Follow TV Tropes


Attending Your Own Funeral

Go To
"Brick was a great man, and I will miss him so much.
And I will not rest until I find his killer."

Priestbot: We are gathered here to mourn the death of Calculon; industrialist, private eye... friend.
Calculon: Mind if I give the eulogy?
Monique: Calculon, you're alive!

A character shows up alive to their own funeral, whether through deliberately faking it, being mistakenly declared dead, resurrection, or Time Travel. The Not Quite Dead character may either reveal themself to be alive or attend the funeral in disguise and leave with no one the wiser. Or sometimes the character won't even know they've been presumed dead until they walk through the door…

Compare Whodunnit to Me?. May cross over with Not Now, We're Too Busy Crying Over You. See also The "Fun" in "Funeral", of which this could be a subtrope.

As this is a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


    open/close all folders 

  • When you wait forever for the cable guy, you get bored. When you get bored, you start staring out the windows. When you start staring out windows, you see things you shouldn't see. When you see things you shouldn't see, you need to vanish. When you need to vanish, you fake your own death. When you fake your own death, you dye your eyebrows. And when you dye your eyebrows, you attend your own funeral as a guy named Phil Schiffly. Don't attend your own funeral as a guy named Phil Schiffly. Get Rid of Cable and upgrade to DirecTV. Call 1-800-DIRECTV.
  • A commercial for whiskey tells the story of a man, John Jameson, who dived into the ocean to rescue one of his kegs and presumably died. The next scene shows his funeral with the narrator telling us "All of Ireland was in attendance, including... John Jameson." Jameson is then seen walking up the beachfront holding the keg. An extended version of the commercial shows him being grabbed by a Giant Octopus while swimming for the keg, presumably putting him into badass territory.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Sharon Vineyard aka Vermouth in Case Closed. She even made herself pass as her own daughter and gave the eulogy!
  • Although it wasn't really real, Erza in Fairy Tail has a dream where she had really died when she merged with the Tower of Heaven in an effort to stop it from blowing up. She watches her friends in Fairy Tail mourn at her grave, and group of council officials bestow a title upon her. Finally, Natsu crashes the funeral proceedings and vehemently denies Erza's death, which only causes the entire group to break down into tears. Either way, really dramatic. Luckily, it was only a dream, and Natsu saved Erza before she could really die.
  • In Gintama, Butt-Monkey Yamazaki ends up witnessing his own funeral, which is a pathetic little afterthought tacked onto the real show: the funeral services of Matsudaira's dog.
  • At the end of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Battle Tendency, Joseph Joestar returns home to New York and hears his friends and family are attending a funeral; only when he arrives, sees their shocked faces, and finally looks at the headstone does he realize it's his funeral. As it turned out, Joseph was in traction for two weeks following the Final Battle and asked Suzi Q to send a telegram to let everyone know he was alright (and that the two of them had gotten married in the meantime). Suzi...forgot.
    Joseph: Oh no! This woman is unbelievable!
  • Prince Chagum in Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit is seen attending his own funeral among the kneeling crowd of commoners.
  • Pell of One Piece, after his supposed Heroic Sacrifice, turns up alive looking in shock at his own gravestone.
  • Tsuna from Reborn! (2004) is transported into the future in time for his older self's secret funeral. Not surprisingly, he was pretty freaked out.
  • Speed Racer: Rex Racer fakes his own death to become Racer X. One scene at the end of the movie shows him attending his own funeral. Speed Racer himself actually does this in one episode of the original series.
  • Yusuke at the beginning of YuYu Hakusho. Unlike most of these examples, he really is dead, watching it as a ghost at the time. Seeing how much he's missed gives him the resolve necessary to go through some difficult ordeals to get himself resurrected.

    Audio Plays 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who story "Fond Farewell", the titular funeral parlor creates a short-lived replica of the deceased to attend the wake and give the mourners a chance to say goodbye.

    Comic Books 
  • When Norman Osborn showed up alive during The Clone Saga, he claimed to have done this, watching from a distance simply out of a sick sense of amusement. (The body was a vagrant he had murdered in order to fake his death.)
  • Deadpool did this in spirit form. He found that he was able to possess people and had no end of fun causing trouble, culminating in a giant brawl between Juggernaut, Wolverine, T-Ray, and pretty much every other minor character to appear in Deadpool's book up to that point.
  • In The Death of Groo, Groo the Wanderer goes to his own funeral, expecting there to be much sadness at his demise. There isn't. Everybody at that funeral had had endless trouble with him, and they were all delighted at his "death."
  • Fantastic Four: The Invisible Woman got buried once... And she attended, seeing as it was herself from the future. She even, like the Runaways example, gave her own eulogy.
  • In Hellblazer, Chas tells his drinking buddies of a time when everyone thought John Constantine dead, only for him to turn up alive and well at his funeral. (This wouldn't be the only time Constantine would be presumed dead.)
  • ORPHANIMO!!: played with in Banzaï potvis!; when Valllalkozo is assumed dead while he actually crashed on a deserted war ship, and his ex-wife Ursula organizes a "funeral" for him. Vallalkozo does not actually attend it, but he does watch it on a navigation system turned into an improvised TV. Although he is outraged at Ursula's obvious attempt to take over his company (since she knows he is in fact still alive but can't be bothered to rescue him), he is honestly touched when the coffin is lowered into the grave and admits Ursula does have a sense of drama.
  • In an The Inspector feature from Gold Key's The Pink Panther comic book, The Inspector appears disguised as a cake topper resembling himself when criminals toast his "demise" at a celebration party.
  • In Runaways, Gertrude Yorkes helps bury a future version of herself underneath the HOLLYWOOD sign.
  • In Whatever Happened to The Caped Crusader?, Batman attends a funeral for multiple versions of himself, with eulogies telling how he was killed in each one.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side: One strip features a bear funeral. The guest of honor sits up in the coffin during the viewing, saying "Cripes, I was just hibernating. Don't you guys bother to take a pulse?"
  • Pearls Before Swine strip for 1-29-13. Larry the crocodile had apparently been eaten by killer dolphins (long story) and his friends set up a memorial dinner for him. He was actually still alive, and attended the dinner, telling them that he was a ghost and that if they didn't give him food he'd haunt them forever.

    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs: Defied in "What if Jake was stuck in morph?" After Rachel fakes Jake's death, Marco asks him if he wants to go to his own funeral. Jake, Rachel, and Cassie simultaneously say "no".
  • Astral Journey: It's Complicated:
    • Melanie is subjected to a "mock" funeral in an effort to come to terms with her health crisis.
    • Earlier on, Emma, Melanie, and Nick all enter's Geri's dream, which of all things Emma's funeral. Unlike what Melanie was subjected to, Emma isn't too scared off at all since she was badly hurt at the pitch accident.
  • Being Dead Ain't Easy has Joey fall from the gateway to the afterlife to the tail end of his own funeral.
  • Played with in the Doctor Who fanfic "Cold ... Tired ...", which is set in the immediate aftermath of "Earthshock". Adric, having returned to the TARDIS in spirit, listens outside the door as the Doctor, Tegan and Nyssa hold a memorial ceremony for him.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "The Innocence Of A Smurf", Empath dies while swimming across the Pool of Souls to prove his innocence in the matter of bloodshed. The Smurfs were mourning over his death when Empath returns to them back from the dead, because the spirits of the Pool of Souls had deemed him worthy of a second chance.
  • At the start of Slice of Heaven, Nadia and Monique view their own funerals as ghosts.
  • In What Was Wrong shortly after transfiguring a dying sheep into a copy of himself Harry attends his own funeral underneath his invisibility cloak.
  • In Discworld fic The Price of Flight, two of the Air Watch pilots killed in action fighting Elves over Lancre show up for their own memorial service. Obligingly, the other flying Witches of the Air Watch have left gaps for them in the ranks on parade. as the first people to be killed in a declared Air War over the Discworld, not only Death, but War, turns up to welcome them to the other side. War points out to them that he has job vacancies, and both Tatiana and Sigrid become Valkyries - a post-mortem career that allows them to regularly visit the mortal world, AND to have time off to attend their own funerals.

