Funereal Photo YKTTW Discussion

Funereal Photo
Memorial photo; often but not always at a funeral.
Better Name
(permanent link) added: 2011-09-09 20:36:51 sponsor: ParadiscaCorbasi (last reply: 2014-11-09 16:18:51)

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The Funereal Photo is a visual media trope, seen in Film, Live-Action TV, and more often, but not always, in animation with a serious or adult bent.

In story, it's usually a case of:

  • The body was too mangled for an open-casket
  • They Never Found the Body
  • The body was cremated
  • The body was destroyed in some other fashion

Meta-wise, it's kinda creepy to make an actor portray themselves as a corpse and impractical to ask them to lie deathly still in a casket for as long as it will take to properly film the scene of the funeral. It's also impractical to do a full body mannequin and cast of the actor's face for the corpse when the budget can be better spent on other things.

The trope in practice: there's a wake or funeral for a character who is confirmed or believed dead. Lacking a body to display (or because the last wishes of the deceased are being honored), the casket is closed. But to give mourners a last look at their lost person -- a large photo is erected on an easel, or hung from a wall.

If those left behind are not willing or able to let go, and want something tangible to hang onto the memory -- or their religious and cultural mores do not permit an open casket funeral -- a Shrine to the Fallen may be erected instead.

The Funereal Photo is actually a common custom in Japan.

NOTE: I am in the middle of a move. once settled in the new place, I will launch, sometime after Apr 1.


Anime and Manga

  • Armageddon puts a spin on the trope. Instead of a funeral, the photo memorial easels for Harry, Max, and Gruber --all of whom died in space -- appear the wedding of Grace and A.J. They both considered the lost roughnecks father figures.

  • Commonplace of a necessity in the Newsflesh universe. Cremation is the common and preferred method for dealing with the remains of the dead since even a corpse's blood can start an outbreak.

Live-Action TV
  • I'm In The Band: Hip Hop, the cat belonging to the girl who has a crush on Tripp, has died and there's an easel with his photo. Derek Jupiter is his usual vapid self, and makes many disparaging remarks about Hip Hop -- though he is speaking of the style of music -- much to the horror of the grieving pet owner.
  • Jen's "funeral service" from The IT Crowd episode "The Haunting of Bill Crouse." Video here.
  • Torchwood: Miracle Day ends with funerals around the world, many of which have photo easels erected of the deceased due to Category 1.
  • In Scrubs, we see a picture of Dr. Cox's brother on display at his funeral, confirming that he died from his cancer. What is sad about this is that during the entire episode, Dr. Cox's brother followed him around, helping him with his problems, only for us to find out that in the end, the brother was never actually there.

Truth in Television
  • The display of a photo of the deceased at a funeral is common in Japan.
  • A Russian hockey team was killed in a plane crash in 2011, so their photos were placed in the lineup as a memorial.

Western Animation
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