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Deathis Cheap

Amy: Do you think you'll just come back to life?!
Rory: When don't I?!
Doctor Who, "The Angels Take Manhattan"

Important characters will have a terrible tendency to die dramatically, but will not, under any circumstances, stay dead. This tends to cheapen the dramatic death of a character to the point of being little more than a flesh wound if overused. If you ever hear passing mention of any form of afterlife in a series, be warned that the value of "dead" has become a whole lot less all of a sudden. Similarly, if the entire supporting cast is being killed off left and right, expect a resurrection by the end of the current arc. This trope became so common in some series that most people are more likely to be shocked if a character does not come back from the dead than when it does.

Since villains tend to do this often, it is usually necessary to kill them Deader than Dead to ensure they don't just come back eventually. Because normal death means little, this "advanced form" is usually permanent. If it works as planned. This trope also has an interesting side effect, in the sense that permanent death, because it is rarer, carries a much greater degree of dramatic weight as a result. Gwen Stacy from Spider-Man is a good example of that effect.

So common is this trope in superhero comics that many other sources refer to it as Comic Book Death. Comics have a slew of means to undo death, often involving Opening a Can of Clones. Usually the only characters in comics to stay dead are those involved in a Death by Origin Story.

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


Examples:

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     Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball and its sequels are notorious for playing this trope to death. Everybody and their grandmother (Literally, at one point) dies and is resurrected at some point. Much of the show is in fact motivated by collecting the Dragon Balls to be able to wish somebody back to life. By the time Dragon Ball Z ended, only Mr. Satan the Fake Ultimate Hero, Uranai Baba and a few gods hadn't died at least once. Counting Dragon Ball GT, Krillin died four times.
    • Avoided in Future Trunks's gloomy alternate universe, probably to show what the series would be without its Reset Button (i.e., depressing). The reasons why are All There in the Manual.
    • Dragon Ball death is so cheap, in fact, that when "Super" Buu goes up to the lookout in the hopes of finding the strong opponent he was promised, Piccolo actually suggests he pass the time it'll take to get Gotenks ready to give him a full challenge by killing all the humans. A What the Hell, Hero? moment to say the least... until you remember that they could all be wished back with the Dragon Balls. Unfortunately for Piccolo, Buu took his advice by using an attack which killed almost every human in a few minutes with Beam Spam, making that ploy completely meaningless.
    • It is stated outright in the English version of Dragon Soul
      Nothing Ever Dies We'll Rise Again.
    • A notable good guy who never came back to life is Android #16. Probably because he was 100% mechanical.
  • Naruto often varies between this and Killed Off for Real, falling into this during the Sasuke Retrieval Arc (when Neji and Choji both survived massively bodily harm for no apparent reason) and more recently The Pain Invasion Arc, which ends with Pain/Nagato entrusting his ideals to Naruto and performing his last technique that revives everyone in Konoha previously killed in action by him, including three named characters: Kakashi, Fukasaku, and Shizune, albeit at the cost of his life.
    • One of the most powerful forbidden techniques in the series involves reviving as zombies whoever you want, though it requires a living sacrifice and the DNA of the revived to do so. The only ways to counter this are to destroy any traces of their DNA, permanently bind the soul so it can't be summoned, or completely bind the zombie's body so it can't move. It's recently been revealed that it's possible to un-bind bound souls as well.
    • Chiyo managed to revive Gaara, but it had a cost in this case; bringing someone back from the dead with her jutsu kills the one performing it. Equivalent Exchange.
    • And don't even get us started on Orochimaru.
  • Phoenix Ikki from Saint Seiya keeps coming back (and stronger), regardless of how soundly he gets beaten. Well, he IS the Phoenix after all.
  • It's a regular theme in YuYu Hakusho - the main character dies and then spontaneously resurrects late in the series (never mind his original death in the first episode); the main character's mentor is killed and then subsequently resurrected about ten episodes later; also, the main villain of the first arc kept resurrecting himself by virtue of having lots of disposable (but equally powerful) clones.
    • Elder Toguro survived getting blown into pieces and shot into the ocean by virtue of his regenerative powers, and survived being eaten by taking over his consumer's body from the inside. It's stated that he never died to begin with; as he is unable to ever die, ultimately leading to his eternal suffering.
  • The ability to resurrect people is explicitly one of Sailor Moon's powers. Needless to say, the main cast dies a lot. This protection does not extend to non-main characters however, as many a villain trying to pull a Heel-Face Turn learned. Poor Mamoru seems to die at least once per storyline.
    • The total death count is: Moon: 1, Inner Senshi: 3, Uranus/Neptune: 1, Saturn/Pluto: 3, Mamoru: 3. And that's just the anime version.
    • In the manga we have Sailor Moon and the rest of the Inner Senshi and Tuxedo Kamen get killed in the backstory and are revived by Queen Serenity. During the main story we have Heroic Sacrifice by the Inner Senshi against Queen Metalia, and Tuxedo Kamen killed by Sailor Moon. She revives everyone later with the Silver Crystal as well as using it as reset button for the whole planet after Metalia's rampage. In the final story arc, we have Sailor Galaxia kill EVERYONE except Sailor Moon and Chibi-Chibi, revive them and turn them against Sailor Moon, who kills them again hoping to revive them, but Galaxia destroys their Star Seeds, making them Deader than Dead. And Sailor Moon still revives them all.
  • InuYasha: There are several ways to revive the dead in this manga.
    • A demonic ritual can put a soul into a clay body (Kikyou). This only simulates life.
    • Shards of the Shikon no Tama can bind a soul to a body (the Band of Seven and Kohaku). This only simulates life.
    • Tenseiga can revive the dead by killing the pallbearers of the afterlife who take the soul from the body (Rin and Jaken). Only once, and only if they've never before been revived by any means.
    • The Meidou-seki can revive the dead back to life, but is a one-shot power. Rin's second death.
    • A miko's power can be used to revive the dead back to life, but is a one-shot power. Kikyou is the only miko who ever did this, for Kohaku.
  • In Digimon, "death" only returns a Digimon to egg form, though that didn't stop characters from treating it as the sort of event that a human's death is. Dead Sidekick angst and resulting Captain Ahab-ness loses something when the 'dead guy' is standing right next to you, and seems to be handling things just fine. The Darker and Edgier third season did away with this, but it returned for seasons four and five... but in the fifth season, the evil Professor Kurata devises a way of corrupting a Digimon's data, causing permanent death.
    • The rebirthing didn't apply to any of the Digimon that died during the Dark Masters arc as the Digital World was corrupted, though (at least, the heroes believed) taking out the Dark Masters and Apocalymon restored things, allowing those Digimon to survive. It is also believed to not work on any Digimon that dies in the human world, such as Wizardmon who was killed by Myotismon in season 1 and was a ghost in season 2. Of course, that would mean the ghosts of Myotismon's entire army could be still hanging around in Tokyo, with some possibly being substantial enough to cause all manner of disruption. The only known exceptions to this are Myotismon himself, who managed to sidestep this rule by finding a human to host his soul before his data completely dissipated and who he lay dormant in until he gained enough strength to regenerate a body for himself, and Kokomon from the Digimon movie Hurricane Touchdown, although this case happening in a movie leaves the canonicity somewhat dubious. The fact it was a Digimon with a human partner could've also had something to do with it.
    • In season five, it's made a little less cheap: Though death isn't permanent, there is no guarantee that the reborn Mon will remember its prior life, in most cases being very unlikely. And then Kurata figures out how to make a Digimon Deader than Dead by creating a device that corrupts digimon data so they cannot reconfigure into eggs.
    • Digimon's reliance on this trope causes a huge Player Punch when it's subverted in Digimon Tamers, where it's shown that Digimon can permanently die if their data is absorbed by another Digimon before they have the chance to respawn as an egg. A Leomon dying became memetic after this instance, one member of the species having died at least once in all three seasons up to this point. However, it became apparent that the Leomon of this series would not be able to come back.
    • In Xros Wars this is exaggerated. While here Digimon don't return as eggs when they are killed it is remedied by the fact the owner of the Code Crown can reformat the Digital World and its inhabitants in the way he so wishes, so if someone dies and he wants to revert he can do so in a blink. Once Shoutmon acquires it every single Digimon who died through the season comes Back for the Finale. That includes the bad guys, who are purified.
  • Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan: Every time Dokuro violently kills Sakura, she resurrects him right on the spot a couple seconds later, none the worse for wear. It still hurts though.
  • In Kinnikuman, Choujin who have died can come back by completing certain trials in the afterlife. Thus, it is entirely possible for a character to be graphically killed off then show up in the next story arc with no one batting an eye. Note that this doesn't work for those who die of old age, though.
  • The last third or so of the chapters in Shaman King. And half of those instances were plot device for sake of power up.
  • Ga-Rei brings Yomi back twice, by virtue of her Sesshouseki the first time, and her sister thinking of her during the former's brief stint as a Reality Warper hate-fox the second.
  • Excel♥Saga plays this for laughs, with the Great Will of the Macrocosm acting as a (mostly) death-specific Reset Button.
    • There's also Hyatt, the alien Ill Girl who dies every 3 minutes, with (or without) the slightest provocation.
      Excel: Please, Ha-chan, do something about your habit of dying!
  • Dead players in Gantz can be revived at the cost of 100 points. Now getting those points is another story entirely.
    • Gantz toys with this trope mercilessly. The eponymous entity in the black ball seems to effortlessly bring back the dead, but it turns out to be recreating them from records in its data buffer. Kishimoto was "revived" by Gantz originally despite not actually dying, leaving her as a redundant clone until she was eventually killed off permanently. Furthermore, there are now two active copies of protagonist Kurono, and the second one was understandably pissed off when he found out. Life is cheap and disposable in the Gantzverse.
  • CLAMP is usually obsessive about averting this, but it crops up in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. Due to reincarnation back in time and the tendency for reincarnations to be identical (complete with memories) of past lives, Cloney returns (as Syaoran Sr.) approximately five minutes after his Heroic Sacrifice, although it was a lifetime to him.
  • Angel Beats! takes place in a world where everyone is Dead to Begin With. So "death" is just a minor inconvenience.
  • Most of the main cast in Season 3 of Yu-Gi-Oh! GX is killed off at one point or another. Nearly all of them are revealed to actually be trapped in another dimension (and not just in the dub, either).
  • Jellal (Gerard) from Fairy Tail gets to come back after having supposedly been broken down at the atomic level during fusion and fired into the sky. The best possible explanation for how he simply ended up in a coma elsewhere about 50 chapters later is simply that he's the manga-ka's favorite villain.
  • Kara no Kyoukai has an interesting/bizarre example. In the fifth movie, Touko got her body torn apart and then had her head crushed into bits. Then, she makes comeback by rebooting her spare copy, a doll to finish the job.
    • What's funnier, is one of the bad guys KNEW this...and was keeping her head alive to prevent this.
  • The Sengoku Basara anime becomes this in its second season: not only does no-one apart from Hideyoshi and Hanbe die, most of the cast killed off in the first season are alive and kicking for no real explained reason.
  • People from Wonderland have clocks instead of hearts. When they die, they can be replaced. This knowledge leads to the place being so violent.
  • Elfen Lied - but only the manga. A lot of people who die stay dead, but the ones who don't, do so so annoyingly that it definitely fits this trope. Specifically: Kurama, Bando, Kaede/Nyu/Lucy.
  • Surprisingly enough, One Piece (mostly) averts this - with the exception of Brook, every character that has actually died has stayed dead. This is a short list of characters, though, as outside of backstories most "deaths" in this series are Disney Deaths or Not Quite Dead. It took a decade worth of stories before we saw the first non-flashback death of an important character.
  • All over the place in ˝ Prince, which is understandable since most of the story takes place in a game world. The trope gets dropped in the final arc when a self aware NPC creates monsters with a program that can permanently delete a character (and the game does not allow people to create new characters) and becomes even less present when the players get a program that can delete the self aware NPCs.
  • Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, due to the rigorous training methods of the Ryozanpaku, has been in a position of almost dying several times, only to be revived by Ma Kensei and Akisame surgical skills. Akisame even stated outright that the Ryozanpaku can put Kenichi through any kind of hell because they have the means of reviving him, much to Kenichi's horror. In one memorable instance he really did die while sparring against Apachai, only to have his heart restarted by Akisame.
  • Shindere Shoujo To Kodoku Na Shinigami takes place on an island that has a legendary association with resurrection. Wakanae Akira manages to die in the first chapter and afterwards receives a crash course in the practice. It's a good thing, too, since she dies often enough in the first two volumes to be a supporting character in Dragon Ball.
    • Notably, this is one of the few times where this actually has a price - death is cheap only as long as she stays on the island. The god who gave her the power of resurrection gave her a choice when she died the first time: continue on in the cycle of reincarnation, or receive the power of resurrection, being able to revive whenever she dies, with the catch that her soul will shatter should she leave the island - no afterlife, no reincarnation, just nothingness. She chose the latter.
  • The protagonist of Date A Live almost dies all the time in the series only to come Back from the Dead every single time. Shot a hole through his chest with an anti-tank beam? Crossing a five-meter ice barrier? Using himself as hostage by jumping from the top of the school building? Yep, death is definitely cheap for Shido Itsuka. This is because those aren't his powers but the powers from his foster little sister who he kissed back when they were kids as a way to prevent spreading fire.
  • Tokyo Ravens: Downplayed. Many characters get revived but not as a human.

