To Be Continued

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
    To be continued one piece 4929.jpg
    "Don't you hate the "To Be Continued"'s on TV? It's horrible when you sense the 'To Be Continued' coming. You know, you're watching the show, you're into the story. You know, there's like 5 minutes left and you realize 'Hey! They can't make it! Timmy's still stuck in the cave. There's no way they wrap this up in 5 minutes!'. I mean the whole reason you watch a TV show is because it ends. If I want a long, boring story with no point to it, I have my life. A comedian can't do that, see, I can't go 'a man walks into a bar with a pig under his arms. Can you come back next week?'"

    A commonly seen caption at the end of serial installments, especially when there's a Cliff Hanger. Like The End, but not so final. Contrast To Be Continued Right Now.

    See also "Previously On...".

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

    Examples of To Be Continued include:

    Anime and Manga

    • This is quite notable in old Anime and Toku shows. Some modern ones still do this!
      • In current Toku, this has been changed. Kamen Rider shows a still of the last scene with borders that best reflect the current rider (For example, in Kamen Rider OOO, a rocky border with the Core Medals that Eiji currently has), then a border forms on the scene. Super Sentai has a line that replaced "Tsuzuku" with "After this CM, stay tuned for the next episode preview!" (or something like it), starting with Engine Sentai Go-onger.
    • Every episode of Outlaw Star would end with the words TO BE CONTINUED blasting onto the screen, one after the other. (The last episode did this, then followed it with an epilogue, which in turn ended with "SEE YOU AGAIN".)
    • One Piece fans have grown to dread the show's famous TO BE CONTINUED card, which always seems to pop up abruptly at the most suspenseful possible moment. Sometimes this is lampshaded by having it actually be part of the episode, as in one ep where the crew is on a snowy mountain; at the end of the episode, the camera suddenly pulls away to reveal someone has inexplicably written "TO BE CONTINUED" in the snow.
      • Lampshaded by Brook, who's telling his story to the Strawhats, stopping briefly to declare "To be continued", only to be met with anger from Sanji.
      • Sometimes the card arrived in a unique way; for example, at the end of Episode 26, when Luffy used Gomu Gomu no Axe on the Baratie deck, "To Be Continued" was launched into the screen by the weaves created from the impact.
    • Pokémon. Every episode, and in English. Originally in all caps, it was changed to mixed case when the show shifted to widescreen.
      • At the end of the last episode of every "series" in Japan,[1] it ends with "Next Time... A New Beginning!" instead.
      • Edited out of most of the dub "Chronicles" episodes.
      • The Mystery Dungeon special episodes also end this way, even though only the second one ("Time and Darkness") was continued (indirectly) by episode 3 ("Sky: Beyond Time and Darkness").
    • Nearly every episode of Death Note ends in a black screen, an ominous "Tsuzuku" written in the lower-right.
    • Eureka Seven featured Renton (along with Eureka during the second half) saying "To be continued" at the end of every episode, changing the effect based on the mood of the ending, so a cheerful episode would end with a happy exclamation and a sad one with a morose, doubtful murmur. The last episode, of course, finished with "The end!"
      • There were a few exceptions, however:
      1. After Holland pounded Renton into a Heroic BSOD, the episode ended with the sound of Eureka slamming the door.
      2. After Renton takes out military KLFs and then realizing that actual people were piloting them, the episode ended with the sound of Renton puking all over the place.
      3. When Eureka finds out that Renton isn't on the Gekko, right after realizing she's in love with him...

    Renton, I want to see you.

