Speak Ill of the Dead
Sometimes, not even death will curtail disrespect for one's enemies. In fact, it provides free rein to voice disapproval and disdain! This is usually a case of Last Disrespects, but sometimes it will be used to voice Brutal Honesty about issues surrounding the deceased. The opposite of Never Speak Ill of the Dead. When this is played for laughs, it's probably putting The Fun in Funeral. Compare with Bitter Wedding Speech, Pummeling the Corpse, and Asshole Victim. This is a Death Trope, so expect unmarked spoilers ahead.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- In Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor, Shouko's death resulted in some of the islanders desecrating her grave to the horror of her friends who saw her make a Heroic Sacrifice for them.
- In YuYu Hakusho, two sadist teachers badmouth Yusuke at his funeral and even suggest that Yusuke pushed the kid he saved into the street in the first place. Another teacher, the one who believed Yusuke had potential, calls them out on it.
- A defining characteristic of Bleach's Yhwach is that he will often insult and belittle dead enemies (or allies) to the proverbial faces of their corpses. Then, there's the time he killed Yamamoto whom he *really* didn't like... he then proceeded to deliver a poignant "Reason You Suck" Speech and proceeded to desecrate his corpse by hacking off his one remaining arm, stomping on his head, and completely incinerating the rest.
- Naruto: Not exactly speaking ill of the dead, but the basic principle is the same: when Gato arrives on the scene after Haku's death, one of the first things he does is kick Haku's body in the face as payback for Haku breaking his arm and wish that Haku was still alive to feel the hit. It makes his Karmic Death at Zabuza's hands all the more satisfying to watch.
- In Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman, Reid pretends to have been stabbed in the back on the doorstep of a couple of his customers, to freak them out. Not only are they overjoyed that he's (apparently) dead, but when the mailman happens by and sees the body, he congratulates the couple, and runs off to tell others the good news!
- In Runaways, Molly Hayes drops her "Rudy Huxtable" routine when the time displaced Geoffrey Wilder calls her out on it. She then coldly mocks Alex Wilder Geoffrey's son murdered by the Gibborim for his failure and calls him "a total frikkin' failure."
- In the chapter of My Brave Pony: Star Fleet Magic III, following Twilight's death, several people assure Lightning Dawn that it's not his fault that Twilight was killed but that it was the victim's own fault for not following orders instead of blaming, say, the murderer.
- In Team8, Kurenai fairly harshly says that if ninja on reconnaissance missions get into needless fights and die, they are "fools" and don't deserve to have their names on the memorial stone.
Films - Animated
Films - Live Action
- "Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead! Which Old Witch? The Wicked Witch! Ding Dong The Wicked Witch Is Deeaaaad!!"
- Thor: The Dark World: When Erik Selvig, who has been mentally disturbed by the events of The Avengers, in which he was brainwashed by Loki, finds out that Loki has died:
Thor: Loki's dead.
Erik: Oh, thank God!
Thor: *looks at Selvig, appalled*
Erik: I mean...I'm so sorry for your loss.
- From A Christmas Carol — when Scrooge is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Future, he sees many people stealing from a dead man, laughing at how much better things are without him, and telling nasty stories. He's horrified to find that person was him, and that no one genuinely misses him.
- Break of Dark: When they shoot down the German pilot in Blackham's Wimpy, Blackham and his crew not only spend the next 20-30 minutes exulting and mocking him as he burns to death, but carry on their celebrations when they get back to base. Strongly implied that this is why he comes back to haunt them.
- In The Hunger Games, Clove intentionally mocks Rue's death while pinning Katniss down at her mercy. However if she didn't chose to rant and kill Katniss right there, Thresh would have never overheard and killed Clove for saying such things.
- In Harry Potter, Hermione speaks ill of Sirius, about a year after Sirius' death: "Sirius was horrible to Kreacher... I've said all along that wizards would pay for how they treat house elves. Well, Voldemort did... and so did Sirius." Dumbledore said more or less the same, although noting that Sirius's problem was Kreacher and not house-elves in general.
- Marge, Uncle Vernon's sister, tends to spend most of her visits at the Dursleys' home openly and relentlessly insulting Harry's late parents. This does not end well for her.
- Snape, of course, hardly ever misses the chance to make a snide remark about Harry's dead father, even though the man saved his life once and Snape was indirectly responsible for his death. When Harry learns his dad really was a bully in his teens, it comes as an unpleasant shock.
