23 Characters Who Came Back From the Dead

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When a character returns from the dead, it can be a cause for joy or dread. We mourn when a favorite character dies. 

And when a character we can't stand steps into the realm of no return, it's a cause for celebration.

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But TV likes to mess with our emotions, and sometimes the dead never really stay dead. Some of these resurrections are far from believable, while others make complete sense.

Either way, these 23 characters defied death (or faked it) and made a miraculous return.

1. Alison DiLaurentis - Pretty Little Liars

Alison was murdered, but not really. She faked it (of course) and returned from the dead with a vengeance and a whole lot of drama to follow.

2. Tulip O'Hare - Preacher

Badass Tulip was shot and killed by Lara. It was a shocking moment, and Jesse was having none of it. He brought her to Angelville where she raised from the dead. Whether it was by voodoo or God's own hand, we'll never know, but having Tulip back in our world is a huge relief.

3. Jon Snow - Game of Thrones

Who didn't die when Jon Snow was stabbed and died on the Game of Thrones Season 5 finale? But all was well after Melisandre revived Jon with a bit of blood magic.

4. Barbara Kean - Gotham

What would Gotham be without our favorite bad girl? Barbara was electrocuted and died but lived to see another day after Ra's al Ghul put her into the Lazarus Pit and good, 'ole Barbara returned to her evil ways -- at least until she had a daughter with Jim.

5. Bobby Ewing - Dallas

What is it with dream sequences? Bobby was dead for an entire season and suddenly miraculously returns because it never truly happened. Television land is full of wonders!

6. Brian Griffin - Family Guy

In one of the dumbest moves in television history, Family Guy decided to off the Griffin's pet dog, Stewie's best friend, and fan favorite, Brian after 12 seasons. There was a huge backlash from fans especially when they replaced Brian with the ultra-annoying, Vinnie. Even Stewie had had enough and went back in time to bring Brian back. Good move!

7. Damien Darhk - DC's Legends of Tomorrow

The best villain on TV lives! At least for a short time. He was killed by Oliver Queen on Arrow in retaliation for Laurel's death but returned in some timeline escapade on Legends of Tomorrow. He finally died for good when he sacrificed himself for his daughter, Nora. Even villains can have heart.

8. Dan Conner - The Conners/Roseanne

Um, okay. So Dan died of an apparent heart attack in the final season of Roseanne which was an entire work of fiction written by Roseann herself to help her deal with Dan's death. Then in The Conners "revival", everything else was fiction, too. Well, at least we think it was because there was never a true explanation of how Dan came back to life.

9. Jessica Logan - Timeless

Time travel is a nifty thing until it messes with your current life. Wyatt might have thought his wife was dead, but she wasn't (of course) and returned just in time to add a bit of drama into his relationship with Lucy.

10. John Winchester - Supernatural

Make a wish with a Chinese genie box and hope it comes true. Although John's spirit had once returned to save Sam and Dean from the heathens of hell, he returned again in Season 14. It was a beautiful moment seeing John reunite with Mary and his kids, but it didn't last as John had to return to the timeline from which he came.

11. Elizabeth Keen - The Blacklist

Liz wanted to get out from under the thumb of Red so she worked with Mr. Kapland and Tom to stage an elaborate death. The team was devastated they had lost a colleague and Red's grief was beyond words. When everyone found out she faked her death and was alive, there was a lot of well-deserved resentment, anger, and hurt.

12. Jimmy Lishman - Shameless

What happened to Jimmy Lishman? Who knows, but he was dead and returned on Shameless Season 4 with a new name and a new life.

13. Maya Lewis - Scandal

Maya faked her own death via a plane crash which really wasn't surprising considering what a horrible mother and person she was. Her evil self didn't disappear either which caused some tough times for Olivia and gang.

14. Michael Codero - Jane the Virgin

We just about fainted, too, when Michael came back from the dead. His story of revival was quite complicated with heart-slowing drugs, a new name, a beard, and all sorts of other horrible things. But all that matters now is that he and Jane are back together.

15. Lydia Davis - Revenge

Another plane crash death that never happened. Lydia makes a surprising return and wreaks havoc on everyone's life. Why? Because she's back, and she can.

16. Fox Mulder - The X-Files

The television world is full of surprises, but did anyone really think Mulder would have stayed dead? He was abducted by aliens and returned back to this planet dead until Scully found a way to save the man she loved.

17. Michael Scofield - Prison Break

Being dead once wasn't good enough and when you add in a revival and a TV movie, well, anything can happen. Brain tumor and electrocution couldn't keep him dead, and he returned much to everyone's surprise.

18. Phil Coulson - Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D

There's nothing like faking your death to motivate the team even if it was orchestrated by someone else. Coulson died but came back to lead the team to battle all sorts of threats. Still, weird resurrection stories like Coulson's make us scratch our heads in bewilderment.

19. Sam Winchester - Supernatural

Almost everyone has died and come back on Supernatural, but the first such death was when Sam was killed in Season 2. Dean couldn't cope and made a deal with a crossroads demon to bring his brother back. It was a joyous occasion until Dean realized that what came back from the dead was the same Sam as before.

20. Sherlock Holmes - Sherlock

Sherlock is a man of mystery -- and of surprises. After he leaped off a building to his apparent death, imagine everyone's surprise when it turned out he never really died? How he did it is anyone's guess, but that's the fun of it, right?

21. Butch Galzean - Gotham

Butch was shot by Barbara and apparently died until he was put into Slaughter Swamp and revived as Solomon Grundy. It was an interesting twist especially as he began to remember who he really was and worked to become Butch again. But Penguin ended that dream when he later shot and killed him for good.

22. Buffy Summers - Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Buffy died trying to save the world, but soon after, her BFF Willow worked her magic and brought the slayer back to life. Did anyone really think Buffy was gone forever?

23. Alice Quinn - The Magicians

Magic once again saves the day. Alice is seemingly killed but was only placed in some kind of demon trap. She's eventually freed but still isn't back in the true land of the living. Finally, she returns as her old self in the right realm after some kind of magic ritual.

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