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Unwanted Revival

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Even eternal slumber is not safe from a wake-up call.

"What exactly do you think you're doing? ... Young man, I am dead. I was killed in what, for me at least, were fairly unpleasant circumstances. It hurt. It was deeply upsetting and painful. However, it happened. I am dead. If you bring me back to life, my death will have no meaning... I lived a good life, and it ended. Would you take that away from me?"
Gilbert to Dream in The Sandman (1989)

A character is dead, or comatose, and for whatever reason isn't happy about being revived from that state.

It also applies to less lethal circumstances - a character who deliberately vanished by hiding or faking their death is unhappy to have to return.

See also Unwanted Rescue, Came Back Wrong.

Obviously, to be brought back from the dead somebody has to have already been dead, so this is technically a Death Trope. This means there are unmarked spoilers below, so tread at your own risk.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The commentary on Afro Samurai mentions that rather than be given an Emergency Transformation, Jinno would have preferred to die after the battle at the Bodhi tree. Unfortunately for him, an Emergency Transformation is exactly what he got.
  • Franken Fran:
    • In one chapter Fran brings a girl back to life at the request of the girl's boyfriend, who had murdered her in a fit of rage. But the only way Fran could see it happening is by basically cutting out part of her brain and putting vital organs in her skull so that her head could survive independently, though with quite a bit of her memory gone. She can't talk and is utterly dependent on her boyfriend... until Fran eventually gives her the bigger body the boyfriend kept asking for whereupon this trope gets subverted. It's revealed that the guy wasn't her boyfriend, but an insane stalking killer that didn't even know the girl's name. The killer finds words scribbled by the girl under the bed and learns too late that she never forgot who he actually is. We then cut to outside the room where we see the girl's head is attached not to a delicate female's body, but a hulking, monstrous, and very strong one that practically dwarfs the killer's. And the girl? Well, she's rather pleased with the situation, since now she can repay the man for his "kindness".
    • In an earlier chapter, something similar had happened; In order to save a girl whose body had been completely mangled, Fran had to perform a complex operation that basically turned her into a giant caterpillar with a human head; She wasn't exactly pleased initially, until it came to light that she would eventually cocoon and emerge more or less as she was before...and then she turned into a giant insect and ate the one guy who honestly loved her and watched out for her because that's how mantises have sex. Later on it's revealed that they conceived a child, who was born completely normal.
    • There was also the time Fran saved a boy who had committed suicide by turning him into a living theme park mascot. This one turned out for the better, actually... after she transfers his brain into another body, anyway.
  • Somewhat subverted in the end of Hoshin Engi, where everyone thinks that Taikobo (now known as Fukki) had died fighting Jyoka. This seems to suit Taikobo fine, and he decides to spend the remainder of the manga avoiding them and playing hide-and-seek. Yes, he's a tease. The subversion comes in that it's never shown that they find him.
  • Lucy in Elfen Lied to a certain degree, whose alternate personality had been living a relatively happy life ignorant of her past and her coming back would mean ending it.
  • Ga-Rei brings Yomi Back from the Dead (again), Sesshouseki not included. She's fully aware of what she did under its effects, verging on Death Seeker as penance for her crimes.
  • In the manga of Cirque du Freak, when Darren is being pulled out of the Lake of Souls in the end to complete his final task before being allowed to move on, he resists and won't let himself return to life, but Kurda gives him the push he needs.
  • In Inuyasha, Kikyo ends up getting revived after 50 years by an Ogress, who uses Kagome's reincarnated soul to revive her. Needless to say, she ends up immediately killing the ogress, angrily asking why she revived her.
  • Monster plays with this trope in multiple ways: Johan experiences an unwanted revival when Tenma accidentally saves him from the damage of his Suicide by Cop, and Nina experiences an unwanted revival when Johan comes back for her after being gone for nearly a decade.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Kaiser Ryo repeatedly mentions that he is a Death Seeker, and actually manages it in Season Three, only to be inexplicably resurrected in Season Four, to his confusion and somewhat displeasure.
  • Shiki is quite possibly the poster anime for this trope. People who are "lucky" enough to come back rarely want it.
  • Naruto provides several different examples of this thanks to the Edo Tensei technique. The fact that it includes being under someone else's control and (often) Fighting Your Friend doesn't help. Examples include the first and second hokages, Zabuza and Haku, Asuma, and many, many others.
  • D.Gray-Man has anyone revived by the Millennium Earl being turned into an Akuma, so it's understandable why they would be upset with being brought back.
    • In fact, this is part of the Earl's philosophy, he leaves the revived level 0 Akuma with just enough free will to let them rail at the loved one who accepted the bargain before he brainwashes them into killing said loved one, who's usually now broken enough to not try to escape.
  • In the first anime of Fullmetal Alchemist: Ed and Al's mother, or a homunculus who resembles her (the anime is somewhat unclear as to what she actually is). She didn't want to come back to life and decided murdering them for revenge was the only way to make up for this.
  • In the Dragon Ball Z non-serial movie Wrath of the Dragon, Tapion gets freed from a magical music box sealing him, thanks to the titular Dragon Balls, and to say he isn't pleased is an understatement. Turns out Tapion himself is the can of Hirudegarn, a hideously powerful monster. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero for the good guys who helped the weird little old guy free him.
    • Otherwise defied in the series proper: the Dragon Balls can't revive someone who doesn't want to return.
  • In Toriko, President Ichiryuu's revival is teased during the "ANOTHER" arc. It ultimately doesn't happen. A flashback reveals that Don Slime actually found Ichiryuu's soul and tried to convince him to enter the younger copy of Ichiryuu's body he created and eat Acacia's Full Course so Ichiryuu can be revived. Ichiryuu refused in a rather comical manner.
  • A subversion occurs in The Unwanted Immortal Adventurer. While the main character is initially horrified at becoming an undead skeleton, he quickly starts changing his opinion after realizing that his growth potential is much higher as a monster than it was as a human.
  • Rath is resurrected more than once in Dragon Knights despite his strong desire to die in general and his specific loathing of the lengths people have to go to keep resurrecting him in the first place.

