troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Dead Person Conversation
Jack Hardemeyer: Wait! Uh... Now, I'm sure there's another way.
Mayor: Jack, I spent an hour last night in my bedroom talking to Fiorello La Guardia, and he's been dead for forty years. Now get me the Ghostbusters!

A character previously shown to be dead appears and converses with a living character. Often a Spirit Advisor character. I See Dead People is the ability to do this with spirits in general.

Compare Talking to the Dead, where the living character doesn't expect and doesn't get a response, and also Mummies at the Dinner Table, where the living character is in delusional denial about the death and imagining the whole thing. Though Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane may make it hard to distinguish, especially when they are Talking in Your Dreams.

See also Magic Realism. Not to be mistaken for Dead Man Writing.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga  
  • The penultimate episode of Digimon Adventure 02 makes good use of this trope: Ken, The Atoner of the series after his Heel-Face Turn, ends up in an illusion created by the Big Bad. After the first part of this sequence, he sees his dead brother Osamu, who tells him that his atonement is over. This, of course, is not true - and a ploy that fails when he realizes that there are still things he must do in order to redeem himself, and he needs to fight to save the world with his True Companions.
    • This also occurs with Iori around the same time. He sees his dead father, who was killed in his line of work as a policeman. Both characters' scenes are serious Tear Jerker's.
    • There's also an episode where Wizardmon's ghost speaks to the Digidestined.
  • For most of the final season of Sailor Moon, the usual prologue spoken by Usagi is changed to her reading out loud a letter to Mamoru who was killed by Galaxia, on his way to study in the United States. In the final episode after Chaos is defeated and order and hope are restored to the universe, Mamoru returns.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Fate managed to have a chat with Alicia in her Lotus Eater Dream during the second season.
  • This happens in Chrono Crusade with Mary Magdalene.
    • In the manga, Rosette Christopher converses with her after she dies, and Mary convinces her to return to life.
    • In the anime, Mary talks to Chrono during his Heroic BSOD. He admits that he's grown to love Rosette even more than Mary, and she tells him it's okay and saves him so he can try to fix his mistakes.
  • Happens in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann towards the end when everyone gets trapped in the Anti-Spiral's illusionary dream world. Kamina appears to all of them in turn and gives them the will to escape. Simon gets a longer inspirational speech and even sees all the other dead members of the Gurren Brigade.
  • This occurs between the Queen of France and Marie-a skull-in the anime of Le Chevalier d'Eon.
  • This seems to be the original Lockon's role in the second season of Gundam00. He shows up to help Tieria find the will to walk his own path and to tell Setsuna to put the past behind him.
    • And in Gundam Seed Destiny Chairman Durandal spends an entire episode chatting with Le Creuset's ghost.
  • Naruto got one with the Fourth Hokage when he was about to release too much of the Kyuubi's power. Turns out, the Fourth put a bit of himself into the seal so he could keep an eye on Naruto. After all, he is Naruto's father.
    • He later has another one with his dead mother Kushina, who also had a bit of herself put into his seal.
    • Same with Kakashi. After being taken down by Pain, spend some time talking to his dead father.
    • This happens a lot in Naruto. After dying, Naruto and Sasuke have one with the Sage of Six Paths as they're being revived.
  • In So Ra No Wo To a flashback shows Filicia having a conversation with a dead soldier from the war a couple of hundred years earlier.
  • Since Subaru Sumeragi is a psychic whose powers include contacting the spirits of the dead, this happens often in Tokyo Babylon.
  • In Cinderella Monogatari, Cinderella has a conversation with her late mother after she successfully passes the bravery test given to her by the forest spirit.
  • In Code Geass, C.C. often chats with Marianne... Oh wait...
    • And depending on whether or not you prescribe to Death of the Author, she has one with Lelouch in the finale.
  • In one part of Axis Powers Hetalia, Germany finds himself unexpectedly meeting the late Roman Empire in the middle of the night. He came to visit Italy (who sleeps through the whole thing), but ends up giving a rather poorly-planned lesson on his life, while Germany is incredibly annoyed. While it initially is treated as if Roman Empire just went elsewhere, the end of the scene has him saying that he's glad God allowed him that one trip to see Italy, proving that he was in fact dead.
  • Strangely, for a series that contains so many dead characters, this has only happened once in Bleach, when Orihime made up with her brother before he was sent to Soul Society.
  • End of Evangelion has the conversation between Asuka and Shinji after Asuka is killed by the Mass Production EVAs. This conversation ends up being the deciding factor in Third Impact when Asuka rejects Shinji.

