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Back from the Dead

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Bart Simpson: Ralph! I thought you were dead?
Ralph Wiggum: Nope.

A major character, possibly even a popularly nasty Big Bad, has been killed, pronounced dead and buried. However, the established laws of the universe allow for Functional Magic, a Sufficiently Advanced Alien, Applied Phlebotinum, Deus ex Machina or similar agency to intervene and subvert what naturally follows dying. Namely, staying dead. (In some cases, an explanation isn't even bothered with.)

Maybe the writers were running short of new ideas and decided to recycle some old characters. Maybe the actor has recently acquired some indecent photographs of the producers. Maybe the new writer was devastated his predecessor killed the character. Who knows? He is now Back From the Dead!

The form of afterlife can vary pretty widely. They may "simply" be resurrected or reincarnated (usually as a sentient pet animal), physical or mental alterations (good or bad) optional; or we may now have a ghost, vampire, zombie, angel, godling, demon, haunted car... okay, that last one will be hard to top (except with a Love-matic Grandpa!). Bringing someone back from the dead by supernatural means is generally treated as being a negative thing because of how unnatural it is.


If a character cannot come back from the dead entirely, they may show up as a Spirit Advisor or Mentor Archetype, letting them be literally dead, but allowing them to interact with the living.

In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Mortal Coil", Neelix actually dies for real but is (some would argue unfortunately) brought back to life some 18 hours later. This is an example of Contractual Immortality. In order to qualify for being brought Back From The Dead, a character in a TV show would have to be still dead at the end of one episode and resurrected, by whatever means, in a later episode (2-parters don't count).

This is exceedingly common in American superhero comic books, to the point that whenever a popular character dies, it's a given that they'll be back within no more than five years. At one time, it was said that "Nobody ever stays dead in comics, except Bucky, Uncle Ben, and Jason Todd." Naturally, since that phrase was coined, Bucky and Jason Todd have both been recalled to life.


See Death Is Cheap for when this becomes a regular feature of a 'verse, Sorting Algorithm of Deadness for the odds a particular death will stick, and the accompanying betting pool for which modern Lazarus is due back next. See also Resurrective Immortality for where this is an everyday part of a character's life.

A general rule of thumb is that if you Never Found the Body, the character is Not Quite Dead in the first place (and therefore not a candidate for this trope). One of the most common examples of this is that if a character falls off of a cliff or other high structure, especially into water, they're almost guaranteed to still be alive; see Disney Death. An explosion gives more reasonable odds. Of course, even if you've see the body and you've atomized it so finely that each individual molecule is a galaxy apart... there's always Time Travel. Removing the entire thing from existence can be done, and equally undone by a similar Deus ex Machina.

Faking the Dead has its own trope. See also First Episode Resurrection when this happens at the start of the series.

The character's resurrection from the dead could result in a situation of Unwanted Revival.

Real life examples are not included here; while people thought to be dead — and even legally or medically "declared" dead — have occasionally been revealed to be alive, or been resuscitated by a pioneering new medical technique, that just means they were never really dead to begin with. Resurrections described in religious texts should go in the "religion" section for the avoidance of argument, while reincarnation has its own page.

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.


    open/close all folders 

  • Allegedly, Pepsi can bring your ancestors back from the dead.
  • According to a Super Bowl commercial, so can Doritos.
  • The Priceline Negotiator went down in a fiery explosion but somehow managed to come back.
  • A 2001 commercial for Leon's (a Canadian furniture store chain) has an elderly woman dying in her bed as she is surrounded by her grieving family. After her soul departs from her body and is about to descend to Heaven, she looks around at her family and then at the nice furniture pieces she is leaving behind. She thinks for a moment about having to leave behind the furniture and a few seconds later, she lets out a huge gasp and awakens, which shocks her family. Except for her would-be widower, who lets out a "Whoo-hoo!" in response.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Strips 
  • Played for Laughs in one Popeye comic where George Geezil, one of Popeye's acquaintances with a notorious hatred for Wimpy, actually poisons Wimpy's dinner. When a doctor pronounces Wimpy dead, Geezil declares that he'll buy everyone in the establishment hamburger. Wimpy promptly gets back up saying he'll take his with pickles, onions and lettuce.
  • Pruneface made his first appearance in Dick Tracy as a Nazi sympathizer. He apparently froze to death being pursued by Tracy but was preserved by Dr. Freezdrei and revived in 1983. The trope is subverted in 1999 when Pruneface falls to his death from a mountain cable car.
  • It is no secret that the creator of Little Orphan Annie, Harold Gray, hated FDR and the New Deal, and often went out of his way to let readers know this. When FDR was re-elected in 1944, Gray got so depressed, he had Daddy Warbucks, the personification of free-market capitalism, Killed Off for Real, dying in despair. When FDR died in 1945, Gray was so overjoyed he had Warbucks brought back, because America was worth living in again.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The Death Of Koschei The Deathless", after Koshchei chops the hero into little pieces, throws them into a barrel, and throws the barrel into the sea, his brothers-in-law retrieve the barrel, use the Water of Death to put him back to together, and the Water of life to bring him back to life.
  • In Grimms' "Faithful John", John is turned to stone for explaining his apparently senseless behavior. The king and queen learn they can restore him by cutting the throats of their twin children and using the blood. After they do so, the revived Faithful John puts the children's head back and restores them to life.
  • In Grimms' "Brother and Sister", the Wicked Stepmother suffocates her (married) stepdaughter in a bathhouse and substitutes her own daughter. The stepdaughter comes back as a ghost and is magically restored.
  • In Grimms' "Fitcher's Bird", the heroine restores her sisters after they have been hacked to pieces.
  • In Grimms' "The Juniper Tree", after the stepson has been killed and cooked by his Wicked Stepmother, eaten by his father, and had his bones buried by his half-sister, he comes back as a bird. After killing his stepmother, he comes back to life as a boy.
  • In "The Rose Tree", the heroine comes back as a bird.
  • In "The Three Citrons", after a slave murders the heroine with a hairpin, she returns as a dove; when the slave has her killed and cooked, she returns again in human form.
  • In "The Golden Mermaid", after the envious older brothers beat their younger brother to death, the golden mermaid revives him with the advice of a talking fox.
  • The Story of the Youth Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was: A Fearless Fool warms a corpse by the fire, because he thinks it might feel cold. Then the body reanimates and announces he will kill him. The youngster feels this is so ungrateful that he puts him back in the coffin.
  • In The Two Brothers, a huntsman saves a princess from a dragon, only to be murdered by another man who plans on Stealing the Credit and claiming the Standard Hero Reward. He's brought back to life by his Loyal Animal Companion, a hare, which races off to the secret place where grows a magic plant that can revive the dead. (Then there are a couple of incidents where the story casually kills off either the huntsman or his brother then revives him immediately by the same method.)

