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[[quoteright:290:[[Film/TheDarkCrystal http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nobodyleftbehind_tdc2_4179.jpg]]]]

->''"Sweet victory! That giant insect's body has crumbled to dust! I am quite relieved to know I won't have to store such an enormous bug."''
-->-- '''The Ship''', ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} 2''
%% One quote is sufficient on the main page. Add more into the quotes sub-page. If you think you found a better quote, take it to a forum.

Something dies, as it is prone to do. After it takes its last breath, the body dissolves for no apparent reason. Often dissolves into smoke that wisps away as the body dramatically falls to the ground. Why this occurs is generally never explained and no character bats an eye at it happening. Often used in media to [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath avoid showing the kiddies a corpse]]. [[TropesAreTools Of course]], if DeathIsDramatic, and it's done right, this can be a '''HUGE''' {{Tearjerker}}.

For video games, this is a subset of EverythingFades, though with EverythingFades, bodies may stick around for up to a few minutes after monsters die.

Not to be confused with NoOneGetsLeftBehind, in which not one single person (or unit) is left behind when a force retreats, which is maybe the thing you're looking for. Also not to be confused with NeverFoundTheBody, in which the subject's death was not seen/confirmed, and is most likely NotQuiteDead.

If there's no recognizable body left due to the cause of death being so tremendous as to destroy the body entirely, that's NotEnoughToBury.

AnimatedArmor may be caused by this. On the other hand, you may never know. See also DisappearsIntoLight and ImMelting. For the moral equivalent to this, see SelfDisposingVillain. May be the end result of NoImmortalInertia. If he takes his dungeon and doomsday devices with him, he may be a LoadBearingBoss. Sometimes this results in EmptyPilesOfClothing, if it's only the person's physical body that disappears and not what he's wearing. Mundane examples may have done TheDyingWalk to go off and die in peace away from any other characters. If there's not only a lack of body, but no trace of them having ever existed at all, they're RetGone. May lead to other characters BuryingASubstitute at a funeral.

'''This is a DeathTrope, so expect spoilers.'''



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', low-level hollows dissolve when they are killed, while the bodies of most Arrancar and shinigami can last a few hours before breaking down (there are some exceptions, related to the manner in which they were killed).
* In ''LightNovel/IsItWrongToTryToPickUpGirlsInADungeon'', the Anime and Light Novel[=/=]Manga differ on this. In the Anime a monster dissolves as soon as it is killed, but in the LN and Manga the bodies of monsters don't dissolve until their crystal is removed. The anime changing this leaves a slight PlotHole because the reason Lili and Bell are able to make so much more money working together is that Lili carves up the bodies while Bell focuses on fighting, meaning he doesn't have to waste time carving them himself. Ironically though the anime does show a scene where Bell defeats a monster just by destroying it's crystal.
* Whenever anyone dies in ''Manga/SoulHunter'', their body disappears and their soul flies away as a beam of light.
* Plenty of examples in ''Anime/SailorMoon''.
** Neflite/Nephrite is probably one of the more well-known examples, although it happens constantly to both villains and heroes. The latter obviously come BackFromTheDead in season finales.
** {{Averted|Trope}} in the first season finale: When the SphereOfDestruction from Sailor Moon's final attack starts consuming the area around the Dark Kingdom, the bodies of the four Senshi are shown still laying in the same places they fell.
** In the anime series, this happen a lot of times with the MonsterOfTheWeek, which are usually disintegrated or turned into dust once they are defeated.
* ''Franchise/{{Digimon}}'': The Digimon dissolve as soon as they die. Though occasionally the good Digimon revert to digieggs for plot-related purposes. In ''Manga/DigimonVTamer01'', only those who end their own program leave eggs and in ''Anime/DigimonTamers'' [[AllDeathsFinal no one leaves eggs]], although that Digimon is unrevivable in this season their physical data remains and can be reformatted to create another Digimon, such as Mephistomon or the Devas.
** Also in Digimon Tamers, agents of the D-Reaper dissolve once destroyed.
** Pointedly averted in ''Anime/DigimonXEvolution'', where the only times a Digimon disappeared like that is if they were NOT dead, and if they were dead, their body WAS left behind.
* In ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}'', Latios, Sir Aaron, and [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath Lucario]] disintegrate once they [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifice themselves]].
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'':
** Happens in ''Anime/YuGiOh5Ds'' when [[BackFromTheDead Dark Signers]] [[KilledOffForReal die]] -- upon their death, they crumble to dust.
** In the third season of ''Anime/YuGiOhGX'', [[CerebusSyndrome people actually start dying]]. When this happens on camera instead of falling off a cliff, the people/duel monsters tend to glow bright white then fade into dust that blows away.
** Worth noting that in both series [[UnexplainedRecovery they got better]].
* In ''Manga/DeathNote'' when [[spoiler:shinigami die]], they dissolve into sand.
* The homunculi from ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' disintegrate into nothingness upon dying, as well as [[spoiler: the Philosopher's Stone at their core that gives them life]]. Dismembered body parts also disintegrate as they're regenerated. In the 2003 anime, however, a few (namely Greed and Pride) melted into red goop.
* ''Anime/MaiHime'':
** Whenever someone dies as a result of the [=HiME=] battles, the victim's heart stops, then their body's color fades, finally ending with slow dissolution into green sparks. [[spoiler:Haruka, because she's a BadassNormal, simply refuses to "just die", preferring to get in a parting shot at Shizuru after [[WhatTheHellHero calling her out]] on her "disgusting behavior".]]
** In the ElseWorld sequel ''Anime/MaiOtome'', the same thing happens to any Otome/Master or Slave/Master relationship. ''Mai-Otome'''s problem is that it was porting over yet another familiar element from ''Mai-[=HiME=]'' while ignoring that the logic ''that'' series used for the sparkly deaths was [[ContextSensitiveButton specifically for raising the columns and powering the HiME star.]]
* The Zoanoids in ''Manga/{{Guyver}}'' (anime & manga) are engineered to dissolve after dying, in order to leave no evidence of their existence.
* [[spoiler:Carrossea]]'s body in ''Anime/{{Madlax}}'' presumably disappears off-screen as it is never shown after the episode when he dies. That is probably because he was DeadAllAlong.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'': Happens fairly often to youkai slain by Inu-Yasha. Case in point: Hiten (the elder Thunder Brother) evaporated after Inu-Yasha delivered a [[DiagonalCut fatal blow]] with [[EmpathicWeapon Tessaiga]]. [[NotEnoughToBury The many cases where]] youkai are slain by [[DisintegratorRay sacred arrows]] or the [[KamehameHadoken Wind Scar,]] ''et al'', don't count. When Kikyou and Kagura go through RedemptionEqualsDeath storylines, they also leave no bodies behind when they die.
* In ''Manga/GetBackers'', [[spoiler:Amon]]'s body dissolves into feathers after he [[spoiler:gave his heart to Shido to bring him back to life. Shido's body stuck around, possible because his death was more mundane]].
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'':
** Goku's body fades away when he dies. Kami has taken it to the other world so that Goku can have his body in the afterlife for training. Otherwise, people usually stay put where they died.
** Chiaotzu [[SuicideAttack self-destructs]] in an attempt to take out Nappa, and no body gets left behind. Unfortunately his death is in vain as Nappa is unscathed.
