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Nostalgia Heaven

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Basically, this is any scene that's either a dream or a portrayal of the afterlife, where characters with a deep connection whose relationship mainly blossomed in a particular place, are seen again there, usually in a bittersweet way. Often, if they died during a particularly distinct (and nostalgic) point in history, Heaven is stuck in that time period forever. If they enjoyed some (non-satanic) subculture, the afterlife is almost exclusively devoted to this subculture (perhaps even the more family-friendly version of Heavy Metal).

If they died after Planning for the Future Before the End, they may end up keeping their promises after all.

The key point is that it involves the person dying (or having a near death experience) and going to a heaven-like place. Sister Trope to Died Happily Ever After comparable to Lost Love Montage.

Warning Death-Trope: Spoilers, Tear-Jerkers, and Worm-food ahead.


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     Anime and Manga  

  • In episode 29 of Wolf's Rain the dead or dying Toboe has a vision of himself as a pup with his beloved human Granny (whose death he always felt guilty over).
  • In Fruits Basket, after Kyoko dies, she's reunited with her husband at the beach where they had their first date.
  • At the end of the original Yu-Gi-Oh!, when The Pharaoh passes on, we see him walking through the threshold of the door to the afterlife. As that happens, his school jacket fills the entire screen for a moment, after which it is now his cape. He appears as he was during the Millennium World arc, and he's in Ancient Egypt with the High Priests.

     Comic Books  

  • A variant is used in Hitman's final arc, with Tommy's Dying Dream of seeing all his friends again in a version of Noonan's Sleazy Bar where the only rule is "You have to leave your guns at the door."

     Fan Fic  

     Films — Live-Action 

  • In Titanic (1997), Rose apparently died and went to the Titanic as it once was. The DVD commentary said that it could be what happened, or that Rose is just dreaming it.
  • This was also the plot in The Shining, where dead people stay in the hotel forever as ghosts at a 1921 (1945 in the book) party. Of course, this isn't actually a reward, as many of the ghosts died gruesome deaths in the hotel and are trapped repeating their crimes for all eternity (most notably one of it's owners, Horace Derwent). In reality, they're little more than puppets for the Genius Loci of the hotel itself.
  • The end of Gladiator sees Maximus dying shortly after the villain, then being reunited with his wife and son on his old farm in Hispania.
  • In the Japanese film After Life, it is the job of the afterlife workers to help the recently deceased to identify the happiest moment in their life and film a re-enactment of it, and when the subject watches the film they enter that moment for an eternity.
  • In The Blue Bird the dead grandparents' Heaven is exactly like their home in life, and they work on their usual occupations. We're reminded that no one ever really dies, but they sleep most of the time, only coming awake when people visit their graves or remember them.
  • The Green Mile: Just before his execution one of the prisoners expresses his hope that, if he is sincerely repentant, his afterlife in Heaven will be like this: That he will spend eternity reliving "the time that was happiest for him" (which in his case was being married at eighteen, spending summer in the mountains with his young wife, making love every night, and then talking, sometimes until the sun came up).


  • The Lovely Bones mentions that each person's heaven is based on an individual vision of what made him/her happy in life. Susie's includes a high school (because she had eagerly looked forward to going to high school, but was murdered before she could do so) and her own duplex (because she wanted one when she was alive).
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: At the end of the last book; the characters see the professor's old home, which had been destroyed. It turns out they are in heaven ("The England within England, the real England"), where "no good thing is destroyed".
  • In The Five People You Meet in Heaven, heaven is a mixture of this and Mundane Afterlife: it's whatever place the person had the fondest memories in (or in some cases, the only memories).
  • Ray Bradbury's "Mars Is Heaven!": Some explorers land on Mars and are stunned to find their childhood hometown, populated by all their deceased relatives, very much alive and well. It's a trick.
  • Finnbarr Galedeep in The Bellmaker dies taking the Big Bad with him, then wakes up on the deck of his ship and heads out to sea.
  • The Harry Turtledove short story "The Last Reunion" starts with an old general returning to Richmond in 1932 for a United Confederate Veterans' reunion, and ends with him getting up from his cot to fight on the battlefields of his youth. Except when the day is done, the men from both sides stand back up, wounds forgotten, and pal it up all evening before replaying another battle the next day. A Nostalgic Warrior Heaven, in other words.
  • In the Warrior Cats book Squirrelflight's Hope, Squirrelflight and Leafpool find that StarClan's territory is in the old forest where they were born; the Clans had to leave when humans destroyed it.

