->''"He's got a strange way o' holdin his neck, stiff-like an' twisted, like he bin hanged, on'y the hangin didn't take."''
-->--'''Mule Jesse''', in the ''Series/KungFu'' episode "The Nature of Evil"

[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin A character who has survived a hanging]]. They will frequently sport a scarred or deformed neck as a result. This may just indicate that he is a [[{{Determinator}} real hard case]] and [[RasputinianDeath too tough to kill easily]], or it may be used to show what a [[MysteriousPast bad life he has led]] and to explain his hatred of the world. A BungledSuicide may also be involved.

If he survived [[RuleOfThree three attempts]], a sporting (or superstitious) executioner may have let him go. Probably because it's best to keep on the good side of a {{Badass}} like that.

ShootTheRope may be used to explain their survival.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]
* Devil Rebirth from ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar''. He had his sentence commuted to life imprisonment because Villainy Prison didn't have anything, including rope, capable of killing him. He later meets [[YouAreAlreadyDead Death By Kenshiro]], but survives just long enough to take Jackal, the scumbag who lied to him to get him to fight Kenshiro, with him.
** The spinoff ''Ten no Haoh'' revealed that Uighur used to be a prisoner of Cassandra who survived five death sentences. He fought Raoh, who ended up making Uighur the new warden of Cassandra because of his ambition and strength.
* ''Manga/OnePiece'': [[spoiler:Kaido]]. They tried hanging him; the rope just broke. They tried again with ''chains''; they also broke. They tried to guillotine him; that ''also'' broke as soon as it hit his neck. He's survived 40 execution attempts so far, simply because he's that indestructible.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Lady Deathstrike was hanged from a telephone wire by Nazi soldiers during the Spanish Civil War in a TimeTravel related ''Comicbook/{{Wolverine}}'' storyline. Rather than dying, as one might expect, she flexed her neck to massive proportions, bursting the wires, and proceeded to kill the soldiers' tank...
* ''ComicBook/NemesisTheWarlock'' once crashed on Earth and group of alien-hating villagers decided the best way to kill him is by hanging. Three days pass before they realize he is still alive, [[spoiler: after every person who wronged him met KarmicDeath]].
* The Creator/ECComics story "Jury Duty!" (''Crime [=SuspenStories=]'' #6) is centered around a man whose "neck was broken, but the spinal cord wasn't severed!" And using the fact that he was declared legally dead as an odd sort of [[DiplomaticImpunity diplomatic immunity]] to murder the jurors. His downfall came when the remaining jurors realized that since he was legally dead, [[spoiler:it's not a crime to bury him.]]
* Played for laughs in a ''Comicbook/{{Sturmtruppen}}'' strip featuring a man too tall to be hanged by normal means, much to the soldiers' dismay.
* This is the origin of John Henry in ''ComicBook/DCTheNewFrontier'': He survived and [[RoaringRampageofRevenge went after the lynch mob who killed his family]].
* The ''Comicbook/{{Nightwing}}'' villain Torque is a grotesque variation of this. His neck was broken when Blockbuster twisted his head 180 degrees, but he survived with a cybernetic neck brace and a backwards head.
* In ''ComicBook/DeathOfTheFamily'', [[spoiler: when Harley Quinn tries to point out to Joker that a girl always has a secret or two, he gets a noose made of chains around her neck and starts pulling, saying that she should "hang" around and tell him a few secrets. She survives this]].
* Played with in ''ComicBook/AstroCity''. The supernatural hero The Hanged Man is a spectre with a burlap sack on his head and the remnants of a hangman's noose around his neck, and is implied to be the victim of a hanging several centuries ago. Whether or not he currently counts as alive is another matter...
* Judge Roy Bean in the ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' comic "Le Juge". He survived because his would be executioners used a faulty rope he himself sold them. It did however leave him with a chronic neck injury that prevents him from turning his head.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Ygor from ''Film/SonOfFrankenstein'' and ''Film/TheGhostOfFrankenstein'', the character who gave his name to TheIgor, was hanged for his part in [[GraveRobbing providing bodies for Dr. Frankenstein]]. He died from the ordeal and received his trademark broken neck in the process, but came back to life as a sort-of undead.
%%* In ''Film/BendOfTheRiver'', '''Creator/JamesStewart''', of all people, is one of these.
* Creator/ClintEastwood's character in the movie ''Film/HangEmHigh'', an innocent victim of vigilante justice who seeks revenge on those who strung him up and left him for dead.
