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Discovering Your Own Dead Body

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When a character turns out to be Dead All Along, they often only realize this upon finding their own corpse. Whether they're actually a ghost, have been cloned, time traveled to the future past the time of their death, gone to an alternate dimension or have since become a robot, the discovery is shocking and traumatizing for a character who was unaware they had actually died. If none of the above applies, and the character is indisputably alive, then it's usually an indication that the character is destined to travel to the past at some point and die there. Almost always results in a Heroic BSoD from the character in question, and often overlaps with Tomato in the Mirror.

The state of the body can be anywhere between "can be mistaken for alive but sleeping" and "skeleton with the clothes still on" but are always recognizable as being their own. Often a body found in such a state is still exactly where the person died, to indicate they were never found. For extra pathos it may even be stuffed and mounted to indicate a severe lack of respect for the deceased.

Attending Your Own Funeral may overlap if The Reveal occurs at a character's own memorial service, although that trope does not require the character in question to die first. A more benign version may involve a Psychopomp arriving to spirit off someone's soul and the recently deceased taking one final look at their discarded body. The more supernatural versions of Prematurely Marked Grave may also be related.

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


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the fifth the Garden of sinners movie, Enjou Tomoe eventually discovers his own preserved brain in the basement of his apartment building. His response shows how badly this shakes him, and his artificial body starts breaking down soon after. Earlier he almost finds his actual corpse in his old apartment, revealing that his recurring nightmare of his mother stabbing him and then herself after killing her husband actually occurred, but Shiki prevents him from clearly seeing this.
  • In an episode of Galaxy Express 999, Tetsuro watches from afar as his enigmatic guide and companion Maetel weeps over a dead body under ice on Pluto. It is later more or less confirmed that it is Maetel's own original, pre-robotization body.
  • Near the end of the third season of Hell Girl, Yuzuki runs back to her apartment and finds it in a dilapidated state, with the skeleton of a little girl lying on the floor. Turns out that she had died a long time ago, and her spirit had been living in an illusion ever since.
  • In episode 11 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Fate sees what appears to be her own body in a jar and finds out that it's actually Alicia, her mother Precia's original daughter whom she was cloned from. Worse, Precia considers Fate to be a failure (for among other things having a different dominant hand than Alicia) and willingly dies with the original Alicia's body even when Fate tries to save her.
  • Happens in Brook's backstory in One Piece. His Devil Fruit ability is to revive back when he's dead (among other slew of underworld-themed abilities). So when he dies, his soul comes back... but he had to spend a year finding his body because it's trapped on a ship in the middle of a foggy sea. By the time he found it, it already became a skeleton. That's how he becomes a Dem Bones guy nowadays.
  • Red Garden features the four main girls be taken to their own corpses laid out in coffins while it's explained that they died in the first episode and are now in artificial bodies, but can get their original bodies back if they do exactly as they are told.
  • During the fourth arc in Re:Zero, Subaru attempts to speak with Echidna and loses consciousness, immediately being shown Emilia and others grieving over him after he committed suicide in an attempt to save Rem. Subaru is then shown what has happened in each scenario after his deaths, enough to cause him to vomit off-screen.
  • Sword Art Online: After the last battle in the Alicization arc, Gabriel Miller wakes up laughing mad after being defeated by Kirito, until he notices something laying motionless in the STL unit he was using. Which turns out to be Gabriel's own body, as a result of the energy he used in the Underworld to transform One-Winged Angel and the damage Kirito gave him was so overpowering it destroyed his own fluctlight and killed him, and moments later he's Dragged Off to Hell.

    Audio Plays 
  • The Big Finish Doctor Who story Cobwebs has the Fifth Doctor and his companions arrive at a base on another planet where they find their own dead bodies, including their own clothing right down to a cut on the Doctor's coat. It turns out in the end that what appeared to be the bodies of the Doctor and his friends were actually copies created by a deranged computer who had convinced itself that it would be 'saved' once they returned.