     Comic Books  
  • When it comes to mainstream comics, nobody believes in death anymore. Marvel and DC spend most of their time assuring us over and over that the characters they killed off are dead FOR REALLY REAL THIS TIME, YOU GUYS! No one ever believes them. For example, no matter how many times the Marvel editors stated outright that Captain America wouldn't be coming back, most fans were just making wagers on how long it would take. Turns out it's about a year.
    • As the old saying goes, "Nobody stays dead except Bucky, Uncle Ben, and Jason Todd." Of course, since that saying was coined, both Bucky and Jason Todd have found themselves resurrected. (And briefly, Uncle Ben as well. Fortunately, that resurrection didn't take.)
  • The skepticism has reached a point where comic writers need to keep it in mind when they really are faking a character's death, since they know that everybody will guess exactly right that they were just trying to fool the readers. In 52, Booster Gold is apparently killed in a grand display of heroism. This was not meant to be a permanent (or even semi-permanent) death, as it was an in-universe scheme to trick the villain, but the writers still wanted it to look like he was really dead, and they could think of no way to actually do this, since every reader would automatically know he was not dead. They went through several sketches of having his dismembered body fall to the ground in several different places (Since that way readers would say "Well, with that kind of damage he can't just be 'in a coma,' he might actually be dead"), but it ended up just looking ridiculous. Surprisingly, their eventual decision, to have his burned, blasted body fall to the ground, actually did fool the readers (in a way), since many of them thought he was at least out of this story completely, even if they expected him to come back sooner or later.
    • It didn't help that 52 was a prequel to the "One Year Later" books, i.e., other stories taking place after it but released before it had already shown Booster Gold. It was still possible to justify those sightings since he was a time traveler.
  • It's gotten to the point where, when Banshee apparently dies, his daughter, Siryn remains convinced that it's a trick, pointing out all the other X-Men who have also been reported dead only to return. Her less Genre Savvy teammates believe she's in denial. Eventually, she accepts his death. And as of Uncanny Avengers, Banshee is back, but evil.
    • The story behind this is amusing enough to note here. When Banshee died, Siryn was in a different comic, and nobody thought to tell those writers that Banshee had been killed off, so she never responded to his death. When the writers finally found out, they decided that since Death Is Cheap, instead of trying to retcon her grieving in to have her just be in denial.
    • The X-Men death frequency is spoofed here.
  • Lampshaded endlessly in Incredible Hulk issues #397-#400. When a distraught Rick Jones goes to Doctor Strange so that he can resurrect his girlfriend Marlo, Strange explains how it's impossible. Rick goes on to point out how many other characters have died and come back, asking if Strange' assistant had (responding "Actually, yes"). It gets to the point where Marlo does get brought back to life by a magical priest and a crystal chamber simply called the "Deux Ex Machina." She comes back... but is left a complete shell from the experience. (She gets better before issue #418 [their wedding], though.)
    • And lampshaded again in another issue during Nick Fury's funeral, where his friends laugh and crack jokes, saying things like "What d'ya think it is this time, aliens?" By the end of the story they realize that he's not coming back, and look genuinely mournful. Of course, as we all know, he did come back anyway.
    • Someone even called Marvel out on their frequent use of comic book death in the letters pages of that very same issue, to which the response was "Okay, okay, we won't kill Nick Fur—Oops."
  • Lampshaded by Hammerhead in Ultimate Spider-Man. His first appearance ended with his skull being exploded by Gambit. When he returns a Mook remarks, "Geez, Hammer, I thought you were dead". Hammerhead responds with, "I was. It sucked. I came back".
  • A brilliant quote from Fabian Nicieza after fans attacked him for apparently killing off two members of the Legion of Super-Heroes: "In that case, I want to take this opportunity to formally apologize to all the readers for having killed off a shapeshifter and a teleporter in a superhero comic book."
  • A scene in the '90s DC comic Titans had a couple of junior members being shown around the Hall of Deceased Former Titans to show them the stakes being played for. The lesson didn't really take, as they had been hanging around other superheroes long enough that the senior member had to explain "You realize when people die, they don't usually come back... right?" The former Titan in question eventually came back (as did Jason Todd, an honorary Titan who's partly shown in the same panel).
    • A dead character appeared to be resurrected in the "New Titans" series. Although Marv Wolfman intended both characters to be separate, there was Terra II, a heroic doppelganger of the villainous Terra. Towards the end of the series, the editor Pat Garrahy ordered Wolfman to link the two characters closer together, and a story showed that the original Terra's grave was empty. Geoff Johns and Ben Raab wanted to head in the direction of both characters being the same, with Geo-Force discovering that both girls had identical DNA. Before Terra II could be made aware of this, she died to be replaced with a "Terra III". Though it has since been [[Ass Pull explained away that Terra II was indeed a separate character who was given surgery and DNA alteration to resemble the original (similar to Wolfman's original intent An article explaining the retcons behind Terra II.
    • Raven underwent some death and resurrection throughout the series. In the "The Terror Of Trigon", the Titans had to temporarily kill her body in order to drive out the evil influence and have her possessed by the goddess Azar. After the battle, Raven vanished and it was assumed that she had either died or ascended to another dimension. She was brought back, purified, although it didn't last and she became corrupted again, with her body disintegrating at the end of "Titans Hunt". Then it was revealed that the evil in Raven's soul had survived and possessed an unknown woman's body to do her bidding as "Dark Raven", while the soul of the good Raven was implanted in Starfire for safekeeping. Dark Raven was then destroyed at the end of the series, while the purified Raven became a golden Spirit Advisor. Unfortunately for her, she was then resurrected and placed back in a (younger) corporeal form, causing her to have to fear Trigon's influence yet again.
  • Similarly, in Martian Manhunter, a government agent discussing the Martian's "death" with the Justice League is openly skeptical about superheroes really dying, much to the annoyance of The Flash, whose predecessor and former partner did stay dead... for an unusually long time by superhero standards, at least. (And of course, we the readers already knew J'onn had faked his death as part of a plan.)
  • Lampshaded wonderfully in the Fantastic Four tie-in to Age Of Ultron:
    Johnny Storm: Death is part of a journey and... and I know what I'm talking about here...death isn't the end. Of anything. Don't sweat this. We'll be back.
  • After Metamorpho died in the pages of Justice League, Superman was the only attendee at his funeral. The priest giving the service explains that nobody bothers with superhero funerals anymore, as they always end up coming back; sure enough, Metamorpho is later alive and well. To emphasize the point that death is permanent, the panel also showed off a few statues of superheroes who died and stay dead. Every single one of them is now alive again.
    • Metamorpho has in fact died and come back at least three times, depending on how you count.
  • As mentioned above, Barry Allen, The Flash, died in 1985 and for a long time was notable for being one of the character deaths that stuck. He eventually returned 23 years later. Due to both himself and his successor Wally frequently time traveling (along with alternate universe stories and flashbacks), Barry managed to appear in many stories in the intervening time.
  • Interesting exception in comic aimed for children: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Adventures from Archie had several characters killed during its run. When the Mighty Mutanimals were killed off prior to a certain major story arc, they stayed dead. Not even their notable popularity among readers would bring them back. The scene of them in Hell was fortunately just an illusion conjured up by a villain. The same applied to all dead characters. (Hitler's brain was surprisingly resilient, though.)
  • The entire Blackest Night event of 2009 seems to be this trope played out in the grandest, darkest way imaginable.
    • Additionally, it does some Lampshade Hanging on death being cheap; the whole reason it seemed to have started is because Nekron was pissed at having been cheated so often. But then in issue #5 it's revealed that this was all bullshit; Nekron was responsible (or at least allowed) for all of the resurrections in the DCU so far. Thanks to their previous deceased status everyone who ever "cheated" Death is vulnerable to Black Lantern ring possession.
    • The ending is essentially one giant burst of Death Is Cheap bringing back most of the characters DC killed over the last several years, but also some characters whose resurrections will cause problems. In spite of this, the series ends with one of the characters saying "I think death is death from now on" since Nekron was defeated.
      • On that very same page, though, they observe that another character who had been presumed dead (Batman) probably wasn't. So DC superheroes will still have to deal with Comic Book Death in the form of deliberately faked deaths, Disney Villain Deaths, deaths of clones, deaths of Alternate Universe copies, death followed by being cloned with memory implants in the clone, being saved at the last second by Time Travel... just not true resurrection. Meaning they'll wait two or three months before they start bringing people back to life for real again.
    • Amusingly inverted by the resurrection of Deadman, who has been a ghost since the character was introduced forty years ago. Since Status Quo Is God, he was soon killed off and back to normal.
    • One of the followup storylines saw Lex Luthor meet Death of the Endless - who is supposed to be the Anthropomorphic Personification of Death, period - and ask her about how cheap death is. She answers that a few years or decades isn't much to her; everyone will meet her eventually.
      Death: You know, people do come back from the dead. It's not a big deal. I am kind of busy.

      Lex Luthor: The dead have come back to life! Several of them!
      Death: It happens! In the end, they all come back to me.
    • Predictably, despite supposedly closing the door on resurrections, the second-to-last Secret Six storyline and the post-Flashpoint reboot brought back several deceased characters.
  • Old Man Logan is a Bad Future story set 50 years after most of the world's superheroes have been killed off. At one point, Wolverine and Hawkeye eventually come to Hammer Falls, a place where tourists pray for the resurrections of various superheroes. When Wolverine points out that the heroes aren't coming back, Hawkeye states that people still remember the old days, when heroes would die and then simply return with cool new costumes.
  • Lampshaded in an issue of Captain America where The Falcon claimed that unless you made sure to recover the body of a dead supervillain, they were sure to come back to life at some point. He then pointed out that such resurrections happen with "alarming regularity" in the Marvel Universe.
  • Secret Avengers had an issue where Black Widow interrogated a group of gossip columnists after they published a story claiming that Bucky Barnes survived his apparent death in Fear Itself. She soon discovered that the columnists fabricated the story because they figured Barnes would be resurrected soon enough anyway, given how frequent such returns are in the Marvel Universe.
    • Though there was a bit of additional Lampshade Hanging. It was pointed out that while a lot of heroes do return from the grave, Black Widow still has numerous friends and fellow Avengers that died and were not granted the luxury of a resurrection.
    • This was actually some sort of triple-somersault Lampshade Hanging, since the real reason Widow was interrogating them, was because she knew that Barnes had faked his death, and was worried the story had leaked. The two "big deaths" of Fear Itself (Barnes and Thor) were both immediately shown to be temporary, since the creators knew no one would believe they were permanent.
  • During Mark Millar's Spider-Man run, Mary-Jane briefly mused that the mystery villain that had been ruining Peter's life might be Harry Osborn. When Peter pointed out that Harry had been dead for years, MJ retorted by saying that his dad used to be "dead" as well, and we all know how that worked out...
  • Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow, in the 'Quiver' story arc, comes back from the dead after being resurrected by Hal Jordan, as Parallax, before Hal's own death. Queen later meets Hal Jordan on a trip to the after-life, although Jordan has since taken on the role of The Spectre. When later mentioning to Batman of Jordan's involvement, Batman replies, "It seems none of our former allies know how to stay dead."
  • Remember how devastating it was for Tim Drake when Superboy and Kid Flash died? Well now they're both back thanks to Legion of Three Worlds.
    • Red Robin hasn't caught up to the current state of the time-line yet, but he's still devastated now his foster father has been murdered.
    • Remember when Tim Drake was desperate and unstable enough to try resurrect Stephanie Brown, Superboy, and his father using the Lazarus Pit? Well, two out of three of them are now alive; one who was never dead at all to begin with. In a Fridge Logic moment, imagine if Tim did put Steph's DNA into the pit liquid, seeing that she was actually alive...
  • When Martian Manhunter was killed in Final Crisis, Superman gave a eulogy that amounted to "Let us honor his memory. And pray for a resurrection." Then Blackest Night came along and the Manhunter became a zombie Black Lantern. Perhaps Supes should have been more specific. (Don't worry, he got better.)
  • Subverted in ElfQuest. When One-Eye is killed, Leetah manages to revive him, more or less. When his lifemate learns that his breathing, living body is just an empty shell, she has it put in wrapstuff for magical suspended animation and swears to protect it until his soul (which is hanging around) returns to it. Eventually she comes to terms with the fact that he does not want to come back, frees the body, and lets it die.
  • In The Boys, the stuff that gives people super powers can even resurrect them from the dead... but not in a good way.
  • Darkseid can revive the people he kills with his Omega Beams using those same Omega Beams. This just means that Darkseid can kill underlings that annoy him without any worries, since he can bring them back if he needs them again. He can also kill and revive people over and over again for fun.
    • Now you know what he does on his summer vacation.
  • In the Batgirl series, Stephanie Brown spent a lot of time thinking about what would happen if Bruce Wayne ever returned as Batman. "I've just been worried that if you ever popped up again - and I mean, who really stays dead nowadays anyways, right? You missed the zombies, by the way." When he does reappear, she slaps him. And then freaks out and runs away.
  • In Invincible the appropriately named Immortal always comes back after dying. Aside from that, though dead = DEAD. The only other characters to come back had some obvious way for Genre Savvy readers to see that they might not have actually kicked the bucket.
  • Both the Justice League and The Avengers have actually enacted plans that involved the entire team dying with the assumption that they'd come back to life. The JLA did it to deal with being trapped in the distant past and hunted by foes they couldn't defeat by letting the foes kill them after first arranging for an ally to cast a spell that would resurrect their skeletal remains in the present day. The Avengers did it to rescue teammates from the Grandmaster who'd arranged their deaths so he could use them as pawns in the afterlife (being dead himself at the time) by drinking poison and more-or-less assuming they'd figure out a way to get back to life once they'd sorted everything out on the other side.
  • In Marvel The End, Thanos discovers that the universe is unraveling because of all the heroes coming back from death. He specifically blames things on Wonder Man, who was arguably the first resurrection in the Marvel Universe. Thanos then unmakes and remakes the universe, and states, "This time, dead is dead." Sh-yeah, right.
  • Averted by most 2000 AD strips. Starting with M.A.C.H.1, it has a long tradition of killing off characters for real, the most notable example being Johnny Alpha, though The Death And Life Of Johnny Alpha is bringing him back through sorcery.
  • Though it doesn't display it as much as Marvel or DC, Les Légendaires makes a heavy use of this trope as well: the titular protagonists got all killed at least twice each ones of them, but they always are resurrected at the end of the arc, whether it's through an Eldritch Abomination's doing, Time Reset, reincarnation... in a surprising subversion of the trope, however, the Legendaries' Arch-Enemy Darkhell was actually Killed Off for Real.
  • Once, when Spider-Man was asked if the villain of the day was dead, Spidey said "Probably. Half the guys I know have been dead once or twice. Usually did 'em a world of good."
    • Spider-Man himself has been killed off twice in the past decade. The first time in 2005's Spider-Man: The Other, when he gets killed by new villain Morlun. Peter stays dead for a single issues before his resurrection. He got killed again in 2012 in issue #700 of Amazing Spider-Man after switching bodies with a dying Doc Ock. But now that a relaunched Amazing Spider-Man series with Peter Parker is debuting in April of 2014, it looks as though Peter will return after he was dead for a little over a year. It has later been confirmed by Marvel that Peter is returning around the time of the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
  • In Pocket God, the pygmies can resurrect from any death thanks to the powers of their Gem of Life. Unfortunately for them, they die often.
  • Love and Capes lampshades the frequency of the trope in comics; when a member of the book's superteam is killed, there's a procedure for inspecting that body to make sure it's really that person and they're really entirely dead. In this case, the character really is dead—though even then, the other characters allow for the possibility that he might come back in some unforeseen way.
  • Happens every now and then in The Transformers. Optimus Prime himself manages to die three times in the original run. And that's not counting all the near-misses, fake-outs, faked deaths and nasty injuries everyone else gets. Heck, at one point several characters get disassembled right down to their component parts, but a few hours of repair later, and they're completely fine. Of course, given that this was one of the early Transformers mediums some of the rules of their 'biology' hadn't been made up yet, so bringing a dead Transformer back usually just required getting the necessary parts.

