[[quoteright:235:[[TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/awol_7479.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:235:[[SerialEscalation Guess what happens next...]]]]

->''"We've got to verify it legally to see if she is morally, ethically, spiritually, physically, positively, absolutely, undeniably, and reliably dead."''
-->-- '''The Munchkins''', ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''

%% One quote is sufficient. Please place additional quotes on the quotes tab.

Death is permanent, [[CaptainObvious as we all know]]. [[Anime/FateStayNight Because]] [[MemeticMutation people die when they are killed]]. In RealLife. In fictional works, however, this need not necessarily apply. In fiction, people regularly ''do'' come BackFromTheDead. This is fine if they're on the side of the heroes, but once a villain has pulled this a couple of times it gets really old. The solution? Death is not enough, time to kill them Deader Than Dead.
The actual implementation of a Deader Than Dead varies: Sometimes it requires killing more than one component of the target (often its [[OurSoulsAreDifferent soul]] ''and'' its body at the same time). Sometimes it requires following the dead to the afterlife and killing them ''there''. Sometimes it involves [[CruelAndUnusualDeath tons and tons of Maximum Overkill]] that reduces the villain to a [[ChunkySalsaRule fine paste]]. Sometimes it involves [[NoManOfWomanBorn having to kill them]] [[AchillesHeel in a]] [[KryptoniteFactor special]] [[SoulJar way]], or [[WeaponOfXSlaying with a particular weapon]]. Sometimes it involves [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons a sworn affidavit declaring they will never return]]. And sometimes some alternative to death (sometimes a "FateWorseThanDeath") has to be found. For demons and the like, the latter often means "sealing" them somewhere, though more often than not, this is just a surefire way to end up with SealedEvilInACan. YourSoulIsMine is an uncommon way of ensuring total death as well--pulling someone's literal life force out of their body and eating or smashing it is a good way to ensure that they're never coming back. On the other hand, if it's a story where resurrection requires a (mostly) intact body, it's simply a matter of making sure the body isn't intact.

Characters who come back from the dead while staying dead (i.e., the Undead) are a special case, but of course, being "dead" also has a very special meaning in this case.

If you have to rely on this trope often, it tells you that you have [[DeathIsCheap cheapened the meaning of "death" to the point of uselessness]]. Relying on it after you have already pulled it for the same character tells you that maybe you're lacking in imagination to come up with good characters.

Or it might be that the character is [[JokerImmunity too popular or iconic]] (to the fans or the writer) to [[FirstLawOfResurrection stay permanently dead]]. So, it's not really that surprising when they pull something [[AssPull out of left field]] and let someone use TimeTravel to...

Ow! Ouch! Stop kicking me!

Common for important bosses in video games (see NonLethalKO), but not rare outside them either. Compare with FinalDeath and RasputinianDeath. Common ingredient in a DeathByOriginStory. Often related to CessationOfExistence.

OlderThanTheyThink -- a FairyTale may outline the villain's death in graphic detail to ensure that, unlike the hero, they cannot come BackFromTheDead. (Often, the FamilyUnfriendlyDeath is [[DeathByIrony proposed by the villain]] as a suitable punishment for his crimes, as a general principle.)

Despite the similar sounding name, not related to HarderThanHard, although the attempt to kill someone Deader Than Dead is by no means easy. Related to KilledOffForReal, which results when the audience would have expected the Deader Than Dead character to come back.

Do ''not'' confuse with DeaderThanDisco.

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



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/InuYasha'':
** The BigBad Naraku had his body obliterated multiple times, but always regenerated before the end of the episode. Actually, for a big part of the series, killing him would have required killing his heart, [[SoulJar stored in another being]] (He eventually just absorbs the other being because it tries to betray him). In the end, Naraku ended up Deader Than Dead when Kagome used the Shikon Jewel to ''wish Naraku's spirit out of existence'' along with the Shikon Jewel itself.
** Kikyo was killed multiple times. The first she actually died but [[BackFromTheDead came back]]. The second time she [[NeverFoundTheBody fell off a cliff]]. Then she fell into a valley full of caustic poison. At a point in the story, she finally died forever when she ''dissolved in front of everyone''.
* Sticking with Creator/RumikoTakahashi, in the world of the ''Mermaid'' series (''Mermaid Forest'', ''Mermaid's Scar'', etc.). Anyone who survives eating a mermaid's flesh can basically only die if something happens to the head, a la ''Highlander''. Decapitation is mentioned, while one immortal succumbs to total consumption in an intense fire.
* The ''Anime/NinjaScroll'' movie features a BigBad who can regenerate any part of his body -- even decapitation won't stop him. Jubei therefore has to get creative when defeating him; he eventually does so by covering the villain's body in a thick layer of molten gold and letting the cooled statue sink -- with his still-living body encased inside, presumably forever -- to the bottom of the ocean.
* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'': Kurama fights an invincible enemy. He eventually finishes the battle by calling up a plant designed to suck the life out of you (painfully) until you're dead. [[ImmortalityHurts That guy's not going anywhere for a while.]]
* ''Franchise/{{Nasuverse}}'' is loaded with characters who cheat death in a variety of ways (being undead, reincarnating, etc...). The two Shikis, [[LightNovel/KaraNoKyoukai Shiki Ryougi]] and [[VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}} Shiki Tohno]], can kill these things deader, because their eyes allow them to destroy their very ''concept'' of being. In fact, they can even kill things like ghosts, buildings, telekinesis, or ''appendicitis'' using a butter knife. To be specific, they can kill anything they can comprehend the death of. Ryougi has Akasha helping her comprehend the death of some things, so she can kill anything that she can perceive as 'living'; Tohno, meanwhile, doesn't have this assistance ([[CursedWithAwesome and thus]] [[BlessedWithSuck is slowly being driven mad]]). In one of his endings, he kills Arcueid's connection with Gaia so that he stands a better chance of beating her while the moon is out. In another route, he is able to actually kill poison while ''it's still flowing through the bloodstream.''
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'':
** The series which cheapened death to the point where the main cast isn't all that concerned when the BigBad starts killing off the majority of the planet's population, since they can just be wished back to life! There are exceptions to this:
*** People who die of natural causes can't be wished back by Shenron, which is why Goku developing a heart condition during the beginning of the Android Saga was such a big deal.
*** The original Dragon Balls had the rule that you could only have a given wish granted once, so anyone who died a second time would be dead for good. Namekian Dragon Balls threw this limitation out the window, and had no such limitation on the number of times one could be brought back.
** The idea that killing someone who is already dead is outright stated by King Kai, as Kid Buu was about to blow up the afterlife and everyone in it entirely, leaving absolutely nothing left to be revived in the first place.
** Android 16 cannot be revived even with the Dragon Balls since he was an android.
** Super Buu only existed as a combination of Fat Buu and Kid Buu. Since Kid Buu has been reincarnated as Uub, this can never happen again, and Super Buu can't even be revived with the Dragon Balls, as he never had a soul of his own.
* ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'':
** Zen'O is stated to have the ability to "erase" anything he wants. This is treated as much more severe than death, since it wipes out the soul along with the body, and is further implied to be irreversible. This happens to ''everyone'' in Future Trunks's home timeline barring Future Trunks himself, Future Mai and Future Zen'O; not only are they dead but they've also had their souls and afterlife completely wiped out due to Future Zen'O erasing everything in existence within the timeline in order to stop [[EldritchAbomination Merged Zamasu's non-corporeal form]] from infecting everything and eventually spreading into other timelines.
** Meanwhile, Beerus (and presumably all Gods of Destruction) has a similar ability to "destroy" whatever he wishes. While not as powerful as Zen'O's version, it has similar effects. He has demonstrated that he can destroy both the dead and other gods. They just... go away, usually screaming. Despite having the Dragon Balls, the show treats it as deadly serious and there seems to be no coming back from destruction.
* ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'':
** In Part 2, the villain Cars finally attains immortality near the end, and has to be "killed" by being knocked into space by a volcano, where he eventually stops thinking, effectively becoming Deader than Dead.
** The BigBad of the previous part, Dio Brando, had been crushed under the flaming wreckage of a mansion, decapitated, and caught in the explosion of a ship. [[RasputinianDeath He still manages to come back in Part 3 to terrorize the heroes yet again.]] During the final battle between Dio and [[TheHero Jotaro]], Jotaro [[PunchedAcrossTheRoom punches him across the room]], destroying his Stand and killing Dio in the process. Just to be sure, Jotaro exposes his remains to the sunlight, since, as a vampire, the sun will vaporize him. And in case you were wondering if there was any chance Dio could still come back, there's a side note stating that Dio has been [[KilledOffForReal "completely destroyed"]].
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** Hollows and shinigami are post-death beings. In short, ghosts. Although it's possible to kill them without actually cutting off their heads, they can potentially survive truly severe injuries. As a result, the only way to be absolutely certain Hollow or Shinigami is dead is decapitation. This can lead to extraordinary measures being taken to ensure the most powerful Hollows or Shinigami are definitely dead from their wounds and stay that way. Even then, being a Buddhism-influenced story, this will free the souls to continue along the wheel of transmigration, allowing the soul to be reborn as a completely new being.
** Quincies take this one step further than anyone. They don't simply kill Hollows, they destroy the soul as well. They are the only beings that are capable of eradicating a soul from existence itself, meaning the soul cannot go on to be reborn into future lives.
** The anime-only Bounts can eat both unsent and living souls. In fact, it has been noted that a Shinigami's zanpakuto is the ONLY thing that can help souls move on (not counting the natural transformation of unsent souls into Hollows).
** In a rare case of this happening to one of the good people, Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryusai suffers this fate. After being [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe sliced in half]], and then getting his arm cut off as he clung to life, his entire body is disintegrated to make sure there are no comebacks.
** Ichibē Hyōsube of the Royal Guard has a technique called Futen Taisatsuryō which can steal 100 nights from Soul Society 100 years in the future to completely obliterate the BigBad by taking away his darkness. Unfortunately, it didn't work.
* ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'',
** In the manga you must destroy the Philosopher's stone that contains the actual Homunculus instead of destroying its body (according to later chapters, the body can apparently survive on its own and absorb a new philosopher stone if it isn't killed afterwards. It seems to lose its homunculus powers, though). In the anime, a Homunculus must be killed once per incomplete philosopher's stone within them (or forced to expel them otherwise, and then die again), but are frozen in place (allowing all the time in the world to actually do this) when confronted with a piece of their original human body.
** Then there's the Philosopher's Stones themselves, which still contain the souls of the people sacrificed to create them. Once their energy is used up, these people are gone for good.
* The [[WaveMotionGun Arc-en-ciel]] in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaAs'' destroys something by ''distorting the very fabric of time and space'' to make sure it's really gone. That still wasn't enough to stop the {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le [[EnemyWithout corrupted self-defense program]] of Reinforce from [[BackFromTheDead reincarnating again]]. To make sure it's really dead, [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots Reinforce]] had to [[HeroicSacrifice willingly delete herself]] to prevent her Rejuvenation Program from bringing it back.
* People die in ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana'' by having their "power of existence" consumed -- i.e., removing them from having ''ever'' existed in the first place.
* The Data Entities in ''[[LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya Haruhi]]'' could ''delete'' certain events -- and, to some extent, beings.
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', Lelouch begs "God" (the collective unconsciousness of mankind) to not take away mankind's future. "God" interpreted this to mean "Get rid of his parents" as they were plotting to destroy "God" as part of an AssimilationPlot. Since they were in a spiritual realm, this resulted in his parents dissolving from existence--it even trumped his father's possession of the Code, which made him practically an immortal being.
* The cast of ''Manga/GaRei'' have to kill evil spirits that were once people, such as Yomi. Then she comes BackFromTheDead [[DeathIsCheap again]].
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', several of the villains they face have some form of immortality or method of escaping death that requires extra effort. Sometimes on repeated occasions.
** Orochimaru: The Naruto poster [[WasOnceAMan thing]] for defying death. He survived a close brush with the Shinigami, Tsunade's rock-shattering punches, and being sliced apart by an electric katana. He was believed dead after being struck with an attack which would trap him in an eternal genjutsu, but it turned out he imbedded [[SoulJar fragments of his soul]] in the Curse Seals he applied to his minions. So long as one of those still exists, he can potentially gain a new host body. Despite everything that happens to him, he is still alive at the end of the manga.
** Kakuzu: He has five hearts, all torn out of other shinobi. To kill him you have to destroy ''all'' of them before he tears yours out and adds it to the collection. It took a jutsu capable of destroying his body on a cellular level to put him down. ''That'' didn't kill him. He was still down on one (possibly faulty) heart. Kakashi eventually finished him off.
** Hidan: Cut off his head and he complains about his hair getting pulled. He had to be dismembered, buried in an isolated forest, and left for a few years until his immortality jutsu ran out. And he still has time to roll his head back into action. WordOfGod says that he is currently dying slowly of dehydration... and his head will rot before he eventually dies.
** Hokages 1-4: All currently in the stomach of the God of Death, though it turns out the Uzumaki Clan had a counter for this as well.
** Obito survived half of his body being crushed by a boulder as a child. As an adult he went on to survive a wide range of overkill attacks aimed at ending him and was even revived after being forced to use a jutsu that killed him. He finally died when Kaguya reduced his still-living body to ash, but that didn't keep him from giving Kakashi temporary use of the Sharingan from beyond the grave.
** The DangerousForbiddenTechnique Resurrection Jutsu reveals that people can only be brought back as [[OurZombiesAreDifferent undead minions]] if their souls still have an attachment to the mortal world. Those who's spirits have already moved on are effectively deader than the dead, and cannot be brought back by any means whatsoever.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'' in general are fairly immortal, as most of them merely turn into Digi-Eggs after death.
** There was a time when Primary Village was inactive, which meant a digimon's data couldn't return to be reborn.
** The BigBad rarely ever return. The exception is Myotismon, whose soul persisted each time he died and regenerated into a more powerful form. The Digidestined finally manage to permanently kill him by vaporizing his body and then combining the energy of every Digidestine on Earth to blow up his soul.
** In ''Anime/DigimonTamers'', digimon can absorb the data of the digimon they defeat which takes them out of the cycle of reincarnation.
** In ''[[Anime/DigimonSavers Digimon Data Squad]],'' Digimon turn into eggs as well, but Kurata is revealed to have created a weapon capable of corrupting a Digimon's data, so that the Digimon dies permanently.
** Digimon killed in the physical world cannot be reborn as Digieggs as their data is locked out of the digiworld where they would need to go to do so. However if Wizardmon is any indication they aren't forever lost either, as he lingers around in the area he died as a kind of digital "Ghost"
* Any Asura or Deva in ''Manga/PopcornAvatar'' who goes against the rules of the avatar battles and decides to take matters into their own hands by manifesting in their true forms is forever barred from Samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth, and is literally erased from existence.
* In the second-to-last episode of ''Anime/IdolmasterXenoglossia'', Chihaya transforms herself into energy and merges with Imber, only for the [[HumongousMecha iDol]] to spit her essence back out, where she likely then dissipated.
* The 11 Planetary Masters of Sol from ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'' FINAL regenerate even after their bodies are completely destroyed. Once Pisa Sol is killed, this ends them permanently.
* ''Manga/FairyTail'': How does being broken up at the atomic level and shot into the sky sound? And yet, Jellal got better...
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Manga/PopTeamEpic'' in a gag about [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8EeGR0DrMI jagged speech bubbles in manga]].
* Appetite demons from ''Manga/{{Toriko}}'' can't be killed by normal means, because of their ability to reincarnate again and again after death. Only way to kill them is to [[SealedEvilInACan seal them in a special golden can.]]
** Pieces of Neo, due to their extreme survivability, had to be completely decimated - they were either annihilated or simply eaten. Death of one that got least punisment out of them, was described as [[TheresNoKillLikeOverkill "lost any semblance of shape, form or existence"]].
** Anyone eaten by Neo falls under this trope. Everything, that Neo eats completely disappears from this world, breaking the law of conservation of energy - in other words, he consumes things without leave behind any energy or matter. This includes soul energy, which means, that even abovementioned spirits, that can constantly reincarnate, permanently die, if Neo eats them. And on top of that, his bites also can't be regenerated, because ''individual cells admit their defeat and give up''.
* In the ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'' special episode "The Legends of X, Y, and Z", the Maiden of the titular legend was [[TakenForGranite turned to stone]] when Yveltal absorbed the life out of everything in the area. Many years later, Xerneas comes to the area and uses its power to revitalize the place, except for the Maiden, who could not be revived.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The backstory for the ''ComicBook/{{Marvel 1602}}'' continuity is that, in a {{dystopia}}n future where America is ruled by a despotic [[PresidentEvil President-For-Life]], Comicnbook/CaptainAmerica joins an underground resistance movement, fails, and is captured. The President knows that, this being the Franchise/MarvelUniverse, killing an A-list SuperHero has a spectacularly low probability of sticking. So he attempts to remove him from the timeline entirely. Cap winds up being sent over 400 years back in time, thus altering the timeline and ushering in the 'Age of Marvels' during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First.
* This happens in the short story "Singularity Ablyss" in the Transformers Legends comic, (which is set between-the-scenes of the Beast Machines episode "Spark of Darkness"). Megatron, after being defeated by Nightscream, has his spark approached by Rhinox's who attempts to act as a spirit guide and redeem the tyrant, this failed however and Megatron charged his particles with "purity of purpose" and used the knowledge of his physical state to erase Rhinox's spark from existence.
* ''ComicBook/ScudTheDisposableAssassin'' featured a werewolf villain that seemed to regenerate from any kind of death, including having the main protagonist punch his way through the back of its head. The werewolf is finally defeated when it is jettisoned into orbit around the moon, where it explodes, reforms, and explodes again in an endless loop.
* The casting of the ''Montesi Formula'' in the Franchise/MarvelUniverse not only destroys every vampire except Hannibal King in the dimension, it makes it impossible for vampires to even exist in the dimension--some brought in from another crumble to nothing as soon as they arrive. The ''Formula'' is dispelled a few years later, since there's always a comic book writer who wants to do a story about Dracula.
* In ''ComicBook/ThoseAnnoyingPostBros'' by Matt Howarth, anything that dies in Bugtown regenerates, though sanity may be slightly reduced. (The crazier Post Brother says "Naw, I've died lots of times." Tactful silence.) In one case, a character is killed in the street and spends several months regenerating and getting run over before an opportunity to get out of traffic. To kill someone for real, you have to get him out of Bugtown somehow.
* In ''Franchise/GreenLantern'' story ''ComicBook/BlackestNight'', Don Hall (the first Dove of the Hawk and Dove duo) is so dead that the zombie-creating Black Lantern rings cannot so much as disturb the dirt around his grave. This is apparently because pacifist Don was "at peace" when he died, compared to most dead heroes who most assuredly weren't.
* It's implied that this happens to the First of the Fallen from ''ComicBook/{{Hellblazer}}'' at the end of Garth Ennis' first run, after he's stabbed with a dagger composed of the energies of the now-killed Second of the Three and Third of the Three--he's the most ancient entity in the universe besides God himself, and predates any concept of mortality or an afterlife, so even ''he'' doesn't know what will happen to him when he's KilledOffForReal. This doesn't stop another writer from bringing him BackFromTheDead.
* Creator/ChrisClaremont has said this is the fate of anyone who gets killed in ''X-Men Forever''--when Wolverine was killed off in Issue 2, his picture in the recap page was overlaid with a big red "DEAD" for at least 10 issues just to drive the point home. He did reappear, but only in flashbacks from his UsefulNotes/WorldWarII service alongside Comicbook/NickFury. And, he finally got to retcon the original ending for ''X-Men (vol.2) #3'', in which instead of surviving, ComicBook/{{Magneto}} and any Acolyte who wasn't Fabian Cortez burn up and die in Earth's atmosphere as Asteroid M disintegrates.
* In ''[[ComicBook/TheGrievousJourneyOfIchabodAzrael The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael (and the Dead Left in His Wake)]]'', Ichabod is able to kill {{the grim reaper}}s in {{Hell}} or limbo or wherever he is using a massive effort of will; they then get sucked down into what is believed to be a place even worse than Hell. It's implied that he can kill the already dead in a similar manner.
* In the epilogue to ''ComicBook/{{Ultimatum}}'', the writers go out of their way to assure everyone that not only is Wolverine really dead, extensive tests have been done to prove that he cannot be cloned, regenerated, or resurrected in any way. This after a RasputinianDeath.
* The original Dr. Robotnik in ''ComicBook/ArchieComicsSonicTheHedgehog'' wasn't just killed, he was ''vaporized'' by a weapon designed to lock onto and disintegrate ''the DNA of individual people''. The only way he could return? ''Reality warping via nuclear echidna''. No joke. The revival is only temporary, lasting a month before he dissipates again. Then came the CosmicRetcon, in which Dr. Eggman altered Mobius' reality so much that Dr. Robotnik and Robo-Robotnik, Dr. Eggman's original form were disassembled through time/space and realtered so that Dr. Eggman always existed on Mobius.
* In the finale of Marvel Comics' ''[[ComicBook/EarthX Universe X]]'', the embodiment of Death itself was annihilated. While this, at first, seemed a victory, it quickly turned sour when many people who had suffered irreparable injuries or incurable diseases found themselves trapped in endless suffering. This was especially to the chagrin of the already-impossible to kill Daredevil, who had made a living out of never dying, no matter what was done to him. Finally, a team of heroes and scientists manage to find Jude, the Entropic Man--and his touch, it is revealed, can end even Daredevil's life, turning him to inert atomic dust.
* Happens to Phobos in ''ComicBook/{{WITCH}}'': after he broke out of the inescapable prison he had been thrown into, did what he did in the Trials of the Oracle arc and subverted a DisneyVillainDeath in a way that nearly allowed him to steal their powers, the Guardians disintegrated his soul to make sure he didn't return.
* ''Comicbook/ThePunisher2099'' had a villain who claimed that upon his death he would absorb psychic energy he had accumulated in the population of the surrounding city and [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence become a godlike entity]]. Punisher called up his tech guy, and after some research he came upon a hypothesis that a particle accelerator might actually be capable of destroying souls. So the Punisher threw the guy inside one and switched it on. Seems to have worked.
* In ''ComicBook/CreatureTech'', Dr. Jameson cheats death via a DealWithTheDevil--he won't enter Hell as long as he has the claw of the demon Hellcat. He dies at the beginning of the comic but persists as a ghost, then finds a way to return as a revenant. At the end, the protagonists kill him off for good by cutting the claw off his dead body, at which point several demons arrive and drag Jameson down to Hell.
* ''ComicBook/DarkEmpire'': [[spoiler: Palpatine's spirit is dragged into the Force and trapped there by ''every single Jedi spirit'', making sure that he can ''never'' return, clones or not.]]

