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Back From The Dead / Live-Action TV

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Resurrections on live-action TV.

  • Frequently done on Soap Operas. Sometimes the audience knows while other characters don't, other times, everyone is clueless. While this is typically limited to certain types of deaths — plane crashes, explosions, drownings, an especially egregious example is The Bold and the Beautiful's Taylor, who was shot in the chest and clearly died in her husband's arms, yet was resurrected a few years later (this was the second "death" for the character, her previous one being a typical reversible one in a plane crash). Another example would be Den Watts in EastEnders, shot dead (with a gun concealed in a bunch of daffodils) only to be brought back years later as a ratings stunt.

  • 24 had Jack Bauer literally tortured to death on Day 2, but since he was tortured in a hospital and he still had information the terrorists wanted, he was brought back to life.
  • One rare exception to The 100's All Deaths Final setting is in season 3 with A.L.I.E. When a person who has swallowed the A.L.I.E chip or had their mind merged with the Flame/A.L.I.E 2.0 chip dies, their mind is uploaded into a mainframe, they become part of the AI, and they are technically still alive in the City of Light. This makes it so that Lexa is able to appear in the finale after her death in the real world to help Clarke in the City of Light.
  • The 4400: In the final scene of "Mommy's Bosses", it is revealed that Jordan Collier is alive. In the next episode "The New World", it becomes clear that Matthew Ross is aware of this but that he does not want anyone else to know. At the end of "The Starzl Mutation", Shawn and Tom learn that Jordan is alive when he turns up at Shawn and Isabelle's wedding calling Shawn's name and asking if he knows who he is. In "The Gospel According to Collier", NTAC begins an extensive search for Collier but they only manage to locate him when he visits Kyle at Evergreen State Penitentiary and asks if it is true that Kyle killed him. After Jordan is taken into custody, NTAC discovers that he has amnesia and that his thought processes are extremely distorted as a result of an apparent visit to the future. Alana uses her ability to restore his mind to normal. Once she does so, Jordan reveals that he knows what causes the future catastrophe and how to prevent it.
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  • Averted three times, with three of the principal characters, in American Gothic (1995): in the very first episode, Merlyn Temple is murdered by Sheriff Lucas Buck—but we see her as a ghost immediately in the very same episode and she remains around as Caleb's Spirit Advisor for the rest of the series; Caleb himself later dies after an electrocution accident, but is immediately resuscitated by Sheriff Buck's powers; and in the penultimate episode of the series, Buck is seemingly killed and buried (after being stabbed in the third eye, only to see his eyes pop open in the coffin just before the credits roll. (He isn't dug up until the series finale, however.)
  • In Arrow, this has never explicitly happened, but characters have been coming back from presumed death a whole lot.
    • The entire premise of the show is Oliver's return. Even before that, though, he is presumed dead at least twice even on the island. Then there's the present day too...
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    • Slade Wilson, Floyd Lawton, Sara Lance etc. and etc. Basically, if anyone even remotely interesting dies (especially in flashbacks), there's a good chance they're perfectly fine.
    • Malcolm Merlyn somewhat implies that he had help of the Lazarus Pit variety in his return. Then, the explicit inclusion of Ra's al Ghul and his magic waters in season three suggests that this trope is here to stay.
    • Sara Lance is killed at the start of Season 3, and resurrected in the Lazarus Pit the following season.
    • The cliffhanger for the Season 5 midseason finale of Arrow has Laurel showing up in the bunker, apparently alive and well. But subverted, as it's actually her doppelgänger from Earth-2. In fact, the Word of God is that Earth-1's Laurel is dead for good has resulted in fan backlash, considering the numerous ways she could be brought back in the Arrowverse. Hell, Sara's main goal in Season 2 of Legends of Tomorrow is to find a way to save her sister and even obtaining the means to do that (Spear of Destiny), only to decide that it's better for Laurel to stay dead.
    • In Legends of Tomorrow Season 3, Damien Darhk is resurrected by his grown-up daughter Nora.
    • Eobard Thawne can't seem to stay dead, no matter how many times he's erased from existence.
  • John Sheridan from Babylon 5 (complete with the Monty Python and the Holy Grail reference, "I got better.").
  • In The Brittas Empire Gordan Brittas is crushed by a falling water tank and goes to heaven, but is returned to life on Earth. St Peter considers him too annoying to stay in heaven but not bad enough to go to hell.