- In the Sherlock Holmes story "The Adventure of Black Peter", the titular Asshole Victim suffers from this; his own daughter flat-out tells Holmes and Watson that she's glad her father is dead and blesses the hand that killed him.
- Lord Byron on hearing the news of Viscount Castlereagh's suicide recorded his observations about the highly unpopular, reactionary politician:
"Posterity will ne'er survey/A nobler grave than this:/Here lie the bones of Castlereagh:/Stop, traveller, and piss."
Live Action TV
- In Red Dwarf, Rimmer dies before the start of the story proper, but is brought back as a hologram. Lister insults him just as much as when he was alive.
- Game of Thrones: Queen Cersei and King Joffrey have no qualms posthumously calling the late Lord Renly Baratheon a "degenerate" in "Dark Wings, Dark Words."
- In Breaker of Chains, Tywin is quite happy to talk about Joffrey's various failings... while standing in front of the corpse's grieving mother, and speaking to the corpse's younger brother.
- In Smallville, when Lionel died, even the usual Nice Girl Chloe isn't too sorry about it. Justified because he had a strike force with kryptonite tasers to capture the love of her life and trap him in an adjustable kryptonite cage just two episodes before.
- Victor Lewis-Smith's Honest Obituaries series of sketches about UK Celebrities (all of whom were alive at the time the series was written) on the short-running UK comedy series TV Offal.
- All My Children:
- After Michael Cambias' death, everyone in Pine Valley goes to his funeral just to give eulogies about how much they hate his guts for what he did to Bianca, with Bianca's lover Lena going so far as to spit on his grave.
- Also, after David Hayward's apparent death, only Greenlee, Krystal, and Marissa go to his funeral, while everyone else in town throws a party to celebrate his demise.
- In a famous episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Uncle Phil's Jerkass former mentor-turned-political opponentnote dies after Will chews him out for being so rotten. At the funeral, basically nobody has anything nice to say about the man, and most showed up just to make sure he was really dead. Will, still feeling guilty, berates them by saying he might not have been a pleasant man, but he still deserves a little dignity in death. When asked who he is, Will responds "I'm the dude who killed him"...and gets a standing ovation. "Tough crowd" indeed.
- In the Series Finale of House, most of the show's major characters turn up at the title character's funeral to commemorate the positive impact House had on their lives. His best friend Wilson, though, takes the opportunity to call House out for being selfish, self-destructive, and short-sighted. The twist is that House is still very much alive, and texts Wilson "Shut up you idiot" while he's at the dais.
- JAG: In "Pilot Error", there are persistent rumors that Lt. Pendry had been having an affair with his female wingman, and that this may have contributed to the crash.
- In The Sopranos, the wake for Tony's awful mother begins with the usual platitudes and fake respect. And then Carmela says what everyone's really thinking about the deceased, and things go rapidly downhill.
- In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when minor character Chloe committed suicide, an annoyed Buffy called her a weak moron for quitting when things got tough.
- On the song Reagan, Killer Mike ends the song with the line "I'll leave you with four words: I'm glad Reagan dead."
- In Ajax, Agamemnon and Menelaus have good reason to hate Ajax after his attempted slaughter of their army, but veer a little too close to religious blasphemy in denying Ajax burial rights after he has committed suicide. Odysseus in comparison gives up his grudge and persuades them not to violate sacred rites.
- Subverted in Julius Caesar. Anthony's speech sounds like it's going to be this ("I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him") but by clever twisting of his words he turns the assembled people against Caesar's killers.
- In Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, how does Master Xehanort treat Terra's, Aqua's, and Ven's Heroic Sacrifices in Birth by Sleep? By invoking But for Me, It Was Tuesday and basically calling them Failure Heroes.
- In World of Warcraft, Varian gets upset when Anduin says the recently deceased Magni convinced himself that Moira was brainwashed to avoid having to admit that his desire for a male heir drove her to the Dark Iron Dwarves. Anduin, unlike most of the characters on this page, respects Magni, but believes that "You can be an honorable man and still make mistakes."
- After one of your True Companions from SEES dies in Persona 3, the school holds a memorial service. During this, you overhear some of the students talking bad about the recently deceased, and can choose to confront them.
- In Saints Row 2, Shogo attacks Aisha's funeral as Johnny Gat wants a moment to bury her in peace so he can personally fight with him. Shogo disregards that and gets buried alive for his trouble.
- In Professor Layton and the Last Specter, Barde was so unpopular in Misthallery that people spoke ill about him after his death, greatly upsetting his children.