    Film — Animation 
  • In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse the Peter Parker / Spider-Man I of Earth 1610, the universe where the plot takes place, dies early in the movie. Miles Morales - 1610's second Spider-Man - finds Peter B. Parker, the Spider-Man of Earth 616 who has been pulled out of his dimension visiting 1610 Peter Parker's grave and Peter B. explains that he arrived just in time to watch the funeral of his alternate dimension self.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The title character of Terry Gilliam's The Adventures of Baron Munchausen does it, or at least he claims to have done it.
  • Played for laughs in Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues with Brick, who's not all there. After being declared dead due to having disappeared, he shows up at the funeral and gives a eulogy and declares he will get vengeance on his killer. He is eventually persuaded that he is actually still alive.
  • A variation happens in Avengers: Endgame. Scott has just escaped the Quantum Realm after five years (explaining later on that it only felt like five hours while still inside). After learning of The Snap, he frantically searches the memorials of The Vanished, hoping that his daughter's name isn't on there... only to find his own name (but luckily not hers).
  • In The Bad Sleep Well, Wada is taken to his funeral by Nishi after he is presumed to have thrown himself into a volcano.
  • The ending of Capricorn One. Several astronauts are forced to participate in a faked mission to Mars. When their ship burns up on re-entry, the authorities plan to kill them. One astronaut escapes and shows up at the memorial service for the crew, exposing the conspiracy.
  • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, it's Cap attending his Smithsonian exhibit instead of his funeral, but the scene hits all the beats of this trope (he's in disguise, the exhibit is a memorial of his life up through his Disney Death at the end of First Avenger, old movie clips and quotes from friends and loved ones in place of a eulogy, etc). It does have a different impact than most versions, since he's still alive and healthy, but he's lost or is losing everyone else there.
  • Convoy: Rubber Duck is one of the people riding the microbus in the convoy that serves as his funeral.
  • Cruella: Estella willed all her assets to her good friend, Cruella, then got the Baroness to "kill" her in front of several witnesses. Cruella holds a funeral for Estella where only she, the boys and John the Valet attend.
  • Occurs in the Jackie Gleason film Gigot. The title character is a Cute Mute who enjoyed going to funerals, so when he is presumed dead, the townsfolk throw a lavish funeral procession for him although no body was found. When he turns up and sees the procession, he naturally follows along.
  • In The Living Wake, K. Roth finds out he's dying, so not only does he organize his own wake and personally invite everyone in town, he attends to deliver his own eulogy, and has a little song and dance number that ends with him collapsing right into his already-prepared coffin. Now, that is talent.
  • An important plot point of the 1937 French film The Man from Nowhere (French: L'Homme de nulle part), where the ruined protagonist, Mathias, is given an opportunity to fake his own death to start afresh.
  • 'Painless' the dentist from the film M*A*S*H gets to do this. He's there because he's committing suicide, and waves goodbye from his casket. He is unaware that the cyanide capsules he's been given are fake, and he's about to get laid.
  • In Miss Fisher and the Crypt of Tears, Phyrne gatecrashes her own funeral by landing a plane on the lawn of Lofthouse Manor where her memorial is being held. She hadn't even known she had been declared dead.
  • Audrey and Laurel are identical twins in The Pretty One. A car accident happens and one twin dies while the other is suffering from retrograde amnesia, and is identified as Audrey. She realizes, on the day of Laurel's funeral, that she is Laurel.
  • In The Private Life of Don Juan a Don Juan impostor is killed, and buried as the real Don Juan. The real Don Juan, who has seized this chance to anonymously retire, goes to his own funeral. He's gratified that seemingly all the women of Spain have showed up to pay their respects.
  • Revenge of the Pink Panther: Inspector Clouseau shows up at his own funeral, disguised as a priest. (Someone else died, but everyone thought it was Clouseau.) He only reveals himself to his former chief Dreyfus, who faints right into the grave upon seeing him, believing it to be a ghost or hallucination.
  • R.I.P.D.: Subverted in the sense of being undead. While he's disguised as his James Hong character, Nick does attend his own funeral from a distance. He first discovers that he no longer looks like himself when he sprints in and tries to greet his widow.
  • In the Czech film Trhák (mockumentary about filming of a musical) a character died, but his actor was filmed attending the funeral — forcing the scriptwriter to explain it away as the deceased man's brother ("look, he's even limping on the same leg").
  • Jacques Bouvar does this at the beginning of Thunderball while masquerading as a woman. James Bond shows up to make sure Bouvar will be attending his own real funeral.
  • Varyemez, a Turkish tragicomedy film has this when a rich industrialist (the protagonist) is believed to have been killed after being kidnapped and a barely-identifiable body is found. His family and business partners had deliberately not paid the ransom upon realising that they were better off without him. Unfortunately for them, he is very much alive and angry at his family's duplicity. As he plans his revenge on them, he attends his own memorial event, watching his wife and son shed crocodile tears and his business partner discussing how to divide up his business.
  • Invoked in the movie Waking Ned Devine. For plot reasons too complex to go into here, the people of an Irish village have to pretend that the person they are burying is someone different. That different person, still very much alive, gets to attend "his" funeral and hear his neighbors offer heartfelt tributes to him.
  • In The Weatherman, the main character arranges a "living funeral" for his father, who is dying of cancer. He gets through one line of his eulogy before the power cuts out.
  • In Year of the Devil [Rok ďábla], a mockumentary by Petr Zelenka, one of the characters, Karel Plíhal, stages a "dress rehearsal" of his own funeral, with a coffin, a priest, and a funeral folk-band, and watches it out of hiding.
  • In XXX Return Of Xander Cage, when Augustus Gibbons was presumed to be dead when a satellite hits Brazil, he shows up alive and well at the end of the film talking to the titular Xander Cage inside a church.