* Lieutenant Aldo Raine in ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'' has an unexplained rope scar around his neck, suggesting that this trope is somewhere in his backstory. In the part of the country he's from, at the time this movie takes place, [[DisproportionateRetribution didn't take a whole lot]].
* Lord Blackwood in 2009 ''Film/SherlockHolmes'' lives through hanging [[spoiler: the first time]]. [[spoiler: Though it turns out that he didn't survive through any sort of toughness or special powers, but because his execution was staged; a hook hidden in the noose and a torso rig diverted the weight of his body away from his neck and onto the torso brace. A few feigned twitches and a drug-induced death-like coma completed the illusion]].
* He doesn't have a scar, but [[PiratesOfTheCaribbean Captain Jack Sparrow]] fits this trope by the end of the first film.
* In ''Film/TheImaginariumOfDoctorParnassus'', it's revealed that [[spoiler:Tony has been hanged several times, most likely for the various crimes he's committed (including dealings with the mob and selling children's organs on the black market). He survives through a trick in which he swallows a small metal flute, which prevents his throat from being crushed. He ultimately dies when Parnassus swaps the flute with a fake, breakable one.]]
* The eponymous villain in ''Film/{{Madman}}'' survived being hanged by angry villagers who tried to punish him for killing his family, and now carries the noose as his secondary weapon.
* Richard O'Connell is hanged in ''Film/{{The Mummy|1999}}''. His neck is strong enough that it doesn't break, and Evelyn negotiates his release before he strangles to death. Creator/BrendanFraser himself fits this trope. He was ''actually being hanged'' in that scene due to a prop failure.
* Creator/BorisKarloff starred as Dr. Henryk Savaard, who is executed but brought back to life in a 1939 ColumbiaPictures thriller titled (you guessed it), ''The Man They Could Not Hang.'' Although in this movie, [[spoiler: he really does die, and is brought back to life with science... he had it all planned out ahead of time though.]]
* Freddie attempts to dispose of Michael Myers by hanging him in ''Film/HalloweenResurrection''. Needless to say, it doesn't work. Michael acts as though being ''thrown out of a window'' and hanged was nothing more than a minor inconvenience.
* Taken UpToEleven in ''Film/TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly'', where the {{Bandito}} Tuco survives being hanged at least three times.
* ''Franchise/FridayThe13th''
** After the FinalGirl Chris manages to knock Jason out in ''Film/FridayThe13thPartIII'', shes tries kill him by putting a noose around his neck and dropping him from the barn's second floor. This doesn't work, and she has to give him the axe.
** In ''Film/JasonX'', it is mentioned how officials tried to execute Jason multiple times, which includes a hanging, before settling for cryogenic imprisonment.
* In ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII'', Marty [=McFly=] survives Buford Tannen and his gang attempting to hang him because Doc Brown shoots out the rope. Like Creator/BrendanFraser mentioned above, Creator/MichaelJFox really got hanged during one take when his hand slipped, before resuscitated by a crewmember.
* In Cary Grant vehicle ''People Will Talk'' this is Mr. Shunderson's backstory. Dr. Praetorius saved his life, after he had been successfully hanged and slabbed. In a horror movie this would have implications, but this is a comedy... still, Mr. Shunderson does come off as fairly unearthly.
* In ''Film/{{Excalibur}}'', Morgana, Mordred, and their minions capture Sir Percival and hang him from a tree where several other knights have already been hanged. Percival hangs from the tree for several hours in agony until his rope is accidentally cut by a hanged knight's spurs.
* In ''Film/NightCreatures'', [[spoiler: Peter Cushing's kindly vicar is actually a retired pirate thought to have been hanged, complete with scar. It's implied that his right-hand man, Mr. Mipps, was the hangman and made sure he was in no real danger.]]
* In ''Film/MacheteKills'', Machete gets hanged by a racist sheriff near the beginning. To the sheriff's amazement, other than being unable to free himself, Machete is unaffected. Machete gives him a DeathGlare until he is released.
* Attempted by Yankee Jim in ''Film/TheHauntingOfWhaleyHouse'', as he did in real life. However, his method of doing so just guaranteed a slow death by strangulation instead of a quick one by his neck breaking.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Mat in ''TheWheelOfTime'' series has a scarred neck from a survived hanging, which he carefully conceals. Mat's hanging from the tree of life is another part of his intentional similarity to the Norse god Odin.
* The Hanged Man from ''TheBlackCompany''. Survived due to being an incredibly powerful wizard.
