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Star-Crossed Lovers are fated for woe, and one of the most heart-wrenching fates they can share is not to share a fate. When a Love Interest dies, the survivor is left to languish in heartbreak and self pity. Moving on is difficult, and quite a few choose to never move on. And sometimes, that's the deceased.

Yep, after dying, this Love Interest comes back as a ghost, zombie, or other form of Undead. Their love was so strong that they decide to skip reincarnation and come straight back from the afterlife. Of course, this can be less than ideal, due to (among other things) smell and, err... "technical difficulties" in physically expressing their love. And then there's Came Back Wrong.

Another alternative is for someone else to do the resurrecting, be it a Necromantic lover or a Mad Scientist capable of an Emergency Transformation. They might not even come back as an undead, but a Brain In a Jar. For trope purposes, as long as that significant other used to be dead but now isn't, it counts.

Of course, this resurrection is by no means a 100% joyous event. If the surviving love interest moved on and got a new partner, or the resurrectee has a Horror Hunger (or no corporeal body), there will be a lot of Angst and Horror. Though sometimes it gets Played for Laughs and Hilarity Ensues.

Related to Ghost Ship. Compare Boy Meets Ghoul, where the girl is a monster before she meets her boyfriend. Related to Replacement Goldfish, in this case it's the goldfish zombie replacing itself. Not to be confused with Reincarnation Romance.

Examples of Resurrected Romance include:

Anime & Manga

 Chihiro: "[...] I'd like to meet a cute zombie girl... I want to go out with a girl whose arm is also ripped out and guts are flowing out..."

  • In Shaman King, Faust VIII enters the Shaman Fight to ressurect his dead wife Eliza. He never actually succeeds, but to recruit him into her and Yoh's cause Anna brings her back to him in ghost form, which he seems to be content with.


  • There was an issue of Alpha Flight, where they crossed over with X Factor, which involved a mutant whose power was only activated after her death. On her wedding day. Her groom took a while to get used to it.
  • The British comic strip Bobby's Ghoul, based around a young boy whose girlfriend is a ghost. In the final strip he has become an old man, while the ghost has not aged, and breaks up with him as she no longer finds him attractive.


  • Return of the Living Dead 3. A teenager uses a chemical to bring his dead girlfriend back to "life" as a zombie.
  • Boy Eats Girl.
  • Inverted in The Man With Two Brains. A man meets the love of his life--but she is a disembodied brain. She gets better.
  • In Ghost, the protagonist never managed to tell his girlfriend he loved her while he was alive, so making sure she knows he did becomes one of his Ghostly Goals.
  • Semi-example: in My Boyfriend's Back they aren't lovers or even boyfriend/girlfriend until after he comes back. (He pined after her, he was killed defending her during a robbery, as he was dying she said that if he survived maybe they could go out sometime, so he came back as a zombie.)
  • Re-Animator seems to end on this note.
  • The Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie The Brain That Wouldn't Die
  • Frankenhooker.


  • Shadow and his zombie wife Laura in American Gods. She talks normally and remembers everything from her life, and she doesn't crave human flesh, but she's slowly rotting, and won't hesitate to kill anyone who threatens Shadow. Apparently, dying and subsequently being ripped away from her afterlife made her realize murder isn't such a big deal.
    • would anyone punish her? She's dead!
  • In The Hollows Rachel gets involved with Pierce, who is a ghost occupying a previously deceased corrupt witch's body.
  • In The Lovely Bones, Susie and Ray have a romantic episode when she accidentally possesses Ruth's body, but this lasts briefly.
  • The ending of Pet Sematary.
  • In On Stranger Tides, the obsessed Hurwood summons his late wife's spirit in the opening chapter. She tells him outright that what he's doing is wrong, but his continuing efforts to restore his beloved spouse to life in their daughter's body drives the rest of the novel.
  • In The Tales of Beedle the Bard (specifically The Tale of the Three Brothers), the second brother resurrects a young woman he had wanted to marry before her untimely death. However, she Came Back Wrong, and eventually, he killed both her and himself.

Live Action TV

  • Several times in Tales from the Crypt, one example being Til Death, where a wealthy man uses a Love Potion on a rich woman made by the resident voodoo expert. He puts too much in a drink for said woman, she dies, and he ends up running from a zombie that still loves him.
  • Pushing Daisies: The resurrection goes better than most, but there's still a catch--instant re-death if she ever touches him again.
  • Supernatural: multiple times.
    • "Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things": the dead girl's best-friend-with-a-crush brings her back as a homicidal zombie.
    • "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid": Bobby's dead wife comes back to life, apparently as a sign of the apocalypse. She seems pretty normal for a few days, then comes down with a fever, that starts getting really hungry... and it turns out to be a ploy designed to destroy Bobby's will to fight.
  • One episode of Angel had a woman being stalked by her zombie ex-boyfriend. Turns out she'd killed him because she thought he was too needy. They agreed to work on their relationship and patched things up. Awww?
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer faces a pair of them in one episode.


  • The song Mi Novio es Un Zombi ("My Boyfriend is a Zombie") by Alaska y Dinamarka.


  • "Rebel without an H" Jonny from the musical Zombie Prom.

Video Games

  • Tales of Monkey Island: Guybrush himself.
  • In one ending of Silent Hill 2, James performs a ritual meant to resurrect Mary. We aren't shown whether it worked or not.
  • Revenant's Locke and Princess Andria is half this, half Reincarnation Romance, since he is a revenant brought Back From the Dead and she, a reincarnation of his long-dead lover.
  • In The Force Unleashed 2: When Starkiller apparently returns from the dead, possibly via cloning he sets out to find Juno, the woman he remembers being in love with. While what this means for him and Juno's relationship is still unclear, she seems more than willing to accept him as himself.
  • If you romanced her in Mass Effect 1, Liara T'Soni and Shepard's relationship proves to be what may be the most triumphant example on this page. Two years after his/her death, Liara went to hell and back recovering Shepard's body from the Shadow Broker and provided it to Cerberus just to bring him/her back from death.
    • Hell, she does this even if you didn't romance her.
    • It counts for Ashley and Kaidan as well if your character romanced them in the frist game. This is less cheerful example, as they seem to move on with their lives and are more than a little confused when their dead lover comes back, additionaly now as a part of a terrorist organization. In the third game you may decide to continue with the romance or that's time for you to move one as wall and terminate the relationship completly.

Web Comics

  • In Scary Go Round, Ryan manages to raise his dead girlfriend via a Deal with the Devil. The problem is that she Came Back Wrong, as a pale shambling zombie. He flees in terror, then stops to remember what his momma always told him: Make things right with that sweet little gal.

 At the phone booth: "Momma, did that include sweet li'l dead gals? No this is hyperthetical. No, damn, I'm not being smart with you, momma..." (She gets better.)

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