An expression of Pet the Dog
, this is where a character is shown visiting the grave of a loved one, or possibly the spot where they died or some other Shrine to the Fallen
, as a periodic ritual. Often a Tear Jerker
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- Maison Ikkoku uses the yearly visits to Soichiro's grave as a convenient way to say "another year has passed."
- Darker Than Black has this with April and July following November 11's death. Belying the fact that Contractors and Dolls are supposedly emotionless, they mark his site of death with beer bottles.
- In Rurouni Kenshin, Kenshin and Kaoru visit the grave of his first wife and are surprised to find the grave already cleaned and her momento left there.
- While its not shown if this occurs regularly, Fullmetal Alchemist show Roy Mustang leaving flowers at Hughes' grave on at least one occasion after his death.
- Trisha Elric's grave also appears periodically, most notably in the chapter 'The Father Before the Grave,' when Edward goes to the cemetery to visit his mother's tombstone and meets Hohenheim again for the first time in over ten years. (Hohenheim then makes some observations that lead to Ed digging up the 'grave' where Pinako buried the monstrosity that the boys got trying to resurrect Trisha.)
- It turns up again at the very end, when Hohenheim apparently survived the battle-damage just long enough to get there and die smiling.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion plays this stright and inverts this, with both Gendo and Shinji Ikari visiting Yui's Grave. Marking the day she was absorbed into Unit 01. Even Gendo points out that 'This is just a marker.' You could say that Shinji is doing this every time he pilots.
- Gunslinger Girl. Jerk Ass handler Jean is shown visiting the grave of his dead little sister who was killed by terrorists, sparking off his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- In Monster, one of the epilogue scenes is of Lunge leaving a bottle of liquor at Grimmer's grave, in reference to the promise they'd made to share a drink after everything was over.
- Spider-Man often shows Peter Parker visiting Uncle Ben's grave.
- Batman often shows Bruce Wayne visiting the graves of his parents (although since they're buried on the grounds of Wayne Manor, this is not a huge effort for him).
- Some stories have him visiting the spot in Crime Alley where his parents were murdered, a somewhat more difficult and dangerous (admittedly not so much for him as for most people) trip:
- Empowered visits the grave of her daddy, whom she lost early in her life.
- In the 1989 Tim Burton Batman film, Bruce Wayne regularly deposits a pair of roses at the site of his parents' murder.
- For Your Eyes Only opens with James Bond visiting the grave of his deceased wife.
- In Rocky Balboa, Rocky is shown regularly visiting and "talking" to his dead wife at her grave.
- In Grosse Pointe Blank, Martin at one point visits the grave of his father, pouring a bottle of whiskey on top of it with a stone-faced expression, before dumping the bottle by the gravestone and wandering off. It's less about respect, and more about the implication that his dad was an abusive drunk.
- Virginia in Happy Birthday to Me visits her mother's grave periodically.
- The Phantom of the Opera
- Christine in the 1989 film brings roses to her father's grave after her first big role in the opera as Carlotta's replacement.
- In 2004 version, Raoul visits Christine's grave at end of the film. When he gets there, he notices that Eric has been there too.
- Lionel attempts to visit his mother's grave after she is buried in Braindead. Ass-kicking for the lord ensues.
- Connor and Murphy MacManus visit the grave of their friend and partner, Rocco, in All Saints Day, only to discover that the photo on his grave is his embarassing mugshot, complete with a whited-out police arm holding his hair out of his face. Hilarity Ensues.
- Major plot point in The Crossing Guard is Freddy finally visiting his daughter's grave and accepting that she is gone.
- Near the end of Forrest Gump, Forrest breaks down at the graveside of Jenny.
- Martin Riggs is shown visiting his deceased wife's grave periodically throughout the Lethal Weapon series.
- In Hyakujuu Sentai Gaoranger VS Super Sentai, Yuusuke/Red Falcon is seen visiting the graves of his former friends (don't worry, they were on the enemy side; his teammates are still alive).
- Francis Hummel visits his wife's grave at the start of The Rock and addresses her as explains why he must do what he's about to do.
- In Shenandoah, Charlie Anderson (Jimmy Stewart) visits his wife's grave and delivers an emotional speech to her headstone - "I don't even know what to say to you any more, Martha. There's not much I can tell you about this war. It's like all wars, I guess. The undertakers are winning..." The speech was actually released as a single due to popular demand.
- Discworld has an example featuring an actual dog, where Lord Vetinari places bones on the grave of his beloved dog, Wuffles.
- Truth in Television: Edgar Allan Poe.
- In the last book of The Emigrants series Karl Oskar regularly visits Kristina's grave.
- It's established in the X-Wing Series that people who were not on Alderaan have a tradition called the "Return", where they visit the ruins of their homeworld and say ritualistic things and leave grave goods for their friends and kin who died there.
