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The Afterafterlife

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Not so omnipotent now, are ya?!

Jesus: You can't die in Heaven! Dad, tell him!
God: Actually, you can. You see if you die in Heaven, you go to Super-Heaven.
Jesus: What?!
Robot Chicken, "Super Heaven"

Some argue that life on Earth only has meaning if it continues on after it has ended. Whether it is eternity of bliss in Heaven or damnation in Hell, the soul lives on once the body has perished. But if the afterlife gives meaning to life, then where does meaning in the Afterlife come from? In most cases, the soul is unable to die in the afterlife, either being indestructible to all attempts at destruction or is forced to remain active and aware no matter how many chunks are hacked off. On the off-chance that the soul is left Deader than Dead, then it moves onto the Afterafterlife.

The Afterafterlife is interchangeably Played for Laughs or for Drama. As modern audiences scoff at the idea, many writers find creative potential in the idea of an afterlife that exists after the afterlives they would normally assume to exist. Sometimes the Afterafterlife is identical to the afterlife in every way but name. It can be like the afterlife but exaggerated. Maybe it is so unfathomably strange and unknowable that even God didn't know it existed. Maybe this is where God goes when he dies.

Compare Afterlife Antechamber and Reincarnation. Contrast Cessation of Existence and The Nothing After Death.


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    Films — Animation 
  • In Coco the dead fade away when their families stop remembering them. It's wondered in-universe whether they move on somewhere else or just stop existing. Director Lee Unkrich implied in an interview that it's the former:
    "And so the way we tackled [the concept of the afterlife] in our story - luckily, you know, by embracing this idea of the final death and that there's kind of a beyond the beyond, we were able to just kind of have fun creating almost like a way station - like a temporary place while souls are remembered, where they can just live joyously and especially around Dia de los Muertos, which is when they're coming back every year to visit their families."

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Wristcutters: A Love Story is set in an afterlife for people who kill themselves which is like a slightly worse version of Earth. The denizens are scared to kill themselves again incase they end up in a worse afterlife.

  • Early in The Brothers Lionheart, the brothers Karl and Jonathan Lejon die and pass on to the afterlife, a land named Nangijala. Here the bulk of the story takes place. At the end of the story, they die again in this world and go on to the land after Nangijala; Nangilima.note 
  • In Warrior Cats, Clan cats who follow the Warrior Code go to StarClan when they die. Cats die in StarClan either once they're not remembered by anyone (living or dead) or they're killed. The writers have stated different things about what occurs after this "second death", with one option being that cats go to another version of StarClan.
  • In AFTERLIFE by Marcus Sakey, there is a whole string of afterlives, the first one being a sort of shadow version of the real world, and each later one being more washed out and lifeless than the last. Dying in one afterlife moves you to a lower one, until you end up in the very last - a featureless grey plain where the souls of the dead shuffle towards a final oblivion.
  • In Hal Duncan's Escape From Hell!, Hell is just more of all the worst parts of the real world (or the parts that the author thinks are worst, at least), and people can and do die there - indeed, keeping people fearing for their lives is part of the torment. At one point Lucifer is asked how that's even possible, but he just shrugs it off by saying that if you're still walking and talking, you're not as dead as you could be.
  • In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, heroes who reach Elysium can choose to be reincarnated. If they achieve Elysium three times in a row, they can enter the best part of Elysium, the Isles of the Blest.

    Live-Action Series 
  • The Empty from Supernatural is established as a void devoid of anything, having existed since before God created the known universe and the various afterlives that accompany it. Aside from housing the Shadow (a rather spiteful primordial entity that predates the existence of God, his sister and Death), the Empty also acts as an afterlife for Angels (who mainly reside in Heaven) and Demons (who are established as being human souls who were sent to Hell and tortured into demonhood) go when they die where they sleep for all of eternity.
    • When monsters die, their souls go to Purgatory, where it is shown they can be killed. Where they go after this is never explained.
  • In the penultimate episode of The Good Place, after seeing everyone in the real Good Place being so bored of paradise, Team Cockroach creates a passageway they can go through when people in the Good Place feel like they've had their fill. In the Series Finale, three of the original four humans go through the door, after finding their own fulfillments. What happens to them afterward is kept ambiguous.

    Mythology And Religion 
  • One form of Spiritualism argues that when the soul of a deceased person passes onto the spiritual plane, this is called the First Death. The soul then undergoes challenges and evaluation based on their personality during their earthly life and how well they dealt with its challenges and temptations. This first afterlife is spent in a sort of Heaven which is familar to them from their earthly life and is used for rest, recuperation, and self-reflection. The John Smith who dies remains John Smith here. Until, that is, the time comes for the Second Death and ascension to a higher plane of the Afterlife. In this Second Death, the personality of "John Smith" is stripped away and the true underlying soul emerges. The True Soul can then decide whether to remain or to re-enter the material plane in another earthly persona (reincarnation). note 

    Video Games 
  • In The Haunted Mansion video game, Madam Leota explains that one of her jobs is protecting the ghosts; if something happens to one, they go from the Afterlife to "the Afterdeath", which judging by some of her descriptions is essentially Hell.
  • This is lampshaded in Super Paper Mario when Mario finds himself in the Underwhere, the game's equivalent of the Greek Underworld. An NPC tells him about the River Twygz, where you can get dragged down into the depths. When Mario asks what happens if someone falls into the river, the NPC says:
"Well, their aftergame ends! I figure they end up in the post-aftergame or something."

    Web Animation 
  • There have been various videos made by DarkMatter2525 that have tackled this idea.
    • In "God's God," Yahweh is mocking a freshly-dead atheist for not believing in him, only for Jeffrey to accuse him of being an atheist because he does not believe that someone might have intelligently designed him. Unable to come up with a response, he quickly kills Jeffrey, only for Jeffrey to kill him with a gun at the same time. They end up ascending to a different Heaven where they encounter a being claiming to be the god who created Yahweh. Yahweh complains about the various unfair scrutinies he himself has held to his own creations. They all eventually kill each other, ascending to a higher-leveled Heaven to meet another god, and so on and so on. Eventually, the various Gods and their helpers end up on Earth where they encounter a normal human man who claims to have made all the gods.
    • In "Afterlife is Meaningless Without Afterafterlife," a pair of damned souls in Hell moving rocks (and a pair of oddly identical souls in Heaven bowing in penance) discuss the idea of an afterlife after the afterlife, with one claiming that those who believe the Afterafterlife will eventually be raptured from their current afterlives (the damned souls from their eternal torment, the souls in Heaven from their eternal boredom) into a better one. The other soul is not nearly as convinced. The video was designed to be a form of criticism at the idea that an eternal afterlife gives our finite lives on Earth meaning.
    • In "God's Political Compass," Jeffrey puts Yahweh through an online political compass in order to settle the dispute in what political group he affiliates the most with. When he is eventually given the statement "All authority should be questioned", Yahweh starts to shutter violently. A white celestial body appears in the Milky Way, the gravitational pull so strong that it sucks in the entire solar system (along with Jeffrey and Yahweh) before a black dot appears within it with "Strongly Disagree" appearing next to it. They wake up in a realm similar to Heaven, Yahweh claiming that they had died and gone to the Afterafterlife before they continue with the quiz.
  • Max Gilardi's short-lived Spookyville USA series has, in its second episode, Sal shooting himself, Jake, and Wendy and them going to Heaven. When they have difficulty getting in, he kills them again, sending them to Heaven 2, then he keeps killing them until they get to Heaven 5. They assume there's another Heaven after that, but instead, they just get sent to Hell.
  • Hazbin Hotel: Subverted; the damned become demons in Hell, and they're near-unkillable. One of the only methods of destroying a demon's soul is with angelic weaponry (and psycho angels), but their infernal essence is absorbed by Hell itself (though what that actually means is currently unknown). In the pilot, Angel Dust laughs off Vaggie's threats towards him by pointing out he's already dead, so what's she gonna do, send him to double-Hell?

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • In the Robot Chicken sketch "Super Heaven," Jesus files a complaint to God about how impractical The Grim Reaper (both in his appearance and execution of his job) after he unceremoniously reaps an old lady. When that old lady is asked her opinion, she says that she finds that death is scary enough without a skeleton coming at her as she does so, prompting the Grim Reaper to reap her in Heaven. When Jesus questions this, God remarks that this means that she has now gone to Super-Heaven. It's Exactly What It Says on the Tin, as the old lady is seen riding a motorcycle and shredding a guitar, while stating Super-Heaven is awesome.
  • In American Dad!, Stan's guardian angel is replaced by a new guy, who explains his old angel died and went to Super-Heaven.
  • Once in Family Guy, Death mentioned that he wished his dad was still dead when his mother was annoying him. In another episode, Death got into a car accident and a taller Grim Reaper, calling itself Superdeath, told him that he was "unkilled" in the crash and was now going to be born as a kid in China. He disappears and reappears a moment later, having been born a girl.
  • Invoked in the South Park two-parter "Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?"/"Probably", Satan is surprised to find Saddam Hussein coming back after being killed in Hell when Saddam asks where Satan expected him to end up and gives Detroit as an example.


Video Example(s):


Super Heaven

Super Heaven is where the deceased in Heaven go with Death decides to reap them.

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