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Memorials to the dead are common in most human cultures. When the dead are connected with a TV show or movie, you'll sometimes see this: a final tribute to that person as part of the show.

For a true In Memoriam, there is a direct connection between dedicatee and the show/book/film being dedicated to their memory. There are a great number of books dedicated to the Challenger astronauts or the emergency personnel who died when the towers fell on 9/11. Unless the book is about them, those would fall under the larger Dedication trope.

This is related to Meaningful Funeral, which memorializes a character from the show. They can overlap when a show is based on Real Life.

Examples of In Memoriam include:


Fan Works

Film

  • The movie version of The Great Escape is dedicated to "the fifty" -- the 50 Real Life fugitives shot by the Gestapo.
  • Finding Nemo was for Glenn McQueen.
  • The last three films that legendary stunt man Dar Robinson worked on before his death (Cyclone, Lethal Weapon and Million Dollar Mystery) were all dedicated to his memory.
  • Alive (1993) was dedicated to "the 29 who died on the mountain and the 16 who survived".
  • Star Trek (2009) has a dedication in its closing credits to Gene Roddenberry (the creator of the franchise, to whom Star Trek VI is also dedicated) and Majel Barret, his wife, who provided the voice of the ship's computer (among other things), and had recently recorded a cameo appearance in that role for the film when she died.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II is dedicated to the memory of Jim Henson, being the last film he worked on. TMNT is dedicated to Mako Iwamatsu (who voiced Splinter) as he died shortly after finishing recording.
    • The Muppet Christmas Carol, the first Muppet film to come out after after his death, was also dedicated to Henson. It was also dedicated to Muppeteer Richard Hunt.
  • Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid was dedicated to legendary costume designer Edith Head, who died before it was released. The entire film itself is also something of a tribute to her, as it includes many clips from 1940s and '50s films, several of which feature her work.
  • The English release of Kiki's Delivery Service has a dedication to Phil Hartman, who voiced Jiji, in its closing credits.
    • Small Soldiers also had a dedication to Hartman after the closing credits, including an outtake along with the dedication.
  • The Hitchhikers Guide to The Galaxy (2005) featured a dedication reading simply "For Douglas."
  • Contact features the dedication "For Carl" at the end of the film.
  • UHF is dedicated to Trinidad Silva, who died in an auto accident before filming all his scenes as Raul.
  • The Dark Knight: "In memory of our friends Heath Ledger & Conway Wickliffe" -- Wickliffe was a special effects technician who was killed during filming. When Ledger died, Warner Bros also dedicated their entire Dark Knight website to him with a splash page that featured a eulogy about his life.
  • Superman Returns was dedicated to Christopher and Dana Reeve.
  • Terminator Salvation was dedicated to Stan Winston.
  • Iron Man 2 was dedicated to DJ Adam Goldsmith, aka DJ AM, who had a cameo in the film As Himself.
  • Taxi Driver is dedicated to Bernard Herrmann.
    • Obsession (his next-to-last score) and God Told Me To (which was to have been his next project) were also dedicated to him.
  • In The Shawshank Redemption, right before the credits: "In memory of Allen Green."
  • Blue Thunder is dedicated to Warren Oats, who passed away a month after filming.
  • Post-theatrical release versions of Road to Perdition include a dedication to cinematographer Conrad L. Hall, who died after the film opened.
  • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa features the dedication, "To our friend Bernie Mac, thanks for all the laughter."
  • Cliffhanger is dedicated to Sylvester Stallone's mountain climbing double Wolfgang Güllich (who ironically passed away in a road accident unconnected to the film) and Carolco head Mario Kassar's mother.
  • Adaptation is dedicated to Donald Kaufman, fictional character and a credited co-writer, who dies in the film.
  • A.I.: Artificial Intelligence is dedicated to Stanley Kubrick, who began the project decades before Steven Spielberg completed it.
  • The Crow simply has "For Brandon and Eliza".
  • City of Angels ends with "For Dawn", a reference to producer Dawn Steel (who originally optioned Wings of Desire for the United States).
  • Street Fighter has a tribute for Raul Julia at the film's credits that said "For Raúl. Vaya con Dios" (translated to "Go with God" in Spanish).