* The thoroughly nasty Sergeant Obadiah Hakeswill from Bernard Cornwell's ''{{Sharpe}}'' novels. And, on the other side of the moral divide, Thomas of Hookton from the same author's ''Literature/TheGrailQuest'' novels.
** Obadiah Hakeswill survived a hanging, and claimed that this meant that God had chosen him to be spared and therefore he couldn't be killed. The firing squad proved him wrong on that count later on, though.
* In one of the war novels by SvenHassel, [[UnreliableNarrator Porta]] tells the story of a sailor who can't be hanged because he virtually has no neck. In the end the hangman goes insane with frustration and demonstrates that his rope works perfectly on himself. The authorities decide to kill the condemned by other means, but fortunately he escapes.
* Half Cocked Jack of Creator/NealStephenson's ''Literature/TheBaroqueCycle'' [[spoiler: survives a hanging by being pulled down by an angry mob. Although the experience did leave him with a wicked crick in the neck.]]
* And, as Skeeve learned in the ''MythAdventures'' series by Robert Asprin, never try to [[spoiler: hang a Pervect by the neck.]] They've tried to [[spoiler: hang Skeeve too, but being a wizard, he just levitated]]. Aahz is a wizard as well, [[spoiler: but he was depowered at the time, so he survived because Pervects have extremely strong neck muscles]].
* The head of the ThievesGuild in ''[[{{Dragonlance}} Dragons of Summer Flame]]'' is a man named Lynched Geoffery (or just Lynch), so called because he ''was'' lynched and lived to tell about it (just don't ask to see his neck if you value life or limb). Also subverted later in the same book- he antagonizes the EvilOverlord in a misguided attempt to get an alliance, and the response is two words- "Hang him." This hanging goes rather well- after all, Lynch already had practice!
* Pangloss from ''{{Candide}}'', who survived hanging by the Inqusition. [[CrapsackWorld It's not sure it was for the better]].
* Roger in the ''Literature/{{Outlander}}'' series.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'''s [[ConMan Moist von Lipwig]] is a subversion - Vetinari deliberately has him publicly hanged "to within half an inch of his life" to fake his death so that he can keep Moist on as a BoxedCrook.
* You can hang a ''Literature/{{Hoka}}'', but it won't hurt him (they have unusually strong neck muscles), and he'll consider it all part of whatever fiction is currently being lived out.
* Juliette, from the Series/DoctorWho Literature/EighthDoctorAdventures novel ''The Adventuress of Henrietta Street'', is an unusually young example; [[TroublingUnchildlikeBehavior she's only thirteen]]. It's implied she'd [[BungledSuicide attempted]] to hang [[DrivenToSuicide herself]], but not only did she not do it properly, [[InterruptedSuicide the Doctor showed up to rescue her]].
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' one of Beric Dondarrion's numerous rumored deaths is being hanged. As it turns out, he was, and died. He just came back after.
* The young adult novel ''Newes Of The Dead'', based on a real account of a young woman sentenced to death for killing her child (it was stillborn, but they assumed she did it)who survived.
* Arenadd from the Fallen Moon series counts. Granted, he ''was'' killed, but he did come back to life. While his mortal enemy was standing over his body glad for his death.
* Lloyd Shepherd's ''The English Monster; Or, the Melancholy Transactions of William Ablass'' opens with the title character, hanged for piracy and murder, wondering why another man is carrying on a DeadPersonConversation with him. The rest of the novel explains why Ablass is apparently immortal.
* In Jean Zimmerman's ''The Orphanmaster,'' the female protagonist's servant, Antony Angola, survived hanging because no rope was strong enough to hold him.
* The BigBad in ''Literature/{{Portlandtown}}'' is an outlaw known only as The Hanged Man. He survived being hanged because the lynch mob didn't include anyone who knew how to do it right and he got away before the actual law could take him into custody again.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': Reynard has this reputation due to [[spoiler: a double being hanged in his place.]]
* Sheriff Jon Highfather from ''Literature/TheSixGunTarot'' was hanged three times at the end of the Civil war, none of which worked. He believes that neither that nor anything else can kill him as it's not his time yet.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* An ''Series/{{Angel}}'' flashback episode dealt with Angel attempting to get rid of a demon in the Hyperion (the hotel he now owns) that manipulates people's emotions causing them to kill each other. Unfortunately, the angry hotel guests target him and hang him from the chandelier. Vampires cannot die this way, and Angel plays dead. After they leave the lobby, he cuts himself down and gives a big fuck you to the guests, telling the demon he can have them.
* PlayedForLaughs with Ralph Filthy in one episode of ''Series/FilthyRichAndCatflap''.
* UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper has this attribute when he appears on ''Series/KolchakTheNightStalker''. Electrocution works pretty well, however.
* The killer in the ''Series/KungFu'' episode, mentioned above.
* Charlie, on ''Series/{{Lost}}'', managed to (barely) survive a hanging, but that might have been the cause of [[spoiler:his demise in Season 3.]]
* ''Series/MurdochMysteries'' had this as a key element of an episode as the detectives are trying to figure out how a convict survived his hanging and then escaped. The hangman was an expert who used detailed anatomical charts and precise calculations to make sure nothing like that ever happened. [[spoiler: The condemned man was innocent and the hangman knew exactly how to sabotage things so an innocent man would not be hanged on his watch again.]]
* Krane, the eponymous villain of the ''Series/QueenOfSwords'' episode "The Hanged Man".
* ''ForeverKnight'' had this happen with Nick once, though being a vampire, he lived.
* ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' ditto with one or two immortals...'Leader of The Pack' for one ep.
* Part of [[BadassGrandpa Bob Rebadow]]'s backstory in ''Series/{{Oz}}''. He was originally sent to Oswald State Penitentiary in the 1960's to be executed in the electric chair for murder, but the Great Northeast Blackout of 1965 coincidentally caused a power surge right at the moment when his executioner threw the switch, and he survived. Even ''more'' luckily, the death penalty was abolished in New York State while he was in Oz's medical unit recovering from injuries sustained during the botched execution.
* In ''Series/{{Moonlight}}'' it's shown that the French Revolutionaries figured out the aristocracy were vampires when they tried hanging one, and failed. Hence the guillotine.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' has a man survive being hanged for killing one of the men who raped and murdered his wife because [[ThePhoenix he's a phoenix]]. [[spoiler:Dean kills him with the Colt in a ShowdownAtHighNoon.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Celtic rock band [[Music/TheMenTheyCouldntHang The Men They Couldn't Hang]] take their name from this trope, with the added bonus of sounding very anti-establishment.
* Referenced in the lyrics of The Tragically Hip's song ''Bobcaygeon'':
-->That night in Toronto with its checkerboard floors
-->Riding on horseback and keeping order restored
-->Till the men they couldn't hang
-->Stepped to the mike and sang
-->And their voices rang with that Aryan twang
** This is a reference to the aforementioned band.
* The Fairport Convention's ConceptAlbum ''Babbacombe'' is based on the life of RealLife example John "Babbacombe" Lee.
-->They stand me in a corner with my hands and feet still tied\\
A warder holds onto the noose, the trapdoor opens wide\\
Is it magic or coincidence that keeps me on the brink?\\
It seems to work without me, "Will it kill me now?" I think\\
...\\
My life was spared that morning 'cos it wasn't theirs to take\\
Three's the most the law requires a man to feel the stake.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* On ''TheGoonShow'', Neddie Seagoon was sentenced to hang by a KangarooCourt but they were forced to relent on realising he hadn't actually got a neck.
* ''Radio/BleakExpectations'': Harry Biscuit survives being hanged, by dint of being incredibly overweight. He would have died, but since the judge who ordered the hanging was watching, and eating some cheese, and Harry manages to gain weight just by ''looking'' at cheese...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Game]]
* Black Isle's vaporware'd ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'':
** Was going to include the companion NPC The Hanged Man, a badass of such legendary stature having him in your party would make people react much the same as if you had the Child Killer 'perk'. You can guess how the trope applies to him.
** Incidentally, he's mentioned in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''. As the former lieutenant of BigBad Caesar, he was ''set on fire and thrown into the grand canyon'' in a truly epic example of YouHaveFailedMe. Caesar clearly heard that hanging didn't work. Unfortunately, his reputation as the ultimate ImplacableMan means there are ''still'' rumours that he's walking around somewhere - this time with the moniker [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin The Burned Man]].
** He finally appears in the DLC, Honest Hearts. He's also...slightly miffed about the whole 'being covered in pitch and thrown in the Grand Canyon whilst aflame' thing. However, he's also TheAtoner and for the most part a polite and well-mannered individual who honestly wants to protect the innocent, albeit [[KnightTemplar in his own way]]. In said DLC, to reflect his truly insanely hard to kill nature, he has an Endurance stat of 10, and the highest DT of any creature in the game at 50, placing him on higher damage threshold than most ''armor piercing rounds'' can penetrate. Additionally, he's one of two [=NPCs=] in the game with a unique "title" in the GECK - [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Destroying Angel]].
