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Really Dead Montage
"I crushed his head
A few times
Memories like nursery rhymes..."
Dr. Forrester, Mystery Science Theater 3000, "Who Will I Kill?"

Oh no! They killed off your favorite character! It's all right — this is a TV show, he'll be back next week, right?

Not if the victim was the subject of a Really Dead Montage, he won't. Not if somewhere between the Famous Last Words, the anguished shouts of How Dare You Die on Me! and the uncontrollable sobbing while holding the body, a sad rock or Celtic ballad and two minutes of happy scenes from past episodes starts playing. A Really Dead Montage can kill a character far more effectively than the shot to the chest, drop off a cliff, or, in extreme cases, graphic decapitation could ever hope to do. You can Retcon, Hand Wave, Reset Button, or All Just a Dream a character out of just about any kind of messy end, but the Really Dead Montage means Killed Off for Real, no coming back. Especially if they play Kansas' "Dust In The Wind" as it rolls.

Also available in Permanently Put on a Bus flavor, when the character doesn't die but is really, really gone.

For subtlety, this can take the form of a Happier Home Movie, usually filmed up close at an angle for extra creepiness.

The only thing that can override a Really Dead Montage is the First Law of Resurrection — however, considering the authors went to all the trouble of planning a Really Dead Montage in the first place, they probably don't want to invoke the First Law of Resurrection later. If the character returns nonetheless, the Really Dead Montage itself qualifies as a particularly conspicuous Premature Eulogy. Compare My Life Flashed Before My Eyes.

WARNING: Being about a character's death, spoilers will follow.

Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Subverted in Stellvia of the Universe, where the Humongous Mecha piloted by Shima Katase (incidentally, the main heroine) gets hit with an Earth-shattering (literally, as if the phenomenon reaches the Earth it will cease to exist) wave and seemingly ceases to exist in the penultimate episode - then we are treated to a standard next episode trailer narrated by the sad best friend of the said heroine - and she in nowhere to be seen. The next, final episode starts with a Really Dead Montage lasting several minutes - and yet, right after the opening modified to also be a Really Dead Montage she turns out to be alive (and her Mech unharmed) within the next fifteen seconds.
  • Episode 17 of Mai-Otome has one for The Mole.
    • And in the episode immediately afterward, one for royal maid Aoi, right before she sacrifices herself before an angry mob.
      • The latter of which is one of the rare cases where she actually turns out to have survived, and it wasn't just the creator having second thoughts.
  • Cowboy Bebop plays the trope gorgeously straight - well, almost - with Spike Spiegel in Episode 5 to the transcending tune of Green Bird by Yoko Kanno, complete with an intricate and potent flashback sequence. The Villain of the Week wounds the character harshly enough to warrant his death, and, before the Villain delivers his final blow, the character leaves him with an Obi Wan Dying Moment of Awesome. Only, it isn't . . . or is it?
  • Fushigi Yuugi not only has one of these for Nuriko, it also precedes the death with a montage of him imagining a happy alternative future with Miaka. Then later, there's another for Hotohori. It still doesn't stick, though.
    • Amusingly, Mitsukake, who died around the same time as Hotohori, did not have such a montage. Of course, the heroine didn't particularly seem upset by his death. Neither did most of the audience.
  • Kanon, or at least the 2006 remake, offers a subversion: Ayu gets the montage, but as we learn in the next episode, when she invokes the power of miracles, both she and everybody else that seemed headed for certain death is Not Quite Dead. Yes, even Makoto.
    • In the original Visual Novel she gets the same after/as part of a damned depressing reveal only for Akiko to casually mention a recent news article one morning not much later saying that a certain girl woke up from her seven year coma.
    • It should be noted that Makoto being revived is, at best, speculation. Nothing in the series actually indicates that the fox shown in the last scene is her, and it is known that there was at least one other fox living on Monomi hill at the time the series takes place.
  • Parodied in an episode of Animal Yokocho — after Iyo accidentally bisects Kenta while attempting the old sawing-a-protesting-friend-in-half magic trick, she sits reflectively looking out the window and watches an entire Really Dead Montage go by before Kenta has a chance to protest and demand to be put back together.
  • Archer in Fate/stay night. There's another one for Saber in the finale.
    • They even changed the ending sequences for those two episodes to the montages, complete with ending themes different from the usual.
  • After L dies in Death Note, the series mourns by spending half an episode reviewing everything that's happened so far. (This is right before a Time Skip, so it was also a very convenient time for a recap.) There's another lingering, montage-y death in the finale.
  • Carnival Phantasm shows a montage of Lancer and Berserker after the latter throws him as a weapon, which he lampshades while he's flying through the air; "WAIT, WAIT WAIT WAIT, WHAT'S THAT SUPPOSED TO MEAN?!"
  • Oddly enough, in an episode of Pokémon titled "Pikachu's Goodbye?" Ash tries to leave his Pikachu behind with a community of wild Pikachu, thinking it's what's best for him. The show goes into a montage complete with sad music. Obviously, despite what looks just like a Really Gone Montage, Pikachu refuses to be left behind and they are back together immediately after the montage ends.
    • This also happens in later seasons, where the female sidekick for the region Ash is visiting is Put on a Bus. These tend to be real Tear Jerker moments - especially in the case of Misty and Dawn.
    • And this is also subverted by Ash's Bulbasaur. Though that pokemon does not appear in future episodes, he is given a notably depressing montage featuring when Ash captures him. However, the subversion comes when it was revealed that the falling rock didn't crush him as thought, but he burrowed underground.
    • The sixth season episode where Ash catches his Treecko features a Really Dead Montage...for a tree. This is doubly weird because Ash sees it.
  • Welcome to the NHK has the Put on a Bus version of this when Yamazaki leaves. He's still a pretty major character for the remaining episodes though, he's just not living next to Satou anymore.
  • The ninja robot Volfogg from King of Braves GaoGaiGar gets one after his fight with Penchinon, then comes back two episodes later. The two characters who do actually die get nothing of the sort.
  • Setsuko has one in Grave of the Fireflies.
    • By GOD does she have one... unlike many of the others on this list, it'll be the VIEWER exhibiting the uncontrollable sobbing instead of the characters. Saddest. Scene. Ever.
  • In the 2003 anime adaptation of Fullmetal Alchemist, little Nina Tucker gets one of these during the end credits after her gruesome death, despite only having been in two episodes.
    • Even more epitomizing this trope, however, is the death of Maes Hughes, a character the viewers were just beginning to really love. It seemed so impossible that he could really be dead that the last five minutes of the episode were spent at his funeral, at his burial, with his mourning friends and family, and the kicker: seeing his ghost waving goodbye at a train station. Just to make it REALLY clear.
      • And you can't forget his crying daughter pleading that "He said he has a lot of work to do and if they bury him he can't do it when he wakes up!"
    • Hohenheim gets one in the penultimate episode of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
  • Strangely, Usopp from One Piece gets one of these montages during the Water 7 arc after getting badly beaten up by the Franky Family, despite not only being alive, but also having been confirmed as such by one of the main characters.
  • The AIR TV series offers a twist. The flashbacks from the show itself occur during Misuzu's (in)famous last walk towards her mother, to emphasize her "goal"-speech. After she dies there is a montage of past events that did not actually happen, such as Haruko buying the baby chick that Misuzu wanted so badly or walking with her along the beach, things that Haruko wished she would have done while Misuzu was still alive. Cue "Aozora" playing in the background and you get one of the saddest moments in anime ever.
