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Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie

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"Lay my soul, lay my pride, where my people fought and died. Bury me 'neath the killing fields."

Alice dies, having expressed some sort of wish about the disposal of her body to Bob. For reasons that Alice usually wouldn't have been able to foresee, Bob finds these wishes difficult to carry out. Often, this requires Alice's body taken to a specific location for burial.

This is frequently used as a way to justify giving Bob an Idiot Ball: Due to the Dead demands Honor Before Reason.

Compare The "Fun" in "Funeral". Can sometimes overlap with On One Condition, and less frequently with Of Corpse He's Alive.

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


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  • A commercial for an SUV shows two guys driving up a mountain to scatter their Uncle Fred's ashes at the peak. Because the ride is so rugged, the urn ends up spilling. If you're careful you'll notice that the standard disclaimer ("Professional driver on closed course") in this case reads "Drive like this and you could wind up like Uncle Fred."

    Anime & Manga 
  • The Kurosagi Corpse Delivery Service is about a group who do just this. Doesn't matter if you're dead either — you can still speak to their resident itako. In one chapter, they take a body all the way to Iraq.
  • Martian Successor Nadesico has fun with this trope in an early episode. Employees of Nergal who die on the job are entitled to whatever peculiar funeral they want. When a company space station explodes a few episodes in, the only official nearby to perform all the funerals is the captain of the namesake ship. After the mass funerals for Catholic, Hindu, Buddhist, and shooting-star-teddy-bear religion employees, there are still hundreds of unique funerals to perform.

    Comic Books 
  • In V for Vendetta, the dying V tells Evey, "The Victoria line is blocked... twixt Whitehall and St. James... Give me a Viking funeral..." Eventually, Evey recalls the ornately-decorated subway train in which he'd had her place gelignite. She checks the London Underground map and finds that there's indeed rubble blocking the line there. She places his body in a glass coffin within the explosive-filled train and sends it speeding toward the blockage, which is right under Downing Street, site of the Fate computer through which the Norsefire regime had run the country. V's "Viking funeral" is thus the capstone to his dismantling of the fascist government.
  • In Wonder Woman Vol 2, when Diana's one time publicist Myndi Mayer's video will is played, she includes a large sum of money for Diana as an incentive to have her cremation ashes spread around the Amazons' Themyscira so she can be a part of that place. Diana's only complaint is that she was upset that Minda felt she was so shallow that she needed to be paid to do something she would have immediately done for nothing. Regardless, Diana immediately gets back to the island to fulfill Mayner's wishes.
  • After the X-Men adversary Destiny died, she left her leman Mystique detailed instructions on where and when she wanted her ashes scattered into the sea. Precognition + Sense of Humor = Win. "I'll make you laugh if it's the last thing I do" indeed...
    • Specifically, Destiny had worked out the timing so that at the moment Mystique poured out the ashes, the wind would blow them back into Mystique's face.
  • X-Statix, being a series where Anyone Can Die, naturally had a few cases of this:
    • When St. Anna dies, she makes Guy promise to travel to Argentina so that he can give her father a ring belonging to her mother. He follows through and delivers the ring. As Anna also had some degree of Body Surf powers, she is able to briefly possess her grieving father, showing him her whole life.
    • When Edie is killed during a mission in space, she asks that Guy dispose of her body in space because she fears that if they bury her, her gravesite will be turned into a tourist attraction.

