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In "Dead Like Me" reapers take the soul just before the person dies. I found what happens if they don't reap the person, or reap them late.

But what happens if they reap the soul, but the person doesn't die at the allotted time?

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In season 1, episode 9: Sunday Mornings, Roxy pulls Chuck's soul out of his body for a few moments, and then puts it back. It may not be quite the same as normal reaping, but it's certainly close. Afterward, Chuck is fine (although he does turn his car into a Roxy shrine).

It's also worth noting that there is never a timeframe specified between reaping and death. Reaping after death is undesirable but possible, and the time after the reaping varies by circumstance. There might be no limit at all to the possible duration after reaping, and the reapers could run around tagging everybody to save themselves some trouble down the line – but that's just speculation.

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  • "fine" != "bat-sh1t crazy insane bonkers". Aug 14, 2014 at 5:32
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Since every "clean" reap occurs before a person's death, it stands to reason that an early (or accidental) reap would simply result in that person's body continuing to function, just without a soul.

Reapers don't seem to attend every single death which would strongly suggests that only a small number of people actually have souls (or souls worth saving, at any rate) in the first place. One extra soulless individual probably won't make much difference.

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    The main characters are in the "Outside Influences" division, so they're generally only going to deal with things along the lines of accidents and murder, not something like disease. (The Plague Division, not being one with a very heavy workload, has helped out on occasion.) Each group of reapers is, by and large, also fairly localized, reducing the number of deaths any individual reaper deals with.
    – Brian S
    Aug 12, 2014 at 19:16

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