%% Image removed per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1516064105048296000
%% Please start a new thread if you'd like to suggest an image.
->''"Tax dodge nothing! You take one nap in a ditch in the park and they start declaring you this and that!"''
-->-- '''Professor Hubert Farnsworth''', ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', addressing claims he declared himself legally dead as a tax dodge

When a character who is alive is mistakenly believed to be dead. Quite often includes the character being shown his own death certificate. Often includes being declared LegallyDead, but isn't necessarily restricted to that. May result in a case of AttendingYourOwnFuneral and hearing a PrematureEulogy. Compare FakingTheDead, where the character deliberately misleads people into believing that he's dead, and NoOneCouldSurviveThat, where the character incidentally creates this impression by surviving something that by all rights ''should'' have killed him.

Named after a statement that Mark Twain [[BeamMeUpScotty didn't actually say]] -- but should have.


* DisneyDeath: The audience witnesses an apparent death, but the character is still alive. Often overlaps with
** NoOneCouldSurviveThat: Other characters in-universe witness an apparent death, but the character is still alive.
* NoLongerWithUs: The character merely went somewhere else, but this was misunderstood as an apparent [[NeverSayDie euphemism for death]].
* NotNowWereTooBusyCryingOverYou: The character announces their own survival, but gets a NotNowKiddo response from the mourners.
* NotTooDeadToSaveTheDay: The survival allows the character to make a DeusExMachina (though this one has a variant where the character stays dead).

A favorite tactic of supernatural killers, who return in the sequels after thought to be destroyed in the previous film.

See also FirstLawOfResurrection, where character was meant to be KilledOffForReal, but was brought back from the dead in sequels. A form of DramaticIrony if the audience is aware he's alive while the characters aren't. Often goes hand in hand with OurHeroIsDead.

'''Note:''' As a DeathTrope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. '''Beware.'''


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Madara Uchiha/Tobi, in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', since everyone in the story thought that he/they died a long time ago. Turns out to be {{averted|Trope}} in the case of Madara, who was brought BackFromTheDead, but Tobi is Obito, who was crushed "to death" in Kakashi's Gaiden. He was saved ([[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe half of him, anyway]]) by Madara. Who was still alive for a long period of time after he was believed to be dead anyway.
* Goku from ''Manga/DragonBall'' seems to be written off as dead by his friends for most of the King Piccolo saga, even though there's no indication of him actually dying. He just went after the mutant that killed Krillin and Bulma already declares him killed in action, not even considering the possibility that he might still be alive. King Piccolo thought the same thing after their first battle where he seemingly killed him; he was quite surprised when Goku arrived to save Tien.
* Lyon in ''Manga/FairyTail''. After his supposed demise, he returns to the group very nearly invoking this trope by name.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'':
** This happens to Luffy a few times where after receiving a vicious CurbStompBattle, his enemy thinks he's dead...[[{{Determinator}} until he returns to challenge them again]]. This happened with Crocodile...twice!
** During the TimeSkip, where everyone thought the entire Straw Hat crew was dead because they had been gone for two years, not know they were actually training in secret. This gave a bunch of impostors the opportunity to take advantage of their MIA status and impersonate them, [[PaperThinDisguise though not very well]]. After Sentomaru exposed the frauds, the pirates they had recruited truly thought Luffy was dead...until Sentomaru revealed that [[BullyingADragon the guy the fake Luffy was threatening was the real deal]], indicating that the Straw Hats were alive after all.
** The pirate Jack was reported dead after he picked a fight with Issho, Sengoku, and Tsuru. However, the Mink Tribe, which was recently attacked by Jack given a sample of just how freakishly strong he is, worry that he might be alive because they NeverFoundTheBody; And he is, injured, but alive and more than furious that the newspapers wrote him off.
** The Big Mom Pirates make this assumption of Sanji Retrieval Team during a meeting, due to a combination of unaware facts and Opera lying about Jinbe freeing Luffy and Nami [[YouHaveFailedMe to avoid punishment]]. Because of this, the Straw Hats were able to be successful WeddingSmashers.
* Heihachi Mishima from ''Anime/TekkenBloodVengeance'' is not as dead as most people think. [[MeleeATrois He shows up for the three-way brawl between himself, his son and grandson.]]
-->'''Heihachi:''' It feels good to be back. Hiding in the shadows after faking your own death is a bore. In fact it's downright tedious.
-->'''Kazuya:''' I thought I've thrown you into the depths of Hell.
-->'''Heihachi:''' Ha! If you thought that was enough to kill me, you are gravely mistaken.
* ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'':
** In part 2, [[ThoseWackyNazis Stroheim]] is believed dead by Joseph, only to show up later. [[StupidJetpackHitler As a cyborg.]]
** At the end of part 2, it's Joseph's turn to be believed dead. He shows up to his own funeral with his newly wed wife, Suzi Q. They were actually going to inform the rest of the cast that the was alive, but the latter forgot to telegram them.
** In part 3, Avdol is presumed dead after a fight with other stand users. He is later revealed to have been simply recovering from his wounds, which was known by all the main characters excluding Polnareff, whom they assumed would not be able to keep the secret and would thus endanger their recovering friend.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the ''ComicBook/DuckTales'' one-shot "Double Indemnity", Magica's clone of Launchpad forces the boys and Scrooge out of the plane into a sandstorm, and then Magica starts a camel stampede to get them trampled. They survive (of course) and Scrooge quickly gets back to declare that the assassination attempts failed.
* In ''ComicBook/VForVendetta'', V says this almost word-for-word at the end before blowing up Downing Street. It's actually Evey wearing one of V's costumes, but the idea of V has to be kept alive to keep anarchy alive.
* In ''ComicBook/MarvelOneHundredthAnniversarySpecial'', Vance Astro (actually [[Comicbook/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy Peter Quill]] a.k.a Starlord), mentions the trope by name after unmasking himself.
* In ''ComicBook/SupermanTheDoomsdayWars'', a suddenly speaking Doomsday gloats that "The rumors of my stupidity were greatly exaggerated". In a way, this is this trope as both Doomsday and the person actually riding him, Brainiac, were thought dead by this point (Doomsday was presumed dead at the end of ''[[ComicBook/SupermanDoomsdayHunterPrey Hunter/Prey]]'' and Brainiac was seemingly killed at the start of ''Doomsday Wars''.)

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/AllYouNeedIsLove'' L isn't dead but the computer thinks he is.
* In ''Fanfic/TheMiracleAtPalaven'', Patrus Castellus goes to Captain Ixius' family to inform them that, after 3 years of being MIA, she was officially being designated as KIA. To his immense surprise, he found her at home with her husband and children.
* ''{{Series/Emergency}}'':
** In ''[[http://audreys-efanfic.freeservers.com/lostandfound.html Lost and Found]]'' this goes double when a serial killer abducts John and shoots Roy. Roy survives, but John's captor tells John he died, and Roy and the others can only fear the worst for John.
** Everyone but Roy thinks John is dead in "[[http://tbillingsemergencyfanfic.com/miracles.htm A Season for Miracles]]''
** "[[http://tbillingsemergencyfanfic.com/missingfamilypart1.htm Missing Family"]] has a similar thing where Roy's plane crashes and everyone but John are sure he's dead.
** ''[[http://audreys-efanfic.freeservers.com/sojourn.html Sojourn Into Silence]]'' has everyone thinking Roy died in a helicopter crash--until he's found alive 18 days later in a ravine.
* In ''FanFic/OriginStory'', when the Black Panther tells Alex that he thought she had died, she actually quotes the trope's title at him and cites Mark Twain. In response, he relates to her the truth that Twain never actually said it.
* In Creator/SamAndMickey's videos, Franchise/{{Barbie}}'s mother, Margaret, has a tendency to announce that Barbie's Aunt Millicent passed away, only for Millicent to appear alive and well afterwards.
-->'''Aunt Millicent:''' I'm not dead, Margaret!\\
'''Margaret:''' You're dead to ''me''!
