Follow TV Tropes


Murder by Cremation

Go To

(after sealing Bond in a coffin and conveying him into a crematorium's furnace)
Mr. Wint: Very moving.
Mr. Kidd: Heartwarming, Mr. Wint.
Mr. Wint: A glowing tribute, Mr. Kidd.

A somewhat baroque means of murder, the killer shuts their victim in a coffin (knocking them out first is optional) and feeds the coffin into a crematorium oven. This both kills the victim and disposes of the body in one fell swoop. Occasionally the killer will opt to dispense with the coffin, or use some other incineration device such as a document burner. This trope can also be easily combined with Conveyor Belt of Doom. Furnace Body Disposal may come into play.

This is not as straightforward in reality. Modern cremation systems are often designed so that specific details about the deceased must be entered into a computer, particularly the deceased's weight, before the cremation process can begin. This is mainly because weight determines how long the cadaver needs to be burned for, but it also means that you can't just shove someone inside and light them up on a whim. Also note that cremation doesn't completely dispose of the body, since cremation alone is insufficient for fully destroying skeletal bones (this being done later by placing them in a special grinding machine). Works great for the murder portion of the evening, though.

Useless trivia: a crematory oven is called a "retort".

A Sub-Trope of Kill It with Fire. Smokestack Drop is a more accidental version. Compare Burn the Witch! and Cooked to Death. Contrast Locked in a Freezer (if used as a means to kill).

A No Recent Examples rule applies to Real Life examples of this trope. Real life examples shouldn't be added until 150 years after the death.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Early in Part 1 of Jojos Bizarre Adventure, Dio responds to Jonathan beating him in a fight by tricking a butler into throwing Jonathan’s dog into the trash incinerator.
  • Variation: In the first chapter of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, when Tohma was discovered sneaking into the facility containing Lily and successful gaining a reaction with her, the people in charge of that facility attempts to get rid of both Tohma and Lily by activating the lab's heat sterilization function, burning the entire area at temperatures that could melt metal. Fortunately, the Viral Transformation of Tohma had already completed by then, allowing him to protect both himself and Lily and subsequently escape.
  • Pretty much the fate of anyone who dies at Number 0's hands in Sacred Seven, Ruri and Aoi's father being an example.
  • A side story of Telepathic Wanderers has the telepathic Nanase nursing an old woman who soon died. After the funeral, Nanase began hearing the old woman's thoughts and realized she wasn't actually dead, but moments away from cremation. Torn between saving the old woman and exposing herself as a telepath, she ends up leaving the woman to die.

    Audio Plays 
  • In the Doctor Who audio adventure "The Three Companions", the Doctor, Polly, Ben and Jamie are trapped on a doomed world that is scheduled for cremation.

    Comic Books 
  • Catwoman almost became a victim to this in Batman: Dark Victory. Luckily for her, Batman saved her in time.
  • One MAD Magazine article featured the multiple attempts of a hapless prisoner to escape. The final one showed him taking the place of a recently deceased inmate, only to be locked in a casket and shipped directly to a crematorium.
  • Spider-Man was the subject to this in a '70s story, by Vulture of all people.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye:
    • Helex of the Decepticon Justice Division has an alt-mode that's a giant smelter that he pulls victims into to be melted down alive.
    • It's eventually revealed that the Decepticons had been doing this en mass to Autobot POWs after Skids remembers that they tricked him into repairing it by telling him it was part of a teleporter that would send the prisoners to a new POW prison. After he was done with the repairs, he was Forced to Watch it being used.
  • Wonder Woman (1942): The Gotham mob boss known as the Undertaker tries to murder Huntress by putting her in the crematorium at his funeral home, though she escapes. This is also his favorite way of getting rid of the bodies of his victims killed elsewhere.

    Comic Strips 
  • Mother Goose and Grimm: A comic strip has Grimm's Too Dumb to Live friend, Ralph the Boston Terrier, giving a testimony of the death of a possum who had apparently died, so they cremated him and placed his ashes in an urn. However, the possum's wife shows up, demanding to know where her husband is. When Ralph explains to her what happened, the female possum becomes angry, saying that her husband did not die, but was actually playing dead, then starts ranting that her husband is dead and questions about what she'll do now.
  • In the last strip in the short-lived Spy vs. Spy Sunday strip, Black Spy becomes a victim to this.

