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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, or 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 on 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, he or she is 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.

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

Real Life examples are not included here, since it would be impossible to bring back someone from the dead.note 


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Jagaaaaaan, Doku-chan reveals that once Jagasaki has killed all Fractured Humans, his next objective is to blow his own brains out to take care of his own Fractured self. Once that's done with, Doku-chan will obtain the power to resurrect a single life. Jagasaki insists not to revive him, but instead to revive his fiance, whom he killed to defend himself.
  • A major trait of the titular dungeon from Delicious in Dungeon. So long as a person dies within the dungeon and their body is not removed, they can be resurrected. Falin is resurrected by Marcille using forbidden magic combined with dragon meat in order to reform her completely, as only her bones were left after the Red Dragon digested her.
  • Rozen Maiden Suigintou pulls a Back from the Dead after getting killed in the last episode of Season One and several are revived in Traumend. And damaged "normal" animated doll brought back by Jun (almost accidentally).
  • Fushigi Yuugi: The dead members of Team Suzaku are brought back as Spirit Advisors in the final episode, possessing volunteers so they can contribute to the fight. The OVAs have their ghosts show up a few more times before finally using reincarnation to bring them back for good.
  • Gekiganger 3: Joe Umitsubame comes back from the dead, piloting the original Gekiganger 3 robot, to help the rest of the team defeat the show's Big Bad. A character watching this episode comments on the fact that people in real life (like the dead Gai Daigouji and Tsukomo Shiratori) don't come back from the dead. Ironically, in that very same episode, the apparently-dead Admiral turned out to be Not Quite Dead.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Muhammed Avdol of the third part was shot in the head by Hol Horse (giving Polnareff a lesson about not being a selfish prick, and working together), but came back in a later chapter (where it was revealed that the bullet bounced off his skull). The kicker here is that he's killed off later by Dio's Dragon, Vanilla Ice.
    • Before him, in the second part, Stroheim blows himself up with a grenade in an attempt to kill Santana, who is crawling into his wounded leg. Some twenty chapters later, he returns as a cyborg.
  • Everyone in Sailor Moon is expected to die near or at the end of each arc, usually for the sake of being Team Cannon Fodder, but sometimes for an actual reason. In The '90s anime version this only happens in the first and final seasons. All other seasons they just didn't die.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew takes a page from Sailor Moon and kills off the whole cast in the Grand Finale, only to bring them back with a single Mew Aqua and True Love's Kiss. (The latter was only for one person; otherwise, it would get really silly.)
  • The Bronze Saints in Saint Seiya seem to suffer from this, considering they "die" (or at least, they're dealt fatal blows) by the end of each saga. The series Hand Waves this by claiming that Athena can bring them back from the brink of death; however, Hades himself can reanimate the dead and turn them into Specters for his army.
    • There's also Ikki, Saint of PHOENIX. As his name implies, he keeps coming back all the time...only stronger.
    • In Saint Seiya: Soul of Gold, the Gold Saints are very literally resurrected and transported back to Earth from Hell.
    • In Saint Seiya Episode GA, Aiolos is alive and well in the present despite dying first in 1973, then in 1986...
  • The Book of Darkness, the Wolkenritter, and the corrupted self-defense program from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's are able to perform this repeatedly thanks to the Book's Rejuvenation Program. You can rip off their very life force and obliterate them without a trace using a weapon that distorts the fabric of time and space, but as long as the Rejuvenation Program is active, they will eventually be revived. The only known method to actually stop the Book of Darkness for good is to freeze it. No direct destruction will ever keep it from reappearing.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Ayanami Rei self-destructs EVA Unit 00 to kill the Angel Armisael, but later turns up alive. Except she has some memory loss, which she suspects is because "I'm the third one." Rei later turns out to be a series of clone bodies.
  • One Piece has Brook, who ate the Yomi Yomi no Mi (Revive-Revive Fruit), which allowed him to come back to life after his entire crew was slaughtered...though it took him too long to find his body, so that he's now a living skeleton.
    • Used in a warped context in the Thriller Bark arc; Shichibukai (Warlord of the Sea) Gekko Moria uses his Kage Kage no Mi (Shadow-Shadow Fruit) powers to steal shadows and implant them into corpses to bring said cadavers into a pseudo-living state. Yep, you guessed it: zombies. An army of zombies.
  • InuYasha:
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, practically the entire cast dies in Season Three, only to be randomly resurrected at the end of the arc, because they were just trapped in another dimension. Then there's Kaiser Ryo, who dies of heart failure but comes back later anyway under unexplained circumstances..
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's
    Rex Godwin: Dark Signers are the souls of the dead who have awakened to their abilities. In other words, they are no longer of this world.
    • Used twice, in fact: the Dark Signers themselves return to life once the Earthbound Immortals have been defeated (except for Rudger/Roman and Rex, who decide not to take their second chance since they became Dark Signers purely of their own will), complete with Laser-Guided Amnesia in regards to their actions as Dark Signers...except for Kiryu/Kalin, who also became one willingly, and takes a while afterwards to regain a will to live.
  • Happens in the Pokémon anime movie, Pokémon: The First Movie. Mewtwo and Mew are duking it out and prepare to use their ultimate attacks when Ash steps in between them to stop the fight, only be hit by the attacks at the same time. He collapses and his body turns colorless. Pikachu tries to revive Ash with his electricity several times, but then realizes that Ash is dead. Pikachu begins to cry and then all the Pokemon and the clones begin to cry as well. The power of the Pokemon tears is what brings Ash back to life.
  • Averted in Fullmetal Alchemist multiple times. No matter what you do, no matter how much you pay, you will never bring the dead back to life.
  • Much of the cast of Gantz usually die before their involvement in the story. If they die during a hunt, then someone could spend 100 points to bring them back. a particularly cruel twist on this comes in the final chapters when the alien beings behind the Gantz technology revive some of the fallen (such as Kei Kishimoto and The Old Man) and then off 'em again just to prove a point.
  • In 07-Ghost the main character's Heterosexual Life Partner Mikage is killed by the Big Bad to prove a point and is reincarnated as a baby dragon, apparently solely to alleviate the pain of his death. He has done nothing in the plot so far but sit on Teito's shoulder and look cute. And bite a couple of people. And look cute!
  • Rosette Christopher from Chrono Crusade, using sheer willpower and a little help from Maria Magadalena, and probably guided by the Apostles to return to her body, just in time to give Aion a powerful shot that shatters his prized sword.
    • Mary herself counts, considering Aion killed her but she's later revealed to have been a ghost and watching over Chrono and Rosette the entire time.
  • YuYu Hakusho is rife with examples of this trope. Talking about how many times Yuusuke comes back from the dead wouldn't even be that full of spoilers (It starts in the first episode).
  • The aptly named Lifemaker in Mahou Sensei Negima!. The exact mechanics are unknown as of yet, but its heavily implied that he's come back somehow..
    • Sequel series UQ Holder! reveals how they did so. The Lifemaker has a unique ability. When killed, she (yes, she) possesses the body of her killer after a period of time.
    • Jack Rakan manages to bring himself back from being erased from reality.
  • Rosario + Vampire's Aono Tsukune takes this trope to the extreme. As he is a normal human with vampire energy attached to his human cells, he constantly dies from lethal attacks, in the sense that his heart beat stops, and comes back regenerating himself, usually in his most powerful, unstoppable form. In fact, one could say that the easiest way for him to attain his strongest power is simply by dying.
  • In the Death Note manga and anime, any human whose name is written into the Death Note is Killed Off for Real. In the manga pilot, however, there exists a "Death Eraser" that can restore them to life so long as their bodies haven't been cremated yet.
  • In the anime Daisuke Bu Bu Cha Cha, a toddler's pet dog comes back from the dead in the form of a toy car.
  • Happens a few times in a few different ways in Naruto.
    • The Edo Tensei (Impure World Resurrection) can bring back anyone that the caster can find physical remains of and who's soul has not been sealed. This binds the target's soul to a new body and fully restores any abilities they had. The caster can remotely control the resurrected person's body and has some limited influence over their mind (a number of fights consist of the resurrected ninja explaining their weaknesses). Kabuto is insistent that this technique has no weaknesses but he probably shouldn't have let it be known that killing him doesn't end the resurrections.
    • Gaara is brought back by a forbidden technique originally meant to bring life to a puppet as a black ops project which was abandoned after discovering that it costs the user their life. Chiyo, the last living person to know the technique, sacrifices herself to save Gaara with it.
    • Hundreds of people in Konahagakure are brought back a character who has the ability to control the God of Death and essentially forced it to give up their souls. Even then its seems that this was only possible because they had died very recently.
    • Madara Uchiha has the distinct record of having the maximum number of resurrections. His first death was at the hands of Hashirama, in their climactic fight. Madara revived himself using a clever Batman Gambit and Izanagi on his right eye, disappearing from the world soon after that. His second death comes many, many years after his first, while disconnecting himself from the Gedo Mazo life support keeping him alive unnaturally. He naturally gets himself back to life after hijacking Obito's attempt to revive every single shinobi who died in the war (using the same technique mentioned above). Thankfully, his third death is permanent.
  • Dragon Ball. Especially the Dragon Ball Z series, to the point where Mr. Satan is the only character who hasn't died at least once - at least, that was the case until Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’ and it's retelling in Dragon Ball Super, where he gets killed when Frieza blows up the Earth (although it technically doesn't happen, since Whis rewinds time a few minutes after Frieza blows up the planet). Krillin in particular almost seems to have some sort of death fetish, having died (and been subsequently revived) four times across all three series.note 
  • In the Magic Knight Rayearth anime, Presea dies early in Season 1, but is revived by the beginning of Season 2, apparently by Princess Emeraude's final prayer. Subverted in that it is revealed that Presea was never revived, and the person posing as her is actually her twin sister. (In the manga, Presea never died, thus Presea was herself the whole time)
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Rossiu and some scientists bring back Lordgenome, the Big Bad of the first half, because his last words were vague enough to warrant further explanation. However, they bring him back only as an Oracular Head, hooked up to a computer, to prevent him from being a threat (even though he does do a genuine Heel–Face Turn later on). And gets his body back, too.
    • Kamina pulls this twice. First, he died in the battle with Thymilph, momentarily brought himself back to life on pure Spiral power to perform the very first Giga Drill Breaker of the series, then he died and stayed dead. Second, he came back from the dead to save everyone from the Lotus-Eater Machine.
      • Kamina gets a third one in the second movie—circumstances cause Team Dai-Gurren to lose the Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, then combine their respective Tengen Toppa Gunmen into the absurdly huge Super Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann... a gigantic flaming blue Spiral Energy avatar of Kamina himself that is so large that it qualifies as a majority percentage of the visible universe. Word of God is that this is not just another mecha, but the literal reincarnation of Kamina himself, returned to fight for Team Dai-Gurren one last time.
  • Marco Owen in King of Thorn, who comes back to life through sheer willpower in order to protect Kasumi, and ignoring the Charon-like figure who tells him his body is in such a terrible state note  that he's only going to die again. Thankfully though, Alice gives him a helping hand in that regard.
  • Infinity Game: Long Wei set up the game so when somebody dies in the alternative world/game they're returned unharmed in real life. Unfortunately the virus stops this and forces their deaths to be permanent, and as Long Wei had given up his Game Master status he's unable to change this until he wins the game, where he would gain the title again, and bring them back to life. In the end, the RPG Society are slowly erasing his game world (which causes all of those in his world, alive or dead, to become Ret Goned) and to bring those who died in the game back to life (aka. everybody) he has to have control of the land where they died. He successfully manages to bring his team back to life (and those who died due to the previous DM) but he has to remain in the world until he has 100% control, otherwise the RPG Society will take over and everybody will die again, and he can only bring them back once due to him not having 100% control.
  • Angel Beats!: Everyone dies. Repeatedly.
    • This is both played straight and averted because everyone's already dead in their afterlife at the start of the series and 'end of episode returns' don't count toward the trope. It's played straight at the end however when Otonashi and Tenshi are seen back to life for real. We never find out what happens to the others!
  • In Fairy Tail the beloved little sister Lisanna died two years before the story began. They found her body. They even buried it. Death by Origin Story was the only way you could die in Fairy Tail, at least until she turned out to just be alive in an Alternate Universe (the dead one was from that universe and magic was involved).
  • Yakushiji Tenzen from Basilisk. He shares his body with his twin brother, who comes forth only when Tenzen is wounded to heal his injuries. Tenzen survives death a total of four times, before Oboro cancels his resurrection technique with her doujutsu allowing the fifth one to be the final.
  • Issei in High School DXD comes back from the dead twice! One was from his First Episode Resurrection, and the other was Great Red and Ophis becoming his de-facto parents by having both of them creating a new body for him.
  • So, I Can't Play H!: After being told that he only had three months left to live, Ryosuke finally dies at the end of episode 11. Which causes Lisara to finally accept her feelings for him, prompting her to go after him by using Mina's power to separate her soul from her body. While their souls are in the antechamber between the mortal plain and the afterlife, she convinces Ryosuke to return to with her by confessing her feelings for him and seals it with a kiss.
    Lisara: (smiles tearfully) "Still ready to die, dummy?"
    (scene awashes in light, as Ryosuke returns her smile)
  • Tokyo Ravens: Natsume comes back from the dead as a lich following a botched Sacrificial Revival Spell.
  • In Betrayal Knows My Name, this happens to Usui Shuusei. The Duras Ashley gets him to admit that he wants to die and then stops his heart. His partner Hotsuma, who's power is the Voice of God, engages Ashley in a fight which she easily dominates and completely distraught he orders Shuusei to live. He does and they kick her ass.
  • Bleach:
    • In the Gotei 13 Invasion Arc, it doesn't matter how many times the Reigai are killed, they can keep being resurrected by the same science that created them in the first place.
    • Due to the reincarnation cycle of souls, if living humans die, there's a chance they could crop up later on in the story as ghosts. Also, due to several characters being heavily involved in highly creative scientific endeavour based on reiatsu and body experimentation, some characters that died have returned to the story as undead beings. Living humans returning as ghosts include Ginjou, Tsukishima and Giriko. Undead characters resurrected by science include Dordonni, Cirucci, Luppi and Charlotte.
    • Big Bad Yhwach has a special technique called Auswahlen that can redistribute the power and souls of any Quincy. He is even able to use it to distribute the power of his weaker underlings to revive and empower those whom he deems stronger, even if they were killed.
  • In Digimon Diaboromon comes back in a movie sequel, bluntly named Revenge of Diaboromon. However he also returns in Xros Wars near the end of the series as a copy. It's actions and personality as Keramon imply that it is the very same Diaboromon from the first movie.
  • Lelouch vi Britannia of Code Geass is confirmed to be Back from the Dead for the Re;surrection Sequel movie, which takes place a few years after the events of the Zero Requiem.