* ''FanFic/WalkOnTheMoon'' Rei was gone for two weeks when she performed the reverse summoning jutsu. Jounin who are gone for a few days are written off as dead, and Rei was only an academy student at the time. Considering how devastated her family was and the fact that her disappearance coincided with the Uchiha massacre, it is [[PlayedForDrama very serious matter.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''Disney/TheLionKing'', after going into self exile over thinking he was responsible for Mufasa's death, everyone in the Pride Lands thought Simba was dead. Even Scar assumed that, as the hyenas didn't tell him he got away from them. When [[RightfulKingReturns he returned to take back the Pride Lands]], everyone (barring Nala who had already found out he was alive) at first thought he was Mufasa's ghost.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Megamind}}'', Metro Man goes so far as to fake his death before retiring to live alone. He makes a return for the finale in a spiritual sense, as it's actually Megamind using a hologram disguise, and quotes the trope name word-for-word.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AnAmericanTail'', this is what Fievel's family believes after he falls off the boat to America. With the exception of his sister, Tania, they don't even want to entertain the idea that he might be alive. Even worse, [[MissedHimByThatMuch they keep missing each other due to random chances]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/BatmanBegins'', Bruce Wayne goes on a multi-year incognito journey to find himself, and when he gets back Alfred tells him he's been thought dead. It's mostly played as a throwaway joke, though, and is sorted out between scenes with no lasting complications. Alfred mentions that there have been moves to have him declared legally dead, and Bruce says it's a good thing he left everything to Alfred then.
* In ''Film/BeatTheDevil'', Peterson and Dannreuther are pushing a broken-down car along a mountain road when it gets away from them and careens off a cliff into the sea. They are reported as dead, which surprises them when they return. Besides being funny, this is plot-relevant: Harry finds out about the uranium scheme when Rovello, believing his partner to be dead, approaches Harry and tries to get him to join.
* John Wayne's character in ''Film/BigJake'' hears everyone he meets tell him that they thought he had died. Eventually, Big Jake gets so annoyed, he promises to kill the next person to say it to him - who, of course, turns out to be the BigBad...
* ''Film/ABridgeTooFar''. Urquhart's paratroopers are quite astonished when the General turns up alive, having been holded up in a Dutch house for several days. Unfortunately things have gotten even worse since he was away.
* In ''Film/CastAway'', Chuck Noland is declared dead after being stranded on a deserted island for years. They even held a funeral for him.
-->'''Chuck Noland:''' "You had a coffin? What was in it?"
* Everybody in ''Film/EscapeFromNewYork'', when meeting Snake Plissken, will say something along the lines of "I thought you were dead!".
** Plissken mutters to the Girl in the coffee store, "I ''am'' dead.
* Exploited by the hero in ''Film/{{Fury 1936}}''. Joe is presumed dead but actually escaped the fire and explosion at the jail house which was brought on by an [[TorchesAndPitchforks angry mob]]. He then stays in hiding to watch the townspeople get sentenced to death for his murder.
* In ''[[Film/TheJungleBook The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story]]'', Shere Khan is shot and presumed dead early in the film. When he returns later, he reveals that he was merely ShotInTheAss.
* Word for word, this trope is the tagline for the ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'' sequel ''Film/KingsmanTheGoldenCircle'', confirming that Harry Hart is somehow still alive.
* In ''Film/MyFavoriteWife,'' Ellen Arden returns after being shipwrecked on a DesertedIsland for seven years. When she returns, her children (who do not recognize her) tell about how her their mother was drowned and mention that they put flowers on her grave every Easter. Her mother also tells her that her funeral was "Lovely--Dr. Blake preached a wonderful sermon."
* In ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanOnStrangerTides'', Jack Sparrow relates the (RealLife) myth of how the body of Blackbeard swam three times around a navy vessel after it'd been decapitated. As he relates this story ''to'' Blackbeard, who's alive and intact, this trope presumably applies within the [=PotC=] Verse.
* ''Film/SeventhHeaven'': Chico comes home from UsefulNotes/WorldWarI just as his wife Diane is being told he was killed. As they embrace, he says that they said he was dead, but he'll never die.
* Played with in ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact''. "Reports of my assimilation are greatly exaggerated."
* In the ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' [[InNameOnly movie]], Johnny Rico's friends bring him a copy of his own death certificate, while he's still in the hospital recovering from his wounds. They all have a big laugh over it, except for Rico's LoveInterest, who doesn't know the report was incorrect.
** Later on, her JerkAss boyfriend discovers Rico is still alive, and [[JerkWithAHeartOfGold immediately informs]] the LoveInterest.
* In ''Film/SullivansTravels'', famous director Sullivan is believed to have been run over by a train and killed. It was actually a bum wearing Sullivan's shoes. He's actually in jail, but no one knows he's not dead until he finds a way to escape and make his existence public.
* In ''Film/TooManyHusbands,'' Bill Cardew was declared LegallyDead after a boating accident, but he was actually stuck on a DesertedIsland for a year. Meanwhile, his wife marries his business partner and best friend, leading to some awkwardness when Bill returns.
* In ''Film/VanillaSky'', following the car crash, Tom Cruise's character at one point mildly jokes that "The rumors of my death have been mildly exaggerated."

* Gallagher opened the morning newspaper and was dumbfounded to read in the obituary column that he had died. He quickly phoned his best friend, Finney. 'Did you see the paper?' asked Gallagher. 'They say I died!!' 'Yes, I saw it!' replied Finney. 'Where are ye callin' from?'

* ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'': In ''Literature/WordsOfRadiance'' Shallan is witness to Jasnah being assassinated by the [[NebulousEvilOrganization Ghostbloods]], and the ship they're traveling on sinks (by Shallan, trying to escape from the Ghostbloods). Shallan carries this information back to Jasnah's family, unaware that Jasnah used her [[{{Teleportation}} Elsecalling]] powers to escape into [[AnotherDimension Shadesmar]], and her [[HealingFactor Stormlight]] to recover from her wounds. It took her until ''Literature/{{Oathbringer}}'' to actually get ''back'' though.
* In ''Literature/EnochArden,'' the title character returns after being shipwrecked for more than ten years to find his wife has married another man.
* In ''The Satanic Verses'', by Salman Rushdie, Saladin Chamcha has trouble with red tape and getting his career back in order after being presumed dead in the plane crash.
* Doc Daneeka from ''Literature/CatchTwentyTwo'' is listed as dead because he was on the flight roster for a bomber that flew into a mountain. The fact that he was standing there in person, telling them he wasn't dead, failed to convince the army bureaucracy.
* In Creator/JRRTolkien's ''Literature/TheHobbit'', when Bilbo Baggins finally returns to his house, he finds a huge crowd gathered for his estate auction. Since he had left without telling anyone, and not returned for a year, everyone in the Shire had assumed he was dead. His heirs, the Sackville-Bagginses, were rather disappointed when he turned up.
* Nicoma Cosca in the ''Joe Abercrombie'' novels has this happen many times over the course of his life, and declares it "wishful thinking on the part of my enemies."
* In Creator/JohnSteakley's ''Literature/{{Armor}}'', the protagonist is the only survivor of a military unit that gets wiped out. The confusion of circumstances results in parts of the computerized record-keeping system thinking he's also dead, while other parts are aware he's alive; this, to put it mildly, does not make his life any easier.
* Literature/HonorHarrington says a variation on the line when she returns to Manticore in ''Ashes Of Victory''. In this case, not only has she been gone for the better part of two years, but the [[PeoplesRepublicOfTyranny People's Republic of Haven]] actually faked footage of her ''execution'' and broadcast it throughout the galaxy. This causes a lot of complications, not least of which that her estate has been divided up according to her will. [[HumbleHero Honor is less bothered by this than by certain twenty-foot-tall memorials to her.]] Even the Peeps thought she had died in a failed attempt to escape. But no one was going to believe ''that'', so they claimed to have formally executed her, to put a badass face on the debacle.[[note]]Unfortunately for the Peeps, this ultimately leads directly to a) no less than four {{Heel Face Turn}}s among the Havenite officer corps (Lester Tourville, Shannon Foraker, Warner Caslet, and Thomas Theisman) and b) the MilitaryCoup that overthrows the Committee and restores the kind of democracy that hasn't governed Haven in two hundred years. Whoops.[[/note]]
** Roughly half a decade later, Honor's best friend Michelle Henke is seemingly killed at the Battle of Solon. Turns out she actually made it off the ship and was tucked safely away in a Havenite POW camp. When the two meet again, Michelle remarks that "now we're even for that jaunt to Cerberus you took."
* In Creator/LewisCarroll's ''Literature/SylvieAndBruno'', the Vice-Warden arranges for a false report of his brother's death.