    Fan Works 
  • In Jonathan Joestar, The First Jojo, All of the people that had been killed by Dio are revived when he is defeated.
  • In Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) fanfiction Abraxas (Hrodvitnon), Vivienne Graham is revealed to have been only temporarily dead after being devoured by Ghidorah. She's preserved and kept alive in a comatose state by San in his severed head, and he transforms and fuses with her to make them a two-headed human-Ghidorah Artificial Hybrid Kaiju.
  • At the beginning of Alternate Destination, during a storm caused by Zarm, Linka is killed by a fallen tree. Later, Gaia brings her back by tampering with the timeline.
  • Ancient Sins: After being turned to stone and shattered, which in this story equals death, Dante is resurected by The Philosepher's Stone. The reason he could be brought back was because his soul was still in the living realm, thanks to his multiple Soul Jar.
  • In Because I'm Not Popular I'll Try to Go Out with a Hero, Norman comes back. Just as he does in the comics.
  • In chapter 21 of Blood and Spirit, Link dies after being fatally electrocuted by Veress. However, he only stays dead for a few minutes, as another spell of Majora's corruption brings him back to life in the very next chapter.
  • My Brave Pony: Starfleet Magic:
    • Titan suddenly returns in the "Season 1 finale", and returns again in "The Movie".
    • In My Brave Pony: Star Fleet Magic III, Fratello's ghost combines with his replacement robot body.
  • In The Bridge, the Big Bad resurrects King Sombra so that he can wreck havoc in the Crystal Empire. When he's killed again by Cadence and Xenilla, he's revived again later so that he can partner up with Chrysalis in order to free Grogar from his imprisonment.
  • Btvs: Seasons Rewrite: Early in Season 3, Angel undergoes the Trials as he did in the Angel episode "The Trial." Here, it's done to resurrect Jenny Calendar, and he succeeds.
  • Child of the Storm has a couple of cases:
    • In chapter 45 Doctor Strange brings back Sif, who'd had her heart ripped out and Harry Dresden, who'd used his Death Curse to launch Gravemoss halfway into orbit. He's also implied to have saved/resurrected Coulson.
    • Technically Thor, having died as James Potter.
    • Harry in chapter 71, resurrected and possessed by the utterly enraged Phoenix Force which promptly goes on an epic rampage. This makes sense when you realise that the White Phoenix of the Crown is Lily Potter.
    • Voldemort's spirit regains a physical body a full year ahead of canon, courtesy of stealing some of Harry's power and using Wormtail's body as spare parts.
  • Played with in Children of Time.
    • Professor Moriarty falls to his death in the Reichenbach Falls but enters a temporal rift instead and does not actually die (no one else knows this for several years). Later, he suffers Character Death, only to show up early in the next season as a clone.
    • Beth Lestrade is shot to death but returns to life when the timeline in which her death occurred is retconned to never having happened.
    • Sherlock Holmes lives out his natural lifespan and dies of old age... but makes one last effort at being able to reunite with his wife in the future, having his body preserved in burial. Beth has a geneticist rejuvenate his body, restoring Sherlock to life and to his twenties.
  • The Darker Knight has this happen to damn near every character... except Hannah Montana.
  • In Game Theory, Precia succeeds in bringing her daughter Alicia back to life.
  • In Ghosts of Evangelion all characters have come back to life after dying during Third Impact.
  • In The Great Starship Battle, Chewbacca is killed when the Borg destroy the Millennium Falcon but is later resurrected by the Infinite Improbability Drive.
  • In Happy Accident, after Felicity accidentally kills Black Siren, when Constantine helps Oliver find a Lazarus Pit to bring her back to life, he ends up resurrecting Earth-1 Laurel Lance in her counterpart's body, leaving Laurel feeling bemused to be in a body basically identical to her own but with such 'anomalies' as extra tattoos and a nose ring.
  • Carmen Cole, who was killed in the novel Hottie by Jonathan Bernstein, was rebuilt into a Cyborg in Hottie 3: The Best Fan Fic in the World.
  • Wildfire dies battling the Anti-Monitor at the beginning of Kara of Rokyn, but he returns in Hellsister Trilogy, where he reveals he spent centuries transformed into a cloud of anti-matter floating in space until he was able to find a way to return home.
  • In Kingdom Hearts 3: Final Stand, Master Xehanort is revealed to have revived several characters, such as Vanitas, the Riku Replica, and Master Eraqus, to serve as his Soul Jars.
  • Law & Order: UK fics:
    • The story "Happy New Year" has it turn out that DS Matt Devlin was Faking the Dead, having been whisked off to a remote hospital to recover from his bullet wounds, giving his partner DS Ronnie Brooks and would-be lover Alesha Philips the shock of their lives when he's brought back to testify against his assailant.
    • "Declassified" (link) has Matt Devlin, shot to death and inexplicably recovering right before Alesha's and Ronnie's eyes. He's forced to admit that he's immortal (it's a Crossover with Highlander, and technically with Horatio Hornblower, as he admits to them that his real name is Archie Kennedy).
  • A few examples in The Lion King Adventures:
    • After his death in Friends to the End, Hago comes back four times. He is resurrected in the stories The Return of Hago, Darkness Falls, Tama's Trouble and Tojo's Tyranny.
    • Scar is resurrected in Rebirth.
    • Simba, Nala, Haiba, Zazu, Sarafina and the Interceptor are resurrected after the Writer is killed in The End.
    • Averted with beloved characters Tama, Tojo, Mufasa and Sarabi.
  • In The Man with No Name, Mal ends up being killed by the Big Bad. He's revived by the very same Big Bad after a breakdown, oddly enough.
  • In Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, the Stardroids' plan hinges on reviving Sunstar and Luna from the dead. They succeed with Sunstar in chapter 153.
  • In Mega Man Reawakened, both Robert and Bass are this.
  • Metroid: Kamen Rider Generations is seemingly a mix of fossil revival or spirits of the past due to the story taking place within Kamen Rider Ghost
    • First has Kaito Kumon. Later he returns from the afterlife for the second time to challenge Samus.
    • Chase in his character arc, with Gou being overjoyed as a result.
    • Later came Gandrayda in her character arc, alongside Rundas, and Ghor. Gandrayda eventually returns for the second time thanks to the Tutankhamun Eyecon and aids Samus, Gou, Mitsuzane, and Alain.
    • Like Gandrayda after her, Ghor is brought back to life by the Edison, Billy the Kid, and Benkei Ghost Eyecons.
  • This happens several times in the infamous fanfic My Immortal, once memorably when Draco commits suicide by slitting his wrists and then miraculously comes back with no explanation whatsoever, and again when the author became angry with her real-life friend Raven and killed off her avatar character, Willow (And had Professor Lumpkin rape her dead body...), only to have her reappear and seem to slip back into Goffik Hogwarts life normally.
  • My Little Mages: The Nightmare's Return: Celestia is killed by Nightmare Moon and the Grand Master in chapter 4, but the last scene of the chapter has Philomena carry off her body. She reappears alive and well in the final chapter, implying that Philomena somehow revived her.
  • At the very end of the Alternate Universe Fic Ned Stark Lives, Robb Stark and Ramsay Snow fight to the death during their trial by combat. Robb wins the battle almost handily, but Ramsay still cheats his way through and mortally wounds him before dying afterwards. Fortunately however, because of Robb's warg abilities his soul escapes into his wolf, Grey Wind, and tells Arya (who is also in Nymeria's body) about his situation. So Thoros of Myr, who is also aware of Robb's soul within Grey Wind, takes his body and brings him back to life with the fires of R'hllor. It's tear-jerkingly heartwarming.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: Asuka got mortally wounded during the final battle, and she died. Before her soul was definitely gone, though, Yui absorbed her and Shinji’s souls into the core of Unit-01 and kept them in there until they were ready to return to the physical world.
  • Infinity Crisis;
    • Obviously everyone who was Snapped is brought back to life in the main fic, but Barry and Wally manage to bring Pietro back even before the Snap is undone, Constantine works with Nebula to restore Gamora to her body from the Soul Stone once the heroes retrieve the Gauntlet, and Shuri and Cyborg are able to reactivate the Vision when the fighting ends.
    • Tomorrow's Guardians reveals that Leonard Snart survived his death but was somehow transferred into the timeline of The Orville. Later, Ultron is revealed to have also survived his seeming destruction to escape into this timeline.
    • In Distant Cousins, Lex Luthor is able to revive General Astra as part of his new agenda.
  • New Tamaran: Raven had made her own version of the Purple Ray underneath Titans Tower, modified to resurrect her or her friends if they were ever killed.
  • In the Hetalia: Axis Powers Alternate Universe Fic 1983: Doomsday Stories, it turns out that Hungary came back for both Austria and their daughter despite having died from the chaos of Doomsday. While there's also a nod to the Roman Empire's after-death appearances in canon, it's lampshaded by Austria himself that it's not at all normal or logical.
  • Averted for the most part in the Pony POV Series, as the one rule that Celestia's brother Mortis, Concept of Death, has is that everyone only lives once, so who's dead stays dead. That said, it's played straight at the end of Dark World, where he ignores this rule as a wedding present to Queen Libra (aka Alicorn!Rarity), allowing her to resurrect everyone who died during Discord's thousand year reign who died as a direct result of his actions or those of his minions (those who died of indirect chaos, old age, or who chose not to come back, were excluded).
  • During the Final Battle of the Pony POV Series Chaos Verse, Discord and Fluttercruel manage to kill Big Bad Nightmare Phobia, but then her spirit absorbs the Shadows of Oblivion, allowing her to transform into an Eldritch Abomination that breaks back into Limbo for round two.
  • In the Power Rangers Dino Thunder fic “Duty & Honor”, as the Rangers are forced to face the threat of Zordon’s brother, Xondar, seeking to kill all Power Rangers to ‘punish’ them for the death of his brother, the Dino Thunder team receive aid in the form of Zordon himself, who survived his ‘death’ at Andros’s hands due to his time warp allowing his essence to be converted into an energy form through the actions of an ancient order.
  • In Two for the Price of One, a chain of events lead to Willow Rosenberg visiting the Vanishing Point to bring Leonard Snart back to life; the timeless nature of Vanishing Point means that, even though his body was blown apart, Snart's cells are basically frozen in the moment before they actually died, so Willow is able to use DNA samples from the Waverider medical system to basically summon Snart's cells and put his body back together.
  • Quicken: The story starts out when Emma is mortally wounded during a brutal fight, gains powers right before dying, and her power brings her back to life… nine months later.
  • This is the entire freakin' point of Rise of the Galeforces. To make a long story short, a LOT of the late Supers from the Golden Era are cloned by Aperture Science and Technology in People Jars, but a good number of them are broken out by the Parr family so they can start a new life in the current timeframe of the story.
  • Howard and Maria Stark comes back to life in the Second Chances Series and the fic series deal with the aftermath of it.
  • Moriarty and Watson in Sherlock Season 4.
  • In Slightly Damned: Wind of Redemption and Rebirth, Sakido, as well as all the other Rebirths are souls of the deceased that have been brought back to life by The Master.
  • Chapter 40 of Son of the Sannin reveals that Obito Uchiha resurrected Rin Nohara. The process granted her Wood Release powers, a Healing Factor capable of regenerating lost limbs and eliminated her need for food (she still requires water to sustain herself, though).
  • In Super Milestone Wars, Princess Euphelia & Emperor Charles from Code Geass, Nia from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann and a whole bunch of deceased villains from different parts of fiction.
  • In Thousand Shinji, Asuka, Misato and Hikari died during the Angel War. Shinji and Rei caused an Impact event to bring Asuka and Misato back, and then the three pilots revived Hikari.
  • The Three Kings fanfic series begins with Starscream waking up on a distant planet a thousand years after his death in the finale. Prowl follows in his footsteps in the sequel.
  • In The Three Kings: Hunt, Bakura returns to being alive after more than 5000 years being dead
  • In the Doctor Who fic, Time and Space by Eureka 2000, Cass is brought back from the dead by the Rani and is placed in a holding cell with Epsilon who just so happens to be a Gallifreyan. They are both very unhappy about this.
    Epsilon: Oh, for crying out loud!
  • In the Supernatural/Wynonna Earp crossover "Told That Devil To Take You Back", God/Chuck and Amara don't just stop at bringing Mary Winchester back to life, but also resurrect Emma (Dean's Amazon daughter), Adam Milligan, Amy Pond (Sam's old Kitsune friend), Henry Winchester, Bela Talbot and Charlie Bradbury, Charlie joining Sam and Wynnona in Purgatory while the others end up meeting Dean and (for the most part) joining him in the bunker in Kansas.
  • A few characters in Twillight Sparkle's awesome adventure come back from the dead over the story:
    • Doctor Whooves comes back twice over the course of the story, neither time with any explanation given whatsoever.
    • Enemy Boss Leader comes back in the middle of the story, also with no explanation.
    • ADMIRAL Awesome Yonasomun Armageddon comes back in time to be a Deus ex Machina during the Final Standoff of Final Fate. This revival is notable as being the only one ever given any Hand Wave: It turned out that he was a Jedi Knight.
  • The Big Bad in Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune used to be a Magic Knight megalomaniac who lived more than 500 years ago.
  • In What If?, Neo initially pulls this off by transferring his essence into the Matrix after Cypher pulled the plug, allowing him to exist as a 'glitch' in the system, but takes it to the next level in The Return when he transfers back into his recovered body in the real world.
  • The What You Already Know series features Daniel apparently coming back from the dead (in reality, he was just in an extreme self-induced coma), and later he uses his new healing ability to bring Sam back to life after Anubis tries to kill her.
  • Several times in Young Justice: Darkness Falls. Ra's Al Gul was mentioned to be resurrected, as well as Jason Todd, Superman and even Wally West (though technically he was never dead to begin with).
  • Commonly occurs with Stevie from Wizards of Waverly Place in fanfiction, due to the general dissatisfaction with the fact (and the way) that she died.
  • Hearts of Ice: Ranma gets killed by Kuei (a kind of Chinese ghosts) while fighting his way to the Ancient One's den. Nonetheless, he is taken to the Phoenix's mountain -located in the realm of the souls' beasts- by one friend, and the bird lets him use its nest to go back to the mortal plane.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat, the 1974 sequel to the 1972 animated adaptation of Robert Crumb's underground comic, depicts several scenarios in which the title character ends up dying in one way or another, although most of these seem to be hallucinations. Crumb killed off the character in the comic "Fritz the Cat, Superstar", released in response to the film in 1972.
  • Flynn Rider/Eugene Fitzherbert from Tangled. From the time that he says in the opening, "This is the story of how I died," it only leaves the viewer guessing until the climatic part, when he is fatally stabbed In the Back by Mother Gothel's dagger and, rather than let Rapunzel risk her freedom for his life, cuts off her hair with a broken mirror shard in a Heroic Sacrifice before breathing his last in her arms. Thankfully, Rapunzel's magic tear brings him back to life. This is justified, since in the original tale, Rapunzel healed her beloved prince's eyesight with her tear.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ripley in Alien: Resurrection (it's in the title, even), through the miracle of cloning.
    Distephano: I thought you were dead.
    Ripley: Yeah, I get that a lot.
  • J.A.R.V.I.S., somewhat in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The original program appears to be torn apart by Ultron so he could escape during the Avengers' party, but was in fact hiding, preventing Ultron from accessing nuclear launch codes. He is then used as the basis of The Vision's programming.
  • Casper Dr. James Harvey falls into a manhole while intoxicated. After returning to Whipstaff Manor as a ghost, his daughter Kat and Casper resurrect him with a machine Casper's dad invented called The Lazarus.
  • Rebel Leader Karakol in City of Craftspeople. And he even isn't a hunchback anymore...
  • Io in Clash of the Titans. Because Zeus said so.
  • The Dark Crystal: In the climax, Kira is stabbed by skekZok the Ritual-Master after throwing the shard of the Crystal to Jen and dies. She is then revived by the urSkeks after Jen restores the Crystal.
  • Dragonslayer: Ulrich is raised by Galen near the end of the film to destroy the dragon. He had prepared for this all along by putting his soul into the amulet.
  • Flash Gordon. The title character, after being executed by poison gas. He's saved by a doctor's injection he received beforehand, though Princess Aura pretends that she revived him with a kiss.
  • Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack! has the original 1954 Godzilla resurrected by the vengeful spirits of the forgotten soldiers who died in WWII.
  • Halloween's Michael Myers seems to die at the end of every movie, only to come back in the sequels. Whether he is shot multiple times, set on fire, thrown down a minehole, etc. He just keeps coming back. Admittedly, this was intentional on the makers' behalf. Not counting the first film, they always made sure to "kill off" Michael just in case one of the movies bombed and didn't warrant a sequel. They didn't count on the franchise's popularity, which ended up spawning eight movies and two remakes.
  • Kamen Rider, Sentai's Super Hero Time partner, does this in their films as well. Like Sentai, it is more likely to happen when crossovers are involved.
  • Kamen Rider x Super Sentai: Super Hero Taisen, the first big theatrical crossover between the Kamen Rider and Super Sentai franchises, features the return of Dai-Shocker from Kamen Rider Decade, an alliance of revived villains who fought the various Kamen Riders, as well as the introduction of Dai-Zangyack, Super Sentai's equivalent of Dai-Shocker consisting of baddies from across Sentai history (though admittedly Dai-Zangyack's range of villains is far less diverse than Dai-Shocker, while the latter indeed has many villains from both the Showa and Heisei eras, Dai-Zangyack mostly has villains from the past few years and only two Showa villains, though it helps that one of them (Rider (nee Bio) Hunter Silva) becomes the top dog of Dai-Zangyack. Literally every single villain in this movie, whether they are from Dai-Shocker or Dai-Zangyack, has been brought back from the dead (with the exception of Dai-Shocker's Doktor G, since he's actually Narutaki in disguise, also not counted is Kamen Rider Diend, who is just an Anti-Hero who decided to be a dick at the end).
    • An interesting case occurs when Joe and Don with Daiki and Hina travel via the DenLiner to 1976, the days of Himitsu Sentai Goranger, where they encounter Baseball Mask, the Monster of the Week of Gorenger #53, witnessing his destruction at the hands of Akaranger (actually Captain Marvelous in disguise). This is not a depiction of his original demise, so he must have been brought back to be killed a second time.
  • In The King of Kings, Jesus does a big favor for Lazarus, and then does this to himself.
  • In The Last Witch Hunter, the very basis of the plot is the Witch Queen doing this.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen offers a double whammy of this, although one is only suggested, presumably as a setup for a sequel that never got made. First, the villain of the movie turns out to be Professor Moriarty, nemesis of Sherlock Holmes, who everybody thought got killed at Reichenbach Falls a few years before the time of the film. Then, at the absolute end of the movie, a witch doctor is performing a ritual at the grave of Allan Quartermain, the League's leader, and the skies darken and the ground trembles. This was the supposed sequel set-up.
  • In Mad Max: Fury Road, the Big Bad, Immortan Joe, tells his followers that this happened to him to ensure their fantatical devotion to him as a divine figure. His War Boys have the belief that he has the power to take them to the Warrior Heaven of Valhalla if they "die historic" for him.
  • In addition to the title undead, The Mummy Returns has an instance of a character, Evie, being brought Back from the Dead thanks to her son's ability to read ancient Egyptian.
  • Mythica: Szorlok raises the dead to serve him as zombies. In a more positive version, Teela raises Thane from the underworld after he and Dagen kill themselves to get the Hammer of Tek from there.
  • In Ordet, Johannes, who believes himself an agent of God, insists that he can resurrect his recently deceased sister-in-law Inger, if anyone in the family truly believes and asks. When Inger's daughter asks him to, he does.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Barbossa at the end of the second film after Jack killed him at the end of the first film, then Jack himself in the third film after being eaten by the Kraken at the end of the second. Will also comes back from his death. The fifth film has Salazar, who dies when his ship wrecks in a cave, only to be brought back to undeath by a curse. Near the end of the film, the Trident of Poseidon lifts all curses, including Salazar's, bringing him fully back as human. Then he's killed by Barbossa's Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Replicas: William manages to revive his family using their copied minds and cloned bodies. Near the end he also revives Jones.
  • Rise: Blood Hunter: Sadie is revived in the morgue after she's been murdered and made into a vampire. After she gets killed (at her request) again Sadie once more wakes up there.
  • In The Rise of Skywalker Palpatine confirms that he did die before, meaning that he was not faking his death and had to be resurrected through Sith practices. Rey is also resurrected by Kylo Ren with Force healing, at the cost of his life.
  • The basic plot of RoboCop (1987), about a murdered police officer who is resurrected For Science! but begins to remember who he was before he was cyberized.
  • Subverted in Sherlock Holmes (2009). Lord Blackwood, after being hanged and declared dead by Dr Watson, comes back from the dead and wreaking fear and panic all across England. Turns out he had actually faked his death.
  • Lampshaded in Soapdish, in which the assistant producer wants to irritate the main star so badly that she'll quit (so the second banana "actress" will sleep with him), so he decides to bring back an actor the main star didn't like who was killed 20 years earlier. The head writer, played by Whoopi Goldberg, points out that they can't bring him back, he was killed off in a spectacularly grisly fashion:
    The guy was killed in an auto accident! I looked it up! He was driving in the Yukon, in a pink convertible, to visit his brother who's an ex-con named Francis, when a tractor trailer comes along and decapitates him! You know what that means!? It means he doesn't have a head! How am I suppose to write for a guy who doesn't have a head?! He's got no lips, no vocal cords! What do you want me to do!?
  • Stargate: Ra has a kind of medical "coffin" capable of reviving people recently deceased (and presumably it's also the source of his immortality, as he's been alive for over ten thousand years).
  • Spock died in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but came Back from the Dead two years later in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. Lampshaded by Spock himself in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country:
    Spock: She doesn't know... [after mind-melding with Lt. Valeris]
    Scotty: Then we're dead.
    Spock: I've been dead before.
  • Star Trek: Generations had Kirk presumed dead at the beginning of the film and then brought back nearly 80 years later only to be Killed Off for Real. This incident ended up naming another trope.
  • Commonly happens with defeated villains in Super Sentai movies, usually in the Vs. teamups.
  • In Tamara, Tamara returns from the dead following a Deadly Prank because a magic spell Gone Horribly Right.
  • Thelma: Thelma raises a dead bird from the dead, and later also restores Anja, who she vanished earlier.
  • In the J-Horror film Tomie Vs Tomie, Tomie was reborn in a disturbingly gruesome way when the male protagonist consumed his girlfriend's ashes out of deep love and Tomie regenerated within his stomach and climbed out of his belly, killing him.
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen has it happen thrice in the same movie. First with Megatron, who died at the end of the first movie. Then with Optimus Prime, who is killed after fighting Megatron, Starscream and Grindor and Megatron stabs (and blasts) him from behind. He is resurrected later so he can go kick The Fallen's ass. Then Sam, who temporarily goes to robot heaven, so he can save Optimus.
  • Parodied in The Truman Show, in which Truman's "father" — who was long ago written out of Truman's "life" — has become such a pest in trying to get himself back onto the show that he's even managed to get Truman questioning the nature of his reality, thus forcing the producers to write him back into the show. When questioned as to how the heck they intend to explain away the fact that he is now back, the director — obviously winging it — blurts out "Amnesia."
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, thanks to Cosmic Retcon, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Beast, Iceman, Colossus and presumably everyone else we see killed in the Bad Future didn't die. However anyone killed before the retcon kicked off in the 70s (and between the films) was Killed Off for Real. Sorry Azazel, Banshee, and Emma Frost.

