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Mourning an Object

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"Sounds like you had a pretty special and intimate relationship with this hammer and that losing it was almost comparable to losing a loved one."
Korg, Thor: Ragnarok

This is when an object (not a sentient robot or Animate Inanimate Object) stops working, goes missing, or is destroyed or retired, and the characters treat it as though it has died. This can range from simply saying something like "Goodbye, friend", to giving it a whole funeral. Vehicles, toys, and the Companion Cube are commonly "mourned."

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It can be Played for Laughs but also for drama, especially if the object has become a character in its own right, both in and out of universe.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece: In the Enies Lobby arc, after sailing the Straw Hats hundreds of kilometers across the sea and eventually degrading to a state beyond repair, the Going Merry is given a Viking Funeral and burned down, with each member of the Straw Hats saying their last farewells to the ship and lamenting how they could've extended her life if they had a shipwright much sooner. Usopp, in particular, is the most heartbroken of the bunch because the ship is a gift from his Childhood Friend Kaya. They continue the Going Merry's legacy with their new ship, the Thousand Sunny.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • Onward: Barley sacrifices his precious van, Guinevere, so that he and his brother can escape from the police. After it crashes into a stone and is covered in rubble, he gives it a solemn salute.
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • As they jettison the Lunar Expedition Module that they took shelter in Apollo 13 has astronaut Fred Haise saying "So long, Aquarius- you sure were a good ship."
  • Birds of Prey (2020): Harley Quinn lovingly watches her favorite bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich being made, then has to protect it as Detective Montoya and Roman Sionis's goons chase her. Montoya knocks her down and her sandwich smashes on the ground in slow motion while the score turns mournful. Harley takes losing it as dramatically as losing a loved one.
    Harley Quinn: [to Montoya] You killed my sandwich!
  • The Blues Brothers: When the car that has got Jake and Elwood across Illinois to their destination against all pursuit finally "dies", they take their hats off and bow their heads in respect for a moment as if at a funeral.
  • Cast Away: Despite the inherent comedic possibilities of a man mourning a volleyball he'd drawn a face on and added "hair" to, the "death" of "Wilson" is really not at all portrayed as a comedy trope.
  • A Christmas Story: The Old Man was obsessed with his "major award", a giant, tacky lamp in the shape of a woman's leg. He loved it so much that when his wife "accidentally" destroyed it, he took the pieces outside to bury. Ralphie claims to have heard Taps playing, softly.
  • Star Trek III: The Search for Spock: Kirk uses the Self-Destruct Mechanism to destroy the Enterprise along with the Klingons who have boarded her. As what's left of her burns up in the atmosphere of the Genesis planet, Kirk watches with a heartbroken look on his face and McCoy needs to reassure him.
    Kirk: God, Bones, what have I done?
    Bones: What you've always done: turned death into another chance at life.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Donatello and Michaelangelo return to their lair after a long absence and find a pizza they'd left behind has spoiled. They tearfully salute it while humming "Taps."
  • Thor: Ragnarok: Downplayed but lampshaded. The destruction of Thor's trusty hammer Mjolnir is, at the time, played more for shock that Big Bad Hela is capable of destroying it. It's not until later on where Thor is choosing a new weapon and lamenting the loss of his hammer that the significance of losing it is made apparent, with Korg outright saying it sounds comparable to losing a loved one.

    Literature 
  • Reaper Man: Invoked. The Grim Reaper, having been transformed into a living human, asks a blacksmith to "kill" an ordinary gardening scythe so that he can use its ghost to fight the new, far more malicious Reaper. Unfortunately, the blacksmith decides not to destroy a perfectly good tool, and Death has to improvise.
  • Warrior Cats: Discussed in Darkest Night. After Finpaw's tail has to be amputated, he and Twigpaw jokingly suggest holding a vigil for it and visiting its gravesite to pay their respects.
  • Mr. Men: Adventure With Minibeasts opens with Little Miss Tiny crying about her thimble going missing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • An episode of The Big Bang Theory has Sheldon's laptop dying. He blasts Amy for buying him a new computer without giving him proper time to mourn the old one.
    • In another episode, Sheldon and Amy discover that their Super Asymmetry Theory was seemingly disproven by an old Russian paper. As a way of moving on, Sheldon decides to give their paper a symbolic Viking Funeral in the bathtub (which ends up setting the shower curtains on fire).
  • One episode of Cheers opens with the bar's beer keg running out. As Sam replaces it, the gang holds a funeral march for it. Then inverted when they hold a coronation for the new one. The whole ceremony drives Norm to tears.
  • NCIS: Los Angeles: One episode deals with Sam going through the Five Stages of Grief after the muscle car he's been fixing up is stolen. The car eventually turns up as a burned-out wreck but Nell and Eric decide, on the whole, not to tell him.
  • Seinfeld: Jerry has a favorite yellow t-shirt named Golden Boy. When it's washed in the wrong cycle and ruined, Jerry mourns its loss and passes the "favorite t-shirt" title to Golden Boy's "son", Baby Blue.
  • Victorious: Robbie treats his ventriloquist dummy Rex like a real person, sometimes even having conversations with the dummy. In one episode, Rex gets severely damaged. Robbie treats Rex like he's been fatally injured and demands his friends take the dummy to a hospital. His friends play along with this and act like Rex is dying, believing that if Rex dies, Robbie will become "normal".
  • On Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, a beloved backpack is given a Viking Funeral.
  • Series/Leverage does something similar to the NCIS: Los Angeles example. Hardison is VERY attached to his car, Lucille. In the S2 finale part one? It is destroyed to help them get away, treated by Hardison as a Heroic Sacrifice. Then it gets murdered AGAIN in a second episode, treated as the Moral Event Horizon for the villain, Wil Wheaton. Both are hilarious, if only because Hardison is the only one who thinks of it thusly.

