Background Evidence suggests that recent changes in anhedonia may be more predictive of suicidal ideation than either state or trait anhedonia alone. However, the individual role that anhedonia symptoms play in suicidality is not yet well established. Methods This study investigated whether state, trait, and recent changes in anhedonia predicted recent suicidal ideation, using cross-sectional data from two independent samples, one non-clinical (n = 2,138) and one clinical (n = 859), using binary logistic regression analyses. Results In Study 1, loss of interest in people and loss of pleasure were associated with recent suicidal ideation independent of other depression symptoms, state and trait anhedonia. In Study 2, loss of interest in people, loss of interest in sex, and work inhibition were associated with recent suicidal ideation. In both studies, recent changes in anhedonia was uniquely associated with recent suicidal ideation. Conclusions These results indicate that recent changes in anhedonia and particularly the social aspect of the Loss of Interest in People item could be a significant risk factor in suicidal ideation.