->''None cometh from thence\\
That he may tell us how they fare.\\
Lo, no man taketh his goods with him.\\
Yea, none returneth again that is gone thither.''
-->-- "The Song of the Harp-Player", {{Ancient Egypt}}ian poem found inscribed on a tomb.

In some settings, even Magic and/or AppliedPhlebotinum can't bring back the dead. Sure, it can stop time, create energy, fly... but trying to restore life to a dead body is out of the question (and likely forbidden anyway, just to make sure). Expect the EccentricMentor to go into full-tilt grim mode if someone even remotely mentions the subject.

Of course, the fact that it can't (or shouldn't) be done also makes it an [[ForbiddenFruit excellent]] MacGuffin: It's pretty common for an idealistic hero grieving over the death of a friend or loved one to search out ways to bring them back -- and usually give up after deciding that [[FantasticAesop some things are better left alone]]; if they don't, something usually [[CameBackWrong goes wrong]], like [[MonsterFromBeyondTheVeil something else came back instead]]. Alternatively, perhaps bringing someone BackFromTheDead is possible, but due to [[EquivalentExchange the nature of the power at work]] (whether or not it's actually forbidden) it almost never happens anyway. (Meaning that if people are still usually resurrected in this kind of world, it tends to be a very big deal.) This is usually an AuthorsSavingThrow against trivializing Death in a world where it would otherwise be a minor inconvenience.

This doesn't mean that every character ''reported'' dead is, in fact, dead, even when NoOneCouldSurviveThat. Even in works that manifest this trope, it's possible that they NeverFoundTheBody, that ReportsOfMyDeathWereGreatlyExaggerated, that the AlmostDeadGuy who was LeftForDead pulled through off screen, or that someone was FakingTheDead outright. But [[FinallyFoundTheBody when a body]] ''[[FinallyFoundTheBody is]]'' [[FinallyFoundTheBody found]], the only way you're going to see that character again will be as a PosthumousCharacter.

And of course, even this doesn't trump the FirstLawOfResurrection.

Compare HealingMagicIsTheHardest, contrast DeathIsCheap. See KilledOffForReal for when this is applied to ''individual'' deaths (where resurrection in general could otherwise happen). Possible subtrope of EquivalentExchange. Contrast DeaderThanDead where only certain types of death are final. See FinalDeath for the video game version. Not to be confused with KillEmAll

Needless to say, this trope is ''usually'' TruthInTelevision (although some scientists are hoping to change that), and works set in mundane worlds without magic or "sufficiently advanced" technology [[LikeRealityUnlessNoted needn't be mentioned]].

!!'''As a DeathTrope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.'''



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist''
** Human transmutation -- trying to bring back dead people through Alchemy -- is forbidden. The whole series is kicked off when the protagonists try to bring someone back and have a close encounter with Truth as a result. The end result: Truth [[EquivalentExchange takes Al, and Ed's leg, in payment]] for returning [[BodyHorror a barely functional organ pile]] (which, as it turns out, wasn't even derived from the deceased - bringing people back from the dead ''really is'' impossible). Things taken by Truth do not count as 'dead', however, and Ed is able to retrieve Al's soul by sacrificing his arm for it.
** It gets a bit more complicated. Al wasn't just "payment". Al's body was taken by Truth, but since a soul cannot be created with alchemy, Al's soul was put into the thing that was created. The transmutation that took Ed's arm was used to transfer the soul into a more stable host, the armor.
** The [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist 2003 anime version]] further compounds this: Each time an alchemist performs human transmutation, what comes back evolves into a Homunculus - the deceased brought back by human transmutation, just... not totally themselves. Also, Alphonse managed to bring Edward, who had just been killed by Envy, back from the dead using himself as the philosopher's stone. Ed managed to bring Alphonse back using himself and ended up in our world instead of dead while Alphonse was brought back with his human body... It can be said that the whole 2003 anime is Ed and Al learned exactly what level of EquivalentExchange is required to return life to the dead - an exchange of body, mind and soul, a full human being for a full human being.
* ''Anime/OjamajoDoremi'' falls into the latter category of this trope; [[SacrificialRevivalSpell using magic to bring the dead back automatically kills the caster upon success.]]