    Comic Books 
  • This generally happens to superheroes and villains all the damn time.
  • Lampshaded in X-Factor, where Siryn gets the news that her father, Banshee, one of the X-Men, is dead. She simply doesn't believe it; the X-Men come Back from the Dead more than anyone else in the Marvel Universe (once the entire current team sacrificed themselves only to be resurrected at the end of the issue), so she's sure he's just pretending to be dead as part of some plan. In Uncanny Avengers he does return as one of the Apocalypse Twins' Horsemen of Death.
  • Lampshaded in Astonishing X-Men. After Kitty finds out that Colossus isn't really dead, she warns him that if he's a clone, robot, ghost, or from an alternate universe, she's okay with that, but if he's a shapeshifter or an illusionist, she'll kill him. Obviously, this happens a lot.
  • In The All-New Atom, when Jason Todd, Donna Troy and Ryan Choi go to a (most likely fake) Heaven, they meet Ted Kord, who comments, "The recidivism here is shocking. Sometimes I think me and Bruce Wayne's parents are the only ones with a permanent parking space." He also comments "And Jason Todd, too? Didn't you just get parole, like, the day before yesterday?"
    • Speaking of Ted, he remains dead up through Flashpoint; the new timeline effectively pushes a reset button on his life, so when he shows up he's years younger and the events leading to his death never happened.
  • A story arc of Fantastic Four doesn't even bother with the pretense. A few pages before the end of an issue, the Thing is killed; the cliffhanger of the issue is Sue receiving a call from Reed about how he intends to bring him back to life. Naturally, a few issues later, the Thing is back as usual.
    • The book's tie-in to Age of Ultron also left a huge Lampshade-Hanging on this. The entire team except for Sue end up killed by Ultron's invasion, but Johnny's video will tells the viewers not to worry and assures them that the team will be back from the grave in short order. And sure enough, Sue and Wolverine use a Timey-Wimey Ball to punch the Reset Button hard, resurrecting the team and all the other heroes who died.
  • Mr. Immortal's power is a parody of this; his only major power is that he will always come back to life a few seconds after dying.
  • There's the classic storyline and graphic novel The Death of Superman. After "dying" in battle with the mindless monster Doomsday, four Doppelgangers appear! Which one could be the real Superman?
    • Is it the mysterious black-and-blue colored Superman with the thick shades? Nope! He's a hyper-advanced clone/golem made from marble, controlled by the Eradicator, and powered by Superman's "corpse."
    • Is the half-Terminator Cyborg Superman the real deal? Nope! He's Hank Henshaw, the DCU equivalent of Reed Richards, using stolen genetic material and Kryptonian alloy stolen from Superman's birthing matrix. Wait, that's rocket ship. Also, he's the only one who's actually evil.
    • Is the Metropolis Marvel Superboy who claims to be a clone the real deal? Nope! He's a... well, he's a clone of the real deal. And half his genetic material came, not from Superman, but from Lex Luthor. Weirdest parents ever.
    • Is the mysterious armored Steel the new Superman? Nope! He's John Henry Irons, the DCU equivalent of Iron Man, and never really claims to be the new Superman, though some reporters think he's the only one deserving of it.
    • So, in the end, Superman was actually resuscitated soon after his "death," spent some time in a coma, and eventually was woken up by androids. So nobody was Superman, Back From The Dead! Don't you love happy endings?
  • The writers of Amazing Spider-Man attempted to be edgy when they devoted a 12-part series that ran across multiple Spider-Man titles and ended with Peter Parker getting his eye ripped out by a vampiric villain before getting killed. Of course, no matter how much the creators of the arc attempted to convince the readers that Peter was truly dead, he ended up coming back with more organic powers, as well as a new suit built for him by Tony Stark.
  • Spider-Man: Averted when Peter's parents, Richard and Mary Fitzpatrick-Parker, claimed to not have been killed in an airplane crash, and ended up staying with Peter for a while. It turned out they were impostors. Robot impostors.
    • Zig-zagged with Uncle Ben - he's never been permanently resurrected; however, in Amazing Spiderman #500, he was brought back to life, as a gift from Doctor Strange...for 5 minutes, to have a conversation with Peter. Since then, however, he's remained in the realm of the dead.
  • Completely subverted (not to say stomped on) by ElfQuest. After One-Eye of the Wolfriders is killed in battle, Leetah the healer succeeds in reanimating him, but he is effectively brain-dead because his spirit has left his body. His lifemate Clearbrook has his body preserved in suspended animation in the hope of someday reviving him, but eventually decides to free his spirit completely by letting his body finally die.
  • In Journey into Mystery (Thor after Thor had died at Onslaught's hands), the Norse gods discover they are targeted by Set, the Egyptian God of the Dead. They travel to his country and are attacked by two people Set's mooks had killed. They bring one, Red Norvell, back to the land of the living by the expedient of grabbing him and dragging him back with them.
  • Parodied in Peter David's Incredible Hulk. Rick Jones' fiancee Marlo is dead. He goes to Doctor Strange and the following conversation ensues.
    Rick: Wong, have you returned from the dead?
    Wong: Well, yes.
    Rick: And Doc, have you come back from the dead?
    Doctor Strange: Yes, but I am a professional.
Eventually he asks the Leader to bring her back from the dead. And the Leader does.
  • In Incredible Hulk #434, following the death of Nick Fury at the Punisher's hands, several of Fury's old "Howling Commandos" buddies laugh, drink, and jokingly float numerous theories involving android duplicates, alien intervention, and the like until they reach the casket at the graveside. They're still sitting there speechless and shocked even after the rest of the attendees have left.
  • Depending on the Writer, Jean Grey's Phoenix powers fully manifest whenever she "dies". This has led to her gaining Death Is Cheap as a reputation. However, most of her demises were merely plot devices to activate her powers, so it's debatable whether or not they count. Technically, she's only "died" twice.
  • Half the cast of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen were supposedly killed in the original novels.
  • In Preacher, Jesse's girlfriend, Tulip, is brutally murdered in front of him. God brings her back to life as a sort of a bribe, because He's scared of Genesis, which has taken up residence inside Jesse. God figures if He gives Jesse back his girlfriend, maybe he'll leave Him alone. In the finale Jesse and Cassidy are also revived (Cassidy is also no longer a vampire) by God as part of a deal Cassidy made with Him.
  • The comic Star Trek: Countdown, which ties into The Film of the Series Star Trek (2009) but is set many years after Star Trek: Nemesis, has the Enterprise commanded by Captain Data. Apparently, the scene at the end of Nemesis where B4 whistles Irving Berlin wasn't just an indication he'd picked up some of Data's personality traits, it was the first step of a complete Grand Theft Me.
  • Parodied in Too Much Coffee Man, where the eponymous character appears to be killed and resurrected so many times in the span of a few minutes that his friends stop caring.
  • In The Warlord the villain Deimos kept coming back, but each time worse than before: first time he had the sword scar across his face; second time, his body was fused with the dog that killed him; third time he was a head on a hand; final time he was a skull in a magical golem body.
  • This is usually subverted in any Judge Dredd stories where previously killed characters return in later stories. In other words, they tend to be anything from a parallel dimension, an imperfect clone, a family descendant of the deceased character who is doing exactly what his/her parent used to do, a robotic replicant, etc. ... but NEVER actually turn out to be the original character back from the dead. Characters who have indeed returned from the dead in coordinance with this trope, however, include the Dark Judges (though, technically, they're already dead to begin with), the Angel Gang (except for Link Angel), and PJ Maybe.
  • Shade, the Changing Man has the main character return from death numerous times, though never unscathed.
  • Terra from Teen Titans, with a catch. She never learned that she resurrected and believed a lie that she was an orphan who was changed into a replica of Terra. It turned out the real Terra truly was dead. The second Terra was revealed to be a member of an underground race called the Stratans, who decided to send out a liaison to the modern world in a guise people would've been familiar with, using DNA implants to make it look like Tara Markova came back. The Stratans admit this was a poorly thought out move considering what a sociopath Tara turned out to be, but that was nothing compared to when the Time Trapper got his hands on her and warped her memories.
  • Psylocke once was fatally stabbed by the man known as Vargas while protecting Rogue and Beast, who were badly beaten by the villain. One year after her death, Betsy awoke where she had died, unaware of how she had survived, and was soon reunited with the X-Men. It is later revealed that the responsible was elder brother Jamie Braddock with his Reality Warper powers.
  • B.P.R.D. agent Ben Daimio is introduced desperately cutting his way out of a body bag. Readers later find out that he and his entire platoon were killed by a jaguar demon in South America. Daimio was the only one who came back, due to the demon possessing part of his soul.
  • There's a multiple media example, but Boba Fett first reappeared after being eaten by the Sarlaac in Dark Empire II and went on to appear in many, many, many stories after that.
  • In Star Wars: Legacy, Darth Krayt gets killed but his body is resurrected. So when Cade Skywalker kills him again, he makes sure that he won't come back again by sticking his body on a shuttle and sending it straight into Coruscant's sun!
  • After Daredevil villain Bullseye blew up a housing project killing hundreds, Matt finally had enough and brutally killed him. The Hand eventually revived him with a twist. Bullseye was beaten so badly that even the Hand couldn't fully restore him. He was left a crippled shadow of his former self, powerless to do anything but stew in his hatred of Matt. His attempts to get revenge on Matt for this ultimately cost Bullseye his sight as well.
  • The Multiversity:
    • Lord Volt had been killed in the first Crisis, but is now alive again in the current multiverse.
    • In Pax Americana #1, Captain Atom is supposed to revive President Harley after the assassination, but this is prevented when scientists kill Captain Atom himself by putting a black hole in his head.
  • A few previously dead characters are apparently revived in to Convergence. Some, like Kole, are brought back only because they've been pulled from their timelines before their canonical deaths, while others, like Lian Harper, seem to be flat out resurrected.
    • The Flashpoint versions of Batman and Captain Thunder are stranger examples, in that they seem to remember actually dying but have somehow been revived with their timeline.
    • Pre-Crisis Supergirl is brought back from before her death, only to learn about her eventual fate.
  • Winifred Burkle returns from the dead in Angel and Faith, Season 10, even though she was believed to be Deader Than Dead for years.
  • In Violine, Muller pulls this off twice, the first time claiming he was too evil for crocodiles to finish him off (though losing two arms to them), the second time fighting them off himself with his robot claws.
  • During the Siege event, Loki realizes that he's been making a massive mistake: He wanted to make Asgard greater than ever, but let his hatred of Thor get in the way of that. In a last ditch effort to stop the Void, he uses the Norn stones to empower the New Avengers to give them a fighting chance. When this doesn't work, Loki takes the full blunt of the Void, dying while tearfully apologizing to Thor. Fortunately, Thor brings him back to life, now as a child with no memory of his evil deeds or his previous life beyond the age of twelve, but still has the guilt of what happened, with Thor's encouragement he becomes a kid hero, and performs multiple Crowning Moments Of Awesome.
  • This is Moon Knight's origin. Although it varies whether the god Khonshu is real and brought him back, or Spector was just Not Quite Dead and really badass.
  • Family: Gio and his associates got together to wack his older brother Silver for his indiscriminate murder of made guys, but he just disappeared in an explosion. He returns years later for revenge, apparently not having aged. Gio does ask him how it's even possible, but Silver notes that he shouldn't be so surprised that in a group of people with superpowers, one should be able to defy death.
  • Secret Wars (2015) has Thanos getting his entire skeleton ripped out by Doctor Doom. A scant few months later, in The Ultimates (2015), the eponymous team breach the edge of all existence, where Thanos' spirit had been lingering, which lures him back to the realm of the living.
  • One villain in Red Sonja: Queen of Plagues is resurrected for a Back for the Finale appearance in The Forgiving of Monsters a dozen issues later.
  • Grant Morrison's Batman saw the Bat Family Crossover "The Resurrection of Ra's Al-Ghul" after Greg Rucka killed him off in Death and the Maidens.