  • Mark Twain's novel The Adventures of Tom Sawyer: Tom and his two friends Huckleberry Finn and Joe Harper are hiding out on an island playing (although they sort-of really mean it) at being pirates and are assumed dead. They get tired of sleeping rough and want to go home, but decide to stick it out just long enough to attend their own funeral and then enter dramatically through the door.
  • In American Gods, Mad Sweeney the leprechaun attends his own wake, where he debates the interpretation of his life story provided by one of the other characters and tosses back a few glasses of whiskey. By the next morning, he seems to have shifted from Only Mostly Dead to Killed Off for Real.
  • In Anne of Ingleside, one of the Gossipy Hens at the quilting bee mentions a story about a man who went out West and reportedly died. The body was sent home, but the funeral director advised them not to open the casket, so they didn't find out it was someone else's body until the supposedly dead man came home just in time to walk in on the funeral.
  • In Lady Slings the Booze, one of Spider Robinson's Callahan series, Nicola Tesla (actually alive and well, thanks to a certain time traveler) mentions attending his own funeral in disguise.
  • Doc Daneeka in Catch-22 had qualified for flight pay simply by entering his name into the flight log. He was declared killed in action when a plane he was 'on board' was downed. He attended his own funeral, mourning that his protests that he was still alive couldn't be officially lodged because he was officially dead.
  • In Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Scrooge doesn't attend his own funeral per se but the ghost of Christmas future does show him his own grave.
  • Clue: Book 5, chapter 10 ("Mr. Boddy's Funeral") has the guests all assembled after having been invited to their host's funeral, and Mrs. Peacock is wondering why the reverend is late when Boddy himself walks in, leading to confusion until it is revealed one of the guests arranged for the funeral with the intention of murdering Mr. Boddy in front of everyone. Fortunately, he survives.
  • The essay, "Dead at 17" (frequently known as "Please God, I'm Only 17"), was written by New Hampshire resident John J. Berrio, after the teenaged son of a close friend died in a 1967 car accident. The story – a cautionary tale imploring that teenagers adopt safe-driving habits – is told from the point-of-view of a teenager who drove recklessly, was involved in a major car accident and suffered fatal injuries. The story begins with hindsight ("I was too cool for the bus" and "All the kids drive"), then progresses as the protagonist's car is involved in the deadly collision, then is examined by on-scene medics and police officers, brought to the morgue to be identified by his shocked parents and then to the visitation (where his grieving friends and family pass by his open casket). The final scene sees the teenager protesting in vain being placed in the ground, pleading for a second chance and promising to be a safer driver.
    • On an almost annual basis, readers of Dear Abby and Annie's Mailbox (previously Ann Landers) will request that Berrio's essay be republished, hoping teenagers who are newly licensed will read it and decide to adopt safe driving habits. Dr. Robert Wallace, who publishes a column aimed at teenagers named Tween 12 and 20, has also been known to publish the column.
    • The use of first-person POV has led some people to believe the young driver wrote this himself.
  • Eyrbyggja Saga: Thorodd of Froda and his men have drowned in a shipwreck, and their bodies have not been found. When his family holds a funeral feast, and all the guests have been seated, Thorodd and his companions come in, soaking wet, and sit down by the fire. While the people are afraid to go near the ghosts, they welcome them and think it is "a happy omen, because in those days it was believed that drowned people had been well received by the sea-goddess, Ran, if they came to their own funeral feast." Unfortunately, the ghosts continue their visits after the feast is over, causing the farmpeople much trouble.
  • G. K. Chesterton's Father Brown does it in "The Resurrection of Father Brown". He was drugged by Hollywood Atheists who wanted to make it look like he was trying to fake a miracle by coming back to life. They were foiled when the modest and sensible Father Brown declared that it hadn't been a miracle.
  • Galaxy of Fear: City of the Dead has Zak Arranda injected with revival formula and something designed to put him into a coma that looked like death. He wakes up, unable to move, in a coffin during his own funeral — local traditions have the dead buried almost as soon as they're declared dead — and gets to hear his sister weeping over him. Then he's Buried Alive, and only then regains some mobility.
  • Gesta Danorum: One year after Amleth has been sent to England by his uncle Feng to be killed with a Please Shoot the Messenger plot, he is presumed dead. But Amleth has foiled Feng's plan and returns to the royal palace just the day his own obsequies are being held. Later the same night, Amleth executes vengeance on Feng.
  • In the Highlander spinoff novel, ''The Element Of Fire', Connor Macleod is believed to have drowned while saving the life of a ship's captain. They give Connor a funeral at sea, with his spare set of clothes wrapped around a stone serving in place of his body. After the "burial", Connor climbs up the anchor line back onto the ship.
  • In The Hobbit, Bilbo returns from adventuring just in time to attend his own estate sale.
  • Played with in the Honor Harrington series in a way, where the titular character is believed to have died for over two years before returning, and later makes mention of having watched her state funeral on TV, and lamented by her friend Michelle 'Mike' Henke, who laments not being declared dead as she would have enjoyed watching her own funeral.
  • The novel Interview with the Vampire had Louis going to his funeral after his plantation burned down. His aged younger sister attended.
  • Aethelstane in Ivanhoe does this at his own funeral. Specifically, he throws open the door and appears wearing funeral garments and looking as if he had just been raised from the dead.
  • Tom Holt's Paul Carpenter pulls this in book three of the J.W. Wells & Co. series... after faking a relapse of death. Considering that he died something like three times per book and usually recovered by the next chapter, this is hardly surprising.
  • This is done symbolically in Lord of the Night Sky to help Ted get over the fact that his old life is over. Once the day is saved, the team throws him a funeral party.
  • Prince Josua at the end of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.
  • A rather gut-wrenching version happens in Never Wipe Tears Without Gloves. After revealing his sexuality to his mother, Benjamin gets a visit from both his parents. His parents bring roses and cake and while they are eating it dawns on Benjamin that it's not a social call — to his parents this is his funeral. Truth in Television as people who leave Jehovah's Witnesses have experienced this (including the real-life person Benjamin was based on).
  • In Isaac Asimov's short story Obituary, a scientist who's embittered by lack of success and recognition finds a way to bring a duplicate of an object from about three days in the future; unfortunately, if the object is a living creature, the process kills the duplicate. He uses this to fake his own death and thereby get to read his obituaries. Needless to say, his greater plan to achieve lasting fame by this is one last failure.
  • Mr. Sellars at the end of Otherland, also by Tad Williams.
  • In the fourth book of Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Percy shows up after spending two weeks on Calypso's island to find that everyone thought he was dead and were holding his funeral.
    • Subverted by Magnus in The Sword of Summer, who did in fact die, and did in fact visit his own body, but didn't attend the funeral.
  • In Privilege, the Spin-Off of the Private series, Ariana attends her own funeral. The body they cremated is actually that of Briana Leigh Covington, who she killed in order to access her money and assume her life.
  • In the Raffles series, A. J. Raffles did this, as part of a gambit to throw a too-persistent ex-girlfriend off his trail; it was the second time he'd been thought to be dead, but the first funeral. The other time, he'd jumped from a ship in the Mediterranean, and been mistakenly reported to have washed up dead on shore.
  • Rowley Jefferson's Awesome Friendly Spooky Stories: In story 2, The Prankster, Jasper wakes up one day and tries to pull a prank in the bakery, but his hand goes through it. He looks at a mirror, no reflection. After walking around, he sees people going to a funeral: his funeral. He attends it, and when everyone's done saying their words about Jasper, Jasper goes to see his body, only for the body to be a pumpkin with a crudely-drawn face on it. It turns out, it was a prank held by the entire town.
  • Rumpole of the Bailey: In "Rumpole and the Last Resort", Rumpole lets it be thought that he is dead, partly to lure a solicitor that owes him a great deal of money out of hiding and let She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed pwn him good; as a bonus, he gets to hear Judge Bullingham giving a eulogy for him, which he greatly enjoys.
  • In The Saga of Darren Shan, the title character must fake his death and leave home after he is forced to become a vampire in the first book. He is only 10 or 12 years old. He takes a Juliet potion, but after a couple of days, he is conscious. He hears his family all crying around the coffin and through the funeral, and as he is buried. And this is only book 1 of 12...
  • In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Lemony Snicket does this after he's believed to be dead.
  • Aversion: In the novel Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen, Joey wants to attend her own funeral (in disguise) in order to interrogate her husband about why he tried to kill her. Her partner-in-crime convinces her to wait in the car.
  • In Spice and Wolf, Lawrence and Holo come up with the idea of holding "living funerals" to attract more tourists during the off season, with Holo trying it out to demonstrate the concept.
  • It's not his funeral but Mackenzie Calhoun of Star Trek: New Frontier shows up to the dedication of the new USS Excalibur which has a touching eulogy/speech about since he was presumed dead during the destruction of the last ship of the same name. It's both hilarious and touching.
  • The Westing Game: Sam Westing, aka Sandy McSouthers, along with Attending Your Own Will Reading and Wake, complete with a fake body in the open casket to pull off the deception.
  • A variant in the X-Wing Series: Corran Horn misses his own funeral, but manages to show up for the final phase of the trial for the murder of Corran Horn.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Variation on 30 Rock. After Jenna was misreported as dead, Jack saw it as a gimmick to sell her latest movie and set up a memorial for her on the Show Within a Show. Jenna watched this for awhile, but eventually came on stage to wreck it after realizing her real age would be mentioned.
  • An episode of Ace of Cakes involved making a funeral cake for an elderly man who always wanted to attend his own wake, so his wife set one up for him.
  • Alias: After the Covenant kidnaps Sydney and fakes her death, they force her to watch her own funeral while Bound and Gagged in a nearby van so that she knows no rescue attempts are coming.
  • All My Children: Journalist Edmund Grey is killed by a car bomb when he refuses to stop his investigation of a corrupt politician. As his grief-stricken wife, brother, and numerous loved ones gather for his funeral, who should walk in but Edmund himself, asking "Who died?". It turns out it was the corrupt politician's hitman who was blown up. Thousands of miles away, Edmund had no idea what had happened and that entire town was grieving for him.
  • In the Arrested Development episode "Good Grief", bounty hunter Ice reports that his search for George Sr. ended with the discovery that he was killed by the guards in the Mexican prison where he was being held. While the family prepares for his funeral, George-Michael finds George Sr. hiding in a hole near the model home. It turns out he bribed the guards to fake his death, then made his way back to the U.S. He's then able to observe his memorial service from the attic.
  • In one episode of The A-Team, Hannibal allows himself to be shot by a sniper (he was wearing a bulletproof vest, Lord knows how he expected the sniper to hit him there) and when the Smug Snake Loan Shark behind it comes to gloat and tries to spit in Hannibal's face at the wake. Hannibal "wakes up" and holds him at gunpoint. The team then put him inside the coffin and take him to a seaside dock to perform a Jack Bauer Interrogation.
  • In an episode of Being Human (UK), George sees his dad's obituary in the paper, goes to the funeral secretly, and finds his dad also there. Being that sort of show, he assumes his dad is a ghost, and tries to help him determine what's keeping him on Earth. Turns out, no, he faked his death.
  • Bones:
    • In "The Pain In The Heart", Booth takes advantage of an injury to fake his own death and attends his own funeral as a member of the three-volley salute, and outs himself by apprehending a suspect. The suspect told the FBI the next time they'd see him would be at Booth's funeral.
    • In "The Turn In The Urn", Brennan and Booth are attending the funeral of one of the museum's donors when the donor walks in and sends everyone away. It turns out it was a friend of his who'd died, and they were similar enough in appearance that the decomposition (not to mention that the death occurred in a private vault that the donor was more likely to be in) made it "obvious" who'd died. The donor himself didn't show up beforehand because he'd been in a locked-down rehab facility and only heard what happened when he'd returned.
  • In an episode of Boston Legal a terminally ill cancer patient stages his own wake, while he is still strong enough to enjoy it. He has trouble understanding why his girlfriend isn't in a party mood while he personally has a great time.
  • Occurs twice on The Brittas Empire:
    • One episode has Gordon Brittas (who was genuinely dead) revive in the middle of his funeral. The rest of the attendants there find out when he begins knocking on the door of his casket.
    • A later episode ends with Gavin, who had been captured by pirates for the episode, show up at his funeral wondering who it's for (the staff had assumed that he had been lost at sea).
  • Played straight in the pilot of The Cape when Vince peeps in on his own funeral after being presumed dead.
  • In one episode of Castle, a suspect got caught this way — he faked his death but couldn't resist coming to the funeral while wearing a fake beard to listen to what people say about him and experience how thrilling the deception is. The team catches him because it's the kind of thing Castle would do and he thinks that the suspect is a bigger Attention Whore than he is.
  • The essay "Dead at 17" (frequently known as "Please God, I'm Only 17"), written by John J. Berrio to condemn reckless driving by teenagers, was adapted into a CBS Schoolbreak Special in 1991.
  • Charlie's Angels has Sabrina fake her death to smoke out whoever rigged an explosive in her water cooler; there's a funeral, which she attends, hiding in the back wearing heavy mourning gear. Of course, her colleagues are all in on it, but she's touched to see Bosley summoning up genuine tears at the thought of losing her.
  • Charmed season seven ends with the girls Faking the Dead, then attending their wake while Glamoured on the season eight premiere. Paige saw how few people were mourning her, what does she do? Impersonate Janice Dickinson and mourn herself. Meanwhile, Phoebe wants to go hit on a guy by her memorial.
    Piper: You can't pick up on a guy at a funeral!
    Phoebe: Why not? It's my funeral!
  • In a long string of pranks, a bar owner rival of Cheers fakes his own death, funeral, and is even buried inside a coffin to prank Sam Malone. After Sam breaks down and accepts the death is not a hoax, the "dead" man pops out of the office and reveals it was just an elaborate prank.
  • In 2009, a hoax arose on the Internet (and even spread as far as an Australian TV news show) which claimed Jeff Goldblum had died in an accident. Goldblum's response was to go on The Colbert Report and deliver his own eulogy.
    Jeff Goldblum: No one will miss Jeff Goldblum more than me. He was not only a friend and a mentor, but he was also me.
  • In Continuum, New Timeline Alec arranges a funeral for New Timeline Kiera, who was killed shortly after Original Timeline Kiera arrived in the new timeline. Since almost no-one knows she's dead, the only attendees are himself, Carlos, and Original Timeline Kiera.
  • Dead Like Me:
    • George goes to her own funeral incognito in the first episode, having died, agreed to become a Reaper, and been resurrected for the job in a new body. Her Reaper boss Rube intends that it help her close the book on her mortal life, which doesn't entirely work.
    • In another episode, Mason has to attempt to convince one recently deceased man that he can't attend his own funeral and that it is important to move on to the other side as soon as possible.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Doctor has done this more than once.
    • "The Unquiet Dead": One of the Gelth-possessed corpses, that of a sexton, is said to have nearly walked into his own memorial service.
  • In Dollhouse Echo is imprinted with the memories of a recently dead client who wanted to attend her own funeral... and find out who killed her. The paranoia pays out, anyway.
  • Deb in Drop Dead Diva does this after being resurrected in the body of Jane.
  • The Dukes of Hazzard: Played for Laughs in several episodes, including:
    • "The Ghost of the General Lee": A wake for Bo and Luke is held after it is merely assumed they had drowned when the General Lee is found submerged in a lake and they are nowhere to be found. (What had happened was that a pair of crooks stole the General Lee while Bo and Luke were skinny dipping, and Rosco gives chase, assuming he's chasing his longtime adversaries ... until the General Lee is driven into a lake. The bad guys flee, and Rosco comes to his erroneous conclusion when he is unable to find any bodies.)
    • "Ding Dong, the Boss is Dead": Boss fakes his own death to escape suffering a crueler fate from a mob boss who went to prison on his testimony ... only the catch is the mobster is coming to Boss' visitation in Hazzard to make sure Hogg is indeed dead.
    • "Too Many Roscoes": As was the case with Bo and Luke in the earlier episode, a wake for Rosco takes place after it is merely assumed he had drowned when his patrol car is run off the road and into a lake by a gang of bank robbers (including one that is an exact double of Rosco), and a hasty search of the lake by Bo and Luke finds no body. The wake ends when the phoney Rosco is seen walking to Boss' house (where the wake takes place).
  • In the third season finale of Eastbound & Down, Kenny Powers (who takes Small Name, Big Ego to insane heights) fakes his death on the belief that "the press will never leave me alone." The season four premiere reveals that Kenny was unable to resist bursting into the middle of his own funeral and announcing he was "reborn". He is honestly surprised that the reactions included his brother punching him in the face and then ending up arrested and spending time in jail for insurance fraud.
  • Reginald Perrin, after he fakes his death in The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin.
  • In the pilot of Fantasy Island, the female CEO of a major company wonders what would happen if she suddenly died. Rourke puts out the story she was killed in a plane crash with the service held on the island and the woman disguised as a mute maid. This leads her to find out how some of her "friends' really feel about her.
  • On Friends, Chandler and Ross once got into a prank war concerning their college alumni page. Eventually, Chandler posts that Ross has died. Ross decides to hold it anyway, just to see who shows up. Only two "mourners" arrive: a guy who's only there to hit on the recently "outted" Chandler, and a girl who had a crush on Ross. Ross jumps out and disgusts her for not being dead.
  • General Hospital. Luke and Laura Spencer faked her death in an explosion in order to escape the machinations of their archenemies the Cassadines. But when circumstances forced them to return to town, Laura ended up walking into a memorial service dedicating a wing of the eponymous hospital to her memory. As only one or two people had been privy to the fact that she was still alive, the reaction of everyone else was pure anger.
  • Max in Get Smart, faking his death for a mission, shows up to check out his funeral and complains to the Chief about the lack of mourners and the cheap flowers and headstone.
  • Ghost Whisperer: Jim attends his own funeral — but he's really dead and attends it as a ghost.
  • In one episode of Gilligan's Island Mr. Howell makes out his will, leaving various things to the other castaways. He then believes they're trying to kill him and stages his death by letting them believe he fell in quicksand. He watches his funeral from a tree and sees they really did care about him. He then falls out of the tree and lands in the middle of his own funeral.
  • The Golden Girls
    • In an episode Sophia decides to host her own funeral while she's still alive — that way not only will people be able to enjoy themselves and celebrate her life, but she'll be able to see it and celebrate with them. Rose handles the invitations... but forgets to tell everybody that it's just a pretend funeral. Everyone gets a nasty shock when Sophia shows up, ready to party.
    • Blanche tells one time when she was a teenager, and angry over losing a beauty pageant, decides to fake her own death, making it look like she drowned in a river. A few days later, her family and friends hold her funeral, and she comes and reveals herself. She mentions in passing that her father sent her to a religious school after that, and how her father could be "such a peckerwood" sometimes.
  • In The Good Place, after Janet is murdered the residents of the neighborhood hold her funeral, with Michael giving the eulogy. The funeral is interrupted when Janet, now rebooted, sits up in her coffin, though her memory has been wiped so she needs to have all the knowledge in the universe re-uploaded.
  • A two-part Happy Days episode concludes with Fonzie doing this (disguised as an old lady) after Faking the Dead to throw some gangsters off his trail.
  • In Heroes, Volume 4 ends with all the Heroes gathering together for the first time in the show, to witness the destruction of series Big Bad Sylar's body, whom they've finally managed to kill after 3 whole seasons. However, most of them are unaware that "Nathan" is really a shapeshifted Sylar brainwashed into believing that he's Nathan by Ma Petrelli and Matt Parkman, and the body being burned is merely a shapeshifter who died while assuming Sylar's appearance.
  • An interesting version in the series finale of Henry Danger, Henry fakes Kid Danger’s death in downing the blimp so he can end his legacy and move on to Dystopia, when he really survived from gaining the ability to generate force fields from the Omega Weapon. He admits that attending the funeral feels weird.
  • In the Highlander episode "Unusual Suspects", Hugh Fitzcairn is killed and watches his own funeral.
  • House: Being House, he not only attends his funeral (though he stays outside), but also messes with Wilson's eulogy.
  • In the opening of The Incredible Hulk (1977), David Banner is seen at his own grave.
  • John Cleese opened the International Comedy Festival in 2006 by announcing that he would be having himself killed at the end of the show due to the state of stand-up comedy, before which he would deliver his own eulogy.
    Cleese: I thought the only person worthy of eulogizing me is Steve Martin... then I thought no, he's not really good enough either.
  • Interview with the Vampire (2022): In "A Vile Hunger for Your Hammering Heart", because the vampire Bruce had faked his own death, he was present for his own funeral and listened to what everyone said. He wasn't well-liked as a human because there were only two dozen mourners, and it wasn't long before they began to Talk About the Weather.
  • Happens to Hobbes in The Invisible Man when the Chinese are after him. He is spying from afar on the funeral, but is kidnapped by the Chinese anyway, as they don't buy the hoax. Also, the only one of the Agency who wasn't told was Claire, as they needed real tears.
  • Jam featured a sketch where a middle-aged man decides to be buried alive while he is in his prime — he believes that he already has everything he wants in life and doesn't like the idea of dying in his old age. He is seen sitting up in the coffin at his funeral, listening to his eulogy and joining in with the music, before being buried alive in front of the mourners.
  • Leverage
    • In the episode "The Two Live Crew Job" Sophie (going by the name Katherine) poses in a coffin after someone sends her a bomb in a flower vase. She listens to the other members of the team eulogize her (including Parker, who almost blows the con). Nate closes the casket and taps on it, which is Sophie's cue to drop out through the false bottom. She even makes an appearance a minute later, wearing a veiled hat.
    • And again in "The San Lorenzo Job". Nate even lampshades it: "You are utterly unclear on how to be dead. This is the second time in two years that you've shown up at your own funeral."
  • Little House on the Prairie: In the first-season episode "If I Should Wake Before I Die", Charles helps a lonely, widowed mother stage her own funeral to draw her negligent, estranged (and now adult) children to her home for a long-coveted visit. In this case, it works and the children realize what they had been missing.
  • Lodge 49: Not a funeral, but when Larry is in the hospital and it seems like he’s dying, a memorial bench is preemptively built in his beloved golf course. When Larry unexpectedly recovers, he’s deeply amused to able to sit on his own memorial.
  • In Mad About You, Paul gets an incorrect notice that he's dead, goes to the funeral of the other Paul Buchman, and suddenly finds himself a ghost, talking to his widow Jamie about their life together.
  • In M*A*S*H, Hawkeye is declared dead by a clerical error, so BJ throws a wake. Since everyone knows he's alive, his presence is a foregone conclusion and the whole thing is a big joke; the "deceased" delivers his own eulogy, with twenty minutes for rebuttal by the guests.
    • In another episode, a soldier from Luxembourg is presumed dead after he disappears from Post-Op. As they're holding his memorial service, when they cue up Luxembourg's National Anthem the wounded man stumbles out of the post-op ward and comes to attention.
  • In a season finale for Mrs. Brown's Boys, Granddad Brown concocts a scheme with his daughter-in-law and grandkids to fake his death so he can find out what people will say at his funeral. To his dismay, nobody wants to say anything.
  • On an episode of Murphy Brown, Murphy and Frank are on a plane that is having mechanical troubles and the passengers are told to brace for impact. A moment later they cut to their own funeral, but no one there can hear or see them. Much panic and angst ensue, until the end of the episode when it's revealed to be All Just a Dream and the plane lands safely.
  • My Dead Ex: In a variation, Ben attends a celebration of his life at the school after coming back undead. He's initially miffed at how few people attend. After they all praise him in speeches though, he's warmed by this considerably.
  • In an episode of My Name Is Earl, Earl is making up for faking his own death to get out of a relationship with a clingy girl named Natalie seven years prior. Natalie is now in a relationship with a Jerkass, but she is too much of an Extreme Doormat to care. The guy fakes his own death, having gotten the idea from Earl when he came over to apologize, and Earl (on the advice of Catalina) goes to hang with Natalie to cheer her up a bit. Natalie thinks they're getting back together, and when Earl finally can't take it anymore (and the Please Dump Me gambit failed miserably), he actually tells her what the problem is. And he is told by Natalie's mother that Natalie committed suicide. When Earl goes to her funeral, she grabs his hand, reveals that she is alive, and faked her death so Earl would feel her pain. Too bad her mother wasn't in on the stunt.
  • One episode of Nash Bridges opens with recurring character Tony B faking his death. He's found out when Nash spots him at the funeral. Needless to say, no one has anything nice to say about Tony, even Nash.
  • In the short-lived sitcom Nearly Departed, the husband half of the ghostly couple tells his wife "We're the only people who cried at their own funeral!"
  • Played for Laughs when Dan Fielding attended his own funeral on Night Court. They had trouble coming up with nice things to say.
  • In the first episode of Orphan Black, Sarah watches her own funeral through binoculars, and Vic tells Felix off for taking a phone call from her during it.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In the final scene of "Identity Crisis", Captain Cotter McCoy attends his own funeral in the body of Colonel Pete Butler.
    • In "Skin Deep", Sid Camden faked his own death after killing Chad Warner. Two weeks later, he attends a memorial service for himself holographically disguised as Chad. He is moved by the kind words of his estranged friend Deb Clement, the only one that he had.
  • The finale of Parks and Recreation has flash-forwards for each of its characters — Jean-Ralphio's takes us to his funeral — which he's watching from behind a tree. He's so enthused over whatever scam he's engineered that he gets spotted.
  • Rimmer attends his own funeral (twice! He was already dead the second time he died) in Red Dwarf. The first time, he produced a VHS tape of himself memorialising himself. Lister fast-forwarded to the good bits. The second time, a blow-up sex doll was introduced as his widow. Although in the second one, Lister (the only one that knew that Rimmer was attending his own funeral) gave a rather heartwarming speech and posthumous promotion to say farewell before Rimmer went off to become 'Ace' Rimmer.
  • On Shameless (US) Frank owes money to some gangsters and decides to fake his own death. However, the gangsters insist on attending the funeral so Frank is drugged and laid out in a casket. Fortunately for him, the gangsters are fooled and do not insist on actually seeing the casket buried.
  • Season 2 of Sherlock ends with the titular character being forced to jump off a building by the Big Bad while Watson witnesses the fall. The final scene shows Watson and Mrs. Hudson at the grave, Watson quietly begging Holmes to not be dead. As he's walking away, the camera pans and shows Holmes watching from the cover of a nearby copse. Of course, the real puzzle for the audience wasn't whether or not he survived (since that's a foregone conclusion for anyone familiar with the source material), but how. The season 3 premiere explained that.
  • Happens by accident in Sliders with Rembrandt walking in on his double's funeral. While it's not his original intention, he can't keep silent when he hears blatant lies being told (then again, he has no way of knowing if they are lies in this world). He ends up living with his double's wife and son for a few days... until the wife is notified that her husband was wounded in action (he was MIA and presumed dead) and is coming home. Cue Rembrandt running away from an angry woman with a shotgun.
  • The Starlost. In the pilot episode, Devon escapes the biosphere through the sealed door marked with a warning of death to anyone who enters. Elder Jeremiah declares that he's fallen into a bottomless pit (turns out it's an Endless Corridor) and is embarrassed when Devon returns in time for his funeral. Elder Jeremiah then says it's a funeral mourning Devon's loss of faith, declares him a blasphemer and has Devon gagged and sentenced to death by stoning when he tries to tell everyone else what he's seen.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
  • Similar to the Murphy Brown example above, Red Forman on That '70s Show has a brief dream of his own funeral when his neighbor Bob cuts down a tree which almost falls on him. His wife Kitty is the only one who attends. This inspires him to be a nicer person and he has another vision at a party where his funeral is similar to the party. However, he decides this isn't like him and goes back to being a Jerkass.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In "The Hunt", when he returns home, Hyder Simpson finds that his wife Rachel, Reverend Wood and the Miller brothers are preparing to bury him. He sees his own coffin being taken outside. Unlike most applications of this trope, Hyder is dead and attends the burial as a spirit.
  • The Weekly with Charlie Pickering: Annie Louey's report on funeral costs opens with her attending her own funeral in spirit form and being shocked at how badly everything has been orgainised.
  • Artemus Gordon of The Wild Wild West attends his own funeral... as the priest giving the eulogy.
  • Jimmy McNulty in The Wire is given a mock Irish wake at Kavanaugh's pub, just like other cop characters who'd been killed off when their actors passed away in real life. In this case, McNulty's career as a detective is what's "dead". He lies on the pool table, posed with a bottle of Jameson's whiskey and a cigar, just like the others, while Jay Landsman gives a funny eulogy. But McNulty is talkative and can't stay still and the other cops complain about this.