     Fanfiction  
  • In "The Lion King Adventures", this is definitely the case for Shocker. Unless it's in boiling lava, and even then he comes back.
    • Hago, too. He comes back from the dead four times.
  • Deconstructed in Bleach fanfic "Calm After the Storm". Orihimie managed to bring her friends back to life multiple times (Ichigo stopped counting after 5) but there are still people who couldn't be saved. Seeing friends dying, even if they come back later, still traumatized the heroes. There is also a sense of guilt that always touches survivors.
  • In "With Strings Attached", As'taris has one of the shortest deaths imaginable—about half a page later, he's been resurrected. As the resurrectionist quotes, "Death is cheap, life is expensive" when Grunnel complains about the price. (Which seems rather petty of him, given how much money he has.)
    • The narrative mentions that some of the Mooks in Ehndris are "awaiting resurrection."
  • In "The Prayer Warriors", a character can be killed off one chapter and somehow come back in the next chapter.
  • In the Pokémon fanfic "Legend Has It", the main character Justice dies a total of four times (the last time being permanent). The first time he died he gave his life to Arceus in order to fix everything that Cyrus had undone about the world. The second time, he was briefly brought back to life by a Celebi (which turned him into a White-Haired Pretty Boy in the process) only to die right after completing Celebi's task. Then Arceus resurrected him to stop the war going on between Teams Rocket and Plasma. During that time he is killed by Archer and his Giratina immediately tries to bring him back by using a bunch of Dusknoir. The process forces him into a kind of Face-Heel Turn that makes him go absolutely crazy and has him attempt to destroy the world, only to be shot out of the sky by Arceus in a Curb-Stomp Battle that kills him for good.
  • Heavily played with in "The Rules"—it would normally be in effect given the nations' immortality, but The Rules throw uncertainty over their ability to come back to life. The nations are stuck with quite the ethical dilemma—start killing to get home while they can be reasonably confident their victims will recover, or try to find some other way off the island and risk everyone's immortality running out in the meantime?
  • The impermanence of death in the Marvel universe is one of the reasons authors for the MCU are skeptical of the death of Phil Coulson. There are many more stories where the man has lived than ones where he has remained dead.
  • In "Christian Humber Reloaded", Vash's corrupted self keeps coming back again and again. Soku is apparently killed by Vash for turning him in, then comes back years later to take revenge and gets killed again. It's also debatable whether she is the same little girl who, with her father, helped Vash near the beginning, or if the author just reused the plot device.
  • "World of Ponycraft" has death about as cheap as it is in WoW gameplay. Heck, in the prologue Deathwing razes Ponyville only for Celestia to cast a mass resurrection bringing everypony back.
  • "The Infinite Loops" reset universes rather regularly. As a consequence, most loopers come to view death as an annoyance.

     Film - Animated 
  • In Wreck-It Ralph, since all the characters are video game characters, death is only permanent if a character dies outside their game. This is shown early on when Fix-It Felix is crushed by a falling ceiling only to revive near-instantly.

     Film - Live Action 
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • Jack (who was retrieved from Davy Jones' Locker).
    • Will (who was made captain of the Flying Dutchman after being killed by and then killing Jones).
    • Bootstrap (who was sent to the bottom of the ocean while undead).
    • Barbossa (whom Tia Dalma resurrected).
    • So common, in fact, that Tia Dalma has to justify the aversion with Governor Swann. "Him at peace."
    • However, the characters with resurrection abilities leave after the third film, removing this trope for the fourth.
  • The villain in Stargate chooses to live in a human body because they are easy for his technology to repair, giving him the ability to live indefinitely. The same technology allows the hero and his wife to come back from the dead.
    • And then the series comes out, and the aforementioned hero dying repeatedly all but became a Running Gag.
  • Pick a slasher. Any of them. Once it becomes a Cash Cow Franchise, there is no rest in peace for the wicked.
  • 2003's Daredevil continues the tradition with a comic book death of both the villain (Bullseye, though more a case of No One Could Survive That) and the Action Girl/the hero's Love Interest (Elektra, who gets better to appear in the spin-off).
  • Agent Smith from The Matrix shows up in the sequels as he decided not to follow protocol and return to the system mainframe for deletion. Justified since after all, he is a program, not a man and it's not like he was the first one to do so.
  • In Little Nicky, due to being the son of Satan, the protagonist simply winds up back in Hell upon dying and is free to go through the portal back to Earth.
  • Men In Black III subverts this: J goes back in time to prevent K from being killed in the 1960's, but is told plainly that K was destined to die there. Where there is death, there must always be death. Due to J's meddling, K survives, due to a Heroic Sacrifice by J's father.
  • Chucky of the Child's Play series. He ends up being killed at the end of each film, but is always brought back at the beginning of the next film. As its been put:
    Go ahead and kill me, I'll be back! I always come back! But dying is such a bitch!
  • This trope is quickly becoming the norm for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Coulson came back after dying for real, the supposedly dead Bucky is the Winter Soldier in Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Loki seemingly died in BOTH Thor films, before turning out to be alive before those films even ended!

     Literature  
  • This is actually the driving plot point for Mogworld, which takes place in an MMORPG from the NPCs point of view. Whenever someone dies, they just respawn a new body at the nearest church. No one has been able to permanently die for at least 35 years. Some people have adapted to it fairly, incorporating it into the business and economy. Others have not taken it so well...
  • Animorphs
    • Marco gets brought back to life twice. Although in one instance, he's not technically dead, just comatose, because he's in cockroach morph, which is practically unkillable.
    • In Elfangor's Secret it's known that one of the kids will have to die to set things right, and Jake is shot in the head as they cross the Delaware. But because Visser Four's host is {retgone}d, there was no reason for them to travel through time in the first place and Jake pops back, alive. In addition, because Jake is dead and the Ellimist said only one Animorph would have to die, the rest of the Animorphs are invincible for the rest of the book, even when they should by all means be dead.
  • In the fifth Malazan Book of the Fallen book, Midnight Tides, Rhulad Sengar returns from the dead moments after being killed, thanks to the cursed sword in his hand and the time. Since the whole dying thing is agonizing and mind-warping for various reasons, and the process of returning is even worse, this ends up being a case of being Blessed with Suck.
  • In The Dark Tower, both Jake and Father Callahan arrive in All-World by dying in our world. When Jake dies in All-World, he gets saved by Time Travel.
  • Cory Doctorow's Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom takes this trope to its logical conclusion by having everyone take resurrection for granted. Thus, the narrator (Julius) is killed early in the novel and spends the rest of the story fighting back against those he believes responsible for his murder. He theorizes that they timed his death carefully so that he'd be out of commission at the exact point when his enemies were putting a plan into effect, since obviously if they killed him too early he would be alive again at by that point.
    • And in both that book and Ken MacLeod's Newton's Wake, resurrection is so automated that other medical skills have atrophied or been lost; it's easier to get a new body than to fix the one you have. Like consumer electronics today.
  • The Heroes of Olympus:
    • For the monsters, which are regenerating within hours if not minutes because Gaea made a new tunnel into Tartarus.
    • Eventually, even some demigods are able to come back from the dead without even realizing that they are. Freeing Thanatos puts a stop to that.
  • In The Light Fantastic, Death lampshades this when Rincewind and Twoflower escape from his house, saying, That always annoys me. I might as well install a revolving door.
  • In Dragaera, it's a relatively simple process to become "revivified" after death. It's fairly expensive, however, and some circumstances can make it impossible. Assassinations among the Jhereg criminal organization often do not take. In the first novel, Vlad even claims that someone might be assassinated as a warning to back off, though this level of cheapness is not carried over into subsequent novels.
  • The Takeshi Kovacs series by Richard K. Morgan takes place in a largely post-death world where a person's consciousness is housed in a chip in his brain, called a "stack". When his body dies, his chip is inserted into a new one. Bodies, now called "sleeves", are bought and traded like garments. In the first book of the series, a centuries-old magnate hires the hero to find out how his previous sleeve was murdered.
  • In Philip Jose Farmer's Riverworld series, the same advanced alien technology which resurrected everyone on Earth who had ever died remains active. Anyone who dies on the Riverworld is brought back to life the next day somewhere else. A few characters use this "Suicide Express" to deliberately, though randomly, explore the Riverworld. Later on, the machinery breaks down.
  • Played with in The Lost Symbol. Robert Langdon appears to have been most unambiguously drowned in a tiny coffin filled with liquid, and for a few chapters afterward he's caught in a trippy dream state where both he and the reader assume he's dead, but then it turns out that the liquid in the tank was breathing fluid laced with paralytic drugs, an advanced sensory deprivation chamber used by the Big Bad as a torture device. His "rebirth" is unpleasant, but far from supernatural.
  • The Biting the Sun books take this trope to extremes. Resurrection is a normal use of technology. Even the rare occasions when a character in those books does want to be Killed Off for Real, their base personality will get transferred into a new body — effectively meaning mandatory artificial reincarnation.
  • In The Worm Dieth Not a depressed superhero agonizes over the fact that heroes and villains kill each other constantly and never stay dead. He compares their never-ending conflict to the trial of Sisyphus and ultimately decides to commit suicide as a means of escape, realizing at the last minute that he'll just show up alive again in time.
  • Occasionally in A Song of Ice and Fire. Most of the time dead means dead, but there are notable exceptions. Most notably, Thoros of Myr's resurrection of Beric Dondarrion and later Catelyn Stark.
    • George R. R. Martin frequently appears to kill people before revealing it was only a flesh wound. This is why, as of the fifth book, the vast majority of fans believe the letter claiming Stannis is dead is a lie and that Jon Snow will not actually die/stay dead after being repeatedly stabbed and falling unconscious.
    • In a similar fashion, the discovery that Prince Aegon, previously thought to have been killed as an infant was alive and well makes the death of many other characters fall into question.
    • The general rule for character deaths is that unless you witness a character definitively die from someone else's point of view, that character is likely not dead for good. Of the POV characters that have been killed, Ned's execution was from Arya's POV, whereas Catelyn got her throat slit in her own POV chapter. Ned's definitively dead whereas a resurrected Zombie Catelyn is wreaking havoc in the Riverlands. Arys Oakheart died from Arianne Martell's POV. Quentyn Martell may have sustained his fatal injuries in his own chapter, but his death was witnessed from the perspective of Barristan Selmy. Almost all of the Only a Flesh Wound reveals mentioned above came at the end of a POV character's own chapter. The exception to this overall rule is the Prologue and Epilogue characters—they ALWAYS die at the end of their lone chapters, except for Chett in A Storm of Swords, who does not die onscreen, but who does die sometime between the end of his POV and his next appearance as a wight.
  • While Gaunt's Ghosts overall is very much in the Anyone Can Die camp, this trope still applies to Scout Sergeant Mkoll, who most in the regiment believe to be invincible. Not even after having his transport plane explode in mid-air during an air raid, with the only thing below him an enemy-held city and a "sea" of toxic cloud, most of the Ghosts can't believe he's dead. Sure enough, he returns later and even manages to get the killing blow on the current Big Bad.
  • People of The Culture usually have brain backups in case they are killed in a lava rafting accident or something.
  • In one side story of Tales of MU a professor caught a rich student who had been turned into a mouse by a trap on one of their dwarven weapons on display. One of his friends had also been transformed and caught by a cat, he wasn't too concerned because their insurance covered resurrection and they had both been killed before. Then she reminded him that the spell required a body, oh shit indeed.
  • Feeling that Sherlock Holmes was taking up time he should be spending in higher pursuits, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had Holmes and Moriarty plunge to their deaths down the Reichenback Falls. 10 years later, due to public outcry, he brought the character back explaining that he had faked his death to fool his many enemies. He was back from the dead and ready to keep doing his thing.
  • In The Dresden Files, Harry Dresden has goaded someone into killing him and been revived expressly to team up with his own ghost.
    • Harry gets about as close as you can after he gets shot and falls in the lake. It turns out he was actually on magical life-support while his soul was off working for Uriel, but for all intents and purposes he died and came back.
    • Mantles of power such as the Summer and Winter Knights, Summer and Winter Queens (all six of them), the Archive, and so forth all transcend their hosts and warp them towards a certain personality. Even if you manage to kill an immortal (a tricky business to begin with, only possible at certain times) the next host of that power will become more and more like the mantle, seeming to reincarnate the previous host.
  • In The Wheel of Time, death is cheap for the Forsaken. After all, the Dark One's domain is death. As long as they aren't killed by balefire, they can be brought back in new bodies.
  • Sergey Lukyanenko's trilogy Line of Delirium has technology allowing people to be resurrected upon death. The "cheap" part is averted, though, as not everyone is able to afford even one resurrection. Basically, when a person first buys the aTan resurrection, he or she undergoes an excruciating molecular scan in order to store the body template in the database. At the same time, a neural net is implanted into the brain in order to transmit the person's memories back to aTan. Most people think that the neural net works only at the moment of death, sending a massive dump of information back, also signaling death. However, in reality, the net is working constantly, and the end of transmission is considered death by aTan. If the recently deceased paid for his or her resurrection (always in advance), the body is replicated from the template at the nearest aTan facility with the memories then downloaded into the new brain. Another fact that most people don't know is that creating two identical bodies and implanting the same set of memories into them will result in only one of them becoming fully self-aware. The other one will be without will (i.e., he/she will perform basic vital functions but be unable to make decisions). Thus aTan proved then existence of the human soul.
  • Neomages in New Arcana regularly resurrect each other. Each of the main characters dies at least once in the first two books. At one point it is stated that the average neomage can expect to die and be resurrected more than fifty times in a career.
  • In Warrior Cats the Clan leaders are given nine lives by Starclan, the feral cat afterlife, the first eight times they die they heal for a few minutes then get back up.