    Fan Works 
  • Life After Hayate mentions Hayate Yagami's request to be interred where her knights fell, if she died alongside them. She didn't.
  • Old Man Henderson: Inverted. Henderson suggested that two garbage bags and a trip to the landfill would be more than enough, since no-one had cared about him in life, no-one would care about his death, and a slab of dead meat wasn't worth wasting money on. Henderson's two surviving allies ignored this, and gave him a nice funeral, with a coffin, a nice floral arrangement and a rather touching eulogy. Even though they were the only two people to attend (plus the priest hired to conduct the service), Henderson's player was still quite touched by the gesture.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Michael Caine's character in Around The Bend uses this trope as a plot to get his son, grandson and great-grandson to bond on a roadtrip across the Southwest after he's gone.
  • This is Erik aka Killmonger's request in Black Panther after T'Challa mortally wounds him and allows him to see the sunset of Wakanda. T'Challa offers to save him but he refuses knowing he'd be imprisoned for his crime, instead asking to be buried at sea just as slaves of old would do when escaping from slave ships.
  • Bit of a plot point in Count Yorga in which Donna's mother had actually requested to be cremated in the event of death. However oddly enough she was buried and rather hastily according to Donna at Yorga's request. It soon becomes obvious when it's revealed that Yorga is a vampire. He had stolen away her body not long after the funeral and brought her to his manor so she could become his second vampire bride.
  • In Edge of Darkness (2010), Mel Gibson's character Tom Craven scatters his daughter's ashes on a beach where he'd taken her for outings when she was little.
  • At the end of Family Business, Jesse has a rooftop wake where Adam and Vito mend fences. They scatter Jesse's cremains on the edge of the building's parapet to let the wind take them where it may, while the rest of Jesse's old friends from the neighborhood call, "So long!" and "See you on the other side, Jesse!"
  • In Great White, Michelle is travelling to remote Hell's Reef so she can disperse her grandfather's ashes there: his last wish being to be laid to rest with his shipmates who did not survive the shipwreck there.
  • In the movie Last Orders, Jack wishes to have his ashes scattered off Margate Pier.
  • The plot of The Last Rites of Ransom Pride is driven by Juliette promising Ransom that if he dies, she will take his body to Glory, Texas and bury him beside his mother. However, after his death, the Bruja seizes his body and the only way to redeem Ransom's corpse is for Juliette to give her Ransom's brother in exchange.
  • The main plot of Men with Brooms kicks off when a dead coach has his ashes placed inside a curling rock and makes a Last Request to his old team to win a curling tournament by placing said rock on the button(the center of the scoring area in curling).
  • In Mr. Nobody Elise accepts to marry the protagonist under the promise that he'll spread her ashes on Mars after she dies.
  • This is also the plot of the German movie Die Oma Ist Tot. Grandma wants to be buried next to her husband in Poland, but dies on a family visit in Germany. As the transport costs are too high, the family tries to smuggle her across the border... in a surfboard box.
  • In The Over-the-Hill Gang Rides Again, the Baltimore Kid's last request is to be buried as a Texas Ranger with some of his old company in attendance. He asks Amos to send a letter to Sgt. Nash Crawford as he will be able to arrange this. The letter brings Nash, 'Gentleman' George, and Jason to town, only to discover that the Kid has already been buried. And then they discover that the Kid isn't actually dead...
  • This is a MacGuffin in the movie Stealing Home. Mrs. Robinson figure Katie (played by Jodie Foster) commits suicide and leaves her ashes to Billy, played by Mark Harmon. Her vague instructions that "he will know what to do" with her remains set a Vision Quest in motion, as Billy reminisces about their relationship, his youth, and his lost potential as a ballplayer and a human being. He finally scatters her ashes off the diving horse pier in Atlantic City, where Katie had often fantasized about flying to a faraway land.
  • The Taiwan Oyster has an American teacher in Taiwan die, without any friends or relatives in the U.S. A fellow teacher persuades his friend that the man expressed a wish to be buried in a rural scenic area of Taiwan, and after a series of adventures they get his body to the location- where the first fellow reveals he made the whole "last request" up as a publicity stunt for a magazine he hoped to launch.
  • This is the entire plot of the The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, in which the protagonist steals his friend's corpse and sneaks into Mexico to bury him in his hometown.

