Everybody Lives

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"Everybody lives, Rose! Just this once, everybody lives!"
The DoctorDoctor Who, "The Doctor Dances"

Some shows naturally have a bodycount in virtually every episode (if only the Monster of the Week). Sometimes, however, no-one dies at all.

This is more satisfying than a random episode of a show where nobody ever dies; it shows that, even in a world that's gray with complexities and cynicism, sometimes you really can Earn Your Happy Ending.

Needless to say, frequently doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming. Although it can also come off as very cheap and maybe with a Deus Ex Machina thrown in, especially if it's over the whole series.

Contrast Everybody's Dead, Dave, Kill'Em All, and Nobody Can Die. Not to be confused with Nobody Dies (a NGE fanfic).

As a Death Trope, all Spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.

As an Ending Trope, Spoilers ahead may be unmarked. Beware.

Examples of Everybody Lives include:

Anime and Manga

  • In Detective Conan, it is a rare day indeed when the titular hero can go somewhere without someone dying in a convoluted manner, but it is a good day indeed. Note that these are usually instances where KID is actually attempting to steal something. Not necessarily when he appears, because there was the whole incident where a magician's club was meeting and there was a murder...
    • There were also a couple of stories where Conan was able to prevent the murder before it happened. And a couple where there was no murder or crime, just a hilarious misunderstanding.
  • The TV series of Vampire Princess Miyu was a particularly bloody Dark Magical Girl show. There was only one episode which had a happy (and Les Yay) ending and in which nobody died (unless you count evil dolls). However the show seemed to feel the need to compensate for this by killing off an entire village in the next episode.
  • While not literally "everybody lives," there was a remarkably low body count in Turn a Gundam. Odd considering this is the brainchild of Yoshiyuki Tomino who has a reputation for killing his cast of like flies.
    • Gundam 00 season 2 arguably had an everybody lives ending on the side of the good guys, even Tieria's death didn't count as he gets better to return for the movies.
    • Also G Gundam, Gundam Wing and Gundam X have almost all of their main cast make it out alive at series end.
    • Crossbone Gundam only has four named deaths during its span: the Big Bad, The Dragon, The Starscream, and a Red Shirt pilot for the heroes, while the sequel The Steel 7 has several heroic characters die in the Final Battle. What's really ironic is that Tomino, the master of Kill'Em All wrote the original story and had nothing to do with the sequel.
  • My-HiME: Whether you like the ending or not, at the end EVERYBODY that died comes back to life, with the exception of the defeated Big Bad the Obsidian Lord and possibly Father Joseph.
    • The same applies to the manga, but without the resurrections
  • The second-to-last episode of Library War ended with two major characters potentially dead: one being shot multiple times in the chest, and another getting caught in a large explosion. However, in the last episode, they both make a full recovery.
  • Surprisingly happened in Macross Frontier, which up to the very end was definitely moving into Kill'Em All territory. Then along came the final episode, and know what... Everybody Lives, except for the Big Bad and all those killed beforehand. However, anyone that does die will do so in a way that few people will forget.
    • It could almost constitute a subversion of the Kill'Em All ending in this case, as it really was building up to that up until the final episode. The Big Bad was on the verge of victory, Frontier was getting Beam Spammed to death, and the three points of the Love Triangle were either terminally ill, apparently a traitor, or apparently killed as of the end of episode 24. Then we got this.
  • Two arcs in Higurashi no Naku Koro ni ends in this matter. Though the first iteration becomes subverted in the second season opener.
    • If you look closely at the ending to the first season, it's quite obvious they've died.
    • Played completely straight in the final arc of Kai.
  • In the entire Overman King Gainer series only two named characters actually die: a Smug Snake, and his boss, the finale is so into letting everyone live that not only does the guy who tried to destroy the world go home, but a guy who was last seen sinking into Lake Baikal (the deepest lake in the world) shows up just to reveal that he was alive with two characters who haven't been seen for 20 episodes. This especially noteworthy because it was created by Yoshiyuki "Kill'Em All" Tomino.
  • In Naruto, It looked like the Pain Invasion Arc was turning the series into an Anyone Can Die, but the arc ends up becoming this trope.
    • Earlier we had the Sasuke retrieval arc, where it looked liked Neji and Chouji died, complete with depressingly sad send offs and stills of their motionless bodies. They both live, Neji through force and will, and Chouji because he was fat enough that his red pill had more energy to burn than what would have killed him otherwise.
  • Franken Fran throws in a few of these to mix things up. There's slightly fewer if you don't count chapters where technically no-one dies, but someone ends up going insane or suffering A Fate Worse Than Death... and in Chapter 21, Everybody Lives is the Downer Twist Ending, as a character the reader neither wanted nor expected to make it through the chapter without dying or suffering A Fate Worse Than Death gets off scot-free.
  • Total confirmed Negima casualties by the end... zero. No dead bad guys, good guys, mooks or civilians. Not even the village that was turned to stone in the backstory. Practically the only character confirmed to be dead currently is Gateau Kagura Vanderburg, Takahata's former teacher. In fact, with the exception of Chigusa, all of the villains go out of their way to avoid civilian casualties. The only deaths are when Asuna wakes up in the future and the entire class[1] is dead. To be fair, this takes place 130 years in the future and with the exception of Negi, they all died of old age.
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha. A total of two characters are confirmed KIA during the three seasons (excluding the ones killed in flashbacks). Two more are MIA. Just to remind you, this is the show where nine-year-olds wield magic in at least the kiloton-equivalent range.
  • Despite the huge body count in RahXephon, everyone lives in the end after Ayato uses the completed RahXephon system to recreate the world.
  • At the end of Dancougar Nova, the only one who died was the Big Bad, Moon Will. Though, almost EVERYONE had a brush with death especially Aoi.
  • The Karin anime ends by killing off Karin's entire family... and then bringing them back to life. A case of Adaptation Distillation, as the manga is far more bittersweet.
    • Almost nobody liked the manga ending. Bittersweet it may have been, but it was also, on at least three levels, really really creepy. Even the writer didn't like it.
  • The early episodes of Blue Gender had such a high body count that it seemed almost unthinkable that the character of Dice, who joined Yugi and Marlene on their journey for a few episodes after every other team member had been killed. They made their shuttle to Second Earth, and Dice walked away no worse for wear.
  • In the last episode of Serial Experiments Lain Everybody who had died in the series are alive in the new reality created by Lain, where she doesn't exist.
  • The original Steel Angel Kurumi does this: as the last episode goes on, all the Steel Angels had given up their power to power a cannon to destroy the One-Winged Angel form of Kurumi, only for Nakahito to start bringing her back... when the cannon's fired, apparently killing them both. In their "afterlife", the two come to, share a True Love's Kiss, reviving them and all the Steel Angels.


  • In Dresden the main character (a British pilot), his love interest, their Jewish friend and HIS love interest, the main love interest's dad, and the love rival, ALL manage to survive the bombing of Dresden - even though some of them were in the train station that was the first place to get hit, and which was supposed to be absolutely obliterated. And the protagonist does this all with serious injuries. And he escapes back to England. However, this is subverted later when after the war, Protagonist flies back to see his true love (and, OMG, their child)... when his plane crashes. So, he is killed... in the post-script... by a voice-over.
  • Tropic Thunder - well, the director doesn't of course, but that's at the beginning. In the climactic final battle no one on the heroes' or villains' side dies despite being repeatedly caught in explosions and fighting in the midst of a storm of bullets.
  • Lampshaded in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang - "Look, I hate it too. In movies where the studio gets all paranoid about a downer ending so the guy shows up, he's magically alive on crutches, I hate that. I mean shit, why not bring them all back?"
  • The Expendables doesn't kill off any of the heroes.
  • A Work based in the Titanic disaster would be the last place to expect this trope. However, that trope is present in one of those works,in spite of it being based on the real life disaster. Two characters get a Disney Death, at the least.
  • No one in Spy Kids (not even the bad guys) die. It's a family movie, after all.
  • None of the main characters in Zombieland die during the final climax (or at any other time for that matter), which is a very, very rare thing for a zombie movie.
    • Although Bill Murray dies it is played for laughs.
  • Nobody dies in the first National Treasure film except for one mook who falls off an elevated platform. This is particularly notable considering how action-packed the movie is otherwise.
  • The Western spoof "The Hallelujah Trail" deserves some notice for lampshading its zero casualty rate, since the climax of the movie is a many-cornered shootout between the US cavalry escort of a a whiskey shipment, an armed Temperance Union wagon train, some very un-PC Native Americans and a band of thirsty hard-rock miners; the cavalry commander (Burt Lancaster) exclaimed in the battle's aftermath, "Never have so many bullets been fired by so many people in so small an area AND NOT HIT ANYBODY!" To be fair, there was a dust storm at the time, and one laggardly brave appeared to have been shot in the butt. Twice.
  • Nobody stays dead in the new Prince of Persia film, due to a Reset Button ending. Of course, this avoids being an Ass Pull due to time travel being a central plot point.
    • Well, after the reset Nizam still dies, of course. Disney movies rarely let villains live.
  • Similarily, no one stays dead in the Back to The Future films. Well, it's possible those Libyan terrorists didn't survive the van crash, so they might have died, but they could have only been injured just as easily. If Deleted Scenes count, Marshall Strickland was murdered by Buford Tannen.
  • In Tim Burton's version of Alice in Wonderland, despite having a epic battle at the end, nobody dies. Well, only The Jabberwocky.
  • In Magical Legend of the Leprechauns...let's say that the ending is a complete reversal of the source material, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
  • No one dies in Inception unless you count the protagonist's wife, who was dead before the story began. Although the Mind Screw nature of the film allows interpretations all along this line
  • No one dies in Inside Man. This is especially notable because the bank robbers are spending the entire movie making sure no one dies and that everyone thinks the hostages are in danger. This is a central part of the robbers plan since if Everybody Lives and nothing seems to be stolen from the bank, the police are unlikely to expand significant resources pursuing them in the aftermath.
  • The 1932 film The Old Dark House is a rare Horror Film where Everybody Lives.
  • Star Trek IV the Voyage Home is the only Star Trek film in which no one dies, not even a Red Shirt. This was a conscious decision on Leonard Nimoy's part, as he wanted the film to be Lighter and Softer after Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III the Search For Spock. In fact, in Nimoy's own words, "nobody is hurt in Star Trek IV as a result of hostility." Note that when Chekov is injured escaping from the naval base, it's because he falls over a ledge and not because anyone shot at him. (If you want to get really technical, however, Gillian did slap that guy.)
    • The fate of the Federation starship disabled by the Whale Probe at the beginning of the film is ambiguous, however. The vessel is drained of all power and left drifting in space, far from any hope of rescue, as the Federation has a much greater problem to deal with at that point in time.
      • The novelization does mention that the captain of that ship was able to save the ship and her crew (including herself).


  • Terry Pratchett, while writing Good Omens, insisted that nobody would die as a result of Adam the Antichrist's existence, to the point of persuading the co-author Neil Gaiman to reverse the deaths of several innocent telephone salespeople at the mandibles of an enraged demon.
  • Harry Potter is the only Harry Potter book in which no human or animal is killed, with Pettigrew escaping any possible death sentence and then Harry and Hermione going back in time to save Buckbeak (scheduled to be executed) and Sirius (scheduled to have his soul ripped out of his body). If you only count human deaths, everyone lives in Chamber of Secrets too since only the basilisk died.
  • Done in Breaking Dawn, when Bella is pregnant and everyone keeps going on about how she either has to abort the baby or the birthing will kill her. Technically her heart stops twice during the delivery, but Bella survives and has the baby, thanks to Edward turning her into a vampire immediately after the baby is born. We get it again in the last part of the book, when an army of vampires gather to fight the Voulturi, with a huge fight looking eminent. And then, they have a nice talk and everyone goes home. Well Irena dies, but most of them forget about that.
    • Pretty much the whole series, in regards to the good guys. In all four books, the only good guy who dies is Harry Clearwater in New Moon (And some guy named Waylon in the Twilight movie who wasn't in the book.) It's amazing that in Eclipse, they manage to go through a battle with absolutely no casualties.
  • In the Virgin New Adventures novel Sleepy by Kate Orman, the Doctor vows early on that this time everybody lives: "villains, innocents, everyone." And he seems to have succeeded ... until he remembers that one person was killed in an accidental fire, when he was somewhere else.

Live Action TV

  • Doctor Who, the Trope Namer, has a number of examples. For example, "The Doctor Dances", written by Steven Moffat, ends with the above quote and for bonus points the kid who got hit by a bomb and all the other gas-mask zombies get better.
    • While there is a body count in Moffat's "Silence in the Library"/"Forest of the Dead," everyone killed during the two-parter is revealed to be living in a virtual world in the Library's computer. Even Donna's nonexistent children from when she was "saved." River even uses this trope by name in her closing narration.

Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair and the Doctor comes to call... everybody lives.

    • Moffat has ascended to achieving a whole new level of Everybody Lives in "The Big Bang," seeing as everyone who had previously been erased from existence, including Amy's parents, Rory, The Doctor, and, well, the ENTIRETY OF REALITY comes out of it alive.
    • Fury from the Deep.
    • Edge of Destruction... by virtue of having no guest stars, and no companions dying for another two seasons.
    • The Doctor Who Book of Lists has, well, a list of these serials and episodes. In addition to the above, it also mentions The Celestial Toymaker, The Savages, The Mind Robber, Castrovalva (well, nobody real dies), Four To Doomsday and Snakedance.
      • Perhaps paradoxically (given the name), Terminus is one of these too. At least, there are no on screen deaths.
    • An interesting case occured with "The Curse of the Black Spot", in which the Doctor, Amy, and Rory land on a pirate ship stuck in the ocean with a crew that's being picked off one by one by a siren, who marks crew members with "the black spot" on their hand. It turns out that the seemingly evil siren was actually a computer-created doctor from a crashed spaceship which had been taking men who were hurt, even though they did not have serious injuries. All the crew are in fact perfectly fine, and she was just trying to help.
    • Subverted in "The Waters of Mars", when the Doctor proudly proclaims this line before breaking the laws of time to rescue the crew of the Mars base, only to realize Adelaide committed suicide upon returning to Earth.
    • Add "Night Terrors" to the list.
    • The 2011 Chrismtas special, "The Doctor, The Widow, and the Wardrobe" also pulled one of these.
      • Also with bonus points for the father and at least two crew of his bomber that turned out to be not so much "lost and presumed dead," as "took a detour through the Vortex."
  • Being monster hunters, the boys from Supernatural don't usually find out about a hunt unless someone has died already. But in one episode, "Home," the brothers go to the site before anyone dies, since Sam had a vision, making it the only Everybody Lives episode so far.
    • A guy does get his arm ground up in a garbage disposal, though.
      • The Supernatural season finale for season six is the first in which no main cast member has died (although Castiel did kill Raphael).
  • Life On Mars has the one with Reg Cole taking people hostage and threatening to kill someone at 2:00. As Sam says, "Nobody dies today."
  • The Unit with "Natural Selection." Mind you, much of said episode is a Flash Back to Bob Brown's selection process and the plot involves no combat at all.
  • Murder, She Wrote had a Christmas episode in which the intended victim survived.
    • There was also the episode with the All Just a Dream ending, so after Jess returns to reality we see the "murder victim" alive and well.
  • Be very wary when Law and Order does this - if the Victim of the Week is still standing at the start of the trial segment, as a rule, the assailant will plead out and he'll be the one on trial for whatever made people try to kill him.
    • Although the Season 16 episode "Red Ball" is a very, very rare straight example. A little girl is kidnapped, the cops catch the guy who did it but he won't tell them where the girl is (or even if she's still alive). He ends up trying to game to system, saying he'll only tell the police and prosecutors where the girl is if he's given a free pass with no prison time whatsoever - after much arguing and agonizing, Jack McCoy defies his superiors and grants the kidnapper the deal, more or less guaranteeing he'll be fired. The girl is found safe and well, the Judge presiding over the case overrules the deal McCoy gave the kidnappers and sentences him to a fair bit of prison time, and as the final kicker, Arthur Branch doesn't even fire Jack. Everybody wins (except the bad guy of course).
    • Another rare straight example is the Series Finale. The detectives come across a website of someone boasting they're going to shoot up and blow up a school while showing off enough ammo and explosives to make their threat credible. The scramble is to try to find the perp before he can carry out his boast. In the end, a school shooting does occur, but the shooter is overpowered before he can kill anybody. Also, at her retirement party, Van Buren learns that her cancer tests have come back negative, and happily introduces everybody to her fiancee.
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki, whose main premise was There Can Be Only One, ends with Len/Knight as the last remaining Rider after everyone else has been killed off. However, the master of the Rider War isn't too happy with this outcome (since his proxy Odin wasn't the winner) and attempts to start things over by rewinding time. However, Yui finally convinces him that no matter how many times the Rider War is run, she will never accept a new life from him if it's at the cost of thirteen others. So this time when he rewinds everything, he stays in the Mirror World with Yui and never starts the Rider War in the first place. Thus, Everybody Lives. Bravo, Yasuko Kobayashi.
    • Save Scissors, who is still very much dead. He was a corrupt bastard so we will let it slide
  • Surprisingly, even CSI has done one of these - in "You Kill Me," all the murders took place in the Lab Rats' (and Grissom's) imaginations.
  • Subverted in Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Help." Cassie knows by precognition when she will die. Buffy rescues her from cult sacrifice. Cassie then dies at the appointed time from a hereditary heart defect that her mother hadn't mentioned to her.
    • Unless you count the vampire who died off-screen and was turned, there are no deaths in "The Body." Kind of ironic, considering the subject of the episode.
    • A notable Buffy episode for this would be 6x22, "Grave"; it is the ONLY season finale Big Bad battle where mass deaths do not ensue. Despite Willow's superpowered evil rampage to finish off the Trio, which culminated with Buffy and Dawn trapped underground fighting earth elementals, Giles slowly dying, and Xander standing in front of a supremely tweaked-off Dark Willow zapping him with dark magic as she tries to blow up the world, everyone (including the generic Sunnydale redshirts) makes it out alive.
  • All of two characters die in Kamen Rider Den-O, mostly due to its Lighter and Softer tone and the fact that the Timey-Wimey Ball allows victims of the Monster of the Week to come back as long as somebody remembers them. One of the dead characters isn't remembered, but will come back once the person who does comes out of his coma, and the other is Kai, the Big Bad. The older Sakurai disappears in the final episode, but it's implied that he'll come back somehow.
  • In the Volume 5: Redemption season finale of Heroes, the Heroes manage to stop Samuel's plot to destroy New York City without causing or allowing a single death. Thanks to Big Bad Samuel's many Kick the Dog moments throughout the season, his right-hand men and other followers are all convinced to turn against him without a fight, rendering the previously all-powerful Big Bad into a powerless sap to be dragged off by the cops. Meanwhile, Sylar stay true to his redemption and incapacitates Doyle without killing him in order to save Emma. This is pretty noteworthy considering the show's tendency to purge all its secondary characters at the end of each Volume, typically with a massive Sylar-centric bloodbath.
  • On Cold Case, one presumed murder victim was found still alive, having suffered amnesia from her injuries and begun a new life in a neighboring state. The closing scene, where the cardboard box holding her case's evidence is folded up and discarded rather than re-labeled, could be the supreme visual embodiment of this trope.
  • In the Greys Anatomy episode "Disarm," A local college is hit by a school shooter, causing a massive influx of trauma patients. At the end of the episode, Chief Webber comments that of the 26 people shot, including the shooter, no one died. Nervous laughter from the assembled staff lampshades the unlikeliness of this 100% success rate.
  • Criminal Minds. Especially notable since the show is about serial killers.
    • "Tablua Rasa" focused solely on the trial of a serial killer who had woken up from a four year coma. Amazingly, even when he escapes no one new dies (the girl they think he's taken turns out to be the corpse of his first victim, which he ran to find once his memory came back).
    • The episode "Seven Seconds" had no new deaths either. It was about a girl who went missing in a shopping mall and the only reason the BAU was called in was that they orginially thought it was connected to a previous death of a child under the same circumstances.
  • In the season 6 premiere of Bones, Booth, dissatisfied with the Everybody's Dead Dave nature of their work, forces his own Everybody Lives by finding a victim alive.
  • Smallville usually featured some deaths in most episodes, but thanks to Clark's Thou Shalt Not Kill policy, there's actually a fairly substantial minority of episodes, on average about 7 per season for 10 seasons, where Clark managed to save the day for everybody. So in about 70 episodes, nobody dies and Everybody Lives.
  • For a crime drama, Veronica Mars has a surprisingly low amount of deaths, especially in the first season where there is only one death in the whole season: Logan's mother. More people started to die in later shows but not only the level Law and Order, Pushing Daisies, or Criminal Minds.
  • No one died in the Psych episode "Shawn and the Real Girl", though there were a few attempted murders.
  • NCIS usually has a Body of the Week. So it was surprising when nobody died in the season two premire "See No Evil".
  • Merlin fans were surprised when the series three finale ended with no casualities on either side (except nameless, faceless mooks), particularly since one of the characters made a point of saying: "there'll be casualties." However, it was subverted at the start of the next series, in which three major characters are killed as a direct result of the events that occured in the third series finale.
  • Monk has two episodes where with no murder or death involved: "Mr. Monk and the Missing Granny", which turns out to actually be a robbery, and "Mr. Monk and the Kid," which initially looks like a murder but later turns out to be a kidnapping.


  • Ice Cube's 'It Was a Good Day' is the musical equivalent of this trope, considering the usual subject matter of his songs. "Plus nobody I know got killed in South Central L.A./Today was a good day."
  • Nickelback's "If Everyone Cared" is about wanting this but also states there are a lot of conditions that must be met for it to happen.

Video Games

  • Persona 4 had a happy ending and all the party members came out alive. Three random characters died, but they're just random NPCs who get about a minute of screentime which is used to establish them as Asshole Victims.
  • This is one of the endings from the third game of the series Splatterhouse.
  • The Golden Ending of Mass Effect 2 has this as the result of the much vaunted Suicide Mission. Only if you fully upgrade the ship, gain the whole squad's loyalty, enter the final mission as soon as the crew is kidnapped, assign the mission duties perfectly, and perform the mission itself quickly. This is one happy ending you will have to earn.
    • Mass Effect 3 inverts this. You can't save everyone. Either Mordin or Wrex will die, either during or before the game. Thane will die if he's still alive for 3; if he isn't, Kirrahe will die. Anderson will die too. Legion will "die" or be simply destroyed no matter what happens. In addition, any or all of the previous game's squadmates can die, along with Tali.
  • At the end of Final Fantasy X-2, one of the protagonists details his plan to sacrifice his own life, and possibly that of a close comrade, to take out the Big Bad. At that point, Yuna decides to voice her honest opinion:

Yuna: "I don't like your plan. It sucks."

    • She then goes on to explain that she's sick of winning through Heroic Sacrifice, and that this time nobody is going to die.
    • Of course, that's because the last third or so of Final Fantasy X, of which X-2 is a sequel, was devoted to help Yuna save the world without preforming Heroic Sacrifice, and ended up with two people willingly doing something they know will kill them (Tidus helps destroy the Fayths who keep him alive, and Auron vanishes in the Sending of said Fayths. She was reasonably annoyed at the idea of another such sacrifice.
  • Done on a smaller scale in mission three of Ace Combat 5 The Unsung War, where, after you defeat the enemies and make your way back to base, Chopper starts counting the planes, then counts them again, and ecstatically proclaims that he sees three aircraft in the air, i.e. just as many as were sent on the mission. Given that every time the Wardog Squadron took off before that, they always returned in smaller numbers, his joy is understandable. Ironically, he would be the last Wardog pilot to be killed in action half a game later.
  • Somewhat unusual for a Tales game, the ending to Tales of Vesperia not only finds the whole party alive and well, but the final boss too.
  • Sissel's mission, in each chapter of Ghost Trick, is to make sure the dead person in every chapter lives this time around. At the end he reverses time to ten years ago and saves Yomiel from the meteorite, erasing the horrible effects to him and those he hurt in his attempt at revenge. Everyone lives...including Yomiel and Kamila's mother, who were dead before the game even started.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, most of the big quests require hard choices. The Dalish? At the very least, a whole bunch of werewolves (who may be innocent) Zathrian, and Witherfang/The Lady Of The Forest are going to die, even if you decide to spare the ones left when you get to the Gatekeeper. The Circle Tower? Even if you dedicate yourself to saving the mages, only Irving and a handful of other mages survive the carnage. Orzammar? All your powers of persuasion can't convince Bhelen to spare Harrowmont, or talk him down from initiating a brawl in the Assembly Chamber if you chose Harrowmont. But Redcliffe, now, Redcliffe... You can motivate people into defending their hometown from a horde of undead when they thought they were too cowardly. You can ensure that everyone still kicking when you first arrive in town survives the battle. You can save a mother who was willing to sacrifice herself to save her demon-possessed son, save her son by entering a battle in the center of his mind, and then cure the husband and father of the poison he was afflicted by. Just once, and for now, Everybody Lives.
    • Also, in the endgame, it may be possible to avoid making a Heroic Sacrifice, depending on the choices you've made, by having a male Warden, Alistair, or Loghain conceive a child with Morrigan who will serve as a vessel for the untainted soul of the Old God of Beauty who became the Archdemon.
  • Nine Hours Nine Persons Nine Doors: Play your cards right, and everyone'll make it out alive (save the 9th Man, but he bites the dust before the player even has a dialogue choice.)
    • In fact, that's the "true" ending of the game, which Akane was aiming for.
    • Some people don't see this as a good thing as this includes the Chessmaster who arranged the entire harrowing incident to save their own skin, and the Complete Monster who drove them to it.
  • It is possible to invoke this trope in the RuneScape quest "The Firemaker's Curse" and save all but the fist victim, whose death is unavoidable. Even the antagonist of the story survives, despite the Boss Fight.


  • Subverted in the Zebra Girl Story Arc "The Magi-Net." After Jack defeats Harold DuVase, the mages whom he had devoured reappear—but in the next strip, they reveal that they're only there to say goodbye before they go "where souls're meant to be in the end," much to Jack's surprise.

Western Animation

  • In the holiday episode for the first season of South Park, Kenny does not, in fact, perish in the usual way - whereas the creators had gone to great lengths to ensure his demise in every other one up to that point (subverting, as one reviewed put it "a time honored tradition that has been around for about ten weeks"). Kenny himself seems aware of this, as he lets out a triumphant "Woo hoo!" when the episode ends.
    • To really hammer it home, the episode has several instances where Kenny looks like he's going to die, such has having to change a broken lightbulb, and adjusting the lights over a tank full of sharks.
    • The episode even lampshades this at the end, by having the characters remark 'Aren't we forgetting something?', with a meaningful close-up on Kenny (as if he was about to get killed once again), before the 'THE END' pops up.
    • And they keep rolling with audience expectations by invoking The Stinger... which has nothing do with Kenny.
    • A later episode has Kenny and a new girl fall in love. When his inevitable death occurs, she runs over to him and screams,"SOMEBODY HELP HIM!" To which Stan and Kyle reply "help....him?" All this time it had never even occurred to them to try and do something to prevent Kenny from dying. The girl gives Kenny CPR, and the episode ends with him alive and well.
      • And eventually the writers dropped the whole Kenny-dies-every-week gag altogether, making this trope fairly common in later seasons (although lots of other people are liable to die in any given episode.)
    • Kenny dies of course in the original version of Cartman Gets an Anal Probe, but in the end appears just fine, which leaves the four main kids alive and happy. Especially Cartman.
  • Someone actually made an animated rip-off of Titanic called The Legend of the Titanic... no, actually this was a rip-off of another animated rip-off. Anywho, in this version, everybody is saved by talking whales and a talking octopus, as gratitude for stopping the plot of an evil whaling magnate. andyes, It Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.

Real Life

  • Ernest Shackleton's crew on the Endurance Ernest Shackleton's ship Endurance became trapped in pack ice in Antarctica in 1914 and sank, but all crew returned to England after a long and risky rescue process. (However, three of the crew of the Aurora which had travelled to the opposite side of Antartica were lost).
    • For those unfamiliar with the expedition, long and risky doesn't even begin to cover it. They lived on the Antarctic ice for six months while waiting for it to melt enough to try to reach the nearest land (800 miles away) in a row-boat. Frankly it would have been a miracle if any of them had survived, let alone every single man.
  • Apollo 13 suffered an oxygen tank rupture 300,000 km from Earth on April 14, 1970, and in returning to Earth had to travel around the Moon more than 400,000 km from Earth before the three astronauts' safe return. The movie Apollo 13 was based on this event. The documentary In The Shadow of the Moon includes some comments from Commander Lovell about this mission.
  • British Airways Flight 9 had all four engines stall due to volcanic ash before being restarted. The plane made a successful instrument landing at Jakarta on June 24, 1982 after the ash had reduced visibility through the cockpit windows.
  • TACA Flight 110 had both engines lose power during a thunderstorm but landed with only minor injuries to those on board near its destination of New Orleans on May 24, 1988.
  • British Airways Flight 5390 involved the blow-out of a cockpit windscreen with pilot Tim Lancaster left half outside the plane at 17300 feet altitude on June 10, 1990. After a successful landing and recovery, Tim Lancaster was back at work flying.
  • Scandinavian Airlines Flight 751 made an emergency landing near Vängsjöbergs säteri in Gottröra, Uppland, Sweden on December 27, 1991 after both engines lost power.
  • Hapag-Lloyd Flight 3378 ran out of fuel and landed 500 metres short of the runway at Vienna airport on July 12, 2000.
  • Air France Flight 358 involved an Airbus A340 wide body jetliner that ran off the end of the runway at Toronto Pearson International Airport and caught fire on August 2, 2005. These sorts of accidents involving planes catching fire had always been deadly affairs even when the aircraft had either landed successfully or failed leave the ground. A combination of toxic smoke in a cramped enclosed space and poor human factors engineering had always conspired to make getting out of a burning aircraft a dicey proposition. However in the case of Flight 358 better designs and emergency techniques allowed the 309 passengers and crew to evacuate from the burning jet in under a minute without a single fatality.
  • British Airways Flight 38 lost power to both engines and landed just short of the runway at Heathrow airport on January 17, 2008.
  • Two more Canadian examples: Air Canada Flight 143 (in 1983) and Air Transat Flight 236 (in 2001), both of which ran out of fuel in mid-flight (in the former case, due to Unit Confusion between Imperial and Metric), and were brought safely to the ground as enormous gliders, thanks to remarkable derring-do on the part of their crews, the first at a disused airbase in Gimli, Manitoba, the second in the Azores.
  • The Miracle on the Hudson, aka US Airways Flight 1549, made a successful water landing on the Hudson River on January 15, 2009 after losing all power following a double bird strike shortly after takeoff. Hero pilot Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger executed the near perfect landing and all 155 persons on board were evacuated safely onto arriving boats despite the freezing temperatures. The birds do not count.
  • The 2010 Copiapó mining accident in the Atacama desert in Chile. 33 men are trapped 700 meters underground for two months. All are successfully rescued. With a Rube Goldberg Device invented specifically for the purpose. Yeah!
  • The 7.1 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch, New Zealand, on September 4, 2010. It's a miracle that no one was killed by it!
    • This was tragically subverted - another earthquake stuck Christchurch again on February the next year. This killed 181 people, despite only being a 6.3 magnitude earthquake, because buildings that were already damaged by the September earthquake and its aftershocks collapsed on top of people. It was New Zealand's second deadliest natural disaster in history.
    • Furthermore, the first earthquake struck at about four in the morning, when everyone was at home in bed. The second one struck in the afternoon, when people were out and about in the city.
  • The Talladega Prison Rescue. Prisoners tooks over the prison, and took hostages. The FBI responded by calling up the HRT and SWAT teams, who then stormed the building. The death toll of the raid was... zero. Not one hostage, FBI Agent, or prisoner was killed.
  • On April 13, 2012 El Salvador celebrated its first homocide-free day in nearly three years, due to a recent truce called by rival gangs Mara Salvatrucha and Mara 18. In the last three years, the average was 12 murders per day, reaching as high as 18. News articles even showed jailed members of the gangs giving thanks for the respite.
  1. Sans Eva and Chao