"(visibly distraught) Buffy, I... something's happened that... Willow's dead. (sees Willow standing over in the corner) Hey Willow."A character is presumed dead and the entire cast is crying over them. Next thing you know, the character is alive, wondering why everybody else is crying over them. The character tries to get the crying cast's attention, but they exclaim something along the lines of: "Not now X, we're too busy crying over X!" Then, the cast realizes that the character somehow came back from the dead, or never really died after all. If the "dead man" is particularly absent-minded, he might even join in on the mourning, with or without being aware of who's being mourned. An extension of Not Now, Kiddo, and Reports of My Death Were Greatly Exaggerated. Often overlaps with Delayed Reaction. Sometimes the result of Faking the Dead, especially if the ones in mourning were unaware that the person being mourned over was faking. Often occurs at the "dead man's" own funeral, or during a Premature Eulogy. Also compare Why, Thank You, X!, where the characters are simply unaware of the other character's presence whether or not they are (believed) dead. As this is a death (or lack thereof) trope, spoilers may appear.
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Anime & Manga
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure part 2 ends with Joseph crashing and nearly getting kicked out of his own funeral
- Something similar happens in the end of Xenosaga anime: Everyone (particularly Shion) is very busy crying for KOS-MOS, who has seemingly pulled off a Heroic Sacrifice, when a communications officer spots her walking calmly on the ship's hull. He tries telling the others but The Captain orders him to shut up and not ruin the moment at first.
- Parodied in Haruhi-chan: Kyon and Haruhi are having a blowpipe brawl, and end up hitting Mikuru. Then they're mourning her while learning the lesson about violence that she taught them with her death, just before Mikuru mentions that she's still there.
- The end of the "Fateful Night in Togenkyo" story in InuYasha ends with Kagome, Miroku, and Shippo standing at the edge of a cliff and mourning for Inuyasha, who apparently fell to his death. When Inuyasha, coming up behind them, takes exception to Kagome calling him an idiot for dying, it takes the rest of the cast an extra line or two of dialogue before they catch on.
- Fushigi Yuugi has an unusual variant in that the person in question Nuriko is dead and the characters are praying for his soul, not realizing that his ghost has joined them.
- In the Skypeia saga of One Piece, Conis' father seemingly perishes after getting caught in the blast of one of Enel's attacks. The characters all mourn him, with the camera switching between each of their faces. It ends on Conis' father, who's just as sad as they are. The crew is pissed when they realize that he's there and crying over his own death.
- James of Pokémon fame manages to do this to himself. While telling the tragic story of his childhood (ending with his own death at the age of ten) everyone nearby (except Misty) dissolves into tears... including James, who must be reminded he is alive.
- Slightly more serious in Full Metal Panic!, where Kurz Weber apparently dies about 2/3 of the way through the story; before the final battle, his former teammates dedicate the battle to his memorynote — when Kurz's survival is revealed via a Big Damn Heroes moment, pretty much everybody (even Sousuke) accuses him of ruining the moment by surviving.
- Toward the end of the first story arc in Justice League International, the League fights a Kill Sat, and it appears that Mr. Miracle has died in the process of shutting it down. When Martian Manhunter declares that he will never be forgotten, Scott immediately answers that he would hope not.
Blue Beetle: Pipe down, Scott—we're eulogizing you!
- In a Li'l Abner story, this was inverted. Li'l Abner has escaped what seemed like certain death, and goes to Dogpatch to find some of its citizens singing a funeral hymn for their poor deceased Li'l Abner. When he sees this and learns that they're mourning him, he starts singing along in a sadder tone than anyone else, because who wouldn't feel sad at his own funeral?
- Pretty Cure Mirai ~ Spark!: Izumi tells Shun this almost verbatim after the latter recovers from her Disney Death in episode 10.
- In Ninja Wizard Book 5 Fred and George mention seeing unexplained lights in the empty fifth-year boys' dorm. Ron, Seamus and Neville promptly decide that this indicates spiritual activity and since Dean is absent, he must be the ghost in question. Then a puzzled Dean walks into the Gryffindor common room.