    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. To have FDR depicted as an old, dear friend of Daddy Warbuck's in later adaptations of Annie is hilarious to anyone aware of the original work.

    Fairy Tales 
  • In "The Death of Koshchei 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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • Moriarty and Watson in Sherlock Season 4.
  • 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.
  • In the Axis Powers Hetalia 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.
  • The Darker Knight has this happen to damn near every character... except Hannah Montana.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In Game Theory, Precia succeeds in bringing her daughter Alicia back to life.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • Commonly occurs with Stevie from Wizards of Waverly Place in Fan Fiction, due to the general dissatisfaction with the fact (and the way) that she died.
  • 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.
  • In Mega Man Reawakened, both Robert and Bass are this.
  • 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 The Three Kings: Hunt, Bakura returns to being alive after more than 5000 years being dead
  • 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.
  • 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 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 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 Ghosts of Evangelion all characters have come back to life after dying during Third Impact.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Law & Order: UK Fanfic "Happy New Year" invokes this with DS Matt Devlin, having him whisked off to a remote hospital to recover from his bullet wounds and 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.
    • Another one, "Declassified", has him inexplicably recovering right before their eyes and being forced to admit that he's immortal (it's a Crossover with Highlander. And technically with Horatio Hornblower, as admits to them that his real name is Archie Kennedy)
  • 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 The Great Starship Battle, Chewbacca is killed when the Borg destroy the Millennium Falcon but is later resurrected by the Infinite Improbability Drive.
  • 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).

