The flickering of eyelids and improvement of vital signs shown by an unconscious or comatose character immediately after a friend or relative has departed subsequent to declaring in their presence that they're about to go do something noble, stupid, dangerous, or some combination thereof.
- End of Evangelion gets versions of this. Asuka wakes up from her Convenient Coma just before getting the single most brutal death in the entire series. And then Shinji and his mother finally gets themselves together (it Makes Sense In Context), and go out to save his love interest, and finds Asuka's mech's EATEN remains. Yeah... bad timing all round.
- Older Than Steam: Juliet's revival in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet after Romeo kills himself.
- The Baz Luhrmann movie William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet takes it to frustrating extremes, with Juliet's eyes actually fluttering moments before Romeo takes the poison, and Juliet waking up completely just in time to watch Romeo die — and for Romeo to see her revive, and realize what he's done.
- In the opera by Charles Gounod, they sing a duet before he dies. A fairly long one.
- In Galaxy of Fear: City of the Dead, Zak is declared dead and put into a coffin before he wakes up during his own funeral. He's paralyzed when he wakes, and can't thump on the coffin or call out before he is Buried Alive. It's not for some time after that that he regains enough motor function to do either.
- Better Call Saul: Jimmy and Chuck wait for their ailing mother to wake up in hospital, until Jimmy gets restless and steps out to pick up some fast food. Minutes later, the mother wakes, ignores Chuck's presence, calls out deliriously for Black Sheep Jimmy, and dies. Jimmy is stunned when he returns with sandwiches; in a moment of vindictive spite, Chuck tells him that she didn't say anything.
- In Crisis Core, Zack realizes he and Cloud are heading towards an ambush. Cloud has been comatose for weeks and is completely defenseless. Zack ditches him a large distance away from where he's expecting the fight to happen, and walks off - seconds before Cloud finally regains the ability to move on his own again. If Zack had pulled back with Cloud for the night, he wouldn't have had to fight the army alone. Remember, he took down an entire military unit except for three soldiers...
- In The Simpsons, when Lisa is lying unconscious, possibly dead, Homer tells her "Lisa, if you wake up, I'll buy you a pony". She immediately sits up, saying "New pony!". Homer tries to convince her she dreamed it.
- Played straight in Beast Wars. Enraged after the apparent death of Blackarachnia, Silverbolt hunts down Tarantulas to avenge her. He nearly kills Tarantulas by impaling him, but is interrupted by Rampage. Cue the return of the new and improved Blackarachnia, who kicks Rampage's ass and then admonishes Silverbolt for being a noble fool.