- In Ace Attorney Investigations, Manfred Von Karma calls Byrne Faraday incompetent as a prosecutor before and after finding out that he's been murdered. In the sequel, Manosuke Naito insults his dead fellow bodyguard Gai Tojiro in the first case, and everyone else is horrified. Naito also turns out to be Tojiro's murderer.
- From Justice for All, we have Dr. Turner Grey, who, a few years ago, lost a large number of patients at his hospital, and blamed nurse Mimi Miney over it. The same night, Mimi was killed in a car accident (or rather, her sister Ini was; Mimi underwent facial reconstruction surgery and took on a new life impersonating Ini). Turner doesn't think any higher of Mimi despite her death and seeks out spirit channeling so he can force Mimi's soul to confess to her misdeeds. Unfortunately for him, he's murdered shortly thereafter by Mimi herself.
- Resident Evil 6 features two examples in regards to the late Albert Wesker:
- When she first meets Jake in Edonia, Carla has absolutely zero qualms against referring to Wesker as a "colossal imbecile" and a "fool." While talking to Wesker's own son, no less.
- Later, after Chris and Jake's confrontation near the end of their respective campaigns, Piers insists that Chris didn't have to confess to Jake because Wesker deserved to die and Chris did what he had to do to keep the world safe. Chris is quick to point out that, even after everything Wesker had done, he was still Jake's father and Jake had every right to know what happened to him.
- Assassin's Creed: The Assassins make it a point to avert this, but there are exceptions. For example, after Ezio assassinates Vieri de' Pazzi, he proceeds to viciously insult Vieri's corpse, declaring that Vieri got what he deserved and he wished that he suffered more as he died. His uncle Mario steps in at that moment and urges Ezio to have more respect for the dead, warning him not to stoop to Vieri's level.
- Shin Megami Tensei IV brings us the Ring of Gaea, a cult that promotes human strength and condemns weakness. So when Ring of Gaea member Kaga loses her life trying to stop a demon, a fellow member that you can talk to later flat out admits that she doesn't care for Kaga because Kaga was too weak to survive.
- Murdered: Soul Suspect: Baxter has absolutely zero qualms against calling the recently deceased Ronan a "dumb son of a bitch" and "more criminal than cop," the former to the face of Ronan's corpse.
- In case you didn't already know he was a scumbag, Kvar from Tales of Symphonia insults Lloyd's dead parents to his face, calling them "worthless maggots" after explaining how he killed her mother. Lloyd is understandably incensed, as is (for once) Kratos. Kratos gives his comments a Call Back when he kills him during his Extreme Melee Revenge.
- In The Order of the Stick, aside from Nale's girlfriend Sabine, Elan is the only person who feels bad when Tarquin kills Nale after the latter finally pushes his luck too far. Haley and Tarquin, not so much. Haley says that Nale was a terrible human being who deserved to die. Tarquin is even harsher, coldly dismissing Nale, his own son, as nothing more than a B-villain that Elan has outgrown. Laurin Shattersmith, another old friend of Tarquin's and Malack's, merely says "good riddance" and Disintegates Nale's corpse to make him Deader Than Dead.
- When Levin died in We Are Our Avatars, Michelle, Nova and Longram openly criticized him. According to Nova, he wad "a pain in the ass to deal with, posed friendly fire risks, did not stop to think, was way to quick to extend the phallic symbol that was his weapon, and did not understand the concept of humility"
- Lilo & Stitch: In addition to bullying Lilo, Mertle also has a habit of making snide remarks about her late mother.
- In Gargoyles, seventeen years after Duncan's death, Macbeth still has no qualms about describing him as "an evil man who deserved his fate." To Duncan's son, Canmore.
- In Hey Arnold!, at Dino Spumoni's funeral (Dino was actually Faking the Dead), his close friend only talked about how Dino was a jerk.
- The Boondocks had an episode where Moe, an old friend of Robert's who he had fallen out with passed away, and left a video will saying that he wanted Robert to deliever his eulogy. With reluctance, Robert agrees. At the funeral he's given a script Moe had prepared before hand. Robert starts reading it out, only to find out that it talks about how awesome Moe was, making Robert say that he was sexy, paid his rent numerous times and so on. Robert gets fed up, and tells the funeral goers the honest truth: that Moe was an asshole who only asked for Robert so that he could make a fool of him again. The other attendees, who had previously expressed an incredibly rose-tinted view of Moe, suddenly had an about face and felt free to agree with Robert.