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Death Takes a Holiday

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So shalt thou feed on death, that feeds on men,
And death once dead, there's no more dying then.
Sonnet 146, William Shakespeare

Something happens to the personification of Death such that the very concept of death is suspended. Maybe Death just decides to quit, or maybe someone "captures" Death. Maybe Death itself has died. Regardless of the how and why, the Reaper isn't doing his job any longer, and people don't die anymore.

At first this seems wonderful, but eventually the Aesop rears its (sometimes ugly) head. People injured beyond repair and in excruciating pain aren't given release, or the threat of an Overpopulation Crisis is mentioned, or people abuse their newfound immortality, or the writers just flat out say reality itself will collapse. The heroes either ask Death to return, or else free Death from whatever force has contained it. If the heroes themselves got rid of death, they'll discover The Problem with Fighting Death is you just can't win. Death may levy this as punishment for some crime against the natural order, and make it worse by coupling it with Age Without Youth.

Alternately, people do still die, but they're all Rerouted from Heaven or Barred from the Afterlife, ending up as The Undead or Ghosts or stuck in the Afterlife Antechamber.

If someone else has to take over for The Grim Reaper, it's a case of Relieving the Reaper.


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  • This commercial shows a man surviving many ways of dying because Death is busy enjoying a cold one.

    Comic Books 
  • Bill & Ted;
    • In issue #2 of Bill & Ted's Excellent Comic Book, Death gets annoyed and quits, causing the dead to rise as zombies until Bill and Ted persuade him to come back.
    • A later issue has him getting fired and replaced by a Replacement Scrappy called Morty who'd apparently been waiting for the job for centuries despite not being mentioned the last time Death quit.
    • In Bill & Ted's Most Triumphant Return Chuck De Nomolos wins Chess with Death several times. One of the things he demands is Death relinquish his job and powers to Chuck's younger brother. Due to him being too lazy to do his job, this leads to a Bad Future where everybody's still alive thousands of years from now.
  • In an issue of Fables, Jack of the Tales traps Death in a sack to secure a roll in the sheets with a wealthy but terminally ill southern belle. Lets just say it makes breakfast awkward when it refuses to stay still after slaughter. When released, Death is actually grateful for his first day off, ever, and will forgive Jack on the condition that he gets a day trapped in the sack every year or so.
  • Done in Ghostbusters IDW; a friend of Egon's is hit by a car and, when Death (oh, sorry, "an entity that siphons excess psychic energy from our dimensional plane") comes for him, he manages to imprison it in a sack. People still die, because their bodies stop working, but the extra PKE in the air builds up, causing a steroid effect in all the ghosts of the story arc.
  • The Grievous Journey of Ichabod Azrael: Charon is tired of ferrying souls from limbo to their final destination for all eternity and orchestrates a scheme that will allow him to escape to the land of the living. However, without Charon being there to keep the flow of life and death stable, all reality will ultimately cease to exist.
  • In Ibis The Invincible #2, "Ibis sends Death on a Holiday", Ibis uses his Ibistick to banish Death from the city. This leads to chaos after a criminal sentenced to execution survives, breaks out, and causes a crime wave. Finally Ibis allows Death to return.
  • This becomes a worldwide problem in the Marvel Comics series Paradise X, an unforeseen side effect of the destruction of Death at the end of Universe X. This also happens in the Secret Wars II Crisis Crossover, when the naive Beyonder kills Death because "nobody wants to die".
  • The Sandman (1989):
    • Subverted in the first issue when a cabal of mystics attempt to capture Death and thus become immortal, but screw up and trap her brother Dream instead, leading to worldwide sleeping disorders. When he escapes captivity several decades later, he berates the son of his original captor, saying that he has no idea what kind of chaos would have resulted had they succeeded.
    • Also played straight later on, though it isn't really Death that takes a holiday; it's Lucifer Morningstar, who literally closes Hell. Because of this, the universe is thrown out of whack, and everyone who's ever died (or at least died and gone to Hell) returns to walk the Earth and interact with the living. There are numerous examples of various horrors, among which are the ghost of an undeveloped stillborn being cradled by its mother and a boy who's recently died watching his dead body. On the other hand, it also led to The Dead Boy Detectives, so that's all right.
    • In the short comic "Death: A Winter's Tale", she reminisces about her history and reveals there was a time billions of years ago when she fulfilled this trope because she was sick of everyone being unhappy to see her. After a while, the usual "people realize how much they really need Death" kicked in (in this case, nothing being able to die) and someone was sent to find her and get her to start up again. Interestingly enough, among the people who realized how much Death was needed was Death herself, as she was unaware of how bad things would be without her, and didn't find out until she saw what had happened in her absence.
    • Dream's brother Destruction grew weary of his role one day and just left. Destruction still occurs without him, just without its Anthropomorphic Personification to direct it. It's strongly implied that had he stayed in his station, the world would have ended in nuclear war and that the post-WWII world is a little... off due to his absence. He's currently wandering across the universe and trying his hand at various attempts at creation (artwork, cooking, music, poetry, etc.) which all fail in various ways.
    • In another story, a sorcerer of some sort is able to lock Death out of a gate that leads to his island, allowing him and his court to happily live the same day over and over again. Eventually, Death gets in and reveals that the "outside" of everyone is dead... In a bit of a subversion, it's revealed that the sorcerer believes he has forced not Death to take a vacation, but Time.
    • Hob Gadling manages immortality by boasting that he intended never to die in earshot of Dream and Death, and Dream decides that it would be an interesting thing to see what would happen and asks his sister to keep away from Hob as a favor. It is implied that the favor could be rescinded (when Hob and Dream meet each century, Dream asks him if he wants to go on). There are more immortals in canon however... it seems that these things simply happen, for various reasons, once in a while.
    • Averted in the miniseries Death: The High Cost of Living. Death literally does take a holiday (she gets a day off every century or so to experience life alongside everybody else), but, presumably because it's a regularly scheduled event, nobody gets any special exception from dying that day.
  • Superman story arc: "The Black Ring": Inverted when Lex Luthor becomes one with the child of the Phantom Zone, and he stops entropy itself. The concept of death itself is stopped and so Death has her very first vacation since the beginning of time.
  • The Thanos Imperative introduced a parallel world nicknamed the "Cancerverse," which came about when the assembled heroes of Earth killed Death in an attempt to save Captain Marvel from his terminal cancer. Things went bad. Really bad.
  • Zombies Christmas Carol starts with "Death had lost its grip, to begin with" and goes into detail about how the Hungry Death began to spread. After Scrooge reforms, this no longer applies.

