Never Say "Die"

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    Certain concepts considered "too sensitive" are only ever referred to by euphemisms.

    The most common example is euphemisms for death in children's shows, even in cases where a character is killed, and they are rendered dead, the script will never use those two words. Almost always, the writers don't even get very creative with poetic descriptions, and will apply basic synonyms of "destroyed" to living things that we usually associate with inanimate objects, or have the characters unable to finish their sentences ("Is he...?"). Hell is also constantly neutered; when the plot absolutely needs something similar, they often resort to calling them "Nether-something" (of course, except for the Netherlands, aka Holland).

    Another frequent method is to hastily add dialogue that suggests the people we've just indirectly seen killed didn't really die—e.g. showing a city being destroyed, and having a character note: "Good thing everyone in that city evacuated at the last minute!"

    Sex and certain bodily functions also receive this treatment, especially in shows from the earliest years of television. For example, in I Love Lucy, Lucy was never referred to as "pregnant" despite her condition being the focus of more than a few episodes, and the two were never shown in the same bed together, despite being a married couple.

    For one reason or another, children's shows also shy away from using "God." Whenever religion comes into play, it is generally replaced with something along the lines of "the big guy". This one also has its roots in ancient tradition: in Judaism, it is considered blasphemous to use any of God's various actual names except in specific prayers, so His titles ("God" is considered a title; also "the Lord", "the Name", etc) are used instead, and over time even these have become somewhat taboo, to the point where very observant Jews will write "G-d". Words such as Damn and Hell will likely be replaced by "Dang it!" while Hell is replaced by underworld or Hades and so on , even though many people claim that anything in the Bible isn't a swear.

    It should be noted that one likely reason for this trope is because the demographic is most likely one that doesn't understand the concept of death all too well.

    One major exception is the verbosity of a Big Bad usually makes the trope work for him.

    Usually a form of Executive Meddling. Compare with: Gosh Dang It to Heck, Unusual Euphemism, Frothy Mugs of Water. Coming closer and closer to becoming a Discredited Trope. When used as an actual in-world element, it's Double-Speak or a Deadly Euphemism. Contrast Try Not to Die. Often, but not always, foisted on the Badbutt, who will instead use words like "toast" or "beat." If they're allowed to say "kill" and "die" but aren't allowed to actually kill characters, then it's Nobody Can Die. If you're looking for a character who never quits and won't back down even in the face of death, then it's The Determinator.

    Examples of Never Say "Die" include:

    Anime and Manga

    • 4Kids! Entertainment became synonymous with this trope in the anime fandom.
      • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Like DBZ, almost every mention of death is switched out for "sent to the Shadow Realm" in the 4Kids translation. Which makes it sound even worse if you know the concept of Heaven and Hell and think of "send to the shadow realm" as a euphemism for "condemn to Hell" body and soul.
        • Sometimes they didn't use the Shadow Realm excuse, when the story arcs being worked on didn't leave place to shoehorn it in. Namely, Pegasus's researchers "vanishing" after researching the God Cards, Noah getting "his body inutilized" (and later "saving himself in a backup file" when his Virtual World is destroyed), Amelda's little brother getting "captured" by the Kaiba Corp, Raphael's family being "saved" by lifeboats after a shipwreck... you get the picture.
        • Parodied quite often by Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series.

    Marik: No, I don't want to kill you, I just want to destroy you a little! Jeez, talk about overreacting!

      • Averted hard in Yu-Gi-Oh! the Movie by Anubis. Quite ironic since the movie was made by 4Kids.

    Anubis: It is no longer time to duel. Now it is time to die!

