Follow TV Tropes


Posthumous Narration

Go To

"To the worm who first gnawed on the cold flesh of my corpse, I dedicate with fond remembrance these Posthumous Memoirs."

Occasionally, in watching a show or film that features a narration in voice over, you find that the narration is not because the writers got too lazy to show what's happening, but because they want to present you with the odd phenomenon of a deceased character telling you the story. There's no explanation given for why or how this character can tell the story in question, or whom they're telling it to; we don't see them as a ghost, or as a character writing or speaking their last words. They're just a very talkative voice that happens to belong to a character who doesn't survive the movie. It might result from Near-Death Clairvoyance, Life Flashing Before Your Eyes, or even a Dying Dream (which raises the possibility that they're also an Unreliable Narrator).

In some forms of media, this trope is well on its way to reaching the status of an Undead Horse Trope - for example, a sizeable portion of Creepypastas of the "Lost Episode" and Video Game categories tend to end in this way. After their character of choice murders the protagonist (usually a slightly veiled Author Avatar), the protagonist comments on and narrates their death for a few lines afterwards, which comes off as a bit uninspired considering the amount of stories which essentially end in the exact same way.

See also Dead All Along, Dead to Begin With, Epilogue Letter.

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


    open/close all folders 

Narrating the events leading up to their death

    Anime and Manga 
  • Grave of the Fireflies. "September 21st, 1945... That was the night I died."
  • At the beginning of Bokurano one of the characters is monologuing, presumably having seen the events of the series already. The character is Waku, who died in the second episode.
  • Danganronpa 3 Side: Despair begins with Chisa Yukizome in a movie theater watching her death from the first episode of Side: Future and then telling the story of how her students at Hope's Peak Academy fell into despair.
  • Uzumaki is narrated by Kirie Goshima, with the introduction describing it in the past tense. When we reach the end, it turns out she and many others are only technically alive.

    Comic Books 
  • A few Sin City stories do this.
  • Clémentine does this in Blue Is the Warmest Color through her diary.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, The Green Arrow narrates his last moments as he's beaten to death.
  • The prologue to the first annual of Marvel Team-Up which focused on Spider-Man and the X-Men is narrated by a doomed minor character recalling the circumstances up to his death. It plays with this by making it look like his death is referring to how the person he once was died like what happens with several other characters in the story after they are mutated, but later on it's shown he was in fact killed during the opening accident.
  • The final issue of G.I. Joe: Origins revealed that Dr. Horvath had committed suicide by leaping to his death as he narrates the events that led to Michael Monk confronting him after his attempts at conditioning Monk to enact an insurrection towards Cobra.

    Fan Works 
  • Dæmorphing has the Framing Device that all of the narrators are writing down the events in a journal, but there are several cases of characters narrating up to the points of their deaths, such as Melissa in The Abyss.