      1. The penultimate episode has only Renton saying "To Be Continued".
      • In fact, the Japanese voice actors picked up the habit for the DVD commentaries. They finish off with "To be continued!" every time.
    • Chrono Crusade ends every episode with a title card flashing "to be continued" on the screen, before it melts away like old, worn film and the Ending Theme starts to play.
    • The Big O's ended stand-alone episodes with a black screen and the words "We have come to terms". For multipart episodes, the words would be "To be continued..."
    • In a dub example, most episodes of Yu-Gi-Oh!/Yu-Gi-Oh! GX/Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's will end with a To Be Continued message at the end, which were not present in the original version. Episode 223 of Yu-Gi-Oh! changed this to a "To Be Concluded..." to state that the next episode was the finale.
    • A good few episodes of Bleach end with a To Be Continued at the end of an episode.
      • one or two episodes have even subverted this. For example, at the end of episode 27, Ichigo is by Ikkaku warned about Kenpachi, and the To Be Continued pops up over an image of Kenpachi with a sinister smile, then irises out. A few seconds later, it irises back in to a shot of a slightly bewildered Kenpachi, who has been led into another dead end by Yachiru.
    • Episodes of Heroman end with large captions of "To Be Continued" in blocky, comic book title style text.
    • In a lighthearted contrast with the Death Note/Evangelion/Nadia examples above, Kare Kano (also directed by Hideaki Anno, like the latter two of the aforementioned anime), sets its "To Be Continued" in red, on a white background.
    • The end of each dubbed episode of Teknoman ended with a grating voice saying "To Be Continued", as the words themselves were shown on the screen.
    • Cowboy Bebop: "See You Space Cowboy..."
    • Cloverway added this phrase to some Sailor Moon episodes that did not originally have it.

    Comic Books

    • At the end of Superman Beyond 3-D, this is what Superman inscribes on the slab of stone he leaves as inspiration for the Monitors.
      • It's not an inspiration. It's a warning. The Monitors sought to control Story itself. Superman is leaving them a pointed reminder that they'll never be able to. Not forever.
    • Every issue of Spider-Girl ended with "To Be Continued--!" or "The End... For Now!" The series was, for 12 years, in constant danger of cancellation. First it was one issue of What If, then a 12-issue limited series, which expanded to an ongoing. Then it was cancelled, relaunched, cancelled, incorporated in an anthology, relaunched as a miniseries, and at last a one-shot finale that was even titled "The End". It still ended with "... For Now!"


    • A "To be continued" card was added at the end of Back to The Future for its VHS release, and removed for the DVD release.
      • Part II has "To be concluded".
      • According to the writers, they hadn't originally intended to continue the story. If they had, they wouldn't have put Jennifer in the car.
    • Featured in some Bond movies.

    Live-Action TV

    • Doctor Who started doing this at the ends of multiparters with the beginning of the second season of the revival.
      • The most prominent example being the end of the penultimate episode of Season 4, The Stolen Earth, in which the Doctor and Donna have finally found the Earth and along with it, the Doctor's beloved former companion Rose, who has been lost on a parallel world for the last two seasons. The pair begin running towards each other as fast as they can, leading every Doctor/Rose shipper to believe they would finally share their first kiss and the Doctor would confess his feelings to Rose at last - at which point a Dalek appears around a corner, shoots the Doctor, spoils the reunion, and forces a regeneration, shocking fans who believed David Tennant would be continuing in the role for at least another year. Needless to say, it was a hell of a cliffhanger, and therefore, unlike every other episode to date of New Who, did not feature clips of the next week's episode, only the words TO - BE - CONTINUED. By the way, the Doctor got better.
      • The original run of the series had an implied To Be Continued at the conclusion of the majority of its episodes since a single story would span multiple episodes, usually four but sometimes as few as two or as many as twelve.
    • Every episode of Heroes ends with "To Be Continued...". Even the volume finales ended on to be continued.
    • The X-Files did this in most of their two- and three-part episodes, though there were a couple of exceptions:
      • "Duane Barry," "Ascension," and "One Breath" are considered part of a trilogy. "Duane Barry" ends with To Be Continued, but "Ascension" does not. This might be because the standalone episode "3" was aired and is set between "Ascension" and "One Breath," while Scully is still missing.
      • "Gethsemane" continues into "Redux" and "Redux II," and ends with the news that Mulder has shot himself in the head. Instead of ending with To Be Continued, "Gethsemane" simply ends with a black screen for a few seconds, followed by "Executive Producer: Chris Carter." It could have been used as a means to trick the viewers at the time into thinking that Mulder really had committed suicide and that that was the final episode.
    • Farscape used this on most of its multi-part episodes, of which there were many. But it was used most infamously on the final apisode, after a hugely dramatic moment, when the series was cancelled! Thankfully, there was a later mini-series to Wrap It Up.
    • Buffy the Vampire Slayer had this a few times, with the very first episode and the two-part season 3 finale "Graduation Day". The rest tended to be more arc-based, and so they needed to either do it almost every episode, or never.
    • Notably averted by Lost: Even when they have a two part episode (the season 1 and 4 finales), they never end it with "To be continued", instead just putting LOST on screen. In syndication, the two hour episodes are split up in half with "to be continued", however.
    • Seinfeld referred to this in his act (in a two part episode, of course). See above.
    • Batman ended just about every other episode with Batman and Robin in some dangerous situation, with the narrator saying to tune in 'Same Bat Time, Same Bat Channel' to see what happens next.
    • The iCarly episode "iOMG" has a variant where the two-producer credits don't show up at the end, indicating a "To Be Continued" vibe. Yeah, "To Be Continued"... months after that episode aired.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine was the first Star Trek series to expand beyond Two Part Episodes with the triple-episode arc at the beginning of season 3.[2] It would go on to use an astonishing six part serial in the final months of the show, and was easily the most continuity-dependent Trek show ever aired.
    • Despite the arc nature of the show, Burn Notice only did this once: at the end of the penultimate Season 4 episode, when Michael regains control of an extremely volatile piece of information that puts him right in the crosshairs of the organization that burned him (that previously wanted to use him instead of killing him). With the revelation that he's brought a literal war on his head, as the organization has more resources and ability to act freely than anyone he's faced, along with a now-active desire to kill him, he announces that "Tomorrow is going to be a long day", and the episode ends with the trope.


