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Meaningful Funeral

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Charles Caryl Coleman - Funeral March

"Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone.
Silence the piano and, with muffled drum,
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come."
W. H. Auden, Funeral Blues

So a well-liked character died and we don't feel like laughing. We need to find a way to cope with the loss.

Much like in real life, the cast assembles to bid farewell. Even cynical shows, and so much more the idealistic ones, make the characters emphasize their feeling of community. We get to see all the reactions, from crying over composure to quiet shock. We get to see the stylish cast in subdued clothes. We get to see a scenery shot from further away to show the mood - and who's still alive. The soundtrack gets quite creative and the weather will be fitting for the mood: Rainy and cloudy. Or there can be snow.

A speech, a song or a poem might be performed by one of the cast. It will praise the deceased, recall memories of him or her, emphasize the ideals they lived by and express the cast's (and with them the public's and maybe even writer's) sorrow. The scene ends on a very moving note that can be anything between hopeful, heartbroken and tragic-comic.

A well-made funeral scene can virtually sum up what the show is all about.

A funeral being Due to the Dead, arranging a Meaningful Funeral or attending with proper respect may be used to characterize good characters, and denying one or behaving disrespectfully at one likewise for evil characters.

A Reality Subtext can make the Meaningful Funeral even more meaningful (i.e., The Character Died with Him).

A less formal but similar situation is To Absent Friends. Indeed, characters may go from a Meaningful Funeral to To Absent Friends, although this can be hard to pull off as they revolve about the same emotions. Personal Effects Reveal also often dwells on the grief. When the funeral is not meant to be taken seriously, you've got The "Fun" in "Funeral".

See Funerals for more about real funeral customs.

This should go without saying, but as a Death Trope, all spoilers will be unmarked. You have been warned.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Attack on Titan shows the bodies left behind by the latest Titan attack being piled onto a giant stake and burned. During this cremation, the inner monologue of several characters is shown, particularly that of Smug Snake Jean, who recalls seeing Marco's mangled corpse and those of the unidentified ones. Remembering how Marco was a born leader and saying that Jean, despite knowing and admitting that he's a coward, would make a great leader, Jean heads to the other survivors of the 104th squad and tells them of his decision: he will join the Survey Corps, to fight against the threat of the Titans in hopes of not losing anymore friends and having to witness these cremations.
  • In Black Lagoon, Balalaika's Start of Darkness involves her rallying a group of disaffected war veterans at a funeral.
  • In Bleach, after Lieutenant Chojiro Tadaoki Sasakibe of the First Division is killed in action at the start of the Thousand Year Blood War arc, the entirety of the Gotei 13 gathers to perform a military funeral for him. During said funeral, the full extent of his service to Captain-Commander Yamamoto is revealed by Byakuya: Sasakibe had not only served in the Gotei 13 since its inception, he had also directly served Yamamoto as his right-hand man since before the first Quincy war 1,000 years ago and was one of the first Shinigami to achieve Bankai. In spite of this, however, he never once attempted to become Captain, something he could've easily accomplished; instead, he preferred to remain as Yamamoto's direct subordinate. While this earned him some amount of ridicule by his peers, who took this as a sign of weakness, those who had been around for longer and were aware of his history had nothing but praise and respect for his service and dedication. Byakuya also reveals that, in his 1,000 years of service, Sasakibe had never once participated in battle and had never used his Bankai in front of other people. When the Vandenreich attacked the Seireitei in order to declare war against Soul Society, the ensuing battle was so devastating that Sasakibe attempted to use his Bankai in battle for the first time; the Vandenreich stole it and Sasakibe lost his life shortly after.
  • Midway through the first season of Code Geass, Shirley's father is killed, the first of many tragic events, immediately followed by a rainy day funeral. About one season later, Shirley herself is killed by Rolo. The funeral is no less a Tear Jerker, especially considering her poor mother. Lastly, after Rolo sacrifices himself to rescue Lelouch from the Black Knights betraying him, Lelouch privately buries him with his own hands.
  • The Death Note anime left one of these on the cutting room floor; it's viewable here, with massive spoilers, obviously. It's probably just as well for them that the final production toned it down a bit.
  • Dragon Ball Z: When Vegeta is killed by Frieza, Goku buries him on the spot with a few understanding words. In the English dub, the eulogy is a bit more long-winded.
  • At the end of his arc in Fist of the North Star, Shin kills himself so that he can’t be blown up by Kenshiro’s technique following their fight. Knowing that Shin loves Yuria as much as he did, Kenshiro chooses to bury his rival’s body.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has Maes Hughes' funeral, one of the most infamous tear jerkers in the series. Mostly because his three-year-old daughter can't understand why they're burying her daddy, and tells them to stop because he has work to do.
    Elysia: Mom, how come? Why are they burying Daddy? Who are those people? Why are they burying him? Why?
    Gracia: He's gone, baby.
    Elysia: They can't! I don't like it! Daddy said he had lots of work to do, and if they bury him, he can't do it when he wakes up!
    Gracia: Elysia!...
    Elysia: Stop them, Mommy! Daddy needs to do his work! He told me! Why are you letting them bury Daddy, Mommy? Why? Daddy, wake up!!!
    • Even more meaningful is the exchange between Mustang and Hawkeye after the service, both standing before Hughes' grave. Up to this point Mustang has been played as the flippant, arrogant man who seems incapable of doing anything wrong. The transmutation he speaks of could at worst kill him, and is a known sin.
      Mustang: "Alchemists as a whole...we really are horrible creatures, aren't we? There's a part of me that's desperately trying to crack the theories of human transmutation right now. I think I understand what drove those boys when they tried to bring back their mother."
      Hawkeye: "Are you alright, sir?"
      Mustang: "I'm fine...except" *puts on his cap and stares to the cloudless sky* "it's a terrible day for rain."
      Hawkeye: "What do you mean? It's not raining."
      Mustang: *with a single tear rolling down his cheek* " is."
    • One of Wrath's biggest Kick the Dog moments is when he later recalls the funeral, which he attended in his public identity of Fuhrer King Bradley, and reveals that his hands weren't shaking because he was moved by the event, but because he was furious at the little girl for being so annoying.
    • In Fullmetal Alchemist (2003), Mustang bitterly points out the Tragic Irony of how Hughes, who pulled from him the brink and offered career support from below, died first and was promoted above him. Somewhat understated, Mustang is angry that Hughes died, as Hughes was keeping him alive with this support.
  • Hellsing has two: one for all the soldiers that died in the Valentine brothers' attack and a brief one for Anderson, right in the middle of the war with Millenium, made even briefer when it is interrupted by Walter, who turned out to be The Mole.
  • The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer: after Tarou dies, the Knights show up to the next battle in funeral attire.
  • Naruto: The funeral of the third Hokage and Iruka's talk with Naruto.
    Kurenai: It's raining.
    Asuma: Even the heavens weep.
    • Also, Asuma's. The most meaningful part is who fails to show up.
  • One Piece - for the Going Merry.
    • Later in the series Shanks and the Whitebeard Pirates have one for Portgas D. Ace and Captain Edward Newgate.
  • Subverted in Reborn! (2004) when we found out that the ten-years-later Tsuna was in a coffin in an unmarked forest, dead. What makes it odd is the fact that it wasn't a meaningful funeral, in spite of the fact that he was the well known and well loved boss of the greatest mafia family in the world. This could be considered a Meaningful Funeral with an audience of one, considering that the ten-years-later Gokudera was there.
  • In the first episode of YuYu Hakusho, Yuusuke finds out how much the people around him really care about him at his own funeral, which inspires him to go through the difficult ordeals necessary to live again.