  • Blaze Ya Dead Homie, according to his lyrics, is a reincarnated gangsta rapper from the 1980s, which is why much of his music sounds like late-1980s gangsta rap.
  • Insane Clown Posse refers to this a number of times, including the song "12" and a brief reference in "Piggie Pie" ("Axe in hand / I rose from the dead")
  • The entire premise of the Schoolyard Heroes song "Cat Killer"
    Well I don't know what you think
    I think I know how this ends
    I saw this in a movie once
    While hanging with sofa friends
    A pet dies and comes back to life
    He gets gross as he kills everything in sight
  • Skillet even performed a song title this.
  • In Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny, Abraham Lincoln does this in order to fight Batman.
  • "He's Not Here", the song near the end of !HERO: The Rock Opera.
  • The song "Dead Man's Hand" by Lord Huron is about a corpse that simply gets up and walks away into the desert.
    I laid him down in a grave in the sand
    And he grabbed my arm with his dead man's hand
    He said: "I know I'm dead but I don't wanna lie
    In a grave out here where the coyote's cry
    I stared right into the endless void
    And I ain't going back if I got any choice
    I know how to live, I don't know how to die
    And there ain't no thrills in the afterlife.
    • Another Lord Huron song, ''The World Ender", is written from the perspective of a character who has returned from death to avenge their own apparent murder.
  • The resurrection of Jesus is a very popular theme in Christian music, from hymns such as "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today" to more contemporary songs like Don Francisco's "He's Alive," famously covered by Dolly Parton.
  • The Spanish-language children's song "Señor Don Gato," which was popular in elementary-school music classes for decades due to its English translation by Margaret Marks. The song is about a cat who is so excited when his girlfriend promises to marry him that he falls off a rooftop and dies from his injuries. On the day of his funeral, as the procession passes through a marketplace, the scent of fish is so strong that it brings Don Gato back to life.

