Fake-Out Fade-Out

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Commonly used at the end of an episode or a song, a Fake-Out Fade-Out is where the scene/music fades out as if it were the end, at a place where that could be realistic and believable, then a moment later jumps back in (Your Princess Is in Another Castle!) with more stuff happening.

Not to be confused with Fake-Out Make-Out. Compare Stop and Go, where the music just suddenly stops for a second or two without bothering to pretend that the song's ending.

Examples of Fake-Out Fade-Out include:


Film[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Return of the King was extremely guilty of this.
    • Probably the best known example of this comes right after the Ring is destroyed. Sam and Frodo are stranded on an erupting Mount Doom, all looks hopeless, the screen fades out... and then it fades back in to show the Eagles coming to pick them right off the cliff-face.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Comic Strip Presents: Consuela. Happy ending, credits roll, needle zip, more stuff, sad ending, credits roll.
  • Not the same scene, but Lost's second season finale seemingly ends with a fade out of Claire and Charlie...and then it fades back in somewhere in the Arctic, where two people discover the Island.
  • NCIS toys with this a bit: at the start of the episode and right after each commercial break, it shows the fade-to-gray that will come up before the next commercial or at the end of the episode. On a couple of occasions, however, the episode will get up to where the final gray-out is shown to be, and then continue on with another scene with a major plot point in it, making it hit you out of nowhere twice over.
  • A Monty Python's Flying Circus episode ends with Eric Idle trying to decide what ending to use for the show. When offered a typical slow fade, the screen slowly fades to black as Eric mulls it over, saying "Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno."—and springs back. [1]

Music[edit | hide]

  • James' "Vervaceous"
  • The Corrs' cover of "Old Town"
  • The Beatles' "Helter Skelter" fades out and then fades in again twice.
    • "Happiness is a Warm Gun" has a slight variation of this: in the end, it goes like:

Happiness... is a warm yes it i-i-is... ......................... GUN!!! (and resumes for a bit)

    • "Strawberry Fields Forever" does this because the band went out of time before the final mellotron section, so George Martin added the fadeout and -in to cover up the bad bit.
    • "I'm Only Sleeping". The Beatles love this trope.
    • "Rain" sort of combines this with Stop and Go, after the line "Can you hear me?" Rather than a fadeout, everything comes to a crashing halt...then resumes for a proper fade after a Beat.
  • The song "Static" by Beck.
  • Brooks and Dunn's song "Indian Summer" provides a jarring example. It's a slow, wistful song about a schoolgirl who was impressed by a football player's skillful performance at a hometown game, and ended up sleeping with him, only to have her life ruined when he bragged about it to his friends afterwards. This is, of course, fatal to one's reputation in a small town, and she ended up having to drop out and move across the country to start over. At the end, the singer regretfully admits that he was the Jerk Jock and now, looking back on it, he wonders if things might have been different had he acted differently. Fade out... a perfect place to end. And then it jumps back in with a strong guitar slide and one last exultant rehash of the chorus, about how cool the whole experience was.
  • The Taranchula song "Moving Very Slowly."
  • Brad Paisley's "Me Neither": A guy at a bar keeps trying to pick up this girl, and she keeps turning him down, so he pretends that he didn't really want to either and he was just testing her. In the end, he's finally ready to give up.

"Do you think it's time for me to end this song?"

  • dead stop*
  • a couple moments of silence*

"Me neither!"