    Comic Books 
  • In Deadman, Boston Brand is murdered during an acrobatics act. His ghost falls to the ground and thinks the other circus performers are telling a tasteless joke about covering his body, until he sees it for himself.
  • Has happened a couple times to Jonah Hex, since his final fate is to have his body stuffed and mounted as part of an old west traveling show, so it's almost inevitable that when traveling to the future he'll run into it.
    • In the final issue of Hex (1987), after he has been transported from the The Wild West to a 21st century Post Apocalyptic Wasteland, finds his own dead body stuffed and mounted in the remains of a wild west show. This is considered a good thing, because it means that someday he'll be transported back to his home time. He sets a shot glass in front of his dead body and shares a drink with himself. And while he does eventually go back to his time, the body isn't actually his, but an impostor's.
    • Happens to him again in the New 52 relaunch of his series when he finds it in Metropolis, this time however it causes him to have a Heroic BSoD.
  • In a Silver Age Superman story, Superman is pulled into the future along with two U.S. Presidents and General George Custer as part of a history lesson. He confronts the teacher, and notes that the Presidents were all taken at the point of their deaths. The teacher confirms that Superman was fated to die during his current mission, and offers to show Superman his own dead body. It turns out he had been brought into an alternate future.
  • Swamp Thing eventually finds the skeleton of Alec Holland, in the process discovering that he wasn't the real Alec and was just a sentient plant that had absorbed Alec's memories. Swampy was lead there by the ghost of Alec himself, and after retrieving the skeleton Alec's soul is able to move on to the afterlife.
  • In issue #29 of The Transformers: More than Meets the Eye, the mysterious coffin the Lost Light found floating in space last issue is revealed to contain the embalmed corpse of Rodimus — minus half his head — who is at present alive and well in his captaincy of the ship. Upon determining that the corpse belongs to his future self, he immediately attempts to cut his arm off with a chainsaw, reasoning that since the corpse still has both arms, his death won't come to pass if he's missing one. Fortunately for Rodimus, it turns out to be a case of Dead Alternate Counterpart.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Smurfed Behind: Smurfing To Heaven", Empath is awakened by an angelic version of Smurfette who told him that he had died, and he doesn't believe it until he sees his own body lying on the ground, lifeless.
  • In A Growing Fire In My Heart, in chapter 18 when Chrysalis abandons Lord Redskull and his followers to Celestia and attempts to flee as they are all being slaughtered to save herself, she begins boasting to herself that she always survives, right before feeling something painful hit her neck. The pain goes away quickly but she feels cold for some reason, and turns around to see her own headless body and decapitated head, with Luna standing nearby cleaning her sword, having beheaded Chrysalis from behind as she fled. Shortly afterwards her ghost is Dragged Off to Hell by The Grim Reaper.
  • In We Are All Pokémon Trainers, when Tagg visits the PMD-B timeline he comes across the skeleton of his multiversal counterpart, entombed for 600 years after he died of old age. He chooses not to attempt attaining his memories because he figures it might be too traumatic.
  • Variation in White Devil of the Moon. While exploring the ruins of the Moon Kingdom, Nanoha and the Sailor Senshi come across the bodies of their previous incarnations (all the bodies had been perfectly preserved due to the lack of oxygen on the Moon). Luna had specifically brought them their in hopes of triggering some of Nanoha's memories as princess Serenity.

    Film — Animation 
  • The "Johnny Appleseed" segment of Melody Time ends with Johnny, now an old man, dying quietly in his sleep. His guardian angel summons his soul to Heaven, but first Johnny pauses to stare at the strange man lying under a tree. Johnny is shocked when the angel tells him he's "just your husk, Johnny, your mortal husk."

