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Playing With / Came Back Wrong

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Basic Trope: Someone is brought Back from the Dead ... but there's something wrong with them.

  • Straight: Mary died. John manages to bring her back to life ... only to find that she's not quite the girl he remembers.
  • Exaggerated: Mary comes back as a mostly Soulless Shell, with only a tiny fragment of her Damaged Soul remaining, gradually becoming an Inhuman Human before transforming into a full-out Monster from Beyond the Veil.
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  • Downplayed: Mary dies but is revived by John. She's okay for the most part, only now she's got these weird cravings for brains and/or blood.
  • Justified:
    • John botched the ritual.
    • Because bringing them back from the dead goes against the very nature of things, no one can return as normal.
    • Mary has some brain damage from lack of oxygen before the Emergency Transformation. Her personality is thus radically different and she ends up "off".
    • Mary was brought back in the same body she died in, with nothing being done to fix said body after her death, which, since a dead body not only lacks the ability to heal, but inevitably begins to decompose,note  means Mary is forced back into a body that's in no shape to support life, which is agonizing at best.
  • Inverted:
    • Mary was deeply disturbed before her death, but becomes more 'normal' and healthier after being brought back.
    • Mary returns, good as new. Contact with the unearthly forces he had to harness to perform the resurrection caused John to Go Mad from the Revelation or become a victim of Demonic Possession, however ... and having been effectively Unpersoned due to her death, Mary has nowhere to turn for help.
    • Mary Came Back Strong and is now something more than what she was before her death and resurrection.
  • Subverted:
    • John and Mary's friends were afraid something would go horribly wrong with his attempts to bring her back, but she seems to have come through it just fine.
    • Alternatively, Mary's body doesn't quite come back right, but her mind and soul remain unaffected, and she's still the same person she was before after taking a bit to adjust to her new circumstances.
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  • Double Subverted: ...But her 'good' condition soon deteriorates, getting worse and worse.
  • Parodied: Post-resurrection, Mary has become a cackling, Obviously Evil Vamp running around wreaking havoc ... and John doesn't see anything wrong with her or her new 'hobbies', explaining everything away with increasingly inane excuses.
  • Zig-Zagged: After the worry and the deterioration, we find out that was just Mary messing with them. Which was out of character ... and a symptom of her coming back wrong. However, it turns out she is just using the resurrection as an excuse to reinvent herself.
  • Averted:
    • No one is brought back from the dead.
    • Everyone who is revived is revived with no major change in demeanor.
  • Enforced: "We need to show why they can't just revive everyone."
  • Lampshaded: "Told you Mary wasn't going to be the same."
  • Invoked:
    • When Mary was killed, the murderer laid a curse upon her to screw with any resurrection attempts.
    • While Alice was alive, Carol hated her, and even now that Alice is dead, Carol can't let it go. So she forces Alice back to life, and she uses the most traumatic method she can find to do it.
  • Exploited: Mephistopheles uses this for a two-for-one special. Bob sold his soul to resurrect Alice. He knows she'll come back deeply scarred and will likely make a deal herself to get revenge on Bob.
  • Defied: John refuses to bring Mary back — or, rather, to use any method of bringing her back with even the slightest chance of having some negative effect on her.
  • Discussed: "That won't work. You can't just undo death like that without consequences."
  • Conversed: "Oh, now I get why they don't just resurrect everyone who dies..."
  • Implied: The audience doesn't see the revived Mary (even if they should), but John asks himself, "My God, What Have I Done?"
  • Deconstructed: Mary comes back from the dead "wrong," but becomes attached to living as this "wrong" self she has become because it is infinitely preferable to being dead. She resists any attempts to change her back or end her life "to set things right again." This causes a schism amongst her friends and family between those who wish for her to remain "wrong" because she has chosen to be that way and those who wish for her to die again because her state causes them great sorrow.
  • Reconstructed:
    • Her "wrongness" further corrodes because she's a resurrected person to the point where she becomes too "wrong" for her to have an opinion about her own state of being. All agree that her resurrection has corrupted her irredeemably.
    • Her friends and family eventually decide that her presence, however imperfect, is preferable to her absence.
    • She becomes more like a different person than like "Mary." Through this, she assumes a different identity entirely.
  • Plotted a Good Waste:
    • Mary was brought back wrong because, deep down, John doesn't want her back. The fact that he has to face this starts up the next arc.
    • John misperformed the ceremony, and now has to go on an epic quest to set it right.
  • Played for Laughs: Mary used to be a natural blonde — now she's a brunette. Much to her horror.
  • Played for Drama:
    • A demon piggybacked on Mary's resurrection to get into the mortal realm, and is hijacking her body while working to weaken the veil between worlds and usher in a new age of terror, while holding what remains of her soul as a bit of blackmail against poor John.
    • Mary becomes a victim of Fantastic Racism now that she is an undead shadow of herself.
  • Played for Horror: Mary has come back as an outright Eldritch Abomination.

You could try to bring back Came Back Wrong, but it's probably a better idea just to let it go.

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