    Comic Books 
  • Kane Creole, a second-generation Expy clone of Elvis Presley from DC Comics' Thriller, becomes a criminal who robs banks while singing an Elvis-like song. He kills the people that cloned him, claiming that "They robbed my grave."
  • In the semi-canon Transformers Mosaic comics, an interesting possible story details the ultimate fate of UK-Marvel Galvatron after the Time Wars: After drifting in timelessness while near death, finally at peace, he is dumped on Cybertron in the distant past, where a group of trying-to-be-helpful cybertronians repair him, giving him his "Gold Megatron" look that he had once, despite his wish to die peacefully. He was forced to relive his descent into insanity again.
  • The Superman villain Hank Henshaw/Cyborg-Superman has long been a Death Seeker, as his origin story was a take on the Fantastic Four Gone Horribly Wrong, and he was forced to see his friends and loved ones die while knowing he truly couldn't. After joining the Sinestro Corps, it looks like he might finally get his wish, and he thanks those who are about to kill him. Then his servants find his disembodied head floating in space, and as they begin the process to reconstruct him, he sheds a single tear...
  • Marvel Universe:
    • In Spider-Man, Kraven the Hunter has become such a character in Grim Hunt, being brought back to life by his ex-wife Sasha in a flawed ritual that has made him more like an undead. He wasn't exactly happy about it and ended up killing her and most of the people she worked with. It's even lampshaded by his half-brother, the Chameleon, who points out that Kraven was Driven to Suicide and might not want to come back, but Sasha doesn't listen.
    • The Punisher MAX: In the story "Six Hours to Kill", at the end of the six hours, Frank's just annoyed, wondering why the hell he isn't dead yet, and when he feels it coming he calls it the most beautiful thing ever. And then the people who killed him bring him back. He says he wakes up and realizes that he's still in hell.
    • Dirk Anger of Nextwave is not particularly happy that he was brought back from the dead as a zombified corpse. Or that his organization won't even feed him brains.
    • The last resurrection of Thanos, given that he was incredibly happy being dead with his girlfriend Death, was so unwanted he spent several days in a blinding Unstoppable Rage, one bad enough for him to level a planet with several billion incredibly violent inhabitants in a few hours. Of course, given that Thanos' main goal in life is to be with Death, all his revivals are unwanted revivals.
  • Fiddler's Green from The Sandman (1989) is brought back from death by Dream, only to politely decline. Not because his life was in any way unhappy, but rather because without death, it would have no value.
  • This is Thomas Edison's reaction when Atomic Robo revives him, since he's become a sentient manifestation of the Odic Force. The worst part is that he didn't realize how much time had passed or that he had even died; when he returns to consciousness, he's still reacting to the moments just before his death. The last image of that issue is his former laboratory lit from the inside by an eerie glow.
    "You shouldn't have brought me back."
  • This possibly occurs in the final issue of Batgirl (2000). After she's paralyzed by Cassandra, Lady Shiva begs her not to bring her back using the Lazarus Pit. We see Cassandra kill her by impaling her on a hook, but we never see if she chooses to revive her. It's later implied that Cassandra did revive her, as Shiva appears alive and well in Birds of Prey.