* In the game ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay'', Franky the Pitchfork is DrivenToSuicide by his heckling companions the paint pot and the paint brush after failing to kick Conker's ass. When he decides to hang himself, he fails because he "does not appear to have a neck of any description", and remains stuck hanging from the barnyard ceiling until Conker cuts him down.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iPP-63XlhkM Then there's Morshu.]]
* Mr. Black's assistant Mr. Lynch in ''RedDeadRevolver'' survived being hanged. It shows, as he has hard time keeping his neck straight during his pre-duel scene.
* According to the sparse back-story for [[VideoGame/QuakeIIIArena Quake 3]] character Cadaver "is a brutal murderer who couldn’t be executed, The electric chair, gallows, and gas chamber only made him meaner"
* The protagonist of RedNinjaEndOfHonor, Kurenai, is hanged by her neck using ''iron wire'' with her hands tied behind her back, but her small stature combined with watching her father getting killed right in front of her gives her enough HeroicWillpower to survive.
* Silas Greaves from ''VideoGame/CallOfJuarezGunslinger'' is eventually revealed to be after the three outlaws who tried hanging him and his two older brothers. Since they hanged them on the same tree branch simultaneously, the branch broke off under their combined weight, so Silas survived--but his brothers didn't.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comic]]
* Also in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' - you [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20050513 can't hang Jaegermonsters.]]
* An odd example with Belkar in ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'' where a group of bandits try to hang him and he suffers no injury. Belkar points out that as a halfling, his anatomy is unsuitable for death by hanging (he doesn't weigh much and his head constitutes the majority of his mass). The worst he gets is a bit of woozyness from the blood rushing to his head when his weight evens out.
-->'''Belkar:''' You know, that's the problem with humans, always assuming that other races are the same as they are, so [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0165.html they assume the same methods of execution are valid.]]
* The unnamed prisoner in ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'''s multi-part strip "Sand". In addition to [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2010/10/27 not being killed by hanging]], he also proves invulnerable to [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2013/07/17 fire ("feller don't burn right"), and bullets]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Parodied in a ''WesternAnimation/RenAndStimpy'' episode, where they are hanged for horse stealing. Ren just blows in the wind, and Stimpy has no neck.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Western legend Roy Bean was a RealLife case of this, making it TruthInTelevision.
* Also the eighteenth-century [[http://www.undiscoveredscotland.co.uk/edinburgh/pubguide/maggiedicksons.html Margaret Dickson]], who was pardoned and ever after known as "Half-Hangit Maggie".
* One tale tells of a [[{{Pirate}} buccaneer]] [[{{Badass}} who was hanged, scared the crowd away by yelling at them, chewed through the rope, and escaped]].
* In real life, on the other hand, most "hanging" sentences are more specifically enunciated as "hanged until dead". Even if being hanged doesn't snap the victim's neck, staying there for a while would almost definitely suffocate anyone. It's more slow and painful but it would get the job done. This is intended to ensure the demise of a would-be RulesLawyer.
* There was allegedly a time in America where surviving [[RuleOfThree three]] attempted executions of any kind was considered an act of God, and you were given a life sentence instead, if not ''set free.''
* This was also the case in Britain, and happened to [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_%22Babbacombe%22_Lee John "Babbacome" Lee]] in 1884. Given a life sentence, he was eventually released in 1907, when the Home Secretary was persuaded that the case against him had not been conclusive.
* And [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Samuel Joseph Samuel]] in Australia, who was granted a full pardon on the spot.
* In Imperial Russia one failed execution (e.g. due to gallows falling apart or guns misfiring) was enough to change the sentence to penal servitude or even release the convict. Only rarely, as with the Decembrists, the tsar ordered to repeat the hanging. Unofficially the tradition continued well into the Soviet times.
** Legend has it that the Decembrist leader made some wisecrack to the effect that the czarist regime was too incompetent even to pull off a simple hanging, and the Czar decided to prove him wrong.
* Stuntmen can prevent the noose from tightening with an invisible knot. This allows them to hang for a while and stay alive. This stunt is very dangerous as it's easy to snap the neck, the preferred method is a harness under the clothes and a fake noose on the neck.
* In 2013 an [[http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/23/iranian-survived-execution-spared-justice-minister Iranian drug smuggler who had been sentenced to death]] was hanged, announced dead and was transferred to the morgue. A few hours later they saw that he was breathing. He made a full recovery and his sentence was reduced because the officials believed his sentence was *technically* carried out.
[[/folder]]
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