Harry: Hey Dean. Good to see you. Can you tell our roommates you're alive so they'll stop crying already?
Films — Animation
- At the end of Pinocchio, Geppetto is crying over the dead Pinocchio when the Blue Fairy brings him back to life and makes him a real boy:
Pinocchio: Father, why are you crying?
Geppetto: ...you're dead, Pinocchio.
Pinocchio: No. No, I'm not.
Geppetto: Yes, yes you are. Now just lie down and...
- Cars: Lightning McQueen has finished the road and there is no sign of him, the others assuming that he just left without saying goodbye. Red the Fire Truck starts crying, at which point McQueen appears and asks what's the matter with Red. Mater then explains to McQueen about McQueen leaving, and stands staring at him a long while before realizing whom he was addressing.
- The Lion King 1˝: It looks like Timon has sacrificed himself, and his mom is in hysterics. Then he climbs out of the pit he made and says "Mom, it's OK." She grabs him and shakes him and says a few things about it not being OK before she realizes that it's Timon.
- Jack is hit by a rocket in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Oogie Boogie is, therefore, understandably shocked when he appears in the nick of time to rescue Sally and Santa Claus moments after they hear the news.
- In Monsters, Inc., when Sully mistakenly believes that Boo has been smashed into a garbage cube.
Sully: I can still hear her little voice.
Boo: Mike Wazowski!
Mike: Hey, I can hear her too.
(hears other kids)
Mike: How many kids you got in there?
- Near the end of The Jungle Book after Baloo thought to have been killed fighting Shere Khan, Bagheera gives a eulogy to his dearly departed friend (which is notable because Bagheera and Baloo frequently got into arguments earlier in the film). Just as he and Mowgli leave, Baloo sits up and says, "Hey, don't stop now, Baggy. You're doing great! There's more, lots more!". This causes Bagheera to be furious at Baloo ("Why you... big... fraud you!") while Mowgli's reaction is relief.
- Piglet's Big Movie: Both Piglet and Pooh seemingly die, when a rotten log they are on plummets down a giant waterfall. It later turns out they really had hidden inside a hollow part of the log that stayed attached to the land. An unaware Pooh, however, joins Tigger and Rabbit, and starts crying along with them.
Pooh: (using Tigger's tail to wipe his own tears) Something must be very sad.
Rabbit: (sobbing) Well, of course—it's sad...
Rabbit and Tigger: Pooh?! Piglet!
- In the Disney version of Peter and the Wolf from Make Mine Music, Sasha the bird mourns the apparent death of Sonia the duck, who seemed to have been eaten by the wolf. However, at the end of the short, Sonia arrives on the scene unharmed, and unknowingly starts crying along with Sasha.
Films — Live-Action
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade has Indy apparently falling of a cliff with a tank. The group with him leans over to see the tank hit the ground and not notice him crawling up a set of vines a few feet down. Indy notices the group mourning him and leans over himself to see what they're looking at only for the group to notice him soon after.
- Happens in the Maverick movie after Brett is thought to have fallen to his death over a cliff.
- Occurs in the Jackie Gleason film Gigot. The title character is a Cute Mute who enjoyed going to funerals, so when he is presumed dead, the townsfolk throw a lavish funeral procession for him although no body was found. Naturally, he is eventually discovered mourning at his own funeral.
- In the film adaptation of Footrot Flats, in the Dog's flashback, Wal's reaction to the new puppy going missing. He's too busy telling Cooch what a great little fellow the Dog was to notice that the reason for Cooch's visit is that he's found the Dog and brought him back.
- Abbott and Costello liked this gag, using it in Africa Screams and Abbot and Costello Join the Foreign Legion, and possibly others. In both films, Lou Costello gets caught in an off-screen explosion, then Bud Abbott sees Lou's hat thrown from the blast and assumes the worst. As he's mourning—wishing he'd been nicer to Lou—Lou himself comes along and commiserates with him. When Bud finally realizes that it's Lou crying on his shoulder, his immediate reaction is to shove Lou away.