  • The beginning of "Neptune City" by Nicole Atkins begins with a ghost tagging after his funeral procession.
  • The final movement of Hector Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique. According to Berlioz's program notes, the protagonist, having poisoned himself with opium,
    ...sees himself at a witches' sabbath, in the midst of a hideous gathering of shades, sorcerers and monsters of every kind who have come together for his funeral.
  • At Five Iron Frenzy's final live show, the frontman Reese Roper referenced this trope to explain how he felt.
    Reese Roper: This is really surreal... You know how in movies, people fake their death and then they go to their own funeral? Yeah...
  • The narrator of "The Gunner's Dream", from the Pink Floyd album The Final Cut, imagines or hallucinates doing this thing.
  • John J. Berrio's essay, "Dead at 17" was turned into a recitation and has been recorded by several acts, most notably country music singer Red Sovine (in 1977, included on one of his last albums). His version is titled, "I'm Only Seventeen."
  • In YUP's Toppatakkeja ja Toledon Terästä main character Henri Blavatsky's spirit buries his own corpse in main antagonist's flowerbed. And pukes over it.

    New Media 
  • There's a hideous glurge that periodically makes the rounds in email: it's a chronicle of child abuse and murder, told from the victim's point of view, and ends with the lines "My name is Sarah/And I am but three/And tonight my daddy/Murdered me." Multiple people have written to Snopes asking whether this is a true story. (Their response: "As unlikely as it might be that a three-year-old could possess the language skills necessary to compose such a piece, it's even more unlikely that anyone could describe her own murder in the first person.")