  • Buffyverse examples:
    • Buffy was dead for nearly five months at the conclusion of Season 5 but she was brought back by Willow's magic, Angel after Season 2 was brought back from hell, Spike (Heroic Sacrifice in the last episode of Buffy, returned as a ghost on Angel). Many Buffyverse characters were Killed Off for Real, though, sometimes despite efforts to bring them back supernaturally (Joyce Summers and Tara; Whedon did once plan to resurrect the latter). Angel also did a Lampshade Hanging on this trope in the episode "Shells," in which Angel and Spike talk about how in "their world", dead doesn't always mean dead. The trope is subverted in the same episode, as it's made clear that even though Fred's body is being used by the demon goddess Illyria, Fred can't be brought back by supernatural means as one might expect (the writers did plan on eventually splitting them apart though, had the series not been denied a sixth season).
    • Angel's mission in Season 9 of Buffy is to find a way to resurrect Giles in a world without magic; he comes close. After he and Faith obtain the Crown of Coils, they dig up his coffin to find it empty. Nadira and some other slayers come and she tells him to resurrect a dead slayer, though Angel tells her that he can't. The girls instead go to someone they have heard would be able to do it. It turns out to be Giles.
    • The Master does this at least four times. In an early comic (he tries possessing Xander); in the Xbox game (possesses Angel); in the book "Portal Through Time" (really briefly due to a minion monkeying around with time); and the Season 8 comics (the Seed of Wonder brings him back so he can act as its protector).
    • One comic story had The Mayor briefly return as a wayward spirit capable of Demonic Possession.
    • This happens to Forrest thanks to Adam.
  • Charmed (2018): It turns out that Macy was resurrected by a dead necromancer whom her mother called for this purpose after her death as a baby.
  • Bobby in Dallas. Resolved by making an entire season turn out to be a dream How original.
  • Doctor Who has made a career on this, exclusive of the Doctor themself, who, conveniently enough, has their own trope.
    • Outside of mere regeneration, there have been numerous times where the Master has seemingly been killed and come back for more.
      • At least twice (Anthony Ainley's Master and John Simm's Master) the body has been assumed to have been burned to ashes, and yet later that particular incarnation was back for more mischief, with Simm being resurrected on-screen.
      • Michelle Gomez's Missy was vapourised in her first appearance, and was back in the next story. Her "explanation", in full, is "Not dead, big surprise, never mind."note  Missy was last seen having been shot In the Back with an Anti-Regeneration blast (by her past self!) minutes before a massive explosion ripped through the spaceship deck she was on... and then the Master turned up in a new incarnation at the top of Series 12 not bothering to explain how (not that the Doctor is likely to ask in this case, not knowing that Missy died to begin with).
    • Peri was stated to have been killed by King Yrcanos during the "Trial of a Time Lord" arc. Later in the same arc, it's stated that she survived and married Yrcanos.
    • "The Parting of the Ways": Captain Jack Harkness is killed by the Daleks when they invade the Gamestation, as he buys the Doctor a bit more time to work on a "Delta Wave" that can kill them all. When Rose, having absorbed the Time Vortex, returns as the Physical God Bad Wolf, she brings him back to life, with, as revealed on Torchwood, Resurrective Immortality into the bargain.
    • Steven Moffat pulled a coup by essentially having the entire known universe come back from not only exploded, but erased from all history in "The Big Bang". This included Rory, who was killed in a previous episode, erased from history and replaced with an Auton clone, then brought back as a human properly in a rebooted universe.
      • It was even lampshaded by Rory in his final episode, when he decides to kill himself in order to create a paradox to escape the Angels. Amy, of course, is none-too-pleased with the plan and asks, "Then, what, you just come back to life?" Rory responds, "When don't I?"
    • Series 9 took this to a whole new level as the Doctor not once, but twice, creates immortal beings in order to prevent final death. The first, Ashildr, becomes a semi-enemy of the Doctor and her survival indirectly leads to the death of Clara Oswald. Clara's case is a zigzag; technically frozen in time, not dead, she is time looped the moment before her final death by the Doctor and as such becomes functionally immortal until such a time as she is returned to her timestream.