    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 
  • In The King of Kings, Jesus does a big favor for Lazarus, and then does this himself.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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 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.
  • Escape from New York: at the beginning of each meeting with Snake Plissken, all the characters exclaims : " I thought you were dead !".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!?
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Commonly happens with defeated villains in Super Sentai movies, usually in the Vs. teamups.
  • 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.
  • Nathan in Creepshow as well as Becky and Harry.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In The Last Witch Hunter, the very basis of the plot is the Witch Queen doing this.
  • 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 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.
  • In Tamara, Tamara returns from the dead following a Deadly Prank because a magic spell Gone Horribly Right.
  • 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.

  • The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor: The main character Weed, as a reward for completing an epic quest arc, is rewarded a high-level, as of yet unknown power from the class the quest unlocked, Necromancer, called "The Power to Reject Death", resurrecting him as a random undead class of monster with new stats and powers until he either dies again, or until 24 hours have passed and he returns to being human. He actually does die, and suffers all the setbacks of death except for the forced logout and normal 24 hour ban.
  • In No Such Thing As Werewolves, if the attack by the werewolf doesn't kill you, the virus itself will. Either way you die before being turned into a werewolf.
  • In The Zombie Knight, Colt dies to keep Geoffry from finding his children. He comes back as Bowahnox's servant, to the surprise of absolutely nobody.
  • This trope is a central plot point in Stephen King's Misery. Popular novelist Paul Sheldon is forced by psychotic fan Annie Wilkes to write a new novel continuing the adventures of Misery Chastain, a character that he had recently killed off. Misery had died during childbirth in the previous novel, and Sheldon’s first attempt to write a new narrative involves pretending that this hadn’t happened. Wilkes rejects this as a “cheat” and insists that the new novel must be consistent with the events of the one that had preceded it. Sheldon then comes up with the idea that Misery had fallen into a death-like coma as the result of a bee-sting allergy, and had been buried alive. This solution gives Sheldon the creative impetus to complete the new novel, and in so doing take his franchise in an unexpected new direction.
  • Neil Gaiman examples:
    • American Gods: Laura is revived by a magical coin placed in her grave, but you wouldn't call her exactly alive.
    • Neverwhere: The Marquis de Carabas died but had the foresight to arrange his resurrection in advance, letting him come back with useful information because people talk in front of the dead.
  • In Michael Grant's Gone series, Drake and Brittany. Together.
  • In Kay Hooper's Hiding in the Shadows, Faith comes out of her coma with what everyone thinks is Trauma-Induced Amnesia, a few weeks after her friend Dinah disappears. Both of them have Psychic Powers. Turns out that Faith was Dead All Along within her coma, and the reason why she doesn't remember her former life is because dead Dinah took over her empty body, and it just takes her awhile to realize who she is now. This smacks of trying to make the romance between Faith and Dinah's boyfriend Kane less creepy, but...yeah.
  • The Heroes of Olympus:
    • Medea, Midas and his son.
    • Euryale and Stheno, Medusa's sisters, in Son of Neptune. Also, Hazel and after the war games, Gwen (aka: Centurion Shish-ka-bob).
    • Monsters coming back from the dead is nothing new. Unfortunately, due to Death himself being chained, monsters come back mere seconds after being slain.
      • Leo Valdez gets this in "Blood of Olympus" with the physician's cure.
  • Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time, because it deals with a reincarnation mythos, has an interesting variation on this trope: people who die don't stay dead (if they serve the Dark One), but return to life in entirely new bodies. So not only does the reader get to engage in the guessing game of "who did this new character used to be", and in at least one case a fun Gender Bender takes place, this also means that none of the other characters will recognize the resurrected Forsaken. A side example is the case of balefire, which instead of resurrecting a dead character, changes the timeline so that they never died in the first place. This becomes an important plot point later.
  • In Julie Kenner's "Kate Connor, Demon Hunter" books, Kate's first husband Eric (another demon hunter) has died before the start of the series... but he manages to bring himself back in another guy's body. This is awkward for Kate because she adores/adored Eric, but has remarried and had another kid in the time it took him to come back.
  • William King's Space Wolf series:
    • The sorcerer Madox has been known to come back from the dead each time Ragnar kills him. Unlike the other leaders of the Thousand Sons, and like their troops, Madox appears to have become a suit of Animated Armor holding only his soul and the dust left over from his physical body. Unlike the troops, Madox retained his personality and free will.
    • In Grey Hunter, the point of the Chaos ritual at the climax was to bring back all the Thousand Sons Chaos Space Marines, including their primarch.
  • In Horus Heresy, this happens to Vulkan astoundingly often, thanks to his Resurrective Immortality. It seems to stick for good by the end of Deathfire, though.
  • George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire has had a few characters engaging in post-demise activity. Interestingly, the ones whose resurrection is most straightforward return in whatever state they were in when they died, to the point that one resurrected character, Catelyn Stark, is referred to by fans as unCat since her resurrection.
  • Vampires on Terry Pratchett's Discworld are very good at this. A drop of blood will bring them back from dust, a fact a vampire photographer whose (flash) photos often kill him takes advantage of by wearing a glass vial of blood that immediately breaks and brings him back (see The Truth). The elder Count de Magpyre is mentioned as coming "back from the dead so many times he had a revolving lid".
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf certainly fits this, along with certain other death tropes. He even falls into an abyssal pit and everything, so nobody sees what happens next. Not only is he sent back to the living world, he's sent back more powerful than before. Normally being a lesser god means that he cannot be Killed Off for Real to begin with. In this case, it's implied that Gandalf really was dead (as in "pass out of Eä the same way as Men" dead) and that it took the intervention of Eru to send him back.
  • In The Silmarillion, Beren is killed by a werewolf, and Lúthien dies of despair... only to ask Mandos himself to bring Beren and herself back to life through a song. Mandos agrees, however this is at the cost of Lúthien's immortality, so she and Beren are returned to Middle-Earth as humans.
  • At the end of the penultimate book in The Pendragon Adventure series, this happens to every single traveler that has died over the course of the series, including a few that had died just a few chapters before.
  • Both Tasslehoff Burrfoot and Raistlin Majere in Dragonlance. Being literally crushed under the heel of a monster isn't enough to put the kender down for good, and as for Raistlin, being killed by the goddess Takhisis and eternally tormented, only to first come back temporarily to chat to his nephew, to, after returning to that afterlife, coming back again sans magic to save the world and then to die again, this time promising that he will move on to the afterlife and never come back, and then to come back a third time to lead the gods back to Krynn, and promise, once more, that this time he's not coming back.
  • Voltaire's Candide uses this trope out the wazoo. Almost the entire cast is killed off and brought back to life at least once.
  • David Zindell's Silver Sword. Alphanderry comes back as an amorphous energy being after his Heroic Sacrifice and gradually returns to just like he used to be. On the other hand, Valashu dies and is brought back on the next page good as ever.
  • In Atlanta Nights, one character dies midway through the story only to show up in one of the last chapters. Given the amount of Anachronic Order going on it's not that jarring, but then it becomes obvious that this chapter has to take place after the one where he died. And then he dies again.
  • Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Hour of the Dragon" opens with a reviving of Xaltotun.
    "And the priests who poisoned you mummified your body with their dark arts, keeping all your organs intact!" exclaimed Orastes. "But now you live again! The Heart of Ahriman has restored your life, drawn your spirit back from space and eternity."
  • Arren/Arenadd from The Fallen Moon does this five times by the end of the trilogy. He has one persistent God...
  • In Warrior Cats, leaders have nine lives, so they can come back from the dead several times.
  • At the end of The Dresden Files novel Ghost Story, Dresden is brought back to life by Queen Mab and Demonreach. (Exactly how dead he was is open to debate, as it turns out that Mab and Demonreach had been keeping his body on magical life support while his soul was running around separate from it, but it's close enough for the trope regardless.) A large portion of the story prior to that also revolves around him trying to stop a villain he killed in a previous book from finding a way back to the world of the living.
  • Happens again and again and again to Duncan Idaho in Frank Herbert's Dune sextet. The first time, it's the original body revivified and with its memories (eventually) returned by a healthy dose of Phlebotinum. Most if not all of the subsequent Idahos are clones grown from a cell line. The last thing they remember when their memories are restored to them is the death of the original, from whose body the cell line was taken. Depending on who does the memory restoration, how, and what happens afterwards, their personality development ranges from degeneration into psychosis and treason (most of them die attempting to assassinate their near-immortal and almost invulnerable boss) to (in one case and arguably two) something integrated and more or less healthy.
  • Sherlock Holmes, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, presumably died in "The Adventure of the Final Problem" (1891) and reappeared in "The Adventure of the Empty House"— referred to as "the Great Hiatus" (1894).