    Fairy Tales 
  • "Death In A Nut", in which a boy traps death to save his mother, but then can't get bacon, cabbages, etc. His mother explains that death is natural, and he releases the Reaper.
  • In The Brothers Grimm's "Gambling Hansel", when Death comes to take Hansel, he tells Death to wait and climb up on a tree. Death does so but could not go back down for 7 years, thus making people stop dying. Because it was a gift that Hansel asked from God, a tree where one can climb up but only Hansel can allow them to go back down.
  • In one of the Appalachian "Jack Tales" (derived from English folktales), Jack, through magic, is able to see Death perched above the bed of a dying person and traps Death in a sack. Many, many years later, he meets a very old woman who complains of being so old and not able to die because some fool has Death trapped in a sack. Jack thinks about this, goes home and unties the sack and Death resumes his duties, "and Jack was just about the first one Death got, I reckon."
    • A variation on this story has Death so afraid of Jack that he runs from Jack once released and refuses to take him.
    • This is related to a folktale in which Jack traps the Devil, rather than death. Sometimes he traps him up a tree by planting crosses or carving a cross. Sometimes he tricks him into turning into a coin, which is then placed in a wallet next to a cross. Either way, Jack ends up wandering the world, carrying one of the embers of hell with him to light his way: Jack of the Lantern. Similarly, you can end up with Will-o'-the-Wisp. Jack o'Lantern was originally, fable notwithstanding, just a term for a night watchman, a guy with a lantern.
  • Alexander Afanasyev's "The Soldier And Death": Death stops being active for several years due to being trapped in a sack and hung from a tree by the titular soldier, who releases the Grim Reaper when he realizes that people have not stopped aging.
  • "Death gets stuck in a magic tree" is the idea behind the folktale Tia Miseria: an old woman traps Death in her pear tree and only agrees to release him when her oldest friend begs to be allowed to die of old age. However, Tia Miseria makes Death promise never to come for her; as long as Death keeps his promise, there will always be misery in the world.

