Created By: Wumblee on September 24, 2012 Last Edited By: rider450 on September 11, 2017

Funeral Cut

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A certain character is about to, or is in the process of doing, something dangerous. The screen then cuts to a graveyard or the scene of their funeral to immediately establish their death. Usually played for laughs in black comedy, or used in lieu of a Gory Discretion Shot.


  • In Zoolander, after the "freak gasoline fight accident".
  • The Other Guys, after Chris Danson and P.K. Highsmith throw themselves off a building.
  • The Simpsons, in the episode where Homer tries to become a hippie,this trope is subverted,as the camera heads to the hospital which is right next to the graveyard.
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • November 15, 2012
  • November 16, 2012
    The only example I can think of is from the episode of Spongebob Squarepants where Patrick sends in his song to be sung by a group. We see the group leader readying to sing the song and then we cut to the group being dead. I'm not sure if it counts because singing a song isn't usually dangerous.
  • November 16, 2012
    ^ It counts. The joke is that Patrick's song is so bad as to be a Brown Note.
    • The Simpsons, "Homer's Enemy". Frank Grimes loses it and starts acting as dumb as he thinks Homer is, including handling electrical wires without safety gloves. The camera cuts from the others' reaction to Grimes being shocked off-screen to his funeral.
  • November 16, 2012
    • In I, D'oh-Bot the real Snowball II(not Snowball V aka Snowball II) died in a classic That Poor Cat when Dr. hibbert run her over off screen. The next scene shows a gravestone marked snowball II and a yet to be buried shoe box.
    • Snowball III is found floating in an aquarium. Then it cuts to Snowballs III's headstone.
    • Coltrane(aka Snowball IV) jumps out the window when Lisa plays her saxophone. Then it cuts to the headstone marked Coltrane.

    I'm not sure Snowball III fits as she is seen floating in an aquarium/dead before they cut to the gravestone.

    Mona simpsons "death" in "Mona Leaves-a" might also count.

  • November 17, 2012
    see also Ambulance Cut, which is a less severe sister trope.
  • June 21, 2013
    • Used in Chronicle to establish Steve's death after being struck in the thunderstorm by Andrew
  • June 22, 2013
    Subverted in an episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer: during an action scene Cordilia gets impaled on a rebar. Cut to a funeral in the distance, then Buffy & Willow enter the scene from screen left, Walk And Talking about how Cordilia is in the hospital but going to be OK.
  • June 22, 2013
    That first Simpsons example needs some elaboration, specifically the events before the graveyard shot. Homer had accidentally ruined an entire shipment of his hippie friends' juice business and secretly tried to save it by harvesting vegetables from their secret garden. He learns too late that the vegetables in question were drugged, and this attracted the police to the farm, willing to kill them. Homer makes a Rousing Speech and places flowers in the policemen's rifles, but the last rifle goes off as he is placing the flower into it.

    Anyway, here's another example from the show:
    • In The Simpsons S 10 E 18 Simpsons Bible Stories, King David (Bart) is thrown out of town by Goliath (Nelson) and meets Ralph Wiggum (portraying a shepard), who idolises him. David tells him that he is no longer his hero, so Ralph walks into the sunset, intending to face Goliath himself. Cut to the gravestone. Later on however, Goliath gets killed by a gravestone to the neck... Ralph's gravestone. It turns out Ralph isn't dead after all.
  • June 23, 2013
    In Community, when Jeff confronted Pierce's father, Cornelius, about how much of a bad father he was, Cornelius falls over and appears to have a heart attack. Jeff, who knew that Cornelius had taught Pierce to fake a heart attack whenever he was in trouble, attempted to call him out on running away. Cue Funeral Cut.

    Shouldn't this trope have the standard death trope warning?
  • June 23, 2013
    Web Original
    • This cut is used in one of the shorts of ASDF Movie 2:
      Guy 1: Kitten fight!
      A kitten lands on the face of Guy 2. He picks it up.
      Guy 2: Aww.
      The scene cuts to a gravestone.
  • June 9, 2014
    A variation occurred on The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air. Hilary's boyfriend Trevor appears on television to propose while bungee jumping. Unfortunately, the bungee cord is too long and Trevor impacts the ground. Uncle Phil goes to the phone to call the station and ask about his condition. Cut to the family returning from Trevor's funeral.
  • June 10, 2014
    • Subverted in One Piece:
      Scarlet: Father, if I can't be with this man (Kyros) then I want to die!
      cut to Scarlet's faked funeral
  • June 10, 2014
    • In Smosh, scenes of Ian and Anthony performing dangerous stunts only to suddenly cut to a badly-photoshopped gravestone immediately afterwards are usually played as a gag.
  • June 10, 2014
    In Private Benjamin, Yael and Judy are making love on their wedding night when his heart gives out. Judy calls out to him. "Yael? YAEL?" Cut directly to the rabbi conducting the funeral.
  • June 10, 2014
    • One Nedroid strip subverts this. Harrison tempts fate by asking what could possibly go wrong with a particular plan. The next panel cuts to Harrison's tombstone. Then in the last panel, we see Harrison thanking his friends for buying a full-sized novelty tombstone.
    • Checkerboard Nightmare's final comic was a parody of both xkcd and The Perry Bible Fellowship. A romantic nerd sits around, waiting for a Manic Pixie Dream Girl to come and shake his life up... then we cut to his tombstone. There's no explanation for how he died.
  • October 21, 2014
    Not sure if it counts since he got shot but..

  • May 5, 2015
    Happens in Private Benjamin. Judy and Yael are making love on their wedding night when he suddenly goes silent. Judy calls out to him with increasing alarm in her voice. "Yael. Yael? YAEL??" Cut to the rabbi officiating Yael's funeral. He'd had a heart attack.
  • May 6, 2015
    Can punctuate instances of Tempting Fate?

    • In Hot Shots, a Funeral Cut follows Dead Meat's dismissive and reassuring question of what could possibly go wrong now that he's in a hospital.
  • September 11, 2017
    Video Games
    • After the final boss fight of Uncharted 2 Among Thieves, Nathan returns to Chloe and Elena, the latter of whom is severely injured and apparently dying. Nathan begs for her to get up, but she doesn't respond. We cut to a week later and a funeral. Then subverted when it turns out the funeral is for Schafer and Elena survived.