    Fan Works 
  • The Hill of Swords has Shirou despising Tiffania for reviving him after the Battle of Saxe-Gotha.
  • In Rias Gremory's God Slayer, Godou Kusanagi falls in battle, but is happy because he will finally be reunited with his loved ones. Then Rias Gremory inadvertently summons him and upon seeing his corpse, decides to "save" him by reviving him with her Evil Pieces. Though Godou is extremely upset, he doesn't blame her for not realizing he wanted to die, and decides to accept his new lease on life.
  • In Mirai SMP, after Travis unlocks the ability of resurrection, he's given the choice to use it on himself or anyone else. He glances around the room of the dead before his eyes land on Cooper, who instantly begins to protest.
    Oh, no. Don't. Don't do it.
    Travis starts toward the bridge leading to Cooper.
    "Travis, no!" Cooper argues quickly, "revive yourself! Drop the staff!"
  • The Return of Hatsune Miku has Calne Ca, who had been erased at the tail end of Reaping, restored by an invader in DIVA. Calne Ca is a triple amputee who has had the memory of her erased from everyone in the Realground, and has spent an indeterminate time in a Cantus transformation; she describes erasure as peaceful compared to the life she had lived. The one who restored her did so hoping to get an ally, and instead got herself an enemy.

    Film — Animated 
  • At the end of Ice Age: The Meltdown, Scrat ends up going to Squirrel Heaven after drowning in the flood. He finds it enjoyable, especially since it has the biggest acorn he's ever seen. However, he ends up being dragged away and back to the mortal plane when Sid revives him with the Kiss of Life. Angry at being ripped from the paradise, he proceeds to attack Sid with kung-fu moves.
  • Mentioned in BIONICLE: Mask of Light, where this is how Makuta rationalizes keeping his "brother" Mata Nui in an endless sleep. He claims to protect him from pain and suffering by stopping Mata Nui's people, the Toa, Matoran and Turaga from awakening him. In a way, Makuta made sense; as Mata Nui was a Humongous Mecha sleeping under the island, he'd have destroyed said island and killed his people if he woke up. According to one of the writers, Makuta did good by stalling Mata Nui's return until the right hero came along to facilitate it and prove to Makuta that he was wrong — Mata Nui was suffering from nightmares in his sleep and the world desperately needed his return, so the solution wasn't to keep him in a sleep but to evacuate the island and revive him.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In the 60's movie The Brain That Wouldn't Die (featured on MST3K), a woman is decapitated in an automobile accident, then her surgeon boyfriend reanimates her head. She is unhappy with this state of affairs and spends the rest of the movie nagging her boyfriend about it.
  • Gabriel in The Prophecy resurrects the very recently deceased to do things like drive him around, or work computers or anything else an angel doesn't know how to do. He has a tendency to choose people who were happier being dead or had committed suicide, and thus are less than pleased about their sudden resurrection.
  • Discussed in Justice League (2017) when Bruce resolves to bring Superman Back from the Dead. The other Leaguers are concerned he might not come back with his mind or morals intact, while Alfred points out that he could be at peace. While Superman does suffer some Resurrection Sickness, once he reunites with Lois and has a moment to breathe he seems pretty happy to get a second chance at life.
  • In The Walking Dead (1936), Dr. Beaumont uses an experimental procedure to bring John Ellman back to life after he has been wrongly executed. In his more lucid moments, Ellman tells Beaumont that he should have left him dead.

  • In American Gods, Shadow gets brought back to life after his Heroic Sacrifice (by a woman named Eostre) and complains that he would have preferred staying dead. Somewhat justified by the fact that he got to choose his own afterlife.
    • Similarly, there's Shadow's wife, Laura. By dropping a magical coin in her coffin, Shadow brought Laura back from the dead... as a zombie. She's cold all the time, never eats or sleeps, feels no remorse about horribly killing people, and just wants Shadow to make it all right. Though at first she wants to be alive again, in the end she opts to return to being dead when given the choice.
  • Bazil Broketail: Implied. Ajoth Gol Dib doesn't seem happy that he was resurrected, spends much of his time sleeping and when he is awake, he struggles with his ever-increasing, uncontrollable urges that cannot be sated. Tellingly, when Relkin drives a sword into his chest, his last words are "thank you, boy".
  • In The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: The Illearth War, High Lord Elena uses the power of EarthBlood to summon the ancient and legendary High Lord Kevin back to life so he can fight and destroy Lord Foul the Despiser. Unfortunately, Kevin is not nearly as powerful as legend made him out to be, and bringing him back has some very, ''very'' bad side effects.
  • Robert Sheckley had a short story about a guy fighting in a war where both sides learned to resurrect their soldiers. He has been killed 9 times already and the 10th time should be legally his last, finally allowing him to rest. He is killed, resurrected, and told that since the enemy has raised the resurrection limit to 15 times, he'll now be resurrected 4 more times. So he goes out and makes damn sure to get himself shot in the head, believing they can't repair brain damage. It turns out, they can... and he got a medal for his "heroism". A very depressing read.
  • Weis & Hickman's The Death Gate Cycle has a character with a resurrection rune enscribed on his skin. He's condemned to never, ever die. (He's also condemned by the same magic to never ever kill, negating much of the Badass Normalry he exhibited previously.) Thankfully he's set straight at the end of the series.
  • Also from Weis & Hickman is the Dragonlance series where Raistlin reluctantly returns from the dead a few times to help save the world before leaving it again.
  • A variation occurs with Discworld's Granny Weatherwax. Whenever she's "borrowing" (piggybacking her mind on that of an animal) she appears to be dead or in a coma, and being 'woken up' from this is extremely disorienting and annoying, so she has taken to hanging a sign around her neck that says "I ATEN'T DEAD". At least until she's about actually die, when she changes the sign to read "I IS PROBABLY DEAD".
  • Some Biblical scholars think that Jesus had to raise his voice to Lazarus in order to get him to come out of his tomb because Lazarus wouldn't have listened and come back from the dead otherwise, he was having too much fun living in peace in the afterlife. Though this is certainly debatable as the last mention of Lazarus in the Bible is of him having a celebratory dinner with his family and friends over his revival from the dead, he must have been the life of the party and the one everyone talked about.
  • King Of Infinite Space portrays an asteroid colony full of "deadheads": people who'd had their heads cryogenically frozen after they died, then were later revived in nanoassembled bodies. At least one of them was a musician who'd been unwittingly signed up by one of his fans, and seems rather put out that he wasn't allowed to just die in his own time.
  • In Mogworld, Jim was in the middle of going into the light, surrounded by angels and so on, when "some git" resurrected him. The rest of the book is about him being a Death Seeker / Heaven Seeker.
  • In The Wheel of Time, Ishamael is the Dark One's Dragon and the Starter Villain. He dies in the third book. Later in the series the Dark One's new Dragon, Moridin, shows up, demonstrates a lot of the same mannerisms, and is eventually revealed to be none other than Ishamael reincarnated. The Dark One is a notoriously Bad Boss, so other Forsaken wonder why Ishamael/Moridin isn't punished for his failure. Turns out that Ishamael is a Death Seeker. Being brought back to life was his punishment.
  • Lord of Light: When Sam is brought back from Nirvana, he initially experiences 'divine withdrawal', leading to him spending a lot of time in quiet contemplation and refusing to engage with the world. Yama, Tak, and Ratri end up scratching their heads trying to find a way to get the former revolutionary leader back into the game.
  • In Shadow of the Conqueror, Daylen wants to die, so the idea of a Lightbringer bringing him Back from the Dead is a horrifying idea to him. At the end of the book, Ahrek plans to do this to Daylen, but Daylen's Healing Factor saves him first. Daylen then orders Ahrek not to do this after his trial, but him being sentenced to a lifetime of slavery rather than death screws up his plans to die, once again.
  • While not dead per-say, Grianne Ohmsford willfully entered into a state of peaceful, spiritual limbo within the Tanequil at the end of the High Druid of Shannara trilogy. In The Dark Legacy of Shannara trilogy, her great great nephew Railing Ohmsford begs the tree to return her so she can stop her old nemesis Tael Riverine from razing the Four Lands, she is eventually returned to her body and release... as a shambling wraith fueled only by The Power of Hate for taking her away from the only place left in the world she felt she could belong.
  • In Harrow the Ninth when Gideon reawakens in Harrow's body she's outraged that instead of accepting the sacrifice she made, Harrow has embarked on a desperate attempt to undo it at massive risk to her own mind and soul.
  • Ghost Roads: In The Girl in the Green Silk Gown, Rose was only supposed to be alive for one Halloween night to shuck a curse, but instead she has to deal with being alive again decades after her death and play catch-up even when she really doesn't want to. And now, not only is Bobby Cross hunting her down to kill her again, she doesn't have any of her ghostly powers anymore.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the Season 5 finale, Buffy sacrifices herself to save the world from the dimensional vortex Glory opened. Come the Season 6 premiere, Willow and the other Scoobies resurrect her using magic, convincing themselves that due to the circumstances of her death from falling into a mystical portal, Buffy's soul could have been trapped in a Hell dimension. In reality, Buffy had been allowed to move on to Heaven, where she was happy and at peace, and is not happy to be alive again, resulting in, among other things, her entering a Destructive Romance with Spike. It isn't until the very end of the season that Buffy is finally able to get over her Resurrection Sickness and finally be ready to live again.
  • Sliders did this in a first season ep where Rembrandt's double was the equivalent of Elvis, and a lot of fuss was kicked up over our Remy suddenly showing up. The local version of Rembrandt came around to set the record straight and was actually willing to let him take over until he realized how much cash was in the mix, stealing Remy's thunder at his return show, much to Remy's disappointment.
  • Supernatural:
    • The series is all over this (and Death Is Cheap). Dean and Sam keep yelling at each other about it, though it has more to do with each of them endangering themselves for the other than the place they were in being so good (Dean was in Hell, and Sam was stuck with the devil, which was arguably worse). It got so bad that Sam asks specifically not to be brought back from the hole with Lucifer, and Dean reluctantly agrees. In season 6, while not specifying it, Samuel and his family at least didn't ask to be brought back, let alone to work for the new self-appointed "devil".
    • Of course, the one time a Winchester does leave well enough alone (Sam during Dean's stint in Purgatory), he still gets chewed out for it. There's just no winning here.
    Dean: Good. That's good, no, we - we always told each other not to look for each other. That's smart, good for you. 'Course, we always ignored that because of our deep, abiding love for each other, but not this time, right Sammy?
    • The revivals from Hell/The Cage, however, didn't happen because of anything the living brother did or asked for (not for lack of trying, though). Dean's revival because his father sold his soul, but also being saved earlier in the series from near-death by a faith healer that caused other people to die in order to heal, however, and Sam's because Dean sold his soul, and later from near-death at the beginning of Season 9, were definitely un-asked for, caused the revived person guilt when they find out what happened and what the price was, and not rescuing someone from a fate worse than death.
  • In Torchwood, Owen Harper isn't very happy when Jack uses the resurrection gauntlet to bring him back. Understandable, being a walking corpse isn't much of a life.
  • Central to the premise of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is Agent Coulson somehow being up and about after he was impaled during The Avengers (2012). As far as he's concerned, he stopped breathing for nearly a minute and Nick Fury faked his death, but it's hinted there's more to it than he knows. It turns out he was dead for days, and his "resurrection" involved an untested drug derived from an alien corpse and a robot implanting false memories into his brain while he repeatedly begged the doctors to let him die.
  • Discussed but ultimately averted in season 3 of Star Trek: Picard: the end of the show's first season had seen a recreation of Data's consciousness in a simulation ask to be allowed to die in order to truly complete the human experience; Picard expresses concern about betraying that wish to a physically resurrected Data, but Data — regarding the previous Data as a separate entity whose wishes were fulfilled — states that he would rather be nowhere else but among his friends.
  • In the X-Files episode "Miracle Man", this was Leonard's motivation for the murders. He hated how, even though he was brought Back from the Dead, he was left disfigured by burn scars, and so he turned against the Hartleys and tried to discredit their ministry by poisoning the people Samuel was healing.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Very much in effect in the Kamigawa block in Magic: The Gathering. For example, here's flavor text of Yomiji, who Bars the Way (a resurrecting Kami):
    "As I died, I rejoiced. I would see my family again. But then I woke up back on the battlefield. Back in Kamigawa. Back in hell."
  • Defied in earlier editions of Dungeons & Dragons. If a spirit doesn't want to return to the living world, no resurrection spell will work, no matter how powerful. The soul being revived even learns the name, Character Alignment, and patron deity (if any) of the person raising him, and the nature of the spell or effect being used, allowing a well informed decision. They can still be made to regret it (i.e. an enemy tricks someone the dead person would trust into doing the deed for them), but if someone really wants to stay dead, nobody can bring them back.
    • Zigzagged in Fifth Edition; most resurrection spells specify that the target must be willing, but Revivify does not.
  • Recent events in Warhammer 40,000 have seen Roboute Guilliman brought out of nearly ten millennia of near-death stasis, to see a doomed galaxy ruled by fear and suspicion. His initial reaction is less than joyful.
    Why do I still live? What more do you want from me? I gave everything I had to you, to them. Look what they've done to our dream. This bloated, rotting carcass of an empire is not driven by reason and hope, but by fear, hate and ignorance. Better that we all burned in the fires of Horus' ambition than lived to see this.

  • The Ballad of Edgardo: Goldnharl had been killed fighting the titular hero and his partner, after months of being commanded by assholes he had come to hate while earning every last bit of his power the hard way (unlike the local Mod's Pet Xer0), and found the Disney Villain Death to a Worthy Opponent such as Edgardo to be perfectly fine to cap off the character. But then Xer0 had him brought back to life to fight them again, and he decided this would be the last straw and pulled a Heel–Face Turn on the aforementioned assholes.

    Video Games 
  • A major point in Tales of Symphonia's Big Bad's plot is the resurrection of his sister- a double take of this trope: Not only do all the forces of good not want her back (Even her fiance, Yuan), but for the brief moment when she does come back, she merely hands her brother the What the Hell, Hero? treatment he deserves, and then is relieved to go back to being dead to give her current host her body back. Her brother's reaction to this nearly dooms the world.
  • Karurawaturei, princess of the Giryagina clan in Utawarerumono went missing ten~ years or so ago or more when her country underwent a civil war, leading to the near extermination of her clan. Her brother assumed she was dead, and she was fine with that. However, she's forced to return because she still cares about her people, revealing that she's still alive and well. After the war is over and her brother put in charge, she vanishes again so she can return to living a simpler life.
  • Planescape: Torment - By roughly halfway through the game, at least, this is the Nameless One's opinion of having been seperated from his mortality. Even discovering that his first incarnation committed deeds of such hideousness that an eternity doing good would not have spared him from the Blood War, he never contemplates not taking his mortality back and ending his inability to die. Granted, though, he pays a considerable price for his resurrection; he invariably draws tormented souls to himself, and, more darkly, whenever he is resurrected, someone elsewhere in the multiverse dies and becomes an undead shadow as their life is sucked away to fuel his resurrection.
  • Ziggy in the Xenosaga series most definitely did not want to be revived, going as far as replacing parts of his body piece by piece until he would become completely machine, and having his memories erased. Fortunately for MOMO, he didn't go through with it completely.
  • Occurs near the end of The Dig. You have to activate The Eye, but Maggie fears it will exact a price from them, and if she dies, she doesn't want to be resurrected with a life crystal since it wouldn't be her. If you betray her trust and revive her anyway, she'll panic and then jump off the top of the tower, killing herself. And at the end, when the aliens use Spacetime Six to bring back your friends properly, she slaps you.
  • A notable (and tragic) example in Breath of Fire IV with Fou-lu, who was meant to be the King in the Mountain. The Fou Empire wants him dead, due to being seen as 'inconvenient' and the acting Emperor Soniel prefers to keep the throne, spread propaganda that he's the 'Dragon of Doom' who'll destroy the empire. Only his shiisa-like dog wants him back, Bunyan/Babaderu being the only person commenting positively on his rule and was treated nicely by love interest, Mami. Then the empire use Mami as a Fantastic Nuke warhead, fueled under the assumption that Love Hurts, causing Fou-lu to snap and decides that Humans Are Bastards.
  • In Heroes of Might and Magic V, Nicholai is brought back to the land of the living. He is very pissed off at Isabel for bringing him back because 1) he was at peace in heaven with his parents and 2) he was brought as a bloodthirsty vampire and damned forever.
  • Deus Ex: Human Revolution: "I never asked for this."
  • At the end of Prince of Persia (2008), Elika is furious after the Prince revives her. She did sacrifice her life in order to try and save the world from a dark god, after all.
  • Kabal from Mortal Kombat 9 appears in the game's story mode, where he's presented as a reformed Black Dragon member turned police officer. Then he gets torched by Kintaro during Outworld's invasion of Earthrealm. When Kano saves his life with the iconic respirator mask, Kabal isn't happy about it.
  • General Knoxx from Borderlands is a grumpy old soldier who's so disgusted with the army he's in that he just wants to end it all. The Vault Hunters help him in that regard. Then Claptrap's New Robot Revolution happens, and he's revived from the dead as Knoxx-Trap. He becomes depressed by this turn of events. Then he's revived again towards the end of the DLC and is even less happy about it than before.
    "I'm back! Wait...I'm back? Dammit."
  • In Soul Reaver, Raziel is initially angry about being resurrected by the Elder God, although this is mostly because he is now a soul-eating wraith. He has a similar reaction about having been revived as a vampire by Kain, but only after learning that his living self was basically this world's equivalent of paladin, and thus considers it a blasphemy. He changes his mind about this when he realizes he and his brethren were self-righteous genocidal assholes in their past lives. He even personally kills them all (including his past self), saying to his past self "I renounce you".
    Raziel: My eyes are opened, Kain. I find no nobility in the unlife you rudely forced on my unwilling corpse!
  • Pokémon X and Y gives us AZ's Floette, brought back to life and given immortality. The problem is, in order to do so, AZ had to sacrifice the lives of countless other Pokémon. It's speculated that this is the reason she chose to leave him, only coming back after 3,000 years had passed.
  • Merak of Azure Striker Gunvolt, due to representing sloth, is disappointed about being revived as it means he'll have to fight you again.
  • Mortimer from Twisted Metal Head-On is this. He was unhappily woken from his grave by a couple of young punks and inadvertently made to drive his souped-up killer hearse in Twisted Metal once more. In his ending, Calypso freely and openly gives Mortimer exactly what he wants if he wins: to return to the peaceful rest of death, one of the few endings where Calypso doesn't screw the winner over with their wish.
  • Terminus from Paladins is an undead warrior with the power to resurrect upon death. However, he finds his undead state so horrifying that he wishes to stay dead and begs for death every time he resurrects.
  • In The Secret World Halloween 2015 mission "The Seven Silences," players are tasked with investigating the death of a fellow member of Gaia's Chosen that has somehow managed the impossible task of committing suicide. Eventually, you're able to collect the broken pieces of the dead agent's Bee from the dreams she used to destroy it, and eventually make your way into her final dream where her soul is kept. Realizing that you're there to bring her back, the agent's spirit is not happy and actually attacks you in a desperate attempt to dissuade you - but fails. It's revealed that she's none other than Lorraine from The Park. Having hit the Despair Event Horizon following the death of her son, she's been committing suicide for the better part of thirty years, but because of her Bee, it never stuck until now. Then, of course, you reassemble her Bee anyway, and the last thing you see is her soul rising from the slab it was lying on. And because this is a Repeatable Quest...
  • Etrian Odyssey V: Beyond the Myth: Adventurers with the "Sassy" voice set don't take kindly to being brought back to life.
    "Sassy" Adventurer: I didn't ask for this.
  • EverQuest gives us Dozekar the Cursed, a dragon who committed the greatest taboo in all of Dragon society— mating with a dragon of the polar opposite element. He's the father of Kerafyrm, a dragon who proved to be too physically powerful and mentally unstable as a result of his bloodline (and became a threat to Norrath's very existence after he was later freed from his own prison.) Such is the result when a Fire dragon mates with an Ice Dragon, or any other two dragons of opposing elements. As such, he is kept imprisoned in a section of the Temple of Veeshan, destined to be killed by mortal adventurers and then resurrected over and over again to suffer the same fate forever.
  • In Final Fantasy IV: The After Years, almost every boss from the previous game has been brought back to life, but only the Elemental Archfiends get any dialogue about it. None of them are pleased about it. Barbariccia and Rubicante will use their strongest attacks on themselves to assist the heroes in sending them back to their peaceful rest.
  • At the climax of League of Legends' Ruined King storyarc, the titular king manages to revive his beloved wife, Isolde. She gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, calling out all the suffering he has caused in his quest and asking why he couldn't just move on with his life. She then requests a Mercy Kill from one of the heroes. The Ruined King... doesn't take it well.
    Isolde: I loved you until my dying breath. Why wasn't that enough?