-->''"Is the Warden supposed to be dead?"\\
"Well, it's supposed so: but, mind you, I don't believe it! The evidence is very weak—mere hear-say. A wandering Jester, with a Dancing-Bear (they found their way into the Palace, one day) has been telling people he comes from Fairyland, and that the Warden died there. I wanted the Vice-Warden to question him, but, most unluckily, he and my Lady were always out walking when the Jester came round. Yes, the Warden's supposed to be dead!" And more tears trickled down the old man's cheeks.''
* A footnote in one of the Literature/CiaphasCain, '''HERO OF THE IMPERIUM!!!''' books reveals that Cain was listed as "killed in action" and then showed up alive (and typically saving the day) so many times that the Munitorum finally gave up trying to keep track and kept him on the payroll regardless -- even long past his ''confirmed'' death ... and burial with full military honors.
* Possibly as a ShoutOut to Creator/MarkTwain, one book in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' sees a new alien race that according to Ax was killed off millennia ago. "Reports of their extinction may have been exaggerated" indeed, they're trying to kill us right now.
* In the ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'', Corran Horn has been reported dead and turned up alive again so often (3 times in the five ''[[Literature/XWingSeries X-Wing]]'' novels he features in alone) that it has been joked that when he really dies, nobody will believe it and will assume he's just in hiding and will turn up again sooner or later.
* ''Literature/TheCuriousIncidentOfTheDogInTheNighttime'': Christopher's father told him his mother died. Then Christopher finds all the letters she's been writing to him since she left his father.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Temeraire}} Victory of Eagles]]'', Laurence is thought dead by Temeraire after the ship he was imprisoned on is sunk by the French (a stray cannonball opened his cell, and he tried to help the crew before making it to the lifeboats with the survivors).
* Near the end of ''Literature/TheConformist'', Marcello discovers that Lino, the man he shot as a child after he attempted to molest Marcello, is still alive, and that the obituary he read in the paper shortly after the event was erroneous.
* In ''Literature/TheAdventuresOfTomSawyer'', Tom and Huck are mistakenly thought dead until they show up [[AttendingYourOwnFuneral at their own funeral]].
* In ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents'', we have Lemony Snicket.
-->''This obituary is filled with errors. Most importantly, I AM NOT DEAD.''
* ''[[Literature/TheCatWho The Cat Who Lived High]]'': While vacationing, Qwill's car is stolen and the driver turns up dead. The local law enforcement where the car is found, who don't know Qwill, assume the dead man is the owner of the car and issue an incorrect report. While most of Moose County is thrown into deep mourning, Arch goes to where Qwill is staying to get the cats and almost has a heart attack when he finds Qwill sitting there.
* ''[[Literature/TeddyLondon All Things Under the Moon]]'': Referenced. The day before the London Detective Agency goes to face a werewolf, they get into a discussion that involves quotes on death; Paul Morcey says he prefers Mark Twain's famous quote on death, and hopes to be around to say it in a few days.
* Serge, the ''Literature/TimDorsey'' novels' usual protagonist, is on a quest to find out the truth about his grandfather, Sergio's, death after a fiasco with rare stolen diamonds. He believes his namesake is still alive, and is actually quite right. The "dead man" in question even explains that no one bothered to check how deep the water was, he was actually standing up to his chest and watching the chaos unfold on the docks.
* This was used by Arthur Conan Doyle to implement Sherlock Holmes' infamous FirstLawOfResurrection example. Conveniently, in the story which was originally planned to kill Holmes off [[KilledOffForReal for real]], Watson never actually saw Holmes die, but instead found supposedly incontrovertible evidence after the fact. So his lack of observational skills was used to explain away the originally-described-as-sheer rock face as actually being climbable by Holmes, with much of the other evidence of Holmes and Moriarty's fight at the waterfall having ended in a MutualKill being Holmes deliberately FakingTheDead to evade and track Moriarty's second in command.
* The first third or so of ''Literature/TheMartian'' is driven by astronaut turned reluctant Martian colonist Mark Watney's urgent need to contact MissionControl before reports of his death cease to be greatly exaggerated.
* ''Unofficial History'' by Sir William Slim. During [=WW2=], Brigadier Slim encounters some British troops under his command fleeing an attack by Italian bombers. They earnestly inform him they are the {{sole survivor}}s after their unit was wiped out, one of them adding that the brigadier is dead as well. Slim assures them that he's very much alive, then orders them back to their unit (which is still intact, just demoralized having never been in combat before).
* Drizzt thought Jarlaxle dead since the end of ''Gauntlgrym'', the first book of ''Literature/TheNeverwinterSaga'', but he is rescued by the drow mercenary in ''The Last Threshold''. Drizzt even runs up to hug him, while he banters about his supposed death.
* ''Literature/TwoKindsOfTruth'': Harry Bosch is surprised when his appeal for help in the 15-year-old Esme Tavares missing person case results in Esme Tavares contacting him. It seems that Tavares, who was presumed dead by everyone after she disappeared from her home while her infant daughter slept in a crib, had simply skipped out on a bad marriage and changed her name.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Subverted in [[http://snltranscripts.jt.org/00/00supdate.phtml this]] ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'' segment from 2001 in which Music/LouReed appeared on "Weekend Update" to confront rumors that he was dead. Reed confirmed that yes, he really was dead.
** In the 40th anniversary special, many jokes were made at the expense of Jon Lovitz that listed him as a beloved cast member that was no longer with us, only to cut to him, sitting in the Live Studio Audience, reacting as if this was news to him. Culminated with him being listed in the end of a montage of all the deceased cast and crew, with the slow motion of his WTH expression from earlier and somber music.
** Inverted with Generalissimo Fransisco Franco, who has been correctly reported as still dead... but Weekend Update still maintains reporters on the scene in the event that his condition changes. [[note]] The Original Gag was spoofing the media reports over-reporting his failing health in an attempt to avoid this trope.[[/note]]
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'', Earth-2 Lionel says the trope name almost word-for-word in season 10 but it is a bit of a subversion as it isn't the "old" Lionel.
* ''Series/MyFamily'': Ben Harper gets listed in the obituary by accident.
* ''Fries With That?'': Ben Shaw files himself as dead to get out of being beaten up. His friends quickly take advantage of this by pointing out that they don't pay dead people.
* There's an episode of ''Series/TheGoldenGirls'' in which Blanche's spurned boyfriend, an obituary editor, runs her obituary to get back at her. [[SkewedPriorities Blanche is more upset that he claimed she was 68 than being listed as dead]].
* One ''Series/MyTwoDads'' episode has a typo in an obituary causing everyone to think Joey was dead. He goes along with it for a while to sell art, because DeadArtistsAreBetter.
* The ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "Doppelgangland," in which meeting Vamp Willow causes Series/{{Angel}} to report that Willow is dead. He then say hi to human Willow who is standing right behind him.
* In the ''Series/{{Mash}}'' episode "The Late Captain Pierce", the U.S. Army mistakenly declares Hawkeye dead.
* In ''Series/CoronationStreet'' Jerry's father put his own obituary in the newspaper.
* The eventually-[[BackFromTheDead oft-killed]] Daniel Jackson had this happen to him in an early episode of ''Series/StargateSG1''- they hold a eulogy for him and start going through his stuff before they realize they've just been tricked into ''thinking'' he's dead. And at the beginning of season 7, he reclaims a good many items which Jonas Quinn was using... "You weren't using them" was Jonas' ([[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence understandable]]) explanation. He differs from most of these examples in that most of the time he ''actually was'' dead. Later on, though, his teammates get wise about it, and O'Neill outright ''refuses'' to hold a memorial service one of the latter times he gets killed, noting that he'll probably be back any time now.
* Archie Bunker was misreported as dead by the Veterans Administration for one episode of ''Series/AllInTheFamily.''
* ''Series/BabylonFive'':
** John Sheridan was thought to be dead. "I was. I got better." He spends a long time cleaning up the consequences of this.
** Earlier in the series, Sheridan exploits the fact that Mr. Morden is [[LegallyDead officially deceased]] to hold him prisoner without legal justification (Garibaldi [[WhatTheHellHero calls him on it]]) and [[PerpSweating interrogate him]] about what happened to the expedition where Sheridan's wife disappeared.
* In ''Series/ICarly'', Spencer is thought to be dead in an episode due to a misleading newspaper article which never explains why they presumed that. [[DeadArtistsAreBetter It results in Spencer's artwork being worth a lot more money, which causes him to continue the illusion]].
* In ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' episode "The Death of the Doctor"...well, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin you can guess]].
-->'''The Doctor''': Have you been telling people I'm dead?