** Piccolo and Guru (the second time) disappear as well.
*** This does NOT happen to the bodies of Burter, Guldo, and Recoome. Even though Guldo and Recoome look like they should have been obliterated by Vegeta's energy blast their corpses are still intact even though they are shown to retain their bodies when we see them in Other World.
** Later, when Vegeta [[TakingYouWithMe sacrifices himself in an attempt to kill Buu]], his attack drains so much energy from his body that it turns to stone, which quickly crumbles into dust and is blown away by the wind.
* ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'': When Beerus kills the present timeline's Zamasu, he completely destroys him, disintegrating his body and leaving no trace of him.
* Naturally shows up in ''Franchise/DotHack''. When a monster is killed, it slumps to the ground, then vanishes. When a PC is killed, their body goes limp, and turns grey, and vanishes if there's no-one left to revive them. When someone gets data-drained, however, their sprite starts fragmenting, and drifts away piece by piece.
* In ''Manga/SaintSeiya'', the final barrier between the [[{{Hell}} Hades]] and [[{{Heaven}} Elysium]] is the Wall Of Lamentation, seemingly indestructible. Only by channeling the [[BattleAura Cosmo]] of the [[LawOfChromaticSuperiority Twelve Gold Saints]] of the [[WesternZodiac Zodiac Houses]], and creating [[CueTheSun sunlight]] in the depths of Hades, can it be breached. All Gold Saints, living or dead, friends or foes, [[CombinedEnergyAttack burn their Cosmo]], there is a blinding burst of light... And Shun and Seiya can only [[ManlyTears weep]], for all that is left of the heroic Saints of Athena is their [[PoweredArmor Gold Cloths]] shining in their wake.
* Anything that dies in ''Manga/{{Psyren}}'' dissolves into sand in a few minutes, due to [[spoiler:the changes in the environment after the meteor hit Earth]].
* In ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'', the [[QuirkyMinibossSquad Stakes of Purgatory]] do this when they die.
* [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique Kira]] users in ''Manga/NabariNoOu'' fade into dust when they die. Their clothes don't dissolve, leaving an interesting scene.
* Late into the Magic World arc in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', a special attack is introduced that causes anyone it hits to vanish in seconds. This only affects (most) residents of the magic world [[spoiler:because said residents are actually part of an elaborate illusion, with the attack simply hacking them back out of existence]].
* ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'': When Panty and Stocking kill a ghost, it explodes. Becomes a plot point when they are tried for the murder of a [[FriendlyNeighborhoodVampire friendly Ghost,]] as the fact that there was a body meant that they didn't do it.
* In ''Manga/SamuraiDeeperKyo'', this becomes a case of Chekov's corpse. When members of the Mibu clan die or are killed, their bodies vanish into nothingness. Near the end it is revealed that this happens because [[spoiler:the members of the Mibu clan are in fact puppets created by the long dead True Mibu, and vanish into nothing because they were originally created from nothing]].
* This happens to [[spoiler:Nia Teppelin]] from ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'' in the final episode.
* When a robot dies in ''Anime/CasshernSins'' it turns to dust due to the rapid rusting caused by the Ruin.
* In the final episode of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' you can briefly see [[spoiler: the body of a MagicalGirl doing this.]] It's hard to see though because the shot is panning out and she's dressed in green while laying on grass. [[spoiler: This now happens to every MagicalGirl upon death because of Madoka's wish.]] Evidence to support this is that [[spoiler: Sayaka didn't leave a body behind either]].
* In ''Manhwa/IWish'', people of K's race die by simply leaving behind a small pile of ash.
* In ''LightNovel/{{Campione}}'' Heretic Gods and Divine Beasts use matter associated with their nature to create bodies, and when killed their bodies revert to that substance. Thus a kraken turns to water and an earth goddess [[spoiler:like Athena]] turns to sand.
* A real TearJerker towards the end of ''[[Anime/{{Scryed}} s-CRY-ed]]'' when Ryoho awakens from near-death to find a pile of clothes and a recognizable hairclip. Scheris had saved his life using Eternal Devote, but doing so [[HeroicSacrifice had completely consumed her]]. The emotional shock of this causes Ryuho's emotionless shell to break and for a while he breaks down in weeping, urged on by Kazuma telling him there's no shame in mourning.
* Another TearJerker as TeleporterAccident crosses into this towards the end of ''Manga/GiantRobo'' with the death of Ginrei, as what's left of her body disappears.
* If a ''Manga/FutureDiary'' holder's diary gets destroyed, their body disappears in a vortex. Holders can still die any other way; the vortex only appears with this specific method. Yuno was rather put out with this revelation as [[AxCrazy she'd]] been expecting LudicrousGibs.
* In ''Manga/{{Noragami}}'', ayakashi spirits, upon defeat, disintegrate into nothing.
** [[spoiler: Ebisu]]'s body disappears with an explosion of blood, leaving only behind their bloodied clothes.
* In ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'', any body parts cut off a Titan dissolves into steam and smoke. Their whole body dissolves if they are killed.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The fights in ''ComicBook/ScottPilgrim'' follow videogame logic and most enemies dissolve into coins upon being defeated. Roxie Richter dissolves into ''bunnies''.
** WordOfGod says they aren't dead. They had [[OneUp extra lives]] and respawned in their homes in America.
* ''ComicBook/{{Necronauts}}'': The human(ish) servants of the Sleepers in the Void vanish into thin air when they are killed.
* At the end of ''ComicBook/SupermanSuperLeague'', when the New 52 Superman finally passes on, a bolt of energy shoots up from where he's laying at, leaving nothing but a dustpile in the shape of his body and his cape.
* The technology of ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}'' provides for substances or nanites that can be used to dissolve a body. [[AntiHero Spider Jerusalem]] obtains a supply of this to help cover his tracks and elude [[PresidentEvil President Callahan]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''Franchise/MassEffect''[=/=]''Franchise/StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]''[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover, this is {{enforced|Trope}} InUniverse when dealing with the [[spoiler:Flood]] since anything left behind can be reanimated and turned against their now-former allies. [[spoiler:Catalina Rodriguez]] is one of many who receives this treatment (via disruptor blast), and the fact that there's nothing left to bury is brought up.
* Parodied (along with many other tropes) in the ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eak26ohx1Y8 Japanese Doctor Who]]'' video, where all it takes for the "Cyber Men" to vaporize is a meager hit. Nice effects for '70s amateur spoof, though.
* Esurientes in ''FanFic/CibusEsculentusMadokaMagica'' disappear in a flash of light when slain, and even take any blood they've lost with them.
* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'' there are a few examples:
** The Changeling's bodies crumble to dust upon death. This seems to be their body consuming itself to try and stay alive or a side effect of their stealth based magic.
** The Rumors Spawn disappear into shadow upon death.
** The avatars of the Outer Concepts all vanish in some way upon death. Abandon dissolves into black smoke, the Beldam crumbled to dust, and Shub-Neighurath explodes. [[spoiler:Given the Rumors Spawn are her children, this likely explains why ''they'' do this trope.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Anastasia}}'', Rasputin's body turns to dust and blows away as soon as his SoulJar is destroyed.
* In the Rankin/Bass version of ''WesternAnimation/TheHobbit'' magic swords completely destroy their victims. Sting, Orcrist, and Glamdring all have different effects when they kill something. Averted in the final battle, where the field is littered with corpses and we see Thorin need burial when he dies of his wounds.