    Professional Wrestling 

  • In the Radio 4 dramedy about cancer survivors Bad Salsa, one of the characters, when her cancer comes back, starts planning an elaborate Mexican-themed funeral, and then decides to have it now, because why should she have to miss it? This does not go according to plan, with the eulogies veering into how she's incredibly self-centred and refuses to think about how upset her friends are by her situation.
  • In Richard Wilson's fictional radio autobiography Believe It!, Richard holds a funeral for his cat when Celia Imrie tells him he died. It turns out the cat just went missing, and returns halfway through the funeral. Richard is struck by the revelation that the cat came back to see the funeral, and many years later gathers all his celebrity friends to hold a "dress rehearsal" of his own funeral. It doesn't go as well as he expected, and they eventually conclude that it doesn't work if he's there.
  • A variant from BBC comedy The Burkiss Way: The reading of Lord Hackingbottmo's will is disrupted when someone points out that he's the one reading it. (Note that this only happens after the reading has already a) included a long list of people who haven't been left anything and b) turned into a spontaneous performance of "Chattanooga Choo-choo".)
    Lord Hackingbottmo: I know it better than anyone else!
    Guest: But you're not dead!
    Lord Hackingbottmo: ...I've got a gum boil.
    Guest: That's not enough!
  • Ed Reardon's Week: A "Reading Your Own Obituary" variation; Reardon spends an episode trying to steal his obituary from his agent's files to see what his "friend" Jaz Milvane has written about him.
  • In Old Harry's Game, Satan allows both the Professor and Edith to visit parts of their own funeral while invisible.