  • The Song of the Lioness quartet has Alanna kill Big Bad Duke Roger at the end of the second book, immediately after she's knighted. Her arrogant brother Thom brings him back in the fourth book to prove that he's the most powerful sorcerer in the land. (It helps that Roger was Not Quite Dead.)
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:
    • There's the Resurrection Stone which allows the holder to communicate with the dead. According to the fairy tale concerning the origin of the Deathly Hallows, using the Resurrection Stone drove its original owner, Cadmus Peverell, to commit suicide after seeing his deceased fiancée but being unable to be truly with her.
    • Harry himself dies briefly and returns to life after Voldemort destroys the horcrux in Harry. Trelawney wasn't a fraud after all.
  • In John C. Wright's Chronicles of Chaos, the children can be brought back to life by differing means: for Victor, you just have to restore whatever was broken to kill him; for Quentin, you have to stuff his spirit back inside his body. This is a function of Mutually Exclusive Magic.
  • In Devon Monk's Dead Iron, Jeb Lindson has already come back twice at the beginning. LeFel invokes the Rule of Three to argue that he should stay dead this time.
  • Trapped on Draconica: Erowin is killed by Mordack and yet she comes back to help out on two occasions. The first time as a Spirit Advisor and the second time as an angel. Ultimately, she reincarnates as a normal girl in Ben's homeworld.
  • In Francine Rivers’s The Mark of the Lion, this happens to Rizpah in the third book. She is resurrected by an act of God; it is implied that both her death and subsequent resurrection were allowed in order to get Atretes’s attention.
  • In the Chaoswar Saga, final sub-series of The Riftwar Cycle, this is subverted. One of the major POV characters is a young demon named Child, who displays a number of decidedly un-demonlike behaviors and gradually realizes that she is actually the sorceress Miranda, a human character who died in the previous sub-series. Her companion Belog also gradually realizes that he's the reincarnation of Nakor, a character who'd been dead rather longer. Except they're not. The gods did a bit of tricky work to implant Miranda and Nakor's memories into the two demons, but not their souls. Nakor/Belog thinks it's just fascinating, but it's particularly hard on Child, who has to wrestle with the fact that though she remembers being Miranda- and looks like her, thanks to Voluntary Shapeshifting being a power of higher-end demons- she's not actually her. Miranda's husband, the sorcerer Pug, also has a hard time dealing with the fact that the demon is not his wife.
  • In Andre Norton's Forerunner Foray, Turan does a grand scene of this, facing down his widow's failure to keep The Promise and her lack of grief for him.
  • Reckless: The Mirrorworld Series: Jacob is shot in the chest, actually dies, and is brought back to life by Miranda two pages later.
  • The Rifter: Ravishan, sort of — actually Kahlil, the character who returns, is a version of him from an alternate history who crossed to this timeline. Played straight in the end, where not only does Kahlil have Ravishan’s memories, but he merges with his bones and the two truly become one, alive.
  • In Those That Wake's sequel, What We Become, Mal and Laura come back from the dead—though at different times, and by being revived someone else is killed.
  • Parodied in Dave Barry Slept Here, where Richard Nixon, in his return to national politics in 1968, was "looking stronger than ever despite the holes in his suit where various stakes had been driven into his heart."
  • After the fire at Foxworth Hall, which provided the climax to Petals on the Wind, it appears that Corinne is dead. Not so—she comes back for If There Be Thorns.
  • Ciaphas Cain: Emeli is killed by Cain in one of the short stories, and makes a dramatic (and upgraded) appearance at the climax of The Traitor's Hand.
  • Vampire Academy:
    • One becomes shadow kissed when a spirit user revives them. Essentially what happened to Rose, who died along with Lissa's parents and brother.
    • Another variation of this is spirit can bring Strigoi back from the dead. This happens with two characters. Dimitri and Mrs. Karp.
  • Bone Street Rumba: Carlos is the most prominent example, and may be the Last of His Kind after Half Resurrection Blues, but Trevor, Sasha, and Sarco all fit the bill as well.
  • In The Will Be Done, Praen brings himself back from being not just dead, but vaporized; and travels back and forth from heaven a few times.
  • In the Doctor Who novel "Engines of War", the Doctor alludes that Rassilon rose from the grave in order to lead the Time Lords in the Time War.
  • At the end of the Star Trek: The Next Generation novel Star Trek: Immortal Coil, Dr Vaslovik revives Data's "mother" the android Juliana Trainor. In Star Trek: Cold Equations the same method is used to bring back Data himself and his daughter Lal.
  • In the Star Trek Online novel, The Needs of the Many, Data's revival in Star Trek: Countdown is explained in that Data was indeed resurrected in B4's body, but Data didn't like the idea of booting away his "brother" in favor of him, so he tried to erase himself. B4 ends up invoking a Heroic Suicide, realizing that Data was seriously needed to deal with the threats at hand. Data's not happy at all about it.
  • In the Jacob's Ladder Trilogy, a number of techniques are used by various characters to return following their initial demises. The AI Angels are capable of compressing their program into a seed virus and storing it in a safely isolated pockets of nanotech to be reconstructed later, and the Transhuman Exalts can use Brain Uploading to place their memories into a Body Backup Drive. However, there is some debate as to what extent the resurectees are the "same person" as the one who died, with some viewing them as nothing more than pale shadows of the originals.
  • Happens twice in The Caster Chronicles, each with a character dying apparently for good in one book and returning at the end of the next: at the end of Beautiful Creatures, Macon is killed by the Book of Moons, then returned to the world of the living via Arclight in Beautiful Darkness; then, in Beautiful Chaos, it's the protagonist Ethan, and Beautiful Redemption revolves around his attempts to undo the events that led to this so he can come back to life.
  • Dante Valentine: Lucifer kills Danny's demon lover Japhrimel at the end of Working for the Devil, but in a phone call to Danny early in Dead Man Rising he's audibly surprised to learn she hasn't resurrected him yet. Turns out a Power-fueled fire is what it takes to resurrect a demon from ashes, as she learns when she burns down her house after Jace dies.
  • Early in The Dinosaur Lords, Karyl mysteriously comes back to life twice in short succession, once after an axe to the head, and another time after falling off a cliff. The first resurrection comes with free Identity Amnesia.
  • In the Starlight and Shadows trilogy, when the drow Shakti manages to escape from the Abyss, Lolth sends the soul of a deceased priestess back with her to be resurrected as proof that Shakti bears Lolth's favor: Quenthel Baenre, who was previously slain by Drizzt Do'Urden in The Legend of Drizzt series.
  • In The Traitor Son Cycle, after Ota Qwan is killed in battle, Nita Qwan (no family relation, actually), makes a deal with faeries to bring him back in exchange for shaving a few years off Nita Qwan's life. They keep to the deal and, for reasons unknown, bring one of their fallen enemies back to life as well.
  • In Void City, the laws of the universe allow anyone to come back from the dead at least twice: a mortal can return as a form of undead by selling their soul to a demon, and an undead which is destroyed can be resurrected by a demon if someone willingly sacrifices their soul to a demon on their behalf. Third chances, however, are not so easily obtained. Three major characters are resurrected through deals with demons: Rachel, Roger, and Marilyn.
  • Words of Radiance (second book of The Stormlight Archive):
    • After Kaladin kills her by breaking his oaths, Sylphrena is restored when he swears the Third Oath.
    • Also, Jasnah appears to be killed early on, but the epilogue reveals that she escaped into Shadesmar using her Elsecaller powers.
    • Also Szeth, who is killed (with a Shardblade) by Kaladin, and then revived by one of the fallen Heralds... and then given the sword Nightblood from Sanderson's Warbreaker book.
  • The Silerian Trilogy: Zarien is killed by a dragonfish, but revived with the goddess Sharifar's power.
  • Mo Dao Zu Shi: The main character Wei Wuxian died in the opening paragraph and then came back to life thanks to someone sacrificing their body to him. Wen Ning, Nie Mingjue, and Song Lan are three characters that were dead and then reanimated, with differing degrees of sentience with Wen Ning being fully able to feel pain and have free thoughts and memories of his past to Nie Mingjue being essentially a hulking mass of rage and revenge.
  • In You Are Dead (Sign Here Please), Nathan is repeatedly returned to life due to his refusal to sign his 21B (acknowledgement of death and waiver of liability) for the Celestial Bureaucracy.
  • Worlds of Shadow: The fetches and revenants. Neither are quite the same.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: This happened to Sid (the titular "family skeleton") about thirty years before the events of the series. He's been hanging around ever since.
  • What The Hell Did I Just Read: A Novel of Cosmic Horror: The NON agents repeatedly suffer fatal injuries (including decapitation) only to be back in action a few hours to a few days later.

  • 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.

    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 interprets it as something close to the trope definition of The Antichrist, 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-Believers into worshipping him.
  • 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 in a subversion of Infant Immortality 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.

    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 Mc Mahon 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.

  • 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 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.
  • This was actually one of the powers possessed by the heroic Mister Easter in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe. As his name might imply, he would arise from the dead after three days. (His powers were all based on the miracles Jesus was explicitly shown performing in The Bible, including the resurrection.)
  • 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 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.

    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.