* ''Series/GameOfThrones''.
-->'''Lord Tywin:''' I see that the rumors of your demise were unfounded.\\
'''Tyrion:''' [[TheUnfavourite Sorry to disappoint you, Father]]. No need to leap up and embrace me, [[DeadpanSnarker I wouldn't want you to strain yourself]].
* Happens on more than one occasion in ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Series 2 two-part finale [[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E12ArmyOfGhosts "Army of Ghosts"]]/[[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E13Doomsday "Doomsday"]] begins with a voiceover from Rose [[BreakingTheFourthWall telling the viewer]] "this is the story of how I died." At the conclusion, it's revealed that she's actually alive and stuck in a parallel universe, but she's been declared legally dead in our universe.
** In the Series 5 finale [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E13TheBigBang "The Big Bang"]], the Doctor, Amy and Rory meet a mortally wounded version of the Doctor from 12 minutes into the future, and watch him die. Turns out he was only faking it to allow the trio to create a diversion for 12 minutes, allowing the future-Doctor to [[TheSlowPath use those 12 minutes]] to wire up the Pandorica.
* Jonathan Doors is shot by a sniper in the pilot of ''Series/EarthFinalConflict'', protecting the Taelon ambassador Da'an. Turns out, it was all a setup. The sniper was working for Doors and was shooting blanks, as was the doctor who confirmed his death. The goal was to set up LaResistance to figure out the real reason the Taelons came to Earth. A few episodes later, Doors publicly outs himself, using a similar line to this trope.
* ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' had an episode involving an Immortal who did a lot of charity work, who was shot in a mugging and died on Anne's operating table. As Anne broke the news to his followers, he came walking down the hall.
* In one ''Series/HorribleHistories'' sketch, as per history, a distinctly premature obituary is Alfred Nobel's inspiration for establishing his eponymous prizes (as it revealed that otherwise he would be remembered solely as the 'Merchant of Death', i.e. the inventor of dynamite). "And I will call them... Prize-amite!"
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'': Dean's "demise was exaggerated" after a {{shapeshifter}} who assumed his form was killed.
* ''Series/SleepyHollow'' gives us a [[SubvertedTrope subversion]] with Brooks, who actually ''was'' dead, but was resurrected by the BigBad to continue doing his dirty work:
-->'''Brooks:''' Reports of my death were...pretty much true.
* The episode "[[Recap/StarTrekS2E1AmokTime Amok Time]]" from ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' has this when Kirk and Spock are forced to fight to the death in some kind of Vulcan mating ritual. Spock seemingly kills Kirk (which snaps him out of a [[MateOrDie mating frenzy]], don't know what that says [[HoYay about their relationship]]) and returns to the Enterprise [[WhatHaveIDone devas]][[HeroicBSOD tated]] and ready to resign from Starfleet. Cue Kirk coming up behind him and asking "Don't you think you had better check with me first?". Cue Spock grabbing him and spinning him around with the biggest, goofiest smile on his face. Turns out [=McCoy=] had injected Kirk with something during a time-out that he said was to help the human Kirk compensate for Vulcan's climate, but was really to make it look like Kirk had died so Spock would win.
* One episode of ''Series/{{Lateline}}'' has Raji really upset as the news program goes to air. He then reveals that he had just heard Creator/BuddyHackett had died. They agree to make a quick mention on the air. When the guests respond to the quick mention by discussing their memories of Hackett, they end up turning the episode into an hour long dedication. The next episode of the news program starts with the revelation that Hackett is still alive an apology for the mistake. (The episode of the sitcom aired in 1998, five years before Buddy Hackett died for real.)
* In the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "Duet", the Cardassian war criminal Gul Darhe'el gets apprehended by the crew. But when Gul Dukat informs them that the real Darhe'el has been dead for several years, Darhe'el tries to rebut this to Major Kira, saying "I am alive! I will always be alive!!!", before breaking down and admitting he's really Marritza, one of Darhe'el's former assistants, [[TheAtoner who's impersonating him in attempt to force Cardassia into owning up to the atrocities they inflicted upon the Bajorans.]]
* Often a component of the BackFromTheDead storylines that are frequently seen on [[SoapOpera soap operas]]. Sometimes the person resurfacing is as much a shock to the viewer as it is to the characters, but ocasionally, the audience is fully aware that the person is alive:
** ''Series/AllMyChildren'''s Tad Martin was blown from a bridge. The viewer saw that he survived, but wandered off with amnesia while his loved ones mourned and didn't return until two years later, still with no memory of his past.
** Reporter/novelist Edmund Grey was believed killed when an adversary blew up his car. Grey walked into the middle of his own funeral service on his family grounds at the Wildwind estate to the shock of everyone present.
** ''Series/OneLifeToLive'''s Todd Manning was shot multiple times and thrown over a cliff. The last viewers saw of him until the following year was him lying on a beach with his eyes slowly opening, while his wife was left to mourn.
*** Examples where the character remained onscreen:
** ''Series/AsTheWorldTurns'''s Jack was presumed dead in a car accident and woke up in a hospital with no memory of his past life. However, he didn't disappear--viewers actually saw scenes of him being nursed back to health interspersed with scenes of his wife and children mourning him that lasted for several months until the two ran into each other and he snapped out of it.
** A nearly identical situation when ''Series/GeneralHospital'''s Luke was presumed dead in an avalanche.
** And when ''Series/TheYoungAndTheRestless''' Victor also supposedly died in a car accident, but was rescued by a blind woman who cared for him on her farm and even educated him about who he'd been before. In another instance, he was actually being held prisoner after a plane crash.
*** ''Deliberate'' SoapOpera examples:
** ''Series/TheYoungAndTheRestless''' Victor again, who was so fed up with his bickering family that he allowed them to believe he was dead.
** ''Series/GeneralHospital'''s Luke and Laura faked her death in an explosion in order to flee the evil Cassadines who had recently returned to town. And Damian Smith did the same thing to frame his ex-girlfriend for his supposed murder.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven''. Lampshaded at the end of "Rumors of Death", in which Avon discovers his LostLenore wasn't tortured to death as he believed, but was actually a DoubleAgent for the SecretPolice.
-->'''Avon:''' [[BigBad Servalan]] was planning on sending you [my] corpse, but the [[TitleDrop rumours of my death]]--
-->'''Tarrant:''' --have been greatly exaggerated.
-->'''Avon:''' ''(to himself)'' Well, [[DespairEventHorizon slightly exaggerated, anyway.]]
* ''Series/{{Happy}}'': After the FinalBattle of Season 1, [[AntiHero Nick's]] various injuries and a heart attack cause him to be rendered clinically dead for eight minutes before being resuscitated. This leads to rumors on the street that he actually died permanently.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/EscapeFromMonkeyIsland'' starts with Elaine discovering that because she spent so much time out of the government of her islands, she was declared dead and had to get re-elected.
--> '''Elaine Marley''': I'm going down to city hall to see about getting declared un-dead.
--> '''Guybrush Threepwood''': Won't that make you a flesh-eating zombie?
** In the same game:
--> '''Meathook''': Guybrush! I'd heard you were killed by a giant clam!
--> '''Guybrush''': Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated.
--> '''Meathook''': Not to mention celebrated.
--> '''Guybrush''': What?
--> '''Meathook''': Nothing.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', Shepard [[ItMakesSenseInContext actually was dead for two years]], which leads to trouble when they return to the Citadel and is picked up by the security scanners as being dead. Fortunately, a [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure friendly C-Sec officer]] changes the records without making Shepard jump through all the hoops they would normally have to go through. It is mentioned that folks ''fake'' their own death fairly often as a tax dodge.
** You can also have them keep you out of the system, so to security you don't exist.
* In the first chapter of ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}'' Dark Hero Axel is reported as dead (Adell and Rozalin just knocked him out), and he spends several chapters trying to convince people he's not. His own mother goes into mourning and then chews him out when he calls to reassure her, because she thinks he's an unusually cruel prankster; even after he MCs the Coliseum battle to jumpstart his career, the newscast "lose" the footage and claims that he's an escaped asylum inmate who thinks he's Axel. Much later his producer is revealed to have been behind it all to cover up his embezzlement.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** Doctor Halsey quotes this trope in ''VideoGame/HaloReach''. The casualty reports had listed her as K.I.A., or so Noble Team thought.
** Near the beginning of the level "Uprising" in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'', the Arbiter runs into some friendly Elite forces. He's greeted with "The Arbiter! I thought he was dead!"