  • This was the biggest magic act of magician Henry Doheny in Drake & Josh. When the two titular characters volunteered for Doheny's act, the magician lays in the box, which Drake and Josh impales with swords. When they fail to make Doheny reappear, the magician is presumed dead and everyone implements his funeral, which he appears out of nowhere alive and well, stating that it was all part of the magic act.
  • In Due South, Benton Fraser's dead father, Bob Fraser, proved so popular that he returned to the show as a spirit guide to his son—albeit an irritatingly unhelpful one. In a later season, Fraser Sr. even sets up an extradimensional office in Fraser's office closet.
  • In the original pilot episode of ER, Julianna Margulies' character Carol Hathaway overdoses on pills and alcohol. Although she's technically still alive at the end of the episode, the other characters' dialogue indicates that her chances of survival are slim. This was the original plan, but the actress proved popular with test audiences, who were also intrigued at the hints of a relationship with Doug Ross. Therefore, in the second non-pilot episode, she is back and recovering from her "suicide attempt".
  • Happens multiple times to Kim on Eureka. First she comes back from the dead, only for Carter to realize that Henry had time traveled to save her from dying the first place. Second, she comes back from the dead only to be a sentient AI that had adopted her form.
  • The Fades does this with Paul. After he's hit by a truck and left effectively braindead, his family make the decision to switch off his life support — after which his body spectacularly resurrects itself, firmly establishing him as The Chosen One.
  • Villains of Farscape made a habit of dying and then coming back for more. One villain, Durka, came back twice until Rygel took his head off and stuck it on a scepter.
    • ESPECIALLY Scorpius, with a nice callback to Durka.
      Crichton: (to Scorpius) Kryptonite, silver bullet, Buffy. What's it gonna take to keep you in the grave?
      D'Argo: Perhaps we should just take your head off. Worked for Durka.
  • In Father Ted, Father Jack 'died', and left a substantial estate to Fathers Ted and Dougal. Either out of respect, or tradition, or as a condition of the will, they spent the night in the crypt with Father Jack's body. In the middle of the night, Father Jack comes back to life. It was later determined that Father Jack appeared to die because he had drunk too much Toilet Duck.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Jon Snow was killed by his fellow Night's Watch members in the Season 5 finale. Season 6 had him revived by Melisandre, most notable in a series where Anyone Can Die.
    • Beric Dondarrion has an astounding record of 7 revivals, by his close friend Thoros of Myr. He's still alive as in Season 6, while his book character died reviving Catelyn Stark.
    • The Hound, and Benjen Stark (Ned's only surviving brother) pull off spectacular ones as well. The Hound was Only Mostly Dead and was helped back to recovery by a Septon, and Benjen Stark Came Back Strong. To elaborate, Benjen was actually killed by a White Walker, and left for dead, with the Children of the Forest saving him the same way they created the White Walkers. He's dead enough not to go back south, and also alive enough, to have his own personality, conscience and pull a Big Damn Heroes, unlike the wights.
    • It's unclear of Qyburn revived Gregor Clegane after death or prevented said death, but the effect is this trope either way, with how Gregor was wounded beyond normal means of healing.
  • The entire premise of Glitch is about this trope. Kate, Maria, Kirstie, John, Charlie, Paddy, and Carlo were dead and buried, now they're alive and in good health, though their memories are a bit lacking.
  • Gossip Girl:
    • Chuck's mother in season three.
    • And as of season five, Chuck's father too.
  • Hammer House of Horror: The neglected son in the episode "Growing Pains".
  • Done to death (no pun intended) in the 5th season of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys. First, Iolaus was dead, then he was a ghost in a cave in Ireland, then an avatar for Dahak the Evil God, then a "Guardian of the Light", then a jester from an alternative universe until he became a merman then alive for real.
  • On the other side of Super Hero Time, Kamen Rider does this just as commonly as Sentai:
    • Becoming an Orphnoch is usually what this trope entails in Kamen Rider Faiz. When someone dies, there is a very slim chance that the person will be revived as an Orphnoch.
    • Phillip, one half of the eponymous Kamen Rider Double, is reduced to data in episode 48, and returns in the next.
    • Gamel and Mezool were the first of the Greeed in Kamen Rider OOO to be killed. However, Uva, outnumbered and outgunned against Kazari, farms a massive amount of Cell Medals and retrieves several of their Core Medals in order to bring them back to life. Comically, Gamel doesn't really seem to notice he died and came back to life, being too focused on finding candy.