  • The entire plot of As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner is driven by Anse Bundren's attempt to return his wife's body to her family graveyard, through a rainstorm.
  • In The Ballad of the White Horse by G. K. Chesterton, there's a scene just before the big battle where each of Alfred's lieutenants explains how he wants to be buried should he fall. Eldred wants to be buried on his farm, and Colan wants to be buried near the sacred trees of the Old Ways. This is subverted by Marcus, the last Roman left in England:
    Lift not my head from bloody ground,
    Bear not my body home,
    For all the earth is Roman earth
    And I shall die in Rome.
  • In A Brother's Price, they find a man who was buried on the lone prairie, together with his kidnappers, who were apparently killed by their employers. The man's corpse is dug up and sent to be buried with his family, the bandits are just left where they are.
  • In Jack Schaefer's The Canyon, a Cheyenne goes on a dangerous journey deep into enemy country to retrieve the bones of his intended's father, which he plans to present to her brother instead of the traditional bride price.
  • In Chain Letter, Tony has two final requests to fulfill for his friend, Neil. The first is to give a prized piece of jewelry to a person they admire. The second is to ensure his friend's body is buried in a specific area. The latter leads to him finding that the body of the man they hit is no longer where they left him, and that Tony may not actually be dead.
  • In Cold Sassy Tree, Rucker Blakeslee leaves behind specific instructions regarding the disposal of his remains: he wants to be buried immediately, in a plain pine box lined in burlap, without a church service or any clergymen present, though he asks that his grandson recite some Scripture. Then, a bit later, he wants a party "like them Irishmen have." Since the book takes place in Georgia (the US state) in 1906, these directions are extremely contrary to the norm, and cause a lot of heartache for his family. They do it anyway.
  • Towards the end of The Dragon Knight, Sir Giles dies and requests that he be buried at sea (Because as a selkie, he can come back from the dead if this happens). Unfortunately, before any effort can be made to do this, the nobles in command of the armies whose fighting caused his death agreed that to seal the truce, everyone who died on that battlefield must be buried in a communal grave.
  • Kaspar and company use this as their cover story in Exile's Return by Raymond E. Feist. They are trying to bring a magical set of armour back home for the wizards to study. To avoid attracting the attention of thieves, they put it in a coffin and claim that the coffin contains the body of their deceased leader, which they are bringing home for burial.
  • When trying to escape Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Cedric Diggory's ghost asks Harry to bring his body home to his parents.
  • Tony Hillerman novel The Fallen Man features a climber who wants his ashes spread over Shiprock, his favorite place to climb. Seeing that the ashes of a person is called "corpse dust" in Navajo tradition, and is considered the worst kind of black magic used by skinwalkers, this is seen with a very negative light by the local indigenous people.
  • Joe Pickett: In Out of Range, Will Jensen's widow asks Joe to scatter his ashes at Two Oceans Pass. This involves Joe making a long trek through unfamiliar country.
  • John Carter of Mars: After faking his death (he actually astral projected back to Barsoom, leaving his body on Earth behind in a comatose state), John Carter requests for his nephew Edgar Rice Burroughs to bury his body in a mausoleum of his own design. The mausoleum is well ventilated and can only be opened from the inside to make sure that John's body on Earth will not be disturbed while he is living on Barsoom.
  • In Lonesome Dove Woodrow Call brings Gus MacCrae's body across the country so he can be buried in his favourite orchard that he shared with the woman he loved.
  • The Mary Gloster by Rudyard Kipling is a poem entirely consisting of the narrator's instructions to his son as to how he is to be buried (at sea, and it's going to be a BIG chore).
  • Oddly Enough: "A Blaze of Glory" revolves around Tommy and his grandmother, the latter of whom is old and dying. In the last minutes of the story, the elves whom she helped as a young woman return to fulfill the only reward she wanted for her help — to be taken back to Elfland and buried there.
  • Revelation Space Series;
    • Before the beginning of Redemption Ark, Antoinette Bax's father had said he wanted to have his ashes scattered in the atmosphere of a gas giant. At the time that he dies, all the gas giants in the system where she lives are in the middle of a war zone. This doesn't stop her from personally dropping his body off in the atmosphere of a gas giant while it's still in the contested volume.
    • Later, in "Galactic North", a character requests "burial at C"—that is, to accelerate the ship as close to the speed of light as it will reasonably go, then fire her coffin ahead of it. She notes that it's only a pun in a language almost no one remembers.
  • Played with in Amy Tan's Saving Fish from Drowning. Narrator Bibi Chen laments that her joke about wanting to be buried in a particular antique Chinese coffin (she was an art dealer) was taken seriously by her friends. She goes on to say that her actual wish was to be cremated, her ashes put into several valuable containers, and each container given to a different friend, the idea being that the friends would take her ashes somewhere interesting and scatter them, then keep the boxes as a memento.
  • A theme in George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire. In the backstory, Ned Stark supposedly fulfilled a final request of his sister Lyanna's by carrying her body 3000 miles across Westeros from Dorne to Winterfell in the North. However, as noted by The Resenter Barbrey Dustin in A Dance with Dragons he did not extend the same courtesy to other True Companions who died in his skirmish with the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy.
    • In Tales of Dunk and Egg, Dunk has no choice but to bury his former master, Ser Arlan of Pennytree on the lone prairie. The reasons for this is practical. Dunk has no idea where Pennytree is and Ser Arlan has no known next of kin to turn to. So he buries him on a hillside facing west, as Ser Arlan had always liked watching the sunset.
  • In Robert A. Heinlein's Time Enough for Love, Lazarus Long tries to give Libby the cremation he requested, by letting him burn up de-orbiting into Earth. Problem is, he dies on the other side of the galaxy, but thankfully corpses keep well in space. Long sets up the body in an orbit around the planet where Libby died, knowing he can always come back later when it's possible to get to Earth and retrieve the body. Oddly enough someone steals it before he can come back, and even odder it turns out to be Lazarus himself. (Time Travel is fun like that). However, in The Number of the Beast readers discover that he steals Libby's corpse a second time so they can recapture his DNA and memories and clone him, this time as a woman.
  • The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn: Willis Nightwood's will in the sequel The Lamp From the Warlock's Tomb involved a set of bizarre instructions for his burial: his body was cremated, and his ashes placed in a can that was sewn up into the belly of a scarecrow that was then taken to an underground tomb on his estate. The scarecrow was placed in a chair at a table marked with a pentagram and where an iron bell, a Dutch china lamp that had been his bedside table lamp for years, and a family bible had all been placed. Certain rites were carried out once the scarecrow was in place, then the tomb's entrance was sealed with earth, boulders and three feet of concrete, and a plaque with the words "It takes jacks to open" (believed to be a reference to his poker-playing days) was affixed to the concrete once it was dry. It turns out all this was in order to prevent the evil spirit that had possessed him (and was now linked to the lamp) from getting loose after his death.
  • In Polidori's The Vampyre, Lord Ruthven invokes this trope to ensure his corpse will be exposed to moonlight, which he knows will revive him in undeath.
  • Early on in The Warrior's Apprentice, Sergeant Bothari tells Miles that if he dies he doesn't want to be buried in space, but to be returned to Barrayar, where he has been promised a place in the Vorkosigan family cemetery, at the feet of the place reserved for Miles' mother. Needless to say, this turns out to be foreshadowing, or maybe Chekhov's dying wish.
  • Hanfkopf, one of the scholars mentioned in the footnotes from Robert Anton Wilson's The Widow's Son note  requests that his ashes be thrown into the face of a rival expert. Sadly, his executors don't got through with it.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In at least one episode of Bones, Dr. Temperence Brennan describes her wish to undergo a sky burial to a clearly Squicked-out Booth. Played with in that the difficulty laying in Booth's clear disgust at the idea and much more traditionalist outlook on how bodies are dealt with, rather than any logistical issues like wealth or location.
  • On Cougartown, Bobby's father requested that his ashes be scattered on a roller-coaster. Problem is, Bobby's afraid of roller-coasters. He finally goes through with it by having his friends ride with him for support. Unfortunately for them, Bobby sits on the front of the car.
  • CSI: NY:
    • In "Get Me Out of Here!", Danny tells Lindsay he wants his ashes scattered over the Mets' field. She says she'll flush them out of the lavatory of her new husband's private jet on their way to Paris.
    • In "Misconceptions," Flack discovers a letter from his father expressing his wishes to have his ashes scattered on the diamond at Yankee Stadium. He spends the rest of the episode persuading his sister to help him do this.
  • One episode of The Drew Carey Show centres around Drew's great-uncle Alfred dying and his last wish to be buried in Drew's backyard.
  • Averted on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman. Miss Olive's will specifically states that her body actually be buried on the lone prairie rather than carted hither and yon.
  • The Firefly episode "The Message" looks as though it's going to be of this form, until the corpse in question wakes up... And in the end, they double-subvert it after shooting him a few times because he spends most of his time holding Kaylee hostage and shooting a gun at people and generally not listening. He does get his body taken home to his family like he wanted, though.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Hizdahr zo Loraq comes to Daenerys in Season 4 to request that he be allowed to bury his father in the Temple of the Graces rather than leaving him to rot on a crucifix.
    • Tormund encourages Jon to give Ygritte a proper burial in the "real North", which Jon honours by burning the body beneath a weirwood beyond the Wall.
  • On The George Lopez Show, there was an episode where his mother-in-law, Emelina, dies. Emelina is buried in a burial plot next to where Angie and George had bought theirs. Unfortunately, George only bought one extra plot, so Angie would have no place to go.
  • Invoked in the Hustle episode "The Fall of Railton FC." Needing some footage of a fake football game, Emma pretends that her grandfather's last wish was to have his ashes scattered on the turf of his beloved football club, and cons the caretaker into letting her and the rest of the crew on to the pitch to do so. She then has to keep the caretaker distracted while the boys run around the pitch in football strip to get the footage they need.
  • An episode of Northern Exposure revolves around Maurice and Holling trying to do this for a deceased hunting buddy of theirs.
  • In the Only Fools and Horses episode "Ashes to Ashes," Del Boy and Rodney spend the entire episode trying to find an appropriate way to dispose of the ashes of Trigger's grandfather (so they can flog off the urn he is in). After all of their attempts are thwarted, the ashes are accidentally sucked up by a road sweeper. They decide this is appropriate as Trigger's grandfather had been a street sweeper.
    • In the Prequel, Rock and Chips, Freddie the Frog tells Joan about a friend of his whose dying wish was to be scattered on his favorite football pitch, and how this got them in trouble with the authorities.
    Joan: Did they say you needed permission?
    Freddie: Nah, they said he should have been cremated.
  • In the QI episode "Gothic", certain Ghanaian funeral customs involving customized coffins are discussed in these terms.
  • In Slings & Arrows, Oliver wants his skull to be removed and used in all future productions of Hamlet. Nobody wants anything to do with it except Geoffrey, who has to carry Oliver's head around in a cooler until he can find a sufficiently disreputable taxidermist.
  • Frequently used on Six Feet Under.
    • Season 4 starts with Nate fooling his dead wife's parents so that he can steal her body and bury it in nature, as per her wishes.
    • Or the gay set-designer who wanted to turn the funeral parlour into the set of his dead lover's favorite opera, therefore paying three times the usual fare. Ah, the crazy shit people do out of love.
  • In Supernatural, when Dean returns from the dead in "Lazarus Rising", he expresses surprise at being buried instead of cremated (as that is the norm for hunters). Turns out Sam refused to burn his corpse because he'd need a body when Sam got him back somehow.

