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They Killed Kenny Again / Live-Action TV

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  • This is Agent Coulson's self-described superpower as of Season Seven of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. It started when he was killed in The Avengers (2012) and resurrected in the series premiere. Then he died for real at the end of Season Five, only for an Identical Stranger to show up for Season Six. And in Season Seven, the team needed his knowledge so Simmons built a robot duplicate. This is the point when Coulson started lampshading his repeated returns, and even made a Heroic Sacrifice mid-season expecting to be able to come back somehow — and he was right; being robotic meant he was capable of Brain Uploading to one of the nearby computers.
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  • A lot of episodes of Bottom have the two main characters Richie and Eddie suffer violent demises right before the episode comes to an end (ranging from getting their skulls crushed by a man named "Skullcrusher" Henderson to falling from the top of a Ferris wheel), yet the next episode shows them alive as if the previous events didn't take place. This trope even extended to the live stage shows, where the first three performances ended with the two characters electrocuting themselves to get out of a debt, getting blown up by a bomb and getting blown up by an atomic bomb.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Buffybot is horribly mangled in all her appearances.
  • It's been removed now for being too interesting, but at one point the Wikipedia page on Charmed (1998) had a tally of how many times the sisters had died. They were all in double figures.
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  • Don Ramón in El Chavo del ocho finishes most of the episodes gravely harm whether beaten-up courtesy of Doña Florinda to the point that he ends unconscious or in the need of paramedics, or in some other inescapable trap from Doña Florinda like being enclosed in a wooden box or a sack. At least in one episode he was lynched by his neighbors due to the episode's shenanigans backfiring on him.
  • Dans une galaxie près de chez vous has the android Serge who dies repeatedly over the course of the televisions series and multiple times over the course of the movies. His destruction is always Played for Laughs and his appearance looks a little more robotic every time he's rebuilt as his creator lacks access to replacement parts and has to improvise.
    • This happens no less than 18 times over the course of three seasons and two movies.
  • Dinosaurs had a Show Within a Show called Ask Mr. Lizard. The young volunteer, Timmy, would die as a result of the science experiment every episode, prompting Mr. Lizard to spout his much anticipated Catchphrase, "We're gonna need another Timmy!"
  • Doctor Who:
    • Jack Harkness gets killed numerous times, but his status as a living fixed point in time renders him immortal, so he just springs back to life after a few minutes.
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    • The most frequent example is Rory Williams-Pond. First, he was killed, then he was erased from existence, then he came back as a plastic duplicate, then that timeline was erased from existence, and then he died again, and then he killed himself (but knew he'd get better — long story), and after that he died (presumably) of old age. The final total, including deaths in dreams, was NINE TIMES.
      Amy: You think you'll just come back to life?!
      Rory: When don't I?
    • Clara Oswald is shown dying at least four times: two were "echoes" of the original Clara scattered through the Universe to protect the Doctor, one was an alternate timeline, and one was the original, Killed Off for Real. She does sort of live on as a Paradox Person, thanks to the Doctor abusing some Time Lord technology, but she must eventually reverse said paradox to prevent the Universe from falling apart.
    • A rather infamous example is the Doctor's arch nemesis, the Master. He was always frequently returning after meeting seemingly impossible-to-escape demises. This was somewhat easy to Hand Wave away at first, but became flanderized to the point of absurdity in the 1980s episodes.
    • Davros (the creator of the Daleks) has this happen a lot too, "dying" in most of his appearances.
  • Eureka:
    • In "Welcome Back Carter", the new robotic sheriff Andy is crushed multiple times, but Fargo always seems to be able to fix him, though with varying malfunctions occasionally popping up. He comes back as Jack's new deputy in season 4, and goes in for repairs a lot.
    • While not technically a character, Jack's jeep should certainly qualify, considering that it once took him to task for its repeated destruction.
  • Larry Duff from Father Ted. Whenever Ted calls his mobile, he's in the middle of doing something from which he really doesn't want to be distracted. The resulting accidents are never shown to be fatal, but he probably qualifies for the trope anyway.
  • At least six episodes of The Goodies end with the three heroes dead, only to return unharmed the next episode without any explanation.
  • Expect any recurring immortal in Highlander to die and come back to life several times. Unless the death involves decapitation, it's only an inconvenience to them.
  • Some episodes of Kure Kure Takora end with the titular character suffering a Karmic Death.
  • As fitting for a show about time travel, Legends of Tomorrow is able to reverse the deaths of various crew members quite often. The leader in this regard is Sara Lance, who's "died" 13 times as of the end of Season 5.
  • In The Middleman there are the various Interrodroids, and to some extent Ida.
  • On Misfits, after Nathan's power is revealed to be immortality, he begins to die frequently in a variety of gruesome (and often comedic) ways.
  • Beaker in The Muppet Show would be killed or at least gravely injured by Bunsen's experiments. In the original show Bunsen's action were always accidental (albeit in many cases reckless) and never intentionally harm Beaker, and even worries for him and tries to amend the damage. The Darker and Edgier series The Muppets on the other hand does shows Bunsen intentionally harming Beaker.
