Dead Alternate Counterpart
This is when a character travels to an Alternate Universe and discovers their counterpart there is dead. Usually, it can be the result of Time Travel or perhaps a malicious entity at work. Whatever the case, when the characters discovers this fate, it may lead to shock or terror.
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- In Dragon Ball Z, both versions of Goku contract a heart virus. Unfortunately for Future Goku, he dies from the virus. Later, most Z fighters from the alternate timeline are killed, except Future Gohan, by Android 17 and 18, until thirteen years later, when he finally dies at their hands.
- Inverted in Fairy Tail Edolas Arc, with Mirajane and Elfman's dead little sister Lisanna, as Earthland's (the main setting) version of Lisanna is dead, but the Edolas version is alive. Turns out to be played straight later, as Edolas Lisanna really is Earthland Lisanna who was transported into Edolas, while the real Edolas Lisanna is already dead.
- An important plot point of Naruto the Movie: Road to Ninja is that in the Alternate Universe where the thick of the movie take place, Naruto's parents are alive while Sakura's parents are dead, and Sakura struggles with the decision of yanking this particular chain and hurt Naruto.
- In Noein the fact that Haruka's alternate counterparts die in every other universe is a major plot point, which created the Big Bad of the series.
- In JLA/Avengers issue 3 the Marvel and DC worlds have become combined, turning it into a Silver Age utopia. When the characters learn how their realities are supposed to be, the character who argues for the restoration the most is Hal Jordan - who is "supposed to" be dead. (Barry Allen is there too, but he's not quite so eager to restore the realities.)
- In Astonishing X-Men there's an alternate universe in which hundreds of alternates of the X-Men the readers know have been killed for an arguably greater good. Of course, there's plenty of What If? stories where famous Marvel characters are killed.
- Spider-Men sees the Peter Parker of Earth-616 trapped on Earth-1610, with his counterpart having recently died. And he doesn't have the heart to tell Gwen that her counterpart on his Earth is dead too.
- Something similar happens in Spider-Verse when Spider-Gwen find out that her mainstream counterpart is dead.
- The Ultimate universe as a whole is almost filled with these now.
- Judge Dredd's "Helter Skelter" arc involved several villains from alternate realities where they had killed Dredd come to take on the prime universe Dredd.
- The The Legend of Zelda fic Bound Destinies Trilogy, establishes the Fierce Deity as Link's Terminian counterpart, who was corrupted by Majora and purified into the Fierce Deity's Mask, whereas Demise is Majora's late Hyrulean counterpart.
- In the Star Trek fanfic Written in the Stars, Fem!Kirk discovers that her dead counterpart, the Prime Fem!Kirk, is stuck inside her head.
- Fanfiction taking place in the My Little Pony: Equestria Girls universe frequently writes off the counterparts to Twilight Sparkle and/or Sunset Shimmer as dead. This became somewhat jossed with Friendship Games, which focuses on Twilight's counterpart.
- Played with in The One. Jet Li discovers that a whole pile of his alternates are dead. The twist being that they were all killed by the one remaining counterpart who is now out to kill him as well in order to become The One. The film ends with an interesting inversion of the trope crossed with Replacement Goldfish. The protagonist gets dropped into a universe where his counterpart is dead, but his wife's is still alive.
- In The Talisman, if you have an Alternate Self in "The Territories", you can flip into their mind when you travel between worlds. But if you don't, like Jacky, whose Twinner was murdered as a child, you remain yourself.
- The Time Wars novel The Khyber Connection introduces an alternate timeline where Andre's counterpart is dead. Inverted in the later novel The Argonaut Sanction, in which the counterpart of Andre's dead mentor Hunter travels to the protagonists' timeline.
- In Piers Anthony's Apprentice Adept novels, anyone from Phaze or Proton can't travel between these two realities unless their counterpart on the other world is dead. Immigrants to Proton don't have this problem, as only people born on Proton have a duplicate on Phaze.
Live Action TV
- Inverted in the alternate universe featured in season 28 of Doctor Who, where Rose's dad and Mickey's gran are both still alive. The Doctor and Rose don't have counterparts at all (apparently the Time Lords don't exist in that universe, and Rose's parents never had kids, though they do have a dog named Rose); Mickey's counterpart... well, he starts out alive...
- Happens a few times on Sliders:
- One episode dealt with a world with a mandatory retirement age of 30. When the gang slides in, one of the first things they discover is the Quinn of that world floating face down in an indoor pool.
