Ironic Famous Last Words

A gravestone that says R.I.P.

Pleasureofart/Getty Images

Whether realized at the time they are said or only in hindsight, nearly everyone will express a word, phrase or sentence that proves the last thing he or she ever says while alive. Sometimes profound, sometimes every day, here you will find a select collection of the last words spoken by various people that appear ironic in hindsight.

Note: The following quotations are organized alphabetically by the individual's last name followed by the year in which he or she died.

R. Budd Dwyer (1987)

"Don't, don't, don't, this will hurt someone."

Embroiled in a bribery scandal, Pennsylvania Treasurer Dwyer decided to commit suicide rather than resign publicly. After addressing reporters gathered at a press conference the day before a Pennsylvania court was scheduled to issue Dwyer's sentence for his earlier bribery conviction, the state treasurer cut short his prepared remarks and produced a .357 caliber handgun to the astonishment of attendees. As people tried to defuse the situation and take the gun from him, Dwyer warned reporters not to approach as he placed the gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger.

Stephen Irwin (2006)

"Don't worry, they usually don't swim backwards."

While filming a documentary near Australia's Great Barrier Reef, "The Crocodile Hunter" encountered a stingray that defensively used its tail spine to ward off Irwin, piercing his chest. Despite the efforts of his production and boat crews to save his life, Irwin died from cardiac arrest and excessive loss of blood.

Terry Alan Kath (1978)

"Don't worry… it's not loaded."

The founding member of the rock group Chicago thought the .38 caliber revolver he pointed to his head was unloaded.

John F. Kennedy (1963)

"No, you certainly can't."

Jacqueline Kennedy testified on June 5, 1964, that these were President Kennedy's last words—or "something" to this effect—in response to the statement by Nellie Connally, the wife of Texas Governor John Connally. He remarked just before an assassin's bullet struck the president: "You certainly can't say that the people of Dallas haven't given you a nice welcome."

Vic Morrow (1982)

"I've got to be crazy to do this shot. I should've asked for a double."

During the filming of a scene for Twilight Zone: The Movie, the planned pyrotechnic explosions damaged the tail rotor of a helicopter that was part of the sequence, causing the pilot to lose control of the craft. The helicopter's main rotor decapitated Morrow and a seven-year-old actor he carried in his arms and crushed a second child actor when it crashed. Charged with involuntary manslaughter, a jury ultimately acquitted the film's director, John Landis, of the charges.

Hector Hugh Munro, aka Saki (1916)

"Put that bloody cigarette out!"

Serving in the British Army during World War I, Saki (the pen name of British author Munro) uttered his last words on a French battlefield. A German sniper saw the lit cigarette or overheard Saki's order and shot the 43-year-old. (Incidentally, there is an interesting death-related superstition revolving around soldiers lighting cigarettes on a battlefield called "Three on a Match.")

Lawrence Oates (1912)

"I am just going outside and may be some time."

Suffering from the effects of scurvy and frostbite, and fearing his maladies placed the rest of his companions at risk as they attempted to reach the South Pole for the first time in history, Oates uttered these final words according to expedition leader Robert Falcon Scott's journal. After his comrades refused his first attempt to sacrifice himself for their safety, Oates said these words as he left the group's shelter during a blizzard. Unfortunately, his heroic sacrifice did not save his companions, who died from exposure a little more than a week later.

Taylor Sauer (2012)

"I can’t discuss this now. Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha."

While driving from Utah State University to her parent's home in Idaho in January 2012, 18-year-old Sauer reportedly sent a text message every 90 seconds while behind the wheel during the four-hour trip. After sending the last message (above), her car slammed into the back of a truck at an estimated 80 miles per hour.

John Sedgwick (1864)

"I'm ashamed of you, dodging that way. They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance."

The highest-ranking Union officer to die during the American Civil War, Major General Sedgwick chastised the men in his command for reacting to Confederate sharpshooter fire while placing artillery in preparation for (what is now known as) the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse in Virginia moments before a sniper's bullet ended his life.

"'Driving and facebooking is not safe! Haha': Chilling last text sent by teenage driver seconds before she died in 80mph horror crash," March 6, 2012. Daily Mail. Retrieved March 2, 2014.