    • The Phantom Phoenix from Kamen Rider Wizard returns right after being destroyed by the debut of Wizard's Flame Dragon Style in #9, ironic considering the Phoenix is often associated with rebirth. The very next episode reveals that mana was behind Phoenix's revival.
    • While Kamen Rider Gaim usually averted this, when the following season, Kamen Rider Drive, had its team up movie, Ryoma Sengoku, a villain killed off near the end of the show, and Kaito Kumon, the secondary Rider and the final opponent of the main story, were both brought back to life by the movie's main antagonist. By the end of the movie, both were killed again.
  • Kingdom Adventure: The Prince comes back to life after being killed—it's even stated that He did in the opening title sequence! All part of who He represents.
  • Legend of the Seeker:
    • The Mord-Sith can do this by using the Breath of Life. It seems to heal the fatal wounds suffered, but it won't save you if your windpipe was severed, or if your body was too badly damaged, and it has to be used within a short amount of time after the death.
    • The banelings are people who made a bargain with the Keeper in exchange for coming back to life and escaping his clutches-kill one person a day, or else rot away into dust, dead again.
    • Zedd tries to bring a woman back in the episode "Wizard" and appears to succeed. However, it is revealed that it was the Keeper who brought her back as a baneling. Apparently, even wizards of the First Order are not strong enough to defeat death.
    • Darken Rahl reveals to Richard that he has been a baneling for decades, slaughtering thousands to appease his master, the Keeper.
    • In the finale, Cara, Dahlia, Leo, Nicci, and Richard. Keep in mind that the second season revolves around the barrier between the world of life and the underworld breaking down, so it fits with the overall theme.
    • Combined with an unwilling Grand Theft Me Dennee is brought back into the body of another woman.
    • In "Princess", combined with a willing Grand Theft Me: Nicci is brought back into the body of another Sister who sacrifices herself for this purpose.
    • Richard in "Resurrection" is brought back by a wizard with shadow water.
    • Both Cara and Thaddicus in "Hunger".
    • In "Walter", Darken Rahl is brought back in the body of a double.
  • A number of characters on Lost have been seen walking around the island, or even off of it, despite having very clearly died. The most notable is Christian Shephard, who died before the series began, and whose body also disappeared from his coffin.
    • Directly subverted when the Man In Black steals Locke's body and begins masquerading as him, causing everyone, including viewers, to think that the same thing happened to Locke.
    • Charlie technically dies in an early episode after being hanged by Ethan Rom, but is resuscitated by a determined Jack.
    • Mikhail is killed multiple times.
    • In a final season arc, Sayid is resuscitated by the water of the Temple.
  • The all-time king of Back from the Dead is Murdoc, MacGyver's Arch-Nemesis, who died at the end of (almost) every episode in which he appeared, usually by falling off a cliff and exploding while shouting an enraged "MacGyver!"
  • My Mother the Car, in which the main character's mother is reincarnated as an old car.
  • In an episode of Nip/Tuck, Julia's mother dies in a plane crash. When looking through the bodies, Julia finally finds the unidentifiably charred, but still human-shaped, remains of her mother. Suddenly, the body takes a huge gasp. Terrified, and knowing the woman will not have much a chance at survival anyway, Julia smothers her with a pillow. Later, she enters her apartment, where her mother has been sitting safe and sound all along, as she decided not to take the plane today.
  • Nos 4 A 2: Manx gets resurrected (even after he's partly dissected, with a scalpel in his heart) once his car gets started up again by Bing.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "Corner Of The Eye", Father Royce is resurrected by his friend Father Jonascu after he dies.
    • In "New Lease", a pair of scientists make a device which can apparently resurrect the dead. Unfortunately, the first test subject died within 24 hours of being resurrected. When one of the scientists dies, and is resurrected with this machine, he believes he has the same 24 hour lifespan. So he goes vigilante on the murderer and turns himself in. Of course, it turns out the device resurrected him for real.
  • The Outpost:
    • Garret is resurrected by the Three, after he's accidentally killed by negative conditioning that went overboard (i.e. he was beaten to death).
    • Sana also revives One long enough to transfer his Kinge into her.