* Creator/{{CLAMP}}
** This is one rule CLAMP has set in stone for their series. Even in a world like ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle,'' where you have otherwise massively powerful magic at work. In fact, the denizens of that world attempting to break said rule is what kicks off the massive GambitPileup. The breaking of this rule during the ''Tsubasa'' NonSerialMovie was a factor in their abandonment of the original anime adaptation.
** In ''Manga/{{xxxholic}}'', there's no coming back from the dead, but having your RealityWarper boyfriend convince the universe to ignore your death and proceed normally achieves a similar effect. In that case it's relatively temporary, lasting about a thousand years, give or take.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' generally follows this line of thought. When a character has been shown to really and truly die, they stay dead. When they don't, it was usually a [[NotQuiteDead blatant fake-out]] of some kind. It's later revealed that, while possible, resurrection is ''[[EquivalentExchange extremely]]'' [[EquivalentExchange costly]]. It requires the right ancient knowledge, is limited to the recently deceased, and possible only for [[DeusExMachina the one guy with the powerful ocular jutsu, the Rinnegan.]] Which means it's unlikely to happen often, and only occurs once in-series. Two other characters have the Rinnegan, but they're the BigBadDuumvirate, so they're unlikely to sacrifice themselves to revive fallen heroes. The only other jutsu that rivals it in this regard is the Edo Tensei, which sacrifices a living person to create a type zombie of someone who has died previously with their powers and memories intact.
* In ''Manga/TowardTheTerra'', the Mu can read thoughts, perform astonishing feats of telekinesis, fly through space unaided, teleport, and do all manner of fantastical mutant stuff. But once a character is dead, they are ''dead''.
* ''Manga/DeathNote''
** This is one of the rules of the Death Note. In the end of the manga, while Light is begging Ryuk to save him from death, Ryuk says that there is no way to do it. The last page (as a follow-up to a previous statement) says, "Once they are dead they can never come back to life." [[spoiler:This is because it's hard to come back once [[CessationOfExistence you stop existing]].]]
** Subverted in the pilot manga chapter. Taro is absolutely distraught by the fact that he's killed people, and Ryuk offers him the [[ResetButton Death Eraser]]. It has the power to bring back any Death Note victims, but not people who died or otherwise killed but weren't Death Note victims, provided their names had been written down in the past year. Taro takes to it. The Death Eraser is not even so much as ''mentioned'' in the main series so, naturally, it shows up in many a FixFic as well.
* Technically, this holds true in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''. Returning a soul to a body is said to be impossible. But screwing with the space-time continuum so they never died in the first place is fine, if difficult. ''Manga/FutureDiary'' works like this too.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'':
** In the first two series, digimon could return to Primary Village upon their death to be reconfigured but there was a time where this village was inactive and so any digimon killed during this time was permanently dead.
** ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' differs from the previous two series in this respect. There is no village where data forms in eggs, loose data won't sometimes coalesce into ghosts, and absorbing another Digimon's data only makes you stronger (and, in some cases, gives you access to their attacks) and doesn't allow the previous mon to live on inside you. So when Digimon die, they die for good.
** ''Anime/DigimonSavers'': Though Digimon effectively turn back into eggs immediately upon dying, they are reborn as new people without any knowledge of their former lives. The only exception seems to exist with partner digimon who have a strong connection with their humans. However, a straight example exists in the victims of Kurata's Gizmon, artificial digimon whose beams cause their victims to be permanently deleted when struck by them.
* While Miranda Lotto's Innocence power in ''Manga/DGrayMan'' allows her to turn back time (which doubles as a healing ability as she can turn back time on recent injuries,) she can't use it to bring back the dead. Not that the revived person would stay alive for long if she could, as everything returns to normal after she deactivates it (she can, however, keep a person alive after they suffer a fatal injury in the meantime.)