    Fairy Tales 
  • The witch in "Hansel and Gretel" was roasted to death in her own oven. That was self-defense, though.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, the villains strap the Dynamic Duo to a giant TV dinner tray and use a Conveyor Belt o' Doom to send them into a giant flaming oven.
  • At the end of "The Steadfast Tin Soldier" segment of Fantasia 2000, the evil Jack-in-the-Box is literally flung into a fire while attempting to kill the titular tin soldier. This is actually reversing the original story, where both the soldier and the ballerina died this way when a boy threw the former into the fire for no reason, while the latter was blown into said fire by a gust of wind.
  • At the end of Toy Story 3, Lotso Bear intends to kill Woody, Buzz Lightyear, and the rest of Andy's toys by literally leaving them all behind to die in a garbage incinerator (which is actually the toy equivalent of a crematorium). The heroes are all saved by the Pizza Planet Aliens with the help of a large claw overhead.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • ABCs of Death 2: A mobile unit travels around executing "sub-normals" by cremating them alive in "U is for Utopia".
  • Played for laughs in The Addams Family. For his brother's wedding, Gomez orders a huge cake with a stripper inside. However, when the cake is delivered, it turns out that the unwitting butler put the girl inside before he put it into the oven. Nobody is too upset though.
  • In Antebellum, Veronica locks the General and Captain Jasper inside the burning shed—the building used to cremate the bodies of the slaves—and then lights the fire underneath it.
  • Double-Subverted in The A-Team: Smith is knowingly put in the cremation oven still-alive, but the goal wasn't to kill him, and in fact his escaping from the oven was all part of the plan. When he emerges alive, the attendant's reaction to the following line is to faint:
  • Subverted in Bordello of Blood, as the crematory oven is a secret passage to the titular bordello.
  • Wint and Kidd attempt to do this to James Bond in Diamonds Are Forever. It's one of the few Death Traps that he has to be rescued from.
  • In Dick Tracy Meets Gruesome, Gruesome orders X-Ray to feed the helpless Melody (actually Tracy in disguise) into the incinerator in the plastics factory. However, Tracy wakes up in time to overpower him.
  • Cremating alive is the standard means of executing sense offenders in Equilibrium. It is so disturbing that witnessing one at close range makes The Stoic Preston suffer a Heroic BSoD, though it may have also had something to do with the fact that the burned person was his potential Love Interest. And the fact that his wife was executed in front of him the same way.
  • If Death's killings can be classed as murder, there's the tanning bed deaths in Final Destination 3. That specific way was busted by the MythBusters, though.
  • Suicide by home incinerator happens in Gattaca. There's a reason for this as the victim wants to remove all traces of his death so his friend can continue using his identity, and the use of the incinerator had been set up beforehand.
  • Happens in The Grey Zone to a Nazi guard when the Twelth Sonderkommando group launches an uprising in Auschwitz.
  • In keeping with the original fairy tale, this is how Hansel and Gretel dispose of the first witch they encounter as children in Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters.
  • In The Haunting in Connecticut, it's revealed that the little boy who's haunting the sickly teen in the present died when the other ghosts of the house locked him into the cremation furnace and turned it on.
  • The main characters do this to the trio of witches in Disney's Hocus Pocus. However, they are later revived by their magic book, and the kids have to come up with a different plan.
  • In Like Flint - in a government document-disposal complex, Flint (actually the guy he was fighting) is put into the incinerator and reduced to a pile of fine ash, riding there on a conveyor belt of doom.
  • Taken to a ridiculous extreme in a deleted scene of Johnny English, where a man who is part of Sauvage's plot to become king threatens to go to the police unless he gets more money, who is then led into Sauvage's private elevator. On the way down, the walls open to reveal several flamethrowers, and the man is burned alive on the way down. At the bottom, one of Sauvage's henchmen shows up with a dustbuster, as the body has been completely reduced to ash in a matter of seconds.
