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The Grim Reaper
aka: Grim Reaper

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"When the first living thing existed, I was there, waiting. When the last living thing dies, my job will be finished. I'll put the chairs on tables, turn out the lights, and lock the universe behind me when I leave."
Death, The Sandmannote 

The mascot of death. The nature and purpose of the Grim Reaper (oftn referred to simply as "Death") varies between two different versions: one version describes him as a simple guide, the being who takes you to the next world after you die (the fancy word for this is "psychopomp"); the other sees him as the entity of death—you die when he touches you.

Either way, he is generally seen as a tall, often skeletal, specter in a black hooded robe, who wields a Sinister Scythe when he visits commoners and a sword when he visits royalty, though the scythe is the most common of his symbols. He is also often shown with an hourglass as a symbol of elapsing life. These dual accouterments are Older Than Steam, but both were drawn from the ancient Greco-Roman god Χρόνος (Chronos). This god, in turn, was drawn from the Ur-Example of the Sassanid sect's Zoroastrian god Zurvan Akarana. He is sometimes described as mute, and in some accounts you can challenge him to a game of chess for the right to stay alive.


Often he picks up the characteristics of Charon, the boatman of the river Styx in Greek mythology, but even these characteristics are filtered through a Christian veil, i.e. "angel of death". The Grim Reaper, in his days as a frequent figure of folk tales, was originally used as a menacing, somber symbol of the inevitability of death. He first appeared in Western art and folklore with the outbreak of the mid-fourteenth century plague epidemic known to us as the Black Death.

As with most folklore-ish characters, he has many and diverse characterizations. He may be sinister or come across as friendly. He may even be played for laughs as a Beleaguered Bureaucrat. Still other representations of death forgo the neutral or buffoonish guise and make Death a God of Evil that must be fought, i.e. Everyone Hates Hades. Others go the other way and say Don't Fear the Reaper; instead of evil, he is benevolent.


A frequent variation is the notion that instead of the Grim Reaper, there is a Grim Reaper—that it's a position offered to certain people after they die.

When this concept was imported to Japan in the 19th century, they translated the name as Shinigami (while typically translated as "god of death", it is literally "death kami", which doesn't have quite the same connotations). Japanese media then proceeded to play with the character to the point that many shinigami no longer have anything in common with the Grim Reaper, aside from the name. Shinigami are more typically spirits associated with death, rather than being the singular Anthropomorphic Personification thereof. Thus, the concept of being able to defeat or kill Death in combat (Castlevania) or Grim Reaper figures themselves being able to die (Death Note) can seem absurd to Western viewers. If something does take down the Reaper, you may have The Death of Death on your hands.

A subtrope of Psychopomp. May overlap with Destroyer Deity if they're not separate entities. Compare to Horsemen of the Apocalypse—for when the rest show up—and Afterlife Express—when the Grim Reaper is or rides on a vehicle, especially a train. See also Archangel Uriel, Enemies with Death, and The Problem with Fighting Death. For the Death Metal band, see Death. As with most public services, expect hilarity to ensue if Death Takes a Holiday, unless someone steps up to the task of Relieving the Reaper. A kinder interpretation may portray him as The Sacred Darkness.


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  • Australia had a landmark 1987 AIDS education ad which portrayed the Reaper going bowling...with people as pins.
  • An ad for an SUV portrayed driving it as so much fun it filled even Death with the joy of life: he's first seen looming over a baby bird...which he picks up and gently replaces in the nest from which it'd fallen.
  • The PSA "dark and lonely water" features Donald Pleasance dressed up as Death ("the spirit of dark and lonely water"), who then proceeds to monologue about the children who he's here to reap.
  • Another advertisement featured the grim reaper getting kicked out of a house Home Alone-style by the same Cool Old Guy he wanted to take. The reaper had no idea the Cool Old Guy had just bought some handy tools from the company the ad was advertising, and used them to boobytrap the entire house.
  • There was a PSA shown in theaters that warned about the dangers of trains, showing a nervous man playing cards with the Grim Reaper interspersed with a car racing to a road/railroad crossing. It ends with the man crushed, the Reaper laughing, and the car getting nailed by the train. The title card at the end said "Why gamble with Death?" Yes, title card: this PSA was filmed in the era of Silent Films.
  • In New Zealand's "Wheel of Misfortune" PSA, Death is a carnie sitting at a traffic intersection next to a wheel with alternating slots for "near miss", "minor crash", "major crash", and "death" (and, in a single teeny-tiny slot, "miracle"). Every time someone makes a stupid decision, he puts his hand on the wheel and gives it a spin.
  • A UK advert for a financial planning company has a man on a train get a warning that he should make some changes to his lifestyle.
  • Another UK advert aimed at soldiers returning from duty features the Grim Reaper—here he is portrayed as a 20-something man who is dressed in black modern clothes, is foul-mouthed and smokes cigarettes. In the advert, he first shows an elderly woman who has died and an obese man who is going to die and collapse after overdoing it while exercising. The advert then cuts to Iraq with a young British soldier called Tommy who later survives and comes back home, with the Grim Reaper stating how Tommy has got into the mindset that he is "indestructible", as he has survived Iraq. After watching him nearly have a collision with another driver (a woman with a baby) due to being on his mobile while driving (the grim reaper is unseen by Tommy or anyone else), the scene then cuts to later that evening when Tommy is out with his mates after drinking at the pub. Driving away with the music blaring, the Grim Reaper shouts "You're gonna die!" Moments later, the car veers off the road and smashes into a tree. As Death looks at the aftermath of the impact, he sees Tommy now dead on the ground and states, "Turns out he wasn't so indestructible after all." Checking out the wreck, one of Tommy's mates is still alive. The Grim Reaper states he will have to live out the rest of his life in a Wheelchair—"although it's better than nothing". Leaning against the wreck, he then looks at the camera and breaks the fourth wall, stating, "What about you? Fancy your chances?" The advert then warns that soldiers are twice as likely to have an accident as civilians, adding, "You may be tough, but you're not indestructible."
  • Played for laughs in this beer commercial. The protagonist fails to die even after having a bike accident and getting hit by a car, a meteor, and lightning...because the Grim Reaper is having a beer.
  • In this commercial for Energizer batteries, the Grim Reaper stops by the Energizer Bunny's house to claim his soul. Being the mascot for a long-lasting battery company, the Bunny shuts the door on him. The Grim Reaper decides to wait until the Bunny runs out of power, and passes the time by whittling, playing with a paddleball, playing a Game Boy, and reading War and Peace. Eventually, it is revealed that the Bunny is having a party in his house, and the Grim Reaper leaves when he realizes the Bunny won't tire down anytime soon.
  • There was once a roller coaster at Kennywood Park in Pittsburgh, PA called the "Steel Phantom", whose mascot was the Grim Reaper. It was torn down, supposedly for being extremely dangerous. When a new coaster, "the Phantom's Revenge", was being built in its place, there were commercials featuring the Grim Reaper going tanning and generally relaxing, waiting to go back to work.
    • It wasn't so much as torn down as large sections (such as the loops) were removed and replaced, the first hill made larger, etc. It wasn't really dangerous, it just wasn't the record holder it once was and was drawing less crowds. Also he wasn't the Grim Reaper, he was known as "The Phantom".

    Anime and Manga 
  • Tagmec, Knight of Parca from Kishiro Yukito's Aqua Knight. Bone.
  • The Grim Reaper is the cloaked, silent, skeletal form at England's bedside in Axis Powers Hetalia. He is moved to tears by England's "last words" (or his inability to finish them) to America. England doesn't die.
  • Black Butler has more than one Grim Reaper appear throughout the show, though they aren't what you'd expect. They are almost all Bishōnen males who wear (and need) glasses and wield odd weapons such as chainsaws (Grell) or a lawnmower (Ronald Knox). All Reapers were originally humans who were Driven to Suicide.
  • Pia Decem in GaoGaiGar FINAL. He wears dark armor, has a black cape, makes an ominous sound, uses a deadly scythe, and is sometimes called "Shinigami".
  • Death shows up to claim Nube halfway through the Hell Teacher Nube manga. She's a cute, cheerful girl dressed in a black robe with skull motifs, huge glasses, with a taste for parfaits and confectioneries...and a huge scythe.
  • The Grim Reaper is a motif on Duo's Gundam in Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. He also calls himself a Shinigami, although he actually isn't one (just a human being who always seems to lose everyone he cares about)
  • Dominikov of Murder Princess (at least in the manga) is a shinigami who resembles a diminutive skeleton carrying a large scythe and is able to conjure a spirit-powered motorcycle in a medieval setting. Amazingly for a manga, he actually reaps souls frequently, even going out of his way to do so.
  • Doc Q from One Piece is a sickly doctor who's nevertheless a member of one of the most powerful pirate crews in the world. His design is clearly invokes the Grim Reaper feel, seeing he's a tall, gaunt man in black coat, riding a pale (and just as sick) horse, and wielding a double-ended Sinister Scythe. Even his moniker is 'Death God', a Japanese equivalent.
  • Rinne: Shinigami are the shepherding type. They aid souls to complete their business and move on to the wheel of samsara. Because shinigami have quotas to fill, some shinigami go bad and become known as damshigami instead. Instead of acting as a psychopomp, a damashigami actively leads humans to their death, so as to pad out their quotas. In shinigami society, they are considered criminals. The Hero of the story is Rinne, part human and part shinigami, whose grandmother is a well-respected full-blooded shinigami and whose father is a well-respected damashigami (well-respected in damashigami circles, that is, making him one of the biggest lowlifes of the entire story).
    • Takuto is also a shinigami, but he's still in training, so his ears and wings aren't real.
  • Lord Death in Soul Eater is your standard-looking Grim Reaper, though with a goofy looking face as not to frighten the students of the Extranormal Institute he founded. He is also surprisingly badass if you provoke him, even ripping off a powerful Demon's SKIN and sealing said demon in a sack made of its own skin. In a series with many Equippable Allies, his partner is a scythe. But he also has a hammer, a sniper crossbow that shoots explosives, a guillotine, and a mirror. He has a son who's referred to as Death the Kid, who is eventually supposed to succeed him. Worth noting is that while are both Physical Gods, it's possible for either one to die, and once Kid gains his full power, Death automatically dies.
  • In Yu Yu Hakusho, Botan is the equivalent of a Grim Reaper...although she doesn't look the part. Or act it. At all. This is because the afterlife in this series is based on eastern mythology, and Botan adheres to this motif: wearing a formal kimono and riding an oar which symbolizes the boats that carry departed souls to the afterlife.
  • In Zombie Loan, the Grim Reaper shows up and is quite menacing. Later, his soul/core is he turns into a chibi and no one feels threatened by him anymore. An incredibly adorable (and irritable) chibi, who pokes anyone who succumbs to the urge to cuddle him with his (now tiny) scythe.

  • The Grim Reaper is commonly depicted on the Death card of Tarot decks (although it represents change rather than death as the end of all things, provided it's face-up. If it's face-down however it really means Game Over).note 
  • Various contemporary descriptions of the images on pirate flags of the early 18th century mention, among numerous other symbols signifying death and violence, skeletons holding hourglasses and/or darts—i.e. the Grim Reaper with his traditional attributes.

    Comic Books 
  • In Preacher, the Angel of Death expresses disinterest in the position he was assigned to and gives it over to the man who would become the Saint of Killers. The former actually looks like an angel and used a sword, while the latter retains his cowboy appearance from his mortal times and the sword is reforged into twin revolvers for him. Clearly, neither conform to the stereotype. The Saint is specifically given jurisdiction over those who die violent deaths; whether the original Angel of Death still takes those who die natural deaths isn't specified.
  • Death is one of several personifications of abstract concepts who appear in the Marvel Universe. She has even been killed off herself, twice—both times with disastrous results.
    • During the second Secret Wars II crossover, the Beyonder did this, but was convinced that life was meaningless without death, and restored her to existence.
    • Death was destroyed by the Ultimate Nullifier at the end of Universe X, freeing the dead to travel to a new heavenly dimension—but dooming the living to suffer eternally if mortally wounded. Much of the plot of Paradise X revolved around finding a replacement Death, then dealing with the chaos when Jude didn't restrict himself to people who were supposed to have died.
    • The Thanos Imperative is about a universe where Death was killed, turning the universe into an undying Cosmic Horror Story. Then they find the main Marvel universe.
    • And apparently, Deadpool is in love with her. Thanos loves her as well, however, and cursed Deadpool with immortality so he couldn't steal his girl. Or at least, that's Deadpool's story.
    • In addition to Death herself, psychopomps show up as well, apparently working for Oblivion, another abstract entity and "brother" to Death. Deathurge was one of these, until he lost a fight with his childhood friend Mr Immortal; the post is then offered to Doorman.
    • Toward the end of Siege, Norman Osborn claims that The Sentry is Death, and it was implied at one point in the preceding Dark Reign Myth Arc that he was the one who brought the plagues to Egypt. How he fits in the hierarchy of the other various death-related beings is still unexplored.
    • In Fred Hembeck Destroys the Marvel Universe, the Grim Reaper is portrayed as having clown hair, wearing orange sneakers and a purple robe with blue spots, and going by the name Crackers. He explains that life is one long, elaborate set-up, and death is the ultimate punchline.
    • An issue of Man-Thing featured two humans who had become agents of death. The man viewed death as commonplace so he appeared wearing a simple white button-up shirt and slacks. The woman viewed death more exotically so when she was "converted" she who a dramatic green garment and had long magenta hair.
  • The DCU has more deaths than you can shake a scythe at.
    • Death as seen in the Sandman universe is one of the Endless. She's a pretty and friendly Perky Goth, and is the ultimate personification of death in the DC universe, trumping, according to the author, everyone else. Accordingly, she is the last thing any person ever sees. Her dissimilarity to traditional concepts of death is constantly being lampshaded. In the Season of Mists arc, after her big brother Destiny tells her she should be more formally dressed for a family meeting, she balks, saying that next he'll be "moaning that [she] ought to get a scythe" after the manner of a traditional Grim Reaper. In The Thessaliad spinoff series, the character Fetch complains that "Death should be bones and black robes and scythes", to which his cohort Thessaly replies "Maybe she wants to make sure everyone is guaranteed at least one hot date before they cease to exist". In the spin-off Death: At Death's Door by Jill Thompson, Hell closes, sending all its inhabitants to various places, and some of them end up in Death's realm because she's familiar. A being asks who Death is, and she introduces herself as such. Cue him being unimpressed and commenting, "Sure, you and all the other goth chicks that choked on their own vomit.". She then shifts to wearing a large billowy cloak and hood decked out in skulls, chains, and a huge scythe. He then believes her. On the subject of Comic Book Death she takes the long view on such matters, reasoning that in the end everyone dies and if they so happen to make a few side trips in the meantime, no skin off her back, she can wait.
      Lex Luthor: The dead have come back to life! Several of them!
      Death: It happens! In the end, they all come back to me.
    • There's a special grim reaper, the Black Flash, specializing in speedsters (like the Flash) who would presumably be too fast to be caught by the normal Death. They've still outrun it occasionally though. It appears whenever a speedster is about to die.
    • There is also the Black Racer, the Death of the New Gods. His thing is that he is indeed a god of death, and kills people when their time has come.
    • While Nekron (The Lord of the Unliving) didn't start out as a Grim Reaper per se, he certainly went to some lengths to evoke this idea in Blackest Night; he even had a scythe this time, and was an awful lot more grim than the average grim reaper. So grim, in fact, that where most reapers settle for one soul at a time, or perhaps a city, or maybe a planet if they're feeling up to it, Nekron intended to kill the actual essence of life itself (ironically, this would mean his target is Death of the Endless) — to make life a metaphysical impossibility in his universe. Ouch. However, Nekron wasn't really representative of death so much as the absence of life.
    • One issue of Captain Atom from the early 90s explained the three as different aspects of Death. Death The Endless represents "Death as a Compassionate Release", The Black Racer represents "Death as an Inevitability" and Nekron represents "Death as The Ultimate Opponent". Though this fell under a degree of Canon Discontinuity with a later issue of Action Comics where Death of the Endless more or less states that Nekron is a bit of a poser. Neil Gaiman's own dissatisfaction with the issue also paints the canonical of this into doubt.
  • Brazilian comic Penadinho (known in English as Bug-a-booo) has comedic versions of many stock horror characters. One of them is The Grim Reaper himself — or herself, as it is a female version, Dona Morte (in English, Lady McDeath) who is clumsy and is always running after her "next clients", since no one wants to die. She also appears in stories of the same author whenever someone mentions death.
  • The Warlord Travis Morgan was once visited by a gorgeous Death, as Stripperific as any other woman in that series, who invited, "Come to me, my love!" and then took him through a vision of his past. He refused to go with her and recovered from his illness at the end of the issue.
  • Spirou and Fantasio get to meet the Ankou, a Bretonian psychopomp who drives a great carriage and looks like a shadow.
  • In the Italian comic series Dylan Dog, the title character has Death as one of his archenemies.
    • Not exactly an Arch-Nemesis. Death is a True Neutral who has its job to do and Dylan just happens to cross its path several times.
  • In This Magazine is Haunted, Dr. Death is the personification of death. He is both a psychopomp and sometimes the bringer of death. He can appear both as a skeletal figure or as a human.
  • Chick Tracts: The Grim Reaper makes appearances frequently, usually accompanied by his catchphrase "Hi there!"
  • Funky Winkerbean had "Masky McDeath", a Grim Reaper dressed like The Phantom of the Opera, come to claim Lisa.
  • In The Far Side, the Grim Reaper is the subject of several strips.
    • One titled "The Grim Reaper as a child" depicts him as a chubby skull-headed boy with a beanie playing with a model graveyard.
    • Another shows him and his wife at home about to sit down and enjoy some drinks when they are interrupted by a salesman literally at their door.
    • Yet another depicts him doing stand-up comedy. Only one man in the audience has the nerve to laugh at his jokes.
    Grim Reaper: Hey, did someone kill this microphone? Oh, I guess it was me...But seriously folks.
    Caption: Only Irving in the front row had the nerve to laugh at Death.
  • In the last story (by Wilhelm Busch) about Tobias Knopp. Guess how it ends.
  • In a kind of Imagine Spot, he's watching Empowered and Thugboy having sex.
  • In the Blacksad comics Death himself hasn't shown up so far, but Faust LaChapelle dons a costume in his image to go around incognito. Death apparently looks like a man with a goat skull in the Blacksad universe, merging some of the imagery with that of traditional Western depictions of Satan.
  • Azrael, The Angel of Death, makes an appearance in Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel Chicken With Plums. Even though he looks dark and demonic, (like a shadow with horns) he's actually a friendly, easygoing guy who talks Nasser Ali out of suicide. He also tells him the folk tale "Appointment in Samarra".
  • Pretty Deadly imports the modern Japanese fantasy-style Shinigami into a Western context - there is one capital-D Death, served by a team of "Reapers", most of whom were originally human beings and who each specialise in deaths related to a particular kind of concept, including Vengeance, Cruelty, War, Courage, Grace, and others. Ginny, the Reaper of Vengeance, is particularly supernatural as she is the daughter of the original Death with a human woman.
  • Satan's Hollow: One of the members of the Devil's court is the Reaper, a Death-like demon with black wings and a scythe.
  • Lady Death has him as her boss, in some comics. Other times he's one of the horsemen of the apocalypse.

    Fan Works 
  • In the oneshot The Black Stallion, ponies believe that their Grim Reaper is the titular black stallion. He watches the tribe from afar and takes ponies away once they die.
  • Death Is Forced To Take A Vacation: Fall Harvest and his fellow Reapers are this; Fall himself is the Reaper for Alicorns, Hollow Grave is Reaper for Ponies in general, Causality for draconequui and Nidhogg for dragons. Helheim, as the Lady of Death in this dimension, also counts.
  • Harry Potter fanfics will every so often have Death show up as a result of the final book. The actual details vary from story to story.
  • In The Many Worlds Interpretation, when the Discworld meets The Big Bang Theory, the Grim Reaper of the Roundworld has a Near-Sheldon-Cooper-Experience. Discworld wizard Ponder Stibbons watches as Death blinks in the sort of bafflement people get when Sheldon is talking to them. Specifically, he is being lectured about his appearance as a personification of Death being all wrong, and reflecting a long-outmoded Ingmar Bergman The Seventh Seal look. He, Sheldon Cooper, fully and resonably expected the personification of his Death to be fully tailored to his specific requirements, to wit, an upbeat, pretty, perky, Goth teenaged girl and until he saw that, he just wasn't going. Sheldon aces his encounter with Deathnote  in the comic works of A.A. Pessimal.
  • Mr and Mrs Gold: Charon the Ferryman is portrayed as wearing a black hood and a scythe.
  • My Little Pony in the Sims: A ponified version of the classic Reaper turns up at Sugarcube Corner in Episode Five to do his job. He also has a bit of a Sweet Tooth, as he changes his mind after being presented with a cupcake, then returns late at night to get more.
  • The Pieces Lie Where They Fell: Death appears late in the story to collect the soul of Twilight Sparkle, appearing as a kindly figure and allowing her to finally enter Elysium peacefully. The epilogue, however, shows that they are highly annoyed at the Nightmare for keeping them from collecting her for so long, and angered by Harmony/Balance for their actions involving the soul that had been the Lord/Lady of Nightmares.
  • The Pony POV Series has Mortis, the Alicorn of Death and Rebirth, who guides souls towards their final resting place (occasionally with the aid of certain souls who have become Angels under his employ).
  • In the MLP fanfic Reaping Rainbow, the Death of Ponies is essentially the same as Death from Discworld, until Rainbow takes over his job for a while. She's actually quite descent at the job.

    Films — Animated 
  • All Dogs Go to Heaven: In Charlie's nightmare, there's a dog version of the Grim Reaper.
  • The Phantasm from Batman: Mask of the Phantasm is very much styled after the Grim Reaper with the black cloak, skull mask and scythe blade (on a gauntlet this time).
  • In Monster Mash (2000), the prosecutor of Drac, Frank and Wolf's trial appears to be the personification of Death, as he wears a shroud and uses a scythe.
  • FernGully: The Last Rainforest: Hexxus' true form seems to be a giant burning skeleton with a cloak of tar. He's specifically mentioned to be the ancient embodiment of destruction, but it wouldn't take a leap of faith to infer that Hexxus' purpose is to bring about the end of life itself.
  • Anton Ego, the Caustic Critic in Ratatouille is known as The Grim Eater, who may as well be Death of Restaurants. He's gaunt, pale, his typewriter has a skull motif to it and his study is shaped after a coffin. Restaurants can live or die from his reviews, and at one point his criticism actually drove a chef to Death by Despair.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Seventh Seal has a Grim Reaper. With chess.
  • In Black Orpheus, a Setting Update placing the Orpheus and Eurydice myth in Brazil, the Reaper is stalking Eurydice while dressed as a skeleton for Carnaval.
  • In The Poor Little Rich Girl, Mary Pickford's Adventures in Comaland end with the Grim Reaper (unusually, here portrayed as a woman) appearing and offering "eternal sleep". A fairy that seems to represent the Reaper's Good Counterpart then appears and lures Mary back to the side of life.
  • In Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey, the boys get to come back from the dead after beating the Grim Reaper at various games, including Twister and Clue. (A Shout-Out to The Seventh Seal.) The Grim Reaper then helped them deal with the villains and joined their band as bassist. He later wins the Indy 500 on foot, releases a solo album and gets caught in a lip-syncing scandal.
  • Loki, Matt Damon's character in Dogma, is said to have formerly been the angel of death, having been dismissed by God after the Exodus. That a replacement had not been appointed in the 3500 years since suggests to Loki that his talents were not adequately appreciated.
  • Parodied - with a Shout-Out to The Seventh Seal - in Last Action Hero in which Death (Ian McKellen), as a character, actually escapes the movie The Seventh Seal, and comes walking down the street. As he touches some people, they drop dead.
  • Death is the antagonist in the Final Destination movies. Unusually, Death is presented as what can only be described as a "force" rather than as a person (although WMG has sprung up in relation to Tony Todd's character about this). "It" is usually seen as wind, though the other elements like to get in on the action too; generally speaking, water works to fake out the audience, sometimes teaming up with its old friend electricity, whilst wind, fire and earth lay the real Disaster Dominoes.
  • In A Prairie Home Companion, a movie with themes of mortality (the end of a show, the end of an era, the end of a life...) that happens to be Robert Altman's last film (Oh dear...), Death looks like... Virginia Madsen. She is an Angel of Death present at the final taping of the titular show who was once human. (She had heard a joke on the show so funny that she flipped her car, but hearing the joke again post-mortem, she couldn't see what was so funny about it.) Guy Noir convinces her to ferry away a visiting executive who will be destroying the theater PHC called home, and she happily agrees, knowing it won't change the ultimate outcome. She claims her name is "Asphodel", a Meaningful Name with a reference to both the flower Asphodel and Azrael, the traditional Angel of Death.
  • Death in Woody Allen's Love And Death parodies The Seventh Seal yet again.
  • Monty Python's The Meaning of Life:The GR is designed by Terry Gilliam and voiced by John Cleese, and gets extremely annoyed when a bunch of dinner guests would rather argue with him than just die like they're supposed to.
    "There's a Mister Death here; he's here about the reaping? I don't think we need any at the moment..."
  • The Right Stuff has a character (listed in the credits as "Minister") with strong, symbolic Grim Reaper-ish overtones. He wears a plain black suit and tie, and first appears to tell a young Air Force bride that she's just become an Air Force widow. He is silent while doing so, but is then seen singing "The Navy Hymn" (suitably adapted for the Air Force) at his funeral, and then shortly thereafter enjoying a cold one at Pancho's. Then, as Chuck Yeager taxis away to try to become the first pilot to break the sound barrier, he's seen on the edge of the tarmac ...
  • In the Italian horror film Cemetery Man, the protagonist Francesco Dellamorte meets the Grim Reaper twice.
  • In Irish crime comedy Perrier's Bounty Jim Broadbent's character claims to have met the Grim Reaper and describes him as an ordinary man in a suit. we don't see him but he's seemingly Irish since his voice is done by Gabriel Byrne.
  • Here Comes Mr. Jordan doesn't have one particular Grim Reaper—it's all a bureaucratic operation. Messenger 7013 is the caseworker assigned to Joe Pendleton, only 7013 screws up and takes Pendleton to heaven when he wasn't supposed to die for another fifty years.
  • Meet Joe Black makes for two possible inversions. The first is when a character asks Death how he can take on a human form and explore the world but still keep his rather important job, and Death replies by saying that he's entirely capable of doing both at once. The second is that if Death looked like Brad Pitt (and Joe's personality was quite nice and kind), people would possibly be a little less afraid of meeting him.
  • The Swedish silent movie Körkarlen (from 1921, The Phantom Carriage in English) involves the soul of a dying man following Death's coachman around picking up the dead - and seeing the consequences of his own bad life. Here, the driver of the "phantom carriage" is the last man to die each year.
  • The short film Deathdealer: A Documentary (2004) follows a somber door-to-door salesman who over the course of the film is revealed to be the Angel of Death himself, wrestling with the question of the morality of his work in to-the-camera interviews with the director. And he's played by Henry Rollins at his most soft-spoken. It doesn't end well for the film crew.
  • The jolly ferryman the protagonist and her friends meet after swimming out to sea to find their destiny in Beasts of the Southern Wild has many traits in common with a typical depiction of Death. He wears all black, tells the girl his boat can take people "anywhere," even to her deceased mother, implies he's very, very old, and the place he ultimately drops the girls off is a bar called "The Elysian Fields." They're ultimately revealed to not be dead, though, so maybe sometimes a jolly ferryman is just a jolly ferryman.
  • In the surrealistic film The Empty Mirror, Adolf Hitler is trying to write his memoirs in a Purgatory-like cave. Death appears several times as a woman in all black wielding a knife and apparently approving of all the destruction he wrought, although Hitler is equally intrigued by and terrified of her.
  • One of the many monsters that the cast in Spookies has to deal with is a statue of Grim Reaper that comes alive and starts chasing them.
  • During the climax of Suspiria (2018), Susie, revealed to have been the matriarch witch Mater Suspiriorum, summons a physical incarnation of Death. This entity proceeds to kiss the imposter Helena Markos, killing the leader of the Berlin coven and her many followers (mainly by blowing up their heads). The avatar of Death is portrayed by the same actress cast as Susie's mother, perhaps proving that the Three Mothers are daughters of Death.
  • Dr. Terror's House of Horrors: At the end of the film, Dr. Schreck is revealed to be Grim Reaper, and that the passengers have been travelling on the Afterlife Express.