* ''Franchise/LyricalNanoha'':
** Despite the highly advanced [[{{Magitek}} magic and technology]] of the setting, if a person is dead, they stay dead. You could try to make a clone of them and stuff their mind with memories, but all you'll get is [[ClonesArePeopleToo a lookalike that has their own personality]]. The closest thing to a resurrection in the franchise were the Dark Pieces in ''[[VideoGame/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAsPortable Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's Portable: The Gears of Destiny]]'', which were {{Virtual Ghost}}s that could only stick around long enough to come to terms with their death and clean-up some UnfinishedBusiness.
** The {{Reincarnation}} in ''Manga/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaVivid'' is explicitly mentioned to just be a case of [[GeneticMemory someone inheriting their ancestor's memories]], rather than the continued existence of said ancestor. The only ones who could come back to from the dead are the various {{Ridiculously Human|Robots}} {{Magitek}} Programs of the Book of Darkness, who have ResurrectiveImmortality as part of their schtick--they are not so much "resurrected" as restored from the latest backup.
** The BigBad of the original anime, ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanoha'' seeks to defy this trope. [[spoiler:Whether she actually had any chance of success is unclear, but the method she was trying to use was something the heroes had to stop because it ran the risk of causing severe multiversal damage just to ''maybe'' bring back ''one person''. [[BigBad Precia]] was too crazy to care about the risk.]]
* ''LightNovel/SwordArtOnline'' is about MMO gamers trapped in the game and player deaths are permanent. If the player's HP drops to 0, the hardware fries their brain. Later an item is found that can revive someone, but it only has a ten second window between character death and player death. In the later arcs, this aspect is no longer present in the VR games since the newer-generation hardware used to play the games doesn't allow for a kill-the-player-in-reality function. Some characters do die in reality while ''seeming'' to die in-game for other reasons.
* ''Franchise/JoJosBizarreAdventure''
** Stands have incredible power in, but one hard rule is that they cannot raise the dead. They can [[GoodThingYouCanHeal cure wounds so grievous it's amazing there's anything left to cure]], and they can bring you back from the very brink of death. But once the soul departs, there is not and never will be a Stand that can undo this. The closest they can get is turning back time to undo the death in the first place, and even the extremely rare Stand with that power has massive limitations to what it can do.
** Oddly, that limitation doesn't seem to apply to the doctors at the Speedwagon Foundation, who manage to revive a very much dead Joseph (his soul departed and everything) using a blood transfusion. This is kind of a PlotHole and an egregious case of ArtisticLicenseBiology, but it may have something to do with his blood being taken out of a vampire.
* ''Manga/AkameGaKill'' hits all the notes: Idealistic hero, grim mentor, etc. The Teigu characters wield might be powerful, but there is not one that can bring back the dead. The only thing that comes remotely close is Kurome's sword, Yatsufusa, which can control the dead as zombie puppets.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/{{PS238}}'' followed this trope, until it brought a Mostly Dead character back to life. Canonically, the extremely rare ability to restore the dead marks someone as a "Messiah" class healer, which causes all kinds of ethical problems.
* Supposedly this was true for Franchise/TheDCU following the events of ''ComicBook/BlackestNight''. It didn't last.
* At least in principle, in ''ComicBook/ElfQuest'', ''physical'' death is permanent. Elves can still make contact with their dead through the Palace and endless flashbacks.
* This is what Creator/ChrisClaremont intends for his book ''ComicBook/XMenForever''.
* When Creator/JoeQuesada took over as Editor-in-Chief of Creator/MarvelComics, he instituted a "Dead means dead" policy. It didn't last very long because, by his own admission, it was like closing the gate after all the horses have already escaped. And one of his first acts was to try to retcon Gwen Stacy back into ComicBook/SpiderMan, before the writer rebelled.
* Comicbook/UltimateMarvel
** The Ultimate Marvel universe has the same "Dead means Dead" rule as the normal one does, only this one sticks to the rule. Every hero and villain that has been killed off, stays dead. The only exceptions are:
*** Valkryie. She was actually revived by Thor, but got killed again by Loki right after her resurrection, so she got officially retgonned.
*** Gwen Stacy. Her ''clone'' was created, with the DNA and all exact memories as the real Gwen Stacy, so she's kinda the real Gwen brought back to life. But the original Gwen is still dead, as her original persona was killed by Carnage and didn't actually come back, only a clone did.