      • Yu-Gi-Oh GX: All mentions of death are replaced to being "sent to the stars", though death was still heavily implied.
        • Became rather awkward (well, more than usual) when the Supreme King/Jaden's Super-Powered Evil Side went on a genocidal rampage.
      • One Piece: Well... death was avoided, to say the least. Kuina's death was changed to having her be beaten up by people she lost to, Belle-Mere was "imprisoned in a dungeon for the rest of her life", etc.
        • Belle-Mere's case also leads to huge amounts of Fridge Logic. 1) Remember, the day that Arlong killed Belle-Mere, the fishmen/mermen had just arrived at Coco Village, and Arlong Park probably no more than a blueprint. In fact, the reason they killed her was because she didn't have enough money to pay the "Building Arlong Park" tax. In other words, there'd be no dungeon to haul her into in the first place. 2) That happened, what, a dozen years ago at most? Wouldn't Bellemere still be in Arlong's dungeon? Couldn't they just have gone and freed her? 3) Following that line of thought, we're led to the Fridge Horror that she actually did die, and that her death happened more slowly than in the original version. Good job, 4Kids! Your attempt at censorship has made a character's death even more depressing!
        • When death wasn't changed to something else, it was very much toned down. Listening to Johnny and Yosaku talking about how they saw Nami "finishing Usopp off" was a nice source of Narm.
      • Shaman King managed to replace all the "die"s for "destroy"s, which is quite an accomplishment on an anime about ghosts. The truly stupid part comes when a popular saying gets censored -- "What doesn't destroy us makes us stronger".
      • Sonic X: The dub went out of its way to make sure nobody died; 4Kids didn't just replace instances of 'die' and 'kill', they also added dialogue to make sure viewers couldn't even interpret people as dead. For example, in the Sonic Adventure arc episode with Perfect Chaos, several fighter planes are downed while in combat with the monster. The camera shifts to a few people that are lamenting the condition of the city, and then, offscreen, you hear a voice that says "Don't worry! The pilots are okay!" What's even worse is that said people shouldn't even be in the city. They were all evacuated according to an earlier TV report.
        • There is also the treatment regarding Maria. In the video games (More evident in Shadow the Hedgehog) and the Archie comics, she was shot dead/fatally wounded by a G.U.N. soldier. This is canon, and plays a good part in Shadow's storyline. In the dub, Maria was instead 'captured and taken away, never to be seen again'
        • Not to mention Molly from season 3. In the original, she is given a touching Heroic Sacrifice, while in the dub, she just flies off in the middle of the battle, talking about how she won't stop fighting, and then never shows up again, for some reason.
      • Despite being dubbed by 4Kids, Pokémon frequently averts this, especially in the movies.
      • As did Kirby: Right Back at Ya!; one of the episodes ends with DeDeDe thinking he'd caused Kirby's death and giving him a funeral, only to find out he's still alive. This scene remained pretty much unscathed.
    • One of the most painful examples (at least to anime fans), is in DragonBall Z. Dialogue was arbitrarily changed to turn "kill" into "send to another dimension". This could get quite unwieldy: "My next attack is so powerful, it will destroy this planet and send everyone on it to another dimension!" or "Yeah, Frieza's attack sent me to another dimension, and I need you to wish me back with the Dragon Balls!" The censors initially didn't even allow the use of the next most common euphemism, "destroy". The afterlife was also referred to only as "another dimension" for a sizable chunk of the series. Since the series' Uncancelling, the censorship was lessened. Often a good source of comedy in any case because the replacement words are so ridiculous.
      • This got especially hilarious in the Garlic Jr. Movie, where they actually did defeat the bad guy by sending him to another dimension.
      • The original dub of Dragon Ball Z changed "HELL" (which was on the T-shirts of the people who worked there) to "HFIL" -- "Home For Infinite Losers." This resulted in an odd in-congruence later on, when the DVDs' subtitles and closed captioning often referred to Hell, while the dialogue did not.
        • The beginning of the series had even more horrible mangling beyond "another dimension." Take, for example, when Nappa and Vegeta land on Earth for the first time in the middle of a bustling city. Nappa, just for the hell of it, destroys the entire city, and the last thing we see before it goes up in flames is a huge, bewildered crowd of people. The very next line is "They may have evacuated, but that'll teach them!". Yes, the entire town evacuated in two seconds. Talk about outrunning the fireball.
      • They also destroyed a building, lamenting the fact that it was empty because it was Sunday. One wonders how aliens are so familiar with our inferior earthling calendar...
      • Another funny example: After the Frieza saga, the main characters use the dragonballs to wish back all the Namekians killed by Frieza and his men. They notice that one village hasn't resurrected, and Vegeta mentions it was the village he "defeated." No Vegeta, it was the village you massacred.
      • Then came the scene where Nappa takes out a couple of news vehicles. One, a futuristic hover vehicle, is handwaved as a robot drone, but the second, a chopper, was explicitly shown to have people in it before it blew up. So they dubbed in Tienshinhan's voice saying "It's okay, I can see their parachutes!" Given that the explosion was in plain sight onscreen, it's funny that none of the viewers could, isn't it?
        • Parodied on the abridged series: "Oh my God! They blew up the cargo robot! And the cargo was people!"
      • Parodied in the Trapped in TV Land episode of The Fairly OddParents. Timmy tells Vicky in the DBZ parody that she can have the magic remote "over my cold, non-moving, limited-animation body!"
      • The renaming of comic-relief character "Mr. Satan" to "Hercule" may fall under this trope—many fans consider it to be in the same class of replacements as "HFIL". On the other hand, to a Japanese audience, the name "Mr. Satan" would mostly just connote that he's trying to present himself as a gigantic badass, without any of the religious connotations. In that light, the original name simply wouldn't make sense to an American audience (Nor his adoring fans shouting that they love Satan).
        • Ironically, the dub used in Latin America (where the Catholic majority is very conservative) averted this and the Satan name was kept. The fans of the show cheerfully call this name in events.
        • It still got rather creepy, for instance, when Goku pleads for people to lend energy for the Spirit Bomb, gets ignored, and Hercule asks instead. The people immediately cooperate, and thus we get half an episode of the whole world chanting "SATAN! SATAN! SATAN!"
        • The Filipino dub avoids this: Mr. Satan is renamed "Master Pogi" ("pogi" means "handsome" in Filipino).
        • The French dub renamed him Hercule for different reasons: Since every instance of 'Ma' (demon) and 'Mao' (demon king) was conventionally translated as 'Satan', it would've left him the fourth character officially called Satan, one of whom (Piccolo) was already a main character, and the cast was already making an effort avoiding the name of Chichi's father (dubbed Satanirus) since Piccolo's introduction.
        • It's worth mentioning that in Japanese Mr. Satan's name is pronounced "Satān" (Sa-TAAHN), which implies that it's actually meant to be "Mr. Saturn". (Satān is the orthodox romanization of the Japanicized name for Saturn, and in casual usage diacritical marks are typically omitted. The same phenomenon occurred in some of the peripheral merchandise for Sailor Moon ‒ Sailor Saturn was sometimes disconcertingly written as "Sailor Satan".)
      • Also parodied in Buttlord GT. Snowflake shouts, "Time to send you to ANOTHER DIMENSION!" then crushes his opponent's skull with one hand. And afterwards: "Ah, he's UNCONSCIOUS."
      • After FUNimation took over, all this fear of using these words ceased. However, in Canada, Ocean took over again from Episode 168 onward. In this case, the words "kill", "dead", and "die" are never mentioned, being replaced with "hurt" (which gets ridiculous in many situations, but "destroy" is used in some cases), "gone", and "leave". The exception is a figure of speech used by Krillin near the end of the World Tournament Saga. However, in Episode 236, when Gotenks races off to fight Buu, Piccolo says "If he gets killed now, all our efforts are in vain." From here, the words "kill", "die", "dead", and "death" are used as frequently as in the FUNimation dub, and are never replaced again.
        • And now the CW 4 Kids version is playing this straight for the remake, Dragon Ball Kai. The Nicktoons version also seems to play it semi-straight—you can say "die", but you can't say "kill/murder/etc". It seems to be random in which it occurs, even kill has been used a few times. No murder, though, yet.
    • Quite possibly the originator of the "send to another dimension" euphemism was Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs (an Americanization of Sei Juushi Bismarck) in which the villains were re-written as an extradimensional race whose members were teleported back to their own universe whenever shot.
      • ...Then they came up with the even odder rule that if you shoot them in their own universe, they become human.
    • And let us pass over, briefly, the Sailor Scouts in Sailor Moon being "captured" by their enemies and disappearing from the series until Serena "frees" them.
      • Not to mention the entire point of that edit was destroyed in the first part's "Sailor Moon Says" segment, which showed Serena clearly talking to the ghosts of her "captured" teammates.
      • After Nephrite (Neflite) is killed, there's a story where Naru (Molly) meets a priest at a cemetery. The dub censored out all use of the word "priest", even referring to him with the curiously non-specific term "person" in the preview for the episode, or in one instance as "a kindly man".
      • Interestingly, Neflite's actual death scene in the dub is a rare aversion ‒ Molly says "please don't die" as she's weeping over him.
      • Not even Beryl was allowed to die. The dub added dialog from Sailor Moon saying that Beryl was "banished back to the Negaverse" right after their final confrontation with her in which she is eradicated from skin to skeleton. Yeah, if she was sent back to the Negaverse, where she has been throughout the whole show, couldn't she just teleport back out? Yet we never see her again, except in flashbacks...
        • In the third episode of Sailor Moon R, however, Artemis does say that Queen Beryl has been "completely destroyed".
        • Sailor Moon R seems more relaxed about death, in general. Diamond quite literally says he would avenge the deaths of the two whom were killed. It also shows him being impaled by the Doom Phantom, despite Tuxedo Mask's similar impalements from Season 1 getting censored. Blood is also visible and Doom Phantom's declaration of ending all life on Earth is left intact. Wicked Lady is even warned that she won't survive the dark crystal passing through her, though they use the word destroyed when describing it. This may be partly because the second half of the Sailor Moon R dub was produced a few years later (and rather hastily), and was commissioned by the Canadian network YTV for a mostly Canadian audience (which is apparently less likely to be bothered by such things).
        • This phrase is also used in Episode 4 when Sailor Moon destroys the Negamonster, Derela. She says "I banish you to the Negaverse!" Interestingly enough, when she throws her tiara, instead of saying "Moon Tiara Magic" as she usually does, she says "Moon Tiara Vaporize!" The Negaverse seems to be used as a euphemism death at least three times, though it is not the same as the next dimension or the Shadow Realm.
        • This is actually, for the most part subverted, in the second half of the DiC dub as there are several times the characters say die or death, no kill though.
      • Zig Zagged in the german dub, especially in season 2. Apparently it depended on the translator, whether the D-word was used or replaced by "vanish".
      • Exacerbated in Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Crystal, even before it left Japan: this Remake Retcons the youma of the Dark Kingdom -- in the original Sailor Moon a demonic race of individuals with their own plans, desires and personalities -- into mindless constructs created as needed by Beryl's generals, apparently to keep the Senshi from ever having to actually kill anything. As a side effect the entire population of the so-called "Kingdom" is reduced to five people and an Eldritch Abomination; you can find larger school clubs.
    • The anime series Gundam Wing was released on Cartoon Network in two formats, one broadcast in the afterschool hours and one at midnight in CN's post-Watershed block. The former was censored, among other ways, by changing Duo's nickname from "God of Death" to "Great Destroyer." The latter, naturally, was not.
      • Tons of fun when Relena repeatedly begs Heero to kill her throughout the first few episodes..
      • This gets fantastically bad in the censored version of the movie Gundam Wing: Endless Waltz. There's a flashback where Duo is planning to kill everyone in a research facility and then himself with a handgun. They simply cut out the word "kill" and replace each instance with the word "destroy," leading to the ridiculous exchange: "Are you going to destroy me?" "I'm going to destroy everyone here, and then I'm going to destroy myself!" "Then go ahead and destroy me, Duo..."
        • When Quatre compliments Zechs and Noin on managing to blow through an army of Mooks to get to their objective, he says "You've come so far without destroying one soldier!" This might seem like a straight example, but it's actually a plot point,[1] and immediately after Quatre's line we get shots of enemy soldiers abandoning their disabled mecha. Though, it still fits here because he couldn't say "kill" on the air.
      • In one episode Trowa gives the captive Duo and Wu Fei something "to kill time"; the dub changed this to "pass the time". While it means the exact same thing, it's a particularly ludicrous example since the phrase "killing time" is generally not considered objectionable.
    • At first, fans of Naruto were afraid that the dub was going to suffer from this; In the first few episodes, most instances of a character using the words "death", "kill" etc. were replaced with "destroy" (though Naruto does threaten to kill Mizuki in the first episode). Thankfully, right around the beginning of the Wave Country arc (when the real killing starts), this practice was dropped.
      • The German version however really looks like 4kids went crazy with it. It goes as far as editing corpses and blood out of a scene centered on said bodies.
        • And let's not even start with how they're not even allowed to show swords, apparently. Zabuza's big entrance, ending with his sword sticking out of a tree and him standing on it, was edited so that only the handle is un-painted away, and Zabuza is standing perfectly straight on thin air.
        • Not to mention the fact that Sasuke's whole backstory doesn't make any sense, because nobody can know that his clan was *gasp* killed. Instead, it was said they were "held captive".
        • Also, the condition for unlocking the Mangekyo Sharingan was changed from "kill a friend" to "betray a friend". So Itachi never killed that one guy who went missing, he just made sure he would fall into the river ... and no further elaboration was provided. This makes Sasuke's lamenting about how he won't fulfill the condition after his fight with Naruto in the Valley of the End especially silly, considering that if betrayal is all it takes then he did fulfill that condition.
      • The first Clash of Ninja Revolution game was pretty silly with this. Any death references are replaced with "defeat" or "destroy". It makes Sasuke sound like Itachi is his rival instead of wanting to kill him. And it's strange because the previous games were okay with mentioning death.
      • The Naruto: Shippuden broadcast version on Disney XD has shown that this is in full effect for the most part; for example, they changed Itachi's line in the first episode into "You must DEFEAT your best friend. You must DESTROY him."
      • On the same note as the German dub, the less said about the infamous Jetix UK cut, the better. It was basically the already-edited dub that showed on Cartoon Network US, but edited in such a way that manages to outdo some of the stupidest 4Kids edits, almost on the same level as One Piece! Aside from all the cuts to violence and all, Never Say Die was in full effect, which resulted in some lines being mangled and cut (An example being in the first episode: "If you ever lay a hand on my sensei..."*Cut to next scene*). Amazingly though one or two lines slipped through (Like Sasuke's "I promised myself that I'd stay alive...untill I killed him..." line in episode 16).
    • In the Lion Version of Voltron, the main characters had a nearly clairvoyant ability to tell whether or not the citizens of a destroyed city or planet had evacuated, just by looking at the burned and blasted out remains of said city or planet. Just about every other Never Say "Die" rule was in effect for this series (although the censors did let at least one "peasants being eaten whole by monsters" scene slip past them.)
      • Whenever possible, scenes that might have involved the killing of human beings are dubbed so that the destroyed creatures were actually robots.
      • Early in this series, one of the main characters (Sven, former Blue Lion pilot) is killed. Instead of saying he was killed, they say that he went back to the evil planet to help with a rebellion. It was quite confusing with everyone standing over his grave, crying, and talking about how he was really hurt and then had to go away, but he wasn't dead, really.
      • When the character (in the original, a brother of the character) reappeared in the story, his absence was explained by a bout of insanity. When this second character fell from a great height while grappling with the main villain, his death was dubbed away, to the point of the main cast (with shocked expressions and streaming tears) saying "He fell into the water..." A brief voice-over informs us that he was alive, but just really badly hurt.
      • The Vehicle Force Voltron also had to Never Say "Die". (Example: one of the villains is actually killed in an early episode, but in his death scene, an image of him saying "I'll be back" is spliced in) Look up Voltron on Wikipedia and you'll see how different the American and Japanese versions really are.
      • A specific example from Vehicle Force is when the Voltron team befriend a young bad guy, who's then attacked by the rest of the bad guys, and trapped in a burning fighter. The animation shows that Jeff is being restrained from a futile rescue attempt, but we cut to an unconvincing scene explaining that the bad guy had set off happily to another base...
    • While it didn't always shy away from the topic of death, Battle of the Planets included a Robot Buddy, 7-Zark-7, whose primary function was to reassure viewers that each episode's high body count was Mecha-Mooks, unmanned aircraft, merely stunned, just pining for the fjords, and so forth. In one episode, for example, the team's mission is to rescue two captured astronauts; Zark informs us that they got away safely. But their escape is never shown on-screen, for the simple reason that in the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman original, they were killed and their corpses used as bait in a trap.
    • The American English-translated version of Pokémon Special plays this trope painfully straight. During the Yellow arc, for example, the Nerd (who moments earlier was trying to kill Yellow) says that the "defeat" of Misty, Erika, Brock, and Blaine will make everything much more fair. The four react as if he had said "deaths" because... he does. In the original (really, Viz?).
      • It gets worse! The Vizkid's version seems to flip between using this trope and averting it. The next mention, where Agatha tries to kill the nerd because He Knows Too Much, they note that the nerd will die if it continues.
      • Volume 5 gives us the gem of Lance vaporizing a city, followed by him only wanting to "hurt" Yellow. And then proceeds to nearly drown her, and leaves her as she is sinking into the sea.
      • In Volume 1, the Arbok that is cut in half is referred to as a Zombie Pokemon immediately after; 5 Volumes later you find out that it lived anyways.
      • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Adventure plays this straight too, to an extent. A character attempts suicide but they still refer to it as "going" (as in "We don't want you to go") rather than "die". It's not as apparent as other examples as people often do use that euphemism, but it still counts.
    • Digimon Adventure (and most of the following series) doesn't seem to have a problem when discussing death of human characters; kill and die are used very freely. When it comes to the Digimon themselves, things get a little more hairy—usually they are "destroyed" and, in an uncharacteristic heavy case of censorship in the Myotismon saga, "condemned to a dungeon in the Digital World." The word "die" is only used when discussing Digimon death -- "Digimon never really die".
      • It's worth noting that the one continuity in which Digimon can permanently die, Tamers, isn't shy about using the word. "Deletion" shows up, but only as a Deadly Euphemism from characters who don't consider Digimon's lives to have value.
      • Data Squad plays the trope very straight—the word "die" is used twice, maybe three times throughout the whole series, and only to say that Digimon-don't-die. Every other death, Digimon or human, is euphemisized.
      • As for "god," the dubbers have usually replaced it with "sovereign" or something like that. They also seem to be doing away with the word "lord," despite it also having a non-religious definition. In the first series' dub, pretty much every bad guy was referred to as "lord" at some point; there's even a scene where DemiDevimon insists the Digi-Destined call Myotismon "lord." (Not to mention, there's the VenomMyotismon arc where the brainwashed humans were chanting, "Myotismon, lord and master!") But in later seasons, the use declined to the point where a character named LordKnightmon had his name changed first to Digimon Frontier (due to his effeminacy) and then to LoadKnightmon. Now "master" is more often used.
    • Done to ridiculous lengths to all anime aired on German TV station RTL2, who were somewhat pioneers in terms of animes but have since pedaled back a lot. This worsened over the time, beginning with simply cutting out all blood and death scenes and culminated in censored dialogue in Digimon Tamers. Right now, the censorship policy seems to be as follows: Death has to be changed to "being captured", "don`t feeling well" or "being asleep", with "Fight" being changed to - "Game!". One can imagine how ridiculous the typical Naruto episode sounds like with these changes.
      • The same goes for Digimon Tamers, in which there's no resurrection and dead means dead. If having someone's hand driven through your body, whereupon you give a Final Speech and dissolve into bits of data that is absorbed by the enemy, and your death has a big hand in the rest of the series... there's no way to turn that into "asleep," and if it becomes "capture..." well, it's workable, but the killer does a Heel Face Turn eventually, and he'd be quite the Jerkass for not letting the "captured" character go.
    • An interesting version of this occurs in the G Gundam dub (even Uncut). The dub does its very best to not use the word 'die', and instead use a Hurricane of Euphemisms.
    • The American dubbed version of Baldios - The Movie (renamed The Battle for Earth Station S1) goes to great pains to point out that a villain is only 'stunning' a group of guards. And then leaves in the bit where Earth's population is all but wiped out by a massive environmental disaster.
    • Star Blazers is aggressive about removing deaths from the original Yamato series. The series was edited so that people "had time to evacuate", "were covered by avalanches", "were actually robots", "got out just behind you", ad nauseum, instead of being killed.
    • Zatch Bell had one strange example of this trope - in a certain episode telling us the events of Sherry's childhood, we learn that she had Abusive Parents and tried to commit suicide by throwing herself off a bridge on a stormy night. Viz's dub did something weird here - it edited the dialogue to Sherry "walking next to the river and almost falling", but edited very little of the footage. Most people who watched the dub version will still tell you that she tried to commit suicide. Maybe...
      • The series in general averts the trope sometimes, other times play it straight. One filler character who had his parents dead in the original had them "sent to a hospital" in the dub.
    • Interesting case in Studio Ghibli's My Neighbor Totoro. Some time after Mei goes missing, a sandal that looks a lot like hers is found floating on the surface of the lake, and everyone immediately suspects the worst. Satsuki runs to the lake without another word, the old woman next door is seen praying, several dozen people are searching the lake for a body... and yet no one says anything about what they think happened to Mei. No "death," "die," not even "drown." Absolutely nothing is said about it.
      • Well, except for a relieved "It's not hers!" regarding the sandal.
    • Lampshaded in Clannad After Story: in a sexually G-rated series where married couples never kiss, rarely hold hands, and sleep in separate beds, it's a bit surprising when a main character turns out to be pregnant. When her father asks how she got pregnant, even suggesting the stork story, her husband wonders if she'll say it before she exclaims "we are doing dirty things!"
      • In the dub she actually says verbatim: "We have sex, and sex makes babies!"
    • In the first three chapters of Bakuman。, Moritaka (mistakenly) thinks that his uncle Nobuhiro, a mangaka who made one hit series, committed suicide after falling into debt trying to make another. The chapters that appeared in Shonen Jump have him using euphemisms, such as thinking that his death was "something worse" than overwork, or that he "end(ed) it all". As such, Moritaka's mother's shocked expression when he claims that was how his uncle died loses some of its impact.

    Comic Books

    • In Avengers: The Initiative, this is specifically mentioned. Cloud 9 is shocked when she blows up an enemy plane, saying that "I mean in cartoons when that happens you see the guy bail out with a parachute..."
    • In the W.I.T.C.H. comic book, the rather violent and quite graphic death of Big Bad Nerissa is described as her being "destroyed".

    Fan Works

    • Mocked in the Undocumented Features story Desolation Angel, when (a sane and well-adjusted) Azula (alive thanks to involuntary cryosuspension) bids goodbye to the friends, family and former enemies she met up with again in Valhalla after the Ragnarok (all deceased but enjoying it):

    "I'd say 'look after yourselves'," she remarked, "but given that you're all dead anyway, that seems a bit silly."
    "We're not dead, we're battling evil in another dimension!" Sokka insisted.
    "And dead," Toph put in.



    • The film Muppet Treasure Island plays with the trope: Billy Bones' death after getting the Black Spot (a) is totally overblown for comedic effect, and (b) gets a reaction of "He's dead!? But this is supposed to be a kids' movie!" along with, "Guys... we are standing in a room with a dead guy!" There's also a "character" (just a skeleton wearing a pirate hat) named Dead Tom (introduced in succession after Old Tom and Really Old Tom). This was taken further when a pirate is crying over a recently shot Dead Tom until another pirate patiently explains he was already dead. That's why he's called Dead Tom. The bereaved pirate unceremoniously drops the skeleton and moves on.
    • This is spoofed in Looney Tunes: Back in Action, where the villainous Acme Chairman orders one of his henchmen to "Destroy the duck! And when I say destroy the duck, I mean KILL HIM! Messily and painfully!"
    • Nobody's allowed to die in George of the Jungle, they just get really big boo-boos.
    • Bodily functions taboo lampshade: In Pleasantville, Jennifer is astonished to find the girls' room at Pleasantville High has no toilets. Apparently it exists only as a ceramic-tiled girls' chat-retreat with running water, as the Fire Department exists only to get cats out of trees. As for death . . . what's that?!
      • Also lampshaded by that Reese Witherspoon's character is the one who directly or indirectly teaches the whole town about sex, most hilariously when she gives her own "mother" the talk.
    • In a variation on this trope, the film The Pope Must Die (about a newly elected Pope being plotted against) was forced by Catholic outrage to change its name to The Pope Must Diet (about a fat...newly elected Pope...being plotted against). The "t" was added to the cover art as if cut from a magazine. No dieting happens in the movie.
    • From The Phantom Tollbooth: "He's not ticking! Oh, Humbug, his main spring's broken!" Suuure, Milo.
    • The release of the Little Nemo movie (the VHS version) had several small pieces cut out, one of which was part of the scene where Nemo gets the incantation to activate the Royal Scepter's Wave Motion Gun function. Specifically, the part where it's brought up that since Nemo is just a kid, firing the Scepter will kill him.
    • In Drop Dead Gorgeous, one of the brainless bimbos talks about her previous dog, a German Shepherd who went to 'live on a farm' after attacking her. Naturally, she doesn't get that it's a euphemism.
    • In the Victorian farce The Wrong Box, young idlers Morris and John (Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) need to procure a death certificate to cover up an untimely demise; they get a lot of mileage out of the word 'thing':

    Morris: Now you remember that chambermaid you got into, umm...
    John: ...thing?
    Morris: Thing. Who was the doctor who did the, umm...
    John: Thing? Pratt, Doctor Pratt.
    Morris: Was he a venal doctor?
    John: I didn't think to ask.
    Morris: Well, did he do the -
    John: Thing? Yes.
    Morris: Good.
    John: But what's he got to do with it?
    Morris: He's part of the plan! Now, you and I are the only two people in the world who know that Uncle Joseph is...
    John: Thing?
    Morris: Dead. (And so forth and thing...)


    Villain: The Prince? I told you to get him out of the way!
    Minion: He's in the highest room in the tallest tower, how much more out of the way could he be?
    Villain: DEAD!

    • In Bugsy Malone, cream pies take the place of guns and bullets. Characters who get pied are said to be "finished," and never show up again.
    • In The Warriors, the slang terms "waste" or "wasted" are always used instead of "kill" or "die." This was probably done to make the violence seem casual to the characters, rather than soften it for the audience.


    • Subverted in Animorphs, most notably in #22. Rachel initially wants to say she's going to 'destroy' Sixth Ranger Traitor David, but that's a 'weasel word' and she admits to herself (and the reader) that she wants to kill him. Badly. While Cassie comes up with the only safe alternative to killing David, Rachel is stuck struggling with her violent tendencies for the rest of the series.
      • Again subverted when a family of campers gets caught up in a battle between Yeerks and free Hork-Bajir, who have, until this point, stubbornly refused to believe that the battle was real no matter what evidence they'd shown. They'd appeared to believe, but we find that they didn't really get it until this scene happens: (Paraphrased)

    Jake: Try not to get killed.
    Camper: When you say killed, you mean killed as in "captured" or "stunned," right?
    Jake: Unfortunately, I mean killed as in dead.


    Old necromancers never die. That's it I'm afraid. Just, old necromancers never die.

      • Also, assassins don't kill people. They are "inhumed".
        • That's really a case of Blue Blood, because the Assassins' Guild is just too classy to say they kill anyone.
      • Deconstructed in Hogfather, where the Tooth Fairy's country is defined by the belief of children, looking like a children's drawing for instance, and death does not exist there because no-one tells children about it. People just... disappear when fatally injured. And the molecular-thin blade of Death's sword cannot exist there.
    • Although this is averted in Warrior Cats, which features death on a regular basis, there are a few instances when main characters are dying where death is referred to as "going to hunt with StarClan" or something similar for poetic effect.
      • Similar to the I Love Lucy example above, the word "pregnant" is never used, regardless of how often characters have been pregnant throughout the series. They simply say "bearing kits" or something similar. This can be somewhat justified, because that could actually be how cats talk, similar to the series' use of Gosh Dang It to Heck.
      • There is also when Lionblaze is trying to threaten Ashfur and he says "I can beat you in a fight if I have to." even though it's somewhat obvious he's threatening to kill him.
      • At one point, they refer to Scourge having "destroyed" Tigerstar, but they probably used that word because saying he "killed" him would have been a huge understatement.
      • Subverted in Into the Wild:

    Firepaw: He wants to get rid of Ravenpaw.
    Graypaw: Get rid of him? You mean kill him?

      • Because this trope is averted so much, when characters kept referring to Hollyleaf as having been "lost" instead of "killed" when a rockfall collapsed on her and they assumed No One Could Survive That, fans figured she was alive since they made such a point of avoiding the word.
    • Played for Drama in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, where Francie is made by her mother to cross out every instance of the word "drunk" (a frequent condition of her father) in her diary and replace it with "sick."
    • The Green-Sky Trilogy doesn't have issues describing something as dead, but as pacifists, they replaced with word "Kill" with "dead", and stigmatize the usage as a verb.
    • A culture described in Rumo and His Miraculous Adventures raised children with no concept of death so that they would be abnormally fearless.
    • The novel The Impossible Bird plays this trope a bit more literally: only people who have killed someone are physically capable of saying the word "die." (It's never explained exactly why this is so, although all the killing does turn out to be important to the plot.)
    • From Borges' "Narrative Art and Magic": «Saracen historians, whose works are the source of José Antonio Conde's Historia de la dominación de los árabes en España, do not write that a king of caliph died, but that "he was delivered into his final reward or prize" or that "he passed into the mercy of the All-Powerful," or that "he awaited his fate so many years, so many moons, and so many days."»

    Live-Action TV

    • Sesame Street: Averted famously in the "Goodbye, Mr. Hooper" episode that opened the 16th season. Will Lee, who played longtime "Grandpa" figure and crumedgeony storekeeper Harold Hooper, had died in December 1982, while filming for the 1982-1983 season was still ongoing. The remainder of his episodes were aired in early 1983, after which his character is absent and no mention is made of either that or why he is missing ... the subject not dealt with until that fall. Several options on how to explain why Mr. Hooper was missing were debated, including him having retire and leave Sesame Street, before the definitive episode on explaining death to a child became the final product. The producers decided to make it part of the show that Mr. Hooper died and, on the advice of child psychologists, they pulled no punches. Big Bird is told that Mr. Hooper died (not "passed away," not "moved on") and will not be coming back. Big Bird is confused and angry, and the adults (with actors not attempting in the least to hide their tears - many holding hands throughout) tell Big Bird that's it's okay to be sad and to miss him. One of the best moments in the history of TV.
    • The A-Team. Since it was classified as a children's show, you have the ridiculous premise in which the A-Team amasses a massive arsenal of machine guns and weaponry, faces off against a similarly armed force, exchange thousands of retorts of gunfire - and no one dies. Man, their aim sucked.
      • Parodied in Family Guy when Peter and company, dressed as the A-Team, attempt to stop a construction crew from demolishing a park using guns and ramming into things with their vans. The main characters are surprised when the construction crew assumes Peter and friends are trying to kill them.
    • Webster: In early first-season episodes, the title character (played by pint-sized Emmanuel Lewis) was told that his parents were "away" (they had actually been killed in a car accident) and that he was merely staying with George and Katherine. George decides he can no longer put off telling Webster the truth ... and does in a truly heartbreaking scene.
    • Power Rangers goes overboard with this, sometimes to (unintentionally) comic effect, speaking of people as having been "destroyed." In one particularly comic example, a well-known proverb becomes, "Those who live by the sword shall come to their end by the sword." Which made it all the more surprising when the Pink Ranger in Time Force screams that she would "not let [her fiance's] death be in vain," (though at other times, she says that he was "destroyed"). Of course, it turns out that he's Not Quite Destroyed.
      • The most Egregious example, though, was the episode of Wild Force in which the impostor Master Org gloats about how he killed Cole's parents. He manages to refer to it with the most contrived death-word-aversions, never using the same one twice and making what would've been a much more intense scene if they'd only stuck with the usual "destroy" into... not quite Narm, but it does sorta break the flow of the scene. You forgive it because, after all, they have this unbreakable rule that decrees they must absolutely, positively never utter any die-related word come Shadow Realm or high water... and then the new villain, in the very next scene, says "The real Master Org died three thousand years ago and is never coming back!" before announcing himself the new Big Bad and tossing "Master Org" to his Not Quite Death, er, destruction. If they can use death words a few times, why not make one of them during the scene that needed it most?
        • The only reason they were allowed to show Cole's parents' deaths at all was because the writers had promised Fox's BS&P that they'd be resurrected at the end of the series. Then the show was sold to Disney/ABC, who hadn't seen any of the Fox-aired episodes - so Cole's parents stayed dead, in a very successful case of Getting Crap Past the Radar.
      • The worst one is in a recent series: "I will destroy you or be destroyed trying!"
      • In an episode of Power Rangers SPD, a monster goes so far as to announce "I hate empty buildings!" before smashing one to pieces, assuring the audience that no one was inside to be hurt. There are also occasional references to various battles taking place in the "Abandoned Warehouse district", which just smacks of poor urban planning.
        • Well, when you have monsters destroying the city on regular basis, it makes sense.
      • No less than a season later in Power Rangers Mystic Force, we're told by the team's mentor that Plucky Comic Relief Clare's mother "depleted her life force" sealing the gate keeping the villains in the Underworld. Oddly, a later episode includes a Monster of the Week stealing people's life force, which seems to make them unconscious/zombified but quite alive, returning to normal once the monster was defeated and the life force was returned. You really have to wonder if Clare's mother is locked up somewhere in the base until she can get a life force infusion.
      • This actually becomes quite an impressive accomplishment in Power Rangers RPM, where they manage to kill off 99% of humanity without using the "d" word. Ranger Blue uses "die" twice, though... a record for actual life-threatening circumstances. When Ziggy becomes a target of several mob cartels, he fears being 'Ghosted', a term the mobsters also threaten him with; as the d-word was used elsewhere in the series - maybe it's gangster Future Slang? (We did get repeated death words waaaaay back in Space, when Zhane was Mistaken for Dying.)
        • Not to mention that two of the Ranger characters had backstories involving the deaths of people close to them, both of which were shown on-camera in flashbacks. (If you count a plane blowing up with its pilot not visible to be "on-camera.") And yet nobody actually says they're dead or were killed.
      • It also extends to some forms of weaponry. Power Rangers villains almost never use "bombs." Rita and Zedd have used "implosion devices" that sure seemed to explode, Divatox used "detonators," and a recent Monster of the Week used "charges."
      • So it was quite surprising when, in the episode with Robogoat, Goldar said Tommy was going to die.
      • Not to mention the infamous "laser pellets" of Power Rangers SPD that were just plain bullets in Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger.
      • You know how trailers sometimes have "clean" alternate takes of dirty dialogue? Well, in the trailer for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie, Billy says that Zordon is "aging at an accelerated rate", instead of what he says in the actual movie: "He's dying."
    • Soap Operas are notorious for having couples "make love" instead of "have sex"; perhaps the most egregious example was when General Hospital's Laura Webber recalled her rape by Luke Spencer as "the first time we made love". Pregnant women also seem to be fond of referring to themselves not as "pregnant" but as "carrying [baby's father's name]'s child," although this is starting to change.
      • Part of the "carrying [baby's father's name]'s child" might have come from the fact that soap operas can be so damn confusing, they might need to remind the audience who did what to whom and when.
      • Squeamishness about sex does not seem to be the reason for the use of the term "making love" as soaps often show sex scenes.
    • Australian soap opera Home and Away was notorious for doing rape storylines without actually being allowed to use the word "raped", resorting to euphemisms like "attacked" or "assaulted" (or, on one occasion, "violated) which left some viewers thinking the girl had just been mugged or sexually assaulted but not actually raped.
      • One of the worst was in late 2007 with the return of Michael, the adopted son of an insane cult leader who had brainwashed him with drugs and (apparently) forced him to rape Tasha, with the intention of getting her pregnant. Belle described his crime to Annie with the words "she had a baby with him when she didn't want to." Things have now relaxed somewhat, with the word being used during the storylines with Joey and Charlie in 2009 and Bianca in 2011. However, viewers still have to sit through scenes of it being described as an "attack", one of the worst examples being when Bianca discussed her rape with a counsellor without either of them once using the word.
      • There was also a scene in 2007 where Peter mentions "date rape" when Belle tells him about the drugs she found in Kellie's bag. Ironically, this was not during a rape storyline, and it came before Michael's return.
    • Neighbours has been guilty of the same thing in recent years leaving out the word "rape" during such storylines as Izzy lying to Karl that her baby with Gus was the result of rape, Rebecca admitting to Paul that Oliver and Declan's father raped her (conceiving Declan in the process) and Bridget accidentally killing a guy who was trying to rape her. Especially strange when you consider that back in 1993 they had no problem with the scene where Julie reveals to Philip that her conception was the result of rape. Or Scott sarcastically calling himself a rapist during the first week of the show back in 1985).
    • Played with in Arrested Development, when a doctor appears to be doing this by saying "we lost him," but it turns out that George Sr. just climbed out the window to avoid going back to prison.
    • Interestingly, The Dick Van Dyke Show never used the word with regard to Laura's pregnancy (which was visited repeatedly in flashbacks), but could use it freely regarding animals, as in the 1962 episode "Never Name a Duck."
    • British children's Game Show Raven The Island used a lot of euphemisms for the contestants "dying". "Perished" was the closest they got.
    • Speaking of British children's Game Show, the hard to win Knightmare uses "death" a lot.
    • Occasionally subverted on MythBusters:

    Jamie: "Genetic material?" It's sperm!

      • Although it should be noted that this was an expression of frustration on Mr Hyneman's part that was allowed into the edit - the use of "genetic material" in the first place was at the Discovery Channel's specific request.
        • The words "expression of frustration" and "Mr Hyneman" in the same sentence should give a clue as to how annoying this trope can get.
          • Especially since they were allowed to say "sperm" several times in an earlier episode. (One of the myths about cola they tested in Season One was whether it would act as a spermicide.)
      • They did go an entire episode of "flatus" themed experiments without once using the word "fart". But this was only because they thought that it was classier to avoid it, not for censorship.
      • As well, there was the episode of sayings where they had to shine poop. Adam provides the caveat that they can't use certain words by listing them while being bleeped.
      • When the MythBusters' Top 25 episode was done during the Discovery Channel's 25th Anniversary celebration, they played quite a few segments of older episodes where the Mythbusters crew exclaimed "Holy crap!" completely uncensored (in response to either the unexpected scale of destruction a particular test caused or when something failed to work properly), while the original episodes had the second word bleeped out.
    • Despite being overwhelmingly the most-requested subject for Beakman's World to tackle, the show waited until the very last segment of the very last episode to tackle flatulence. (And they got away with saying "anal sphincter".)
    • In the Nickelodeon version of Robot Wars, Sir Killalot was re-named Sir K.
    • The famous Seinfeld episode "The Contest", about the characters competing to see who can hold off from masturbating the longest, probably only made it to air because none of them actually say the M-word. Although it's really pretty well done, as the dialogue never seems forced to avoid the term.
      • The Not That There's Anything Wrong with That episode very deliberately avoids using the words "gay" or "homosexual". Seinfeld leans heavily on this kind of thing.
      • Also, the episode where Elaine tells Jerry her date "Pulled it out" while they were in the car. The term it is repeated several times, not once explaining what exactly it means. It is the guy's penis.
    • The Sarah Jane Adventures, normally a show with a low body-count, has Sarah Jane encounter Oddbob, source of the Pied Piper myth. Naturally, when he disappears children, they don't "die", but are sent to another dimension. Since his powers have No Ontological Inertia, his defeat frees them. But as it would be a storytelling inconvenience to deal with the reappearance of the hundreds of children he's abducted over 700 years with only three minutes of show left. So this possibility is ruled out with the explanation that the abducted children do not die but "fade away" over time. Frankly, the idea of the abducted children "fading away" seems a bit more Nightmare Fuel than to just explain Oddbob as a prolific alien serial killer. Especially since it wasn't afraid of using the word die in Whatever Happened to Sarah Jane? when Maria tells Andrea she was meant to die and Andrea repeats the line back to her in disgust.
    • In an episode of iCarly, the kids have to find a bunch of newly-hatched chicks in four hours or "bad things happen".
    • Kamen Rider Dragon Knight uses being "vented" to explain that the defeated riders are sent to the "Advent Void," the nexus point between the mirror world and the real one, and will not be able to ever return. This seems to be one more case of replacing death with A Fate Worse Than Death.
      • One episode is actually entitled "Vent Or Be Vented".
        • The series actually runs with this idea, later revealing that the Advent Void wasn't meant to be A Fate Worse Than Death, since the Riders' leader had the ability to retrieve them from the Void and thus it was more of a temporary break than a permanent banishment. Of course, at the start of the series he's not around, so it is a prison for a while.
    • From Buffy the Vampire Slayer:

    Buffy: If there were just a few good descriptions of what took out the other Slayers, maybe it would help me to understand my mistake, to keep it from happening again.
    Giles: Yes, well, the problem is, after a final battle, it's difficult to get any... well, the Slayer's not... she's rather...
    Buffy: It's okay to use the D word, Giles.
    Giles: Dead. And hence not very forthcoming.

    • Tinkered with in the 1990s version of The Tomorrow People, in which the title characters literally cannot "hurt" other living beings. This is demonstrated in the "Origins" arc when recently broken-out Tomorrow Person Megabyte aims a handgun at a retreating villain, but cannot pull the trigger, even though said villain just threatened his father's life.
      • That doesn't really fit this trope, though, because the characters can say "kill" and "die", and do so many times. The writers of the show aren't side-stepping the issue of death or using euphemisms for it. The fact that the Tomorrow People cannot kill is actually part of the show's concept. The TP are supposed to be peaceful beings and the next step in evolution, so they can't kill, but others in the show can and do.

    Adam: "I don't think we can kill. Not even to save ourselves."

    • The forgotten The Mystery Files of Shelby Woo never lets anyone die, which, for a grown up, is jarring in a detective series. The closer the show ever got to show a character dying (or even saying the d-word, for that matter) was when a victim was attacked... and fell into a coma.

    Angie: "He was my mentor.. and now he... he is-"
    Detective Delancy: "No! No, he isn't... yet."

    • Charmed is very fond of the word "vanquished".
      • Only for demons. The words "death," "die", and "kill" are still used for humans, except for sarcastic expressions like "Somebody vanquish me!"
    • Monty Python's Flying Circus, the dead parrot sketch: "'E's passed on! This parrot is no more! He has ceased to be! 'E's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! 'E's a stiff! Bereft of life, 'e rests in peace! If you hadn't nailed 'im to the perch 'e'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! 'E's off the twig! 'E's kicked the bucket, 'e's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile! This ... is an ex-parrot!"
      • More of a Hurricane of Euphemisms; the first thing the man says is "It's dead, that's what's wrong with it!"
      • More appropriately, subverted in the railway timetables sketch. After seeing the corpse...

    Has he been... ?
    Yes, after breakfast. That doesn't matter now, he's dead!

    • Scrubs: "We never say die! Except when a patient actually dies. Then, we're kind of forced to by law."
      • There's a flashback at one point to when Elliot tried being the doctor-who-never-says-terminal. She had a very hard time explaining to a patient that his mother was in fact... terminal...

    Man: Is it terminal?
    Elliot: I wouldn't say that.
    Man: So she still has a chance?
    Elliot: No.

      • JD has rattles off a quick list of variations on the word "die" that can be used while trying to teach intern Keith how to break news to a terminal patient including such gems as "deadsies" and "Deadwood" (did you know Cowboys used to curse?)
    • In one episode of Happy Days, ABC's Standards and Practices department forbade a priest character from using the word "God" in a comedic context: instead he pointed ceilingward and spoke reverently of "Him".
    • The Nineties children's show Shining Time Station, in one of the later episodes where Billy's nephew Kit comes to visit. Billy asks Stacy if she'd heard about Kit's father, and she responds, mournfully, "Yes, I'm sorry."
    • Played with in-universe on the Bones episode "The Body In The Bounty", when the host of a kids' science program wants Brennen to guest-star on his show. People dying on Bones is nothing new, but one of the characters expresses doubt as to whether Brennen can avoid talking about autopsies or grisly modes of death long enough to appear on a kiddie Show Within a Show.
    • On That '70s Show, they rarely said exactly what it was they were smoking, calling it "the stash" instead. In some cases it wasn't too awkward, such as when they were around adults.


    • Similar to the Goonies example, Black Sabbath wrote a song insisting that you "Never Say Die," and named the album after it. Averted in which the title was not picked for the sake of euphemism, but instead, it is to give a message of optimism to listeners.
      • Iron Savior would also like to remind you to "Never Say Die".
    • The Hanzel und Gretyl track "SS Deathstar Supergalaktik" has this in its lyrics, probably as a reference to the lightheartedness of Star Wars.
    • The Cheetah Girls' song "Girl Power" contains a literal example of this trope, as the phrase "Never Say Die" is actually in the refrain.
    • YUI has a song entitled "Never Say Die".
    • The Gothic Archies song "Freakshow" has the lines "real people ask you why/with a face like you've got, won't you just lie down and..." with the obvious missing word being "die".
    • "Bronte" by Gotye, about a friend's dog that had to be put down, never mentions death outright, and it's for the better.

    Tabletop Games

    • In the Mage Knight miniatures game, a critter is explicitly dead when its dial is turned and three skulls appear in its stat slot. In Hero Clix, by the same company, there are no skulls - instead, three big red 'KO's appear, and the rules specifically refer to such as state as being 'defeated'.
    • Kissing up to 1980s action cartoons, Cartoon Action Hour follows this trope with a capital N--unless of course, you playing The Movie.
    • In the Yu-Gi-Oh Card Game, any card with the word "Death" in its name has it changed to the deliberate transliteration of "Des." So we have Des Koala and Des Frog instead of Death Koala and Death Frog. Additionally, cards with the word "Demon" in their name got it changed to "Archfiend," so "Red Demon Dragon" is "Red Dragon Archfiend" now.
      • More importantly, there were already some cards with Archfiend in their name. Then they released a card that involved cards with "archfiend" in their name—which, naturally, caused a whole bunch of problems in the english version, as it'd arbitrarily (or so it seems) affect some of the archfiends but not others!
    • In Magic: The Gathering, creatures are "destroyed", even though the amount of damage is "lethal" and they go to a discard pile called a "graveyard". Likewise, players with no life left just "lose the game".
      • This is because "destroy" is the term for sending a card from play to the graveyard via damage or "destroy" effects, and includes things that aren't alive such as enchantments and lands. There's no reason to create a separate term for the same game mechanic when it's applied to creatures. Traditional Planeswalkers meanwhile are incredibly difficult to actually kill, their physical bodies simply being a projection of their will.
      • Recently changed in the Magic 2012 expansion; while cards still "destroy" creatures, the creatures themselves are referred to as dying.

    Theme Parks

    • At Disney Theme Parks, it's mentioned that "Big Thunder Mountain Railroad" is haunted because it's built on a "sacred place" to natives. Obviously, an Indian Burial Ground.
      • That's strange, since at New Orleans Square they have an attraction whose very concept is death (The Haunted Mansion)! And the theme song "Grim Grinning Ghosts" explicitly starts out with "When the crypt doors creak...."


    • In the early years of Bionicle, "destroy" and "defeat" were used. This has been mostly averted in later years, however. Interestingly, its replacement, Hero Factory", seems to play the trope straight again.
      • Even HF seems to be veering away from this slowly.

    Video Games

    • In the Halo franchise, Spartans are persistently rumored to be immortal as a form of psychological warfare against the Covenant, and to boost morale in the UNSC. Thus, even when they really do die, they are never listed as "KIA", only "MIA" or "WIA".
    • In Soul Blazer for SNES, the characters repeatedly say people "passed away." YMMV, but the phrase "passed away" does not imply, "turned evil and got detonated by a suicide bomber."
    • In Dynasty Warriors, there are "KO counts" instead of kill counts.
      • In both Dynasty Warriors and sister series Samurai Warriors (and, by extension, the mash up series Warriors Orochi), this can be appropriate as many defeated characters are explicitly NOT killed and instead forced into retreat.
        • Also, there are weapons where taking a person down wouldn't kill them, such as the feather fans, at least not necessarily, so it's justifiable for that reason as well.
        • Averted in the US version of the Fist of the North Star spinoff Ken's Rage where the KO count was changed to "Kills", since claiming someone who just burst into bloody giblets or was sliced into confetti is only KOd is REALLY stretching the definition. The achievement icons involving a large number of kills were left unchanged and still read "KO" though.
    • An Egregious if little known example is Dragonball Z Legendary Super Warriors on the Game Boy Color. It appears that at some point the translators did a find/replace on the words 'die', 'died', 'death', 'kill' and 'killed' and switched them all for 'lost', regardless of sentence structure. So while things like "I can't believe Piccolo lost!" make sense, more or less, you also get dialogue like "Lost, Vegeta! Lost!" and "I guess you DO want to lost!"
    • The English translation of Final Fantasy VI was forced to avoid explicit mention of death. One dungeon is the tomb of Setzer's girlfriend, Daryl. In a flashback she states that Setzer can have her airship, the Falcon, if "anything happens to her". You even get to see Rachel's preserved corpse, and hear the story of her death, but again, no d-word.
      • Exception: After Kefka gives Celes a sword on the Floating Continent, he tells her, "Kill the others and we'll forgive your treachery! Take this sword! Kill them all!"
    • Final Fantasy XI's flavor of blue magic involves "absorbing the essences" of foes who use the proper moves.
    • Like Final Fantasy VI above, Final Fantasy IV is a pretty Egregious example, being bound by the same prohibition of d- and k-words.
    • The words "death", "dead" etc. were formally banned from all Nintendo games for many years as part of their policy for family-friendly content, back in the early days. Abandoned in recent years, of course, though The Legend of Zelda series in particular still insists on describing enemies as being "defeated" after you slice the hell out of them. One of the bosses in Links Awakening even Lampshade-hangs this. He sends a variety of minions at you, and after you're finished with them, he yells "You K-K-K-Beat my Brothers!!!"
      • The Angry Video Game Nerd mentions this, saying that it's the most hurtful thing in a Nintendo game, and then recites what he thinks should be the game over screen if it had a sequel.

    You're dead. Your Friends are dead. Your family's dead. Your fucking pets are being skinned alive. Your mom's a fucking whore. You suck at life. The whole world hates you. You're going to hell. Live with it. Game over!

      • Nintendo also banned references to alcohol (hence one Duke Nukem game featuring a wild west level with a poster proclaiming it was a "Dry Town by order of Sheriff Ted Nindo") and drugs (Perfect Dark‍'‍s Adrenaline Pills had to become "Combat Boosts" and Duke‍'‍s Steroids became "Vitamin X").
      • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles don't die, they "get caught".
        • Justified at least in the NES version since they DO get caught if defeated and can be found tied up in a chair and rescued in later levels.
      • The SNES port of Flashback renamed the Death Tower the Cyber Tower.
    • City of Heroes uses the ambiguous "arrest" or "defeat" to let the players decide whether their heroes use lethal force or not. This is subject to much Lampshade Hanging in fan works and sometimes the game itself. Yes, you can "arrest" people with a katana or giant lightning bolts, apparently.
      • The manager of the Monkey Fight Club insists "The monkeys ain't kilt! That's de-feat-ed!"
      • The developers seem to have become more lenient over the years, though - there are obvious instances of characters outright dying, and plenty more where it's left easy to assume. Although there is one character that some players seem to wish had died in the first appearance, considering the result when they returned.
      • City of Villains uses this more classically a lot of the time, even when contacts are telling you to use lethal force. You are, after all, a Villain Protagonist.
      • More specifically, for quite a while all the game's system messages ever said was "defeated." What "defeated" means is subject to context if the particular story involving the "defeat" chooses to elaborate. Some elaborations involve capture and interrogation, some involve death and killing, and some involve the defeated character "teleporting away." There is no default stance given to what a generic "defeat" should mean, however. However, toward the end of the game's life there were villain and Praetorian missions where you were explicitly instructed to kill a particular target, or ensure there were no surviving witnesses.
    • Mega Man Battle Network: Killerman.EXE, a Shinigami-styled assassin Navi, cries, "Jigoku ni ochi na!" ("Fall into hell!") as he buries his scythe in his victims. The English adaptation switched this to whispering "Sweet dreams" in the victim's ear. Hell, the guy himself is an example; the translation changed his name to "EraseMan" (with his chips still in the "k" code). Yeah, we're buying that.
      • However, when you beat an enemy, they are "deleted," which, while not called death, it has more to do with speaking in technical terms, and makes no attempt to hide the consequences. As well, Megaman is also explicitly contains the DNA and consciousness of Lan's twin brother.
    • The man who created Pokémon, Satoshi Tajiri, wanted his series to focus on the collecting potential of the Game Boy's Link Cable, instead of the violent nature of many an RPG, hence why the Monsters don't die in battle, only faint. That didn't stop Team Rocket from murdering Marowak in the original games, even in the English versions. Your Rival even points out this difference when you fight him in Pokemon Tower.

    TIME: Still, American kids like Pokémon, even without the blood.
    Tajiri: I was really careful in making monsters faint rather than die. I think that young people playing games have an abnormal concept about dying. They start to lose and say, "I'm dying." It's not right for kids to think about a concept of death that way. They need to treat death with more respect.

      • In Pokémon Mystery Dungeon, rated E for Extreme Technicality, this seems to be part of an overall pattern of very thinly veiling all manner of terrible, terrible things. This could actually make the game more disturbing, since it ends up reading like the characters are too innocent to come to terms with what's happening to them enough to talk about it straight-forwardly.
        • The Stadium games also mention how a Pokemon is "about to die" if you send it out while their HP is low. Take that as you will.
      • Several Pokédex entries do, however, use the word "die" in the context of "cessation of life" (Spoink for FireRed, Alakazam for Silver).
      • Likewise, in Pokemon XD: Gale of Darkness, you see two sailors tossed off the S.S. Libra during Cipher's attack in the intro, and yet there's no word on the fate of the ship for three days. On top of that, the only guy onboard who isn't a criminal doesn't look like he's part of the ship's crew. The game does such a good job glossing over the fact that Cipher committed mass homicide on the ship's human crew that younger and/or more naive players may not understand just what kind of people they're dealing with.
    • Mega Man Star Force never uses the verb, neither to humans nor to aliens. They also never use destroy, but some really poetic terms ("not among us anymore" or "he/she is in Heaven") or the sentence is never completed ("If you keep doing this, she will..."). In a part of the game, "die" is replaced by "hurt", creating this very stupid dialogue:

    Geo: "W-W-W-Wait a sec!! If you do that, you'll hurt the other guys, too!"
    Mega: "Then what do you suggest? Leave them be and let them cause an (car) accident and get hurt that way?"

      • In the third game the translators really had no choice, as such a high number of characters die, though mostly not permanently, yet they still danced with euphemisms quite a bit. When Ace dies, "kill" and "die" are used freely, repeatedly in the mourning dialogue. When Luna dies though, it's Never Say "Die" to the rescue.
    • X-Men Legends II turns all villain defeat (except for the giant bugs, which splatter) into a Non-Lethal KO, which isn't always plausible (tossing someone into lava, for example.) Discussion of death isn't toned down, though.
    • The Kingdom Hearts series uses this trope oddly. When in Disney worlds, the words "kill" and "death" can be used freely... by everybody EXCEPT the main characters. In the game's "real" storyline though, the words are completely forbidden, often being replaced by "destroyed", "finished", "defeated", and "sent to Oblivion".
      • The main exception to this rule was in the handheld Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. After battling Riku Replica in the "Reverse//Rebirth" mode (playing as Riku), he talks about his own death as he fades, even asking where his heart will go, or whether it will just disappear. Thanks to that the remake got a 10+ rating (surprisingly, the original GBA game didn't have trouble with that - possibly because that rating didn't exist then).
        • If the remake wasn't rated 10+ for that, it would be for another scene involving this trope. Vexen never actually said die - but Axel probably wasn't doing the game's rating any favors when he cut off "I don't want to [die]" by setting him ablaze.
          • The remake also averts it, with Axel saying "don't you go off and die on me now" before fighting Sora the first time.
      • The whole "Never Say Die" thing is even written into the story. Even if the world is consumed by darkness, the people living there don't die. Some of them become summon crystals, while the rest fall dormant until their world is restored. Even the people taken by the Heartless don't really die - when Sora "kills" a Heartless, its heart is cleansed and set free, and can return to its previous owner.
      • It gets even worse once it's not clear what the characters are even saying any more. Consider this: In KH2, a major subplot is Sora trying to find Riku. He knows he's alive about 3/4s of the way through the game, but then the evidence dries up. Near the end, he fights with a vision of Roxas, who tells him he "defeated" Riku. Once the fight's over, this sends Sora almost into a paranoid attack. But wait: that was just a vision, and Roxas hasn't existed for most of the game. That means he can't possibly be using "defeated" to mean "killed" since Riku is still alive after that and even the player knows it. That means, in the Kingdom Hearts world, "defeated" isn't censorship, but worse: the word actually does mean both "killed" AND "defeated", and no can ever figure out which you mean without an explanation.
        • Sora doesn't know who Roxas is, just that he's a member of the Organization. Since the Organization had shown themselves willing to use lethal force, fearing for Riku's life if he lost to one of them isn't much of a stretch. On the other hand, it is pretty likely that the characters would still use the euphemisms if censorship wasn't an issue.
      • Before one of his boss battles, Axel claims he'll "make it all stop". Larxene occasionally tells Sora to "Vanish!" during her boss battles. When Xemnas merges with Kingdom Hearts, he ask for the power to "erase" Sora and his friends.
      • One of Saix's lines during battle averts this trope, however, as he says "I want to see you die fighting.", though the line was supposedly removed in the actual release.
      • The English version of Birth by Sleep actually uses the word on a semi-frequent basis, even when the usage of "die" and threats of murder could have easily replaced with something less hostile without it even sounding the least bit odd. Then again, it is a prequel that takes place before the Heartless were unleashed. The concept of death was likely much simpler before you could return to your normal self by having someone wielding a magic key kill your monster self. There are some instances where euphemisms are used, such as Aqua commenting on how Master Eraqus had been "struck down" and Ven asking his friends to "put an end" to him, though given the circumstances, it could be that the characters themselves (rather than the censors) want to avoid using the actual words.
    • The first English localization of ActRaiser did this to the extreme. In a very obviously god simulation with world-changing whims and angels who report to you, the localization tried hard to completely erase all notions of this in the text. God became "Master", temples became "shrines", prophets/seers became "fortune tellers", and other thoroughly unconvincing euphemisms. The game itself, though, was one of the best god sims of its time, and remained this good in English, the transparent Executive Meddling notwithstanding.
    • In the NES version of Dragon Quest IV. Psaro/Saro's nickname Death Pizzaro is rendered as Necrosaro.
    • Nobody dies in Kingdom of Loathing, they just get 'Beaten Up', a condition that lasts 3-4 gameplay turns. You can assume NPC's also suffer the same fate, since the end of combat is usually described as simply, "You win the fight!" But if the combat ends on a Disco Bandit's face stabbing combos, a "FATALITY!" is announced.
    • Oddly inverted in the Kirby Super Star sub-game "The Revenge of Meta Knight"—Meta Knight clearly says "Prepare to Die!" before dueling Kirby, yet in the Enhanced Remake, he says "Prepare to meet your doom!"
    • Played for laughs in Super Paper Mario. Death is replaced by "game over" and kill by "end the game". And getting resurrected by Jaydes is called a "continue". The game, as well as whole Paper Mario series, does not always play this straight, since Wracktail says "death" when Mario meets him. Peach also averts this near the end of the game in a very serious moment. Also, the first Paper Mario has Mario being accused of being a murderer.
    • In the Mother series, defeating enemies will render them to "become tame", "stop moving", "return to normal", "disappear", or "be defeated". Justification occurs though that some things such as moving records, lamps, and street signs would "stop moving" and return to normal, non-animated/living objects.
    • In Star Wars Battlefront II, the text bar that records important actions says "killed" or "died" for when an ordinary soldier is killed and "defeated" or "fled" for heroes. Though the all-heroes battle (Mos Eisley Assault) treats heroes like normal characters.
    • Metal Gear Solid for GBC. Hoo boy. Let's start by stating this is a game about terrorists trying to start a nuclear war. It contains a scene where a minor character is killed out of the blue by exploding handcuffs. It contains another where the Big Bad graphically discusses a rape-murder and avoids those specific words.
    • Played for laughs in Mario Super Sluggers, where a Magikoopa who Bowser charged with guarding a lighthouse confuses sayings each time you challenge it. (for example "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man angry and hungry for pies."). If you fail his challenge and talk to him he'll attempt to use the expressions "Never say die" and "live and let die" only replacing the word 'die' with 'bye.' When a Lakitu attempts to correct him, he interrupts the correction and the challenge begins.
    • The French version of Tales of Symphonia is a funny example of this when you understand English, because while the text is in French, the voice acting is still in English. So you hear "killed" and read "destroyed/eliminated/disposed of/badly hurt". They toned down some of the stuff Zelos says, too...
    • In Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean MMORPG, you are asked to "defeat" a certain type of enemy, even if "defeating" means whacking them with a cutlass, shooting them, throwing grenades at them, or what have you.
    • New Super Mario Bros. Wii's instruction manual quite glaringly refers to "blunder" and "make a mistake" rather than death. It still says you "lose a life" though.
      • And now it's gotten worse: Sonic Colors manual refers to "losing a try."
    • All references to House of the Dead in Sega Superstars Tennis and Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing are labelled "Curien Mansion" or acronymed as "HOTD". This is for two reasons: A) Sumo Digital aimed for the games to be as family-friendly as possible[2] and B) the House of the Dead series is banned in Germany, the application of this trope here serving as a form of sneaking past German censors.
    • The SNES port of Art of Fighting replaced the "Super Death Blow" (actually a literal translation of "Chou Hissatsu Waza", the Japanese term for Super Moves) with a "Super Fire Blow".
    • The heavily bowdlerized SNES port of Mortal Kombat, aside for removing all the blood and gore from the arcade game, renamed the game's "Fatalities" into "Finishing Moves", with at least three of the characters' original Fatalities being replaced by so-called "new moves". However, variations of some of them did end up in newer games, like Sub-Zero's freeze-and-shatter.
    • Some of the early Romance of the Three Kingdoms games on SNES(/PSX?). Whenever you captured an opposing officer in battle, you were offered the chance to "Hire/Recruit" them, release them, or "Capture" them. Judging by the fact that, once you "capture" them, they never show up in that particular playthrough again, it's fairly easy to decipher what happened.
      • The later games (PlayStation 2-era on) definitely avert this trope, replacing the word "Capture" with "Execute" - complete with death quotes (usually pleas for mercy) and the telltale sound of a sword being unsheathed. Although it's usually a good idea to hire them first if they're skilled - then to check to see if they've got a large family. Executing someone with the family name Sun will make your life very difficult later.
    • Countless instruction cards for early video games referred to vanquished player characters as "becoming tired" or similar; a big offender when you actually saw Pac-Man dissolve to nothing and *pop* as the ghost ate him.
    • The manual for the Action Man game on Game Boy Color makes a big deal about the fact that all the enemies are robots and that your weapons are anti-robot only.
    • Averted in, of all things, the Spyro the Dragon series - even before the dark and gritty reboot (though averted there as well).
    • The 1992 Sega Genesis fighting game Deadly Moves (originally called Power Athlete in Japan), was retitled Power Moves when it was ported to the Super NES. It became Hilarious in Hindsight when Nintendo later published a certain game called Killer Instinct.
    • Played with in the Touhou manga "Strange and Bright Nature Deity"; according to canon, fairies instantly resurrect when killed. So it has the three protagonist-fairies regarding a tree which has been split in half by lightning, worried about the fairies that lived there. "They must have been ...!" Cut to a dazed-looking fairy floating along in the breeze. "Yeah, that must be them over there. They'll probably be out of commission for a while."
    • Super Mario Galaxy: "She's- She's- She's sleeping under the tree on top of the hill!"
      • Also, before you even fight him, Bowser will actually say "I'm gonna smash you to space bits!"
    • Slightly averted in Spyro the Dragon: Ripto's Rage - in one level you have to kill a Yeti, and while the character talking clearly says "Even though I am a vegetarian, I think you should kill that Yeti," in the subtitles, the game replaces "kill" with "torch".
    • Strangely inverted in Snoopy Flying Ace. As it is a Peanuts game, pilots whose planes are destroyed, no matter how violently, make it out alive and can be seen parachuting down safely. However, the game itself still refers to bringing other planes down and getting shot down yourself/crashing as "Kills" and "Deaths".
    • In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban's GBA version, defeating an enemy results in the following quote: "(enemy) went away!", and the results screen says "The fleeing enemy dropped". Odd for a series that deals heavily with death.
    • Played completely straight in The World Ends With You, with the constant repetitions of "failure" in the Game leading to "erasure." Up until The Reveal, anyway. Erasure isn't a stand-in for death - you're already dead.
    • In DC Universe Online, when you die you are "knocked out". The game also usually refers to killing mobs for quests as "destroying" or "knocking out".
    • The first Freddi Fish game very strangely averts this trope, though all of Humongous Entertainment's other games try to avoid using this trope. In the Junior Arcades, the manuals would never call it "death" if you lost a try.
    • Strangely played straight in Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. The message that pops up after you successfully kill the world's host during an invasion is always "Target is Destroyed" instead of say, "Target Killed". Even when Dark Souls' recent patch changes some of the other status message, only that particular one is unchanged. Although slightly justified in Dark Souls where nearly everyone you meet cannot Technically stay dead due to them being Undead.
    • R. Scott Campbell of Interplay tells this story of how a SNES game based on The Lord of the Rings was originally rejected. Nintendo would not let them include the line "Nine for mortal men doomed to die". They seriously considered changing it to "Nine mortal men doomed to cry".

    Web Animation

    • A Bonus Stage episode in which Joel learns, from the book Do-It-Yourself Standards & Practices, how to retool the show for a child audience, we hear this exchange (words in brackets being obviously dubbed):

    Phil: Wh--... what just happened?
    Joel: It's been a week, dude. You came back from the [hurt] after I [destroyed] you and sent you to [Hades]. That stuff was, uh, cut... for, uh... time.


    Web Comics

    • One of the oddities of language in Erfworld is the use of "croaked" instead of "dead" or "killed" (and "uncroaked" instead of "undead"). However, this is clearly done by the characters and not the author, because Parson does refer to it as death and takes note of how completely inappropriate death seems in this otherwise cute and cuddly setting.

    Western Animation

    • An episode of Animaniacs has the Warners escaping from a boring man, exclaiming "Free at last, free at last, thank G-" at which point they are cut off by the man reappearing.
      • Another episode featured Slappy Squirrel guarding the apple in the Garden of Eden. She claims she was given the job by "Mr. Big".
      • In the first Rita and Runt cartoon, where the two are in the pound. Rita says "Ah what difference does it make, soon we'll be sleeping the 'big sleep'." Runt states that he could use a nap, to which Rita snaps "They're gonna gas us you buffoon. We'll be dead!"
      • Parodied (and also a great comment on Disney's "for kids" movies) in one of the funniest Slappy the Squirel shorts "Bumbie's Mom" where Slappy and Skippy see "Bumbie" and Skippy freaks out when Bumbie's mom is shot and killed. Throughout the entire episode Slappy tries to explain that no one dies in cartoons and that Bumbie's mom is alive. Skippy continuously replies "Bumbie's mom, she's...huuuuuuhuhuhoohoohoohoo!" Slappy finally takes Skippy to see the "actor" that played Bumbie's mom and he feels better...then on the plane ride back they show "Old Yellow" and Skippy starts crying when they shoot Old Yellow the dog. Slappy then just says "Ah, fade out already!"
      • One high-risk episode has the Warners visiting Hell and annoying the devil. When it does come up, Hell is called "Hades."
    • G.I. Joe is infamous for having characters always parachute out after enemy aircraft are shot down, even from helicopters. A writer on the series has noted that the closest they could come to death was mentioning "casualties."
      • Another infamous example is in G.I. Joe: The Movie, where Duke is mortally wounded by Serpentor. He was originally supposed to die (and taking the scene at face value, he does). But when the Executives found out about it, they decided to try it out in Transformers: The Movie. After the reaction to Optimus Prime's death, however, they backpedaled and made them insert dialogue about Duke only being in a coma, and a line about him recovering at the end.
        • The theme song that appears in the movie actually says that the Joes "Never Say "Die"". Mind you, they don't have to, because nobody ever does.
      • Averted hard in the Darker and Edgier/Bloodier and Gorier G.I. Joe Resolute, where right off the bat we not only see two major characters die, but see their bodies.
      • G.I. Joe Renegades plays with this though, having numerous deaths (off-camera), but still managing to avoid the "d-word" itself, even when when the Joes are eulogizing a fallen comrade.
    • Excellent aversions in Adventure Time:

    Jake: (with bitter resignation) Dude... let's kill the horse.

    • Teen Titans used every synonym in the book in the second season finale episode "Aftershock", which felt especially awkward with the dark dialog and tone the episode set.
      • The Big Bad in the series was only ever referred to as Slade; in the comics he's Deathstroke the Terminator. "Killer Moth" and "Brother Blood" were kept, but the production crew had to fight for them.
      • Likewise in season four finale "The End". Slade saying "I don't even expect you to live" is probably the closest the series ever came to an aversion of this trope. But he's not even able to directly address his own currently undead state, when his mask is knocked off to reveal a skeletal face.
        • Fully averted in "The Sum Of His Parts". Granted, Cyborg was talking about his batteries dying but he did say die and Starfire thought he meant actual dying. Also, his suit is life support, so wouldn't his batteries dying kill him?
      • The effect this had on the show really varied a lot. Most of the euphemisms worked coming from Slade, because it fit with his Creepy Monotone and general clinical cruelty. In the above-mentioned Terra scenes in "Aftershock", however, the dialogue felt jarringly Narmful precisely because the episode was so intense- nobody would use a euphemism in that situation!
        • Unless, of course, Slade could continue to control Terra's lifeless corpse through the suit, so they would have to do more than kill her, they'd have to properly "destroy" her entire body...
    • Various examples in Spider-Man: The Animated Series, known for its particularly heavy censorship. Semper had to have Mary Jane and the Green Goblin fall through an interdimensional portal instead of to their deaths. It is stated that The Punisher's family, rather than being gunned down, was simply "caught in a crossfire between rival gangs," and the same applied to the wife of the Destroyer. Uncle Ben simply "tried to stop the burglar that broke into his house, but the burglar was armed." At one point, when the Goblin returns after seemingly perishing, Spider-Man says, "You?! But I thought you were--" and the Goblin cuts him off with, "I'm not... but you'll soon be!"
      • The Punisher when appearing on the show was said to use "lethal force", but the words "death" and "kill" never appeared. He's also eventually talked into using non-lethal weaponry pretty quickly by his sidekick.
      • Morbius the Living Vampire drank "plasma", not blood (he was also modified to use suckers in his hands rather than biting people). (But in the Swedish dub, it was "blood plasma", so he was sucking blood through suckers in his hands.) Interestingly, he's sorta censor-flipped from the original comics. Due to the Comics Code's prohibition of such things at the time, Morbius had to wear a bright red and blue suit and not have anything like a vampire theme beyond the fact that he sucked blood. The cartoon was able to make him much more vampirey, dressing in black and having the expected accent.
      • Interestingly enough, Venom constantly commenting to Spidey on how "We will destroy you" didn't lose any of its effectiveness, most likely due to the manner in which he delivered it. He eventually became a very popular character in the show despite his few appearances.
      • The worst example, though, was Carnage, a particularly brutal serial killer who became popular in the comics as part of the Darker and Edgier late '80s/early '90s. It's stated that he was a vicious criminal before becoming super-powered, but the word "killer" is never used. After becoming super-powered, he is recruited by the alien-god-thing Dormammu to drain the life force from people to power him up, bringing him into this world. Draining people only leaves them near death, and naturally, when he's defeated, all this life energy is returned.
      • One Episode Adverted it when Mac Gargen before becoming The Scropion says kill
      • It's worth mentioning that The Spectacular Spider-Man mostly averts this.
        • Interestingly, The Spectacular Spider-Man has actually had fewer death references than the 90s series, and no deaths (other than backstory ones) thus far. However, there's less Bowdlerizing in other areas. The 90s series wasn't even a little bit shy about Death by Origin Story, and also had the clone Mary Jane and Hydro-Man die (a Tear Jerker of a scene, actually) as well as the real Mysterio (by choosing to stay behind in the Collapsing Lair with his lover, who deliberately initiated the collapse because, to her, death was preferable to remaining disfigured. Double suicide in a kids' show. Later, Mysterio was referred to as "no longer with us" - avoidance of the word, but a reminder of a censor-unfriendly moment you'd think Fox Kids would want swept under the rug.) It contained far more deaths than some shows that were braver when it came to using the D-word.
      • Sometimes the aversion of the word death would take the dialogue into serious Narm territory. In the episode "Return of Hydro-Man Part 2" Mary Jane says, with all seriousness, "I just can't shake the feeling that when we find out what's wrong with me, it's going to lead to my destruction!" Serious intents or not, try saying that out loud and see what kind of reaction you get. This Mary Jane was later revealed to be a clone, and did indeed die shortly later..
      • Not only did TSSM avert this, but they sometimes used even more colorful language concerning death. For example...

    Doc Ock (holding up a captured Spider-Man): Rhino, you won the coin toss. Will you crush his skull or simply impale his heart on your horn?

        • As well as...

    Green Goblin: Any minute now the creme de la creme of New York City is going to paint the town red! (low, ominous voice) Well the ballroom anyway...

    • In the Silver Surfer animated series, Thanos is the primary antagonist. In the comics, Thanos has a crush on (the embodiment of) Death, a plot which carries over into the show. Death, however, is called "Lady Chaos" for television purposes.
    • Partial aversion: X-Men plays this trope as straight-as-can-be throughout (especially in the second episode) but got to play with quite tellingly in the first appearance of the Juggernaut. He is crushed under rubble and Jubilee cries out, with unmistakable delight, "You killed him!". Of course, Jugs is just fine, revealing that the word can be used if it doesn't actually refer to someone dying.
      • Beast even once said "Ours is not to question why, ours is but to do and..." in a manner very reminiscent of the Spider-Man series). Also, the series certainly broke some rules with Nightcrawler's introductory episode, in which the character would repeatedly refer to God by name and give deep, meaningful testimonies in regards to His works (ironically, Fox execs said they HAD to... lest people think Nightcrawler was a devil). In the "Phalanx Covenant" two-parter (well into the more heavily-censored part of the series), Magneto was even allowed to say "Thank God!"
        • ...and Beast once got to refer to hell - as in, the really hot place that's the reason the word is controversial - by name at another point!
        • Which is weird, considering that the Hellfire Club's name was changed to the "Inner Circle Club"... this grand tradition has also apparently been carried on in Wolverine and the X-Men. That said, Wolverine and the X-Men did avert the rule of never saying "die", "kill", or "killed".
      • Overall it wildly varies, villains often say "destroy them!", but Bishop regularly uses the words "die" or "killed" in the "Days of Future Past" two parter, and Magneto also uses the word "die" in the Season 1 finale. It seems there was a limit on how often they could say die or kill, but not a ban.
    • In the Bratz DVD "Genie Magic", Cloe (one of the 4 Bratz) is annoyed at two of the regular boys for scaring the girls during a slumber party and says, "I wish you would croak." Their new friend turns out to be a genie, and a Literal Genie at that, as she turns the boys into frogs. One of the other girls gets cut off while explaining what Cloe really meant.
    • Rugrats unabashedly used the word "dead" in the episode when Chuckie's pet potato bug died—of course, the babies' grasp of death is only that it's "when you sleep for a long time... like forever."—but eventually shied away from it. For example, in the Passover special, the 10th plague on Egypt is called "taking away the first born."
      • This is most painfully evident in the "Mother's Day Special", where the fate of Chuckie's mom is strongly hinted at, but never said outright. (Didi just about says it at one point, but Chaz cuts her off; later, when talking to Chuckie, he nervously mentions his mom being "in the hospital.") Her grave is seen in a later episode.
      • The Spin Off All Grown Up! apparently had no qualms about saying the d-word, albeit not in the sense of literally dying. For example, one ep has Angelica say "I wouldn't be caught dead at her stupid party"... and then react to finding out that Tommy caught her saying that on tape, "Tommy Pickles is a dead man." (The same episode also has an instance of the k-word, of course, not in the sense of actual killing: "I'll kill you off in this movie, and bring you back as the alien robot in the sequel.")
    • As far as other Nicktoons go...
      • The Ren and Stimpy Show averted this as early as its pilot episode, "Big House Blues". When one of their inmates is carried off to be euthanized, Stimpy asks Ren what the "big sleep is". Ren responds with "HE'S DEAD!!! DEAD, YOU IDIOT!!! YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT DEAD IS?" The show even averts Nobody Can Die, as Ren and Stimpy die at the end of many of their episodes (although Snap Back and Negative Continuity cancel it out each time). "Terminal Stimpy" is even about Stimpy being on his last life and learning how to accept death.
      • Rocko's Modern Life also averts this in the episode where Rocko and Heffer take care of Filburt's pet bird. When Heffer sits on it, it dies. Rocko's response is "He's dead. We've killed him. We've killed Filburt's bird." This was also averted in many other episodes, such as when Heffer went "To Heck and Back."
      • SpongeBob SquarePants averted this time and again in its early episodes. In fact, one episode, Dying For Pie has "dying" in its very title.
        • Subverted with the episode where they believe they've killed Squidward.

    Spongebob: I don't know how to tell you this, Pat, but Squidward...he's...he's pushing up daisies!
    Patrick: Oh, I thought he was dead.

      • Invader Zim plays Nobody Can Die straight often, as seen with Keef in "Bestest Friend", Iggins in "Game Slave II" and the various people crushed on-screen in "Hamstergeddon". However, the show will avert this trope as often is it plays it straight. For example, in "Hobo 13":

    Zim: * upon seeing Invader Skooge* Skooge?! But I thought The Tallest killed you!
    Skooge: Yeah... but I'm okay now!

      • Avatar: The Last Airbender has a weird relation with this trope: it mostly averts it, both in humorous and serious dialogue, but sometimes (especially in season 3) it would play it straight. Some defend that the times the word is not used is justified, since the characters who go for euphemisms wouldn't want to use the actual words, but there are occasions a little harder to justify ("The Southern Raiders" had a nigh complete avoidance of explicitly using the word, even though the episode's entire plot is about killing a person to get revenge for another person's murder).
        • As far as "The Southern Raiders" goes, that's probably why. They could use the words in episodes where death wasn't the main focus, or when it was a villain attempting the killing, but an entire episode about a teenage girl main character setting out to kill a man for revenge? That's not something a parent can cover the kid's ears for, or justify by pointing out that it's a bad guy committing the violence. Not to mention that they probably had to give up something in exchange for the infamous tent scene.
      • El Tigre expresses the most common usage of the trope in current American cartoons. While they use the word kill passively, "I was nearly killed," they skirt away whenever it calls for directly: "Are you sure this isn't a part of some sinister plot to destroy me?/She tried to get close to me, to destroy me." Basically you're not generally going to hear the statement, "I kill you" in an American cartoon today.
      • Making Fiends is all about a psychopathic little girl named Vendetta who creates demons and wants to kill another girl because she doesn't fear Vendetta and unwittingly thinks she's her best friend. Yet Vendetta almost always says "destroy" instead of kill. Being that she likes to be vague with her statements and has slightly broken English, she may be invoking this, though this trope was subverted in Nickelodeon's version of the fourth webisode when she exclaimed "You should be dead!".
    • The World of David the Gnome did have a final episode where the gnome couple "pass over" in an enchanted meadow, but has only been shown one time on Nickelodeon.
    • The animated series The Little Prince had one episode jump through several hoops to avoid even considering the apparent death of a old man's pet bear, even though the man is clearly praying before the bear's grave in one scene. As this cartoon is from abroad the American edition has to hurriedly throw together awkward dialogue and editing in order to "resurrect" the little bear by the end.
    • While the cast of Visionaries: Knights of the Magical Light: Knights of the Magical Light would do the whole "destroy" thing, they interestingly also commonly used the word "slay", which - given the neo-medieval basis of the story - is fairly appropriate.
    • The Powerpuff Girls played this trope straight even to cockroaches, which are not killed but "squished, smashed, stepped-on," etc. In the same episode, a cockroach-based villain is thrown from his cockroach mecha to splat on the pavement below...

    Blossom: Oh noooo! It's definitely not okay to squish a person!