* In ''Disney/SleepingBeauty'', Maleficent [[ScaledUp becomes a dragon]], [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice gets impaled by a sword]], [[DisneyVillainDeath and falls down a cliff.]] When the sword's shown again, it has only a cloak under it.
* In ''Disney/AladdinTheReturnOfJafar'', when Iago destroys Jafar's lamp, he explodes into dust. [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath After he writhes in agony with his skeleton visible.]]
* In ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'', after Eugene [[spoiler: cuts off Rapunzel's magic hair,]] its healing abilities quickly vanish, [[NoImmortalInertia causing]] [[spoiler: Mother Gothel,]] who used them for centuries, to [[spoiler: rapidly age and turn into dust,]] leaving only her cape behind.
* In ''WesternAnimation/QuestForCamelot'', Ruber is physically disintegrated into smoke and nothingness after accidentally returning Excalibur back into the stone - due to him magically attaching the sword to his hand, leaving what's left of him is one of his shoulder pads from his armor.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/ThisIslandEarth'', the Mutant dissolves after being killed. This is given a HandWave as its body being obliterated by the change in pressure as the ship approaches Earth.
** ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'': "Self Cleaning Mutant! Leaves only the fresh scent of pine!"
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** Obi-Wan Kenobi in ''Film/ANewHope'' after Darth Vader kills him on the Death Star.
** Yoda's body disappears after he passes away naturally in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''.
** Canonically stated to have happened to the corpse of the redeemed Anakin Skywalker in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''. The "body" Luke cremated on Endor was actually just his armour.
** [[spoiler:Luke Skywalker at the end of ''Film/TheLastJedi'' after channelling an illusion of himself to fool the First Order forces and Kylo Ren long enough for the Resistance remnants to escape from Crait.]]
** And almost every Jedi who dies in the ExpandedUniverse, though this usually only happens to those who become [[OurGhostsAreDifferent Force Ghosts]], the main exception being [[spoiler:Qui-Gon Jinn]], who (canonically) became a Force Ghost but didn't disappear. Sith and other users of TheDarkSide, on the other hand, often explode instead of fading away when they die.
*** An exception for the Sith is Darth Nihilus, whose body very visibly crumbles quietly away under his robes once the Exile turns his back.
*** Darth Sion from the same game likely crumbled into a pile of decayed flesh and splintered bones when he died, considering which state he lived with.
*** Really only [[BigBad one]] Sith explodes, Darth Maul and Count Dooku's corpses were still intact (although admittedly the former may have died moments after he [[DisneyVillainDeath fell out of our sight]]). However, this is averted in the new Disney canon as Maul didn't die during the Phantom Menace, rather he gained a set of shiny robot legs and appeared in both ''Star Wars: The Clone Wars'' and ''Star Wars: Rebels''. The Expanded Universe has it happen a few other times, but apparently it requires both extreme power and being particularly deep into the Dark Side.
* In ''Film/{{Blade}}'', vampires collapse into ash when killed.
* In ''Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld'', defeated Evil Exes turn into a shower of coins, as they do in the comic. This is particularly amusing considering it not only takes place in Canada, but when Scott slays bystanders their coins take the shape of their bodies on the floor.
** In fact, the comic comments on this when [[spoiler:Gideon Graves]] is killed and those in the audience get hit in the head with the showering coins.
* In ''Film/{{Elektra}}'' defeated villains disappear in a puff of green smoke, something unique in ''Franchise/MarvelUniverse'' films. They're ninja -- it's presumably deliberate so that the Hand's secrets are kept secure.
* ''Film/CaptainAmericaTheFirstAvenger'' has anyone caught within the shots of various Tesseract-powered weaponry disintegrating completely in a blue mist.
* The fate of [[spoiler:the fifty percent of the universe erased by Thanos]] in ''Film/AvengersInfinityWar'', [[spoiler:including Bucky Barnes, Mantis, Drax, T’Challa, Falcon, Groot, Wanda Maximoff, Doctor Strange, Peter Quill, Peter Parker, Maria Hill and Nick Fury]], who disintegrate via crumbling into ash.
* ''Film/HarryPotter'':
** This is how [[BigBad Voldemort]] dies in the [[Film/HarryPotter film version]] of ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]''. [[spoiler: After all his [[SoulJar horcruxes]] are destroyed and he finally gets blasted, his body dissolves into something similar to pieces of skin, like dandruff, which blow into the wind.]]
** The movies apparently like this trope, if the deaths of [[spoiler:Professor Quirrell, Nagini, and Bellatrix Lestrange]] are any indication. Well, at least for villains. Good guys seem to leave behind bodies when they die (well, except for [[spoiler:Sirius]]).
* In ''[[Film/TheLordOfTheRings Return of the King]]'', well, how else do you expect a [[BigBad giant flaming eye]] to go once the deathblow is struck?
** It also happens to the [[CavalryOfTheDead Army of the Dead]] when [[WarriorPrince Aragorn]] declares that their oaths to Isildur have been fulfilled for helping him defeat the armies of Mordor.
* The standard fate for most ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' villains. (''Temple of Doom'' is the main exception: Mola Ram didn't disappear but was EatenAlive by crocodiles).
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries'':
** Cyclops in ''Film/XMenTheLastStand''. All they find are his sunglasses.
** In ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', [[spoiler: Darwin]] is vaporized immediately by the blast he took, and one of his teammates even said, "We can't even bury him."
* The probable first appearance of this in film (and the definite first appearance of the StopTrick that enabled it) was in ''Film/ATripToTheMoon''. It reappears in a lot of other films by Georges Méliès.
* In ''Film/TheDarkestHour'', the main "aliens" can shred a human body into dust in a slightly disturbing manner.
* At the end of ''Film/TheRock'', Sean Connery's character, an alcatraz inmate, runs off and asks Cage's character to tell the authorities that he was killed. Nicholas Cage's character does so, and when asked about the body, says that this occurred to him as a result of the bioweapon MacGuffin.
* In ''Film/{{Eragon}}'', Durza disintegrates after Eragon stabs him.
* In ''Film/YourHighness'', Leezar disintegrates when Fabious stabs him with the Blade of Unicorn.
* After Alice defeats Freddy Krueger in ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet4TheDreamMaster'' he disappears, leaving behind only his clothes. Alice kicks away the glove for good measure.
* All over the ''Film/{{Tron}}'' universe. Programs don't leave a corpse behind when they [[DeadlyEuphemism de-resolve]], instead [[DisappearsIntoLight fading away]] as they reach critical failure, or shattering in a messy pile of voxels (that look like cubes of safety glass) that sputter out of existence. {{Justified|Trope}} in the universe setting due to the trope being part of video games. Of course Creator/{{Disney}} made use of this to [[WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids hide scenes of horribly violent death]] in a way [[GettingCrapPasttheRadar that still warranted a PG rating and a Disney trademark.]]
* ''Film/{{Identity}}'': One of the major clues that something is off happens when the bodies of the victims up to that point completely vanish. This is because [[spoiler:none of the people at the motel are real]].

* In the ''Literature/LoneWolf'' series, amongst others, the Darklords and their sorcerous servants the Nadziranim fade into nothingness when killed. As for their undead underlings, Vordaks and Helghast, they [[ImMelting dissolve into foul-smelling liquids]] when destroyed.

* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' is a fairly realistic urban fantasy, and, as such, most things do indeed leave the expected corpses. However, some things, such as demons and various {{Eldritch Abomination}}s, manifest a body when they come into the real world, and when defeated, this body turns to ectoplasm which slowly evaporates. In other words, a thoroughly JustifiedTrope, used selectively for effect.
** Subverted in [[Series/TheDresdenFiles the TV adaptation]]. When Harry kills a vampire, he comments that he always expects them to turn to ashes, at which Murphy tells him he [[YouWatchTooMuchX watches too much TV]].
* Likewise justified when embodied Auditors die in ''Discworld/ThiefOfTime'', because they build their human bodies out of molecules from dust and random debris, and can only keep them intact and functional by actively exerting their willpower.
* An interesting variation occurs in ''Literature/TheIronKing''. When fey of any kind are killed, their bodies disappear and leave something else behind (be it a thornbush, needles, ice, branches, etc.). This, however, does not always happen instantly, the time it takes can vary.
* In ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series, we meet [[spoiler:Father Callahan from Salem's Lot]] who finds that, when vampires die, they helpfully follow this trope.
* This is mermaids' usual fate, according to Creator/HansChristianAndersen's "[[Literature/TheLittleMermaid The Little Mermaid]]". They turn into ocean foam when they die.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'' Sirius' body falls into the Veil when Bellatrix kills him and therefore cannot be recovered.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'' [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]]:
** In ''[[Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy The Last Command]]'', [[spoiler:Joruus C'baoth's body is consumed by blue energy, presumably based on what appears to befall the Emperor's body in ''Return of the Jedi'' (especially considering the entire final battle draws heavily from the climax of that film)]].
** During ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'', people attacked by [[spoiler: Eppon]] can be turned to jelly and absorbed/eaten by it, leaving EmptyPilesOfClothing. Unaware of what's happened, some characters speculate Imperials got them, but Imperials wouldn't leave the clothes.
* Justified in ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'', where daemon bodies flash out of existence as soon as they or their owners die.
* ''Literature/TheSilmarillion'': ''"Then [Fëanor] died; but he had neither burial nor tomb, for so fiery was his spirit that as it sped his body fell to ash, and was borne away like smoke [...]"''
* In ''Literature/{{Dracula}}'', Dracula and his Brides are said to crumble into dust on death. Justified in text as a side effect of their unnatural preservation being removed [[NoImmortalInertia and centuries of decay catching up with them]]. Subverted with Lucy, whose body remains intact, as her mortal death had occurred only a few days before her Vampiric one. This opens a plot hole that dozens of stories by other authors are built on: turning into a dust cloud or mist and traveling in that form is explicitly one of Dracula's powers.
* Draconians in ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' self-destruct in various ways when they die, with the exact manner depending on their sub-species.
* In ''Dragon Weather'', a slain dragon rots extremely fast. [[TheHero Lord Obsidian]] notes that this is useful for making sure that a dragon is not [[FakingTheDead faking]].
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Literature/ConanTheBarbarian story "Literature/QueenOfTheBlackCoast", the hyenas transform [[ThisWasHisTrueForm back into men]] before crumbling.
* In Creator/DeanKoontz's ''Literature/{{Phantoms}}'', a small California town is [[EverybodysDeadDave wiped out]] by an EldritchAbomination, but most of the residents are never actually found, having been eaten. The few bodies they do find suggest it's [[NightmareFuel better]] that way.
* Almost every monster in the ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' books. Sometimes a piece of the monster will remain if it was cut off before the monster died (such as the Minotaur's horn), or if severing it ''causes'' the monster to die (such as Medusa's head).
* This also apparently happens to monsters in ''Literature/TheKaneChronicles'', which WordOfGod confirms takes place in the same universe as ''Percy Jackson''.
* In ''Literature/BloodsuckingFiends'' and its sequels, victims of vampires who haven't ingested vampire blood disintegrate. This includes [[spoiler:Barry]] in ''Bite Me''.
* In the ''Literature/OctoberDaye'' series, the night-haunts eat faerie corpses and replace them with humanised versions of the corpses, as faerie flesh does not rot. [[spoiler:This becomes a problem in ''A Local Habitation'', as the dead aren't being replaced, and Toby has to find out why.]]
* In Jeramey Kraatz's ''Literature/TheCloakSociety'', when [[spoiler:Phantom]] dies, she dissolves into shadow.
* Standard for mages in ''Literature/TheBlackMagicianTrilogy'': any [[{{Mana}} magical power]] they have at death is unleashed, disintegrating the body at minimum and sometimes [[DefeatEqualsExplosion making a mess of the surrounding area]]. If a mage does leave a body, it's cause for great concern, since it means they were either completely exhausted or had their power forcibly drained.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/TheInvaders'' is probably the most iconic series with aliens disappearing upon death. Note that they could inflict the same thing to humans with their {{Disintegrator Ray}}s.
* Lampshaded on ''Series/StargateSG1'' in the ShowWithinAShow ''Wormhole X-treme!'' The lead actor is having trouble in a romance scene because the background is littered with the bodies of dead Mooks his character killed in the previous scene (which is kind of distracting, ya know). The staff remove the bodies and hope no one will notice the change in scene continuity (one writer proposes that they write it so that the alien weapons disintegrate bodies, but his idea is quickly shot down).
** The reason the idea is shot down is because this is a nod to the [[StunGuns zat'nik'tel]], which was earlier shown to disintegrate bodies (or objects) with its third shot, an idea so despised it was quietly forgotten.
* In ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', Joss Whedon explicitly stated that his vampires turn to dust when they die to emphasize that Buffy isn't killing ''people'' every week, and to avoid 20 minutes of cleanup at the end of each episode.
** Averted in the third season episode "The Wish". Buffy kills a demon but it doesn't fade away and the Scoobies realise they'll have to bury it. Vampires, as Buffy notes, are so much easier. Stake, dust, no cleaning up.
** In "Hells Bells" a demon attacks Anya during the wedding and is killed by Buffy. When it refuses to go "poof" Willow suggests covering it with flowers.
** Also averted with the Master, who only partially dissolved, leaving a skeleton. Justified because, as an older vampire, he is significantly more powerful (and it allowed a plotline for the second season premier).
* Likewise in ''Series/{{Charmed}}''.
** Except in episode 15 season 5, "The Day the Magic Died", all magic ceased to exist for a day, and the demon they killed left a dead body and green blood stains. They had to quickly hide it in a closet, until magic returned. {{Justified|Trope}} in that it's explicitly explained that the demons deliberately set it up so that their body disappears after they die, in order to maintain the {{masquerade}}.
** {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in episode 8 season 1, "The Truth Is Out There and It Hurts": After a warlock from the future gets killed, he is sucked into a vortex of some kind.
-->'''Prue:''' I love it when they clean up after themselves.
* This is very common in Franchise/{{Sentai}} {{Toku}}satsu shows. The MonsterOfTheWeek would generally vanish once vanquished with various cheesy effects -- or eventually [[DefeatEqualsExplosion explodes]], especially in older shows.
** A good example is ''Uchu kara no messeji: Ginga taisen'' (better known as ''San Ku Kaï'' in Europe or ''Sankuokai'' in Latin America). Every villain of the week would explode (or sometimes liquefy or burn...) with color or visual related to their nature or powers.