* In ''VideoGame/SpyroYearOfTheDragon'', Spyro goes through a portal and ends up in a faraway land where dragons were thought to be extinct. He replies with "Rumors of our extinction were greatly exaggerated."
* The ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' add-on, ''Lonesome Road'' adds a perk, "Thought You Died", which is basically this.
** In the main game, you can meet up with the people that were responsible for you getting shot in the head. Most of them react in shock that you're alive.
** In the backstory, this has happened to Joshua Graham five times. 1st Recon, NCR's elite sniper squad has reported five confirmed kills on him, only for him to show up alive each time. This has led to him becoming TheDreaded and when you meet him in the Honest Hearts DLC, Graham is indeed [[MadeOfIron inhumanly durable and difficult to kill]].
* [[Franchise/ResidentEvil Albert Wesker and later, Jill Valentine]] both fall under this trope; Wesker in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilCodeVeronica'' and Jill in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5''.
* In the original ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' trilogy, Irene Lew is thought to have been killed in the opening of the third game. She shows up later on and she is not very happy with her former boss trying to kill her.
-->'''Irene:''' Did you think that I would die that easily?
* In ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', Col. John Konrad gives an interesting inversion of this trope. As it turns out, the real Col. Konrad had taken up residence in one of Dubai's towers, and eventually, out of depression over the failure of the evacuation of Dubai's people, committed suicide. The Konrad who has been speaking to Cpt. Martin Walker was just a figment of his imagination, and the moment Walker finds Konrad's corpse, the imaginary Konrad walks up to the body and gives it a genuinely amused look, before stating with a smirk:
-->'''"Konrad"''': It seems that reports of my... ''survival''... have been greatly exaggerated."
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'': Whenever Scout is revived in a Mann vs. Machine map using the Re-Animator, he has this to say:
-->'''Scout:''' Reports of my death were BULLCRAP!!
* In "VideoGame/ZombiesRun", Runner 3, Simon Lauchlan uses this phrase exactly when Runner 5 leads Runner 4, Jody Marsh, to the believed dead runner to avoid capture by the ministry.
* In the Nod campaign of ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberiumWars'', Kane is believed dead before resurfacing a few mission later. As he himself lampshades, his enemies have a bad habit of reporting his death prematurely.
-->'''Kane''': Once again, the world is quick to bury me.
* ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm'':
** Falstad Wildhammer gets to name-drop the trope for one of his StopPokingMe quotes as a reference to an [[http://wowwiki.wikia.com/wiki/Red_Shirt_Guy incident]] where [[Creator/BlizzardEntertainment Blizzard]] fudged their own lore for ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', making this an unusual meta example. There's also this gem from his bio:
--> ''Despite wild speculation, Falstad has never been dead and anyone who claims such is a liar.''
** Medhiv has a StopPokingMe that differ a bit:
-->'''Medhiv:''' Reports of my death were greatly exaggerated. I mean, I ''did'' die, but people love to embelish.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' employs this trope for no less than five of its playable Heroes:
** Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes were last seen caught in an explosion that destroyed Overwatch headquarters, resulting in the two being declared dead. They survive to this day as Soldier: 76 and Reaper, respectively.
** Tracer was thought to be gone after the prototype fighter jet she was flying had its teleportation capabilities malfunction and cause the craft and her to vanish, until Winston saved her with technology that prevents her from jumping about the space-time continuum.
** Hanzo was forced by his organized crime clan to kill his younger brother Genji, and Genji was thought to be dead as a result. In reality, Overwatch saved his life, giving him a new cyborg body. The revelation that Genji is alive leaves some rather deep-seated issues within Hanzo, who had been paying respects to the presumed-dead Genji every year until Genji in his new body showed up.
** Ana was counter-sniped [[EyeScream in the eye]] by Widowmaker during a crucial rescue mission and was presumed to be killed. Declaring this [[MyGreatestFailure her greatest failure]] due to the personal circumstances of her mistake, she decided it would be better if the world thought she died, [[FakingTheDead keeping her survival and recovery a secret]].
*** In the same comic, Ana is surprised to see Widowmaker at all, as she had been presumed dead after her disappearance following her (Widowmaker's) husband's death. Ana quickly deduces that Widowmaker must have killed her husband and disappeared, before being interrupted by the aforementioned shot.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'': Link and Zelda have been presumed dead... [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld for about a hundred years]]. Link was, very nearly, killed in battle, and spent that century in a [[RipVanWinkle healing sleep that kept him from aging]]; Zelda spent it [[AndIMustScream trapped in the Malice of Calamity Ganon]]. Consequently, assuming the Hylian Champion survived his killing doesn't stop people from thinking he's dead.
* At the end of the first season of ''VideoGame/TheWalkingDead'', Lee watched as Kenny is surrounded by a group of walkers and is presumed to have perished. In the next season, Clementine is surprised to meet him again as she was told about his fate.
* Invoked in ''VideoGame/MiddleEarthShadowOfMordor'' and its sequel ''VideoGame/MiddleEarthShadowOfWar'': because they were created as soldiers by Sauron, orcs are actually very hard to kill unless straight-up decapitated. As a result, it's a game mechanic that orcs who have been promoted to Nemeses can heal up from presumed-fatal blows you dealt them in your last encounter and return to fight you again. In ''Shadow of War'', your own Branded Orcs can likewise potentially shrug off killing blows and return to service.

* Madam Oglavia Spudna from ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' has this response to a horrified captured librarian who has just realized who the well known TortureTechnician is as she was thought to be dead.
** When Maxim challenges Old Man Death to a fight for his hat the old man mentions that some of the cavalry that they once rode with was through a few years ago and had said [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20100526 Maxim was dead.]] Maxim was reported dead since he was "detached" and didn't align himself with Wulfenbach like the rest of the Jägers.
* In ''WebComic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', after Roy defeats Xykon in the Redmountains, he thought he finally fulfilled his mission, unaware that Redcloak had a SoulJar that would enable Xykon to regenerate his body. It wasn't until the Azure City saga where Roy learned from his father that Xykon was still alive.
* ''Webcomic/StandStillStaySilent'': Emil and Lalli try to escape a giant via a frozen body of water, but the fact that it can't hold Emil results in Lalli killing the giant via a burst of magic that shatters both the giant and the ice. They manage to escape on an ice floe and get ashore somewhere far away from the rest of the crew. When Sigrun backtracks the next morning looking for them, all she finds is the giant's exploded corpse right next to the part of the body of water that got its ice blown to bits by the magic burst. She comes to the conclusion anyone would, and tells the rest of crew upon returning.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Occurs a couple of times in ''Roleplay/WeAreAllPokemonTrainers'':
** In the alternate timeline, a flashback implies [[Videogame/PokemonDiamondAndPearl Cyrus]] had the mind controlled Dialga kill DS, and she is reported dead to the other Trainers. Only when she [[BigDamnHeroes arrives for the finale]] is revealed that Dialga resisted Cyrus's command long enough to imprison DS along with the other Legendaries instead.
** Later, when DS and the Lake Trio finally find Palkia, who is the only one who can help them escape from the other dimension, they discover that Palkia has been [[TakenForGranite petrified]], presumably having been that way since the arc began.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''Mickey's April Fools'', has Mickey Mouse pretending to die in front of Mortimer as an April Fools prank. Mickey then gets a letter declaring he's inherited a million dollars, but he can't get it because he's supposed to be dead.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'', Dino Spumoni faked his death, counting on it [[DeadArtistsAreBetter boosting his popularity]]. Then he realized he couldn't get paid if he was ''dead.''
* [[WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons Homer Simpson]] did it to escape a day of work. It eventually led to him discovering his long-lost mother, whose ''own'' death had been greatly exaggerated decades previously by Homer's father. She then fakes her death AGAIN at the end of the episode.
** Lisa was also presumed dead at one point, owing the fact that she was supposed to be camping an ancient redwood when it got hit by lightning (which, as it turns out, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero was caused by the bucket she had in the tree]]). She refused to come clean because her "death" was inspiring the people, but finally did when it was twisted by the rich Texan guy ([[HisNameReallyIsBarkeep whose name is actually Rich Texan]]) into publicity for his new amusement park.