    Comic Books 
  • Runaways has one: Gert's... in which Gert herself assisted as it was the funeral of her future self.
    • Coupled with this exchange between Gert and Molly:
      Molly: Why do they call it a plot, anyway?
      Gert: Because this is how every story ends.
  • Morpheus' funeral in The Sandman (1989). As much for what goes on with the new incarnation of Dream and his brother Destruction as for the reactions of the attendees.
    • Not just Morpheus' funeral, but also Wanda's and Zelda's, though the latter gets less screen time.
  • Unusual variant: When Mister Miracle apparently died in Justice League International, the comic took an issue to deal with the funeral and the reactions from all his teammates, with everyone up to and including Guy Gardner struggling with their grief. The result is startlingly moving given that a) the Mister Miracle who died was actually a robot impostor and b) the readers knew that at the time.
  • Captain Marvel's. Though the biggest ordeal is made of his deathbed.
  • The Invisible Woman once attended her own funeral, seeing as it was herself from the future. She even, like the Runaways example, gave her own eulogy.
  • The funeral of the Comedian in Watchmen, including several of his former comrades paying tribute. And at least one of his former enemies. As befits the book's Deconstruction status, it shows us the solemn ceremony, including his burial with full military honors. It juxtaposes that with individual characters silently remembering what The Comedian was really like.
  • Splinter's funeral in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles was one of these, featuring a significant amount of the series' supporting cast and even the creators themselves in a cameo.
  • After his Heroic Sacrifice, the original Starman, Ted Knight, was given a full-issue funeral with eulogies by various Justice Society members, Starmen, and his cousin the Phantom Lady, amongst others. It helped transition into the series' final story arc.
  • Despite the fact she was The Mole all along, betrayed them all savagely (once she had learned their secret IDs), strung them all up in a HIVE trap, then attempted to kill them all, killing only herself in the process, the Teen Titans still gave Terra a hero's funeral and statue in their memorial hall.
  • The funeral of Bart Allen (Impulse, Kid Flash, the Flash) was given a lot of attention in the Titans comic. That he came back a year or so later (as comic characters are wont to do) dampens it a bit, but doesn't cancel out the tearjerkers entirely... Especially since it involves watching the video he made, telling people how much he'd loved being Kid Flash and wanted to live up to his Grandfather's legacy - a video which is just a bit out of date, as he keeps talking to characters who died before Bart did.
    • There's an additional Tear Jerker in that Bart's co-creator Mike Wieringo died of a heart attack a few months later.
  • There isn't really a funeral, but the ''Star Wars comic story "Chewbacca" is about the preparation for one. R2-D2 and C-3PO travel the galaxy to collect eulogies and anecdotes from those who knew and loved Chewie.
  • Neil Gaiman's graphic novel Whatever Happened to The Caped Crusader? features Batman's spirit attending his own funeral, during which his allies and rogues gallery deliver their eulogies and give vastly differing accounts on the circumstances surrounding his death.
  • In The Death of Superman, there was a huge funeral in Metropolis, politicians, superheroes, and civilians got together in a huge procession. Even Batman was in the shadows making sure nothing bad happened. What was extremely tearjerking was what was going on in Kansas with the Kents who couldn't even go to their own son's funeral. They simply had their own private memorial at the crater where they found their son so many years ago.
  • X-Men:
    • Volume 1, issue 38, is the first funeral of Jean Gray. While it's largely a recap of the series' events to date, it concludes with Cyclops taking a leave of absence from the team.
    • Nightcrawler's and Cable's in X-Men: Second Coming. The X-Men being in a low mood at the time, there's finger-pointing and angry yelling.
  • Chapter Two of All Fall Down revolves around one of these for all the heroes and villains who died in The Fall. The book ends with another one for Sophie.
  • The death of Aunt May in Spider-Man. Granted, it was later retconned out, but it was a touching issue where she reveals to Peter that she already knew he was Spider-Man. As Peter holds her hand on her death-bed and Mary Jane is standing by, he says a quote from Peter Pan. Even Ben Reilly is lurking outside the window.
  • Captain America in the Fallen Son mini-series.
    • Additionally, Dan Jurgens' run in 2001 ended with a short story that had Cap dead, with him given a huge funeral that features reactions from the entire Marvel Universe.
  • Nick Fury in an issue of the Incredible Hulk that took place after he was killed by an insane Punisher (in truth it was a LMD)
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths #7: Supergirl's public funeral in Chicago was attended by literally thousands of people, many among them fellow heroes and super-beings (including Wonder Woman, Batman and Captain Marvel) of stature and reputation somewhat larger than hers. Superman is unable to attend, since Clark Kent is required to cover the event for his day job, but gives her a private one later.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 
  • Sitka of Brother Bear is given an elaborate farewell ceremony after his death saving his two brothers from a bear.
  • In How to Train Your Dragon 2, Stoick is given a Viking funeral after giving his life to save his son.
  • Ellie's funeral is shown in a single scene toward the beginning of Up; it takes place in the same church where she and Carl had been married.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Across the Universe (2007) has two of these at once; one of which is a military funeral, and the other of which is for a black child who was slain in the Detroit riots. It was essentially a funeral montage with a gospel choir version of "Let It Be" playing in the background. Crying was perfectly acceptable.
  • Backdraft: While the code '3-3-5' (signifying return to quarters) is rung on a firehouse bell, the flag on the casket is folded into a triangle and handed by the fire chief to the grieving widow.
    • The procession before the actual funeral. Headed by the Chicago Emerald Society Marching Band in full Scottish/Irish regalia playing 'Balmoral' on bagpipes and drums, then two fire trucks converted to hearses carrying the caskets with the crew members of Engine/Ladder Company 17 in dress uniform marching alongside, then the family members of the fallen firefighters walking after the fire trucks, then the senior commanders of the Chicago Fire Department and hundreds of firefighters in dress uniform marching after that.
  • Subverted and later played straight in Bad Boys for Life. Mike is shot several times, after which Marcus watches over him in the hospital. Next is an outdoor scene in which Marcus is crying while wearing a suit, but it turns out it's his daughter's wedding and he's crying tears of happiness. A similar scene follows Captain Howard's shooting, but he isn't as fortunate and it really is his funeral.
  • Being There has the funeral of Ben Rand. There's stylish clothes, an overcast sky, and the President reading the deceased's own words as pallbearers carry the coffin to its tomb (albeit discussing politics amongst each other as they do). But all this is not meaningful to the movie's main character; Chance the Gardener, being The Fool, loses interest and wanders away. The truly meaningful event, the one that sums up the whole story, happens unobserved by anyone save the audience...and the speech heard from a distance just happens to support it with the film's final line: "Life is a state of mind."
  • When Will attends his father's funeral at the end of Big Fish, he sees that some of the funeral attendees closely resemble characters his father described in his fantastical stories, implying that they may be truer than Will had first thought.
  • The Cat's Meow opens with a funeral and builds the mystery surrounding such a strange death.
  • At Anand's funeral in Deewaar, Vijay shows up late, and when he tries to reach out to his mother Sumitra she rebuffs him. Afterwards, he remarks to Anita that his father had been dead for 20 years already and that this was merely when he was finally cremated.
  • Departures has this as a central point of the story; a frustrated musician finds meaning in a job helping funerals have meaning and beauty.
  • Four Weddings and a Funeral: The dead guy's boyfriend, who masqueraded as Heterosexual Life-Partners, recites the above poem. It saddens the cast but encourages them to try and live a life full of love.
  • Ladder 49, with Dennis and later Jack; according to the commentary, both were attended by hundreds of actual firefighters from across the country.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen ends with Quatermain's funeral, at which the surviving members decide to continue traveling the world together instead of going their separate ways.
  • The funeral for Daryl in Lethal Weapon 3. When Murtaugh, who had killed Daryl in a drug-related shootout, seeks to console his family, his mother smacks him. His father then gives Murtaugh an admonition:
    Daryl's Father: You want to help our family, Sgt. Murtaugh? You find the man who put the gun in my son's hand.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Thor: The Dark World: Asgardians come to pay last tribute to their queen Frigga and other fallen in a beautiful ceremony. During the long scene, no one says a word. Loki, a convict for life, is not allowed to attend.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2: Yondu Udonta's funeral makes all the Guardians reflect on their circumstances, especially Peter Quill, Gamora and Rocket.
    • Avengers: Endgame: The funeral of Tony Stark, which pans over all of his close family, friends, and allies and is interspersed with shots of the world slowly recovering, showing just how many people Iron Man saved and how many lives he touched.
  • In None Shall Escape, Janina's death and funeral provide the reason and setting, respectively, for Wilhelm and Willie's final falling out over the evils of Nazism.
  • Remember the Titans begins and ends at Gerry Bertier's funeral, though we don't learn whose funeral it is until the end.
  • The funeral in RENT. It was ended by the cast singing the reprise of "I'll Cover You." By "When your heart has expired," everyone will be crying their hearts out. The film version is especially heartbreaking, as it is preceded by the song "Without You", in which Roger and Mimi's relationship is falling apart, Angel's AIDS is destroying his immune system, and Mimi is going through various stages of withdrawal and relapse. It ends with a weeping Collins sitting in Angel's hospital bed, clutching an obviously-dead Angel.
    • It is also added to if you remember that the first night they had a full performance was the night after the writer-director and creator Jonathan Larson had died from a heart problem. At this point, the cast was basically a family and on the DVD extras, they all say that that night the song was all about him, and everyone was crying.
  • Towards the beginning of The Right Stuff, there are two military funerals (appropriately, with fly-bys and "Missing Man") for test pilots who died on the job, underscoring the dangerous nature of their business.
  • See You Yesterday: One is held for Claudette's brother after he gets killed by police, then for Sebastian when he gets killed by the robbers do to him and her interfering with the time that day.
  • Serenity's funeral for Wash, Book, and Mr. Universe triggered many a Manly Tears moment for the fandom.
  • The end of Spider-Man 3 has Harry's funeral, over which Peter soliloquies about fate and choice. Very appropriate, considering Harry's death was a Heroic Sacrifice.
    • Norman Osborn/Green Goblin's funeral in the first as well.
  • Spock's funeral at the end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
  • Star Wars:
    • After being killed by Darth Maul in a lightsaber duel in The Phantom Menace, Qui-Gon Jinn is cremated in a funeral ceremony attended by Queen Amidala, Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Chancellor Palpatine, members of the Jedi Council, and various Naboo officials. During the funeral Yoda and Mace Windu discuss the fact there is likely a second Sith Lord active, without realizing that he (Palpatine) only stood a few feet away.
    • Revenge of the Sith: After dying in childbirth from a broken heart, Padmé Amidala is taken home to Naboo and is carried through the streets of Theed in a funeral possession where she is mourned by her friends, family, and the people of Naboo.
    • Returning to the light side in Return of the Jedi Anakin Skywalker sacrifices himself to save his son Luke. As Anakin's organic body disappeared into the Force after he died, Luke takes his armor to Endor and holds a Jedi funeral, cremating the armor. Luke carefully held the funeral well away others, knowing that the death of the man known as Darth Vader would be a cause for celebration and not mourning. The Force Awakens reveals that Vader's helmet was scavenged some time after the funeral and came into the possession of Anakin's grandson Kylo Ren.
  • Suffragette ends with the funeral of Emily Davison. Hundreds of women attend, and the film blends back into real life there, showing black and white photographies of the real events and it is revealed that women's voting rights were recognised in Britain in 1928.
  • Choon-Hwa's funeral at the end of Sunny was more joyful than the norm. Her friends from high school were finally reunited, as was her Dying Wish, and they decide to play music and dance as a throwback to what they used to do as children.