- In the Christmas episode, "Season's Greedings", they find out the Wade of that world died at birth, along with her mother.
- In an episode where technology stopped progressing after World War II, they find out the Quinn of that world died of polio.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: Tasha Yar from the reality where the Enterprise-C fell into a wormhole learns that in the soon-to-be-restored reality she was killed, she volunteers to go back through to help the C crew.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Done every Mirror Universe episode.
- In "Crossover" Mirror Kira has Mirror Quark executed for smuggling Terran slaves off Terok Nor, and in "Through the Looking Glass" she has Mirror Rom Impaled with Extreme Prejudice. Prime Quark and Rom discover this when they visit the Mirror Universe in "The Emperor's New Cloak" several seasons later.
- In "Through the Looking Glass", Mirror Sisko has been killed, and so Mirror O'Brien kidnaps the "regular" Ben Sisko as a temporary replacement.
- Inverted in the case of mirror Jennifer Sisko, who outlived her "regular" counterpart.
- It appeared to be a Running Gag for Intendant Kira to kill a mirror Ferengi in every story. She also takes out Nog in "Shattered Mirror" and Brunt in "The Emperor's New Cloak". The Star Trek: Mirror Universe novella "Saturn's Children" continues the trend with Mirror Zek.
- In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Deadlock" the 'real' Harry Kim and Naomi Wildman are killed, and replaced with duplicates from another Voyager (coming across a space-time rift) which self-destructs taking out some alien invaders.
- Inverted, and arguably its most important plot point: it is in fact the "main" universe's Peter who dies as a kid. This sets the plot in motion as his father, Walter, goes on a journey to the alternate universe to steal back his sick yet not dead son from his alternate self and cure him like he should have done. This winds up being the only thing that prevents the end of all reality as Peter was supposed to die in all possible timelines.
- And at the end of the fourth season, Agent Lincoln Lee decides to stay in the alternate universe for good, where shortly before his counterpart was killed.
- Stargate Atlantis: in the episode "The Daedalus Variations" the team boards an alternate-reality version of the starship Daedalus, and are trapped aboard when it resumes randomly jumping to alternate universes. While investigating the ship, they come across duplicates of themselves from a previous universe who were similarly trapped and eventually starved to death.
- Stargate SG-1 did this in some form for nearly every alternate universe they ran across.
- "There But For the Grace of God": The alternate Daniel Jackson never joined the stargate program and died in a Goa'uld Orbital Bombardment of Egypt. Alt!Hammond subsequently died defending the SGC, Alt!O'Neill was killed trying to talk Alt!Teal'c into a Mook-Face Turn, and Alt!Carter blew herself up to keep a piece of phlebotinum out of Goa'uld hands. Alt!Teal'c died when the base self-destructed.
- "Point of View": The alternate Jack O'Neill was killed in action defending his SGC from a Goa'uld ground offensive, and Alt!Teal'c died when Prime!Teal'c shot him. Inverted with Maj. Charles Kawalsky, who was alive in the alternate universe but dead in the prime timeline. We also see several alternate universes where the Goa'uld were patrolling the SGC; presumably none of the cast survived.
- "Ripple Effect": Inverted. Among the alternate SG-1's that showed up we had at least two characters who were dead in the prime timeline: Martouf, a Tok'ra operative who died in "Divide and Conquer," and Maj. Dr. Janet Fraiser, who was killed by a stray staff blast in "Heroes, Part 2."
- In the "Moebius" two-parter, SG-1 goes back in time to Ancient Egypt in order to retrieve a ZPM and ends up altering the timeline, so that Ra takes the stargate with him during the revolt. They get stuck in the past after their Puddle Jumper is found by Ra's Jaffa. This creates an alternate timeline, during which the stargate is never found. Sam is a civilian, while Daniel teaches English as a Second Language. Thanks to a video-camera left by the original SG-1, the newly-formed Stargate Command finds the other gate in the Antarctic. Jack, Sam, Daniel, and Kawalsky use the same Puddle Jumper to travel to Chulak. They end up getting captured by Apophis, who decides to send an invasion fleet to Earth. With the video-camera, they manage to convince Teal'c to join them, but he ends up shooting Daniel, who was implanted with a Goa'uld. They jump back to Ancient Egypt, and find out that the original Jack, Sam, and Teal'c were killed during an attempted uprising. It says something about the series that original Daniel barely reacts to hearing about his alternate's death.