  • The Trope Namer is a famous cowboy folk song, with a dying cowboy making this plea. But...
    "Oh, bury me not", and his voice failed there
    But we took no heed to his dying prayer
    In a shallow grave, just six by three
    We buried him there, on the lone prairie
  • In "Birthday Song," 2 Chainz wants to be buried in SIX places when he dies. (Like his fellow Channel Awesome reviewer on The Band Perry's song, The Rap Critic has fun considering the funeral arrangements.)
    When I die, bury me inside the Gucci store
    When I die, bury me inside the Louie store
    When I die, bury me inside the jewelry store
    When I die, bury me inside the Truey store
    When I die, bury me next to two bitches
    When I die, bury me inside the booty club
  • "If I Die Young," by The Band Perry. Todd in the Shadows had a lot of fun trying to figure out the logistics of this funeral arrangement.
    If I die young, bury me in satin
    Lay me down on a bed of roses
    Sink me in the river at dawn
    Send me away with the words of a love song
  • Big And Rich, "Deadwood Mountain"
    You can bury me on Deadwood Mountain
    By my brother wild Bill and sister calamity Jane
    Don't bring me no flowers
    Just a six gun smokin'
    Put me eight feet down
    When you bury me
    And cover me a little extra deep
    Cause that's the only way I'm gonna rest in peace
  • "Where The Rose Is Sown" by Big Country:
    If I die in a combat zone
    Box me up and ship me home.
    If I die and still come home
    Lay me where the rose is sown
  • C.A. Quintet, "Bury Me in a Marijuana Field":
    Bury me in a marijuana field
    That's where I really long to be
    Then I can go out in a blaze of glory
    When you roll a joint up out of me
  • The plot of the video to "Kingdom of Rust" by Doves is a man driving to Blackpool to scatter his father's ashes on the beach.
  • The Eraserheads, with their song "Poorman's Grave":
    Oh, Honey when I die
    Dress me up in a coat and tie
    Give my feet a pair of shoes that I haven't worn for a long time
    Put me in a golden box
    Not a cross on a pile of rocks
    Bury me where the grass is green
    And the gates are shining
  • Flogging Molly came up with a way around this in "Cruel Mistress":
    Next time out to sea
    Bring enough soil to bury me
    For I don't want my final jig
    In the belly of a squid
  • The Fugs, with "Burial Waltz":
    Do not surround me with wreaths of flowers
    Or place upon my body the signs of a fetish
    Or crescent, cross, phallus or sun
    But bury me in an apple orchard
    That I may touch your lips again.
  • The entirety of the Rolf Harris song "Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport" is the stockman's dying wishes, and concludes with the immortal lines:
    Tan me hide when I'm dead, Fred; tan me hide when I'm dead...
    So we tanned his hide when he died, Clyde, and that's it hanging on the shed
In The Beatles BBC sessions, they end it:
Tan me hide when it comes, boys; tan me hide when it comes...
So we tanned his hide when he died, boys, and now Ringo's got it on his drums!
  • John Prine:
    When I die don't bury me down in the cold cold ground
    I'd rather have them cut me up and pass me all around...
  • Tragically Hip, "At the Hundredth Meridian"
    If I die of vanity, promise me, promise me
    They bury me some place I don't want to be
    You'll dig me up and transport me, unceremoniously
    Away from the swollen city-breeze, garbage bag trees
    Whispers of disease and the acts of enormity
    And lower me slowly, sadly and properly
    Get Ry Cooder to sing my eulogy
  • Averted, played straight and just generally messed with in Violent Femmes' "I Hear The Rain".