  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • Marathon
    • The player kills Durandal at his request so he could escape being tortured by Tycho. After Durandal is killed, his data is stored in a secure quarantine that can not be escaped, according to Tycho. However, this is all part of Durandal's Thanatos Gambit. He later carves the phrase "Fatum Iustum Stultorum" (The just fate of fools) in thousand mile long letters in Lh'Owon's moon.
    • The other Marathon AI, Leela, comes back from the dead in Marathon 2's epilogue.
  • The epitome of Back From The Dead would be Dracula, who has been killed continuously in movies, novels, and shows. In the Castlevania series, Dracula has been resurrected over 20 times!
  • Speaking of vampires, the Count of Groundsoaking Blood in Boktai and a similar counterpart, ShadeMan.EXE in Mega Man Battle Network 4 just refuse to die. Both have been victims to a Pile Driver (which is supposed to utterly wipe all trace of a vampire's existence) at least twice, once in their own game, once in the other (and the Count even gets a third one in the JP-only Boktai 3), and both were blasted into oblivion via MegaMan.EXE's Megabuster. It's assumed that even that didn't kill ShadeMan.EXE, only the utter obliteration of all Dark Chips.
  • Bowser, while he rarely truly 'dies' in a game, played this trope straight in New Super Mario Bros.. Mario/Luigi drops him into lava, and watches his flesh burn and melt off of him in an uncharacteristically gruesome manner. He appears again later, resurrected as a skeleton by his son, who eventually also completely restores him to a bigger, badder form.
  • In Super Mario Galaxy, everyone except Mario, Luigi, and Rosalina dies when the universe implodes; and is brought back by the lumas.
  • In the Quest for Glory series, the final confrontation with Ad Avis in the second game has him plummeting off the railing. Good news is that the fall kills him. Bad news is that he rises from the grave a vampire Hellbent on revenge. And in the final chapter of the series, the hero can resurrect one out of two people from Hades.
  • The Lucasarts Adventure Game The Dig features a ruined alien civilization so advanced that they could even bring the dead back to life using 'life crystals', which becomes a central point of the story, as it turns out there's more to the crystals than just resurrection...
  • The protagonist of Gungrave was murdered by his best friend thirteen years prior to the beginning of the game. He was revived as a product of necrolization—technology that resurrects the dead as immortal and nearly unstoppable super soldiers. Returning from "Beyond the Grave" (which is also now his new name), he was brought back to exact revenge on his former friend and the organization that betrayed him.
  • Final Fantasy IV seems to kill and resurrect its characters more often (and more improbably) than the novel Candide. In particular, one character jumps out of an airship with a nuke strapped to his chest and detonating it in mid-air in order to seal up a giant hole in the ground, replacing it with a mountain range. You'd think he'd be killed by 1) the fall, 2) being crushed by thousands of tons of rock, or 3) being right at the center of a nuclear explosion, but later on your party visits the underground realm of the dwarves, and guess who they find lying in a hospital bed (the explanation being something along the lines of "the dwarves nursed me back to health!")? Tellah's the only party member to actually STAY DEAD, simple as that.
  • Two of your animal companions in Final Fantasy V die. Syldra dies quite early on and Hiryu does a Heroic Sacrifice just before the round-up-the-bonus-weapons sequence. Both of them can later be found as summons. Also, if you fail to revive any party member who died in the final battle, Galuf will revive them in the epilogue.
  • When sentient beings die in Final Fantasy X, their souls must be Sent to the Farplane (by a Summoner or a Yevon priest with similar spiritual abilities) lest they become Fiends. However, those with sufficient strength of will can resist either fate, and roam the world as Unsent: "people" that are, for all intents and purposes, dead, but retain a physical shape and can interact with others as though they were alive. Such is the case with Seymour, after being killed at Macalania Temple, Auron, who was killed by Yunalesca ten years prior, the Yevon High Clergy, and Belgemine. Ostensibly, Yunalesca is also an Unsent.
  • Final Fantasy Tactics:
    • Jerkass Scrappy Algus/Argath came Back from the Dead in the PSP remake but he did not change his personality, and thus only came back so Ramza can kick his ass again, now straight to hell. Considering how much hated Algus is, him coming Back from the Dead to get his ass kicked again can be considered Pandering to the Base.
    • At the end of Chapter 3, Marach takes a bullet for his sister Rapha. The character dies and stays dead for a while afterwards, until the Zodiac Stone/Auracite channels power from... somewhere and resurrects him, proving that the auracite itself isn't evil, it's just the Lucavi using it for evil purposes.
  • Happens to Raven twice in Tales of Vesperia. The first time was 10 years before the game, during the Great War. It's more or less implied he was killed with a shot through the heart and then resurrected when his heart was replaced with a Hermes Blastia. Literally right after he tells you this, he's forced to hold up a collapsing roof so the rest of the party can escape a dungeon. He's squashed by the ceiling...and then he shows up later, perfectly fine, with zero explanation. That Hermes Blastia must be really something if it can protect you from being crushed to death...
  • Leon Magnus goes through this twice: once in the original ps1 Tales of Destiny and again in the sequel. In his original game, he is briefly brought back by the Big Bad as a puppet (albeit one with his mind intact) to fight the party. They kill him again.
  • Happens with Liane in Jeanne d'Arc. Jeanne must fight an illusion of Liane within Roger's heart. She's joined in this battle by the ghost of the real Liane. After finishing the game once, Jeanne can win Liane's charred pendant at the Colosseum, and ask Liane's ghost to rejoin the party permanently. The ending doesn't change, however, implying that she remains dead afterwards.
  • In Planescape: Torment, not unlike Mr. Immortal (see Comics, above), this is the main character's whole power. You're actually trying to find out how to stop doing it in a way that is spiritually satisfying. (If you want, you can get a Nonstandard Game Over by pissing off the Lady of Pain or other being of deific might.)
  • Pokémon:
    • There are a fair number of extinct Pokémon, such as Aerodactyl and Cranidos, that the player can resurrect using their fossils. Though fossils of it can't be obtained, the Mythical Pokémon Genesect (who hails from the Paleozoic period) was revived in such a manner and enhanced with cybernetics.
    • Raikou, Entei and Suicune are established in Pokémon Gold and Silver to have once been three ordinary Pokémon who died in the fire that destroyed Brass Tower, only for the legendary Pokémon Ho-Oh to resurrect them in their current forms.
    • AZ's backstory in Pokémon X and Y tells how he, upon receiving the coffin of his Floette 3,000 years ago, built a machine powered with the lives of many Pokémon to bring it back to life and end the war that took it. The Floette was also rendered immortal after the fact (as was AZ).
    • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers, the hero ceases to exist as a result of preventing the Bad Future they came from, only to be brought back into being by Dialga for the sake of their partner. In Sky, it's shown that Grovyle and his friends met the same fate, but were also brought back, though according Dialga, by an even higher power than himself (Presumably Arceus).
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil 2: In Leon's first scenario, Ada gets shot by Annette and falls off a ledge, in which case it's a Never Found the Body, so she would be Not Quite Dead. In Leon's second scenario, she is clearly killed in front of him, blood loss and all. In both scenarios, however, she apparently comes back in a Deus ex Machina moment during the penultimate battle with Mr. X, to throw a rocket launcher to the player character. Either way, she returns in Resident Evil 4. Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles shows her escape from the sewers after said fall as one of the playable chapters. It doesn't show how, but apparently she just barely survived the fall and starts the mission in critical condition.
    • Played with in Resident Evil 0 with the revived James Marcus. He has James' memories, appearance, and even he thinks he's James. In reality he's a hive-mind B.O.W. that inherited his memories by absorbing his D.N.A.
    • Big Bad Albert Wesker came back in Resident Evil – Code: Veronica, despite being impaled right in front of the heroes in the first game thanks to an experimental virus that he injected moments before that revived him.
  • In Chrono Trigger, performing this becomes a major plot point when Chrono is atomized by Lavos. However, performing that resurrection is completely optional — you can go on to defeat the Big Bad with the other characters, and gain a different ending.
  • Metal Gear:
    • Liquid Snake in Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty comes back from the dead by possessing Revolver Ocelot. However, by Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, it's all a ruse. That is, he apparently really did possess Ocelot in 2, but Ocelot removed the possessing limb and then brainwashed himself to appear possessed to fool his enemies from then on.
    • Also from 4, it's revealed in the Screaming Mantis boss that Psycho Mantis from Metal Gear Solid returned as a ghost possessing Screaming Mantis. He's later exorcised by the ghost of The Sorrow from Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater.
    • Another one from 4 is Big Boss himself. In the middle of the story, Liquid Ocelot burns Big Boss' remains and you believe that his existence has been terminated for good...until it is revealed in the ending with Big Boss' reappearance that the remains was Solidus.
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV, if you accidentally kill a girlfriend or other character important to the plot, they will later come Back from the Dead and tell you to pick them up from the hospital. However, it is possible with some of the lesser girlfriends to kill them off permanently if done a certain way, as in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
  • The Shining Force Gaiden games do this with the Big Bad from the first returning as a vengeful ghost near the end of the second.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Even though Link and Zelda are legacy characters, Ganondorf is basically the same guy in each of the games. He has died at least seven times in various branches of the timeline, but is capable of resurrecting through various means; while in Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and the Oracle games his resurrection involves some kind of human sacrifice, Hyrule Historia and Breath of the Wild imply that he can resurrect on his own courtesy of Demise's eternal curse. The plot of the Oracle series revolves around the witches Twinrova attempting to kidnap Zelda in order to sacrifice her to resurrect Ganon, which results in the witches sacrificing themselves so that Ganon can come back and have you kill him in the final battle, while Adventure of Link has him show up on the Game Over screen, because the manual explains that he can be resurrected by spreading Link's blood over his ashes. So far, The Wind Waker's timeline is the only one where he's apparently stayed dead.
  • Occurs in the ending of Ninja Gaiden II for the NES. Irene gets killed by stray lighting before the final boss appears. After the fight is over, Ryu regrets not being able to save Irene. The Dragon Sword suddenly turns into a ball of light and enters Irene's body, bringing her back to life.
  • The Protagonists themselves in Malicious, the backstory had Valeria and Erica die by the hands of their own tyrant father King Eldrake, in front of their mother Queen Ashlelei no less. After much trauma the Queen got the power to kill her own husband who killed their children, in turn Ashlelei also turned corrupt and Valeria and Erica were brought back as Spirit Vessels to put an end to their estranged mother's tyranny.
  • Metroid: Samus Aran's archnemesis Ridley is definitely up there in the ranks of continuously resurrected villains. He explodes in Metroid 1/Metroid: Zero Mission but is rebuilt for Metroid Prime. He fall of a cliff and blows up again, and comes back in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption as if nothing ever happened. He vaporizes this time, but Ridley reappears anyway in Metroid: Samus Returns and Super Metroid. Samus blows him up again in the latter and the planet his remains are on explodes too. Ridley officially dies here, but then the Galactic Federation are stupid enough to clone everything that has traces on Samus's suit, so he comes back again in Metroid: Other M. He gets beaten up again by Samus, and then killed by a Metroid Queen. His corpse appears again in Fusion and is promptly infected by an X Parasite and dies. For now. Plot-wise, this is justified by him having an ridiculously good Healing Factor and access to advanced resurrection technologies.
  • Occurs in Ōkami, where it's a major part of the plot, having Amaterasu as the resurrected/reincarnated form of Shiranui.
  • In the Fire Emblem series:
  • In the NES version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge, Marian, who was murdered in the opening sequence of the game, is brought back to life as a result of a vague prophecy mentioned by the True Final Boss during his dying breath. Averted in the original arcade version, since the final boss in the NES version was a character created for that version and the game ended with Marian still dead.
  • Super Robot Wars:
  • A staple scenario in Tekken. After being thrown to the ravine and thought to be dead, Heihachi Mishima turned out to survive, climbed back up, beat the one who did this to him (his son Kazuya), and threw him to the volcano. But Kazuya still manages to come back to life, because some researches retrieved his remains and gave him a new body. And finally, the fifth game, Heihachi was thought to be killed after he was nuked... (Heihachi Mishima is dead, or so Tekken 5's prologue states) but he still came back! Even the resident ninja Raven lampshaded this.
  • Touhou: Fujiwara no Mokou and Kaguya Houraisan are immortals who simply can't die, age, or get ill forever because they drank the Elixir of Eternal Life. Since it's eternal, it also rendered them irreversible. They will resurrect even if their bodies were completely destroyed. It goes beyond that. Even the concept of death isn't a part of their existence. So they'll come back to life no matter what happens simply because they're incapable of not existing.
  • Krista and Mr. Whittlebone in Twisted Metal: Head-On reappear from the second games as ghosts.
  • In the indie RPG series Vacant Sky, the main character dies in the first half hour of the game. But then she got better. It's implied that dying is in fact the prerequisite to becoming a badass.
  • Joshua of The World Ends with You seemingly comes Back from the Dead (another of his many Faux Symbolism moments), but it's subverted when we discover that he didn't actually die—he simply teleported to the Alternate Universe Bonus Chapter to avoid the deadly attack of Minamimoto.
    • The entire point of the Reaper's Game is to win a second chance at life; as such, all Players are Dead to Begin With. By the end, four characters are effectively brought back to life.