     Comic Books  
  • This is pivotal in the Marvel 1602 comic miniseries. A character gains vital information, but only by promising not to reveal it as long as he lives. Since he's already on death row and both he and his wife are powerful sorcerers, he's able to use the Exact Words escape and tell the other characters what he's learned — after he's dead.
  • The James Robinson Starman comics had yearly issues where David Knight, Jack Knight's dead brother, came back to talk to him; these were some of the deepest and most emotional of the series.
  • The ghost of Captain America, dead for a year in Comic Book Time, was summoned by Thor here. It is sad.
  • In Shade, the Changing Man, Kathy's murdered boyfriend Roger returns as a ghost for awhile. He couldn't talk at first but eventually starts communicating.
  • Jesse Custer of Preacher has several conversations with the ghost of John Wayne. According to Custer, the first one happened several years before John Wayne died.
  • Cassandra Cain had a few run-ins with her dead best friend Stephanie Brown during Near Death Experiences. Inconveniently, Stephanie was later revealed to have been alive all along, but Cassandra's apparition was a bit too knowledgeable to explain away as a hallucination.
  • Bill Willingham's Fables has Snow White receiving warnings of doom from beyond the grave courtesy of Colin, one of the Three Little Pigs.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Ore died in the first issue, after he was fused with a generator. He comes back in the annual and strikes up a conversation with Swerve, confusing him for Pipes. They talk about the afterlife and what the ending of the war heralds. Ore's talk also helps Swerve forgive himself for shooting Rung. At the end of the issue, he may have ascended to a higher plane of existence, or simply just been teleported off the ship.

    Fan Fic 

    Film 
  • Done on a large scale in Rashomon, in which a dead man is used as a witness for a case and gives his testimonial in front of multiple people.
  • The Sixth Sense. "I see dead people."
  • In Angels In America, Roy Cohn starts talking to Ethel Rosenberg (whose execution he had a direct hand in) after he is diagnosed with AIDS.
    • Prior Walter also meets with the ghosts of two of his ancestors. He's not particularly happy about it.
  • In Star Wars, Obi-Wan becomes a Spirit Advisor when he dies. He tells Luke to The Force when attacking the Death Star, to visit the Dagobah system to seek out his old master, and later he argues with Yoda on his behalf when Yoda doesn't want to train him as Jedi. After Yoda dies, he and Luke have a conversation about why he never told Luke that Darth Vader was his father.
  • In Ratatouille, the spirit of Auguste Gusteau gives Remy advice. He freely admits, however, that he's just in Remy's head.
  • Ghost Town.
  • Heart and Souls.
  • Over Her Dead Body.
  • Sin City.
  • Connor and Murphy MacManus, after losing a friend while taking down a murderer, begin to question whether their Mission from God is worth it. Cue Dead Person Conversation as their late buddy Rocco visits them in a dream and delivers an awesome pep talk on what it takes to be REAL MEN and do what needs to be done.
  • Shutter Island. Teddy spoke with his dead wife during his sleep and his wife offered hints to aid his investigation.
  • An American Werewolf in London. David's dead best friend Jack, who was killed in the same attack that turned David into a werewolf, keeps appearing and telling David to commit suicide, else he'll keep transforming and killing people (who'll Walk the Earth in Limbo). Each time he turns up, he looks more and more decayed and rotted... and he starts being joined by all the people David kills along the way.
  • Tina frequently has these with her dead twin sister in I Miss You I Miss You.
  • The Brown Bunny: This is the twist at the end. Daisy is actually dead. Bud has been imagining her throughout their night together.
  • The Dark Knight Rises. While at his lowest, Bruce Wayne hallucinates a conversation with Ra's al Ghul, who died way back in Batman Begins. Ra's mocks Bruce, which gives Bruce the extra bit of motivation he needs to get back on his feet.