    Fan Works 

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The trope name comes from the title of a novel, that was later adapted into a film of the same name in 1934, starring Fredric March and Evelyn Venable, remade as a telemovie in 1971 starring Monte Markham as Death, and remade again in 1998 as Meet Joe Black. Meet Joe Black avoids the trope by having Death explain that for him, killing people is just like "making a decision while shaving in the morning". The film Death Takes a Holiday leaves the trope intact.
  • This is part of the main premise of the Final Destination series; while the main cast of each film manage to evade or one-up Death in some way by avoiding dying through having premonitions of a major catastrophe that would have resulted in their deaths, Death (as a character) will not let them get away with escaping their fate.
  • In George A. Romero's Living Dead Series anyone who dies comes back as a zombie unless you remove their head or destroy their brain. One of the various theories as to why comes from Dawn Of The Dead is that Hell is full so the dead have to walk the Earth.
  • On Borrowed Time (1939) has Lionel Barrymore holding off Death (personified as a "Mr. Brink") by trapping him in an apple tree in his backyard.

  • The Book Thief: Death mentions that his job is very wearying, but he can't exactly go on a package holiday, since he's aware of what would happen if he tried.
  • Confessions (Saint Augustine): The culmination of Augustine's recounting of his friends' death is the realization that Death itself has been slain, thanks to the sheer quantity of life in Jesus overwhelming death at the Crucifixion.
  • In the first part of JosĂ© Saramago's Death With Interruptions (As intermitĂȘncias da morte), people abruptly stop dying within a particular country. Chaos ensues as expected, including a "maphia" that begins ferrying the terminally ill across the border so they can die. At a certain point Death announces that she is ending her experiment and switching to a new system in which those who are going to die will receive a polite letter a week in advance to allow them to prepare.
  • Discworld:
    • In Mort, Death takes on an apprentice (Mort) and then leaves him in charge whilst Death himself goes wandering around the Disc trying human pleasures such as fishing, partying, and getting drunk.
    • Reaper Man features Death being "laid off" by the Auditors, with quite a bit of chaos resulting, including a wizard coming back as a zombie, a rash of poltergeist activity, and, strangest of all, the city of Ankh-Morpork being threatened by a living, parasitic shopping mall.
    • In Soul Music, Death has run off to forget his troubles and his granddaughter Susan must fill in, much to her annoyance.
    • Hogfather probably counts as an inversion, because Death is supposed to be still doing his regular job in addition to Subbing for Santa and that's got to be the exact opposite of a vacation. He makes the best of it by exploiting the fact that the Hogfather can intervene directly to save a life in a way that The Grim Reaper cannot do on pain of Really Bad Things happening to the fabric of reality.
  • The Dresden Files: Although The Grim Reaper's existence hasn't been confirmed In-Universe (yet), this is basically the goal of Kumori in Dead Beat. Harry himself is intelligent enough to realize this is a horrible idea; sure, wonderful people would have more time to create great works, but what about bad people, like Hitler?...
  • In The Heroes of Olympus, this shows up in the second book, although it's more like "Death Gets Kidnapped." Gaea bound Thanatos, the Greek god of death, to allow monsters to keep escaping the underworld; a side effect of this is that no one dies.
    • The effects in this case happen gradually, with monsters that come back to life after a few years anyway, coming back sooner. Then other supernatural beings like demigods coming back to life. If it hadn't been stopped, the Muggles would have become immortal.
  • Horatio in the Wind is a children's book about a boy who traps Death to give his kingdom eternal life.
  • In Mikhail Uspensky's Kogo za smertyu posylat (Who's to be Sent after Death), Death is kidnapped by Big Bad Miroyed, and everyone stops dying. Creatures still can be hit, maimed, and burnt to ashes, but will neither bleed nor feel the pain, and even the ashes of a man will still be able to live in some manner. People in fact feel like undead, and want the Death back. When finally Zhikhar, The Hero, rescues the Death, which turns out to be also the Live, things go back to normal, and everyone who got hurt during Death's absence, dies. Therefore, instead of being praised for saving the world, Zhikhar is hated as if he ruined it.
  • In Piers Anthony's On a Pale Horse, Death goes on strike in an attempt to combat Satan. However, he fully understands the consequences of this, as does everyone else.
  • On Borrowed Time, a 1937 novel that was made into a play and film. Gramps wishes that anyone that climbs up his apple tree will have to stay there until he lets them down. Death comes for Gramps. Gramps tricks Death up into the old apple tree where he must remain until Gramps lets him down.
  • One of the protagonists of The Prophecy of the Stones is spared because of this trope, but they have to persuade Death to end her strike anyway.
  • Ray Bradbury's short story "The Scythe" features a man who becomes the Grim Reaper. When he learns what he's been doing he refuses to work, only to find that if he doesn't take the souls of people who are supposed to die they end up in an unconscious limbo state between life and death.