  • Lockon Stratos got one before his death in Gundam00, which undermined the impact of the death a bit.
  • Played around with in Macross Frontier, with the episode "Goodbye, Sister." Basically, the entire episode consisted of Hot-Blooded, definitely-set-to-die-hot-bloodedly big-brother type Ozma Lee surviving multiple cliched death lead-ups and situations, including fond memories of his adopted younger sister, reconciling with his ex-girlfriend, various musical interludes by the band Fire Bomber, sneaking off to the suspicious enemy base by himself, leading the battle against the Alien Invasion with risky maneuvers and hot-blooded speeches, attending his younger sister's first concert while heavily injured, and even a Shout-Out to a character death in the first Macross series (pineapple cake, anyone?)...and then ending up in the hospital, recuperating but safe.
    • It's later played straight with a small twist in Episode 20: Mikhail, the character who commented on how tragic it would've been for Ozma Lee to have died, gets one while protecting Unlucky Childhood Friend Klan Klein while she lies in a tube - complete with happy smiling face, and an acoustic version of 'Diamond Crevasse', a song about farewells and losing loved ones.
      • Basically, these two characters were created with the intention of using the viewer's knowledge of tropes against them; Ozma is the hotshot big brother-type who tends to die about halfway through this type of story (he very intentionally conjures up the memory of a character who did die in the original Maccross) whereas Mikhail is the type of character whose function isn't to die, but to go from a stuck-up jerk to a nice guy thanks to the influence of his True Companions and the love of a good woman. So after leading us by the hand and playing these tropes perfectly straight, the writers flip them at the last moment, with the first surviving and the latter dying tragically just as he was about to shake off his jerkdom.
  • Shirley in Code Geass gets one during the clown shooing.
    • Then, none other than Lelouch receives one as he lies dying in Nunnally's arms. Of course, he was so magnificent of a bastard, fans have hard time believing that even a Really Dead Montage can make him stay dead.
      • One of the He's Just Hiding responses is that montages had occurred before, as a form of Mind Rape resulting from physical contact with an immortal character, though the images involved were usually a mix of the memories and thoughts of more than one individual. This and other circumstantial evidence leads to the possible Epileptic Tree that Lelouch might be immortal now too. Oh, and there is also the argument that several Disney Deaths happened to other characters in the last few episodes but, in all fairness, none of those went through montages.
  • Naruto has two of these in quick succession with Neji and Chouji when they were nearing the end of Part 1. Somehow they got better. The same goes for Kakashi. Neji did ultimately die in the manga, but MUCH later.
    • Played straight with Jiraiya.
  • Sonic X gives Mecha-Mooks Decoe and Bocoe one in Episode 48. Subverted of course in that the death in question was a Robot Disney Death. 4Kids, of course, cut out the montage along with everything else mourning the two.
    • Cosmo got one too at the end of episode 77.
  • Tenchi in Tokyo has one in the end credits for Sakuya Kumashiro, including a song sung by Mayumi Iizuka, Sakuya's VA.
  • Like Volfogg above, in Shinkon Gattai Godannar!!, resident hot pilot Shizuru Fujimura is shown to be really dead, with Goh crying and mourning for her. And then the first season ends. Jump to the second season, we see her seeing her past achievements... then suddenly come back to life. "Who the hell do you think I am?" or so she says...
  • CLANNAD: After Story: Oh God, Ushio! USHIOOO!
    • And her mom Nagisa as well.
  • After Suzuri is killed in Rideback, the show's next On the Next segment is turned into a Really Dead Montage instead of containing its usual wacky shenanigans. This only helps to double the Mood Whiplash caused by the calm ending tune which is sandwiched between the two events.
  • Played straight in the Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro manga, where Sicks is about to kill Detective Sasazuka, and loudly commands his daughter XI to read Sasazuka's mind so she can witness what someone obsessed with revenge will see the moment before they die. He begins to think about his friends and family, his family's murder and the events that lead up to his death, but at the last second chooses to indulge in some happy memories of his allies right before his head is blown off.
  • The Fist of the North Star episode where Rei dies was an entire Really Dead Montage, being a Clip Show.
  • Parodied in Those Who Hunt Elves, where the tank gets one when it runs out of gas. It largely consists of shooting things.
  • Subversion: Starscream in Transformers Armada gets one of these after he is vaporized by Unicron's lightning, but he comes Back from the Dead in Transformers Energon.
  • Makoto of School Days gets one interspersed with the scenes of him being stabbed to death by Sekai.
  • Dragon Ball
    • Shown during the credits of Dragon Ball GT's Distant Finale.
    • Subverted earlier in Dragon Ball Z. After Chiaotzu's Heroic Sacrifice, flashbacks rushed through a stunned Tien's mind, since at that point in the series, once someone was already brought back to life once, that was it. Then came Porunga.
    • This happens in the original Dragon Ball after Goku finds Krillin after he was murdered by Tambourine one of King Piccolo's sons.
  • Himari Takakura gets one in episode 12 Mawaru-Penguindrum. And then it's subverted: in the following episode, she's Back from the Dead.
  • Invoked in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, in the episode following Tomoe Mami's beheading. Some old-fashioned TV monitors in a witch labyrinth replay the dead character's last few scenes to torment Madoka. Subverted; Mami comes back to life in the last episode.
  • Monster Rancher gives Allan's Worm and Baku one, as well as Tiger—though the latter was Faking the Dead.
  • Aldnoah.Zero has one for Princess Asseylum after being shot dead. It's actually Inaho remembering all the most memorable times he has seen Asseylum. There is a slim chance she may be alive, though, considering that this isn't the first time she's appeared to die, and the season finale's ending narration states the United Earth military Never Found the Body.