    Film — Animation 
  • Played With in The Breadwinner. Throughout the film, various characters make up a story about an unnamed boy on a quest to save his people from the wicked Elephant King. Partway through, Parvana is prompted to name the boy, and calls him Sulayman, after her deceased brother. Ultimately Sulayman wins not by fighting, but by telling the story of the real Sulayman's life and death.
  • Parodied in Coco, which takes place in the Land of the Dead. Héctor recounts his last day alive when he realizes how similar it was to a scene from one of Ernesto's films.
  • Played with in Megamind. The movie starts off with the main character falling to his death, and almost everything after that is his life flashing before his eyes. When the flashbacks catch up to the present, he seems completely willing to die.
    Megamind: ''So, this is how it ends. Normally, I'd chalk this up to my last, glorious failure...but not today!"
  • Tangled subverts this. Flynn Rider opens the movie by saying "This is the story of how I died." And while he did get killed in the movie's climax, it didn't take.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The narrator of the film American Beauty, who comes right out and tells us that we're going to see him die at some point.
  • Sunset Boulevard actually starts with Joe Gillis' (William Holden) death; he tells us his story in Flashback.
  • In Bruges, possibly. It's intentionally not left very clear whether the main character lives or dies, last we see him his is in critical condition begging in narration to live, while everything goes black...
  • Casino:
    • Interesting variation. Nicky Santoro narrates much of the film - not aware that his character is going to get whacked - and the second his character does, the narration gags violently and ends - leaving the audience wondering just who the hell he was talking to.
    • Also subverted: Ace Rothstein is shown dying in a car bomb at the start of the film, but it is later discovered that he escaped with his life.
  • Brazilian movie Redentor opens with the protagonist lying among rubble as he narrates - though you don't know he's dead until the narrative eventually reaches that scene. Considering his ghost emerges from his body shortly later, it avoids the "no explanation given" part.
  • Both Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson's characters from The Bucket List.
  • Sid Hudgens from L.A. Confidential.
  • Subverted in Fallen. Det. John Hobbes' (Denzel Washington) opening monologue, where he states that he's "going to tell you about a time [he] almost died", seems to point to the battle between him and Azazel in the climax, only to reveal the voiceover is Azazel in the body of a cat repeating the opening line.
  • Toorop states at the beginning of Babylon A.D. that he's going to die, and we see it happen. Flashback to a week earlier. Subverted as it turns out he's revived after being shot through the heart, and the other two protagonists are killed instead.
  • Played with in Reversal of Fortune; Sunny Von Bulow isn't dead, but she's in a coma.
  • Looper. The audience doesn't find out the trope is in play until the very end though.
  • D.O.A. subverts it. In this 1950 noir, the hero dies from a slow poison, but not before he finds his murderer and tells the story to the police.
  • Shallow Grave is narrated by David, who is the only one of the three main characters to die in the film.
  • Irrational Man is narrated by its two main characters, Abe and Jill, following the different points of view. Abe's narration continues up to the point where he intends to kill Jill; the attempt goes wrong, he dies instead, and his narration ceases.
  • The opening of Monsieur Verdoux, overlooking the Villain Protagonist's grave, features narration.
  • Savages: Subverted. The film is narrated by O, who states that just because she's the narrator doesn't mean she survives to the end. This seems to bear out in the final shootout when Ben, Chon, and O choose to overdose on morphine to die together after Ben is fatally wounded; O's narration even gives a Call-Back to her original statement. However, the shootout turns out to be a Fantasy Sequence, and O does survive.
  • Downplayed and played with in Man on the Moon, in that the Biopic is introduced by its own dead subject, Andy Kaufman (as played by Jim Carrey), in a Deliberately Monochrome prologue. It's clearer in the screenplay, but this is eventually revealed to be part of a Video Will he left behind for his Cheerful Funeral. But then the film proceeds to a one-year-later epilogue that suggests Andy actually managed to fake his death and has simply assumed his Alter-Ego Acting persona full time. And after that a closing Credits Gag has Andy leaning into the frame as himself as the film's title card comes up, which could be interpreted as a suggestion that everything is Andy's version of events from the great beyond.
  • At the end of Dead Man's Letters, it is revealed by one of Larsen's students that the professor died shortly after writing his letters, and that they are being read posthumously.

  • Halo: The Flood (the official novelization of Halo: Combat Evolved) features this, mainly as a way for the reader to get information about a battle that no one actually survived.
  • The whole point, played for laughs, of Shel Silverstein's poem "True Story."
  • In Piers Anthony's Bio of a Space Tyrant series, which is presented as being the title character's memoirs edited for publication by his daughter, the final chapter of the last book rather unexpectedly ends with his death, which he narrates in detail. This is followed by an afterword by the daughter, which is mostly a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue but also explains that he did write most of the memoir while he was alive, leaving it off just before he embarked on the journey on which he died, and that after she began editing the manuscript, she found the final chapter on her desk one morning, rather spookily written in her own handwriting...
  • The Brazilian novel The Posthumous Memoirs of Brás Cubas (also known in English as Epitaph of a Small Winner) by Machado de Assis, which the protagonist opens by dedicating his memoirs "to the first worm who eats my corpse", is a classic example. The novel begins with Brás narrating his funeral and death, as well as his journey to the Afterlife, before he focus on his life by starting with his birth and continuing from there. (In the trend set by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, it even received the version Undead Memoirs of Brás Cubas)
  • In The Book Of Skulls by Robert Silverberg, two of the four narrators are dead by the end of the story, yet they still narrate the events leading up to their death, leaving the reader wondering who it is to whom they were actually talking.
  • A Russian book We were executed in 1942 is narrated from the point of Soviet soldiers who were executed in 1942.
  • In Nick Perumov's books, most of the narrating characters die later in the book.
  • Everybody in Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology is dead: each character speaks up from the grave. However, while the characters appear to have some awareness of what's happening immediately on or around their graves, they don't communicate with each other.
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain is told by a dog who dies at the end.
  • Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff is a gospel written by Biff after being raised from the dead 2000 years later.
  • The final Animorphs novel should be a Rachel book, and starts as one...until that suicide mission she started turns out to really be a suicide mission. After that the narration switches between the other Animorphs. Due to the Ambiguous Ending, this trope may also apply for everyone but Cassie as well.
    • One of the Prequel books, The Andalite Chronicles, is technically supposed to be Elfangor downloading his memories as he's being killed, but still fits the spirit of this trope.
  • As I Lay Dying is a bit of a Non-Indicative Title (if taken literally), because Addie only narrates one chapter, which is placed after she's dead and her family is on their trek to bury her. However, it goes in this section because she discusses things that happened when she was alive, specifically a strong hint that her favorite child was the result of adultery.
  • Janet Philp's book Burke - Now and Then is written from the perspective of the skeleton of William Burke (of the real life murderous duo Burke and Hare) which hangs in the Anatomical Museum of Edinburgh University. He retells the story of his and William Hare's 1828 killing spree, musing on the wrong decisions he made that led him to be executed and dissected.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Subverted in the Doctor Who 2-part season finale "Army of Ghosts"/"Doomsday": Rose Tyler begins each part saying "This is the story of how I died"... only it turns out she was merely trapped in a parallel universe while being declared dead in her own. However, since she is separated from the Doctor forever, this could have more than one meaning...
  • Played straight in the final episode of Doctor Who Confidential, in a section called "River Song's Story" — River Song sums up the events of her life in the order she experiences them, as opposed to the order the viewers saw them, up to and including her death. Justified in that her consciousness was subsequently saved in a computer, and it's that version of her narrating the story, post-"Forest of the Dead". We see her telling the end of the story at the end of that episode.
  • Subverted in an episode of the sitcom Wings. An episode opens with Joe face down in a pool in a shot intentionally reminiscent of the opening of Sunset Boulevard, with a voiceover from Joe telling us that he's going to show us how he got there. At the end of the episode (Part I of a two-parter where Joe leaves Sandpiper Air and Brian, Lowell and Helen have to figure out how to track him down and convince him to come back) it's revealed that he was face down in the pool because he was setting a new breathholding record at a wild party.
  • In the very first Tales from the Crypt episode, "The Man Who Was Death", the protagonist's final narration is heard immediately after his death by electric chair. For extra irony, he is telling his imaginary audience that didn't he have his head shaved to prevent it from catching on fire during the execution because he's confident that the governor will grant him a reprieve. Meanwhile, his head is starting to smoulder.

  • The narrator in "Raw Deal" by Judas Priest, a gay man describing the last moments of his life before being murdered by thugs in a bar.
  • The narrator in Neil Young's "Powderfinger" is a young man trying to defend his home in an unnamed war. It's revealed at the end of the song that he's killed before he gets off a single shot.
  • The cowboy narrator of "El Paso" by Marty Robbins. The ending is quite heartbreaking.
  • The first verse of "Youth of the Nation" by P.O.D. is told from the perspective of a student killed in a school shooting.
  • Kylie Minogue's part of "where the Wild Roses Grow" describes the death of the titular Eliza Day in the first-person.

  • The Lives of Harry Lime: Every episode began with the narration:
    "That was the shot that killed Harry Lime. He died in a sewer beneath Vienna, as those of you know who saw the movie The Third Man. Yes, that was the end of Harry Lime ... but it was not the beginning. Harry Lime had many lives ... and I can recount all of them. How do I know? Very simple. Because my name is Harry Lime."

    Video Games 
  • Uriel Septim in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. He even lampshades his own death.
  • Subverted in the opening narration of Discworld Noir. Turns out he was Not Quite Dead.
  • Final Fantasy XIII: Vanille. Note that she was in fact put into crystal stasis, which is considered equivalent to death by most people in-game. Doesn't stop her from making an (albeit brief) appearance in the sequel.
    "The thirteen days after we awoke were the beginning... of the end."
  • BioShock Infinite, if the loading screen quotes count as narration. Doesn't matter if it's the main game or either of the Burial at Sea episodes.
  • Get a Game Over in Radical Dreamers and the game turns into this, with the diary closing with the words "And so, I died...".

  • Sore Thumbs lampshades it in one story arc, which has a narrator who tells us up front that he's dead and talking to us from Heaven. We never found out which character he was, and everybody who wasn't a main character wound up dead.

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: : At the end of the two-parter episode "The Siege of Starro!", Bwanna Beast controls the Star Conqueror to give the combined Metal Men the upper hand and save the world, but at the cost of himself being vaporized. The episode ends with the heroes attending his funeral.
    Bwanna Beast: So being a hero isn't all it's cracked up to be. But you know what, I'd it all over again, in a hummingbird's heartbeat.

  • Samurai Jack: X-9 in the Tale of X-9 Film-noir episode.
  • Subverted in the American Dad! episode "Star Trek" (nothing to do with the show, for once), which starts with a Sunset Boulevard-style shot of Steve lying facedown in a pool of cherry jello. Steve narrates how he became an accomplished children's book writer by writing a book making fun of Roger. He gets everything he wants, including a giant mansion and a pool of jello. There's also a movie that is going to be filmed based on his book. Then it turns out that the person in the pool was actually an actor who was supposed to be playing Steve in the movie accidentally killed by Roger (he wanted to kill Steve). The episode ends with Stan helping Steve dump the body in a lake. Steve admits this was "kind of a screw to the audience" and apologizes for it.

Narrating the events following their death

    Comic Books 
  • Simon, the Sacrificial Lamb in Gear gets a brief monologue after he dies. Interestingly, the comic shows far more of his personality here than it did when he was alive.
  • Johnny Seaview provides a posthumous narration describing the Doctor investigating his murder in the comic strip "The Deep Hereafter" in Doctor Who Magazine.
  • Lori Lovecraft: The Dark Lady is narrated by Sir Andrew Parke-Jones, who died a week before the story starts. He follows the occult misadventures after she arrives in Scotland to accept his invitation only to learn he is dead.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In The Grey Zone, the girl who survived the gas chamber and was executed narrates the results of the Auschwitz uprising.
  • The Human Comedy opens with Mr. Macaulay, patriarch of the Macaulay family, having been dead for two years. He appears as a floating head in the sky and introduces his hometown and the characters. He pops up throughout, giving more narration and making occasional unseen ghostly visits.
  • Leo Köpernick narrates See How They Run, even after he is killed off.
  • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, the ending monologue is given by Spock after his death. Of course, what the audience doesn't know is that he's Only Mostly Dead.
  • Jimmy's brother rises from the ground to give an introductory monologue in Two Hands.

  • In Galápagos, the entire story is narrated a million years after the fact by the ghost of someone who died back in 1986.
  • Susie Salmon in The Lovely Bones, who also does a little narration before her death.
  • In Douglas Coupland's Girlfriend In A Coma, Jared - who died of cancer while still in his teens - is the narrator for most of the book, although Richard narrates most of the first part.
  • Obi-Wan Kenobi's story in From a Certain Point of View details his death and subsequent merging with the Force from his point of view.
  • Most of the events described in My Posthumous Adventures happen after the main character and narrator, Anna, dies on the operating table after a fall from a balcony. Subverted in the end, as it turns out it’s a clinical death followed by a coma.
  • Stewart O'Nan's The Night Country, a horror novel about the aftereffects of a fatal car crash, is narrated by one of the teenage ghosts haunting the three still living protagonists. The dead teens as a group function as a kind of Greek Chorus.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Mary-Alice Young, the narrator of Desperate Housewives, died in the opening of the pilot episode.
    • The Strangerhood explicitly parodied this:
      Wade: But didn't you, like, die and stuff in the last episode?
      Nikki (voice-over): "It's called artistic licence, you loser!"
    • MADtv (1995) parodied this too.
      Nikki (voice-over): "Shortly after that, I killed myself [...] and news of my death travelled fast."

