Follow TV Tropes

Following

That Man Is Dead / Live-Action TV

Go To

That Man Is Dead in live-action TV.


  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: After Mike Peterson has been forced to become the Centipede Group's cyborg assassin Deathlok, he's confronted by the SHIELD agents. Blake tries to reason with him that SHIELD can save him and his son, reminding him of his life as Mike Peterson. Deathlok responds with this line before nearly killing Blake.
    • Inverted with Daisy Johnson, who decided that her fake identity of Skye was dead when she learned the truth about her past.
  • Angel:
    • More often an Averted Trope than played straight with Angel; in general, you're more likely to see an emphasis on the fact that while Angel seems to be as much of a good person as any of the other characters, his dark side Angelus is always present and so is the possibility that Angelus would resurface and become dominant. Nor does Angelus have a particularly easy time getting over the unpleasant memories of his times as Angel, or going more than a few episodes without having his soul re-installed.
    • Advertisement:
    • Doyle feels this way about his old personality when he the was well-adjusted schoolteacher Allen Francis Doyle. "It's Doyle now. Just Doyle."
  • Babylon 5: An Inverted Trope which keeps the same intent: After turning away from his old life as a petty criminal to take up a new calling, "Jinxo" responds to that nickname by politely but firmly declaring, "Thomas. My name is Thomas."
  • Season 5 of The Big Bang Theory has Howard give a speech to this effect in reference to the lecherous creep he'd been for the first four seasons of the show.
    Howard: Tell her I'm really sorry. And if she doesn't want to marry me, I get it. But what I really want her to know is the guy that she is really disgusted by is the guy that I'm disgusted by, too. But, that guy doesn't exist anymore; he's gone. And the reason is because of her. So, if this relationship is over, let her know that she made me a better man, and tell her thank you.
  • Advertisement:
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Willow, after going insane and evil, says "Willow doesn't live here anymore."
  • Charmed (1998): In one episode, the Halliwell sisters are being stalked by someone; Prue thinks it's a demon, but it turns out to be Abbey, a bartender at P3 who's obsessed with taking over Prue's life. After Abbey temporarily blinds Prue, knocks her out and ties her up, they have this exchange:
    Prue: Abbey?
    Abbey: No, you're wrong! Abbey's gone forever! She's a loser and you're a winner. And now, I'm gonna be a winner too, as soon as I take care of you.
  • The Coroner: In "Perfectly Formed", Jane and Davey have worked out most of the details regarding the remains of the dead baby found in the cottage, including that the mother was Lisa Milar, and go to confront the remaining suspects. Once they learn the true circumstances of the birth and death and that Lisa Milar has undergone a sex change and is now Lee Milar, the group ask Davey what he intends to do. Davey answers "I came here to arrest Lisa Milar. There's no Lisa Milar here".
  • Advertisement:
  • Criminal Minds: In this crime drama, there is a character in one episode named Adam with split personalities. His alternate personality is named Amanda, and her job is to protect Adam. In the end of the episode though, she becomes the dominant personality in order to protect him and tells Dr. Spencer Reid that Adma's gone and he'll (Reid) have to wait a long time to get him back.
  • In The Crown (2016), Anthony Eden, Foreign Minister, protegé and political Heir to Prime Minister Winston Churchill, feels that the 79-year-old Prime Minister's growing mental feebleness is creating permanent damage to the running of the state, turns to King George VI to help him convince Churchill to retire since he A) is the only person that out-ranks the Prime Minister and B) Is one of the few people that Churchill respects.
    George VI: What do you suggest I do?
    Anthony Eden: Well, as Sovereign, of course, there is nothing you can do from a constitutional standpoint. But as a friend... as Albert Windsor, you are the one person I can think of to whom he might listen.
    George VI: ...Well, that is where we run into difficulties, I'm afraid. I no longer am Albert Windsor. That person was murdered by his elder brother... when he abdicated. And, of course, Albert Windsor would dearly love to say to his old friend, Winston Churchill, "Take a step back. Put your feet up. Let the younger generation have a go now." But he is no longer with us and that void has been filled by George VI who, it turns out, is quite the stickler, and no more allow the Sovereign to interfere with the Prime Minister than stand for Office himself.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Generally, the Time Lords that go renegade or are exiled seem to forfeit their names and take up titles instead: the Doctor, the Meddling Monk, the War Chief, the Master, the Rani, and the Corsair. Why they do this has never been explained or elaborated on. In "Midnight", when a group of paranoid passengers demand that the Tenth Doctor tell them his real name, he replies that he can't.
    • "Utopia" has this exchange after Professor Yana opens the fob-watch:
      Professor Yana: That is not my name! "The Professor" was an invention! So perfect a disguise that I forgot who I am!
      Chantho: Chan — And who are you? — Tho
      Professor Yana: I. Am. The Master!
    • In a less obvious way, the Doctor's parental side:
    • "The Eleventh Hour": "Amelia Pond hasn't lived here in a very long time."
    • The climax of "The Name of the Doctor", when the Doctor disavows the War Doctor, because of the actions he took during and at the end of the Time War.
    • Clara does this in "Death in Heaven" when confronted by the Cybermen. She's bluffing, but it certainly throws the audience, never mind the Cybermen, for a brief loop.
      Clara: You see, I’m not Clara Oswald. Clara Oswald has never existed... I'm the Doctor.
    • When faced with Clara being Killed Off for Real and trying desperately to negotiate a way out of it in "Face the Raven", the Doctor experiences a brief but terrifying Freak Out! during which he momentarily renounces his name.
      The Doctor: The Doctor is no longer here, you are stuck with me! And I will destroy you and everything you love.
  • Farscape: Happens in the episode "Die Me Dichotomy" after the neural clone completely takes over John's body. First, he refers to himself as "John Crichton" but then starts referring to John in the third person.
  • Firefly: "Objects In Space":
    River/Serenity: "I'm not on the ship. I'm in the ship. I am the ship."
    Simon: "River-"
    River: "River's gone."
    Early: "Then who exactly are we talking to?"
    River: "You're talking to Serenity. And Early? Serenity is very unhappy."
  • The Arc Villain of the third season of The Flash (2014) only refers to himself as Savitar or The Future Flash. Upon being called Barry, he screams "THAT'S NOT MY NAME!"
    • Played with in regards to Caitlin, who is eventually taken over by her Super-Powered Evil Side, Killer Frost. At first, the others decide to only refer to her as Killer Frost, believing the Caitlin they knew and loved to be dead (Well, just before Killer Frost took over she was almost dead), however, they can't help but be bothered by the fact that she was once their friend and that she might still have a good side. In the season finale, Caitlin regains some control, and seems to have fully regained it by the fourth season, though not without some difficulties.
  • Frontier Circus: In "The Shaggy Kings", Retired Gunfighter Tom Jace is living under the name Jeb Randall. Every time someone accuses him of being Jace, he replies that "Tom Jace is dead".
  • Game of Thrones: While Sandor Clegane may have survived the fight and the fall at the end of Season 4, Brienne killed "the Hound". Until the Brotherhood Without Banners unintentionally resurrected it.
    • Bran Stark also claims this, as in season 5 he tells Meera Reed that he died in the three-eyed raven's cave. While he'll still answer to Bran, he's no longer the boy he once was.
  • Gotham: The first eerie words spoken by what used to be Gerald Crane's son, who'd been locked in a closet overnight with an actual scarecrow that his damaged brain perceived as a terrifying bogeyman?
    The Scarecrow: "Jonathan Crane isn't here anymore..."
  • In the Grimm episode "Eve of Destruction", the resurrected Juliet tells Nick she's Eve now. Later, Nick tells Trouble and Adalind that he met Eve. When Adalind asks who Eve is, he replies "I have no idea." It turns out that Eve remembers everything, but she no longer considers herself the same person as Juliet. She's now colder, more decisive. In the final season, though, Eve is much more like Juliet thanks to a side effect of the stick. Despite this, both she and Nick know that what they once had is gone, and they're happy to remain good friends.
  • Heroes: Sylar becomes furious when Bennet insists on calling him "Gabriel." Inverted in "I Am Become Death", when Future-Sylar insists that Peter call him Gabriel. The name he prefers usually indicates which side of the Face–Heel Revolving Door he's currently on.
  • House: Has an example in its Grand Finale. When Wilson discovers that House faked his death and tells him the consequences of his survival coming to light, House responds by saying he's officially dead and can now pursue a new life.