** Also generally used and abused in ''Franchise/PowerRangers'', where monsters tend to explode into a fine powder. But averted in ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'', where the villains use mecha rather than growing, and as such leave behind scrap. One early episode featured the main characters assigned to cleanup duty, picking up the massive debris left behind by the giant robot fight.
** Semi-averted in ''Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue'' and ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder'', where exploding monsters do leave chunks of burnt meat, which the villains then juice up to [[MakeMyMonsterGrow resurrect them at giant size]]. When they get blown up a second time at giant size though, there are (usually) no remains. Also oddly inverted at the end of ''Lightspeed Rescue'', where Diabolico leaves behind an intact corpse for Bansheera to revive, despite his death explosion visibly reducing him to nothing but a wisp of smoke.
** When the [[Franchise/SuperSentai Super Sentai Series]] and the [[Franchise/KamenRider Kamen Rider Series]] play this trope straight, it's [[RuleOfDrama usually for drama's sake]].
* Subverted in ''Series/PowerRangersMegaforce'', where Vrak and his brother Vekar, after being dealt the final blow (Vrak even blowing up) their bodies are still intact with some damage, which make them the first villains to leave behind their corpses.
* In ''Series/FirstWave'', the invading aliens secretly use partially-human bodies as vessels. To prevent them from being analysed by humans and exposed as alien, they dissolve immediately after death, which also means anyone who sees an alien die becomes aware that something strange is going on. Interestingly, even this isn't enough to initially convince Crazy Eddie that there are aliens about. Being a conspiracy nut, he claims that he knows about a body-dissolving compound used by the government to hide their shady dealings. That's right, a conspiracy nut who ''denies'' the existence of aliens.\\\
A later episode shows that the "dissolving" effect is only activated by uploading a Gua consciousness into the husk's brain. A blank husk does not dissolve upon death, which was used to fool the Gua into thinking that [[spoiler:Cade]] is dead. Additionally, the dissolution also melts anything in the immediate proximity, such as their clothes. In one episode, this, unfortunately, results in a secret to a poison that affects on Gua being lost when the pages get dissolved along with the Gua carrying them.
* There are never bodies left to clean up aboard the ''Series/{{Lexx}}'', because said LivingShip "absorbs" them (along with anything else it thinks won't be missed.)
* In ''Series/RedDwarf'', the crew are all killed in a radiation leak. After 3 million years there's nothing left of them except small, surprisingly neat, piles of dust. Lister found them [[HumanResources very moreish]] until he discovered what they were.
* Mostly averted in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}''.
** While there are monsters that turn to dust or don't leave anything to prove they existed (especially ghosts), the Hunters know how to cover their tracks, and thus get rid of a body of a monster/demon they killed. Also they don't stay too much in the same place after the "job" for the missing person to be obvious or connected to them. A FBI Bloodhound (note that this implies some greater professionalism than your typical province sheriff/cop they have to deal with) actually "tracks" the Winchesters for a year or so and all he can put on their record are some grave-disturbing crimes and murders on ordinary people they weren't responsible for.
** Although this DOES happen to Dick Roman, the BigBad of Season 7, once Dean kills him.
** In the episode [[Recap/SupernaturalS09E01IThinkImGonnaLikeItHere "I Think I'm Gonna Like It Here"]], Bobby's body disappears after Dean stabs him as he was a figment of Sam's imagination.
* ''Series/SixHundredSixtySixParkAvenue'': It seems the Drake absorbs anyone who dies there in order to hide the fact.
* A villain-of-the-week in ''Series/TimeTrax'' is a scientist from the future whose specialty is high-energy weapons. One of which, a "sonic demolecularizer", is a OneHitKill against any person or object, which simply cease to exist as physical entities, breaking up into constituent molecules. The last time Darien tried to arrest the scientist, his partner was killed in this manner. Somehow, this is more horrifying to him than being shot, possibly because being shot does not necessarily mean he'll die, but being hit in any body part with the "demolecularizer" is fatal.
* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
** A phaser on a high setting will often completely vaporize its target, as will other weapons like disruptors.
** In ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', the Borg will often do this. One Borg drone is killed, and another will remove certain key components from the body, after which the dead Borg drone simply dissolves out of existence. It is explained that their link to the Collective is similar to a transporter beam; their bodies are transported away so that their components can be recycled.
** In ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' suicide pills that dissolve the body are shown. The idea is that this way spies can avoid having their government implicated in failed operations.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** When the Doctor's grave is visited it turns out to contain not a body, but a swirling blue rift in time through which one can access his entire timeline.
** In the episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E5TimeHeist "Time Heist"]], the "Shredders" left for the team are assumed to be suicide devices, so called because they seem to "shred" the body with an energy field. [[spoiler:They turn out to be teleporters.]]
* In an episode of ''Series/TheFlash1990'', Barry Allen's twin Pollux sacrifices himself by throwing himself in front of the bullet that the scientist who created Pollux had fired to kill the Flash, and then dies in Barry's arms, vanishing inside the suit he leaves behind.
* Comicbook/{{HYDRA}} splinter bombs in ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'' completely disintegrate their targets, leaving no body behind.

* In ''Podcast/TheMagnusArchives'' the body of the man stabbed by [[spoiler:Gerard Keay]] instantly cremates itself.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* In ''Film/TheDarkCrystal'', both the Skeksis and the Mystics leave no body behind when they die. The Skeksis crumble to dust, but the Mystics simply fade away. [[spoiler:They also die in tandem, to reflect their connected past. Later, when a Skeksis falls into the magma under the castle of the Crystal, at the same time far away, a Mystic is instantly incinerated.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/PsionicsTheNextStageInHumanEvolution''
** The Atomize talent tears the victim apart at the atomic level, leaving no trace of them.
** Pyrokinetics that die from overloading burn up.
* ''TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness''[=/=]''TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness'':
** In both ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' and ''[[TabletopGame/VampireTheRequiem The Requiem]]'', vampires rot to dust within seconds of their FinalDeath as long as they are old enough. This is repeatedly commented on in ''TabletopGame/HunterTheVigil'' -- vampires are the only type of supernatural creature to clean up after itself. Everything else leaves corpses to deal with. [[VanHelsingHateCrimes Usually human.]]
** Spirits from ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheForsaken'' and Ghosts from ''TabletopGame/GeistTheSinEaters'' both discorporate when defeated. Justified in that they aren't material beings to begin with, and this usually doesn't kill them anyway -- they will just reform in a safe place unless you drain all of their Essence and Corpus.
** Sirens from the fan-made supplement ''TabletopGame/SirenTheDrowning'' liquefy within a matter of hours after their death and turn into sea foam, unless the flesh is preserved in a freezer. This is a major issue for [[HunterOfMonsters the Flensers]], since they rely on eating Siren flesh to preserve their immortality.
* Titanspawn in ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}'' usually evaporate, melt away, or otherwise cease to exist once slain. The only part left behind is a piece or an item (called a Trophy) that serves as a reward for the Scions that destroyed it. Some of them, like the [[MegaNeko nekomata]], are more complicated.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', Necron bodies will seemingly dissipate if a battle seems to be lost. This is because the bodies are being teleported back to their tombs to be repaired. On the reverse, Necron weapons strip a target molecule by molecule, flaying the victim down to dust.
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu''. Several Franchise/CthulhuMythos monsters will dissolve into liquid after they're killed, such as the Dark Young of Shub-Niggurath and the Mi-Go.