  • Rachel's memorial ceremony in Animorphs, because everyone came to pay their respects—Hork-Bajir, Andalites, all the remaining Animorphs, the President of the United States.
  • Dumbledore's funeral in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince creates a feeling of impending doom but also shows the cast's fighting spirit and loyalty.
  • Ilyusha's funeral at the end of The Brothers Karamazov.
  • The funeral and Speaking for Ender at the end of Orson Scott Card's Children of the Mind was a fitting ending for the series.
  • William Shakespeare's The Phoenix and the Turtle (where "turtle" means "turtledove") is an account of a Meaningful Funeral.
    Let the priest in surplice white,
    That defunctive music can,
    Be the death-divining swan,
    Lest the requiem lack his right.
  • The funeral of Théoden in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
    • In the film of The Two Towers, Théodred's also counts.
    • Definitely Boromir's, in both book (complete with a commemorative poem) and film.
  • Among the memorable funerals in the Deryni works:
    • In In the King's Service, Marie de Corwyn is decked out as if for her wedding (including a floral wreath) because she died a virgin. Her brother Ahern's funeral reflects his status as heir to Corwyn (not its Duke) because the anti-Deryni laws prohibit Deryni from succeeding to their titles until they're twenty-five (a full eleven years later than ordinary humans).
    • In Childe Morgan, new King Brion Haldane recoils when he sees clerics kneeling in prayer around his father's bier and demands to know why they're there. He's told the Archbishops ordered it as a mark of respect. It's possible Brion recalled how Donal was flogged by order of the Church for executing a priest who was an accomplice to the rape and murder of a small boy.
    • Alaric Morgan's beloved sister Bronwyn and her fiance (Duncan's elder half-brother Kevin McLain, Earl of Kierney) have a joint funeral in Deryni Checkmate. Duncan celebrates the funeral Mass at his father's request despite his suspension from the priesthood. Like her aunt before her, Bronwyn is bedecked as if for her wedding, which had been planned to take place the same day.
    • In discussing arrangements for Vivienne's funeral in King Kelson's Bride, her fellow councillor Barrett recalls how another of their number was carried to his grave:
    Six vowed Knights of the anvil carried him to his rest, Azin, all of the arrayed in the full panoply—of your Order—and none of them laid a hand on the coffin. He floated on a catafalque of golden fire. I could see it even without these poor, blined eyes—as if the very angels had come to sing Michon home.
    • Azim promises to have his fellow Anvillers make proper arrangements for Vivienne and recalls the councillors' attention to other pressing matters.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 novel Storm of Iron, Vauban's. Leonid is moved to tears by the spontaneous tribute of his men, who lined the route as an honor guard. Vauban had thought his men did not love him, and Leonid knows that was not true.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • Numerous characters die in the X-Wing Series. Corran Horn has a ceremony, a speech in which Wedge urged everyone to keep fighting. (He isn't actually dead.) In Wraith Squadron, Jesmin Ackbar has a Burial in Space, one of the very few to show up in a Star Wars novel. This is complete with Wedge acting as her wingmate one last time and firing a symbolic proton torpedo, and a eulogy by Face, though the viewpoint character, depressed and angry because he couldn't save her, cynically wonders if Face's sorrow is real, since the guy was an actor. Considering the character, it probably is.
    • In the Rogue Squadron comics, the first issue of "Family Ties" opens with a funeral for fallen Rogues. Wedge reflects.
      Wedge: Jek Porkins, Biggs Darklighter, Dak and Zev and everyone else who flew with us on even one mission... too many to remember, but too many for them to be forgotten. Rogues, now and forever, part of a grand tradition that all of them would gladly trade for another second of life.
    • There's another funeral in the last issue. Wedge eulogizes for the pilot, and the series actually ends on that note. Really, female Mon Calamari should never join any squadron headed by Wedge.
    • In Star Wars: Allegiance, Mara's ally dies. He requested that she "bury him in space."
      The Emperor had little patience with memorials, Mara knew, with extra contempt for the practice of saying words over the fallen. Mara said a few words anyway, half remembered ones from her childhood, before consigning Tannis's body to the emptiness of space.
  • The funeral of Genghis Khan at the end of Bones of the Hills, which draws elements from Mongolian Shamanism, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam, and allows the entire nation to mourn the passing of a great man.
  • In Jim Butcher's Dresden Files novel Turn Coat, Morgan is officially denied this as part of the coverup. They resort to To Absent Friends, with an impromptu wake.
  • Patroclos' funeral in The Iliad, and the games that follow, serve as a somewhat closure for Achilles. Hector's funeral does the same for the Trojans.
  • In Artemis Fowl, Julius Root's funeral has all of the press show up, looking sad for the camera. Also, Julius' ashes are buried in the earth to replenish the soil. Too bad Holly couldn't be there. But Artemis kind of cheers her up with his newfound niceness.
  • "Memories Of Ice" from The Malazan Book of the Fallen has an extremely moving and meaningful one for Itkovian.
  • The Mysteries of Pittsburgh ends on one, for Cleveland which caps the summer and Coming of Age Story for the main character.
  • Subverted and played straight in The Fault in Our Stars. Augustus, upon learning he is dying, asks his two closest friends to read their eulogies at a memorial service before he actually dies, leading to a highly personal Meaningful Funeral. His actual funeral, by contrast, consists mostly of platitudes said by more distant acquaintances, although even then, there are a few moments of genuine connection.
  • The clans hold one any time someone dies in Warrior Cats. Especially significant ones include Bluestar's in the first arc and Russetfur's in Omen Of The Stars.
  • In the Israeli children book Eight in Pursuit of One, a brief chapter dedicated to the dog’s funeral is included. The narrator suggests that more sensitive readers skip ahead, as it is a very sad event.
  • In The Chronicles of Amber, Oberon gets an epic send-off.
  • The Pym sisters' funeral is so heavily attended that The Vicar has to hook up loudpseakers (since St. George's is fulled over capacity) and the graves are marked with Day-Glo flags to keep people from falling into the holes. The New Testament readings and the closing hymn were favourites of theirs. Bree Pym introduces herself to the locals in her brash but brief funeral oration and Rev. Bunting reads a message from the sisters to the villagers: "Dear friends and neighbours. If you fail to show our great-grandniece the same loving kindness you have always shown us, we will smite you."
  • In Agatha Christie's Curtain, after Hercule Poirot has died of a heart condition, his funeral was arranged by his friend, Captain Arthur Hastings, and Hastings' daughter Judith, in which Poirot is laid to rest at Styles Court, which is the place where he lived when he moved from Belgium to England as a WWI refugee.
  • Dubslav von Stechlin's funeral in Der Stechlin, which brings together a large part of the cast on a cold winter day. From both from the Stechlin area and from Berlin people from all classes come to pay their respect; ironically his son Woldemar and his new wife are absent as they still are in Italy on their honeymoon. Pastor Lorenzen gives the eulogy which encapsulates what made Dubslav such a special and likable person, how he looked at the world and how he lived his life.
  • The Cat Who... Series: It's frequently mentioned that the funeral of Ephraim Goodwinter, the patriarch of the well-to-do Goodwinter family, was extremely large and of great significance to the people of Moose County. Of course, since most of the people in Moose County hated him, it was meaningful for the wrong sort of reason. It's also implied that he might not have actually been dead at the time of his funeral; in book #10 (The Cat Who Talked to Ghosts), Qwill finds evidence of a sort of escape hatch by which he might have evaded the circumstances of his death, and papers indicating the same.
  • Star Trek:
    • Averted in the novelization of Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, which explains the body of Chancellor Gorkon was disposed of without ceremony after his death as was traditional for Klingons.
    • After Captain Kirk's presumed death in the Nexus, the novel "Crucible: The Fire and The Rose" features a memorial service held on the grounds of Starfleet Academy for Kirk. The services are attended by a large number of those who served under Kirk on the Enterprise, other Starfleet officers who worked with Kirk over the years, and of course a number of his numerous female friends.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Andor: Maarva Andor was a well respected and loved member of her community, and her funeral sees most of Ferrix defying Imperial decrees meant to limit the size, time and location of the funeral to turn out for the funeral march and her recorded funerary speech. When the Imperials try to stop her message of no longer ignoring the Empire's atrocities it ignites the crowd into an outright riot against the occupiers.
  • Bones: When Booth steps in front of his stalker's bullet meant for Brennan]] at the end of "The Wannabe in the Weeds", the next episode opens with the characters going to his funeral. Subverted as Brennan refuses to go until Angela convinces her. For the other characters it's treated as a meaningful funeral and they believe that Brennan should be treating it the same. Also, when they're at the funeral it's revealed that Booth is not dead at all and the funeral was staged to catch an underground criminal who vowed to only reappear at Booth's funeral.
    • Several episodes end with the Meaningful Funeral of the Victim of the Week. “The Patriot in Purgatory” is a particularly good one, with a man who died on 9/11.
    • The final send-off of Mister Nigel-Murray. The team gathers and sings his favorite song “Da Lime in Da Coconut”.
    • And later Sweets. Brennan gives a heartfelt speech and they sing the same song they did for Vincent as it was Sweets’ favorite, too.
    • And Max’s funeral in the last season, when he dies saving his grandkids. Brennan gives another heartfelt speech and is the first to throw dirt on the coffin.
  • Dawson's Creek... well, sort of. But then again, it was the whole illness-death-aftermath thing that brought the plots to a closure.
  • ER does this when Mark Greene dies and most of the cast (including a couple of characters who had left the show) go to the funeral. Which raises some questions: was the hospital even open? (explained, albeit unrealistically, with a flashback later on), and of course, makes long-time fans wonder what happened with those who weren't there (namely Dr. Ross and Nurse Hathaway). That was subverted later on when Greg Pratt died, as they didn't show the funeral but commented on how most past and present characters went or at least sent flowers.
  • Everwood had Irv's funeral as the penultimate episode, bringing most of the storylines near their end and being a very well-written no-flashback-needed way to connect the past, present, and future of the characters. Extra points to the make-up artists to make all characters de-age almost at will. Not only it was a very meaningful funeral, but it also paved the way for the finale.
  • Despite being on a desert island, the castaways on Lost have set up some decent funerals for their departed. In the fourth episode, there was the memorial pyre for everyone who died in the plane crash. Later, there were the burials of Boone and Shannon. The funerals of Ana-Lucia, Libby, Nikki, and Paulo were less dramatic. For the first two, it was interrupted by an end-of-episode twist (which made even the characters pretty much forget about them). For the other pair, well... no one was really sad to see them go in the first place.
  • The funeral of Kaitlin Todd on NCIS. It's... very... tear jerkery, most of all when (hearkening back to a conversation earlier in the episode mentioning the New Orleans tradition of playing jazz at a funeral, but only on the walk back — on the way there you play a dirge) Abby pulls out the CD player and puts on some lively jazz, and they show the team starting to really smile again for the first time in the whole arc.
  • The Sopranos: Several - mob movies like those - but especially the one from the season 3 finale. It ends with half the cast bawling to Uncle Junior's Italian song - even though many of them accepted that the young man would get killed.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: The funeral of Natasha Yar in first-season episode "Skin of Evil".
  • John's funeral in Supernatural is him on a pyre, being watched by the two boys in the middle of nowhere and is a total of about five minutes. They've got nobody else now but each other, Dean is quiet and crying silently while Sam is fidgety and visibly upset and when they use Carry On My Wayward Son in the previously ons, it's the shot they usually use for "Don't you cry no more".
  • JAG: In "Pilot Error", Harm and Meg attend the funeral of Lt. Pendry, which is complete with military honors and fighters flying the missing man formation. It is meaningful to Harm because Pendry was his friend and the loss for the son of the deceased mirrors Harm’s own loss of his father at roughly the same age.
  • In Glee, there is a flashback of Kurt and his dad walking away from his mother's funeral wearing stylishy black clothes.
    • Also in Glee when Sue's special needs sister dies, there's a very touching funeral where New Directions sing 'Pure Imagination' and play a video of clips showing Sue and her sister. Sue is very grateful ... right up until the next series when she hates them all again.
    • Averted with Finn's death in Season 3. The episode "The Quarterback" picks up about 3 or 4 weeks after his funeral, partly because the Reality Subtext of actually shooting any sort of funeral would have been too much for the cast and crew to handle. Instead, the characters spend the episode remembering Finn's life and their relationships with him.
  • The funeral and eulogy for Warrick Brown by Gil Grissom is particularly heartwrending when combined with Warrick's earlier admission that he considers Gil to be his mentor and father-figure.
  • Scrubs, of course, did this in "My Screwup", with Dr. Cox crying because his best friend/brother-in-law died. Probably the main reason why this episode is the highest rated along with "My Lunch"(in which he also cries during a Heroic BSoD moment). A real Tear Jerker. Seriously.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles has a particularly poignant one when Charley Dixon's wife dies.
  • Subverted on Buffy the Vampire Slayer; Cordelia has been seriously injured by being impaled on jutting metal during the hunt for a Monster of the Week, and it's looking serious enough that she might not make it. The scene then cuts dramatically to a big, moving looking funeral... and then the camera pans down to Buffy and Willow walking past the funeral discussing how Cordelia's going to be fine.
    • And then it's played straight at Joyce's funeral.
  • The funeral at the end of Firefly episode "The Message" features beautiful music and snow instead of rain. For the fans, this point is extra sad as the cast had just been told the show was cancelled. (The music was meant by the composer to be his farewell to the show, too.) It certainly gives the characters' expressions an extra meaning.
