[[quoteright:341:[[Series/SesameStreet http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bookclubhooper01.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:341:[[TearJerker/SesameStreet You know? I am going to miss you, Mr. Hooper.]] [[labelnote:Dedication]]This book is dedicated to the memory of WILL LEE, who created the role of Mr. Hooper and played it on ''Series/SesameStreet'' until his death on December 7, 1982.[[/labelnote]] ]]
->'''Maria:''' Big Bird, don't you remember we told you? Mr. Hooper died. He's dead.
->'''Big Bird:''' Oh, yeah. I remember! Well, I'll give it to him when he comes back.
->'''Susan:''' Big Bird... Mr. Hooper's not ''coming'' back.
->'''Big Bird:''' Why not?
->'''Susan:''' Big Bird, when people die, they don't come back.
->'''Big Bird:''' ''(voice breaks down)'' Ever?
->'''Susan:''' No, never.
->'''Big Bird:''' Why not?
->'''Luis:''' Well, Big Bird, they're dead, they ''can't'' come back.
-->-- ''Series/SesameStreet''

A sad form of RealLifeWritesThePlot and the LogicalExtreme of WrittenInInfirmity: a character is written out of the show or even (and usually) KilledOffForReal because the actor has left [[McLeaned not the show]], but the mortal coil itself.

In other words, the GrimReaper himself arranges an [[LongBusTrip (obviously long)]] [[PutOnABus bus trip]]. In these circumstances, don't expect the character to be PutOnABusToHell, [[DueToTheDead but rather an episode directly (and often respectfully) dealing with the death and deceased]].

This often causes major changes in the cast dynamic. If the character was a big enough part of the show, it could be derailed or even ended altogether. It's ''usually'' seen in Anime, WesternAnimation, and LiveActionTV, but this can happen in film as well if the movie is a series (see ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' below).

The inverse is CharacterOutlivesActor, when a character is [[PutOnABus taken out of a show]] and is still alive, but the actor has died and sometimes in the case of animation, replaced with a [[TheOtherDarrin soundalike]].

This is a trope, as the event affects the narrative. Contrast AuthorExistenceFailure which stops the narrative cold. However, outside of the narrative, it may prompt an episode or credits nod InMemoriam.

If a voice actor dies (or otherwise stops being available) but the character simply stops having voiced appearances, it's ActorExistenceLimbo.

'''Because this is a DeathTrope, unmarked spoilers may be ahead.'''


* A coincidental inversion with the airing of ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamUnicorn'' Episode 7: it was already known from its Light Novel Adaptation that Syam Vist [[spoiler:would eventually be PeacefulInDeath at the end, to activate the ''Magallanica'']]. Then came the passing of Creator/IchiroNagai (Syam's seiyuu) months before the airing of the said episode.
* Shinji Ogawa, the voice actor for Emperor Reyregalia Vers Rayvers in ''Anime/AldnoahZero'', passed away on March 7, 2015, three episodes before the series was scheduled to end. The Emperor also died on Episode 23, two weeks after Ogawa did.

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Doc Hudson is the only character from the film ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars}}'' that did not appear in the film's sequel out of respect for the late Creator/PaulNewman. According to the writers, Doc is the first character in the series to be killed off permanently, as implied by the fact that his former medical clinic has been converted into a memorial museum dedicated to this character, as with the trophy Lightning [=McQueen=] wins at the very beginning of the film. In the third film he appeared in flashbacks using unused dialogue from the first film.
** Fillmore, however, was [[TheOtherDarrin given a new voice actor]] for this film due to the death of Creator/GeorgeCarlin, and Red actually [[TheVoiceless lost his voice altogether]] due to the death of [[Creator/PixarRegulars Joe Ranft]]. But then again, [[TheQuietOne Red never talked all that much]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Franchise/IndianaJones'': Marcus Brody, played by Denholm Elliott, did not appear in ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'' due to Elliott's death. A statue honoring Brody, on the Marshall College's grounds, is shown, and the character's death was written into the movie with the death of the actor. Indy also has a picture of him on his desk, showing Brody during ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'' (in a moment when he was lost so how the picture was taken is a bit of a mystery).
* Sam Loomis dies offscreen at the end of ''Film/HalloweenTheCurseOfMichaelMyers'' movie due to Creator/DonaldPleasence's death.
* Colonel Sam Trautman from the ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'' series died off screen in [[Film/RamboIV the fourth movie]] because Creator/SylvesterStallone felt it wouldn't feel right replacing the late Richard Crenna. As he himself put it: "Trautman died the day my friend Richard died."
* Cab Calloway and John Belushi both died (in 1994 and 1982, respectively), and their characters of Curtis and Jake Blues are said to have died offscreen in ''Film/BluesBrothers2000''.
* ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'': Creator/OliverReed's character, Proximo, was meant to survive the entire movie, but due to the actor's death during filming, the character was killed off. Even so, it cost the studio $3 million to recreate his face for the remaining scenes he "appeared" in.