    Music 
  • Neil Young wrote"Long May You Run" in memory of his 1948 Buick.
    Video Games 
  • Book of Mario: Thousands of Doors: In the prologue, Kamopa Kamopa kills Jeff the Gate via a giant block, railroading Mario to finish the tutorial. It's later revealed that Jeff was either revived or replaced.
  • Borderlands 2: Tannis' "boyfriend," a ceiling-mounted chair, is cut up with a saw by one of Handsome Jack's thugs. Tannis us crazy enough to think it's sapient and this is an extremely traumatic event for her.
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    Web Animation 
  • Strong Bad Email: In army, Homestar Runner invades Strong Badia with several others, including a popcorn machine he calls Frank Bennedetto. After Strong Bad drives them off (just by saying "No invasion."), he kicks the left-behind popcorn machine. Homestar, being the Cloudcuckoolander that he is, reacts to the attack as if he actually lost one of his men, saying, among other things, "Don't you die on me!" A hidden scene also shows Homestar breaking the news to Frank's "mother," a microwave. Making this even more ridiculous is that Frank isn't even visibly damaged.

    Web Comics 
  • There's a Cyanide & Happiness strip where a dead cellphone is worthy of fall-to-your-knees-and-weep-uncontrollably grief.
  • In Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell, G-man descends into hysterics of grief once his bong is accidentally shattered. The alt text jokingly compares the shattering of a bong to the destruction of an angel's "corporeal vessel" or body.

    Web Original 
  • 17776 takes place in the year 17776. Humanity became completely immortal in 2026; no person has died in over 10,000 years. When the Centennial Bulb, a lightbulb that's been burning since 1901, is accidentally destroyed, it is an emotionally devastating event in-universe and treated with the gravitas of the death of a living being, including the giving of a eulogy.

    Web Videos 
  • Anime Crimes Division: Joe treats the destruction of Gundam models as murders.
  • In the SuperMarioLogan video "BroKEN", Cody is distraught over the "death" of Ken after the doll fell from the house's two story stairway and broke in half.
    Cody: (sobs) IN HALF!!