     Live Action TV  
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000. TV's Frank, to the point where Dr. Forrester's torch song for Frank is Who Will I Kill?
    I've crushed his head a few times,
    Memories like nursery rhymes.
    No one dies like my TV's Frank.
    No sweet blood to distill, no cute tummy to drill,
    Who, who will I kill?
  • This happens a lot in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Buffyverse: it has been established that people who died by magical means can potentially be resurrected, and otherwise there are other methods of bringing people back. Buffy has died twice, though the first time she was only technically dead and brought back by good old-fashioned CPR. Spike is burnt up in the Grand Finale of Buffy, comes back as a ghost in Angel, and then comes back to life. Darla dies a total of four times: as a human turned into a vampire, staked in the first season of Buffy and resurrected as a human in Angel, made vampire again by Drusilla and then died as a vampire again. Staking Dracula will result in him simply reforming again. In the comics, it turns out Warren didn't stay dead when he had the skin ripped off his body. And Giles was killed when he had his neck snapped by Angel but was brought back even though the world was mostly drained of magic. Kennedy died for a month before being brought back by Willow, pre-Season 8.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Master has died so many times - or otherwise been left in deadly, inescapable situations - that no-one, not the Doctor, not the audience, not even the Master himself, will ever believe it sticks. Including No One Could Survive That and Disney Deaths, the running count as of 2012 is eight times note . Most of the time no explanation is given for his return, and even if there is it's flimsy at best. At one point he even states matter-of-factly, "I'm indestructible, everyone knows that."
    • Davros, in terms of death-to-appearance ratio, is even more prone to death than the Master. After "Journey's End", even the writer of the episode isn't sure whether he's actually dead.
    • In "Forest of the Dead", the people inside the Library who were killed by the Vashta Nerada had their neural relay uploaded to a computer.
    • In "The Empty Child"/"The Doctor Dances", Jamie, after being struck by a bomb in the Blitz was resurrected by Chula nanogenes, though it took until the end of the story to be properly fixed.
    • At the end of "The Doctor's Daughter", Jenny is shot in the chest and appears to die without regenerating. At the end of the episode, after the Doctor's left, she suddenly does regenerate, but her appearance doesn't change. At the end of the Eleventh Doctor's run, the character had neither appeared nor been mentioned again.
    • Amy and Rory have been given so many on screen "deaths" and actual deaths that it became a Running Gag for them (quoth Rory in "Night Terrors": "We're dead! Again!"). Poor Rory is even called "the man who dies and dies again" by the Silence; it's considered to be his Running Gag, but really, everyone gets in on the action. Newcomer Clara is fitting right in so far: she's appeared twice, died both times, and will be back.
      • In "The Bells of St. John," Clara technically died twice, although one was incomplete and they're both fairly debatable as "deaths." But if you count them both, that leaves her with four "deaths" in three episodes. And now a fifth - a future version of her died in "Journey To The Centre of the TARDIS", just 4 episodes later, though there's a Reset Button. Not even Rory can match that. Plus, with Rory there's always a Reset Button or some other explanation; Clara has really died twice in two different time periods, and even The Doctor has no idea what's happening.
    • It's eventually explained that Clara actually entered the Doctor's timestream to prevent a malevolent entity from destroying everything he ever did, having to fix every moment of his life. As it turns out this actually means that Clara's had to live her life over repeatedly in different periods of time helping him throughout his life and considering he's an alien with a lifespan covering several centuries she's probably died quite a few times as a result. The Doctor's earlier encounter with Clara in Victorian England that led to him seeing her die twice was simply the first time he noticed.
    • At the end of "The Parting of the Ways", Rose brings Jack back to life after he is shot by the Daleks; as a result he can't die of natural causes, but a fatal wound will simply kill him... for a few seconds. Unfortunately it seems to have come with a side of Good Thing You Can Heal.
    • In "The Name of the Doctor", Jenny is killed by the Whisper Men during the conference call. Minutes later, she is revived by Strax via an electro-cardio restart. Later, she vanishes from time due to the Great Intelligence re-writing the Doctor's timeline, thus the Doctor never saved Jenny during some incident years ago, and Strax is killed by Vastra out of self-defence, because Strax has now never served a penance to the Doctor and as such never became friends with the Paternoster gang. Moments later, they are both restored by Clara entering the Doctor's timestream.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • The number of times Daniel has died as become an injoke for the series. Depending on how one classifies "dead" then it ranges from a minimum of 4 explicitly stated times up to possibly 22. Lampshaded by O'Neill of course, who by season 8 refuses to acknowledge Daniel's death or grief over him, because each time he did Daniel came back. Indeed, even despite this time Daniel being on a spaceship that exploded in the middle of space, Daniel comes back by the end of that very episode.
      O'Neill: All we know for sure is that he's missing.
      Carter: Sooner or later —
      O'Neill: Forget it! I'm not fallin' for it this time.
      Carter: "Falling for it"?
      O'Neill: Yeah! How many times have you thought he was gone, and then he shows up, in one form or another? I'm sorry, but we're not having a memorial service for someone who is not dead. [to the room] You hear that? I'm not buyin' it!
      O'Neill: What? He's just waitin' for us to say a bunch of nice things about him. Next thing you know, he'll come waltzin' through that door, [gestures at the closed door] like, right now. [O'Neill and Carter both look at the door, O'Neill hopefully and Carter skeptically.]
      O'Neill: Waltzing... now.
      [Nothing happens.]
    • Even supporting characters get in on the act, and joke.
      Cameron Balinsky: [SG-13 discovers Ancient built ruins] Oh, Dr. Jackson is gonna die when he sees this.
      Colonel Dave Dixon: What, again?
      Cameron Balinsky: Funny.
    • The presence of time travel, alternate realities, virtual realities, Nox healing technology and the resurrection sarcophagi means that nearly every main cast member has died at some time.
    • The original Big Bad Apophis managed to come back several time before the show decided to upgrade the villains. Apophis' situation was lampshaded in the fifth season premiere when, after finally being Killed Off for Real (stuck in a spaceship that crashed into a planet then exploded like a nuke), O'Neill assured General Hammond he was 100%... 99% sure Apophis was actually dead.
    • After Ba'al cloned himself, it became something of a running gag to have him killed repeatedly (sometimes several times in a row within the same episode) only to have him be back for more a few episodes later.
  • And Stargate Atlantis proudly continues this tradition with the lovely Elizabeth Weir:
    • First she was badly injured in an explosion, and 'repaired' using replicator technology that had been engineered to be safe. Then, she was left behind on a replicator planet, and presumed to be killed by the replicators.
    • Then, she was cloned by the replicators, along with other characters from the show. Even the clone then gets killed.
    • However in a later episode, a version of her consciousness, having first become a replicator, and then having 'digitally ascended', ends up in a computer on the Atlantis base. She and some other replicators convince the Atlantis team to build them new bodies using the Ancients' original replicator creation technology; bodies which were promptly jettisoned out into space by the end of the episode. This ending strongly implied that her character had the potential to return, and probably die again.
  • In The Vampire Diaries, most of the main characters have died at least once over the show's course (or were dead to begin with, as it's, you know, a show about vampires). At the end of season 5, the list of resurrections got so big, it would probably need its own page.
    • Jeremy and Bonnie are apparently competing to see who dies and comes back to life the most.
  • Due to Misty Day's "power of resurgence" in American Horror Story: Coven, she can revive any character who has died (including herself) if the body is still there, even if the body is in bad condition. The characters lampshade this at the wake of Queenie's disappearance and assumed death: if she's alive, they bring her back. If not, Misty could revive her.
  • In Xena: Warrior Princess, Xena and Gabrielle died and came back so many times that Hades probably had a revolving door installed. Which didn't stop Xena from being Killed Off for Real in the finale.
    • And the thing about Xena and Gabrielle dying is that over the course of the show, every time either Xena or Gabrielle visited a new culture or place, that particular afterlife was incorporated into the show's mythology. We saw the Greek Elysian fields and Tartarus, the Amazon land of the dead (which is apparently some place different from the traditional Greek afterlives), Judeo-Christian Heaven and Hell, Xena and Gabrielle were introduced to the idea of reincarnation after visiting India, and of course the finale.
    • Xena's parent series, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, was just as bad. Iolaus died (for the third or fourth time...), came back as a parallel universe character, got his happy ending, then the original one was resurrected.
    • Lampshaded in the episode where the cast portrays actors playing the characters in the show, and they wonder how Iolaus will die next (eaten by dinosaur, spontaneous combustion...)
  • Heroes. Started off as Anyone Can Die, then reverted to this. Characters who can heal get routinely mangled, then it's revealed that their blood can resurrect anyone. This is later completely forgotten about. Still later, characters come back without even a handwave - Sylar in particular gets full-blown Joker Immunity.
  • Charmed, where the core cast and quite a few villains have died numerous times. In total, both Piper and Phoebe died nine times, Paige has died seven, and Prue died thrice; only Prue's last death was actually permanent. And Cole "Belthazor" Turner managed to give Kenny McCormick a run for his money in the dying department.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: it was getting hard keeping track of which Weyoun numbered clone was which. Subverted in the finale, when the Female Founder confirmed that Kira and Garak killed the last clone ...only for the Expanded Universe to bring in another one anyway from a back up sample in the Gamma Quadrant.
  • Supernatural:
    • The plot of plays it straight, averts, and lampshades it at different times of the series. Played straight with the two leads (who have died so many times that the angels and their dead friends (Ash) in heaven are sick and tired of seeing them. Even Death himself has become mildly annoyed as of late because the Winchesters keep coming back from the dead. Averted in the case of any main character that the fan base hates enough (the writers are very, very sensitive to pressure apparently...). And Castiel has a get-out-of-death-free card personally guaranteed by God. That said, death has become cheaper as the series has gone on (in the beginning it was pretty damn expensive). Sanity is now actually far more expensive than death. Once Heaven and Hell started taking an active (as in 'interactive') interest in the Winchesters, the bigger worry become not what happens if you die but what happens after you're dead. You just know the next time either one of them dies Heaven or Hell is gonna rip them to pieces for the rest of eternity (anyone want to count how many angels and demons they've killed?). Most clear was Dean's reaction in "Dark Side of the Moon" when about to be shot in the head:
    Dean: Do it. But I warn you, when I come back, I'm going to be pissed.
    • Lampshaded as early as the middle of Season 2 (remarkably, before either Sam or Dean had ever actually died for real) as part of a round of Demonic taunting:
      Meg: Dean, back from the dead. Getting to be a regular thing for you, isn't it? Like a cockroach.
    • From the middle of season 6, the official (heavily lampshaded) line is that while death is cheap, you'll end up causing suffering and death to the people around you. Death himself has told them so on repeated occasions, and gave Dean a drawn out object lesson about it, involving an adorable little girl with cancer. Sam and Dean brought about the apocalypse, and Castiel accidentally unleashed the Leviathan onto the planet (although this had less to do with his death and more to do with the literal meltdown that accompanied said death; it can be assumed that since God is the one who keeps bringing Cas back to life his resurrections do not throw the universe out of whack). But you should know that none of this is going to stop Sam from bringing Dean (and possibly Cas) back from Purgatory.
    • Actually, in a surprise twist for this show, Sam does not save them; he doesn't even try. Dean is a little pissed off about this when he gets himself out. Cas didn't want to get out in the first place.
    • An interesting feature of this show is that even dead characters aren't necessarily gone. Many characters that were Killed Off for Real, including Mary and John Winchester, Jessica, Ash, Pamela, Uriel, Ellen and Jo, Rufus, and Bobby, have had brief reappearances thanks to time travel, alternate universes, communication with spirits, travel to the afterlife, journeys into memories, etc.
    • For context, every single major character has died at least once.
  • Rimmer from Red Dwarf has been brought back to life multiple times. He first dies in the accident he causes (maybe) that wipes out the crew which is the set-up for the whole premise. Then he comes back as a hologram. In series 3 after messing with the timeline, he actually gets a body in one episode, but ends up blowing himself up shortly afterwards. So he's back to being a hologram. Then after hologram Rimmer goes off to be Ace Rimmer in series 7, the original Rimmer from 3 million years ago is resurrected by the nanobots who rebuild Red Dwarf with the original crew. It looks like he's about to die in that season's finale, but manages to escape death (literally, he knees Death in the privates). And in the 2009 special Back to Earth, set nine years later, he appears to be a hologram again, whether by nanobot Rimmer dying or series 1-7 Rimmer coming back from his Ace adventure is not made explicit.
    • Has happened to most of the crew at some point. Rimmer, Kryten and the Cat all die in The Inquisitor, but a clever Batman Gambit by Lister erases the titular Inquisitor and all resets all the work he's done, bringing them back. Out Of Time sees the crew attacked by their future selves, killing Lister, Kryten and The Cat and only stopped when Rimmer destroys the Time Drive.
  • This is the beauty of The X-Files; nobody important ever truly dies. Mulder himself died a few times, Skinner has died at least once, Agent Spender was thought to be dead by a gunshot to the face but comes back deformed in season nine, and even CSM died more than once.
    • Mentioned in jest by Dean Haglund (Langly) in DVD commentary: "Nobody ever really dies on The X-Files."
  • Invoked, subverted, and lampshaded to hell and back in Lexx; many of the characters who die in the second season return with seemingly no explanation in the third season, but it becomes increasingly apparent as time goes on that the planets the Lexx is orbiting at the time are, in fact, the afterlife. When the Lexx blows up the afterlife, they all move to Earth. When the Lexx blows up the Earth, too, it seems as though everyone is finally Killed Off for Real, simply because there is no more afterlife to be resurrected from. Subverted again by Kai, who dies in the first scene and stays dead, but animate, through the whole series. In the finale, when a Deal with the Devil backfires, he's brought back to life for real... just in time for an event he can't possibly survive.
    • This means that there are in fact three versions of most characters: the original versions, the Fire and Water versions, and the Earth versions.
  • Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined):
    • This trope is why Cylon prisoners are uncooperative under threats: killing them will result in their consciousness being downloaded into the nearest Resurrection Ship, where they immediately tell the others where their killers are. In the third season, one of the Threes does it for kicks; Baltar even lampshades it.
      D'Anna: Do you have any idea what you're accusing me of?
      Baltar: Yes... intentionally killing yourself over and over so you can download over and over. Death is just a revolving door, isn't it?
      [cue a smug smile from D'Anna]
    • This makes Cylon Raiders exceptionally dangerous, as over time a Raider will be killed in multiple engagements - and it not only learns from every death, but every time it gets killed it comes back angrier.
    • Later however the Resurrection Hub is destroyed making Death very real for everyone. Except Starbuck. But not really.
  • In Smallville, characters who die tend to stay that way, but not very important ones. Characters important to his future as Superman wind up dying and we find out that they weren’t that Jimmy or Dr. Hamilton. However, Brainiac is insanely unkillable, thought dead multiple times, each more final-seeming than the last, and yet, he has an Unexplained Recovery again. (Mind you, this happens to him in the comics, too... but then, it happens to everyone in the comics.)
    • Slightly justified with Brainiac, since he's a super-advanced robot built by a super-advanced civilization and destroyed said super-advanced civilization. If he couldn't bounce back from death, he never would have survived to the main series.
    • Clarknote , Chloenote , Lananote , Lexnote , and Loisnote  had a death certificate, coffin buried, or a lifeless body at least once. Although it might not be real.
    • Tess too "died", twice (excluding the Bad Future). Before her (obviously more permanent) death in the series finale, though even THAT wasn't permanent: in the season eleven comics, she's taken up residence in Lex's body as a secondary consciousness.
  • Passions, due to its status as a Supernatural Soap Opera, abused the hell out of this one. Who knows how many times Sheridan's been involved in situations that would have been fatal to anyone else... in fact, she died at least once, only to have a storyline in Fluffy Cloud Heaven.
  • Being Human uses this trope with Herrick, who dies in the series one finale and returns for series three, only to keep the mysterious method of his revival a secret.
  • In Fringe, thanks to Massive Dynamic technology, any corpse is Only Mostly Dead for a certain number of hours after death.
    • People sealed in amber were originally thought to be dead, but it was eventually discovered that they could be freed from the amber and brought back to life.
  • Kamen Rider 555 uses this constantly, and yet averts it a lot. Basically, there are two tiers of dead: if you appear to die all normal-like, there's a good chance you can be saved via the evil organization's superscience (with a price.) That, or you're about to stand up as an Orphenoch. Nearly everyone "dies" at least once, some more than once. Don't count anyone out until you actually see them crumble into dust with your own eyes. (And even then, there's one guy who can regenerate.) However... a lot of people indeed get dusted, no matter how immune to death they'd be in any other show.
  • Over the course of the radio show, the tv show and the live shows, virtually all significant characters of The Mighty Boosh have died and come back, occasionally without even any kind of explanation. In one episode of the TV show it's shown you can travel easily to and from the afterlife using mirrors, and the Shamen are shown to have the power to reverse death in the live shows, so at this point the only way a character is going to stay dead is if the writers cant think of any more jokes for them.
  • Pretty much everyone died on Farscape at least once, mostly reversed due to time travel, alternate universes, duplicates, and in one case a Heroic Sacrifice which lead to another character actually being Killed Off for Real. In fact it would probably be easier to count the characters killed on the show who actually stayed dead. However the undisputed master of this trope is Scorpius, who always manages to survive situations which should without question have been fatal, with nothing more than "foresight and planning."
    Crichton: Kryptonite, silver bullet, Buffy. What's it gonna take to keep you in the grave?
    D'Argo: Perhaps we should just take your head off. Worked for Durka.