  • Though death and resurrection are nothing more than game mechanics for players in World of Warcraft, for story characters death is usually more permanent. Nevertheless, there are many exceptions. Typically it's done with major villains, such as Kael'thas, Mal'Ganis, Balnazzar, Teron Gorefiend, Anub'arak, and all of Naxxramas, who are brought back to serve as loot pinatas again.
    • In a rare heroic example, Muradin Bronzebeard who was thought killed in Warcraft III is revealed to be alive and well in Northrend, though initially amnesiac.
    • In the original game the dragons Onyxia and Nefarian were both killed. Come Cataclysm Nefarian was resurrected as an undead dragon by Deathwing. Nefarian in turn revived Onyxia as a mindless, Frankenstein-esque horror.
  • Just before the final battle in Breath of Fire II, the Big Bad brutally murders Ryu's party members one by one, taunting him all the while. Ryu resurrects them almost immediately afterwards.
  • In Mass Effect 2, the main character Commander Shepard dies during an ambush from an unknown alien starship at the start of the game. The commander's body is recovered and re-built by the enigmatic pro-human group Cerberus, leading to the game starting two years (and one very confused Commander) later.
    Garrus: The Collectors killed you once and all it did was piss you off.
    • Shepard also experiences some Reality Ensues issues, inasmuch is possible with this trope. Because this is not a setting where resurrecting the dead has even been heard of outside of mythology, and the fact that the number of people outside of Cerberus who were aware of the Lazarus Project can be counted on one hand, the vast majority of people upon learning that Shepard was alive came to the conclusion that Shepard was Faking the Dead. This created some major problems when combined with Shepard's newfound association with Cerberus, in large part because Cerberus predicted this would happen and took advantage of it.
  • A main plot point in Jade Empire, the main character is killed by their master-turned-evil-mastermind Li, and has to fight through the afterlife to come Back from the Dead.
  • Albedo from Xenosaga has been left for dead, killed, and been in situations where he should have been killed numerous times in the series, but gets revived somehow every time. This has to do with the fact that he is immortal, but it's amazing how many times it's been tried anyway.
  • Paul Denton may die in Deus Ex and he's always back in Invisible War, it's handwaved by having him cryogenically frozen.
  • BioShock 2 starts with the main character dying and the continues ten year later with him coming back to life, only to die again at the end.
  • At the beginning if Mega Man Zero, Zero is resurrected one century after his death in Mega Man X5 (that is, if you insist so), and the saga begins!
  • In Little Big Adventure 2, Dr Funfrock, who Twinsen supposedly killed at the end of the first game, pulls a Hijacked by Ganon. Justified, since he spent most of the first game perfecting cloning technology.
  • Kanon features Kawasumi Mai, who dies but comes back to life in the ending, in the same scene she dies, no less. This also applies to her mother, although it's in the past, and possible that Misaka Shiori gets this too, though she may never have died in the first place.
  • Done for the players themselves in Left 4 Dead 2. You can sometimes find a Magical Defibrillator, which has the power to bring back dead players on the spot, despite how they died (whether it would be being crushed by a Tank, having a Tank plow a car over the player, falling 10 stories down to the ground, ripped to pieces by a Witch, etc.)
  • All of the Ascended (read: player characters) in Rift. In the case of the Guardians, it's because the gods needed you alive again; in the case of the Defiant, it's thanks to years of magitek research.
  • A running gag in the Monkey Island series, where villain LeChuck is dead even before the series begins (he is a ghost in the first game). Even though hero Guybrush kills him at the end of every single game, he always comes back at the beginning of each new game to be the villain again. Further parodied in that he comes back wrong in a slightly different way every time, leading to names like The Demon Zombie Ghost Pirate LeChuck.
  • Tezkhra in The Reconstruction, who first appears to be a God of Evil, but turns out to be a perfectly nice guy who was killed by an evil creature that stole his name. One endgame sidequest allows you to recover his soul by defeating a Bonus Boss, then have a Necromancer restore his body.
  • Raikoh, the hero of Otogi: Myth of Demons, is revived no less then FOUR times over the course of the game and it's Sequel. The only other people that come back from the dead only do it once. Raikoh just has more important things to do then staying dead.
  • From Asura's Wrath I give you Asura. Some 12,000 years prior to the beginning of the game's main story, he is betrayed by his comrades, framed for the death of his wife and the Emperor of Shinkoku, has his daughter kidnapped, and is finally killed by being thrown from outer space to fall to Earth after being electrocuted! Now, how does he come back to life? To put it simply, he is just that absolutely, positively FURIOUS.
    • Another factor is that a young girl that looked very similar to his own daughter prayed in front of his now stone remains. His face is positioned right in front of her and because of her capture, he literally revives himself through sheer rage, albeit now much MUCH weaker than what he previously was.
  • The Darksign of the Undead in Dark Souls causes this constantly, each time sapping away a bit of your humanity.
  • The Elder Scrolls
  • In Dominions, Pretender gods can be called back, immortals only die permanently outside of your dominion and spells can be used to revive commanders who made it into the Hall of Fame.
  • In Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning, the Fae respawn to relive their lives in an endless cycle whenever they "die" thanks to their strong connection to the Weave of Fate. This makes fighting the Tuatha Deohn a zero sum game, since any Tuatha "slain" in battle respawns in their home kingdom. To even the odds, the gnomes attempted to create the Well of Souls, a device capable of bringing mortals back from the dead. The player character is the only successful resurrection. As a side effect, he/she is also Immune to Fate. This also means that the player character is the only one who can permanently kill a Fae since he/she can sever their connection to the Weave.
  • In [PROTOTYPE], Alex is shot dead just as he releases The Virus and then comes back to life without any memories. It later turns out that Alex is dead, and you are actually The Virus in Alex's form.
  • In Neverwinter Nights: Hordes of the Underdark, Elven paladin Aribeth de Tylmarande, with the help from the player character, manages to pull off a "techical resurrection" (even though beings from Outer Planes are still considered "spirits" in the Material Planes) while also subverting a case of Came Back Wrong and actually redeeming herself from the villain status in the process.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode I had the Death Egg Robot as the final boss. That's right. The programmers brought the robot to life when he was meant to be destroyed for good. And now you need to rematch him if you beat Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
  • Most of the Ensemble Dark Horse group Organization XIII is back in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, thanks to their respective Nobodies and Heartlesses being killed.
  • Endless Frontier casually reveals that Saya, the Big Bad of Namco × Capcom came back from the dead even though she was killed via a Boom, Headshot! and she pointed Reiji's revolver at her face. No one knows why she's back, not even her.
  • One of the main elements that ties the various Shadow Hearts games together is the Emigre Manuscript, a Tome of Eldritch Lore that supposedly contains the secret of resurrecting the dead. In practice, it almost never works out. The book being shaped like a skull should have been a clue that the Manuscript is something to avoid like the plague. Johnny Garland, the main character of the third game From the New World, is the only known successful resurrectee. His sister, the other person their father was trying to raise, sacrificed her own mind and soul to complete Johnny's resurrection. This had the unpleasant side effect of raising her as a soulless Monster from Beyond the Veil whose very existence is distorting reality with Malice. Johnny himself isn't completely normal either, looking younger than his real age and possessing a Malice-infused Superpowered Evil Side that is eerily similar to his sister.
  • One of Lewton's first lines in Discworld Noir is "I've never woken up dead before". He's been stabbed with the stolen sword he was searching for, but revived because his client had infected him with lycanthropy and the blade wasn't silver.
  • In Town of Salem the Retributionist can do this only once to a Townie of his choice. The ones who mostly get a second chance are Sheriffs, Investigators and Bodyguards.
  • In Kid Kool, the "Continue" sequence has the protagonist returning to the King as a ghost and being resurrected to continue his quest.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, the Winged Dragon of Ra's Phoenix Mode, Vampire Lord, Different Dimension Dragon, and Dark Flare Knight can revive after they were sent to the graveyard. Discarding them from the hand is a very powerful move to summon strong monsters.
  • In Bungie's Destiny, the player character is resurrected at the beginning of the game. Who they were or how they died is up in the air, but what we do know is that they were dead for a long time.
  • Ryōki, the older sister of Ryōbi and Ryōna in Senran Kagura, is revived early on in Senran Kagura: Estival Versus, though she hasn't completely returned to life since she has a Holy Halo over her head.
  • In Sands of Destruction, Kyrie Came Back Strong after Morte found a way to revive him atop the Temple of Light.
  • Kane from the Command & Conquer series pretty much embodies this trope. Whether being obliterated by the ion cannon or impaled by Micheal Biehn, he somehow survives to keep leading the Brotherhood of Nod, even if he winds up with a lot of crud on his face and just a disembodied torso.
  • Gyromancer, Laska doesn't stay dead for much longer than is necessary for Rivel, the protagonist, to see her corpse and blame himself. She's brought back by the Lord of the Wood, as fitting for a Forest Ranger.
  • At the beginning of Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse, the Player Character is barbecued on a routine supply run and resurrected by Dagda in a Deal with the Devil. Later on, in the Peace route, a reincarnated Dagda brings back all of Shesha's victims, including your Childhood Friend Asahi. Finally, in the Final Boss fight, Satan brings back Flynn's old buddies Walter and Jonathan to lend you a hand.
  • Where most dead characters in the series come back as Hostile Animatronics, the protagonist of Five Nights at Freddy's: Sister Location comes back in his own decayed, hollowed out corpse (if he ever truly died at all; Ennard claimed he wouldn't, yet his skin rotted as if he did). Even he's confused on why and how he's still around after the fact.
  • Eliphas the Inheritor from Dawn of War, had his soul bargained for by Abbadon (of all people) and has been returned to life at least twice. The real-life reason was his Popularity Power had the devs bring him back for the sequels.
  • This is a staple of Destiny.
    • The game begins with the player being resurrected by their Ghost, a tiny drone who carries the Light of the Traveler, a benevolent Sufficiently Advanced Alien. Nearly every Guardian, it turns out, is resurrected from someone who was alive during the Golden Age who died during the Collapse. Furthermore, the Ghost can resurrect their Guardian indefinitely as long as their reserves of Light remain intact, to the point that specialized tactics and weapons are needed to truly kill them, usually in the form of draining their reserves of Light or destroying their Ghost.
    • The Hive are frighteningly good at this technique, to the point where killing any of the Ascendant Hive permanently is incredibly hard, as destroying their physical body does not destroy their souls, and the reality-twisting magitek of the Hive lets them do things like create "oversouls" that store their souls safely outside of their bodies, or keep their souls in "throne worlds" where the Ascendant Hive is the master of the realm. For example, the only way to kill Crota or his father Oryx is to lead a team into the throne worlds of those Hive deities and slay them there, which will permanently end them... but even so, there's the possibility that they may return or live on. The Touch of Malice exotic scout rifle, for example, is implied to be another vessel for Oryx's soul intended to eventually merge him with whoever wields it.
    • The Vex have their own method of resurrecting: if an Axis Mind - a part of the Vex network that contains all instructions for a particular project and thus serve as their "leaders" - is destroyed, the Vex simply use their Time Travel technology to reach back and yank a slightly earlier version of that Axis Mind to replace it. One of the game's strike missions involves taking out an Axis Mind that specializes in doing this to prevent them from resuming their Hostile Terraforming of Venus.
  • The further you go in The Binding of Isaac, the more likely you'll encounter postmortem forms of previous bosses, in which usually they are missing eyes and/or are rotting away. Three unlockable characters are also reanimated versions of Isaac, with ??? and the Keeper being his corpses, and the Lost being his soul.
  • Terminus from Paladins was a living stone warrior of the Paladins who was slain during the first uprising against the Magistrate. However, the Magistrate collected his shattered body and resurrected him as an obedient undead brute who can piece himself back together should he ever fall again. This translates into gameplay in the form of his Ultimate ability. When he dies with his Ultimate ready, he can use it to ressurect himself on the spot instead waiting to respawn back at the home base. Ressurecting also creates an explosion that severely damages any enemy nearby.
  • Halo:
    • It was originally implied that Sergeant Johnson was consumed by the Flood in Halo: Combat Evolved, but he's back by your side come Halo 2. How? Sorry, it's classifiednote .
    • Halo 4 ends with Cortana sacrificing herself to save the Chief. In Halo 5: Guardians, Cortana comes back thanks to the Domain, but is significantly more evil than before.
  • Frederic: Resurrection Of Music stars Frédéric Chopin resurrected in the modern age.
  • In the fifth world of Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, Diddy and Dixie fight the ghost of Krow, the first world's boss.
  • Detroit: Become Human:
    • An early chapter called "From the Dead" involves Markus rebooting in a solid waste landfill after being shot. He then has to search the landfill for spare parts, as many of his own are damaged beyond repair, and then make his way out.
    • In "Eden Club", Connor manages to fix a broken Traci android and questions her about what happened before she shut down. However, he only has about a minute to talk to her before she loses too much thirium and shuts down again.
    • Androids that died in prior chapters can briefly be brought back to life in "Last Chance, Connor" in order for Connor to interrogate them. This is done by taking a component from one android and putting it into another one.

