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Obituary Montage

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Specialized montage mostly limited to award shows, which strings together film clips featuring everyone from the show's specific field of endeavor who died during the previous year. Typically synchronized with a medley of stirring and/or sad music, with theme songs thrown in for good measure when the deceased worked in television or film.

Too often it degrades into a weird sort of popularity contest for the people at home, as the actors and actresses featured inevitably get more applause than the costume designers and writers. You have to wonder why they just don't go for the moment of silence.

Also seen on news/sports shows, usually at the end of a telecast.

Compare Really Dead Montage, because a character has not been Killed Off for Real until they get a flashback Clip Show, and In Memoriam, which are dedications to those who have died and had a direct connection to the work.


Films — Live Action

Live-Action TV

  • Arrested Development: In "Key Decisions", Michael Bluth attends the Desi Awards ceremony with his brother's girlfriend, Marta. He sits through a Spanish-language montage of dead people in uncomfortable silence.
  • Award shows:
  • Look Around You: In "Casserole", Peter announces Clive Pounds' decease due to complications from a wasp sitting on his anus. He then proceeds to observe a minute of silence in which some recycled images featuring Pounds are passed. Immediately after, he declares that he thinks the audience will be pleased to know that Pounds has undergone an Unexplained Recovery and is alive again now.
  • Nevermind The Buzzcocks: One episode features a montage of people "we wish had died in the past year", including, among others, Elton John, Robbie Williams, Emma Bunton, and Elton John (again).
  • NBC's coverage of the 2006 Winter Olympics ends with one of these, honoring sportscaster Curt Gowdy.
  • Night of the 100 Stars: The 1990 edition has one for people who were part of the filming crew in the 1982 and 1985 specials but had died since then.
  • Real Time with Bill Maher: Parodied with the recurring segment "A Farewell To Douchebags", a montage of political leaders and pundits who fell from grace after a given election cycle.
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • "Lindsay Lohan/Jack White" has a sketch about an award show for psychics with a montage of people who are going to die that year. Needless to say, this comes as a bit of a shock to the people seen in the video. Ultimately including the entire audience of the show, it predicts them to die when the theater catches fire.
    • The "40th Anniversary Special" shows a genuine montage, introduced by Bill Murray, featuring the cast and crew members who had passed on. To lighten things back up, the final tribute was for Jon Lovitz, with the camera cutting to a very alive and confused Lovitz sitting in the audience. Additionally, it ends with an update coming from Spain: "Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead."
  • Survivor: In "Heroes vs. Villains", there's a reunion that features a brief Good-Times Montage for the late Jenn Lyon, with warm and respectful words from Jeff Probst (who met up with her after she left her season).
  • Turner Classic Movies airs a "TCM Remembers" tribute each December, showing the various film personalities (from both sides of the camera) who have died in the preceding year. The tributes are noted for their strong production and execution, along with unconventional but fitting music choices from the likes of Lord Huron and M83.


  • The major news magazines, Time, People and so forth, have weekly sections under such headings as "Milestones" or some similar name, and one of the listings will include brief biographies of notable people who passed away during the week covered, with major figures getting their own stories.
  • At the end of the year, the magazines will devote an entire section to people who died during the past year. Some, like People, will publish special issues, offering feature-length stories of the most notable people and full-page tributes to those not quite as prominent. People also takes it a step further, including not just pop culture personalities but servicemen and women who died in the line of duty (usually, the Middle East) from the end of December of the previous year to the week of deadline for the year-end issue (usually, the middle of the current December).


  • La oreja de Van Gogh inverted this with the music video of "Jueves", which features various Spaniards simply interacting with the camera (saying hi or making gestures) as a remembrance of those who died in the March 11th bombings. It's a testimony of the life spark every human being harbors and that violence snuffles away.


  • Magic Goes Wrong: Played for Laughs. The second half kicks off with a montage of those who have died in magic-related incidents, including characters mentioned in the first half, characters shown dying in the first half, an audience member who was pecked to death by escaped doves and one of the still living performers, whose date of death is “Hopefully very soon”, much to his annoyance.

Web Videos

  • Joueur du Grenier: Parodied. At the end of his Resident Evil review, Fred shows an In Memoriam montage of characters from the video games who disappeared from the movies with no logical reason or any explanation. The last of such disappearances is "Consistency".
  • Scott The Woz: "Game of the Year Throughout the Years" has a Framing Device of him presenting the "Year of the Year" award show. He starts off with one of these for the years previous to the episode's upload, which according to him would go on for six hours.

Western Animation

  • Drawn Together spoofed the trope in "American Idol Parody Clip Show". It's not that the previously never-seen Munchkin Mouse has died, it's that he's been evicted from the house, so the same still image of him is inserted in various clips from the show and passed as a "Munchkin Mouse's Greatest Moments" montage.
  • Family Guy spoofed these kinds of montages as well. In "Da Boom", a New Year's Eve 2000 news broadcast plays a montage of noted people who passed away in the last millennium, including Joan of Arc, Leonardo da Vinci, and... Norman Fell.
  • Inside Job (2021): In "Blue Bloods", during the reptoid annual gala, an In Memoriam 2021 of the Reptoids which were lost over the last year is shown. The hosts announce it in a heart-felt manner and some guests are sobbing. Given the Reptoids' several-century lifespans, it makes sense that they are hit especially hard by the loss of a guy called Zurlock the Merciless, circa 500 BCE.
  • The Patrick Star Show parodies this in "The Starry Awards". At his awards show, Patrick gives an In Memoriam montage, mostly consisting of characters on the show who are already ghosts or zombies. The last one is a slide of a random background character, who is in the audience and points out he's still alive. He then gets hit in the head with a falling spotlight and dies.
  • Robot Chicken: One such montage cycles past two cast members who apparently died improbable deaths. Seth Green is disappointed in how lame and short the montage was and starts murdering other cast members to improve it.
  • The Simpsons:
    • "Homer and Lisa Exchange Cross Words": One of the three musical montages honors words that were taken out of the dictionary, with "Fanfare for the Common Man" playing in the background.
    • "I, (Annoyed Grunt)-Bot": Homer daydreams about making an acceptance speech at the Oscars and a robot killing him for going over the time limit. The robot then segues into this trope, of which the first photo is Homer himself.
  • South Park:
    • The characters spoof this trope during one Emmy Award telecast. The montage is presented by the boys and brings Kenny (who dies Once an Episode) up again and again. Apparently, God has died too. And then Kenny dies again when a setpiece crushes him.
    • "Put It Down": The eponymous musical number features an "In Memoriam" montage of kids that died as a result of distracted drivers being more focused on Mr. Garrison's tweets. Kenny is included among them.

Real Life

  • The US Sunday morning news programs, like This Week, have montages of notable deaths during the past seven days.


Video Example(s):


Emmys 2024 In Memoriam Montage

The Emmys say goodbye to those lost in 2023 to the sound of Charlie Puth and the theme from Friends

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / ObituaryMontage

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