"Journeys end in lovers meeting,
Maybe, despite your Refusal of the Call, you got dragged in, but you have always longed for escape; maybe you Jumped At the Call and are now older and wiser; maybe you did love being In Harm's Way, but it's gotten old now, or you've fallen in love, or your cynicism has been overcome by the Close-Knit Community. It's time for the Happy Ending: to go, and stay, home. Nice, peaceful, safe home. And do all sorts of quiet things. Maybe settle down with the Love Interest and indulge in Babies Ever After, or just grow some flowers. Definitely stop all this dangerous adventuring stuff. Any attempt at And the Adventure Continues... will be rebuffed with We Are Not Going Through That Again.
You Can't Go Home Again? No matter, if you found another place that can serve as home. Often, it's better than the original. (Indeed, if the original was bad enough, this can actually motivate adventure, to find some place better.)
May end in Stranger in a Familiar Land, deflating hopes; this can result in his searching for a new home, his realizing that his new home is where his new love and new friends are, or his deciding that after all, he loves In Harm's Way.
It obviously can occur throughout the story, but can only be fulfilled at the end. As a consequence, often the bait for a Leave Your Quest Test. If it's the hero's primary motivation throughout the story, it's The Homeward Journey.
Often causes the character to hate being Famed in Story, as that drags him away from home and draws curious visitors who clutter up the quiet life. The Heroic Neutral (often the Retired Badass) has succeeded in getting home, and the reason he will return to adventure is that Evil refuses to let him live there.
In a series, may require Passing the Torch.
- Featured in the end of the manga version of Chrono Crusade. After Rosette saves her brother, they apparently go exploring for a year or two, then Rosette returns to the orphanage she grew up in to become a teacher. She dies there a few years later.
- In the end of Hellsing Alucard returns home to Integra after 30 years of fighting his army of souls, "Welcome back Count" "I'm Home Countess"
- Both Renton & Eureka ended up back in their homeland Warsaw in the Eureka Seven movie ending, too bad the latter won't recall anything about it.
- In Pre Crisis continuity, Clark Kent hangs on to the Kent family home in Smallville, even though no one lives there any more. His childhood friend Pete Ross, who secretly knows he's Superman, is bemused that the dude who can juggle planets is so sentimental.
- The Little Tailor, having set out to let the world know of his feat—seven at one blow! -- settles down once married to the princess.
- The Boy Who Set Out to Learn What Fear Was stops when he marries the princess, even though he has not learned it. (She is annoyed by his muttering about it, though, and throws a bucket of cold water with minnows over him while he sleeps—thus managing what all the characters have failed to do, teach him what fear was.)
- In Tsarevitch Ivan, the Fire Bird and the Gray Wolf, Ivan set out on The Quest for his father, and once accomplished, settles down.
- Dorothy has to learn this in The Wizard of Oz.
- The Film of the Book The Time Machine: the protagonist lost his wife in the 1880s, but he gets another one and stays in circa. the 200th century instead.
- Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter has Rock retiring from advertising and settling down with his family on a chicken farm.
- Willow: he returns with a book of magic, but he settled back down to study at home.
- In The Princess Bride, every Dread Pirate Roberts makes his fortune and retires; Westley has reached this stage and wants only to settle down with Buttercup.
- At the end of JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit, for Bilbo, the impulse to adventure had grown weak and the desire to go home had gotten very strong.
- From the beginning of L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy's driving motivation.
No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.\
- Alanna goes home after getting the Dominion Jewel in Lioness Rampant because the realm needs her.
- Andre Norton often features this. Usually, the original location was not a good fit in some manner, so they must find a new home, but that is what they are after.
- In The Beast Master, Hosteen Storm nearly goes insane after the destruction of Terra; he channels it into a desire for Revenge, and in the end, discovers that he had still living relatives on another planet where he could make his new home.
- In Catseye, after Troy forms a group of True Companions with enhanced animals, they stay in the wild in hopes of finding a refuge.
- Simon Tregarth, having taken a Cool Gate to another world, finds it more suited to him. He makes friends and fights for it; at the end of Witch World, he and the witch had fallen in love and marry. Although they had further adventures, being dragged into them, at the end of Sorceress of Witch World, they go to return home and settle down in peace.
- In the first novella of Garan the Eternal, after some initial understandings the male protagonist settles down with the titular "People of the Crater".
- In Gryphon's Eyrie, the protagonists have been Walking the Earth since their respective childhood homes were destroyed. They find a new permanent home and settle in by the end of the story.
- In Perilous Dreams, the surviving protagonists of the first two stories learn that they are permanently trapped in an Alternate Universe. However, they find that their new life has much to offer that the old did not, and live Happily Ever After.
- In The Prince Commands, the protagonist (after many adventures) settles down to his new life in Morvania upon learning that he and his last living relative had had a misunderstanding, and that he was welcome to stay.
- In Star Man's Son, the hero gets several offers for places he could stay, but chooses to return home to face charges of theft and sacrilege. The people he stole from decide he did so well at their job that they dismiss the charges and recruit him to be a new leader.
- Older Than Feudalism: The Odyssey.
- When asked whether to receive guests, Menelaus reacts in anger: as if he would violate Sacred Hospitality, having spent so long as a guest in other men's houses, and having finally won back to his own home. (He took nearly as long as Odysseus to return.)