* In the ''TabletopGame/D20Modern'' Urban Arcana setting, dead shadowkinds (i.e. creatures from the ''D&D'' world) are "reclaimed by shadow" (i.e. bodies are brought back to their home dimension) in 30 seconds tops, except for heroic shadowkinds who fades in between 2 to 5 hours.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Virtually every video game where you destroy and/or kill enemies has them vanish a short time after being killed. This is largely due to programming and performance issues, plus piled up corpses would get in the way of characters that can't jump or RTS units that can't just walk over the artillery riddled tank. Only aversions, subversions, and extraordinary genre examples or types of fade outs (smoke, liquid, etc.) should be noted here. Similarly, many games have your character "jump out of the screen" whenever it dies. The most famous example is [[Franchise/SuperMarioBros Mario]].

* ''Franchise/KingdomHearts'':
** ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' has Organization XIII who dissolve into black dust-like particles when defeated. It's usually [[DeathIsDramatic very dramatic]], and for at least one, tearjerking.
** This happens to the Organization members in ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsChainOfMemories Re:Chain of Memories]]'' too, and for the same reason.
** This is because Organization XIII, [[HumanoidAbomination being humanoid Nobodies and thus walking bundles of nothingness]], return to the nothing from whence they came upon dying. However, TheStinger of ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHeartsCoded Re:coded]]'' reveals that [[spoiler:if you killed that person's Heartless before killing their Nobody, their complete self would be [[BackFromTheDead reborn]]. Indeed, several Organization members return as their original selves in this manner come ''[[VideoGame/KingdomHearts3DDreamDropDistance 3D]]'']].
* ''VideoGame/{{Diablo}}'' averts the trope: not only do corpses stay behind, the bodies of acid/poison spitters can continue to damage you if you stand on them.
** In the sequels, there are certain techniques that destroy bodies, which is important because some enemy summoners can resurrect them.
** Some enemies (like the Maw Beasts in ''Diablo II'') eat and spit corpses on you.
* In the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series, the Plaga parasites cause the host's body to break down chemically upon death, meaning it dissolves soon after it hits the ground. The C-Virus has a similar effect, except the corpse ignites to cinders due to the heat buildup typical of the T-Veronica virus that was used to create the C-Virus.
** The remake of ''Resident Evil'' for UsefulNotes/NintendoGameCube pretended to avert this to give you a nasty surprise. Any zombie killed remains behind, unless you burn the corpse or destroy the head. Later on it turns out they're NotQuiteDead; about an hour after killing a zombie it gets up and starts ''running'' around as the more powerful and deadly [[DemonicSpiders Crimson Head]]. Other enemies play it completely straight and vanish once you leave the room.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonsDogma'', the corpses of non-human enemies rot if you left them for a while, large enemies would decay and melt into a pile of bones. Corpses of humanoid enemies disappear instead of rotting however. The ''Dark Arisen'' expansion turns this as a gameplay mechanic, the corpses of enemies in Bitterblack Isles rot into piles of remains which stay on screen, and they allure various [[BonusBoss Necrophagus Creatures]], including ''[[TheGrimReaper Death]]'' himself.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}'', the final function of the nanosuit involves completely incinerating itself and the downed user (your character or one of his similarly-equipped RedShirt colleagues) from the inside out to assure enemy forces aren't able to capture information from their corpse. Nifty. The Aliens do this too, their machines always self-destruct.
* ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'':
** Averted in the first two games, where corpses remain as 2D textures.
** Played straight in ''VideoGame/Doom3'', for the performance reasons listed above. Power gamers, annoyed that their rigs weren't being used to their full potential, rapidly modded the game to force bodies to stay put.
*** Only demons burn away when they die. Zombies are left behind, unless you splatter them. Then they’ll disappear.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Primal}}''. Corpses remain permanently, unless Jen is killed before passing the next Checkpoint. Then the corpse vanishes when its monster is respawned. There aren't enough monsters per area create an overload of corpses. Corpses also have energy for Scree to drain and may contain objects necessary to continue.
* Oddly, this happened more often as the ''Franchise/TombRaider'' series went on, despite the technical progress; in ''[[VideoGame/TombRaider 1]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TombRaiderII 2]]'', enemies pretty much never disappear, ''[[VideoGame/TombRaiderIII 3]]'' had them disappear after you had turned away for a little while, in ''[[VideoGame/TombRaiderTheLastRevelation The Last Revelation]]'' and every subsequent game corpses always disappear right in front of your eyes after a few seconds. However, ''[[VideoGame/TombRaiderUnderworld Underworld]]'' has been confirmed to be averting this.
** In ''VideoGame/RiseOfTheTombRaider'' when the Deathless Ones are defeated their bodies vanish in a cloud of dust.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Okami}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Okamiden}}'', your enemies turn into flowers when you kill them. Instead of spurting blood, they will literally shoot pure flowers from their veins. Issun explains this in the first game as "When a demon is exorcised, the gods power can return, and nature thrives." This doesn't explain how the flowers the Demons leave behind disappear too.
* Since ''VideoGame/ShadowOfTheColossus'' only has 16 enemies anyway, and they're too spread out to risk piling up, the corpses of killed Colossi remain throughout the whole game, and you can even have flashback-styled fights with ones you've already killed. The small creatures, however, such as lizards, disappear after you kill them.
* Both played straight and averted in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots''. When killed, the elite FROG soldiers immediately dissolve into dust. However, when a normal soldier is killed, his body remains and must be disposed of to keep other soldiers from discovering it.
* Spaceship wrecks in ''VideoGame/EveOnline'' last for about two hours before vanishing.
* ''Franchise/BaldursGate'' averts this trope. Everything you kill lies there dead for the rest of the game, unless you killed it in some way that doesn't leave a body (e.g. vaporizing zombies with your enchanted mace).
* ''VideoGame/GoldenAxe'' is possibly the oldest game that doesn't do this: in the arcade version, every enemy you defeat fades to gray and remains on the floor like that. In most ports, however, the enemies do disappear, probably because of memory constraints.
* The first few ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' games averted this in that corpses tended to stick around for several days unless the player managed to obliterate their opponent with certain energy weapons. After the corpses decay/presumably are eaten a pool of blood remains on the spot. Generally the blood pools disappeared after some days but those that did not sometimes hid useful items.
** During the ambush at the end of the ''Lonesome Road'' DLC, the Marked Men always melt into goo after being killed(as when killed with a plasma weapon), to prevent memory overusage from too many corpses in the room.
* In ''VideoGame/TotalAnnihilation'', destroyed units leave behind beaten shape of themselves, blocking way for other units and fire. Fortunately, they are easy to destroy. Or they can be recycled for resources, but this takes a lot more time.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'', partially because the Necrons can re-use their corpses.
* ''Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda'':
** Mostly played straight in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'', save for one instance: ''[[DemonicSpiders Redeads.]]'' When you kill one, it doesn't vanish into flame like every other enemy, it just sort of crumples. This gets especially creepy when now, every other Redead in the area will hobble over to their dead comrade, [[WildMassGuessing probably to]] [[NightmareFuel eat them.]] Or mourn for them, which is strangely also a horrifying concept. If you remain for a while, however, the Redead's body will seemingly sort of... melt away.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', there are the [[GratuitousNinja Garo]] {{Ninja}}s, who, seemingly by their own unknown BadassCreed, are required to ensure that they leave no body behind. Common Garo Robes solve this by setting themselves aflame while the more hardcore mini-boss, [[KingMook Garo Master]], decides not to take any risks, [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill pulls out a bomb]] and blows his failing body to dust.