     Multiple Media 

     Newspaper Comics 
"Oh for crying out loud... he's not dead AGAIN, is he?"
  • Opus has had a few near-death experiences, meaning that either he can return from death or he's just incredibly resilient. From what we've seen of him, the former is a lot more plausible.
  • Dilbert, Asok, and the Pointy-Haired Boss have all been brought back by cloning within weeks of their deaths. Dogbert on the other hand was kicked out of heaven.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Undertaker's whole gimmick revolves around threatening to steal his opponents' souls, kill them, and/or send them to Hell. It is unclear, however, what this has to do with winning wrestling matches. The one incident that stands out in particular was when he threatened to send Edge to Hell; at the end of the match, he apparently did just that, by chokeslamming him through the ring apron with flames shooting out, as both he and the announcers proclaimed that Edge had indeed gone to Hell. Edge returned a few months later without explanation. The Undertaker does not seem discouraged by this.
    • Done for Rule of Cool mostly. The Undertaker himself has "died" and come back to life before, quite a few times in fact. There was the 1994 Royal Rumble incident, in which Yokozuna and a bunch of other heel wrestlers bombarded him, opened his urn which caused him to lose his powers, and rolled him into a casket. As Paul Bearer rolled the casket away he was shown on the titantron inside the casket and he gave a speech in which he promised "I will not rest in peace." He then "floated" out of the casket and up to the rafters of the arena, presumably crossing over into the afterlife, only to return again later that year. Then of course there was the 2003 Survivor Series in which Kane buried Undertaker alive, thus "killing" his Biker persona and leading to his return as the Deadman we all know and love at WrestleMania.

    Puppet Shows 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Battle Spirits, there are numerous cards that allow you to regain spirits from the trash (discard pile).
  • In Tabletop RPGs, such as Dungeons & Dragons, high-level Divine casters are often so common that any dead hero can be resurrected if their party members have enough gold pieces. So while death isn't literally cheap (on the contrary, it can be rather expensive), it's not difficult to get out of (since PCs tend to accumulate vast amounts of treasure).
    • There are a few spells such as Barghest's Feast that can make it so that the target cannot return to life by mortal magic.
    • This page recognizes the potential implications of cheap resurrection spells for the society and proposes alternative rules, which can roughly be described as "dead is dead, but you'll be surprised what you can live through".
    • In 4th edition, resurrection is less common at low levels, but more common at higher levels. There are some epic level powers that can be activated "once per day, when you die."
      • One Epic Destiny in Martial Powers takes this to a logical extreme: Your character automatically revives 24 hours after each death, for free, in a different graveyard or tomb somewhere in the world. Since the same epic destiny lets you travel anywhere in the world in 24 hours, it means you'll have rejoined your party in 48 hours, assuming you know where they are/were going.
      • The Undying Warrior epic destiny takes this to an extreme, being able to come back to life five times a day. (The fifth time isn't the last time he can use it, just it takes 24 hours to return to life at this point, so that counts as a different day.)
    • The 1st Edition Dragonlance modules had the "Obscure Death" rule. If a significant character (one with a name) died, the Dungeon Master was encouraged to have the death occur in such a way that it was easy for the DM to explain how the character managed to survive anyway.
  • Mummy The Resurrection has this as a core mechanic, as the most important ability of the titular mummies is to not die permanently. There's only a handful of ways to kill an Amenti permanently, and the only "mundane" method is to hit them with a nuke. Point blank. And even that just traps them in the Underworld. On the other hand, mostly due to the game mechanics, dying is still really inconvenient...
  • Mortasheen's titular city has this due to cheap and easy cloning in the titular city, something that the genocidal villain civilization of Wreathe finds abhorrent.
  • Paranoia embodies this trope. You are only dead for as long as it takes for your next clone to be shipped somewhere. At least, until you run out of clones...
    • And in the latest versions, you can buy more! Although they start developing genetic defects (you can get these scrubbed out of your template for an extra fee).
  • Warhammer 40,000 has the Tyranids, who give a whole new meaning to Death Is Cheap. Any Tyranid that gets killed in an invasion is just digested and used to make more 'Nids.
    • The Necrons get out of death (most of the time) by just teleporting out and regenerating. Things a Necron can get patched up from include: nanometer thin shuriken, rapid fire missiles, holy napalm, and anti-tank weapons that vaporize almost anything.
    • Dark Eldar have Doctor Frankenstein-esque 'surgeons' known as Haemonculi (and their 'augmented' Igor-like Wracks) who can reconstruct entire new bodies for those Dark Eldar willing to pay an often esoteric price. The best can, given the client's will is strong enough, regrow an entire body from a charred hand. This being Warhammer 40,000, the procedure naturally involves torturing dozens of slaves to death, and the prices can range from slaves to souls to dying breaths. Naturally, the Haemonculi save the best and most reliable methods for themselves; the most senior of their number have died and come back countless times... with varying degrees of extra insanity.
      • The Craftworld Eldar to a lesser extent, as well. Although their physical bodies can be killed, their souls are stored in little gems called Soulstones. Soulstones are either sent to the Infinity Circuit of their home craftworld, or they are placed into Eldar walkers like Wraithguard and Wraithlords. Eldar generally try to live for as long as they can and have taken great steps to ensure that when they do go, they have some reprieve. They aren't motivated by cowardice, but because they're well aware of what's waiting to claim their souls on the other side.
    • It is not impossible for incredibly powerful psykers to either reclaim people's souls from the warp (the Emperor is implied to have done it) or find a way to anchor themselves to the physical world. The Emperor, whilst no technically dead, is believed by some fans to be being set up for this - when his physical body finally croaks, his soul will simply reincarnate for a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • In Toon, running out of hit points causes you to Fall Down, but this just means you have to sit out for a few minutes before returning with your hit points back up to full.
  • Car Wars. Death is expensive - you have to buy your clone for $5000 at Gold Cross.
  • BattleTech had "Life is cheap. BattleMechs aren't." as its slogan — given the shortage of giant robots, it was easier to find a replacement pilot than a replacement 'Mech.
  • In Eclipse Phase resleeving is expensive, but fairly routine. And Firewall guarantees resurrection for all its agents if they lack insurance, no promises on the quality of the new morph though. In addition a morph whose head hasn't been destroyed can be thrown in a healing vat and revived if within a couple hours of death or if put immediately in stasis (which medichines do automatically).