  • In the Fake Action Prologue in Killer Party, one of the mourners at the funeral is dragged into the coffin which is then fed into the crematorium retort.
  • In The Mad Magician, Gallico creates a miniature crematorium to use in one of his illusions. He later attempts to kill Lt. Bruce by feeding him into it.
  • In Midsommar, a paralyzed Christian is burned alive as an offering.
  • In the 1940 Film Serial Mysterious Doctor Satan, masked superhero The Copperhead hides in the crate used to deliver Dr. Satan's Killer Robot to him. However Dr. Satan is suspicious; assuming there's a Deadly Gas Booby Trap inside, he orders it placed in the furnace having been told that the poison gas will be rendered harmless at higher temperatures. Naturally this is the end-of-chapter Cliffhanger, and the next episode reveals that the Copperhead got out of the crate well before it was placed in the furnace.
  • In Phantasm II, Liz escapes from being cremated alive, and hands that fate to one of The Tall Man's mortician mooks instead.
  • The Pizza movie has a health inspector who pays a visit to the eponymous Fat Pizza restaurant to shut it down. He makes the terrible mistake of insulting the owner Bobo, who shoves him into the pizza oven he was inspecting. To his credit, his only reaction is to continue deducting points until the oven is finally shut.
  • Suicide by cremation occurs in Pumpkinhead: Ashes to Ashes at the climax of the film when Pumpkinhead's last surviving summoner fails to break the curse and is left with no other options than to sacrifice their self to end the curse.
  • Replicant: In the climax Garrote tries to burn Jake alive by shoving him into a mortuary oven.
  • In a self-destructive variant, a character in The Return of the Living Dead did this to himself, as he'd become a zombie and had no other means of ending his agony that would be certain to work.
  • Two of Jigsaw's Death Traps in Saw movies burned the trapped person alive; The Oven in 'Saw II and the Final Trap (a brazen bull) in Saw 3D.
  • In Scare Campaign, the Masked Freaks murder Marcus by strapping him to a gurney and sliding him into a furnace.
  • In Scrooged, when the Scrooge stand-in attends his funeral during the Ghost of Christmas Future's tour, he ends up in the coffin as it goes into the retort.
  • The eponymous killer baboon in Shakma dies when it is tricked to jump into a crematory.
  • Flame jets (used to kill bugs on animal carcasses) form part of Lord Blackwood's Death Trap in the slaughterhouse in Sherlock Holmes (2009).
  • In The Street Fighter's Last Revenge, Terry deals with a Yakuza Mook in a mariachi costume in this manner after a fight that leaves one table knocked over, a brick wall mildly crumbled, a casket's lid shattered, and the casket itself in poor condition by the time the mariachi finds himself inside the oven.
  • Near the end of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, the title character throws Mrs. Lovett into her own oven to be burned alive after finding out that the beggar woman, whom he had recently killed, was none other than his wife Lucy, and that Mrs. Lovett had lied to him about her being dead because she wanted him for herself.
  • Given that the Framing Device of Tales from the Darkside is a Homage to Hansel and Gretel, it happens to Betty at the end. Not that she doesn't deserve it.
  • Tales of Halloween: In "Ding Dong", Jack is shoved inside the flaming oven—which is much larger on the inside than it has any right to be—by his wife after she learns he has had a vasectomy.
  • Trilogy of Terror: In "Amelia", Amelia finally gets rid of the Zuni Fetish doll by locking it in an oven, where it catches on fire.
  • Wes Craven's New Nightmare: How The Entity is beaten: being shoved into a lit furnace in its lair like the Witch from Hansel and Gretel.
  • Happens to the father of one of the college kids in Tucker & Dale vs. Evil.
  • In What Happened to Monday, this is what happens to siblings, with the official propaganda stating they're put into cryostasis. Also, one of the doctors responsible for incinerating the extraneous siblings is thrown into an incinerator during a fight. The incineration sequence starts and she can't get out in time.
  • In When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, Kingsor attempts to dispose of Tara by tying him to a funeral pyre on a raft and sending the raft out to sea in a Viking Funeral.

