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Fading Away

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A character literally fades out of existence

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
PapercutChainsaw on Oct 25th 2011 at 5:05:32 AM
Last Edited By:
JohnBenccsonn on Apr 4th 2018 at 2:31:52 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

Marty: "His head's gone! It's like it's been erased."
Doc: "Erased from existence."

A character slowly begins to fade away, often as a form of non-violent onscreen death. This differs from Everything Fades and Disappears into Light, as the character is always alive and fully conscious throughout the process, and that the fading is explicitly the cause of their death/disappearance. That said, the fading is not always fatal if the character can find a way to stop it in time.

The fading usually results in a character becoming transparent and ghostlike, gradually losing the ability to interact with the physical world around them.

Characters who are likely to suffer this fate include ghosts and spirits, beings trapped in a world that is not their own, "imaginary" creatures that are dependent on belief to exist, and even the odd Intangible Man with Power Incontinence. This can also be caused by a Delayed Ripple Effect when Time Travel is involved, in which case this trope will likely overlap with Ret Gone as the fading person is removed from history.

This is a Death Trope. Beware of unmarked spoilers!


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the final episode of The Big O, the Big Venus marches straight into Alex Rosewater and his Big Fau mecha, causing him to fade away, horrifically. It keeps going, fulfilling its role as the Reality Reset Button of Paradigm City.
  • In a breather arc in Dragon Ball Super, Vegeta gets cloned by evil alien water. When it happens, Vegeta is told that if the clone isn't defeated within 5 minutes, (which, in Dragon Ball tradition, takes a lot longer) he will fade away, which does start to happen. During this time, he seems to be something of a ghost, not being able to touch anything. In true Vegeta fashion, he views it as more of an annoyance than a actual threat, and actually yells at his clone for not fighting against Goku well enough, despite the fact that Goku is fighting for Vegeta's life.

    Comic Books 
  • What If? v2 #89 was a story where the Fantastic Four weren't able to control their powers properly, and this is what happened to the Invisible Woman.

    Film — Animated 
  • Coco: Miguel starts turning into a skeleton the longer he stays in the spirit world, his skin and flesh turning transparent and fading away. The scene where he looks at his fading hand is a clear Shout-Out to Marty in Back to the Future.
  • Inside Out: After being stranded in the Memory Dump, Bing Bong dies by slowly fading out of existence.
  • In Kung Fu Panda, Master Oogway, knowing his time is up, starts to fade away, but not before telling his protege Master Shifu to train the Dragon Warrior. Then he scatters away like cherry blossom leaves.
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again: This is the fate Inspector Dreyfus after he goes insane and he and his entire castle are destroyed by his own malfunctioning disintegration ray and he slowly fades away from the feet up. Despite this apparent demise, he returns in the next movie with no explanation threatens the world with a disintegratior ray.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Back to the Future: This happens to Marty when he's in danger of nullifying his own existence through a time paradox when his parents might not get together.
  • The Dark Crystal: When a Skeksis dies, the corresponding Mystic (as the two species were formed from an older race being split in half, meaning that in a sense paired Skeksis and Mystics are two halves of the same being) fades away and leaves Empty Piles of Clothing.
  • Star Wars: In Return of the Jedi, this is how Yoda dies. Having grown increasingly weak in his old age and knowing that he is dying, he calls Luke to his home to impart some dramatic F Inal Words, closes his eyes, and vanishes.
  • Teen Beach Movie: This is the fate that Brady and Mack are afraid of when they get trapped in the movie, thanks to objects they brought with them (such as their modern bathing suits) disappearing as they get assimilated into the movie world. In the sequel, the same thing threatens Tanner and Leila, along with all of their friends from the film, when they get trapped in the real world. In the end, Tanner and Leila are the only ones left to return to the movie world, thus restoring their friends and preventing themselves from disappearing by ensuring the movie's existence.

    Literature 
  • Thursday Next: In First Among Sequels, Thursday's Uncle Mycroft, following his death, appears as a ghost three times. Each time he appears as more faint and incorporeal than the last, and the end of the third he fades away permanently. Spike Stoker, an expert on the various forms of death, is able to reassure Thursday that she won't miss Mycroft's appearances, and that he knows the duration and degree of fading for each of them, so that she will be able to ask him what caused him to come back before his final fading away.
  • Warrior Cats: Cats in the afterlife — no matter whether they're in the good one or the evil one — gradually fade away over time as they are forgotten by living cats. The founders of the Clans and the most recently deceased cats, for instance, are somewhat faint but still mostly there, but some deceased cats have grown so faint that they don't even seem to notice anyone else around anymore.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Benny Hill Show: A character who discovers he was a ghost all along fades out when informed of that fact.
  • Hannah Montana: This slowly starts happening to Jackson when he and Miley are taken back to the day their parents met and need to convince them to talk. It's Played for Laughs, as it's rather arbitrary which parts of his body start fading; and the inconsistent nature of his fate, as well as the fact that Miley's unaffected by it, are some of the hints that the plot was All Just a Dream brought on by Miley being struck by lightning beforehand.
  • I Dream of Jeannie: In one episode, Jeannie and Tony had to journey to Mecca to reaffirm Jeannie's connection to her master. Tony put it off, and Jeannie began to disappear from the feet up, leaving her pink pantaloons hanging empty above the ankles, and going upward until they solved the problem.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "It's A Good Life", a five-year-old boy has the power to send people and things "to the cornfield". One of the characters who disappears is seen fading away after being turned into a jack-in-the-box.
    • In "A World Of His Own", a playwright has the ability to create people by recording their description on an audio tape. When the tape is burned, the created person fades into non-existence.
  • Chris nearly had this happen to him in Charmed. Piper and Leo hadn't conceived him yet, so he started fading out of existence.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series: In Who Mourns for Adonais? Apollo "spreads himself on the wind" at the end, fading away slowly.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation: In "The Big Goodbye" (the first Holodeck Malfunction episode) a couple of holodeck characters, not believing that they aren't real, step out of the holodeck onto an Enterprise corridor. They congratulate themselves, then start fading away.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: In the episode "Time's Orphan", Molly O'Brien disappears into a portal that sends her 3000 years into the past. The crew tries to get her back, but they get a version that is 18 years old; 10 years older than the Molly who went through the portal. The 18 year old Molly wants to go back, and when they send her back, the 18 year old Molly finds the 8 year old Molly. The 18 year old Molly sends the 8 year old Molly back to her parents and then disappears.

    Videogames 
  • BlazBlue: This is the end fate of Celica in the fourth game. She's actually a soul pulled from the past and put in a new body that isn't going to last long, and the game's events forced her to use the last of her energy to save her companions. Around the middle of the game, her body slowly fades and she later disappears, but not before waving final goodbyes to the main characters.
  • Mega Man Zero: Cyber Elves die this way when they've used all of their power. This includes X (Zero's friend, now a Cyber Elf) in the end of the third game, after he's running thin on power after protecting the good guys. He gave one last request of protecting the world to Zero before he fades away.
  • Persona 5: After the Holy Grail beats the Phantom Thieves and throws them out of the subway, the heroes fade out of existence. Fortunately, they are able to survive by rebelling REALLY hard.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006): At the end of Silver's story, Blaze rises to the sky and fades away while sealing Iblis into another dimension.
  • In the final day of The World Ends with You, Beat has, because of his earlier poor performance as a reaper, run out of time and begins to fade away until "he pulls himself together".

    Webcomics 
  • IDGet: In this very early strip, Kevin is approached by his "memory", who slowly begins to fade away, saying Kevin needs to "refresh" him, though Kevin says he's not in the mood for metaphors.
  • El Goonish Shive: In comic number 1004, the Fox illusion does this, but with a cloudy effect. It was intended to be less disturbing than it was.

    Web Original 
  • The SCP Foundation's SCP-1467 is a man with No Ontological Inertia, who starts to fade away whenever he's not constantly reaffirming his own existence. Rather than growing ghostlike and immaterial, though, he becomes harder and harder to perceive in any way — first it becomes impossible to identify him as an individual, then to work out what he's doing or looks like, then to perceive anything but the presence of someone in the room, and so on until he's completely gone. The fading can be reversed, but the overall rate of degradation is increasing...

    Western Animation 
  • AdventureQuest: This happened to Warlic during one of the quests. Due to something that occurred in the past, the resultant ripple effect affected his existence in the present.
  • Droids (a Star Wars tie-in cartoon starring C-3PO and R2-D2) had this happen to the villain of one episode due to a disease he'd meant to inflict on others. It was an unusually final and chilling fate for a Saturday morning cartoon of that vintage.
  • Family Guy:
    • This happens to Peter in "Fresh Heir" when he rips up his birth certificate.
      Peter: There is no light! There's only fire!
    • At the end of "3 Acts of God", Peter mentions that he asked God to perform another favor to him. Cue Meg fading away.
  • Justice League Unlimited: In "The Once and Future Thing: Weird Western Tales", Chronos keeps tampering with the space-time continuum until the universe itself starts to collapse. Among the symptoms of this is Wonder Woman fading away, possibly having never left the island of Themyscira (or never being born).
  • Kim Possible: In "Blush", Drakken sprays Kim with pollen that takes her desire to disappear when embarrassed literally. Ron has to Find the Cure before she gets embarrassed out of existence.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Discordant Harmony", this is the result of Discord, the Reality Warper spirit of chaos, attempting to make himself orderly to make his friend Fluttershy more comfortable in his home. In the later half of the episode, Discord begins to become more and more transparent and his behavior more and more bland and robotic, until he fades to the point that his hands pass directly through objects when he tries to touch them and he is no longer capable of performing magic. Fluttershy eventually figures out that, since Discord is a creature of pure chaos, being orderly is quite literally destroying him. She is able to reverse the fading by acting in chaotic, random ways until Discord regains enough physical presence to create chaos on his own again.
  • South Park: In "The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000", Kyle fades away after questioning his existence for too long. Then reality gets warped, scaring away the adults trying to take the kids away, after which Kyle fades back into existence.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In "Fields of Honey", Babs learns from a video in the ACME Looniversity Library that laughter keeps cartoon characters young and immortal, and when a cartoon character is forgotten, it begins to age and fade from existence. Such was the case with Bosko, the Talk-Ink Kid and his girlfriend, Honey in the 1960's, when they were unable to regain the popularity they achieved in 1933. Babs showing Honey cartoons to the public and having them laugh at them bring Bosko and Honey back and restore them to their prime.
    • In "Sawdust and Toonsil", it is revealed that when Gogo Dodo is away from Wackyland for long periods of time, he loses his wackiness and begins to fade from existence. He begins to suffer this fate when he tries to rescue his captive friends from Wackyland from Silas Wonder, a wicked circus owner, but thankfully, he and his friends are rescued by Buster, Babs, and Plucky.

Feedback: 70 replies

Oct 25th 2011 at 6:30:24 AM

It's a subtrope of No Body Left Behind. It describes the process of fading, while still alive. That is, you don't die, then fade away. Fading away is Cause Of Death.

Oct 25th 2011 at 7:06:48 AM

I think Chris nearly had this happen to him in Charmed - Piper and Leo hadn't conceived him yet, so he started fading out of existence.

Oct 25th 2011 at 7:44:13 AM

  • Happens to Marty in Back To The Future when he's in danger of nullifying his own existence when his parents might not get together.

Oct 25th 2011 at 8:57:47 AM

I'm confused: do ghosts count or not? After all, ghosts, or at least the people they once were, are dead of something else already.

If they do count, add Thursday Next's Uncle Mycroft, who appears as a ghost three times, each one more faint than the last, in First Among Sequels. Spike Stoker, SO-17 expert on the various forms of death, is able to reassure Thursday that she won't miss Mycroft's appearances and knows the duration and degree of fading for each of them.

Oct 25th 2011 at 2:51:10 PM

Yes, ghosts qualify, because if they fade away they are still ceasing to exist, even if they are already technically dead.

Oct 25th 2011 at 2:58:44 PM

In the Star Trek Deep Space Nine episode, Time's Orphan, Molly O Brien disspears into a portal that sends her 3000 years into the past. They try to get her back, but they get a version that is 18 years old; 10 years older than the Molly who went through the portal. The 18 year old Molly wants to go back, and when they send her back, the 18 year old Molly finds the 8 year old Molly. The 18 year old Molly sends the 8 year old Molly back to her parents and dissapears.

Oct 25th 2011 at 7:21:34 PM

  • What If v2 #89 was a story where the Fantastic Four weren't able to control their powers properly, and this is what happened to the Invisible Woman.

Oct 26th 2011 at 4:37:54 AM

Live Action TV

  • The Twilight Zone TOS episode "A World of His Own". A playwright has the ability to create people by recording their description on an audio tape. When the tape is burned, the created person fades into non-existence.

Oct 26th 2011 at 8:52:09 AM

  • Of course, who can forget the Twilight Zone episode, "It's a Good Life". A 5 year old boy has the power to send people and things "to the cornfield"

Oct 26th 2011 at 7:18:58 PM

In the final episode of The Big O, the Big Venus marches straight into Alex Rosewater and his Big Fau mecha, causing him to fade away, horrifically. It keeps going, fulfilling its role as the Reality Reset Button of Paradigm City.

Oct 27th 2011 at 2:34:39 AM

^^ Specifically, the character who faded away and was sent to the cornfield was Dan Hollis, after Anthony turned him into a jack-in-the-box.

Jul 28th 2012 at 10:57:38 AM

In the final day of The World Ends With You Beat has, because of his earlier poor performance as a reaper, run out of time and begins to fade away until "he pulls himself together"

Jul 28th 2012 at 11:01:15 AM

IIRC in Dirk Gentlys Holistic Detective Agency when ghosts are dispelled (or whatever) they fade away.

Huh, rereading that I suspect it's not a very helpful reply.

Jul 29th 2012 at 1:11:56 AM

The Sarah Jane Adventures has this happen to Luke, Clyde and Sarah Jane after Rani wishes they'd leave her alone and an alien ship grants her wish.

Jul 31st 2012 at 7:43:04 PM

Asuras Wrath. After slaying Chakravartin, this is the way Asura goes.

"My wrath is finally...gone."

Jul 31st 2012 at 8:04:12 PM

Star Trek TOS: In "Who Mourns for Adonis", Apollo "spreads himself on the wind" at the end, fading away slowly.

Jun 4th 2014 at 4:30:23 PM

  • In Kungfu Panda, Master Oogway, knowing his time is up, starts to fade away, but not before telling his protege Master Shifu to train the Dragon Warrior. Then he scatters away like cherry blossom leaves.

Jun 4th 2014 at 4:46:46 PM

Western Animation

  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode, "The Once and Future Thing", Chronos keeps tampering with the space-time continuum until the universe itself starts to collapse. Among the symptoms of this is Wonder Woman fading away, possibly having never left the island of Themyscira (or never being born).

Jun 4th 2014 at 5:05:44 PM

  • The Benny Hill Show: A character who discovers he was a ghost all along fades out when informed of that fact.

Jun 4th 2014 at 8:12:59 PM

The Star Wars tie-in cartoon show Droids (starring C=3PO and R2-D2) had this happen to the villain of one episode due to a disease he'd meant to inflict on others. It was an unusually final and chilling fate for a Saturday morning cartoon of that vintage.

Jun 4th 2014 at 9:09:28 PM

In The Dark Crystal when a Skeksis dies, the corresponding Mystic fades away and leaves Empty Piles Of Clothing

Jun 4th 2014 at 9:21:27 PM

Literature:

  • In the Warrior Cats series, cats in the afterlife - no matter whether they're in the good one or the evil one - gradually fade away over time as they are forgotten by living cats. The founders of the Clans, for instance, are somewhat faint, but some of the faintest cats don't even seem to notice anyone else around anymore.

Jun 4th 2014 at 10:19:14 PM

Does the way Yoda dies in Return Of The Jedi count? He says some dramatic Final Words, closes his eyes, and then vanishes.

Jun 5th 2014 at 5:39:38 AM

  • Added blank line(s) for readability.
  • Examples section formatting
    • Media section title(s): Changed to our standard style and Blue Linked.
    • Added a space between *'s and the first word following them.
  • Namespaced and italicized work name(s).
  • Corrected spelling (disspears, O Brien).

Jun 5th 2014 at 11:27:25 AM

Western Animation

  • Family Guy
    • Similar to the Back to the Future example above, this occurred in several time-travel episodes like "Christmas Guy" and "Chap Stewie".
    • This happens to Peter in "Fresh Heir" when he rips up his birth certificate.
    Peter: There is no light! There's only fire!
    • At the end of "3 Acts of God", Peter mentions that he asked God to perform another favor to him. Cue Meg fading away.

Jun 5th 2014 at 12:10:49 PM

In Final Fantasy X, Tidus does this at the end of the game.

Jun 5th 2014 at 7:24:11 PM

This could be the page quote, from The Hunting Of The Snark:

In the midst of the word he was trying to say,
In the midst of his laughter and glee,
He had softly and suddenly vanished away —
For the Snark was a Boojum, you see

Jul 2nd 2014 at 8:23:24 AM

^ Isn't that one form of this?

Jul 2nd 2014 at 5:29:47 PM

Star Trek The Next Generation: In "The Big Goodbye" (the first Holodeck Malfunction episode) a couple of holodeck characters, not believing that they aren't real, step out of the holodeck onto an Enterprise corridor. They congratulate themselves, then start fading away.

Jul 2nd 2014 at 10:00:12 PM

^^ Not always, but sometimes, given that you have a Back To The Future example.

Jul 2nd 2014 at 10:27:15 PM

Jul 31st 2014 at 8:50:20 AM

Five hats. Is the sponsor still there?

Jul 31st 2014 at 6:44:23 PM

Kim Possible: In "Blush", Drakken sprays Kim with pollen that takes her desire to disappear when embarrassed literally. Ron has to Find The Cure before she gets embarrassed out of existence.

Aug 1st 2014 at 4:12:20 AM

^^^ The OP Papercut Chainsaw last edited a work or trope page on March 24th 2014, so I'd say they're no longer around.

They also haven't posted here since 2011, so they lost interest in this proposal long ago anyway.

Aug 1st 2014 at 8:10:07 AM

So the OP has faded away? :P

Aug 1st 2014 at 11:22:36 AM

  • "The Tooth Fairy's Tats 2000" from South Park had Kyle fade away after questioning his existence for too long. Then reality gets warped, scaring way the adults trying to take the kids away, after which Kyle fades back into existence.

Aug 1st 2014 at 7:44:00 PM

Who wanna grab this? :D

Aug 4th 2014 at 2:24:44 AM

  • I Dream Of Jeannie had an episode like this where she and Tony had to journey to Mecca to reaffirm Jeannie's connection to her master. Tony put it off, and Jeannie began to disappear from the feet up, leaving her pink pantaloons hanging empty above the ankles, and going upward until they solved the problem.

Aug 4th 2014 at 9:54:55 AM

^ Didn't that also happen regarding Tony and Roger trying to find out her birthday?

Webcomics

  • IDGet. In this very early strip, Kevin is approached by his "memory" who slowly begins to fade away, saying Kevin needs to "refresh" him, though Kevin says he's not in the mood for metaphors.

Aug 4th 2014 at 2:56:08 PM

In The Pink Panther Strikes Again Inspector Dreyfus has gone insane and is threatening the world with a disintegratior ray. In the film's climax he gets hit with the ray himself and slowly fades away from the feet up.

Apr 1st 2018 at 6:36:52 PM

Western Animation

  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In "Fields of Honey", Babs learns from a video in the ACME Looniversity Library that laughter keeps cartoon characters young and immortal, and when a cartoon character is forgotten, it begins to age and fade from existence. Such was the case with Bosko The Talk Ink Kid and his girlfriend, Honey in the 1960's, when they were unable to regain the popularity they achieved in 1933. Babs showing Honey cartoons to the public and having them laugh at them bring Bosko and Honey back and restore them to their prime.
    • In "Sawdust and Toonsil", it is revealed that when Gogo Dodo is away from Wackyland for long periods of time, he loses his wackiness and begins to fade from existence. He begins to suffer this fate when he tries to rescue his captive friends from Wackyland from Silas Wonder, a wicked circus owner, but thankfully, he and his friends are rescued by Buster, Babs, and Plucky.

Apr 1st 2018 at 4:52:37 PM

This trope can also mean the person has Ascend To A Higher Plane Of Existence.

By the way, as this is a Death Trope, I think it's fine to have spoilers uncovered.

  • Blaz Blue: This is the end fate of Celica as of the fourth game. She's actually a soul pulled from the past and put in a new body that isn't going to last long, and the game's events forced her to use the last of her energy to save her companions. Around the middle of the game, her body slowly fades and she later disappears, but not before waving final goodbyes to the main characters.
  • Mega Man Zero: Cyber Elves die this way when they've used all of their power. This includes X (Zero's friend, now a Cyber Elf) in the end of the third game, after he's running thin on power after protecting the good guys. He gave one last request of protecting the world to Zero before he fades away.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 6:17:09 PM

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/miguel_fading1.jpg
http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/miguel_fading.jpg
Films Animated:

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Apr 1st 2018 at 8:33:22 PM

WebComic.El Goonish Shive: In comic id 1004, the Fox illusion does this, but with a cloudy effect. It was intended to be less disturbing than it was.

Apr 1st 2018 at 9:08:41 PM

  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic: In "Discordant Harmony", this is the end result of Discord, the Reality Warper spirit of chaos, attempting to make himself orderly to make his friend Fluttershy more comfortable in his home. Throughout the later half of the episode, Discord begins to become more and more transparent and his behavior more and more bland and robotic, until he fades to the point that his hands pass directly through objects when he tries to touch them. Fluttershy eventually figures out that since Discord is a creature of pure chaos, being orderly is essentially draining him of what sustains him and causing him to disappear.

If nobody else wants to take charge of this draft, I'm willing to sponsor it.

Apr 1st 2018 at 10:43:07 PM

  • Hannah Montana: This slowly starts happening to Jackson when he and Miley are taken back to the day their parents met and need to convince them to talk. It's Played For Laughs, as it's rather arbitrary which parts of his body start fading; and the inconsistent nature of his fate, as well as the fact that Miley's unaffected by it, are some of the hints that the plot was All Just A Dream brought on by Miley being struck by lightning beforehand.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 1:29:11 AM

This happened to Warlic in Adventure Quest in one of the quests. Due to something that occurred in the past, the resultant ripple effect affected his existence in the present.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 10:50:19 AM

I'm still willing to sponsor this, if no one has any objections.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 11:09:19 AM

  • Teen Beach Movie: This is the fate that Brady and Mack are afraid of when they get trapped in the movie, thanks to objects they brought with them (such as their modern bathing suits) disappearing as they get assimilated into the movie world. In the sequel, the same thing threatens Tanner and Leila, along with all of their friends from the film, when they get trapped in the real world. In the end, Tanner and Leila are the only ones left to return to the movie world, thus restoring their friends and preventing themselves from disappearing by ensuring the movie's existence.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 4:07:59 PM

All right, I'm pretty sure I got all the suggestions in the comments. How's this look now?

Apr 2nd 2018 at 4:18:50 PM

  • This happens to Dreyfus in The Pink Panther Strikes Again, as he and his entire castle are disintegrated by his own malfunctioning disintegration ray. Despite this apparent demise, he returns in the next movie with no explanation.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 4:22:03 PM

Possible page quote from Back To The Future: Marty: "His head's gone! It's like it's been erased." Doc: "Erased from existence."

Apr 2nd 2018 at 6:36:02 PM

This also pretty much falls under Ret Gone.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 8:15:08 PM

^ No, it does not. Ret Gone pertains to situations where someone is retconned from history — memories and records of them are rewritten not to include them, events and relationships change to not include their presence and actions, all evidence that they exist or ever existed is, with very few exceptions, gone. The person themselves may not be physically present anymore, or they may still be around and stuck in a world that does not know who they are. In the first case, it's likeliest that they're simply... not there in the rewritten timeline, because the events that caused them to be born and exist in the first place never happened. They were never born, so they're not here. Events where this proposed trope happens — where they start growing more and more transparent and immaterial and eventually vanish — sometimes crop up, but they're not particularly common and certainly not the rule.

This draft pertains to situation where, for whatever reason, someone disappears in a literal sense. They start to grow transparent, they sometimes grow immaterial, and in the end they may disappear by seemingly evaporating into thin air. This may happen quickly and the person in question up and vanishes, or slowly as the victim grown more and more ghostlike over time. This often, but not always, happens when a character or being's existence is tied to something specific and this thing is lost (in one The Twilight Zone example it's the cassettes used to create people being burned, in the Star Trek: The Next Generation example it's Holodeck characters leaving the hologram room that created them, in the My Little Pony example it's a chaos spirit who isn't chaotic anymore). I suppose it can include a character being removed from history after they finish fading away, but outside of specifically time travel-related examples this is not something that occurs in any of the listed examples here. The characters who vanish do so within a normal temporal context — they stop existing, but their prior existence and actions remain as they are and aren't edited out from history.

Ret Gone is an internal continuity trope pertaining to history being rewritten not to include one or more people. This would be a largely appearance-based trope pertaining to the physical manner in which someone dies.

Apr 2nd 2018 at 11:42:52 PM

Ret Gone is definitely related, though.

Apr 3rd 2018 at 12:43:10 AM

  • In Inside Out, Bing Bong dies by slowly fading out of existence.

Apr 3rd 2018 at 11:09:49 AM

Apr 3rd 2018 at 7:24:18 PM

I think this draft is as polished as it's going to get here. Can we start talking about launching it, or should we wait a little bit more?

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