  • This is the premise of Sunday Without God. One day, people stopped dying and giving birth. Some characters believe it's because God abandoned the world, while others believe that humanity collectively wished to live forever, but that wish didn't turn out quite how they expected; basically, when a person "dies," they become like a zombie, and while they're still themselves and can still think and act like a normal human, without the right kind of support eventually both their mind and body will rot, driving them mad. However, the walking dead weren't without hope for rest, as soon mystical beings called "gravekeepers" began to appear, and they can grant true rest to the living deceased, and eventually both the living and deceased adjusted to this new world, and not being able to truly die just became a normal part of life. Protagonist Ai is one such gravekeeper, and she sets out on a journey to save the world.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Charmed (1998): When the demon Sirk tries to destroy his human half by killing off his remaining blood relatives in the episode "Styx Feet Under", Paige casts a spell that inadvertently blocks all death from occurring. Annoyed that he now has a backlog of work, the Angel of Death insists that the Charmed Ones help him clean up the mess and "kills" Piper so she can help him restore the Grand Design.
  • George is less than enthusiastic about her duties at the beginning of Dead Like Me and tries to shirk them... with highly negative consequences. Later in the first season however, as the basis for a Clip Show, the group gets a day off from reaping in the aptly-titled episode "Vacation". The gravelings that cause the "external circumstances" (accidents, mostly) which the group handles take a day off "every few years". Rube takes the opportunity to catch up on paperwork... from the last seventy or eighty years.
  • Death Comes to Town: Ricky was an aborted baby who miraculously survived because Death slept in.
  • The Hercules: The Legendary Journeys episode "Love Takes a Holiday" has a variation: it's Aphrodite, the goddess of love, so love is suspended instead of death. It only applies to women, and Aphrodite explains that "if men felt the same way, where would the fun be?", which may be a Lampshade Hanging since she doesn't otherwise seem to be in control of the effect.
  • In Living Color! has this happen in a literal sense, with Jim Carrey playing The Grim Reaper at a beach resort and meeting with a couple who goad him into showcasing his powers.
  • Inverted in the M*A*S*H episode "Death Takes a Holiday". While the rest of the camp celebrates Christmas, BJ, Hawkeye and Margaret are doing everything they can to keep a dying soldier alive till the next day, so his family does not to remember Christmas as the day he died. Ramming home the message that "war sucks", the doctors fail with 10 minutes to go. Hawkeye advances the clock past midnight so they can put December 26 on the death certificate.
  • One episode of Night Court has this when a middle-aged man held for examination claims to be Death. After the usual Aesop, he is released, and people resume dying.
  • The Storyteller: The episode "The Soldier & Death" features a man who keeps Death imprisoned. It was adapted from the same story as the above mentioned "Jack Tales", though with a different ending.
  • Supernatural:
    • This is the premise of "Death Takes a Holiday", in which the boys stumble upon a village where no one is dying. In this case, the village's Reapers were captured by a demon so one can be sacrificed in order to open one of the seals imprisoning Lucifer.
    • Played with in "Appointment in Samarra". Death agrees to do a favor for Dean, in exchange for Dean taking on his job for 24 hours. When Dean thinks this means he can pick and choose who gets to die, things don't turn out well. The whole point was to teach Dean An Aesop because Death was annoyed over how the Winchester brothers kept coming back from the dead.
  • The entire premise of Torchwood: Miracle Day. Played for Drama, and every Medical Horror implication of the trope is thoroughly explored.
  • The Twilight Zone (2002) has the episode "One Night at Mercy". Death (played by Jason Alexander) decides to quit, and the doctor he confides this with is thrilled. Things are looking optimistic and hopeful right up until the point that a bunch of people who were immolated are brought into the emergency room, still alive because Death has quit. Naturally, after seeing this, the good doctor finds Death and convinces him to return to work, and is taken as Death's first victim as a result (he had been suffering "headaches" up until then, in reality the symptoms of an oncoming aneurysm).
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: In the episode "Death in Chains", Sisyphus captures the Anthropomorphic Personification of Death, and we find out that it's not such a great deal: Sisyphus gets to cheat nature, but those suffering agonizing mortal injuries are subjected to And I Must Scream. If Death is not released soon, the effect becomes permanent, and the whole world will suffer this thanks to Age Without Youth.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Classical Mythology: Manipulative bastard Sisyphus is captured by Thanatos, the Greek personification of death. Sisyphus only wanted to prevent his own death (and not for the first time, either!), and accidentally ended up preventing all humans from dying at all (not that he ever gave a damn about other people's suffering in the first place). He did this to escape the punishment he would certainly receive for: breaking the laws of hospitality (he killed guests and travelers under his care to steal from them), seducing his niece, Tyro, in one of his many, many plots to kill his hated brother, Salmoneus, ratting out Zeus' romance with the nymph Aegina to her father Asopus, and just pissing off the gods in general. In the end he learned the hard way about The Problem with Fighting Death when Death's boss made a bargain with him.
  • The Bible: Referenced during the fifth plague from the Book of Revelation, where the people are tortured by locust demons for five months.
    "During those days people will seek death but will not find it; they will long to die, but death will elude them."
  • In The Talmud (Ketubot 77b), Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi manages to trick the Angel of Death into bringing him to Heaven alive, and, having acquired the knife that he uses to kill people, refuses to return it until God intervenes.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The Wizard of Id: The manager of an old folks' home tells the wizard that they're full up, so he goes to a beach and tells the reaper he needs to go back to work.