- In Smallville season 10 Lionel Luthor from Earth-2 transplants himself to Earth-1, where that Lionel is dead, and establishes himself as the "real" Lionel Luthor. He's foiled when Tess Mercer finds out and reveals that Earth-2 Lionel's fingerprints don't match Earth-1 Lionel's.
- Lois and Clark:
- Lois enters an alternate reality where her counterpart died because Clark was kept from becoming Superman by his fiancee Lana.
- Inverted with Clark's parents, who died in a car accident in the alternate universe (thus never bringing him up with the same values that make Prime!Clark Superman), while still alive in the Prime 'verse. It's pretty much clear that Tempus deliberately chose a universe without Superman in order to do his thing.
- Zig-Zagged in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys Mirror Universe episodes, where they established a rule that if your alternate universe counterpart dies, you also die. Which didn't stop them from breaking that rule with Iolaus. The rule can be avoided if you happen in be "in-between" universes when your double dies. Prime!Iolaus was killed by Dahak, while Mirror!Iolaus was trapped between the worlds. After Hercules brings Mirror!Iolaus back with him, and he loses his cowardice, everyone pretty much forgets that there ever was another Iolaus. Additionally, when Prime!Ares kills the Sovereign (Herc's double with a Beard of Evil) in-between worlds, Hercules is fine.
- In Red Dwarf, Arnold Rimmer might technically be this to Ace Rimmer, having died in a nuclear accident and been brought back as a hologram in the pilot. Though in Ace's second appearance he's dying and attempting to convince Arnold to continue his dimension-hopping heroics. In Ace's second appearance he turned out to be the latest in a long series of alternate Rimmer's who took up the mantle, so many that his predecessor's holo-bees comprise a Saturn-like planetary ring.
- When Cole altered reality in another bid to get Phoebe to love him in Charmed, Paige (who was unaffected by the changes) discovers her counterpart in this new world is dead ("This universe sucks").
- Several episodes of Earth: Final Conflict deal with the consequences of Liam and Augur accidentally traveling to an alternate universe where humanity never built cities and is in the process of being conquered by the Taelons. By the end of the episode, the leader of La Résistance in this 'verse, Jason (Ronald Sandoval's double) is killed. However, his girlfriend travels with Liam and Augur back to the prime universe and, eventually, meets her double. However, both start suffering the effects of two of them occupying the same universe. Eventually, they merge, but only the one from the alternate universe survives.
- At the beginning of Chrono Cross, Serge finds himself transported to an alternate universe where he died ten years ago.
- At the end of Sam & Max: The Devil's Playhouse, Max dies and it is impossible to revive him. Fortunately, a Max from a parallel universe shows up to befriend Sam, explaining that his Sam had died in a similar manner. Interestingly, in Poker Night 2, when Sam tells this story, Max confirms it, even though it would be reversed for him.
- In BioShock Infinite: The second time Booker and Elizabeth enter a new Columbia through a tear, it is one where Booker and Slate, together as members of the Vox Populi, helped to get them much more power over Columbia, but that Booker had a Heroic Sacrifice. Unfortunately, this version of Daisy Fitzroy, unlike earlier ones, is much more Ax-Crazy, and, upon learning that Booker is alive suddenly, immediately believes that Booker is either an imposter or a ghost, and tries to have him killed anyway, turning the group who had been following him against him.
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us the Green Arrow died standing up to Superman making for some awkward moments with the Green Arrow from the main universe. The alternate universe's Joker also died, at Superman's hand, after drugging Superman to make him think that Lois is Doomsday.
- A few instances of this is used in Super Robot Wars
- In Super Robot Wars Advance, the protagonist comes from an Alternate Universe where Amuro Ray is killed at the Battle of A Baoa Qu, whereas he is alive and well in the current Advance universe. Notably, this serves as a Shout-Out to the Mobile Suit Gundam novelization where Amuro was indeed Killed Off for Real at A Baoa Qu.
- In the second game of Super Robot Wars Original Generation, Lamia Loveless originates from another Alternate Universe and explains to her allies that in her world, people like the Branstein family, Sanger Zonvolt and Excellen Browning died in various events, but are alive in the Original Generation Continuity. The trope is twisted a bit: the Shadow-Mirror took Sanger's body and rebuilt him into the Artificial Human Wodan Ymir, while Excellen's parents resurrected their daughter as Lemon Browning. Upon hearing this explanation, Arado asks if the Elzam in the OG universe is a ghost.