    • There was also Nandi's funeral at the end of "Heart of Gold". The sense of community between the women was evident, as well as the way they would move on.
  • Aeryn Sun's funeral in Farscape was one hell of a Tear Jerker. Rygel overcoming his greedy tendencies, D'Argo leaving his Qualta Blade in her coffin, Crichton cutting a lock from her hair...
  • Stargate SG-1: Janet Fraiser's funeral in the episode "Heroes Part II", with a memorably apt eulogy given by Sam. Daniel also gets one when the team thinks he's dead in "Fire and Water", and they even start packing up his belongings. We never see them do this again for him, even when he's died (okay, ascended) right in front of them and they have no reason to think he's coming back. In fact, Jack flat out refuses a request by Sam to do this in season 8 when Daniel was known to be on a spaceship that exploded in the vacuum of space; he's 'not holding a funeral for someone who's not dead'.
  • Stargate Atlantis: Despite the poor nature of his death (exploding tumor), Dr. Carson Beckett's funeral was a very touching affair, as his body was taken by the main cast members through the gate back to Earth.
  • Maggie McGuire's funeral in Shameless (UK) was very sad and touching for the characters. It was most apparent in the parts that showed the main characters in black and white against a plain white background, showing their inner thoughts.
  • Monica Gallagher's death in Shameless (US) is similarly sad and affecting for the characters. The oldest kids, Fiona and Lip, were not particularly saddened as Monica had been negligent and just came and left whenever she pleased, all the while dumping the responsibilities for caring for the family onto them (Fiona in particular), which just made them resent her their whole lives. Middle child Ian is more conflicted and takes a while to sort his feelings. The younger ones, Debbie and Carl, are more mournful, as Monica did go out of her way to redeem herself in their eyes before passing away. Frank is the most affected, giving a tearful eulogy at her funeral and this is the jumping off point of his Character Development in the following season.
  • Subverted in New Tricks; the first episode of the second series begins ominously with a funeral in progress, with Gerry Standing's friends, daughters and ex-wives solemnly standing outside a church watching undertakers carry a coffin in, with the dialogue between the characters implying that Gerry has passed away between the last series and the new one... until Gerry screeches to the curb in his car and runs towards them, obviously a bit harried and flustered. Turns out Gerry's just extraordinarily late to his grandson's christening, and they've had to let the vicar conduct the funeral for a pauper while everyone was waiting for him.
  • The West Wing:
    • Episode "Requiem" opens with the characters attending the funeral of Leo McGarry, who had passed away in the previous episode. The funeral — and episode — was very obviously a send-off to actor John Spencer who died in real life. Combines later in the episode with To Absent Friends, to great effect; the funeral is clearly about mourning Leo's passing, whereas the wake is about celebrating Leo's life and how much the other characters loved him.
    • In "In Excelsis Deo" Toby and Mrs. Landingham go to the funeral of a homeless Korean War veteran. Toby arranged it because he was bothered that no one else seemed to care. Mrs. Landingham went because it was the anniversary of the death of her own sons in Vietnam. The audio is an Interscene Diegetic of a boys' choir singing "The Little Drummer Boy" for the White House Christmas.
  • Compo's death in Last of the Summer Wine got 2 episodes-worth of this. The more traditional funeral was in the second, but the first was probably the most moving. A selection of the people of Holmfirth stood on a hillside arranged to form the words 'See Ya Compo'. All the main characters were taken to the side of a nearby hill and were visibly moved by the gesture, all the male characters removing their hats in tribute. Especially Cleggy.
  • The series finale of The 4400 ends on a funeral for Danny and Susan Farrell, who had both died in the previous episodes. Most of the cast, including those who didn't even know them, were present.
  • Louis's funeral in Due South. For a show known more for its comedy and lighter drama, that scene combined with Loreena McKennitt's "Full Circle" is heartbreaking.
  • Smallville had a surprisingly emotional funeral scene for Jonathan Kent complete with gently falling snow, overcast sky, sad tinkling music, and subdued colors for a normally very bright, vivid show.
  • In Sherlock The Reichenbach Falls, we don't actually see Sherlock's funeral, but we do see John Watson standing at the graveside, begging him to stop being dead. It's very meaningful and moving.
  • In Casualty, the funeral of Paramedic Jeff Collier is a sombre affair attended by a good number of his colleagues, and family members (including his pet dog). His wife almost misses it, due to her deep reluctance to admit that her platonic soulmate is truly dead.
  • Six Feet Under had the funeral for Nate Fisher who died two episodes before the Grand Finale. It deliberately contrasted the funeral for Nathaniel Fisher Sr in the first episode to highlight how much Character Development everyone had gone through and how better they became at dealing with death.
  • Mulder's funeral who dies after being MIA in a late season episode of The X-Files "DeadAlive". There is a snow-covered cemetery (the snow being oddly unseasonal for the time). Only a few mourners are attending, but Mulder was a loner: Lone Gunmen (Mulder's geeky friends), A.D. Kersh, Doggett, a couple of other FBI agents, A.D. Skinner, Scully's mother and of course Scully herself. This being an X-file episode, Mulder gets better.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Daredevil (2015): Grotto, a lowly level Kitchen Irish grunt member killed by Frank Castle, gets a private memorial service at the start of "Penny and Dime". Only Matt, Karen and Foggy show up for the service, but it reminds us that the criminals that the Punisher kills are still human beings, and Matt and Karen take some level of solace in Father Lantom's eulogy as their individual searches for the Punisher progress.
    • Luke Cage (2016): After Pop is killed in the crossfire of an attempted hit on Chico, a funeral is held for him at Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Harlem, which is attended by Luke, Shades, Cottonmouth, Misty Knight, and a number of local residents. Luke, Cottonmouth, and Pop's son all give meaningful speeches about what Pop meant to them.
  • The final episode of Return of Ultraman ends with the entire MAT squadron attending Hideki Go's funeral, after Hideki was presumed dead in a plane crash while battling Zetton. Being the host of Ultraman Jack, of course he's still alive, and he reveals himself a few seconds after his funeral procession ended.
  • Stranger Things
    • Played with in season one, when Will Byers' body is found in a quarry after he has been missing for several days, and naturally a very solemn funeral is held (very effectively scored to New Order's "Elegia"). Except Will isn't actually dead, he is in fact trapped in another dimension, and several of the characters either know this, suspect that he's still alive or are facing some very intense doubts about the situation, creating some mixed feelings indeed for them.
    • Played straighter in season two, when a funeral is held for Barbara, who was killed in season one; the Government Conspiracy had previously falsified evidence that she'd ran away from home, but the characters have only now been able to prove she's dead (if not the specific way she died) and achieve some closure for her.
  • Cheers: The funeral for Eddie LeBec starts as one of these, right up until the minister asks for his widow to step forward, and Carla and another woman step forward, and again when he clarifies the "current" widow LeBec. Then the funeral turns into a brawl.