*** Doctor Doom, seemingly killed at the end of Ultimatum by The Thing, was later brought back for the series Ultimate FF, with the one killed in Ultimatum being retconned as an impostor.
*** Then again, given that it's [[CrazyPrepared Doctor Doom]], it's entirely possible that the writers planned for the other Doom to be an impostor from the start.
%% The whole point of the ''Comicbook/{{Hellblazer}}'' story ''Son of Man''.
* Creator/ValiantComics, as part of their emphasis on realism, had this policy before the Acclaim era reboot.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''FanFic/ABrighterDark'': Being set in the VideoGame/FireEmblem universe, magic does certainly exist. However, the author makes it clear that healing magic can only accelerate what the body would have naturally healed over time, and thus death is irreversible. Making the series' AnyoneCanDie much more unnerving.
* ''Fanfic/FatesCollide'': Upon finding out Kairi Sisigou is a necromancer, Yang Xiao Long immediately asks if he can bring people back to life, likely intending to bring back her adoptive mother Summer Rose. He sadly informs her nothing can truly revive the dead. What his magic does is communicate with and draw power from the dead.

* Magic in ''Literature/InheritanceCycle'' works like this, draining a fatal amount of energy from whoever attempts it. It's brought up in ''Inheritance'' that you can physically resurrect a dead person, but there is no way to restore their mind, so everyone considers it better to leave them in the ground to avoid [[CameBackWrong certain issues]].
* ''Literature/TheBelgariad'' mentions this as a specific restriction of the Gods; they are not permitted to undo death (even though it's within their power) at the risk of setting off another universal catastrophe. Belgarion, however, is specifically permitted to accomplish this twice: once with a stillborn horse (who becomes important to the plot of ''[[Literature/TheBelgariad The Malloreon]]''), and at the very end with Durnik, fulfilling the prophecy that he would live twice. In the first case, he resurrected Horse in the place of the Gods, and in the second he needed the assistance of the Orb of Aldur and the Gods as well. Also in both cases, the deceased came back with special powers.
* In ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'', the Art cannot bring back the dead. In fact, one character's [[{{Necromantic}} false hope that this is possible]] is what drives the disastrous events of the main story, as it allows him to be tricked into becoming the UnwittingPawn of the BigBad.
* The book ''Fire Sea'' of ''Literature/TheDeathGateCycle'' has a few. The Sartan have begun using necromancy to raise the dead, but the raised dead are not very smart and can do only simple tasks. This ritual can only be done after waiting at least three days after death, for the soul to have time to leave. If the ritual is performed before then, the soul is trapped and a lazar is created. They retain their intelligence but are trapped between life and death and must suffer endless pain and torment. And if those aren't enough reasons to just say no, it's discovered that whenever you bring someone back to life, someone else in the universe dies.
* ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'':
** While many things can be Healed with the One Power, death is considered final. Other ailments once considered unhealable have since been Healed, but the series goes out of its way to establish a finality with regards to death. There are a few loopholes that can be abused, but none of them are practical:
** All dead souls are eventually reborn as the Wheel of Time spins them out into the Pattern again; this is on a metaphysical level, however, and, a handful exceptions aside, is a largely academical distinction.
** [[RetGone Balefire]] erases someone retroactively, causing their actions to have never happened during the time spanned. The strength of the balefire weave affects how far back someone is erased; if timed right, and strong enough, it can prevent the death of someone who died at the hands of the erased person. Mat, Aviendha and a large part of the Aiel force invading Caemlyn are restored to life by balefire stretching back half an hour.
** The Dark One can reincarnate people who died, but another body is needed, the procedure is only possible for a very short time after someone dies, and balefire in anything but [[WordOfGod very small amounts]] will render the operation impossible. As The Dark One is the BigBad of the series, this is reserved for the Forsaken - his strongest underlings - and is considered an undesirable way of returning to life.
* In the ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'' franchise, characters can be healed from the brink of death. They can survive crippling wounds that would kill a normal person. There are loads of cases of NeverFoundTheBody. But if you actually die? That's all you get. You might come back as a Shade, but even then you're an immaterial ghost who can spend a maximum of a few minutes in the world of the living before returning to the land of the dead. Coming back really doesn't appear to be an option.
