50 Most Unforgettable Movie Deaths

Top Gun (1986)

The Movie Death: Nick 'Goose' Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards) comes a cropper thanks to Maverick's (Tom Cruise) ego during a training program - when their aircraft gets busted, Goose attempts to eject but gets caught in the aircraft's canopy. Bye, bye, Goose.

Why We’ll Never Forget It: The sight of Goose's broken body being airlifted is one of the saddest sights of the '80s. Damn you, Maverick.

Full Metal Jacket (1987)

The Movie Death: Private Pyle (Vincent D'Onofrio) has had enough of being in the Marine Corps, so he heads to the bathroom with a shotgun and promptly blows his head off. Blood. Everywhere.

Why We’ll Never Forget It: It makes us really uneasy (commenting, as it does, on life in the Marine Corps). Plus it's just really messy.

King Kong (1933)

The Movie Death: "Well, Denham, the airplanes got him," says a cop at the end of this classic monster movie as King Kong finally plummets from the Empire State Building. "No, it wasn't the airplanes," corrects Denham. "It was beauty killed the beast."

Why We’ll Never Forget It: It doesn't matter that the effects have dated, the tragedy of this scene still packs a heck of a punch - something Peter Jackson recaptured with his loving remake.

Deep Blue Sea (1999)

The Movie Death: Corporate boss Russell Franklin (Samuel L Jackson) launches a 'rallying troupes' type of speech, only to be rudely interrupted when a shark jumps out of the water and turns him into dinner.

Why We’ll Never Forget It: Jackson's easily the biggest name in the film, so to see him gobbled up so early on is something of a shock. (Even if the CGI hasn't exactly held up to contemporary scrutiny.)

Thelma & Louise (1991)

The Movie Death: Thelma (Geena Davis) and Louise (Susan Sarandon) discover they've got nowhere else to go as they're chased by police all the way to the Grand Canyon. So they decide to keep driving - right off the edge of the canyon.

Why We’ll Never Forget It:
It's tragic, sure, but it's also hella iconic - heck, The Simpsons parodied it, so it must be.

Tucker & Dale Versus Evil (2010)

The Movie Death: Thinking that their friend Allison (Katrina Bowden) has been kidnapped by killer rednecks, college kids attack Tucker (Alan Tudyk) and Dale (Tyler Labine), only to accidentally kill themselves in the process.

The most memorable is when one of the kids launches himself into a wood chipper…

Why We’ll Never Forget It : It's slapstick comedy with GORE added in for extra flavour. Which is always awesome.

RoboCop (1987)

The Movie Death: Emil Antonowsky (Paul McCrane) takes the plunge into a vat of toxic waste (yum) before emerging in a melt-y mess (yummier). Which isn't quite the end - he then stumbles into the path of an oncoming vehicle. OK, NOW it's the end.

Why We’ll Never Forget It: This is Paul Verhoeven at his most brutal - he's never been one to shy away from the gore, and he goes all out in this scene.

Pan's Labyrinth 92006)

The Movie Death: Fairytale-loving Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) is shot by the evil Captain Vidal (Sergi López) in the closing moments of Guillermo del Toro's traumatising horror fantasy.

Why We’ll Never Forget It: Though we shouldn't have really been surprised by this bleak ending (it is, after all, a fairytale), Ofelia's our heroine, and we absolutely didn't expect her to die at the end.

Snowtown (2011)

The Movie Death: Serial killer John Bunting (Daniel Henshall) punishes Troy (Anthony Groves) for raping his brother Jamie (Lukas Pittaway) by torturing him in a bathtub. It's left to Jamie to put an end to Troy's suffering.

Why We’ll Never Forget It: It's so absolutely desolate and upsetting and, as the film is quick to remind us, actually happened.

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return Of The Jedi (1983)

The Movie Death: Bounty hunter Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch) finally gets his comeuppance at the opening of this trilogy-closer as he's tipped headfirst into the Sarlacc pit and gobbled up alive.

Why We’ll Never Forget It: As all fanboys and fangirls will attest, Boba Fett's pretty flipping awesome. So to see him dispatched so callously so early on in Jedi feels like a slap in the face.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.