    Comedy 
  • Gilbert Gottfried once did a parody of this while host of USA Network's movie-program Up All Night. Early on in one of the movies, the supernatural villain offs a minor comedy-relief character named "Curly" or somesuch. So, during the next commercial break, Gottfried showed a misty music-saturated collection of clips featuring Curly, ending with the standard "smiling head-shot", before fading tastefully to black. It was hilarious.

    Comic Books 
  • The death of Phoenix in the original Dark Phoenix Saga in X-Men, which at the time was supposed to be a real death was immediately followed by an issue giving a montage of the X-Men's entire history. (However, the montage issue was going to have been released even with the original ending where she stays alive.)
  • The Death of Superman concluded with one of these in the form of an in-universe issue of a Newsweek equivalent.
  • Subverted in X-Men when Cyclops suffocates in orbit above the Breakworld. He's really dead, so we get a montage of some of his early memories of the Academy - but because he's resurrected at the beginning of the next issue, it's a very short montage.
    • Kitty Pryde, who gets Put on a Bus to Hell at the end of the arc, also has a quick flashback montage...at the very beginning of the arc.
  • The Title Character's death in Cerebus the Aardvark features one that takes up an entire page.
  • Done in the Batman storyline "A Death In The Family" in which Batman has found out that Jason Todd the second Robin has found his mother who it turns out is working for The Joker, he rushes to his aid only to arrive in time to see the ware house he was being held hostage in explode, he then has flashbacks of his first meeting with Jason and all the fun times they had, shortly afterwards he finds Jason's dead body in a pile of debris.

    Fan Fics 
  • Subverted in Pretty Cure Heavy Metal, when Cures Burton, Stradlin, Roadie, and Hendrix all die in the final fight at the end of the penultimate episode. The next episode starts with a montage of all four of them from previous episodes. Of course, then they come back to life at the end of the episode. All of them.
  • During an absolutely HEARTBREAKING moment in the Tamers Forever Series: one of these plays when Rika is grieving over Takato's death.

    Film 
  • Philadelphia has a particularly heartrending example in the final few minutes. The entire movie focuses on the main character's declining health and eventual death from AIDS, and after the funeral a montage of home movies of him as a kid is shown right before the credits roll.
  • Rocky IV features a montage-to-song when Apollo dies after his fight with Drago.
  • In Baz Luhrman's Romeo and Juliet, after the main characters die there is a montage of their happiest moments together, complete with tragic background music. However pretty much everyone was aware this was how things would turn out...
  • The movie version of Pet Sematary gives us a variation. After Gage dies, Creed gives a Big "NO!" as photos of Gage as a baby were shown.
  • When Harry Stamper is about to push the button to detonate the nuke in Armageddon, we are shown a short montage of his memories of his daughter.
  • In Jimmy Cagney's Man of a Thousand Faces, a heavily fictionalized biopic of Lon Chaney's life, the camera pans over the walls of his house showing posters for all his movie roles, for an overall effect like a death montage, before focusing out the window.
  • Toothless: More like a Really Damned Montage, but as Katherine descends in the Hellevator, she gets one of these. Even though she gets to live after all, it's still a huge Tear Jerker.
  • The Painted Veil (2006) has one of these near the end.