* In ''Franchise/TolkiensLegendarium'', this only applies to mortal creatures, in most cases Men, aka humans and Hobbits. Unlike most examples of the trope, this is actually seen as a good thing, well, to [[WhoWantsToLiveForever everyone who's not mortal]]. Specifically, Men are given the gift of death, the ability for their souls to depart from the circles of Arda to somewhere unknown, though the wise reassure us it's definitely to somewhere or something, and not oblivion. As for everyone else, they are sent to the Halls of Mandos where he judges them, and if found worthy can be reincarnated. The problem is that while Elves seem like they're getting the benefits while Men get the short end of the stick, they must stay in Arda until the world's end. Elves sometimes call Men the Guests for this reason, to be free of the burdens of a world in decline while Elves, Dwarves, and the Valar and Maia must remain where their fates are more uncertain. The exception is Luthien, who managed for the first and only time in existence to beg for her human love Beren not to depart without her. She was made mortal instead, and they died together. Their descendants, the Half-Elven have the choice to become mortal if they so choose. Tuer and Turin are also interesting cases, as Turin's soul is burdened with Morgoth's curse and the many sins in his life, he's doomed to stay in Arda until the end of time where he'll kill Morgoth for good, and Tuer, who sailed to the Undying Lands with his Elven wife Idril, the legends saying he was counted among them.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'', there doesn't even seem to be much in the way of healing magic. Any injury to a character is regarded as threatening as it would be in a non-magical genre, and anyone who dies stays that way, though their ghost might cause some trouble. Necromancy provides an alternative approach, [[CameBackWrong though not a very pretty one]]. It's also shown that the Queens of TheFairFolk can reconstruct damaged bodies, and some similarly powered beings can probably do so as well, but none have ever brought someone back to life. Harry was thought to be dead during the events of ''Literature/GhostStory'', but it turned out to be a DoubleSubversion, as while he was dead enough to visit the afterlife, he wasn't "{{Dead|erThanDead}}" dead. His body was being kept alive by multiple supernatural beings, waiting for him to return.
* In the ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' universe, only one method has ever been able to do anything even close to bring back the dead: [[spoiler:the resurrection stone, one of the three Deathly Hallows.]] Even then, it only brought back their souls, and the first guy to discover it is said to have been DrivenToSuicide when he realized it couldn't actually resurrect his [[TheLostLenore dead fiancée]]. More conventional magic can regenerate bones from scratch, reshape bodies, or undo petrification, but cannot resurrect anyone.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'': Ben Linus sums the situation very well:
--> '''Ben:''' I've seen this Island do miraculous things, I've seen it heal the sick. But I've never, '''ever''' seen anyone come back to life. Dead is Dead. You don't get to come back from that. Not even here.
** So when John Locke is seemingly resurrected, Ben is promptly horrified. Turns out he was being used as a LivingBodysuit all along. Sayid Jarrah is also seemingly brought back from the dead, but him being seemingly dead could be just a delayed effect from healing by the Temple pool, which was tempted with by the BigBad.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': According to the Reaper Billie in Season 11, she plans to enforce this trope in regards to Sam and Dean, who have been resurrected far too many times for her liking. In her words, while the old Death found their repeated resurrections funny, the new Death will ''not'' tolerate it at all:
-->'''Billie''': You and Dean dying and coming back again and again. The old Death thought it was funny. But now there's one hard, fast rule in this universe. What lives... dies.

* ''Roleplay/DestroyTheGodmodder'' uses this to a certain extent. If an entity you summon gets killed, you cannot re-summon it.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* An enforced policy in ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', to make death means something[[note]][[GamePlayAndStorySegregation In spite of the fact that the game itself has plenty of resurrection spells]].[[/note]]. This is why characters like Yawgmoth and Urza aren't running around, and why each death in the modern era is all the more tragic. There is one possible exception in [[spoiler:Elspeth]], given the unique circumstances she is in, but even then Creative tells to hold no breath,
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', the titular Exalted, chosen of the gods, are extremely powerful and can literally [[BeyondTheImpossible do the impossible]] but there's still absolutely no way to bring back someone from the dead, except as a ghost. This is clearly stated throughout the game line; a book even broke {{kayfabe}} and explained that it's because being able to come back from the dead as if nothing happened is a drama-killer. However, there's one very specific exception to this rule: if someone you're concerned with dies ''in Hell'' within the last five days, you can beg the Yozi to alter the causality in their world-body so that the person never dies. [[DealWithTheDevil Keep in mind that you just surrendered your life in the past five days to the sadistic, insane god-monsters who hate everyone and everything.]]
