I Can't Sense Their Presence
A Stock Phrase
used by a Sensor Character
. If used at the end of a fight, this is a convenient way of saying that someone is probably dead without any of the nasty gore
. In other situations, it's an easy way to show that something is not quite right with a character; despite them being perfectly visible, they can't be detected by supernatural means. They might be Dead All Along
, an Energy Being
, or simply something other than human.
Related to Never Say "Die"
and Disney Death
. See also My Significance Sense Is Tingling
. Compare Fainting Seer
and Poke in the Third Eye
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- In most versions of Spider-Man, one of the things that makes Venom such a threat is that he doesn't trigger Peter's Spider-Sense. The Spot doesn't trigger the Spider Sense when he uses his Teleport Spam.
- In Serenity, River has a Level 11 Freak Out because she can't sense the thoughts of any of the Miranda colonists. Because Miranda is a Ghost Planet.
- In Dragon Bones, Ward can sense where people are. Close to the end of the novel, he tries to find his mother ... but can't, even though she is right there and he can see her. Her mind has left, her body lives on. Doesn't come as much of a surprise, as she has been abusing herbal drugs for the whole novel, and was never quite there, but having it confirmed in that way is still creepy.
- The Obsidian Trilogy: After the final battle, Vestakia notes that she can't sense her father, the Demon Prince any more, showing that he is finally dead.
- In the Sword of Truth series, Adie, who sees solely using magic, is alarmed to discover that she is unable to see Richard's half-sister Jennsen, because she is one of the "pristinely ungifted".
- Alice from Twilight can only see the futures of humans (which she has been) or vampires (which she is). Anything else is a blind spot to her, including Jacob and his pack, and Nessie, Bella's Half-Human Hybrid daughter.
- In The Wheel of Time Aes Sedai bond Warders as a means of protection. This bond forms an empathic link between the two allowing them to sense the direction and distance to each other, as well as emotional and physical state. If either member of the bond dies, the loss is very noticeable to the other. An Aes Sedai will experience serious depression from the death of a Warder. The Warder will usually either die of shock or fly into a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Jedi in the Star Wars Expanded Universe have this happen to them quite often. Unusually, it's often taken not to mean death, because Jedi can feel the deaths of other Jedi particularly strongly. Someone ceasing to be detectable usually means something even more bizarre has happened. (Ysalamiri are a common culprit, along with any other way someone could conceivably be separated from the Force.)
- In Persona 3, Fuuka notes that she can't sense Chidori, or anyone near her, i.e. Takaya or Jin. Ikutsuki lampshades the strangeness of it.
Live Action TV
- Leo from Charmed would often do this, especially when one of the sisters were missing.
- On Star Trek: The Next Generation one Betazoid - who generally get their mind-reading powers at puberty but in his case they manifested when he was a baby, so he's been inundated with others' thoughts all his life & can't filter them out - is very pleasantly surprised when he can't hear Data's thoughts, since Data is an android.
- Tracker has a version of this, but not because of death. Cole just had a harder time keying into his targets' life forces as they adapted more and more to Earth's environment.
- In the Justice League pilot, J'onn J'onzz claims that he can't (telepathically) sense the presence of Batman anymore when the latter is apparently shot to death. It's a lie, obviously.
- In Wolverine and the X-Men, Emma Frost can't find Jean Grey via Cerebro, leading nearly everyone to assume that she's dead. Turns out she's actually in a coma.
- In the two-part opener of the X-Men animated series, Morph's death is indicated by having Jean Grey and Professor X unable to detect his mind via Cerebro.