->''"Go ahead and shoot! I'll be back! I ''always'' come back! ''(sighs)'' But dying is such a ''bitch''."''
-->-- '''Chucky''', ''[[Film/ChildsPlay Bride of Chucky]]''

You did it. You ventured all the way into TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon and slew the BigBad. [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill You stabbed him through the heart, decapitated him, chopped him into little bitty pieces, burned them, and scattered his charred remains all over the world.]] You know he's KilledOffForReal and is DeaderThanDead... Seriously, NoOneCouldSurviveThat!

Then, [[TheStinger after the ending credits]], the bad guy is shown [[SlouchOfVillainy lounging on his throne]], plotting his next EvilPlan...

Wait, '''''what?!'''''

Apparently, some villains and other characters have discovered the secret to staying alive even after they've visibly died a horrible, gruesome death. Explanation? Apparently, they don't need one. Maybe they're just too BadAss for death itself. Maybe they bought the advanced ContractualImmortality plan which also includes death insurance. Or maybe they're just [[LikeABadassOutOfHell too tough for Hell to contain]]. Or maybe you were only FightingAShadow and only succeeded in driving them back to hell for a while. Either way, they're given a full SnapBack [[BackFromTheDead from the dead]] at the start of the next episode, game, or season, and all the audience can do is accept the fact that they're back and at it again!

Particularly jarring when there's other, "[[SortingAlgorithmOfDeadness less dead]]" characters around who stay dead, while the dude who was visibly disintegrated on-screen is back in action. Even with a perfect "[[FourIsDeath 4]]", the "deadest" you can get on the SortingAlgorithmOfDeadness, the guy just ''won't stay dead!'' [[TheSeventies Disco]], it seems, [[DeaderThanDisco is back]].

Can sometimes count as a type of NegativeContinuity. Could be due to AsLongAsThereIsEvil. TheyKilledKenny is when this happens so much that it becomes expected. See also JokerImmunity, NotQuiteDead, NoOneShouldSurviveThat, OnlyMostlyDead and WhyWontYouDie.

Not to be confused with the ''SaturdayNightFever'' sequel. [[FlayingAlive Or what Willow did to Warren.]] Or that song by Music/TheBeeGees.
----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Harry [=MacDougal=] of ''OutlawStar'' is killed no less than 3 times, and he ''still'' wasn't dead at the end.
* [[spoiler:Himuro Gemma]] in ''NinjaScroll'' learned the secret of "reincarnation" (probably a translation error and meant to be "regeneration") allowing him to put himself back together and survive things like [[spoiler:decapitation, dismemberment, and getting split in half from the waist up]].
* Bandou from the ''Manga/ElfenLied'' manga has come back from having one of his arms torn off while the other is broken and having his eyes gouged out by means of cybernetic implants. Later on he is torn in half (by the same character no less) yet returns in the end of the story healthy again (except he's half robot by this point). Somewhat jarring in that he was definitely dead the last time.
** Also the [[spoiler:Mariko clones]] in the manga are effectively a variation of this.
* Due to it trying to adapt a MultipleEndings format to {{Anime}}, ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' tends to leave people seeing the second arc for the first time a similar reaction. To the good guys! There actually [[GroundhogDayLoop is an explanation]], though.
** Same for the sort of sequel, ''VisualNovel/UminekoNoNakuKoroNi''.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'': Naraku. Regardless of what the heroes do to him, Naraku will regenerate from it. It got to the point that [[spoiler: Kagome had to [[DeaderThanDead wish him out of existence.]]]]
* ''BakuganBattleBrawlers'' has several cases of people being blasted into other dimensions, but you know they will [[UnexplainedRecovery get better]] and aren't really dead. However, there are two examples, one where the audience believes said person is dead and one where believing that another character was dead caused an UnstoppableRage.
** In the first season HybridMonster Rabeeder learned that her sister was "dead". This lead to a NotSoHarmlessVillain moment when she went into an UnstoppableRage and beat the pants off of the [[TheDragon two people who had previously been leading antagonists]] [[KickTheDog and their little dog, too]]. However, once she learned her sister had merely been beaten, not killed,[[spoiler: by arriving in person...monster...whatever]] she calmed down.
** In a more reviled instance we have [[ManipulativeBastard Gus]]. He stupidly goes and attacks the [[BigBad BBEG]] all by himself and gets defeated. His Bakugan partners get totally blown away and he is blasted head-on by the WaveMotionGun and is sent flying into [[InSpace outer space]]. No ambiguous explosion, we see him get blown away. Fans actually felt a little remorse for the bastard. Then ten episodes later, [[spoiler:who should not only be alive but just as much of an unlikeable bastard as before in the King's prison?]]
* In ''Manga/BlackButler II'', we have [[spoiler: Ciel being revived in the first episode by Sebastian, and Lau and Ran-Mao are revealed to still be alive in the second]].
* [[spoiler:[[BigBad Vicious]]]] in ''Anime/CowboyBebop''. In his first appearance, he [[spoiler:is less than four feet away from a grenade that, based on the size of the blast, was quite impressively powerful]]. Seven episodes later, he reappears, with no sign of ever having been hurt. The series has shown characters who could easily survive that, but this guy's supposed to be merely a BadassNormal.
** Spike is a heroic inversion: survived getting thrown through a window with a chest full of bullets though he ''was'' in a full body cast at the end. Though given that it happened on Mars, where gravity is lower, the fall isn't quite as bad as it initially seems.
* [[Manga/{{Naruto}} Tobi, aka Madara,]] has been cheating death for most of the past century. He was supposedly killed in the backstory, but somehow managed to survive. The reveal of his identity as Madara came after faking his death yet again, apparently caught in the explosion when [[spoiler:Deidara]] self-destructed. Since admitting his status as leader of Akatsuki, he has only faked his death as part of battle strategies.