  • "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service: The titular Sam is a Yukon gold miner from Tennessee who constantly complains of the cold. One particularly hard night, he feels he's done for, and so asks the narrator to cremate him as he can't stand the thought of spending eternity in a frozen grave. The narrator lugs the corpse around until he finds an icebound steamship, in which he fires up the furnace to the extreme temperature needed and puts the body in. However, he gets curious about how things are going and checks on his friend. Sam tells him to shut the door, as he's letting the heat out: "Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it's the first time that I've been warm."
    • Another of his poems, "The Ballad of Blasphemous Bill," deals with a man hired by the titular Bill to make sure he gets a proper burial in a cemetery. When the narrator finds Bill, however, his corpse is frozen with his limbs spread out, making it impossible to fit him in the coffin; the narrator addresses the problem the only way he can.
  • Taras Shevchenko, who is considered to be the founder of Ukrainian literature, famously wrote a poem called Testament (Zapovit), where he stipulates what to do with his body. Slightly subverted in that he died almost 16 years after writing the poem. However, his friends still followed the poem's instructions as if it was his last will and testament. Translated first part of the poem:
    When I am dead, bury me
    In my beloved Ukraine,
    My tomb upon a grave mound high
    Amid the spreading plain,
    So that the fields, the boundless steppes,
    The Dnieper's plunging shore
    My eyes could see, my ears could hear
    The mighty river roar.

