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* ''Film/MenInBlack3'' features this as a key plot point. As the alien Griffin phrases it, "Where there's death, there will always be death.'' [[spoiler: In the end, while Agent K's life is saved through time travel, J's father, an army colonel, dies in his place helping defeat Boris the Animal.]]


* Quaithe the Shadowbinder does this to save Daenerys in ''FanFic/PurpleDays''. Unfortunately, Daenerys has already seen far, far too much of what lies beyond, and [[CameBackWrong comes back wrong]], now an OmnicidalManiac that desperately believes that either she personally murders everything alive in Planetos, or the White Walkers will transform everything she leaves standing into an abomination.

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* Quaithe the Shadowbinder does this to save Daenerys in ''FanFic/PurpleDays''. Unfortunately, Daenerys has already seen far, far too much of what lies beyond, and [[CameBackWrong comes back wrong]], now an OmnicidalManiac that desperately believes that either she personally murders everything alive in Planetos, Planetos in dragonflame, or the White Walkers will transform everything she leaves standing into an abomination.

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* Quaithe the Shadowbinder does this to save Daenerys in ''FanFic/PurpleDays''. Unfortunately, Daenerys has already seen far, far too much of what lies beyond, and [[CameBackWrong comes back wrong]], now an OmnicidalManiac that desperately believes that either she personally murders everything alive in Planetos, or the White Walkers will transform everything she leaves standing into an abomination.


** In the novel ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'', Granny Weatherwax plays [[ChessWithDeath Poker With Death]] in order to gain the right to make this kind of trade. Not only did she try to cheat, Death ''let her win:''

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** In the novel ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'', ''Literature/{{Maskerade}}'', Granny Weatherwax plays [[ChessWithDeath Poker With Death]] in order to gain the right to make this kind of trade. Not only did she try to cheat, Death ''let her win:''



** ''Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents'' features Maurice, the IntellectualAnimal cat, doing this to save one of those Educated Rodents. It manages to be almost as touching as a real HeroicSacrifice even though, as a cat, he has several of his original nine lives left even after giving up an extra.
*** This is actually explicitly stated in a few places as being "the way things work" for the Discworld. Death occasionally mentions others who have challenged him, but it's extremely rare that they ever win, even when playing games that Death isn't very good at- mostly because Death cannot lose by mortal means. In fact, when he becomes temporarily mortal in ''Discworld/ReaperMan'', he has to ''learn how to lose'' to fit in with humans. He even mentions that losing is much harder for him to do then winning.[[note]]Part of the problem being Death can win at most games without really trying; if he 'loses' some to avoid offending anyone it becomes obvious he's throwing the games. The trick then becomes how to 'lose' in an ''entertaining'' way.[[/note]]

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** ''Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents'' ''Literature/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents'' features Maurice, the IntellectualAnimal cat, doing this to save one of those Educated Rodents. It manages to be almost as touching as a real HeroicSacrifice even though, as a cat, he has several of his original nine lives left even after giving up an extra.
*** This is actually explicitly stated in a few places as being "the way things work" for the Discworld. Death occasionally mentions others who have challenged him, but it's extremely rare that they ever win, even when playing games that Death isn't very good at- mostly because Death cannot lose by mortal means. In fact, when he becomes temporarily mortal in ''Discworld/ReaperMan'', ''Literature/ReaperMan'', he has to ''learn how to lose'' to fit in with humans. He even mentions that losing is much harder for him to do then winning.[[note]]Part of the problem being Death can win at most games without really trying; if he 'loses' some to avoid offending anyone it becomes obvious he's throwing the games. The trick then becomes how to 'lose' in an ''entertaining'' way.[[/note]]


* There is a short story about a doctor who had Death as a foster father and was able to see Death coming to collect people and tell them when they would die. If Death was at the foot of the bed, they would recover, if Death was at the head of the bed they would die. The doctor manages to save the life of a beautiful girl by rotating the bed. But Death said he needed another life to "balance the books", so the doctor took his own life.


* In ''Anime/DeathNote'', Shinigami's lifespan must be stolen from humans by killing them with their Death Note; whatever was left on the human's clock is added to the Shinigami's. The books also balance in the other direction, but the exchange rate is far harsher -- if a Shinigami deliberately uses their Death Note to extend the life of a human (such as by killing that human's would-be murderer), the Shinigami will instantly die.

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* In ''Anime/DeathNote'', Shinigami's lifespan must be stolen from humans by killing them with their Death Note; whatever was left on the human's clock is added to the Shinigami's. The books also balance in the other direction, but the exchange rate is far harsher -- if a Shinigami deliberately uses their Death Note to extend the life of a human (such as by killing that human's would-be murderer), the Shinigami will instantly die.die, and their remaining lifespan gets transferred to the human in question. [[spoiler:This occurs ''twice'' over the course of the series -- the first time it's relegated to worldbuilding and backstory, with the Shinigami Rem explaining to human Misa Amane that Misa was ''supposed'' to die several months ago, after being stabbed by a crazed fan of hers. However, a friend of Rem's, a Shinigami named Gelus, decided to save her because he'd fallen in love with her, dying in the process and leaving behind his Death Note. Rem seems to believe that her picking it up afterwards led to her gaining her own affection for Misa. It's then shown again when Light Yagami, in a plot to get rid of his nemesis L, manipulates the circumstances to a point where either L dies, or L will have Misa executed for being the Second Kira. Rem, stuck between saving Misa's life and her own, opts to save Misa, cursing Light while she's dying.]]