    Literature 

    Live Action TV 
  • Mr. Eko's death on LOST was the only one in the series to get one. Notably, although several other main characters really die throughout the series, this character is the only one we never see again in flashbacks/time travel events/flashforward to the afterlife.
  • Highlander. When Tessa dies, we're treated to enough clips to span the entirety of "Dust in the Wind." When Richie eventually dies as well, the exercise is repeated. Other major (good) Immortals, most notably Darius, tend to get montages to the tune of Who Wants To Live Forever.
    • Of course this was done in the first film, where we get the montage of Conner's life with Heather to Who Wants To Live Forever.
    • Also done in Endgame for the death of Conner Macleod.
  • There's an episode of Beastmaster consisting mostly of Flashbacks of a certain character after she falls into the water during a battle scene at the start of the ep.
  • One appears for Corey in the last episode of LA Ink, shown between him deciding to quit the shop and his final confrontation with Kat. In this case, it's more like a "Really Gone Montage" since on one actually dies, but the effect is the same. Between the nostalgic music and the clips of hugging, "birthday" cake, and the first time he saw Kat's shop, it's pretty clear that he won't be coming back.
  • The Angel episode "Shells" ends with one of these for Fred.
    • When Doyle dies in the first season, you get the home movie version, with the cast watching a commercial Doyle had filmed for Angel's detective agency before dying. In something of an Ironic Echo, he's talking about what a hero Angel is but, after his own Heroic Sacrifice, the uncertainly in reading his scripted lines for the commercial makes his recorded dialogue extra poignant as they play it back posthumously:
    Doyle: When the chips are down and you're at the end of your rope, you need someone that you can count on. And that's what you'll find here, someone who'll go all the way, who'll protect you no matter what. So don't lose hope, come on over to our offices and you'll see that there are still heroes in this world. Is that it? Am I done?
  • In the end of The Stand mini-series showed brief clips of the main "good" characters who died during the course of the story.
  • When Kensington dies in the War of the Worlds episode "Amongst the Philistines", we are treated to a series of stills of him, mostly from that very episode, as he was a minor character who had a grand total of maybe thirty seconds of screen time in the rest of the series.
  • Teri Bauer's death at the end of season 1 of 24 is accompanied by flashbacks to their happy family life at the beginning of the season.
    • This was especially notable because due to the show's real-time nature (which was played up more in season 1 than any season since), flashbacks and/or montages are otherwise nonexistent. They rectified this by showing the montage on one half of the screen while the other half continued to show Jack in real-time. It's still the only time the show has escaped Limited Third-Person perspective, though.
  • Parodied in Mystery Science Theater 3000. In one episode, TV's Frank has been fired by Dr. Forrester and will soon be Put on a Bus. Mike and the 'bots put together a montage to wish him farewell. (Right afterwards, Frank gets himself rehired.)
  • The M*A*S*H episode "Abyssinia, Henry", in which Henry Blake is killed when the plane taking him home is shot down, ends with a Really Dead Montage of clips of Henry from the preceding seasons, prefaced with the PA voice announcing "M*A*S*H 4077 bids a fond farewell to Lt. Col. Henry Blake."
    • The Carol Burnett Show warmed a few hearts when McLean Stevenson, who'd played Henry, appeared on the show shortly afterward. The intro was Henry on a raft in the ocean waving his arms shouting "I'm not dead."
  • Maid Marian in Robin Hood.
  • An episode of One Foot in the Grave features Margaret very ill in hospital. As Victor watches, she flatlines, prompting a Really Dead Montage. Except, she's not really dead; the montage is interrupted by a nurse banging on the ECG and explaining "It's always doing that."
  • Used in part two of The 4400's third season opener, when Lily dies.
  • Frustratingly enough, the Australian soap opera Home and Away ended a season with a long-running female character being stabbed and lying in a pool of her own blood, followed by one of these montages, set to the song Light Surrounding You, stretching right back to the series beginning (the actor had been with the show for twenty years.) When the first episode of the next season aired, it turned out that the character wasn't even dead!
  • In a sad variant, the end of the final episode of sitcom Father Ted features one of these montages for Ted Crilly — not because the character had died, but because the actor, Dermot Morgan, had died the day after filming was completed.
  • As with the Home and Away example above, daytime soap operas are known to do this even when the characters aren't dead. This happened during John Black's funeral on Days of Our Lives and he had returned by the following year.
  • In Heroes, arch-villain Sylar gets one in the graphic novel immediately following the Volume 4 season finale, where Mohinder recounts the history of Sylar's evil and the Heroes' 4-Volume long struggle against him. Of course, this being Sylar, He's Just Hiding. Inside Nathan. And Matt.