    Religion & Mythology 
  • In the Book of Genesis, Joseph makes the Israelites swear that they would take his body with them when they left Egypt. He was eventually reburied in Israel, meaning that they must have carried his coffin through the desert for forty years. This causes complications along the way, because the people carrying his coffin are therefore ritually impure and can't offer the Passover sacrifice. A "make-up" date for the sacrifice one month later is instituted due to this and other reasons, which means that complications as a result of a will are Older Than Feudalism.

    Stand Up Comedy 
  • In one of his stand-up comedy books, George Carlin muses over how far this trope falls legally, and how much of a pain in the ass you're allowed to be to your loved ones post-mortem. Such as if your request for the disposal of your body is to have it dropped out of an airplane and left to rot wherever it falls.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Space 1889 There is an adventure about it in Challenge #38 called A Journey to Oblivion.

    Video Games 
  • The story of Far Cry 4 begins thanks to Ishwari Ghale, an immigrant from the wartorn country of Kyrat, asking her son Ajay to "take [her] back to Lakshmana" after her death. If she'd thought to tell Ajay that Lakshmana was his long-dead half-sister by the dictatorial King of Kyrat, things would have gone a lot more smoothly.
  • God of War (PS4): When Faye died, she asked her husband Kratos and son Atreus to scatter her ashes on the peak of the highest mountain in the nine realms. Their quest to reach this mountain makes up most of the game. Kratos and Atreus assume she was talking about a certain mountain in their realm, but eventually figure out she was talking about the highest mountain in Jötunheim, her homeland. They succeed.
  • Phantasy Star IV: One easily missable conversation with the gravekeeper in Aiedo's cemetery has him chide Alys about finally buying a plot for herself, presumably because she's top earner in the most dangerous profession in the city. Alys scoffs at this, and tells him she'd rather be buried somewhere peaceful. It turns out that this "somewhere peaceful" thing is the town of Krup, where Alys later dies via Zio's Dark Force magic and is buried beneath a field of flowers.
  • In Red Dead Redemption II, in an easily missable conversation Arthur states that he wants to be buried facing west, "so [he] can watch the setting sun and remember all the fine times [they] had that way." While he dies facing, and watching, the rising sun (High Honor), Charles finds his body and buries him facing West, towards the setting sun.
    • In the same conversation, Hosea says that he wants to be buried "with friends", and Lenny says the same thing before adding "with friends... or with family". Little do they know that they would later get killed and eventually be buried next to each other, as both friends and family.