** And Bart also once had Milhouse help him fake his death on some cliff.
** In 'Simpsons Tall Tales' episode where Bart and Nelson take the roles of [[Literature/TheAdventuresOfTomSawyer Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn]], the two boys can be seen lying on a rafter grinning down at the townspeople who are attending the boys' funeral. Subverted that it turns out that they really are dead; their bodies, which ended up with those looks on them, are lowered to their caskets.
** Lampshaded in the soap "Reach for the Sun" that Marge and Lisa are watching:
--->'''Marguarita:''' Father [=McGrath=]! I thought you were dead!
--->'''Father [=McGrath=]:''' I was!
** During "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday," Marge and Lisa work on an egg painting kit endorsed by Vincent Price. After discovering they're missing a set of decorative feet that's supposed to come with the kit, Marge calls the company and is shocked when Price himself answers even though he'd died several years before the episode aired. Price declares "You should know the grave could never claim me" before giving Marge instructions on how to get the feet. He then caps off by saying "I must now return to the sweet embrace of the crypt." Lisa's not sure if Price is supposed to be alive or dead by that point. Things get even more complicated when he appears at the end of the episode, driving a bus.
* On ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' this happened three times. The first time with Peter, who got out of a hospital bill by writing that he was dead. The rest of the episode involved him making a deal with the GrimReaper. The second time was when they got Quagmire out of a marriage with a psycho woman. Since her last name was also Quagmire by marriage, and she grabbed the GrimReaper's hand (killing herself in the process), it all worked out nicely.
** The third time also involved the GrimReaper, but he was just there, he didn't harvest. Peter, Cleveland, Joe and Quagmire all get stranded on a deserted island for quite some time, and are declared dead. Peter has to save his marriage since Brian married Lois during that time.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'', Cubert was able to take over Planet Express because the Professor had been declared dead as a tax dodge.
-->'''Farnsworth:''' Tax dodge nothing! You take one nap in a ditch in the park and they start declaring you this and that!
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Dilbert}}'' had all of his benefits cut at work after spending a short period of time dead.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' featured a guy being frozen for almost three years. He comes back to his wife who says that she assumed he was dead and married someone else and now had two kids, aged 8 and 13. After awhile, the guy says, "8 and 13!?".
* Occurs almost ''verbatim'' early in the second season of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', upon discovering that Shendu has returned (as a ghost) and in possession of the Dark Hand's boss, Valmont:
-->'''Shendu:''' Reports of my demise have been ''greatly'' exaggerated, Chan.
* In the 90s ''WesternAnimation/IronMan'' cartoon, Tony [[FakingTheDead fakes Iron Man's death]] (this was back when he still had a secret identity in the comics) after he goes off the rails in "Armor Wars". When he gets back in the saddle, he drops the line, attributing it to Mark Twain. "Iron Man lives."
* Shockwave paraphrases this trope in his first appearance in the third season of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime''.
-->"Reports of my demise were greatly...''premature.''"
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSpectacularSpiderMan'', after the titular hero was seemingly [[TheWallsAreClosingIn crushed to death]] in a battle with Shocker, Marko and O'hirn take advantage of it by robbing a store. When Spidey shows up to foil them, he tries to quote the trope name but fails and just tells them to tell Shocker he wants a rematch.
* This was Aang's status for half of the third season of ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' following the second season finale, where Azula killed Aang only for Katara to bring him back. [[InnocentlyInsensitive While Sokka was excited to have such a stealthy advantage]], Aang was initially upset that the world thought their only hope to end the war was gone forever, but eventually decided it was best that the world not know the Avatar was alive for now. Unfortunately, Azula, being the MagnificentBitch she is, had a feeling that Aang was alive and not only had a plan to defend against the Gaang's invasion, but also make them waste their stealthy advantage.
* In the revival of ''WesternAnimation/BeavisAndButthead'', Beavis is convinced that Daria Morgendorffer committed suicide. Butthead corrects him that [[MythologyGag she just]] [[WesternAnimation/{{Daria}} moved away]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/AllHailKingJulien'', several characters assumed to have been eaten by fossa have turned up in the kingdom, including Julien's own parents. Presumably death by fossa is so common, anyone who suddenly vanishes is assumed to have been eaten.
* ''WesternAnimation/KorgothOfBarbaria'': The dark wizard Specules is annoyed when he finds a bunch of thieves in his castle looting the place on the assumption that he was dead. Turns out, he was just taking a cruise holiday.
* In ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls'', for half the second season, Dipper was under the assumption that Agents Powers and Trigger were eaten by the zombie hoard. In "Not What He Seems", he learns otherwise.
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'':
** After "The Shredder Strikes Back Part 2", the Foot believed that the Turtles and allies were killed in the fire at April's antique store. This was due to Baxter Stockman faking proof in order to steal an Utrom exoskeleton from Shredder. The Turtles would take advantage of this by launching their own sneak attack in "Return to New York".
** This has happened to the Shredder multiple times. First, the Turtles thought he was killed by the collapsing water tower at the end of "The Shredder Strikes Part 2". Then, when Leonardo seemingly decapitated him in "Return to New York Part 3". Finally, he appeared to have been killed by the destruction of [=TCRI=] in "Secret Origins Part 3", only to show up alive at the end of the "City At War" arc.
* ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManUnlimited'': the Green Goblin quotes this almost word for word when he shows up in the final episode to assist Spidey and the other heroes against the High Evolutionary and his forces.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The TropeNamer is Samuel "Creator/MarkTwain" Clemens, who gave the trope title as a statement in response to hearing that his obituary had been published in the New York Journal. The Journal had mistakenly reported the illness of his cousin James Ross Clemens (who [[NotQuiteDead wasn't actually dead]], either) as Twain's own death. The original quote was:
-->James Ross Clemens, a cousin of mine, [...] is well now. The report of my illness grew out of his illness; the report of my death was an exaggeration.
* During the 1864 Siege of Petersburg in the ''UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar'', Union Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlin, famous for leading a heroic stand at Gettysburg, was severely wounded when a bullet passed through both hips and tore through his groin. Doctors predicted his wound was fatal, and he was "posthumously" promoted to Brigadier General. Newspapers in his home state of Maine ran obituaries about his supposed death. The doctor's diagnosis turned out to be accurate, but the predicted timing was not. Chamberlin did die from his wound, but not for another 50 years, in 1914. He was the last recorded civil war veteran to die from battle wounds.
* Creator/RudyardKipling was also once declared dead by a magazine, to which he wrote a letter saying "I've just read that I am dead. Don't forget to delete me from your list of subscribers."
* Happens sporadically to non-notable individuals; usually, this results from poor communication between a family and the funeral home (i.e., a family member incorrectly reporting that someone had died, when in fact that person is still alive although death is likely imminent). On these rare occasions, the funeral home will submit for publication to local newspapers an obituary that had been pre-written.
* On August 27, 2008, Bloomberg accidentally published a 17 page obituary regarding Creator/SteveJobs' death. In a subsequent public appearance Jobs joked about the accident by displaying on screen, "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Jobs ''actually'' died about three years later.
* A newspaper mistakenly published an obituary for Alfred Nobel, instead of his deceased brother. Nobel was shocked to see a newspaper crowing that "the merchant of death is dead" due to his invention of dynamite and gun propellants, and was inspired to start the Nobel Prize so that he would be remembered for something else. It worked.
* Music/BritneySpears went through this at least twice:
** Her Myspace page was once hacked (or so they claim) with a fake death announcement.
** In 2001, Spears was the victim of a prank news report on radio station KEGL in Fort Worth, Texas, where the disc jockeys claimed that the then 19-year-old pop princess was killed in a car accident, and that her then-boyfriend, Justin Timberlake was also either killed or that his death was expected shortly. Outrage quickly followed, major news media quickly debunked the report and the disc jockeys responsible for the report were fired.
* Prior to his real death in 2008, ''Series/DoctorWho'' regular Kevin Stoney (who played Mavic Chen, Tobias Vaughn, and Tyrum) was reported dead in 1985 according to Dreamwatch. However, he appeared at a convention in 1987 to prove he was still alive, which shocked many fans.
* In India, it's popular to bribe an official to declare a relative dead so that you can inherit his property. It has all the advantages of murder without the unpleasant messiness. [[http://www.nytimes.com/2000/10/24/world/24INDI.html?ex=1083211200&en=3394201d75ddfea1&ei=5070 Lal Bihari]] had this happen to him and it took him years to literally get his life back. He was awarded an [[http://improbable.com/ig/ Ignobel Prize]] for his foundation of the Association of Dead People. One tactic of Association members is to get arrested at protests, leaving the authorities to explain how dead people can be arrested.