    Myths & Religion 
  • The Bible has several:
    • Jesus, the one that everyone knows even if they're only Theme Park Scholars.
    • Lazarus, resurrected by Jesus.
      • Also the widow's son at Nain and Jairus' daughter
    • In Book of Ezekiel 37:1-3, Ezekiel is shown a vision of an entire army brought back to life with just their scattered bones for a starting point.
    • In Books of Kings, the prophet Elijah performed one to a widow's child when the latter fell ill, and Elisha did two, one is the son of a Shunammite woman and the other one is done posthumously by having a corpse touched onto the bones of Elisha.
    • According to the Book of Revelation, this will happen with everyone after The End of the World as We Know It.
    • There is also the Beast (some interpret it as something close to the trope definition of The Anti-Christ, not simply those who refused to follow Jesus's teaching) in the Book of Revelation, who is "slain by the sword", yet is resurrected through the power of Satan and then cons all non-Christians into worshiping him.
  • Prior to this, and possibly the Trope Maker, was Zoroastrianism, which also says there will be a Mass Resurrection after the end comes when the dead are judged. After the Babylonian exile, some Jews also began to believe in this, possibly influenced by Zoroastrian belief as they had been liberated from captivity by the Persians.
  • Dionysus (known to the Romans as Bacchus) from Classical Mythology pulls this one off as a baby in the Cretan version of the myth (which has Dionysus as the son of Zeus and Persephone, not Semele). Hera sends the Titans to kill Dionysus as a baby, which they do, eating all but his heart. Zeus plants the heart in Semele's womb, where it grows back into the infant Dionysus.
  • In Norse Mythology, Balder and his blind brother Hod—who were both killed prior to the events of Ragnarok—will be resurrected After the End.
  • In Classical Mythology, before Sisyphus 'died', he told his wife not to do any burial rites. Then, when in the Underworld, he appealed to the queen of the underworld, Persephone, and asked if he could go back up to earth to haunt his wife for not giving him the proper rites. She agreed and he came back from the dead.
  • The god Osiris in Egyptian Mythology. He was killed and dismembered by Seth and the parts of his corpse were scattered all over the world. Then Osiris's wife Isis gathered the parts of her husband and resurrected him.
  • St. Nicholas of Myra (the basis for Santa Claus) is the patron saint of children due to this trope. During a famine in Turkey, a shop keeper murdered three young boys, cut their bodies up and stored them in the brine of a pickle barrel intending to sell their meat to his customers. Later, when he tried serving some of the meat to St. Nicholas, Nicholas recognized what it was. He then proceeded to draw out the three boys from the barrel, whole and alive. This is similar to an earlier Greek myth where Tantalus served up his son to the gods who were his dinner guests, but they instantly knew it was human meat and raised the boy from the dead. After he died, in the underworld Tantalus's punishment was to spent eternity standing with water up to his neck and grapes just over. He was always hungry and thirsty, but seeking to get either made them vanish. This the word "tantalizing".


  • Being a D&D-based podcast, this is a regular occurrence on Gays in Capes. Tanum, Meekus, Lia, and Joaquin all pull this — and that's just season 1.
  • In Interstitial Actual Play, Edith has a move that can accomplish this and she uses it on Larxene, though we don't see the results until several episodes after her initial death. This also occurs with Roxanne, as her death leads to the restoration of her Somebody Ennora.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Undertaker has been killed and brought back to life lord know how many times in the 20+ years he's been around.
  • The WWE's attempted "Who killed Mr. McMahon?" storyline in 2007 — Vince McMahon being trapped inside his limousine at the end of an episode of WWE Raw and the initial playing out of things as though he had legitimately died — was aborted out of necessity due to the real-life events surrounding the death of Chris Benoit, as McMahon appeared (very much alive) on camera to explain the situation and that he was indeed in a storyline. Several weeks later, a shortcut storyline to give some plausible closure to things (he faked his death) was played out.
  • CHIKARA: This was how UltraMantis Black would explain Blind Rage's returns from his various retirements.
    • Another Mantis example. He was the captain of The Arcane Horde (himself/The Batiri (Obariyon and Kodama)/Oleg The Usurper) in the Challenge Of The Immortals tournament in 2015. He had to retire due to leg injuries in September 2015, leading to him bringing back Obariyon and Kodama's teammate Kobald, in the storyline, back from the dead.note 
  • In April 2018, Joey Ryan was "killed" on an episode of The Young Bucks' Being the Elite. Soon thereafter, Being the Elite revealed that "Hangman" Adam Page was behind the "killing", and showed a "funeral" for Ryan which put great emphasis on his... manhood. Fast forward to the All In event that September, when Page defeated Joey Janela in a Chicago Street Fight. Down go the house lights... and a video of a, um, fully erect Ryan is shown... followed by eight men simulating The Undertaker's druids, wearing inflatable penis costumes, walking on stage. Enter a fully alive Joey Ryan, who runs into the ring and proceeds to lay Page to waste, capped off by a superkick. Page is carried out of the ring by the "dick druids", capping off a hilarious parody of Resurrection Revenge.

  • Just as Douglas Adams made the ultimate Kill 'Em All in Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, a radio play pulled a very big Back from the Dead: the series' multiverse.

  • In Darwin's Soldiers, the Dragonstorm Big Bad was found dead in the first RP. He later reappears in the sequel, with the explanation that the first one was a body double.
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, a few prominent villains and heroes have returned to life. The most notable ones are Drishnek, Jemuel, Leon and the Silverbranch brothers.
  • In The Gungan Council, characters are frequently brought back to life since Death Is Cheap. Even Kyp and Bane, who both spent a long time dead, were resurrected through some means.
  • The Mad Scientist Wars: Andrew Tinker pulls this way back in the Redneck war. So It Begins, thanks to a series of backup personality copies and god cloning, pulled this off a LOT, and David was not just killed, but erased from his own body by his evil sentient mechanical Arm. He ends up making a case for his own existence, and makes it back. Also, Erik Tinker makes a deal with the devil. Sadly, the man he died killing, one of the most dangerous men ever, may well be back too....
    • Subverted with Sayasuke, a.k.a. "the Saya demon", who was never technically alive before he died. He won an award for cheating death regardless.