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Avatar: The Way of Water: A variant occurs when Quadritch, or technically a Na'vi Recombinant Avatar with his memories implanted into it, discovers his original self's skeletal remains, which still lay where he was killed in battle in the previous movie. He crushes the skull in his hand before moving on.
  • A variation in Avengers: Endgame; time travel causes past Nebula's cyborg systems to pick up and project memories from her present self, allowing past Thanos to watch himself get decapitated. Unusually for this trope, he simply smiles in satisfaction and calls it "destiny fulfilled". It's not completely clear whether he is totally uncaring, or guessed it was coming from the context, but either way he takes it much better than most people hit with this trope.
  • In Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, Stephen Strange is shown the body of one of his alternate selves by America Chavez as proof of her story. At the movie's climax, he's able to dreamwalk into the corpse to fight Scarlet Witch since the alternate you you dreamwalk into doesn't have to be alive.
  • Hellraiser: Hellseeker: The main character survives a fatal car crash in which his wife dies. The rest of the film is a Mind Screw, as he's constantly experiencing hallucinations and isn't able to tell what is real or not. The ending reveals that he's been in Hell all along after Pinhead shows him his own body.
  • Impostor: A variation on the trope where Dr. Olham becomes a fugitive after he's accused of being a bio-robot infiltration unit sent by a hostile alien race and set to explode when he comes in contact with the Earth's chancellor. His wife is then revealed to be the real impostor, but then it turns out that both he and his wife had been replicated when he discovers the real Olham's body.
  • Inverted in Moon when Sam's older clone agrees to die in the harvester so the newer Sam can escape to Earth.
  • A Mind Screw version in Mulholland Dr., where Rita and Betty find the body of Diane Selwyn, who is Betty in real life/a Dying Dream/an alternate reality/the future/what have you.
  • A slighly less Mind Screw version in Triangle, where Sally finds dozens of her dead bodies, killed in the past/future/whatever the tense in the Stable Time Loop is.
  • In both Topper and Topper Returns, freshly deceased ghosts (Cary Grant and Constance Bennett in the first one, Joan Blondell in the latter) discover they are dead by noticing their own corpses. Grant and Bennett are only mildly annoyed to find out that they died in a car accident. Blondell's character discovers that she was murdered, and the plot has her enlisting Cosmo Topper to find out who killed her.
  • An interesting variation in the 1991 film Shattered: When Dan Merrick dredges up the preserved corpse of Jack Stanton, he discovers that its face looks exactly like his. He then realizes that he's not Dan Merrick at all, but Jack Stanton, who suffered Laser-Guided Amnesia and underwent Magic Plastic Surgery after a car wreck.