* Marty Feldman's character in ''Film/{{Yellowbeard}}'' was killed off when Feldman died in his hotel room ''[[FatalMethodActing during filming]]''. Near the end of the film, it is arranged that he falls into acid and die. But most shots had already been completed and he plays a baddie, so it isn't really strange or sudden that the character dies. John Cleese dies suddenly at the beginning of the film, but he is still alive. He simply did not like the film.
* Played with in ''Franchise/TheMatrix''. The Oracle's original actress, Gloria Foster, succumbed to diabetes between the [[Film/TheMatrixReloaded second]] and [[Film/TheMatrixRevolutions third films]]. Mary Alice took over the role for the third movie but, rather than go with an [[TheOtherDarrin Other Darrin]] situation, [[TheNthDoctor the "death" was actually made a plot point]] (two other programs had sold the Oracle's termination codes to the Merovingian in return for the safety of their daughter). Thus, as [[HandWave explained]] by the Oracle in the final movie, she is not truly the same being she used to be, although parts of her remain.
* ''Film/MyGirl'': Ann Nelson, who played Gramoo Sultenfuss, died in 1992 nearly a year after it was released in theaters. If the sequel was in planning before her death, it's unknown whether or not the filmmakers intended to have her return to be part of it. Regardless, it's confirmed in the sequel that Gramoo passed away sometime in between.
* ''Film/JurassicWorld'' contains an unintentional example. The Hammond Genetics Lab is a memorial to the character of John Hammond, and it's mentioned at multiple points the park is a testament to his work and everything that he did, now that his dream has come to fruition. The new owner of the park, Simon Masrani, even says that he's carrying out Hammond's dying wish. There is also a statue of him in the visitor's center. All this seems to serve as a tribute to Creator/RichardAttenborough, who died at age 90 just before the film was released. However, Attenborough actually died during the film's post-production; [[http://screenrant.com/jurassic-world-richard-attenborough-statue/ the screenwriting and filming as well as the statue had already been completed by the time of his death]].
* ''Film/StarTrekBeyond'': Creator/LeonardNimoy made his final appearance as Spock Prime in ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'' before his death in 2015. Early in ''Beyond'', the younger Spock learns of Spock Prime's death, and it motivates much of his character arc.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/SesameStreet'': When actor Will Lee, who played Mr. Hooper, passed away in 1982, the producers were faced with the usual options for dealing with loss on a kids' show: [[TheOtherDarrin cast a new actor]], or [[PutOnABus have the character simply leave the show]] (either with an explanation, such as he retired, or [[ChuckCunninghamSyndrome without]]). [[TakeAThirdOption Instead]], ''Sesame Street'' ran an episode where Big Bird understands that [[KilledOffForReal Mr. Hooper had died]], it was OK to miss him, and that even though life would never be quite the same when someone beloved dies, it will get better. In tribute to him, the portrait Big Bird was going to give him still hangs in his nest to this day, more than 30 years later.
** One documentary said that the "Mr. Hooper's not coming back" scene was the only scene in ''Sesame Street'' history done in a single take because the cast was too emotionally wrecked to do more takes. That the single take captured genuine emotion and showed that grown-ups, too, can feel sad and cry when people they love die, played a huge role in keeping the scene at one take... and also played a major role in the scene's critical acclaim.
** This episode is also notable for not using a ReallyDeadMontage. The producers thought that it would be too confusing to talk about Mr. Hooper being gone forever while still showing him on screen. (However, several years after Hooper's passing, a "Really Dead Montage" would be played, usually when a newcomer asks about the store or Hooper himself; it was probably determined that enough time had passed and that the audience generally understood that Hooper was no longer with his neighbors and friends.)
* ''{{Series/Bonanza}}'': When Dan Blocker unexpectedly died prior to the start of the 1972-1973 season, his character of Hoss Cartwright is never seen again. It is never stated outright, but it is strongly implied that Hoss, too, died... particularly with Ben's comments in the episode "The Initiation," where he says, "I've already buried one son!"
** A "Next Generation" TV movie explains it as the son Hoss never knew he had comes to the Ponderosa and learns that Hoss had drowned saving a young woman and her daughter from a river during a raging storm.
* ''Series/ChicoAndTheMan'': Chico, although this was not stated until late in Season 4, more than a year after Freddie Prinze's death. Unlike the circumstances surrounding Prinze's death (suicide), Ed explains simply to Raul, [[SuspiciouslySimilarReplacement a character who had been brought in to replace Chico]] that Chico had died, leaving the cause unknown. Late Season 3 and earlier Season 4 episodes stated that Chico was "away."
* ''Series/TheDukesOfHazzard'':
** In the 1997 reunion movie (one which fans consider canon to the original series), Boss Hogg had died several years earlier; this was brought out in a tender, tearjerking scene where Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane by this time Boss's successor as county commissioner reflects on Boss's passing. This reflects the real-life death of Sorrell Booke in 1994, more than two years before the reunion movie was filmed.
