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Please Wake Up

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"Dad?... Dad, c'mon... you've gotta get up. Dad... we've gotta go home."

"Don't leave me here alone... Don't go where I can't follow... Wake up... not asleep... dead!"

When someone dies, and there is a young character for whom this is the first experience with death. They usually say something to the effect of "wake up" or "don't do that, when he wakes up…" Usually implies that the character believes or wants to believe the individual, often their parent, is only sleeping, when in fact, viewers are very aware they are dead. It's all the more heartbreaking when it's just after the two have escaped from the danger, just when you think everything's going to be okay...

Even adult characters sometimes exhibit this behavior under stress, or when someone Too Good for This Sinful Earth dies.

Truth in Television, sadly; most young children have difficulty understanding the finality of death and are terrified and confused when they discover people don't wake up sometimes, which does give a little credence to Media Watchdogs being cautious about death on television. Even adults who understand death can have this reaction from shock. Most people aren't personally familiar with seeing someone die, and even fewer are qualified to definitively determine signs of life.

The most common outcome of And Call Him "George". Sometimes includes How Dare You Die on Me!. Contrast Talking to the Dead. If the person is unconscious or comatose and not dead, it's Converse with the Unconscious. If the person who sees the death snaps completely, it could develop into a case of Mummies at the Dinner Table. In cases of Comedic Sociopathy, someone's attempt to "wake" the dead may involve Poking Dead Things with a Stick.

As this is a Death Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the second-to-last or last chapter of the manga Absolute Boyfriend, Riiko says this when Night stops working. Like Zoe below, less of being a kid and more he was her emotional anchor. In this case, her first real boyfriend. Also, since he was an artificial human, it was harder to accept his death since he often didn't function the same way as a real man.
  • Happens in Attack on Titan to the short-lived side couple composed of Franz and Hanna, after a disastrous first mission of the new cadets in the defense of Trost when the Titans invade. A shell-shocked Armin spots Hanna as she desperately tries to resuscitate Franz; already traumatized and worn as it is, he tells Hanna to stop, as Franz is not only dead, but has been bitten in half.
  • Black Butler:
    • Ciel when Sebastian died, and he kept repeating things like, "Sleeping on the floor doesn't look that comfortable to me," and "Get up". Subverted because it ended up being a fake death, but Ciel's reactions were still particularly heart-wrenching. It's later revealed that Ciel knew and was acting the whole time.
    • Alois to his little brother Luca in Season 2.
  • Bleach
    • Episode 178: In a Flash Back to his mother's death, Ichigo remembers that he said: "Please wake up, Mommy!"
    • Subverted in the pilot episode, where Orihime is saying this... to her own corpse, as she has just died after taking a big Staircase Tumble and her soul/conscience is still trying to process what the Hell just happened.
    • Tsukishima possibly fits. He is none too happy when Ginjou falls in battle. He shouts at Ginjou not to die and calling his name, completely hysterical. Riruka finally has to yell at him that Ginjou is dead already and that he needs to accept it.It later turns into an How Dare You Die on Me! moment when Tsukishima stands in the woods crying at Ginjou's passing-asking repeatedly why Ginjou had to die on him. He screams to the skies that Ginjou taught him everything, except what to do in the event that he died.
    • After Kenpachi mortally wounds Unohana, he cradles her and begs her to wake up.
  • In Candy Candy, Candy does this when a Cool Old Guy whom she was taking care of in the hospital dies when she was away for some minutes.
  • Case Closed:
    • Subverted when Heiji and Conan find Kazuha looking exactly like the former corpses in a string of murders they're investigating. Thankfully, she was just unconscious because of a stun gun and woke up. But had Heiji and Conan been late juuuuust for some minutes, Kazuha would've really died.
    Heiji: "Kazuha... hey... wake up, Kazuha! Kazuha!! KAZUHA!!!".
  • The finale of Code Geass has Nunnally saying this to Lelouch in the final Tear Jerker of the series. In this case, however, the person in question is old enough to understand death and saw the deceased get stabbed through the chest; the reaction is because they were incredibly close (and possibly because one of the last things she said to him was "You're a devil!").
    Nunnally: You can't leave me! You can't! Please open your eyes big brother, please! BIG BROTHER!
  • DearS Young Miu has a rather heartwrenching example of this in her backstory.
    Master! I won't make mistakes anymore! So please wake up, Master! Please don't leave me alone.
  • Devil May Cry: The Animated Series: "Dante! Wake up, run away! No way you'd die from a little wound like this, right? Please wake up and take down the demons like you always do!... I'm sorry... I'm so sorry!.." "...Open your eyes! I promise not to get mad when you mess up your office! I won't eat your strawberry sundaes anymore!" Dante being Dante, he gets better.
  • The dub of Digimon Adventure double subverts this when Leomon takes a blast to the back for Mimi and falls down. Mimi says this practically verbatim. He wakes up to use his last strength to defeat the bad guy, and then he dies soon afterwards.
  • Done twice in Dragon Ball. The first time, Goku finds Krillin dead after being murdered by Tambourine. He spends several seconds shaking and telling Krillin to wake-up before acknowledging that he was dead. The second time, it was Krillin shaking Goku after he died sacrificing himself to stop Raditz. Krillin knows Goku is dead but is in denial.
  • A similar version occurs in Freezing, after Ganessa winds up Taking the Bullet for Satellizer. Unlike the S Cryed example, this one's more refusing to believe she's dead. Thankfully, she gets better.
    Arthur: I'm sorry, ma'am, I shouldn't have picked you up without asking! Oh no, I got a little dirt on your face - you always try so hard to stay clean and pretty, too. I'm really screwing this up. Let's try again, okay? If you didn't like the piggy-back, maybe we can do something else. Oh, I know! I'll carry you like a princess, I know you don't mind that. That's better, isn't it? Tell me it's okay. One word is all I need. Anything! Just please talk to me! "Why are you crying so much, you fool?" "Stop wasting time and carry me!" Scold me like you always do, I know I deserve it! Please!
  • Fresh Pretty Cure! Episode 23: Cure Peach to Eas.
  • "No, Daddy has a lot of work to do and if they bury him he can't do it when he wakes up!" A sad scene in Fullmetal Alchemist (2003) spoken by the young daughter of Maes Hughes, Elicia, at his funeral.
  • Fushigi Yuugi: "Nuriko, please... open your eyes... for me?"
  • In GaoGaiGar, at the end of the battle against EI-01, Mamory calls out to Guy, who is nearly dead. Thankfully, the power of the G-Stone narrowly turns this example into a subversion.
  • At the start of Inazuma Eleven: Ares, Sonny's sick mother dies. Sonny goes into denial and starts crying. He asks her to wake up and even reverts to using "Mommy".
  • Subverted in Jack and the Witch. After Jack rescues Allegra from the Ice Caves he floats to the surface of the water and appears to be dead. She tells him "Wake up, Jack!" When she realizes he's dead she cries over him and he comes back to life.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • In the Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Stardust Crusaders anime, Kakyoin has this reaction upon Avdol's first death. He insists that Avdol is just fine and that he'll get up and start speaking soon. When he doesn't, he starts shaking his body and calling out to him.
      Kakyoin: H-he's just hurt... it's just a minor wound. See? He's going to start speaking... he'll open his eyes at any moment. Right, Mr Avdol? You're going to wake up, right? Mr. Avdol, wake up! Please! Mr. Avdol!
    • In Jo Jos Bizarre Adventure Diamond Is Unbreakable, Josuke has this reaction after his grandfather is murdered early in the story. Josuke uses his Stand Crazy Diamond to heal the injuries, but when nothing happens he starts shaking the body, assuming Grandpa is playing some kind of cruel prank (since the two of them have a running prank war with each other). He finally realizes what's happening when Jotaro steps in, putting a hand on Josuke's shoulder, and says that not even Stands can bring people back from the dead.
  • In K, Misaki to Tatara in the flashbacks in episode 6, when they find him on the roof after being shot.
  • In a flashback in Madlax, Margaret tries to wake up her mother... after the plane they were on crashed over Gazth-Sonika.
  • Major: Goro's father Shigeharu suffers a delayed death after he takes a dead ball to the head from Joe Gibson, as the damage doesn't manifest until the next morning. When Goro wakes up, he at first assumes his dad just fell asleep again, and this trope ensues, until he grabs his hand and notices how cold it is (he's quick to realize it since his mom had died a few years prior and he went through a similar experience).
  • My Roommate is a Cat: At the start, Haru returns to her smaller sibling after scavenging food for the two of them only to find that in her abscence her sibling has been killed a combination of starvation and being attacked by a crow. She tries to wake him up to no avail. This is what prompts her to panic when she finds Subaru collapsed on the floor after working himself to exhaustion and prompting her to push her food dish over to him.
  • In Naruto, Lady Chiyo sacrifices all of her life energy to bring Gaara back to life. Naruto assumes she fell asleep after doing that, and Kankuro has to tell him she is dead.
  • During Negi's Doomed Hometown flashback in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, he can be seen yelling this at his cousin Nekane's almost petrified body. Thankfully, she got better quickly.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Shinji to a comatose Asuka, in the hospital scene of End of Evangelion. And then... the covers slip, showing Asuka's naked body, prompting Shinji to finally break down after 24 episodes of abuse and masturbate over her comatose body.
  • One Piece:
    • In his flashback in the manga version, Zoro does this when Kuina dies, albeit in a way that's much angrier and hurt. Deeply in denial, he screams at her for abandoning their promise (implied that it's more because he felt she was abandoning HIM). It took an adult man and another boy around his age to hold him back.
    • A non-death example: After Luffy one-shots Bellamy, the latter's first-mate Sarquisse playfully asks Bellamy to quit fooling around take down Luffy. When Bellamy doesn't respond (Out cold and with a fist-shaped dent in his cheekbones), Sarquisse gets angry, and yells what the hell is going on, Bellamy's the up-and-coming rookie worth 55 million berries, he should be able to take this little pipsqueak. It's then that everyone realizes that the wanted poster for Luffy is legit and that Straw Hat earned the 100 million he's wanted for.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • The climax of Pokémon: The First Movie. Ash, having been hit by Mew and Mewtwo's attacks, is turned to stone. Pikachu runs up to him and desperately tries to shock him back to wakefulness, wearing himself out in the process. Amazingly poignant, as at first Pikachu seems confused, playing this trope to the letter, and then in denial, continuing to try and shock Ash awake even when it's apparent that his efforts are useless. Ash gets better, but it takes the tears of a small army of Pokémon to do it. TWO small armies of Pokémon, one of which is comprised entirely of the clones of the entire other one. Along with the tears of three humans. In fact, we're lucky Pokémon tears are full of life or else that would've ended the series right there.
    • Once again in the Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions movie. Poor little Zorua.
    • It also happens in the regular series, when Ash and Pikachu's spirits are taken out of their bodies by a Haunter. Misty finds them lying on the floor and tearfully begs Ash to wake up.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Madoka begs Sayaka to wake up after Madoka snaps and throws her soul gem off the highway bridge and onto the top of a semi-truck, in a desperate bid to stop Sayaka from fighting Kyouko, and Sayaka collapses shortly afterward. Kyubey then reveals that a soul gem is actually a Soul Jar, and if taken too far from their owners, they will die. Luckily Homura, in a Big Damn Heroes moment, returns the gem.
  • In the Record of Lodoss War TV series, Shiris does this to Orson after his Heroic Sacrifice, out of shock since he did it all for her.
  • In the Sailor Moon R movie, after Usagi sacrifices herself to stop a meteor from hitting Earth, Rei/Sailor Mars, who is usually a monumental Jerkass to Usagi, tearfully shakes Usagi and begs her to wake up. The other senshi, saved for Venus, also begs her to wake-up. They know she's dead, but are all in denial. Usagi gets better with a kiss from Mamoru, who gave her nectar from the Flower of Life.
  • Scryed has one that's phenomenally brutal in its simplicity. Kimishima has been severely injured amidst his Moment of Awesome. So Kazuma carries him back home. Somewhere along the way, Kimishima stops talking, but Kazuma doesn't realize what this means. When they get home, Kaname realizes what's happened, and starts to cry. But Kazuma...
    "Hey, now you hold on or you're gonna fall! Kimishima, are you listenin'? Hey! Kimishima? Heh heh, say something. Kimishima, I am not in the mood to fool around. This isn't funny. Hey, Kaname, what's wrong?... Hey, wait. Kimishima?"
    Screen cuts to black
    "Come on, wake up. Kimishima..."
  • Squid Girl gives us a moment in Episode 5, in the last segment, titled "Won't You Keep It?" Mini-Ika sits on a hospital bed as an aged Eiko passes from this world. She tries to wake her lifelong friend, to no avail. Thank goodness it turned out to be All Just a Dream.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Kamina, having risen up what could already almost qualify as a "Please Wake Up" moment already. With blood dripping down his face, he climbs back into the seat of his giant mech, rips off one of said mech's arms, and throws it at Simon, who is already in a premature Heroic BSoD. Cue Awesome Music, followed by Awesome Speech. Then explosions. Then a quieter awesome speech. Then more explosions (and drills). And then...
    Kamina: "Later... buddy..."
    Simon: "What was that, bro? (screen goes black) Bro?"
  • Witchblade: The end of episode 20. Masane falls over unconscious after pleading with Takayama to take care of Rihoko (she knows she's under a death sentence and may well believe her time's up). The episode ends on Takayama's trying to rouse Masane while Riho cries out "Mom! Mom! Mommy!". Truly heartwrenching.
  • Wolf's Rain:
    • Toboe catches a hawk to impress a girl. He puts it in her arms, and becomes confused and starts to poke it when it doesn't move and saying "Wake up". Not realizing it's dead until she says so. And it was the girl's pet hawk.
    • It happened to him again in his origin story the old lady who cared for him when he was a pup was accidentally killed when he jumped on top of her and accidentally cut off her oxygen, he nudges and pulls at her body then he howls in sorrow, poor kid.
  • YuYu Hakusho:
    • In the first episode, where the little kid that Yusuke saved visits Yusuke's funeral. He says something like "Why is he in the box? Is he sleeping? Can I play with him tomorrow?"
    • When Yusuke dies again after being killed by Sensui, Kuwabara rushes over to him and thinks he's faking it to fool him, Hiei and Kurama as he did to Yusuke when Younger Toguro seemingly killed him. He desperately puts his hand over Yusuke's mouth and nose to make him drop the act... but to his horror, Yusuke isn't acting.
  • Zetman has one of the earlier chapters with Jin, the main character, raised in poverty by his adoptive grandfather, a former inventor and general handyman. When his grandfather dies from shock and blood loss after having his arm cut off, Jin takes him to the hospital to get "fixed", only getting truly upset when it becomes clear that it's impossible.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: In some depictions of the Thomas and Martha Wayne's deaths, eight-year-old Bruce is shown in denial of what happened. In Death and the Maidens, a flashback vision/hallucination sends Bruce back to that moment as a boy again. Bruce is gathering his mother's pearls, reassuring her that he'll fix her necklace and that by doing so everything will be all right again. His mother's ghost interrupts him and shakes him out of his childlike denial (changing Bruce back into an adult).
  • In one Fantastic Four story, The Thing took a massive shot from Doctor Doom that actually blew a hole into his chest. Reed spent something like an hour performing CPR in a futile attempt to keep him alive before Sue and Johnie convinced him to stop. Ultimately subverted, since Reed then built a machine that let them go to the afterlife and find Ben, then they met God (who looked just like Jack Kirby) and he brought The Thing back to life for them.
  • New Mutants #60 After the battle with Ani-Mator and The Right troopers:
    Rahne to Doug (finding him on the ground and shaking him.)
    "You are teasing us, aren't you?"
    No he isn’t.
  • Probably one of the best-known examples in a comic is The Night Gwen Stacy Died the Spider-Man story where Gwen Stacy died. Spider-Man catches her with a web after she's knocked off the Brooklyn Bridge, not knowing she's already dead. When he pulls her up and realizes he's lost her, he initially can't believe it.
    Spider-Man: I saved you, honey, don't you see? I saved you...

  • The Powerpuff Girls story "Buttercup's Boyfriend" (issue #2) deals with a boy who receives a belt from Him that causes people to hate after getting zapped from the buckle's ray (this after Buttercup spurns his approach). The ray hit Bubbles, but since she's so full of love the ray short-circuits her and knocks her unconscious. Blossom verbally tells Bubbles she loves her; she entreats Buttercup to tell Bubbles she loves her in order to wake her up.
  • Chase Stein of the Runaways has had to go through this twice - first when his girlfriend Gert was killed by Geoffrey Wilder, and later when an accident apparently killed Old Lace. The second time was probably worse because he actually felt Old Lace's heart stop beating.
    "I'msosorrysorrysosorry Gert. I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm sorry. Come back. Please come back..."
  • Transformers: Wings of Honor: Had two examples from the Battle Lines Arc.
    • Outback's reaction to Ricochet's death.
      Flak: He's offline.
      Outback: Just like Rico to take a stasis nap during a fight.
      Flak: No, Outback. He's... gone.
      Outback: Oh! ...oh.
    • Sprocket is a Cloudcuckoolander and constantly talks to famous people, people who are deceased, imaginary people, and inanimate objects. It's all in his head and quite funny. When he and his brother Rumbler are shot, he's fine, but a panel shows the medics staring grimly at Rumbler's body, later pronouncing him dead. Sprocket's final appearance has him talking to an empty chair, still believing Rumbler to be alive.
  • In Ultimatum, Magneto has a Villainous BSoD when he finds out mutants are nothing but a by-product of a supersoldier experiment. He starts begging Xavier, whom he just recently killed, for advice and asking where he is.
  • Also a Please, Don't Leave Me: At the end of Innocence Lost, X-23 kills her mother in a chemically-induced berserker rage, just as they destroy and escape the Facility that bred her. As Sarah Kinney dies and tells Laura that she loves her, for a moment she stops being a weapon and is just a little girl again, hopelessly begging, "please don't leave me," even after it's clear that Sarah has already died from her wounds. In a flashback to this same scene in Target X, Laura goes on to numbly ask what her next mission is.

    Fan Works 
  • In Being Dead Ain't Easy, as Joey dies, Kaiba begs him to stay with him. This turns out to have lasting ramifications.
  • The Child of Love: In chapter 9 Shinji told that line to Asuka when he thought she had passed away.
    Shinji: Wake up! Don't leave me! Don't...
  • A Star Trek: The Next Generation fanfic entitled An Enduring Song, kills off Troi and has Riker ask her to come back.
    Riker: Please, come back to me, Deanna. Gods, come back to me
  • Fireside Tale: After the death of her sister, Anna tries to fool herself into thinking that Elsa is just asleep. She soon comes to terms with Elsa's death, but it doesn't mean she ever got over Elsa. Anna died still grieving over Elsa, refusing to leave an uninhabitable Arendelle even after everyone else did:
    Kristoff: Anna.
    Anna: I don't want to wake her up. It's okay, it's not that cold. I can wait until she wakes up by herself. Then we can take her in and get her warm, and...
    Kristoff: Anna. You know better.
  • In Gensokyo 20XXV, Reimu does this twice. The first time is a subversion in the people in which she is trying to wake up aren't dead and the second time is played straight in that the person she is trying to wake up has actually passed away.
  • At the end of the first Halloween Unspectacular, after the Big Bad ReGenesis/Dib Membrane hits the Reset Button on their destruction of Earth, at the cost of their own life. Invader Zim tries this on them... Sadly to no effect.
  • This Homestuck fanart.
  • Subverted in Chapter 6 of I've Got Your Back, where Pearl initially goes to bring breakfast in bed to a sleeping Marina, but, finding her out like a light and as cold as a stone after more than twelve hours, is momentarily terrified that she had died in her sleep. As it turns out, she had merely needed all of the rest that she could get after the previous night, where she suffered a massive Disabled in the Adaptation injury.
  • In the The Lord of the Rings fanfic Left, Frodo has a nightmare about finding Sam dead. He shakes him and begs him to wake up.
  • In It's not the Raptor DNA, Elise thought her sister was getting better when she stopped breathing, then she wouldn't eat anymore, and poor Elise tried to warm her cold body by wrapping herself around it. It wasn't until Small One started to smell and decompose that Elise realized she would never wake up anymore.
  • Mare of Steel: Firefly does this to Rainbow Dash after the latter's fight with General Zod leaves her in a coma. Fortunately, it's a Disney Death and Rainbow Dash wakes up soon after.
  • Mastermind: Rise of Anarchy has a rather twisted example when Bakugou, who's become a Vigilante Man as a way of coping with his newfound status as a social pariah, accidentally kills one of his targets. Upon realizing what's just happened, he has a brief moment of My God, What Have I Done? before switching over to angrily demanding that they "wake the fuck up".
  • In Morticia Cara Mia, which is a fanfiction of The Addams Family, Morticia goes into labour then climbs ups the stairs but is reduced to The Klutz due to contractions so she falls down the stairs and ends up unconscious and apparently dead with broken ribs and a cut on her forehead. Gomez thinks it's a trick God is playing to teach him that money can't replace everything and yells at Morticia and God to have Morticia be alive. It turns out she is alive.
  • In My Little Chrono Triggers Are Magic, Pinkie Pie does this to Big Mac in the Cariij Dome coldroom. That said, it should be noted she doesn't know him, so it's much less Tear Jerker than it could be.
  • Variant in Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide. When Asuka gets killed (she gets better later), Shinji, utterly broken, pleads "Asuka, please talk to me. Asuka..."
  • In Symbiosis, a two-year old Ash begs his father's dying Mareep to wake up after Mareep barely manages to get them to safety in the Viridan Forest to hide from the people who killed Ash's parents.
  • In the Fantasia story in The Disney Chronicles, the t. rex that fought and killed the stegosaurus for food is revealed to be a mother when, immediately after her death, her young son walks into view. And from there, as the visiting Equestrians and Jiminy Cricket watch in stunned shock at this revelation, the baby t. rex chirps at his mother as if desperately begging her to wake up, then letting out an especially mournful sounding cry once he realizes she's not going to wake up.
  • In The Lord of the Rings fanfic This Present Darkness, Gimli says the trope title to Legolas. Subverted, since Legolas isn't dead, but he was raped, which for Elves causes a slow, lingering death.
  • Thousand Shinji: After Asuka has been killed by the MP-Evas Shinji is holding her as desperately pleading "Wake up, Asuka, wake up".
  • The old Torchwood website's archives of Torchwood cases included a series of letters written by a young girl to her grandmother, while she and her father are spending time in a caravan. It quickly becomes clear that she and her father have some sort of radiation poisoning and have been quarantined. Then her father wouldn't wake up. Then the final letter stops halfway.
  • In Under the Big Top, after Castiel commits suicide, Dean begs him to wake up, even though he knows he's dead.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Beauty and the Beast, Belle begs the Beast not to leave her after his Disney Death.
  • Finding Nemo: Nemo plays dead in order to get flushed to the ocean, but Darla finds the bag he's faking dead in and proceeds to invoke this trope, shaking the bag and yelling at him to wake up.
  • In Frozen (2013), Elsa does this for a moment, when Anna magically freezes solid after saving her from Hans, before she breaks into tears that melt Anna's heart.
  • The Iron Giant gives us a double whammy, first when the giant attempts to wake up a recently-shot deer, which inadvertently teaches him the concept of death. This comes back when the giant believes that Hogarth is dead and nudges him the same way he did the deer.
  • In The Jungle Book (1967), Mowgli says this to Baloo when the bear has apparently died fighting Shere Khan. Bagheera begins to try to gently explain this to the boy but, this being Disney, Baloo is of course Not Quite Dead.
  • Subversion in Kung Fu Panda; an injured Shifu thanks Po for defeating Tai Lung and bringing peace to the valley, and slowly closes his eyes.
    Po: No, no, no! Don't die, Master Shifu! Please!
    Shifu: (abruptly wakes up) I'm not dying, you idiot! I mean... Dragon Warrior... I am simply... at peace. Finally...
  • The Land Before Time: Like Simba, Littlefoot urges his mother to stand before she dies from her injuries, and afterwards pleads "Mother? Mother?" to no avail.
  • The Lion King (1994): In one of the most profoundly saddening scenes in cinematic history, Simba tells Mufasa to get up in the aftermath of the stampede. Simba was likely aware of what had happened, considering his Big "NO!" when Mufasa fell, so this scene comes more from denial.
    Simba: Dad?...Dad, c'mon... you've gotta get up. Dad... we've gotta go home.
  • In Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland, when Princess Camille, Professor Genius, and Flip regain consciousness after Nemo's Heroic Sacrifice to destroy the Nightmare King, she finds Nemo's body slumped on the floor, rushes to his side, and cradles him, pleading for him to wake up until she bursts into tears. He gets better thanks to King Morpheus and his reclaimed Royal Scepter.
  • In Maya the Bee Movie, Maya says to Willy after an intense scene in which they are attacked by bats and he is then knocked to the ground. He's not dead, though, only passed out, and quickly does wake up. Later, also to the Queen Bee, who also isn't dead, though she is a lot worse off.
  • Once Upon a Forest had Cornelius sing a song with the title of the trope to his niece when she fell into a life-threatening coma trying to save her parents from the poisonous gas.
  • In Ringing Bell, minutes after Chirin's mother sacrifices herself to protect Chirin from getting killed by Woe the wolf. Chirin suddenly emerges from his mother's body thinking she was knocked out. After he attempts to wake her up by shaking her hoof, it suddenly hits him that his mother has been killed and begins wailing. As he's crying, Chirin starts running around her lifeless body while the other sheep can only watch on in silence.
    Chirin: No! You can't die, mom! [starts crying hysterically] Don't die, mom! Don't die! [starts running around her body and shaking her] No! Wake up! Wake up, I say! Don't die on me! Mom... [falls down her body] Don't die!
  • In Summer Wars, the family reacts to Grandma Sakae's death like this. She dies in her sleep, thus when they discover her, everyone crowds around her bed, desperately crying for her to open her eyes.
  • In Tangled, Rapunzel does this to Eugene after Gothel kills him.
    Rapunzel: No no no no no, Eugene... Oh, look at me, look at me! I'm right here, don't go, stay with me, Eugene!
  • Jessie implies this in Toy Story 3. After Spanish Buzz sacrifices himself to save her from a falling television, and he is pulled out from under it, Jessie opens his helmet and shakes him, trying to wake him. Buzz doesn't even move, but after a few seconds of despair, he does wake up... returned to his normal self.
  • Ralph Bakshi's Wizards jams this one, They Killed Kenny Again, Not Quite Dead, this one again, and the second They Killed Kenny Again into one short scene for one of the Evil Wizard's Mooks in the major battle scene when his buddy is shot.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 28 Days has flashbacks of the main character and her sister trying to wake their mother when they find her collapsed in the living room subverted, as she was just passed out from alcohol, and just when they're getting worried a sharp slap brings her around. However, when she really dies, the girls assume it's the same thing, and suggest "slapping her REAL hard" to their aunt, who's come to tell them.
  • Inverted in 28 Days Later, in which the suicide note left by the hero's parents bids him not to wake up from his coma to face the Zombie Apocalypse.
  • At the end of The Amazing Spiderman 2, after the fight with Green Goblin, when Spidey thinks he saved Gwen Stacy. He starts happily, then softly, then, when he realises something's wrong, imploringly, then he begs and finally breaks down completely. Made even more tearjerker-ish by the fact that viewers without keen eyes might think that Gwen actually made it...note 
  • In The Astronaut Farmer, the family's youngest goes to get her grandpa from the living room for dinner. She comes back, saying "Grandpa won't wake up."
  • In Avengers: Endgame has a strange case where it's played straight by one character (Spider-Man/Peter Parker) and inverted by another (Pepper). Iron Man delivers the Badass Fingersnap that puts an end to Thanos and his army for good, and the raw power of this action, in a homebrew gauntlet, is far too much for a human to handle. Once it's done and the villains are gone, Tony collapses. Peter, his protege for the entire Infinity Saga, swings over and tries to get him to wake up, but his wife, Pepper, realizes what he's done and tells him he can rest now as he breathes his last.

  • Beauty and the Beast (2017) actually shows the enchanted objects (temporarily) turning completely inanimate. It's already hard to watch, but to twist in the knife even further, just after Cadenza and Gaderobe become inanimate, their dog-turned-footstool, Frou-Frou, runs over and barks at them and paws at them, desperately trying to get a response out of either one of them, clearly not understanding what's happened... before Frou-Frou becomes inanimate, too. It's heartbreaking. (But, on the upside, the curse is broken a few minutes later and the now-human Cadenza and Gaderobe being reunited with their dog is adorable.)
    • Around the same point in the film, after the Beast (temporarily) dies, Belle is reduced to weeping "Come back!" It's the film's tearjerker page's trope image for a reason.

  • Films by James Cameron:
    • In The Abyss, Please Wake Up meets Cluster F-Bomb, with a pinch of How Dare You Die on Me!.
      Virgil Brigman: Goddamnit, you bitch! You never backed away from anything in your life! Now FIGHT!
    • Avatar, Neytiri tries desperately to wake Jake up. He's not in that body at the time. And again at the end, but this time she figures out what's up and what she needs to do to help him.
      • A mishearing provides an accidental example: When Eytukan is killed, Neytiri says something that sounds very much like, "Wakey, wakey," which spoils the mood entirely.
    • The Cameron trifecta comes in Titanic (1997), where Rose, excited about a lifeboat coming back, tries to wake Jack up... for a full minute... and then breaks down to the point where the boat passed her by...
  • Armand at the end of Camille (1936), when he realizes Marguerite has died in his arms: "No, don't leave me! Marguerite, come back!"
  • Possibly the most soul-crushing and heart-wrending example in live-action film is the 1979 version of The Champ, wherein the titular character, (Jon Voight) dies in the locker room shortly after winning a brutal boxing match and his young son, played by Ricky Schroeder (whose acting chops here bury most full grown adult actors), goes into an emotional meltdown trying to get his dad to wake up. You can watch it here. It's so sad that at least one study on the biology of crying used it as a reliable way to produce tears.

  • Dancing Trees: After Josephina is shot, her daughter Martha runs out of the car and starts tapping her arm, saying, "Mom, get up. Ice cream. Ice cream, one scoop. Just one scoop." A variation in that Josephina isn't quite dead yet, although she will be soon.

  • When Peg asks Edward Scissorhands what happened to his father, he replies, "He didn't wake up."
  • Elysium: Max, to Julio after Kruger stabs him through the chest after he shows up to stop their data-jacking.

  • Occurs in The Fall, when Alexandria tries to wake up Roy, after he falls asleep, having taken "sleeping pills" that we later find out are placebos.

  • Occurs in the film Godzilla vs. Destoroyah when Junior dies. Godzilla tries desperately to wake him up, and, when he realizes he's lost his son, he cries.

  • Liz has one of these moments with the red guy himself in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, including citing various reasons for him to wake up. The one that works: "You're going to be a father..." At that point, he murmurs, "I... become... father?" and forces himself back alive. Liz also has a moment in the comics, when Abe dies; it's not an explicit version of this trope, but the way she shakes his body and keeps calling his name, even after other characters have informed her of his death, implies she was still trying to wake him up.

  • In Independence Day, when the President's wife, her mother dies, then-8-year-old Mae Whitman's character asks her Dad "Is she sleeping now?"
  • Subverted in I Remember Mama. "Are you still asleep? Y'old sleepy cat. Wake up. S'morning..." And he does! It's beautifully set up. Make him live, Mama. Please.

  • In the 1943 film version of Jane Eyre Young Jane tries to wake Helen Burns the morning after they fall asleep in each other's arms:
    Jane: Helen. Are you awake? It's morning. Helen! (screams)
  • Jason's Lyric: When his girlfriend, Lyric, is (accidentally) shot by his own brother, Joshua, Jason tearfully pleads her to stay strong by reminding about their plan to escape town together (after he initially called it off, out of brotherly love). Thankfully, Lyric miraculously survives as she and Jason are seen riding a bus together in the end.
    Jason: Lyric... Lyric... I'm ready to go... Come on, you should get up... You gotta get up 'cause we gotta go. Come on.
  • Genuinely tragic moment in The Joy Luck Club when An Mei's mother commits her carefully timed suicide and An Mei does this. Yi Ding was a terrific actress.

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:
    • In the extended version of the film, Éomer rushing screaming to Éowyn's side and shaking her has all of the techniques. It's actually quite effective; Éomer is usually The Stoic, seeing him screaming wordlessly in grief is downright shaking.
    • It does lead to a fantastic Roaring Rampage of Revenge in the book since it occurs mid-battle there.
    • After successfully beating Shelob off him, Sam rushes to Frodo and tears off the webbing over his face, only for the other hobbit to remain unresponsive. With an increasingly broken voice, Sam begs his friend/master not to leave him, only to break down in tears as he concludes he was too late. Luckily, it turns out Shelob's venom just induces very deep unconsciousness.

  • In The Maze Runner (2014), Thomas asks Chuck to stay with him, begging him to wake up, and refuses to leave his body behind as it sinks in that he's dead after Taking the Bullet for Thomas.
  • Jon Voight does this himself as Joe Buck in Midnight Cowboy, when his only friend (and arguable love interest) Rizzo dies on the bus in the end.
    OK Rico? Rico? Rico? Hey, Rico? Rico?
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "I'm not dead yet! I think I'm getting better!"
  • In The Mummy Returns, Rick pleads his wife Evy to "come back!" and crashes into Heroic BSoD. And thanks to the Book of the Dead, it's only temporary anyway. She gets better.
  • Subverted in National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets: in the prologue, after the Lincoln assassination conspirator kills his father, young Thomas Gates kneels by the body and begs him to "come back", but then immediately afterward cries out that it is unfair.
  • On Her Majesty's Secret Service: "It's all right. It's quite all right, really. She's having a rest. We'll be going on soon. There's no hurry, you see. We have all the time in the world."

  • In Pihu, the eponymous two-year-old repeatedly tries to wake her dead mother.
  • The Princess Bride: "Westley's only faking, right?" Fortunately, he was Only Mostly Dead.

  • In Rambo: Last Blood, Rambo does this to Gabriela after she had been overdosed by the Human Traffickers when they're driving home.
  • At the end of The Room (2003), Mark attempts to wake up Johnny... after the latter shot himself through the mouth.

  • Non-verbally done in Return of the Jedi, where the AT-STs are firing at the Ewoks, and hit a pair dead on... and one of them gets up and starts nudging the other. Considered a Narm by some viewers, but considering the child-friendly marketing of the Ewoks, also a strong example of What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?
  • Tony and Gina in the end of Scarface (1983). Though Tony's world was crashing down, and he'd just done about a kilo of cocaine.
  • In Serenity, Zoe had a mental snap and refused to believe that Wash was dead, even though it was very clear. This was less about the tragic misunderstanding of death and more about how Wash was Zoe's emotional anchor. She did revert to her military training by the time she and Mal left the ship, however, and by the end...
    She's tore up plenty. But she'll fly true.
  • SHAZAM! Fury of the Gods has Shazam makes a Heroic Sacrifice to defeat Kalypso and Ladon by invoking the lightning that strikes him during his transformations to essentially nuke them, but of course, also turns him back into Billy, an ordinary human boy who can't withstand such an attack. After the battle is over, his foster brother and best friend Freddy finds his body in the wreckage, covered with electrical burns, and at first eagerly encourages him to wake up by assuring him he won, before growing more and more frantic and tearful as he realizes Billy really is dead, finally shouting "You asshole!" and breaking down in sobs. Luckily for everyone, Billy's brought Back from the Dead by Diana.
  • In SLC Punk!, Stevo goes downstairs only to find his best friend, Heroin Bob, dead. In a truly heartbreaking scene, he dissolves into a sobbing mess and screams at Heroin Bob.
    Stevo: "ONLY POSERS DIE, YOU FUCKING IDIOT! Now what am I gonna do for a friend? You're my only friend! Please wake up now! Please, I'm sorry!"
  • A prolonged version of this in Steel Magnolias when M'Lynn Eatonton is trying to rouse Shelby when she's in the hospital after her final diabetic episode. Not long after, she's taken off life support.

  • Terror at Black Falls: After Quito's death, Juan holds him in his arms, saying, "Wake up, my Quito, listen to me, wake up, Quito!" Carlos finally tells Juan that he is dead.
  • Averted in Threads. In post-nuclear war Britain, society has degenerated to medieval levels and those born after the war are mentally stunted and barely able to speak English. Jane only says "Ruth... work... work... up", and shows little emotion once she realises her mother is dead.
  • Parodied in Tropic Thunder via Simple Jack, the deliberately awful Oscar Bait film-within-a-film.

  • Waves: Tyler, verbatim, while cradling Alexis' body.
  • One of the last scenes in What's Eating Gilbert Grape has Arnie doing this with his mother.
  • The Winning of Barbara Worth: No dialogue to this effect but toddler Barbara can be seen trying to shake her dead mother awake as Worth and his party arrive at the spot in the desert where Barbara's mother collapsed.

  • The child Errand, in the final book of The Belgariad, with his hand on Durnik's shoulder, shaking him slightly and looking puzzled when he doesn't respond. Errand hadn't learned many words at that point, so it was a silent attempt.
  • The Bible actually has several points where "sleeping" is used as a metaphor for "dead". When Jesus is on the way to the grave of his (recently deceased) friend Lazarus, he tells his disciples that Lazarus is "sleeping" and he is going to "wake him up". (He then raises him from the dead.) He also uses the same metaphor when he raises a young girl from the dead. Also, Paul refers to dead believers as "sleeping in Christ" in one of his letters. There are also several passages of people going to "sleep" with their fathers. This metaphor reflects the Christian belief that death isn't permanent.
    • In the case of Jesus' revival of recently dead people, even the Early Church considered the possibility that they might have just been in a deep coma (e.g. the Daughter of Jairus and the Son of the Widow of Nain)—but Lazarus was different as he had been in the tomb for some time.
  • The children in The Blue Lagoon (book and film) think their adult friend Paddy is taking a nap at the opposite end of the lagoon and row over to wake him, only to find him with his eyes wide open, bugs already at work, and a tiny crab crawls out of his mouth when they turn him over.
  • Circle of Magic:
    • In Tris's Book Tris freaks out after her cousin Aymery dies, arguing with his body while thinking that she wants him to wake up. He was killed by pirates who he owed vast quantities of money to after outliving his usefulness to them, in the process of letting the pirates into the temple she lives in, but he was the only member of her family who'd ever been nice to her.
    • In Briar's Book, Briar spends the night at the bedside of one of the blue pox patients, his friend Flick, who dies holding his hand. When told to get up, he protests that he can't let go or he'll wake her— despite having seen her stop breathing— because he's so exhausted from tending patients and staying awake all night. His teacher gently replies "You know better."
  • In Cirque du Freak by Darren Shan when Darren fakes his own death, at his wake his sister Annie is heard screaming for him to "stop playing around and wake up". He's not actually dead but still...
  • This was Martha's initial reaction to Mathew's death in Clocks that Don't Tick.
  • In the Discworld novel Feet of Clay, a golem attempts to save a dying priest by inserting words in his mouth.
  • Jacqueline Wilson's novel Dustbin Baby has a young April speaking to the police after her adoptive mother, unbekownst to her, has killed herself in the bath.
    Policewoman: I'm afraid Mummy's gone to sleep.
    April: You have to keep shaking her and then she wakes up.
    Policewoman: I'm afraid Mummy can't wake up now. She's going to stay asleep.
    April: But she's in the bathroom! Has she gone to sleep in the bath?
  • Older Than Dirt: In The Epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh mourns over his friend Enkidu's body for seven days, dressing the corpse, imploring him to wake up, and refusing to allow a burial until he sees a maggot drop out of Enkidu's nose.
  • A harsh variant of this occurs in Katherine Paterson's novel Flip-Flop Girl:
    Mason: (to his big sister, Vinnie) I'm glad Daddy's dead. He smelled bad.
    Vinnie: How dare you say that? How dare you say you're glad your own daddy's dead? You're bad, bad, bad. No wonder Daddy died. Who would want to live with a kid like you?
    Mason: (later that evening at the funeral home, looking at his father in the coffin) Get up, Daddy. Get up.
    Vinnie: I thought you were glad, Mason. You said so your very own self. Don't say you didn't.
    Mason: (pretends not to hear her) Get up.
    Vinnie: He's dead, Mason. He's dead, and there's nothing you can say to change that.
  • Go to Sleep (A Jeff the Killer Rewrite): In a flashback to the previous summer, Jeff is distraught to see Ben's soaked body by the lake, knowing that he can't swim and fell in somehow. While an adult tries CPR and chest compressions to get Ben to respond, Jeff grips his hand, begging him to wake up. Ben does give a slight grip... only for it to go limp.
  • John Ajvide Lindqvist's Handling The Undead, where a mother and her father refuse to believe that their zombie son/grandson won't get better if they keep trying, to the point of purchasing books on autistic children, because they think that will help.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Harry did this to Ginny in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. Although she turned out to be alive, she was in a kind of magical coma and was thus about as responsive as a corpse anyway.
    • He did a variation on this when Sirius died in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Sirius literally fell through the veil separating life and death, and Harry refused to believe Sirius is dead, instead insisting that he's okay and will step through the veil again.
  • In Lord Of Shadows after Julian's little sister, Livvy, is killed, he goes into denial and begs her to open her eyes.
  • Appropriately for its mythic style, sleeping is often a metaphor for death in The Lord of the Rings. As in, "she laid herself to rest on [some hill], and there is her green grave..." In both novel and film Sam asks Frodo to wake up after Shelob stabs him, but gives up and declares him dead. It's somewhat more justified here than in the Peter Jackson film, because Sam stays beside him for hours in Heroic BSoD mode before finally getting the strength to leave and take the Ring to Mt. Doom on his own. Of course, he's alive.
  • The anti-nuclear poem Mother the wardrobe is full of infantrymen by Roger McGough ends with "mother don't just lie there, say something please" (said twice).
  • My Sweet Audrina's husband visits her daily during her coma to move her arms and legs and ask this of her. Unfortunately, given that he's currently having an affair with her half-sister/cousin, Audrina doubts his sincerity.
  • In Night Watch (Series), a Dark mage is killed by a rogue Light Knight Templar, when he's enjoying dinner with his human family in a restaurant. This serves as a somewhat educative moment, as the sight of the mage's grieving wife and son trying to wake him up (the magic weapon leaves no traces and he indeed looks asleep) convinces the over-zealous rooky Night Watcher Svetlana that killing Dark Others indiscriminately would indeed bring more harm than good to people.
  • Used somewhat disturbingly in the Redwall books:
    • The Bellmaker: Three young woodlanders are found shipwrecked on an island by the heroes. The younger two children mention that the adult who was on the ship with them is also on the island. The oldest kid eventually reveals to the heroes that the hedgehog had died from a head injury quite some time ago, but he left the body in the tent and told the other two that they had to stay out of the tent because the hedgehog needed to sleep.
    • This trope also occurs in Mattimeo, the third (in order of publication) novel in the series, which features a scene where a bankvole child vainly tries to rouse his murdered mother.
    • Happens again in The Legend of Luke, with the squirrel Chugger and his granny. This actually reduces an otter to tears. Said otter is one of the most Sociopathic Heroes in the series, which says something.
  • A rare adult example occurs in 'Salem's Lot. Tony Glick loses control at the funeral of his 12-year-old son Danny, and throws himself into the grave, pounding on the coffin and shouting for his son to wake up.
    "Danny, you come outta there! ... Danny, goddammit, you stop this fucking around! ... Danny, you stop it now! You got your Momma scared!"
  • In The Shipping News, at the wake for a man who fell off his boat and drowned, one of the main character's two young daughters is standing right next to the drowned man when he wakes up. Turns out the freezing cold water had sent him into a state of shock where his heart rate slowed below detection and when his body finally warmed back up he was pretty much fine (you know, exactly the kind of situation the tradition of a "wake" was originally for).
    • The two little girls are then very excited about the prospect of going to wake up their recently passed mother. Their father had told them at the funeral that she was sleeping and wouldn't wake up, but seeing the old man wake up convinces the two of them that she could be just like him. It has to be explained to them that, no, she is not sleeping but actually dead (unlike the not-so-drowned man at the wake), their father simply couldn't bring himself to say it aloud at the time.
  • In the original Tarzan of the Apes novel, Kala does this with her baby who died in a fall. (See the Real Life section below: this is Truth in Television.) It's not until she discovers baby John that she puts her dead child in the crib, taking John in his place, and thereby hangs (well, swings) the tale.
  • Tideland is a freakish example. The daughter doesn't realize her dad has died and assumes he is "farting" when he starts to rot.
  • In the second book of The Underland Chronicles, the baby Bane begs his mother, Goldshard, to wake up after his father Snare killed her.
  • Warrior Cats:
    • Bluepaw (young Bluestar) in the book Bluestar's Prophecy does this when her mother Moonflower is killed by Hawkheart in the attack on the WindClan camp. The sequence is made even more heartbreaking when Bluepaw must relay the news to her sister Snowpaw.
    • Done again in The Last Hope, when Ferncloud is killed. One of the kits wonders what happened, and another one tells them not to worry, that Ferncloud is only asleep and that Dustpelt will wake her up. At this point, Dustpelt is begging Ferncloud not to leave him.
  • Sunny begs for Dune to wake up after Scarlet snaps his neck in Wings of Fire. She's an example of the "denial" variant as Sunny is old enough to understand death.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Season 1 finale of Alphas, Gary doesn't at first realize that Anna is dead. And then he just keeps saying her name and trying to get her to come with him to safety.
  • To a lesser extent a video clip shown on America's Funniest Home Videos showed a deer (or a moose, or something similar) trying to mate with a lawn ornament of a deer, which broke into three pieces under its weight. After regaining its balance, the deer (moose?) started lightly kicking one of the pieces, as if trying to get the 'other deer' to wake up.
  • On The Andy Griffith Show, Opie goes through this in one episode when he shoots his slingshot at a bird. When he realizes he killed it, he starts crying and begs for it to get up and fly away.
  • Blue Bloods' Danny sits at his comatose partner's bedside (she suffered an accidental drug overdose after handling a suspect's stash) and implores this of her, especially in light of the fact that his wife just died:
    "I really can't afford to lose you too."
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • "Mom? Mom...? ...Mommy?", followed, of course, by frantic shaking and "Mom! Mom! Mom! MOM!" Thanks a lot, Whedon...
      Buffy: [in tears, childlike] She's cold. Should... should I-I make her warm?
      911 Operator: ...the body's cold?
      Buffy: No! My mom!
    • "Tara?" And they'd just made up...
  • Doctor Who:
    • Possibly the only example to replace the sobbing child with a sobbing 900-year-old alien, this was done in "Last of the Time Lords". The Master lies dying in the Doctor's arms. The Doctor begs him to regenerate; the Master chooses to die instead, accomplishing his final victory by abandoning the Doctor as the last Time Lord in the entire universe. "I win."
    • Rory to Amy in the 2010 series finale "The Big Bang":
      Rory: You'd have laughed at that. Please laugh.
    • Amy to the Doctor in "The Impossible Astronaut", after the latter is shot mid-regeneration.
    • Happened to the Doctor again with Jenny, his daughter/Opposite-Sex Clone. She is seemingly shot fatally and he begs her to regenerate while cradling her in his arms, even after it's clear that her hearts have stopped for the time being. The Tag shows her still alive and glowing with regeneration energy, likely because she's still technically in the first 12 hours of a regeneration cycle, hence able to heal a wound she normally wouldn't have.
  • Cora to Sybil in Downton Abbey. Again, this isn't an innocence thing — more denial.
  • In an episode of ER, Benton's ex-girlfriend Carla died in a car accident. Upon reaching the hospital, he tried to break the news to their 4-year-old son, telling him via sign language (the boy is deaf) that "Mommy went to sleep forever". Not understanding, the boy kept signing back to him, "Then wake her up," until Benton finally signed (and said) "Mommy died."
  • Firefly: In "Jaynestown", Jayne tries to wake up the "mudder" who just took a bullet shot at him by the partner he abandoned in the episode's backstory. Jayne doesn't get why the guy still did it after he admitted he wasn't the big hero they saw him as.
  • An episode of Full House has Michelle confronted with the news that her great-grandfather, whom she had just met the day before and became attached to almost immediately, passed away in his sleep. When the family breaks the news to her, she lashes out angrily in denial of the idea that he could possibly be dead after having known him for only a day. Worst of all, he had promised to visit her school for show-and-tell that day to teach her class a folk dance he had taught her earlier.
    Michelle: No! HE'S NOT DEAD! [smashes the popsicle stick house she made for him]
  • Game of Thrones: In the very last episode, Daenerys Targaryen is stabbed in the gut and bleeds out. It's her dragon, Drogon, who finds the body and keeps nudging it to get her back on her feet, before freaking out.
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia: In the Cold Open for "The Gang Finds A Dead Guy", Mac and Dee discover a dead body in the bar that they think is just asleep and repeatedly try nudging awake by poking it with a pool cue before they realize it's dead.
  • Heartbreakingly rendered in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit's "Loss" between Alex Cabot and Olivia Benson. Benson and Stabler are escorting Cabot, who is under a death threat from some particularly nasty Colombian drug dealers, when said dealers' mooks pull a drive-by shooting. Benson is the first to notice Alex laying mortally wounded on the sidewalk, and tries her best to stop the bleeding, all the while talking frantically in a futile effort to convince herself that Alex is going to survive:
    Benson: Alex? ...Oh, no. No, no, no, no, no. Someone call an ambulance! Call 911 now! Alex, it's okay, Alex, look at me, it's okay sweetie, stay with me, stay with me, you're going to be okay, Alex, you're going to be okay, do you hear me? You're going to be fine, you're going to be just fine, stay with me... Alex, it's okay... Alex? Alex...?
    • It's not okay at all, of course, as the next scene shows Benson's desk, atop which is her badge with a mourning band and a newspaper headline announcing what most of us already guessed. Then it turns out it IS, in fact, OK, but she has to remain "dead" in order to go into Witness Protection. The scene got worse during the final scene: it's all about Alex and Olivia, and everyone else fades into the background. They just look at each other for eons, and then Olivia says:
  • Inverted and Played for Laughs in Monty Python's Flying Circus with the Dead Parrot sketch. The inversion is that the disgruntled customer smacks the bird around to disprove the shopkeeper's claim that the bird is asleep, not dead.
    "No no, sir. It's not dead. It's resting! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue. Beautiful plumage."
    "The plumage don't enter into it. It's bleeding demised."
  • Mouse (2021): After Chi-guk's death Ba-reum begs him to wake up.
  • In the Danielle Steel movie A Perfect Stranger, an adulterous wife returns home from a tryst to find that her elderly husband has overdosed on his medication. Racked with guilt, she tries to rouse him, tearfully and repeatedly apologizing as if this will bring him back. (The sad irony is that the man didn't kill himself out of despair over her affair. He was fed up with battling his illness and wanted to leave her free to be the other guy).
  • The Pushing Daisies pilot has a variation: when Ned's mother dies due to an aneurysm, he touches her and brings her back to life, like he did before with Digby. Due to the strange rules of his gift, she dies when giving him a goodnight kiss, and Ned just sits there poking her corpse, hoping she will be alive again...
  • Scholar Who Walks the Night: Yang Seon begs her father's corpse to wake up when she realises he's dead.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Conscience of the King", after going mad, Lenore Karidian accidentally kills her father Anton Karidian (a.k.a. Kodos the Executioner) who was shielding Captain Kirk (the one she was trying to murder). She talks to her father's body, saying, "The curtain rises. It rises. 'Tis no time to sleep." It's a surprisingly tearjerking scene.
  • Supernatural:
    • The ending of "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One" had a variation of this trope (in that of course Dean understands death, he just doesn't want his world to come crashing down around him) when Sam is dying in Dean's arms after being fatally wounded and Dean is in childlike denial:
      Dean: Sam, Sam, Sam. Hey, hey... Come here, come here, let me look at you. Oh, hey look, hey look at me it's not even that bad. It's not even that bad, alright? Sammy, Sam! Hey, listen to me, we are going to patch you up, okay... You'll be as good as new. Huh? I'm going to take care of you. I'm going to take care of you. I gotcha. It's my job, right, watch out for my pain-in-the-ass little brother... Sam... Sam... Sam! Sammy! No... no-n-n-n-n-no. Oh god... Oh god... Sam!
    • Another variation for Sam in "Mystery Spot". He's been stuck in a "Groundhog Day" Loop where he only wakes up after Dean dies every day. When it's a Wednesday and he believes they've defeated the Trickster, Dean is shot by a mugger (of all the things he could die from) and is dead even before Sam gets there. He says, pitifully, "I'm supposed to wake up" and starts crying but, unfortunately, it's for real this time.
  • In the second season of True Blood, Bill flashes back to his first homecoming since being turned—only to find that his toddler son has died of smallpox. The body has been laid out exposed in its coffin, and Bill falls to his knees clutching at the shroud whispering, "Thomas, get up! Your poppa's here. Wake up now..." His blood tears finally reveal his vampirism to his wife—-who screams in horror that he's been possessed by the devil...
  • The Vampire Diaries: Bonnie cries "wake up" towards her presumably-dead grandmother. And later, Anna does the same after her mother Pearl gets staked by Johnathan Gilbert.
  • In Walking with Beasts, a brontothere mother keeps chasing a pair of scavengers away from her dead calf since every time they shift the body she thinks it's alive.
  • At the end of the last episode of Walking with Dinosaurs a pair of Tyrannosaurus rex babies desperately try to wake their dead mother, after she was fatally wounded by the tail-club of an Ankylosaurus the previous day. Then the Asteroid, the same one that will cause the K-Pg extinction, hits Earth, and the babies die.
  • In the Season 1 finale for Yellowjackets, Shauna and Jackie are arguing. Jackie tells her to Get Out!, but Shauna is no longer her loyal sidekick and tells her she can get out instead. Once outside Jackie struggles to keep a little fire burning. The next morning, Shauna sees it has snowed during the night and finds Jackie's body under a blanket of snow. She begs her to wake up but Jackie is dead.
  • Once again, in Xena: Warrior Princess, when Xena and Gabrielle are caught in a war zone towards the end of Season One, Gabrielle's head injuries send her to the makeshift infirmary in a temple, where she languishes for some time unconscious before going into a seizure that ends all signs of life. Xena's reaction fills this trope perfectly, as she goes into literally violent denial that she could lose her best friend.
    Xena: She is not dead. I wouldn't let her. Come on, Gabrielle. Wake up. Come on, wake up. Come on, wake up! You're scaring me, wake up! Wake up! Gabrielle, breathe! Come on, breathe! Breathe! She just needs air. I need to get some air in her lungs!
    • Some time later, after desperately administering ancient Greek CPR while all spectators look on in silent grief, she completely loses it, and, sobbing, pounds on Gabrielle's chest with her fists, screaming, "Don't you leave me! Don't leave me, don't leave me! Wake up! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!" She does. Ensue a shower of grateful tears and kisses.

  • In Peter Alsop and Bill Harley in the Hospital, the two leads play teenagers (or younger) who both end up in the hospital, and discuss many topics on hospital stays and illnesses from a kid's point of view (through song, at that). One of the final songs is While I'm Sleeping (I'm Alive), which uses two versions of this trope (Rusty, the dog, was "put to sleep" by the vet, while Grandpa "went away" but never said goodbye) and then includes this bit:
    Oh, why do grown-ups say asleep, instead of saying dead?
    Only makes kids nervous when it's time to go to bed...
  • Babybird's "I didn't want to wake you up"
    The other night, I saw you lying there,
    I didn't want to wake you up
    The next day, I saw you lying there,
    I didn't want to wake you up
    The next evening, I saw you lying there
    You hadn't moved an inch
    The next day, I saw you lying there,
    I wish that I could wake you up
  • Blues Traveler's "Pretty Angry" (written by John Popper about the death of a friend):
    And I want to shout from my guitar,
    Come out, come out, wherever you are.
    The joke is over, open your eyes,
    A heart like yours it never dies.
    And I saw your keys behind the chair,
    I still can see you sitting there.
    It isn't funny, don't fool around,
    You let me go, you let me down.
  • Some recordings of Space Oddity by David Bowie end the song this way (with a fair mix of Uncertain Doom), by way of the radio dying and Ground Control fruitlessly trying to get a response from an astronaut in a malfunctioning ship.
    Tell my wife I love her very much. (She knows)
    Ground Control to Major Tom
    Your circuit's dead, there's something wrong
    Can you hear me, Major Tom?
    Can you hear me, Major Tom?
    Can you hear me, Major Tom?
  • Eminem's song "My Fault," about a guy who convinces a girl to try shrooms, and then watches as she overdoses, ends with this:
    My God, I'm so sorry!
    I'm so sorry!
    Susan please wake up!
    Please wake up!!
    What are you doing?!
    You're not dead!!
    You're NOT dead!
    I know you're not dead!
    Wake up...
    Susan wake up...
  • Frank Kelly Freas' cover for News of the World by Queen is a replica of his cover for Tom Godwin's story "The Gulf Between". Even without knowing the context, it's pretty clear that this trope is being invoked.
  • Lady D'banville is about a man's lover who dies in bed with him.
    My lady D'banville
    Why do you sleep so still
    Your heart feels like winter
    Our love shall never die
    Our love shall never die
  • Used briefly in Avril Lavigne's song, Slipped Away (which is dedicated to her grandfather):
    I've had my wake up
    Won't you wake up
    I keep asking why.
    And I can't take it
    It wasn't fake it
    It happened you passed by
  • Sarah McLachlan's "Hold On" has this in the chorus:
    While you're sleeping peacefully, I'll lie awake and pray
    That you'll be strong tomorrow and we'll see another day.
  • The Offspring's "End of the Line"
    Please stay now, you left me here alone (It's the end of the line!)
    Please stay, I can't make it on my own
    Make it on my own
    (It's the end of the line!)
  • Tom Paxton's song "Jimmy Newman", about a dying soldier:
    Get up Jimmy Newman they won't take my word
    I said you sleep hard but they're shaking their heads
    Get up Jimmy Newman and show them you hear
    Jimmy just show them you're sleeping
  • "Passive" by A Perfect Circle is an angrier variant crossed with How Dare You Die on Me!:
    Wake up and face me, don’t play dead cause maybe
    Someday I will walk away and say, "You disappoint me,"
    Maybe you’re better off this way
  • "Charlie" by Split Enz is this in spades The tale of a man that finds his girlfriend dead after an argument is heartbreaking, as this verse proves, sung light-heartedly as the first verse, then in horrified realisation for the last verse.
    Wake up, Charlie, rise and shine
    Pour the tea, I'll draw the blinds
    Sunlight halo, you look wonderful
    Darling, Charlie, Pale and deathly still
    For heaven's sake, wake up Charlie

  • A somewhat more disturbing version is used in the song "Psycho" by Teddy Thompson (among other artists), where the narrator relates to his mother various incidents where he's had blackouts and people have ended up dead. By the end of the song...
    You think I'm psycho, don't you, Mama?
    Mama? Why don't you get up?

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fraggle Rock: In the episode, "Gone But Not Forgotten," Wembley does this as he faces the end of his new friend Mudwell's short lifespan – "Mudwell, what are you doing? This is no time to take a nap. I want to work things out! Come on, Mudwell, wake up! ... Mudwell?"
  • Mr. Hooper's death on Sesame Street, when the adults broke the news to Big Bird. The big yellow guy had drawn beautiful pictures of all the humans, and wanted to give Mr. Hooper's drawing to him, and they gently explained that that he had died. It took some doing to make him understand that his friend wasn't coming back.
    Big Bird: I'll just give it to him when he gets back.
    He's not coming back. And neither is the gentleman who played him.

  • An American radio PSA from the 2000s against road rage features a mom getting impatient in traffic, a little kid saying "Mommy, Mommy, the light is red!", a car crash sound effect, and the kid saying "Mommy? ...Wake up, Mommy!". Somewhat Narm-inducing due to its poor production value.


    Tabletop Games 
  • Particularly dark example in the opening fiction to the Adamantine Arrow Sourcebook for Mage: The Awakening, where an Arrow from the American Civil War describes the time he encountered the corpses of an old man and a young boy. The old man had been shot in the head, while the boy (who the Arrow realised must have been the man's grandchild) had no marks on his body. Upon further inspection, he found that the man's corpse had bread stuffed into its mouth, and the boy's corpse was clutching a bread loaf. The Arrow realised that the boy must have thought that his grandfather was only sleeping, and tried to keep feeding him until he himself died of exposure.
  • In the Vampire: The Masquerade core book, a short piece of fiction is told from the perspective of a young vampire who has recently drained his mortal girlfriend's blood and fed her of his own vampiric blood, hoping to turn her into another vampire so they can stay together forever. After half an hour without her giving any signs of life, he starts becoming increasingly desperate, wondering if something has gone wrong (it is implied that his blood might not be strong enough to successfully create a new vampire) and starts begging her cooling body to wake up.
  • Played for Black Humor in Warhammer 40,000, where Beasts of Nurgle are basically big stupid dogs that love to meet new friends and lick them and hug them. Unfortunately, they ooze disease, their saliva is acid, and they weigh several tons. So when they see their new friends holding very, very still, they get sad... but it only lasts until they see more friends farther away.

  • Similarly to King Lear, La Bohčme concludes with Rodolfo remarking how peacefully his beloved Mimi is sleeping, and wondering why all his friends are staring at him... then it hits him. "MIMIIIIIIIIIIIIII!"
  • One of the most gut-wrenching scenes in English literature comes at the end of William Shakespeare's King Lear when Lear comes onstage with the body of his daughter Cordelia in his arms. Lear's recently recovered from a bout of madness due to Cordelia's care, and when she dies, he wavers between howling in grief and insisting that she's just sleeping:
    A plague upon you, murderers, traitors all!
    I might have saved her; now she's gone for ever!
    Cordelia, Cordelia! stay a little. Ha!
    What is't thou say'st? Her voice was ever soft,
    Gentle, and low, an excellent thing in woman.
He dies moments later.
  • Inverted in Romeo and Juliet in which Juliet actually is just sleeping under the effects of a potion that's supposed to really made her look like she's dead, but Romeo commits suicide out of despair. In some adaptations (such as the Baz Luhrmann film), she wakes up while he's doing this. Whoops. In the ballet version, Romeo shakes Juliet then picks up her "corpse" and dances with her before laying her back down and taking the poison. When Juliet comes to and finds Romeo dead she shakes him but comes to the conclusion that he's dead much more quickly.
  • Timur in Turandot, at Liu's death: "Liu! Liu! Wake up!"

    Video Games 
  • In Alter Ego, this is a possible event. The player owns a goldfish during the early stages of their lives, and the goldfish eventually dies. The player, however, doesn't understand why the goldfish won't go after her food or interact with the player. The player can then decide to either hide the fish's body in their drawer or ask their mom about it. Even if they do the latter and Mom explains the concept of death to them, the player still doesn't seem too fazed about death even after flushing the goldfish down the toilet.
  • Arrogation: Unlight of Day have the final cutscene where you managed to save your sister from a Human Sacrifice ritual. You then approach her prone body, her eyes closed, as you shake at her to wake up. And then, she opens her eyes and the screen goes dark.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick: Assault on Dark Athena, shortly after Jaylor, the resident former crewmember of the Athena, now a prisoner and seriously sick guy overall, randomly shoots Silverman, another prisoner and resident Wrench Wench, in the back, Riddick, of course, then must kill Jaylor. Of course, shortly afterwards, you soon have an obligatory encounter with Lynn, her daughter. "Is mommy asleep, Mr. Riddick? Is she asleep?!" Different in that it's not actually said to the corpse.
  • In Beyond Good & Evil, as Pey'j lies drained of his Life Energy, you have an option of talking to him: "Pey'j, say something..." After talking to him, if you only press the action button one, Jade will just stand there, waiting for him to answer. As you might have guessed, he won't. (He gets better, eventually.)
  • In BioShock, the Little Sisters go "Mister Bubbles, please wake up!" when their Big Daddy is killed. This is apparently a side effect of their mental states since they get over it rather quickly when the player heals them. They also can't tell the difference between the various Big Daddies, since, in the sequel, they will treat the Player Character, a Big Daddy himself, as if he were the same Big Daddy he just killed, with a happy "Mr. Bubbles, you're back!!" Some Splicers also say: "Come on, get up. I was only foolin'!" after they shit-kick you.
  • Baldur's Gate II expansion pack Throne of Bhaal has this as well. Subvertible however in you can solve this with a resurrection spell, easily accessible when you are this high level thus causing him to wake up.
  • In Baldur's Gate III, you can meet a dog named Scratch, whose master had the misfortune of getting attacked by gnolls. Scratch is convinced his master is still alive and is just taking a long rest. If you offer him your scent so he can follow you later, he'll eventually make his home in your camp after coming to terms with the fact that his master is never waking up.
  • In the canon route of Blaze Union, this is Eimi's reaction when the party gets together to mourn Siskier. It's a partial subversion, as Eimi is stated in other routes to have seen a lot of death on her journey to find her brother and has a full understanding of mortality—she just doesn't seem to want to accept it.

  • Darkstalkers has this reaction from Cecil whenever Huiztil/Phobos is defeated.
  • Divinity: Original Sin: If you kill the troll guarding the bridge to the Dark Forest, his son will say this.
    Wake up daddy. The humans need clobbering.
  • Should Hawke fall in battle in Dragon Age II, expect to hear at least one line like this from the members of the active party. They'll make comments about any one of them falling, but these are sometimes more sarcastic than concerned; if it's Hawke, they range from angry to panicked. It's especially true of Hawke's brother and sister, who are justifiably terrified at the idea of losing their elder sibling; Bethany in particular literally tells Hawke to "Get up!" in a voice that sounds close to tears.
  • In Dragon's Dogma, pawns scream panicked variations of this when the player character is killed.

  • In Eternal Ring, the God-child recovers from his defeat and goes to his deceased caretaker Lyta's side, asking her to tell him about the baby birds again. He asks her to wake up again and again, to no avail. Realizing that she is dead, and with it the knowledge of what death is, causes the God-child to mentally and physically mature into an adult.

  • In the 'Save Your Friends' ending of Far Cry 3, Dennis tries to stab Jason with a machete, but Citra jumps in front of the knife. When Dennis realizes what he's done, he breaks down crying and pleading with Citra's body.
  • Easily one of the most heartbreaking moments in the Final Fantasy franchise, in Final Fantasy V. Galuf has just given his absolute all to save the heroes from Exdeath. The rest of the group tries absolutely everything they can to bring him back, from cure spells to resurrection magic to elixirs, all the while begging him to get back up. He doesn't.
  • Celes's reaction to Cid's death in Final Fantasy VI, assuming you let the old guy die (or killed him deliberately).
  • Subverted in Final Fantasy Tactics. Rafa wants the dead Malak to wake up to watch the sunrise... and that prompts the one time that God acts through a Zodiac Stone instead of the Lucavi, resurrecting him.
    • Similarly, in the ending of Final Fantasy VIII, Rinoa does this wordlessly after finding Squall's apparently lifeless body in a wasteland beyond time. Her Sorceress powers kick in, bringing them both back to their own time, and possibly bringing him back to life as well (open to interpretation as to whether he really was dead, as there is no dialogue).
  • Also, from Final Fantasy IX, you meet a Black Mage who's just buried his friend after he 'stopped moving'. "I sure hope he wakes up soon. I'm going to wash him off in the pond'. Semi-subversion in that most of the mages look like adults and don't understand death (or much about the world), while Vivi, the one that looks like a little kid, understands exactly what's going on and only avoids calling it death out of politeness. Some of the mages eventually grasp the concept but continue to use the term anyway.
  • Fire Emblem:
    • Fire Emblem: Awakening, whenever the Avatar dies (which is a Game Over), Chrom begins screaming "OPEN YOUR EYES!"
    • In the Birthright path of Fire Emblem Fates, Keaton does this when one of his fellow Wolfskin is suddenly killed in the opening scene of Chapter 15. He begs them to get up and stop messing around before acknowledging that they're really dead.
    • In Fire Emblem Echoes: Shadows of Valentia, if a character dies and another who's very close to him/her is still alive, some of their prospect reactions to their deaths fall into this:
    Tobin [if his best friend Gray dies]: "Come on Gray, quit messing around! ... Gray? GRAY?!"
    Delthea [if her older brother Luthier dies]: "Get up Lu, you big dummy! GET UP!"
    Luthier [if Delthea dies]: "Delthea? Delthea! Open your eyes!"
    Forsyth [if his best friend Python dies]: "For goodness sake Python, get up! (...) Python?!"
    Boey [if his best friend/love interest Mae dies]: "Mae? Mae, this isn't funny!"

  • In Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN/REVELATOR, Bedman's Instant Kill has him subjecting his rival to (thankfully off-screen) Mind Rape. If his victim is Johnny, he can potentially deal the following line, implying that he's reviving his father's death.
    Johnny: " Pops... Wake up... it's still the afternoon..."

  • In .hack//G.U. Rebirth, when Haseo defeats an AIDA infected Pi, Subverted when she does wake up and he blushes.
  • One of Carter's sermons you can listen to in Harvest Moon: Friends of Mineral Town, features this trope, in the form of a little boy deciding to save up his pocket money to buy an alarm clock to 'wake up' his mother, after his father tells him that she's 'sleeping'. Carter then questions whether it was right or wrong of the father to lie to his son.
  • In Heavy Rain, this is Shaun's reaction if Ethan dies at the old warehouse.

  • Ib: In some story paths, Garry performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Ib. Examining his corpse always gives the same message: "Garry is sleeping...". Since the player character is nine, the implication here is that she's too young to realise the full truth.

  • Done non-verbally in Just Shapes & Beats. When you inevitably die to the True Final Boss, you are sent to the respawn screen, only to be unable to respawn, since the boss smashes you again before you can. Eventually, your friends appear. The helicopter whacks at your shards, and the boat tries to splash you with water. Only the sad square seems to know what's going on, as they pick up your shards gently before putting them back on the ground and covering their face.

  • This happens at the end of Kirby and the Rainbow Curse. After defeating the Final Boss, Claycia, she falls to the floor, and as Kirby moves in to take a closer look, Elline appears and cries over her body. Claycia comes to a few seconds later, having been freed from the possession of Dark Crafter by the fight.
  • In the post-game campaign of Kirby and the Forgotten Land, after exorcising Fecto Forgo from Leongar (and subsequently defeating Morpho Knight when it shows up to claim Fecto's soul), it seems that Leon has become lifeless once again, to the sadness of Kirby and Elfilin as they nudge his body. Fortunately, Leon's wife Clawroline, along with the other members of the Beast Pack, arrive with the scattered pieces of Leon's soul, recollected during Kirby's fight. They get returned to him and Leon wakes up, finally free of Fecto's influence for good.

  • In League of Legends, several champions consisting or more than one entities have in-game death animations evoking this.
    • The straightest example is with Nunu and Willump. Only Willump bites the dust upon "dying" while Nunu tries desperately to get him back up, then quietly rests by his friend's side. Occasionally, he'll even shout "Don't leave me!"
    • Maokai is usually carrying an animate little Sapling in his hand. When he dies, he flings it away (seemingly as to not crush it under his weight while keeling over), and all the Sapling can do is scramble over his body before quietly expiring itself.
    • Dragon Trainer Tristana dies in a similar fashion to Nunu, except it's Tristana who dies while her dragon companion Riggle tries to nudge her back awake. Hilariously referenced and subverted, however, with Dragon Trainer Heimerdinger, where as he dies, his dragon partner Pythagoras nicks a chicken drumstick from his corpse and flies off.
  • Louis' despair over Zoey's death in Left 4 Dead has a variety of lines, including one that fits the trope perfectly. "God damn it, Zoey! WAKE UP!". Zoey herself will sometimes react this way to Bill's death.

  • Tali, in Mass Effect 2, during her loyalty mission, finds her father dead, due to the experiments he was conducting on geth and thus being responsible for Tali's predicament throughout her personal mission and keeps saying that he would have some way of faking the dead and there is no way he could have died. It takes a second for it to really sink in that he is dead. It is heartbreaking due of the fact that relations between the two are distant and revealing the truth to the Admirality Board will demonize Tali's father which Tali will not accept.
    • In Mass Effect 3 some recordings of geth history are shown, including one of a pro-geth quarian resistor trying to protect geth platforms from quarian fighters who are sanctioned to eliminate the entire geth. The fighters activated an explosive that killed the resistor and damaged the geth. Cue "Creator Megara, what is your status? Creator Megara?" Geth, being primarily software, don't die the way organics do. They just lose data. They are still saddened over the deaths of their creators who stuck with them when the rest of the quarians already disowned them.
  • In any of the Metal Gear games, if and when you die, 99% of the time, someone from mission control screams "Snake? Answer me! Snake? SNAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!"
  • One of the many background cries for help in various Neverwinter Nights levels.

  • In OMORI, After Sunny accidentally throws Mari down the stairs in a fit of rage, Basil finds him with her lifeless body like this...and then the story gets REAL bad...
  • In the prologue of Ori and the Blind Forest, the title character has this reaction upon his foster mother Naru's death.

  • Orta in the fourth Panzer Dragoon begs her fallen dragon to open its eyes once they have crashed to the ground from their battle with Abadd. He doesn't. But that doesn't mean he left her alone.
  • When the main character dies in Persona 3, your Mission Control will occasionally exclaim "Oh no, please wake up!" In addition, when the protagonist dies at the end of the main game, it's played as just being very tired and falling asleep. Only in The Answer from the Mission-Pack Sequel is it confirmed that he did, in fact, die. The other characters also thought he was sleeping, and by the time they realized something was wrong, it was too late, and he was dead. Except for Aigis, who, judging by the tone of her voice and subsequent breakdown, was fully aware that the protagonist was dying.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney – Dual Destinies has an incredibly disturbing variation. In her childhood, Athena Cykes did not fully understand the differences between humans and robots. After witnessing her mother's murder, she attempted to "repair" her by dismantling her, as if she were a malfunctioning robot.
    Athena: Something's wrong with mom, so I'm taking her apart to fix her.
  • Primal Rage's continue screen has your selected characternote 's followers trying to revive them, with one of those followers begging you to continue the game.

  • In The Reconstruction, upon seeing that Father Sikohlon has killed all his brothers and gone insane, Dehl says "What happened to our brothers? Why aren't they moving?" Justified in that he is a Sikohlon, and probably still pretty young by that point.
  • Resident Evil 3: Nemesis has Jill fending off Nemesis at the Clock Tower after it infects her with the T-virus. Jill collapses and falls unconscious, prompting Carlos (who arrived moments later) to apologize for not being there for her and begs her to wake up. Subverted that Jill survives and was simply out cold for a few days, but the virus still inhabits her body until Carlos can get the vaccine from a nearby hospital to cure her.
  • Happens in Return of the Obra Dinn: two of the Indian seamen, Soloman Syed and Renfred Rajub, have caught pneumonia while at the lancar house. During the ship's voyage, Syed is coughing in the middle of the night, waking up another Indian seaman, William Wasim, who senses that something is wrong and gets out of his hammock, frantically telling Syed in Hindi to wake up and "drink something", but to no avail, as Syed succumbs to his illness moments later.
  • In the Bad Ending of Path A in Rondo of Swords, Altrius/Serdic is tired after a long battle and decides he needs to rest right then and there. This is followed by Marie trying to continue their conversation, calling his name, "Altrius? ...Altrius?" His lack of a response strongly implies that he has kicked the bucket.