  • Aquarium: When he is recruited, Suvorov is shown a film of a traitor being burned alive.
  • Implied to be the fate that threatens Veruca and her parents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, although they are confirmed to have escaped in the original book and second movie. (The first movie leaves it ambiguous, while theatrical production plays the trope rather straight.)
  • Conan the Barbarian: In "Hawks Over Shem", the mad king declares himself to be a god and demands a sacrifice of a hundred noble children. When the high priest objects and states the king is not a god but a madman, the king has him cast into the furnace in the statue of the old god that is used for sacrifices.
  • Used in John C. Wright's Count To A Trillion: when the mutineers murder Captain Grimaldi. A token attempt is made to claim it was suicide, Grimaldi being a Hindu. The hero accurately points out that no starship captain would endanger his ship in that way.
  • In the Doc Savage novel The Mountain Monster, gangsters attempt to feed Doc, Monk and Ham into a crematorium furnace. They fail due to Doc being Crazy-Prepared.
  • One example from The Godfather that did not make it into the film or the video game, for very good reason. Some time after Luca Brasi's assassination, while Michael is lying low in Sicily, an elderly woman working for the local Don asks him if it's really true that Luca is dead, rejoicing when Michael confirms as such. When questioned, the woman explains that she used to be a midwife in America who was taken by Luca's men in the middle of the night and forced to help a woman deliver a child in his apartment. Shortly after the birth, Luca confirmed that he was the father... and promptly forced the midwife to go to the basement with the baby girl and throw her into the furnace.
  • In A Lullaby Sinister, one of the many victims of the Surrogate School is found as charred remains in one of the school's ovens. Later on, Miyako Kobayashi is killed this same way.
  • Ray Bradbury's short story Pillar of Fire. In a future society all horror literature has been burned for reasons of mental health (a la Farenheit 451) and all corpses in graveyards are being excavated and burned for hygienic reasons. A corpse reanimates and goes on a rampage to stop the burning: he's cremated at the end of the story.
  • Subverted in the "The Mystery of Shoscombe Old Place", the very last Sherlock Holmes story. A ruined gambler is found to be burning bodies in the furnace, and might have done away with his sister by the same method. However, it soon turns out that the burned bodies were long dead: they came from the (sister's husband's) family crypt, and he was only burning the bodies so as to make room for the wife's corpse (she had died of natural causes, but the news that the gambler's only source of income was dead would have been his financial ruin). The entire point was to disguise the death for a few days until a horse race where he expected to make back his money and then some.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: At the end of the first book, the witch Mirri Maz Duur tricked Daenerys Targaryen into sacrificing her son and bring her dying husband into a state between life and death. After putting Drogo out of his misery, Daenerys executes Mirri Maz Duur by strapping her to Drogo's funeral pyre.
  • In X-Wing: Solo Command, the Wraiths are nearly killed this way by Dr. Gast. A room in the complex the were infiltrating was given a giant Trap Door for a floor and filled with fake furnishings, and when they entered it they were all dropped into the giant incinerator below, which then activated. Fortunately, they were able to trick the stormtrooper sent to relieve them of their explosives, so they were able to blast their way out in time to survive.
  • A supernaturally-strong killer in Wolf In The Fold cuts out the middleman of a coffin or a full crematorium, and simply shoves a living victim's face into the fireplace until he's dead. While this doesn't destroy the whole body, it burns the corpse's face beyond recognition, which allows the illusion-casting killer to impersonate the dead man.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In American Horror Story: Asylum, Dr. Arden climbs on top of Sister Mary Eunice's dead body and rides into the cremation oven with her, killing himself.
  • The Batman (1966) episode "Fine Feathered Finks". The cliffhanger ending has Bruce Wayne captured in a net, rendered unconscious by Penguin gas and put on a conveyor belt to be run into a 10,000 degree furnace. In the next episode "The Penguin's a Jinx", he wakes up and escapes by rolling off the conveyor belt.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Season 1, episode 5, "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date". Buffy kills a particularly tough vampire by shoving it into the cremation oven; they were at a morgue because that's where he woke up.
  • Columbo: In the episode "Ashes to Ashes", mortician Eric Prince gets rid of gossip reporter Verity Chandler in this way. He bludgeons her, then puts her corpse in a coffin, switching it with a different man's body scheduled for cremation, then Chandler is cremated and her ashes are scattered by helicopter over the hills.
  • The killer from the Criminal Minds episode "Mosley Lane" disposed of the children she abducted in her crematorium... she at least sedated them first.
  • Doctor Who:
    • In "The Stolen Earth", the Daleks attempt to dispose of Captain Jack's body in an incinerator. Of course, he's not actually dead at the time...
    • "Revolution of the Daleks": After a horrified Jack Robertson tells him to destroy the cloned Dalek, Leo attempts to dump the creature into the furnace. Unfortunately for him, he chooses to remove it from its case before doing so.
  • An episode of Elementary had one of the victims of the week being killed in a crematorium retort (alongside another who was already dead), although technically unintentionally; the killer simply having been trying to destroy evidence, and unaware that one was only unconscious (as revealed by the disturbing image of a blackened handprint against the door). Sherlock points out how it was ultimately an inefficient way of disposing of evidence, as the bones are left intact (allowing for cause of death to be determined), and even leaves behind identifiable prosthetics.