    Web Animation 

  • In Homestuck, Jade decides to second-tier prototype her kernelsprite with her dead dreamself. Said character's reaction is to freak the hell out. An explanation for why the revival was unwanted is attempted, but through all the blubbering all we really understand is that being separated from one's dead friends in the afterlife is pretty traumatic.
    • Also, the fact that due to weird time shit, Jadesprite was dead for at least a decade, quite possibly a lot longer.
  • One Storyarc in Jack has a couple who are part of a secret group studying a device intended to grant immortality, unfortunately though it has to kill you first and the wife becomes infected while studying the bioagents and dies. Her husband pressures them to use the device on her to bring her back but she proves listless and unhappy leaving her husband to think she'd been in Hell after she died. Like Buffy though she'd gone to Heaven and so missed it she suicides at the end and begs her husband to let her stay dead (Fridge Logic though she shouldn't go to Heaven since she's a suicide so should go to Hell)note .
  • The Order of the Stick:
    • Averted by Lord Shojo. Since the universe works by D&D rules, the above-described rule allowing characters to reject resurrection applies, and Shojo has good reasons to do so (his schemes have just collapsed, meaning that he would end up in prison if he returned to life, and he is an old man who wouldn't have much longer to live anyway).
    • Played with when Xykon expresses the opinion that Redcloak can just revive O'Chul if the paladin dies due to the torture being inflicted upon him. Redcloak quickly points out that O'Chul could simply refuse to come back, though O'Chul would likely have come back since he wanted to assemble a list of the spells Xykon is able to cast.
  • Our Little Adventure: Pauline is happily reunited with her family in the afterlife, so she refuses to answer the Raise Dead spell her friends have cast (against her stated wishes, no less). Zig-zagged later when she comes Back from the Dead to help save the world, knowing that her family will be there when she dies again.