     Video Games  
  • All video games in general. The protagonist has a set number of lives, sometimes infinite. Worst case scenario, you simply start a new game.
  • In RuneScape, played straight for players; according to a Temple Knight, Saradomin catches you when you fall and return you to life to fulfill your destiny. However, subverted for NPCs - very few (non-attackable) NPCs are resurrected. One exception is Zanik, who was brought back by the tears of Guthix, who had wept at the destruction of the God Wars, so it was sufficiently climatic.
    • Zanik was a special case. Bandos, one of the gods, had a destiny in mind for Zanik to take a position that would benefit him greatly. Since Guthix wouldn't mind so long as Bandos himself doesn't come down, he felt it acceptable to allow her to come back to life. This gets averted in The Chosen Commander, when Zanik defies her destiny and is told that she can no longer be revived from death. She doesn't die, however.
  • Zero from Mega Man X is notorious for his repeated deaths. Even after his final no-really-he's-dead death in Mega Man Zero 4, his data and memories were compressed into a sentient rock that gives suitable people the ability to take up his form and saber.
    • For that matter, the series' favorite side villain, Vile, has died at least 3 times. Obliterated in X1, then in X3, then in X8.
  • Justified for Net Navis in the Mega Man Battle Network series, as being AI programs, they can simply have a back-up copy available in case the original gets deleted (Though exceptions exist, such as Mega Man himself). Strangely, numerous characters get very concerned about their Navis being in danger at times, yet have no qualms about them getting deleted in friendly net battles, with no justification for that.
    • To be fair, Megaman himself has no backups yet is still fine after losing a friendly netbattle. Odds are that the fight stops once a navi reaches enough HP to almost be deleted, but not actually suffer that fate.
  • Even though the Mortal Kombat series deliberately subjects death to the Rule of Cool, the creators will sometimes, in a high profile move, permanently kill off characters between games for drama. Unfortunately, they can't even get those to stick. The question of whether or not Johnny Cage is still alive remains a running gag to this day.
    • Since characters can conceivably be killed off at the end of every single match, plotline deaths are generally taken with a grain of salt by both gamers and developers alike.
      • It got worse with Deception's stage fatalities, which automatically win the round. "Round", not "match", meaning that it's possible to get killed and get back in action in the same fight.
      • And that's still nothing compared to Smoke's fatality where he blows up the entire planet, killing himself and the rest of the roster. Then, you fight the next match...
  • World of Warcraft:
    • This has been lampshaded. In one instance, you can buy an overpriced 'charm' from a shady troll vendor that he cheerily explains will let you do exactly what you do anyway to recover from death. In a more recent example, Arthas the Lich King may casually murder your character for what seems to be the sole purpose of embarrassing you.
      Arthas: Persistence or stupidity? It matters not. Let this be a lesson learned, mortal!
    • Even more recently lampshaded by an elemental in Deepholm, who, when you kill him, more or less exclaims "NOOOOOO!...not again!" because so many people have killed him, and when it first came out, there used to be lines of people waiting to kill him. He would just keep respawning and getting killed over and over again. Even more hilarious, when you level an alt, you really ARE personally killing him again. He also talks like a stupid five year old child before his death. His only normal line is the "not again!" line, pretty much proving that it was an intentional lampshade on Blizzard's part.
    • Used and abused by Blizzard overall in the Warcraft franchise, especially World of Warcraft. Players like recognizable major antagonists, but there is only so much of those in lore and Blizzard has to constantly produce expansions to their main moneymaker. So what do you do? You shamelessly resurrect your major antagonists. If you didn't chop off their head, you're almost guaranteed to have them come back later in yet another dungeon. Even if you DID, the villain may still come back as a spirit or a zombie... or have it turn out the previous version was a decoy... or just come back with no explanations whatsoever.
    • The Spirit Healers are a prime example. If you can't get back to your body for whatever reason, these gals will be happy to return you to your mortal coil because, "It is not your time."
    • Lampshaded again by Azuregos while justifying his relationship with the Spirit Healer Anara.
      Anara: How many times have she and her sisters brought you back from the grip of death itself? You're just all kinds of inconsiderate, aren't you?
  • Allen O'Neil from the Metal Slug series. Killed in 1, 2, and 3 (and even HELPS the player AFTER being killed in the third installment). Somewhat lampshaded, in that it is explained that his will to come back to his family somehow keeps him alive.
  • The whole JRPG Genre can be quite the offender of this as well. (Unless its done by a plot-induced death via a dramatic cut-scene.) The only probable exceptions are the cult classic Survival Horror RPG Sweet Home and (for the most part) Fire Emblem series. Namely on how they frequently have party members whom can die and stay dead even after a regular battle. (Though the latter would only occasionally make exceptions such as a certain staff you can get later on in the first game.)
    • Justified, as many games have these "deaths" are just the characters having been knocked out.
  • Died in a BioShock game? Resurrection is just a shiny booth away. It is, however, possible to turn off the Vita-Chambers in the options menu.
    • Death becomes slightly more expensive in BioShock Infinite, as each death now comes with a price: a certain amount of Silver Eagles (the in-game currency) depending on the difficultly level. There's no penalty if you run out though. Unless, of course, you're playing on 1999 mode, in which case death now costs 100 Silver Eagles, and being unable to pay results in having to reload your last save - without a manual save option.
  • Arguably justifiable in Borderlands. At the beginning of the game, the local Exposition Fairy and quest announcer hands you something called an ECHONet communication device and "heads up" display, after which you are directed to a "New-U Station". The latter is explained away as being able to "identify and store" your DNA profile, and you are flat out told that this is done for the purposes of "horrific death and dismemberment insurance". Ever after, every time you die throughout the game you are teleported back to the last New-U Station that you passed with 7% of whatever was in your wallet at the time providing a charge for "reconstruction services". If you were flat broke, the fee is waived. Because, of course, "we at Hyperion value your existence".
    • ...It also brings to mind whether or not how many of the endless sea of mooks and bosses are actually dead as well. There are certain bosses that respawn matching your current level after you kill them, and to top it off you get to fight them all together again in Mad Moxxi's Underdome during a later DLC. Given the canonical explanation of game mechanics, it is entirely feasible that several of your previous foes may possess registration with New-U Stations as well.
    • Claptrap's Robot Revolution shows that only the minor not as well known bosses have been registered to the New-U Station. The Big Bads are brought back cyborg parts, not completely rebuilt of course
    • This trope ends up creating plot holes in the sequel: Hyperion's CEO, Handsome Jack, spends the entire game trying to kill you (and succeeding in the introduction)... but his company also owns the New-U machines. Does he not have the foresight to just delete you from the registry? Or perhaps he enjoys making profit from your failure rather than more permanent satisfaction?
      • There's a fan theory about this: Angel's in control of the entire Hyperion infrastructure, so she could prevent Jack from deleting you from the system. After she dies, Jack is so pissed off about you killing her daughter he keeps you in the system so he could kill you himself. And while in the final battle, he just enjoys killing you over and over.]] Or alternatively, Hyperion's so bureaucratic it would literally take years for even the CEO to delete someone from the system. In case of Roland, though, he seems to have managed to delete him.
      • Also, it fills an otherwise-plothole event. Specifically, how Jack could taunt you in sidequests after the final mission in which he's killed.
    • Practically required for the Slabs initation to actually turn up anything other than extinction. "Initiation" being "Fight through and kill most of the slabs while likely dying alot yourself". This is implied to happen every time a group joins the Slabs.
  • Resurrection booths also feature in Space Colony, but even before you get them dead teammates turn up perfectly fine in later missions.
  • The Nameless One is immortal and simply returns to the Mausoleum every time he dies in Planescape: Torment. (Most of the time. There are a few ways that the Nameless One can get permanently offed.)
    • Ultimately averted, in a way. Sure, the Nameless One will get back up again if killed, but every time that happens another person dies in his place and becomes an undead shadow, paying the "price" for his death. This actually affects the number of enemies (who are all supposedly shades risen from those who died in the place of the Nameless One) found in the final area of the game.
  • According to the official franchise timeline in Hyrule Hystoria, in The Legend of Zelda, while the Links and Zeldas are separate characters all Ganons are the same, having been revived by either the Triforce or something else (excluding the one in Four Swords Adventures, who is the next male born into the Gerudo line after Ganondorf was executed in Twilight Princess).
    • The Ganondorf of Ocarina of Time, Twilight Princess, and The Wind Waker is explicitly the same man within the games, and is not killed or seemingly killed in any version of Ocarina of Time's "split" aftermath.
    • Skyward Sword offers some explanation for this: just before mostly-dying, Demise curses Hyrule to be constantly haunted by evil, which implies that his lingering power is what created Ganon and keeps bringing him back to life after the current Link kills him. Some other villains, like Vaati, seem to recur in the same way, probably for the same reason.
  • Ridley from the Metroid series is a Recurring Boss, appearing in all the Metroid games except Metroid 2: Return of Samus and Metroid Prime 2: Echoes. Considering what he's survived or been resurrected from, he should really be long gone by now. Blown to bits in the first game? OK, limited graphics, he might just have fallen over, and he was absent from the second. Returns as a cyborg in Prime, loses his wings and gets blown off a really large cliff before he explodes? Sure, why not. More cybernetics at the beginning of Prime 3: Corruption where he gets shot up and dropped down a really, really high elevator shaft? Returns at the end of Prime 3, hyped up on radioactive drugs, to get slaughtered once again and blown to molecules. Blown into tiny chunks again in Super Metroid? In Other M, scientists unwittingly cloned him with DNA samples taken from Samus' suit. The clone is killed by the Queen Metroid? In Metroid Fusion his body is found frozen in a storage room, taken over and destroyed by shape-shifting parasites, which are then in turn blown up and absorbed by the heroine. And yet, we know he will return. Death isn't worth a penny to him!
  • Played for laughs in the Infocom Text Adventure Leather Goddesses Of Phobos. Your faithful sidekick would occasionally get killed in the course of trying to solve some puzzle, with you mourning their loss. They'd show up again with some ridiculous Deus ex Machina explanation within a few turns.
  • Played with constantly in Metal Gear. Three of the main characters in the series are clones of another main character, and they intentionally abuse this aspect of their identity. To put it simply, a man and his three clone-sons are ALL believed to have been dead at some point in the series, while still being alive in some form or another.
    • Ramped up to insane levels with Liquid. He walks away without a scratch from things that should have killed him, such as helicopters and having multiple missiles fired into the cockpit of the Metal Gear he's controlling, and just when you thought he'd been killed by FOXDIE, his spirit possesses Ocelot. Mercifully, that last example turns out to be an personality implanted via hypnosis, and he's been dead since Metal Gear Solid.
  • Crypto of Destroy All Humans! is like this. Every time he dies they just pull out a new clone with all the previous one's memories. The sequel even lampshades this by saying that the Crypto you play as in that one is a clone of the one in the previous one (ignoring whether or not you died in the previous one).
    • Near the end of the 2nd one you fight can a Bonus Boss who averts this. You have to kill him as many times as you yourself died. So if you died 10 times he'll have 10 lives. Better hope you didn't exploit this trope too much or you'll have a long fight on your hands.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island, Guybrush came back to life in the ending after he was killed by his nemesis LeChuck. Quite literally, death means nothing to LeChuck as he always come back to torment Guybrush and obtain Elaine's love.
  • Reala from Tales of Destiny 2 was reborn in front of the protagonist Kyle in the ending, which is considered a miracle under that circumstance. It can be considered a Deus ex Machina, since the reason behind this is "Pure Deep love" that Kyle and Reala have for each other.
  • To date, Time Crisis's Wild Dog has been not only killed, but completely blown up five times. Except for that one arm, he always returns good as new. Nobody at Namco has offered even a token explanation as to how he does it.
  • In Temple Run, it only takes one click to get back on your feet after death. You have to start over as far as running distance is concerned, but you get to keep all the coins you collected on your previous runs. Plus, you can also buy the ability to resurrect yourself, so you can keep your running distance as well.
  • Your team in Project Eden often die though sheer incompetence, thankfully their health plan includes 'regen' stations that resurrect and heal them.
  • In God of War death is so cheap for Kratos that it raises serious Fridge Logic regarding your suicide, how anyone intends to stop you, and why the game even ends if something kills you. In the first game Hades is your ally and allowed you to return, but after that you pretty much just walk out on your own.
  • In Super Meat Boy, everyone seems to come back to life in one way or another. Meat Boy just respawns, some rise from the grave, squirrels just get better, some pop out from their former dead bodies and so on.
  • What Left 4 Dead usually becomes, although originally, the feature wasn't intended. Players who died will come back trapped in a closet and requires another player to free them. Players who died will also come back in the next map if they weren't found in a closet then. The sequel adds a defibrillator that can bring dead players back into the game on the spot. Realism, VS, and Survival mode take away the ability to come back in closets, becoming dead for real.
  • In the online game Fallen London, should your character die from accumulated wounds, (s)he will find herself on the boat of the dead - from where it is possible to return. This is referenced in-story, e.g., you can be hired to assassinate a troublesome journalist - "he'll get better, obviously, but it will serve as a warning".
  • Dracula and his minions from the Castlevania series emerge from death every 100 years, sometimes even less than that. His castle may also count as it collapses again and again.
  • Pretty much the entire point of Ghost Trick. The main character is a ghost, and one of his tricks is to go back a few minutes before a person's death and prevent it. They keep their memory of the event, and if their ghost is conscious they can watch the main character work his magic. One character in particular gets quite used to it, dying five times within the game!
    Lynne: [upon dying for the third time] Ha ha, I died again!
  • Death is treated as somewhat of a minor inconvenience in Arcanum, as any number of spells and magically restorative items can bring back someone to the land of the living. Companions will actually have unique sets of dialogue available when revived, and generally find the whole affair of being dead to be a rather pleasant experience. One companion's major sidequest even has him being inevitably killed in a hopeless battle, but there are some resurrection scrolls conveniently located on a nearby desk.
    • This becomes a major plot point later in the game, as it turns out that death in ancient times was so cheap that the only way destructive mages such as Arronax could be permanently defeated was by sealing them in an alternate dimension known as The Void. This still doesn't stop some of its inhabitants from trying to take over Arcanum anyways.
  • In Spore, death is rarely anything but a minor annoyance - you're playing as but one member of a whole species, after all. The implication is when you die you are born again as another member of the species. However, this extends even to the Space Age, where you are directly implied to be one person no matter how many times you die.
    • Avoided altogether in Galactic Adventures: disregarding situations when one's spaceship explodes with their Captain in it in the overworld, should you die in an adventures everything resets back to the beginning as if that time was your actual run through of it.
  • The actual gameplay of Team Fortress 2 wouldn't be worth mentioning here, because respawns are the norm in FPS games. But it's worth mentioning that a large section of the metaplot revolves around immortality machines (with at least one unaccounted for). Also BLU heavy dies in every single Meet The Team video, which may be lampshading the absurdity of respawn mechanics.
  • Played with in Neverwinter Nights 2. In the original campaign, this is averted: party members who lose all their HP simply suffer a Non-Lethal K.O. (unless the entire party is KO'd) and revive at the end of the fight. Despite being based on D&D rules (see Tabletop Games, above), three friendly characters suffer Plotline Death and can't be resurrected. Possibly justified by the setting requirements for resurrection: you have to be willing, and there can't be anything keeping you back.
    • Played straight in the second expansion Storm of Zehir. KO'd party members will bleed out and die if left unattended, but resurrecting them is as easy as traveling to the nearest temple and paying for a resurrection spell (or keeping a good stock of Coins of Life handy, consumable items that cast resurrection).
      • In the original Neverwinter Nights campaign, if your companion died he would be instantly teleported to the nearest temple of Tyr. They will describe their experience when you next speak to them.
  • Fairies in Touhou exist as long as the aspect of nature they represent exists, and are highly fragile and deeply stupid. Hence they have a tendency to fly head first into dangerous situations, explode, resurrect soon afterwards, then go on their way, usually forgetting what happened soon afterwards so they can do it again.
    • Kaguya and Mokou are absolutely immortal, but instead of never dying they have Resurrective Immortality that activates instantaneously after they die, making death less than an inconvenience to them. It still hurts though, which is why Mokou eventually stops her battle. ("Ow, it hurts! I won't die but it hurts~")
  • This trope is pretty evident in the world of Blazblue whereby some of the key characters like Terumi and Trinity Glassfield can still linger around in spirit form after their deaths and possess bodies (Kazuma and Platinum respectively) given the opportunity, even Nu who died in the first game can come back to life on the 3rd game thanks to her life-link with Ragna.
  • The cooperative testing initiative robots in Portal2 are simply downloaded into new frames and dropped into the testing arena when they are destroyed. One of the trailers even ends with GLaDOS warning them not to disappoint her *crashing, mangling, rending, flying robot parts* "Or I'll make you wish you could die."
  • In Conkers Bad Fur Day squirrels apparently get as many lives as they think they can get away with, or however many squirrel tails they can find. Much to Gregg's dismay.
  • The eponymous characters in the Worms series die all the time, but they are back for the next battle as if nothing had happened. This trope is especially noticeable in story/campaign mode, where no discontinuity can be implied – sometimes a single worm survives the battle, yet the whole team is back for any following cutscene and the next battle in the story.
  • Odin Sphere is a quasi-example. While characters do indeed die and stay dead, a number of characters also either die or are banished to the Netherworld while still alive, and then get brought back later by somebody storming the Netherworld and kicking the ass of Queen Odette, the queen of the dead. This eventually comes to an end during Gwendolyn's storyline (the very last of the five character's stories to end chronologically) where Odette is finally Killed Off for Real, and as a result the Netherworld is sealed forever so no one can get out and no one can get in except through death.
  • Fable II has this over the conventional deaths of the first game. When you run out of health you're only knocked out for a little while and lose a sizable amount of experience.
  • The Secret World, like most MMO's, has players respawn quickly after being killed. More uniquely, this is given an in story explanation, the "bees" that gave characters their powers also reassemble the bodies of the characters after they die. Several story characters even point this out, and make decisions based on the fact that the player characters are extremely hard to permanently kill. In game, death's penalty of durability loss only means it is used to travel, to move quickly between respawn points.