** In a second reunion movie aired in 2000, Jesse Duke is also acknowledged as deceased; his actor, Denver Pyle, passed on in 1997, just months after the first reunion movie debuted. It was Pyle's last work, which he did despite being terminally ill with cancer.
* Creator/JohnRitter:
** ''Series/EightSimpleRules''' Paul Hennessy, played by John Ritter. Ritter suffered an apparent heart attack while on the set of the show rehearsing, and was rushed across the street to the hospital. Turned out he suffered an aortic dissection, and he died. The character was KilledOffForReal; no specific reason given, he "collapsed while buying milk."
** Ritter's character on ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', Sam Dorian, was main character J.D.'s father. The reason given for his death was a massive heart attack.
* ''Series/TheDistrict'': Ella Farmer, played by Lynne Thigpen, suddenly died of the cancer the character had been in remission from, when the actress passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage.
* ''Series/{{Monk}}'': Stanley Kamel, who played Dr. Charles Kroger, died of a heart attack on April 8, 2008 during the production hiatus between the show's sixth and seventh seasons. It was thus explained in "Mr. Monk Buys a House," the season 7 premiere and first episode aired after Kamel's death, that Dr. Kroger had died of this as well, rather than try to recast the role. The episode also introduced Hector Elizondo as Dr. Neven Bell to replace the void filled by Kamel's death. The final scene of the episode ends by settling on a photograph of Kamel as Dr. Kroger on Monk's fireplace mantle, and a card saying "In Loving Memory of Stanley Kamel" comes before the end credits.
** Oddly enough, in book form at least, Dr. Kroger actually outlived Stanley Kamel by eight months, as two ''Monk'' books by Lee Goldberg, ''Mr. Monk Goes to Germany'' and ''Mr. Monk is Miserable'' were published respectively in June and December 2008. ''Mr. Monk and the Dirty Cop'', published in July 2009, was the first novel to feature Dr. Bell instead of Dr. Kroger, establishing its events as taking place during or just after season 7.
* ''Series/TheWestWing'': Creator/JohnSpencer who played Leo [=McGarry=], died shortly into filming for the seventh season. His seven final episodes were shown, and Leo, who was Matt Santos' presidential running mate, was said to be on a campaign tour for the remainder of the season. At the beginning of the episode "Running Mates", airing January 8, 2006, Martin Sheen introduced the show with a tribute to Spencer and to Leo. The episode "Election Day Pt. 1" had Leo's death written into the script, with his assistant Annabeth discovering him in his hotel room. In "Election Day Pt. 2", Santos wins. The following episode, "Requiem", showed Leo's funeral in the National Cathedral.
* ''Series/TheWaltons'': the characters mourned the death of Grandpa Zeb during the first episode of the 1978-79 season, after actor Will Geer died shortly after filming had completed for the previous season.
* ''Series/SuddenlySusan'': Todd Styles, played by David Strickland; the final episode of season 3 was turned into a tribute to the character (and actor).
* ''Series/{{Cheers}}'': Ernie "Coach" Pantusso, played by Nicholas Colasanto, who suddenly perished from a heart attack. He was [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute replaced]] by Woody.
* Livia Soprano on ''Series/TheSopranos'', who was KilledOffForReal after actress Nancy Marchand's death.
* ''Series/NewsRadio'': After Phil Hartman's death shortly after production wrapped on season 4, his character Bill [=McNeil=] suffered a fatal heart attack in the first episode of season 5. Said episode dealt with his funeral and the characters coming to terms with his death - a weighty episode for a sitcom, which was even more of a TearJerker by the fact that the other actors were quite obviously not faking their tears.
* 1970's British kids' puppet show ''Inigo Pipkin'' changed its name to ''Pipkins'' when the actor playing the title character died, and the character was killed off with him. News of his death was broken to the puppets by his assistant Johnny, ([[Series/TheBugaloos Wayne Laryea]]), in an episode broadcast in 1974.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** Donna Noble's father on ''Series/DoctorWho''. He appeared in "The Runaway Bride", but due to Howard Attfield's terminal illness and death during the filming of "Partners in Crime" , his parts were replaced by Wilfred Mott, who was retconned into Donna's grandfather, and Geoff Noble is stated to have died. As a dedication to the actor, the 10th Doctor in his final episode gives Donna's mother, as a wedding gift to Donna, a lottery ticket bought with a quid the Doctor obtained by going back in time offscreen to borrow from "a really lovely man. Geoffrey Noble, his name was."