    Literature 
  • Much older than Hamlet or Macbeth: Saul, desperate for advice now that God will no longer send him signs, consults a medium to conjure up the spirit of the prophet Samuel for advice. Samuel appears, chews Saul out for consulting with mediums, and foresees his death in the upcoming battle. Whoops.
    • Interestingly, the Medium seemed shocked that Samuel actually appeared; she was probably a fraud and God bent the rules to let Samuel speak to Saul.
  • In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, a Dead Person Conversation between Harry and Dumbledore takes up an entire chapter.
    • And in the chapter before that, Harry meets up with the ghosts of his parents, Sirius, and Remus Lupin, who give him final advice and escort him to his apparent doom.
    • And one major plot-point resolution is that Snape is killed by Voldemort in the presence of Harry, but doesn't die immediately; he lives just long enough to urge Harry to extract certain memories to later view in the Pensieve, which Harry does. These finally settle the "whose side is Snape really on?" question.
    • The characters also frequently interact with portraits of dead people, who seem to possess all the knowledge of the person, as well as with ghosts.
  • Mad Larkin of Dan Abnett's Warhammer 40,000: Gaunt's Ghosts is known to occasionally hallucinate conversations with people, including a certain dead Ghost. Some of this may be due to Soric's influence.
  • Amelia Peabody, the detective archeologist, has had at least one dream-conversation with her deceased friend Abdullah since his death. They are cryptic enough that they do not interfere with fair play in the detection, but she believes them to be genuine.
  • The Dresden Files main character Harry Dresden has had conversations with both of his deceased parents. His conversation with his mother was in Blood Rites as a magical sentient recording stored in Thomas's mind meant to prove that he was Harry's brother. His father appears both in a dream and when Harry is conscious. He just dispenses cryptic peptalks and no explanation is given how he's contacting Harry.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Dead Sky Black Sun, Uriel retreats from Cold-Blooded Torture to memories of his childhood home, but is met there by his old mentor, Captain Idaeus, who reminds him that he would not have appointed a coward as his successor, and urges him to go back to the pain. Uriel assures him that he will not forsake his comrades.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Horus Heresy novel False Gods, Horus is tempted by Chaos during a Dead Person Conversation apparently with the long dead Sejanus, actually with the just murdered Erebus.
  • In the short story "Paladin of the Last Hour," Billy, a small store manager, is selected by Gaspar to safeguard a magical watch which holds the last hour of the Universe. When it tolls, the Universe ends. Gaspar uses one minute so Billy can heal and have a conversation with someone who saved his life and who died in the process. The conversation benefits Billy and the dead person (who never knew his dying act saved someone's life).
  • In The City of Dreaming Books, Optimus either has a conversation with his dead mentor Dancelot, or hallucinates one as a result of losing his mind. Either way, he gets the advice he needs to avoid going insane.
  • In the Back Story of Steve Parker's Warhammer 40,000 novel Gunheads, Wulfe was helped by a dead man, whose voice came over the vox just after he died and no one else could hear. At one point, his squad admit that they figured it out, and were hurt that he didn't tell them.
  • In Neil Gaiman's American Gods, Mad Sweeney the leprechaun attends his own wake, where he debates the interpretation of his life story provided by one of the other characters and tosses back a few glasses of whiskey. By the next morning, he seems to have shifted from Only Mostly Dead to Killed Off for Real.
  • This happens in The Lovely Bones when Ray realizes he's talking to Susie who's possessed Ruth's body.
  • Older Than Feudalism: In Homer's epic The Odyssey, Odysseus ventures into Hades' kingdom to ask for guidance from Tiresias, and subsequently ends up talking to the ghosts of Achilles, Heracles, Agamemnon, and his own dead mother.
  • Also occurs in the other lost epics of the Trojan Cycle. Achilles dies in the Aethiopis, then appears to Neoptolemus in the Little Iliad. He appears a second time in the next epic, the Sack of Ilion, and then appears again in the following epic, the Returns.
  • The entire Necroscope Saga is built on this, and the various ways the dead can be talked to, or forced to talk.
  • In Robert E. Howard's "The Phoenix on the Sword", Conan the Barbarian has a dream conversation with Epemitreus "dead for fifteen hundred years" — and comes back with a gift.
  • In Jim Lehrer's The Franklin Affair, R, a (present-day) historian specializing in Franklin, goes to the house where Ben Franklin lived in London, and has an imaginary conversation with him, asking for advice on dealing with a dilemma involving Franklin's life. (He knows the conversation is all in his imagination.) What Franklin says is witty, sarcastic, and sardonic.
  • Roxanne in Inkheart tells Dustfinger that she searched for someone that would let her talk to their dead daughter, but that they were all charlatans.
  • A running theme for the Takeshi Kovacs series. Kovacs will remember a long-dead comrade and imagine them giving him tough-love advice.
  • Warrior Cats is FULL of this trope, thanks to the setting of "StarClan" which is the collective name of all dead Clan cats (except the worst ones). Spottedleaf's constant prophecy-giving to Firestar is the best example.
  • In Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom novel Magic in the Blood, Allie's father appears to talk to her.
  • In The Stand, Nick talks to Tom in his dreams, and he even shows up in person at one point to help Tom find some antibiotics for Stu. Particularly interesting because in life, Nick was mute.
  • In Chris Bohjalian's The Night Strangers, pilot Chip Linton receives multiple visits from three people who died in his plane after an emergency landing went haywire. All in all, Chip is unfazed by their appearances.
  • Oleg's drowned sister Lyudmila appears frequently and counsels him in Palimpsest.
  • In Theatrica Arthur has a sudden reunion with his recently deceased brother Sam while on a drug trip. It's more of a hallucinogenic experience than actually a ghost, yet it nonetheless persists as everyone Arthur kills returns as a vision of some kind later on in the novel.
  • In W.F. Miksch's The Addams Family Strikes Back the local bookshop owner was congratulating Morticia on Grandmama's success as one of the witches in the PTA production of Macbeth and Morticia replied that they'd held a seance the previous evening to tell Shakespeare all about it. When he expressed skepticism, house guest Abby Shipton commented that it was absolutely true. "Shakespeare was wearing a kelly-green doublet and checkered tights and..."

     Live Action TV  
  • In The 4400 episode "Blink," Tom Baldwin is faced with visions of his dead father, who won't go away until they sort out their unresolved issues.
  • Six Feet Under makes extensive use of this trope.
  • Dr. Brown talks to his dead wife, Julia, in the first season of Everwood.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer used this trope somewhat differently in its seventh season with The First Evil. An entire episode, "Conversations with Dead People" was devoted to this, with some of the dead people being vampires.
    • An interesting subversion occurs at the beginning of Season Seven, where Willow has accidentally magicked herself invisible to most people. At one point, she talks to Spike, who can see her, and she thinks he's crazy when he starts spouting off nonsense. Then, later, we see the same scene from Buffy's point of view, and he seems similarly crazy because Buffy can't see Willow. It's very much played as a crazy conversation/conversation with dead people.
  • An episode of Angel had a Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane version of this where Wesley was about to cut off Lilah Morgan's head because he thought Angelus had killed her, and a ghostly version of her started talking to him.
    • To clarify, Wesley wasn't so much worried that Angelus had killed her as that she wouldn't be staying dead. (You know, since Angelus is a vampire.)
    • That season of Angel had a few incidents like that, especially as Connor began to break down. It could all be explained as The First Evil, who was active in Sunnydale at the time, trying to stop the rise of Jasmine: a fallen god showing up to unite humanity wouldn't mix well with the First's plans for an army of demons.
    • Lilah also came back in the Season 4 Finale "Home", to offer the Angel team Wolfram and Hart. (She had a scarf tied around her neck, concealing the mark where Wesley decapitated her.) Similarly, Holland Manners made a brief reappearance after his death. It is made known that Wolfram and Hart contracts extend beyond death.
  • Adrian Monk's deceased wife Trudy has shown up a number of times on Monk, at one point while Monk was suffering a psychotic break after being buried alive.
  • The West Wing featured this in its second season finale, "Two Cathedrals". One hopes that, coming as it did just after President Bartlet disclosed that he had a degenerative illness, he didn't tell anyone that it was his dead secretary who persuaded him to run for a second term.
  • Stargate SG-1 used this in season six episode "Abyss", in which Daniel Jackson was ascended. O'Neill had been captured and was between torture sessions when Jackson would visit him and try to get him to ascend as a means of escape, only to disappear whenever a guard came by.
    • Also used later in the same season when Daniel infiltrates Teal'C's human-fireman hallucination as a psychiatrist to give him something of a mental lifeline while Teal'C is keeping himself and an injured Bra'tac alive with only his own symbiote. An alternate interpretation (it's not explicitly the real Daniel) is that Daniel in the dream was actually the dying symbiote trying to help Teal'C survive.
    • In the spinoff Stargate Atlantis, McKay talks to the late Dr. Beckett after the latter dies of stupidity: carrying an explosive tumour to the bomb squad. He apologises for not going fishing with Beckett, feeling that if they had done so, Beckett would still be alive. (Realistically, after the first explosion, Beckett would probably have been called back from the mainland to help deal with the crisis.)
  • Slings and Arrows prominently features the ghost of a dead Shakespearian director, visible only to his replacement, in productions first of Hamlet and then of Macbeth. For good measure, the ghost in question actually appears in both plays.
  • A later episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation had a group of corpses talking to each other in the morgue, telling the stories of their death. It might not count, for this trope, but it bears mentioning.
  • CSI: Miami: Eric Delko thinks he's seeing Speedle again; "Speedle" begins offering hints and advice about crime scenes that put Delko on the right track. It gets even more complicated when transactions show up on Speedle's bank account well after his official death. It turns out someone stole Speedle's personal effects and was spending his money. Delko's hallucinations of Speedle were his brain's way of trying to get him to figure out a particular crime scene.
  • CSI NY played it more straight with Mac. He got shot, had a Near Death Experience, and talked to Claire.
  • Ally McBeal had many conversations with her dead ex-boyfriend Billy. Ally was often shown to have an active fantasy life, however, and it's likely she was just imagining it.
  • In the episode of Scrubs when Ben succumbs to his leukemia in "My Screw Up", he spends the time between the point of his death and his funeral at the end of the episode trying to convince Dr. Cox to forgive J.D. for allowing him to die, although the audience at this point is not aware that Ben is dead. The writers cleverly manage to misdirect the audience into believing an old man we saw earlier has died, and they carefully make sure that Ben has no more interactions with any character other than Dr Cox. The Reveal that it was Ben who died occurs only at the end of the episode, when they go to his funeral. Right up until they arrive at the graveside, the audience is led to believe (as Cox seems to) that they are going to Cox's son's birthday party.
  • In Providence, Sydney's mother dies in the pilot, and Sydney ends up talking to her ghost every episode.
  • Pretty much the entire shtick to Ghost Whisperer.
    • Ditto for Medium.
      • Ditto for Jeff Goldblum's short-lived TV series Raines, though unlike the above two shows, the protagonist is talking to hallucinations, not actual ghosts. He knows it's all his mind but it disturbs him anyway. Also, he did this even before the hallucinations, according to his partner, it was pretty much part of his investigation method.
  • In an episode of Charmed, Phoebe, who had jury duty, called the ghost of the victim before a good dozen or so people to provide the perpetrator for the case. After experiencing the the ghostly visit, the jury instantly turned in her favor. However, the conclusion is somewhat loose as she did erase their memories afterwards.
    • The "Calling the Dead" spell has been used throughout the entire series, mostly to talk with the sister's dead grandmother.
  • An episode of Grey's Anatomy in which the titular character, Meredith Grey, temporarily died revolved around her being in a purgatory-type setting, having conversations with multiple deceased former characters from the show.
    • Now in a season 5 subplot, Izzie Stevens is seeing/talking to/making out/having "mindblowing" sex with the apparition of her dead fiance/patient Denny.
  • Jeff has a lot of these in Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased). Given that his partner is a ghost, this isn't too surprising.
  • Miles on LOST apparently speaks to the dead, but they do not appear and the audience does not hear them. This adds an element of doubt, but we do know the information he gets from them is legit, so he seems to be for real.
    • It's also used a few other times during the 4th season: Charlie shows up to talk to Hurley at the mental institution, during a flash-forward, and another patient sees him so Hurley is not hallucinating. And Locke talks to Christian Sheppard, who may or not be dead. The writers like to keep it unclear...
    • Christian constantly does this: he's spoken with Locke, Sun and Frank, Jack...
    • Miles is unique, since he doesn't really converse with dead people: he just gets impressions of their last thoughts.
  • In the second season, Dexter has one of these conversations with his brother, the Ice Truck Killer.
    • The writers must like this trope—from Season 3 onwards, the "ghost" of Harry regularly pops up to give Dexter advice. And as Dexter learns, ignoring Harry's advice will usually lead to ... unfortunate outcomes.
  • Caleb of American Gothic has these with his sister Merlyn all the time.
  • Veronica Mars spends much of the first season conversing with her murdered best friend Lilly Kane. Duncan, Lilly's brother, also speaks with her. In the second season episode "I Am God" Veronica dreams she's speaking to the victims of a bus-crash.
  • Tommy Gavin from Rescue Me regularly talks to dead people, most notably people he failed to save and his cousin Jimmy Keefe, a firefighter who died during 9/11. It's left ambiguous whether it's in Tommy's head, or whether the ghosts are actually present. Jimmy gives Tommy beatings on several occasions, only for people to walk in on it and wonder whether Tommy has lost his mind. He also talks with his son Connor after he dies, but before Tommy is aware of it.
  • Season 3 of Heroes begins with Nathan Petrelli having conversations and chess games with Mr. Linderman, who was quite decisively killed onscreen by D.L..
    • Later subverted when it was revealed that Linderman is indeed dead; Maury Parkman was just using his image to advise Nathan and Daphne.
    • Usutu, however, has been appearing to Matt in visions even after he had his head chopped off by Arthur Petrelli.
    • And now Sylar's talking to his mother — who he happened to kill. Does it count if he actually takes on her form?
  • On one of the last episodes of NYPD Blue Simone appeared to Sipowitz, to encourage him to be a mentor to his new partner.
  • In Fringe, John Scott, who is dead, occasionally appears to Agent Dunham because his memories are trapped in her brain.
  • The third season premiere of NCIS had each of the main cast members conversing with their murdered colleague Caitlin Todd. How the dead character appears in each person's imagination says something about each of them; compare Tony's Sexy Schoolwoman fantasy to Gibbs's visions of her berating him with the bullet hole still visible in her head.
    • Ducky does this quite often.
      • Happens in Season 8 when Gibbs and Mike Franks talk about the Port to Port Killer case.
  • House had a couple of similar conversations with Amber before she was technically dead. Near the end of season 5 he starts seeing her again, after Kutner's suicide.
    • Then Kutner shows up with Amber in the season finale, and House winds up committed...
  • In a series 3 episode of The Mighty Boosh, "The Chokes," the ghost of acting coach Montgomery Flange appears to Howard Moon while he is frozen onstage.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Sarah spends most of one episode talking to the ghost of Kyle Reese. It's implied that this may be a hallucination, resulting from the injuries and blood loss she suffered.
  • Bones:
    • Episode "The Hero in the Hold," Booth talks to his dead army buddy Parker, who helps him escape. It is later revealed that this is because he had a brain tumor. Though it's never clear if he was hallucinating or not: Bones remarks at the end of the episode that Booth couldn't have managed that escape by himself.
    • Bones also converses with the dead guy in the cemetery.
    • Banes has her own Near Death Experience and talks to her mother.
  • The X-Files. Deep Throat appears to Mulder in two separate episodes after his death. On the first occasion both him and Mulder's father appear to persuade Mulder not to give up his life — Mulder only speaks to his father, asking him if his sister is there (in the afterlife). His negative reply undoubtedly motivates Mulder to return to the land of the living and continue his search.
  • Hannah Montana: When some Loca Hot Coca leads to Miley having a Cinderella dream where she's lost her voice and is no better than a house slave. Her mother comes back from the dead to talk her through it.
  • Maxwell on The Nanny has a conversation with his dead wife about whether him marrying Fran would upset her. She reveals that not only did she approve, she actually sent Fran to him.
  • Rochelle on Everybody Hates Chris has a conversation with her recently-deceased father (played by Jimmy Walker) concerning the tension between herself, her mother, and the rest of the relatives who are staying with her for the funeral.
  • An episode of Babylon 5 concerns a never-explained alien ritual that conjures spirits of the dead. Londo and Garibaldi are visited by deceased LoveInterests, while Lennier talks to Morden. The first two conversations turn out well for everyone involved; the third one... not so much.
  • Poor Chuck Bass... His dead daddy manages to berate him even from beyond the grave in an episode of Gossip Girl. Subverted though in that it's not actually Bart Bass' ghost, it's Chuck projecting his own issues.
  • In Wiseguy, Sonny Steelgrave died in the first season. The protagonist, Vinnie Terranova, felt guilty about his death. This was resolved in a second season episode where Vinnie was confronted by Sonny's ghost.
  • The Tudors:
    • In season four, Charles Brandon also has a chat with one of the leaders of the pilgrimage of grace who had been executed.
    • In the series finale, a dying Henry VIII has conversations with three of his deceased wives.
  • Both Fraser and Ray talk to their dead fathers in Due South, though neither lets on to the other that it happens. While Fraser reconciles with his father (who he had been distant with in life) and their relationship warms considerably, Ray meanwhile, simply seems to come to terms with the fact that his dad simply wasn't a good father, such as the numerous times his dad tries to convince him to ditch Fraser to save his own skin in North.
  • Joan of Arcadia: Joan talks to her dead friend Judith.
  • The live-action Witchblade show had Sara do this regularly, usually with her deceased partner. A couple times she tried to solve a murder by speaking with ghost of the victim. They weren't as informative as she might have hoped.
  • In Boy Meets World, Shawn talks to his father a few times after he dies. It seems to be all in Shawn's head, though it's not made clear, since in the Grand Finale he's shown proudly watching over his boys before grabbing Rachel's ass, which causes her to look around in confusion since no-one was there to do it.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Several people in "Silence in the Library" talk through their suits after being killed by the Vashta Nerada.
    • In "The Time of Angels", Bob mentions over the comm that the angels ripped out his throat.
    • The seventh series finale has Clara speaking via psychic connection to a long-dead River Song, who she didn't know was dead until halfway through the episode. River thought the link was only between the two of them; turns out the Doctor knew River was there all along.
  • The Golden Girls did this with Sophia's late husband, Salvadore, in at least one episode.
  • This is pretty standard for Being Human, seeing as ghosts are fairly common to that universe. Werewolves, vampires, and other supernatural beings can see and interact with ghosts just fine, but earlier seasons also had Annie being able to talk with and be seen by regular people, even holding a job and dating a living guy at one point. There also was a medium who could talk to ghosts, though he couldn't see them.
  • In Merlin this happens thrice. In "Sins Of The Mother" Arthur talks to the Ghost of his mother Ygraine, a Posthumous Character who reveals her Death by Childbirth was due to Balancing Death's Books. Ygraine was summoned by Morgause to turn Arthur against his Father. In "The Death Song Of Uther Pendragon" Arthur talks to the Ghost of his Father Uther Pendragon, who criticises him and escapes the Spirit World to haunt Camelot. In "The Diamond Of The Day Part I" Merlin's dead Father Balinor appears to Merlin when he has been Brought Down to Normal, is imprisoned in the Crystal Cave and despairing. It is debatable whether it actually was his Ghost or A Form You Are Comfortable With. He somehow enables Merlin to regain his magic.
  • Supernatural gives us the episode "Death's Door", where Bobby is in a coma, running from a Reaper. He is reunited with the memory (or possibly more) of Rufus Turner, a hunter who was killed in the previous season, who manages to help him figure out how to escape his coma and temporarily evade the Reaper.
  • In the Masters Of Horror episode "Cigarette Burns", Kirby's dead girlfriend Annie appears before him to remind him what he's lost. Subverted when Kirby sees through the illusion and realizes she's not real.
  • Several delusional unsubs on Criminal Minds have spent most of an episode conversing with relatives or other associates. These conversations often continue even after the profilers have determined that the person being "talked to" died some time before.