  • The song "Passage" by Vienna Teng is told from the point of view of a young woman killed in a car accident as she describes moments from the lives of her loved ones as they move on.
  • "Hurt" by Nine Inch Nails, arguably. The fact that only after the character's death can he see how wrong he was is utterly heartbreaking.

  • Discussed in Mary Mary, where this apparently occurs in one of the manuscripts Bob is editing for publication:
    "It's told in the first person, and when the story opens we're coming back from a funeral. But only gradually do we come to realize that the narrator of the story is the dead man."

    Video Games 
  • Martin Septim in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Made even weirder by the fact that he turned into a dragon.
  • In the Fallout: New Vegas DLC Honest Hearts, Jed Masterson does the closing narration, even though he died at the very start of the tale.
    • Since the Modular Epilogue slides are narrated by a character relevant to each slide, this can also happen with various major characters in the main game and all DLC. If they die, of course.
    • Dead Money zigzags this; Elijah narrates the ending despite his mandatory death, while the companion characters will only take part in the narration if all of them survive.
  • Defied in Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time: The player controls the Prince during a flashback he narrates, and can of course cause a Game Over by getting him killed. But since the Prince is narrating in-universe, not just to the audience, he brushes off the "death" as a misstatement.
  • Some versions of Alone in the Dark (1992) include a walkthrough written as it was a guide written by Derceto owner after his suicide.
  • A variation in Star Trek Online: Ambassador Spock was thrown into the past of an Alternate Universe rather than killed, though anyone in the prime universe where the game is set would assume that he has been dead for many years and he certainly would have no knowledge of the goings-on of the game's universe after he left it. Nonetheless, the Ambassador provides substantial narration to explain events that occurred long after he vanished.

    Western Animation 

Narrating the events both before and after their death

  • A trio of anti-drug PSAs on the radio were narrated by habitual cocaine users. Two of them had died while the third was undergoing surgery to repair the damage to his septum.
    • One of the two was a woman who had been abusing cocaine, but was trying to kick the habit. Unfortunately, it had already done so much damage to her system that it only took a dose of cough medicine to kill her.
    • The other had been given cocaine at his bachelor party, only to die of an overdose.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Death Note, L does this in the opening to the second Re-Light Special: "L's Successors".
    • Played with in the same special with Watari. He shows up during these segments, but he merely acts as an announcer/human title card. He does not talk about his own death or any other events of the film.
  • In Windaria, the story begins at Alan's funeral and is told by him after his soul has left his body.
  • In the one-shot story Toki Doki, the narrator is Poppo, the protagonist of the story. It begins with his describing his girlfriend Takagi, who was born on the same year and attended the same school, and her death at the age of 21, and much of the remainder is about Takagi's heart condition that causes her heart to stop functioning early into her life. It turns out that Poppo has the same heart condition as her, but because he is a natural thrill-seeker, his heart will stop functioning even sooner than her, and he dies a few pages before the end, at the age of 17. He continues to narrate about Takagi's subsequent high school graduation and her singer-songwriter career in the four years in between.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Film — Animation 
  • Parodied in Coco, which takes place in the Land of the Dead. Imelda explains to Miguel that she doesn't really hate music; she just forced it out of her life after her husband left her to make the task of raising Coco easier for her.
  • In Tangled, Flynn Rider starts out narrating the film with "This is the story of how I died." He did. But he got better.
    • The made-for-TV sequel/pilot for Tangled: The Series has Eugene start the opening narration with "This is the story of how I died... and went to heaven!" in reference to how his new situation is so much more pleasant than his old life as Flynn Rider.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the beginning of Apaches, a boy named Danny playing outside with his friends narrates that his family is preparing a "dinner party". At the end, it's revealed that the "dinner party" is actually his funeral wake.
    "I wish I was there...honest."
  • Ed in one of the "Plot-Hole" featurettes on the Shaun of the Dead DVD. He gives voice-over narration about how he died and turned into a zombie, but he speaks articulately. He doesn't grunt incomprehensively like his zombie form does at the end of the actual movie.
  • In The Bucket List, the opening and ending narration have Carter (Morgan Freeman) talking about the death of Edward (Jack Nicholson). Carter dies a few months before Edward.
  • In Legend (2015), Frances is the narrator of most of the movie. She even lampshades the fact that most viewers will think she survives her suicide attempt because she's narrating, but she doesn't.
  • In the Russian film Zvezda (The Star), the captain who sent titular scout unit to their deaths narrates the result of their sacrifice at the end of the film. Then he mentions that he also died later in the war.
  • The main character of Struck by Lighting dies in the first scene. The majority of the film is an extended flashback of his life.

  • Bibi Chen in Saving Fish From Drowning. She mostly narrates the events after her death, but also flashbacks to her childhood and events some time before her death. She doesn't get around to narrating her own death until the very end of the book, because she herself has no idea how she died.
  • The Dresden Files is always narrated from the first person, so in Ghost Story which takes place after Harry's death in Changes, Harry Dresden narrates it while dead as a ghost. He's revived.
  • In a Poem Within A Book example, "The Legion's Pride", recited by a soldier in A Study In Sorcery, is couched as a posthumous declaration by another Anglo-French soldier, who'd died during a peacekeeping mission to avert conflict between rival German baronies.
  • In an oddly justified example, the story of The Children's Hospital by Chris Adrian is told by "the recording angel," a being required to observe and record in exact detail The End of the World as We Know It and the life of a woman (our protagonist) who will play a key role in it, from her birth to her death. Said recording angel just happens to be what is left of the main protagonist's older brother, who committed suicide as a teenager, several years before the events of the book. In the midst of the story, he occasionally cuts back to a childhood memory of himself and the protagonist, although he never refers to the brother in the first person in these scenes.
  • In J. California Cooper's Family, Clora commits suicide in the first act, and her ghost sticks around to watch what happens to her children.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Pilot Episode of Dead Like Me has George narrating events in her life up to and including her own death, and continuing from there.
  • The murder victims in every episode of The Forgotten narrate their own identification and the efforts to find their killer.
  • The Millennium episode "Jose Chung's 'Doomsday Defense'" has the titular author, reprised by Charles Nelson Reilly from The X-Files ep "Jose Chung's 'From Outer Space'" narrate the life of Selfosophy guru Juggernaut Onan Goopta. He also narrates the episode's denouement after getting bludgeoned by the "Nostrodamus Nutball" and dying in Frank Black's arms, likely an ending for his last book.
    Jose Chung: Well, "all's well that ends well," though that's easier for Shakespeare to say. He'll be around for another millennium. But what of our own millennium? Will it all end well? No one, of course, can know. But that, of course, doesn't stop anyone else from guessing. And the nature of these predictions always revolve around the usual suspects: salvation, and/or self-satisfaction. With that in mind, I humbly add my own prophesy of what the dawn of the new millennium shall bring forth: one thousand years of the same old crap.
  • Money Heist is narrated at the beginning and end of episodes by Tokyo. She dies in the middle of the last season, but keeps narrating anyway.
  • Augustus Hill in Oz does his odd narrations throughout the series. He's killed in the Season 5 finale, but continues to narrate events in Season 6. In addition, various dead inmates took their turn at narration in the last season.
  • The Investigation Discovery series "Stolen Voices, Buried Secrets" uses this as its basic premise: each episode has the victim of a Real Life crime narrating the circumstances surrounding their murder.
  • The Torchwood episode "Random Shoes" does exactly this, with the events after Eugene's death being narrated by Eugene as they are figured out in the present.
  • The Tales from the Crypt episode "You, Murderer" opens with the protagonist dead in his car as a result of an accident, and he narrates the events leading up to his death. Except he dies halfway through the flashback by receiving blunt force trauma from another character hitting him in the head with a statue instead and still continues to narrate the events leading up to the present as the ones who killed him attempt to hide his body.

  • "Tonight Is the Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel" by the Barenaked Ladies. Just think about that title for a minute.
  • "Long Black Veil", originally by Lefty Frizzell and later covered by The Band among others, has the singer telling how he came to be hanged, and why a woman secretly mourns for him.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic:
    • "Melanie" describes how his obsessive stalking of the eponymous woman finally led him to jump to his death from a sixteenth story window.
    • "A Complicated Song" describes a day in the life of the narrator, which ends with his getting decapitated and remarking on what a "major inconvenience" not having a head is.
    • "Everything You Know Is Wrong": The narrator dies of an infection midway through the song and continues narrating what happened to him in the afterlife.
  • The novelty song "The Thing" is about a man who gets stuck with a box containing unidentified contents for his entire life due to being turned away in disgust by everyone he shows the box to. The penultimate verse describes how he ended up dying after his years of being stuck with the box and being forced to take the box with him to Hell by St. Peter when he tried to get into Heaven, while the last verse has the protagonist warn the listener not to pick up and open any strange boxes they may find or else they'll suffer the same fate he did and never be able to get rid of the box.
  • The male portions of Steve Martin's Pretty Little One are from the perspective of a man whose ex-girlfriend shoots him when he attempts to murder her.

  • In Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World, Musa's roommate Abdallah died in a ferry accident during his pilgrimage to Mecca, and narrates during scene transitions.
  • In On a Clear Day You Can See Forever, Daisy's recollections of her past life as Melinda Welles include a memory of her own funeral after the Trelawney sank with her aboard.
  • In Like Dying Things Do the audience finds out near the end of the show that the narrator, Adam, has actually committed suicide and was dead the whole time.

    Video Games 
  • In Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones, the rescued Empress of Time is the narrator and dies at the end of the tutorial section of the game, which doesn't prevent her from continuing the narration. Given her mystical nature as the incarnation of Time, it is at least partially justified. After the Big Bad is defeated, she shows up in the form of the Sands of Time and leaves for another world. Given that she is the Sands, it makes sense that she was simply trapped inside the Big Bad.
  • In Age of Empires II's Joan of Arc campaign, the main narrator is a French nobleman. In the last mission, where he can be controlled as a hero unit, he states the possibility that he could die in the battle, and if he is killed, he says "It is here... that my tale shall end." After the player wins the mission, he continues narrating regardless of whether he survives or dies, and refers to Joan's being canonized as a saint, which happened in 1920, long after he died.
  • May happen in Fahrenheit after Lucas dies if you make the wrong choice
  • Eternal Darkness includes this line in the opening: "I am Dr. Edward Roivas. I am a clinical psychologist. I am also dead."
  • In Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm Generations, the narrator is Hiruzen Sarutobi, the Third Hokage, who died fairly early on in the series. He talks about his own funeral too.
  • In Oracle of Tao, Ambrosia narrates starting with a story from her parents, then continues after her child is born, up to her daughter's adulthood and her death, then talks about her afterlife. Apparently, she's addressing the player, not anyone in-game.
  • In Jotun Thora tells of her life of glory as a Viking warrior, her ignoble death, and her triumph over the Jotun in Norse purgatory.
  • The Ancestor in Darkest Dungeon provides the player with battle commentary and exposition on the areas and bosses, despite having been Driven to Suicide long before you arrived. This is possibly justified considering that it's actually the Heart of Darkness using the ghost of your Ancestor as a puppet throughout the game. Or is it?

    Web Original 
  • The College Humor video "Every Teen Movie Ending" utilizes this trope. After the narrator explains what happened to his friends following graduation, he notes that he really misses them and that it's "too bad I drowned in a pool when I was eight."

    Western Animation