  • In the Broadway play On Borrowed Time, the protagonist traps death so he won't die with no one left to take care of his orphaned grandson.

    Video Games 
  • Played with in the online game AdventureQuest, Death has taken on a policy of sending adventurers back in exchange for being owed a favor. The characters are all very aware of this effect, comment when Death fails to send back a soul he desires, and have noted the immense number of favors Death has been accumulating but never called in. It has also been blamed for the lack of dragons as powerful as existed only 5 years earlier in the prequel game Dragonfable: once adventurers stopped dying, many more of them were able to get powerful enough to slay the rather rare most powerful dragons, leaving only the more common weaker ones.
  • In AFK Arena, the god of death, Annih, was sick of being hated by mortals, and in turn gave them a good reason to hate him by creating the demons known as Hypogeans and waging war on humankind. In the process, he intentionally abandoned his duties as the god of death. The result is that souls tend to wander aimlessly in limbo dimensions, becoming increasingly consumed by the unfinished business they had in life. Characters with supernatural connections such as the necromancer Niru, the twin deities Elijah & Lailah, and very likely others are able to to guide lost souls themselves when they have the chance, but they can only do so much.
  • Discworld II has Death take a holiday to get away from his troubles, leaving Rincewind to take his place.
  • Fallen London features this as a major aspect of the setting. Permanent death is extraordinarily rare in Fallen London. It only happens as the result of old age, disease, or an exceptionally messy death such as being cut into bits — although this is a mixed blessing. Much like in Death Becomes Her, a person's body can become worn out through injury, and those in a sufficient state of disrepair are sent off to the Tomb-Colonies, which are just as pleasant as they sound.
    What are the tomb-colonies like? More Mictlan than Milan. Travellers do go to see the sights, but the sights are mostly dark half-deserted plazas and unfriendly people wrapped in bandages. They do have some good churches though.
    • Also, the Boatman really wishes to get a holiday, as he became old and tired, but he cannot leave his post. He enters an Absurdly High-Stakes Game and wins it, with the prize being his heart's desire. He spends it on demanding a replacement for his job, so that he can retire without damaging the reality.
  • Played with in Jade Empire. The Water Dragon does not die, but she is incapacitated. As a result, people still die, but their souls don't go to the underworld to be reincarnated. This causes ghosts to crop up everywhere and eventually go crazy from their lost state. As the last Spirit Monk, it is your job to set things right by helping the ghosts resolve matters from back when they were alive and/or beating them up with kung fu magic.
  • This is a major part of the plot of Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII, as the previous game ended with the death of Etro, the goddess of death. Even though 500 years passed between the two games, no one could die of old age. However, this is also a downplayed example as people could still die from other means like disease or murder. Another issue that arose from Etro's death is that, since she was also responsible for reincarnating souls, no new life can be born, meaning the population of the world has been slowly declining.
  • In the RuneScape quest "Missing, Presumed Death", the player must investigate why a group of souls would not cross over after Death and Icthlarin (the Menaphite god of the dead) are kidnapped.
  • How the 9th Touhou Project game Touhou Kaeidzuka ~ Phantasmagoria of Flower View happens, basically. Every 60 years, a surge of death happens for whatever reason, which presumably requires the shinigami to work overtime. Komachi just happened to be slacking off this time around, leading to all the souls she wasn't escorting to the afterlife to start manifesting as flowers.