    • Every episode of CBC Radio's arts show Q ends with the host saying "To be continued."


    • At the end of the first act of Into the Woods, the narrator says "to be continued" as a beanstalk springs up behind the characters. This is the only suggestion until the second act that the ensemble's concluding declamation, "And Happily Ever After!", is mistaken.
    • Sweet Charity has a "TO BE CONTINUED" sign appear at the moment of Pseudo Crisis that ends the first act.

    Video Games

    • MOTHER 2 finished its post-credits epilogue scene with To Be Continued. EarthBound, on the other side of the ocean, had the phrase replaced with The End?[3]
      • Mother 3 played with this trope. After Lucas pulls the final Needle and the dragon wakes up, after some events, the player is left with a black screen with simply "END ?" on it. No cast, no credits. Just that. A regular player can end the game right there, HOWEVER, a more curious gamer can find out that the player has entered "the world of MOTHER 3" and can control himself/herself for the true ending.
    • In the JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Arcade Fighting Game by Capcom, the To Be Continued sign pops up after the match ends as a Mythology Gag.
    • Diddy Kong Racing featured "To be continued" at the ending credits. It was removed however in the DS remake of the game.
    • Appears at the end of Chapters 1-4 of Tales of Monkey Island, with each one describing the title of the next chapter.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2: A premiere for the serie, and a quite disturbing one, since the game ends with a Bad Ending caused by a Time Crash, along with Serah dying and Lightning being reduced to a crystal stasis. Good lord.
    • Done at the end of each episode of Asura's Wrath aside from the ends of each act to make the parallels to being an interactive Anime or Japanese Drama series more obvious.

    Web Animation

    • Dead Fantasy uses this at the end of some episodes. Episodes III and IV, being released basically at the same time as V, simply had "Not The End".

    Web Comics

    • In Kevin and Kell, any strip that indicates the start of a story arc gets a "To Be Continued..." at the end, even if the story had been going on for a few strips.
    • Bob and George For An Unnecessary Cliffhanger
    • Platypus Comix uses this phrase often. If the conclusion comes only a few days or weeks after the beginning, the cartoonist removes the phrase after the conclusion's release (most of the time).

    Web Original

    • The first installment of Arfenhouse: the Movie plays with it. A scene towards the end gets interrupted with a record scratching sound and "To be continued" appearing, and after a pause the scene resumes.
      • The second ended with "2 B CONFREAKINTINUED!!!1" (It wasn't.)

    Western Animation

    1. Dub seasons 5, 9, and 13
    2. "The Homecoming"/"The Circle"/"The Siege"
    3. Which turned out to be an ominously prescient move on the part of EarthBound's translators.