     Music 
  • Afro Celt Sound System's "Release" is from the perspective of a deceased person, telling the living that "I haven't gone anywhere / but out of my body", and that they should "Be happy for me".

     Newspaper Comics  
  • Tia Carmen in Baldo occasionally has conversations with her dead husband.
  • The Family Circus occasionally has the angelic visage of the children's late grandfather visiting their still-living grandma.
  • In Funky Winkerbean, Les has the occasional conversation with his late wife, Lisa. The comic tends to go back and forth on whether or not it's actually Lisa's spirit or Les' imagination (or both).
  • Pearls Before Swine once featured a seance scene where Goat, Zebra, and Pig were all visited by deceased relatives. However, the seance was cut short when Rat ate Pig's Uncle George, who had returned as a sausage link.

    Radio 

    Theater 
  • Hamlet of William Shakespeare's eponymous Hamlet is visited by a ghost who claims to be his dead father, the king of Denmark; he also claims that Hamlet's uncle Claudius murdered him so that he could succeed him in taking the throne.
  • Likewise in Macbeth where the ghost of the murdered Banquo shows up to take his seat at the banquet. Naturally only his murderer, Macbeth, can see him.
  • This is a plot point in the 1919 play Smilin' Through, which has several film versions (probably the best known is from 1932 with Norma Shearer). Moonyeen was murdered on her wedding day and spends her afterlife near her husband John, who can often hear her when she speaks to him.
  • Proof: Cathy has conversations with her deceased father throughout the play. He comes off as stern but loving, smart, fatherly, and a little eccentric. These conversations are in stark contrast to the flashbacks where all of the above traits are completely overshadowed by his blatant insanity. They also serve as a way to showcase Cathy's slowly declining mental health.