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of DuckTales (1987), Huey prevents a torpedo from destroying the cruise ship that he and his family are on by hitting it with a marble before it made impact. While all of the other kids celebrate the one-in-a-million shot that he just pulled off, Huey asks them for a minute of silence for the destroyed marble's Heroic Sacrifice, and they all oblige.
  • Family Guy: In "Family Goy", Peter falls in love with a live-action Kathy Ireland standee and buries it in the yard when it's ripped in half.
  • Gravity Falls: In "Headhunters", Stan becomes attached to a wax figure of himself, and when it's beheaded, he treats it like a murder and holds a funeral for it. While it may seem like Stan's typical narcissism, it later becomes obvious that he was using the statue as a substitute for his missing brother.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In "Be A-Fred, Be Very A-Fred", Grim accidentally spills Fred Fredburger's frozen yogurt, and the horrified Fred rubs his hands in the yogurt and smears it on his face before accusing him of "killing" it.
    Billy: Good going, yogurt-killer.
  • Jonny Quest: At the beginning of "Attack of the Tree People", a fire breaks out on Dr. Quest's ship the Sea Quest. As he's about to jump into the water to escape he says "I'll miss you, old friend." Seconds later, the Sea Quest explodes.
  • Kaeloo: In "Let's Play Bye Bye Yoghurt", the main characters hold a funeral for an expired pot of yoghurt.
  • Rugrats:
    • In "The Seven Voyages of Cynthia", Angelica's doll, Cynthia, is lost in the sewers, she gives her a funeral, complete with a eulogy.
    • In "The Trial", Tommy's clown lamp is broken and the titular trial is treated like one for a murder.
    • In "Cuddle Bunny", Kimi gets emotionally attached to a pinata. When it's inevitably smashed, she and her friends gather around it and cry while funereal music plays. Luckily, Stu is able to fix it.
  • The Simpsons: In "Fat Man and Little Boy", Bart starts feeling too grown-up for certain things and holds a Viking Funeral for his childhood by burning a box of his old toys and casting it out to sea.
  • South Park:
    • In "1%", Cartman finds his favorite doll, Clyde Frog, ripped apart and nailed to a tree, and he holds a funeral in his backyard. He then treats the subsequent destruction of his dolls as brutal murders, and the culprit turns out to be Cartman himself, playing a twisted game of pretend after his friends mocked him form playing with dolls and told him to grow up.
      Kyle: Shut the hell up, Cartman!
      Cartman: Got something to say, Kyle?!
      Kyle: How do you murder a stuffed animal?
      Cartman: How do you murder a stuffed animal? You tell us, Kyle!
    • In "Something Wall-Mart This Way Comes," the townspeople hold funeral services for two different stores (the eponymous Wall-Mart being one of them), lighting a large bonfire and singing "Kumbaya" while holding hands.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • At the end of "SpongeBob vs. the Patty Gadget", a funeral is held for the titular machine.
    • In "The Sponge Who Could Fly", The pants Spongebob used to fly are given a funeral when they get destroyed.
    • Patrick's nose is given its own headstone in "No Nose Knows", when it shrivels up and falls off after smelling a huge ball of garbage made by Spongebob, Squidward, Sandy, and Mr. Krabs to get rid of it.
  • Steven Universe:
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: In "Strung Along Kitty" (part of "Playtime Toons"), Furrball chases and plays with Mary Melody's hair ribbon all over ACME Acres when it blows in the wind. Near the end of the short, the wind dies down and when Furrball finds the ribbon no longer moving, he sadly buries it. When a raven pulls the ribbon out of the ground, the wind picks up again, and the ribbon moves again, much to Furrball's delight.
  • The second episode of Recess, "The Great Jungle Gym Standoff," sees the kids of Third Street School sad to learn that "Old Rusty," the giant play structure in the middle of the students' recess area, is going to be torn down. T.J. asks for some time alone to mourn his old "friend," and eventually decides that he's not giving him up without a fight, climbing on top of Old Rusty and refusing to come down. His friends, the other students, and even the kids' parents (who themselves went to Third Street) all join him. Unfortunately, Old Rusty can't support that much weight, and collapses, putting the trope back into action...but some friendly construction workers offer to repair the structure good as new. The episode ends with a Zeerust future group of kids playing on Old Rusty, who has become immortal.
  • Trolls: The Beat Goes On!: In "Neighbor War", Branch's conflict with Sky Toronto escalates to the point where Branch cut's Sky's favorite tie, Sky Junior, in half and leaves it on his bed, Godfather style. Sky ends up retreating to the woods to power-grieve.

    Real Life 
  • Decommissioning ceremonies often serve this purpose for vehicles like ships.
  • While this isn't a common thing among space exploration, two notable spacecraft were given this treatment because of their outstanding legacies and managing to persist far beyond their expected mission duration:
    • The Cassini spacecraft, which orbited Saturn for 13 years since its arrival in 2004. At the beginning of 2017, it was low on fuel, so to avoid risking it crashing into and contaminating Saturn's Moons, the spacecraft's trajectory was changed to make several close approaches to the planet in a move called "the Grand Finale", where it studied its rings up close than ever before. This culminated in Cassini burning up in Saturn's atmosphere on September 15, 2017, ending the spacecraft's 19-year journey. The event caused people and even NASA and ESA themselves to commemorate Cassini's legacy with montage videos and artwork, essentially giving the spacecraft the equivalent of a funeral.
    • The Opportunity rover on Mars had its run abruptly ended by a severe Martian dust storm on June 10, 2018, after traveling more than 45 kilometers on the surface for 14 years. NASA tried desperately to re-establish contact with the rover with no success, and on February 13, 2019, officially announced the end of its mission with a tweet that can be interpreted as the rover's Famous Last Words: "My battery is low and it's getting dark". This took social media by storm, and like with Cassini prior, it caused people to commemorate the rover's legacy with montage videos, artwork, and even tattoos.

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