    Folklore and Religion 
  • Classical Mythology:
    • Charon, the ferryman who takes the dead to the underworld. He is often represented as a skeletal figure dressed in dark robes with a long pole with which he steers his barge.
    • Thanatos, that is, Death itself, is a minor deity. He looks like a handsome bearded man with large wings.
    • The Sinister Scythe, which neither Thanatos nor Charon has, also appears but in the hands of the Titan Kronos/Cronus, Zeus' dad, which is a Titan of harvest. Kronus is sometimes interpreted as Khronos/Chronos, who is the Protogenoi of time. Why did the Greeks associate the scythe of harvest, time, and death? Because for them, time is the inevitability which destroys all like a harvest.
  • Ankou, from the folklore of Brittany, shares many traits with the Reaper, and may have been an inspiration.
  • The Mexican cult of Santa Muerte.
  • The Abrahamic faiths presents us with Azrael (meaning "Angel of God", "Help from God" or "One Whom God Help), the Angel of Death with the various faiths having their own interpretations and perspectives on him:
    • Judaism holds him as the Angel of Death and mroe often referred to Azriel if referred to by name at all. Jewish mysticism portrays him postively and a force for good. He is known as the Angel of Destruction and Rebirth.
    • In Christianity, Azrael is neither canonical nor noncanoical due to not being referenced (with Christianity recognizing Micheal, Gabriel, Raphael and Uriel). However, the The Bible mentions an angel who is either associated with Jesus, or Jesus himself (son of man), wielding a scythe ready to reap the grapes of wrath, symbolizing the killing of all of the earth dwellers who martyred all of the Christians. He's definitely identified in the Book of Revelation as one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, and in fact the only one to be explicitly named.
    • Islam actually holds him in the highest esteem out of three faiths, referring to him as archangel. Transcribed as "Azrāʾīl" in Arabic, he is one of the four angels alongside Isrāfīl (taking the place of Raphael) and Micheal and Gabriel. He collects the departed souls from the bodies and is told by God when their time is. Additionally, according to Islamic lore, forty days before the death of a person approaches, God drops a leaf from a tree below the heavenly throne, on which Azrael reads the name of the person he must take with him.
  • Death is the narrator of "Appointment in Samarra", a story retold by W. Somerset Maugham in 1933, itself based on an old Middle Eastern story.
  • Britain and Ireland have the death coach (known in Ireland as the Cóiste Bodhar, or "silent coach"), a funeral coach driven by a dullahan regarded as an omen of death.
  • In "Godfather Death", a poor man looking desperately for a godfather for his newborn son meets a stranger on the road who reveals he is Death and offers to be the boy's godfather. Later Death attends the godson's baptism and eventually teaches his godson how to become a famous physician. Death's look remains ambiguous; he has "withered legs" and a "withered fist", which could be an euphemism for the familiar skeletal figure; on the other hand, the poor man does not recognize Death when he first sees him and is not terrified by the stranger. Death also has an "ice-cold hand" with a very firm grip.

  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld: Death is a character in his own right, with thoughts, feelings (sort of), and a genuine personality. He's the central figure of several books in the series, and has appeared in almost every book (even if only for a line or two). Oh, and he Always speaks in small caps, how the author depicts "a voice like lead slabs falling on a marble floor." Death is one of the most likable and sympathetic characters in the series, to the extent that Pratchett fans due to meet the real one soon have expressed their hopes that he's like the one in the novels. (Pterry received a lot of fanmail to this effect, which often made for... difficult reading.) For "What can the harvest hope for, if not for the care of the Reaper Man?"
    • Although Death is largely a nice person, you really don't want to get him mad. The Auditors of Reality have discovered this several times over, and a good guy like the titular protagonist of Mort can get on his wrong side with near-fatal results.
    • Though Death performs his duty for every living thing on the Disc, from humans to tube worms, his brief retirement in Reaper Man left a void that was filled with a separate Death for every creature: Death of Rats (Squeak), Death of Mayflies (a trout), Death of Trees (a chopping sound), and so on, to say nothing of the malevolent, Witch King-like replacement Death of Humans. When he returned, Death recalled all of them... except for Death of Ratsnote . It's a lonely, eternal job, and it's nice to have someone to share it withnote .
    • Death's boss is Azrael, the Death of Universes, a being so colossal that galaxies appear as twinkles in his eye, and it takes a whole page to contain a single-word reply to a question. Also, he has a clock — the clock — which tells Time what it is.
    • After Terry's death, one of the final posts on his Twitter account was, "At last, Sir Terry, we must walk together."
  • Pratchett also used another more True Neutral version of Death in Nation, called Locaha. Who may or may not exist.
  • In Kenneth B. Andersen's Great Devil War series Death, whose true name is Mortimer, features heavily. He is an ancient man whose task it is to bring the souls of the dead to their afterlife upon their death. He has his own domain, a dead world between Heaven and Hell. He has a hundred-sided die which he rolls for every newborn human and asigns a lifespan with. In the basement below his house, in his world, he keeps a hourglass for every living human, which indicate when they will die. Mortimer has a sister, Life, whose name is Vita, and keeps a white pet snake, Tempus, who is Time incarnate.
  • The Pratchett/Neil Gaiman novel Good Omens concerns Armageddon, so Death features as one of the Four Horsemen (or motorbikers) of the Apocalypse. He doesn't get as much page time as the others because he's always busy, but shares the Death of Discworld's accent and occasional sense of humor.
    • Towards the climax he reveals that, in spite of his position with the Four Horsemen, he is not like the others. Whereas his three companions are more or less manifestations of facets of humanity, Death is actually the angel Azrael, with wings of darkest blackness. When the others are defeated, he congratulates Adam and leaves.
    I am Azrael, created to be creation's shadow. You cannot destroy me. That would destroy the world.
  • In Piers Anthony's On a Pale Horse, the office of Death passes from one holder to the next when the new Death kills his predecessor.
  • Robert Burns's poem Death and Dr Hornbook features a non-skeletal (albeit cloaked) Grim Reaper of the disgruntled civil servant mould, who is apparently a Grim Reaper specifically responsible for southwestern Scotland.
  • In Paul Robinson's book Instrument of God, the person who is in charge of the Recycling Department (where people who have died decide to go back to earth to be reborn as a baby) is The Death Traffic Manager but is colloquially known as Grim or The Grim Reaper.
  • The Book Thief is narrated by Death (and makes him a sympathetic character to boot!)
    I do not carry a sickle or scythe
    And I don't have those skull like features
    You humans are so keen on pinning on me from a distance
    You want to know what I look like?
  • The Black Rabbit of Inle from Watership Down is involved in the death of every rabbit, but if a rabbit dies without his permission, he will avenge the deed. In rabbit mythology, this explains why elil (the rabbit word for enemies, including humans) hunt and kill each other.
  • Death of Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar series is a bald figure in dark clothing, who has a quota of deaths every hour (by profession) and has never missed it.
  • The description of the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come in Charles Dickens's A Christmas Carol is a clear reference to the Grim Reaper.
  • In The Dresden Files, at one point in Ghost Story, Harry meets an Angel of Death who is watching over Father Forthill. Harry then threatens the Angel if any harm comes to Forthill. She calmly states his True Name, that she understands his frustration and adds that she is watching merely to protect him should it be the person's proper time. Given the Angel could destroy Harry with a mere thought, he got off lightly. The Angel even states that should it be time, not even the Prince of Darkness would wrest the soul from her protection.
  • Death is worshipped in many forms in the world of A Song of Ice and Fire, from the Black Goat of Qohor to the Stranger from the Faith of the seven. However, a cult of assassins known as the Faceless Men believe all of these to be the same being, the Many-Faced God.
  • Invoked in Dan Abnett's Gaunt's Ghosts novel Only In Death. Wes Maggs is haunted by a figure of an old woman with a malformed face and a black lace gown. He is convinced that she is Death, come to take Ghosts. In some, dangerous situations, other Ghosts see her as well. When resolving to fight as hard as he could, Maggs defies her. She proves to be Soric's handler from the Black Ships, projected by him. The reason she appeared more when they were in danger was that Soric sensed it, and his desperate desire to help them caused more of his psychic activity to reach them.
  • The classic Spanish novel La Dama del Alba (The Lady of the Dawn) has Death as a beautiful woman who envies the living, as she can never know love because of her role.
  • In One Hundred Years of Solitude, Death is a quiet woman clad in an old blue dress who orders Amaranta Buendía to sew her own death shroud, promising that she will die peacefully and painlessly at the end of the day she's done.
  • Death is a fairly important figure in Paradise Lost and is part of the "evil trinity" along with Satan, his father, and Sin, his mother. Satan is also Sin's father.
  • In Amber Benson's Calliope Reaper-Jones series, Calliope is the daughter of the current Grim Reaper, a man who has held that post since about 1900. Having been in life a businessman during the latter part of the Industrial Revolution, he used those approaches to manage his reaping duties, by forming the afterlife company Death, Inc.
  • Final Destination spin-off Dead Reckoning has a Lovecraft inspired version of the usual stereotypical depiction of the Grim Reaper appear in a dream sequence.
  • Death: A Life by George Pendle is a humorous look at Death's existence up to the present time. The main story focuses on Death being fascinated with the idea of living after meeting a soul by the name of Maud, whom he falls in love with. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Yambe-Akka to witches in His Dark Materials. At one point it reveals that every person has an individual death, who accompanies them all their life, but who often hide themselves (and they're very good at that) because most people are uncomfortable with facing their mortality.
  • Harry Potter doesn't have Death himself appear in-story (though so many have died), but in The Tale of the Three Brothers, Death did appear to the three Peverell Brothers. He is portrayed here as cunning and disliking to be on the losing side of anything. He was, in the story, the creator of the Deathly Hallows.
  • Silicon Wolfpack has a traditionally-garbed reaper who seems to merely be one of many, and has a sense of humor.
  • The Demonata after several books reveal that Death was the main villain all along.
  • In the Heralds of Valdemar series, Death is described as "the Shadow-Lover." The metaphysics of Velgarth being a bit vague, the Shadow-Lover sometimes seems to be a literal psychopomp that appears as an attractive member of one's gender of preference to embrace the dying, and sometimes seems to be a poetic metaphor. It may depend on the nature and strength of one's faith.
  • In the Stephen King novel The Long Walk, an unnamed dark figure appears at the very end who is theorized to be Death, ushering Garraty into the afterlife.
  • Although he's an inscrutable Chessmaster and Magnificent Bastard, Death from The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel (called Marethyu in the series) is ultimately a hero and the champion of humanity. And it turns out that he's actually a future version of Josh, one of the two main characters. (It Makes Sense in Context.)
  • Fiona Patton's Tales of the Branion Realm features the Shadow Catcher, who during battles is depicted as a fisherman with a net, drawing up a great catch of the dead.
  • Title character Jenny in Geoph Essex's Lovely Assistant (like the others she meets) is the Psychopomp variation. (Spoilered out since even she doesn't know it until a third of the way through the story, despite unwittingly dying the very first moment we see her).
  • Garovel of The Zombie Knight is this, but despite his appearance, he seems much less gloomy and macabre than the story's human protagonist.
  • Ironeyes of Wax and Wayne is generally regarded as a Type 2 above, though one of the three major religions (Sliverism) worships him as God. Readers of Mistborn: The Original Trilogy will recognize him as Marsh, Kelsier's brother. Of course, Kelsier is a god as well, so...
  • In Philip Kerr's novel Prayer, FBI agent Gill Martin comes up against the Church of Izrael, led by the seemingly genuine Pastor Nelson van der Velden. He soon realises the odd spelling of "Izrael" is no error or eccentricity. Van der Velden spent time in Israel learning the inner secrets of Kabbalah. These include how to actively pray for the death of dirty godless liberals, atheists, socialists and advocates of sexual deviancy, so as to bring about God's will for the USA — a fundamentalist Christian theocracy. Led by President van der Velden. Via Kabalah, an inner prayer circle invokes and directs Azrael, the Archangel of Death, to do God's will as mandated through His servant Nelson van der Velden.
  • Tanya Huff's Child of the Grove/The Last Wizard duology (her first books) has Death as an important character in both backstory and within the story. He looks like whatever a person finds comforting and can even choose his appearance if necessary. He is generally invisible to mortals, but the immortals, the titular wizard, and people close to death can see him. He can also be invisible to even them or make himself visible to mortals. At one point he allows the dead father of a character to smack sense into him, and he's a very polite and kind man. Then he falls in love with Crystal, the last wizard.
  • Journey to Chaos:
    • A corps of reapers exist in the afterlife known as The Abyss. Their job is to oversee the dead, the dying and overall make sure that this aspect of reality is functioning properly. They typically appear to humans in the guise of a black cloaked figure and the symbol of their office is their scythe. Their master is simply called "Lord Death".
  • One of Tasio's titles is "The Reaper of Gods" and in this guise he wears a golden brown hooded cloak and wields a golden-brown scythe. That's right, he's the reaper's reaper.
  • Sven Hassel series:
    • In Monte Cassino, Sven and another German soldier flee their post on seeing the Grim Reaper at Monte Cassino giving an Evil Laugh at the place where he'll soon gain many victims. Sven leaves his machine pistol behind, but is too terrified to go back and get it, stealing another from a sleeping soldier instead.
    • In another novel Sven is wounded in hospital, and hallucinates Death waiting impatiently for someone to die. When Sven taunts Death to Get It Over With, Death gathers up his cloak and strides towards Sven causing him to scream in fear, drawing a nurse who calms Sven down.
  • The Earth-Dog from Survivor Dogs is both Mother Nature and The Grim Reaper. She's a black mastiff-looking dog that lives in the earth. When beings die, their bodies are taken by the Earth-Dog.
  • One of the main characters and Jax's new boss in The Grim Reaper's Apprentice.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The entire premise of the TV series Dead Like Me. Grim Reapers in the Dead Like Me universe work as a team, and are the first variation of Reapers described; the kind that guide the soul of a deceased person to the afterlife. They also have the responsibility to "pop" the soul of the person shortly before their death, so that they feel no pain. As George quickly learns, failure to remove the soul can have... side effects.
  • The Cockney cab-driving Grim Reapers from the first season of The Mighty Boosh.
  • The Angel of Death appeared several times in Charmed (1998), played in all but one instance by the same actor. He was depicted as unstoppable, anyone who fell onto his list would die, and the episode would involve characters learning to accept death was inevitable.
  • Saturday Night Live: The Grim Reaper under the pseudonym Steve Bannon is shown to be the true acting President of the United States.
  • Star Trek: Voyager not only plays it straight, but features friendly-guide Death turning into aggressive-destructive Death as Janeway refuses to pass over. He was a Sufficiently Advanced Alien who, for some reason, needed people to voluntarily travel to his torturous Hell dimension so he could use them as a living battery. His aggressive side made for a pretty creepy Reaper.
  • Spoofed in the series Murder Most Horrid. Dawn French plays a grim reaper forced to be customer-friendly, and has to deal with interrupting a murder a few minutes early by arranging the circumstances so that the right murder takes place.
  • At the end of the series finale of Red Dwarf, a pale reaper shows up to collect Rimmer, who evades death by kicking the specter in the jewels and running away.
  • Touched by an Angel:
    • Andrew is one of the Angels of Death. They don't actually kill people; he just helps those who were about to die (or in the process of dying) get prepared and escorts them after.
    • On a Halloween episode, he sees a trick-or-treater dressed as the Grim Reaper. He pauses and seriously says to the kid, "We need to talk."
  • In American Horror Story: Asylum, the Angel of Death appears as a black-haired, pale-skinned woman wearing a black dress and veil. She talks to several characters and takes them with a literal Kiss Of Death, including Satan himself while he possessed Sister Mary.
  • Big Wolf on Campus had two episodes that involved the Grim Reaper. Naturally, everything is parodied hilariously. When a character tries to save his own life by challenging Death to a game of chess, he loses, so then they play Yahtzee!, and he loses, so they play Connect Four, and he loses, so they play Cluedo. Death was not up for playing Stratego at that point. Also, in the other episode, Death has agreed to leave, but as he walks out the door he turns and starts to deliver his classic "In time all will come to..." speech only to have the door slammed in his face...because, you know, they're teenagers, they don't want to hear about that sort of stuff.
  • Supernatural:
    • Several episodes feature an insanely hot black-haired Reaper who goes by (to Dean and, later, Sam) Tessa. It's the job of the Reapers to guide the deceased to their afterlives.
    • Lucifer summons Death himself in Season 5's "Abandon All Hope...". He is one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the boss of all the Reapers. While he does not appear as the classical Grim Reaper (skeleton in a black cloak), he is portrayed by Julian Richings, a man with a very skeletal appearance. Death is not actively malicious. He views humanity in much the same way we might view microbes—barely noticeable and utterly insignificant. He also claims to be at least as old and as powerful as God (neither of them can remember who's older anymore), and states that, in the end, he'll reap Him too. He's portrayed as more of a typical Grim Reaper-type being in "Appointment in Samarra", which makes it clear that his task is to maintain the natural order. He views the Winchesters as slightly more significant this time around—enough for him to be annoyed at the way they keep coming back from the dead, anyway. He also likes fast food—so much so that when the Winchesters summon and bind him at the beginning of season 7, their "please don't kill us on the spot" bribe is a bag of pickle chips.
    • Death is later revealed to be a God Job when Dean kills the first incarnation of Death with his own scythe (which Death personally loaned him). The next Reaper in line who dies automatically becomes the new Death, which turns out to be a Reaper who goes by the alias Billie. She's a bit less cosmically detached than her predecessor, but strikes a much more imposing figure, ditching the suit in favor of a tank top and leather trenchcoat.
  • The catch in Reaper is that at least one version of reapers are alive, work for The Devil, and capture already-dead escaped souls to return them to Hell. Worse than a Reaper is the Ender, which can destroy souls (and anything else) utterly.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess has Celesta. She looks nothing like a normal reaper.
  • An episode of Benson had him play Trivial Pursuit against Mr. G. Reaper, not for his own life but for the lives of a bus-full of schoolchildren caught in a severe storm. All the questions Death got had answers involving "death"; when Benson accused him of cheating, he denied it, saying, "You have often heard it said, 'He cheated Death,' but no one ever said 'Death cheated him!"
  • Monster Jam: Grave Digger is the Grim Reaper in monster truck form. He'll roll over your grave. And like 20 or 30 cars after that.
  • Although not appearing as a character the Reaper is the symbol worn by the Sons of Anarchy Motorcyle Club on their jackets and is carved into the conference table in their meeting room. The stock of his scythe is a rifle and he carries a buckler with the anarchy symbol on it. Some members have him tatooed on their backs.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • In "One for the Angels", Death appears to the pitchman Lou J. Bookman and tells him that his scheduled time of departure is midnight that night. Lou convinces him to wait until he makes his greatest sales pitch and then decides never to make another pitch as long as he lives. In order to balance his books, Death arranges for a little girl named Maggie Polonski, a friend of Lou's, to be hit by a truck. In order to save her life, Lou makes that great sales pitch, sacrificing his own life in the process.
    • In "The Hitch-Hiker", Nan Adams is frightened by the fact that she sees the same strange hitchhiker at every stop no matter how fast and how far she drives. She eventually learns that she has been Dead All Along, having been killed in a car accident six days earlier, and the hitchhiker is Death.
    • In "Nothing in the Dark", Wanda Dunn is so terrified of being taken by Mr. Death that has not left her apartment in years. After a young police officer named Harold Beldon is shot, she very reluctantly brings him inside so that she can care for him. It turns out that Beldon is Death and that he tricked her into letting him into her apartment to prove to her that she had nothing to fear from him.
  • The Torchwood episode Dead Man Walking features a Death that, should it successfully complete the requirements for it to appear on Earth, will attempt to kill everything.
  • In the horror pastiche episode of Cirque du Soleil's Widget Series Solstrom, once a hotel has been magically transformed into a Haunted Castle / Hell Hotel hybrid, Death arrives as a guest (i.e., he's taking a holiday). Even though he fits the traditional appearance pictured above, magically signs the register with a skull and crossbones symbol, and has a menacing laugh, he observes the strange hijinks going on rather than interfere with them. By the episode's end, an unlucky guest has perished via choking, and when Death checks out it's with the person's soul following him in a daze. Further playing this for dark humor, the Hotel Owner doesn't seem to recognize Death and treats him like any other guest (well, with everything else that's changed, what's one more bizarre stranger on the premises?).
  • One of these shows up for Al in an episode of Married... with Children. Unlike most of the examples on this page, the Reaper is explicitly female. She closely resembles Al's wife Peggy, who is the cause of a lot of Al's misery in life. She also alludes to there being multiple Reapers out there, having been one of the six who had to carry Elvis Presley out of the bathroom after he died.
  • A strange example in the usually reality-based NCIS. In the fourth season finale "Angel of Death", Dr. Jeanne Benoit encounters a little girl outside the hospital who may or may not be the Angel of Death. It's strongly implied to the viewer that she really is.
  • Played with in Grimm. It's not the Grim Reaper, it's the Grimm Reaper. And it's not the single avatar of death, it's a group of assassins made up of (comparatively mundane) monsters who use scythes as their Weapon of Choice. And their targets happen to be people known as Grimms.
  • In an episode of Scrubs, J.D. imagines Death hanging around the hospital due to all the deaths that happen there. Death among other things has a daughter selling girl scout cookies (where he mentions he might kill his daughter's main competitor), and plays a game of Connect Four with J.D. over a patient's life.
  • The rare version of the Reaper wielding a sword when coming to claim royalty is highlighted on the final episode of The Tudors when a Reaper on horseback approaches Henry(who, after three seasons of subtle aging, is back as he was in Season 1); aiming the sword at the king's neck. It's a dream sequence, however.
  • In one of Marty Feldman's short films he portrayed a movie maker with an almost supernatural knack of being in place for to film a disaster. He was even shown filming his wife on holiday (also played by Feldman) who would suddenly point to the right and then to the left so the camera could catch a shipwreck or plane crash. He became so notorious that people would panic when they realized he was filming them, often causing their deaths such as the person who kept backing off and waving him away and fell into a garbage truck to be compacted.
  • Wild West Tech gives The Grim Reaper his own episode. Let's face it: T He Wild West was a dangerous time and place. There were endless ways to die and nobody is immune.
  • Horrible Histories: In which Death likes to make people tell their stories of how they put the "mortifying" into "mortal", before allowing them into the next world.
    Death: Stupid deaths, stupid deaths, it's funny cause it's true! Stupid deaths, stupid deaths, hope next time it's not you!
  • A skit on the Israeli Black Comedy skit show Makom liDeaga had a religious woman open the door to see a man in stock Grim Reaper attire. He greets her asks her with an ominous low voice if he can come in; she hesitates in terror before someone tells him the costume party is on the floor above them. He apologises and leaves, and the woman goes back inside, where a group of people are praying for a child fighting a terminal illness.
  • On the short-lived series Kings, Death appears to King Silas as a pale-skinned woman (played by Saffron Burrows). Silas knows she's there to collect his critically ill daughter, Michelle, but makes a deal with her to take someone else. The someone else turns out to be David Shepherd's father.
  • Charlie Doyle in Night and Day is repeatedly stalked in vision sequences by a Grim Reaper, in the form of an old man in a hooded black cloak, complete with scythe and a pair of dice which he tells Charlie he must roll. Footage of the Reaper is frequently juxtaposed with that of Charlie's son Django until, at the climax of the storyline when Django almost murders Charlie, the Reaper's face actually morphs into Django's own and back again.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Visitation", the alien Terileptils disguise their robot as the Grim Reaper to terrorize the local villagers.
  • Space: Above and Beyond. In "Who Monitors The Birds?", Cooper Hawkes is Trapped Behind Enemy Lines and hallucinates a nightmarish Shane Vansen beckoning to him, inspired by the "Whore of War" witnessed by William Manchester as a WW2 soldier (described in his book in Goodbye Darkness).

  • Blue Öyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper" from Agents of Fortune, a Trope Namer. Used especially well in the TV version of Stephen King's The Stand, playing while the camera roamed a biological weapons lab where everyone had been killed by an escaped virus.
  • Mitch Benn did a spoof cover of "Don't Fear the Reaper" in March 2016 after a spate of celebrity deaths including George Martin and David Bowie; "I've had it up to here with the Reaper, I kind of wish he'd give it a rest... " He specifically asks the Reaper to keep away from Tom Baker, David Attenborough, Michael Palin and Bob Dylan.
  • Halo has two songs named for the fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse, Death (another name people use for a personified death, along with the Grim Reaper). To be exact, Halo: Combat Evolved's "On A Pale Horse" and its Halo 3 remake "Behold a Pale Horse" are those songs.
  • Death appears in Ayreon's Into the Electic Castle when the Indian dies. Obviously we can't see him, but his part is done in death growls.
  • The music video of Nana Mizuki's Eternal Blaze has a blonde little girl summoning the Grim Reaper, though this version came with a bovine skull instead of the traditional human one.
  • The Nice's song "Azrael" is about the Angel of Death (its alternate title).
  • A reaper-like figure with a scythe appears on the cover of the album Yeti, by the band Amon Düül II. In fact, the guy with the scythe was Wolfgang Krischke, ADII's sound man, who had died of hypothermia while tripping on acid. Keyboardist/album cover artist Falk Rogner included the photo of Krischke as a tribute.
  • Bands such as Grave Digger, Grim Reaper, Children of Bodom and post-reunion Artillery have Death as their mascot.
  • Wow. That's surprising. Pearl Jam's "Do The Evolution" only has one happy character in it. Death. Shown as a pretty woman, a skeletal pilot, and something in-between during the video.
  • Machinae Supremacy has I Know the Reaper.
  • Franz Schubert's Death and the Maiden, about a young woman arguing with the grim reaper over the justice of her passing. She cries out in fear, but Death replies that he won't hurt her. Death wins the argument (he always does).
  • Voltaire's ''"Feathery Wings", which is about the Angel of Death.
  • David Bowie's "Look Back in Anger" from Lodger recounts an encounter with Death, who is described as a tired, bored angel with "crumpled wings", but "Very sane he seemed to me".
  • "Death, The Reaper" is one of the Tarot-inspired instrumentals on The Enid's debut album In the Region of the Summer Stars.
  • Likewise, Dark Moor has a track for Death on their album Tarot.
  • A variation of Death's Thanatos incarnation is the narrator in "Can't Take It With You" by The Alan Parsons Project.
  • The Scary Black Man from the Bone Thugs-n-Harmony video for "Crossroads", until the end when he takes off his coat and hat revealing he has angel wings.
  • The Insane Clown Posse call him "The Wraith". He is Above Good and Evil, not caring about the morality of those he takes; he only cares about his duty of ending the lives of those he has come to claim, though their song about him implies he may be a bit too interested in making sure people continue to come his way.
  • Death shows up, of course, scythe, cloak and all in the video for Raubtiers' Achtung Panzer, though also with a military beret, to raise and army of zombie troops, complete with armour!
  • Death in a dinner jacket is the conductor on Mr Bones and the Boneyard Circus' Ghost Train.
  • The American folk song "O'Death" has been used in, among other places, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Until Dawn, and an episode of Supernatural. The second verse has various versions, though the Until Dawn version goes:
    O' I am Death and none can tell if I open the door to heaven or hell.
    No wealth, no land, no silver, nor gold, nothing satisfies me but your soul
    I'm Death, I come to take the soul
    Leave the body and leave it cold
    O'Death, O'Death, won't you spare me over til' another year?
  • The Reaper appears to have been following Russel Hobbes, from Gorillaz, around for most of his life. Russel insists he saw the Reaper during the drive-by shooting which killed all his friends, and actually has photographic evidence of Death looming over him. Rumour also has it that Murdoc's pet raven Cortez was "born in the folds of the Grim Reaper's cloak" - he picked it up in Mexico, a place where ravens don't naturally live in the wild, so there may in fact be something weird going on with it.
  • "Azrael", song by Crimson Glory where the "Angel of Mercy" as is called there acts as a judge of the deceased, sending them to either Heaven or Hell.
  • Prince's "Let's Go Crazy"
    "Better live now before the Grim Reaper comes knocking on your door"
  • Mentioned in Fishbone's "Hide Behind My Glasses".


    Professional Wrestling 

  • In a Christmas special of Old Harry's Game, Satan discovers that an innocent woman has been sent to Hell after dying decades before her time. He goes looking for Death to remedy this, only to learn that Death has "modernised" the system by recruiting various regional Deaths. The only one he can find has a pronounced Welsh accent.
    Death: I'm the Welsh Death. They call me Dai-the-Death.
    (the audience loses it)
    Satan:...No, they don't.


    Tabletop RPG 
  • The Warhammer 40,000 C'tan god known as the Nightbringer Mind Raped proto-life so comprehensively he gave all living creatures (except Orks) the fear of death, and although he can take any shape usually styles himself as a giant floating reaper, complete with thirty-foot-long-scythe. Partially as a consequence of this, the Eldar formed a sect of warriors called the Dark Reapers, although instead of scythes, they use rapid-fire micro-missile launchers. The first Dark Reaper, the Phoenix Lord Maugan Ra, instead uses a shuriken cannon (yes, a BFG that fires shuriken) with a scythe blade on the end of the barrel. On a related note: the Harlequin Death Jesters play the role of death in the alien performer's shows, and in battles they're the heavy weapons specialists, wearing black robes decorated with the remains of their predecessors and skull masks, and wielding similar scythe shuriken cannon thingies.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has had several gods of death over its history, and several Grim Reaper analogues:
    • In 3.5E Forgotten Realms, the Lawful Neutral god of death, Kelemvor, could dispatch any creature he liked to do his work, and Kelemvor himself would occasionally come in person. Kelemvor's avatar is of a tall man wrapped in black shrouds, wearing an emotionless silver mask. In an exception to the Grim Reaper's usual weapon of choice, Kelemvor prefers a bastard sword, which he used when he was still a human warrior.
    • One type of Inevitable (mechanical being of pure law designed to fulfill a specific duty while roaming the planes) is the Marut, which seeks to destroy any being that uses magic to extend its lifespan beyond normal limits, while ignoring those who simply were resurrected, unless the offender does so repeatedly or on a massive scale. Like Kelemvor, Maruts are relatively benign to players (who seldom bother with simply prolonging their lives), and can be potent allies to players hunting liches and the like.
    • D&D 4E features an entire race of Grim Reapers, the Sorrowsworn, who answer to the Raven Queen, the goddess of death and fate in the new setting. Extremely high-level monsters, they won't bother you unless you "defy death"...which given the fact that at least one player character has almost certainly been subject to Raise Dead by that level, makes them a frequent opponent around that tier of play. The Sorrowsworn also come with their own pets, the shadowravens, who you do not want to get mad.
      • Worth noting that the Sorrowsworn appeared in earlier editions of D&D, but not as Grim Reapers; rather, they were a type of demon that fed on and caused mental anguish through feelings such as loss and dispair(hence the name).
    • There is the greater deity Nerull the Reaper, who is described in Manual of the Planes as "...a rust-red skeleton wearing a dull black cloak" who wields a "...sablewood staff from which projects a scarlet blade of force that has the power to slay any creature". Nerull's clerics are serial killers. In 3rd Edition, he was opposed by Wee Jas, a Lawful Neutral deity of death and magic who didn't agree with him on the "kill everything that breathes" subject.
      • There was also an adventure released in which Nerull succeeded in his plan, and wiped out all life. He eventually realized just how stupid this was, and went back in time to request the players stop him.
    • Fourth Edition states the Raven Queen (an ascended mortal, rather than Wee Jas) took him down, hard. It seems Vecna the Maimed God has managed to salvage part of him, because Vecna now has big mean undead with scythes in his service...
    • Orcus is a demon lord who wants to be the Grim Reaper. He technically only commands undead (not Death) but one of his biggest goals (as stated in Fourth Edition) is to murder the Raven Queen and usurp her portfolio. (Orcus' desire to achive true godhood is mentioned very often in stories where he is involved, and indeed, he has more mortal worshippers than any other demon, and is believed to be closer than most to achieving that goal.)
    • Even Eberron gets in on the act, with clerics of the Sovereign Host/Dark Six's god of death, the Keeper, having scythes as their favoured weapon.
  • Pathfinder gives us Pharasma, an overall reasonable example of this trope who you need not fear (she is True Neutral). She appears as a stately gray-skinned lady with white hair that doesn't quite obey gravity, despises the undead for being abominations, and runs the Celestial Bureaucracy where souls wait to receive her judgement before going on to their designated afterlife. Interestingly, she is not just the goddess of Death, but also of Fate, Birth, and Prophesy. But since the start of the Age of Lost Omens, which kicked off when a god somehow managed to die, Prophesy hasn't been very reliable. No one can agree on whether Aroden's death surprised Pharasma as much as everyone else, or if she knew and just kept her mouth shut.
    • On the other hand, Zyphus is the Neutral Evil god of accidental death, graveyards, and tragedy. As the first mortal to die an accidental, tragic death, Zyphus and his followers have a cynical view of life, death, and the gods, believing everything to be governed by cruel chance rather than fate. He even looks the part, scythe and all (although his sacred weapon is a heavy pickaxe, he's usually depicted with a scythe).
    • Thirdly, Bestiary 5 introduced grim reapers as undead that come from seemingly out of nowhere (most suspect the Negative Material Plane) to kill people for no readily apparent reason. These grim reapers and their "lesser death" brothers are connected with neither Pharasma nor Zyphus nor anyone else, killing solely for their own inscrutable reasons.
    • There's also Charon, The Daemonic Horseman of Death who is both the most powerful and the sole remaining original of the four. He holds dominion death as a whole but his main focus is death by old age, and many bound for his domain who extend their lives unnaturally find Charon himself waiting to collect their soul when they finally kick the bucket.
  • Long before Fourth Edition did it, there was a "grim reaper" included in the Ravenloft setting's monster-books. They aren't minions of a death-deity as far as anyone knows: they just like to kill stuff. Also from Ravenloft, there's the darklord Death, which believes itself to be the real thing (it's not; in reality, it was once the mortal servant of another darklord, transformed by his mad experiments).
  • Also in D&D, drawing the wrong card from a Deck of Many Things could summon a "minor death" to try to kill you, which looks like the grim reaper as depicted on a Tarot card. (In the most recent edition, it summons a dread wrath, a powerful undead creature which sort of looks like the grim reaper.)
  • One of the hundreds of chatty deckers who have added in-character commentary to Shadowrun products went by the login of Grid Reaper. Another decker eventually outed him as a ghoul, explaining the morbid reference.
  • The darkly humorous Hol actually gave stats for "Death Himself" (Mortus). It also uses the civil servant interpretation, saying that due to the immense workload he has to do in the game's highly volatile and dangerous setting, he realized the need to hire subcontractors to assist in the workload and open his first branch office. One example given was a man named "Gordo" who, due to death's vanity concerning his Sinister Scythe, is forced to collect souls using a weed whacker.
  • There are quite a few monsters in the Yu-Gi-Oh! game that are based on the Grim Reaper.
    • The first was Reaper of the Cards, which, despite gaining notoriety in the anime, is very much outdated today. Spirit Reaper is a card that is still considered very useful, and it is Fusion Material for Reaper on the Nightmare, which is a common target for the Spell Card Instant Fusion.
    • There's also Emissary of the Afterlife, which, despite being a Grim Reaper, has an effect which really has nothing to do with death.
    • Reaper of Prophecy, who fills the role of the Death card in the Tarot Motif of the Prophecy archetype. (Curiously, the Arcana Force monsters, who also follow a Tarot Motif, have no equivalent.)
    • The Agent of Death - Uranus is the first "The Agent" monster whose name does not accurately depict what it is named after (in this case, the Greek god of the sky has no correlation with "Death").
    • Pilgrim Reaper is an Xyz version, who combines mill strategy with self-milling.
  • In Anathema you effectively play as the Grim Reaper. Players can also choose to have their shrouds resemble it.
  • Anima: Beyond Fantasy features Death among the Arcana. While the normal ("pure") one incarnates renovation and has nothing to see with death, its inverted equivalent is that. Azrael is also featured there, even if she has nothing to see with the Grim Reaper and represents instead justice and goodness (in paladin-esque sense).
  • Magic: The Gathering has Midnight Reaper as an obvious nod to the archetype. Averted with the death-related gods of the Therosian pantheon, though; [Athreos, God of Passage, who takes souls to the afterlife, favours a gnarled staff that just happens to look a bit scythe-like, while Erebos, God of the Dead prefers to handle souls with his whip.

  • The personification of Death is a central character in the German musical Elisabeth. He's not much of a traditional Grim Reaper type, though, as he's not hooded, scythe-wielding, or skeletal (in fact, he's usually rather handsome, although it depends on who's playing him.) He's referred to as "Der Tod" ("Death", in German); his duets with Elisabeth are seen as life-long flirtations, and the single duet with her son Rudolf can be very easily seen as Ho Yay. This Death, in fact, "reaps" people with a literal Kiss of Death. He has a handful of silent accompanying angels to carry away those he reaps. He definitely is meant to be creepy/frightening, but nevertheless attractive - physically and/or in the charismatic sense, especially to people like Elisabeth who courts death and Rudolf who commits suicide - and, originally, a bit androgynous.
  • In The Adding Machine, an angel introducing himself as "the Fixer—from the Claim Department" appears to Mr. Zero on death row to tell him that he deserves what he's about to get, since compared with the machine ordered to replace him, his continued existence, like that of the dinosaurs, is just a waste of resources. Very much against stereotype, he's not so much a grim spectre as an unsentimental and rather bored agent of the Celestial Bureaucracy, who doesn't take his eyes off Mutt and Jeff during Mr. Zero's execution.
  • In Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol, the Ghost of Christmas Yet To Come is actually the Grim Reaper come to collect Scrooge's soul, and it's only through Marley's Heroic Sacrifice that Scrooge is given a second chance at life.

  • Playmobil features one in their "Fi?ures" theme, although his attire is rather different, as he wears tattered clothes, a large-collared cape, and a floppy hat.
  • Monster High has River Styxx, daughter of the Grim Reaper and a Reaper In Preparation herself. As she's still in training, she's only allowed a bladeless staff instead of the typical scythe.

    Video Games 
  • Older Than the NES: He's an obstacle in Paperboy. Funeral homes seem to be his favorite hangout.
  • Darksiders II features Death as the protagonist, with the Grim Reaper form as a Super Mode. He is specifically one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse; the actual Angel of Death, Azrael, also appears as a separate character, but the Horseman Death fits the Grim Reaper image more closely than him in this game.
  • Diablo has Malthael, the archangel of death. He's an extremely powerful, black-robed angel who dual wields two hand-sized scythes and eats souls. Not to mention that he leads an entire army of soul-eating angels called "The Reapers".
  • Magicka: The Grim Reaper (Death) is the king of the underworld, and co-owns a travel agency with a vampire. You can unlock a Magick, which will summon Death, who will hunt down and One-Hit Kill whatever has the lowest health on the screen; this can include 'you''.
  • In the BlazBlue series of games, the Main Character, Ragna The Bloodedge was at some point before the start of Calamity Trigger nicknamed "The Grim Reaper." He also uses a sword called the Bloodscythe. At first glance you'd probably ask why he's called the Grim Reaper. One would say its because of his unique drive ability "Soul Eater" which drains enemy health in the form of little red lights. Then you see his Astral Finish, which involves his sword turning into a scythe, and him slashing the opponent into shreds...and draining the opponent energy, or soul if you will, and slashing for one final kill. It can be seen here
  • Darkstalkers has Jedah, a blood using would-be Messiah who also is prone to using scythes.
  • In Sacrifice the final spell of the death god Charnel is, well, "Death". It summons a towering cloaked figure with two giant blades for arms, who will indiscriminately and gleefully massacre all and every creature it encounters (regardless of which side it belongs to) until he's killed his fill and vanishes. Death cannot be targeted or damaged by anything, and his duration is measured in 'units killed': Once he's locked on to a unit, that unit is dead. For some reason he will not lay a hand, errr, blade, on the wizards themselves.
  • Lampshaded in Grim Fandango, in which you play a reaper whose job is presented as a supernatural travel agent. Manny appears as the classical representation of Death when he's collecting clients from the Land of the Living. When he gets back to the office, he folds up the scythe and takes off the black robe and the elevator shoes. He normally looks like a shorter man in a blue suit, with a stylized skull for a head.
  • The scythe-chucking Grim Reaper is almost always Dracula's second in command in the Castlevania series of video games. Why exactly the embodiment of death is a servant of a Vampire is anyone's guess. Though his name in every game is always "Death," not Grim Reaper.note  It becomes confusing when you can kill Death.
    • In Castlevania, Dracula is more than just an ordinary vampire. He's the Dark Lord, and Death is his first mate. And if Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin is anything to go by, Death is more than happy to serve this way. Given how many times Dracula has died and come back, one could assume he has mastered Death.
    • In Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, reapers are encountered as normal enemies on the penultimate stage, they are effectively Glass Cannons since they go down in 2 hits but they deal tons of damage and they tend to Zerg Rush the player.
    • The Castlevania version of Death also appears as a stage boss for the Dracula's Castle stage in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The reaping part comes into play during Simon and Richter's reveal trailer, where he manages to slice Luigi's soul out of his body.
  • In Romancing SaGa, Death is actually a God and a Bonus Boss, He makes the Final Boss look like a weakling in comparison. (Strangely enough, defeating him increases your alignment with him; also if your alignment with him increases enough; he will assist you in battle by killing any enemy except Undead monsters and certain bosses) Death also takes human form during the Soulgutter quest, teaching you how to seal him away and blesses you to prevent your soul from being taken by Soulgutter.
  • Die in Shadowgate (not hard to do) and this is who's waiting for you.
  • In The Sims series, The Grim Reaper appears, as a scythe-wielding floating skeleton in a face-obscuring black robe, when it's time to take away any character who dies. With the appropriate expansion, he also comes for pets (with a rather cute animation). Too many deaths at the same time can result in "Grimmie" (as players tend to call him) getting overworked and needing to relax by watching some TV, or go to the toilet. While he doesn't appear in the base game for 1, the first expansion pack adds him, setting the stage for the rest of the series. In The Sims 2, Sims can be saved from death if another Sim successfully pleads with "Grimmie" and wins a game of "Which hand is their soul in?" with him. Incidentally, he also has some sweet wallpaper on his cell phone. He never actually uses his scythe in-game; he instead directs a Pillar of Light to pick up the dead Sim. If your sim is dying of old age and had a good enough life, they'll shake his hand, recive a fruity drink and walk off into the light surrounded by hula girls. A premade sim, Olive Specter, also has memories of erm... Whoohooing, with Grim. Nervous Subject is rumored to to be Grim's son from this. While in The Sims 3, Sims carrying a Death Flower will present it to him upon dying and he'll be so moved he leaves to take it home and put it in a vase, allowing your sim to live.
  • "The Grim Ripper" is one of the optional characters in some versions of the Guitar Hero video games. He plays a pretty mean scythe.
  • In Persona 3, Death comes in several forms...
    • First, there's the Bonus Boss "The Reaper," who stalks the halls of Tartarus while dual-wielding revolvers. When he appears, Fuuka announces "I sense Death!" Among the personas, there's Pale Rider, a persona of the Death arcana, as well as the ultimate Death-arcana persona, Thanatos, i.e., the scary sword-wielding thing that bursts out of Orpheus near the beginning of the game.
    • Death, as an Anthropomorphic Personification, also plays a pivotal role in the story, as, due to the machinations behind two attempts to bring about The End of the World as We Know It, he ends up being sealed inside the main character for ten years, and then incarnated as the heroes' free-spirited classmate Ryoji Mochizuki. Death is an avatar and herald of Nyx, an Eldritch Abomination whose role is to bring about humanity's extinction, though in the end, Ryoji, speaking on behalf of Nyx, expresses relief and gratitude that the heroes found a way to avert the apocalypse after all.
  • The Reaper is also a Bonus Boss in Persona 4, who can be randomly found in a New Game+. Izanami, the main villain of the game, is a subversion. While she is an undead goddess, she did not actively plan any of the killings, she simply gave people powers and watched what they did with them. And even after watching the ensuing chaos, unlike Nyx or Erebus she doesn't think death is something that humanity craves (though what she does think humanity wants is arguably just as twisted).
  • Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth: The Reaper appears as a high-level F.O.E. in the Clock Tower dungeon. Also, Zen, the mysterious guy you've been helping across the game, turns out to be the human avatar of Chronos, god of time and human concept of the cycle of life and death.
  • Persona 5: The Reaper from previous Persona games now stalks the halls of the underground Mementos dungeon, forcing lower level parties to move between floors quickly lest they face an untimely death. As in previous games, the monster wears a white bag over it's head and long black jacket, to invoke the standard grim reaper black cloaked skull imagery.
  • The Pale Rider from the various Shin Megami Tensei games and spin-offs, including the aforementioned Persona 3.
    • Charon served the role of ferrying the dead in several early Shin Megami Tensei games with his latest appearance in Shin Megami Tensei IV , where his line of souls waiting to be ferried has become unmanageably huge, and he's willing to look the other way and return you to the land of the living, for a small fee of course.
    • There are a number of other death-related beings in the series, most of which are totally tamable by you. David, a weaker Fiend than Pale Rider, is the personification of the Danse Macabre and is sometimes seen in the company of more Mookish Reapers called Macabres. The aforementioned Archangels Samael and Azrael often show up, as well as more infrequent appearances by Sariel, a Judaic messenger of death. Finally, there's the Reaper race of demons, entirely devoted to the death gods of non-Abrahamic cultures - the Norse Hel, the Celtic Cernunnos, the Mesopotamian Nergal, and so forth.
    • All of the Fiends are generally themed around being death. Pale Rider is notable due to being the embodiment of death, but the others all count, as well. In addition to the aforementioned David, Daisoujou mummified himself, Alice asks people to die for her, Hell Biker is the incarnation of the violence of the Hell's Angels, Matador (who is outright called the Grim Reaper in Nocturne) represents death by sport, and Chemtrail embodies death by conspiracies of man.
  • The Halja from Odin Sphere. They're called 'shinigami' in the Japanese version, but more closely resemble the western image of this trope; complete with cowled faces and sickles. The one that Oswald faces as a boss even introduces itself by saying those who die on the battlefield whisper its name in their last moments: "Death".
  • In Soul Nomad & the World Eaters, each world in The Multiverse has its Master of Death — a god-like being acting as psychopomp and responsible for maintaining the free flow of souls between life and the afterlife. Of the two you encounter during the game, Gamma and Gig, Gamma is a Knight Templar who kills off everyone above the age of 30 in his world to keep it from being uglied by old age, and Gig is an Omnicidal Maniac with a psychotic streak who turned your world into a slowly dying dustbowl 200 years ago. Neither look particularly like the traditional reaper, being hovering humans with Shoulders of Doom. Gig uses a scythe, however. When a certain character from another world starts talking about challenging the Reaper metaphorically, people point out this doesn't describe Gig very well. As it turns out, Gig (Vigilance) was actually a real nice guy before Drazil's machinations.
  • The Disgaea series has Grim Reapers as standard monsters. In Disgaea: Hour of Darkness they appear as large cloaks with hoods and gloves, but have no body other than a few ghostly wisps coming out of the bottom of the robe. While absent from Disgaea 2, they return again in Disgaea 3 as bloated, hunchbacked shadows with large scythes, skeletal wings, and a cow skull for a face. They are responsible for ferrying dead souls to the afterlife.
    • In addition to the previous, Disgaea 4 has Emizel and his father President Hagos, who are reapers of a more human looking sort. Both are capable of taking on a more monstrous form, though.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day has Gregg the Grim Reaper, a short and squeaky-voiced skeletal figure who masks his voice with a loud, booming megaphone. Not quite what you'd expect, but how many grim reapers have you met before? Has a particular hatred of cats (you know, nine lives and all that) and related animals (such as catfish), and isn't that fond of squirrels either (since they have as many lives "as they think they can get away with"). He hates The Undead even more, though (because they really screw up the paperwork), and hands Conker a shotgun before the Zombie Apocalypse level so he can get rid of them.
  • Played with in The World Ends with You, where the dead are given a second chance at life through the Reapers' Game, a seven-day gauntlet of challenges where Players must fight to survive against monsters called "Noise" and the Reapers themselves (again, Shinigami in the Japanese version), who as it turns out are just one part of a massive Celestial Bureaucracy the full details of which are only available to those who strive for 100% Completion.
  • Komachi from Touhou kinda mixes up the mythologies here. She's a Shinigami who both uses a scythe and rows a boat across the Sanzu river. Also, she doesn't take her job very seriously and is prone to slacking off. In Scarlet Weather Rhapsody, it was explained that she wasn't so much a The Grim Reaper so much as purely an entity akin to Charon, since she's not permitted to reap souls. She's just a ferryman who takes you across the river.
    • The spinnoff manga Wild And Horned Hermit introduces the Kishin that seem to act closer to the traditional view of the reaper.
    • In the fangame The Mistress' Heart-Throbbing Adventure: The Cursed Mansion, once Remilia regains the ability to fly, the jewel on the overhead map will flash and gradually turn red; once it does, you'll be forced into a battle against a Grim Reaper. It is the strongest non-boss enemy in the game, and as such you get an in-game achievement for defeating it. Once you either kill it or exit the room, though, the jewel will reset and repeat the process.
  • The Final Fantasy series has a whole variant of Grim Reaper appearances, all summoned with the spells Death or Doom, more frequently the former. A full listing can be found here.
  • Twisted Metal: Mister Grimm is actually the Grim Reaper in most incarnations. It was suggested that he was once a mortal man, as statistics given in Twisted Metal Head-On match the form he assumes in his ending, rather than his usual appearance as a skeletal biker. The exception occurs in the darker Twisted Metal Black; unlike the main series, Grimm in this game was a US soldier in Vietnam, who was captured along with a wounded friend. The friend died, and in order to avoid starving to death, Grimm had to eat his corpse, keeping the skull as a mask. The reboot changed him again; this time as the son of a stunt biker, who took his father's stage name after he died in a car accident.
  • In all of the Gauntlet games, Death appears to... steal your hit points. To make him stop, you need to use magic to kill death. Alternately, if you're magicless, bored, and made of real cash, you can just let him get his fill.
  • Dieu Mort, being the Arcana of Death in Arcana Heart, naturally has the appearance of the traditional Grim Reaper.
  • That One Miniboss in MadWorld is a Grim Reaper-styled assassin who has a One-Hit Kill scythe, appears from out of nowhere when a zombie grabs you, and disappears when you hit him. Thankfully, killing him is optional.
  • Monster Rancher has the Joker, a reaper like monster wearing a clown mask.
  • Grabbed by the Ghoulies has a Grim Reaper who appears when break one of the rules of the room you're in. Accidentally punch an imp in a "weapons only" room? Here comes Death, complete with.. totally radical air-guitar/scythe, obviously. Which is played whenever he touches anyone and kills them (yes, even enemies). And you can punch him out the window in some rooms. For the bringer of death, he seems like a pretty cool and mortal guy.
  • Dante's Inferno, very loosly based on the poem commonly assumed to have the same name, begins with Dante, a Knight Templar, beating up Death and stealing his scythe.
  • Shadow Hearts has Fox Face, referred to variously as "Grim Reaper" and "God of Death". As a more traditional Japanese version of Death, he can be defeated, banished, and eventually destroyed.
  • In Mega Man X4, Sigma disguises himself as a grim reaper, complete with a Sinister Beam Scythe. His plans in the game involves instigating a massive civil war between two benevolent Red Shirt armies and, at the end of the game, using a Kill Sat to annihilate the humans from the face of the earth. Luckily, he was defeated before the latter came to pass, but considering the events in the former, resulting in the deaths of most members of one of the Red Shirt armies, What Do You Mean, It's Not Symbolic??
  • In Brütal Legend, the Reaper is a type of unit in the Drowning Doom faction, and are an absolute bitch to kill, due to their high mobility and powerful attack.
  • .hack has Skeith, The Terror of Death, who is often compared to the Grim Reaper. In Another Birth, BlackRose's initial thought when she seems him is "Death", and she refers to him as such before she learns his true name. Skeith is skeletally thin in all appearances, and wields a scythe in Dot Hack GU. His final and most powerful form is distinctly different, resembling an "angel of death" rather than the Grim Reaper, though he still uses a scythe for close-quarters combat.
  • Death is a playable character in Magical Drop 3, as a Stripperiffic and very sexy Femme Fatale with a huge scythe, Cute Little Fangs and Unusual Ears.
  • A Grim Reaper-like miniboss appears in the Ghostbusters (1990) game for Sega Genesis.
  • If you write 'Death' or 'Grim Reaper' in Scribblenauts, you summon a typical black-cloak scythe-wielding skull-faced grim reaper. He'll attack (and eventually kill) anyone nearby, but this also includes you, meaning you should proceed with caution if you want to use him.
    • Super Scribblenauts removes his scythe — although he'll still pick one up if you spawn one — and gives him the ability to instantly kill anything with a touch. That includes Maxwell in the playground areas, where he's usually invincible to anything short of a nuke.
  • In King's Quest VI, the Lord of the Dead is a sinister, imposing figure who Was Once a Man before he was bound eternally to his underworld throne by heavy chains. Any living soul he touches is Deader Than Dead.
  • The Guild Wars fallen god Dhuum, who was god of death before Grenth took over, is modeled after the Grim Reaper.
  • Death is the first boss of Wonder Boy in Monster Land, and later reappears in Palette Swap form as the "Poor God" (God of Poverty), who steals your gold when he attacks.
  • Chulip - hangs out in the cemetery and attacks
  • Age of Wonders gives the Grim Reaper as the ultimate undead unit.
  • In Samurai Shodown 2, the shadowy image of a Grim Reaper appears over you if you're hit with SNK Boss Mizuki's control-reversal attack, counting down on his fingers. Once done, or if you're hit with the attack again, he ... just goes away.
  • In Rosenkreuzstilette, one of the bosses is an undead The Grim Reaper-like wraith who is actually the spirit of Grolla's grandfather and master, Sir Raimund Seyfarth, better known as the legendary Thanatos. This boss not only wields a blood-red scythe called the Devil Scythe Grassense, but also the legendary Demon Sword Grollschwert, both of which he combines together when he faces the player's character head-on in combat. In the bonus mode Grollschwert where you play as Grolla, Grolla claims Grollschwert after taking Raimund down.
  • Guilty Gear brings us Testament, who is like a Goth version of The Grim Reaper with a scythe made of blood. He even has Hell itself as his stage for the first two games in the series. You can also fight him in the Hell Stage in various parts of the Story Modes in Guilty Gear XX.
  • Dusknoir from Pokémon apparantly resembles the Grim Reaper. Its Pokédex entries even mentions it receiving signals to take spirits to the spirit world.
  • In the Hordes of the Underdark extension of Neverwinter Nights, you meet him when you die, and he can send you back under certain circumstances. Later in the game, when you get banished to Hell, he can't bring you back, so you have to find his True Name to make him bring you back to fight the Big Bad.
  • The Chaos Rings series seems to like this trope:
    • The Executioner in Chaos Rings I and Chaos Rings Omega initially appears as cloaked skeletal figure which consists of a floating spine which wields a huge scythe with one arm while the other arm is made of scythes. Its true form has the spine attached to a giant tick.
    • Death in Chaos Rings II, one of the Four Horseman, is clearly based on the Grim Reaper. He has a long, tattered robe, is vaguely skeletal underneath it, and has a scythe-like weapon which has a bird's head, the bill forming the blade of the scythe.
  • In Maximo: Ghosts to Glory, Death spares Maximo as part of a deal to stop Achille from drilling into the afterlife and stealing souls. In the second game, Maximo can temporarily call Death to take his place as a power-up. Death is portrayed as surprisingly friendly towards Maximo. He cares a great deal for the souls in his care, getting angry at anyone who interferes with them. In the intro to the second game, he whispers comfortingly to a soul freed from a golem.
  • In RuneScape, Death earned his role by being the first person to die on Gielinor. Guthix, one of the major gods of Gielinor, then took him in as one of the Guardians of Guthix, and appointed him as the guide of souls to Gielinor's underworld. When players die in-game, they are sent to his office, where they can reclaim their items for a fee. He also plays a major part in the Sliske quest line, which centers around the aftermath of Guthix's assassination by Sliske.
    • Prior to his intergration into the game's lore, he was mostly seen during Halloween events. Also, during the period of the event, he would briefly appear to players when they die. Although he no longer appears to players when they die during the events, they can unlock an animation of Death escorting them away when they die.
  • There's an Airborne Mook in Mini Robot Wars called the Reaper (looks like an evil red robot holding a scythe, and its sound cue is an Evil Laugh to boot). The good news is that its scythe attack is not a One-Hit Kill on your Minirobots. The bad news is that it hits all the Minirobots around it, and this scares them to the point that they freeze for a moment.
  • Gravelord Nito from Dark Souls is effectively Lordran's Grim Reaper. He has a skeletal theme, only Nito is a giant skeleton wearing armor made out of more skeletons. Rather than a scythe, he wields a greatsword made of even more skeletons. Nito is a particularly strange case: his title "The First of the Dead" can be interpreted several ways, and suggests that Death as a concept existed prior to himself, but he claimed Death as his domain. Despite this, he can be destroyed, and accomplishing this does not eliminate death from the world (or the Curse of Undeath, for that matter).
    • In the sequel, the final boss Queen Nashandra takes the form of a tall figure with a Skull for a Head, seemingly wearing a gown made of closely-knit, twisted skeletons and wielding a large scythe. She's clearly not an actual avatar of death (she's actually a Soul Fragment of Manus, Father of the Abyss), but not only does she strongly resemble one, she emits an aura of death and evil so powerful that you can be cursed merely coming too close to a portrait of her!
  • One type of Zealot in Resident Evil 4 wears a skull mask and wields a scythe.
  • A recurring enemy in Kid Icarus and Kid Icarus: Uprising. If one of them sees you, it'll freak out and summon Reapettes to attack you while a distorted cavalry fanfare theme plays.
  • One of the many things trying to kill you in Paperboy. Even weirder than the fact that Death itself is just chilling on the curb is that The Reaper isn't any more dangerous to run into than a dog or a breakdancer is.
  • In Gaiares, the third boss was a giant version who teleported around and shot scythe blades at the player.
  • The Reality-On-The-Norm games include Death as a regular protagonist. He initially arrived to collect the zombie mayor's soul, but then was convinced that working as the mayor's campaign manager was a better job than reaping people and quit his job. Since then he's more or less yet another ordinary citizen of the town.
  • While not the Grim Reaper outright, Chaos in Loom has a very skeletal appearance, wields a scythe, and commands an undead army.
  • In the Dark Arisen expansion for Dragon's Dogma, Death is a recurring boss whose only actual attack will kill you in one hit and has a wide range, more than capable of killing your entire party in one strike. Thankfully, you never have to fight him, and running away is usually the best option.
  • In The Wonderful 101, the Grim Reaper appears as a minor member of the eponymous superhero team, operating under the code name Wonder-Death. Even his in-game profile isn't sure how they managed to recruit him...
  • In Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number, one theory is that Richard, the rooster mask, is this. He always shows up when somebody important to the plot is about to die, at least.
  • In Shovel Knight, there is Specter Knight, who is a Shout-Out to Castlevania's Death.
  • Played with in Nexus Clash with Hashaa, the Elder Power of Death and Entropy. Unlike a lot of examples she's basically benevolent and mainly wants to limit the amount of suffering that beings can experience. She thinks that the rules she enforces on the universe make more logical sense as a way of accomplishing that than what her sister Alonai does, but she has a bad reputation anyway because Humans Are Bastards and hand out death left and right when it isn't necessary.
  • In Dragon's Crown has the Wraith, a.k.a., the Death God that serves as the boss of Path B in the Castle of the Dead. It fights using the standard Sinister Scythe and several ice magic, and comes with armies of undead Mooks. You also couldn't harm it without the light of the Goddess Statue, and even then, you could only send it back to the Underworld rather than kill it. The Treasure Art you receive for fulfilling the side-quest to defeat the Wraith within two minutes mentions that the Death Gods only started appearing after humans gained the power of resurrection from the gods, causing some discrepancies where people that were supposed to be dead didn't cross over to the afterlife. The same Treasure Art also implies that, while the Death God appears to be a terrifying, ghostly, robed skeleton to the players, in the eyes of others, the Death Gods look like beautiful angels guiding souls to heaven.
  • In League of Legends, Runeterra's version of the Grim Reaper is a dividual collectively referred to as Kindred, made up of two spirits Lamb and Wolf (who go by other names across various cultures). Both spirits are intrinsically bound to each other, each embodying how people inevitably face death: taking Lamb's arrows is accepting that it's your time and going peacefully, while being hunted by Wolf is running from death until you inevitably can't and he catches you. Kindred does not, however, have any control over The Undead, and are frustrated by those who cheat death through necromancy, resurrection, or time magic.
  • In Chelsea, the Mysterious Man turns out to be this. It's possible that he has another form, which he attempts to use to catch Daniel.
  • In some of the later games of the Might and Magic series, the Grim Reaper will show up if you get a Total Party Kill. In Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe, he'll inform you that your time hasn't come just yet, and then bring you back to life at the cost of all the gold your party is carrying.
  • The mascot of Let It Die is a Grim Reaper named "Uncle Death", who skateboards, is a gamer, plays golf using his combination scythe/golf club, and calls you "Senpai".
  • In Smite, Thanatos takes the role of a Grim Reaper Assassin God with a scythe that can kill extremely wounded Gods instantly. Rather than using a skull for his head, he instead hid his face with an emotionless mask.
  • The first Sinjid game has these as mid to late-game enemies, and the final bosses of both it and the second game are these as well. The ones in the first game have an attack that would instantly kill the player if they failed to attack them in time and were often invisible due to a glitch, making them needlessly difficult to predict, and the Shadow of the Reaper has access to a time bomb that instantly kills the player if they fail to kill him in time. They live up to their namesake. The Shadow Reaper in the second game forgoes the strategy of his predecessors in favour of soul-stealing attacks and tearing away at the player's defenses instead, and is considered to be much easier in comparison due to his lack of an unfair gimmick.
  • Scythe-wielding grim reaper expies named Fiends are enemies in Miitopia, where they are dreaded by players because of their ability to One-Hit Kill one Mii each turn.
  • The Grim reaper is an enemy in various coin-op versions of Bomber Man — although he is not easily recognisable by Western players as (in accordance with Japanese traditions regarding death) his robe is white rather than black. The scythe gives him away.
  • The final, and only, boss of Life Goes On is the personfication of death. Which makes sense as the plot of the game is finding "the cup of life" to defeat death in general. He has a laser that is powered by your knights deaths, a "death-laser" if you will.
  • In Dragon Project, the first SS-rank Spear Behemoth is Leider Reaper, a floating Humanoid Abomination with a dress-like cloak in place of legs who also wields a massive scythe as big as itself. Ironically, Reaper itself is just as vulnerable as any other Behemoth, as simple weapons and cooperation are enough to defeat it. Its tablet allows the wielder to craft the (first) Thunder Normal Spear.
  • One of the boss fights in Venture Kid pits Andy against a grim reaper who attacks with a Sinister Scythe.

  • Irregular Webcomic! has a plethora of reapers, each assigned to collect souls from specific causes of death. Very specific causes of death, including Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs, Death of Being Wrestled to Death by Steve (totally-not-Irwin), Death of Inhaling Hat-Making Chemicals, etc. Death of Being Ground By A Mars Rover Rock Abrasion Tool had something of a long wait before his debut performance. Of late, the author himself has become Death of Going Back in Time and Killing Yourself, after being on the receiving end but before any inkling of the giving end. One of the perks of the job is... The ability to travel in time.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court, which has numerous figures from different myths serving as Psychopomps, features a brief appearance by Ankou, who looks like The Reaper and carries a scythe.
  • Fanboys: Death is a friendly jokester who dresses in bright, cheery colors. He absolutely loves his job and a number of comics shows him cracking some kind of joke just before getting to the actual reaping. He has a pet cat who died of a bullet to the head, and he loves showing off how getting it to smoke a cigarette will make smoke come out of the wound.
  • In The Adventures of Dr. McNinja, Death is a skeletal maitre d' because Purgatory is a restaurant with bad service. And it has bad service precisely because he's the only maitre d' around; Benjamin Franklin has been there since he died and has only gotten as far as the bread.
  • In a non-continuity set of strips in Exiern, Death (played by Typhan'knee) comes for a guy who tries the Chess with Death trope. She cheats, then lampshades it:
    "Well there was that one guy in San Francisco but..."
  • In Wily's Defense has a rather hilariously goofy Angel of Death who's entire character became cemented with the simple line of "Here's Death with the weather!". He clearly enjoys his job, since he brings up the weather almost every time he appears. At one point, it starts raining indoors, despite that according to him, the forecast didn't call for it. His older sister remarks about how unreliable his forecasts are, to which Death replies, "Meteorologist just so happens to be Sanskrit for 'lying douchebag'."
  • The eponymous Killer Rabbit of the Furry Webcomic Jack is assigned the job, as well as being the Anthropomorphic Personification of the sin of Wrath. Interestingly, his first job is punishment for the things he did to get him the second job (namely, genocide of humanity). In spite of his fearsome appearance (seven foot tall, green humanoid rabbit with glowing red eyes, who looks like he's been dead for about two weeks) and his anger issues, he still tries to be a nice guy, especially to children and innocents. The comic is about his coming to terms with and seeking forgiveness for his deeds; perhaps ironically, while he regrets his deeds, he feels that what he has done was unforgivable - and without that, he cannot escape Hell. Unlike at least five of the seven sins, he was never pure evil, but he racked up the highest death count of any of them.
  • Lovefeast is centered around the concept of less-than-normal people giving up their lives to train to become "death gods" within a secret society. Inside of that society, they call each other Shinigami. They adopt different death god abilities to not only handle souls of the dead, but also to destroy demons that might interfere with those souls' passing to Purgatory. "THE" death god passed away ages before the story takes place and was a shape-shifter himself but sometimes took on the traditional cloaked appearance of the Grim Reaper.
  • In Grim Reaper School, children that died too soon are made to be Grim Reapers in a slightly less than traditional sense; the main character, Charlie, discovers there's more to it than meets the eye.
  • Death from Slightly Damned is one of the Powers That Be, but compared to the other gods he got the short end of the stick when jurisdiction was passed out. He netted himself judgment and purgatory, and hangs out with departed souls in the Ring of the Slightly Damned sometimes when he's not busy. However, that's not the original Death, but instead an angel who agreed to take up the role.
  • Death ends up as a fairly regular character in Problem Sleuth, where Ace Dick and Pickle Inspector challenge him to everything from the game of LIFE to the mind-boggling LABRYNTHINE SUDOCUBE COMPREHSENSILE to win back their, well, lives. He's slightly less competent than what you might imagine, and characters simply walking out out the afterlife becomes something of a Running Gag.
  • Death in Death and the Maiden is a bit of a wimp, and has a Will They or Won't They? relationship with a mortal girl he failed to reap.
  • The Death from The Sandman is also the Death in And Shine Heaven Now. When she has some spare time, she doubled as the Ghost of Iscariot Yet to Come for Enrico Maxwell. (Interestingly, she is shown to also be the Death for the Four Horsepersons of the Apocalypse.
  • Death makes an appearance in The Unspeakable Vault (of Doom), explicitly mentioned to be Discworld's Death. Unfortunately, he isn't used to the rules with the Elder Gods around...
    and with strange aeons even Death may die.
  • Death is depicted as a goth girl (and one of the Powers That Be) in Finders Keepers.
  • Nicht Lustig has a Grim Reaper, who keeps a poodle (nothing against the Poodle of Death), has his death-flakes, takes a day off when depressed and is very much beloved by every lemming he happens upon.
  • The KA Mics has Hela from Norse Mythology as its official Grim Reaper (although for a while it seemed to be Steve of Life and Death). She doesn't dress very traditional though. (Fourth link is NSFW.) She describes her job as a guide for the dead type.
  • Nosfera has Battle Butler Grimsworth.
  • At the end of The Phoenix Requiem, Jonas appears in a dark cloak, and tells that some call him The Reaper "after some local nonsense folk tale".
  • In Scary Go Round, reaping is something of a franchise operation. Natalie Durand gets a job as assistant to a hard-bitten, overworked reaper as something to do after her death, and glams up the costume a little. (Well, she is French.) Her embarrassment at being asked to collect another of her former boyfriend's exes proves fortuitous for Fallon.
  • Appears periodically in Sinfest, though his reaping tends to be metaphorical, such as the leaves off trees as winter begins and the current year on New Year's Eve.
  • Sabrina of Sabrina Online encounters the Reaper after being stabbed by a mugger. Turns out he ran into a clerical error and Sabrina gets to stay.
  • The first Psychopomp in The Red Star is armed with the scythe to gather Marcus's soul.
  • In Mountain Time, the role of Grim Reaper is carried out by the Great One, a giant hot dog (who is, as it happens, also the god of hot dogs).
  • Saturday Morning Break Fast Cereal:
    • Double Subverted: It's not Death, it's just a guy with a scythe. However, since he's here to kill you, Death comes next.
    • Inverted in 3442: Death's brother Life has a pink robe and a smiley face for a head, and he brings a new life.
    • Also inverted in "Grim": The Grim Reaper finds the Cheerful Reaper (who does the same "killing people" job) to be really creepy.
  • Dangerously Chloe: Alchemy is an unusual example. While she obviously isn't Death, himself (since she's a girl), she is in the same line of work. That is, when she isn't busy twerking.
  • In Housepets!, Cerberus, the HP interpretation of Classical Mythology's 3-headed canine, takes on the role, mostly serving in the benign guide to the afterlife version, with the reason that she never got to work with children given her previous job as one of heaven's guards.
  • A recurring character in Princess Chroma. He's not such a bad guy, he just happens to be hired by June's mom to threaten her into getting her homework done.
  • In The Order of the Stick Elan mistakes the albino lizardfolk Malack (who also wears a black cloak as an expy to Emperor Palpatine) to be the Grim Reaper. He calls him the Lizgreaper when he learns he is a lizardfolk. It makes some amount of sense (at least the amount we can expect from Elan) as Celestial Bureaucracy is canon, he was knocked out in a battle before being escorted to Malack, whose initial words lead Elan to certain assumptions.
  • In Deities Death is one of the main characters.
  • The Next Reaper has two. Death is the first, while his son Grim is his successor.
  • I'm the Grim Reaper has Scarlet, a girl who made a deal with the devil himself to become one so she can avoid the last circle of hell. There are other reapers out there too.

    Web Originals 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, the Grim Reaper is a skeletal figure in a black cloak who wields a soul-harvesting scythe and who works for Death. He's also a Deadpan Snarker who loves strawberry jam.
  • The Grim Reaper recounts his experiences in The Grim Reaper Show, where's he portrayed as a sardonic wisecracker. There are five current installments.
  • A rather adorable version of the Grim Reaper appears to collect a body in Death Buy Lemonade.
  • Is challenged to a boxing match in For the Glory, a story in The Wanderer's Library.
  • In Mortys the Grim Reaper is a woman with a rather noughty son.
  • At the end of the Neopets War of the Obelisk plot, Death appeared to challenge the undead army known as the Awakened. Ironically, he was depicted as a cherubic baby Ixi. Strangely enough, according to dialogue from the leaders of the Awakened, Lanie and Lillie, Death is their little brother.
  • In The Adventure Zone: Balance, the Grim Reaper (real name Kravitz) is an undead Bounty Hunter working for the Raven Queen. His task is to find those who have either avoided going to or escaped the afterlife and bring them back. Kravitz usually takes the form of an incredibly handsome man, but his real form is the traditional robed skeleton with a scythe. He's initially a villain, because the main characters have died more times than anyone else on the Raven Queen's records. Fortunately, he turns out to be a reasonable, friendly figure who's willing to give them a chance - especially after he falls in love with Taako. Notably, a one-off line implies that he's inspired the Grim Reaper story across multiple planes (and possibly planar systems) which, as of episode 67, canonically includes our own.
    • In the epilogue of "Story and Song", Barry Bluejeans and Lup join Kravitz as official bounty hunters for the Raven Queen, in exchange for her official pardon on account of their lichdom.
  • The Life Of Death is about Death as he watches over a deer doe. He's supposed to kill her but can't bare to do so until, one day, she willingly asks Death to kill her.
  • The SCP Foundation has multiple entities claiming this position, but one of the most notable is the Three Brothers, popularized by scp-1440 and described in detail in the tale Thrice.
    • The Small Death is the youngest brother, and represents the death of the individual. This is the guy that comes to pick you up when you die in bed.
    • The second brother represents the deaths caused by wars and other manmade disasters. This guy comes for you if you died in battle.
    • The third brother is the All-Death. He is the death caused by what is beyond human control. Natural and supernatural disasters namely, but also magical beasts.

    Western Animation 
  • In The Adventures of Figaro Pho, he comes to Figaro's house in his self-titled episode to take Figaro to the afterlife. When Figaro insists that he isn't dead, the Grim Reaper follows him around, trying to get Figaro killed so he can do his job.
  • Adventure Time: Death is a minor reoccurring character, depicted as a tall, thin man with a horse's skull for a head clothed all in white. He rules strictly but fairly over the Land of the Dead, is a friend of the sinister and enigmatic Peppermint Butler, and is a fairly skilled musician.
  • Animaniacs: In "Meatballs or Consequences", Death had the misfortune of having to collect one Wakko Warner, after an unfortunate incident involving a Swedish meatball overdose. His siblings, Yakko and Dot, challenge Death to a chaotic game of checkers in order to "be with their brother"; when they win, Death interprets this as meaning he gets to claim their souls as well. Unfortunately for him, the Warners became attached to Death, whom they affectionately call "Daddoo" and beg for horsey rides. Death ultimately decides to restore them to life, remarking that he would not be back till the end of their natural lives, which he added he hoped would not be for a very long time.
  • Death appears in Chilly Beach to take away Dale, who opts to challenge him. Then proceeds to annoy death by taking too long to pick what game they're going to play. Leading to this exchange:
    Death: CHOOSE! or I shall choose for you!
    Dale: [panicked] Uh, hockey!
    Death: Very well. [summons a hockey rink and puck, then proceeds to slapshot said puck into the goal so fast it buns a hole through the net] ...By the way, hockey is what I would have chosen.
    Dale: Aw, crap.
  • Parodied in Family Guy: Death comes to collect Peter, but sprains his ankle. He'll rest, recuperate and spare Peter if he'll take over his duties, part of which requires he kill off the entire cast of the TV show Dawson's Creek. Peter is too guilty to kill them after hearing the line from their theme song, I don't wanna wait for our lives to be over...
    • Death is portrayed as an okay guy who just kills people with a touch of his hand. He can time travel, see the future, and yet can't find love. Oh, he also lives with his mother. He did briefly have a fling with a girl, but found her so annoying that he killed her halfway through their date.
    • There's also a Dog Death and a Super Death who appear in one-shot gags. Super Death is slightly taller than Death and claims Reapers who die, at which point they get reincarnated as humans.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy the grim reaper is named "Grim" and, after losing a limbo contest to Mandy, is now the children's friend/slave until they decide to let him go. He also has an inexplicable (yet oddly fitting) Jamaican accent. During a brief crossover gag, cheerfully innocent Genki Girl Kuki Sanban, aka Numbuh Three, is recruited by the underworld as a temporary replacement reaper for Grim. Going from Cloudcuckoo Lander to Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant turns out to be just a short hop for Kuki...
    Numbuh Three: Thanks to you, in addition to my charity work and my love of Rainbow Monkeys, I can now also reap the immortal souls of grown-ups, collecting my dark harvest with a cold, iron blade! Yay, that'll be fun!
  • The Monkey King poses as the Grim Reaper in Jackie Chan Adventures, in order to kill Jackie. While proving himself to be extremely good at wielding a scythe, he is talked out of killing Jackie that way because "it wouldn't be very funny".
  • Mary Shelley's Frankenhole has Death appear, trying his damnedest to stick it to the immortal Frankenstein. He finally finds a way by episode's end. He vows to never reap Victor's annoying and elderly children (Victor never gave them the immortality serum), leaving Victor stuck with them forever.
  • At the very beginning of Pluto's nightmare in "Pluto's Judgement Day", the demonic cat dressed as a policeman who comes to arrest Pluto in his sleep and take him to Hell where his trial will take place is presumably this character.
  • Death in Regular Show (yes he's actually called Death in the show) is a recurring villain that constantly goes through various different competitions over the protagonist's souls. He also has a cockney accent, can revive people through loogie's, holds souls in bowling balls, one giant muscular arm that looks like a normal arm when he wears a jacket,and looks a lot like Lemmy from Motorhead.
    • In the comic book crossover between Regular Show and Adventure Time, Death from the former claims the one from the latter is a relative of his.
  • Death appears in Robot Chicken a few times. One sketch where he sends a dying old lady to Heaven, in which Jesus shows up complaining that The Grim Reaper has no place in the Christian religion. So they go to trial with God as the Judge. The Reaper loses after his last reaped soul points out that being harvested by a skeleton in a cloak isnt exactly a comforting way to end ones life, but the Reaper reaps her a second time as payback. Turns out souls can die a second time, and if they do, they go to SUPER Heaven (it's a lot like the first heaven but more badass). Another has the Archie characters going through the events of "Final Destination" which at the end Death shows up, in which Veronica pays him to spare her and kill everyone else.
  • In Rocko's Modern Life, Rocko's car dies, and is escorted to Heaven by the Grim Tow Truck.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In one episode of Treehouse of Horror, Homer Simpson kills the Grim Reaper to save Bart, then becomes the Reaper himself, and enjoys abusing his power—until he's asked to claim Marge. The segment ends with a car chase between Homer and God, and Homer escapes with a The Dukes of Hazzard jump across a railway track, just before the train, at which point God gives up and goes home.
    • In another Treehouse of Horror, the Grim Reaper makes an appearance as the judge at a Hell Court, judging whether the Devil owns Homer's soul or not (he sold it for a donut). Makes sense really, as death is equal and unbiased, like how a judge should be.
  • In the Woody Woodpecker short Pantry Panic, during the scene where "starvation stares Woody in the face", the "starvation" character is implied to the Grim Reaper.
  • One Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode featured Dan from Grim Reaper Gutters. He won't leave until he makes a sale. Unfortunately for people who don't want to buy gutters, he has the Touch of Death typically associated with the Grim Reaper and isn't afraid to use it.
  • Episode 92 of Kaeloo had the main four have to find a way to deal with Death (portrayed as a black sheep with an ax), who wanted to take somebody's soul, but wouldn't say anything to them. It turns out he wanted to take a flower's soul.
  • The John Dilworth short The Dirdy Birdy at one point had the personification of Death show up to try and collect Purdy's soul. Fergurina ends up hitting Death on the head with a frying pan and kicking him away.

    Multiple Media 
  • In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, Death is female with a bit of a sick attitude toward life. On at least one occasion she interacts with the Doctor and his companions, even making a deal with him that involves him murdering someone. According to Big Finish Doctor Who, the Master is "Death's Champion". Word of God is that the Time Lord "gods" are just bored Eternals, which may mean she isn't actually the Grim Reaper.

    Real Life 
  • If you happen to see The Weather Channel's Jim Cantore with a crew in your neighborhood well... sorry for your loss.
    • One commercial has Cantore showing up at a beach on a nice summer day for vacation. Everyone there, knowing who he is, starts evacuating the beach as soon as they lay eyes on him.
  • Back in the late 80's, a prankster with a twisted sense of humour was arrested for hanging around old people's carehomes dressed up as the Grim Reaper.
  • Josef Mengele was known as the "Angel of Death". Given that he was an Ax-Crazy Nazi Mad Scientist, it was rather appropriate.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Grim Reaper


The Great Reaper

The leader of the Reapers and the boss of the Reaper's Fortress, the Great Reaper apparently sends its subordinates to collect the souls of the humans fighting in the war.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / TheGrimReaper

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Main / TheGrimReaper