--->'''Garo Master:''' Die I shall, leaving no corpse. That is the law of us Garo.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/NoOneLivesForever'', because disposing of the bodies without detection is a major gameplay mechanic. You are given to a limited supply of a special liquid that vaporizes bodies. However, being a not-very-buff woman, Cate isn't likely to carry around bodies of big {{Mooks}}. Largely averted in the sequel. Not only can Cate now carry bodies, but other {{Mooks}} will use their own vaporizing liquids to get rid of their comrades' bodies to avoid the paperwork (a Soviet soldier even says so).
* ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes''. In the English/uncensored version, the enemies, after being cutting in half, while stay for a few seconds before disappearing, giving enough time for blood geysers to erupt, where as in the Japanese/censored version, they just turn into dust right away. This is noticeable for the bosses. In America, the bosses won't disappear after dying. They'll just sit there, gruesomely dead, where as in the Japan, the bodies will turn to dust when needed. Special notice goes to Holly Summers, whose head gets blown off. In America, the head is gone and you bury her. In Japan, well, it's like in the cartoons where the character has black all over their face. And you still bury her.
* ''VideoGame/GiantsCitizenKabuto'' handwaves this trope by revealing that the planet you're on is host to an ''extremely'' ravenous race of scavengers who live underground, constantly awaiting fresh meat: Killing enemies greets you with the sight of hundreds of them popping up all around the newly formed corpse and rapidly devouring it before vanishing back underground, leaving only a bloodstain and a power-up.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/{{Thief}}: The Dark Project'' and its sequels, which all involved hiding bodies (corpses or unconscious foes) to avoid alerting guards and other traffic (and inspired the body-disposal game mechanic of ''No One Lives Forever'', above). With rare exceptions, such as haunts and fire elementals, all kills in ''Thief'' leave a corpse and a liability.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Minecraft}}'', all mobs explode into a puff of smoke when killed.
* Played particularly bizarrely in ''VideoGame/TheConduit'', where the enemies visibly dissolve or incinerate shortly after death -- something that obviously '''should''' have an in-universe reason, as opposed to just disappearing because of engine limitations -- but no-one bothers to comment it.
* Nonhuman enemies in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyX'' collapse into pyreflies (supernatural firefly-like insects) when slain. This is because they're the souls of people not given proper burial rites. Machines explode, but their parts and human enemies are subject to EverythingFades.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/VagrantStory''. On the island of Lea Monde, where the main game takes place, everything ''does'' fade as part of the black magic infiltrating every part of the ruins. In the prologue to the game, which does not take place on Lea Monde, the bodies of enemies do ''not'' disappear.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/FarCry2'', corpses tend to stick around until you leave the area far behind; then the area resets, removing corpses, replenishing supplies and guards, etc. The most obvious handwave is that the next patrol comes by, cleans up, and calls in reinforcements to restock the place, though you never see this happening. The game would quickly become [[EasierThanEasy super easy]] if everything you destroyed stayed destroyed.
* When Samus dies in the original ''VideoGame/{{Metroid|1}}'' she explodes into pieces. In most other games in the franchise a game over shows this happening to her PoweredArmor. In ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' Samus' plasma beam is powerful enough to completely vaporize enemies.
* Zig-zagged in ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2''. Monsters melt into evaporating puddles of goo whenever you kill them, but in the last part of the game, the stage becomes populated with killer cyborgs, and their bodies do ''not'' disappear, even if you leave the room and come back later.
* A weapon in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', a knife called "Your Eternal Reward," allows a Spy to [[OneHitKill backstab]] someone, cause their corpse to silently vanish, then immediately assume the victim's appearance, thus blending in near-perfectly with enemies who are left unaware that their real teammate is dead.
** The '[[{{Zeerust}} futuristic space gun]]' weapons available to the Soldier, Pyro, and Engineer either incinerate or disintegrate enemies on death, leaving behind no remains (the effect is very similar to ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'''s [=AR2=] secondary fire). Unlike the Spy's knife, these are very loud and visibly obvious weapons, and are also shown in the kill feed.
* Due to censorship, this is cranked up to eleven in the Australian version of ''VideoGame/Left4Dead2'', with bodies often disappearing [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OH7QCtuaXgI before they even hit the ground.]]
* Both averted and played straight in the ''VideoGame/{{Unreal}}'' series, which is [[BloodierAndGorier normally]] powered by the sheer momentum of its LudicrousGibs, but has "gore settings" that can be adjusted all the way down to "bodies are indestructible and [[{{Pixellation}} digitally disintegrate]] when killed."
* Tank and vehicle hulls in ''VideoGame/CompanyOfHeroes'' stick around a good long while if they're not hit by more explosions or crushed by heavy tanks, and actually present cover for infantry to use. The Panzer Elite can use repair vehicles to get any Axis tanks back in action so long as the hull remains mostly intact too. Infantry also tend to take a while to fade, and can be 'rescued' by Medics from a Bunker to form a new squad.
* ''VideoGame/DestroyAllHumans'' gives us the disintegrator ray and the Ion Detonator.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', once you kill someone/something their corpse/skeleton will lay in the place you killed them for the rest of the game. Except for Abominations, they explode after you kill them, and Rage Demons and Shades, they disappear somewhere. Played straight in ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', though.
* Whenever someone dies in ''VideoGame/TheSims'', they transforms into an urn (if inside) or a tombstone (if outside). As long as the urn/tombstone isn't deleted, the sim's ghost will occasionally came around at night. Some pre-made lots come with tombstones and are thus already haunted.
* In ''VideoGame/AlanWake'', the Taken dissolve when they're killed. Alan gets freaked out by it.
* This is common with character deaths in earlier ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'' titles, such as with the deaths of Scott and Josef in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'' and also with Galuf in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyV''.
* Averted in ''VideoGame/CounterStrike'', as bodies of players who are killed remain on the map for the remainder of the map, and in the Counter-Strike Source are ragdolled and can be moved around by explosions.
* Mostly averted in the ''VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}'' games, since collecting dead creatures' bodies is the primary way to grow new Pikmin. The trope is somewhat both lampshaded and justified in the second game's Piklopedia entry for one of the bosses that does actually crumple to dust upon defeat, where Olimar notes how frustrating it is to have no study samples from that family of creatures due to its mysterious self-destruction upon death.
** Played straight to a very creepy effect in [[spoiler:the Final Landing site Formidable Oak]].
* One of the abilities the players can gain in ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}'' is "Shadow Kill", which disintegrates the corpses of people you kill. The game also plays the trope straight in the usual way, in that bodies disappear after a while - which is noteworthy because hiding bodies is an important part of gameplay when playing stealthily. It can become extremely unnerving when a carefully-hidden unconscious body is suddenly gone on a subsequent visit to its hiding place, leaving the player wondering if someone found the body and woke that person up, or questioning their memory of hiding a body there in the first place.
* It's not at all unusual for slain enemies in ''VideoGame/NetHack'' to leave a corpse; it will rot over time but not vanish immediately and [[DevelopersForesight may have a variety of uses]], though not all of them are necessarily always safe.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Onimusha}}'', whenever you slay a Genma the corpse will dissolve almost instantly, leaving souls behind. Enemies killed with a [[OneHitKill Issen Counterattack]] will usually fade away faster. Bosses tend to last a bit longer, usually long enough for a cutscene to play, after which you can absorb the usually generous amount of souls from them.