    Tabletop Games 
  • As in many Tabletop Games trends, Dungeons & Dragons popularized death as a minor setback by giving players access to the Raise Dead and Resurrection spells. Many other tabletop games follow suit. Fourth Edition takes the cake, giving higher level characters abilities whose descriptions start with "Once per day, when you die..."
  • While D&D has its share of resurrections, Manshoon of the Forgotten Realms invented a new one. His unique Stasis Clone spell ensured his continuous existence despite insufficient caution. That is, as long as he cared to steer clear of the few people who have the power to strip him of this convenience.
  • In Promethean: The Created, it's possible for the titular Prometheans to come back from the dead once if their Azoth is high enough. The Osirans actually have the special ability to come back multiple times, but they have to buy the ability up again with experience points once it's used — other lineages can also buy this ability, but it's more expensive for them. Said ability can also be used to revive others... but it's costly, and gets more costly each time you bring someone back from the dead after the first.
    • Also in the New World of Darkness, there are the Sin-Eaters from Geist: The Sin-Eaters, whose characters start by coming back from death. Even if you destroy their bodies after you kill them, they COME BACK. They just won't stay dead. Every time they come back, they become more and more insane, and somebody else dies a horrible death in their place to keep the balance.
    • A substantial portion of World of Darkness characters are undead, so...
    • And then we have one of the Malleus Maleficarum's Benedictions from Hunter: The Vigil. Boon of Lazarus allows you to raise someone from the dead. Unlike the Promethean example above, they are restored to fully human status. Unlike the Geist example above, no one will die to balance Death's books. In a setting where most deaths are supposedly final, this is the only true resurrection power. That said, dying is a traumatic experience regardless, and the resurrectee would gain a derangement as a result.
    • The Arisen of Mummy: The Curse have a form of resurrective immortality which means that while they'll always die, one way or another, they'll always resurrect. Even destroying their body won't work, since their spirit can be called back into a new body.
    • The Unchained in Demon: The Descent have the ability to resurrect dead humans as an Exploit. Unlike the Malleus Maleficarum version, the penalty isn't going crazy; the recipient becomes a stigmatic.
  • In the Old World of Darkness, mummies are pretty much guaranteed to come back to life no matter what, though they can be truly killed via extreme measures, such as nuking them.
    • The Gurahl werebears of Werewolf: The Apocalypse have a Gift that allows them to resurrect a recently dead shapeshifter. They also have a rite that gives them the chance to bring any deceased back to life - but in order to do so, they have to fight their incarnation of Death.
    • And similarly to the nWoD, a substantial number of oWoD characters are undead of one form or another.
    • There are also cases where it looks like someone's come back from the dead, but in reality another spirit is now animating the body, as with the hsien of Changeling: The Dreaming and the Fallen of Demon: The Fallen.
  • This is generally how Abyssals get Exalted: their Deathlord comes to them on their deathbed and offers them a second chance at life. Thing is, most of them aren't told what that second chance entails...
    • That is, the Abyssal Exalted have never actually died. The Exaltation does not bring them back from the dead, but keeps them from dying. In Exalted, there is no resurrection.
    • Following on from that, when someone tries resurrecting the dead, they occasionally draw the attention of the Dark Mother, who sees fit to grant the corpse a new life as one of the Liminal Exalted. Again, this isn't true resurrection, as the Liminal is, to all intents and purposes, a new person using someone else's vacated body.
  • Magic: The Gathering has this as a specialty of Black aligned abilities, and to a lesser extent White as well. The main difference being that White's resurrection abilities are usually associated with Angels somehow, and only affect your dead creatures, whereas black can resurrect its opponent's dead creatures as well, and is typically flavoured towards Zombification.
  • In Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom, Hades offers several villains this in exchange for their help in taking over the Magic Kingdom.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!:
    • Noble Knight Gwalchavad can bring a Noble Knight back from the Graveyard to your hand. And Sacred Noble Knight of King Artorigus can revive one of his Knights when he goes from the field to the Graveyard.
    • Evigishki Zealgigas is Steelswarm Hercules brought back with a Gishki ritual.
    • Whenever the Madolche die, they are shuffled back into the deck instead. (The Madolche Chateau Field Spell improves this ability, returning their cards to the player's hand instead.) This indicates their Sugar Bowl nature.
    • Tri-Wight, which shows three Skull Servants crawling out of the grave to fight again. It is supposed to show that death is not a permanent thing for them.
  • Broadly speaking, death is final Warhammer 40,000, but a handful of beings have come back over the years.
    • Old canon, now demoted to being one theory about the origin of the God-Emperor of Mankind is that he was born when thousands of human shamans ritually committed suicide to reincarnate in a single human as means to protect themselves from the afterlife. Ever since,he has led many many lives, possibly including Jesus, though there's much stronger evidence that he was Saint George. It's even up in the air if the Emperor will resurrect if he ever finally dies, as a man or as a god, or if he'll just snuff out.
    • Imperial Living Saints, the Emperor's rough equivalent of a greater daemon, are people canonized as Saints in the Imperial Church and have been resurrected when the Imperium needs them most. They even have a gameplay mechanic for coming back from the dead.
    • The Perpetuals are incredibly rare beings who will continue being resurrecting unless killed by an incredibly powerful force capable of destroying the soul.
    • The Craftworld Eldar, whodon't have a pleasant afterlife to look forward to, play a variant in which they use spirit stones to capture their spirits upon death, which will later be added to the Craftworld's Infinity Circuit to serve as an ersatz afterlife. Occasionally, in a time of great need, a soul will be drawn out and placed into a vehicle or a robotic body and serve as a warmachine or heavy shock troops. These machines carry a high level of reverence, and it's been implied that the process is irreversible and the spirit will be unrecoverable should they fail.
    • The Dark Eldar Haemonculi are so good at fleshcrafting they can bring themselves (and others, for a price) back from the dead. Unfortunately, it's not entirely guaranteed to work nor risk free. One notorious haemonculus has gotten so addicted to the experience that he is now completely batshit insane (not that anyone notices, in 40K it just makes them better).
    • Yvraine, Emissary of Ynnead, was killed by a priestess of the crone goddess Morai-Heg while fighting in the Crucibael, the greatest of Commorragh’s arenas. Having died at almost the exact moment that Eldrad Ulthran’s ritual to awaken Ynnead failed however, the God of the Dead was able to bring Yvraine back to life and granted her a measure of his power.
    • Kharn the Betrayer was once impaled and left for dead. When he was recovered, he was presumed dead but survived to make a full recovery. It's unclear whether he was just that tough or was brought back by his patron god Khorne so he could continue spilling blood and taking skulls.
    • Lucius the Eternal was singled out by his god for being so twisted and depraved that he was blessed by his god Slaanesh. Every time he is killed in combat, if the enemy takes even a little pride in killing him, Lucius's soul will overtake him and he'll transform into the newly resurrected Lucius. Even if that means a normal human or an alien, they'll slowly transform into the hideously scarred, power-armoured giant, and what's left of the original becomes another face on Lucius's armor.
    • A few select champions of Chaos who have pleased their masters in life have been promoted to Daemon Prince posthumously, effectively resurrecting them, though life and death don't quite mean as much when the fabric of their being is changed over to psychic energy. M'kar was one case who originated from the Horus Heresy, a woman named Emeli who had been a mere cult leader was a more recent case.
  • In Ironclaw the "Lazarus Heart" spell, the most advanced and difficult form of White Magic, has a chance of being able to revive the dead. Though it works better on a character who is merely "dying", and becomes more difficult with every hour that one is dead.

  • A fallen knight returning to life is a common feature of Mummers plays, usually with the aid of a miraculous cure-all.
  • Alcestis, in the Euripides play named after her.
  • The Addams Family Musical makes this a regular occasion, with the Addams Family ancestors rising annually for a family reunion and gala. Normally, Gomez dismisses them back to their graves at the end of the night's festivities, but this year, Uncle Fester traps them in the material plane and enlists their help.
  • The plot of Ride The Cyclone follows six high school choir members as they die in a tragic roller coaster accident at a Crappy Carnival. Arriving in limbo, they are greeted by the amusement park's mechanical Fortune Teller — The Amazing Karnark — who offers them the chance to return to life. The catch is he can only send one of them back to the realm of the living, and the group must decide by unanimous vote who gets to return to life.

  • In the BIONICLE web-serial The Powers That Be, Kopaka and Pohatu, whilst being trapped on the Red Star, run into Mavrah, a character who's canonically been dead for over a millenia. It was later revealed that all characters that had died in the Matoran Universe were living up there.

    Visual Novels 
  • Nasuverse:
    • Kotomine Kirei is still around in Fate/stay night, even though he 'died' at the end of Fate/Zero (a prequel).
    • Shirou dies in Heaven's Feel ending, but is revived by Ilya via Third Sorcery in the True End.
  • If certain actions are taken in Spirit Hunter: NG, then Rosé will appear in the Bad End despite being killed by a spirit earlier in the game. This is because she's a spirit herself, and was able to resurrect herself after being destroyed.
  • Tsukihime:
    • The main story begins with protagonist Shiki Tohno being seized by an inexplicable urge to stalk and murder a woman he happened to pass by on the street, via cutting her into seventeen pieces. He is understandably dismayed when Arcueid shows up the next day complaining about how much power it took to revive herself.
    • Over the course of the semi-sequel Kagetsu Tohya Shiki can end up in a number of what would normally be bad ends, some of which are death such as being eaten by a jaguar that comes out of Arcueid's underwear drawer. Yes, really. However, the next day, he's always okay again because Len is constantly reviving him. Possibly a subversion though as these 'deaths' are not actually the real death of his body, though some scenarios seem as though they would genuinely end with Shiki dead, dream or no.