  • Just Shoot Me!: When an old acquaintance of Nina's calls her by her birth name Claire, she explains that "I pushed Claire down a well and shaved eight years off her life."
  • Luke Cage (2016): A rare heroic variant: after Carl Lucas escapes from Seagate, he changes his name to Luke Cage. To show how far he's gone to disassociated himself from his past life, he says at one point "Carl Lucas died in Seagate."
  • Kamen Rider Kabuto: Tsurugi plays this trope straight to Tendou during his Face–Heel Turn. Justified Trope in the fact that the real Tsurugi was already dead, and the current Tsurugi was just a mimic.
  • The King of Queens: Played for Laughs in the episode "Wild Cards." Deacon convinces a reluctant Doug to accompany him to Atlantic City to enjoy the casinos. Once they're there, Doug ends up extremely hyped about gambling. Deacon wonders "What happened to the Doug who was saying to slow down?" to which Doug retorts "That Doug is dead!"
  • The fictionalized TV-movie biography ''Norma Jean & Marilyn" depicts Norma Jean Dougherty (Ashley Judd) and Marilyn Monroe (Mira Sorvino) as almost separate people. Marilyn even imagines backing her car right over her younger self at the moment she decides on her stage name. (Her agent responds with "Long live Marilyn Monroe" - the corollary, of course, being "Norma Jean Dougherty is dead.") When Norma Jean later returns (now as a grown woman) to haunt Marilyn, the latter is incredulous.
  • Once Upon a Time: (In which dwarves take their names from the inscriptions on their pickaxes), the dwarf Dreamy breaks his pickaxe and declares that he is now Grumpy after being forced to break up with his one, true love.
  • Power Rangers:
    • Power Rangers Dino Thunder: Tommy attempts to appeal to Zeltrax, who was once his old friend, Terrence "Smitty" Smith:
      Tommy: Smitty, stop!
      Zeltrax: Smitty's gone!
    • Power Rangers Ninja Storm: A legally-true example: By law, when a ninja is banished, they officially cease to exist. Thus, the traitor Kiya vanished, and was replaced by Lothor. Because of this, neither we nor the Rangers know he's the Sensei's brother until mid-series, since according to their laws he doesn't have one anymore.
    • In Power Rangers Dino SuperCharge, the Rangers attempt to ask Heckle, who has performed a Heel–Face Turn, to help them with dealing with a last-ditch plot to destroy the Earth. Heckle blows them off, telling them that the good Heckle disappeared when he touched the Dark Energem, but Shelby isn't convinced.
  • Revolution: Miles Matheson says this in the episode "Soul Train" in reference to his pre-catastrophe nicer self. Subverted Trope at the end of the episode he admits that he isn't dead, he just can't be him under the present circumstances.
  • On The Rookie, Bradford is thrown to find some detectives are planning to use his wife, Isabel, in an undercover job. They use Isabel's past experience as one of the best narcotics operatives on the LAPD. Bradford tries to warn them that his wife is now a massive drug addict herself and is no longer anything like the professional cop she once was. They ignore him and she ends up making a rookie mistake that blows the entire op.
  • Scandal: In "The Other Woman", Quinn comes to terms that her life as Lindsay Dwyer is over. Huck even tells her that eight people died in that bombing, not seven. In "Hunting Season", she becomes very insistent that Abby calls her Quinn, not Lindsay.
  • Skins: In Series 4 Episode 7, Effy (proper name Elizabeth), brainwashed by her counsellor, asks Cook "Eff? Who's Eff?"
  • Smallville:
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Goa'uld symbiotes, who usually operate by Symbiotic Possession, often utter their variation of the line: "nothing of the host survives." A major plot point between seasons 1 and 2 is O'Neill refusing to believe this and having a few verbal I Know You're In There Somewhere Fights with Skaara.
    • It also shows up in the second episode after Teal'c kills the Goa'uld-possessed Major Kawalsky by holding his head in the Stargate when it was shut down.
      Teal'c: He was your friend.
      O'Neill: My friend died on the table.