- Old Man's War begins with John Perry visiting his wife's grave.
- In the Japanese novel Kokoro, Sensei visits the grave of his friend K every month. It's eventually revealed that he feels guilty over K's death, because the pair were both in love with the woman Sensei is now married to, and K was Driven to Suicide after Sensei tricked him into not pursuing her.
Live Action TV
- Parodied in The Goon Show episode "Dishonoured" (remade as "Dishonoured Again"):
How that battle raged - I saw the whole thing on television, you know. Seagoon fought like a madman - how else? But alas... On that spot is now a little white stone. Once a year Min lays flowers on it. The stone bears a simple inscription in Hindustani. I haven't the heart to tell her that roughly translated it says "Bombay 49 Miles". Goodnight.
- A Jack Bauer Fact states, "Every year, Jack Bauer lays flowers on Teri's grave, and then empties a full clip of bullets into Nina's."
- Sun and Hurley visit Jin's grave on LOST as a way of letting the audience know he's dead. Except of course that He's Just Hiding!
- Parodied in Mongrels. A guide dog explains to Destiny that since his owner can't see, he is free to lead him anywhere he likes. Cue the owner placing a bouqet of flowers next to a trashcan and saying "Hello Mother".
- Bones does this often, and sometimes runs into her father, or at least finds that her father visited recently.
- The loved ones of Michael Scofield gather around his grave at the end of the season finale of Prison Break.
- Adrian Monk frequently visited both his wife's grave and the parking garage where she was killed.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- The Season 7 episode "Help" has Willow visit Tara's grave and placing a couple of stones on top of the tombstone.
- Subverted in "Lie to Me" when Buffy places flowers on the grave of a New Old Flame, then cold-bloodedly stakes him when he bursts out of the grave as a vampire.
- Angel not having a grave, Buffy returns to the place where she stabbed her One True Love and sent him to a hell dimension, places the claddagh ring he gave her on the floor, says goodbye and leaves. It's a sign that Buffy is finally moving on from his tragic death, but next moment Angel appears in the place where the ring was, so Buffy never does move on.
- An episode of Suits shows that Harvey takes a day off work once a year to visit his father's grave and share a whiskey with him.
- On The Mentalist, Patrick Jane and his brother-in-law visit the graves of Jane's wife and daughter at the end of one episode. Jane admits he hasn't been there since the funeral, years ago. And when pressed, he says its because he believes "...they aren't there. They're gone"
- The widows' visits to their dead husbands' graves are a regular element of The Cemetary Club. (And the chance meeting with a widower visiting his dead wife's grave sets off the plot.)
- Parodied in Postal 2, where one of the protagonist's errands is to visit his father's grave...and pee on it.
- In inFAMOUS Cole visits the grave of his deceased girlfriend. When he has nowhere else to go, he sleeps beside it.
- In Chrono Trigger you can visit Toma's grave in 1000 AD, and then go talk to him in 600 AD. He gives you his favorite booze to pour on his headstone.
- In Red Dead Redemption, Jack does this at the grave of his father John Marston who had been killed by Ross 3 years earlier and his mother who had died recently of disease in depressingly sad rain to set the mood.
- At the end of No One Lives Forever, the player character Cate Archer visits her mentor Bruno's grave. So does Bruno.
- In Batman: Arkham City, Batman can visit the spot in Crime Alley where his parents were gunned down, and pay his respects (it's even a Steam achievement). Hugo Strange has even left a taunting message there for him.
- In Batman: The Animated Series, Bruce Wayne visits the place where his parents were killed once a year, on the anniversary of their death, even as a very old man in Batman Beyond.
- Parodied in Spongebob Squarepants where Mr. Krabs witnesses Squidward sadly leaving flowers at a grave. After he leaves, Mr. Krabs walks up to tombstone and reads off it. It says "Here Lies Squidward's Hopes and Dreams."
- ..."What a baby."
- At the end of "SpongeBob Versus the Patty Gadget", SpongeBob collapses after the fight and we're shown a close-up of the spatula dropping from his hand. It immediately cuts to Squidward placing flowers on the grave, which SpongeBob then dances on, celebrating the titular Gadget's demise.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Iroh spends the day running some errands around town, along the way sharing some wisdom with lost souls and even cheering up a child with a song he used to sing for his son. Then he visits a small hill with a lone tree, uses the items he was picking up to put together a shrine for his dead son, and starts crying as he softly repeats the song again to himself. One of the saddest scenes in the series.
- On Gargoyles, Matt Bluestone identifies a gangster he believes is connected to The Illuminati, but who disappeared years ago, abandoning his wife and stepson. His first clue is a photograph of the wife's funeral where a man who looks like the gangster can be seen sitting in the back; he later finds out he's left a rose at her grave every week since.