    Web Animation 
  • Homestar Runner: Homsar was INVENTED just to die in one of the early sbemails. Then for some reason... he comes back. We never know quite how. It's implied that the Heavy Lourde only hospitalised him, as in one Marzipan's Answering Machine message he thanks her for the flowers she sent him while he was in the hospital. Then again, Homsar is a Reality Warper, so it's possible he can't truly be killed anyway. One Halloween-themed Main Page has an animation of a zombie Strong Bad rising from his grave, saying "I have come back from the dead to whoa-whoa-whoa holy craaap..." as his head falls off and rolls away.
  • The Flash animation series Madness Combat has three characters who never truly die: Hank, Jebus, and Tricky. No matter the cause of their death in the previous cartoon, they resurrect (with appropriate bandages, stitches, or scars) and resume battle in the next one. Jebus had his final death in episode 8 and the creator implied that it was definitive this time, and Tricky seems to be dead for good in episode 11.
  • A third of all the season finales of Red vs. Blue involve Agent Tex dying. It turns out that both she and Church are both AI programs created by Project Freelancer. In a similar way Church is seemingly destroyed by an EMP at the end of Season 6, but is resurrected as Epsilon during Season 7.
  • In RWBY, Penny was accidentally destroyed by Phyrra during the events in Volume 3. However, Penny is reintroduced in the first episode of Volume 7 as a rebuilt robot. Her creator makes it clear that, as long as her core survives the damage, she can be restored. Despite the level of tearing Penny experienced in the fight with Pyrrha, her core survived and was able to be recovered once the military had brought Amity Colosseum to Atlas. She has not been rebuilt to her original specifications, having received upgrades during her rebuild. RWBY: Amity Arena clarifies she has several cores in her body.
  • In one YouTube Poop, Mario crucifies Luigi. However, he comes back to life a moment later.
  • In The Frollo Show, Frollo die a total of four time but always come back, though his first two deaths have been retconned. Others characters have resurrected in this serie.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Played for Laughs with Balloon. He is always being killed and just coming back, usually with no explanation whatsoever.
    • Angel has the power to revive the recently deceased, which is something she doesn't like to do.

  • In Cunning Fire's prologue baby Akiva dies and refuses to move on, upsetting the balance. In order to restore this balance, Azrael pardons her life, granting her the ability to see spirits.
  • Roy in The Order of the Stick, but not before it's Played for Laughs as his disintegrating corpse is dragged around for months because the team has been split in half, with the people who could perform Raise Dead not in the half in possession of the corpse.
  • This strip of The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, we see Dr. McNinja arguing with Death over whether he is really dead.
  • Irregular Webcomic!: In addition to Chess with Death usually working out in favor of the not-quite-deceased, Death's politics have resulted in several characters' deaths being short-lived.
  • The Cyborg ninja in The Last Days of FOXHOUND was both killed and resurrected by Mantis.
  • Terror Island: After being dead for over a hundred strips, Aorist is suddenly resurrected by Bartleby.
  • Narbonic: Helen, being a Mad Scientist, has no problem resurrecting Dave after her mom kills him. It does have stages, though:
  • Roast Beef, Ray, Todd and Téodor from Achewood have all gone through this at least once through the comic's run, and Molly managed to come back to Earth from heaven after hundreds of years. It remains to be seen if Little Nephew can attempt the same feat.
  • In 1/0, Manny is killed, and results in the creation of Max, Marcus, and Andy, shortly after Teddy Weddy falls on him. Later, as Junior tries to leave, Tailsteak recreates Manny in the form of a ghost known as Ghanny, and from then on, all characters who die (with an exception of Max, who ends up Deader Than Dead) become a ghost.
  • Starscream does this on a regular basis in the Insecticomics (see the Transformers entry below). Thrust has also done this twice, once after being crushed to death by Unicron in Transformers Armada, a resurrection that was never really explained despite the fact that he's mentioned it more than once and once after being killed by the Fallen, then dragged back to her body by Starscream's ghost.
  • Oasis from Sluggy Freelance has come Back from the Dead no less than five times, and her "sister" Kusari at least once. How Oasis does this is unknown (even to her), and since they usually Never Found the Body, her simply being Not Quite Dead remains possible. As of more recent arcs, not only has the body been found, it has been found while Oasis is up and kicking in a new one.
  • Initially subverted in Concerned: The Half Life and Death of Gordon Frohman, in which the title character dies at the end. An unofficial sequel resurrects the beloved title character via ignoring Gameplay and Story Segregation.
  • In Union of Heroes there is a girl named Lynn, who is also called "The Eternal Victim". She is cursed to die instead of other people returning from Death afterwards.
  • And then there is Ran Cossack, who is pretty much a parody of this trope. He is made of really cheap Soviet parts, and could be killed by any kind of impact. However, his creator (Kalinka Cossack from Mega Man 4), realizing it would cost more to repair him than to build him again, built a machine that perpetually creates backup bodies for him; each time he is killed, a new Ran with a copy of his memories would appear. This leading to lots of "Ran-Bombs".
  • Slightly Damned features a rare example where phisically getting out of Hell is used for this purpose.
  • In Casey and Andy, both Casey and Andy die. Repeatedly. Sometimes at the hands of the other. And they're really dead: they ended up in Hell multiple times. They always come back. Even Andy's girlfriend (who is Satan) doesn't know quite how.
  • Happened at least twice in Ansem Retort
    • Matt, a demon Marluxia killed in Season One, came back in Season Two to referee the murder-off between Axel and Cloud.
    • Darth Maul also invokes this trope, as he's made a comment about Obi-Wan getting in a "Hollywood cheap shot".
    • Riku implied in the season six finale that he has done this as well, and promises to explain later.
  • In Horndog, Freddy is shot by a sniper, briefly dies, but returns to life. He is killed again, returns as a zombie, and is killed by his roommate, Bob. If that wasn't enough, he is reincarnated as a teenage boy, but is killed by a chupacabra.
  • Bob and George. No one stays dead on Bob And George. Which can be annoying. Quite annoying
  • MS Paint Adventures has a few instances of this. In Problem Sleuth, the imaginary world gives the characters extra lives to use. If those run out though, they can also earn their life back by either defeating Death at a number of different games... or just walk out of the afterlife's front door. A similar mechanic is used in Homestuck where the character's Dream Selves act as "extra lives" if they die and another player gives them a resurrection kiss as is the case with Sollux, Dave, and Rose.
    • Aradia in Homestuck is brought back in a different way from normal though. Equius builds a robot body for her ghost to use, giving her a physical form to interact with the other characters.
    • The kernelsprites also count, since they're all prototyped with the remains of dead person that was important to the character. This gives the sprite the personality and all the memories of that dead person.
    • And now Kanaya is back from the dead too, although she's not exactly alive either.
    • In Sburb/Sgrub, characters can ascend to a special rank known as the God Tiers and gain even more power...but the trick is, they have to die in a certain place first. There are two slightly different variations: one that relies the dreamself as an extra life, and another that, for an as-yet-unexplained reason, doesn't.
    • Further, once a character is a God Tier, they can only be killed if the death is Heroic (they die accomplishing something heroic) or Just (they are corrupt and are killed by a hero). So far two God Tiers have died: John, who came back because his death was neither, and Vriska, whose death was Just, as letting her live would cause her to get all of her friends killed. Although thanks to John, the latter death has been retconned out of existence.
    • And even if both of characters bodies are dead, and even God Tier doesn't help, there also Ring of Life, which can bring ghosts back to life.
    • All members of the Felt except for Scratch, Snowman and English are killed by the Midnight Crew in an intermission very early in the comic. For the comic's finale, Spades Slick brings all of them back via a magic timeline warping voodoo doll.
  • In Kagerou, Mindi, an Old One, can bring people back from the dead. It's even played for laughs once, when a nearly dead person is killed just so she can bring them back to life free of injuries.
  • In The Players Guide To SISU, Sisukas, a bandit leader, returns after being killed in the first battle. Thus far, the means of his return haven't been specified, but there's apparently a specific god whose clerics could do it.
  • In Sinfest, a boy Baby Blue had a crush on can raise a frog, Baby Blue fails to raise a dove, and Satan does Came Back Wrong.
  • Mega Man and Sonic do this in Two Evil Scientists.
  • In The Senkari, Freija, Val, and Rachel are all revealed to have come back from the dead at some point in their pasts during their origins flashback.
  • MS Paint Masterpieces: Fodder Force Redheaded Guy, Cut Man, and Enker; due to Doctor Light's attempt at changing the timeline.
  • In The Dementia of Magic, Howard is revived with great difficulty.
  • In The Silver Eye, Bhatair Hollingsworth is revived by Melete Dolan after having been beheaded and then chopped to pieces. When Apen Shephard meets him in Gallitan, he is understandably rather shocked.
  • Dragon Ball Multiverse: Everyone that died since the tournament started was wished back to life by a set of Dragon Balls after the second round ended.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, medical science can bring people back moments after death if the deceased's head is placed in a special bag with nanites as of the start of the strip, and the technology improves drastically through its run. Lampshaded when one character describes a foe as deader than disco, only for another to point out that disco has come back 11 times in the last three centuries and for the dead guy to come back in the very next strip. Medics actually have a grading system for deadness based on how much of the deceased's mind they can piece back together.
  • Guilded Age:
    • The entire party during chapter 10.
    • Bandit in particular makes an Unexplained Recovery at the end of chapter 11. She claims not to know how she got better and figures that Harky's blood may have had something to do with it. After The Reveal, it's likely that Bandit just respawned like any MMO PC, and that the troll blood explanation was her player staying in character.
  • Klonoa: Dream Crusaders: Tenebrae Hue's ritual brings previous Klonoa villains back from the dead. Played for Laughs later when Joka, one of these villains, later states that he "[doesn't] know why [he's] alive in the first place," with a big smile.
    Tenebrae Hue: With the power of a million dreams, I reach upon all of you whose time in this world was cut short! Whether it be from old age or someone else's hands... on this blessed night, I'll grant you all... a second chance!
  • In El Goonish Shive, Magus is not quite dead while he is stuck in the spirtual plane but he is effectively a ghost. Therefore his goal is to gain a body and effectively come back to life before returning to his home universe.