** When someone tries to bring back the dead, there's a chance that the entity known as the Dark Mother will take notice, giving the corpse new life as one of the Liminal Exalted. However, the Liminal Exalt isn't the person who died, but an entirely new person.
* By the [[MagicAIsMagicA rules of magic]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'', resurrection is impossible. Averted in the 2007 Xbox 360/PC game for gameplay reasons.
* There are very, very few ways to resurrect someone as they were pre-mortem in ''[[TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness The World of Darkness]]'' and all have huge risks involved, slim chances of success and a high chance of [[CameBackWrong coming back wrong]] or driving the person insane. Oh and they're held by groups or societies who are unlikely to share them out, and may try to kill you just for knowing about them.
* In ''TabletopGame/ArsMagica'' raising the dead (in a manner other than the classic zombie) is a boundary that Hermetic magic can not overcome. The closest thing is a costly ritual that gives the dead body a simulated life. And in the best it dissolves into a puddle or becomes a shadow without a will (the spell name is The Shadow of Life). At worst a demon possesses the body or the creature becomes a psychopathic murderer who hates the living.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Timemaster}}'': If you are a time-traveler, your death ''cannot'' be prevented by time travel. This even applies to temporally-displaced people; one published adventure included a chapter where a general and several soldiers from UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar wound up on a dangerous alternate world/timeline. Normally, if they died, the [=PCs=] could alter events to save the soldiers. But since they aren't in their native time, should they die in that chapter the death is specifically noted to be permanent.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Alternity}}'''s Gamemaster's Guide notes: "No game mechanic exists for restoring life to the dead." It then goes on to note the FirstLawOfResurrection, and the consequences thereof.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Continuum}}'', this is not an inherent law of the setting, but it ''is'' enforced by the Continuum. If your death has been revealed to you, you are expected to willingly go to your death (though you can put this off nearly indefinitely), and any situation in which a spanner dies twice [[TemporalParadox frags the spanner to hell and back]]. [[spoiler: However, it's entirely possible to use temporal shenanigans to create another explanation for a death, such as using a clone body or a parallel-universe self. It's illegal for Continuum spanners, but Narcissists do it all the time.]]
* The ''Star Wars Roleplaying Game'' lets a trained healer try to revivify someone within seconds of their death, but failing that, the occasional [[OurGhostsAreDifferent spectral blue cameo]] is all they get.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Most RogueLike games. If any character dies, including the one you're controlling, they're gone forever. While there are typically magic items of resurrection, they usually take place right after "death", making them more of a saving throw.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem''
** Any character who has no plot importance (Except in [[AntiFrustrationFeatures Casual Mode]] or during ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade Blazing Blade's]]'' [[ProlongedPrologue tutorial chapters]] or chapter 5x of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones'') will die permanently if they fall in battles. Plot related characters simply retreat, but they still won't be usable for the rest of the game.
** With the following exceptions, ignoring Casual Mode, deaths are final:
*** The first game, ''Videogame/FireEmblemShadowDragonAndTheBladeOfLight,'' and the remake give you a staff that can bring back ''one'' slain party member. As of the remake, most players use it to perform the Tiki/Falchion Bonus Chapter trick.
*** The second game, ''Videogame/FireEmblemGaiden,'' was much more lax, having springs on the map that revived characters, but they had limited uses.
*** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemGenealogyOfTheHolyWar The fourth game]] also has a one use staff (that can be repaired for a very hefty price) that revived the dead.
*** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheBlazingBlade The seventh game]] has a PlotlineDeath that is later reversed by the most powerful dark sorcerer in Elibe.
*** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemTheSacredStones The eighth game]] also features Plotline Deaths that are reversed through necromancy (albeit [[CameBackWrong with dire consequences for all involved]]).