** Of course [[spoiler:Tobi is actually Obito]], who ''also'' was supposedly killed in the backstory. [[spoiler:The real Madara zigzags this trope; he plays it straight in surviving his supposed death at the hands of the First Hokage, but inverts it into DeadAllAlong when he dies several years before the main story]].
** A more egregious example would be Orochimaru, whose extensive forbidden justu research and body modification brought him to the point where his physical body is [[GrandTheftMe a possessed host he renews every 3 years]] and his spirit is a giant collective of white snakes that grants him FromASingleCell immortality. Also, any reservoir of his chakra seems to act as a SoulJar for him, which Sasuke casually exploits when he needs Orochimaru's assistance after having personally murdered him. In his case, it's justified by the fact that obsession with obtaining immortality (so that he can live long enough to learn everything) is his entire driving motivation.
* [[BigBad Shishio Makoto]] from ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'' was "erased" from Meiji history, meaning [[spoiler: the government had Shishio shot point blank in the head and then had his body doused with oil and had it set ablaze just to make [[CrazyPrepared extra sure]] that he was dead.]] They should have rolled him off a cliff into the ocean after that, because he survived. [[spoiler:[[KilledOffForReal Too bad it didn't work out a second time]] - [[KarmicDeath At least not for a villain such as he]].]]
* Parodied in the English dub of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', when Team Rocket somehow escape from being caught in their own traps: "[[BreakingTheFourthWall The writers]] [[NoodleIncident couldn't figure it out, either!]]"
* Medusa from ''Manga/SoulEater'' gets rather decisively cut in two and then disintegrated by Stein... only for a rather suspicious-looking snake to slither out of a drain at the end of the episode. [[spoiler: Sure enough, a few episodes later, she's back, and now possessing the body of a little girl.]]
* In ''{{Gundam 00}}'', Patrick Colasour becomes known as "Colasour the Immortal" for his habit of getting his ass handed to him by the Gundams, but always coming out not only alive but completely uninjured. The final episodes of both seasons in particular made it look like he'd been KilledOffForReal, but each time he was shown to have survived without an on-screen explanation. In the season 1 finale, his survival was understandable due to his mecha having an unusual cockpit location, but in the series finale it looked like the ''entire'' mecha was blown up.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker makes somehow living through usually fatal things an art form, to the point where Franchise/{{Batman}} will occasionally ignore him and save someone else because [[GenreSavvy he knows the Joker will get away just fine]].
** In one story, the Joker was [[RasputinianDeath shot with a machine gun at point blank range, while in a helicopter that then exploded over the sea]]. He was a little longer recovering than usual, is all.
** This is how he got Harley Quinn to fall in love with him.He was recovering in Arkham Asylum for about two weeks, joked about how the Bats kicked his ass constantly in his usual, hilarious way, and she busted him out of prison because she felt Batman was the aggressor and Joker the victim.Which may be kinda true....
* The Painted Doll (a Joker pastiche) from ''Comicbook/{{Promethea}}'' dies quite frequently by being blown up, etc. It's eventually revealed that [[spoiler:he really did die each time; the Painted Doll is actually a series of androids. Each time one is activated, it assumes that it miraculously survived the explosion or whatever that killed the last one.]]
* Franco-Belgian comic ''Comicbook/BlakeAndMortimer'' has arch-enemy colonel Olrik who survived, among others, getting lost, and insane in the middle of Sahara, being flooded in the remains of {{Atlantis}} (long story), being locked inside a sarcophagus in a collapsing base in Antarctica (again, long story) and ''the collision of a submariner with a [[HumongousMecha flying robot]]''
* Major Force in {{DC Comics}} has exploded and come back so many times, sometimes with an intervening period of having been absorbed by CaptainAtom, that GreenLantern Kyle Rayner finally just cut off his head, sealed it in a force energy bubble, and knocked it into deep space, leaving the rest of the body on an asteroid. He was back a few months later, with nary a comment about the experience.
* This was originally how Boba Fett was resurrected in the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse comic ''DarkEmpire''; the story of how he escaped the Sarlacc was written later. At the time Fett just made an offhand comment about the Sarlacc finding him somewhat indigestible. Granted, Boba Fett [[TheQuietOne isn't the most talkative guy]], so it's no surprise he didn't give any more explanation.
* [[Franchise/{{Batman}} Black Mask]]. During a confrontation with Catwoman, he was thrown off a building a presumed dead. He later showed up during the War Games arc none the worse for the wear. Now, he's hardly the only villain to survive a fall, but this wasn't a case where he was tossed into water or thrown off a cliff. He fell off a building. You would think they could've just checked the street to see if he was alive, but apparently not.
* Although Comicbook/ThePunisher has a history of letting archenemy Jigsaw go, during a brief revival following the cancellation of his three main series, he went after him with clear intent to kill and shot him through the head. Years later, Jigsaw came back, not in the pages of the Punisher but in Comicbook/{{Daredevil}}'s comic instead. It seems like the case where the writers simply forgot who was supposed to be dead.
* The poster child for the SlouchOfVillainy, Loki was extremely hard to keep killed even before he convinced Hela to take his name out of the Book of the Dead. He once had his head cut clean off -- which lasted only until his killer left the room before he calmly got up and affixed it back on.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Just about every popular horror and SlasherMovie character.
* Ming the Merciless from ''Film/FlashGordon''. He was stabbed through the heart [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill by a spaceship]], yet his hand and evil laughter at the end of the film clearly indicate that death was a mere inconvenience.
* Baron Samedi in the ''Film/JamesBond'' movie ''Film/LiveAndLetDie''. (To be fair, [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane he was very likely]] [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baron_Samedi a god]].)
* Dr. Fu Manchu repeatedly hung a lampshade on it, ending movies with "The world will hear from me again".
** This and many other aspects of him were inspirations for Ming the Merciless, mentioned above.
* After the credits roll at the end of the ''Film/StreetFighter'' movie, Bison is revived through solar power, paving the way for the SoBadItsGood cartoon series.
* Catwoman lives at the end of ''Film/BatmanReturns''.