    Web Original 
  • The main character in Dragomirs Diary is killed by his own daughter as his castle comes crashing down around him and horrible beasties slither out of a weird, supernatural door. This being part of a video game, however, Dragomir is revived a month later when his save game is activated.
  • The Screamsheet's Fights Section has the entire planet come back from the dead after its been destroyed in a previous battle. Multiple times, no less.
  • Doctor What from The Series has supposedly come Back from the Dead many, many times, although we've only seen two or three on-screen. Most of the others involved fatal cunnilingus - which, bizarrely, was Based on a True Story.
  • In the Epic Tales 'verse David Wilson died in the first Shadow Hawk story only to become the Astral Controller.
  • Anna Demorah dies in the comic that marked the beginning of Felarya. Then the author announced that she had been resurrected "due to some weird distortion in space, time or whatever". She remains one of the main characters.
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Aughadhail, Queen of the Fae, died along with all her sisters, a long time ago in "The Sundering", during a war against the Great Old Ones. It may have been millions of years ago. But what was left of her spirit found what was left of her magic, and became part of the teenager whose body had that magic, so she's back.
    • The tendency of Super Villains to return from beyond the grave is lampshaded more than once. Indeed, Mephisto once set up a massive Death Trap aimed at several of the other supervillains (and more than a few superheroes) and went to great lengths to ensure that they were Deader Than Dead, precisely to avoid this.
  • In the Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society, Adrian comes back thanks to the use of Soul Jars.
  • It's become a running gag in Dark Dream Chronicle that Vadiir can't stay dead.
  • For the first twenty-four arcs of Worm, death is largely permanent, with major characters and heroes dying in various final and gruesome ways. Then, in Arc 24, Alexandria comes back from the dead to fight Behemoth, prompting an Oh, Crap! from Weaver, who was the one that murdered her in the first place, and who had complied with framing Alexandria for horrible crimes (as opposed to the horrible crimes she was actually guilty of, which were too terrible to be revealed at all) for the sake of the public's peace of mind. Fortunately, it turns out to be a body-snatcher doing a Dead Person Impersonation using Alexandria's invulnerable corpse.
  • Cracked:
  • C0DA, written by former The Elder Scrolls series writer/designer Michael Kirkbride, takes place in the far distant future of TES universe. It features a number of characters who have died throughout the series, including Almalexia, Sotha Sil, Dagoth Ur, Lorkhan, Numidium... Only Numidium gets an explanation as to how or why, and even then its a pretty big Hand Wave.
  • Mahu: In "Crownless Eagle", Sebastian Stolarski gets shot during the siege of Stockholm. Unlike the other generals who lead the attack though, he manages to survive and carry on with the invasion of the Commonwealth Republic.

    Web Videos 
  • Hero House directly addresses how frequently this occurs in comics, as well as the fact that it is now seemingly impossible.
  • In Decker, Kington is killed by the First Lady near the end of Decker Unclassified. He is however brought back to life in the first episode of Decker Unsealed thanks to an untested treatment which also makes him look younger.
  • In The Spoony Experiment, The Spoony One was killed by Squall after reviewing Final Fantasy VIII Linkara later cloned him using his protoplasmic remains and essentially brought him back from the dead.
  • Due to Word of God business issues, Doug Walker had to retcon To Boldly Flee and bring back The Nostalgia Critic. It was not a particularly cheerful return.
  • In "10 DEAD PEOPLE Who CAME BACK TO LIFE!" by Matthew Santoro, Matthew talks about 10 people who died and then came back to life.
  • Duck Guy in Don't Hug Me I'm Scared is brutally eaten in the fifth episode and left dead for the final, sixth episode. However, his friend begins to fidget with the computer that seems to control their absurd world, which has the side effect of briefly bringing Duck Guy back to reprise a small part of a song from the second episode before the computer glitches out and turns him into someone else.
  • Escape the Night : Mat Pat dies in episode five of season three. At the end of episode six, the team gains access to the Lazarus Harp, an item that can bring one person they lost back to life. Guess who suddenly returns in episode seven?
  • A relatively common occurrence in Critical Role. Every single member of Vox Machina, as well as several members of the Mighty Nein have died and subsequently been resurrected - not particularly surprising given the setting. Of particular note however, is Mollymauk Tealeaf, who has this trope baked into his backstory: He crawled out of his own grave two years before the beginning of the campaign, with no memory from before. Then he went and did it again after being killed by Lorenzo in episode 26, only to reveal that he is alive and traveling with his former companion almost 90 episodes later.