  • A few examples from The Bible:
    • In 2nd Kings, people were busy holding a funeral for a man near Elisha's tomb when a Moabite raiding party came. They let the man fall into the grave, and when he touched Elisha's bones, the man came back to life and stood up on his feet.
    • In the gospel of Luke, Jesus raises a widow's son from the dead right at his own funeral.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One of the GURPS books has a short story told from the POV of a newly minted ghost. After attending his own funeral (and weeping over it) he decides to do some world travel. Tries to go to the moon, but doesn't quite get that far.


    Video Games 
  • Though Serge isn't there in time for the funeral in Chrono Cross, Serge does visit his grave in Another World and is found there by people who know he "should" be dead.
  • In the Dragon Age series, this is part of the induction for the Legion of the Dead, throwing a funeral for the new recruit and playing this funeral straight in every way except for the "being dead" part. Then they go fight darkspawn until they die.
  • Fire Emblem: The Binding Blade: Prince Zephiel had barely escaped from being poisoned to death by his own father King Desmond, and decides to pretend he's dead in order to have revenge. He then lies down in his own casket, a knife hidden among his funerary garments, and when Desmond orders to open it so he can see if Zephiel's truly dead...
  • Genshin Impact has this exaggerated for the death of the Geo Archon Morax. He didn't just attend his funeral; he arranged the entire ceremony as Zhongli, a consultant of a funeral parlor.
  • At the end of the Prologue mission in Grand Theft Auto V, after executing a bank robbery and escaping from the local cops, Michael de Santa and Brad Snider were both shot by a sniper. Only the third robber, Trevor Philips, managed to escape unharmed. The next scene then showed Michael's funeral. The camera then panned out to reveal a healthy-looking and still-alive Michael, watching from the sidelines in disguise. It was revealed later on in the game that Michael faked his own death because he wanted to get out of the criminal life and made a deal with a corrupt FIB agent named Dave Norton.(Michael wore body armor when he was shot). Next, the body inside his grave actually contained Brad's corpse in it (Dave accidentally shot Brad lethally in the chest when he stepped in front of Michael). As for Trevor, he believed that Michael is dead and Brad got sent to prison (Dave impersonated Brad by sending 'letters from prison' to Trevor). Until the mission Fame Or Shame, that is.
  • Italy does this in HetaOni; after a hiccup in the mansion's "Groundhog Day" Loop, he winds up caught in the only time loop where he didn't survive, and goes to visit his own dead body before finding the way back to his own reality. It's almost forgettable compared to the things before and after it, though.
  • Inverted in Hitman: Blood Money, wherein the end of the game is at the titular protagonist's funeral and he is actually the one on the altar; only he gets up and proceeds to kill all of the attendees.
  • This happens to Vic Vector in MySims Kingdom — right as he's about to head off on his first mission as a test pilot, it becomes increasingly obvious that Dr. F's speech is in fact a eulogy about his (impending, inevitable) death during the mission. This being a Lighter and Softer world, he actually survives, of course.
  • More like "Attending Your Own Wake": In Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 5: Rise of the Pirate God, when Guybrush (as a ghost) goes through a rip in the Crossroads to Club 41 before going to the Manatee Mating Grounds in order to find the Voodoo Lady's locket (via another rip), Bugeye tells him to be quiet when he and W.P. Grindstump are "in the middle of a pirate wake", and Guybrush is surprised to find his own body holding a dartboard and wearing a party hat. He can look around the club and talk to Grindstump to find out what happened after Guybrush died at the hands of LeChuck. Afterwards, he can exit his own wake and continue on in his quest to get back into his own body, as before.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Fruit of Grisaia: Central to the resolution of Michiru's plot arc. After her suicidal tendencies peak, Yuuji decides to make her realize how much she actually enjoys being alive... by killing her. Actually what he did was drug her so that she was awake and conscious but completely paralyzed, lying in a coffin while her friends hold a funeral. Then he buries her. The heartfelt reactions of her friends to her supposed death, as well as the terror of being Buried Alive, convince her that she really does want to live, and when the drug wears off she digs her way out of the grave. (Yuuji, expecting this outcome, hadn't buried the coffin very deeply and had left an airhole in it so she wouldn't suffocate.)
  • Nanako from Tsukihime's sequel disc, Kagetsu Tohya, is not technically dead, but her human body died and she couldn't interact with her family ever again, so her family held a funeral. She was actually very touched by the service, and this reinforced her belief that she could continue existing without regretting giving up her life.

    Web Comics 
  • In Goober Grove, Rosco and Georgetta, having not seen Razzlyn in a couple of weeks, immediately assume she's dead. They hold a funeral for her, which she ends up showing up to, unaware it's her own.
  • In Sonic the Comic – Online! story Skeletons in the Closet Knuckles does not quite attend his own funeral but finds a skeleton that was a previous version of him that was killed by the Gizoid robot, Johnny didn't attend his own funeral but in the story In Memory Johnny from the past reads the plaque about his own death in his future.
  • To Prevent World Peace: Tiffany, does it, when invisible, as people think she died, as seen on page 413.
  • In Uniju Holiday Theater, in Uniju's Horrible Halloween of Horror, Uniju gets thrown into Yet Another Christmas Carol, except it's for Halloween. During this story, The Ghost of Halloween Future takes Uniju to his grave in the future. He actually attended his own funeral twice at the same time, as the Ghost of Halloween Future was also Uniju.

    Web Original 
  • Inverted in the Alice Isn't Dead episode "The Factory by the Sea," where Praxis Industries employee Jack has the unwitting but cooperative Character Narrator join him to bear witness to his funeral, a Burial at Sea on a jetty outside the Nightmarish Factory where he works. She helps him, still living, into his coffin, and pushes it off to sea as though it were a boat, while he shuts the lid on himself.
  • ClickHole's presentation of the FBI report on Frank Sinatra shows that his funeral was attended by "top members of the Mafia, NASA administrator Daniel Goldin, John F. Kennedy, and Frank Sinatra."
  • There's a rather peculiar instance in an Everyday Weirdness story called "Procession."
  • The Leet World has one of the sorts, where Player, having survived a grenade injury, makes the rest of the team hold a funeral for him, so he can see what it's like.
  • Though neither faking it nor technically needing to be resurrected, Red vs. Blue has this happen to Sarge, complete with Grif performing a roast for him, and Simmons campaigning for the leadership position, instead of giving him a eulogy.
    Grif: "Sarge, is he campaigning for your job at your funeral? Classy."
    • Sarge was less than pleased.
      Sarge: "This is the worst funeral I've ever had."
    • This likely happened offscreen for Church as well; he is shown loudly demanding that he be given one. 'My body fought long and hard for this war!' Later, his grave is shown.
    • It happens again in season 9, to Simmons this time. At first, he's excited at the prospect, but he becomes rather less so when the best things his teammates can come up with are "He talked a lot," and "He liked gum."
    Simmons: I never thought my death could somehow be worse than my life, but here it is. Bitchin'.
  • Whateley Universe: According to Unreliable Narrator Mephisto the Mystic, John Dillinger - still alive and kept youthful by the Red Monks' longevity drugs - is in the habit of alternating between costumed heroic and villainous identities; as part of this, he regularly fakes his own death, and always makes sure to be present at the funeral in disguise.
    "John LOVES a good funeral; especially his own. Nothing tickles his fancy like hearing guys who hated his guts go on about what a great person he was. John says that nothing hits people right where they live, gets them up on their hind legs, like someone important to them dying."