    Web Original 
  • Futuro Ex-Porta: Dula, played by Julia in the finale, is furious at Jesus for ressurecting her, since she had gone to heaven.

    Western Animation 
  • An extremely cruel and disturbing version of this happens in Final Space, when it's revealed that all of the dead Garys from different timelines that Invictus has been using as its minions aren't just empty husks, but had their minds and personalities fully restored by Invictus, and then it possessed them. It did this even to the versions of Gary that died without ever knowing what Invictus was, let alone fighting it, ripping them from the afterlife and not allowing them to rest or be with their loved ones, just because it could. While one corpse gets exorcised of Invictus' control and is able to die, it's likely that it could bring him right back to be its slave again the moment it feels like it.
  • Transformers: Animated: With Prowl's master Yoketron on the verge of death, Prowl desperately places his fading spark inside one of the remaining protoforms, bringing him back to life. Yoketron is horrified at Prowl's actions, telling him that "one must never use a piece of the future to bring back the past" before his spark extinguishes.
  • Parodied on Futurama when Bender's head ends up getting left behind in 1947; the crew digs him up in the year 3000 for this exchange:
    Fry: What was it like being buried for hundreds of years?
    Bender: I was enjoying it, until you guys showed up.
  • In Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Charmcaster trades the souls of every living being in Ledgerdomain to the "great old one" in exchange for the revival of her father, Spellbinder. Spellbinder is horrified at what his daughter has done, and willingly returns to the afterlife, negating the deal and returning the souls to their bodies.
  • Over the course of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), Baxter Stockman has progressively more of his body destroyed and replaced with prosthetics. Eventually, he moves his brain into a replacement body, but it ends up falling apart after a week. When Agent Bishop brings Stockman back after that, he's mortified at being resurrected again.
    Stockman: I-I... I can't believe... I can't believe you brought me back like this. Why? Why?! Why couldn't you let me finally rest in peace?! WHHHHYYYYY?!
  • In Darkwing Duck, when Steelbeak and the rest of FOWL revive Taurus Bulba as a Cyborg, they don't get the appreciation they expected; indeed, he's very angry at them, seeing as he's now a monstrosity, along with the idea that they expected him to work for them. Still, after he sends them running for their lives, he decides to give his new body a shot, giving the good guys a really big problem.
  • Implied in Justice League Unlimited. Flash taps into so much power defeating Brainiac and Luthor that he vanishes into the Speedforce. The other heroes make contact with his lingering essence, and after Hawkgirl pleads with him to take her hand they all band together to pull him out of the Speedforce. But, looking closely reveals Hawkgirl grabbed Flash by his wrist and he didn't take her hand, implicitly because at least in the moment he wanted to stay.
    Real Life 
  • In the medical field, this trope is applied in the form of a "DNR" or "Do Not Revive" order; this is typically used for elderly or terminal patients in hospice care, and pretty much means that if they go into cardiac arrest, the attending medical staff are ordered not to perform CPR or any resuscitation procedures on them, to the point of possibly even facing civil litigation if the patient is revived anyways. Typically, such orders are requested by the patient's physician (with the patient's consent), and the written order must be present with the patient in order to be carried out—even a hint of doubt that the order is genuine or present can give the hospital cause to override the order, which is understandable given the seriousness of the matter itself.


Video Example(s):


Ice Age The Meltdown

In Ice Age The Meltdown, Scrat dies and goes to fluffy cloud squirrel heaven where he encounters an enormous golden acorn. Unfortunately, that acorn proves just as frustratingly elusive to him as all the rest, as Sid performs CPR on him and brings him back to life just as he is reaching out to touch it much to Scrat's anger who attacks Sid in a fit of rage

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / FluffyCloudHeaven

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