    Western Animation 
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender it is made fairly clear in "The Crossroads of Destiny" that Azula's lightning attack on Aang in the season two finale succeeded in killing him and he was only brought back by Katara using the spirit water to heal him. He even says as much:
    I went down! I didn't just get hurt, did I? It was worse than that. I was gone. But you brought me back.
  • Ben 10:
    • In the original series, Ghostfreak, as Z'Skayrr, gets ressurected by Frankenstrike during part one of the season 3 finale after being killed due to being exposed to the sun after escaping the Omnitrix one season earlier. At the end of the next episode, he gets killed again by the sun, though Ben regains his DNA in the Omnitrix, much to his initial dismay.
    • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Played both ways in "The Enemy of My Frenemy". Charmcaster kills off every living being in Ledgerdomain, a total of 600,000 including Ben, Gwen, and Kevin, and offers up their souls in a Deal with the Devil to resurrect her father. It actually works, with her father Spellbinder being revived with no problems. While Spellbinder is initially happy to be reunited with his daughter, he soon becomes disappointed in her for the price she paid to bring him back and willingly offers himself in exchange for the return of the souls, which is granted.
    • Ben 10: Omniverse: In the episode "Showdown, Part 1", a flashback reveals that the reason Ben stopped using his previous most used alien Feedback was because when he was 11, he had an encounter with Malware, who forcibly ripped Feedback's DNA out of the Omnitrix and turned it to dust. As a failsafe the Omnitrix could no longer accept DNA from Feedback's race, but in "Showdown, Part 2" Ben regained Feedback after a negotiation with his past self.
    • The finale of The Secret Saturdays saw the death of Big Bad V.V. Argost. The Saturdays' appearance on the Omniverse episode "T.G.I.S." saw him resurrected at the hands of Dr. Animo.
  • Darkseid in the DC Animated Universe was killed by Brainiac's exploding asteroid Supervillain Lair, but gets brought back when Luthor uses Tala against her will in an attempt to restore Brainiac. According to the DVD commentary, Tala did it on purpose just to spite Luthor. Hell hath no fury, indeed.
  • The season 3 finale of The Dragon Prince resulted in Viren falling to his doom. But at the very end of the episode, he woke up to his daughter. He originally thought he miraculously survived the fall, but Claudia revealed that he didn't and was only alive because she used a spell to revive him.
  • The cast of Drawn Together have died many times with Ling Ling and Toot having the largest death count, only for them to come back either in the next episode or later on in the same episode.
    • Justified with Xander. Being a video game character, he has multiple lives, which proved problematic in one episode when he tried to commit suicide.
  • In Duckman, Duckman's two teddy bear secretaries Fluffy and Uranus are often killed in nearly every episode they appear in (usually by Duckman himself) only to be brought back in the next episode.
  • Family Guy:
    • James Woods is brought back to life by scientists using space age tech after being stabbed in the back in a previous episode. As a Hollywood actor, he was entitled to top-notch medical care not available to others. Apparently he's that famous.
    • In "Life of Brian" Brian looks like he's been killed when he's run over playing street hockey with Stewie and dies in the hospital, then replaced with the Griffins' new dog Vinny. In "Christmas Guy" Stewie uses his past self's time machine return pad to prevent Brian's death, returning the show to the status quo.
  • Futurama:
    • There's Roberto, who in "The Six Million Dollar Mon" was arrested and promptly executed via electromagnetism. When Hermes wanted a robot brain transplant to complete his new robot body, Farnsworth inadvertently dug up Roberto's and after Zoidberg put Hermes' brain back in his old body, the empty robot took Roberto's brain. Roberto terrorized the crew for about a minute before he ate a piece of Hermes' skin and melted from it being so spicy due to Hermes' diet of extremely hot food. He then makes an appearance in the show's penultimate episode "Stench and Stenchibility" with no explanation whatsoever.
    • Before that in the first quarter of "Into the Wild Green Yonder" Bender gets pumped full of lead by the Robot Mafia then 'inexplicably' rises out of the ditch they buried him at the beginning of the second quarter. Subverted in that it's well established in the series that bullets are just an annoyance to robots, depending on which side of Negative Continuity the episode falls on.
    • In the episode "The Thief of Baghead", Calculon kills himself after ingesting food coloring (which is toxic to robots). He was reenacting the climax of Romeo and Juliet and tried to put on the best possible on-stage death by actually killing himself, meaning he basically hammed himself to death. The Planet Express crew bring him back to life in the late series episode "Calculon 2.0", only for him to die again at the end of the episode.
    • In "The Ghost in the Machines", Bender is dead for most of the episode and manages to come back by getting sent to heaven and then beating up Robot God.
      Fry: You're back from the dead?
      Bender: I'm back from lots of stuff.
  • In the two-part Grand Finale of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law, Phil Ken Sebben claws his way up from the grill of the bus that struck him dead the previous season, and says "Hah ha! Final episode stunt casting!" He then spends the entire episode driving the bus in reverse back to the city, just in time to arrive in the final scene and run Harvey over, killing him off for real. Odd thing is that in the episode where he is hit by the bus, he apparently gets cremated.
  • Several characters on Kaeloo have been blown up, decapitated, electrocuted, etc. only to be perfectly fine in the next episode.
  • Sylvester the Cat from Looney Tunes died 24 deaths in 16 different cartoons, one episode (Satan's Waitin') features him slowly losing all nine of his lives.
  • In the Season 9 premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Grogar resurrects King Sombra from the dead to serve in his Legion of Doom. Not being a team player Sombra decides to go it alone, comes at least decently close to winning, but then gets graphically blown to pieces by The Power of Friendship all in about the span of an afternoon. Seeing him as weak and useless in his plans of weaponizing friendship against the ponies, Grogar doesn't even bother to resurrect him again.
  • Metalocalypse: Ofdensen seemingly died in the second season finale, but then came back. It's revealed at the end of the third season (and given more detail in the fourth season) that he was not Faking the Dead, he had to die in order to become the Dead Man in the prophecy, and the Church of the Black Klok revived him.
  • The title of Not Without My Handbag refers to the dead Auntie climbing out of hell, and later the ground, in order to retrieve her handbag.
  • In The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Haunted House", the Ghost falls into a depression after his multiple failed attempts to scare the title characters, and "kills" himself only to turn into a living, fat naked black guy.
  • The Simpsons:
    • This exchange from a Show Within a Show seen in an early episode:
      "Father McGrath! I thought you were dead!"
      "I was!"
    • In the "Treehouse of Horror VI" story "Nightmare on Evergreen Terrace," Groundskeeper Willie is set on fire after the furnace is set too high, then, due to overly cheap PTA members he can't escape (faulty door knobs, which would cost $12 to repair) and can't extinguish himself (empty fire extinguishers, which the fire department offered to recharge for free), then ignored by the PTA as he burns to death. Willie vows revenge on their children by striking in their dreams. After being defeated by Bart, Willie shows up at the bus stop outside the Simpsons' house, alive and well.
    • Dr. Marivn Monroe was earlier subjected to a Bus Crash as no one on the crew, not even his voice actor, liked the character. The Season 15 episode "Diatribe of a Mad Housewife" has him show up alive and well, saying he has just "been very sick."
    • Despite clearly dying in the movie, Dr. Nick still continues to show up in the series.
    • Homer dies of a heart attack when Mr. Burns fires him. His ghost decides to come back from the dead when he hears Mr. Burns tell Smithers to send a ham to Marge as consolation. However having come back, Mr. Burns cancels the ham.
  • South Park:
    • In the first five seasons, Kenny dies in nearly every episode and appears again in the next as if nothing had ever happened. In fact, in the two-parter "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut", after dying at the end of Episode 1, he reappears out of thin air next to his friends at the start of Episode 2. (He goes on to die at the end.)
    • There was one season finale where Kenny spends the episode suffering from a rare disease that kills him by the end of the show, and it dealt with how everyone reacted to Kenny being sick and dying. The next season had the kids living without Kenny, exorcising Kenny's spirit from Cartman, and after accepting Kenny's death they had competitions to see who would be his replacement. All this, only to have Kenny show up again one episode like nothing ever happened.
    • Played for Laughs in the Halloween episode where, after Kenny dies, the embalming fluid was mixed with Worcestershire sauce (which ironically had a label warning against this). Cue Kenny coming back as a zombie and turning most of the South Park inhabitants into zombies. And then dying an additional two more times at the end.
  • Scooter the light purple surfer fish from SpongeBob SquarePants has died three times to date: first when SpongeBob asked him to move from his seat he was killed by his smelly breath, drowned after Bubble Buddy buried him in the sand, and exploded after being kicked off a cliff by Mystery the seahorse.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: During the Mortis arc, the Son kills Ahsoka with a tap on her forehead. The Daughter, who was lethally wounded also by the Son, channels her remaining life force into Ahsoka's body (using Anakin as a medium) to revive her.
  • Steven Universe: In "Off Colors", Lars diesnote  after being caught in the center of an explosion, getting slammed into a wall and then falling thirty feet to the ground. Steven starts to cry over his body, and discovers his healing powers include the ability to resurrect through his tears. Side effects: Lars is now pink, his heartbeat is awfully slow, he doesn't need to eat anymore and his hair is a portal to Lion's Pocket Dimension. All of which implies Lion was a regular animal that died and Rose resurrected in similar fashion.
  • Although Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) Big Bad The Shredder had already become infamous for turning out to be Not Quite Dead, one of these occasions later turned out to actually be a Back from the Dead situation. Given the character, the elaboration was sort of unnecessary, except for the fact that a) said occasion involved being at ground zero of an explosion that atomized a building, and b) it allowed the writers to bring the character back yet again. Also played straight with a couple of other characters, one of which included a nifty sequence in which flesh returns to his skeleton as he is resurrected.
  • In the fourth season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), The Shredder is slain by Leonardo only to be revived for one episode shortly into the fifth season.
  • Teen Titans: The Story Arc for the fourth season involves Slade, the Big Bad from the first two seasons, coming Back from the Dead to serve as The Dragon to the new Big Bad, Trigon. This example is especially notable because with Comic Books (and therefore their adaptations) the usual resurrection is a retcon saying that the character was not truly dead. Slade's death was a Never Found the Body, and Robin's hallucinations of Slade in a later episode proved to be poisoning by someone heavily hinted to be Slade, so the stage was set for it to prove to have been a Not Quite Dead or one of his many robot duplicates... and then it comes out that he was very much dead when he appeared to die, and had been revived by the series' version of Satan as a messenger!
  • ThunderCats:
    • Jaga dies of old age while guiding the ThunderCats' ship towards Third Earth, but he returns as a Spirit Advisor to team leader Lion-O (and eventually the rest of the team as well).
    • Mumm-ra is supposedly killed on at least three occasions, but as long as evil exists Mumm-ra lives!
    • The Berzerkers were killed (by Panthro sinking their ship) in their first appearance. This was confirmed when the ghost of the Captain Hammerhand showed up a few episodes later. Then he came back with a new look and a new crew in the second season.
    • And there's Grune the Destroyer, who died before the series began, but returns to harass the ThunderCats as a ghost. Twice.
  • Tom of Tom and Jerry had died 6 times in 6 cartoons, (one of them turned out to be a dream though).
  • Transformers:
    • In The Transformers: The Movie, among the many Transformers killed off include Optimus Prime and Starscream. In subsequent episodes of the TV series, both come back. Optimus Prime initially appears as a Spirit Advisor when his successor, Rodimus Prime, journeys into the Matrix of Leadership. In "Dark Awakening", Optimus is brought back to life as a zombie, only to sacrifice himself again to save his fellow Autobots. In "The Return of Optimus Prime", he is completely revived and restored, and survives the end of the series (only to be killed in a Heroic Sacrifice in the Japanese series Headmasters, although resurrected in the Expanded Universe story Battlestars: The Return of Convoy). Starscream returns as a ghost in two episodes, "Starscream's Ghost" and "Ghost in the Machine"; in the latter, Starscream receives a new body from Unicron, returning to life, only to get blasted off into space. Starscream's spark makes a return appearance in the Beast Wars episode "Possession".
    • In Beast Wars, Optimus Primal died saving the planet in the first-season cliffhanger, but was revived a few episodes into the second season. The writers left him dead for as long as Hasbro would let them, and his return was at least with guns blazing.
      • Same series, different character: BlackArachnia. After being murdered by Tarantulas while her new Maximal comrades were trying to remove her malfunctioning Predacon Programming, she was brought back to life thanks to the Transmetal II Driver, which also turned her into a Transmetal II.
    • Also done by Optimus Prime in Armada, and Megatron several times over the course of the Unicron trilogy.
    • Overall, Optimus' combination of Heroic Sacrifice and Back from the Dead in the Sorting Algorithm of Deadness has become a running gag in the fandom, to the point where a Word Filter on the site 7chan replaced 'Jesus Christ' with 'Optimus Prime.'
    • Starscream has this happen a lot too. In addition to the G1 version, he was killed and resurrected on two occasions in the Marvel comic, and in Transformers Animated, he becomes immortal due to a shard of the Allspark - which allows him to suffer Waspinator-class indignities, actually die, but then revive in seconds. The Noble Demon Transformers Armada Starscream also dies and returns in Energon, but he was Not Himself.
    • Ironhide dies in the first issue of The Transformers (IDW) and is resurrected by Alpha Trion a short time later. However there's a catch, Alpha Trion started building this version of Ironhide before the original died so he lacks his predecessor's memories and knowledge of current events.
  • The Venture Bros.: In the last episode of Season 1 the boys are killed. In the first episode of Season 2 their clones are reactivated and filled with their stored memories. Dr. Venture explains that this is the thirteenth time it has happened - and shows all previous deaths.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Too Much Heaven, Dead Character Resurrection, Dead Character Revival, Resurrected From The Dead, Resurrecting The Dead, Resurrection From The Dead, Resurrection Of The Dead


The Sandman

After his body was assimilated by Pitch's nightmare-sand, the children's revived belief in the Guardians revives the Sandman with it.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / BackFromTheDead

Media sources:

Main / BackFromTheDead