    Western Animation 
  • In the American Dad! episode "Paranoid Frandroid", Stan and Roger fake Francine's death when the CIA declare her a threat to national security. She shows up at her funeral, but Stan's co-workers assume he's dating an Identical Stranger.
  • In "It Won't be Long" from Beat Bugs, after Buzz and Morgs rescue themselves from being trapped in a hole without the other Beat Bugs realizing it, they approach them from behind, finding them in the middle of delivering a heartfelt eulogy.
  • In "Dead Duck", Darkwing Duck "was late for his own funeral" and regretted this. He visited his grave, though, and was deeply disappointed.
  • Family Guy: One episode had someone else accidentally getting Meg's driver's license and then getting hit by a car. This causes everyone in Quahog to think Meg is dead. Meg goes along with this and even watches her own funeral from afar. She's disappointed when she sees not that many people showed up.
  • In the Futurama episode "A Pharaoh To Remember," the Planet Express crew stages a fake funeral for Bender to convince him that he will be remembered after he's gone.
    Bender: Louder and sadder!
    • There's also the end of Bender's Big Score where Fry, courtesy of time travel shenanigans, attends his own, non-faked, funeral. Well, technically the funeral of a time-travel duplicate, but still.
      • Before that, after travelling back to his era on a one-way ticket and then freezing himself again, he crashes his memorial service.
    • Bender in "Forty Percent Leadbelly," complete with an explanation of how he survived in song form.
    • Heavily parodied in the Show Within a Show All My Circuits by Calculon.
  • In "Abraca-Cabbage" from the Disney Junior series Goldie & Bear, Goldie experiences essentially a sort-of G-rated version of this. While performing a magic show, one of her tricks was to turn herself into a cabbage. As she was supposedly turning herself back, a bird stole her magic hat, so she ran off to chase after it, leaving Bear to believe that she had become stuck as a cabbage and couldn't change back. At the end of the story, she wanders in on the eulogy that her friends are having for her, now that she's apparently doomed to spend the rest of her life as an inanimate cabbage. After listening to some touching words from The Big Bad Wolf ("Big Bad"), she pretends that Bear's shouted "Abra-cabbage!" has brought her back, before revealing the truth.
  • In Huck And Toms Mississippi Adventure, Huck pretended to drown, then watched his funeral by looking through the church window after climbing a tree.
  • In a Robot Chicken sketch in which the Justice League attend Green Arrow's funeral, Batman tries to give a eulogy before deciding that a funeral is useless since Death Is Cheap for superheroes, claiming that he'll be back soon enough. Everyone applauds, including Green Arrow, who was seated in the back.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Subverted in "Simpsons Tall Tales", where Bart and Nelson play the roles of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. After a scene implies they've been hanged, they're shown hiding while their funeral is going on, grinning widely... only for it to be revealed that it's merely their corpses about to be lowered in the coffins (apparently there was a very good embalmer on hand or something, but probably Rule of Funny is a more apt explanation).
    • In "Lisa the Tree Hugger", Lisa lives in a redwood tree to prevent it from being cut down. She sneaks away one night to spend it with the family, but at the same time the tree was struck by lightning and destroyed. The entire town believes her to be dead and holds a large funeral for her, where the Rich Texan announces that he is turning the redwood forest into an amusement park in Lisa's memory. Lisa dramatically arrives and announces her outrage.
  • In The Smurfs (1981) episode "Clumsy Luck", Clumsy goes out into the forest to exile himself from the rest of the Smurfs because of his "seven years of bad luck" curse he had brought upon himself for accidentally breaking Vanity's mirror. He then returns to the village to see that most of his fellow Smurfs are now mourning for him because a meteor had destroyed his house and everybody thought he was in it at the time of impact. Clumsy then reveals to the Smurfs that he is still alive, and they cheerfully receive him back safe and sound and among the living.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The Ghost of Plankton", Plankton turns himself into a ghost in order to steal the formula. When that fails, he returns to the Chum Bucket, only to find that Karen is holding a funeral for him due to having left his body behind when becoming a ghost.
    Plankton: This is the worst funeral of mine I've ever been to.
  • Stroker and Hoop: Stroker faked his own death, as well as his son's and C.A.R.R.'s, in order to avoid a gang of ninjas, and then secretly attended his own funeral. Though Stroker later admits that bringing his son to his own funeral was a crappy idea.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: In the episode "The Late Mr. Kent", a killer plants a bomb in Clark's car because Clark was digging too deeply into one of his previous crimes and was finding evidence that the guy he framed for it was innocent. The bomb makes Clark drive off the road and into the ocean, but since he's Superman, he survives. However, Clark couldn't simply emerge from the water as there was a witness to the accident, and, well, no normal human could survive something like that, forcing Clark to swim away and make everyone think he was dead until he could come up with a plausible excuse for how he survived without revealing his identity. As Superman, he was there to watch his own funeral.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Grandma's Dead", one of Elmyra's pet hamsters dies around the same time her grandmother goes on vacation, which makes Elmyra upset and leads everyone to believe that her grandmother really died. When Elmyra throws a funeral for her pet hamster, everyone believes it to be for her grandmother, and thus are shocked when she shows up alive and well.

    Real Life 
  • This was a distinct possibility during The Space Race, most acutely in the course of NASA's Apollo lunar landing attempts. In the lead-up to Apollo 11, which would be the first, William Safire, a speechwriter for President Richard Nixon, prepared a speech, "In Event of Moon Disaster", which he would read if something resulted in the deaths of all—or some—of the crew. Some of those situations would involve the crew still being alive—such as the lunar module, Eagle, not being able to launch off the surface of the Moon; or the command module, Columbia, being unable to return to Earth from lunar orbit—in which case astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins (in varying combinations) would've been among those hearing their own eulogy. While Apollo 11, fortunately, went well, the closest we've come to that being necessary was Apollo 13, though that crew was able to return alive.
  • As a deliberately engineered example, in 2007, Amir Vehabovic from Bosnia faked his death, forged a death certificate and arranged for a funeral just to see who would show up to remember him. Only his mother attended the funeral.
  • Zac Pennington of Parenthetical Girls has held two funerals for himself in his adult life thus far.
  • Noela Rukundo attended her own funeral after her husband hired hitmen to kill her. The hitmen refused to kill her and instead let her go, telling her husband that she was dead.
  • Prime Minister Keisuke Okada of Japan narrowly escaped assassination when right-wing militarists killed his brother-in-law instead of him. Okada actually attended his own funeral before the mistake was revealed. (His time as Prime Minister ended, but he lived until 1952.)
  • One Redditor had a post go viral about how he ended up attending his own funeral: a guy stole his wallet and then got killed. When they failed to identify the body, they assumed it was him based on the ID in the stolen wallet.
  • Abraham Lincoln had a dream like this before it very sadly came true. Often left out of the tale is that he claimed it was a recurring dream and he'd had it before major battles of The American Civil War like Antietam and Gettysburg.

Randy: "Calculon's back!"


Video Example(s):


Brittas' Funeral

Brittas' funeral goes awry when he resurrects right in the middle and begins knocking on the coffin.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / AttendingYourOwnFuneral

Media sources: