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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 Sandman

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

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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.

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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, The Problem with Fighting Death, and Hanging Up on the Grim Reaper. 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. May overlap with God of the Dead, and the latter figures often draw inspiration from the Reaper's visual motifs.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • An American Home Shield commercial has the Grim Reaper visiting a woman (Laura Baggett), thinking her time is up, but is actually there for the refrigerator, explaining that appliances die at some point. This exchange makes it even funnier:
    Woman: What, the refrigerator?! Oh, come on! Do you know how much this cost me?! You're killing me!
    (Grim Reaper then moves towards her)
    Woman: Let me rephrase that!
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • GaoGaiGar FINAL: Pia Decem wears dark armor, has a black cape, makes an ominous sound, uses a deadly scythe, and is sometimes called "Shinigami".
  • Hell Teacher Nube: Death shows up to claim Nube halfway through the 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.
  • Hetalia: Axis Powers: The Grim Reaper is the cloaked, silent, skeletal form at England's bedside. He is moved to tears by England's "last words" (or his inability to finish them) to America. England doesn't die.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing: The Grim Reaper is a motif on Duo's Gundam. 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)
  • Monster Musume: Lala is a Dullahan who dresses and acts like a Grim Reaper while talking in overly melodramatic tones. Only it turns out that she actually is a Grim Reaper who's pretending to be a gothy teenager who's pretending to be a Grim Reaper.
  • Murder Princess: Dominikov 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.
  • One Piece: Doc Q 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.
  • RIN-NE: 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.
  • Soul Eater: Lord Death 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 YuYu 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 stolen...so 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.

    Art 
  • 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.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Midnight Reaper is a Zombie Knight who wields a scythe, wears a concealing black hood, rides a black horse, and deals damage to you when a creature dies in exchange for letting you draw a card.
      No one welcomes his visit, yet all must grant him tribute.
    • Spectres are usually depicted as hooded and robed figures, often carrying either scythes or staffs or polearms of some kind. Reaper of Night and Scythe Specter lean especially hard into this imagery.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: There are quite a few monsters in the game that are based on the Grim Reaper.
    • The first is 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.

    Comic Books 
  • Beasts of Burden: The Black Dog from dog mythology, shepherdess of the dead who fetches the souls of the departed.
  • Blacksad: Death himself doesn't show up, 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.
  • Chicken With Plums: Azrael, the Angel of Death, makes an appearance. 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".
  • Chick Tracts: The Grim Reaper makes appearances frequently, usually accompanied by his catchphrase "Hi there!"
  • 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) doesn't start out as a Grim Reaper per se, he certainly goes to some lengths to evoke this idea in Blackest Night; he even has a scythe, and is 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 intends 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. However, Nekron isn'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 canonicity of this into doubt.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Death is one of several personifications of abstract concepts present in the setting. She has even been killed off herself, twice — both times with disastrous results. Death appears in a classic black robe, but she wields no scythe. Most beings who encounter her see her with a skull-head, but for those who get intimately entangled with her (particularly Thanos), she can wear a pale young woman's face.
      • Deadpool: 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.
      • Earth X: 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 revolves around finding a replacement Death, then dealing with the chaos when Jude doesn't restrict himself to people who are supposed to have died.
      • The Infinity Gauntlet includes the archetypal Thanos-Death romance. Thanos's romantic intentions are thwarted when wielding the Gauntlet makes him more powerful than her, and neither of them can be satisfied with an unequal partnership.
      • Jane Foster: In an arc of Valkyrie: Jane Foster, Jane leads a team of medically-themed heroes to save a gravely-ill Death. Jane has to justify doing so, and she independently deduces the premise from The Thanos Imperative: that a universe without Death is doomed to develop into a horrific Cancerverse.
      • Secret Wars II: During the second crossover, the Beyonder killed her, but was convinced that life was meaningless without death, and restored her to existence.
      • 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.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Man-Thing: One issue features two humans who had become agents of death. The man views death as commonplace so he appears wearing a simple white button-up shirt and slacks. The woman views death more exotically so when she's "converted" she dons a dramatic green garment and has long magenta hair.
    • Siege: Toward the end, 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.
  • Monica's Gang: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side: The Grim Reaper, depicted as a hooded, robed and scythe-wielding figure with a face shrouded in shadow, is the subject of several strips.
    • One titled "The Grim Reaper as a child" depicts 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 one has him discovering that his (human) girlfriend is cheating on him with Jack "Dr. Death" Kevorkian.
    • Still yet another strip 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.
  • Funky Winkerbean had "Masky McDeath", a Grim Reaper dressed like The Phantom of the Opera, come to claim Lisa.
  • In Scary Gary, Leopold appears to be on good terms with the Grim Reaper, as the latter is seen trying to fish something out of a toaster with a butter knife for Leopold after Gary comments on how dangerous it is for Leopold to do it.

    Fan Works 
  • 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.
  • Hearts of Ice: On two separate occasions, Cologne faces Yin Wu Ch'ang, the female Ghost who escorts the souls of the elderly to the afterlife, and who seems endlessly amused by her repeated attempts to cheat death. She also mentions Yang Wu Ch'ang, the male Ghost who deals with the souls of the young, but she does not meet him unlike Ranma.
  • The Many Worlds Interpretation: Wen the Discworld meets The Big Bang Theory, the Grim Reaper of the Roundworld gets lectured by Sheldon Cooper about his appearance as a personification of Death being all wrong, and reflecting a long-outmoded Ingmar Bergman The Seventh Seal look. Sheldon expects 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 sees that, he just osn't going.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Prolgue for one of the later stories in The Unity Saga shows the series is the result of a game being played by various omnipotent characters including the Deathes of the Discworld and The Sandman.

    Films — Animated 
  • Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: The Phantasm is styled after the Grim Reaper, with a black cloak, skull mask and scythe blade on a gauntlet.
  • 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.
  • Ratatouille: Anton Ego, the Caustic Critic 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 
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild: The jolly ferryman the protagonist and her friends meet after swimming out to sea to find their destiny 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dogma: Loki 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Final Destination: Death is the antagonist in the 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.
  • 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.
  • Korkarlen (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.
  • Last Action Hero: Death (Ian McKellen), as a character, actually escapes from The Seventh Seal, and comes walking down the street. As he touches some people, they cough and drop dead.
  • In one of Marty Feldman's short films he portrays 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.
  • 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.
  • 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..."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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...), has 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.
  • 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 ...
  • Spookies: One of the many monsters that the cast has to deal with is a statue of Grim Reaper that comes alive and starts chasing them.
  • Suspiria (2018): In the climax, 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.

    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, is a skeleton in a black robe who uses his scythe to collect the dead, and may have been an inspiration for the modern Reaper.
  • The Abrahamic faiths have 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 more 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 Michael, 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 holds him in the highest esteem out of three faiths, referring to him as an archangel. Transcribed as "Azrāʾīl" in Arabic, he is one of the four angels alongside Isrāfīl (taking the place of Raphael) and Michael 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.
  • 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.
  • Nordic folklore had a variant that originated at the same time as the modern versions, during the black plague of the 1400s. Pesta, rather than personify death itself, personified the plague, and appeared as a withered old woman in a black cloak. Whenever she visited a homestead, she would bring a broom or a rake. If she brought the rake, some people would be spared the plague. If she brought the broom, there would be no survivors.

    Literature 
  • The Book Thief is narrated by Death.
    I do not carry a sickle or scythe.
    I only wear a black cloak if it's cold.
    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?
    Find yourself a mirror while I continue.
  • Calliope Reaper Jones: 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.
  • Child Of The Grove has Death as an important character. 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.
  • A Christmas Carol: The Ghost of Christmas Yet the Come, a grim, cloaked and hooded figure who foretells a miserable death for Scrooge if he doesn't straighten up, is a reference to the Grim Reaper.
  • 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.
  • Death and Dr Hornbook, a poem by Rober Burns, features a non-skeletal but cloaked Grim Reaper of the disgruntled civil servant mould, who is apparently a Grim Reaper specifically responsible for southwestern Scotland.
  • 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.
  • The Dresden Files: 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.
  • Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser: Death is a bald figure in dark clothing, who has a quota of deaths every hour (by profession) and has never missed it.
  • Final Destination: Dead Reckoning has a Lovecraft inspired version of the usual stereotypical depiction of the Grim Reaper appear in a dream sequence.
  • Gaunt's Ghosts: Invoked in 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.
  • Goodbye Darkness: The Whore of Death witnessed by the author William Manchester on a WW2 battlefield is a Fan Disservice image of a sexy New England schoolgirl who, when viewed up-close, has rotting flesh and jagged teeth. Despite this he feels the overwhelming urge to have Glad-to-Be-Alive Sex with her (he's just seen his entire squad get killed by a shell) but refuses when she tries to entice him towards the Japanese lines where he'll be killed.
  • 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.
  • Great Devil War: 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.
  • 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. Although it's left ambiguous if the brothers actually met him or if they were just powerful wizards who made the Hallows and the story about him was just something that sprung up to explain their creation. Dumbledore tells Harry that this is his personal interpretation of the story.
  • Heralds of Valdemar: 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.
  • His Dark Materials: 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.
  • 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 Long Walk: An unnamed dark figure, theorized to be Death, appears at the very end to usher Garraty into the afterlife.
  • On a Pale Horse: The office of Death passes from one holder to the next when the new Death kills his predecessor.
  • 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.
  • Paradise Lost: Death is a fairly important figure and is part of the "evil trinity" along with Satan, his father, and Sin, his mother. Satan is also Sin's father.
  • Prayer: The 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.
  • In The Supervillainy Saga by C.T. Phipps, the Grim Reaper is a Perky Goth similar to Sandman but a good deal more serious as it is her job to cover for the failures of her fellow Primals that rule the multiverse. Amusingly, Gary is a psychopomp as part of his duties and thus is a wisecracking goofus who some ghosts are off-put by. He is later made ruler of his universe's afterlife.
  • Terry Pratchett:
    • Discworld: Death is a character in his own right, with thoughts, feelings (sort of), and a genuine personality. He appears as the classic hooded skeleton, with glowing blue eye sockets, and wielding a scythe horned to such keenness that it can slice apart sounds; when he comes for royalty, however, he wields a sword. 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). He always speaks in small caps, which is 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. (Pratchett received a lot of fanmail to this effect, which often made for... difficult reading.)
      • 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, 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."
    • Nation features a True Neutral version of Death called Locaha. Who may or may not exist.
  • The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: Although he's an inscrutable Chessmaster and Magnificent Bastard, Death (called Marethyu in the series) is ultimately a hero and the champion of humanity. He's also a future version of Josh, one of the two main characters.
  • Silicon Wolfpack has a traditionally-garbed reaper who seems to merely be one of many, and has a sense of humor.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire: Death is worshipped in many forms in the world, 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.
  • Survivor Dogs: The Earth-Dog 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.
  • Sven Hassel:
    • 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.
  • 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.
  • Watership Down: The Black Rabbit of Inlé 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.
  • Wax and Wayne: Ironeyes is generally regarded as the god of death, though one of the three major religions (Sliverism) worships him as God. He's not really a Psychopomp, though; that's Harmony's job.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • Benson: One episode has Benson play Trivial Pursuit against Mr. G. Reaper, not for his own life but for the lives of a busful of schoolchildren caught in a severe storm. All the questions Death get have answers involving "death"; when Benson accuses him of cheating, he denies it, saying that "you have often heard it said, 'He cheated Death,' but no one ever said 'Death cheated him!"
  • 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.
  • Charmed (1998): The Angel of Death appears several times, played in all but one instance by the same actor. He's depicted as unstoppable, anyone who falls onto his list will die, and the episode involves characters learning to accept that death is inevitable.
  • Cirque du Soleil: In a horror pastiche episode of the 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?).
  • Dead Like Me: Grim Reapers 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.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Visitation", the alien Terileptils disguise their robot as the Grim Reaper to terrorize the local villagers.
  • Guardian: The Lonely and Great God: One of the main characters is a Grim Reaper. Instead of just one Grim Reaper there's a whole lot of them; they're the spirits of people who committed suicide when they were alive and become reapers as punishment. They also aren't skeletal, don't use scythes, and hide from normal humans by wearing hats that make them invisible.
  • Grimm: Played with. 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 go after Grimms, the mythical creatures of the setting.
  • Horrible Histories: 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!
  • Kings: Death appears to King Silas as a pale-skinned woman. 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.
  • Makom Lideaga: One skit has 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.
  • Married... with Children: One of these shows up for Al in an episode. 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.
  • Monster Jam: Grave Digger is the Grim Reaper in monster truck form. He'll roll over your grave. And like twenty or thirty cars after that.
  • Murder Most Horrid: Spoofed. 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.
  • NCIS features one, despite normally being very realistic in scope. 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.
  • Night and Day: Charlie Doyle 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.
  • Reaper: 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.
  • Red Dwarf: At the end of the season eight, the episode "Only the Good", a pale reaper shows up to collect Rimmer, who evades death by kicking the specter in the jewels and running away.
  • Saturday Night Live: The Grim Reaper under the pseudonym Steve Bannon is shown to be the true acting President of the United States.
  • Scrubs: In one episode, 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.
  • Sons of Anarchy: 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.
  • 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 Death" witnessed by William Manchester as a WW2 soldier (described in his book in Goodbye Darkness).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Torchwood: "Dead Man Walking" features a Death that, should it successfully complete the requirements for it to appear on Earth, will attempt to kill everything.
  • Touched by an Angel: Andrew is one of the Angels of Death. They don't actually kill people; he just helps those who are about to die (or in the process of dying) get prepared and escorts them to the hereafter.
  • The Tudors: The rare version of the Reaper wielding a sword when coming to claim royalty is highlighted on the final episode 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.
  • 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.

    Music 
  • Blue Öyster Cult: "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.
  • "Tha Crossroads" by Bone Thugs-n-Harmony has Death gathering souls of various people, including a young man leaving his heartbroken mom behind, Bone's friend Wally, Wishbone's uncle Charles, Eazy-E(who died from AIDS a year prior), and a newborn baby, until the end when Death takes off his coat and hat revealing he is actually an angel taking the dead to Heaven.
  • 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".

    Pinball 

    Professional Wrestling 

    Radio 
  • Old Harry's Game: In a Christmas special, 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.

    Roleplay 

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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).
  • Dungeons & Dragons has had several gods of death over its history, and several Grim Reaper analogues:
    • Drawing the wrong card from a Deck of Many Things can summon a "minor death" to try to kill you, which looks like the grim reaper as depicted on a Tarot card. (In fifth edition, it instead summons a dread wraith, a powerful undead creature which sort of looks like the grim reaper.)
    • 4th Edition features an entire race of Grim Reapers, the sorrowsworn, who answer to the Raven Queen, the goddess of death and fate in. They are tasked with punishing beings who defy death, which includes players who were raised from the dead (which, by the time a campaign enters the sorrowsworn's tier of play, usually means most of them). They resemble dark angelic beings and their middle tier, called Reapers, wield scythes that deal psychic damage. 5th Edition largely reinvents them into demonic beings who feed on negative emotions.
    • Eberron: Clerics of the Sovereign Host/Dark Six's god of death, the Keeper, have scythes as their favoured weapon.
    • Forgotten Realms:
      • The Lawful Neutral god of death, Kelemvor, can dispatch any creature he likes to do his work, and Kelemvor himself occasionally comes 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.
    • Ravenloft:
      • Grim reapers aren't minions of a death deity as far as anyone knows: they just like to kill stuff.
      • The darklord Death 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 into a unique undead being.
    • Greyhawk: Nerull the Reaper is a god of death resembling a rust-red skeleton wearing a dull black cloak, and 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's opposed by Wee Jas, a Lawful Neutral deity of death and magic who doesn't agree with him on the "kill everything that breathes" subject.
  • Hol has stats for "Death Himself" (Mortus). It 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.
  • Pathfinder:
    • Zyphus is the Neutral Evil god of accidental death, graveyards, and tragedy who appears as a giant, skeletal figure in a black robe and wielding a scythe (although his sacred weapon is technically the heavy pickaxe). 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.
    • Charon, the Daemonic Horseman of Death, is both the most powerful and the sole remaining original of the four. He appears as a withered old man in a hooded black robe — his thanadaemon servants appear as wholly skeletal robed figures — and 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.
    • Bestiary 5 describes grim reapers as undead that come from seemingly out of nowhere (most suspect the Negative Material Plane, others Abaddon) 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.
  • Shadowrun: One of the hundreds of chatty deckers who have added in-character commentary to official productsgoeswent by the login of Grid Reaper. Another decker eventually outs him as a ghoul, explaining the morbid reference.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The 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.