*** [[VideoGame/FireEmblemFates The fourteenth game]] also has a one-use staff to revive a dead character, with the catch that you cannot select who to revive; whoever was the latest to die ''in the chapter you use it'' comes back.
* In the ''Franchise/DragonAge'' series, this is one of the cardinal rules of magic. Even bringing someone back from the brink of death can be [[YourDaysAreNumbered problematic]]. There are walking corpses and other zombies, but these are usually just dead bodies possessed by demons (which is why the [[TheChurch Chantry]] advocates cremation). There ''have'' been two cases when the (very) recently killed people were brought back: Wynne and Evangeline de Brassard in ''[[Literature/{{Asunder}} Dragon Age: Asunder]]'', but in both cases, it was the work of a very powerful spirit, who may or may not be TheMaker himself, and the end result is more akin to LivingOnBorrowedTime: the moment said spirit leaves the resurrected body, the person dies for good.
* This is true for ''VideoGame/HoshigamiRuiningBlueEarth'' until late in the game unless you can craft a Coinferm that can resurrect the dead.
* Despite ''VideoGame/PillarsOfEternity'' being a high-magic setting, there is no spell that can resurrect the dead so any companions who die are dead for good. However, {{reincarnation}} happens naturally to everyone. There are ways to ''cheat'' this, but they tend to come with [[HorrorHunger drawbacks]] and usually end up with the soul being [[AndIMustScream trapped forever in a completely-decayed pile of bonedust]]. Other attempts to cheat or manipulate the system are heavily intertwined with the game's plot.
* The ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' games ''usually'' have this. [=KO=]s can be cured with phoenix downs and magic, but death cannot be cured by anything, as shown in the fifth game.
* In ''{{Franchise/Pokemon}}'', there are admittedly few cases of this actually happening, but the fans and players came up with a challenge called the Nuzlocke Challenge. Basically, every Pokémon who faints, you must release it into the wild, even if it's your starter. The reason being because this Pokémon is "dead." That shiny Pokémon you're so attached to faints of poison? [[Franchise/StarTrek It's dead, Jim.]]
* {{VideoGame/One Chance}} goes beyond the normal definition and tries to prevent the player from even restarting the game.
* Playing any of the ''VideoGame/XCom'' series of games on the Ironman setting effectively turns the game into this. You do not get to save or load data. The game restricts you to one save file per game and automatically autosaves after every turn and every time you exit to the menu. Any mistakes, deaths, and losses are effectively set in stone. Lost an elite psionic SuperSoldier to a random lucky alien grenade? Too bad, commander, he's dead and gone, no do-overs. You'll have to try and train another.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Evolve}}'' there are Lazarus Devices capable of reanimating the dead by jump-starting the brain, as well as a number of conversations discussing their limitations. While it has some capacity to heal the body while reanimating it if they died from age, if the body is too damaged to function even if the mind is restored, or if they were dead too long, their brain will simply spark back to life before immediately dying again.

* ''Webcomic/ErrantStory'' touches on this in a particularly humorous fashion. It's used [[TearJerker more seriously]] later on.
* The world of ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan'' doesn't have any way to resurrect the dead. In the Maltak arc, Necromancer Jacob Deegan claims that, with a little research into some Orc magic, he'll be able to pull it off (though other comics heavily imply he's lying). Thus far, the only ways to "cheat" this are as an Obi-Wan-style spirit advisor (Klo Tark), and by becoming a demon (Siegfried), neither of which are really preferable as you're still dead. Necromancers are the one real exception, as their mastery of death allows them to come back from fatal wounds, but this could be seen as a way to cheat death, rather than revert it.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Shadownova}}'' death is commonplace, usually quite painful and always permanent.
* ''Webcomic/ClanOfTheCats'' goes with the EquivalentExchange version: either someone has to die, or the world has to be changed for the better on a very broad scale; the one time it was accomplished was by ending a [[ElvesVsDwarves magical cold war]].