  • A magical version is at the end of The Adventures of Pinocchio (the original tale, by Carlo Lorenzini a.k.a. Collodi, not the Disney version). By courtesy of the Blue Fairy, Pinocchio wakes as a human boy. Then he watches for a long time his old lifeless wooden body, abandoned on a stool, and he is very, very pleased to be a now a "good boy". In this case the character is not dead: well, excluding Alternative Character Interpretation.
  • In Ancillary Justice, the protagonist is an AI who controls a lot of individual bodies. Therefore, she gets to have the experience of finding her own dead body several times.
  • Bruce Coville's Book of... Spine Tinglers: The protagonist of The Thing in Auntie Alma's Pond does this near the end when she's forced to confront the truth about herself and finds her own body in the pond, having been caught in the chain for the boat's anchor when she tossed it overboard.
  • Played with in Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency: although the ghost who finds his own corpse already knew he was dead, he still faints upon finding it, because it falls out of a cupboard at him Peekaboo Corpse-style.
  • In the Legends trilogy of Dragonlance, Caramon and Tasselhoff end up traveling to a Bad Future where Caramon's twin Raistlin destroyed all of the other gods and the two only realize they are in the future of their own world rather than another when they discover the ruins of their hometown complete with the tombstone of Caramon's wife Tika, and Caramon's own lifeless corpse lying in front of it.
  • In the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Alien Bodies, the Doctor becomes entangled with a strange auction selling a Time Lord body to the highest bidder. It turns out to be his own.
  • Philip K. Dick's "Impostor" ends the same way as the film adaptation: the protagonist finds his own body in a wrecked spaceship and realizes that it is human and he is the android duplicate he thought he had been wrongly accused of being, which triggers a bomb in him that destroys the Earth.
  • In the novel John Dies at the End, Dave eventually finds a body that looks just like his and assumes it's an alternate duplicate meant to Kill and Replace him. But after failing to find the distinguishing mark for the clones on the body's foot and instead finding it on himself he realizes that he killed the original Dave and took his place, but had no memory of this.
  • In The Ka of Gifford Hillary, the eponymous character realizes he is seemingly dead when he gets to see his own body - from the outside. He is later on faced with the problem of re-animating his body and getting out of the coffin.
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard has the title protagonist forced to look at his corpse prepped for burial into a chapel. He's very weirded out, and quite dismayed since he actually wished to be cremated.
  • The protagonist of James Herbert novel Nobody True is a man with the power to astrally project, but after a night drifting incorporeally around central London he comes home to find he's been rather brutally murdered in his bed while he wasn't there. A Who Dunnit To Me plot ensues.
  • The Misfit of Demon King Academy: Upon reincarnating in the form of a half-demon, one of the first things Emilia Ludowell witnesses is her lifeless prior body from when she was a pure demon. This is averted in the anime as Anos disintegrates her dead body as he reincarnates her into a buck-naked half-demon.
  • Early into Red Dwarf novel Last Human, the crew find an alternate Starbug crashed. When they board the alternate 'Bug, The Cat discovers his alternate counterpart's severed head. When the others go to get a portable generator and some proper lighting, Lister and Rimmer are left alone on board. While Rimmer, of course, stays put, Lister explores the ship and finds the alternate Kryten's remains, Rimmer's destroyed light bee and Kochanski badly wounded in a deep sleep booth. He's somewhat disturbed that his own alternate self is noticeably absent, with good reason.
  • In the science fiction short novel Rogue Moon a special kind of transporter is used to make two copies of a person which are briefly telepathic; one copy is sent through an alien death trap while the other copy can see & hear what the other is seeing so they can learn the safe way through the maze. When we see the final run through the maze we are also shown hundreds of copies of the same man lying about having been killed in various ways.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Starbuck in Battlestar Galactica (2003) finds a crashed Viper with her own body inside it during the final season. She and the Leoben that find are completely freaked out by it. What exactly the Starbuck we've been following actually is never gets made clear, but she's implied to be an Angel Unaware since the crash.
    • The same episode has Chief Tyrol wander around a post-apocalyptic Earth, drawn to something he can't explain until he comes across a shadow silhouette burnt against the wall of a building. This triggers the memories of his own death as a result of a nuclear holocaust. When the rest of the Final Five catch up with him, he points to the shadow and remarks wistfully this was his past self.
    • Somewhat common with Cylons in general due to their Resurrective Immortality. Their reactions at coming across their own bodies vary between indifference, annoyance and sadness depending on the circumstances of their deaths.
  • While she didn't exactly discover it, Being Human (UK) establishes that the new character of Alex Millar is now a ghost when she joins vampire Hal in standing over her own dead body after Hal has been tricked into drinking blood from Alex's corpse.
  • In the first episode of season 3 of Continuum, Kira, having been protected from alterations to the timeline, steps outside and finds New Timeline Kira's dead body. Which on one level simplifies things, since it means there aren't two Kiras running around, but on a more immediate level is all kinds of worrying.