* The UniversalHorror version of {{Dracula}}. All the Universal pictures were connected by a loose continuity, and while other recurring monsters would have their reappearances explained by having NighInvulnerability (FrankensteinsMonster) or by simply having survived their latest DisneyVillainDeath (LawrenceTalbot), Dracula would just pop back up after having been StrippedToTheBone or [[KillItWithFire burned to ash]] by sunlight in the previous picture without so much as a HandWave.
* [[spoiler:Loki, following a drawn-out DisneyDeath,]] at the end of ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld''.
* In ''{{Rio}} 2'', the trope is invoked\discussed as CardCarryingVillain Nigel (who had already survived a painful collision with a plane's engine in the original movie) does a [[WaxingLyrical dramatic reading of "I Will Survive"]] as an audition.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* {{Dracula}}, in [[Literature/{{Dracula}} books]], [[Film/BramStokersDracula movies]], comics, and ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}''.
* In ''Literature/GoodOmens'' by NeilGaiman and Creator/TerryPratchett, Crowley says that dying is not a problem because (being a demon) he can always get a new body from his [[{{Hell}} superiors]], however, he would prefer not to have to do so, since they're always anxious to know what you did with the last one.
** Elsewhere in Pratchett's works, Literature/{{Discworld}}'s Dorfl and Angua, although non-villains, have both revived after suffering violent deaths: Dorfl, because freed golems turned out to be hardier than owned ones; Angua, because it's hard to keep a good werewolf cop down. Note that Angua's "death" seemed real enough at the time, as Pratchett hadn't yet established what was necessary to permanently kill the [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent werewolves of Discworld]].
* At the end of the ''DresdenFiles'' novel "Changes", we see [[spoiler:Harry]] shot and fell into a frozen lake, apparently dead. In a later novel, we find that person has been kept alive via magical life support due to a DealWithTheDevil.
* While Creator/HPLovecraft's Great Old Ones are immortal and unkillable, Nyarlathotep, the herald of the Outer Gods can be [[FightingAShadow "killed" as he manifests using various avatars]] that, while generally very durable, are still made from ordinary matter and thus destructable. Of course all it does is cause him mild inconvenience as destruction of the avatar causes no actual harm to the god itself. He might be out of the picture for a while, but eventually he'll manifest again in one of his forms.
* In ''Literature/{{Cryptonomicon}}'', Enoch Root very clearly dies, then shows up later with no explanation whatsoever. [[SequelHook Apparently it's explained in]] ''Literature/TheBaroqueCycle''.
** I always figured it was an elaborate hoax perpetrated with the doctor's assistance.
** "Explained" is rather overstating it. [[spoiler: Enoch Root is around several centuries before Cryptonomicon, in the 17th century that the Baroque Cycle is set in. Assuming it's the same character - and indications are that it is - then yes, Enoch Root is immortal or at least ageless. But we're never really told why, unless it's supposed to be some sort of alchemy.]]
*** At the end of ''The System of the World'', he reveals that [[spoiler: he knows the secret of the Philosopher's Stone. It's pretty clear this is what he's been using to keep himself alive (and occasionally revive other characters as well).]]
* Aaron in [[ChaosWalking The Knife Of Never Letting Go]] - he gets [[spoiler: attacked by a crocodile, half his face ripped off, left unconscious and face-down in a river and his nose ripped off by a dog while travelling for days on end seemingly without rest before being beaten to a bloody pulp in a brawl that includes him getting smacked repeatedly in the head with rather large rocks before finally being stabbed in the neck. Even then he still manages to stagger to his full height and try to say something before he finally tumbles into a waterfall.]] Wtf?!
* In RickRiordan's ''Literature/TheHeroesOfOlympus'', Gaea grants her minions this.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''TheStand'', [[spoiler: Flagg respawns somewhere else in the end, after ending up in the middle of a nuclear explosion and vanishing.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* The Master from ''Series/DoctorWho'' has been killed off DeaderThanDead and revived three times in the TV canon, through being caught on fire, being eaten by the Eye of Harmony and deliberately refusing to regenerate after getting shot by his wife. Let's not even begin to count the number of times he has faked his death or survived even when NoOneCouldSurviveThat.
** Lampshaded by the Rani after his volcano death. His response? "Everyone knows I'm indestructible."
*** Bonus points for that being the ''[[HandWave only]]'' explanation for his survival.
** Captain Jack Harkness from the new series (and Torchwood) also just doesn't stay dead. But then, he ''[[ResurrectiveImmortality can't]]''.
%%%%
%% The Daleks and Davros do not count. Davros has died and been resurrected all of once. If you count his offscreen falling into the Nightmare Child jaws, then Dalek Sec altered that event so it never happened. In the new series, either a new unseen group of Daleks appears, or a small number escape (and usually breed more Daleks out of humans [Bad Wolf/The Parting of the Ways], Davros' cells [The Stolen Earth/Journey's End], or a Progenitor device [Victory of the Daleks; technically overlapping with the "new unseen group"]).
%%%%
* In ''Series/StargateUniverse'', First Lieutenant Mathew Scott has almost died in several episodes, only to survive by sheer luck.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'' [[spoiler: Mr. Morden is a few hundred feet from two 500-megaton nuclear explosions that destroys an entire city. He shows up a few weeks later with nothing but some severe burns that heal within a month or so. He does not survive having his head cut off and stuck on a pike, however. A book involving the techno mages explains exactly HOW he survived. And note that the burns included minor insanity as a side effect, and he was PEELING OFF HIS OWN FLESH!]]
* Played for laughs in the final episode of the second ''BlackAdder'' series. It appears that Edmund BlackAdder has saved England and killed the master of disguise who was attempting to assassinate Queen Elizabeth I. But, in a scene [[TheStinger after the ending credits]] said villain is standing over the bodies of the Queen, Edmund, and many of the others, disguised as Queen Elizabeth I. There's no explanation as to how this may have happened.
** Well, his [[MeaningfulName name]] ''is'' [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Ludwig the Indestructible]], so...
* Sylar at the end of the first season of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' pretty much defines this trope. Peter bludgeons him with a metal bar and super-strength for a while, and then Hiro impales him with a sword. We're then treated to a close-up of his eyes showing all the people he's killed in a very final-seeming death scene. Then, come season 2, he's back alive again.
** Honestly, Sylar has pulled this one so many times over the course of the show he's pretty much up there with Jason Voorhees at this point.
* In Steve Coogan's "Doctor Terrible's House Of Horrible", in the episode "Frenzy of Tongs", there's a lampshaded IncrediblyLamePun variant of this where, having killed [[FuManchu Hang Man Chan, The Sinister Bony-Fingered Menace From The East]], Hang Man Chan, Sinister - yada yada yada - shows up again. Nathan Blaze kills him - again - and remarks; "That's the trouble with these Chinese. You kill them, and then twenty minutes later, you have to kill them again."
* In ''Series/PowerRangersLostGalaxy'', [[BigBad Trakeena]] is last seen being apparently vaporized by a pointblank blast of Leo's Battlizer (although her laughing face can be seen rising from the explosion). Then the next season, she turns up alive and well, though she does at least get some scars. She has another, shorter version in the climax when [[spoiler: she seemingly explodes after being hit by the combined finishers of the Omega Megazord and a Lights of Orian powered Galaxy Megazord]] and much to the Ranger's surprise, she's not dead yet. She does stay dead after they explode her one more time, though.
** ''PowerRangers'' does this on occasion, often due to the PR story disagreeing with the imported ''SuperSentai'' footage. Most recently (as of 2012) it was ''Series/PowerRangersRPM:'' Kilobyte goes through his counterpart's final battle footage, getting explodiated quite utterly by no less than the combined might of five Megazords. He later staggers back into the villains' lair a little singed.
* Scorpius in ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' lives and breathes this trope, having been aboard ships that blew up on a couple different occasions and later being shot and buried. Appropriately [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] by John:
-->'''John''': '''''You're dead! I saw you! You're buried! You're dead!'''''
-->''(later)''
-->'''Crichton''': (to Scorpius) Kryptonite, silver bullet, Buffy. What's it gonna take to keep you in the grave?
-->'''D'Argo''': Perhaps we should just take your head off. Worked for Durka.
** Speaking of, Durka. First (evidently) burned to death aboard the ''[[GhostShip Zelbinion]]'', then later aboard a Nebari ship that was blown up, before finally getting decapitated and his head stuck on pike ([[BewareTheSillyOnes by Rygel]]).
* True to his theme song Jim Moriarty shot himself in the head at the end of the second series of ''Series/{{Sherlock}}'' but reappears (on every screen in the UK) at the end of the third series. Did you miss me?
* The Borg queen is killed several times and always comes back. Although she was not shown in ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', the movie ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'' mentions the queen was on the cube destroyed in episode "Best of Both Worlds." She's killed again, this time on screen, at the end of the movie. ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' manages to kill her at least twice on and off screen over the series' run. When pressed for an explanation, all she said was:
-->'''Borg Queen:''' You think in such three dimensional terms.
** Popular theory is that as long as there is a Borg Collective, there will be a queen. Whether or not it's the same queen, or a different one with the memories of the old one is debatable.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* "Follow You Home" by {{Nickelback}} ''Well you can dig me up a grave / And try and stick me in the ground / Well you can tie me to the bed / And try and beat me half to death / But you can never keep me down... You can shoot me in the leg / Just to try to make me beg / And you can leave me there for days / And I'll stay alive / Just to follow you home''
* "I Can't Decide" by ScissorSisters ''Oh I could throw you in the lake / Or feed you poisoned birthday cake / I wont deny I'm gonna miss you when you're gone / Oh I could bury you alive / But you might crawl out with a knife / And kill me when I'm sleeping /That's why / I can't decide / Whether you should live or die...''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Religion]]
* {{Jesus}}. First they beat him nearly to death, then they nailed him to a cross and left him till he was completely dead, then they put a spear through his heart to make sure, then they buried him and sealed the grave with a boulder and a squadron of Roman soldiers. Three days later: "[[BackFromTheDead Hi, guys!]] Got any fish? [[JesusWasWayCool Oh yeah, I can walk through walls now, too.]]"
* A quick visit to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life-death-rebirth_deity The Other Wiki]] offers plenty of other religious examples to peruse; Baal, Adonis, Attis, Orpheus, Dionysus, Odin, Inanna [=AKA=] Ishtar, and Persephone, among others.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Justified in ''DungeonsAndDragons'' games thanks to the existence in every edition of spells with the power to restore life to the dead, as well as the option to become a [[OurLichesAreDifferent lich]]. This can make the most powerful characters in a game difficult to kill off on any kind of permanent basis, although you can usually render a character beyond the reach of any spell you could cast yourself.
* MagicTheGathering: Though many individual creatures have abilities along these lines, the Undying mechanic from [[GothicHorror Innistrad]] exemplifies it best (with its predecessor, Persist, coming in a close second).
** Undying combines this with CameBackStrong (the creature comes back with a small stat boost), while Persist is basically being weakened but too stubborn to die.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Toys]]
* Tuyet from {{Bionicle}} has a chronic case of this, to the point where it's almost a non-comic version of TheyKilledKenny. At first it was assumed that she died during the Great Cataclysm, then later her corpse was found and reanimated into a zombie, which was subsequently destroyed. Then an alternate universe version of her appeared, [[PortalCut and was also disposed of]]. It was then revealed that [[spoiler: the original Tuyet was actually imprisoned in an alternate dimension, and was replaced by a duplicate that died. She escaped back to her home universe by faking her own death]]. Lampshaded in the title of the short story "The Many Deaths of Toa Tuyet."
[[/folder]]


[[folder:Video Games]]
* Calo Nord in ''Star Wars: KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'' somehow survives being attacked by your party, hit by a building-destroying laser, and being crushed by falling rubble. He then escapes, despite the fact that the ''planet'' he is on is being bombarded. His explanation later on? "I'm hard to kill".