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* In ''VisualNovel/ThePiratesFate'', whenever Mila tries to use the magic coins to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong and revive one of her companions who had died previously, the timeline results in one who had survived before dying instead. This is, however, not an inherent effect of the coins (another user did the same but only lost the love of her life), just that the circumstances surrounding their deaths meant that it was extremely likely that one person was going to die no matter what.

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* In the first episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{Wishfart}}'', [[CuteGhostGirl Akiko]] wishes to become a living girl again, upsetting the balance of the living world and TheUnderworld. To restore the balance (and stop the King of the Underworld from causing TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt), Dez volunteers to take Akiko's place as a ghost since Akiko enjoys being alive again. However, when Akiko sees what Dez is doing, she agrees to go back to being a ghost for the sake of her friends.


** The Death as father and rotating the bed probably came from a [[Creator/TheBrothersGrimm Brothers Grimm]] FairyTale named "Gevatter Tod" ("Godfather Death"). In the fairy tale, the doctor does not sacrifice himself willingly, but tricks Death - twice - and is killed the second time.


* A ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' sketch takes place at a funeral, with a woman mourning her husband, screaming "Take me, Jesus! Take me instead!" Sure enough, Jesus shows up, brings the woman's husband back to life, and then asks the woman to go with him. Naturally, the woman wasn't expecting her wish to be granted, and HilarityEnsues.

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* A ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' sketch takes place at a funeral, with a woman mourning her husband, screaming "Take me, Jesus! Take me instead!" Sure enough, Jesus shows up, brings the woman's husband back to life, and then asks the woman to go with him. Naturally, [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor the woman wasn't expecting her wish to be granted, granted]], and HilarityEnsues.


* ''Series/{{Merlin}}''

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* ''Series/{{Merlin}}''''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'':



** This is also why Igraine died - her life in exchange for Arthur being born.

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** This is also why Igraine died - her life in exchange for Arthur being born.


* Happens quite often in ''Series/{{Charmed}}'':

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* Happens quite often in ''Series/{{Charmed}}'':''Series/{{Charmed|1998}}'':


* ''[[VideoGame/AmnesiaOtome Amnesia: Memories]]'' reveals in Joker World that the heroine [[DeadAllAlong died in the original Joker World]], and Ukyo made a wish to save and be with her again. The resulting time-rewinding and hopping into parallel universes created a universal anomaly. The heroine isn't supposed to be alive, and [[EverythingIsTryingToKillYou several dangers come her way]] because the universe is trying to correct this 'mistake'. The deadline is always August 25th, the date of her original death. And if she manages to survive past that date, the universe begins to consider Ukyo the universal anomaly and proceeds to balance the books by killing him.


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[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/AmnesiaMemories'' reveals in Joker World that the heroine [[DeadAllAlong died in the original Joker World]], and Ukyo made a wish to save and be with her again. The resulting time-rewinding and hopping into parallel universes created a universal anomaly. The heroine isn't supposed to be alive, and [[EverythingIsTryingToKillYou several dangers come her way]] because the universe is trying to correct this 'mistake'. The deadline is always August 25th, the date of her original death. And if she manages to survive past that date, the universe begins to consider Ukyo the universal anomaly and proceeds to balance the books by killing him.
[[/folder]]


* In ''FanFic/RobbReturns'', to compensate for Robb's return, the Old Gods arrange Ramsay's particularly brutal death to a raven and a wolf.
** Patchface commits suicide so the Old Gods will heal Shireen Baratheon of her greyscale.

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* In ''FanFic/RobbReturns'', to compensate for Robb's return, the Old Gods arrange Ramsay's particularly brutal death to a raven and a wolf.
**
wolf, and Patchface commits suicide so the Old Gods will heal Shireen Baratheon of her greyscale.


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* In ''Series/ChillingAdventuresOfSabrina'' evidently this applies to mortals, but not to witches. Zelda has repeatedly murdered Hilda, and so long as she's buried in their Cain Pit she comes back, but raising a mortal costs a life. [[spoiler: Sabrina attempts a LoopholeAbuse using this double standard by sacrificing Agatha to raise Tommy then using the Cain Pit on her, which fails painfully. Agatha soon starts to cough up grave dirt and begins rotting, and would certainly have died if Tommy hadn't been killed again. He also CameBackWrong, although it's unclear if that was related to her attempt to cheat death or just how it always works.]]


* In ''[[ComicBook/TheSandman Death: The Time of Your Life]]'', Death's lingering fondness for the protagonists leads her to agree to bring their baby back but, she warns, she'll be back, and someone will be leaving with her. Her return 5 years later is the catalyst that starts the story.
** In an unusual variation on this trope, Death says she isn't interested in someone else dying to balance the scale. She needs something else. She points out that every living thing will die eventually, so someone else "dying so their beloved will live" just hastens the schedule, and she isn't in a hurry.

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* In ''[[ComicBook/TheSandman Death: The Time of Your Life]]'', Death's lingering fondness for the protagonists leads her to agree to bring their baby back but, she warns, she'll be back, and someone will be leaving with her. Her return 5 years later is the catalyst that starts the story.
**
story. In an unusual variation on this trope, Death says she isn't interested in someone else dying to balance the scale. She needs something else. She points out that every living thing will die eventually, so someone else "dying so their beloved will live" just hastens the schedule, and she isn't in a hurry.

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