* Justified in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheSandsOfTime'' and its sequels, as most of your enemies are made of sand. This doesn't stop Shahdee (who appears to be a normal human) from vanishing in a flash of light after her defeat.
* Averted and played straight in ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}''. Most of the Pfhor varieties and three of their slave races (the Lookers, Wasps and Hulks) leave corpses, as do the automated defense drones and humans. The exceptions are the S'pht, which dissolve when killed, and in the first game, the Pfhor Juggernauts, which explode with incredible force that vaporizes them (and does a lot of damage to anyone not on the far side of a wall). ''Marathon 2'' versions apparently leave remains though.
* In ''VideoGame/SonicLostWorld'', when Zazz, Zomom, Master Zik, and Zeena were defeated in Lava Mountain, they exploded in a puff of smoke.
* In ''VideoGame/TheWorldEndsWithYou'', whenever somebody in the Underground is Erased, they dissolve as a cloud of visible static. Accordingly, the fact that you ''do'' [[NeverFoundTheBody find the body]] of [[spoiler:Sho Minamimoto]] has caused a whole forest of EpilepticTrees on whether that character actually died or not.
* In the original ''Franchise/AloneInTheDark'' trilogy, defeated monsters dissolve into bubbles(or maybe it's 3D smoke).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', monsters disintegrate into dust when they die. Sometimes, dust can be found on items, suggesting that if it didn't belong to a monster that had died, it belonged to someone who killed a monster. In a No Mercy-run, [[CloudCuckooLander Papyrus]] will comment on your dusty state.
* The ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' reboot has defeated enemies melt into bloody ooze.
* ''VideoGame/MinecraftStoryMode'':
** Mobs and animals vanish upon death and leave behind their drop the same way they do in ''Minecraft'' proper.
** Subverted with humans and [[spoiler:the Wither Storm, as when it's finally killed in the end, its remains fall to the ground. It also leaves a unique black Nether Star behind]].
* In ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', this is a regular hazard with human space travel. Even when a slipspace drive is offline, nearby items and people run the risk of simply disappearing. And when the drive ''is'' active, ships have a chance of going into slipspace and never returning.
* ''VideoGame/TheHauntedRuins'': Defeated enemies pop, with a popping sound, and turns into a puff of white smoke that fades away.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Paladins}}'', Lex's [[LimitBreak ultimate]] instantly kills and vaporizes enemies out of existence if they are [[FinishingMove sufficiently wounded]]. Enemies that aren't sufficiently wounded will just take some damage and be slowed.
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, this is the case for some [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampire]] bloodlines. When slain, their bodies will turn to ash, which can then be collected as a valuable alchemical ingredient. This ash can even be collected off of some vampires who do leave a body behind.
* ''[[VideoGame/NexusWar Nexus Clash]]'' explains this trope with Death Servitors employed by the local death deity to gather player-character corpses and carry them away from the battlefield. [[OurLichesAreDifferent Lich]] necromancers can bribe the servitors to deliver the corpses to themselves instead.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'':
** The [[AnimalisticAbomination Creatures of Grimm]] in the World of Remnant dissolve into black smoke upon death, making it very difficult to learn more about them. Grimm hunting trophies, such as those owned by [[GreatWhiteHunter Professor Port]] are invariably taxidermied replicas.
** [[spoiler: Pyrrha Nikos is killed when she is shot through the heart and then disintegrated, leaving nothing but her circlet.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
** [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0455.html Why illusions have to fall over the wall.]]
** The Demon-Roaches disappear when killed, as seen [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0654.html in this strip,]] since they are extraplanar creatures from the Abysses.
** Vampires that are killed turn to their GaseousForm, or to ashes if they are burned under the sun. At the Godsmoot, [[spoiler:several destroyed vampires turn to smoke, preventing corpses from piling around Roy]]. Later lampshaded by Elan:
--->'''Elan:''' On the plus side, it's nice to kill something that cleans up after itself.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Erfworld}}'' the bodies of the dead, if not moved or uncroaked, disappear at the beginning of their side's turn.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', defeating an enemy game construct causes it to turn into an amount of grist proportionate to the difficulty of the enemy. Grist takes the form of hexagonal blocks, cubes, ovals or diamonds, depending on the type. It functions as a usable material for building and alchemizing objects. This rule does not apply to player characters or characters in the game which are not necessarily intended as enemies, such as agents.
* [[{{Golem}} Witch's constructs]] in ''Webcomic/{{Whither}}'' turn into paper when they die, because that's what [[RewritingReality they are]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/DarwinsSoldiers'', Lockdown has the power to turn people or objects into [[AntiMatter anti-energy]]. This causes them to instantly vaporize.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', a lot of the beasties from the episode "The Terror Beyond" didn't leave bodies when destroyed, in many cases because they were [[LudicrousGibs incredibly squishy]]. The giant-claw-whale-monster-thing that [[spoiler:kills Solomon Grundy]] dissolves into acid when killed, for some reason.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'':
** The monsters explode when killed, and whatever debris they left behind quickly vanish. There is one enemy that does this a little differently. Creepers don't just explode, but also partially ''melt'' before vanishing completely.
** The heroes also disappear when "devirtualized". Of course, this is inside a virtual world and overlaps with EverythingFades.
* When Jaga dies in the first episode of the original ''WesternAnimation/{{ThunderCats|1985}}'', his body turns to dust instantly, leaving only his empty clothes. [[spoiler:A later episode reveals that he is actually trapped in another dimension.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', [[spoiler:Princess Yue's body vanishes shortly after she]] dies to AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence.
* Similarly, in ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', once Korra defeats [[spoiler:[[FusionDance the combined]] Vaatu and Unalaq]], their giant body dissolves into light and [[spoiler:Unalaq's]] original body is completely gone ([[spoiler:Vaatu is also gone, but still alive as he still has CompleteImmortality]]).
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' cartoon special "The Smurfic Games", Gargamel's cousin Argus disappears when he dies, and so also does his castle before the evil wizard tries to do anything with it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'', once hit with a magic energy wave representing his polar opposite, King Sombra is vaporized.
* Happens to Candace at the end of the ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episode "The Curse of Candace".
-->'''Phineas:''' Ferb, we're gonna need a dustpan and some glue.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse''. When a Gem's body is very badly damaged, they will release their [[HardLight physical form]] (usually referred to as "poofing"), and retreat into their [[HeartDrive gemstone]] to regenerate. This looks like they explode into a cloud of dust, but none of the dust actually lingers.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Happens to many invertebrates when they die. Unless they have a shell, rigid exoskeleton or calcite support structure, they leave very little behind. This is the reason why most fossils tend to be those of vertebrates.
* Because [[UsefulNotes/{{Islam}} Muslim]] burial practices dictate that a body must be buried very quickly after death, it is very hard for militaries fighting in countries like Iraq and Afghanistan to get an accurate body count on many of their enemies, which may lead to a perception of this effect.
* Good luck leaving a fossil behind in life-heavy areas like the woods. Within a week to a month, the body will be gone. The bones... take a little longer, but they won't last if not calcified.
* In June 2016, a visitor to Yellowstone National Park strayed from the designated trail and fell into a geyser. His sister, who was with him, called for the authorities. Unfortunately, by the time they were able to recover his body, it had ''dissolved''.