* Bowser in the first ''SuperMarioBros'' game. Despite being dropped into lava eight times (although the first seven times it's really just his minions in disguise), he's back at trying to kidnap the princess in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros3''.
** This is [[DeconstructedTrope deconstructed]] and then [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in ''New SuperMarioBros''. When you drop Bowser into the lava at the end of the first world, [[NightmareFuel his flesh melts off his bones as he struggles to stay afloat]]. Near the end of the game, you [[spoiler:fight his skeleton, and then Bowser Jr. revives him using magic in time for a two-on-one final battle. How he managed to recover his father's bones]] is never explained.
** And in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'', he survives [[spoiler:getting tossed into the sun, and depending of your interpretation of the [[GainaxEnding bizarre ending]], the BIG CRUNCH AND THE BIG BANG]].
** Another possibility is that Mario and Luigi aren't the only people who use 1UP mushrooms.
** It's [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioTheThousandYearDoor.'' In the sections where you play as him, his life count is shown as an infinity sign.
* Ganondorf/Ganon in the ''Zelda'' series has died in a variety of ways from simply exploding to being stabbed through the head, but somehow never manages to stay dead thanks to being [[NotQuiteDead effectively]] [[ContractualImmortality immortal]]. It seems that the ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'' timeline is the only one of the three where he ''hasn't'' been revived or reincarnated yet.
** Zant in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' can do this, due to being Ganondorf's SoulJar. After being defeated by Link, he collapses at his feet, only to then reappear on his throne to boast about how his Ganondorf will resurrect him endlessly. Then Midna uses the power of the Fused Shadow to impale and ''explode'' him, and yet he's still alive later so we can see him die a final death when Ganondorf is defeated.
* Dr. Wily from the ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic'' series always seems to return to menace the eponymous character with his army of robot masters, even after [[spoiler:getting a rock dropped on him]] at the end of ''VideoGame/MegaMan3''. The next game in the series attempts to subvert this by introducing a new villain, but guess who's TheManBehindTheMan?
** Also, in every single Mega Man game, all the robot masters are somehow un-destroyed and ready for round two late during the final levels.
* Similarly, Sigma from the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' games always seems to return in the next game no matter how many times he's destroyed, even though the game explains this by making him TheVirus. [[spoiler:However, he does die a final death in ''VideoGame/MegaManX8'', if only because his viral nature is less effective in space.]]
** The X series also managed to imply that Wily was somehow still around and possibly working with Sigma, but it's managed to [[AbortedArc completely forget about that plot thread]] since then.
* In ''{{Metroid}} Prime 2: Echoes'', after defeating Dark Samus, she is shown simply re-appearing in outer space after the credits. She actually regenerated from being destroyed twice during the game, with your scan visor explaining that only "total atomic disruption" can kill her completely. Apparently, this is what happens in ''Metroid Prime 3: Corruption''...
** There's also Ridley, the Dragon of all dragons who has been killed no less than ''five'' times, killed ''twice'' in the same game (''Metroid Prime 3''), and even gets captured after getting killed in ''Super Metroid'', and still hangs around to harass Samus another day? Hell, it even happens in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl''!
** The one in ''{{Metroid}}: Other M'', at least is actually a clone. Canonically he died in ''Super Metroid'', the two subsequent games either have a clone of him or a rejuvenated clone. That copy is killed in ''Metroid Fusion'', and no games have taken place after that yet.
* It's very easy for this to happen in the universe of the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' games, which is filled to the brim with NighInvulnerable and/or [[HealingFactor regenerating]] monsters created by various viruses and parasites. Not to mention it's a series centered around ''zombies'', which are, you know, reanimated corpses. Though surprisingly enough, the series doesn't have very many recurring antagonists. Yep, James Marcus, William Birkin, the Nemesis, Alexia Ashford, Osmund Saddler, they've all been KilledOffForReal by the end of their respective games. Meanwhile the most prominent villain, Wesker, came back from the dead exactly once in a plot twist and then just didn't die after that.That is, until his grand finale ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5''.\\
Individually within each game, however, this trope is very much played straight where certain RecurringBoss [[ImplacableMan enemies keep coming back despite being shot, stabbed, exploded, immersed in fire, shot with a rail gun, etc. etc.]]. They usually end up being killed off for good by some giant explosion at the end of the game, i.e. a self-destructing lab or a military air strike leveling the entire city.
** Whether or not Wesker will stay dead remains to be seen. Capcom has in fact stated he's gone for good, but being the fan favorite that he is, he might be brought back just from Capcom caving in to the fans.
** Characters like James Marcus and Jack Krauser are interesting cases where they aren't recurring villains ''within the series'', but the plots of their respective games paint them as BackFromTheDead or FakingTheDead. On top of that, Krauser's "return" was ''retroactively'' given more context in a canonical spin-off, ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilTheDarksideChronicles'', which is chronologically set before his debut game, ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4''.
* Kane from ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'', who survives bear-hugging an [[DeathFromAbove orbital]] DeathRay strike into his own base with nothing worse than some nasty facial scarring, and in the sequel, gets ''impaled through the heart''. He gets better in time for the third game, where he only proves that he is {{ninja}} by somehow escaping from a titanic siege right before the previously mentioned orbital death ray sets off an EarthShatteringKaboom.
** To his credit, [[spoiler:he is an extremely long-lived space alien with access to reverse engineered cloning technology. He's also the actual Cain from Literature/TheBible; his brother Abel's sarcophagus is even in the safe-keeping of the Brotherhood of Nod.]]
** Not just Kane, but Nod as a whole. Win a war against them, bribe officers within their ranks to factionalize them, kill their leader (multiple times), they'll come back, bigger and stronger.
* Wild Dog from the ''TimeCrisis'' series takes this to an extreme (How extreme? In addition to being shot over a thousand times by the player(s) he blows himself up when defeated, only to be back for the sequel with a new upgrade for his ArmCannon. He then repeats this in every game he appears in!)