  • An episode of Friday the 13th: The Series dealt with a lonely mortician who came into a magical embalming device which could alternately kill someone or bring them back to life. He uses it to revive a recently-deceased woman whose funeral he took care of, then uses it to kill her snooping boyfriend. He then disposes of the boyfriend's body in this manner.
  • An episode of Hardcastle and McCormick had McCormick and the Girl of the Week about to be killed in this manner when Hardcastle and the police show up just in time to save them.
  • Hellevator: What happens to Reina in the second taped and first aired episode when she can't unlock herself from a gurney. She also happens to be the first contestant in a taped show to lose the game and not be around for the Labyrinth and the exit.
  • Jonathan Creek: In "Daemons' Roost", the Victim of the Week is flung to his death in a fiery furnace; seemingly by black magic.
  • The killer attempts to dispose of one victim this way in the Midsomer Murders episode "Secrets and Spies".
    • In "The Devil's Work", the killer disposes of their their third victim by locking them in a ceramics kiln and cranking the temperature to the max. Fleur helpfully comments as she is sifting the ashes for human remains that the kiln reaches the same temperature as a crematorium furnace.
  • In the Millennium (1996) episode "Gehenna", a cult leader disposes of troublemakers by cremating them alive in an industrial microwave.
  • Happens in one episode of Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries. Murdoch Foyle, season one's Big Bad, escapes from prison and is presumed dead because his foster mother requested his body to be cremated. It's not revealed until the finale that he switched places with her, and she was the one cremated.
  • Fire is particularly dangerous to vampires in Moonlight, as any physical contact with it results in the exposed body part turning to ash. In the episode "Doctor Feelgood", a newly-turned vampire goes rabid and kills a lot of random people (including his wife). Being a doctor, he goes back to his hospital, where Mick tracks him down and stakes him (which on paralyses vampires). He then feeds him to the cremation oven at the morgue downstairs. Unlike a human, there will be nothing but ashes remaining. Additionally, the Cleaners execute a vampire who has betrayed the vampire community in LA with flamethrowers in the final episode. This is telling when an old vampire shows up for whom fire is a No-Sell. Additionally, Coraline is not only able to move when staked but somehow survives being locked in a room on fire. Of course, this is likely because she is the other vampire's sister and is just as old.
  • The New Avengers: In "Complex", the murderous AI controlling the building disposes of one its victims by dumping him into the building's trash incinerator.
  • The Outer Limits (1995) episode "Blood Brothers" involves a scientist working in a sealed lab with a gas meant to be used to pacify riots. As a side effect, the latest batch ends up turning the lab monkey immortal. When the scientist's assistant attempts to steal the monkey's biological culture, the scientist's Corrupt Corporate Executive brother traps him in the lab. The angry assistant slams the door with his fist, which results in a bloody fist. The culture in his blood triggers the decontamination system, which "flashes" the lab, killing the guy. The brother later tries the same with the scientist and his girlfriend, who have discovered that the culture makes you temporarily invincible, only to kill you in a few days.
  • Red Dwarf: This almost happens to Rimmer in "Cured", courtesy of Telford throwing him in one in a bid to kill him. Thankfully, he's saved by the other dwarfers.
  • One of the pranks in Scare Tactics (2003) would have a cremation worker "accidentally" (as in, he wasn't aware he was "alive") try to perform this trope. When the cremator and a few staff in on the joke turn it out, a severely burned actor would leap out, screaming bloody murder. Of course, that's where the prank usually ends.
  • Scorpion had an episode where Toby and his ex were captured by a mobster he owed money to from his past as The Gambling Addict, and this was how they planned to deal with him. They actually went into the cremation oven before the rest of Team Scorpion were able to save them.
  • Stargate SG-1: Presumably inspired by the myth below, this seems to be how Jaffa baby girls in the Goa'uld Moloc's domain are killed immediately after birth.
  • Squid Game: The corpses of the eliminated contestants are efficiently collected and disposed of by the pink-suited workers in industrial ovens. We're shown that at least some of these contestants are still (barely) alive when the coffins are nailed shut and incinerated.
  • In the Supernatural episode "About A Boy" (S10, Ep12), Dean shoves the witch into the stove.
  • Torchwood: Miracle Day: Done by the government, first to the mortally-wounded immortals trapped in their agony, but then anyone inconvenient. It's impossible to know for sure that even this is really killing them, but it does at least put them out of sight.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess, 2x18 "Blind Faith". Gabrielle is fed into a crematorium while in a coffin.
  • In The X-Files episode "Hell Money", a gambling ring among Chinese immigrants claims organs as collateral; if you can't pay up (or if you rat), you're disposed of in a crematorium. Alive.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Legend has it that Carthage used to sacrifice children in a furnace within a bronze statue of their god Moloch.
  • The story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Adbenago, who refused to engage in idol worship and were thrown into a fiery furnace but were saved from death by divine intervention, in The Bible.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Achtung! Cthulhu: During the Siege of Leningrad, NKVD personnel have restarted the old furnaces in the crematorium to burn cannibals and monsters, not all of which are dead when they are tossed into the ovens.