      • Fortunately, it was just a robot.
      • In "Ploys R Us", where the Professor sleepwalks and unknowingly steals toys from the toy store for the girls, the mayor and police ambush the professor towards the end, shooting at him with toy guns till he collapses. The girls assume he's dead, but all they can get out is "Now he's... gone!".
        • That is, until the girls find out that the Professor was shot with "fake bullet suction thingies".
      • Averted in some occasions.
    • Parodied in an episode of Family Guy where Meg says that her class is performing Death of a Salesman, but because they aren't allowed to say "death", the ending just has everyone dancing around with sparklers.
    • From the Inhumanoids Five Episode Pilot: "If his friends release him, we're ended."
      • When the inhumanoids themselves were making threats, they often used language that was downright poetic, such as when Metlar said "You shall dwell in eternal darkness!"
    • ...A sad, sad example, would be the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Off Balance," where agents of Talia al-Ghul's Society of Shadows quite clearly each use a gaseous Cyanide Pill—their dead eyes staring into nothingness—and in the very next scene Batman tells Gordon that they'd used the gas "to erase their own minds." Suuure they did.
      • This was possibly a bit of a Take That to the censors at Warner Brothers. In the DVD commentaries, both Bruce Timm and Paul Dini state that since they were not allowed to kill off any humans, they frequently tried to come up with things that were inherently more disturbing than outright death. In this case, the bad guys essentially lobotomized themselves.
        • They took advantage of the times they were allowed to do so indirectly, though; in "Mad Love", a newspaper headline reads: "Joker still at large; body count rises"
      • And in an example of Tropes Are Tools is the death of the Flying Graysons. They were not allowed to show their fall or death in any way, but that shot of the severed rope swinging back into view is all the more gruesome.
        • Reportedly, the production staff was able to get around this restriction in the case of the Scarface dummy, which did not qualify as human; the animators were able to vent their "darker impulses" upon the dummy by destroying it in increasingly grisly ways (i.e., machine-gunning it, chewing it up in a grinder, etc.) in every episode in which it appeared.
      • Likewise with The Joker's laughing gas. Also a certified source of Nightmare Fuel.
      • Assassins carrying pills for "erasing their minds" is later brought back up during Batman Beyond, actually. At least they're consistent.
      • Averted in the first episode that Mr. Freeze appears in. "Sooner or later all who stand in my way must feel the icy touch of death!"
        • Then taken to the full aversion by the time of Justice League Unlimited, when Amanda Waller tells Batman, "The only way to stop Ace for certain is to kill her." And Ace was in her early teens no less.
        • In "The Sins of Fathers" Two Face explicitly orders his thugs to kill Tim Drake, age twelve.
    • In The Batman they never said die, but the writing was good enough that you never really noticed it. Except during Mister Freeze's constant ice puns.
    • The Legend of Zelda animated series had an interesting one. Something like "One more blast and you'll be de-energized, Ganon!"
      • Though there was one time where Ganon actually was defeated, with the same result as with his minions—he just gets transported into the Evil Jar, and will presumably free himself in the near future to wreak more havoc. On that note, another episode begins with Ganon attacking Hyrule Castle and trying to zap Link into the Evil Jar, though a convoluted series of events makes only his body go there, with his spirit left behind. As Zelda mourns the apparent loss of the hero, Link's spirit remarks "Gee, you'd think I was destroyed or something!" So apparently a fall in combat has different consequences for good and evil.
        • It really did get ridiculous - villains try to "destroy" heroes, but heroes only send villains to the main villain's jar thingy where he can simply send them again.
    • In the most recent[when?] The Fairly OddParents movie, Cosmo and Wanda's newborn son has been kidnapped by H.P. and Anti-Cosmo. Wanda tells them, "If you so much as lay a hand on our baby, I'll destroy both of you!" It did sound a bit forced, but was worth it to hear her threatening to single-handedly murder them.
      • However, just like Danny Phantom, Timmy has talked about worrying about dying or getting killed before.
    • On the Garfield and Friends musical episode, "The Man Who Hated Cats", Garfield overhears the titular man singing about a cat he owned when he was young who ran away. He sings, "Foo-Foo had fled/I wished I was..." and starts sobbing.
      • A U.S. Acres segment parodying the poem "Casey At the Bat" includes a quip about the fans chanting " 'Kill the Umpire!' long and low/But you cannot kill a person/On a TV cartoon show."
    • Winx Club: An S2 episode shies away from explicitly saying that the Trix had killed one of the Specialists Prince Sky, settling for having one of the Winx check for a pulse and say he doesn't have one. The 4Kids dub takes things further, by having the Trix explicitly say a couple times that they've put the Specialist in a 100-year deep sleep (Not That There's Anything Wrong with That, because of what happens next), while strangely still keeping in the pulse bit.
      • S4: Ep 24 kills off Nabu, Chekhov's Gift notwithstanding... or does it? When Morgana takes Nabu's body away, she promises to take care of him "until he wakes up". This has lead some of the fans to believe that Nabu is still alive, but in a coma, although the way the other characters act in the last two episodes seem to make it clear that Nabu really is dead.
    • The ghost monsters in the Pac-Man animated series always talk about how they're going to chomp the eponymous character (this is justified by having them actually bite him whenever they have the opportunity to do so).
    • The 2003 series of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 has a slight variation. "Die" is sometimes said, otherwise replaced with "perish" or "pass away". However, this is rather "Never say kill" as they only use "destroy" or "slay."
    • 10-year-old Word Girl is never "almost killed," since it's an educational kids show. Still, "Is this the end for Word Girl" is repeated a few times. A villain proclaims "Good-Bye, Word Girl!" as his robot is commanded to "Crush" her. She's almost "Done For," "Finished Off," "and Defeated." And since this is a show about vocabulary, I'm guessing they'll find other ways to carefully explain how she was almost killed.
    • In Transformers Generation 1, death words are used frequently, but death happens infrequently (until the movie, which is nearly a Kill'Em All so new toys can replace the old. The season following the movie didn't kill off any known characters, though one disastrous battle saw the destruction of several ships known to be manned.) Later series use them less, preferring 'scrapped,' 'taken offline,' etc but are more likely to have a death stick. Rattrap's Catch Phrase is a sardonic "we're all gonna die," but when someone's actually believed to be dead, "scrapped" or "destroyed" is much more likely to be used when referring to their condition.
      • In Transformers Animated "offline" seems to be the primary euphemism for death, but it's still not exactly the same: the series Magnetic Plot Device is still able to bring you back from that.
        • "Offline" is also preferred in Beast Machines, which, like Animated, was headed by Marty Isenberg.
        • Then it's averted when it comes to a human in the premiere of the third season of Animated, when Prime tells Ratchet to get Sari out of her Superpower Meltdown with his EMP and Ratchet flat out says "...that could kill her!"
        • Transformers Prime averts this right from the start (and does so gloriously, killing off Cliffjumper in the first five minutes. Then Megatron brings an army explicitly back from the dead... yeah, it's not going to ever play this straight, thank God.
      • Averted, shockingly enough in the pre-school series Transformers Go Bots - In "Racer-Bot Road Rally", one racer ends up falling of a cliff. He is saved though, prompting the the commentator to say this:

    Go News Network reporter: Amazing! Aero-Bot saved that rally driver from certain death.

    • In an episode of Thundercats, Lion-O and Wilykit stumble across what is clearly a dead body. Wilykit's reaction... "He's not alive!" Face Palm.
    • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog plays this trope literally; at one point, when Sonic and Tails are rushing toward a wall, Tails says "It's a dead end!" Sonic replies, "Hey, Sonic the hedgehog never says dead!" In general, the show tended to avert this, but that was just a really weird incidence.
    • Samurai Jack: Averted with gusto by Aku in Episode XXX, ironically titled "Jack and the Zombies".

    "Samurai, samurai... why WON'T YOU DIE?!"

      • Played straight throughout the rest of the show as it's guaranteed that anything that is killed, no matter how gruesome, violent, or destructive the means, will be robotic.
    • In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, MODOK, the Mental Organism Designed Only For Killing becomes MODOC, the Mental Organism Designed Only For Chaos (or Conquest. Definitely not Killing, though). Odd, since the series makes no attempt to gloss over Howard Stark's death.
    • Justified in ReBoot. Though in the third season and beyond they often would use the words 'kill' and 'death'. For the first two seasons, the reasonable substitute 'deleted' was frequently used in its place.
      • The first two seasons used "erased" in place of death (still an appropriate term). The later seasons used "deleted" most of the time but would occasionally use "kill" and "death" when "deleted" wouldn't sound right.
    • Lampshaded in Metalocalypse where upon finding out that Pickles is dying, the band insists on using the term "Hamburger Time" when referring to death. Hilarity Ensues.
    • The entire Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "Gee-whiz" makes fun of this trope. A billboard for a gun show appears to show the face of Gee-whiz in the woodgrain of the gun stock. Frylock plays an informative video from "Standards and Practices" outlining what is and isn't allowed on the show so that Meatwad will understand why Frylock has to say "Gee-whiz." (Although in the end, it's not Gee-whiz, but Ted Nugent.)
    • Mostly played straight in Inspector Gadget, except for a few instances such as "I am offering you a life or death contract", or "When the clock strikes five, guess who won't be alive?".
    • Parodied in The Simpsons, in which a gangster expresses surprise at seeing disgraced actor Troy McClure, having believed him to be dead because his boss told him he 'sleeps with the fishes' Turns out it wasn't a euphemism for death, but rather a euphemism for his alleged sexual fetish involving marine life.
      • Ned Flanders has shown himself to be reluctant to just come out and tell Marge about Homer's "death" in the season 7 episode, "Mother Simpson"

    Ned: Marge, we're here because of Homer's, you know, passing...
    Marge: *beat*
    Ned: Away...
    Marge: *beat*
    Ned: ...Into death...

    • In Baby Looney Tunes, Granny says her mom "lives a long way away now". Hrm.
    • Deliberately Averted with Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers. Characters openly acknowledge corpses ("New Frontier," "Gift of Life"), fear for their lives ("One Million Emotions"), and make death threats.
    • In The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, when Rabbit disappears in one of Gopher's many dynamite explosions, the others look all over to see where (if anywhere) he landed and come up empty. Tigger's line: "We're just gonna have to face it. Bunny-Boy's gone." (Turned out he had grabbed onto a tree branch and was still hanging from it.)
    • Anytime death would be a possibility in Mucha Lucha, the threat is instead to the removal of their mask. Fights where their masks are on the line being a big deal for luchadores is truth in television, but it gets ridiculous when the Mayincatec Slamazonians plan on sacrificing Buena Girl's mask to the gods.
    • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes both plays it straight and averts it. MODOC is (like in an example above) changed from Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing to Mental Organism Designed Only for Conquest, and Baron Zemo commands his Masters of Evil to "Destroy them all!" (meaning the Avengers). But there are also several onscreen deaths (some quite brutal) and the words "kill" and "dead" are mentioned.
    • Actively averted in Star Trek: The Animated Series, which was not afraid to mention or show death. This became a rather large source of controversy in the episode "Yesteryear", which featured the death of Spock's childhood pet and the sadness that comes with it in a surprisingly realistic manner.
      • What was even more shocking was that the pet was euthanized.
    • In Go, Diego, Go! it's never quite said why certain animals are deathly afraid of their predators, most likely due to the show being targeted at toddlers and young children.
    • In Superfriends, it's most played straight except for one Wonder Twins story, "Drag Racing" when one boy responds to two guys who want to drag race on a city street that it's against the law and they could be killed doing it.
    • Parodied in a Johnny Bravo episode; Johnny, as a superhero, saves a falling passenger plane... solely to eat the peanuts that fall out of it, then he tosses the plane beyond the mountains where it explodes in a fireball. Then the passengers' offscreen voices assure the viewer: "We're fine!"

    Real Life

    • Note this quote, popular among some computer programmers:

    "C programmers never die. They are just cast into void."

      • This is based on the quote, "Old soldiers don't die, they just fade away."
    • Some gamers invert this by referring to everything that takes something out of the game as death. Even in pen-and-paper roleplaying games, it's not uncommon to hear "unconscious" referred to as "dead".
    • Paul Erdos, a very famous and highly eccentric mathematician, had a very unique vocabulary, where people who stopped doing math had "died", and people who actually died had "left".
    • Freshman in the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets are not allowed to say the words "die" or "death". If they do and are caught doing so, they are typically forced to do push-up.
      • Actually, nobody but seniors are supposed to be allowed to say this, it's just that most people are too lazy to punish anyone but a freshman.
    • Real Life EMT/Paramedic training averts this hard. You're not supposed to use euphemisms like "passed away" or "no longer with us" when delivering the bad news to family members, as it raises stress by equivocating and hedging around the reality of a loved one's death.
      • This got lampshaded in an episode of Scrubs, the first time Keith had to tell a patient he was going to die. He reported back to J.D. and Turk that he'd told the patient there was nothing more they could do for him, but they'd try to make him comfortable.

    J.D.: Yeah. I'm gonna need you to go back in there and use some form of the word "die": "dead", "dying", "deadsies", "deadwood". Your choice.
    Keith: What was the middle one?
    J.D.: Deadsies.
    (Keith goes to talk to the patient again)
    Turk: Deadwood?
    J.D.: Did you know cowboys used to curse?

    • Rush Limbaugh often refers to the recently deceased as having "assumed room temperature".
    • Inverted in Unix/BSD/Linux operating systems: processes may be merely sleeping, defunct (aka zombies) and may be killed. For the curious, a process becomes a zombie because its parent process hasn't destroyed it properly.
    • When a Roman consul announced an execution, he said Vixerunt ("They have lived") or some grammatical variation on that to avoid directly mentioning death.
      • For the sake of clarity it should be noted that in Latin, the perfect tense indicates that an action is now complete, so to say "Marcus Tullius Iucundus has lived" would be the equivalent of saying "Marcus Tullius Iucundus has finished his life."
    • Not only are they not allowed to look at corpses, but traditional Navajos will not say dead or died. If someone died of natural causes, they "took up their living elsewhere." If they died otherwise, they "stopped moving." And it doesn't actually matter whether they're talking Navajo, English, or Spanish; this can apparently cause confusion if, say, Navajo motorists call 911 after witnessing accidents.
    • German language tends to avoid any active usage of "töten" (to kill), especially in present and future tense. Instead, the less ... determined word "umbringen" (lit. to bring down) is used (both of them are equivalents of English "to kill").
      • Therefore, if someone does actually use "töten" instead of "umbringen", he's damned serious - and you should better run.
    • An Urban Legend regarding Disney Theme Parks is that they will only allow visitors to be declared dead only off park property.
    • In the most polite scenarios the Japanese word to use is "takaisuru", literally "other-worlding".
    • The Roleplay Rules of the LEGO Message boards only permit a member to "defeat" another member, not kill or maim them.
    • At WWE Extreme Rules 2011, when John Cena announced to the crowd that Osama bin Laden had been killed, he stated that he had been "captured and compromised to a permanent end." This from a man who used to say "bitch" frequently. When he was the hero.
    • The Tarot de Marseille calls the number XIII (Death) "The nameless arcana".
    • Averted in journalism; according to Associated Press style, you NEVER use any euphemisms for death, whether while reporting general news or writing an obituary/death notice.
      • However, this may be played straight when the obituaries are paid ads rather than copy that is created or edited by the publication itself.
    • Critical Existence Failure, Author Existence Failure, Suspect Existence Failure, anyone?
    1. The soldiers were tricked into fighting for a cause they didn't really believe in, so the good guys were deliberately trying not to kill them
    2. Not that it's a bad thing, if the critics considering the latter game to be a very good Follow the Leader of Mario Kart is any indication