** Note that he appears in EVERY Time Crisis game apart from one spin-off.
* Wild Dog's an easy choice, but let's not forget Kantaris, appearing in the PSX Time Crisis special mission. This mission has three possible results, each culminating in her dying in spectacular fashion. In Project Titan (a PSX-only exclusive), she appears ''completly unharmed'', and NO explanation for her survival is ever offered. (There is no possibility that this takes place before the events of [=TC1=], as Wild Dog has his prosthetic arm at this point.) Even weirder, she only appears in a couple of cutscenes and never even confronts Richard this time. Namco never used her again.
* Ghost/Zombie/Demon pirate [=LeChuck=] from ''VideoGame/MonkeyIsland'' is killed four times throughout the games, only to return later. Somewhat justified, with him being undead and all.
* In ''NetHack'', when in Explore mode or Wizard mode, one is asked upon death "Die? [yn] (n)." Should one refuse, the game simply replies "OK, so you didn't die," and continues as if that were truly the case.
** Although if you're far enough out of your depth, this won't help, since it's quite possible to be in a situation where you'll repeatedly die one or more times per turn and it's impossible to escape.
** And there is a certain overly insistent wizard who wants his stolen artefact back from you, and then some more. [[spoiler:The Wizard of Yendor, of course, and he returns ''stronger'' every time you kill him.]]
** Don't forget the three horsemen! Kill them, petrify them, disintegrate them, tin them, box them, drown them, etc. and they'll still return in short measure! [[spoiler:Okay, so they'll stay dead if you kill them, and fill every single panel on the floor with a monster before they revive, they'll stay dead, but of course, if you can pull that off, it'd be simpler just to ignore them.]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'' series suffers from a severe case of this. [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Nathr]][[OurDemonsAreDifferent ezim]] in particular made it into an art form.
** ''Deathwing'': Killed by the Alliance in ''[=WC2=]'', made a major plot character and survival hinted in tie-ins to ''[=WC3=]'', brought back to life in tie-ins to ''[=WoW=]''.
*** To be fair, since the various ''[=WC2=]'' campaigns contradict each other, it is unclear which elements are actually {{Canon}}.
*** In at least one background novel it's mentioned that he was wounded in the battle and pretended to fall off a cliff into the sea. Turn out dragons can swim.
*** He is KilledOffForReal in the following VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft expansion, ''utterly vaporized'', in a manner that is specifically meant to prevent it from ''ever being undone'', even with ''time travel''.
** ''Balnazzar'': Killed by his brother in ''[=WC3=]'', brought back in ''[=WoW=]''.
*** To be fair, this is an important plot point. Only a Dreadlord knows how to kill another Dreadlord in a way that keeps them from resurrecting. Varimathras supposedly did just that in order to prove that he really had switched sides. And yet there Balnazzar is. Hmm...
*** [[spoiler: Yep, Varimathras ''is'' TheMole in [=WoW=]. He gets killed, but given the rest of this page...]]
** ''Mal'Ganis'': Killed by Arthas in ''[=WC3=]'', brought back in ''[=WoW=]''. [[spoiler: [[KnowWhenToFoldEm Also managed to survive the encounter with]] [[PlayerCharacter the players.]] ]]
*** It's pretty much safe to say there's no evidence Dreadlords can EVER actually die, as there's only one named Dreadlord that's been killed and hasn't come back, and given he was killed with the power of a demonic ArtifactOfDoom...
** ''Magtheridon'': Killed by Illidan in ''[=WC3=]'', brought back in ''[=WoW=]''.
*** Not this trope, Mag's being alive was a straight {{Retcon}} of never actually being killed in WC III. In fact the last time he was seen in WC 3 was in a cutscene where he was still quite alive, people just assumed Illidan had killed him offscreen.
** ''Muradin Bronzebeard'': Allowed to die by Arthas in exchange for vengeance against Mal'Ganis in ''[=WC3=]'', brought back in ''[=WoW=]''.
*** We only saw Muradin being hit by the shard of ice; we didn't know for sure that it had killed him. Of course Arthas SAID that Muradin was dead, but it appears that he simply didn't bother to check.
** ''Baelgun'': Killed by Arthas in ''[=WC3=]'', brought back in ''[=WoW=]''. The ironic thing is that the first time we met him, he was pissed off as hell at Arthas for killing Muradin, and Arthas was wondering,
---->"Doesn't anyone stay dead anymore?"
-----> --'''Arthas''', ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}} III: The Frozen Throne''
** ''Dar'Khan Drathir'': Incinerated into ash in tie-ins to ''[=WoW=]'', brought back in the first ExpansionPack.
** ''Medivh'', killed by his best friends after it turned out he was possessed by a demon in ''The Last Guardian'', returns in ''[=WC3=]'' to warn the humans of the impending return of the Burning Legion. How exactly he came back to life is never even touched upon.
*** [[AWizardDidIt His mother (The second most powerful wielder of arcane magic after Medivh himself) brought him back, sans Demonic Possession.]]
** A rare explained example: the Headless Horseman in VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft, a restless spirit that only appears during Hallows End (Halloween). He sets fires in several villages and faces the players when they put them out. When killed, he reveals that he cannot be killed unless his head is found.
** VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft has also allowed players to kill some characters ''twice.'' Kael'thas reappeared in Magisters Terrace after his life was saved by a demonic crystal in Tempest Keep, looking quite unhealthy as a result, and even references his past defeat. The MemeticMutation that resulted from this led to the redirect for this page. Memetic quote:
----> "Don't look so smug! I know what you're thinking, but Tempest Keep was merely a set back."
*** Anub'Arak reappears [[GiantSpaceFleaFromNowhere for no apparent reason as the final boss]] of the Trial of the Crusader. This was mostly to fix having the supreme leader of an entire race of undead DemonicSpiders be an extremely [[AnticlimaxBoss Anticlimatic Boss Fight]].
*** [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] by him being an undead and so being able to be re-resurrected. Arthas later did it ''again'' with the [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Blood]] [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Princes]] - all three of them were already killed by players once and were brought back for a fight in [[TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon The Icecrown Citadel]]. One of them even referenced his previous defeat exactly like Kael'thas above:
-----> "Naxxanar was merely a setback!"
** Very last in '''Wrath of The Lich King'', [[spoiler: Bolvar Fordragon]] is confirmed to be NotQuiteDead, but merely [[spoiler: captured and tortured by the Lich King, though he just simply proved TooKinkyToTorture even for the Lich King]]. The last time we see him is [[spoiler: when he prevented Tirion Fordring from making a HeroicSacrifice, and let himself be the one that take the horrible duty as the Lich King's eternal jailor]].
* Sarevok, the BigBad from the first ''BaldursGate'', returns from the afterlife to plague you twice later in the series ([[spoiler:once in the end stage of ''Baldur's Gate II'' and then again in ''Throne of Bhaal'' where he is returned to life]]) -- although, to be fair, there are special circumstances (for a start, [[spoiler:you're in the demiplane where dead bhaalspawn go on both occasions.]])
* The BattleButler, Sakuya Izayoi, of ''[[VideoGame/{{Touhou}} Embodiment of Scarlet Devil]]'' comes back in the next game as a potential PlayerCharacter. However, this ''might'' seem a bit jarring when you have this little exchange with [[BigBad Remilia]] after you've defeated Sakuya for the last time:
-->'''Remilia''': ''You. You're the murderer.''
-->'''Reimu''': ''Don't worry. One doesn't make me a mass murderer.''
-->'''Remilia''': ''So?''
** Later canon goes on to state that the battles are all intentionally nonlethal and the player characters never actually kill anyone or are in danger of dying themselves. This makes a fair bit of the dialogue in the earlier games become very strange.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', Liquid Snake survives (possibly as a result of GameplayAndStorySegregation) the crashing of his Hind D helicopter, getting struck repeatedly by Stinger missiles when Metal Gear Rex's cockpit is exposed, falling from a tall height after a fist fight with Solid Snake, and getting shot repeatedly with a machine gun while riding a jeep. In the end, [[spoiler:he dies from a cardiac arrest after being exposed to the Fox-Die virus, but survives to appear in ''Metal Gear Solid 2'' and ''Metal Gear Solid 4''. Sort of...]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{FEAR}} Extraction Point'', Paxton Fettel returns from the dead without any explanation offered as to ''how''. Fettel simply comments, "I know it doesn't make much sense. Nothing does anymore."
** Paxton IS Alma's kid. Given Alma's own state, his being her son is all the explanation that's needed.
* In ''VideoGame/NoOneLivesForever'', Volkov ends up on the losing end of two boss battles and is still alive enough to [[TenMinuteRetirement quit.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'': Dracula is pretty well-known for this in most media, anyway, that's true, but the Castlevania incarnation is the KING of this trope. The series is over 20 games strong, Dracula is in all but three of them (at least in his Lord of Darkness vampire form) and in each of them he dies--vaporized disintegrated the end--and is resurrected in pretty much every sequel, sometimes after a...[[HijackedByGanon "surprising"]] revelation.
** The castle itself could be a contender. It crumbles to dust after every one of Dracula's defeats. Its sudden reappearance in Vallachia is a sign of fit hitting the shan.
* Allen O'Neil in ''MetalSlug'' is nicknamed "The Immortal" by his subordinates, and for good reason. No matter how hard you kill him, he's back for more in the next game (and in ''Metal Slug 3'', he's back at full strength later in the ''very same level''). Hell, after being "killed" by you in ''Metal Slug 2'' he's ''eaten by a killer whale'' which then spits out his bones.
* In ''{{Solatorobo}}'', after the credits roll [[spoiler:for the first time, Lares' eyes begin to glow under the water. And, of course, it comes back for the second half of the game.]]
* GLaDOS in VideoGame/{{Portal}} gives us a nice little song about this. Guess what? Even though several rockets were fired, her cores were destroyed, and her body was torn from its wiring and dumped into a parking lot, she's still alive!
* [[spoiler:Gig and Endorph]] in ''SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'' are both revealed to be alive in TheStinger of the game (although you'll only learn the latter in one of the MultipleEndings).
* Dr. Eggman from the ''SonicTheHedgehog'' series survives just about everything if he can't just flee from danger. Even if stuck in his collapsing doomsday machines or sent to fall to his death whenever Sonic destroys his escape pods, he'll always return for the next game.
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* Doctor Helen Alpha Narbon from ''{{Narbonic}}''. When her daughter/clone Beta insists that she saw her being burned at the stake and chopped into pieces by angry villagers, Alpha simply replies, "There's always an out, Beta. Remember that."
** Let's also not forget Dave. Really, why did he even decide to stay there after everything they did to him.
*** As he says in the "[[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic_plus/series.php?view=archive&chapter=39897&name=narbonic_plus#strip4 Professor Madblood and the Doppelganger Gambit]]" arc, while standing on the moon and looking at the earth... "You know, sometimes I wonder why I stick with Narbonics Labs. Then I get a moment like this, and I feel like there's no way I could work anywhere else. Of course, to get up here, I had to appropriate the body of an evil genius with skinny girl arms who'll probably end up killing me for this." As he trudges to the moon base, he thinks to himself, "Casual dress, smoking permitted... Casual dress, smoking permitted..."
* Oasis and Kusari from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''. Oasis has died multiple times, including being blown up twice and taking a bullet to the head, while Kusari's one (on-screen) death was a decapitation. It's implied that there ''is'' an explanation for how they can seemingly come back from the dead, but after nine years we still haven't gotten it.
* Crushed from ''Crushed: Doomed Kitty Adventures'', a project from {{Supermegatopia}}. A parody of RPG and Fantasy Comics, Crushed dies ''a lot'', but that's just fine, because main characters are always reincarnated at the Temple of Infinite Lives the second they kick the bucket. She doesn't even lose her memory or anything, although [[NakedOnArrival all her gear]] (including [[{{Fanservice}} her clothes]]) are left behind -- along with her previous body.