    Video Games 
  • One of the Ga-gorib's punishments, and Dashalot's fate in BeTrapped!.
  • Criminal Case:
  • In Dead to Rights, you defeat the Final Boss by knocking him into a furnace.
  • In Dishonored 2, one of the levels has a furnace that can incinerate bodies, including those of unconscious enemies. Impractical in that knocking an enemy unconscious is almost always harder than just killing them, and killing an already unconscious enemy is both a waste of time and raises your Chaos Level.
  • This is how Flash Jordan was killed in Ghost Master. The nosy news reporter had to hide in a coffin to avoid being uncovered by mafia Don's goons, and was cremated by accident with everyone thinking they are cremating the Don's deceased grandmother.
  • In The Godfather: The Game, you can toss people into large ovens at funeral homes or (ugh) bakeries for the Overcooked Execution Style.
  • In The Great Ace Attorney, this is how Magnus McGilded bites it; his victim's son locks him into a carriage and sets it on fire.
  • In Hitman: Blood Money, this is how the Big Bad tries to get rid of 47 in the final chapter. It works if you do nothing during the credits, or, if you spin the joystick enough during them, 47 springs up for one last stage consisting of gunning down everyone at the funeral.
    • A potential solution for one of the missions involves shoving a witness into a furnace.
  • This is optional in Little Nightmares II, where you can burn the doctor inside the crematorium.
  • Guest character Freddy Krueger on Mortal Kombat 9 has a fatality called "Welcome to my Nightmare". During this fatality, Freddy summons a large furnace. He then stabs the opponent in the neck and stomach, and chucks them straight into the furnace. As they burn in agony, Freddy waves goodbye and shuts the door, cutting their arm off, and burning them to death. This is a Shout-Out to A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master.
  • In the Whistleblower DLC of Outlast, cannibalistic Serial Killer Frank Manera tries to kill the player character Waylon like this to cook him up. Waylon has to escape by breaking a weak point of the wall down to get out.
  • In Planescape: Torment, according to Morte this is what the Dustmen would do to the protagonist if they found out about his immortality, which is sacrilegious to them.
  • Both GLaDOS and the Companion Cube are killed this way in Portal. Both are Still Alive.
  • In Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy you can either use telekinesis or Mind Control to kill enemies in incinerators.
  • In Resident Evil 5; to kill the first Uroboros (without using all your then somewhat limited ammo), the player needs to lure it into a walk in furnace and have their partner power it up. The first player runs out before the doors close, leaving the Uroboros to fry.
    • Later, the pair must activate a conveyor to move a box, which dumps several half-dead test subjects into the furnace at the end.
  • In The Sinking City, Graham Carpenter attempts to have his father Brutus Carpenter killed this way, but it's interrupted by Reed.
  • One way to dispose of unwanted slimes and tarrs in Slime Rancher is to throw them into a incinerator. You can also do this to chickens and even their chicks. Doing so to the latter even gets you an achievement that calls you out for it.
  • Many Space Station 13 servers have a crematorium near the chapel, which can be used to dispose of dead (or not-so-dead) bodies in this manner. The furnace and deep-fryer can also be used, in a pinch.
  • Attempted by the crew of the Boatman in Sunless Skies onto the newly revived dead bodies they were ferrying to their final resting place, to the understandable ire of the latters. Though to be fair, from their point of view, it looked akin to a Night of the Living Mooks, and they fully freaked out, not knowing the dead were in fact reunited with their minds and were as harmless as their living selves.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2: Mask of the Betrayer: The temple to the death god Myrkul in Shadow Mulsantir includes a crematorium which is packed full of incorporeal undead, partly because many of the bodies that were cremated in it weren't actually dead yet.