     Video Games  
  • When Andross attempts to take Fox down with him at the end of Star Fox 64, Fox's father James appears to lead him out of the exploding base.
  • An explicit power of the protagonist in Planescape: Torment.
  • A major plot point of Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children is Cloud having conversations with Aerith. Then again, Final Fantasy VII and its related spin-offs tend to run on the Trope of Only Mostly Dead, to the point where there is a Japanese novella written entirely from the point of view of the dead characters in the The Lifestream.
    • Even though he was heard in several scenes in the original cut of Advent Children, Zack now has a new major scene where, during the fight with Sephiroth, he is encouraging Cloud in a conversation as a Spirit Advisor in Advent Children Complete.
    • In a similar manner, Final Fantasy X raises this trope from Dead Person Conversations to Dead Person plans.
    • After being killed by Kuja in Final Fantasy IX,Garland starts talking to Zidane and the others, providing some much-needed information about Memoria before his soul passes on.
  • In The Suffering, this happens a lot, whether the dead person is a Projected Man, a talkative corpse, or a real ghost. Torque's family appears to be the most common example.
  • Paxton Fettel already talks to the Point Man through hallucinations a few times. A bullet to the head not only doesn't stop him from doing so, but if you take the expansions into account, he talks to more people when he's dead than when he was alive.
    • In the DLC F.E.A.R. 2: Reborn, Fettel is quite talkative (at least to Foxtrot 813) even though he (Fettel) is dead.
  • Arkantos in Age of Mythology fights his slain enemies in his dreams at the start of the campaign. Athena comments on this before giving him a warning.
  • Tearjerkingly averted in Iji. She talks to Dan as if he's still alive after his death.
  • The World Ends with You The characters are Dead All Along however shops have special marks to allow the characters to bypass their usual Invisible to Normals problem for dead person transactions. Never really taken advantage of in the plot because only one shopkeeper actually knows this and he's been dead who knows how long.
  • Both subverted and played straight in Eternal Darkness: Sanity's requiem: at several points, characters have conversations with the ghosts of other characters. The main protagonist Alex is regularly visited by the ghost of her deceased grandfather Edward. Turns out it's the main antagonist Pious Augustus in disguise.
  • Doctor Kyne from Dead Space holds conversations with his late wife. Isaac doesn't have too much to say, but as it turns out, his conversations with Nicole also turn out to be this.
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police: the ghost of Momma Bosco is plain for everyone to see and talk with, likewise the specter of Mr. Spatula — but Mr. Spatula is a speechless fish whom only Sam seems to understand.
  • In Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War, if Celice waits by the water on Chapter 10 after Alvis has been killed, he will have a conversation with the ghosts of his deceased parents, Sigurd and Diadora... who tell him that nothing was accomplished by the Emperor's death, and the war is not over before giving him a Life Ring.
  • Sgt.Baker in Brothers in Arms talks to the ghost (or hallucination) of Private Leggett
  • Tales of Monkey Island: Happens in the living world in Chapter 5 from the time that Guybrush (as a ghost) has opened up the rips in the Crossroads up to the time that he manages to repossess his own corpse.
  • At the end of the Dragon Age II DLC "Legacy", Hawke has one with their mother, Leandra, if the player started the DLC after the death in the main story. Varric, the narrator, admits to his audience that this is a "liberty" he's taking - the whole Framing Device is meta like that.
    • It's also because that Varric, knowing that Hawke never really came to terms with the death of their mother, freely admits to embellishing that part of the tale simply because he wanted to give their friend some closure that he felt they honestly deserved.
  • In Ghost Trick, after Sissel meets with a person's spirit and saves them from death, he can continue to interact with them after they return to life. The same goes for poor Missile, and while Yomiel is more frozen in an endless cycle of life and death, he still was presumed dead and held a conversation with several clearly-living people.
  • In Pirate101, this is the undead witchdoctor Ol' Scratch's specialty. With either a corpse or a few keepsakes he can summon the ghost of someone to learn more information.
  • In the hospital level of Silent Hill: Homecoming, Alex spots his brother Joshua who asks him to find his stuffed teddy bear. Turns out the reason Alex was in the hospital was because Josh drowned after Alex accidentally knocked him out of a boat.

     Visual Novels  
  • Towards the end of Kirari's normal route in Kira-Kira, Kirari appears out of nowhere and follows Shika around, forcing him to deal with his pent-up grief and allowing him to write a song about her. There's a heavy amount of Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane and All Just a Dream, as Shika psychoanalyzes himself constantly and decides he's probably going crazy, but considering the whole incident with Guitar-kun that occurred previously in the route, it's not hard to believe at all.
  • Tohno Shiki of Tsukihime, in the fundisc Kagetsu Tohya, there's an extra movie, Drinking Dreaming Moon, where Shiki talks with his adoptive brother, the real Tohno SHIKI (the other was at first a Nanaya). In the talk, SHIKI says it may be a Dead Person Conversation or All Just a Dream, depending on what Shiki believes. In he end, though, it's revealed to the player\reader that it WAS Dead Person Conversation, complete with Demoted to Extra-Satsuki complaining he couldn't see her and barely heard one sentence she said.
  • Played with in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors. The teenage Akane who participates in the Nonary Game is technically dead and interacts with all of the other participants, but then it turns out that while Junpei was unknowingly communicating with her the entire time, it was her still-living child self, who was trying to get him to help her stay alive.

     Web Comics  

     Web Original  
  • In The Gamers Alliance, the heroes talk to the spirits of the dead in the crystal catacombs of Tes Pellaria and get valuable advice from them.
  • In V4 of Survival of the Fittest, Albert Lions comes across the body of his friend Augustus MacDougal, and then right away he sees his ghost. Augustus follows Albert around, the pair conversing like normal (Dougal even has to remind Albert that only he can see him). Whether Dougal's ghost is real or just a figment of Albert's imagination is unknown.

Dare to Be BadassDialogueDepartment of Redundancy Department
The Day of ReckoningOlder Than FeudalismDeath by Childbirth
Dead PartnerDeath TropesDead Serious

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
97713
0