- In Anchorman 2 , Brick has been presumed drowned after chasing a duck out into a lake, Ron, Champ, and Brian attend his funeral and mourn for him only for Brick to show up at the funeral crying.
- In Star Wars: A New Hope, C-3PO mistakes Luke and company's whooping for joy for screaming after he and R2 shut down the Death Star's trash compactor. It takes a few seconds before Luke outright tells him that they're alright.
Threepio: They're dying, R2! Curse my metal body, I wasn't fast enough!
- In Myth Adventures, Aahz once got "We're Too Busy Planning Vengeance For Your Death" moment.
- At the end of Mr Gum: Book 8 all Polly's friends think she died, she then wakes up and asks what everyone is crying about. Hilarity Ensues.
- Subverted in Interesting Times with Saveloy's death; at first, this trope seems to be invoked with him responding to Silver Orde's suggestions on how to honorably bury him, until Death finally approaches him and he realizes what happened.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season Three. "Dopplegangland". Giles is devastated at the loss of Willow, while Buffy and Xander both blame themselves. On cue, Willow walks in. "Geez. Who died?" Then, seriously: "Oh, God. Who died?" Xander runs up and sticks a cross in her face, telling her to "BACK! GET BACK, DEMON!" Getting no reaction, he shakes the cross as though it were broken and tries again.
"Willow's dead. Hey Willow."
- Replayed when Angel barges into the library (in full mourning face) and, while breaking the news to Buffy, does a neck-spraining double take.
- For context, nothing at all has happened to Willow. The Scoobies encountered her alternate universe evil vampire counterpart and assumed that she had been turned.
- Doctor Who:
The Doctor: Ohh, missing something obvious, Rory, something big, something right smack in front of me, I can see it...
- The episode "The Pandorica Opens" makes an Overly Long Gag out of the Doctor completely failing to make the connection that the person he's talking to is Rory, a companion he had mourned the loss of in a previous episode. It ends up being just a simulacrum of Rory, but one that seems to have Rory's soul.
Rory: Yes, you probably are.
The Doctor: I'll get it in a minute.
The Doctor: Hello again.
- The short extra "The Battle of Demons Run: Two Days Later" has an inversion — several episodes ago, minor character Strax appeared to die in a battle, but the short reveals that he only thought he was dying, as he was part of a warrior race and wanted to die in battle. As a result, two other survivors of the war were trying to convince him that he was fine, while he firmly insisted that he was dead.
- Used a few times in El Chavo del ocho, one episode has Chavo faking having being run over by a truck so people would give him food while he was sick, after Kiko helps set him up and tell everyone he was hurt, Chavo leaves for a while and everyone thinks that he was taken to The Red Cross. Later while they are mourning him, Don Ramón asks for some money for the funeral the people present, while Chavo appears crying at the emotional moment and offering 20 cents for his own funeral. Everyone thinks Don Ramón did it all for the money and they chase him out.
- Defied in Stargate SG-1 when O'Neill refuses to have a funeral for "someone who isn't dead" after Daniel's second death and ascension. Apparently O'Neill wants to avoid an instance of this trope (and, given Daniel's repeated cases of Death is Cheap, he is right).
- Comedy News series Russell Howard's Good News has an episode covering a story about a man in Brazil turning up at his own funeral.
- In the Pee-Wee's Playhouse episode, "Reba Eats and Pterri Runs", the latter mentioned goes missing after having been reprimanded and picked on for the duration of the episode. Randy encourages him to run away, and Pterri comes to the realization that no one likes him. Pee-Wee sees the note Pterri wrote about his decision and him and the other characters go into mourning and begin blaming themselves for his departure. Pee-Wee begins gently sobbing after taking a look at a photo with him and Pterri together, and at that moment, gets a tap on the leg by Pterri, to which he responds, "Please, Pterri, not now.".