  • CSI: NY: A variation of the alternative dimension type. During his "limbo" period in "Near Death," Mac subconsciously visits and converses with each member of his team. When he gets to the M.E., he finds Sid about to remove a sheet from a body. He asks Sid to wait and wants to know if that's himself on the table. Sid says, "Only if you've given up." They continue talking, but the body is never shown.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Space Museum" the Doctor and his companions land on a planet but they're Just One Second Out of Sync. While they're out of sync they wander around the museum and find their own stuffed bodies on display. When the timelines resync they go on the run from the authorities to make sure that they don't wind up dead.
    • In "The Name of the Doctor", the Doctor says that a time traveler should always avoid this trope.
      Doctor: When you are a time traveller, there is one place you must never go. One place in all of space and time you must never, ever find yourself.
      Clara: Where?
      Doctor: You didn't listen, did you? You lot never do. That's the problem. The Doctor has a secret he will take to the grave. It is discovered. He wasn't talking about my secret. No, no, no, that's not what's been found. He was talking about my grave. Trenzalore is where I'm buried.
      Clara: How can you have a grave?
      Doctor: Because we all do, somewhere out there in the future, waiting for us. The trouble with time travel, you can actually end up visiting.
    • Happens to the Twelfth Doctor in "Heaven Sent" hundreds of millions of times, although he doesn't realize it's his skull and dust until it's almost time to die again.
  • Happens a couple of times on Ghost Whisperer when someone realizes they're dead.
    • The most common is a newly "born" ghost in the hospital, confused at everyone running around until they see the doctors pulling a sheet over their body.
    • Melinda is helping a realtor who's being haunted by the ghost of her husband who believes (wrongly) she poisoned him. Melinda finds her after she smashed up her office in a rage. The husband shows up and the pair spend a few minutes bickering at each other...until it hits the woman she can see and hear him. Melinda sighs "I was trying to figure out how to tell you" and waves as the woman turns around to find her own body lying on the ground and realizes she accidentally electrocuted herself during her rampage.
  • Good Omens: On reading the address for his fourth delivery, the International Express Man steps out into a busy street where he’d previously had a close call, a truck screams past, and for a moment it looks like he made it again. But then the Fourth Horseman draws his attention to the mangled body next to him.
  • In the Space: 1999 episode "Ring Around the Moon", Carter and Koenig discover each other's corpses, perfectly preserved by vacuum, in a crashed Eagle on the other Moon.
  • Stargate Universe: A variation in "Time". Rush discovers a skull on the jungle planet but does not realise until later that it belongs to a version of himself from an Alternate Timeline.
  • What kickstarts the plot of "Time's Arrow" in Star Trek: The Next Generation is finding android Data's severed head in a cavern beneath San Francisco, with evidence suggesting it has been there for over five hundred years. When the crew attempts to comfort Data over this, he is instead delighted that he will have a "death" since it means he has a finite time to exist and won't see all of his friends live and die while he continues on forever. Also a notable aversion of Living Forever Is Awesome. Technically subverted; after the time-travel accident occurs that leaves Data's head in the nineteenth century, the rest of the crew return to their present with Data's body and are able to reactivate him using the salvaged head.
  • In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode "Visionary", Chief O'Brien has several brief jumps into the future. By the end of the episode, O'Brien — or, at least, the O'Brien the episode ends with — has witnessed two alternate versions of himself die and come upon the sheet-covered corpse of a third. He's understandably somewhat freaked by this.
    O'Brien: I've had a few brushes with death in my career, but... there was something about watching myself being killed. Feeling my own neck for a pulse that wasn't there.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): The episode "Death Ship" has the crew of a starship finding a crashed ship with bodies looking just like their own, down to the ID cards. They speculate on what happened ranging from time travel to aliens playing tricks on them and the captain orders them to take off and land again and again to prove that they're not going to crash... and Rod Serling implies that they've become the Flying Dutchman of space.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is one of the rarely-used mind games that The Undertaker employed to intimidate his opponents. Its most memorable use was against Diesel as part of their feud going into WrestleMania XII, when Diesel found a casket with himself inside it on an episode of RAW.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the Dungeons & Dragons Curse of Strahd campaign, during the "Death House" module the party is tasked with going inside the haunted house by two children, Rose and Thorn, after being told that there's a monster in the house, and upon reaching a room in the attic find their skeletons, since their insane parents had locked them in there centuries ago and forgot about them. The children's ghosts then appear and attempt to possess the party if they try to leave, but the party can put their spirits to rest by placing them in the crypts that their parents already made for them in the house's basement.