  • big long instrumental to finish up*
  • Queens of the Stone Age loves this, as well as "false endings" in general.
    • "God is in the Radio" fades out to a nearly inaudible volume after two choruses and a bridge, but fades back in for the big ending.
    • "Someone's in the Wolf" does basically the same thing, to a lesser extent.
  • The Stone Roses song "I Am The Resurrection" comes to an end and then keeps going in a manner that I always find hilarious for some reason. That's probably more Stop and Go, but it still counts.
  • "Are Everything" by Buzzcocks starts to fade out and then abruptly leaps up in volume and fades out from there instead.
  • The Cure's cover of "Purple Haze" on the Join The Dots boxset begins to fade out, then quickly back in, then out again.
  • "White Punks On Dope" by The Tubes.
  • Terry Jones's Monty Python song "I'm So Worried" does this twice.
  • Green Day's music video for "21 Guns" does this.
  • Dream Theater has "Misunderstood", which fades out...and then fades back in.
  • Ditto "We Know Who Our Enemies Are" by mewithoutYou.
  • "I Never" by Rilo Kiley seems to end at an appropriate spot...but then just dives right back in.
  • Flaming Lips' "Scratching The Door" turns this into an Overly Long Gag, fading out then fading back in about 4 times over the course of it's final two minutes, before finally settling on sort of a Last-Note Nightmare instead (Michael Coyne shrieking "LET ME IN!")
  • "Thank You" by Led Zeppelin.
  • Probably the Ur Example: "Do You Love Me" by The Contours from 1962.
  • Guns N' Roses is known for this at times; "November Rain" has a fake-out ending at about six minutes, and "Street of Dreams" has one with about a minute to go int he song.
  • Lisa Ono's version of Saliane had this at the near-end. The song ends abruptly (not fading, though) and then continued again.
  • Freaky Chakra's "Blacklight Fantasy", the final track on the titular album.
  • "Heart" by the Pet Shop Boys, to represent one's heart skipping a beat.
    • The single version of "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing" also has one, in homage to the Beatles examples above.
  • The original single mix of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds" (some album versions don't have it, though).
  • "Listen to The Band" by The Monkees.
  • On BT's Ima album, at the end of "Blue Skies(The Delphinium Days Mix)", the song starts to mix into "Embracing The Future", but fades out, then the "Sasha's Voyage of Ima " megamix starts with that same song.
  • 'Everything Fades to Gray' by Sonata Arctica is an odd example. The song seems to be just the intro to the album it's on but now with vocals. It ends when the instrumental intro ends, then after a few seconds jumps back in and plays for about another minute.
  • "My Stupid Mouth" by John Mayer has the lyrics go: "I'm never speaking up again...starting now." <fade out> "One more thing!" Quite apt.
  • The full version of Sig Sig by Kors K.
    • Keeping on the Bemani note, the full version of Kachoufuusetsu.
  • Matti Laamanen - Flakes (Ferry Corsten Remix). In the middle of the song, to boot.
  • Croove's OUTLAW from the DJMAX series has a complete stop in the middle that will ALWAYS throw off those new to the song, unless they're familiar with general rhythm game song lengths or have already heard and memorized the song's patterns.
  • Lacuna Coil's "Our Truth" does this at the end. The song fades out over a repeating riff, only to fade back in and immediately end.
  • The Clash's song "Safe European Home" does this, it fades out until you can only hear the drums, then rushes back in to end very abruptly.
  • The original recording of The Beach Boys' "Help Me, Ronda" (from The Beach Boys Today! album) features this, although the actual hit version recorded months later does not.
  • Cream have an arguable example from the live version of "Spoonful". The song kind of dies out at the end, short pause. Then out of the blue, Jack Bruce wails one last, extended "EVERYBOOODY'S CRYIN' ABOOOOOOOUT IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT" and the band launches into the patented chaotic ending.
  • The Smiths' "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" fades out, then back in before carrying on for another minute and fading out again. Inverted, however, with "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" where the song fades out rapidly and then fades slowly back in at the beginning of the song.
  • "Smooth" by The Kentucky Headhunters does this. It starts to fade out during a solo but then fades back in.
  • Nickel Creek's "Can't Complain" appears to be fading out with the same peaceful string dirge it faded in with, until Chris Thile startles the listener with a sudden, raspy shout of "NO, SHE CAN'T COMPLAIN!"
  • U2 did this on their very first album Boy, fading out near the end of "The Electric Co.", only for it to fade back in and then run seamlessly into the final track, "Shadows and Tall Trees".
  • Can’s “Bel Air” fades out, fades back in and continues for two more minutes before finally fading for good.
  • Supertramp’s “Lover Boy” fades out before coming in, at full volume, with one final verse.
  • Radiohead's "I Might Be Wrong" fades out near the end before returning with a subdued instrumental section.
  • "She Said" by Barclay James Harvest.
  • "Sandblasted Skin" by Pantera fades out completely at 3:25, playing nothing for a minute and a half before starting again with the same riff it ended on.
  • "Animal" by Def Leppard. Nice power-chord-laden chorus and then a sudden stop, right where you think it should end. There's a pause just barely long enough for the reverb to dissipate, and then...FULL-FLEDGED CHORUS REPRISE. Joe Elliot, the lead singer, chuckles slightly at the end, possibly lampshading this.
  • "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry seems to end when the car noises come...and then the song starts up again, repeating the first three verses.
  • The Bangles' "Waiting For You" fades out, fades in for a 30 second instrumental, then fades out again.
  • My Chemical Romance's "Kids From Yesterday" fades out completely, and then two secs later, it comes again with a similar, if not exactly, sound like on the beginning.
  • Alice in Chains' "Rain When I Die."
  • Midnight Oil's "Read About it" doesn't fade so much as it appears to end. Then, following a pause, returns with a reprise of the first verse.
  • Foo Fighters, "Next Year".
    • "Rope" does it twice, one at 2:45, and the other at 4:00.
    • "Come Back" is arguably the most notable instance in the Foo Fighters catalog. A seeming fade out that doesn't quite fade completely, followed by a long instrumental which THEN fades out... and kicks right back up.
    • "In Your Honor" and "White Limo" each return with a bloodcurling scream.
  • Hüsker Dü's "Ice Cold Ice" fades out and after a couple seconds of silence, there's a final loud guitar chord.
  • Buckner & Garcia's "Do The Donkey Kong" from their Pac-Man Fever album.
  • MGMT's "Kids" fades out almost completely before a sudden reprise of the chorus. Amusing when it fakes out people dancing in clubs.
  • Blind Guardian pulls one of these on "The Maiden and the Minstrel Knight."
  • Kiss's "I Love It Loud"
  • Arctic Monkeys' "Perhaps Vampires Is A Bit Strong But..."
  • Les Baxter's hit '50s instrumental "The Poor People of Paris" has one of these.
  • Alabama's "Jukebox in My Mind" comes to its natural conclusion...then a second later, we hear the sound of a coin inserted in a jukebox, then a needle on an LP, and then the song starts up again.
  • Dragon Force (video game) ends many of their songs in this fashion- just when you think they're going to ring out on a big, final chord, oh no! Here comes another thirty seconds of sweep arpeggios, scales and kick rolls!
    • Former lead singer ZP Theart used to do this live, holding the last note of "Heroes of Our Time" for absurd lengths of time.
  • Most of Deep Purple's songs have more or less a full repeat, not counting the coda but often including the intro.
  • Brazilian band Skank had one in their Signature Song, "É Uma Partida de Futebol". The music video tries disguising it as the supposed fade out (at about 4:04) occurs while an announcer is talking.
  • The Modest Mouse song "Ocean Breathes Salty" stops for a second after a climactic noise at 2:40, and then restarts to finish about a minute later.
  • Italian band I Nomadi (literally "The Nomads") did this with their song, "Là dove stanno gli dei" (literally, again, "There, where the gods are"): at a certain point (around the 4:00 mark) the music stops abruptly... only to start again with a quick fade-in. Not As Annoying As It Sounds.
  • Pavement's "Elevate Me Later" goes into what sounds like a Big Rock Ending, then jumps right back into the main riff again for another 30 seconds. "Trigger Cut / Wounded At :17" and "Shady Lane / J Vs. S" might count, although the titles suggest the instrumentals that fade in after their endings are separate interludes that just aren't on their own tracks. In fact "Wounded at :17" originally was the main riff of a full song called "Nothing Ever Happens".
  • The Ramones' "53rd & 3rd" does this, though without a literal fade-out.
  • Soundgarden's "Somewhere", with a slow, non-complete fade-out, followed by a slow fade-in, still with the same Big Rock Ending until the proper ending moments later.
  • "Rock is Sponge" by Joujouka, famously featured in the fourth stage of Rez, does this during the mid-track breakbeat. The version heard in-game omits this section.
  • Spacecorn's version of "Popcorn" combines this with Letting the Air Out of the Band.
  • The original extended mix of Binary Finary's "1998" does this at the point where the radio edit ends.
  • "Pasadena" by The New Temperance Seven seems to end after a long instrumental break, then comes in again with a slightly shorter instrumental break, stops again and finally ends with a short riff.
  • "Long Agos and Worlds Apart" by The Small Faces.
  • "Summergirl" by The Mayfield Four stops quite abruptly, then just as you're about to turn off the stereo it comes back in again, and after a brief instrumental interlude treats you to a Crowning Moment of Awesome from singer Myles Kennedy (later of Alter Bridge): a soaring wail so high and held so long (F#5 and 22 seconds, to be precise) it sounds positively superhuman.
  • "Parade" by Justice.
  • Textbook example by Electric Six in "Waste of Time and Money", where it fades out at the end...only for another blast of music to come in afterwards, then it ends for real.
  • "Are Everything" by Buzzcocks fades out almost completely, then suddenly jumps back to full volume, only to immediately start fading out again, this time permanently.
  • Joe Walsh, "Second Hand Store" from But Seriously, Folks.