- In the Brit Com It Ain't Half Hot Mum the Concert Party are given a mission to destroy a bridge, which gets cancelled at the last minute, only to see their raft move away from the bridge as though Lofty was still steering it and explode, leading to Sgt. Major Williams to provide an on-the-spot eulogy just as Lofty arrives safe and sound... and promptly gets a rollicking when Williams sees him.
- In the That Puppet Game Show episode "Jake's Dark Secret", Eddie disappears after a camping weekend with Jake, and the others (mostly Ian) suspect he ate him. Jake eventually explains that he simply made the mistake of giving Eddie chocolate, and he went mad for a bit.
Ian: You expect us to believe that? You ate him! And you're going to swing for it! There isn't a jury alive that won't convict ... Oh, hey Eddie ... I never liked you! I always knew you were a canni... Eddie?
- Depending on the director, A Midsummer Night's Dream has this when Bottom returns to the Mechanicals after his adventure with the fairies.
- In Project X Zone, Ichiro Ogami gets a Guilt Complex that he "killed off" their companions after using the revolver cannon bridge to catapult themselves to the Tarqaron. Only for Zephyr, Leanne, X, Zero, Alisa, Ryu, Ken, and Neneko to pop out at the other side of the tower. Estelle even delivers the classic line that "if only we could save Neneko" only to be surprised to find that they're all okay. Even before that, the party is mourning Arthur's (and thanking him for his) Heroic Sacrifice, only for him to basically respond "You're welcome"; turns out his armor protected him from the blast. This is foreshadowed by him asking Valkyrie to prepare something for him (another suit).
- In the Adventures in Odyssey video series episode "A Stranger Among Us", Eugene, believing that Connie is dead, collapses in tears. Even after Dylan and Connie walk up to him to comfort him, it takes a few moments for the meaning to sink in.
Eugene: (crying) Can't you see? It's all my fault! All — my — fault!
Connie: Actually, it's mostly my fault, Eugene.
Eugene: No, it's not, Connie, it's — huh? (he sees her, smiles from ear to ear, and faints)
- In T.U.F.F. Puppy, after Keswick "sacrifices" himself to save everybody, Dudley, Kitty and the Chief are all crying in a huddle. Keswick appeared why they were still crying. Kitty then exclaims, "Not now Keswick, we're too busy crying over Keswick!"
- In A Merry Mirthworm Christmas, Burt, the new worm in town, feels rejected and leaves for another place. Crystal and the other worms find his note, and go off to find him. Unfortunately, a blizzard kicks up, and they have to turn back without finding him. At the community center, the others comment on how hard Crystal is taking this, and Burt, who had turned back when the blizzard got started and took shelter in the community center, asks what's wrong. One of the worms starts to explain before realizing whom she's addressing.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
SpongeBob: If only I could hear you meow one last time.
- In the special "Where's Gary?", Gary returns after SpongeBob has had a breakdown over him, in time to find him crying.
Gary: (crawls onto SpongeBob's head) Meow!
SpongeBob: Yeah, like that.
SpongeBob: Gary, your purring is making it hard to forget you.
Mr. Krabs: Oh, I've been such a fool! I turned away SpongeBob, the best fry cook I ever had, and it cost me everything!
- Happens in the episode, "Le Big Switch", when Mr. Krabs gets upset after realizing that it was a mistake to exchange SpongeBob for another chef.
SpongeBob: Mr Krabs?
Mr. Krabs: Oh, I can still hear his sweet little voice.
- Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!:
- In the episode "Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too", Shaggy did this over a stone statue of Scooby: "He was like a brother to me! (the real Scooby approaches him) Look, Scoob, you've been turned to stone!"
- In the Scooby-Doo Show episode "The Tar Monster" we get a repeat performance: "I'll never forget you, old buddy, old pal. (The real Scooby approaches. Casually) Oh hi, Scoob. Oh, he was like a brother to me!"
- As a possible Shout-Out to a similar scene in the source material (see the Animated Films section), The The Jungle Book Spin-Off Babies series, Jungle Cubs has a surprisingly long sequence of this when Baloo and Kaa are presumed dead.