    Visual Novels 
  • The main story of Tsukihime 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.
  • 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.

    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 can never truly die: Hank, Jeebus, 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. The creator of the series has declared that the three are doomed to fight each other for all eternity.
  • 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 programmes 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 one YouTube Poop, Mario crucifies Luigi. However, he comes back to life a moment later.
  • In the end of Episode 2 of The Frollo Show, Frollo gets fatally shot by The Nostalgia Critic. In Episode 3, he manages to get a 1UP and comes back to life with a triumphant cry of "I AM BACK, BITCHES!"
  • DSBT InsaniT: Played for Laughs with Balloon. He is always being killed and just coming back, usually with no explaination whatsoever.

    Web Comics 
  • 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.

    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.
  • The Mad Scientist Wars: Hoo, boy. Let's see, 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. Sill won an award for it, 'tho. Head hurt yet?
  • 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.
  • Tasakeru: Stalker comes back from the dead thanks to a symbiotic fusion with a spider. He later brings N'Ktane back, but the process only gives her a solid body inside the Black Rose Tower.
  • 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.

    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?

    Western Animation 
  • Darkseid in the DCAU was killed by Brainiac's exploding asteroid Super Villain 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Several characters on Kaeloo have been blown up, decapitated, electrocuted, etc. only to be perfectly fine in the next episode.
  • 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.
  • The Simpsons-
    "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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Thunder Cats:
    • 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.
  • 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."
  • During the Mortis arc in Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the Son killed Ahsoka with a tap on her forehead. The Daughter, who was lethally wounded also by the Son, channeled her remaining life force into Ahsoka's body (using Anakin as a medium) to revive her.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "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 effect: 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.

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