Theatre[edit | hide]

  • "Bon Vivant" from the operetta Song of Norway has the chorus starting to exit during the fade, only to jump back in.
  • "Those Magic Changes" from Grease has a fake ending, followed by what would be considered a "reprise" in the mind of the character singing it.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • "Max 300" and "Maxx Unlimited" from Konami's Dance Dance Revolution series.
  • In Ray Crisis, "Son Dessein" starts to fade out at one point, then cuts to the next section with a Scare Chord, at least on the OST.
  • The credits start rolling in Resident Evil Outbreak shortly before the True Final Boss fight.
  • During the ending of Dead Space 2, Isaac calmly sits down with a tired look on his face as the Marker is about to explode with him in it. Emotional music starts playing and the credits start to roll as a computerized voice urges all personnel to evacuate. The credits are abruptly interrupted with a message from Ellie, who calls Isaac a bastard for trying to get himself killed and declares that she's punching a hole through the roof with a gunship in order to save him.
  • The end of the single player campaign in Modern Warfare 2, right before the credits.
  • In Call of Duty 3, at the end of the first level, the battle seems to come to an end, the squad is in a house having a break, the screen starts fading out... just before a tank shell bursts the wall of the house open.
  • In the reveal of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the trailer blacked out right after Wario's mishap. Several seconds go by... then the Codec alert popped up.
  • Rhythm Heaven
    • This happens at the end of Remix 10 in Rhythm Heaven Fever, twice. Savvy players will catch that in both previous games of Packing Pests, which ends the remix, the game didn't end until the hands caught their paychecks...
    • Inverted at the beginning of Figure Fighter 2, where gameplay begins before the visuals even fade in.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • This happens in chapter fifteen of Orange Marmalade with what looks like an extremely dramatic turn of events, using the writer's usual ending for each chapter. Turns out the character in question was only joking.
  • In Homestuck, after a very silly animation in which the main character sings the song "How Do I Live" while reenacting the final scene from Con Air, curtains close with the text "END OF ACT 4" under them. In the next panel they reopen. PSYCHE.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Used in the Looney Tunes classic Duck Amuck. Daffy wants to "get this picture started," only for the camera to Iris Out onto a "The End" card... which Daffy promptly pushes out of the way.
    • Reused in the Nintendo DS game version, with Daffy wanting to "get this game started", and the camera irises out to a Game Over screen.
  • The Futurama episode "Put My Head On Your Shoulders" ends with a heart-shaped Iris Out on Bender claiming that the events on the episode were just as he planned. Suddenly, Leela calls him out and the scene irises in again. The episode then ends on another heart iris... on Bender's exploding butt.
  • Done while Beavis and Butthead watched the Godley & Creme video "Cry".

Singing: Cryyyyyyyy...
Beavis: Well I'm glad that's over--
Singing: CRYYYYYYYY!
Beavis: AAAAAH!
Butt-head: Now it's over--
Singing: CRYYYYYYYY!!!
Butt-head: AUUUGH!
Beavis: AAAAH! STOP IT!