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* In ''Literature/FrauTrude'', the little girl goes to a witch's house, where the witch turns her into a block of wood and burns her.
* In ''[[Literature/TheLoveOfThreeOranges The Three Citrons]]'', a slave murders the heroine with a hairpin. When she returns as a dove, she has her killed and cooked. When she returns a third time, the king asks what sentence would be suitable for someone who harmed her, and the slave prescribes burning, and the ashes being thrown from the palace roof; so she is.
* In ''Literature/TheDeathOfKoshcheiTheDeathless'', the prince's horse cracks Koshchei's skull, and the prince finishes him off with a club; then he burns the body and scatters the ashes.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In "[[http://www.mediaminer.org/fanfic/view_st.php/19769 The Legend of Link: Lucky Number 13]]", gods are commonplace (including Link himself) and therefore so is resurrection. However, toward the [[DeadFic end]] of the story, Ganondorf's soul is scattered across countless dimensions due to a HeroicSacrifice. It would take ''a god'' millions of years to track down every last piece, and the one person who might want to try has already decided not to.
* In ''FanFic/MegaManDefenderOfTheHumanRace'', in a world where robots can usually be repaired even if severely damaged, Metal Man is vaporized by Galaxy Man's Black Hole Bomb.
* In ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', this happens to those deleted from existence. They become Shadows of Existence populating [[EldritchAbomination Entropy's realm,]] simply just shadows of themselves. Entropy herself is capable of doing this at will. Her most notable victim was her own son D__t [[spoiler:though it turns out her reasons were justified: he was attempting to destroy all the Gods in a misguided attempt to 'free' mortals, which would've condemned all creation to a FateWorseThanDeath. His Shadow is eventually destroyed by Bright Eyes while trying to consume her to reconstitute himself.]]
** [[ClockRoaches The Blank Wolf]] can do this to its victims, but its primary role is to do this to things that are threatening existence, such as {{Mary Sue}}s. [[spoiler:It does this to [[BigBad General Admiral Makarov]], saving the time stream from him.]]
** According to WordOfGod, [[spoiler:Queen Chrysalis is this after being 'rebooted' into an innocent child. The Queen Chrysalis persona was completely destroyed, no Shadow of Existence, no afterlife, no memories. Gone. Though [[{{Reincarnation}} her actual soul gets a second chance]], Chrysalis herself simply no longer exists.]]
** According to WordOfGod, not even the Elder Gods can bring [[spoiler:Destruction back to life after Discord killed and ate him. Ultimately subverted, however, as part of the reason they helped Razzaroo ascend was because as Concept of Wishes and Miracles, she CAN bring them back.]]
* In ''FanFic/Zero2ARevision'', there are currently 2 possible ways to truly kill a Digimon, either destroy their soul [[spoiler: like Belialmyotismon did with Piedmon, and (Wargreymon)]] or for those that have a human partner, kill them which will result in the Digimon losing their spirit and committing suicide. Either way, while their bodies will always be reborn at the Primary Village, they won't be the same Digimon as before in their life.
* In general, resurrection on C'hou in ''Fanfic/TheKeysStandAlone'' is [[DeathIsCheap cheap'n'easy]], or at least doable if not. However, there are a few forms of death that are permanent—you can't be resurrected from them no matter what. The one we hear about is being thrown off the Flying Island of Tipaan (aka the Big Drop)—which is why Paul objects strenuously when the Tipaanese plan to send the murderous Animals over the side. All of the people the Animals killed have been or will be resurrected, so ActualPacifist Paul sees no reason why they should be permakilled. The Tipaanese are cowed by him and agree to transfer the Animals to the Circle jail.
* In ''[[http://archiveofourown.org/works/8793565/chapters/20159878 How the Light Gets In]]'', Dean tortured and killed Damien Darhk to avenge Laurel. Aware that people can come BackFromTheDead, Dean then had the body salted and burned (preventing him from coming back as a ghost) ''and'' spread the ashes across the US, ensuring no one will ever be able to resurrect him.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''Disney/WreckItRalph'', video game characters who die in their own games simply regenerate later. If they die outside their games, however, it's GameOver. For good.
* What apparently happens to those who fail the Candle-Maker's trial in ''WesternAnimation/TheBookOfLife''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/ShrekFourD'', Lord Farquaad's ghost is destroyed (either that or forcibly returned to the afterlife) when Dragon hits him with a fireball, presumably ending him for good.
* ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda3'': [[spoiler:Kai is already a spirit, a fact that makes him immune to being directly affected by the Wuxi Finger Hold. However, after Po gets supercharged by his friends and family giving him their chi, he destroys Kai completely.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Coco}}'': Skeletons in the Land of the Dead who are being forgotten by people in the land of the living start to weaken and have spasms while glowing orange. If they are completely forgotten they disappear, something referred to as "the Final Death." Nobody knows what happens to them after that.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/{{Beetlejuice}}'', ghosts who are exorcised go to the "[[{{Room101}} Lost Souls Room]]", where they endure a disembodied existence described as "death for the dead".
* The ghostly killer from ''Film/TheFrighteners'' not only kills humans, ''he can also kill other ghosts.'' As it turns out, they just go to whatever afterlife they had been avoiding by being ghosts in the first place.
* ''Franchise/{{Highlander}}'':
** In the original ''Film/{{Highlander}}'' movie (1986) and the series, the immortals can regenerate from any mortal wound, and do not age. They can only be killed permanently by cutting off their heads (or presumably if their bodies are burned to ash too quickly for them to regenerate, although this is never explicitly stated in the movie). In fact, they have to die at least once to become aware of and "activate" their immortality, otherwise they'd spend their days as a mortal until they died from old age.
** Presumably, being burned to ash would count as "removing the head". In the {{OVA}} ''Anime/HighlanderTheSearchForVengeance'', one Immortal is dispatched by jamming a live grenade in her mouth.
* ''Film/TheMummyTrilogy.'' In the [[Film/TheMummy1999 first movie]], the heroes spend a lot of time trying to find a way to kill off the undead High Priest Imhotep for good. Not an easy task, since the mummy's body is virtually indestructible (when O'Connell cuts off Imhotep's arm, he merely puts it back on and it fuses instantly) and he can become invulnerable by transforming into a whirlwind of sand. In the end, the heroes perform an old Egyptian spell to split off the immortal part of the mummy's soul from the rest (in Egyptian belief, everyone had three souls) which is dragged into the Underworld. Afterwards, Imhotep, while still being undead, is now mortal and can be killed. Although Imhotep is resurrected and comes back from the dead ''again'' for ''Film/TheMummyReturns'' and only finds permanent rest at the end of the second movie. (The [[Film/TheMummyTombOfTheDragonEmperor third movie]] involves a different mummy.)
* The GenreSavvy heroes of the ''Franchise/{{Scream}}'' films always shoot the killer in the head, because in the movies, they always come back for one last scare.
* Though he's come back from gunshots and knifings, the eponymous SerialKiller from ''Film/TheStepfather'' trilogy of films is [[BloodierandGorier messily chewed up by a woodchipper]] in the third installment.
* ''Film/DriveAngry'' has the God-Killer. Obliterates the soul, causing TheNothingAfterDeath.
* In ''Film/TheNeverendingStory'', the residents of Fantasia are worried about The Nothing. It's an absence... not just a hole. A Nothing. Those pulled into it aren't just dead, they are gone from existence. This made for a Ticking Clock and also Nightmare Fuel for a small child.
* The Witch Queen Bavmorda's ultimate plan in ''{{Film/Willow}}'' is to do this to the baby Elora Danan by means of the Ritual of Obliteration, a vile rite meant to not only kill her, but send her soul into the Netherworld so she cannot be reborn to threaten her again. It ultimately happens to her instead when she makes the mistake of stepping into her own ritual circle during her confrontation with Willow.
* In ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit'', Smartass is the one weasel who dies and doesn't become a ghost, because Eddie kicked him into the Dip.

* ''Literature/TheWardstoneChronicles'' has the creatures of the Dark be soulless and once destroyed, they can never return. One such creature is The Bane who was worshiped as a God, then trapped behind an iron gate, released from the iron gate, brought back to the iron gate (if he returns to the gate, he can never escape again, so already a FateWorseThanDeath) and to top it all off, the main character impales the poor demon three times with his iron rod before causing the demon to explode and disappear from existence.
* The ''Taltos'' novels of ''Literature/{{Dragaera}}'' see people die and come back all the time; "revivification" is a tricky spell but most nobles will be willing to have an emergency fund for just such an occasion. If you want someone to ''stay'' dead, cutting off their head or damaging their brain will make reviving them impossible, or you can always stab them with a Morganti weapon, which will eat their soul, not only preventing resurrection but also cutting the victim out of the cycle of afterlife and reincarnation that is the natural order of things in Dragaera. One of the few times where Deader Than Dead ''really means'' deader than dead.
* In ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'', the only way to be sure that the Dark One doesn't reincarnate the Forsaken, his lieutenants, is to kill them with Balefire, which retroactively erases them from the timeline a few minutes backwards. This causes the Dark One to miss the window of opportunity to pull them back into the Pattern (time). In addition, killing a spirit residing in ''tel'aran'rhiod'', the World of Dreams, causes that spirit to be removed from the Pattern altogether.
* Deliberately subverted (somewhat) in the ''Literature/YoungWizards'' book series by Diane Duane, where the BigBad is almost always just a particular avatar of the Lone Power, who is so ubiquitous as to be represented in practically every culture (including alien ones)'s mythology or folklore, usually as a TricksterGod as its "gift" of death/entropy has to be accepted by each species as it gains sentience... though it is also rather blatantly a Lucifer figure too (Wizards greet him as "Fairest and Fallen", and his invention of entropy got him kicked out of the Powers That Be's godly clique). Then again, the same holds true of fellow Power "[[ChosenOne The One's Champion]]", who is intended to beat the ever-living crap out of it in its own avatar in a number of key battles... over and over and over again.
* Played straight in a slightly weird way in the third ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' book, in which an evil (and apparently quite dead) sorcerer's nasty leftover rage manifests as a ghost that wreaks havoc on the folks he blames for his defeat, and anyone close to them.
** This is further explored in ''Ghost Story''. Ghosts are spiritual copies of the deceased, formed and powered by their memories. A sufficiently powerful ghost can use memories to augment their abilities or manifest into a physical form. This is essentially CastFromHitPoints, however, and a ghost who uses up too much of their memories can become a [[FateWorseThanDeath Wraith]]--a mindless being that feeds on other ghosts' memories- or cease to exist entirely.
** Also, Kemmler. To elaborate, Heinrich Kemmler was a necromancer of near-divine power and possibly more evil than Satan (UsefulNotes/WorldWarI is was only one of the atrocities he instigated, and implied not to be one of the worst ones). The White Council killed him six times, and confirmed it, boot on body, every time. None of this was more than a minor inconvenience. However, the seventh time stuck, and Heinrich Kemmler is, per WordOfGod, finally and irrevocably dead.
-->''They killed him good. A couple of times. He'd come back after they'd killed him early in the nineteenth century, so they were real careful this time.''
* Creator/RogerZelazny's novel ''Literature/LordOfLight'' is set in a world where everyone, from [[AGodAmI self-styled gods]] to lowly peasants, can have their consciousness transferred into a new body for a price, in a technologically-assisted version of Hindu reincarnation; the now empty old body is cremated. To forgo reincarnation, or be denied it, is to "die the real death".
* In Creator/GarthNix's ''Literature/OldKingdom'' trilogy, necromancers regularly bring back the dead, but dead generally lose all personality and sometimes their human appearance in the process. There ''are'' varying degrees of deadness, and once a person gets beyond a certain point, any resurrection of them will be a horrible monstrosity. The Abhorsen's job is to lay the walking dead to rest permanently by sending them beyond the Ninth Gate of Death, from which no one ever returns -- even escorting them there personally, if necessary.
* '''{{Dracula}}'''. Every modern appearance of the legendary bloodsucker feels obligated to invent a new way for him to be Deader than Dead by the end of the story, because staking him through the heart, cutting his head off and / or burning his remains ''just won't cut it'' to keep the old bastard down. Solutions include a vampire-annihilating megaplague (''Film/BladeTrinity''), using a stake made from the True Cross (webcomic ''Webcomic/ClanOfTheCats''), being killed by a werewolf (''Film/VanHelsing''), hanging him from a cross at dawn (''Film/{{Dracula 2000}}''), being absolved by a priest before being killed (''Film/DraculaIIILegacy'') ...and having his castle sealed inside an eclipse and his soul reincarnated into a {{Bishonen}} [[OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent Japanese schoolboy]] (''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' from ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaAriaOfSorrow'' onward...), or [[Manga/{{Hellsing}} being turned into imaginary numbers]]. Needless to say, none of it is particularly convincing, because someone, ''somewhere'', will [[PublicDomainCharacter always want to write a story about Dracula]].
** This was already a trope in the 1970s, when Film/HammerHorror films had to resort to increasingly drastic measures to try to keep Dracula dead ([[Film/ScarsOfDracula struck by lightning]], [[Film/DraculaPrinceOfDarkness sealed in ice]], tangled in ''a briar patch'' in [[Film/TheSatanicRitesOfDracula the last]] of his films).
** ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', wisely, didn't even bother to insinuate that Buffy had killed him for good.
*** He was defeated in a way that's normally ignored: despite being the only vampire on-screen to survive being staked (twice), he was humiliated and left in disgrace.
* In Creator/TerryPratchett's ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' book ''Witches Abroad'', a village-raiding vampire is hit by a thrown garlic sausage while in bat form and, while stunned, eaten by Nanny Ogg's cat Greebo. The narration later mentions that while vampires have risen from the grave before, none have ever risen from the cat.
** In ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'', some other methods of ''irreversible'' vampire-disposal are mentioned: scattering their ashes in a gale, dissolving them in the sea, or throwing them off the Disc's Edge to drift through space for millions of years.
** One of the mushrooms described in ''[[AllThereInTheManual The Discworld Almanac]]'' falls just short of this trope: it's said to be toxic enough that someone who dies eating it may still arise as a zombie, but a zombie that ''will still feel very sick''.
* The traditional method of execution for the Witted in the ''[[Literature/RealmOfTheElderlings Farseer]]'' trilogy consists of hanging the victim over running water, chopping them up, and burning the pieces to make sure they're dead. It's also not really needed, Fitz's return from the dead notwithstanding.
* Literature/MasksOfAygrima: [[spoiler: The Lady of Pain and Fire, who is [[BoomHeadshot shot in the head with a crossbow,]] falls dozens of feet into a mine, more than likely crushed by the large gear at the bottom, and has the mine collapsed on top of her corpse.]] Later[[spoiler: her consciousness is torn out of Mara and either crushed by The Autarch's consciousness, or is released and dissipated along with his magic when he dies.]]
* ''Literature/MostlyHarmless'' was written on the condition that Douglas Adams be allowed to destroy everything so utterly and completely that it would never ever ever come back and he would never ever ever have to write in that world again, making the entire earth Deader than Dead.
* Daemons and daemonhosts from the ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' universe are generally just banished back to [[HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace the Warp]] when their physical bodies are killed. So it's especially notable that {{Literature/Eisenhorn}} managed to kill one ([[PunnyName Prophaniti]]) so thoroughly that it was erased from existence, Warp presence and all, at the end of ''Malleus''.
** The Emperor killed Horus by obliterating his soul so he can't even reincarnate by the will of the Chaos Gods.
*** Abaddon managed to get a piece of the action too, by destroying the body of Horus and the cloning facility designed to revive him so thoroughly that no one dared to even ''mention'' Horus's name in his presence ever again.
* In the ''Literature/BlackJewels'' world, if one of the Blood is powerful enough, they can continue to inhabit their body after death, and are called demon-dead. This is why it's important to "finish the kill," or burn out the person's Jewels (source of power) and brain, so that someone you killed last Tuesday doesn't track you down later to return the favor.
* ''Literature/SeptimusHeap,'' nearly ''every'' dead person in the Septimus-verse comes back as a ghost; it's just how things work there. Exceptions include:
** Series BigBad [=DomDaniel=] has died and been brought back a couple times, including in a couple ways that are [[FamilyUnfriendlyViolence freakishly gruesome for a kid's series]]. However, in ''Queste,'' he is eaten by Spyt Fyre the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragon]] and obliterated so thoroughly he doesn't even leave a ''ghost''.
** In ''Physic'' the same thing happens to Etheldredda, who is killed with a dragon fire-based spell.
* In the ''Literature/DreamPark'' novels, participants in high-tech adventure [=LARPs=] who get "killed" are designated as slain by a black holographic aura. In ''Literature/TheCaliforniaVoodooGame'', a zombie struck down by the Gamers is immediately cloaked by ''two'' overlapping black auras, indicating it's this trope.
** Also from ''California Voodoo'': areas of [=MIMIC=] that are off-limits for players are marked out with "radiation" symbols. Any character who violates a "radiation area" is not only killed without a saving throw, but their character is ''permanently'' declared dead by the International Fantasy Gaming Society, never to be played again.
* In the ''Literature/TakeshiKovacs'' series people have cortical stack implants that act as hard drives for their brains so that when they die they can be [[BodyBackupDrive resleeved]]. Even then many characters are subjected to "true death" by having their stacks destroyed or wiped. The wealthy often have off-site backups, but even those can be taken out.
* ''Literature/TrappedOnDraconica'': Dronor can invoke this: his fire can erase someone from existence. It is the highest punishment he is capable of administering.
* The protagonist of the classic horror novel ''Literature/TheNightLand'' seems more concerned about being "destroyed" than killed. The implication is that being killed allows one to go on to the afterlife, while nothing follows being "destroyed".
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', resurrection is possible (though rare enough that most people assume it to be legend, and are astonished when it happens), but only if the body is in good enough condition. In particular, decapitations are mentioned to be permanent deaths.
* In the book, the Sword of ''Literature/{{Shannara}}'', the Warlock Lord died, and has been driven back multiple times. However, the Sword of Shannara, with the power of the Main/AwfulTruth finally forces him to acknowledge that he was dead, animated only by his own willpower.
* In the ''Literature/{{Doom}}'' novels, this is depicted as an ''advantage'' unique to humans. When a human dies, nothing can bring them back to life. Their souls are gone. [[AndIMustScream The souls of other sentient beings are trapped in their corpses with all of their senses intact.]]
* From ''Literature/WarriorCats'', once a [=StarClan=] cat or Dark Forest cat fades away over time or is killed again, they never come back. Examples include Spottedleaf, Antpelt, Brokenstar, Hawkfrost, and Tigerstar.
* ''Literature/VampireAcademy'':
** All Strigoi. They are effectively reanimated corpses, not living organisms. And the fact that even though they are dead, they can still be killed. Again. They have to be killed in a special way (putting a silver stake through their heart, set on fire, or decapitated). Unclear even if they have an afterlife, as they don't turn up as ghosts.
** Also, [[spoiler:Dimitri]], in ''Blood Promise''. He is already undead, gets staked, and is thrown into running water. [[spoiler:He still manages to return]].
* In the ''Literature/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'', Darth Sidious was able to come back from the dead twice through transferring his spirit to clone bodies of himself, but after the destruction of Byss, the force ghost of Jedi Knight Empatojayos Brand bound Sidious' soul to his own and dragged him into the Force, never to return.
** In general, every ghost of Force-sensitive, Jedi or Sith, shall return to the Force flows, either willingly or because of an exorcism, where they will remain definitely out of reach of living people.
* As it takes place for the most part in a world populated by ghosts, ''Literature/MayBird'' has other threats than just dying. Such as the threat of being sucked into nothingness or having your soul vaporized.
* The world of the ''Literature/VorkosiganSaga'' has [[HumanPopsicle cryopreservation]] and other medical technology good enough that if a field medic can get there in time then it's possible to survive almost anything except [[RemovingTheHeadOrDestroyingTheBrain catastrophic brain injuries]]. ''Possible'', not guaranteed, because there's several ways the process can go wrong if performed in haste.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', Voldemort dies before the story begins, but keeps popping up in some form or another before fully reincarnating at the end of the fourth book. Once his {{Soul Jar}}s are destroyed, his soul is in such a ruined state that he can neither pass on to the afterlife nor return as a ghost, trapped in a tormented state in {{Limbo}} for eternity.
* In the post-Melding Plague "Rust Belt" orbital settlement in Alastair Reynolds' ''Literature/RevelationSpace'' universe, comitting an atrocius crime - for example, seriously damaging a space habitat - can land one a penalty called "irreversable brain death". As described in ''Literature/RedemptionArk'', it is a form of death sentence where not only the physical body of the convict is destroyed, but so is every existing computer simulation of the person, so that they can't be brought back into any form of existence ever again. One of the secondary characters tries to avoid this fate by making Antoinette's Bax father hide his Alpha (capable of learning and mentally growing like a real person) simulation inside the family spaceship before his real body is killed, posing as the ship's onboard AI Beast. Antoinette is not amused when she finds out.
* ''Literature/VillainsByNecessity'': In order to ensure that someone ''stays'' dead (given that powerful healers are able to resurrect them), assassins will burn the body or cut out their heart. Sam's done about a dozen "permanent" assassinations.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'': Unlike most vampires, [[LooksLikeOrlok the Master]] actually left a skeleton behind when he died. In the next episode, his followers attempt to resurrect him, which leads to Buffy smashing it to dust with a sledgehammer. (He does appear in one later episode, but that's [[ForWantOfANail an alternate timeline]]).
-->'''Giles:''' You {{dream|ingOfThingsToCome}}t that the Master had risen, but you stopped it from happening.\\
'''Xander:''' You ground his bones to make your bread.\\
'''Buffy:''' That's true--except for the bread part.
** Also worth noting: while supernatural deaths can be fixed with powerful magic, normal deaths can't. ([[CameBackWrong Well, not well, anyway]].) So Buffy's HeroicSacrifice throwing herself into a whirlpool of cosmic power to save the multiverse? Fixable. [[spoiler:Tara]] getting shot by a nerd with delusions of grandeur? Sorry, [[Myth/EgyptianMythology Osiris]] would love to help but that's too much for him to handle, apparently.
* Claire Bennet of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' can regenerate even from apparent death, but she ''can'' be put into a state of death indefinitely by sticking a foreign object in the base of her brain and keeping it there. The [[ArcWords "save the cheerleader"]] subplot also implies she could be permanently killed by having her brain ''removed'', and Peter's encouraging her to shoot him if he goes nuclear (after he absorbs her healing power) suggests that either of them would also be killed by having a certain part of their brains obliterated. Fans have jokingly suggested that the base of the brain is where the "regeneration gland" is located.
** Later Sylar even moves his "regeneration point" using {{Shapeshifting}}, making him virtually immortal.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' employs this concept several times. First, with the villain Apophis, who continually escapes death, even going as far as being raised from the dead by a rival, assassinating said rival, and taking control of the dead rival's army. He is finally killed permanently when his spaceship crashes on a planet while he is trapped on board. The villain Anubis is immune to death because of his former status as an ascended energy being, effectively rendering him "TouchedByVorlons", before finally being taken out of the picture by his "Vorlon" [[SealedEvilInADuel sacrificing herself to restrain him]]). On the non-villainous side, Daniel Jackson dies repeatedly throughout the series. He is brought back several times via the Goa'uld "Sarcophagus" device and then later by ascending to a higher plane and then descending back to human form again. Several other major protagonists suffer non-permanent deaths as well, including one incident where O'Neil is tortured by Ba'al by being killed and resurrected over and over again.
** The fact that the Sarcophagus device can be used to bring people back from the dead can also necessitate this. The Tok'ra at one point mention they have a way to ensure they can't be revived with a Sarcophagus, which would lead to certain torture and eventually giving up vital information. Exactly ''what'' this method is is never explained, but probably involves RemovingTheHeadOrDestroyingTheBrain.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', the Master is killed deader than dead ''repeatedly'', and quickly gained JokerImmunity. After a while, they stopped even trying to make excuses. On one of his later reappearances in the original show, he has the immortal line "I'm indestructible, the whole universe knows that!" and that's all we get for an explanation.
** There is a Time Lord weapon, the De Mat Gun, which can accomplish this. It effectively erases the target from history, so that it never existed in the first the place.
** Subverted in ''Recap/DoctorWhoTheCurseOfFatalDeath'' (which was both a comedy and a tribute); both the Doctor and the Master clarify that no one can regenerate after being slain by "Zektronic Energy", but of course, the Doctor "gets better" anyway. (The Master is shocked: "It's against all the laws of the Universe!", to which the Doctor's companion replies, "Perhaps even the Universe can't stand to live without the Doctor".)
** Most enemies in Doctor Who are like this, but not on the individual level. The fan favorites always return. Try counting how many times the Doctor says "You're the last of your kind" to the Daleks in the new series. And then watch as 2 episodes later the last of the Daleks make a return... only to be killed and for another group to take their place. It's well into Series 3 before they establish a proper storyline that sets up the next Dalek plot.
** Series 5 has Rory, who dies and gets erased from existence. He still manages to come BackFromTheDead.
-->'''Amy:''' You think you'll just come back to life?\\
'''Rory:''' When don't I?
** Series 9 has Clara Oswald's lifeforce/soul ripped from her body at the end of "Face the Raven", making for the first companion death in the series since Adric 30+ years ago. (This was after she'd cheated death ''many'' times over two-and-a-half seasons, even surviving entering the Doctor's timestream, though her many "echoes" through time and space that came out of the process were not so lucky.) Clara '''cannot''' be brought back without creating a dangerous paradox -- but the Doctor is subsequently DrivenToMadness by grief, rage, and torture, and his resultant out-of-character behavior in the following, final two episodes of the season sees him try to do so anyway by pulling her from time at the moment she died (before her last heartbeat). In the end -- though he doesn't know it, having realized he must give her up for good ''and'' lost his key memories of her appearances, etc. -- Clara is now OnlyMostlyDead but the fact of her death has '''not''' actually changed. She must return to the fatal moment eventually lest time and space be undone, but so long as she does that, she has "wiggle room" to have further adventures on her own.
* In ''Series/TrueBlood'' the vampire leaders sometimes give other vampires what they call the True Death by beheading and staking the vampire to be executed. (Sunlight also works).
* The Cylons in the new ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' series download their consciousness into a new identical body when they die. How exactly this works is never fully explained. It is hinted at that ''all'' Cylons get resurrected, including the semi-biological self-piloting Raiders, not merely the twelve fully biological human models. (Although it is unclear if this is also the case for the completely robotic Centurions). For the process to work, a resurrection ship or resurrection facility has to be in range, so if a Cylon dies in space beyond range, he or she is permanently dead, their individual memories and consciousness lost to the collective. In addition, the Cylons deal with rebellious members by "boxing" them, where they download their consciousness into a small metal box and then put the box in storage. Also, season 4 sees the beginning of a Cylon civil war, one of the first acts of which is the luring of several ships into an ambush and destroying them while out of range of the Resurrection Ship. This is presented as a particularly heinous crime to the Cylons, who understandably have something of a blasé attitude toward death.
* In ''Series/BlakesSeven'', actor Gareth Thomas (Roj Blake) appeared in the final episode of season four, "Blake", on the condition that his death was sufficiently graphic to rule out a return BackFromTheDead. Ironically, this proved unnecessary as there was no season five.
** To make sure Gareth kept asking the pyrotechnic crew to add more bullet squibs to his chest plate, leading to a quite painful result when they went off.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'':
** There are a few ways to bring someone back from the dead (none of them much fun) but it looks like anything shot with the Colt is staying down. Except for Lucifer. And although the Colt isn't used on them, the Horsemen of the Apocalypse are apparently immortal--{{Death}} in particular is incapable of being killed or incapacitated by absolutely anything under the sun.
** Killing a ghost is basically killing an already-dead person. As is killing a monster in Purgatory, the monster afterlife realm. Castiel openly wonders what happens to them when you do that.
* In the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' TV series, Fred is infected by an elder demon and consumed from the inside out, everything aside from her skin and hair replaced with something else and changed in color. Oh, and her soul is destroyed in the process, though it seems as if some part of her has imprinted on the demon, giving it at least one of her personality quirks in that she is fond of Wesley.
** The demon had appropriated her body, and the subject of mind/body dualism is beyond the scope of this entry, but memories and emotions are all stored in the brain, which is part of the body. Sometimes Illyria deliberately accessed Fred's memories.
** The episode following Fred's death beats the viewer over the head repeatedly about exactly how dead Fred is. It seems every other minute, the viewer had to be reminded that Fred was very incredibly dead: Her organs were boiled and burned up inside her body to feed Illyria, making it inhospitable for a human soul to reside in, and Fred's soul itself was devoured by Illyria as well.
** The original {{plan}}, had the show gotten a new season, was to split up Fred and Illyria. In other words, it would turn out that Fred's soul was NOT destroyed after all.
** [[spoiler:That appears to be happening now in the comic Angel and Faith, Season 10. Fred is BackFromTheDead, and having to share her body with Illyria.]]
* ''Series/PushingDaisies'': Ned can bring the dead to life with a touch, but if he touches them again after that, they die again and nothing can revive them. Also, one episode implied that if a body is in a particularly severe state of dismemberment, his touch won't work. Or possibly he just didn't want to bring back someone in that many pieces.
* In ''Series/TheAdventuresOfBriscoCountyJr'' when Brisco stabs villainous time traveler John Bly in the gut with an Orb rod, causing him to melt into a pile of ash.
* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' in series 2 has just a bit too much fun with this one. First Owen is killed via gunshot wound then he's brought back to life. And if that's not bad enough he fights with Death itself, proving that he really is undead only to be vaporized in the season finale.
** Then there's [[WhoWantsToLiveForever Captain Jack]], who twice appears to have permanently killed before resurrecting: once at the end of the first series (he stays dead for a couple of days that time), and again in "Children of Earth", when he's ''blown to smithereens'' and his body still reforms in a truly gruesome fashion. It's eventually established that nothing will make Jack Deader Than Dead unless he is in fact the Face of Boe, in which case he'll finally die for good in a few billion years. Maybe.
* Only one character from ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' managed to have greater JokerImmunity than Barbas the Fear Demon, and that was Cole. Cole survived many apparent deaths that would have killed off any other demon for real, and this tendency to survive was {{lampshade|Hanging}}d on many occasions. He did finally die, however, from an incident in which he created an AlternateUniverse where he was not quite so indestructible as he is in the normal reality. History changed in such a way as to keep him from being indestructible, and only then was it possible to vanquish him for real. Cole's only subsequent appearance was when he took on the form of a spiritual ghost who was dead rather than BackFromTheDead as with his previous returns.
** He still managed to be quite solid near the end. ''Fixing'' history should make him indestructible ''again,'' but he's learned that chasing Phoebe will get him nowhere by now, and gets to walk away on a good note.
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'':
** ''Series/EngineSentaiGoOnger'': Hiramechimedes has his body destroyed, but returns in the next episode as a ghost. His ghost is then exorcised, which finally destroys him for good.
** ''Series/ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger'': Debo Monsters who die get sent to Deboss Hell, which lets them get resurrected a few times. Deboss' ultimate plan involves opening portals to Deboss Hell to revive every single one at once... except Torin (the Kyoryuger's mentor) arranged for himself to be killed with his righteous heart still intact, sending him to Deboss Hell with the intention of permanently destroying the spirits of all the dead monsters there. Joined by Ramirez, Tessai and a still-living Candelilla and Luckyuro, he ultimately destroys Deboss Hell itself to ensure that no more Debo Monsters (including Deboss himself) can ever be resurrected.
** ''Series/TokumeiSentaiGoBusters'': [[spoiler:Enter made Hiromu into a SoulJar in an earlier battle by implanting Messiah Card #13 into his body, causing him to serve as a source for Enter to restore himself from no matter how many times he might perish as long as Hiromu still lives. This also gives him complete knowledge of everything about Hiromu, including his weakpoint. It was finally destroyed thanks to Jin's HeroicSacrifice, allowing him to be destroyed.]]
* The Witches from ''Series/AmericanHorrorStoryCoven'' can bring people back to life, but there is a limit - there must be enough of the original body to resurrect the person brought back. If you are cremated [[spoiler: like Luke]], dissolved in acid [[spoiler: like the Witches Council]], become gator shit like the poachers who tried to kill Misty Day, have your soul sacrificed to a demon [[spoiler: like what Fiona did to Nan]] or [[spoiler: your soul gets trapped in Hell]] then you can never be brought back to life.
** [[spoiler: Misty Day and Myrtle Snow]] was murdered by being [[BurnTheWitch burned to death]] but still came back from the dead since there was enough of their body to be used in a ritual to bring them back. Notably because [[spoiler: Myrtle's]] murder didn't take she made sure it did when [[HoistByTheirOwnPetard she got revenge]].
* ''Series/MadanSenkiRyukendo'': [[spoiler: The three Ultimate Madan Keys]] give Lady Gold, Bloody and Rock Crimson the ability to revive every time. Until they're taken out by force.
** [=DaiMaOh=] himself near the finale. [[spoiler:When his larval form is killed, his soul survives and fuses with Dr. Worm. However, once [=DaiMaOh=] enters his final form, the [=MaDan=] Warriors destroy him completely]].

* In Myth/NorseMythology, slain warriors may go to Valhalla, there to enjoy themselves feasting and fighting, rising again even if slain. But all that is just while waiting for Ragnarok, the final battle in which they will fight beside the gods and die with them.

* In one part, TSSZ's ''Super RPG Adventure'' lampoons this being the result of GameplayAndStorySegregation:
-->"Hold on, I'll use my healing magic--"
-->"No! That won't work in a cutscene!"

* In the book of Revelation, in Literature/TheBible, everyone will be resurrected at the end of the Millennium, to stand judgment. The damned, though, will then be thrown into the Lake of Fire, of which an angel has already told the visionary, "This means destruction." No more resurrections.
** More specifically, it is called the "second death," a phrase that, by that time, had been used in Jewish culture to describe an utterly irrevocable death.
** A very common interpretation is that the damned will be restored to their bodies, but they will still be corpse-like, and it is only for them to now suffer physically and spiritually in hell.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* In the earlier days of TabletopGame/YuGiOh, removing monsters from play (called banishing now) had this effect. Nowadays, the game has some cards which can even return removed monsters, and there is even a deck theme (Different Dimension) that thrives on doing so. It still counts, though--it's generally more problematic to summon a banished monster than a monster in the Graveyard.
** A number of cards can be used to banish a card facedown, which is more or less this - it's been ruled that, since it's facedown, that means it can't be identified by other cards, so any attempt to bring back a specific card that's been banished facedown won't work. Only cards that return ''all'' banished cards, notably Necroface and Elemental HERO Electrum, can bring those back. This is tricky to use against the opponent, though, as most cards with this effect are based on banishing your own cards as a cost.
* Also common in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', where resurrection is pricey but doable. There are several ways to make it impossible, though.
** Spells which destroy the body completely, i.e. Disintegrate, remove the chance for a simple Resurrection spell.
** Liches should be mentioned specifically. Not destroying their [[SoulJar phylactery]] just causes their body to reform.
*** A lich can also become a demilich, which can rip out people's souls at will. And digest them. After 24 hours, they're gone for good.
*** At least in 2nd and 3rd edition, it was frequently mentioned that one of the components for the ritual of lichdom a wizard had to make was a potion of extreme deadliness. So deadly that, if the wizard fails in his bid for lichdom, he would die, and the gods would not be able to resurrect the fool if they wanted to.
** There is also a one-of-a-kind monster known as the Tarrasque. The writers probably put it in there to serve as walking Armageddon. It regenerates with lightning speed, most spells simply bounce off its hide, death effects won't work on it, and if you batter it to death, it'll come back in a few days unless you also used a ''wish/miracle'' (level 9, most powerful non-epic spells in the game) to make it stay dead. The books further note that even this doesn't finally kill the Tarrasque, but pushes the ResetButton on its cycle of sleep-wake-rampage-sleep. This being ''D&D'', however, enterprising players can turn it permanently into something small, then put it in a ''secret chest'' spell for long enough so that it is erased from existence, etc. etc.
*** ''Unname'', a spell which destroys the target's [[IKnowYourTrueName true name]], altering reality so that the creature ''cannot'' exist.
*** There is another version of that spell that requires you a feat to take "Mother cyst." It kills the person and then destroys their soul, removing them from existence forever. Although it may seem less useful since the target has to be first hit by a level 2 spell, it can be used in campaigns that are not using the "True Name" system. That means it's just as legit in ''TabletopGame/{{Eberron}}'' as it is in ''TabletopGame/ForgottenRealms''.
** 4th Edition's Tarrasque ''cannot'' be killed. It's so powerfully linked to the world that if you actually manage to bring him down to 0 HP, then he simply sinks back into the planet's core and sleeps again. The only way to really kill it is to somehow lure it into another plane or otherwise away from the world before killing it, and that's just a theory.
** In the ''TabletopGame/EpicLevelHandbook'', there is a special assassin guild called the [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Garrote]]. You contact assassins if you want a person to die, you hire the Garrote if you want a person to ''stay'' dead. (Specifically, they destroy their victims' bodies beyond resurrection, and in cases that require a 100% certainty, they bring the bodies to the head of the organization so that she can remove them from the multiverse altogether. Naturally, the amount they charge for this is astronomical.)
** Starting in First Edition AD&D, the ''Sphere of Annihilation'' will utterly destroy any being it comes in contact with, and presumably that being's ''soul.'' ("No spell can bring the dead character back to life, not even a ''wish''!")
** The chapters of the D&D rulebook ''Manual Of The Planes'' that are about the afterlife describe what immunities the souls of the dead have, implying that they can be slain in combat by those who visit the afterlife.
*** In the 2nd Ed. TabletopGame/{{Planescape}} (set partially in the afterlife after all) rules the souls of the dead could be encountered, and killed. In many cases these souls were permanently dead. Natives of the afterlife killed outside of their native plane would reform on their plane, but if killed on their native plane were permanently dead.
** The Leviathan, an EldritchAbomination mentioned in the ''Elder Evils'' supplement, has an ability called True Death which destroys the soul of anyone who dies within a hundred miles of one of its aspects. Fortunately, it only has this ability if its Sign is at Overwhelming intensity. (Which as far as Elder Evils go in a campaign using one, the FinalBattle against it is about to begin.) The True Death ability is available for [=DMs=] who want to create their own Elder Evils, but Leviathan is the only example presented in the book who has it.
** There's no shortage of monsters that eat souls (and monsters that [[TheCorruption corrupt their victims so thoroughly their original selves are essentially dead]], monsters that, while leaving souls intact, convert corpses to a difficult-to-resurrect form like ashes or goop, and at least one form of undead that uses captured souls to power its special abilities.)
** Promotional material for ''Expedition to Castle Ravenloft'', a 3E updating of D&D's most infamous and hard-to-eliminate vampire, urged players who dared to tackle Strahd von Zarovich: "This time, make sure he's ''dead'' dead!"
** When you are doing favors for gods, especially evil ones, often if a character dies, his or her soul will belong to said god. Resurrection would be impossible. Unless you killed the god.
*** Which requires you to go to their plane and kill them. Without critical hits. Or ongoing damage. Or instant death attacks. Must I go on?
** A natural death by old age cannot be undone by any means.
*** ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}'' gives one sole way back after a death from old age - Reincarnation. This allows a way back after being slain by such creatures as [[SemiDivine the kami]] or certain dragons, which have the ability to artificially age creatures. After the one week grace period passes, however, no mortal magic can bring a soul back.
** In the 4th ed. "Demonicon," it's said that, when a demon lord dies in the Abyss, and the Abyss is tired of playing with said ex-demon lord, a tomb materializes in the layer known as the "Blood Rift." The tomb is inevitably filled with the deceased's favorite possessions, both treasure and servants.
* The ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness'' game ''TabletopGame/MummyTheResurrection'' had the character playing (oddly enough) mummies, immortals who could die any number of times and come back to life, even if their bodies have been burnt to ash or pounded to dust (though it's really hard to do, then). Even their souls were similarly tough, being able to survive Oblivion. As such, the game lists (it's a short list) ways you can ''really'' get killed: suicide (not HeroicSacrifice, actual "I don't wanna live" suicide), losing all permanent Willpower (see suicide), or extremely powerful magic separating the body and soul (like being eaten by Ammit). The only non-magical means of killing a mummy permanently is a point-blank atomic explosion (mummies can come back from dust or ash, but not subatomic particles), and that just traps them in the underworld.
** In ''TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen'', killing a demon's body won't kill the demon itself. It ''will'' carve out a significant chunk of the demon's power and lash it with Torment, but the demon itself survives--though they go back to Hell if they can't find a new body or host quickly. However, if they die too often, they dissipate into nothingness... and while they're out of their host, any other demon can devour them, destroying them for good and taking a portion of the devoured demon's power.
** ''TabletopGame/WraithTheOblivion'' features another fun variant -- soulforging. When the rulers of a Necropolis need to get rid of a Spectre (or a political dissident... or just need some building materials), they'll take the guy and run their corpus under a spectral flame until it's melted, then forge the run-off into soulsteel. It's even implied [[AndIMustScream that something of the damned's consciousness survives, but not enough to fight back]]. The infamous [[GodModeSue Samuel Haight]] wound up as an ashtray when the fandom got sick of him.
** Two special cases in the TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness are [[TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem vampires]] and [[TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated Prometheans]]. Inflicting what would be mortal damage to a vampire merely sends it into a deathlike sleep called torpor, from which they eventually awaken... unless fire, sunlight, or extreme mutilation (think decapitation or woodchipper) is used to finish the job, in which case they're the {{Trope Namer|s}} for FinalDeath. Prometheans, meanwhile, all come with one built-in resurrection (which burns all but one dot of [[CharacterLevel Azoth]]), and can learn a power ''called'' Revivification (Osirans innately start with it) that sacrifices itself to bring them back; while they have it, they may give up dots of Azoth to pull slain Prometheans back as well. Even these aren't foolproof, though--fire does to them as it does to vampires (those powers need corpses to work on), they don't get the one-shot resurrection if they only have one dot of Azoth, and certain Pandoran abilities (including one that involves eating them alive) will do the trick permanently. Furthermore, Prometheans don't have souls (most of them spend their existences [[ToBecomeHuman trying to earn one]]), so if they die permanently, it's lights out.
*** Amongst [[TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening mages]], on the ''very'' rare occasions it's deemed necessary to render someone Deader than Dead, they do so by removing that person's soul, traveling to the end of the Dreamtime, and ''throwing it away in the primordial ocean at the end of reality.'' This is considered [[MoralEventHorizon the most abhorrent thing possible for a mage to do]] (for obvious reasons), and if it is ever invoked, the local ruling council will ''always'' voluntarily resign as an indication of their ultimate failure.
*** ''[[TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters Book of the Dead]]'', being the NWOD sourcebook for the Underworld, introduces two ways to render something Deader than Dead. On the one hand, there's the Crushers in [[DownInTheDumps The Junkyard,]] which are explicitly capable of killing anything. On the other hand, there's the Grave Dream, a repository of dead dreams which can be dreamed into in addition to the usual route of navigating the Underworld, where ''the very first Old Law listed'' is "[[YourMindMakesItReal Dead In, Dead Out.]]" That said, it also introduces a way to ''defy'' DeaderThanDead: Polygdemon aka Mictlantecuhtli, the Kerberos of Mictlan. It's not easy, but if you can entreat his favor, he can summon the soul of anyone who has ever died. True death by moving on, FinalDeath, DeaderThanDead, ''none'' of this matters to him. Combined with his [[GeniusLoci Geognosis]], relatively erratic behavior and that one of the Laws of his realm is [[ScrewTheRulesIMakeThem "The Words of Polygdemon is Law"]], he's very likely one of the mythical [[AGodAmI Deathlords.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', during the Horus Heresy, when the Emperor of Mankind confronted his traitor son Horus, he struck Horus with so much psychic power that Horus' own soul was annihilated. Normally, on death a human's soul is sent to the Warp (and thus powerful servants of Chaos are forever reborn, being bound to their particular Chaos God) but with the destruction of his soul, there was nothing of Horus left, making it impossible for the Chaos Gods to bring him back.
* ''Unhinged'', a very definitely not tournament-legal expansion of ''TAbletopgame/MagicTheGathering'', addressed the inflation of such things:
--->'''AWOL''': Remove target attacking creature from the game. Then remove it from the removed-from-game zone and put it into the absolutely-removed-from-the-freaking-game-forever zone.
** Which {{lampshade|Hanging}}s the fact that it's not at all hard to 'recycle' cards in the graveyard in this game and that even the generally accepted method of rendering something Deader than Dead by removing it from the game isn't 100% foolproof.
*** A rules change finally addressed this, and created the "Exile" zone to replace the "removed from the game" zone. Cards that allow the player to bring in a card from "outside the game" cannot affect the Exile zone, like they could with the "removed from the game" zone. This has had the effect of making the Exile zone ''more'' deader than dead than actually not being in the game at all. Some exiling cards, such as Necropotence, return the card to play later; Flicker does so immediately. (It's still useful; it stops stealing, gets rid of auras and counters, and all sorts of other fun.)
** It doesn't stop there: some spells can make something ''[[SerialEscalation deader than]] Deader Than Dead''. Those spells exile a card and all cards with the same name from all zones of the game, including library and graveyard. It's less about being dead and more about having its very concept deleted from existence.
** On a slightly less dead--but still deader than ''ordinary'' dead--level, it's possible to kill creatures that are otherwise immune to ordinary damage, or have an [[GoodThingYouCanHeal extraordinary regenerative factor]], by debuffing them until their toughness (i.e. maximum health) is zero. If you use a global effect (e.g. "all creatures get -2/-2") to do this, then it's played a bit straighter: reviving the dead creature will just cause it to [[CameBackWrong die again immediately]].
** Inconsistent plotting in the books made WordOfGod have to emphasize that Yawgmoth, the BigBad for most of the game's run, is indeed deader than dead. As he'd become a god and lived for thousands of years, only to be barely defeated during the Apocalypse storyline, and show up later to Karona ({{retcon}}ned so that it was AllJustADream), many players to this day assume Yawgmoth ''will'' come back.
* The Final Rest spell from ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Magic'' is a positive take on this. When cast on the deceased it prevents resurrection but more importantly stops necromancers from abusing it for their purposes. There is also a Perk, generally available only to ThePaladin and WarriorMonk types, that makes any foe slain by your hand qualify, and another that protects you from any UnwantedRevival.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}'', anyone/anything that dies moves to the Hunting Grounds--essentially a spirit counterpart of the material world. From there, it is possible to eventually reach Heaven or Hell, but even that does not have to be permanent. However, upon "killing" someone in the Hunting Grounds you have two options. They can serve you for seven years (absolute-obedience-no-questions-asked style), or you can devour them. At which point you absorb their essence and they utterly cease to exist.
* If Ming I, the Queen of the Darkness Pagoda from ''Tabletopgame/FengShui'', hits you with her dreaded Arm of Darkness and you fail the Death Check that getting hit forces you to make, you are instantly and permanently destroyed -- you don't come back as a ghost, no schtick can save you or bring you back, and your spirit can't be contacted from beyond the veil. You are, for all intents and purposes, ''gone''.
* In ''Lycee'' TCG, cards can be removed from game in the same manner as ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering''.
** Also, the Special Ability of [[http://lycee-wiki.wikidot.com/type-moon-v3-0 Shiki Tohno]] (yes, ''[[VisualNovel/{{Tsukihime}} that]]'' Shiki) kills something Deader Than Dead and makes it impossible for opponent to call the character he killed this way.
* ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase'' is a similar situation to Takeshi Kovacs (see literature), except that backups are more common making it even more difficult to kill someone permanently.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'': while death is permanent (you might be able to become a Deathlord, but you can never be truly ''alive'' ever again), virtually anything that goes down the mouth of Oblivion is not coming back out. Characters can survive with [[NoSell perfect defences]], but as soon as the motes run out, there's nothing left but memories.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'', each character has a genetic template. Every time someone dies, a new body is grown in a lab and implanted with the memories of all their predecessors. One becomes Deader Than Dead if one's genetic template is erased from the system, which may occur if one commits sufficiently egregious treason or by accident or sabotage. And if the Computer discovers you have MachineEmpathy, erasure of your genetic template is only the ''last'' thing it will do to you.
* More of a game mechanic, but still fits the bill. In the ''TabletopGame/PokemonTradingCardGame'', Pokémon are usually Knocked Out when their HP reaches zero and they and all cards attached to them are sent to the discard pile. Various attacks, Trainer cards, etc. can take them out of the discard pile. However, during the fourth generation, there was a mechanic called the Lost Zone, which if a card is put in there, then it can't be retrieved from the discard pile since it's not in there, and there are few effects (if any) that allow taking cards out of the Lost Zone.
* One of the sample game modules for the tabletop game version of ''Literature/FightingFantasy'' deconstructs this in their description of the final battle against the GenreSavvy BigBad. They state that the BigBad realised that when black magicians set things up so that they can only be killed in one very specific way, that specific way always seems to be [[WeaksauceWeakness really easy to do]] if you know the secret. As a result he simply augmented himself to have SuperToughness instead.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Friendly innkeeper Serenity comes down with a particularly severe case of this in ''VideoGame/DragonFable''. Baron Valtrith kidnaps her and uses an ArtifactOfDoom to destroy her soul, forcing a Doom Weapon into her body to posses her corpse. She isn't just killed, [[CessationOfExistence her soul has been destroyed]] (An important point to make, since DeathIsCheap and sometimes lets people come back to life in exchange for a favor). Valtrith makes a point of saying that she doesn't exist anymore and there's nothing left of her to save. According to WordOfGod, the destruction of Serenity's soul is so absolute that if an alternate universe version of Serenity visited the DragonFable world, she'd cease to exist too.
* In ''VideoGame/MightAndMagic'', your party members can die. But that's not enough for some enemies, which can leave your party members '''ERADICATED''', as in their bodies ''completely disintegrated''. Resurrecting party members in that state is much more difficult, requiring the highest level resurrection spells and/or the most expensive treatments. Either way, you'll learn to fear any enemy that has the ability to do it.
* Albert Wesker takes two RPG-7 rounds to the face while hip-deep in magma at the end of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5''. It took WordOfGod to convince fans that he was ''REALLY'' dead this time.
* The main character of ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'' regularly dies and revives just as easily. Much of the game is spent figuring out how this is possible... and under what circumstances the reviving might stop.
** In one of the endings, you do this by willing yourself out of existence. That's one of the ''good'' endings, even.
** If the Nameless One (which means you) tries to test the boundaries of his immortality on... let's say, Lothar or the Lady of Pain, s/he will promptly erase the Nameless One (I mean, you) from existence and you get a game over. The former is an immortal similar to the Nameless One but without any of the irritating side effects. The latter is the caretaker of Sigil who happens to be more powerful than almost any deity within the confines of the city, and will perceive the Nameless One a rash that has to be removed should the Nameless One overstep his place.
* Happens to several characters in ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** In ''Videogame/FinalFantasyV'', the heroes fight [[BigBad Exdeath]] midway through the game, and even though everyone else was defeated, [[{{Determinator}} Galuf keeps fighting at 0 HP while Exdeath blasts him with enough damage to kill him many times over]]. He manages to drive Exdeath away, but he's driven to a point where not even the party's Life spells and items can revive him (and yes, [[GameplayAndStoryIntegration they do try]]).
** In ''Videogame/FinalFantasyVII'', Sephiroth's human body died five years before the events of the game and his body was dissolved in the lifestream, but his soul fuses with Jenova and is reborn. You then end up killing his reborn body at the planet's core. Then you kill his soul in form of a [[OneWingedAngel grotesque mutated angel]]. THEN Cloud kills Sephiroth's astral form in a one-on-one duel in the Lifestream. No other villain in the series has the honor of being this dead, or at least until ''[[Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren Advent Children]]''.
** Several of the characters in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'', most notably [[spoiler: Seymour]] (after the party kills him) and [[spoiler: party member Auron (from the beginning)]], are actually "unsent" -- souls that have not passed to the local afterlife, the Farplane. As such, the only way to dispatch them permanently is to have Yuna "send" them; this isn't a harmful or painful process, but a soul ''[[VideoGame/FinalFantasyX2 generally]]'' can't come back from the Farplane afterward, and the targets in question are usually rather hostile about the prospect.
** In ''Videogame/LightningReturnsFinalFantasyXIII'', a major plot by a certain antagonist involves this. See, in the dying remnants of the world where people have stopped aging AND giving birth to new people, the souls of the dead still exist inside the Chaos currently swallowing up the world. Those souls are still intact because living folks remember them. The reverse is true as well; the living have memories of the dead because those deceased souls are still intact. Thanks to this, all these dead people could be carried into the new world and reborn just like everyone else. [[spoiler:On Bhunivelze's command, the Order of Salvation seeks to prevent this with the holy clavis, which can destroy each and every one of those dead souls AND people's memories of them, completely negating the cycle. This will prevent the "unclean" from entering the new world and erase the "inconvenient" past.]]
* In ''Videogame/{{Iji}}'', former Tasen leader [[ActionGirl Hel Sarie]] was ''completely disintegrated'', [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill along with her whole spaceship]], when the latter was hit by a [[spoiler: Komato]] [[WaveMotionGun Phantom Hammer]]. [[spoiler: If you let [[FinalBoss General Tor]] charge his weapons three times during the final fight against him and fail to dodge, it ''will'' happen to [[PlayerCharacter Iji]] as well.]]
* In Creator/{{Bungie}}'s ''VideoGame/{{Myth}}'' games, the villains often meet such an end. Balor, the first game's villain is beheaded, then the head is thrown to a magically created [[BottomlessPits bottomless pit]] called The Great Devoid. The fact this was necessary to kill him fully is evidenced by his severed head talking to you during the trip. In Myth II, the villain Soulblighter killed by being cast into lava.
* In ''VideoGame/SuikodenII'', a vampire called the Neclord comes BackFromTheDead. In response, about five different powerful beings map out every single contingency and possibility of escape so that this time, when they kill him, it doesn't happen again.
* In the {{Roguelike}} game ''[[VideoGame/TalesOfMajEyal TOME: Tales of Middle-Earth]]'', after you kill Tolkien's {{Satan}} Morgoth, you have the option of entering the Void and killing his soul to prevent a Ragnarok-style war in the future. While traversing the Void, you might have to randomly fight any boss character that you've killed before.
* In the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' series, after being killed and resurrected as many times as Zero, Sigma is considered gone for good in the final game ''X8''. Because his decimation took place on the Moon's surface, where the Maverick virus isn't as potent, Sigma is denied his ability to regenerate again.
* All the characters in ''VideoGame/GrimFandango'' are DeadToBeginWith, but there are apparently several ways to suffer "death within death", like being crushed, or shot with a sproutella gun (which causes the body to be replaced by a forest of quickly-growing flowers--marigolds, to be specific, as a reference to the Day of the Dead).
* ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' spoofs this kind of public domain death with the boss monster Ed the Undying. Killing him for the seventh and final time merely results in his crumpled form growling angrily at you while you nonchalantly sweep him up in a dust-pan and leave him leaning on the side of the tomb, too exhausted to try and figure out a way to permanently do away with him.
* ''VideoGame/NetHack'' has an amulet of life saving that allows the player to survive a deadly incident... as long as said incident doesn't involve being hit with a mind flayer's brain-sucking attack or genociding oneself.
* ''VideoGame/SlashEmExtended'', a ''[=NetHack=]'' fork, extends the self-genocide death to the added Ungenomold race. If an Ungenomold player ever runs out of hit points, they die without a chance to survive. On the other hand, being hit by a death ray can be survived with an amulet of life saving.
* In ''VideoGame/PhantomBrave'', Marona can kill the souls of her Phantoms if they "die" and she herself attacks their... um... phantom corpse. She can still put the pieces back together though, and transmigrate them into a stronger form. She can also do this after the Bonus Boss Baal, after he attempts to possess the Possessed One, and discovers that this just puts him completely under her power. If Marona Soul-Kills him and then examines his "remains" the game states that the area is finally peaceful and calm. Given that in other Creator/NipponIchi games, Baal is a PhysicalGod capable of coming BackFromTheDead instantly, Marona really accomplishes something by permanently destroying one part. Although Baal does have more than one body.
* In the computer RPG series ''VideoGame/{{Ultima}}'', the protagonist (and party members) can easily and frequently be resurrected as necessary. There are a few points in the plot where it is possible for a character to be permanently slain--if taken prisoner by Blackthorne in ''VideoGame/UltimaV'', and Dupre during the plot of ''VideoGame/UltimaVIIPartII''. The much maligned ''VideoGame/UltimaIX'' undoes the latter.
** Dupre's death in ''VideoGame/UltimaVIIPartII'' should be clarified, his death involved being turned to ash in a crematorium, and then his soul was used as a bonding agent to reform the chaos serpent in order to bring balance to the cosmos. Deader than dead because his soul was turned into cosmic superglue. (His subsequent existence as a ghost and resurrection in ''VideoGame/UltimaIX'' left planet-sized {{plot hole}}s, and many of them, which caused [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment some people]] to be... [[DespairEventHorizon a little upset]].)
** While resurrection is by no means impossible, it's not as easy as in certain other settings. It's either extremely expensive in a very stingy setting or very costly in terms of power and resources--and it always leaves the newly-raised character near death, at 0 or 1 hitpoints. In Ultima III, resurrection can fail and leave you with a pile of ashes, playing this trope straight; the ashes can be ''Recalled'', which is even costlier and permanently drops the caster's stats if you do it yourself. ''VideoGame/UltimaV'' and ''[[VideoGame/UltimaVI VI]]'' follow every death with a loss of experience.
* Classic text adventure game ''Adventure Land'' sends the protagonist to a place called "Limbo" when killed, from which egress is quite easy once you figure out how. There are only a handful methods of dying that really don't allow this.
** Likewise, the VideoGame/{{Enchanter}} Trilogy provides you with spells (or allies) that automatically resurrect you upon death, but there are a few ways around this if you really screw up. Examples include erasing yourself from existence with a TimeParadox, having your soul eaten by a demon, and getting stuck in a permanent nightmare so that you aren't technically dead, but you might as well be.
* ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''
** In ''[[Videogame/TheElderScrollsIVOblivion Oblivion]]'''s ''Knights of the Nine'' expansion, [[BigBad Umaril the Unfeathered]] is allied with the [[OurGodsAreDifferent Daedric Prince]] [[LightIsNotGood Meridia]]. This pact with Meridia allows him to return to the mortal world if slain. In order to finally defeat him, the [[PlayerCharacter Champion of Cyrodiil]] must collect eight holy relics forged by the original [[SaintlyChurch Eight Divines]] and the blessing of the Ninth, [[DeityOfHumanOrigin Talos]], then defeat him in both the physical and spiritual planes to kill Umaril for good.
** ''[[Videogame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'':
*** To fully kill a [[OurDragonsAreDifferent dragon]], you must first destroy its body and then [[YourSoulIsMine absorb its soul]]. While anyone of sufficient ability can do the former, only another dragon (or a [[TheChosenOne Dragonborn]]) is capable of the latter. Failure to absorb a dragon's soul leaves open the possibility of it being [[ResurrectiveImmortality resurrected]] in the future.
*** [[BigBad Alduin]], the "[[BeastOfTheApocalypse World Eater]]" and "first born" of the dragons, cannot die from merely being defeated in open battle. After doing this, the [[PlayerCharacter Dragonborn]] must follow him into [[WarriorHeaven Sovngarde]], where he has retreated to [[SoulEating consume the souls of the dead]], and slay him there. Even then, the Dragonborn does not absorb his soul, meaning that he will likely return one day to fulfill his duty as world eater.
*** Necromancy spells cause this as reanimated corpses turn to dust after a certain amount of time, preventing them from being raised repeatedly. Decapitation also prevents them from becoming undead in the first place.
* In the ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'' series, when a Nobody is killed, they utterly cease to exist, not even leaving a body behind, in a surprisingly gruesome disintegration, usually accompanied by an elemental explosion and screaming.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in a dramatic way when a very young (a few dozen days old) Roxas ask Xibar the classical infant-question, where the hearts belonging to the deceased of the slain Heartless go. [[TitleDrop Kingdom Hearts.]] He then proceeds to ask, where deceased Nobodies go... And is "shocked" (as far as this is possible) to hear that deceased Nobodies go nowhere, won't return, and can't be met again. This severely depresses Roxas, as he's thinking that one of his only two friends, Axel, was recently killed.
** According to WordOfGod, Nobodies that are killed ''after their Heartless'' will reunite with their heart and be reborn as a complete person; oblivion only comes to Nobodies who are killed with their Heartless still running around.
*** This actually happened in ''Videogame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance''. The first 8 members of the Organisation have all been reborn. Unfortunately, this includes [[BigBad Master Xehanort]].
** ''Kingdom Hearts 3D'' revealed that Nobodies will literally ''grow a new heart'' after a while. Xemnas was aware of this and lied to the rest of Organisation XIII in order to stop them doing exactly that.
** It's also what happened to Vanitas, sort of. He was actually the dark half of Ven personified by Master Xehanort. At the end, he attacks Ven to forge the X-Blade (you need two hearts of pure light and pure darkness, respectively, to do that). Ven defeats him in the preliminary battle, but Vanitas overpowers him with the [[{{Mooks}} Unversed]] and starts a conflict in the former's heart. Ven overpowers Vanitas and destroys him, [[PyrrhicVictory destroying his own heart in the process]].
* In the VideoGame/ChzoMythos, John Defoe's (a semi-CaptainErsatz of [[Franchise/FridayThe13th Jason]]) body, mind and soul all must be destroyed in order to kill him for good. He's technically dead by the start of the series but that doesn't stop him possessing, murdering and dimension-warping our heroes.
* ''Franchise/BaldursGate'':