    Western Animation 
  • King of the Hill:
    • Cotton's will demands that his ashes be flushed down a specific toilet on a specific diner, apparently because General Patton used it once. Hank has to get around the diner owner, who's fed up with soldiers having the same request. Apparently ashes are bad for the plumbing.
    • One of Cotton's dying requests was actually for Hank to cut off his corpse's head and mail it the Emperor of Japan. When Cotton finally passes, Hank is distraught at the prospect but hesitant to deny his father's final wishes. Fortunately, Peggy lies and convinces him that Cotton took back the thing about his head right before the end when she was alone with him.
  • In one episode of Mad Jack the Pirate, the titular character's Uncle Mortimer died and expressed his wish to be buried at the Island of Hanna-Barbarian. In fact, Mad Jack had to take Uncle Mortimer's corpse (and his dog) there to be allowed to claim his inheritance.
  • In Regular Show after Muscle Man's dad dies, he states in his will that he would like his ashes to be scattered in the trucker graveyard, largely as the "ultimate prank" revenge against them for mocking him for just being a forklift driver in life. It takes some doing as the place is heavily guarded and they have to contend against both other truckers and the ghosts that haunt the place, but Muscle Man, with Mordecai and Rigby's help, succeeds in the end.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Homer's mother dies, and she wants her ashes to be thrown at a specific place at a specific time. It turned out it was all to disrupt one of Mr. Burns' anti-environmental plans as one last middle finger to him. Ultimately getting the last laugh on Burns and their age old rivalry.