    Video Games 
  • It happens frequently in some games allowing you to quickly reappear at a Respawn Point (particular in FPS like Team Fortress 2 and Halo) or in games allowing you to loot your own body (particular in Survival Sandbox such as Unturned) though in most cases your body just disappears after your death and only your items remain.
  • Downplayed in the sense that it's not complete death, but in Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth, the Player Character "Aiba" is forcefully logged out after being attacked by an unknown creature in EDEN, manifesting as a semi-corporeal data mass with no idea what happened to their body—until they visit a secret ward in the local hospital and find victims of "EDEN Syndrome", a coma-like sickness which only affects those who were logged into the virtual world. It is here they discover their physical body, and they realize they're a victim of EDEN syndrome too—it is later revealed that the creature which attacked them is the culprit behind EDEN Syndrome, but Aiba's narrow escape (they were attacked while logging out, as opposed to the other victims whom were ambushed unawares and never got the chance to start the logout process) allowed their mental data to escape to the physical world as a Liminal Being. From this point on, one of Aiba's goals is to return to their body somehow, since, despite their "Half-Cyber Body" having some neat abilities, they're also on limited time before their mental data disperses completely and they face a Cessation of Existence. Unfortunately, they ultimately fail due to pushing their Half-Cyber body over the limit to save their friends but Alphamon is able to create a copy of Aiba by using the scraps of mental data they found and combined them with the memories from Aiba's Digimon companions, and sending it back to their body to revive them.
  • In the beginning of episode two of BioShock Infinite: Burial at Sea, Elizabeth finds her own dead body, revealing that her Rapture version was killed by the Big Daddy immediately after the battle at the end of episode one. Which is a major problem, since by returning to an alternate reality where she had died before, Elizabeth has lost all of her reality-warping and dimension-hopping powers.
  • In The Cat Lady, Susan Ashworth dies at the very start of the game, finding her own body three times in three different positions when she is in the land of the dead.
  • In Shrapnel, the player can die repeatedly and find the resulting corpses. This is because you're stuck in a Time Crash caused by the accidental destruction of a time machine. Those bodies are technically from deaths that occurred in alternate timelines.
  • Diablo III: During the "Finding the Forgotten" event, inside the House of Corpses, several corpses are scattered, and a frightened woman called Lady Arsonia asks player(s) to help find her precious pendant. After checking several corpses, she will find the pendant and recognize the bearer as herself. Furious and refusing to believe that she is dead, she will attack the players as a unique ghost. Killing her ends the event.
  • During the main quest of the Skyrim total conversion Enderal, one of your companions is startled to find your own dead body (alongside the body of a companion who died during the prologue) in an ancient underground temple, though you both quickly come to the conclusion that it's an illusion sent by the High Ones to confuse and deceive you. It's not.
  • In the fourth Fatal Frame game, Choushiro Kirishima sees the events that lead to his death prior to the game and looks down at his own body on the ground, where he woke up at the start of his story with no memory of how he got there.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: Security Breach features an ending in which Vanny is unmasked post-death, confirming that she is Vanessa, the PizzaPlex's Head of Security. However, a post-credits scene shows another Vanessa standing on top of the burning PizzaPlex looking down at the sight with a shocked expression. One way to read this is that the second Vanessa is a ghost staring at her own dead body.
  • It happens frequently enough in Ghost Trick that one of the first things Sissel says to ghosts he runs into is, "You're the person lying on the ground there". This also applies to Sissel himself, who kicks off the game waking up in a junkyard to see his own corpse lying on the ground. It turns out, that wasn't his corpse. He does see his corpse not long after, but it's still moving around because of ghost powers.
  • In Journey to the Savage Planet, if you die without any materials, you can not only go back to where you died, but scan it with your visor to add it to the index.
  • In Lost Ember, the only (non-holographic) body in the game is the skeleton found in the opening sequence. The spirit you're following believes it's his, but reconsiders after seeing that the name on the amulet clutched in its hand doesn't belong to him. The appearance of Kalani's spirit immediately after leads him to conclude that the body is Kalani's, and your character is her reincarnation, keeping the trope intact. The Reveal at the end confirms that the body was his after all.
  • In the Dark Side of the Moon mode of Moonbase Alpha, you can potentially hallucinate seeing your own corpse when you contract Space Madness. But it’s just a hallucination. Right?
  • You and the one other survivor in The Persistence have corpses of their original bodies placed somewhere around the ship for you to discover. Your body doesn't do anything, but sucking the DNA from your friend's body lets you clone them and use their statistics.
  • In Returnal, Selene Vassos crash lands on the alien world of Atropos and discovers her dead body, learning she already died on the planet. After the first death, you can find other bodies from previous runs which have scout reports from later timelines. If you're connected online, you can find dead players and scavenge their bodies at the cost of Ether, or avenge them and fight a Malformed miniboss to get more Ether and better loot.
  • Serena strongly implies that the corpse in the armoire belongs to the narrator, explaining his initial reluctance to open the armoire and see its contents. At first he panics and believes he killed his wife, the title character (especially since the body is desiccated enough that an immediate identification isn't possible), but the end of the game suggests it was the other way around. The clock on the wall also stops when you find it.
  • SIGNALIS: In the Memory and Promise endings Elster can find her own corpse inside the ship, confirming she's not the original Elster but either a construct of Ariane's mind or another Elster with the original's resurfaced memories. Which is which is just as up to interpretation as the rest of the game.
  • A possible outcome of an archaeological expedition in Stellaris. This earns the leading scientist a unique archaeology debuff.
  • You can visit the future version of your vessel in Sunless Skies, find it a frozen wreck lost with all hands, and loot the navigation chart. You can go on a similar dive in the expansion for Sunless Sea by the same company, but Sea's stronger theme works against the game here, as Sea is about sea stories and sailors' tales where Skies is about any weird crap in space, and finding your own corpse doesn't really work in a sea story.
  • The System Shock Infinite mod for System Shock 2 begins with the unmodded game's final battle, then with the unmodded game's opening but with subtle changes plus your own corpse next to the word "FOREVER" written on a wall in blood. It's rad.
  • In a variation, Yuyuko Saigyouji of Touhou Project is aware that she's dead and a ghost, but doesn't realize that the body under the demonic cherry tree that she seeks to resurrect is her own due to Ghost Amnesia until the end of her boss battle in Perfect Cherry Blossom. Furthermore, actually succeeding in resurrecting her body would not only be undoing all the good her death did after she was Driven to Suicide because of her powers to control the spirits of the dead, since her body was then used to seal said tree, but also destroy her ghost completely.
  • In Zero Time Dilemma, Sigma and Diana transport themselves to another timeline and find the bodies of their alternate selves.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 3 has a moment where Eunie discovers a husk that looks similar to herself, even carrying a dogtag with the same name. Not long after, Eunie has flashbacks of a time where she was in a different colony and attacked by a Moebius, which undeniably led to her death. This moment has her shaking whenever the thought comes back to her, including when she remeets the Consul that turned into the Moebius that killed her. Turns out that basically anyone was capable of doing this, as Kevesi and Agnians who die in battle are reborn to continue fighting. While Eunie's situation is rare, it's not unique, as a few other characters can acquire de ja vu or even regain all their memories depending on what from their old life reignites their memory.


    Western Animation 
  • BoJack Horseman: "The View from Halfway Down" takes place in a recurring dream of BoJack's, where he attends a dinner party and show with his deceased friends. However, there are signs that something is different in this dream, as it doesn't end where it usually does and BoJack keeps coughing up sludge. BoJack speaks with Secretariat (who also represents BoJack's father), who reveals to BoJack that he's not going to wake up, flicking a cigarette into a pool...showing BoJack the floating silhouette of his drowned body. However, the next episode reveals this as a subversion as BoJack gets found and rescued from the pool.
  • In the two-part G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episode "Worlds Without End", a few members of the team found themselves in an Alternate Universe where the world was taken over by Cobra. Grunt and Steeler (who weren't with the group that discovered the alternate timeline) stumble upon the skeletons of three Joes. They're shocked to discover one of them is Clutch (who's also with the group) while the other two are themselves.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: In "Cat Blanc", when Ladybug travels to the Bad Future, she finds herself cataclysmed into a fragile statue in the ruins of Paris, courtesy of the titular villain.


Video Example(s):


Eunie Finds her Husk

When the team finds the ruins of a Keves Gold Rank colony, they search for anything that can be salvaged. Eunie finds a lone husk that had been there for a long time, with its face intact and displaying absolute terror in its last moments. Eunie examines the dog tag and not only finds her name, but begins having flashbacks and nightmares to having been in that battle in her previous cycle.

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