  • Used towards the end of the third season of German The Office copy Stromberg.
  • The final episode of the Filipino show May Bukas Pa ("There Is Still A Tomorrow") spent a half hour showing all the Kid Hero's friends mourning and singing sad songs for him. Then he comes back from the dead for no reason than the Virgin Mary (played by the show's producer!) liked him too much. What the hell was that all about?!
  • Used in the Doctor Who episode "Cold Blood" after Rory dies and Amy is trying to remember him, in order to stop him being fully erased from history by the crack in time. And yet he came back anyway.
  • Ianto's death in Torchwood.
  • Parodied in series 4 of That Mitchell and Webb Look, where they decide they need to kill someone off to inject some pathos into the show. They choose the bit player who happens to be reading the Facebook page of his beloved girlfriend — and, post-montage, reveal that they fed him into a wood chipper.
  • Done on Suddenly Susan when the character Todd dies. Like the Father Ted example above, it was especially tragic because the actor who played Todd had died in real life. Actor David Strickland committed suicide, requiring the show to find a tasteful way to write Todd out of the show. (The relatively joke-light episode revolved around the other characters trying to track down Todd when he didn't show up for work on time. At the end of the episode they learn he'd been killed in an accident on the way to work.)
  • Used in the miniseries The Kennedys, when Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated. The death of his brother the president earlier in the same episode is treated less sentimentally.
  • Mike Delfino gets this in the final season of Desperate Housewives just before he is shot by a mobster.
  • Any time someone dies on The Walking Dead (and it happens a lot), its follow-up, The Talking Dead, will typically have such a montage, to close out the episode, and include everyone who died in the episode—those who died and then are rekilled as zombies are, of course, included twice.
  • An interesting version appears in Supernatural during "Death's Door" in which Bobby dies. The entire episode is him going through his memories in an attempt to escape the Reaper.
  • Averted on Sesame Street. When Will Lee died, having played Mr. Hooper for the show's first 13 years, the show chose to address the issue head-on. Big Bird learns about Mr. Hooper's passing and the other characters help him understand what this means. The producers chose not to do a montage or other flashbacks in this particular episode because they felt it might confuse the children to say he's gone forever, then show him on screen a few minutes later.
    • However, later in the 1980s, "Really Dead Montages" were used when Big Bird spoke of Mr. Hooper — usually to a newcomer who asked about the picture that hangs next to his nest or about Hooper's Store. Big Bird would explain that his old friend was deceased.
  • Saturday Night Live did a brilliant parody of tv news as it kept 'interrupting' the show covering the assassination of 'Our Gang' star Buckwheat (as played by Eddie Murphy), running footage of his being shot in slow motion over and over. Then, mere seconds after he died, they ran one of these montages (to the 'Our Gang'' theme tune), first showing photos of the actual kid, then Murphy's leering grin...and finally the slo-mo shooting again.
  • The Adam-12 episode "Elegy for a Pig" opens with one of Malloy's friends on the force getting killed in the line of duty, and most of the rest of the episode is Malloy remembering him in training, on the job, and when Officer Porter earned the Medal of Honor. The final scene is at the funeral.
  • There is a brief one of these in Magnum, P.I. when Mac dies and Magnum flashes back on all the times he bribed him with rich desserts.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • WWE did a pair of these for Eddie Guerrero after his real-life death; one to Johnny Cash's version of "Hurt", and the other to "Here Without You" by Three Doors Down. WWE also devoted an entire three hour program to Chris Benoit after his recent death - perhaps to make it clear that he was really really dead, unlike the Kayfabe death of Vince McMahon several weeks earlier. They would quickly end up regretting this.
  • There was a Raw tribute to Chris Benoit, before the full facts about the tragedy came in. (It did not air on international broadcasts.)
  • Long before either of them though back when it was the WWF, the WWE devoted an entire episode of RAW to Owen Hart, who died in a horrific accident on the job. For about the length of the show every wrestler broke Kayfabe and fondly remembered the late Owen and culminated when the WWE's biggest name at the time, Steve Austin, stepped into the ring, said nothing and toasted a beer to the thirty foot picture of Owen that had been raised earlier.
  • They did it again for 'Macho Man' Randy Savage.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the game Feng Shui, your character doesn't just drop dead if they fail a death check and are not stabilized in time: "After death, there is a pause in the action for a slow-motion flashback montage featuring the highlights of the character's career as a sad pop ballad unfolds on the soundtrack. (The player should describe this.)"

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy XI treats you to one of these when you either consider giving up on chocobo raising or when your chocobo is so old as to be automatically put out to pasture. More or less of the Put on a Bus variety.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core does this to Zack. It should be moving, but instead it feels ill-placed and tacked-on amidst the brutal, bloody, emotionally-draining death scene which preceded it - a better goodbye than a montage could ever be.
  • Isara's death in Valkyria Chronicles featured a gathering of The Squad around a tombstone, with Rosie singing a new song she promised to sing.
  • Subverted in Metal Gear Solid 4. Raiden manages to hold back a giant Metal Gear RAY from crushing Snake, but his body is crushed to do it. The sound cuts out except for a soft piano score along with Raiden and Rose's narration from Metal Gear Solid 2 about their first date, ending with the lights on Raiden's visor going out. The subversion comes from the fact that Raiden doesn't die; he does lose both of his arms, but he comes back.
  • The arcade version of Double Dragon II didn't have the happy ending featured in the NES version where Marian returns to life. Instead, the ending shows a photograph of Marian with Billy and Jimmy during happier times in which she sheds a single tear that forms the words "The End", which is as close as you can expect for a really dead montage in an arcade game.
  • Valkyrie Profile uses this over and over. It's how you acquire party members: the Valkyrie herself is there when a warrior soul dies and takes the soul into her squad of einherjar. This makes for a bunch of Tear Jerker moments.
  • In Kingdom Hearts: 358/2 Days, right at the end, when one the main characters (Xion) disappears while everyone forgets her, and everything about her stops existing (which won't be explained because the explanation is a bit long), before another of the main characters (Roxas) forgets her, a brief flashback of her turning to him and smiling is shown (about 3 seconds long). After a bit, one of his memories of her and the other protagonist (Axel) of eating ice cream shows up, the three of them having fun. Then the same scene appears again, while Xion fades away.
  • In the end of Mass Effect 3, Commander Shepard must choose one of three endings, all of them seeming to end with his/her death. (Two of them do; the last one features a post-credits scene of him/her waking up in the wreckage of the Citadel.) Either way, as Shepard goes forth to sacrifice him/herself, the player is treated to a flashback of three characters: Joker, Admiral Anderson, and Kaidan, Ashley, or Liara, depending on whom Shepard romanced.
    • The Extended Cut adds more possible flashbacks, including Shepard's love interest from either 2 or 3, and includes a second montage at the end with some of the other characters who died along the way (Thane, Legion, and likely Mordin).
  • The memorial at the end of Halo 3 includes a montage of photos of people killed in the war, including Miranda Keyes and Sgt. Johnson. And Master Chief's callsign (117) etched onto the side of the memorial. The chief's not dead, but nobody else knows that.
  • The last photo in Fallout 3's ending montage is a portrait of James with the Lone Wanderer as a child. In addition, before Broken Steel is installed, a photo is shown of the LW's liquefied remains if they chose to activate the purifier.

    Webcomics 
  • The final page of the first volume of Our Little Adventure is a montage of nice/funny events with a parody song of When She Loved Me by Sarah McLachlan. This was at the final part of Pauline's funeral.