Louie: I keep thinking they'll turn up around the next bend. I tell you, animal, it's nuts. (blasely says hi to Baloo) Everywhere I look, I see their faces.
Bagheera: Weird, now I'm seeing 'em too.
Baloo: Hey, what's with you Lou? You look like you lost your best friend or something.
Louie: (looking away) I did...
Baloo: That's terrible! Who?
Louie: You. (eyes bulge) WOAH! HANG ON A SEC! BALOO! (shakes him madly) YOU'RE ALIVE!
Baloo: (dazed) Last time I checked.
- In the King of the Hill episode "Tankin' It To The Streets", Bill hijacks a tank and Hank, Dale, and Boomhauer attempt to get it back to the army base. Unfortunately they end up on the practice range during a live fire drill, and Bill forces the others to evacuate while he draws fire, with the tank getting blown up shortly thereafter. Hank and friends start crying over what a good friend he was ("like a big ol' stuffed teddy bear!"), only to hear Bill crying over the nice things they said; it turns out he got blown out of the tank, injured but alive.
- In The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh episode "Groundpiglet Day", Pooh, Tigger and Rabbit think Piglet's been turned into a snowman. As Piglet sppears to have melted, Rabbit starts crying that it was all his fault and begs forgiveness, to which the real Piglet comes up to him and says he does.
Rabbit: You hear that Piglet, Piglet forgives me!
- The Showdown episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) has a moment where Raphael mourns Leonardo (after his heroic sacrifice) before realising he has joined the conversation.
Michelangelo: I can't believe he's gone.
Raphael: Leo... I gave him nothing but a hard time. If I had it to do over again, I'd definitely be nicer.
Leonardo: (offscreen) Really?
Raphael: Leo? Leo!
- In The Smurfs episode "Clumsy Luck", Clumsy gets this when he returns to the village and sees that all his fellow Smurfs are mourning for him because they believed that he was killed inside his house when a meteor crashed right on top of it.
- Duck Dodgers:
- In the episode "Duck Codgers" Dodgers and the Cadet get exposed to the spores of a plant that causes them to rapidly age by the hour. If they don't reach the cure, which is located under the Martian base, they will age into dust. Near the end, Dodgers becomes separated from the Cadet and he finds a pile of dust with the Cadet's glasses on top. He cries for him, but moments later the Cadet arrives on a walker also crying. He then asks him why he was crying, and he replies that he lost his glasses.
- The same thing happens in "I'm Gonna Get You, Fat Sucka", Dodgers awakens from being brainwashed by Count Muerte and yells for Cadet, but gets no response. He tearfully assumes that Muerte killed him, only to be surprised by Cadet asking him if they hadn't better get a move on.
- At the climax of the Code Lyoko episode "Zero Gravity Zone", Aelita is using her Creativity power to build a bridge to the tower as Odd and Yumi hold off the swarm of Hornets; but it gets progressively worse as more of the Mooks appear, Yumi collapsing from exhaustion from her telekinesis and Odd running low on arrows. Finally, Aelita seems to make a very foolish move, and try to cross the bridge too soon. Naturally, the Hornets swarm at her and open fire until, eventually, she appears to plummet into the abyss below. For a few seconds, Odd and Yumi start to cry, thinking she's dead — until they hear her voice say, "As soon as you're finished crying, just let me know." Clearly, she had created an illusory clone of her self to fool them; Jérémie's response is, "Aelita, you are the greatest!"
- The Smoggies features a scene in which Miss Emma and Clarence believe Polluto has drowned and begin to weep for their fallen friend. Polluto, who has of course survived unharmed, walks up behind them and joins them in mourning his own apparent demise.
- Happened in Wild West C.O.W.-Boys of Moo Mesa in the episode "Cow Pirates of Swampy Cove", where Dakota Dude mourns Cody's apparent demise after finding his hat in a gator's mouth before Cody appears alive and well to ask him what's wrong.
- In Steven Universe, Pearl worries that the Gems are running out of time to rescue Steven from Homeworld. She then throws a "hi, Steven" when she finds Steven in his own living room before the realization sets in.