Killed Off for Real

"As Coroner, I must aver
I've thoroughly examined her
And she's not only merely dead
She's really most sincerely dead."

"The cycle of nature and your stupid plan don't mean a thing! Aerith is gone. Aerith will no longer talk, no longer laugh, cry or get angry."

In some kinds of stories, Character Death doesn't carry much weight. Maybe resurrection is commonplace or some sort of magical alternate universe has a spare copy to borrow. Maybe the format of the show makes any sort of death meaningless and temporary. Maybe for some reason people never die when they should. Sometimes, even in these stories, a character dies and they stay dead. No magical return from the dead, no retcon and no copout. They're dead and they're staying that way.

For a dead character to be considered Killed Off For Real it cannot be simply any death; it must be one that under normal circumstances for the setting and genre could have been reversed, undone or revealed to be some sort of trick. If it's a setting with All Deaths Final, this never comes into play — remember that permanent death is Like Reality Unless Noted. Consequently, most realistic or mundane works do not provide examples of this trope.

Note that (theoretically) there might still be other ways to revert a death, like declaring it All Just a Dream or retconning the victim as Actually a Doombot — see the First Law of Resurrection.

May lead into Personal Effects Reveal, Meaningful Funeral, To Absent Friends, and Dead Guy Junior. See also Tonight Someone Dies, Not-So-Small Role, Really Dead Montage. The Video Game version would be Final Death.

Contrast Disney Death, Back from the Dead and Death Is Cheap. Compare Deader Than Dead.

As a Death Trope all spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • Kaiju Big Battel is an atypical wrestling fed, if it can be even called such, and this trope is only of the reasons why, though a few of the fallen Kaiju have come back to life, their roster has a graveyard section for a reason.
  • Fighting Opera HUSTLE saw Monster Bono accidentally kill his mother, Yin Ling the Erotic Terrorist.
  • The Urban Wrestling Federation was infamous for killing off several members of its roster, up to and including a freshly crowned champion, Rasche Brown.

Alternative Title(s):

Dead For Real