    Web Original 
  • Parodied in this episode of the Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series Fan Vid Gag Dub.
  • Parodied on Homestar Runner in an early Strong Bad Email, trevor the vampire. After Strong Bad believes that Trevor has been killed, he shows the viewer a few of his "favourite Trevor moments". Since he was only made aware of Trevor's existence thirty seconds earlier, however, this consists of little more than replaying everything the viewer just watched. "Oh, Trevor, I pine for you!"
  • Parodied in Dragon Ball Z Abridged: when a giant bug that Nappa declared his pet dies, it runs to a series of ridiculously bloomy clips of the bug. Problem is the bug was only there for about a minute, so there isn't that much to show.
  • There's one on Is It A Good Idea To Microwave This every time a microwave quits working.
  • The Nostalgia Critic does one of Becky the Duck during his Saved by the Bell review, accompanied by the haunting strains of "My Heart Will Go On".
    • Done (relatively) seriously in Suburban Knights, wherein Ma-Ti from Captain Planet dies.
  • Marriland, in his current Pokemon Emerald Nuzlocke, does this with any of his Pokemon that faint before releasing them for good, giving a quick opinion and highlighting some of the real cinches they pulled.
    • This continues in his HeartGold Wedlocke series.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied excellently in Megas XLR. The episode in which the Big Bad is finally destroyed ends with a montage of memorable moments, mostly from the same episode, entirely accompanied by mournful music and heart-shaped frames around every still. It ends with a shot of the hero and Big Bad with their arms around each other's shoulders and "enemies forever" written in swirly Hallmark Card font above their heads. Of course, he got better.
  • Parodied on Drawn Together with Toot's remembrance of the 'good times' with the briefly reanimated shriveled corpse of "General Mills."
  • In the South Park episode "Chef's Chocolate Salty Balls", Mr. Hankey dies and we are briefly treated to such a montage, which inexplicably features a shot of the film made to capitalise on Mr. Hankey. Mr. Hankey then got better and unleashes his vengeance on the Sundance festival (but not before getting killed and resurrected again).
  • Terra sort of had one in Teen Titans, with little clips of her time with the Titans throughout the episode in which she died before her actual death. Sort of subverted in that apparently, the Titans will be trying to find a way to make her better, but considering that the series came from a much darker comic and was meant for a younger audience, the creators might have just stuck that in there to lighten the blow. Though it still caused many ten year olds to curl up in a ball and cry for a while.
    • They did arguably bring her back later on... only to use that to wring more tears from viewers. Poor Beast Boy...
  • Done a few times for The Simpsons when a character kicks the bucket. Scratch the "really" part in the "Dial N For Nerder" episode.
  • Done in Shrek the Third with the King. Set to Paul McCartney's "Live and Let Die", the rest of the characters put King Harold's frog body into a shoe box and cast it into the pond.
  • The Cleveland Show episode "Gone with the Wind" ends with a montage of Cleveland's deceased ex-wife Loretta from past Family Guy episodes.
  • In Winx Club, Nabu receives one the episode after his death. It's complete with a sad song and other characters, even Riven, crying over his death.
  • Transformers Prime played with this one. In a multi-part concurrent arc one episode ends with Bulkhead getting thrown into the base by a blast. During his episode he faces multiple Giant Mook insecticons and even a named one(for reference there is only one unnamed insecticon fighting in the other episodes and it nearly wins a fight with two Autobots), and has to deal with a highly poisonous energon weapon. During the episode as he's having trouble, he has flashbacks to all the battles hes been in and all the memories of his friends. The episode ends with him heavily damaged, poisoned and blasted in the back out on the floor. He's injured for several episodes but survives.
  • The Superjail! episode "Mr. Grumpy-Pants" ends with a montage of scenes featuring the Littlest Cancer Patient that had died.
  • Happened in the last episode of Cyber Six, complete with an Imaginary Ghost Sitting At Your Table... although it was vague enough that a second season wasn't entirely unfeasible.

    Real Life 
  • It's common at funerals to have a collage with pictures of the deceased.
  • Some medical colleges have a slideshow at the end of every year naming and honoring the deceased who donated their bodies to the students at the college.
  • On a mass scale, the AIDS quilt. And...Oh God that song.
  • Awards shows such as the Emmys, Oscars and Golden Globes show a clip reel of contributors to the craft who have died over the past year, complete with slow music. Recent Oscars have roped in known singers like Sarah Mclachlan and Queen Latifah to perform nostalgic songs live. Turner Classic Movies also does this with "TCM Remembers" — one at the end of each year, and a shorter one whenever an actor, producer or director dies. The production company, Sabotage Film Group, is noted for its beautiful work on these memorials and other TCM promos.
  • News reports of famous people who have died have footage of the person while they were alive.


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