  • Averted in SIGNALIS: When you check the unresponsive Isa after a boss battle, you get the message "She won't wake up." This is not a euphemism for "She is dead," but a clue about using a revival item.

  • In Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Elena is caught in a blast during the finale and spends much of it limping, barely conscious. After killing the Big Bad, Nathan Drake carries her the rest of the way out. When they reach the surface, he lays her down on a slab and she is not moving or breathing and appears to be dead. Nate, visibly upset by this possibility, starts attempting to wake her up whilst saying she'll be alright. Turns out, he was right. She is seen recovered at the end of the game. Good thing too, otherwise that could have been a major Tear Jerker.
  • Aruruu, the resident Badass Adorable of Utawarerumono goes through this after her grandmother dies early on and may have again when Teoro dies.

  • Done with a heartbreaking extent in Xenosaga Episode 3, though the Bowdlerized version disturbs this with a good measure of Narm - someone tries to put blood back into someone who has died. Since the blood is removed in the English version, this becomes rather silly.

    Web Animation 


    Web Original 
  • According to one creepypasta, sometimes, if you're the victim of rape or some other form of assault, you'll retreat to a fantasy world where somebody has to remind you to WAKE UP.
  • The Onion article "Daddy Put In Bye Bye Box." Written as a newspaper article from the child's point of view.
    "According to family sources, Daddy, 36, can't play Chutes and Ladders tonight, but he loved Ryan and his little sister, Rebecca, very, very much, and nothing is ever going to change that."
  • From the SCP Foundation, an interview with SCP-1073, a sapient colony of microbes (who thus have no experience with individual death):
    SCP-1073-2: Where did Dr. ██████ go?
    Dr. ███████: [to himself] Jesus, why did they make me tell it? [to 1073] He, he died. Do you understand what that means?
    SCP-1073-2: That happens in the stories. It doesn't happen here. He'll be back.

    Web Videos 
  • In this video, a girl is begging her friend to wake up after he is killed in unknown circumstances but it's all in vain.
  • Parodied in the Leo and Satan episode "Trash Hazard", this seems to be played straight at first with Satan tearfully begging Leo to respond after accidentally cutting his body into ribbons, but then comes The Stinger, where a perfectly unscathed Leo shows up and asks how he got here.
  • Parodied in Italian Spiderman, where Italian Spiderman tries to wake Professor Bernadotti up by punching him.

    Western Animation 
  • American Dad!: Played for Laughs in the episode "Tearjerker", a James Bond spoof. The titular villain (Roger) plans to Take Over the World by creating the ultimate tearjerker film about a mentally handicapped alcoholic Jewish boy whose puppy dies of cancer during the Holocaust, aptly titled "Oscar Gold". After he's foiled by Stan and is escaping, he reveals his backup plan for an even sadder film; six hours of a baby chimp trying to revive its dead mother.
  • In an episode of Arthur, his sister D.W.'s pet parakeet Spanky dies. She walks over to the cage and pokes him. "Spanky, are you asleep?" She brings him over to her dad and says "Dad, Spanky fell down and he won't wake up", and her dad says "Umm... I think he's dead, honey", and she replies "Dead? When is he going to stop being dead?"
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender has a variation that is amazingly carried out in silence, just executed with wordless actions. Aang dies in Katara's arms at the end of "The Crossroads of Destiny", and just after she pours spirit water onto him to try and resurrect him, she closes her eyes and holds his dead body close to her in a hug. Tear Jerker indeed.
  • BoJack Horseman: Throughout the season three episode "That's Too Much, Man!", Bojack requests his friend and previous surrogate daughter, Sarah Lynn, break her nine-month sobriety streak (something she'd been waiting to break) so they could go on an 'epic bender.' She'd suggested at the beginning that they should go to a planetarium, the best place to trip. Bojack had other plans. It's Played for Laughs at first when she falls asleep and he nervously calls for her to wake up, causing a large "WHAT?" reaction. Soon after, she experiences a pseudo-breakdown over realizing she doesn't like anything about herself and, after around a month, he finally takes her to the planetarium. There, she confesses that she, someone who'd fantasized about being an architect since she was a young girl, actually just liked the planetarium due to the work that was put into building a dome. The old Bait-and-Switch is pulled as she falls asleep on his shoulder in the middle of him delivering an inspirational monologue. This time, she doesn't wake up.
    Bojack: See, Sarah Lynn? We're not doomed. In the great, grand scheme of things, we're just tiny specks that will one day be forgotten. So it doesn't matter what we did in the past, or how we'll be remembered. The only thing that matters is right now, this moment, this one spectacular moment we are sharing together. Right, Sarah Lynn? Sarah Lynn? ... Sarah Lynn?
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: In "Mind Pollution", Verminous Skumm comes up with a new drug called Bliss and gets Linka's cousin Boris and Linka herself hooked. Boris eventually overdoses on Bliss and collapses, leading Gi to declare him dead after failing to find a pulse. Linka initially denies it, claiming Gi is lying, and desperately shakes her cousin in an attempt to wake him up. When Wheeler gently reiterates the truth, it breaks her denial and she crumples to his chest, finally admitting how horrible the drug is.
  • Played for laughs in the Family Guy Season 5 finale, "Meet the Quagmires", when Peter flashbacks to when his goldfish died and he fed it as it overfilled the bowl, saying "It's okay, Lieutenant Shinysides, you're just sleeping! You'll eat it later!" and starts crying.
  • In the Futurama episode "Rebirth", Leela is in a deep coma and nothing The Professor tries wakes her. Obviously, she gets better.
    Fry: No! [gets a baseball bat] I refuse to give up! Wake up, Leela! [whack] I! [whack] Love! [whack] You!
  • Justice League: In "Tabula Rasa", Lex Luthor goes looking for Dr. Ivo, the only person who might be able to repair his Powered Armor. He ends up meeting Dr. Ivo's final creation, A.M.A.Z.O., who is patiently waiting for the Doctor to "wake up". Lex sees an opportunity and asks A.M.A.Z.O. to steal supplies (oh, and kill the League while you're at it) or he'll "go to sleep and not wake up, just like the Doctor".
  • Kaeloo: In Episode 125, Quack Quack is shot with a bazooka and killed. Kaeloo desperately begs him to wake up and thinks the whole thing is a joke, but soon realizes that he is indeed dead. Later in the episode, we find out that he was faking it as part of a Batman Gambit.
  • Hilariously subverted in Chuck Jones' Looney Tunes short A Bear For Punishment when Junyer Bear attempt to give his dear old Dad a shave with a jagged straight razor.
    Junyer: Ma? Pa won't talk to me. I nudged him and I nudged him... he's awfully still.
    [Dad's hand comes in from off-screen, yanking Junyer into other room. Sounds of Junyer getting the crapola beaten out of him, followed by him poking his head back thru the door]
    Junyer: Pa is all right now!
    [beating continues]
  • In one of the stranger Pinky and the Brain episodes, the mice are forced to watch scenes like this in an experiment, which gives Brain the idea to make a movie so sad that all the world's leaders will be too depressed to stop him from taking over. One of the scenes is The Lion King (1994), but with tigers: "Papa, wake up. You have to wake up Papa!"
  • Played for laughs in the Al Brodax-produced Popeye cartoon "Ballet De Spinach" where Olive coerces Popeye to be her partner in a dance recital practice. Olive tiptoes to a rose lying on the floor and gently entreats "Wake up, little rosebud... wake up." When she tells Popeye to do it, he stomps over and yells "Hey, bud... wakes up!!"
  • Recess: It's an early Gut Punch in season one. The kids love their class hamster Speedy, and wish him a good weekend when the episode starts. On Monday, Mikey goes to wish Speedy a good morning in his tank, only to realize he's asleep. Mikey taps the glass and shakes it, but Speedy does not budge one bit, as the class gathers around in concern, including Hustler Kid and other background characters. T.J. tries to say he's tired from eating his croutons, but Gus points out the bowl of croutons is full. Ms. Grotke goes Oh, Crap! because she knows what's happened, and tries to lie that Speedy is either meditating or hibernating. Gretchen, the genius of the class, knows that hamsters don't hibernate, and she picks up Speedy to check his heartbeat. Upon hearing nothing, she goes Oh, Crap! and tries to stammer out "He's, he's..." and Mikey finishes her sentence by saying, "SPEEDY'S DEAD!"
  • In one of the most (if only) depressing Rugrats episodes, Chuckie is in serious denial over the death of his little bug, Melville.
  • The Tex Avery MGM cartoon Lonesome Lenny has Screwy Squirrel taken in as a pet for a suspiciously familiar dog. Both near the start and at the end, he states with a hint of regret, "Ya know, I had a little friend once... but he don't move no more!" Each time, he pulled out the body of that "little friend". The first one was a mouse. The second one was Screwy himself. Fittingly enough, this was actually the final Screwy Squirrel cartoon.
  • Played devastatingly straight in the episode of The Simpsons entitled "Mona Leaves-a". Homer's mother returns again, and Homer calls her out on her constant abandonment and goes to bed angry. With some wise words from Marge, he decides to apologize, making his mom a card. He goes downstairs, where she's sitting in a chair:
    Homer: [sweetly] Mom, are you asleep? [a little worriedly, looking at her] Asleep with your eyes open? ...Mom? [tearfully] ...MOM?
  • South Park:
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Orders", Rex does a variant of this after Fives is shot and killed by Clone Commander Fox, trying to shake him while pleading for him not to go.
  • Steven Universe:
    • While the words are never uttered, in "Off Colors", Steven kneels down next to Lars, who isn't moving or breathing, grabs him by the collar and shakes him in a way that is very reminiscent of someone trying to wake up an unconscious person.
      Steven: [teary-eyed] Lars...?
    • In "Reunited", after Steven gets knocked unconscious, Connie frantically tells him to wake up, her tone implying she's afraid he died. However, Steven really is just unconscious, and uses his Astral Projection to tell her.
    • In "Change Your Mind", Connie does it again after White Diamond removes Steven's gem. He does wake up, but is very weak and most likely would have died if he didn't get it back.
  • Sym-Bionic Titan: In "The Demon Within", after killing the Mutraddi that turned Ilana into the same type of creature he is, Ilana's heart appears to stop beating. Lance reacts to Octus, having thought that killing the Mutraddi would change her back. He shuts his eyes and holds her hand. Her heart resumes beating and she turns back into herself.

Alternative Title(s): Wake Up Mommy, Wake Up Mummy



Littlefoot's mother passes after sustaining injuries against Sharptooth. Distraught, Littlefoot tries to call her to no avail.

How well does it match the trope?

4.87 (15 votes)

Example of:

Main / PleaseWakeUp

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