    Web Animation 

  • Karate Bears use a dude named pete to heat their home.
  • Life of Wily: What very well could have happened to Wily had Neon Tiger's plan to cremate him succeeded.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: In one of the Joker's finest moments, Mr. J decides to kill "Sid the Squid", a small-time gang lookout who believes that he accidentally killed Batman.
    Joker: But those dreams were dashed by the weaselly little gunsel sitting there in our midst. The cowardly insignificant gonif who probably got lucky when Batman slipped on the slime trail this loser left behind him. This mound of DISEASED hyena filth who's not fit to lick the dirt from my spats!!... But I digress. The time for sorrow has passed. It's time to look to a future filled with smiles. And I'll be smiling again just as soon as we take that man there, and slap him in that box there, and roll it into that vat of acid there!
    The coffin rolls into the acid as Sid screams for mercy and bangs on the lid and Harley Quinn plays Amazing Grace on a kazoo.
    Joker: Well, that was fun. Who's for Chinese?
  • Harley Quinn: Harley and her crew narrowly avoid having this happen to them when they go telepathically into Harley's mind while wearing t-shirts that read "Suicide Squad", causing Ivy's landlord to try to think they'd killed themselves and try to dispose of their bodies in the still-working oven of a pizza restaurant in an abandoned mall.
  • Sideshow Bob tries to do this to Bart in The Simpsons episode "Funeral for a Fiend". Humorously, the two speeds of the conveyor belt leading to the crematory oven were Gloating Speed and Just Kill him already!
  • In the VeggieTales episode Rack, Shack, and Benny, which is based on the Biblical story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the protagonists are almost killed via fiery furnace as punishment for refusing to bow to a chocolate bunny and sing a song whose lyrics they take issue with.

    Real Life 
  • In ancient Greece, the Brazen Bull (invented in the 6th century BCE) was said to be a particularly horrible variation. Amounting to a large metal oven, as much a torture device as an execution method, those trapped inside were left to roast while the brass interior heated to lethal temperatures. Phalaris, the tyrant who commissioned it, reportedly tested it on its inventor, almost killing him before he was removed (and then executing him in a different manner). Phalaris himself was said to be executed in the bull when he was overthrown.
  • Almost happened to an Indian woman in February 2024. She was presumed dead and opened her eyes minutes before her scheduled cremation.


Video Example(s):


Tales From the Darkside

The stories from Tales From the Darkside always ended in cruel downer endings, if not bittersweet endings at best, so it comes as a huge surprise that the wraparound story from the movie actually ends with the monster being killed and the hero getting away. They really did save the best for last.

How well does it match the trope?

4.86 (14 votes)

Example of:

Main / SurprisinglyHappyEnding

Media sources: