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Playing With / Death Is Cheap

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Basic Trope: In a fictional work's universe, various mechanics make it to where dying isn't permanent and is easily fixed.

  • Straight: Alice kills Emperor Evulz for real, but his constituents resurrect him and he's back terrorizing the populace next week.
  • Exaggerated:
  • Downplayed:
    • Emperor Evulz is back from the dead, but his minions had to spend years searching for that legendary artifact needed to do so. Alice, now a Retired Badass, has to come out of retirement to take down Evulz again, hopefully for good this time, so her children don't have to deal with this years later.
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    • Not Quite Dead.
  • Justified:
  • Inverted:
    • The work is about the undead, and whenever someone gets resurrected, they're dead next time.
    • All Deaths Final
  • Subverted: That new "Emperor Evulz" was actually the Emperor's son, who began masquerading as his father to avoid the backlash that comes with an emperor dying.
  • Double Subverted: That was just the story that the Emperor gave. It really is him, but he doesn't want his possession of secret resurrection Phlebotinum to be common knowledge.
  • Parodied:
    • Emperor Evulz is offended that Alice thought he'd stay dead.
    • No one goes to anyone's funeral because they know they'll be alive the next day. If You Die, I Call Your Stuff is thrown around like "shotgun".
    • Death is quite literally cheap. As in, "pay 1 cent to come back to life, all fine with no consequences!" cheap.
  • Zig Zagged: That new "Emperor Evulz" is the previous one's son; but it's just a masquerade made up by Evulz. However, there are only so many times he can die and come back.
  • Averted: When people die, they stay dead. (All Deaths Final, Killed Off for Real)
  • Enforced:
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  • Lampshaded:
    Bob: Does anyone actually die in this series, or what?
    Carl: Only if they're mooks.
  • Invoked: The Empire begins researching resurrection technology.
  • Exploited: Since death is no more than a mild inconvenience, no one fears it or really needs to avoid it. Need to blow up an enemy Wave Motion Gun? Suicide bomb it. Got a broken leg that'll take weeks to heal? Kill yourself, and you'll pop out of a cloning tank good as new in a couple days.
    • People have set locations where they respawn, resulting in their enemies Spawn Camping or sealing off their respawn area to prevent them from returning.
  • Defied:
    • The chief scientists of The Empire, who hated Evulz and were being forced to work under him, decide not to bring him back in the hopes that a better ruler will come about.
    • People turn to God (or some being of comparable power) to bring back the dead. Said being says "no".
  • Discussed:
    "Oh no! Bob is DEAD!"
    "Ehhh, he'll be back."
  • Conversed: "This show can't seem to kill anybody off!"
  • Deconstructed:
    • A world where everyone can come back to life after death is portrayed realistically. All of history's worst monsters are around forever, and prisoners are carefully prevented from committing suicide to escape their imprisonment.
    • The unchecked population growth of such a world leads to the collapse of society from overpopulation and struggle for resources.
    • Repeated deaths result in complications, such as brain decay, leading frequently-killed characters to Take a Level in Dumbass or to go insane.
    • The repeated revivals are a sign that Death itself is dying, resulting in a world where nobody can die. Said world is bad. Really really BAD.
  • Reconstructed:
    • However, the upsides are shown as well. Grandma can come back, for instance.
    • Overpopulation problems can give rise to many willing explorers who go out and settle in unknown areas, leading to a new age of exploration.
    • The same field of magic or technology that revives people can prevent such problems with similar means.
    • The heroes and villains, despite being aware of the ease of resurrection, continue to fight anyway, because even if they can't be Killed Off for Real, at least death is a major speedbump to your enemy's plans.
    • The conflict focuses on The Empire having finally discovered a way to permanently kill someone; Cessation of Existence.
  • Played For Laughs: They Killed Kenny Again. Or the Butt-Monkey dies a painful death, only for God to send him back to suffer more, either because he's so funny for him, or because he's enough of a Jerkass to deserve it.
  • Played For Drama: A very popular, very high-powered character in a superhero team is not only used for the Worf Effect, but actually killed by the villain. "How can we ever fight Emperor Evulz without BOB?! And if he can kill BOB, what chance do we have?!" Despite being one of the publishers' biggest hits, he either stays dead for the duration of the Story Arc, or comes back as a Deus ex Machina to finish off the weakened villain during the final battle.
  • Played For horror: The resurrected have the same wounds as when they died.

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