** Brigadier Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart, as stated in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS32E13TheWeddingOfRiverSong The Wedding of River Song]]". In fact, by way of tribute to the only actor to in some form act alongside all seven original series Doctors, the fact that The Character Died With Him is a crucial plot point in the episode -- it is the Brigadier's death that gets the Doctor to stop running and face his fate in Utah. The character has since been mentioned a few times, the Brigadier's legacy upheld by his daughter, Kate Lethbridge-Stewart, a leader in UNIT just like her father. The Brig is unusual about this, in that he technically outlived his actors by years, but were still established as dead years down the line; the Brigadier apparently lived to the ripe old age of ''150'', decades longer than Nicholas Courtney. This is justified thanks to the TimeTravel aspect of having the Doctor learn directly of their deaths later on and reeling from them. [[spoiler:The character, however, briefly came back as a Cyberman in the last minutes of "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E12DeathInHeaven Death in Heaven]]".]]
** Dr. Harry Sullivan, brief companion with the fourth Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith, when Sarah Jane mentions some of the Doctor's old companions' present exploits in ''[[Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures Death of the Doctor]]''. It isn't spelled out, but he is mentioned in the past tense while the rest of them are mentioned in the present.
*** Averted with Barbara Wright. In that same episode, Sarah Jane mentions that Barbara and Ian are married, still teaching, and haven't aged since TheSixties. This episode aired in 2010. Barbara's actress, Jacqueline Hill, died in 1993.
** Oddly enough, ''inverted'' by The Master. Before Roger Delgado's untimely death in a car accident, there were plans to have his character KilledOffForReal in a final showdown with the Doctor. He later reappeared as a withered husk (later acknowledged as the same incarnation) played by Peter Pratt and then Geoffrey Beevers, before taking over the body of [[SignificantAnagram Tremas]] of Traken, played by Anthony Ainley, who would portray him for the remainder of the original series' run. Ainley himself died less than a year before the series returned to TV, and in 2007 the character returned, initially played by Derek Jacobi, then John Simm, and most recently Michelle Gomez.
** Often erroneously applied to Sarah Jane Smith. Although ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' was cancelled due to the death of actress Elisabeth Sladen, to date there has been no on-screen indication that the character has also died, thus CharacterOutlivesActor more correctly applies. Creator/RussellTDavies specifically rejected the idea of depicting the character's death in canon when an interviewer brought it up, and despite his history as a LyingCreator, the franchise has kept to it.
** Not quite an ''actor'', but the Fifth Doctor's could-have-been companion Kamelion, a shapeshifting robot, had to be written out of the series when the mechanical prop's software designer, Mike Power, died in a boating accident. As he'd only just finished programming the expensive apparatus and hadn't had the chance to write down the instructions, the prop malfunctioned constantly and became such a liability that the character spent the rest of his tenure in a back room of the TARDIS, then was given a MercyKill in Five's last story.
* ''Series/BarneyMiller'': When Jack Soo (who portrayed Nick Yemana) passed away, a ClipShow episode was made as a tribute to him (with the cast breaking character for this occasion). Some time later, it was mentioned that Nick had passed on and his desk had been removed. A subsequent episode focused on the desk and Barney's (successful) attempt to get it back.
* ''Series/LastOfTheSummerWine'':
** When Bill Owen died, the character of Compo also passed away, allowing for a funeral arc (and more than a little grieving for the country as a whole).
** Happened with most of the other characters as well. It would never be stated that they had died, but everyone else would start referring to them in the past tense.
* ''Series/GimmeABreak'': After Dolph Sweet (Chief Kanisky) died of cancer, the season five opener had the family dealing with the Chief's sudden death.
* Geoffrey Hutchings died between Series 1 and 2 of ''Series/GrandmasHouse'', and as a result, Grandpa Bernie (his character) was stated to have died in the Series 2 premier. What makes it extra sad is that Bernie had just been proven to be fine in the Series 1 finale after a series-long subplot about him possibly having cancer.
* Redd Foxx died after only seven episodes of ''The Royal Family'', resulting in Al Royal's death and the introduction of their eldest daughter Coco (Jackée Harry) to help cope with the loss.
* ''Series/OnlyFoolsAndHorses'':
** When Lennard Pearce died, they decided to kill off his character, Granddad (offscreen, of course). Thus the first episode made after Pearce's death begins with Granddad's funeral.
** The same happened with Uncle Albert after the death of Buster Merryfield. Although Albert died ''during'' the episode, with the first scene explaining that he hadn't joined them in the Caribbean because it had turned out the great sailor didn't have a passport.
* While ''Series/LawAndOrder'' prime was not affected by Creator/JerryOrbach's death, ''Series/LawAndOrderTrialByJury'', the show to which Lennie Briscoe was {{transplant}}ed, was hit early by Briscoe's death (the main show did have a tribute episode).
* ''Series/TheWire'': Cops who die on the job before their retirement date are honored with Irish wakes at Kavanaugh's Pub. The first two times we get these wakes, they were in-show tributes to cop characters whose actors had died.
** Detective Ray Cole was played by beloved producer Robert F. Colesberry, who passed away from heart complications between seasons 2 and 3. In the show, Cole is said to have died of a heart attack while exercising on a Stairmaster.
** The same thing was done in season 4 after Richard [=DeAngelis=], who played Col. Raymond Foerster, who passed away from cancer.
