters: Chemical Warriors-RAKSA has this near the end, but subverted that the one being hugged was alive and woke up.

Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: This scene from the second season finale is one example that doesn't follow a Heroic Sacrifice, but a surprise shot from behind.
  • Ben 10 Alien Force actually has a shot like this in "What Little Girls Are Made Of", with Kevin holding Ben after he is knocked down in a (brief) conflict with a woman who turns out to be his grandmother. The scene is not dramatic and Ben isn't even unconscious, but he stays in Kevin's arms like that for a good five seconds.
  • Superjail: When the Littlest Cancer Patient dies, one of the prisoners holds her like this.
  • Transformers Animated, Endgame Part 2: Jazz carries Prowl's body after the third Lugnut Supreme blows up.
  • Spoofed in the Dexter's Laboratory accompanying short, The Justice Friends, in which Major Glory holds Valhallan in his arms after Valhallan injures himself in an attempt to get a bee out of their apartment. When Valhallan states that he is fine, Major Glory casually tosses him aside.
  • In Lilo and Stitch 2, where Stitch has died, Lilo holds him in this fashion. It's okay though, he gets better.
  • The end of the Looney Tunes cartoon "What's Opera Doc?"
  • The Simpsons: The famous "Death of Superman" comic is parodied with Sad Sack.

Real Life

  1. Ehh, she'll get better, wot with the Lazarus Pit and all...