  • Irregular Webcomic! nearly had this: the Deaths did not go on holiday, but rather on strike for better wages. Their strike failed when they attempted to form a picket line across the infinite featureless plane they reside in, mainly because several Deaths just couldn't help collecting souls and broke the line. Also, they realized that the picket line was useless for blockade purposes, as the infinite featureless plane of death is (allegedly) infinite, while the picket line was finite in size.
  • Played with in Jack (David Hopkins). The eponymous personification of Wrath and Death goes on vacation for two strips. Played for laughs, ironically, considering that this is one of the few comics that would blatantly show the horrors of no Death.

    Web Original 
  • In the Hitherby Dragons story "The Brick Road", a wizard traps Death in his tree, so nothing in the fairyland can die.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • The End of Death canon, created for the 2018 Doomsday Contest. It plays all of this for extremely depressing horror. It's one of the darkest canons on the site, and that's saying something.
    • SCP-4935 is a portal leading 130 thousand years into a future where this has happened. The portal was opened by future people in an attempt to wipe out our society and avert their own.

    Western Animation 
  • The Family Guy episode "Death is a Bitch" has Death twist his ankle while trying to claim Peter, forcing the Griffins to take care of him until he gets better. Peter lets the cat out of the bag, revealing to the world that nobody can die, and Death forces him to kill the cast of Dawson's Creek in order to prove that he still has power. In the end, Peter accidentally finds a solution that spares the actors and shows that Death is still around.
  • The status of death in the universe of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy may or may not be suspended while Grim is in bondage to the kids. He's shown reading an obituary page in one episode, lamenting that nobody has died for a while. In another episode, Mandy sternly orders him "No Grim Reaping!" If nobody can really die anymore, that would certainly explain the show's Negative Continuity. On the other hand, he's shown on several occasions to, in fact, be reaping (In one episode where he and Billy switch roles, Billy ends up having to reap; the "Big Boogey Adventure" movie also showed Grim trying to reap General Skarr).
  • In the Gargoyles episode "Grief", a man traps the god of death (Anubis) by summoning him and nothing is able to die until he leaves. Anubis points out the dangers of his actions: there is still birth, but now no death to balance it out. Interestingly, he gets his happy ending: he traps Anubis to force him to return his dead son, but in the end, he is happily reunited with his son in the afterlife — a pretty sensible solution for a setting with an explicitly true afterlife. Greg Weisman regretted not actually doing anything with the idea that people became unable to die, especially since the heroes ended up captured, and in a position where the villain would try to kill them.
  • In the fourth season of Les Shadoks, the Shadoks have discovered that their world is going to get destroyed in the near future, and they can't do much to stop it. So, to avoid being killed in the catastrophe, they decide to arrest the Grim Reaper and sentence him to death. However, the Shadoks are so mean that their main distraction is to kill and torture each other. The Grim Reaper reminds them of that, and gets away. In the end, the apocalypse does happen but the Shadoks eventually find another world to live in, though not as convenient as the one they had.
  • The Simpsons: In "Treehouse of Horror XIV", Homer kills Death after trying to save Bart from him. Lisa mentions that there is now a world without death, and then cue scenes around Springfield of people not dying when they should. Homer then puts on Death's cloak for fun and accidentally becomes the new Grim Reaper (possibly an Affectionate Parody/Halloween version of The Santa Clause).

Alternative Title(s): Death Is Impossible