** Actor Dick Stilwell died in a car accident so Commissioner Warren Frazier "retired", and Ervin Burrell is promoted to Commissioner in season 2.
* ''Series/HillStreetBlues'': When Michael Conrad died, his character of Sgt. Esterhaus was written as having [[OutWithABang died of a heart attack during sex]]. Despite the circumstances, the moment when Captain Furillo walks into morning roll-call to break the news to the day shift is a major TearJerker.
* ''Series/MadMen'' : Pete Campbell's dad was killed off in the crash of American Airlines Flight 1 early in the second season. In reality, Christopher Allport had died in an avalanche.
* Creator/DonSDavis, General Hammond on ''Series/StargateSG1'' for 7 seasons, died a few years after he officially retired from the show. In the series finale of ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', which is dedicated to Davis's memory, Carter mentions that Hammond had [[BusCrash died of a heart attack off-screen]], directly referencing Davis' actual cause of death. She also mentions that Earth's newest interstellar warship, then under construction, would be renamed in his honor. The completed ship later appears in the premiere episode of ''Series/StargateUniverse''.
* Colleen Dewhurst:
** Due to Colleen Dewhurst's death, Marilla Cuthbert dies near the end of the ''Series/RoadToAvonlea'' series.
** Dewhurst's character on ''Series/MurphyBrown'', Avery Brown, mother of Murphy, dies early in the season where Murphy becomes pregnant. Murphy's son is named Avery in her memory.
* A rare double case occurred on the series ''[[Series/FifteenLove 15/Love]]'', where two main characters were killed off in one heartbreaking episode because of the (very) young actors' deaths in the same car accident.
* 80's sitcom ''Series/NightCourt'' had it twice:
** Original cast member Selma Diamond, who played [[TheDanza bailiff Selma]], died after the first two seasons, so her character was also written off as deceased.
** The succeeding bailiff was Florence, played by Florence Halop; but Halop passed away after one season and thus her character shared the same fate. It wasn't all that surprising, considering the ages of both actresses. In fact, there were whispers and jokes that both actresses had fallen prey to some sort of "Night Court curse," and this is said to be one of the reasons that series creator and executive producer Reinhold Weege decided not to bring in a third elderly actress and instead replaced Halop with Marsha Warfield, who was only 32 when she began playing Roz Russell. In fact, the producers knew Florence Halop would not be around for Season 4; the ep "Flo's Retirement" was their way of preparing viewers for this.
* In a {{soap opera}}, this is one of the only occasions when you know a character is ''not'' coming back from the dead (regardless of whether [[NeverFoundTheBody they ever found the body]]), although this is usually reserved for elderly actors who have played the role for so long that it would be impossible, if not outright disrespectful, to re-cast the part.
** A very touching example occurred on ''Series/OneLifeToLive''. NYPD officer John W. Perry had frequently appeared on the show as an extra before he was killed in the September 11th attacks. A year later, Commissioner Bo Buchanan was seen looking at John's picture and sadly musing, "I can't believe it's been a year" (in a scene that evidently did not require much acting on the part of Bo's actor, Robert Woods). The in-universe story was that Perry had been ''visiting'' New York on that day (the show is set in Pennsylvania), but had died as he had in RealLife--[[HeroicSacrifice rushing down to the Trade Center to help, and killed when the South Tower collapsed]]. It was very well-handled, especially for an entertainment genre that had struggled over how or if to acknowledge the tragedy onscreen.
** Also on ''One Life to Live'' was Michael Zaslow, who played David Renaldi; the actor was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's disease and confined to a wheelchair. The character, who was absent from the show for several years, was given the same diagnosis when he returned. When Zaslow passed away in 1998, David was written to have likewise died.
** On ''Series/GeneralHospital'', Anna Lee died in 2004, and her character, Lila Quartermaine, was killed off. John Ingle, who played her husband, died of cancer in September 2012, and so his character Edward Quartermaine died of a heart condition. (His last word before passing: [[TearJerker the name of his beloved wife, Lila.]])
*** Before that, Emily [=McLaughlin=], who had played Nurse Jessie Brewer from the beginning of the show in 1963, passed away in 1991. Although Jessie had only been seen sporadically in later years, John Beradino (who had played Dr. Steve Hardy from the beginning of the series) broke character at the end of an episode to announce [=McLaughlin's=] passing. Jessie was officially acknowledged in-story as having passed on during the 30th anniversary episode two years later. Beradino would pass away from pancreatic cancer in 1996, and Dr. Hardy was written as having died of a heart attack. The two characters did make a return appearance in 2015, but only as a flashback to their younger days, and with current cast members (Rebecca Herbst/Nurse Elizabeth Webber and Jason Thompson/Dr. Patrick Drake) playing the roles.
** On ''Series/AllMyChildren'', Erica Kane's mother Mona developed lung cancer at the same time as her actress, Frances Helfin. When Helfin passed away, a scene was written into the show in which Erica goes into her mother's room, and comes out devastated at having found that she died in her sleep.
** ''Series/CoronationStreet'' actress Betty Driver died aged 91, so her character [[TheDanza Betty Williams]] was killed off as well. This has happened several times in ''Coronation Street'': Jack Walker, Jerry Booth, Albert Tatlock, Stan Ogden, Bert Tilsley, Blanche Hunt. Elsie Tanner and Christine Hardman were both mentioned as having died several years after they left the show and Annie Walker is talked about in the past tense.
** This was done on ''Series/DaysOfOurLives'' when the last remaining original cast member, Frances Reid (who played matriarch Alice Horton), passed away. Macdonald Carey was given the same treatment when he died in 1994.
* When long-running soap ''Series/AsTheWorldTurns'' was canceled in 2010, writers had planned to have the show's matriarch, Nancy Hughes -- who had spoken the show's first line when it debuted in 1956 -- also speak the final lines. However when 91-year old actress Helen Wagner, who'd played Nancy from the beginning, died a few weeks before the final episode was scheduled to be filmed, the plan was scrapped, and Nancy was said to have died, with other characters memorializing her onscreen.
* ''Love and War'': John Hancock, who played bartender Ike Johnson, died halfway through the first season. The other characters are shown attending Ike's funeral. Ike was replaced by his brother Abe, played by Charlie Robinson, who inherited Ike's share of the bar.
* Joan, the first wife/biological mom of the kids in ''Series/EightIsEnough''. Actress Diana Hyland appeared only in four episodes before being diagnosed with breast cancer. Joan was written out of the rest of the season and Hyland died twelve days after the first episode aired. When season two aired, it was revealed that Joan had died.
* ''Series/HighlanderTheSeries'': Werner Stocker, the German actor who played the monk Darius, died of cancer. This resulted in Darius being murdered. The episode dealing with Darius' murder was filmed after his death, but used some of the footage of the character that the studio had available spliced in. This also radically changed the direction of the entire show as both the "Watchers" and "Hunters", groups which came to be almost as central to the mythos as the Immortals themselves, were created as writers scrambled to re-write the first season finale without him.
* Unlike ''Series/AllInTheFamily'', on the original British show ''Till Death Us Do Part'' the demise of the protagonist's wife Elsie - when it transformed into ''In Sickness And In Health'' - was due to the genuine demise of actress Dandy Nicholls.
* When Norman Beaton died, the show ''Series/{{Desmonds}}'' was replaced by a SpinOff about secondary character Porkpie. The first episode begins with him consoling Desmond's widow.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'':
** In a strange view of this trope, the character Doyle was supposed to come BackFromTheDead but this became impossible when the actor playing him died of a drug overdose.
** Following Andy Hallett's death, his character, Lorne, was retired in a self-titled, one-shot comic. While it would've been easy to keep the character alive since the series had long since transitioned from television to comic books, this was seen as the proper way to give tribute to the actor.
* Aunt Ginny in ''Series/TheMiddle'' died along with Frances Bay, the actress. "The Map", an episode that began with the Hecks coming home from Ginny's funeral, ended with an InMemoriam to her.
* The early seasons of ''{{Series/Smallville}}'' had a character named Dr. Virgil Swann, [[RemakeCameo played by]] Creator/ChristopherReeve. After Reeve's death in 2004, Swann was mentioned as dying sometime in between the events of the show's third and fourth seasons.
* ''Series/{{Dallas}}'':
** Jim Davis passed away suddenly during production of the fourth season. The production crew had his character, Jock Ewing, go offscreen for a year while they figured out how to write out his character, then finally perish in an offscreen plane crash.
** Barbara Bel Geddes' character, Miss Ellie, does not appear in the rebooted series, as the actress had passed away in 2005. She is stated to have died of a heart attack sometime between the end of the original series and the pilot of the rebooted series.
** After the death of Larry Hagman in 2012, his character J.R. Ewing was shot offscreen during the second season of the revival series. Since Hagman had been playing J.R. since 1978, and he was the show's BreakoutCharacter, the producers pulled out all the stops for a tribute: The next episode revolved around his funeral, complete with Texas celebrities like Mark Cuban in attendance, and a reprisal of the famous "Who Shot J.R.?" storyline.
* The first episode of the [[MultinationalShows UK version]] of ''Series/FraggleRock'' after the death of Fulton Mackay opened with the Captain's nephew PK taking responsibility for both the lighthouse and Sprocket after his uncle's death.
* When ''Series/{{Glee}}'' actor Cory Monteith died from an overdose, it was decided that his character would also pass away. Creator Ryan Murphy worked together with Lea Michele, Monteith's real life girlfriend, on a [[InMemoriam memorial episode]]. The episode "The Quarterback" focused on how Finn's family and friends and everyone he knew coped with the loss. The show preferred not to say how Finn died because, in Kurt's words, his life was more important than the moment of his death.
* Old Nan in ''Series/GameOfThrones'' was obliquely treated as having died after Margaret John's death, though it was never actually spelled out in the show.
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'', Ralph Waite, who played Gibbs's father, died in February of 2014. In the season finale, Gibbs is told that his father died of a stroke and then had Gibbs coming to terms with it as a side plot. The episode is dedicated to the memory of Ralph Waite.
* On ''Series/NCISLosAngeles'', the death of actor Creator/MiguelFerrer also meant the death of his character, Assistant Director Owen Granger.
* Lee Thompson Young's suicide happened near the end of season 4 of ''Series/RizzoliAndIsles,'' with no time to do more than write his character, Detective Barry Frost, out of the last episode of the season. It was later revealed that Barry died in a car accident.
* The character of Mrs. Wolowitz on ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' took a trip to Florida and died there in her sleep after the actress who provided her voice, Carol Ann Susi, died from cancer. There are quite a few episodes dealing with the in-universe aftermath, including the characters holding a toast to her and her son Howard trying to get her ashes after they were misplaced.
* The short-lived CBS action series ''Cover-Up'' had a case of this involving a death which occurred during the actual filming of the series. Jon-Erik Hexum, who played the original sidekick/love-interest to the main character, [[FatalMethodActing accidentally killed]] himself during a recording break by shooting himself in the head with a blank pistol cartridge, apparently in the belief that it would just cause a harmless bang and not realizing the serious dangers of such an act (the pressure blast from the cartridge exploding fractured his skull and forced pieces of it into his brain). The series replaced his character with a SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute and explained it by having the character die off-screen during a solo mission.
* When actor Victor Buono, who played Mr. Cauldwell, Jim Ignatowski's wealthy but estranged father in ''Series/{{Taxi}}'', passed away, they killed off his character as well. Several episodes afterwards mention or revolve around Jim receiving a large sum of money from his inheritance.
* ''[[Series/BoyMeetsWorld Boy]][=/=]Series/GirlMeetsWorld'': Julius Carry, the actor who played Angela's father during the final season of ''BMW'' in 1999-2000, died in 2008. In 2015, When Angela returns in ''Girl'', she reveals that her father has also died, roughly around 2011.
* In the reunion episode of ''Series/TheDickVanDykeShow'', we learn that the characters Mel Cooley, Buddy Sorrell, and Jerry Helper had died over the years; their respective actors Richard Deacon, Morey Amsterdam, and Jerry Paris had passed away also.
* ''Series/GilmoreGirls'': A year after Edward Hermann's death from cancer in 2014, it was announced that the Gilmores would return for a 4-episode miniseries subtitled "A Year In the Life". Amy Sherman-Palladino confirmed that in the time between the show's final season and the revival, Richard (Hermann's character) also passed away and one of the major storylines in the revival would be how the Gilmore women cope with the grief and bereavement.
* For the 1983 ''Series/LeaveItToBeaver'' MadeForTVMovie ''Still the Beaver'', June says her famous "Ward, I'm a worried about the Beaver" catchphrase to Ward's gravestone, as Hugh Beaumont had died the previous year.
* ''Series/{{Porridge}}'': Ronnie Barker, who played the protagonist Fletcher, passed away in 2005. In a one-off revival special in 2016, his grandson Nigel states that Fletcher passed away in 2011 after enjoying a long and happy retirement on the straight.
* As ''Series/TwinPeaks'' had a [[SequelGap quarter century]] between the original series and ''[[{{Revival}} The Return]]'', numerous actors had died in the meantime. While some [[CharacterOutlivesActor outlived their actors]], other did not:
** Pete Martell and Alexander Packard's fate was one of numerous LeftHanging, as their last scene has them at least potentially killed by an explosion. ''The Secret History of Twin Peaks'', released after the death of both actors, confirmed their deaths.
** Garland Briggs, whose actor died in 2008, turns out to have died shortly after the time frame of the original series. [[PresentAbsence The circumstances turn out to be plot critical.]]
* In the 2018 revival of ''Series/{{Roseanne}}'', the episode "Eggs Over, Not Easy" revealed that Becky hasn't gotten over Mark's death. Mark's actor, Glenn Quinn, died in 2002, years after the series' original finale.
* In ''Series/CobraKai'', with the death of Creator/PatMorita in 2005, Daniel mentions Mr. Miyagi's death.

* Music/TheB52s dropped "Song For A Future Generation" from their live shows after guitarist Ricky Wilson died, the reason being that he has a spoken part in the song. They have noted this fact in interviews, feeling that if he wasn't there to perform on the song, it wasn't right to perform it, and that it was better for the song to remain special to his era. It remains one of the few hit singles that is not a mainstay of the band's setlists.
* The heavy metal band {{Music/GWAR}} retired guitarist Flattus Maximus after his most recent portrayer, Cory Smoot, died of a heart attack in 2011.
** After frontman Dave Brockie died of a heroin overdose, the costume of his character Oderus Urungus was given a viking funeral pyre on Hadad's Lake just before GWAR-BQ in 2014.

