History DownerEnding / Theater

5th Mar '18 4:32:06 PM nombretomado
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* ''Theatre/MerrilyWeRollAlong'', being BackToFront, has a Downer Ending in the beginning, where it's played for dark humor. Coincidentally (?), it's also a StephenSondheim musical.

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* ''Theatre/MerrilyWeRollAlong'', being BackToFront, has a Downer Ending in the beginning, where it's played for dark humor. Coincidentally (?), it's also a StephenSondheim Music/StephenSondheim musical.
26th Jan '18 8:58:19 AM lalalei2001
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* ''Theatre/{{Ebenezer}}'' is a prequel to ''Literature/AChristmasCarol'' and ends with Jacob Marley dead and doomed, and Scrooge rejecting everyone and everything with a "Bah, humbug."
12th Jan '18 2:27:47 AM lalalei2001
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* ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}''. Yeah, Elphaba and Fiyero are alive, but they have to leave Oz forever, he's stuck as a scarecrow, Glinda is now all alone with every single person she's ever been close to dead, believed to be dead, or in jail, Nessa is dead, Boq is a tin man and the Wizard had his world shattered by Glinda's revelation. Irreversible.
** Even worse, she has to [[StepfordSmiler act happy]] most of the time, in both the book and musical.
** Ha, you think that's bad, in the novel version, Fiyero is killed off half way, Elphaba goes partly mad with grief and depression, calls Glinda a traitor and abandons her, all her animal companions are killed off, she fails to rescue her half-niece from the Wizard, kills her Nanny, and then accidentally gets killed by Dorothy and the wizard gets to fly away happy. The worst part is Elphaba is forever remembered afterwards as the "wicked witch", eternally being remembered as the personification of evil.
*** The Wizard flies away, but not happily. He gives up the magic book he'd been seeking his whole life when he learns that [[HeroicBastard Elphaba was his daughter]], so in the end, Elphaba did accomplish her life's mission of keeping the Wizard from the book and, indeed, bringing the Wizard down. She just wasn't alive to see it.



* ''Theatre/WestSideStory'', but seeing as it's based off ''RomeoAndJuliet'', it's not hard to see ''that'' coming. (At least Maria survives the show, unlike Juliet.)
** Though, one may argue that this is worse, seeing as Juliet didn't have to live with the crippling grief of losing her love for long...

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* ''Theatre/WestSideStory'', but seeing as it's based off ''RomeoAndJuliet'', it's not hard to see ''that'' coming. (At least Maria survives the show, unlike Juliet.)
** Though, one may argue that this is worse, seeing as
Juliet, but Juliet didn't have to live with the crippling grief of losing her love for long...long.
12th Jan '18 2:26:08 AM lalalei2001
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** ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' and all their adaptations by extension. They kill themselves at the end when if Romeo had waited just one more single minute he would have seen Juliet was [[NotQuiteDead not dead]] and they could have gone off into the sunset together. A very notable example because, [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare besides the obvious]], it actually starts as ''a comedy.'' It has been posited that the play ends as a comedy, as well, albeit a somewhat bittersweet one, and is regarded as a tragedy because "ha, ha, teenagers are amazingly stupid" isn't regarded as quite as sustainable a joke in the 1800s-2000s as when it was written. It has most of the trappings of a comedy (secret rendezvous ending in misunderstandings, love triangles, wedding-related shenanigans) even in the final act, and given the social mores of the period it's unlikely that a pair of 13-year-old lovers getting married after a week and then accidentally poisoning themselves was intended to be entirely sympathetic. More like comedic sociopathy plus values dissonance than a true example of the trope.

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** ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' and all their adaptations by extension. They kill themselves at the end when if Romeo had waited just one more single minute he would have seen Juliet was [[NotQuiteDead not dead]] and they could have gone off into the sunset together. A very notable example because, [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare besides the obvious]], it actually starts as ''a comedy.'' It has been posited that the play ends as a comedy, as well, albeit a somewhat bittersweet one, and is regarded as a tragedy because "ha, ha, teenagers are amazingly stupid" isn't regarded as quite as sustainable a joke in the 1800s-2000s as when it was written. It has most of the trappings of a comedy (secret rendezvous ending in misunderstandings, love triangles, wedding-related shenanigans) even in the final act, and given the social mores of the period it's unlikely that a pair of 13-year-old lovers getting married after a week and then accidentally poisoning themselves was intended to be entirely sympathetic. More like comedic sociopathy plus values dissonance than a true example of the trope.''