    Theatre 
  • 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.

    Toys 
  • 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 
  • Age of Wonders has the Grim Reaper as the ultimate undead unit.
  • Arcana Heart: Dieu Mort, being the Arcana of Death, has the appearance of the traditional Grim Reaper.
  • BlazBlue: Ragna was at some point before the start of Calamity Trigger nicknamed "the Grim Reaper". He also uses a sword called the Bloodscythe, which turns into a scythe during his "Astral Finish" move.
  • Bomber Man: The Grim reaper is an enemy in various coin-op versions — although he is not easily recognizable by Western players as (in accordance with Japanese traditions regarding death) his robe is white rather than black. The scythe gives him away.
  • 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.
  • Castlevania: The scythe-chucking Grim Reaper is almost always Dracula's second in command.
    • 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.
  • Chaos Rings:
    • Chaos Rings I and Chaos Rings Omega: The Executioner initially appears as cloaked skeletal figure which consists of a floating spine that 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.
    • Chaos Rings II: Death, one of the Four Horsemen, 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Dark Souls:
    • Gravelord Nito 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).
    • Dark Souls II: The final boss 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 not an actual avatar of death (she's actually a Soul Fragment of Manus, Father of the Abyss), but she strongly resemble one, and emits an aura of death and evil so powerful that you can be cursed merely coming too close to a portrait of her.
  • Darkstalkers has Jedah, a blood using would-be Messiah who also is prone to using scythes.
  • 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".
  • Disgaea:
    • The 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: Cursed Memories, they return in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice 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.
    • Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten 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.
  • 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.
  • Dragon's Crown: The Wraith, a death god that serves as the boss of Path B in the Castle of the Dead, fights using the standard Sinister Scythe and ice magic, and comes with armies of undead Mooks. You can't harm it without the light of the Goddess Statue, and even then you can 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.
  • Dragon's Dogma: In the Dark Arisen expansion, 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.
  • Enter the Gungeon has the Gunreaper, who shows up occasionally in later levels. He wields a scythe with a rifle for a handle and shoots waves of bullets at the player. He's more of a room hazard than an enemy, as he does not take damage (though he can be killed through clever use of certain gimmick weapons) and disappears automatically when the player has cleared the room.
  • Falling Fred and its sequels have one named Grimmy. He is assigned to collect Fred's soul and finds his Resurrective Immortality amusing. He is also kind enough to teach you how to play these games in the tutorial.
  • Final Fantasy 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.
  • Gaiares: The third boss was a giant version who teleported around and shot scythe blades at the player.
  • Gauntlet: 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.
  • 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.
  • Grim Fandango: You play as 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.
  • Guilty Gear: Testament 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.
  • Guitar Hero: "The Grim Ripper" is one of the optional characters in some versions of the games. He plays a pretty mean scythe.
  • .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 .hack//G.U.. 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.
  • Hades has several psychopomps to handle the sheer volume of Shades coming into the Underworld; but it's Thanatos—Death Incarnate himself—who bears the reaper's hallmarks of the robe, scythe, and persistent grimmness. Instead of being skeletal, however, he's romancable.
  • Kid Icarus: Reapers are recurring enemies. If one of them sees you, it'll freak out and summon Reapettes to attack you while a distorted cavalry fanfare theme plays.
  • 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.
  • Let It Die: The mascot is a Grim Reaper named "Uncle Death", who skateboards, is a gamer, plays golf using his combination scythe/golf club, and calls you "Senpai".
  • Life Goes On: The game's last and only boss is the personification 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.
  • Loom: While not the Grim Reaper outright, Chaos has a very skeletal appearance, wields a scythe, and commands an undead army.
  • MadWorld: One miniboss 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.
  • Magical Drop: 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mega Man: 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??
  • Might and Magic: In some of the later games of the 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.
  • Miitopia: Scythe-wielding grim reaper expies named Fiends are enemies that can One-Hit Kill one Mii each turn.
  • Mini Robot Wars: There's an Airborne Mook called the Reaper, which looks like an evil red robot holding a scythe and has a sound cue of an Evil Laugh. Its scythe attack hits all the Minirobots around it, and this scares them to the point that they freeze for a moment.
  • Monster Rancher has the Joker, a reaper like monster wearing a clown mask.
  • Neverwinter Nights: In the Hordes of the Underdark extension, 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.
  • Odin Sphere: The Halja are 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".
  • Paperboy: One of the many things trying to kill you . 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.
  • Persona:
    • 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.
    • Persona 4: The Reaper is a Bonus Boss who can be randomly found in a New Game+(although Golden removes the requirement for NG+). After opening 20chests, the player will hear ratting of chains, and the Reaper will appear in a random unopened red chest on that dungeon level. 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 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.
  • Persona 5 Strikers The Reaper is a Bonus Boss fought after the player completes all other requests that involve rematches with the Palace rulers and fighting powerful Shadows.
  • Reality-On-The-Norm: Death is 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.
  • Resident Evil 4: One type of Zealot wears a skull mask and wields a scythe.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Scribblenauts: If you write "Death" or "Grim Reaper", 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. This includes Maxwell in the playground areas, where he's usually invincible to anything short of a nuke.
  • 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.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • Charon ferries 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.
    • All of the Fiends are generally themed around being death. The 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 Sims: The Grim Reaper, a scythe-wielding floating skeleton in a face-obscuring black robe, appears when it's time to take away a character who died. With the appropriate expansion, he also comes for pets (with a rather cute animation). Too many deaths at the same time can result in 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 him and wins a game of "which hand is their soul in?" with him; if a pet has a strong bond with its owner, it may also be able to fend off the Reaper for them. 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. 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.
  • Sinjid: The first 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.
  • Skylanders: Two of the Skylanders are based on the Grim Reaper.
    • First is Grim Creeper of the Undead element, introduced in the third game, Skylanders: Swap Force. He is essentially a ghost inhabiting armor that he can use to attack enemies, but he also wields a scythe (that seems to be made from his essence, given it's made of the same blue wisps that make up his body) that he can telekinetically control to launch them into the air. Enemies defeated by him are made into ghostly spirits that do his bidding, and his catchphrase is literally "Your Time is Up!".
    • Introduced in Skylanders: Trap Team and made a real Skylander in Skylanders: Imaginators is Hood Sickle. He combines the Grim Reaper motif with that of an executioner, wearing the hood of the latter. While his scythe initially started out as an energy scythe, he later switched it for a double-bladed scythe, as in there are steel scythe blades on both ends. While he was initially of the Undead element, he becomes Dark-elemental in the latter game, gaining the ability to create black holes that slow down enemies. Fittingly, his catchphrase is "Any Last Words?".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tamagotchi has the Grim Gotchi, which appears when the Tamagotchi is about to die. It looks like a small, black ghost with horns.
  • Touhou Project:
    • Komachi 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, which 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.
  • 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.
  • Venture Kid: One of the boss fights pits Andy against a grim reaper who attacks with a Sinister Scythe.
  • Wonder Boy in Monster Land: Death is the first boss, and later reappears in Palette Swap form as the "Poor God" (God of Poverty), who steals your gold when he attacks.
  • 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...
  • The World Ends with You: 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 (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.

    Webcomics 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Death and the Maiden: Death is a bit of a wimp, and has a Will They or Won't They? relationship with a mortal girl he failed to reap.
  • Exiern: In a non-continuity set of strips, 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..."
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Housepets!: Cerberus, the comic's interpretation of Classical Mythology's hound of the underworld, 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.
  • 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.
  • Irregular Webcomic! has a plethora of robed, skeletal reapers, each assigned to collect souls from specific causes of death. Very specific causes of death, including Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs, Death by 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.
  • Jack (David Hopkins): The eponymous Killer Rabbit 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • The Next Reaper has two. Death is the first, while his son Grim is his successor.
  • 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 Order of the Stick: Elan mistakes the albino lizardfolk Malack, who wears a black cloak, for the Grim Reaper, and calls him "the Lizgreaper" as a malapropism form "lizard grim reaper". He was knocked out in a battle before being escorted to Malack, whose initial words lead Elan to certain assumptions.
  • The Phoenix Requiem: At the end, Jonas appears in a dark cloak and says that some call him the Reaper "after some local nonsense folk tale".
  • Princess Chroma: Death is a recurring character. 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.
  • Problem Sleuth: Death is a fairly regular character, and 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.
  • The Red Star: The first Psychopomp is armed with the scythe to gather Marcus's soul.
  • Sabrina Online: Sabrina encounters the Reaper after being stabbed by a mugger. Turns out he ran into a clerical error and Sabrina gets to stay.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • And Shine Heaven Now uses Death of the Endless from The Sandman. When she has some spare time, she doubles 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.
  • Sinfest: The Grim Reaper appears periodically, although his reaping tends to be metaphorical, such as reaping the leaves off of trees as winter begins and the current year on New Year's Eve.
  • Slightly Damned: Death 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.
  • The Unspeakable Vault (of Doom): Death, explicitly mentioned to be Discworld's, makes an appearance. Unfortunately, he isn't used to the rules with the Elder Gods around...
    That is not dead which may eternal lie,
    and with strange aeons even Death may die.
  • 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'."

    Web Original 
  • 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 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 Show: The Grim Reaper recounts his experiences, and is portrayed as a sardonic wisecracker.
  • hololive has Mori Calliope, the Grim Reaper's first apprentice, who is a Nervous Wreck whenever she isn't rapping. She also apparently teaches scythe-swinging classes for younger reapers (she herself doesn't have an age, as she's been around for as long as there have been things to die.
  • 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.
  • In Mortys the Grim Reaper is a woman with a rather noughty son.
  • Neopets: At the end of the 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.
  • Plonqmas: Plonq inadvertently hosts Death for Christmas in “A Plonqmas Tale — 2011.” He later gets the character drunk and has a besotted one-night stand with them.
  • SCP Foundation: There are 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 die in battle.
    • The third brother is the All-Death. He is the death caused by what is beyond human control such as natural and supernatural disasters or magical beasts.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Figaro Pho: The Grim Reaper 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.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force: One episode features 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.
  • Castlevania (2017)'s final antagonist is Death, an elemental spirit that feeds on whatever lifeforce remains when someone dies. Trevor clarifies pretty early in the season, however, that Death is not actually the grim reaper. Rather, the picture of the Reaper is inspired by this being, since early cultures didn't fully understand the difference. This conveniently means that Trevor driving a god-killing dagger into his skull doesn't mess up the natural order.
  • Chilly Beach: Death appears to take away Dale, who opts to challenge him. Dale proceeds to annoy death by taking too long to pick what game they're going to play, leading Death to yell at him to choose something or he'll choose for him. Dale picks hockey, which proves to be a mistake as Death is, in fact, quite good at hockey.
    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.
  • The Dirdy Birdy has 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.
  • 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, 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.
  • 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, the 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!
  • Jackie Chan Adventures: The Monkey King poses as the Grim Reaper in order to kill Jackie. While he proves himself to be extremely good at wielding a scythe, he's talked out of killing Jackie that way because "it wouldn't be very funny".
  • Kaeloo: Episode 92 has 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.
  • 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.
  • "Pluto's Judgement Day": At the very beginning of Pluto nightmare, 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.
  • Regular Show: Death (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.
  • Robot Chicken: Death appears 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 isn't exactly a comforting way to enter the afterlife, 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 Treehouse of Horror XIV, Homer Simpson kills the Grim Reaper to save Bart, but it also means no one can die. Homer then puts on Death's robe and becomes the Grim Reaper himself. He kills all the people on God's "To Die" list just by touching them with his fleshless hands, and also kills many other people just for fun, 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 Treehouse of Horror IV, 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 Couch Gag of Treehouse of Horror VII, the Grim Reaper waits for the Simpson family on the sofa. They all drop dead when he touches them, after which he puts his feet up on their corpses to watch TV.
  • Woody Woodpecker: In Pantry Panic, during the scene where "starvation stares Woody in the face", the "starvation" character is implied to the Grim Reaper.

    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.

 
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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.

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