  • Spoofed, along with the Red Shirt, in an episode of My Best Friend Is An Alien, in which the combination of Fan Dumb and VR results in the school being turned temporarily into an episode of Tarbox Moon Warriors (an in-universe show everyone except the main character hates). Said main character comments that "the ensign in the orange shirt" is killed every episode.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • TV's Frank gets killed in a large number of episodes, like getting stabbed through the head with a Thighmaster in "Being From Another Planet".
    • Tom Servo occasionally gets blown up or destroyed, only to inexplicably reappear later on. It's eventually revealed he has thousands of replacements of himself.
  • The Perils of Penelope Pitstop game show does this as H.C. would sometimes kill Penelope, but the show brings her back to life for each new show.
  • The henchman called "The Cleaner" in Primeval. It turns out that he's actually a bunch of clones.
  • Happens to Nich Richardson on The Roast quite a bit, especially in the segment "What's Killing Us This Week?"
  • Saturday Night Live:
    • Mr. Bill is an early TV example.
    • A later example on SNL is Bobby Moynihan's "Ass Dan" character, who has been declared dead in 2009, but has come back (and died again) in 2010 (twice), 2011 (twice) and once in 2012.
    • The original MacGruber shorts all end with the team failing to disarm the bomb and the building they're in blowing up. Despite this, the shorts in each episode refer back to one another, and dialogue suggests that they see the bombs as threats to the buildings rather than themselves. Don't ask how.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Daniel Jackson dies a lot. The Other Wiki used to have a list, in fact. Depending on whether or not you count androids, alternate realities, and virtual reality simulations, he's over 20. Even disallowing every single time he didn't actually die, he still died at least four times. That might not sound like a lot for this page until you consider that in-universe, he's just a Badass Bookworm with no actual special abilities. It's not that he's a Sufficiently Advanced Alien, he just keeps on being saved at the last minute or seeing duplicates of himself get killed. After the second time he died (ironically, one of the times he wasn't really dead), his friends basically gave up on even giving him a funeral. Eventually it did become a Running Gag that some of the other characters (Jack) just stopped buying it whenever someone claimed that "They killed Danny!"
      [SG-13 finds the ruins of an Ancient city]
      Dr. Balinsky: Dr. Jackson's gonna die when he sees this!
      Col. Dixon: What, again?
      Dr. Balinsky: Funny.
    • Charles Kawalsky dies a fair bit too, but is never actually resurrected. Originally died in the 3rd episode, then an alternate reality in episode 20, then from another reality in season 6-06, and finally in an alternate timeline in 8-20. Really, any time he meets people from earth prime, it's gonna be a bad day. He died in the book continuation of the movie too, but that's Loose Canon and not tied to the series timeline.
    • In Season 9 recurring villain Ba'al cloned himself several times, allowing him to be killed at least once in every episode of the last couple seasons where he made an appearance.
  • Star Trek: Voyager:
    • Not necessarily a Running Gag or any sort of comedic effect, but Ensign Kim seems to fit for this. Basically put, he's the series' designated Red Shirt and any time he and one other person are on an away mission, you can almost guarantee that Kim is going to bite the big one... again. Of course, he comes back rather easily with all the various temporal stuff, cloning, alternate dimensions, and just damn good medical stuff.
    • Likewise, the Vorta (especially Weyoun) fill this role in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, being repeatedly cloned. When the character is first introduced in the series at the end of the fourth season, he is subsequently established as Weyoun 4, with Weyoun 5 appearing mid-way through the fifth season. He is killed offscreen early in the seventh season, resulting in Weyoun 7 being activated to capture the defecting Weyoun 6, with Weyoun 7 being killed by Worf and Weyoun 8 dying in the final confrontation.
      Female Changeling: I wish you hadn't done that. That was Weyoun's last clone.
      Garak: I was hoping you would say that.
  • A Season Five episode of Supernatural actually opens with a montage of scenes from previous episodes where Sam and Dean "died," along with Bobby Singer snarking "how many times have you two died?"
    • The Trickster/Gabriel creates an in-universe example of this in "Mystery Spot" when he traps Sam in a "Groundhog Day" Loop, and Dean dies in a new way each loop.
  • One of the few times it's played for drama is Pygmon from the Ultra Series. Everytime the little guy shows up, he gets killed or at least severely injured. While in universe this is played for the drama and can be a Tear Jerker, he's earned the reputation in the fandom as the Kenny of Kaiju due to this.
    • Due to the fact that popular Ultra Kaiju tend to reappear a lot in later installments, every iconic foe of the Ultras has died at least a few times.
  • Kennedy Smith and Allan Kriegman, the feuding retired secret agents and lead characters of The War Next Door, are prime examples of this trope. At least one of them dies at the end of every episode.
  • For completeness, the Groundhog Day episode of Xena: Warrior Princess should be listed, although technically she killed poor Joxer only once on screen. Although any further recycled death not mentioned is pure speculation, anyone who knows Joxer wouldn't be surprised if that had happened indeed.
  • The Young Ones ended several episodes by killing off all four of the lads, and Neil died once in addition to that. Subverted with Vyvyan, who suffered injuries a few times that would've been fatal for anyone else, but shrugged them off.
  • The short-lived nineties sketch comedy The Edge did this to their entire cast ever week in the cold open, no matter how much they tried to avoid it.


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