    Real Life 
  • Pianist André Tchaikowski donated his body to medical research, and asked that his skull be used in the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Hamlet, playing Yorick. This proved surprisingly difficult since the court had to decide whether decapitating a corpse and putting the head into a bucket of flesh eating maggots (still the fastest and best way to clear flesh out of bone, by the by) counted as desecration of a corpse even though the body in question gave them pre-mortem permission, and how to then handle the skull with respect. It was eventually planned that when it was not playing Yorick, the skull would rest within a miniature coffin with André Tchaikowski's name and Birth & Death date clearly engraved, making sure that he never became "just a skull prop". Actors were at first squeamish at the idea of using a real skull, but finally in 2008, 26 years after he had made himself available, Tchaikowski played Yorick opposite David Tennant. Once the press got hold of this fact, the RSC put out a statement that they had replaced Andre with a prop, in order to "not distract the public", but this turned out to be a double bluff, and André played Yorrick for the remainder of the run, including the special one that was produced, filmed and immortalized on DVD and Blu-Ray.
  • Singer Gram Parsons requested he be cremated at the Joshua Tree National Monument. His manager stole his corpse from the morgue to do so.
  • There's James Doohan, Scotty from Star Trek, who requested his ashes be sent into space. It took them 2 years to take his remains up even on a temporary trip. On the rocket that was going to bring his ashes (with several others) into space, the launch was halted at T-0.5 seconds because the rockets were malfunctioning. It launched properly a few days later. Somehow, a malfunctioning spacecraft seems more appropriate for the man behind Scotty than one where everything goes smoothly.
  • Other people's ashes have been taken into space as well, most notably Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and astronaut Gordon Cooper.
  • A bit of the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto, are on the New Horizons spacecraft, which flew by Pluto in July 2015. Hence the joke that Pluto was downgraded from a planet status in order to make Tombaugh turn in his grave and thus power the New Horizons probe...
  • Gene Shoemaker wins this trope. His ashes were buried on the Moon.
  • Sometime in the mid-'90s, Ann Landers got a letter from a person whose deceased relative had requested a Viking funeral (i.e., set adrift in a wooden boat which is then set ablaze) and was having trouble finding a jurisdiction where it would be legal to do so. The verdict? It's not technically legal to do so anywhere in the United States, unfortunately.
  • Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland from 1306 to 1329, asked for his heart to be buried in the Holy Land. It was put in a lead coffer and taken on crusade. When his knights got into a tussle with some Moors in Spain, one of them threw the king's heart behind Moorish lines, forcing the others to hack through the Moors to get it back. Then they played their bagpipes over the fallen enemy. The heart was taken back to Scotland and buried in Melrose Abbey, where it was unearthed during construction work in 1996.
  • Hunter S. Thompson, whose life contains about every trope in existence, had the best funeral in history. His ashes were shot out of a cannon shaped like a giant sword, the hilt of which was shaped like the Gonzo logo. The man in charge of getting all of this (and the frankly amazing party) together? Johnny Depp. The best part? His ashes were mixed into fireworks. Yeah.
  • Christopher Titus' dad. His last wishes included being buried in a cardboard box, charging for attendance to his funeral (except for the ladies), allow everyone who he ever pissed off in his life to step up and piss on his body (to the tune of "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain" by Willie Nelson), and after cremation wished to have his ashes put into a douche bottle (hot water bottle) find a hooker and "run me through one last time." In the end, he was put in a rental coffin with a cardboard box lining, made about $2,200 at the door, Titus is the only one to claim to have peed on him, and while they found a hooker, they couldn't quite go through with the last act so they spread his ashes around a casino floor at Lake Tahoe and various Victoria Secret's dressing rooms.
  • There is a widespread story that the paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope wished to have himself designated the type specimen of Homo sapiens. Sadly, it isn't true. Cope did donate his remains to science, though.
  • Del Close, the great improv comedy actor/teacher, wanted his skull to go to the Goodman Theatre in Chicago so that he could play Yorick (or any spooky-scene-setting Cow Tools) into eternity. On his deathbed he made a friend promise to make it happen, but he didn't put anything in writing, and in the end she had to substitute one she'd bought from an anatomical supply company. His real skull was cremated along with the rest of him.
  • Frederick the Great of Prussia stipulated that he be buried in a simple grave at Sanssouci palace, next to his dogs. His nephew and successor, Frederick William II, decided that this was not on and had him buried in the vault of the Garnisonkirche in Potsdam. At the end of World War II, the coffin was taken to Hohenzollern castle in Baden-Württemberg. He was finally buried where and how he wanted after the reunification of Germany in 1991.
  • An unusual but fitting tribute: before he died, Marvel Comics writer Mark Gruenwald made arrangements to have his ashes mixed with the printing ink for the initial run of a trade paperback collection of his groundbreaking mini-series Squadron Supreme.
  • In his will, the Marquis de Sade requested that he be buried in an unmarked grave and that acorns be sowed above him, so that trees would hide his resting place and the world would forget him. This request was not honored, sad to say: his skull was later removed from his grave so the phrenologists could have a good look at it, and the world has not exactly forgotten him either.
  • There are two designated areas within British territorial waters where someone who has specifically requested a Burial at Sea but died on land may be laid to rest. On one occasion a body wasn't weighted down properly and washed up ashore, prompting a murder investigation.
  • Disneyland had a problem with at least one person attempting to use The Haunted Mansion as the place to scatter a loved one's ashes, causing the park to purchase a HEPA vacuum cleaner to clean up any remains dumped in the ride.
  • The Lonesome Dove example above was based on Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving.
  • Philippine national hero Jose Rizal requested this before his execution, but those wishes were never fulfilled, as he was first buried at Paco Cemetery, then permanently underneath the shrine named after him.
    "Dear parents, brothers, sisters: Give thanks to God who has kept me tranquil, before my death... Bury me in the earth, put a stone on top, and a cross. My name, the date of my birth, and that of my death. Nothing more. If later you should wish to surround my grave with a fence, you can do it. No anniversary celebrations! I prefer 'Paang Bundok' [trans. "foot of the mountain", i.e. the Manila North Cemetery]."
  • Dr. William Keil was planning to move his sect of "Bethelites" from Bethel, MO, out west along the Oregon Trail. His son, Willie Keil trained hard to run the wagon. But soon before they were to leave Willie became ill with malaria. He made his dad promise that he would make the trip no matter what. Then just a few days before departing Willie died. In order to keep his promise Dr. Keil and the Bethelite elders built a lead lined coffin for Willie's body, and filled it up with whiskey around him. After the six month journey with Willie sloshing away in his coffin, he was finally laid to rest in Willapa, WA.
  • Genghis Khan is claimed to have requested he be buried in secrecy in an unmarked grave, which has never been found. Many legends exist of how he was buried. The Travels of Marco Polo suggests all Mongolian khans were buried on a mountain called Altaï, while other legends claim a river was diverted over his grave like Alaric I and King Gilgamesh, that horses trampled his grave to make it unidentifiable, that trees were planted on the site, that permafrost was somehow involved, while some even claim an empty coffin was transported to Mongolia. One legend claims a young camel was buried with him, and the camel's mother was seen weeping at the grave. Another, more fanciful legend purportedly told to Marco Polo, but not appearing in his writings or any other contemporary source, is that 2,000 slaves attended to his funeral and were killed by the soldiers guarding them, and those soldiers were killed by another group of soldiers, who went on to kill anyone in their path to Leave No Witnesses, then commit suicide at their destination (which raises some questions). Modern research suggests he may have been buried in the Burkhan Khaldun mountain, also known as Ikh Khorig or The Great Taboo, a sacred mountain where Genghis Khan prayed to Tengri before uniting the Mongol tribes.