The End

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
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    "The End of The End can be found at The End of The End."
    —Lemony Snicket, explaining where to find the last pages of the book fittingly entitled The End.

    The story's over. Time to put up an intertitle card saying "THE END". If you want to be sophisticated, make it "Fin" in cursive. The words "You Have Been Watching" followed by the ending credits was popular in Live Action Television for a while, particularly but not exclusively in Sitcoms.

    Most movies in past years have used this as the standard end to the story, but now it is used off and on, at the whim of the writers. When films only had opening credits, this was a way to indicate the end of the film. Now that opening credits are shortened (or absent) and the full credits come at the end of the film, this isn't as useful.

    In some cases the show will end on a sad note, but the next moment is a flowery card stating "The End", accompanied by a bright Fanfare. It is common to play this for laughs.

    The video game variant, seen in quite a few Fighting Game examples, is to show the usual "Game Over" screen after the ending and credits. This time it's not because you failed, it's just because... well, the game is over. Sometimes the phrase "Thank you for playing " is added. If you're unlucky, that will be the entire ending.

    Compare That's All Folks, and contrast To Be Continued. See also Interrupted by the End.

    Has nothing to do with a 100 year old sniper who wants a last fight, or alternate dimensions where there be dragons.

    As an Ending Trope, Spoilers ahead may be unmarked. Beware.

    The End of the trope description.

    Interesting variations of this trope:


    • Subverted in Cromartie High School. One sketch ends with the caption "The End... of the introduction" and the episode keeps on going.
    • The final episode of Dragon Ball GT had "The End" at the end of it.

    Comic Books

    Film - Live Action

    • The Get Smart movie The Nude Bomb featured the three main characters rendered nude in the final shot; as they ran away from the camera, three "THE END" cards appear on screen as a Visual Pun.
    • Completely inverted in Apocalypse Now, which literally begins with "The End."
      • Technically, it begins with The Doors singing "This is the end..."
    • Notably, The Birds has no "The End" card in order to emphasize that it has No Ending. It just cuts from the last scene to the studio logo.
    • The second Kill Bill movie used this as an affectionate sort of Homage.
    • The end of the 1950s best picture winner Around the World in Eighty Days: "This IS the end." (As opposed to, "This are the end?")
    • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail there are no end credits or titles. Arthur and whats left of the knights are piled into the back of a police van, a cop places his hand over the camera lens and everything goes black. Cue really catchy tune (the extended version of the intermission music). That's all you get for the next five minutes: black screen + catchy tune.
    • A Fish Called Wanda ends with the word FIN.
      • Doubles as a Bilingual Bonus as well; "Fin" is actually the French equivalent of "The End."
        • It may also very well be where the English word "finale" comes from.
    • In Road to Bali, Bob Hope is unsatisfied with the ending, so he keeps trying to shove the "The End" card off the screen, until it becomes "Positively The End."
    • The closing credits of Fast Times at Ridgemont High end on a shot of the "The End" screen from Missile Command (see below).

    Eastern Animation

    • Very common in Soviet and Eastern European animated shorts; the Russian word is Koniets, in Polish Koniec and so on. Latvian examples have been seen on internet sites teaching the language using interactive Flash animations; the word here is Beigas.

    Film - Animated

    • The Thief and the Cobbler: the Thief steals the letters from the end title.
    • The Aristocats: "Hey Napoleon, that sounds like The End." "Wait a minute, I'm the leader. I'll say when it's The End." (lettering reading "The End" bumps into his head) "It's The End."
    • In Robot Carnival, a post-credit scene shows a man's house exploding, replaced with END built of steel beams.
    • The Merlin made-for-TV movie. "There's no more. That's The End of magic." No, really, that's how it ends!
    • Ponyo begins with "the beginning" and ends with "the end".


    • The last book in A Series of Unfortunate Events is actually called The End, but this is deeply subverted by the book itself.
      • A super-duper Up to Eleven version occurs tucked in the end. At the end of every book there's a letter to the editor, telling him where to find the next manuscript. The last chapter of The End is treated as though it was a seperate book contained in the same volume, with a different dedication page, publishing page, etc. Thus, in his letter to the editor:

    The End of The End can be found at The End of The End.

    • The last entry in the New Redhouse Turkish-English Dictionary is "züzuniyet: final word, conclusion." That this is a made-up word is Lampshaded in the errata, which correctly points out that "the last entry in the dictionary is unaccountably left without a derivation."

    Live Action TV

    • The last episode of Red Dwarf ends with "THE END" on a black background, held in silence for several seconds... until the words "THE SMEG IT IS!" appear, to thunderous audience applause. There would not be any continuation, however, for a decade.
      • Also, the first episode of Red Dwarf is titled "The End." At the end of the episode the screen fades to an intertitle declaring "The Beginning"
    • Monty Python's Flying Circus:

    Announcer (John Cleese): "Um, I'm sorry about the ... the, er, pause, only I'm afraid the show is a couple of minutes short this week. You know, sometimes the shows aren't really quite as er, long as they ought to be. (pause, he looks round at the sea) Beautiful, isn't it. (he walks out of shot; long pause; he walks back) Look there's not really a great deal of point in your, sort of hanging on at your end, because I'm afraid there aren't any more jokes or anything."

      • In the Michael Ellis episode, "The End" and the closing credits immediately follow the opening titles.
      • In the "How to Recognize Different Parts of the Body" episode, Inspector Zatapathique bows after his performance of "Bing Tiddle Tiddle Bong." An arrow appears pointing at his rear end, and the voiceover says, "Number 31: The End."
      • "Nobody expects the Sp--" THE END "Oh, bugger!"
      • In one sketch, a presenter demonstrates a gesture he wants to use to show he's finished talking. As he does so, the series' "THE END" card appears, and he has to shoo it away.
    • Lost cuts to black and displays the show's title in white. The season 5 finale ended with the apparent detonation of a hydrogen bomb, so instead it flashed to white and displayed the title in black. This also seems to herald that the status quo has been changed in a major way by the events of the finale.
      • And the final episode is called 'The End'.
    • Parodied on The Kids in The Hall. One of the sketches was written by a writer who kept making typos. When it's over, a title card comes up reading "THE AND."


    • The Beatles song "The End" was supposed to be the actual end of Abbey Road, but Her Majesty got tacked onto the end as a secret track.
    • The first track of The Black Parade is entitled "The End." (note the full stop), signifying the Patient's approaching death.

    Video Games

    • The End is a realm in Minecraft, populated by Endermen and the Enderdragon.
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, Selphie could learn a spell called The End which automatically finished a battle by transporting the monsters to a floral field with butterflies flittering all over. The screen goes dark, and text comes up reading THE END. It can defeat any monster including Omega Weapon. It is the scene you get when you complete the game.
    • Metal Slug games always show the "Game Over" screen after the credits, but with "PEACE FOREVER!" written over it.
    • Subverted in Mother 3. After the final cutscene, the player is shown a black screen with the text "End?". Moving the d-pad, though, finds you still in control, it's just that you're in a location with nothing but black and "End?" in it. Walking around you'll find all the characters, who you can talk to, before the credits. Adding to the fun is that it's combined with Medium Awareness - it soon becomes clear you're not controlling Lucas, but yourself. Everyone will say things like, "Oh, it's Player Name! Lucas said he wanted to talk to you!" or "Hey everyone, it's Player Name! Thanks for helping out back there!"
    • The Arcade Game Missile Command takes these two words to a disturbing level. Instead of the traditional Game Over screen when all your cities are destroyed, you get a seizure-riffic explosion with the words on them. The programmers of the game claimed to have given themselves nightmares over this screen.
    • The Street Fighter the Movie videogame adaptation (i.e. the game of the movie of the game) had a nice spin on the typical 'Game Over' screen, especially effective when it was after the end credits; rather than simply display the words, the game played the clip from the movie of Raul Julia as M. Bison shouting it, with much glee.
    • In Portal 2, after GLaDOS's obligatory, cheerful song playing during the credits, there's a small movie sequence where Wheatley and the Space Core are floating around in space, and Wheatley talks about how much he regrets what he did. He ends the scene by simply saying "The end."
    • The End was the name of a Space Invaders-like arcade game by Konami which ended when the aliens pulled out enough blocks to spell the word "END" across the top of the screen.
    • Sonic Adventure 1 and 2 and Sonic Heroes use Fin at the end.
    • Donkey Kong Country tries to trick you with a fake credits during the final boss. After the gag credits it says "The End?"
    • Darkwing Duck on NES just has a The End screen and no credits.
    • The True Final Boss of Hellsinker simply ends with a "The End".
    • All of the Super Mario Bros. series games from Super Mario Bros. 2 onwards.

    Web Comics

    • The Order of the Stick prequel volume On the Origin of PCs says "The Beginning..." on the last page.

    Web Original

    • Kate Modern featured an episode with the title "The End" mid-series.
    • And of course, there's Teen Girl Squad and "It's over!!!"
    • The Demented Cartoon Movie begins with a short introduction, transitioning from card to card with an appropriate rumbling fanfare, before finally reaching the title card for The Demented Cartoon Movie (abridged version). The very next slide reads, The end. It goes black for a few seconds, then apologizes and starts the real introduction to the movie. This is a throwback to Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
      • "HAPPY END!!!"
    • Arfenhouse Teh Movie Too shows "TEH EDN!!1111!1!!!!!1" as the heading for a few seconds of real but premature credits at an anticlimactic moment halfway through the movie.

    Western Animation

    The End.