  • At the end of the music video for "Concrete Angel" by Martina McBride, the little girl's only friend and guardian angel appears watching the event, then disappears and hugs the little girl. They then walk over to a group of other children who died by abuse and join them, finally having friends and peace in the afterlife.

    Video Games 
  • Phantasy Star IV contained the funeral held by the characters for Alys. A boss's spell left her infected, and the party left her behind to rest in an inn, visiting occasionally, only for her to eventually die. Everyone spent the night there thinking, and then the next day held quite a conventional, subdued funeral before resuming the quest.
  • Hinawa's Funeral in Mother 3; Mostly because the people lived together in a very tight knit community.
  • Persona 3 shows Gekkoukan High holding a memorial service for Shinjiro; most teachers and classmates, who only knew the character as a brooding Jerkass, feel nothing about the event until Junpei snaps out in rage at them. After the service is over, a lonely Akihiko comes up to the altar and delivers a heart-wrenching monologue to Shinji's memory, which awakens his Ultimate Persona.
  • Lost Odyssey has the funeral of Kaim's daughter, who dies not long after Kaim is reunited with her after thinking she'd died as a child. Unusual in that the preparations for the funeral and the funeral itself are interactive, the player actually plays the funeral. If anything, that makes it even stronger.
  • Umineko: When They Cry has Beatrice in Episode 7. Of course, Bernkastel finds a way to ruin it...
  • Mass Effect 3 has an optional memorial service in the Citadel DLC. Kolyat emails Shepard a request to host one for his father, Thane. During the service, Tali, Garrus, Samara, EDI, and Joker all speak on Thane's behalf, culminating with Kolyat. Afterwards, he states his intention to collaborate with Councilor Valern on funding salarian scientists' work on treatments for Kepral's Syndrome.
  • Dragon Age: Origins has one for the Warden should the player choose a Heroic Sacrifice that doesn't have Morrigan's loophole.
  • Final Fantasy VI has General Leo's death, both because he was highly noble and appreciated, and he allowed for some hope. It can be seen as an omen: things can only go worse now. And boy do they do.
  • Final Fantasy XIV: Shadowbringers has one that the heroes attend with one of the native tribes of the First. Their funeral rites entail placing a gemstone representing the departed's soul into a cauldron of water representing the "sunless sea" — the night sky — to which all souls return. Upon defeating the Lightwarden in the area, the light in the region is dispelled, revealing the "sunless sea" to the tribe and bringing them relief seeing their beliefs in the afterlife validated.
  • Saints Row 2 has a funeral for Aisha, the one woman that Heroic Comedic Sociopath Johnny Gat loved, after she is killed by the Ronin. The leader of Stilwater's Ronin, Shogo Akuji, crashes the funeral to kill Gat in retribution for humiliating him. What follows is a vicious and hauntingly quiet No-Holds-Barred Beatdown from Gat before he buries Shogo alive.
  • DragonFable the Grand finale of the Tomix Saga ends in this. Also in a Nythera quest, The Storm, but Warlic gets better.
  • The Clock Punk Adventure Game Syberia opens with a funeral, for the creator of Ridiculously Human Clockwork Creatures, by his creations. The funeral is what first shows something to be amiss, and what kicks off the action.
  • One of the endings in Life Is Strange depicts Chloe's funeral, attended by virtually every major character and even a butterfly.

