Some retired Untergangers have chosen to close their accounts following their departure (this is known as Suicide, which in turn was coined from the fact that most high-ranking Nazi officers, including Hitler himself, ended their careers by committing suicide), but many others choose to leave their accounts open, allowing people to still view their videos.
Executions (forced retirement or termination) may also occur if YouTube has decided to close down an Unterganger's account due to what they see as a "copyright violation" or a "guideline violation". The Unterganger may give up on parody making entirely, rendering them effectively retired, but in many cases they simply opened a new account, so the retirement phase might only be brief.
There are in general several things that are looked for in determining whether an Unterganger is retired:
- Retirement announcement
- An Unterganger is said to be officially retired when (s)he announces his/her retirement, either through a video, a forum post, or any other means of communication, as long as the rest of the community is made known of it.
- Extended dormancy
- These are Untergangers who had shown virtually no activity on his/her YouTube account for an extended period of time, longer than what is accepted for being dormant (mileages vary). See Dormant Untergangers.
- Shift to other interests
- This is when the YouTube channel of a former Unterganger is still active - publishing videos, making comments, and other activity - but the videos are no longer Downfall parodies, or other parodies related to the Parody Universe.
- The distinction might be blurry to some Untergangers who routinely publish non-Unterganging parodies from time to time, but in most cases it is clear-cut (e.g. Untergangers who used to publish parodies exclusively now publishes no parodies whatsoever.)
An Unterganger is said to have returned when (s)he comes out of retirement and resumes parody work. Some choose to revive their old YouTube channel, while others (including Untergangers who had their channels "Executed") opened a new channel and re-uploaded their old parodies.
In most cases, the Unterganger is simply referred as being "Active" again; They would only be given formal "Returned" status (e.g. in the List of Untergangers) when they have their previous YouTube channel "Suicided" or "Executed".
Temporarily retired Untergangers/Untergangers on leave
- (None currently)
LostDownfallParodies tries to recover the most popular videos of Untergangers who were suicidal or executed and reupload them in its own YouTube channel summary although the current status of it is unknown, due to the dormancy of its creator, Echoes1224.