Fading Away YKTTW Discussion

Fading Away
A character literally fades out of existence
(permanent link) added: 2011-10-25 05:05:32 sponsor: PapercutChainsaw edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2014-08-04 14:56:08)

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A character slowly begins to fade away, often as a form of non-violent onscreen death. This differs from Everything Fades and Disappears into Light, as the character is always alive and fully conscious throughout the process, and that the fading is explicitly the cause of their death/disappearance. That said, the fading is not always fatal if the character can find a way to stop it in time.

The fading usually results in a character becoming transparent and ghostlike, gradually losing the ability to interact with the physical world around them.

Characters who are likely to suffer this fate include ghosts and spirits, beings trapped in a world that is not their own, "imaginary" creatures that are dependent on belief to exist, and even the odd Intangible Man with Power Incontinence. Can also be caused by a Delayed Ripple Effect.

Given that this is a Death Trope, expect unmarked spoilers.


Anime and Manga
  • In the final episode of The Big O, the Big Venus marches straight into Alex Rosewater and his Big Fau mecha, causing him to fade away, horrifically. It keeps going, fulfilling its role as the Reality Reset Button of Paradigm City.

Comic Books
  • What If? v2 #89 was a story where the Fantastic Four weren't able to control their powers properly, and this is what happened to the Invisible Woman.

  • Happens to Marty in Back to the Future when he's in danger of nullifying his own existence when his parents might not get together.

Live-Action TV
  • The Twilight Zone
    • TOS episode "It's a Good Life". A 5 year old boy has the power to send people and things "to the cornfield". One of the characters who disappears is seen fading away after being turned into a jack-in-the-box.
    • TOS episode "A World of His Own". A playwright has the ability to create people by recording their description on an audio tape. When the tape is burned, the created person fades into non-existence.
  • Chris nearly had this happen to him in Charmed. Piper and Leo hadn't conceived him yet, so he started fading out of existence.
  • In the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Time's Orphan", Molly O'Brien disappears into a portal that sends her 3000 years into the past. They try to get her back, but they get a version that is 18 years old; 10 years older than the Molly who went through the portal. The 18 year old Molly wants to go back, and when they send her back, the 18 year old Molly finds the 8 year old Molly. The 18 year old Molly sends the 8 year old Molly back to her parents and disappears.

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