    Web Original 
  • "Kate's Memorial Service" in KateModern, until Tariq arrives and the mood changes abruptly. The episode was filmed live, with fans of the show attending.
  • The funeral for Ma-Ti at the end of Suburban Knights was one, especially as it followed on the heels of his Heroic Sacrifice
  • Thomas gets one in Entirely Presenting You, despite Alexis' hard-fought battle to save him.

  • Although included only as bonus content from ''War and XPs'', The Order of the Stick devotes a page to the hastily-arranged funeral of Lord Shojo, including words from his nephew Hinjo, his diviner, and Roy.
  • Kevin & Kell: A variant: the funeral isn't shown, but George Fennec at the burial plot of the original Danielle is.
  • Faye's funeral in Something*Positive. Notably, the POV for most of the panels is from inside the coffin as the surviving characters say their goodbyes.
  • Pauline's memorial ceremony and cremation in Our Little Adventure. While the funeral itself is kept relatively light-hearted, a sombre couple of pages were dedicated to Pauline's contriubutions as both a group member and a friend. It wasn't quite a Tear Jerker, but Julie's song "Our Sweet Pauline" (modified lyrics from When She Loved Me by Sarah Mclachlan) had a lot of Narm Charm.
  • Tower of God: Hoh's funeral. Done completely without words, with Libation for the Dead into his watery grave and Bam's first experience of sending off someone he considered a friend. Bittering this all is the fact that Hoh killed himself because his desperate last resort to get past the second floornote  got foiled by none other than Bam and his incredible prowess, which was the reason Hoh's progression was endangered after all.
  • Stand Still, Stay Silent: Tuuri's funeral, after she commits Suicide by Sea to keep the Rash from killing her. Of the five other main characters, one was unable to stop the Plague Zombie that bit her because of neglected wound, another was one her very few surviving family members and noticed the Plague Zombie was in her vicinity a few moments too late, and another was quite good friends with her. Among the two remaining, one of them is the New Meat, who is most likely having to attend this kind of funeral for the first time. As a result, Mikkel is the only one seen putting her grave together.

    Western Animation 
  • The entire first half - almost - of the Justice League episode "Hereafter" deals with Superman's apparent death and the funeral held for him. Though he was not as dead as was thought.
  • While not a "funeral" in the sense that she's Killed Off for Real, Eliza being put in stasis at the end of the Galaxy Rangers episode "New Frontier" has all the earmarks of one, including a somber speech by Walsh and Zozo tearing up visibly.
  • ZigZagged in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes during Hank Pym's funeral. It's a sad moment because even though he wasn't on the best of terms with everyone else at the time, the Avengers, along with other superheroes like Spider-Man, all appeared to show respect at his funeral. Later, the team chases a new masked vigilante known as Yellowjacket, who quite happily claims to be the one who killed Hank Pym, understandably pissing off everyone there, especially Wasp. Yellowjacket is eventually revealed to be Hank Pym under a new identity, but he still claims that That Man Is Dead. At the end of the episode, he still continues to reject both his real name and the identity of Ant-Man, due in part to being what is scientifically known as Horse-Freaking Crazy.
  • The Simpsons: Similar to the Buffy the Vampire Slayer above, "Doh'in' In The Wind'' has a scene where Homer is shot by the police. The camera then pans down to a funeral... and then pans over to the hospital next to the cemetery, where Homer is recovering.
  • The Superman: The Animated Series episode "The Late Mr. Kent" begins with a funeral for Clark Kent, who has apparently been killed with a car bomb. Of course, he isn't actually hurt at all, but he can't show his face as Clark until he can explain his survival without revealing that he's Superman.


Stranger Things (2016)

The funeral of Will Byers.

How well does it match the trope?

4.78 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / MeaningfulFuneral

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