** In ''VideoGame/BaldursGateII'' when confronting Irenicus in Hell, he claims that to die there is to cease to exist. As it turns out he's wrong, and he ends up in another Hellish dimension, where he is attacked and possibly killed by demons. Whether he's really gone ''then'' isn't clear, though he never appears again to you.
** The series generally inverts with the Bhaalspawn, who can be killed permanently in the normal fashion, whereas everyone else can be raised under the AD&D rules... except that Imoen ignores this rule and both Sarevok and the player character manage to claw their way back from Hell, although the latter wasn't properly dead.
* In the ''Franchise/DotHack'' game series, one recurring boss, Cubia, is fought and defeated a significantly annoying number of times, only to suddenly get up after being killed and escape.
** And then he comes back ''again'' (albeit in a different form) for the [[VideoGame/DotHackGU second game series]].
* Zouken Matou escaped death in ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' despite having his body destroyed over and over so many times that its doubtful anyone believed he was really dead when Sakura pulled him out of her heart and smashed him. Therefore, they had Ilya/Justizia show up and [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech tell him to hurry up and die already]]. Finally, he complied and just to make damn sure we know he's gone, they dropped a pile of rocks on him.
** Another example could possibly be Gilgamesh's [[WaveMotionSword Ea]]. Ea's description indicates that it works by [[EverythingsBetterWithSpinning spinning]] so fast that it draws in air and compressing air so hard that it creates a [[http://vignette4.wikia.nocookie.net/typemoon/images/8/8e/EA-HA.gif time and space rift.]]
--> ''"The rift created by Enuma Elish is said to be a look at the "truth" of what existed before the world. Referring to it as hell, the primordial form of the planet before heaven and earth were split, a land filled with lava, gas, scorching heat, and intense cold, Gligamesh states that it is beginning of all legends of lands of the dead. It is the origin of the memory of all organisms before the existence of the planet that is no longer found in the imaginations or spoken memories of people, but rather a genetically inherent and repressed knowledge of a place and time when organic existence had been impossible."''
** It is said to have split heaven from earth, and is the only weapon to be designated a anti-world weapon. One presumes that if Ea was ever used at full power then the [[KillEmAll whole world would be]] Deader than Dead.
* The Pile Driver in ''VideoGame/{{Boktai}}'' is an enormous WaveMotionGun that channels solar energy created to kill the [[MadeOfIron absurdly tough]] vampires that plague the world in a way that prevents them from reviving.
** Except, of course, for The Count. Django had to become a PhysicalGod to completely annihilate the guy, and even ''then'' he implies he'll be back before he dies.
* In ''VideoGame/DiabloII'', the player has to kill the Prime Evils, three demonic rulers of Hell, and destroy their [[SoulJar Soul Stones]] to keep them dead. However, with the third installment of the series forthcoming, it remains to be seen whether it worked.
** The soulstones were primarily prisons for the souls of the Prime Evils, because usually, all killing them does is send them back to the Burning Hells. They were corrupted, however, thanks to Izual the Betrayer, who filled them in on the soulstones and how to corrupt them, and helped the Prime Evils mastermind their own exile into Sanctuary.
*** And for the record, destroying the soulstones didn't take. You can thank Adria for that, marking each of the souls of each of the defeated so they would be drawn into the Black Soulstone of the third game.
* In ''VideoGame/DiabloIII'' Diablo himself, along with the other Prime Evils that were reincarnated into the reborn GodOfEvil Tathamet are slain for good by the heroes who wield power surpassing that of angels and demons. The ending depicts the monster ''disintegrating'' into nothingness as it falls.
** Even that didn't take. Tyrael says at the end of ''Reaper of Souls'', after the Black Soulstone is used up, that Diablo will reincarnate eventually.
* At the climax of ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', Shepard must defeat Saren either in combat or by convincing him that Sovereign has been using him. Either way ends with a bullet in Saren's head. Shepard then sends a party member to shoot him in the head again "to make sure." Sovereign then assumes direct control of Saren's bionics for the FinalBoss battle. Only after that is Saren well and truly dead.
** Also, in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' Shepard comes back from the dead, but s/he can die forever during the suicide mission. Or by [[DeathBySex having sex with Morinth]].
*** Regular deaths in gameplay are also implied to be permanent, and the revival took 2 years and a colossal amount of funding.
** A gameplay example is [[spoiler: Legion]] in the suicide mission. No remote backups when you're past the Omega-4 Relay.
* In ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVIHeirTodayGoneTomorrow'', if Alexander is touched by the Lord of the Dead, he is instantly turned into a skeleton, which then falls to pieces. The normal GameOver cutscene with Alexander entering the underworld does not happen.
* In ''VideoGame/TheDig'', a game whose premise involves an alien technology that will bring people back from the dead, it is stated that after several resurrections you aren't able to be brought back anymore, effectively making you deader than dead.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', this trope is the ''entire purpose'' of the Grey Warden order. Archdemons (corrupted gods who unite the [[AlwaysChaoticEvil darkspawn]] [[TheLegionsOfHell horde]]) body jack the nearest darkspawn upon death, reviving almost instantly. Grey Wardens intentionally introduce a modified version of the darkspawn taint into themselves so that when one of ''them'' takes the final blow, the Archdemon will attempt to possess its killer rather than a real darkspawn, [[HeroicSacrifice an act that annihilates both the dragon and the Warden's souls.]] Without this, the only way to end a Blight would be to kill every darkspawn in existence.
* The ancient magister-turned darkspawn Corypheus first appeared in the ''Legacy'' [[DownloadableContent DLC]] for ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', where he was released from his TailorMadePrison by Hawke and subsequently killed. However, thanks to his [[BodySurf body surfing]] ability, he was able to survive by taking over a nearby Grey Warden. He then returned as the main villain for ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition'', where he attempted to [[AGodAmI ascend to godhood]] and rule over Thedas. The Inquisitor destroyed his [[TheDragon false Archdemon]], which disrupted Corypheus' ability to take over a new body, and then opened a Fade Rift inside of the would-be god, which consumed him entirely. Just to clear up any confusion, the World of Thedas Volume II lorebook [[WordOfGod then stressed that Corypheus is permanently dead]].
* In the ''[[VideoGame/CastlevaniaChroniclesOfSorrow Sorrow]]'' duology of the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' franchise, [[BigBad Dracula]] was defeated for good after a coalition of soldiers, religious orders, and the last Belmont killed him and sealed away Castlevania, the power that enabled him to keep reviving. It's possible for his reincarnation to become the new Dark Lord given the right circumstances since the reincarnation retains the powers and connection to Castlevania that Dracula possessed.
* Done to excess in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss''. First, Luke's fonons are separating, meaning that he will die and no amount of life bottles or resurrection artes can bring him back, and then he stays behind after defeating a LoadBearingBoss to use the SwordOfPlotAdvancement and either gets crushed among the rubble or goes up to the fon belt with Lorelei--there are two lights. Yet he shows up alive three years later with no explanation in TheStinger: happy ending, right? Wrong. According to [[GuideDangIt Jade's character development sidequests]], something called the Big Bang Effect means that since Asch's fonons entered Luke's body when Asch died, there's no way for even Jade to prevent Asch's mind overwriting Luke's, erasing his personality and leaving Asch with Luke's body and Luke's memories. Even though the game's mythology states that the souls of dead seventh fonists go to the fon belt with their fonons Luke won't even be able to reunite with Tear there: Asch will essentially eat his soul. It's no wonder that many fans of the game ignore that sidequest and say it's Luke based on the body language of people with every reason to think it is Luke--they weren't there for the sidequest and it is Luke's body, after all.
* In ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', the protagonist and almost all of the characters are DeadToBeginWith; they're in a deadly game that they need to fight through to get a chance to be brought back to life. Failure means they get "Erased."
* In ''VideoGame/FallenLondon'' the dead can usually [[DeathIsCheap come back to life]]; this both applies to you and is referenced in-story. There are ways to bring permanent death, though: destroying (decapitating etc.) the victim's body (and even then [[spoiler:Feducci]] has been known to come back from being reduced to mincemeat), or the "Cantigaster venom." Death from disease or old age is also final.
** One exception: The dead can (apparently) never return to the surface again. The only opportunity you have to do this ''deletes your character entirely'' if taken, for a very meta example of this trope. After suffering extreme enough injuries the ex-dead often end up retiring to the Tomb Colonies to avoid the awkward stares.
* {{Finishing Move}}s in fighting games tend to lean towards this trope.
** In the ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' games, the "[[FinishHim Fatalities]]" each character can perform frequently conform to this trope. For example, one of Scorpion's fatalities in Mortal Kombat (also known as "MK 9") involves him slicing his enemy in half, then decapitating them, kicking the apparently lifeless corpse over... then slicing their severed head in half for good measure. However, such actions are also an example of DeathIsCheap, since they can be performed after every fight. Additionally, characters always seem to return in the sequels even if they've been [[UnexplainedRecovery disemboweled]] or [[NoOneCouldSurviveThat completely destroyed]] in the past.
** ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' has "[[AwesomeButImpractical Astral Heat]]" attacks, which are for the most part the very definitions of ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill. The most exemplifying Astral is however [[AntiHero Ragna]] [[OneManArmy the]] [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Bloodedge's]] Black Onslaught, which not only showers the opponent in slashes from a [[SinisterScythe Sinister Energy Scythe]], but the final blow, that Ragna transforms into... [[EldritchAbomination something]] before executing, annihilates the opponent's body ''and soul''. You don't get much deader than that.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonQuestV'', Pankraz the Hero/King is beaten to death on threat of child hostages, and then firebombed by the boss into a fine black powder. Comes off as FridgeBrilliance when you consider that resurrections in that game world are canon; When you get married the priest lampshades the fact that people can get resurrected most of the time, as to get around the "Until Death Does You Apart" clause.
* Raziel from ''VideoGame/LegacyOfKain'' was already Undead before Kain had him executed. Now he's... really, REALLY Undead.
** Raziel became a Wraith; essentially a parasite that feeds directly on souls. Amusingly enough this ''completely defies'' this trope. Even after having his body completely disintegrated he'll find a way to come back, and even when barred from the physical realm by a GOD he manages to possess corpses for a workaround. A major driving force of the KudzuPlot is everyone else trying to get the [[CompleteImmortality immortal]] warrior to do their dirty work.
* In ''VideoGame/StarCraft'', Dark Templar energies are needed to kill the Zerg Cerebrates for good, since the Overmind would resurrect them otherwise.
* ''VideoGame/{{Warcraft}}'': The rules of resurrection have been retconned repeatedly over the series' lifetime, but as of ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', the following basic rules apply: Mortals only permanently die if their souls are destroyed (one way to do this is to consume them with Fel energy) or if their bodies are completely annihilated, while elementals and demons can only be destroyed on their home planes; if killed in the mortal world, they simply respawn some time later. It is not clear how these rules apply to the Old Gods, at least one of which has been canonically resurrected. Of major characters:
** Ragnaros the Firelord, elemental lord of the Firelands, is defeated in the Molten Core raid of ''World of Warcraft'', but that doesn't kill him for good. In the ''Cataclysm'' expansion, the Cenarion Circle traps him in the Firelands so that he can be permanently slain.
** Archimonde, one of the two Eredar commanders of the Burning Legion, is destroyed in ''Warcraft III'' at the World Tree, Nordrassil, but later returns. He is killed permanently in ''Warlords of Draenor'', after pulling players into the Twisting Nether in desperation.
** Kil'jaeden, the other Eredar commander of the Legion, is defeated during ''Burning Crusade'' as he attempts to enter Azeroth through the Sunwell. He is not killed for good until ''Legion'', when he is confronted by Velen and Illidan on his Nether-traversing ship and brought down over the Legion's homeworld of Argus.
** In the prologue of ''Legion'', Gul'dan annihilates King Varian Wrynn by exploding him with Fel energy. In a bit of [[BookEnds karmic symmetry]], Illidan explodes Gul'dan in the same way at the end of the Nighthold raid.
* Invoked in ''VideoGame/XMenLegends II'' by [[PsychoForHire Deadpool]], who says he wants you "so dead you'd have to be reanimated as a corpse."
* The VideoGame/{{Wizardry}} series, particularly in its earlier and most brutal games, could do this to you twice over. Run out of hit points or get hit by death effect, and a character is dead. If an attempt to raise a dead character fails, or they're hit with a very powerful death effect, they're disintegrated to ash. If an attempt to raise a disintegrated character fails, or something truly extraordinary occurs (like teleporting into solid rock) they're "lost" and ''erased from your disk''. Later games were a ''little'' less brutal, introducing the "Extinct" status effect. It effectively meant "Deader Than Dead;" a character who was beyond resurrection. You could still look at the character sheet, though.
* The "best" ending of ''VideoGame/{{NieR}}'' has our title hero asked to sacrifice himself to save his daughter/sister (depending on your protagonist). But it's not a matter of sacrificing his life--he has to give away his whole existence, and will be forgotten by all. If you agree, the game [[PlayerPunch erases your save file and never again lets you use the name you gave to the protagonist]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Loom}}'', characters can die, but if their soul is still nearby, they can be restored to life by way of the Healing draft. There also exists the draft on Unmaking, which is this trope as it completely annihilates the target in a spray of blood and organs, leaving nothing behind to resurrect.
* In ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiSuperstarSaga'', you kill BigBad Cackletta only about halfway through the game, but her spirit goes on to possesses Bowser, becoming "Bowletta". It isn't until the end of the game that you vanquish her for good.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Melee'' and ''Brawl'', when characters are defeated, they simply revert back into their trophy forms and can be brought back to life with outside help. At the end of Melee's Adventure Mode, Bowser comes back as Giga Bowser this way, but defeating him a second time makes his trophy ''explode into dust''.
* A rather amusing example takes place in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime2Echoes''. Throughout the course of the [[MarathonBoss rather long]] battle against Chykka, the opponent is seemingly defeated in its larval form, but survives by rapidly aging itself into its adult form. ''Then'', when it's defeated in that form, it's revived via Ing possession. When that finally gets taken out, its corpse remains in the area, which is fairly unusual for the series. However, if you scan it, the info basically goes out of its way to assure the player that this trope is in effect;
-->"''Bioscan complete. Target Chykka has been terminated. Lifesigns are at flatline. No regenerative ability in effect. No evidence of symbiotic corpse possession. Resurrection does not appear likely.''"
* ''VideoGame/{{Darwinia}}'' features a cycle of reincarnation in its digital world, where Darwinians die, their soul ascends to the [[TheLifestream Central Repository]] to add their accumulated experiences to it, and then return to Darwinia again to be processed into a new Darwinian (or alternatively, their soul is just shoved into an incubator to spawn a new Darwinian on the spot.) Even viruses are a part of this, since they're just infected and mutated Darwinians anyway. The sole exception is if someone is killed by a [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Soul Destroyer]], a virus type that Dr. Sepulveda explains has introduced to the Darwinians the concept of true death for the first time.