    • One early episode has Teal'c put on trial by the son of someone he killed in the course of his old job. He's found guilty and wants to submit to the execution, but naturally more Jaffa show up, Teal'c saves the village and so on, leading his accuser to declare he was mistaken and that Teal'c must have killed the man who murdered his father.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Dr. Julian Bashir pulls this when his mother calls him by his childhood nickname "Jules":
      Julian Bashir: It's Julian, now, mother. The boy Jules died in that hospital.
    • To clarify, Bashir had been genetically modified by his parents to be smarter after being born with a mental impairment, a decision that he had to hide for the rest of his life. In this case, he sounded regretful, but Julian was never portrayed as a bad person compared to Jules. He never goes back to his old name. Except in one of the Expanded Universe novels, in which an alien MacGuffin undoes the modification.
    • Ezri does the same thing when she is confused with Jadzia. However, in this situation, it is entirely justified, as Ezri is a different person, who happens to carry the same symbiont.
    • In "Hard Time", Chief O'Brien has the memories of being imprisoned for twenty years implanted in his mind. He can't cope with it, and when Bashir finds him he's pointing a phaser under his chin.
      O'Brien: I'm not your friend! The O'Brien that was your friend died in that cell!
    • Also happens in "Duet", although explaining how spoils the episode: Marritza, during the breakdown of his Gul Darheel deception, insists "It's Marritza who's dead! Marritza! Who was good for nothing but cowering under his bunk and weeping like a woman! Who every night covered his ears because he couldn't bear to hear the screaming for mercy of the Bajorans..." before breaking down and weeping.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
    • In the episode "The Vengeance Factor":
      Yuta: Five [Tralestas] survived the last Lornak raid. But on that day, a century ago, my life ended...and my search began.
    • In "Elementary, Dear Data", Data and Geordi are playing Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in the holodeck, and ask the computer to create an opponent capable of defeating Data. That opponent turns out to be a holographic Professor Moriarity who's aware of both being a holographic program and the Enterprise itself. He gets defeated, but when he comes back in the later episode "Ship In A Bottle", he tells Picard that because of his self-awareness, he is no longer the literary foe of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's creation.
  • Supergirl (2015):
    • Leslie Willis is given powers after a helicopter accident. When she reappears as a villain, she gives this line:
      Livewire: Leslie Willis is dead. D-E-A-D. Dead. She died in that CatCopter of yours. This is Leslie 2.0. Livewire.
    • In "The Darkest Place", the real Hank Henshaw declares that "Hank Henshaw" is dead, he is now the Cyborg Superman.
    • In the third season premiere, "Girl of Steel", Kara herself attempts this, dealing with her grief over losing Mon-El in the second season finale by throwing herself into being Supergirl full time, quitting her job at CatCo and generally distancing herself from her humanity, at one point declaring, "Kara Danvers was a mistake!". By the end of the episode she starts to reconnect to her normal life and retakes the name Kara Danvers.
  • Supernatural: After proclaiming himself a god and becoming evil, Castiel tells the Winchesters that the Castiel they knew is gone.
  • A real life instance of this occurs in the reality show Tattoo Nightmares. Jasmine gets a client with a dainty tribal tattoo on the small of his back (i.e., a "tramp stamp"). He explains that he got this tattoo "for a girl who is no longer in my life." While Jas works on his coverup, he elaborates: he is a trans man, and the "girl" no longer in his life is himself, pre-transition.
  • Wings does another humorous version, when Helen suffers a concussion and has to stay awake for an extended period of time. She starts getting loopy from sleep deprivation, and finally goes with the "Helen doesn't live here anymore" version.
  • In the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "Orphan of War", Xena and Gabrielle visit a centaur village that Xena had attacked during her Conqueror period:
    Kaleipus : Xena, destroyer of nations. You promised you’d never return.
    Xena: That Xena never will.
  • Gameof Thrones plays with this quite a bit in several side-plots. Arya's refusal to say this, leads to her rejection of the Faceless Men. Jorah Mormont says a version of this when Jon Snow offers him Longclaw, indicating that his redemption is complete (and thus his dramatic death is imminent). Notably however: while several characters literally do return from the dead, they actually don't change dramatically in terms of personality. The only character that this actually happens to is Bran. Meera Reid says exactly this about Bran, when he fails to show anything resembling gratitude for her help getting him to the Three-Eyed Raven's cave.

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report