    Visual Novels 
  • Fate/stay night has the main character uttering the line "People die when they are killed" at one point, which is a blatant tautology out of the show's context and a blatant lie inside it. (It makes sense in context, because he's figured out the source of his immortality and is giving it up, but Memetic Mutation has made it into a synonym for Captain Obvious.) Berserker, on the other hand, has the power to be killed 12 times before he dies, and comes back instantly without any adverse effects. This is supposedly a huge difference from mere quick regeneration. Not to mention it then makes him permanently immune to whatever killed him after he regenerates.
    • It's not without averse affects. After losing five lives taking down Archer his combat abilities are severely weakened to the point where, left to his own devices, he would not have chased after and fought Saber.
    • Fate/hollow ataraxia plays it differently: You learn quite early that there's a time loop that occurs whether the main characters live or die. Thus, Shirou is free to get killed off much more quickly than in FSN. In fact, you have to die multiple times.
  • Higurashi: When They Cry appears to have this, thanks to the series' "Groundhog Day" Loop, but later on it's shown to be subverted, since the "Groundhog Day" Loop doesn't show time repeating over and over, but alternate universes. Thus, if the characters die in one universe, they will remain dead.
  • Death seems to be even cheaper in Umineko: When They Cry thanks to the Endless Witch being able to kill and revive endlessly at will. Hell, even outside the fantasy aspect and into the meta-world in EP5 some characters like Battler "die" since he stopped thinking and his body stopped as well, but then makes his awesome comeback when he reaches the truth. And then in EP6 he revives a gone Beato with, uh, magic (it's a complicated process, don't ask). Ultimately subverted by the end of the series, though, since it turns out that while they can be revived as pieces for each new game, in the real world nearly everyone who was on the island is dead and will remain so.
  • The Kurain Channeling Technique and the Fey family are the keys in this in the Ace Attorney games.
    • Maya and Pearl Fey constantly channel Mia Fey so she can help Phoenix in court, after her dying in the second case of the series.
    • The DL-6 incident features this heavily as Gregory Edgeworth is channelled by the then Master of the Kurain Channelling School, Misty Fey to testify about his own death. He names the wrong guy, though whether he knew this, and if he did, why, is left up to speculation.
    • Dahlia Hawthorne is asked to be channelled by her innocent, little half-sister Pearl by their mother Morgan Fey, so they can exact their revenge and become the main family, respectively. This plan all goes wrong, so instead she gets channelled by Maya and is exorcised by Mia's Pre-Mortem One-Liner in the middle of the courtroom.

    Web Comics 
  • The trope is the subject of this joke from The Order of the Stick.
    • Also subverted; Roy dies fighting Xykon. Haley and Belkar recover his body, but have to lug it around for the next few months with no access to a resurrection spell. He isn't resurrected until more than 200 strips later.
    • The prequel book On the Origin of PCs also has fun with this trope. While informing his son Roy that he's about to die for good because he's reached the end of his lifespan (Natural Death being the only form you can't come back from), Eugene mentions that Roy's little sister can't understand her daddy "won't be coming back—this time." Later, Eugene's gravestone is shown with multiple death dates. Even more amusingly, a nearby tombstone belonging to a man described as "the Unlucky" also has multiple death dates - the last four all in the same year.
    • Subverted in another case, where Xykon is mindlessly torturing a captive soldier; Xykon thinks that he can just be resurrected if they kill him by mistake, but Redcloak points out that the soldier's soul has to allow itself to be brought back, and given his situation, he'd probably rather stay in the afterlife. Possibly double-subverted, because the soldier was creating a list of Xykon's spells; he might have chosen to come back if he had died before sending this important information to the heroes.
    • Elan manages to both lampshade and avert the trope in this strip.
  • Irregular Webcomic! has returning from the dead as a major plot point.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja: Words cannot do justice to the eponymous Doctor's death and return (it begins here and continues until the end of the issue). For that matter, another character returns from the dead not long after - though this has more consequences.
    Ben Franklin: [sitting in a restaurant in purgatory] It's alright. I've left this restaurant without paying my bill once before... And I have ensured that it will happen again.
    Beeman: That was the most menacing promise of dine and dash I've ever seen.
  • Lampshaded in this Super Stupor comic.
    Gigafyte: I don't have to spend all eternity around you, do I?
    The Grim Reaper: You kidding me? You costumed freaks come back from the dead so often I don't even get to count you towards my quota.
  • 8-Bit Theater tends to do this a lot. Once a main character got kicked out of hell, another time a different character died 50 times in a row over the course of only 7 strips. Of course, when you've got a White Mage following you around who can cure death with just one spell, death isn't a problem. (Fair enough, since that's the way it worked in the video game on which the strip is based.) However, when a certain well-loved character was Killed Off for Real the forums erupted with so much pleas to bring the character back, the author had to tell them that no, he's not coming back ever, and the forum rules now say to stop talking about it.
    • On one occasion, Black Mage kills several characters in a fit of rage, only to discover one by one that they are all alive. He expects that Ranger is also alive somehow, but Cleric says no, he's dead. Then Cleric just resurrects him.
    • The Faceless Cult also does this - Black Mage slaughters them all in the ice caps, then they return for no explained reason in the undersea temple near Onrac, now worshiping a new god/goddess and subsequently getting slaughtered AGAIN.
  • Girl Genius:
    • If your brain is intact, any sufficiently-skilled Mad Scientist can bring you Back from the Dead - it is their purpose in doing so that may be the issue. (Note intact. Brain damage sets in quickly, so unless you die in a lab you're probably out of luck.) Then there's the fact that most of them come back mad... like really mad. Worse than when they started.
    • If someone of royalty dies however, they lose their status and are considered 'dead' in the line of succession.
    • Death Is Cheap enough in Girl Genius that they have tropes for it.
      Tarvek: The old "bring her family back from the grave" gambit? Have you no shame?
    • In one arc Agatha decides to cure one of her love interests and herself of a deadly disease by killing and revivifying themselves.
    • Supporting character Dr. Mittelmind has died so many times he trained his minion to revive him and has an external power source to prevent memory loss.
    • When Voll brings the leader of defeated army to Dr. Sun for medical attention, he only brought his severed head. The doctor's response: "I've seen worse." The severed head is later shown as a Brain in a Jar, catching up on his reading, because, well... there aren't many other things to do when you're a severed head in a jar.
  • Lampshaded in Narbonic: here
  • The Gods Of Arr Kelaan used to be able to resurrect on a whim, then Thannatria put her foot down.
  • MS Paint Adventures:
    • In Problem Sleuth, Death is a very mild individual and has some trouble actually keeping people in the afterlife. Pretty much every main character has come back to life at some point by either beating him at a board game, or in the case of the Big Bad, simply walking out of his door.
      • Averted when the Big Bad was sent back to Death, he is unable to leave a second time since Death had placed a contrabass between the doors of Life and Death as a security measure.
    • Death is also thwarted in Homestuck on many occasions; however, where the resurrections in Problem Sleuth were played for comic effect, Homestuck has a host of in-universe reasons why death isn't as permanent as it is in the real world. That said, there are still plenty of characters who have been Killed Off for Real. That the dream bubble afterlife allows the properly dead characters to still take part in the story (mostly as vehicles for exposition) further cheapens death, for the kids and trolls at least. ...or it was, at least, until it was revealed that dreambubbles can be destroyed, killing any dead characters in them at the time.
  • Nodwick. Justified primarily by Rule of Funny; it's easier to laugh when Nodwick is disassembled as a result of a Zany Scheme if you know he's coming back next time, covered in duct tape and making smart remarks. He even set a record.
  • Sluggy Freelance mocked the idea of bringing back Oasis in this strip before Death Is Cheap became a real trait of her character.
  • Last Res0rt lampshades it outright after turning a Red Shirt Galaxy Girl Scout's brains into Pink Mist:
    Death is Expensive. Punchlines are Cheap.
  • Mountain Time regular characters Dave and Agoraphobic Hamster have each died and reappeared whenever the plot demands it.
  • Don't Look It Sucks uses this frequently, to the point where even the characters expect this.
    • A guest page filler gag is to have Tero, the resident Cute Ghost Girl, go back to life, only to have her killed again in the end of the same page, in the most careless way possible.
    • Also very common in Chapter 3, where the cast plays a game of Team Fortress 2.
    • An odd instance of this trope occurs in Chapter 4, where Moon dies after delivering a fatal, explosive Falcon Punch to Aaron, who tried to steal Moon's life dream. A character brings him back to life in the next chapter. Or so everyone thought. Actually, Aaron, disguised as Moon, was the one brought back to life. Later on, it is revealed that Moon didn't die at all and his weakened, barely surviving body was in fact captured by the comic's Big Bad for researches.
  • In 1/0, every character gets one "ghost point" - they can die and come back as a ghost exactly once. They also have the option of removing themselves from the strip by "pulling a Ribby"; that is, imagining a perfect reality to live in and going there. In fact, none of the characters stay dead. Tailsteak resurrects them all as the strip is winding up, to send them to Oregon. He even brings back characters that pulled a Ribby.
  • In Bob and George, given the really low cost, low quality soviet materials used to build Ran, it's easier to have a machine that pops out a new Ran body every time he breaks the old one (which is incredibly often). As his creator says when asked about how inefficient this is, "Really, really, really cheap!"
    • Naturally, the rest of the characters have abused this in all kinds of ridiculous ways. On one occasion, they gathered a substantial arsenal by getting Ran to hand over his weapon and then killing him (or possibly killing Ran by getting him to hand over his weapon), followed by repeating it on the next clone.
  • Parodied in Sam and Fuzzy: Bitey the Shark, after his arch enemy Darkshark heroically sacrifices himself, laments that "we live in a gritty, x-treme world, where actions have real consequences and the dead stay dead... no matter how popular they are!" A week later, Darkshark comes back without comment.
  • This is the case for dragon-marked individuals in The Law of Purple. Unless the individual in question kills themself, their dragon can always revive them. Blue has already been revived from a fatal crash-landing on Earth and has admitted to reviving after being shot in the face at point-blank range.
  • Death proves cheap three times in True Believers, starring Spider-Man, since comic book characters "always come back." This trope worked in Spidey's favor after reality-warping writer Joe Quesadilla killed Mary Jane Watson, but she revitalized herself just in time to retcon Quesadilla's existence, preventing him from making any further attempts to separate Spidey and her.
  • In Casey and Andy, main character and Author Avatar Andy was killed in the very first strip! And many times thereafter, Casey and Andy being mad scientists who leave boxes of antimatter lying around. The first time, C&A appear at the Pearly Gates... but after Andy starts dating Satan, they always seems to end up going to the other place.
  • Schlock Mercenary:
  • Spacetrawler hasn't used this trope (yet), but the author comments on it in The Rant below this page. He points out that sci-fi has so many ways to bring mortally wounded or dead characters back that an author who wants to permanently kill a given character needs to disintegrate them on-screen (at the very least) to convince the audience that they're dead.
  • Shelly Winters in Scary Go Round dies multiple times, which is lampshaded by Gibbous Moon saying "Didn't you claim on your life insurance three times?"
  • In Rusty and Co., averted and explained in one of the critical missives. To be sure, that's for a wight. All sorts of bit characters have died and reappeared without explanation — sometimes more than once.
  • In Starslip, this applies specifically to Protocol Officer Quine. Any time Quine dies, he is immediately cloned in a vat back on the ship. Doesn't make the dying part any more pleasant, though.
  • In El Goonish Shive, death for an Immortal merely puts them out of commission for a few weeks if they die properly. If they die improperly, it just means they suffer from amnesia when they come back.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: The Vargas race who run the tournament promise that any casualties will be revived by a random universes' Namekian Dragon Balls (the specification of using Namekian Dragon Balls implies that Earth doesn't have a set in every reality). Having the fighters unrestrained helps put on a good show. Doesn't stop the deaths of Tidar, Pan, and Syd from causing misery to their teammates.