- The Warlords of Draenor expansion for World of Warcraft is set in an alternate timeline some 30 years before the "present day" of the Prime timeline, with a whole bunch of AU versions of both major lore characters and minor NPCs. Granted, the titular warlords are all dead in the present day of the prime timeline, but the trope still sort of applies as the AU versions keep dying earlier than they're supposed to. For example, Orgrim Doomhammer, who dies during the Talador questline, lived to be a good twenty years older in the Prime timeline.
- In a more straightforward example, the AU counterpart of Prophet Velen dies in a Heroic Sacrifice early in the expansion's storyline, while our own version is still alive.
- In Final Fantasy XIII-2 the timeline is filled with paradoxes due to the effects of the Big Bad's chaos powers. The character of Alyssa discovers that her prime universe counterpart should have died, meaning that her continued existence is a result of one of these paradoxes. She lures the protagonists into a trap laid by the Big Bad because she fears that repairing the timeline will cause her to cease to exist.
- This trope is played with in the BlazBlue: Continuum Shift story Slight Hope. Through Cauldron timefuckery, Makoto finds herself pulled into a parallel world where she in fact exists... but her close friend Noel Vermillion never did. She only figures this out in one of two instances, from different sources each time: either from Relius Clover after a bout of prolonged and precision-guided mindrape, or from Rachel Alucard after being saved from an exceedingly irate Hazama. Interestingly, Hakumen is also from a timeline where Noel never existed, but neither he nor Makoto ever met to verify if they experienced the same one.
- Inverted with Retrope in TV Tropes The Webcomic: she was killed in all known alternate universes but resurrected later in the Prime (and only in the Prime).
- The comic features a ridiculous amount of dead alternate selves for nearly every character that has been introduced so far. This is due to the rules that characterize SBURB: the only successful way to beat the game is, supposedly, following the so-called "alpha timeline", and the game (or rather, the possibly sentient entity called Paradox Space) will eventually punish whoever makes a choice that is different from what's predetermined in the alpha timeline, thus generating a "doomed" timeline in which Failure Is the Only Option. Dead alternate selves are also an important part of the plot, as players have access to where they reside in the afterlife, the "dream bubbles", through various means and they usually aid the players and at times even influence the plot in a significant way.
- Other than doomed selves, one could also consider guardians to be actually alternate selves, since they are literally the same characters but with their roles switched (for instance, grandfather and grandson, or ancestor and descendant, or even older and younger bro). And guess what, "alternate me is dead" is true for each and every one of their kids version. In every universe so far.
- Being a Time player, Dave has the power to go back and forth in time. When the Draconian Dignitary steals his copies of Rose's Journals from his room, he considers the idea to go back in time and stop the thief, only to discard the idea after noticing the corpse of his doomed timeline self lying on the floor of his very room, proof that he has actually already tried that.
- Alternate Universes play a big role in the "Maze of Many" arc in Goblins, and several universes have different characters being alive/dead when compared to the prime universe. Alternate Universe #114 is probably the best example; Forgath, Complains and Big-Ears were killed during the battle at the goblin warcamp, while One-Eye (a minor character who died in the same battle in the main universe) survived and became an adventurer working alongside Minmax.
- In Ben 10: Alien Force, where Gwen goes back to time and prevents Kevin's mutation, it creates an alternate timeline where Gwen is killed by Charmcaster.
- Justice League had "A Better World", where the League turned into an authoritarian group that controlled the world. When looking for leads about this world, they find out that their Flash was killed in a shooting in their time, forcing the others to this style. Once he found this out, he capitalized on this to break free from their control and get the others out as well.
- BIONICLE: Mazeka returns to the main dimension with a good version of Teridax from an alternate dimension. In the main dimension, the Teridax here is the Big Bad who recently managed to takeover Mata Nui's body and the entire Matoran Universe. Later, in a giant robot fight between Teridax and Mata Nui in the Prototype Robot, Teridax is killed after a Colony Drop by a planet hits his head.
- In the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episode "Worlds Without End", three Joes find their dead counterparts' corpses in an alternate universe where Cobra conquered the world.
- Exploited in Rick and Morty. Rick takes advantage of this at the end of "Rick Potion #9"; when he accidentally releases a plague that causes a Cronenberg Apocalypse, he and Morty escape to a very particular universe where their counterparts cured the Cronenberg plague and were killed almost immediately afterwards by an unrelated incident, and take their place after burying them in the backyard. Notably, while Morty is rightfully deeply disturbed by the whole thing, Rick takes it all in stride and resumes with business as usual immediately afterwards, implying that it isn't the first he has pulled this trick.