* On June 25th, 2009, Jeff Goldblum was reported dead of a fall on a movie set in New Zealand. On June 30th, 2009, Jeff Goldblum went on Series/TheColbertReport (on which he had made several recent appearances) to deny the ([[CaptainObvious fake]]) reports of his death. He then subsequently caved to the evidence, ([[RealityIsUnrealistic news program clips reporting his death]]) [[http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/220019/june-29-2009/jeff-goldblum-will-be-missed confirmed his own death, and gave his own "eulogy."]]
* In the aftermath of the demonstration on 17th November 1989 that launched the VelvetRevolution in Czechoslovakia, a rumor has spread that a student named Martin Šmíd was killed during the event. This turned to be a misinformation; a student of that name was at the demonstration, but left before the police attack began. He was interviewed on television, presumably to dispel the rumor...and the transmission started at just the wrong moment when he was saying, referring to the events of the day: "Death touched me." (In case this figure of speech doesn't translate well to English, he meant: "I was horrified.")
* Some accidental premature publishing on cnn.com revealed that CNN at least has outlines and some graphics prepared for obituaries of famous people who have yet to die, like Dick Cheney and Queen Elizabeth, in anticipation of eventually having to get one up on short notice. Notably, the Cheney one was ''clearly'' not ready, as it called him "England's favorite grandmother" - a line from Elizabeth's premature obit.
* In 1964, news bulletins widely broadcast a report that UsefulNotes/NikitaKhrushchev had died of "hecaphylphocatirosisus". Apparently, this went out when someone did not notice the notation "Can you confirm this?"
* For a complete list of premature obituaries, check out [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_premature_obituaries The Other Wiki]].
* Although he was never officially declared to be dead, a very popular meme in the late 1960s suggested that Music/PaulMcCartney had died in a car accident around the mid 1960s and was replaced by a lookalike, which really took off in the underground media. The fact that the 'evidence' for this theory largely seemed to stem from a number of obscure and oblique 'references' on [[Music/TheBeatles Beatles]] album covers and in song lyrics suggested that large quantities of drugs being ingested probably had something to do with it, but the rumours bedeviled [=McCartney=] for years no matter how many times he denied them, including a variation on the Mark Twain 'quote' above: "Reports of my death are greatly exaggerated. If I were dead I'd be the last to know."
--> "I wasn't really dead." (Paul to Chris Farley on ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'')
* A few years ago, there were a number of rumors that actress Creator/NatashaLyonne was at death's door, due to various drug addictions. According to Website/IMDb and the entire run of ''Series/OrangeIsTheNewBlack'' (in which she is a part of the main ensemble), she's still alive.
* A popular rumor in the 70's and 80's was that Jerry Mathers (of ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver'' fame) had been killed in Vietnam. Not only is he quite alive and still acting, he never even served in Vietnam.
* At the Battle of Hastings in 1066, a rumour suddenly swept through UsefulNotes/WilliamTheConqueror's army that Duke William had been killed. The Duke heard of this and took his helmet off so that his army could recognise his red hair. He proceeded to win the battle (in which his opponent King Harold really ''was'' killed) and complete the NormanConquest.
* When UsefulNotes/QueenVictoria was in her final years, it was frequently reported that she had died and implied that they were just pretending she was still alive to keep her son off the throne.
* In 2008, an internet {{troll}} began circulating reports that voice actor Jerry Jewell had died in a car accident. Jewell remarks on it in the DVD commentary for ''LightNovel/{{Baccano}}'' episode 9, which was being dubbed around that time: "Yes, I died in a car accident. But I had to record. That's what I'm willing to go through to get the job done." Ironic considering the anime in question, and the fact that such things happen to the characters in it [[ImmortalLifeIsCheap regularly]].
* [=LulzSec=] once placed a false story on The Sun's website claiming that Rupert Murdoch had died from a drug overdose. It was quickly removed, but still managed to be reprinted by The Times and a number of other news sites.
* Steve from ''WesternAnimation/BluesClues'' was surprised to hear he had died and been replaced with a lookalike. No matter how many times he said he was still alive, some people still believed he was dead.
* In describing the assessments of his medical condition once given to him by various doctors, composer Frederic Chopin commented "I have been sick as a dog during these past two weeks. Three doctors have visited me. The first said I was going to die; the second said I was breathing my last; and the third said I was already dead."
* Abe Vigoda, known for his acting roles in ''Film/TheGodfather'' and ''Series/BarneyMiller'', was wrongly reported as dead in 1982 by ''People'' magazine. Vigoda found this amusing, and had a photo published in ''Variety'' of himself sitting up in a coffin reading the mistaken issue of ''People''. In 1987, it happened again after a reporter from Secaucus, New Jersey, mistakenly called him "the late Abe Vigoda", which once again prompted much amusement and what spawned the RunningGag about Vigoda's "dead or alive" status. Today, [[http://www.abevigoda.com abevigoda.com]] provides real-time updates on the status of Abe Vigoda (current status: Abe Vigoda is '''dead''' as of 26th January, 2016.) When he died, [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer many news reports had to state that this]] ''[[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer wasn't]]'' [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer a hoax]].
* Website/IMDb once mistakenly reported that Creator/MaraWilson (of ''{{Film/Matilda}}'' fame) was dead. Her joking response was that [[BackFromTheDead they were]] [[CameBackWrong half right]].
* Creator/TomKenny discussed on Creator/MarcMaron's podcast how he was once reported dead, and how he thinks that something like that is more likely to happen to someone like him, who's relatively well known but not super well known like someone like George Clooney, so it takes longer to debunk. Same thing happened to Rodger Bumpass, although he himself has claimed this to be untrue. The AuthorExistenceFailure of Eberhard Prueter, Squidward's ''German'' voice, might cause some confusion for a while.
* Jaroslav Hašek, author of ''[[Literature/TheGoodSoldierSvejk The Good Soldier Švejk]]'', summed up various accounts depicting his alleged death during his UsefulNotes/WorldWarI captivity in Russia (and short stint as a Bolshevik commissar):
--> "After I returned to my home country I learnt I had been hanged three times, two times shot, and once even drawn and quartered by wild Kirgiz insurgents, near the Kale-Ishela lake. Finally, I was stabbed during a brawl by drunken sailors in an Odessa pub. [[RefugeInAudacity The last account I deemed the most likely]]."
* Creator/BobHope was twice a victim of death rumors - once in 1998, when he was still in good health, and again in 2003, just three months prior to his actual passing – with a pre-written obituary of the entertainer accidentally published on a news web site. In the 1998 case, where his "death" was actually published on the Associated Press' web site, Hope's death was announced in the U.S. House of Representatives, broadcast live on C-SPAN (with camera shots of visibly upset legislators being shown). The 2003 obituary was published on CNN's website.
* Country music pioneer Ray Price was also a victim of the premature obituary, as many national news outlets (from ''Rolling Stone'' to the ''USA Today'') had reported the singer's purported passing on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, from cancer - only for Price's wife, Janie, to reveal that although he was near death, he was still alive. [[http://popcultureblog.dallasnews.com/2013/12/reports-of-country-legend-ray-prices-death-have-been-premature.html/ See this link for more details.]] [[TemptingFate Incidentally, Price did die - approximately a day after the premature obituaries were announced online,]] leaving behind one of the greatest legacies ever in country music.
* In 1976, Music/{{ABBA}} member Bjorn Ulvaeus appeared on German television to counter a rumour that he and his bandmates had died in a plane crash in what was then West Berlin. Needless to say, ABBA were never actually involved in a plane crash (though they did have a near miss in 1979) and all four are currently still alive.
** In some versions of this rumour, Anni-Frid Lyngstad (AKA Frida) was said to have survived, but with such [[CareerEndingInjury severe injuries]] that her singing career was effectively over.
* On March 16, 2014, US Magazine reported that Creator/WayneKnight had been killed in an auto accident. Upon hearing this, Wayne tweeted [[https://twitter.com/iWayneKnight/status/445239269469458432 "Some of you will be glad to hear this, others strangely disappointed, but...I am alive and well!"]], later adding "Does someone have to DIE to trend? Geez!"
* In 2010 Tawnee Stone, a web softcore porn personality from the mid-1990s, was reported to have died in a car accident; but it was the ''character'' Tawnee Stone, not the actress who had done the scenes (and who hadn't made any new material in a long time). The producer spread the rumor to revive interest.
* In the Christmas charity livestreams for [[LetsPlay/{{Yogscast}} the Yogscast]] in 2013, LetsPlay/SimonLane put a photo of fellow member Alex "Parv" Parvis (also the guitarist for the band Music/{{Area 11}}) onscreen, claimed he'd died and said that the photo was a mini-memorial. It very promptly became a meme in the form of "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin RIP PARV]]", in no small part thanks to people who believed it was true, and he came back from a gig with the band that very evening to [[https://twitter.com/Area11Parvis/status/407302458290208768 find out he was "dead"]]. Even after he cleared the situation up, there were people who still didn't believe he was still alive nearly seven months later.
* Similarly, LetsPlay/SimonLane was a victim of this himself, after some people tried to pretend he had died in order to scam money, under pretences that it would go towards a revival of ''[[Machinima/YogscastMinecraftSeries Shadow of Israphel]]''. Subsequently, his and LetsPlay/LewisBrindley's joint channel [[WhyTheFandomCantHaveNiceThings turned off comments for around two months]], since this was the last straw (other comments had been self-promotion of small channels, spamming for reports of SOI, MoralGuardians complaining unnecessarily and so on).
* In 2009 actress Nancy Allen was reported to have died of cancer, she later came out and told the public this was untrue.
* For the longest time, the English voice of Mewtwo in ''Anime/PokemonTheFirstMovie'' (credited as "Philip Bartlett") was believed to have died in 2001. However, in 2014, [[http://www.behindthevoiceactors.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13970 the actor himself came out to put an end to all the confusion]], revealing that he was still alive and that his real name was Jay Goede.
* Creator/JudiDench was the object of a cruel Internet hoax in October 2015. Stories were circulated on the Internet falsely stating she had died. Most credible news reporters checked and refrained from publishing, but the story still circulated virally. Ms Dench herself has since put out an official statement to the effect that she is still, here and hopes to be present in the world for some time yet.
* Creator/RobertAntonWilson. Who in the very early Internet days of 1994 was perplexed when people began phoning and writing to his "widow" to express condolences over her sad loss. Wilson had no idea how the rumour started, but when writing about the metaphysics of being "dead" whilst still being alive, said he really appreciated some of the nicer obituaries that were being printed. Apparently an Internet bulletin board had put it out as a joke to see who was taken in.
* In TheNineties, four major Australian broadcasting stations announced the death of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother. Within an hour they realised it would have been better to have confirmed the story, as they were told in no uncertain terms the 93-year old Queen Mum was still alive. it turns out an Australian working for SKY-TV in London had walked in on a test screening of the QM's obituary, got the wrong end of the stick entirely, and rang home to Brisbane with the scoop. The local radio station put it out, and... quite a few Australians no longer work in broadcast news.
* Sometime in 2008, Music/MileyCyrus' website was hacked with a message saying that she was killed by a drunk driver. Presumably, she wasn't impressed. (As of 2017, she's still alive and still doing music.)
* One of the more famous examples of this trope was the rumor that John Gilchrist, who played [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Mikey the kid from the famous Life Cereal commercial]], died from overexposure from carbon monoxide after eating Pop Rocks with Coke. The rumor was debunked and Gilchrist is still with us as of 2012, working as a director of media sales for MSG Network.
* "I was never killed by Holmes or anyone else." — Businesswoman Kate Durkee on learning that she was being counted among H. H. Holmes' Murder Castle victims, 1896.
* In the midst of a celebrity death epidemic in January 2016 that claimed Music/DavidBowie and Creator/AlanRickman among others, someone made a deeply ridiculous article stating that ''Franchise/TheMuppets''[='=] SelfDemonstrating/{{Animal}} (a fictional character) had died. While the Muppet team has yet to respond to this, [[http://www.snopes.com/muppet-animal-death-hoax/ Snopes was quick to debunk the rumor]].
** See also the fake obituary for the Pillsbury Doughboy, which was more of an excuse to write a HurricaneOfPuns.
* This trope happened to Creator/JackieChan sometime in 2013, but it didn't take long for it to be confirmed as a hoax.
* When Sir George Martin, of Music/TheBeatles fame, died in March 2016, people confused him with Creator/GeorgeRRMartin, who [[http://grrm.livejournal.com/477607.html dispelled rumors of his own death on his LiveJournal account.]]
* A clickbait article titled "These celebrities died without anyone knowing" was highlighted with a picture of Creator/JenniferCoolidge. When someone pointed this out to her on Twitter, she responded "Yes, I am dead, and it's great!"
* The main article page depicts actor Chandler Riggs responding via Twitter to a similar scenario, where a photo of him was captioned with a link to "actors who died quietly this year." His response: [[SelfDeprecation "I wish LOL"]].
* PlayedForLaughs with the final ''[[LetsPlay/AchievementHunterMinecraftSeries Let's Play Minecraft]]'' with Creator/RayNarvaezJr as part of Creator/AchievementHunter as the team keeps treating Ray's last day as if he's going to die and Ray responding that he's not dying. The fandom tends to play along with this joke.
* In a truly tragic and bizarre turn, when popular fan fiction writer "becuzitswrong" (whose collective stories have over half a million subscribers on fanfiction.net) started suffering serious delays in updating because of chronic health problems, a rumor made the rounds that the writer had died. Eventually, he posted an update to several fan fiction archives saying that, no, he was still alive and would be returning to regular updates soon. He even went so far as to quote the line "reports of my death were greatly exaggerated" and said that "[[TemptingFate things have finally calmed down and I am starting to write again. It is a wonderful feeling.]]" Unfortunately, he died for real less than a week after this announcement was posted.
* Following the 2011 Japanese earthquake, rumours of ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' creator Creator/SatoshiTajiri dying as a result spread on the internet. [[http://kotaku.com/5781344/pokemon-company-squashes-twitter-rumor-of-creators-death-update These were proven false within days]].
* [[UsefulNotes/BritishNewspapers The Daily Telegraph]] mistakenly reported the death of folk violinist Dave Swarbrick of the band Music/FairportConvention in 1999, saying that he had died at home in Coventry. Swarbrick later said "[[ToughRoom It isn't the first time I've died in Coventry.]]" Swarbrick died for real in 2016.
* During Creator/JuliaLouisDreyfus' acceptance speech at the 2016 Emmy Awards, she paid tribute to her father Gérard, who'd passed away two days earlier. However, many Twitter users started mistakenly paying tribute to ''[[Creator/RichardDreyfuss Richard]] [[SpellMyNameWithAnS Dreyfuss]]'', [[http://www.thewrap.com/julia-louis-dreyfus-father-richard-dreyfuss-not-dead-emmys/ which somewhat amused him]].
* [[http://www.deadoraliveinfo.com/dead.nsf/pages-nf/main deadoraliveinfo.com]] is a good site to disprove this trope - only, new names have only been added infrequently since about 2008, and there's very few people currently (2017) in the database born after 1958[[note]]their criteria for having a living person included in their database include being 50 or older[[/note]]. Not to mention that it still lists certain dead people, such as Ruby Mohammed, Creator/JoanFontaine, Creator/MaureenOHara, Creator/StanFreberg, and the previously-mentioned Ray Price as still being alive. That said, the siterunners will still update someone's life status to accommodate their death (and occasionally the cause) if they really need to. Nowadays the [[http://www.celebritydeathbeeper.com/ Celebrity Death Beeper]] is your best bet.
* Ugandan anti-death penalty activist Edward Edmary Mpagi spent 18 years in death row for the murder of a businessman named George William Wandyaka. In reality, Wandyaka had been injured during a home robbery, but survived. However, the civil war in Uganda cut communications between Masaka (where the attack took place) and the capital Kampala (where Mpagi was arrested), preventing the correction of the error.
* After the Music/BeastieBoys' debut album, ''Music/LicensedToIll'', was released, rumours started to circulate that Mike D had died from a drug overdose. In response, "Shake Your Rump" from ''Music/PaulsBoutique'' included the following lyrics:
-->Well, I'm Mike D, and I'm back from the dead\\
Chillin' at the beach, down at Club Med
* Mambo musician Pérez Prado (born as Dámaso Pérez Prado) was mistakenly reported dead by newspapers in 1983. In reality, it was his brother Pantaleón Pérez Prado (also a musician, and who also had gone by just Pérez Prado years before) who had passed away.


-> ''[[SelfDemonstratingArticle It appears the reports of the end of this article have been greatly exaggerated]].''