Live Action TV

  • Twice has an actor from The Wire died and had their character (a Baltimore Police officer) killed off in the show off-camera. The episode then depicts a Detective's wake; the departed is laid out on the Pool table at the local cop bar, with a beer in one hand and a cigar in the other, while his fellow policemen recount his finest moments and play Body of an American by The Pogues.
  • Erik Gates, a rocketry expert and honorary MythBuster, died unexpectedly in late 2009. The Myth Busters episode that aired the next week had an "In Memory" graphic at the end of the credits.
    • The October 13, 2010 episode was dedicated to Sanjay Singh, one of their regular EMTs, who had died the previous week. (Sanjay appeared in that episode, which was filmed several months before.)
  • On The West Wing, the next episode airing after John Spencer's death started with a brief fourth-wall-breaking tribute by Martin Sheen. But because they'd filmed ahead, Spencer's character didn't die until several weeks later.
  • Star Trek the Next Generation episode "Unification I" included a memorial title card for creator Gene Roddenberry.
  • On Barney Miller, after Jack Soo (Yamana) died, they had a fourth-wall breaking episode where the cast showed their favorite Jack Soo moments.
  • Titus had one after the death of the real-life Ken Titus.
  • On The Daily Show, whenever a major celebrity/politician/author/etc. dies and Jon Stewart interviewed him/her in a past episode, the "Moment of Zen" segment that ends the program will be a clip of that interview instead of the usual clip of media idiocy.
  • The Scrubs episode "My Cake", which deals with the death of J.D.'s father, is dedicated to the late John Ritter, who played J.D.'s father on the show.
  • Power Rangers:
  • Doctor Who:
    • Third Doctor actor Jon Pertwee died between the American and UK broadcasts of the 1996 TV Movie. As a result, the UK broadcast had a dedication to Pertwee at the end.
    • Christmas Episode "Voyage of the Damned" featured a card after the final scene reading "In Memory Of Verity Lambert", who had died a month or two previously.
    • The credits for Series 4 opener "Partners in Crime" featured the words "In Memory Of Howard Atfield", who was meant to reprise his role as Donnna's father for the series. Unfortunately he was in ill health and died after his scenes in "Partners In Crime" were shot, and his character role was given to the newspaper salesman in "Voyage of the Damned", who became Donna's grandfather.
    • "The Waters of Mars" has a dedication card reading "In Memory of Barry Letts", an important producer of the show in the 70s who died a month before broadcast, following the trailer for "The End of Time".
    • Series 6 opener "The Impossible Astronaut" opens, rather than ends, with a dedication card to Sarah Jane Smith actress Elisabeth Sladen, who died 4 days before the episode's premiere. Opening the episode with the dedication helps in establishing the episode's darker Wham! Episode tone compared to other season openers.
    • Though not a "in memory of" card, the episode "The Wedding of River Song" weaves, in an subtle but unmistakable way, a nod to the memory of Nicholas Courtney into the episode, and even manages to make it a plot point of sorts. [1]
    • The DVD editions of the older stories frequently include tributes to figures related to them who recently died, such as a brief tribute to Anthony Ainley (the 1980s Master) at the end of the main feature of "The Keeper of Traken" and a lengthy tribute featurette to Barry Letts (producer during the early 1970s) on "The Daemons".
  • A memorable episode of The Cosby Show guest-starring the Muppets was dedicated to their creator Jim Henson.
  • An episode of Angel was dedicated to Glenn Quinn, who played Doyle. Doyle had died in the first season, and Quinn died several years later, I believe of a drug overdose.
  • Puppy Bowl VI was dedicated to the event's previous announcer Harry Kalas.
  • Highlander the Series. The second-season two-parter 'Unholy Alliance' had a dedication in the credits to Werner Stocker, the actor who played Duncan's 'mentor figure' Darius. Werner Stocker had died just as the last few episodes of the previous season were filmed.
  • The opening ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympics were dedicated to Nodar Kumaritashvili, who died in a practice run on the luge track hours before the start of the Olympics.
  • Suddenly Susan did one after the death of David Strickland.
  • An episode of The Amazing Race 16 was dedicated to the memory of He Pingping, the world's shortest man who was able to walk, who handed out clues to racers following one of the leg's Roadblocks. Pingping passed away a little more than a month before the episode's original broadcast.
  • The series finale of Stargate Atlantis included a mention that General Hammond had died of a heart attack, and that Earth's newest battleship would be named after him, reflecting the real-life death of Don S. Davis, the actor who portrayed Hammond. The USS George Hammond subsequently appeared in the pilot of Stargate Universe.
  • Cruelly played with at the end of every episode of the sketch comedy Human Giant, in which a faux-memoriam to a random, allegedly dead member of the show's real crew and staff (featuring the real face and name of a crew member) is interrupted by advertisements for non-existent Human Giant products.
  • Supernatural dedicated their fourth season to Kim Manners, a director who died during the filming of that season. The title card appeared after the episode "Death Takes a Holiday," which was actually the fifteenth episode, but the first to air after his death.
    • Also in the fourth season, the episode "Afterschool Special" was dedicated to Christopher F. Lima and Tim Loock, a rigging electrician and post production editor, respectively. With Manners's after the fact full season dedication, this episode was dedicated to three separate, unrelated people whose deaths had nothing to do with each other.
  • The X-Files took their "In Memoriam" one step further. In February 2001, Leyla Harrison, a prominent X-Files fanfiction author, passed away from cancer. In her honor, Agent Leyla Harrison made her appearence in season eight's "Alone". The fictional Agent Harrison was quite a fan of Mulder and Scully's, spending much of her time at the FBI poring over their expense reports and during the entire episode, references previous cases the two had been on (while partnered with Agent Doggett) as possibilities for the creature they're hunting. In the end, she meets Mulder and Scully and is gifted with the keychain Mulder had given Scully for her birthday during season four. She also makes an appearence in season nine's "Scary Monsters".
    • In a more traditional style, the 2008 movie "I Want to Believe" is dedicated to Randy Stone, who was the casting agent who cast the pilot episode of the show. He died in 2007.
  • When the dog playing Buck needed to retire, Married... with Children dedicated his last episode to him. Of course, being a Bundy, even sweet doggy death doesn't give him any relief; he's reincarnated as their new dog.
  • A 2011 episode of Have I Got News for You opened with a dedication to Big George, the composer of the theme song, who had died the week before.
  • The December 19, 2011 episode of Next Great Baker was dedicated to contestant Wesley Durden. He had been eliminated in that episode, and died in October 2011 after filming was completed.
    • The parent show, Cake Boss, dedicated one episode to Salvatore Picinich, a long-time friend and employee, after his death from cancer.
  • In 2012, "The Map", an episode of The Middle that began with the Hecks coming back from Aunt Ginny's funeral, ended with an "in memoriam" to Frances Bay, who had played the character until she died the previous September.

Music

  • On their album "Anchors Aweigh" The Bouncing Souls had "Todd's Song", in which they sang: “I grab into my sixpack and raise a can to another fallen friend...With a heart so big that you can't hide you took the path of a slow suicide. And all those feelings that you had, they killed you from the inside...I can't say that I don't understand. I know you tried. I'll see you when we all come home.”
  • The Red Hot Chili Peppers have two songs, Knock Me Down (Mother's Milk) and My Lovely Man (Blood Sugar Sex Magic), that are tributes to their former guitarist Hillel Slovak, who died of a heroin overdose.
  • The lyrics for "Into the West," from Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, were inspired by aspiring filmmaker and director Cameron Duncan, who had become friends with Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh and filmed an organ donation commercial for them. When the song received the Golden Globe for Best Original Song, Walsh dedicated the award to him; Duncan died of cancer at the age of 17, and some of his work can be seen on the extended editions of the LOTR DVDs.
  • Tool's album Aenima is dedicated to the memory of their friend, comedian Bill Hicks, who is featured in a mural in the album's liner notes.
  • The remaining members of Snot recorded a tribute album, Strait Up, in memory of their deceased vocalist, Lynn Strait. The album featured an extensive and substantial list of well known rock, punk and metal musicians.
  • Rise Against wrote "Make It Stop (September's Children)" to honor the memories of all those who have died of bullying, be it homophobic or otherwise, even naming the gay teenagers who committed suicide in September 2010 during the bridge. The video makes this clear to those who didn't get it from just listening to the song.
  • Dave Matthews Band dedicated their breakthrough album Under the Table and Dreaming to Dave's sister, Anne. She had been murdered by her husband a few months before the album's release.
  • Elton John's Empty Garden, which was written in memory of his good friend and Beatle John Lennon.
  • "Mighty K.C." by For Squirrels is intended as a tribute to Kurt Cobain, but the video is a memorial to two bandmembers and their manager, who died in a car crash before the album was released.
    • Likewise "Let Me In" by REM is also dedicated to/inspired by Cobain


Professional Wrestling

  • WWE does this regularly. Depending on how "important" the dead guy is, it might just be an "In Memorium" card at the beginning of the show or a fully produced Retrospective about their lives. And that's just for old guys. For Owen Hart, Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit they had full two-hour Kayfabe breaking tributes.
    • After Road Warrior Hawk's death, the Dudley Boys won a tag match with the Road Warriors' old finishing move as a tribute. I think JR even finished calling the match with "God bless you, Hawk!".
    • After Yokozuna's death, The Undertaker wore a Yokozuna shirt during the match. They were best friends in real life.
    • Triple H wore a black armband during a match in remembrance of "Mr. Perfect" Curt Hennig.

Tabletop Games

Video Games

  • World War II Online has an ingame memorial that not only lists any deceased player, but also pinpoints the center of a town and is updated periodically.
  • The game Burnout Revenge is dedicated to Dr Rabin Ezra, who wrote the Renderware Game Engine used by the Burnout series.
  • Version 3.2 of Nethack is dedicated to Izchak Miller, a DevTeam founding member who, among other things, wrote much of the game's shopkeeper code. Also, every version starting with this one has included Izchak as the keeper of the only guaranteed shop in the game.
    • To this day, it is considered extremely bad form to kill Izchak the Shopkeeper. Even in extinctionist games, where the goal is to kill every creature in the game 120 times.
  • At the start of the credits roll in Left 4 Dead, the 'film' will be dedicated to any players who died during the finale.
  • Kingdom Hearts 358 Days Over 2 was dedicated in the memory of Wayne Allwine, Mickey Mouse's previous voice actor, who died in May 2009, before the game's release.
  • There is a tribute photo of Owen Hart shown at the end of the intro of WWF Attitude.
  • In World of Warcraft, a few small dedications are scattered throughout the continents. Names include: Jesse Morale, Michael Koiter (Blizzard Entertainment employees), Anthony Ray Stark (a friend of an employee), and the discontinued Starcraft: Ghost game.

Webcomics

Web Originals

Western Animation

  • In the "Tales of Ba Sing Se" episode of Avatar: The Last Airbender, one segment of the episode centers around Iroh, who was voiced by Mako. However, Mako died shortly after the recording for the second season of Avatar was completed. So the Iroh segment of "Tales" carried a dedication to Mako at the end. Oh, did we mention the segment itself was about Iroh going to mourn his dead son on said son's birthday? It's not really something you watch without tissues on hand.
    • And the credits of the Grand Finale was to the memory of Dante DiMartino, father of series co-creator Michael Dante DiMartino. The similar names probably led more than a couple people to thinking that Mike himself died.
  • The Simpsons often dedicates episodes to deceased Special Guests who lent a voice in the series.
    • "Trash of the Titans" was dedicated to Linda McCartney.
    • One of the most elaborate dedications was the reairing of "Do The Bartman" in honor of recently deceased song-cowriter Michael Jackson (with a dedication card at the end).
    • "Mona Leaves-a", the episode that dealt with the death of Homer's mother, was dedicated to the late mothers of Dan Castellaneta and Harry Shearer. Cue the waterworks.
    • "Bart the Mother", which was the last episode to feature Troy McClure, was dedicated to Phil Hartman. (For some reason, this was missing from the British television airings.)
    • One episode parodied the trope in its ending credits, dedicating the episode to everyone who died in the six Star Wars movies, including "everyone on both Death Stars when they blew up", "whoever Jimmy Smits played", and "sadly, not Jar-Jar".
    • "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" was dedicated to Michael P. Schoenbrun, executive in charge of production for Gracie Films.
  • The Phineas and Ferb episode "The Chronicles of Meap" was in memory of "Movie Trailer Announcer Guy" Don LaFontaine.
  • South Park had one for Mary Kay Bergman. The episode (a Christmas Episode), also featured, near the end, a shot of all the main characters she'd voiced, singing together.
  • The final episode of Moral Orel ends with a dedication to Tom Stamatopoulos, series creator Dino Stamatopoulos' father.
  • As Told by Gingers episode "No Hope for Courtney became re-written midway production to have Ms. Gordon die in the story's canon, as a dedication to Kathleen Freeman, who died of cancer during the making of the episode.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Karate Island" ended with a dedication to Master Udon's late voice actor, Pat Morita. This troper thought it was a very depressing end to such a silly episode. Oddly enough, it's been removed from later airings here in the US.
  • Disney's Beauty and the Beast contains possibly one of the loveliest dedications in Hollywood history at the end of its closing credits, in honor of lyricist Howard Ashman, who died of AIDS before the completion of the film: "To our friend Howard, who gave a mermaid her voice and a beast his soul, we will be forever grateful." This dedication also appears in the packaging of the soundtrack album.
  • A Blue's Clues episode focusing on a neighborhood picnic was dedicated to Fred Rogers.
  • Adult Swim always makes a single Moment of Silence bump in their usual black and white format for any and all people who have played a direct impact or influence in the lives of the staff or culture in general simply by stating their name and years they were alive.
  • Robot Chicken parodies the dedicated-to-the-memory-of trope with "In Memoriam".
  • American Dad parodied this with a Brick Joke. First, Klaus is seen pretending the Smith family was on a DVD, and he's doing the commentary. This is forgotten until the final hobo-fight showdown, where he mentions one of the actors supposed to be in the scene had died beforehand, before apologising for speaking over the funniest line in the entire episode (apparently) Then, just before the credits, we get a behind-the-scenes shot of Stan joking around with another actor, with 'In Memory' superimposed.
  • Stanley's Dinosaur Round-Up, a TV movie based on the show Stanley, was dedicated in memory of John Ritter, who voiced Stanley's Great-Uncle Stew.
  • A Very Special Episode of Arthur about the character Mrs. MacGrady getting cancer was dedicated to Leah Ryan, who had a hand in writing the episode. Additionally, the MacGrady character was referred to as Aunt Leah, even though a previous episode had established her first name as Sarah.
  • The Family Guy episode "And Then There Were Fewer" included at the beginning a dedication to Seth MacFarlane's mother, Ann Perry MacFarlane, who died of cancer in July of 2010.
    • And at the beginning of "Brian's Got A Brand New Bag", a dedication to the recently-died Patrick Swayze was featured (his film Road House was an important part of the episode's plot).
  • At the very beginning of The Lion King, just right before the Walt Disney Pictures Vanity Plate appears, there is a brief dedication to Walt Disney Company president Frank Wells, who died in a helicopter crash.
    • However, later versions of the film (like the 2003 Special Edition and 2011 3D edition) have the dedication at the end of the credits.
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: "Remembering our friend Jim Varney." This is actually the last film to ever star that actor.
  • The Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy episode "Look Before you Ed" was for Paul Boyd (who animated the show's opening sequence).
  • One episode of the animated series of ALF was dedicated to associate producer Vic Kephart.
  • The Transformers Prime episode "Partners" was dedicated to Peter Cullen's older brother Larry, who was buried two days before broadcast.
  • The Blu-Ray version of Fantasia 2000 includes a dedication to executive producer Roy E. Disney (who had lived to see the movie premiere in theaters, but died about 11 months before it came to Blu-Ray).
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes episode "Michael Korvac" is dedicated to its director, Boyd Kirkland, (also the producer of X-Men Evolution), "Friend, Father, Director, Avenger."

Notes

  1. The Doctor is on a "farewell tour", trying to postpone his rendevous with his impending death in Utah as much as possible, and so he rings up the nursing home that Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is at, hoping to share a drink or two with his old companion. A nurse tells The Doctor that the Brigadier had always spoken highly of The Doctor and requested that things be always ready of he ever decided to make a surprise visit to see The Brig -- and that he had died a couple of months previous to The Doctor calling. This event is the one that finally spurs The Doctor to stop running and face his fate.
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