** The Temple eventually gets tired of her constant reincarnations, so they assign a huge priestess to tag along with Crushed and keep her alive. By the time the head priest has turned around, the party -- priestess included -- is back in the reincarnation circle.
* Webcomic/CaseyAndAndy are mad scientist roommates who occasionally die. Throughout the strip's run they constantly got killed, either by enemies or by their own malfunctioning mad science, and always immediately came back. The reason for this was [[spoiler: intentionally never explained anywhere, not even by Word Of God]].
* Parodied in ''[[SamAndFuzzy Sam & Fuzzy]]'': [[http://samandfuzzy.com/1126]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Inverted in WebAnimation/TeenGirlSquad, when Tompkins famously "died somehow".
** [[spoiler: [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments Torso took silver]]]]
** Teen Girl Squad plays this trope straight all the time thanks to a combination of KillEmAll and NegativeContinuity. Indeed, the mentioned episode takes place mostly in a flashback, in which many of the eponymous girl squad are killed in their infanthood before being shown alive in their teens reflecting on their memories (before being killed again).
* ''HappyTreeFriends'': The entire point of the series is [[KillEmAll Everyone Dies]], yet they still have a large group of recurring characters. This one is definitely NegativeContinuity at work.
* ''GaiaOnline'' has had it's fair share of NoOneCouldSurviveThat moments. (An infamous one involved a character ''spontaneously turning into a parasite and merging with his son while falling from a skyscraper.'') But one of the most infamous StayingAlive moment occurred when the RichBitch Von Helson Sisters died after having the previously mentioned tower ''dropped on their heads''. A two years later, Gaians log in to discover an email from the mostly unharmed sisters. Granted, the girls turned out to be [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Vampires]], mainly because [[{{Fanservice}} everyone wanted them to be.]] Still, ''it was an effing skyscraper!''
* Kagetora in ''DarwinsSoldiers'' [[TakingYouWithMe blows himself and Murakami up]] in front of the entire cast, and subsequently appears with no explanation for the final battle. Apparently [[UnexplainedRecovery he got better]].
* ''{{Phelous}}'' dies at the end of practically every review and reappears unharmed for the next. While explanations for this have been given, the reason changes randomly and often makes little sense to start with (frequently based on some plot element of the movie he's just reviewed).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* LooneyTunes and MerrieMelodies: Virtually every cartoon involving a predator Sylvester the Cat, Elmer Fudd, Yosemite Sam, Wile E. Coyote and other villains going after their foe (i.e., BugsBunny, Tweety, the Road Runner and so on) involves the bad guys getting crushed to death by huge rocks, blown up, mauled by vicious bulldogs and other wild animals, falling off cliffs, shot and much more. The ending gag of these cartoons almost always involved the most spectacular instance of being on the wrong end of their trick ... and more often than not, the bad guy would die. Then, a month or so later (or not more than 20 minutes later, if said cartoon aired on Saturday morning), the bad guy would be [[UnexplainedRecovery back at full health]], trying again to capture and/or defeat his foe.
* Demona and Macbeth from ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' are both CursedWithAwesome such that they can only die if one kills the other, and when that happens, they will both die. In other words, they can survive falling off of a skyscraper, being stabbed or shot in the heart, etc., as long as one is not doing it to the other.
* Kenny from ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark''. In early seasons, he gets killed gruesomely in nearly every episode, but is back to life at the beginning of the next episode for no apparent reason. He eventually stayed dead for a whole season, but in the season finale was revealed to have been "standing right over there".
** Amusingly, this gets a LampshadeHanging in an early two-part episode. Kenny is killed in the first episode, then appears with a suitable teleport sound effect at the beginning of the next, to which one of his companions looks over and nonchalantly says "Oh, hey Kenny." Of course, he dies again later in the episode in a form of HeroicSacrifice... And is back the next episode.
** And another LampshadeHanging when his parents give birth to another kid. Which they name Kenny. And remark that this is like the fiftieth time that's happened.
*** "Fifty-two".
** The Coon and Friends trilogy does reveal that Kenny's ability to not stay dead is connected ''somehow'' to [[spoiler:Cthulhu]].
** Another example is [[TheCaligula Saddam Hussein]], who somehow managed to resurrect himself between "Ladder to Heaven" and "Krazy Kripples."
* Everyone in ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether''. Since they're 'toons, characters can suffer bloody, gory deaths, but be back by the next scene and act like nothing happened.
** Of course, Xandir, being a video game character, has multiple lives anyway. (Particularly troublesome when he was trying to commit suicide...)
* Vilgax in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}}'' has survived:
** Being strapped to a nuke that was fired into his own ship.
** Being caught in his ship's self-destruct.
** Hurled into space ([[WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce twice!]])
** [[spoiler:Incinerated by a gas explosion]].
** Trapped in OneWingedAngel form in his sinking ship exploding underwater.
** And let's not even talk about [[EnemyWithout Ghostfreak]], who despite being burnt to ashes ''twice'', found a way to come back no less than three times. Though since it's part of his abilities (his conciousness can survive even in the slightest sample of his DNA), it's kinda justified.
* Par for the course in ''WesternAnimation/{{Trollz}}''. No matter how many times the girls sealed Simon and Snarf away, even when they were sure they wouldn't come back, they were back with little explanation soon after. Except when they ended the show.
* In ''PrincessGwenevereAndTheJewelRiders'', Kale returns after being magically dematerialized and vanishing into Wild Magic - where she is then also magically restored, accidental courtesy of Morgana in her attempt to retrieve the Dark Stone. When told by Gwen she was thought "to be lost in Wild Magic", Kale answers "Well, I'm back!"
* In all but the first season of ''CodeLyoko'', Franz Hopper would be found alive at some point in the season and then killed in the finale, without fail.
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