* ''VideoGame/{{Destiny}}'' has the God-Knight of the [[OurZombiesAreDifferent Hive]], Crota. The Dark Below expansion's campaign culminated in the [[PlayerCharacter Guardian(s)]] destroying the giant crystal that housed Crota's soul, in the mission "The Awakening". As it turns out, that didn't actually kill him, it simply sent him back to his personal realm. To kill him for good, you must complete the "Crota's End" Raid, which involved storming his realm, breaking through his defenses and taking him down before he regains enough power to try to take over Earth again. Later, in the Taken King expansion, you had to do the same with Crota's father and the titular Taken King, Oryx, in the story mission "Regicide" and the "King's Fall" Raid.
* ''VideoGame/KirbyPlanetRobobot'' has this happen to BigBad President Haltmann. After attempting to defeat Kirby, he ends up assimilated by [[AIIsACrapshoot Star Dream]], which begins to overwrite his mind and soul. By the time you face Star Dream Soul OS's final phase, pausing reveals that they're now completely deleted, effectively erasing him ''from existence''. Once the OS is defeated, any slim hope for his salvation is quashed as the HeartDrive crumbles to bits.
* ''VideoGame/AsurasWrath'': Chakravartin is the only character who doesn't reincarnate.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bayonetta}}'' punches Jubileus' soul into the sun.
* ''NewDanganRonpaV3'': Korekiyo Shinguchi's execution in Chapter 3 involves him being cooked alive in a boiling pot, which would be enough for an execution, except then his soul rises into the sky to [[BrotherSisterIncest join that of his sister]], only for Monokuma to then appear and repeatedly throw purification salt on him (his sister does so, too), which ''causes his soul to melt into nothingness''.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Everybody who dies in ''Webcomic/OneOverZero'' gets resurrected as a ghost sooner or later, leading to lines such as "Oh, quit being melodramatic. He's just dead." Max, however, loses his personality and gets transformed into an ordinary molecule, meaning by the established physics, he can't return at all. At least until Tailsteak lets the physics model break down at the end.
* While characters never really come BackFromTheDead in ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan, Oracle For Hire'' (the key exception being Helixa and a handful of demons/ghosts), several have found themselves Deader than Dead in a fairly simple way--their souls were destroyed. This is not done lightly, however, as when a soul is destroyed it causes a massive explosion. The simultaneous destruction of ''thousands'' of souls at the end of the War in Hell rendered the landscape unrecognizable.
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' AppliedPhlebotinum exists that can resurrect the dead and rebuild bodies that were burnt to a crisp. However, there's no way to rebuild a completely destroyed brain, and with an intact brain, resurrection just doesn't work sometimes. For this reason, some characters stay dead, and some don't.
* In ''[[Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures DMFA]]'', after killing Dark Pegasus for the third time, Dan is seen enacting a sealing ritual: "No come back to life! No cookie!" (A much later comic cuts to his grave... and spends three motionless panels indicating that he's still dead.)
** He does eventually come back. The very person responsible for it points out the minor flaw in Dan's approach [[http://www.missmab.com/Comics/Vol_949.php here]].
** The undead race is made up of sentient zombies, brought back in order to have an unkillable horde, as they can lose limbs, organs, even be decapitated, and still put themselves back together. Unfortunately for their creator, they later ended up with free will and personalities of their own, so he devised a way of killing them off permanently that means magically frying them to ashes. As demonstrated on Hannah in Dan's flashback to his first adventure.
*** It is also revealed in the [[AllThereInTheManual Demonology 101 pages]] that the undead can be killed permanently by having their brains destroyed.
* In ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'', Sarda has killed the Light Warriors a dozen times, subsequently bringing them back so he'll be able to torture them some more.
** However, the trope is played very straight with Black Belt. The author had his head chopped off and spraying blood to get people to shut up about bringing him back. Also, [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial there never was a fifth Light Warrior.]]
** And then there was the villain whose bones were broken and his skull buried upside-down at a crossroads. "Ideally, this is how we would dispose of all our enemies."
* Deader than Dead is a harder state to attain in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' than in the [[TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons game it's based on]] ([[JokerImmunity to the frustration of the main characters when fighting certain villains]]), but it's been mentioned in two cases. First, as in the game, angels and such die permanently when killed on their home planes of existence. Second, anything eaten by [[EldritchAbomination the Snarl]], a living rift in the fabric of reality, is assuredly gone.
** A black dragon attempted to do this to Vaarsuvius' children in revenge, by using necromancy to bind their souls and then leaving the earthly plane of existence. Even this would not have permanently killed them, but it would have removed them from Vaarsuvius's reach for all practical purposes.
** When Kubota surrenders to Elan and explains that he'll just rig his trial and drag it out for as long as possible, Vaarsuvius deems this a waste of the heroes' time and casts a spell that turns him into a pile of ash. Followed by a wind spell that blows the ashes out to sea. While there are still spells in D&D that can resurrect him, it requires extremely powerful allies and costs a fortune to perform. [[WordOfGod Word of the Giant]] says that ''True Resurrection'' will not appear in the comic, so anyone who gets disintegrated is probably KilledOffForReal.
** Roy's father can't be brought back to life because he died of old age.
** Similar to Kubota, Malack and Nale are now Deader Than Dead due to their bodies being destroyed. Malack was a vampire, killed when Nale removed his sun protection spell, burning him to ash. In response, Tarquin killed Nale and Laurin disintegrated his body. She declared that if Malack can't be resurrected, nether can his killer.
* While every player in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'''s Sburb has an extra life, it's still possible to be killed permanently if that life is destroyed. Still, one of the people killed this way has come back, so who knows? And besides, they still exist in afterlife in some form, from which they can be summoned if their remains are used to prototype a sprite.
** Characters who die now get a special '''DEAD''' caption, just so that there's no confusion. And just to ram the point home, Hussie released [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=006189 this page]], which is a who's who of who's dead.
** In addition, Lord English has access to a powerful BreathWeapon that completely disintegrates anything it hits, up to the level of universes. His first on-screen use of it is on many afterlife characters (including the version of John from Davesprite's timeline, two doomed timeline versions of Dave, and numerous instances of the trolls), who are then... gone. Aranea implies that anyone hit by it is permanently obliterated. (With the possible exception of prototyping the remains of their physical/non-ghost bodies.)
* Since the world of Arkerra in ''Webcomic/GuildedAge'' is both a fully realized fantasy universe and a MMO game played by ordinary humans from Earth, player characters tend to respawn quickly after dying. However, certain threats from "outside" Arkerra are capable of permanently corrupting or outright deleting a character from the universe.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the ''Anime/CodeGeass'' Abridgement, WebVideo/CodeMent, Young Lelouch and King Charles discuss Marianna vi Brittania's fate.
--> '''Young Lelouch''': Dad! Dad! Mom is dead.
--> '''Emperor Charles''': How dead?
--> '''Young Lelouch''': Dead enough to cause Nunally to go blind.
--> ''' Emperor Charles''': That's ''pretty'' dead.
* Most of the Forbidden Magic spells from ''[[http://tal-vorn.com Tal'Vorn]]'' fit this trope nicely. Specifically though; Dysjunction flings them so far out of this dimension that they certainly will [[NoOneCouldSurviveThat not be coming back]]. They might not be dead, but they might as well be. The Snap spell breaks every bone in the victims body to splinters. Which probably hurts.
* [=CrimsonBranch=] had his face and most of his torso melted. Yet, he remains one of the most talked about characters in the ''ARG/DarkDreamChronicle'' fandom. [[AxCrazy Probably for a reason.]]
* The ''[[WebAnimation/MadnessCombat Madness]]'' series seems to do this quite often as well, with many of the characters coming back to life in improbable ways, with the exception of the Sheriff, who after his death in ''Avenger'', remains dead.
* ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'': Tennyo's 'death blow' is a OneHitKill that destroys both the body and soul of its target so thoroughly that even the sub-atomic particles that make up the victim's body slowly evaporate into nothingness. She has nightmares of the one time she was forced to use it.
* Red from ''Roleplay/RubyQuest'' made absolutely sure that he was KilledOffForReal by obliterating his body with a makeshift bomb.
* In Thrilling Intent, Marcus learns the spell Iconiclasm, which is able to remove spiritfolk from the cycle of reincarnation.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** [[ShooOutTheNewGuy Poochie the Dog,]] from ''WesternAnimation/TheItchyAndScratchyShow'', is forcefully removed from that series quickly after his first appearance, and a lawyer shows up with a legal document that prevents him from ever returning, thus making him truly extremely dead. This being ''The Simpsons'', he returns in a bunch of cameos anyway.
** PlayedForLaughs in the ''[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS12E1TreehouseOfHorrorXI Treehouse of Horror]]'' segment "G-G-Ghost D-D-Dad": Ghost!Homer somehow chokes to death once again, and then another Ghost!Homer simply emerges from that one.
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'':
** A Transformer can survive an insane amount of punishment, and many characters come back after being declared dead, or taking an amount of damage that really, ''really'' oughta do the job. The ChunkySalsaRule is but a suggestion. This isn't to say that Transformers ''never'' stay dead... but nobody ever knows what to make of a character's death. There's always someone else who went through worse and was just fine, or fixable, or [[WeCanRebuildHim rebuildable]] into a new [[MerchandiseDriven toy, er, body]].) However, there's one way to know one is truly done for, in-story: make sure that his [[OurSoulsAreDifferent spark]], quite visible in a compartment in any Transformer's chest, is extinguished. (However, even ''then,'' there's Allspark energy...
** Compared to that, Ravage's feats of Deader than Dead survival seem unimpressive. However, Ravage is in an exploding ship in ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars,'' and we see his head kicked knocked off a cliff later--the writers assuring us that he's not "five minutes in a CR Chamber" dead, but really, seriously KilledOffForReal dead. ''Three'' different comic series have found ''different'' ways of bring him back.
** Another way to terminate a Transformer with extreme prejudice? ''Rip out its spine'' and use the barely-recognizable carcass to whack another enemy over the head. That's the aforementioned kitty's fate in the [[Film/{{Transformers}} live-action film series]]. And in the movieverse, DeathIsCheap is averted; so far, everyone who looked dead ''was'' dead if you didn't apply Allspark energy. But no, Ravage lives on in the comics (though his death and mysterious return were acknowledged, and Soundwave can't sense him anymore, meaning it's less UnexplainedRecovery and more "[=someone/something=] brought him back but ''not'' as he was before.") But in all these cases, the original writer wanted the characters capital-D Dead, took steps to show us that yes, this is death-death and not "Waspinator kablooification of the week..." and underestimated the ability of writers to follow to ''easily'' think of a way around it. The FirstLawOfResurrection will not be denied.
* In ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuestTheRealAdventures'', the season 2 writing staff wanted to bring back themes and villains from the original show, and thus decided to kill off all recurring villains from the previous series. One of said villains was Ezekiel Rage, who repeatedly came back from NoOneCouldSurviveThat situations. So what did said writing staff do? Send him back to the prehistoric era with a ''nuke'' that explodes and show his skull mask being found in the present day just to drive it in.
* The Nibiru Entity from ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' was destroyed so utterly that it was completely erased from existence, present, future ''and'' past. This led to history being changed so that all the atrocities the creature had orchestrated over the centuries never happened, leaving the gang (and Creator/HarlanEllison) as the only ones who still remember the original timeline.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', if the Avatar dies while in the [[SuperMode Avatar State]], they will no longer {{reincarnat|ion}}e. And even then, the Avatar Spirit (Raava) dying seems unlikely.
* Magic Man's wife Margles in ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' was "taken away" by an EldritchAbomination, and even a wish from RealityWarper Prismo can't bring her back (it just summons a wastebasket), which shocks even him.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse,'' [[WizardsFromOuterSpace Gems]] have HardLight bodies with gemstones serving as a HeartDrive; if the body is destroyed ("poofed"), they can generate a new one fairly quickly. However, if their gem is shattered, the Gem as a person is effectively dead; the shards can generate [[OrganAutonomy random moving body parts]], but they have no real thoughts of personality, just a desperate but futile desire to be whole again. While simple cracks in the gems can be healed (although only two people are known to have that ability- Rose Quartz and Steven, who inherited her powers), a gem that is completely shattered is toast forever.
* In ''WesternAnimation/LegendQuest'', the gang encounter the ghost of Medusa, who can no longer turns mortals to stone but can now do so to ghosts, and when the victims are exposed to sunlight they're disintegrated. When Teodora turns her to stone by showing her a selfie she took with her, she then destroys Medusa by pushing her into a lava pit.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Pseudo-Demetrius I, a Russian adventurer who claimed to be the last heir of the Rurikid dynasty who came BackFromTheDead and (for a while) was accepted as such. When they exposed him as a fraud, they executed him, burned the remains, put the ashes in a cannon and shot them away. Didn't help, another Pseudo-Demetrius appeared after a while, claiming to be BackFromTheDead again. This time, the Russian Orthodox Church found a more permanent solution: canonizing the real Demetrius as a saint and threatening to burn anyone pretending to be him as a heretic. This time it worked.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Information-theoretic_death Information-theoretic death]], defined loosely as "so dead that not even hypothetical future technology can bring you back". This is as opposed to clinical death, which is defined as a lack of breathing or heartbeat, and can and has been reversed. Which brings an interesting question barring aside belief in souls: if one we were able to reverse even [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brain_death brain death]] and/or bring back people who were [[HumanPopsicle frozen]] waiting for that future technology that revived them, [[TheseusShipParadox would that person be the same one who died]] or would he/she be a new one with the memories, etc. of the deceased self?
* According to some theories, falling into a black hole would result in this. Since matter in a black hole is crushed so tight it no longer resembles conventional matter in any way at all, and every other form of death tends to still keep you as conventional matter, it would fit the bill pretty nicely.
* Meat from livestock that die from disease (which are ''supposed'' to be incinerated or buried) is sometimes illegally sold as if the animal had been properly slaughtered and butchered. Filipinos refer to such illicitly-sold protein as "double-dead meat".
* AntiMatter. Should it come into contact with its regular conterpart, both will be rendered annihilated, outright violating the law of conservation of mass.[[note]]But not violating the law of conservation of mass/energy you see, E=mc^2 means that the mass is simply converted into energy, or in layman's terms: Kaboom[[/note]] Which means both will cease to exist.