* At the start of the third incarnation of ''[[Webcomic/{{Eightland}} Road Waffles]]'', [[NoFourthWall the author]] warns the main character that AnyoneCanDie at any time, and no one will come back, killing some talking birds to make the point. True to his word, she dies anticlimactically about two-thirds of the way into the strip, trying ([[SenselessSacrifice and failing]]) to save her original {{Foil}} while the rest of the cast regroups.
* This is the case in ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}''. Getting killed or possessed by a demon is both fatal - in the latter case the demon may retain some of the memories or personality of the body. Bodies can be reanimated, but as one character {{lampshade|Hanging}}s, it's just an empty shell with [[{{Magitek}} golem technology]]. Exceptions exist to some degree - one secondary character cheated death via magic, and a major plot character may be entirely resurrected.

[[folder:Web Video]]
* Invoked by ''WebVideo/SomeJerkWithACamera'': One of his issues with ''Shrek 4-D'' is that it violates this rule of the ''{{Franchise/Shrek}}'' franchise. By having Lord Farquaad be the only character to come back to life, in a series where ghosts exist nowhere else, it cheapens the impact of his death. He illustrates how much this would mess with the canon of other films by joking about a ghostly [[{{Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast}} Gaston]] ([[{{PunnyName}} Ghoston]]!) show up and harass Belle and The Prince at their wedding.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Genie in ''{{Disney/Aladdin}}'' lists trying to bring back the dead as one of the three things he can't - or won't - do. He implies that he ''can'' make someone [[CameBackWrong Come Back Wrong]] ("it's not a pretty picture: I don't like doing it!"), although he may have just been [[RuleOfFunny joking.]] The bit is probably a reference to ''Literature/TheMonkeysPaw''.
* An Egyptian man in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' episode "Grief" enlists the help of [[QuirkyMinibossSquad The Pack]] (minus [[HeelFaceTurn Dingo]]) in a bid to summon [[Myth/EgyptianMythology Anubis]] to bring back his deceased son, who had been killed in a car accident two years prior. It takes absorbing Anubis and becoming an avatar of death for him to learn that this cannot be done, and so he performs a HeroicSacrifice in order to save all present from the collapsing tomb; it's implied that he didn't survive.
-->'''Goliath:''' If there's any justice in this world or the next, he's with his son, now.
* ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''
** Stated by WordOfGod. So far every death has stuck, since the mindless [[NonHumanUndead robot zombies]] don't count as being "alive", and ''definitely'' don't count as being who they were back when they were alive ([[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Terrorcon_%28Prime%29 "Whatever that thing was, it wasn't Cliffjumper..."]]). Fans are taking bets on whether or not this will hold true regarding Optimus Prime's [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/The_many_deaths_of_Optimus_Prime tradition]] of dying and resurrecting (sometimes more than once) in every continuity.
** So far they've sidestepped the issue by having Optimus' traditional HeroicSacrifice result in LaserGuidedAmnesia.
** He came very close to fading to gunmetal gray for good in the early part of the ''Beast Hunters'' season, but Smokescreen [[RefusalOfTheCall Refused The Call]] to take up the [[MacGuffin Matrix of Leadership]], choosing to restore Optimus instead (after all, Prime [[MerchandiseDriven does have new toys out]]).
** Subverted in the finale movie - after dying in the last episode, Megatron is resurrected by Unicron. He survives even after Unicron's essence is removed, but RedemptionEarnsLife and he leaves for parts unknown. Optimus ends the series by giving up his life to fully restore Cybertron, so it's unlikely he'll be back...
** And then averted in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersRobotsInDisguise2015'' when Prime gives death the middle finger once more.
* A rare case of this applying to TimeTravel; in ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', if someone dies, changing the events leading to that death will not save them. That said, no one ever dies in a manner time travel could have prevented, so it's unclear what would happen if they'd tried.
* Downplayed in a bizarre way on ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''. Characters can be and occasionally are brought back from the dead, but death is the only thing which cannot be reversed by NegativeContinuity. The only characters to have come back from the dead are James Woods (who got transfused with someone else's life force), Brian (whose death was erased via TimeTravel), Peter (due to being [[PalsWithJesus friends with the Grim Reaper]]), and Meg, the only character to have come back via UnexplainedRecovery. Despite the show's NegativeContinuity, all other characters who've died have stayed dead.