- Mercedes Lackey examples:
- The Lark and the Wren: Ends on this note once the Free Bard protagonists gain a permanent position as court bards while the Beta Couple acquire a well-fitted out wagon to let them continue their wanderings in comfort.
- Vows and Honor: Tarma and Kethry are adventurers because they need to build up capital, experience, and reputation before they can follow their dream of retiring to establish a Wizarding School (which will also train more mundane fighters, Tarma's specialty). They also plan to reestablish Tarma's clan once Kethry finds someone she'd like to settle down with. They achieve both goals by the end of the original duology.
- At the end of The Mallorean, the protagonists return to their respective homes; as Garion notes, since the loop of destiny was finally broken, it's as if they're all returning to where they started for whatever future is waiting now.
- When Coraline returns from the other world for the final time, she contemplates how beautiful the real world actually is:
The sky had never seemed so sky. The world had never seemed so world.
- In Neverwhere, Richard's primary ambition.
- On returning from his trip through The Phantom Tollbooth, Milo's first impulse is to avert this trope and go back the next day. But once he takes another look at his own world—and all the things that'd previously bored him, yet now seem more interesting—he stops being disappointed that the Tollbooth has vanished.
- In Kenneth Grahame's The Wind in the Willows, when Mole and Rat are out at Christmas time, Mole realizes they are near his home, and feels a primordial instinct to return.
- In John C. Wright's Fugitives of Chaos, Victor, asked what he wants, says a home, wife, children.
- In Robert E. Howard's "A Witch Shall Be Born", Conan the Barbarian's In Harm's Way is explicitly contrasted to Valerius, whose Smooch of Victory is welcomed with the "gratitude of a weary fighter who has attained rest at last through tribulation and storm".
- In The Orc King Tos'un Armgo is a drow with a typical For the Evulz attitude who changes slowly and ambiguously for the better during the novel. He is very relieved when moon elves take him in. A hundred years later he's married with two children. In contrast, good and noble Drizzt who was equally relieved at finding people who accept him keeps up an In Harm's Way lifestyle.
- In Gene Stratton Porter's Freckles, Freckles is not only looking for work, but for a place to call home.
He was intensely eager to belong somewhere and to be attached to almost any enterprise that would furnish him food and clothing.
- In Jack Campbell's The Lost Fleet novel Invincible, Admiral Lagemann tells Geary he will not be a problem when they return, because all he wants is to resign and retire to some backwater planet.
- In Doctor Who, the Doctor never shows any signs of this, but a great many of the Doctor's companions Go Back Home when they've had enough of the adventures. (Or have found a new home.)
- Turlough's motive for leaving: he would miss him, but he had a chance to go home, and his brother to look after.
- Susan left because the Doctor realized that she wanted this but felt too loyal to her grandfather to give it up, so he forced the issue.
- Leela stayed on Gallifrey for love—and K-9 to look after her.
- Harry Sullivan declined even a short jaunt on Earth.
- The U.S.S. Voyager returns home.
- All the characters of M*A*S*H go home in the final episode, "Goodbye, Farewell, Amen".
- At the end of Alias, Sydney and Vaughn seem to have settled into this trope, yet it is subverted by their continued participation in the occasional spy mission or two.
- Battlestar Galactica has an endgame of finding "home"; eventually, the characters do arrive at Earth, and, despite some losses, are generally assumed to live happily ever after, etc. etc.
- At the end of every Shakespearean comedy, "marry and settle down" hits any number of couples. Particularly at the end of As You Like It where everyone heads back to court.
- The ending of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to The Past provides this for everyone, even characters who have died. It's one of the best CMOAs in the series.
- The Super Famicom RPG Traverse: Starlight & Prairie has a "Marriage" option in the game's main menu, which you can use at any time to hook up the protagonist with any sufficiently intimate party member. Using it results in a short cutscene at the chapel and a Nonstandard Game Over.
- In the epilogue of The Reconstruction, Santes and Zargos settle down in Wadassia. The four Nalians in the party also return home. Averted with the fih'jik members of the party, not only because they don't want to go back, but because they don't really have a home to return to. Also averted with Dehl and Qualstio, who continue to wander and help the world.
- At the end of The Game of the Ages, you leave the worlds you saved and are happy to return to the Village of Boredom.
- Quentyn Quinn, Space Ranger looks forward to this—some day, when he's retired. You Can't Go Home Again is the price he pays for the stars, and he likes it.
- Wapsi Square: What Jin is looking forward to: Then time will continue, we'll live together, buy a house, grow old and then die!
- Dork Tower The corrupting effects of Sims!
- Precocious: Escaping appointments
- In Girl Genius, Othar laughs at Agatha's claims that she wants a normal life but gives her three months to get it out of her system.
- In Endstone, Kyri and Jon settle down after dealing with the Dragonstone.
- In Sinfest,
- In Strays, Meela tries to make her brother let them go back.
- In No Rest for The Wicked, November just wants to go home and sleep. It is the problems with the latter that keep her going.
- In The Bean, he doesn't want to be king, he just wants to go home.
- The Incredibles: Helen is perfectly happy in her home life.