     Web Original 
  • Lampshaded in this College Humor video about a superhero funeral.
  • On Happy Tree Friends, nearly every character dies whenever they appear, only to return next time with not a scratch. They don't even seem to be aware that they've died.
  • Erik will be revived in Dokapon Kingdom in one to three days after she is killed; this is actually why her future self was put in the "The Ultimate Mercy" during the Incarnates Arc by Incarnate!Mega Man. Brian has been revived twice, and tons of characters just get revived back every day.
  • In The Salvation War series, many first lifers are beginning to think this way. Second lifers on the other hand...
    • "Sadly, just after completing this daring rescue, Doctor Orwell suffered a heart attack and died from his exertions. We will be broadcasting an interview with him shortly."
  • Strong Bad's crudely drawn and amazingly long-running comic Teen Girl Squad exemplifies this trope. Most likely, The Brothers Chap didn't think it would go beyond that one e-mail, but then realized that they had something corny and really easy to animate that they could milk the bejabbers out of and decided to run with it.
  • Averted in Red vs. Blue: as it turns out, the only people who ever officially died and came back actually were AI, and therefore never alive to begin with. Played straight with Donut, though, although it's not seen in the series itself, just a sponsor video. Arguably played straight with the red and blue armies Caboose and Sarge meet.
    • After Church was revealed to be the Alpha, he was destroyed by the EMP at the end of Reconstruction. The one seen in Recreation and Revelation is the Epsilon AI, a fragment of the Alpha that is reconstructed by Caboose telling him stories about the old Church. At the end of Revelation, the Epsilon AI and Tex are permanently sealed inside the unit, essentially killing them both off.
  • Santa Christ came back to life three days after his death. When The Nostalgia Chick calls him on this (specifically, the part about him waiting that long to come back and fix the crisis), Santa Christ asks if she knows of a faster way, or if she has ever come back at all.
    • The Nostalgia Critic and Phelous. The Critic has repeatedly died for the purpose of comedy, and Phelous' main gimmick is dying. Really, it's a safe bet that when death is Played for Laughs, it won't stick. Which may be why Ma-Ti is still dead.
    • Spoony. So far he has been blown up by Dr Insano, killed by Mechakara, and committed suicide. Bonus points for becoming a Black Lantern whenever he's killed.
    • Terl.
  • The rules for Marvels RPG allows characters to be resurrected, if the staff approves of the way of resurrection. So far, it has become a running joke of who will kill Daken next.
  • Characters are resurrected, cloned, or body surf frequently on The Gungan Council. While no one wants their characters to die, it's still not that distressing to see a character ripped apart. They'll be back...
  • Susan from Half Full is killed in the first episode only to be brought back a few minutes later, due to a cosmic technicality.
  • Dragon Ball Abridged:
    • Predictably enough, the show lampshades the entire trope in Episode 30:
      Yamcha: Well, yeah but, you make it sound like death has no consequence!
      Tien: It really doesn't. We're literally waiting to go back. Hell, this is Chaozu's second time.
      Chaozu: Next time, I get a free sundae!
    • This gets hilariously lampshaded throughout Season 3 (The Android Saga)
      • When Goku is reminded that the cyberized Freeza could have murdered all his friends before his arrival, Goku's only reaction is to joke that the dragon wouldn't be happy about having to revive them.
      • When Yajirobe's car gets blown up by Dr. Gero and Android 19, the heroes just watch on and Goku lazily comments that Yajirobe was never revived by the Dragon Balls before.
      • In the episode where Androids 17 and 18 were released, it opens up with Bulma remarking with relief that she didn't have to be revived, BEFORE realizing Baby Trunks was with her on the plane she was flying before it was blown up by Dr. Gero.
  • "Batty Battalion". Parodied and Justified as they can just respawn. Zig-Zagged in the case of Corporal Thompson, who has run out of lives, but still finds a way to come back.
  • Max Landis's The Death And Return Of Superman postulates that the eponymous 1992 arcs are largely responsible for opening the floodgates of this phenomenon in comic books.
  • Bonus Stage does this starting with "Morbid", in which Joel dies and the others manage to free him from Hell, which is apparently on the sun.
    • When Rya is introduced to the main characters, Joel says that to keep her on the show, one of them must die forever. Elly kills a minor character, Treelor, that only appeared in one episode before then, since Joel never said the dead character had to be a main character. However, Treelor has since appeared alive in subsequent episodes.
    • In one episode, Joel is about to be crushed by a giant robot. His last words?
      Joel: "Well, see you next episode."
    • Joel uses this to his advantage in one episode, where he tries repeatedly to jump into the eShip's filing service to fish out something lost inside it. After trying to see if his corpses break his fall, he gives up, and uses the duplicate money in the duplicated wallets of his corpses to buy a replacement.
  • In GEOWeasel, Nar survives being shot dead twice. The first time, Weas exacts revenge on the perpetrator; the second time, Weas is the perpetrator. And Nar comes back soon enough to do the closing statement for the episode.

     Western Animation  
  • Transformers:
    • How many times has Optimus Prime died, again? (Granted, they weren't all the same person.)
    • In Transformers Animated, after Starscream gained an Allspark fragment and was made immortal, cue a full minute of Starscream dying over and over in increasingly undignified ways. Animated is also famous for establishing a new record for Optimus Prime's revival. He died in the third episode, and came back 75 seconds later.
      • In the Beast Wars/Generation One continuity, the original Starscream was a mutant, whose spark happened to be immortal. The Maximal High Council tried to abuse this feature, but the character born from it surprisingly did die for good down the line (admittedly by having his spark ripped to shreds with a shard of raw energon, a substance shown in his first appearance to be able to damage his spark).
    • Megatron dies in the last spisode of Transformers Prime, only to be revived by Unicron in the Grand Finale movie for use as a vessel to possess.
    • In fact, the Transformers franchise in general has no shame in pulling this every so often. As robots, being repaired or rebuilt isn't that far fetched. The only series to really avert this trope is Transformers Prime, which would often revive a character as a mindless zombie and then kill them off again just to get the point across, with Megatron's revival coming at a cost that he didn't care for.
  • In Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Master Shake has been impaled with an axe, beaten to death with a baseball bat, and eaten by piranhas. Carl has had his blood drank by a psychotic monster, been crushed by a giant chicken, and had the top half of his body removed by an explosive flaming arrow. And Mcpee Pants has been blown up, killed in a slaughter house, and crushed by Err. Yet all of them inexplicably return (save for Mcpee Pants) without explanation in the next episode. Along with that, Ol' Drippy, who was killed by a car, and the Wisdom cube, with the Dumbassahedratron, who were chopped to pieces by a helicopter still appear at the villains meeting hosted by the Mooninites.
  • Drawn Together:
    • Each character has died many times over the course of the show, sometimes multiple times in the same episode. A few episodes end with all or almost all of the cast dying, and yet they're almost always brought back. One exception was the first episode of Season 2, where Wooldoor was treated as though he was Killed Off for Real after he killed himself, but he returned to the house later in the episode.
    • In one moment in particular, Captain Hero demonstrated his powers of immortality by decapitating himself with a sword, falling off screen dead, and then walking back onscreen.
      Captain Hero: Now you try.
  • Aeon dies in each of the original Ćon Flux shorts, though there is no continuity between them.
  • Slade in Teen Titans fell into a pit of lava via Terra and shows up two seasons later semi-alive and well thanks to Raven's dad needing a henchman to help destroy the world.
  • With the exception of Peter and Meg receiving snapbacks after dying on Family Guy, this trope was averted with characters such as Mr. Weed, Francis Griffin, and Diane Simmons being Killed Off for Real. Then James Woods showed up in "Tom Tucker: The Man and His Dream". When Peter and Tom tell him that the last time they saw him he was stabbed to death, Woods explains what happened. Due to being a famous Hollywood Actor, he was entitled to top-notch medical care at a Hollywood hospital; his body was transfused with the life force from a 17-year-old girl.
  • Villain Ghostfreak from Ben 10 got killed twice in a Family-Unfriendly Death kind of way (burnt to ashes to be precise). Each time, he was able to come back, the first time by being resurrected by his henchmen and the second by an unknown process (though an explanation exists, since he can come back as long as there is a sample of him in Ben's Omnitrix). This isn't even the original Ghostfreak,who snuck his DNA into the Omnitrix according the Word of God. Later installments remove his fragility.
    • Similarly, in future episode "Ben 10000", Vilgax was torn to pieces by the future incarnation of Ben, but was still brought back to life by Dr Animo.
  • Rigby has died at least twice on Regular Show, in both "It's Time" and "Over the Top."

     Real Life 
  • For some people the idea of reincarnation is this on a Karmic scale, only problem is you tend to forget your old life in the process.
  • Spanish General Francisco Franco's death was misreported so often that Saturday Night Live occasionally reminded people that he was still dead.


Death Is a Slap on the WristResurrection TropesDeath Is Not Permanent
Dangerous DeserterExample as a ThesisDeceptive Legacy
A Death in the LimelightJust for PunDeath Throws
Death Is a Sad ThingDeath TropesDeath Is Dramatic
Super StuporImageSource/WebcomicsSweet Bro and Hella Jeff

alternative title(s): Comic Book Death; More Comebacks Than Lazarus; Revolving Door Afterlife
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