     Live-Action TV  

  • Heaven on Supernatural is like this-every soul gets their own personal space where they get to relive their happiest memories. For the main characters, the fact that you only have illusions of your loved ones for company instead of actual people makes it far less happy. Dean describes Heaven as less of a paradise and "more like The Matrix". Come the Grand Finale, however, and Jack (who has become the new God) changes this, tearing down the walls separating every soul into their own Heaven and allowing everyone to truly be together in a paradise of their own making.
  • In the Doctor Who special The Time of the Doctor, the Eleventh Doctor has visions of his previous companion, Amy Pond, as he starts to regenerate. The inside of the TARDIS even briefly changes to her old home where they first met.
    Amy: Raggedy Man... good night.

     Music Videos  

  • Used in the Flobots "Handlebars" music video, where the main character is killed by his childhood friend, and the last shot is a recall of the first scene with him and his friend riding bikes.


  • Les MisÚrables: when Valjean ascends to heaven, he joins the dead students, usually on the very barricade that they had died on. The 2012 film takes this even further by placing them on a giant barricade that crosses the square that Le Marche's hearse passes through where the revolution had started. Evidently, for them, heaven is a version of the world where the revolution had succeeded and all of Paris got to be free - and this is reflected in the lyrics:
    "They will live again in freedom in the garden of the lord/They will walk behind the plowshare, they will put away the sword/The chain will be broken and all men will have their reward!"

     Video Games  

  • After Gaspard is defeated in Dark Chronicle, you then see him as a child again, returning home to his mother in the cabin they once lived happily in.
  • Kingdom Hearts II Final Mix has Axel and Roxas meeting up one last time at the clock tower in Twilight Town before Axel fades away from existence or so it seems and before Roxas becomes consumed by Sora.
  • To the Moon ends with child!Johnny and child!River meeting one another in what's implied to be their first meeting place.

     Web Comics  

  • The infamous furry webcomic Jack focuses more on Hell and Earth than Heaven, but it is shown on occasion. While theoretically, people who actually get into Heaven are essentially given Reality Warper powers over their own pocket dimension, in practice the Heavens we do see tend to mostly be Nostalgia Heavens, as people recreate their happier lives from Earth with the souls of friends and families. One horrifying aversion is the Heaven of a woman who loved Drip, a serial killing rapist who became the Sin of Lust upon Death; she's created a nightmarish world like what she imagines Drip would consider Heaven, in the hopes that he'd hear of it and it would drive him to seek reincarnation for a chance to reach Heaven. Which, of course, means that all she's done is make a hell for herself, as even on the off chance that Drip would ever qualify for reincarnation, be reborn and die in salvation, he wouldn't be the kind of person who'd want a Heaven like that anymore.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Roy finds his mother and baby brother living together in the Lawful Good afterlife. Both are stuck as nostalgic versions of themselves- his mother as her 19-year-old self, his brother as the toddler he died as. Roy spends a lot of time engaged in nostalgic activities like eating his mom's cooking and playing with his brother. Roy also meets his dead grandfather, who's living in a different part of the afterlife.

     Western Animation  

  • The American Dad! episode "Rapture's Delight" (which may or may not be canon) starts off with Stan complaining about church service being crowded by "fake" Christans who only show up during the holidays. To take his mind off it, Francine convinces Stan to have sex in a nearby janitors closet. However, while they're gone, many characters, including Steve and Haley, are ascended into heaven during the Rapture, where it's revealed that everyone gets a personalized Heaven. Stan blames Francine for being left behind and shows willingness to abandon her on Earth to get into Heaven. Furious, she runs off with Jesus whom she meets in a diner. Years later, the Earth is a hellhole filled with demons, and Stan is alone and misses Francine. Jesus returns to Stan, seeking his help as Francine had been kidnapped by the anti-Christ. He helps rescue her, so she and Jesus get out alive, but Stan dies. He is then escorted into his personal heaven, and in a surprisingly heartwarming moment, it's back with his family on Earth (with the notable exception of a dead Klaus).
  • Primal: When Lula the Witch dies at the end of "Coven of the Damned", she is reunited with her daughter in an afterlife resembling the field of flowers the two used to play in.


Video Example(s):


Titanic Crew Welcomes Rose

Upon dying in her sleep, Rose reunites with Jack and all those who died on the Titanic.

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Main / AfterlifeWelcome

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