  • Brona from Penny Dreadful is resurrected in the second season premiere, in order to create a bride for Frankenstein's Creature.
  • Perry Mason (2020): Sister Alice claims she can do this and bring back Charlie Dodson. Later she stages a dramatic display of the feat complete with revealing an empty coffin. Subverted however when it's revealed the baby who's found nearby is not him, but someone else, with black hair, brown eyes (Charlie's eyes were blue, his hair blond) and much smaller, with shorter limbs. Even so, his mother goes with it, perhaps because she's so desperate to have her son back.
  • In Preacher, Tulip is resurrected in "Angelville" after being shot and killed by Lara in the season two finale. Whether or not it was due to Madame Marie's voodoo magic, or due to God himself intervening, is ambiguous.
  • Prison Break, Sarah is decapitated in the second ("SONA") season, then magically is alive in the fourth season. This was because Sarah Wayne Callies, the actress, quit the show before the second season, then two years later changed her mind.
  • The main character of Pushing Daisies has this power. He can touch someone and bring them back from the dead for one minute — any longer, and someone in random proximity dies in their place. Chuck, his childhood sweetheart, was the one he didn't want to send back. He could never touch her again or she'd be gone for good because the dead are meant to remain that way.
  • In series 8 of Red Dwarf the dead crew members are rebuilt by nanobots.
  • The premise of Resurrection is about people mysteriously coming from the dead.
  • The basic plot of Les Revenants is dead people coming back to life for no reason after being dead for years.
  • The entire premise of Second Chance. Sheriff Jimmy Pritchard (plus some goldfish) have been brought back to life.
  • The Secret Circle: Nick, though Melissa finishes him off to save Jake.
  • Sesame Street: In the critically acclaimed "I'll Miss You, Mr. Hooper" episode from 1983, Big Bird's initial confusion and misunderstanding of the concept of death leads to his conclusion that Mr. Hooper is coming back (ergo, is just merely away for a little bit). In this story that very much averts this trope, Big Bird had drawn photos of his adult friends, including Hooper and goes to look for the beloved storekeeper, when he is reminded that Hooper had died. "Oh yeah, I remember. Well, I'll just give it to him when he gets back," replies Big Bird ... only for a clearly emotional Susan be told that when people die, "they don't come back." Big Bird eventually seems to get it, but only after beginning to cry and wondering why he had to die. The adults help Big Bird realize that, even though Hooper will never be "back from the dead" (i.e., everyone dies at some point and that it is final), the love he had for Hooper and the fond memories he had of him will always be.
  • Subverted in Sherlock, when the Cliffhanger ending of Season Three showed Jim Moriarty apparently reappearing after shooting himself in the head at the end of the second season. However, it turned out to be a case of Post-Mortem Comeback. (The audience was masterfully trolled in one fourth season episode, where a scene which appeared to show him arriving triumphantly at the venue of the main action turned out to be a flashback. It's unclear whether this was planned as a subversion or a straight example, as the showrunners appear to have been surprised by the massively negative fan and critic response to the cliffhanger.)
  • And then, there's Jamie Sommers. In her debut episode in The Six Million Dollar Man, she suffers a cerebral clot during her debut mission, goes berserk, and dies at the end of the episode. Popularity Power, however, made ABC do some Executive Meddling to retcon this death so that the characters in the show would work on a way to repair the clot while Jamie is kept in suspended animation. She, however, suffered amnesia as a side effect of fixing the clot, thus she and titular Six Million Dollar Man, Steve Austin were unable to resume their relationship until the 1987 reunion movie, where an explosive accident cured her of her amnesia.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Jack, Daniel and Sam are all personally killed for real by Apophis in The Nox. They get better.
    • Apophis is killed in "Serpent's Song", only to come Back from the Dead in "Jolinar's Memories". He is killed again, but manages to return in the Alternate Universe created in "Moebius".
    • In the episode where Apophis dies the first time, the Stargate team turn his dead body over to his enemy Sokar in order to keep Sokar from attacking Stargate Command. Just as they do so, one character notes that Sokar can resurrect Apophis an unlimited number of times so that he can keep torturing and killing him. In all likelihood, Apophis died dozens of times off-screen.
    • Apophis's habit of coming back is Lampshaded when, after he is finally Killed Off for Real, O'Neill tells Hammond that he's "100% s-sure... 99% sure Apophis is really dead".
    • Lieutenant Kowalski is killed in the second episode. Whenever an Alternate Universe is visited, a counterpart of his shows up, who proceeds to die again (except for one time).
    • Daniel Jackson has come Back from the Dead (twice through Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence and later becoming mortal again, the other times through Applied Phlebotinum) so much it's now a Running Gag. One time it happened, it was pointed out that he's been missing for weeks, and the Replicator ship he was definitely on exploded in the middle of space. O'Neill's response? "I'm not buying it." And Daniel shows up alive and well (but naked) by the end of the episode. This video provides some good data on how many deaths he's had.
      "Doctor Jackson is going to die when he sees this."
      "What, again?"
      • Though the one time he was given a funeral he actually wasn't really dead, it was the first season and they hadn't caught on yet.
    • Jackson even manages to turn it into a sort of Badass Boast. Someone asks if he'll ever stop fighting, and he responds, "Not till I'm dead." Then after a beat, adds, "Sometimes not even then."
    • In the fourth season episode "2010", all four of the regular cast are killed for real in a future timeline, but not before they manage to send a note into the past that will allow them to avoid their fates (which, of course, creates a temporal paradox, but the show rarely dwells on such things).
  • Several times in Star Trek: The Original Series.
    • Ambiguously in Charlie X, after several people wiped out of existence by the titular Reality Warper are brought back.
    • "What Are Little Girls Made Of" has Doctor Roger Korby, a scientist that used Alien Tech to make an android clone of himself as he was dying. The episode ending is ambiguous on this point, as android!Korby commits suicide when he comes to realize he's not the same person his human self was, and Kirk says later that Roger Korby had already died before they arrived.
    • Bones is killed by a knight in the episode Shore Leave, and brought back by the hyper-advanced aliens that created said knight.
    • In "Return To Tomorrow", Spock is killed twice (once in spirit, once in body) to ensure the eradication of a malevolent alien that has possessed him, and then returned to life by Sufficiently Advanced Aliens of the same species.
    • In "By Any Other Name", the aliens can turn people into lifeless cubes of gray chalk, which can be reconstituted — as long as they stay in one piece.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. This trope is homaged in the Flash Gordon-homage holodeck program "The Adventures of Captain Proton!", when Proton runs into henchman Lonzak.
    Lonzak: "Surprised? You thought I'd perished in that den of crocodiles! I SURVIVED! CLINGING to the thought that I would ONE DAY Arrrgh!" (Proton zaps him with his raygun)
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, a small percentage of the Trill species carries an extremely long-lived symbiote, which, upon death, is passed to another eligible Trill. This happens to the Dax symbiote in the very first episode of the series, when it is passed from old man Curzon to main to Jadzia and when Jadzia Dax is killed in the sixth season finale, the Dax symbiote comes Back From the Dead as Ezri at the end of the seventh season premiere, thus making them half Back from the Dead, half Suspiciously Similar Substitute, with just a hint of The Nth Doctor thrown in for good measure.
  • Supernatural: John Winchester (played by Jeffrey Dean Morgan) pulls this off by dying in the season 2 opener "In My Time of Dying", and then charging out of the gates of hell in the season finale.
    • This happens a lot in the show. Mary Winchester makes an appearance in "Home" and "What is and What Should Never Be." Jess also comes back for the latter episode. Mary comes back FOR REAL in the season 11 finale, having revived by the Darkness for redeeming her. With this, everyone who posseses the name Winchester has been back.
    • Dean died in the season 3 finale and got dragged into hell when his deal was up despite Sam's best efforts to save him. He was back next season dragged out of hell by an angel.
    • Sam died in "All Hell Breaks Loose", instigating Dean's deal, and later causing his death at the end of the next season. Luckily, he got better. In season 4 episode "In the Beginning", it is revealed that John was killed by Azazel before he and Mary were ever married, and that Mary's deal to bring him back was the cause of both her death and Sam's part in the demon's plan. This means every male member of the Winchester family has died and come back at least once. Some family! Sam and Dean have each come back from the dead about a half dozen times a piece (not counting Deans dying about 100 times in one episode), as Ash so eloquently put it: "You boys die more than anyone I've ever meet."
      • Sam also dies in 5x13, but Michael brings him back to life.
      • Sam "dies" at the end of season five in the finale when he sacrifices himself by throwing himself as Lucifer and Adam as Michael into the pits of Hell. He is resurrected, albeit without his soul.
    • And as of 5x18, Adam is now included in this group, meaning that even illegitimate Winchesters somehow manage to pull this off.
    • Bobby Singer dies in the finale of season five, but is revived before the end of the episode by Castiel. The second time he dies he's officially Killed Off for Real, but given his status as a Fan Favourite the writers managed to keep him involved for most ofthe rest of the season, and have still managed to include him in every season since, in his various afterlives, flashbacks, or even alternate universes.
    • As of Season 6, their grandfather Samuel Campbell pulls off the same trick. Guess even Mary's side of the family has the immortal males gene.
    • Justified for Dean and Sam, since various higher (and lower) powers have a vested interest in keeping them alive.
    • Castiel was also blown up and resurrected twice, and came back a third time after being seemingly torn apart from the inside by Leviathans.
    • There are four episodes so far in season 9. So far both Cas and Charlie have died and come back, in back to back episodes no less.
  • This is commonplace in both Super Sentai and Power Rangers, it often happens to the villains but sometimes heroes as well. Infact, pretty much 75% of Monsters of the Week are brought back from the dead after being destroyed first, when they are given a dose of Make My Monster Grow (though of course, this varies according to series, such as Himitsu Sentai Goranger and J.A.K.Q. Dengekitai, which have no giant monsters, or Battle Fever J and Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters, where the giant monsters are separate entities that are merely modeled on the human-sized monsters). Samurai Sentai Shinkenger explicitly refers to the human-sized Ayakashi as being in their first life, while their giant form being their second life.
    • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy: Kendrix Morgan (the season's first Pink Ranger), who had left the show via Dying Moment of Awesome when her actress had to leave to undergo leukemia treatments, is brought back to life at the end when returning the Quasar Sabers to the stone restores the people of Mirinoi. This was done to acknowledge the success of the treatments.
    • The prologue of the Massive Multiplayer Crossover 35th anniversary series Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger features the first 34 Sentai teams facing off against the greatest invasion the Earth has faced. To get around the minority of Sentai heroes that were Killed Off for Real in their respective series, it is revealed that deceased warriors temporarily returned to fight in the Legendary War.
      • On the villainous side, King Ryuuwon from Boukenger comes back in #21, demoted to Monster of the Week. Being the monster of the week, he doesn't make it past the end of the episode.
      • Gai Yuki literally comes back from the dead in #28. Granted though, he's a ghost, and he returns to the afterlife by the end of the episode.
  • In the Tales from the Crypt episode "Dig That Cat... He's Real Gone", the main character has a gland from a cat's brain implanted. He then gains the cat's 9 lives, and his benefactor and him do carnival shows where he dies but the gland brings him back. Eventually, he kills his benefactor. Then he goes to perform his final trick. But, after being buried alive in an airtight coffin, with a candle flickering out, he remembers the cat died once to get the gland—so this is his last life and he isn't coming back. Cue screams of panic as the candle goes out.
  • Teen Wolf: Through her hallucinations, Peter instructs Lydia on how to resurrect him with the promise of ridding Lydia of her visions. Scott, the main character of the show, has died and came back three times. The first time he sacrificed himself to save his mother, the second time he also sacrificed himself so the Benefactor wouldn't kill him and he could save his friends, and the third time he was killed by Theo but resurected by his mother, Melissa.
  • The Tonight Show: During the Johnny Carson era, a Carson Players skit humorously played up the concept in a spoof of the era's E.F. Hutton & Co. commercials. (The commercials for the stock brokerage firm usually had two people having a conversation and one of them would remark that their broker was E.F. Hutton; that caused everyone around them to stop all conversation to listen to him. Following would be the firm's tag line: "When E.F. Hutton talks, people listen."). The skit had two people gathering at a funeral visitation when the conversation turned to finances. Once the young man said "E.F. Hutton," all conversation stopped and began to listen... even the corpse (Carson), who sat up in his casket(!) to hear what the professional had to say.
    • That could have been Tommy Newsome instead. He once played a dead guy in a coffin for one of the Tea Time Movie skits.
  • Timeless: in the second season, Rittenhouse brings back Jessica to distract Wyatt, infiltrate the Bunker, and steal the Lifeboat. These events directly lead to Rufus's death, who later comes back to life himself after Flynn sacrifices himself to kill Jessica once more on the night she was supposed to die.
    • Subverted with Amy and Flynn's family; despite all the discussion of bringing them back, they ultimately decide not to.
  • Torchwood pulls this one quite a bit too, though sometimes not quite in the manner the audience is hoping for.
    • The team leader Jack Harkness is killed on a regular basis and often proclaimed dead-at-the-scene, but fortunately for him it never sticks.
    • Owen Harper is killed halfway through series two and is resurrected using the Risen Mitten. Unfortunately he comes back as an unbreathing, unconsuming, un-you-know-what-ing effective zombie. He is not pleased. He also temporarily plays portal for the Grim Reaper to invade the Earth and start hunting down the people of Cardiff. Also Owen will spend the rest of the series as a walking corpse.
    • At the conclusion of Miracle Day, Rex gains Jack's healing ability.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "The Last Rites of Jeff Myrtlebank", the title character comes back from the dead in the middle of his funeral and demands to know why someone put him in a coffin. Due to the strange changes in his behavior, the townsfolk begin to worry that it was not Jeff that came back but a demon. It is never made clear whether this is the case but he certainly Came Back Wrong in some way.
    • In "Valley of the Shadow", Philip Redfield's dog Rollie is killed when Philip's car impacts against the Invisible Wall surrounding Peaceful Valley, New Mexico. However, he is almost immediately revived and appears none the worse for wear.
    • In "Mr. Garrity and the Graves", the peddler Jed Garrity claims that he can resurrect the dead. After performing the resurrection ceremony, he swindles the townspeople of Happiness, Arizona out of their money by promising that he will not bring the people buried in Boot Hill Cemetery back to life since most of them were holding grudges when they died. It turns out that the ceremony had succeeded in resurrecting the dead.
  • In the Ultra Series, it is quite common with Ultra hosts, as a number of Ultramen specifically choose someone who has died a heroic death to be their host and bring them back as a reward. It's not entirely uncommon for Ultras to die and be resurrected as well, through light, Heroic Willpower, The Power of Friendship, etc. In fact the Land of Light actually has the means to resurrect them (with the Ultra Mother being adept at it). However, this also means that the bad guys can do it too, and monsters also tend to get resurrected by villains on a regular basis as a result.
  • Done a few times in Warehouse 13. First, Artie is killed in an explosion but then rematerializes thanks to the Phoenix giving his death to someone else. Then three characters die in the Season 3 finale only to be brought back thanks to Time Travel (although one of them dies almost immediately anyway). The Dragon of Season 3 also has this ability thanks to Johann Maelzel's Metronome. He suffers No Ontological Inertia when Claudia stops the metronome and later uses it to revive Jinx who is, at first, dependent on the artifact to stay alive but later is free of it.
  • Witchblade the television show had one of these per season: Danny in season one and Kenneth Irons in season two. In both cases the character was clearly dead, but stuck around all season in a less concrete capacity.
  • The X-Files loves this trope; only very few characters actually stay dead.
    • Most notably is Mulder himself. After being abducted during the season 7 finale, he is returned dead in late season 8. The next episode finds him actually alive inside his coffin, thanks to an alien virus.
    • This same alien virus is what allows Billy Miles to return to life, too. He goes from being a bloated, drowned human to an invincible Super Soldier as a result of the virus.
    • Robert Patrick Modell ("Pusher") was shot at point blank range by Mulder, and it was stated clearly that he would not regain consciousness before dying. He comes back for revenge in season 5.
    • Both Monica Reyes and Scully are pronounced brain dead at different points in the series, only to emerge from their respective comas healthy.
    • The Cigarette Smoking Man, too, died, only to resurface in the series finale.
    • Jeffery Spender was shot at point-blank range in the face, and for all indications, has died. He makes a reappearance in the final season horribly disfigured.
    • Agent Doggett was killed by a shotgun blast at nearly point blank range only to come back after a creature ate him to life.
    • An alternate universe Doggett died in order to restore the original universe Doggett and Reyes to life (who had had her throat cut).
    • Walter Skinner died in Vietnam when his unit was ambushed. He later woke up in a hospital having witnessed his body on the ground as well as his friends.


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