"General Hospital" is like most soap operas in the way it handles the death of a major character. Even when you see it happen, a character never really dies. Due to slipping ratings, popular demand, or a story-driven circumstance, "General Hospital" relies on several situations in order to resurrect their dead. Here are a few:

'General Hospital's' old standby, plastic surgery

One standard reincarnation method is to recast the role, stating that the character has undergone plastic surgery. No one realizes that he or she is a family member or a loved one.

The truth is exposed in a dramatic way.

Take the latest incarnation -- Jason Morgan. When Steve Burton left the show, Jason was shot and thrown into the river. His body was never found. This was a signal to the audience that the writers planned to bring him back from his watery grave.

Since Jason is an important character, "General Hospital" recast the role with Billy Miller. When he appeared as "Jake Doe," no one knew, including "Jake Doe" himself, that he was their Jason until Spinelli used a computer program to show his original face. His original face was Steve Burton's. Now that Burton has returned, the writers have concocted the "two Jasons" plot, and fans argue which one is the real Jason.

I don't think we will know for some time.

'General Hospital' actors return after years, making some excuse for their character's disappearance

Fans have seen characters resurface after years.The Steve Burton version of Jason thought only a few months had passed, not five years. Robin Scorpio was kept captive as was Laura Spencer.

Captivity often involves the Cassadine family needing something, such as a serum or another way to bring one of their own back to life.

We've seen the returns of Duke Lavery, Laura Spencer, Luke Spencer, Lucky Spencer, Irina Casadine, Jasper Jacks, Franco, and Olivia Jerome, among others. Franco just showed up with a new face and everybody knew he was Franco.

We're about to see the returns of Morgan Corinthos, Claudette, and Nikolas Cassadine if spoilers are to be believed. We aren't certain if Bryan Craig is returning to the role of Morgan, but it does look like Nikolas Cassadine might have a plastic surgery makeover. It is likely that Claudette will still be Bree Williamson.

On 'General Hospital,' some characters die and come back to life more than once

Stavros Cassadine (played throughout by Robert Kelker-Kelly) is one character who has died and been resurrected several times. The first time he met his demise, in 1983, it was the result of a fall down a flight of stairs. What no one knew is that his mother, Helena, had him cryogenically frozen.

Not sure how much good that was supposed to do. He didn't have a disease that could be cured in the future. He broke his neck.

Stavros made a surprise appearance in 2001, at first sneaking around Port Charles using an alias, Lucas Cain. It was discovered that he was indeed Stavros. He then died after falling into a bottomless pit.

We met Stavros another time in 2014 after he had been thawed out a second time. Finally, he was shot and killed by Dante Falconeri in September of 2014. Will he be back? Hard to say. I think his sell-by date may have passed.

So soap fans, take heart. Your favorite characters are never really dead. Chances are, they'll be back, with the help of a daring escape, a surgeon, or a freezer.