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* A rare non-actor version of this once occurred in the classic adventure strip ''ComicStrip/TerryAndThePirates''. The [[DeadpanSnarker wisecracking]] AcePilot Dude Hennick was based on a RealLife friend of ''Terry's'' creator, Milton Caniff, named Frank Higgs. Higgs, like Dude, flew on relief efforts for war-torn China in the years leading up America's entry into UsefulNotes/WorldWarII. Dude had not been seen in the strip in years when, on a Christmas Day, 1945 strip, Caniff spoke directly to the reader, revealing Dude had been based on Higgs... and that Higgs died in a plane crash. "I know today you're [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarII probably thinking of your own 'good Joe' who didn't get to see this Christmas]], but if you liked Dude, I hope you'll spare a thought for Higgs. Dude died when he did."
* Invoked but ultimately averted with ComicStrip/{{Doonesbury}}'s Uncle Duke after the death of Creator/HunterSThompson. When [[http://doonesbury.slate.com/strip/archive/2005/3/8 Duke reads the news]] of Thompson's passing, his head immediately explodes, only to reappear so that he can make sure he didn't misread the story. After Duke confirms the story, his head promptly explodes again. For the remainder of that week, Duke descends into a bizarre, probably drug-fueled series of Ralph Steadman-inspired hallucinations. Considering [[Literature/FearAndLoathingInLasVegas to whom the tribute was being paid]], this actually seems appropriate. Ironically, this probably would have pissed Thompson off; he ''[[OtherMeAnnoysMe hated]]'' Uncle Duke.

* This has happened numerous times on ''Radio/TheArchers'', as it is such a LongRunner that actors are often in it for long enough to become elderly. Usually the death is offstage, but relatively soon after the actor's own death; a notable exception was Nelson Gabriel's death, which occurred after the character had been a tax exile for some time, still talked about by the other characters but not appearing.
* After Barton Yarborough died of a heart attack, his characters on ''Franchise/{{Dragnet}}'' and ''One Man's Family'' were written out of their respective stories (''Dragnet'''s Romero even dying of an offscreen heart attack).
* AudioPlay/BigFinishDoctorWho encountered this when Kate O'Mara, who played the Rani on TV, fell ill and died during development of what would have been her first ExpandedUniverse appearance in the role. However, the Rani being a Time Lord, they could both acknowledge this trope and still make the story, with Siobhan Redmond cast as the Rani's [[TheNthDoctor new incarnation]].
* {{Defied|Trope}} with ''Radio/CarTalk''. Tom Magliozzi died in late 2014 due to complications of Alzheimer's disease, but the show had already gone to an archive format two years earlier due to his failing memory. His brother and co-host Ray and the show's producers continued the running of the show with a mix of previously aired and unaired material, including clips featuring Tom in every segment. This version is scheduled to end in September 2017.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Creator/KanetoShiozawa's death caused his ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' character Zato-1 to die as well (during a battle with Milla). However they got around actually removing him from the cast by saying Eddie, the parasite granting him his shadow powers and voiced by Creator/TakehitoKoyasu, is now animating his dead body and continues to fight using the same combat style. Strangely enough, he is resurrected as part of the plot in ''Xrd'', although it's ultimately justified in that the new Zato [[TookALevelInKindness isn't the villain]] [[HeelFaceTurn he used to be]].
** Likewise, Shiozawa's death affected another series he starred in, ''VideoGame/RivalSchools'', where his character Hyo Imawano ends up being KilledOffForReal at the climax of the 2nd game.
* Narrowly averted by Zaeed Massani from the ''Franchise/MassEffect'' series: his voice actor, Creator/RobinSachs, died shortly after recording his part in the final content piece for the original trilogy, ''Citadel''. As the next game in the series features no returning characters from said trilogy, writing Zaeed out was no longer necessary, so ''Citadel'' was simply [[InMemoriam dedicated to Sachs' memory]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ''WesternAnimation/AsToldByGinger'' episode "No Hope for Courtney" was rewritten mid-production after the death of Kathleen Freeman so that her character Ms. Gordon would be dead as well.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': Peter's mother Thelma died following the death of Phyllis Diller.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS25E13TheManWhoGrewTooMuch The Man Who Grew Too Much]]", Edna Krabappel was stated to have died following the death of Marcia Wallace. After Ned Flanders' dream about him and Edna doing the tango, he looks at the picture of Edna and remarks sadly, "I sure do miss that laugh." Nelson the school bully replies "Ha-ha! [[MoodWhiplash I miss her, too]]." The chalkboard gag at the beginning has a sad Bart somberly staring at the board which says "We'll really miss you Mrs. K." a single time.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Squidbillies}}'' episode "Greener Pastor," Reverend is killed due to the death of his voice actor, Scott Hilley. The TV Guide description for the episode was simply "Scott Hilley dies." The episode also had a memorial slide for him, and Hilley reading the "Made in Georgia" vanity plate, as a final salute.