*** That, believe it or not, has actually been subverted in a recent novel adaptation of the story called "Romeo's Ex." The book is mainly told from the point of view of [[TheGhost Rosaline]], who, with Benvolio (and after the technical "canon" ending of the play), manages to make Romeo throw up the poison in time, saving his life. Although Juliet stays dead.

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*** That, believe it or not, has actually been subverted Subverted in a recent novel adaptation of the story called "Romeo's Ex." The book is mainly told from the point of view of [[TheGhost Rosaline]], who, with Benvolio (and after the technical "canon" ending of the play), manages to make Romeo throw up the poison in time, saving his life. Although Juliet stays dead.
29th Dec '17 11:32:33 AM RedScharlach
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** ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' and all their adaptations by extension. They kill themselves at the end when if Romeo had waited just one more single minute he would have seen Juliet was [[NotQuiteDead not dead]] and they could have gone off into the sunset together. A very notable example because, [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare besides the obvious]], it actually starts as ''a comedy.'' It has been posited that the play ends as a comedy, as well, albeit a somewhat bittersweet one, and is regarded as a tragedy because "ha, ha, teenagers are amazingly stupid" isn't regarded as quite as sustainable a joke in the 1800s-2000s as when it was written. It has most of the trappings of a comedy (secret rendevous ending in misunderstandings, love triangles, wedding-related shenanigans) even in the final act, and given the social mores of the period it's unlikely that a pair of 13-year-old lovers getting married after a week and then accidentally poisoning themselves was intended to be entirely sympathetic. More like comedic sociopathy plus values dissonance than a true example of the trope.

to:

** ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' and all their adaptations by extension. They kill themselves at the end when if Romeo had waited just one more single minute he would have seen Juliet was [[NotQuiteDead not dead]] and they could have gone off into the sunset together. A very notable example because, [[Creator/WilliamShakespeare besides the obvious]], it actually starts as ''a comedy.'' It has been posited that the play ends as a comedy, as well, albeit a somewhat bittersweet one, and is regarded as a tragedy because "ha, ha, teenagers are amazingly stupid" isn't regarded as quite as sustainable a joke in the 1800s-2000s as when it was written. It has most of the trappings of a comedy (secret rendevous rendezvous ending in misunderstandings, love triangles, wedding-related shenanigans) even in the final act, and given the social mores of the period it's unlikely that a pair of 13-year-old lovers getting married after a week and then accidentally poisoning themselves was intended to be entirely sympathetic. More like comedic sociopathy plus values dissonance than a true example of the trope.



** Theatre/{{Othello}} murders his wife because he is lead to believe that she is unfaithful, only to find out that she was not, leaving him no real option other than suicide.

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** Theatre/{{Othello}} murders his wife because he is lead led to believe that she is unfaithful, only to find out that she was not, leaving him no real option other than suicide.



** When Oedipus is born it is prophesied that he will kill his father and marry his mother. So, Oedipus is abandoned in the wilderness to die, [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim but of course]] [[GenreBlind this doesn't work]] and he is eventually adopted by the rulers of some other state who he believes to be his birth parents. In possibly the earliest documentation of road rage, Oedipus unknowingly kills his biological father. He solves the riddle of the Sphynx and unknowingly marries his biological mother and has children with her, which causes a plague to descend on his kingdom because nature/the gods/whatever are so not cool with this. His wife/mother commits suicide when she realizes what has happened. Once Oedipus realizes what has happened shortly afterward he finds the dead body of his wife/mother and [[EyeScream uses the broaches in her clothing to gouge his eyes out.]] And then the sequels just get worse and worse for Oedipus and his children.
** The sequels also worsen for the whole city of Thebes, as well as Argos, Colonus, and for that matter most of Greece. Oedipus's two sons go to war over the city, leading one to betray the city and to lead an army of 7 champions (the Seven Against Thebes) to Thebes, where both brothers and the champions of both cities are slaughtered. Oedipus dies at Colonus after basically refusing to back either son, Antigone commits suicide to protest Creon's treatment of her brother, and Creon's son- who was engaged to marry Antigone- kills himself. Creon's wife blames him and ALSO kills herself, leaving Creon as a broken king of a broken city as another army of champions marches on Thebes.

to:

** When Oedipus is born it is prophesied that he will kill his father and marry his mother. So, Oedipus is abandoned in the wilderness to die, [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim but of course]] [[GenreBlind this doesn't work]] and he is eventually adopted by the rulers of some other another state who whom he believes to be his birth parents. In possibly the earliest documentation of road rage, Oedipus unknowingly kills his biological father. He solves the riddle of the Sphynx Sphinx and unknowingly marries his biological mother and has children with her, which causes a plague to descend on his kingdom because nature/the gods/whatever are so not cool with this. His wife/mother commits suicide when she realizes what has happened. Once Oedipus realizes what has happened shortly afterward he finds the dead body of his wife/mother and [[EyeScream uses the broaches in her clothing to gouge his eyes out.]] And then the sequels just get worse and worse for Oedipus and his children.
** The sequels also worsen make everything worse for the whole city of Thebes, as well as Argos, Colonus, and for that matter most of Greece. Oedipus's two sons go to war over the city, leading one to betray the city and to lead an army of 7 champions (the Seven Against Thebes) to Thebes, where both brothers and the champions of both cities are slaughtered. Oedipus dies at Colonus after basically refusing to back either son, Antigone commits suicide to protest Creon's treatment of her brother, and Creon's son- who son--who was engaged to marry Antigone- kills Antigone--kills himself. Creon's wife blames him and ALSO kills herself, leaving Creon as a broken king of a broken city as another army of champions marches on Thebes.



* ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors''. Audrey II eats Audrey and Seymour, and as Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon explain "Subsequent to the events you have just witnessed/Similar events in cities across America/Events which bore a striking resemblance/To the ones you have just seen- began occurring/Subsequent to the events you have just witnessed/Unsuspecting jerks from Maine to California/Made the acquaintance of a new breed of flytrap/And got sweet-talked into feeding it blood... [[PlantAliens Thus the plants worked their terrible will]], [[DealwiththeDevil finding jerks who would feed them their fill]], [[OneWingedAngel and the plants proceeded to grow and grow]], [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou and began what they came here to do, which was essentially to eat Cleveland, and Des Moines, and Peoria, and New York, AND THIS THEATRE!]]" -- whereupon the plant begins to eat THE AUDIENCE! (The movie was supposed to have much the same ending, but test audiences found it too much of a downer and the resultant FocusGroupEnding is a happier TheEndOrIsIt one.)
* ''Fame: The Musical'' ends with the entire cast serenading the audience in mourning of the main character's offscreen death by cocaine overdose

to:

* ''Theatre/LittleShopOfHorrors''. Audrey II eats Audrey and Seymour, and as Crystal, Ronette and Chiffon explain "Subsequent to the events you have just witnessed/Similar events in cities across America/Events which bore a striking resemblance/To the ones you have just seen- seen began occurring/Subsequent to the events you have just witnessed/Unsuspecting jerks from Maine to California/Made the acquaintance of a new breed of flytrap/And got sweet-talked into feeding it blood... [[PlantAliens Thus the plants worked their terrible will]], [[DealwiththeDevil finding jerks who would feed them their fill]], [[OneWingedAngel and the plants proceeded to grow and grow]], [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou and began what they came here to do, which was essentially to eat Cleveland, and Des Moines, and Peoria, and New York, AND THIS THEATRE!]]" -- whereupon the plant begins to eat THE AUDIENCE! (The movie was supposed to have much the same ending, but test audiences found it too much of a downer and the resultant FocusGroupEnding is a happier TheEndOrIsIt one.)
* ''Fame: The Musical'' ends with the entire cast serenading the audience in mourning of for the main character's offscreen death by cocaine overdoseoverdose.



* ''[[Creator/MartinMcDonagh The Cripple of Inishmaan]]'' is among the blackest BlackComedy and a {{Deconstruction}} of BuryYourDisabled. There's more specific details on that page, but after the audience has seen Cripple Billy survive so much, the final moments of his [[YourDaysAreNumbered realization that he really is going to die soon]] are devastating.

to:

* ''[[Creator/MartinMcDonagh The Cripple of Inishmaan]]'' is among the blackest a deeply black BlackComedy and a {{Deconstruction}} of BuryYourDisabled. There's more specific details on that page, but after the audience has seen Cripple Billy survive so much, the final moments of his [[YourDaysAreNumbered realization that he really is going to die soon]] are devastating.



* ''Theatre/TheLastFiveYears'' is a odd case since it has a Downer Beginning that leads to a DownerEnding. The two-actor, one-act musical revolves around Cathy and Jamie and their relationship/marriage. Cathy's story goes backwards (from the end to the beginning) while Jamie's story goes forward (from the beginning to the end). It starts with Cathy breaking down in tears since "Jamie is over and Jamie is gone" and ends with Jamie leaving their apartement as he sings one last heart-rending "Goodbye". Since Cathy's story [[ForegoneConclusion spoils from the first note that they will break up]], the ending being a downer is a given and the audience only needs to find out why. Extra points for the ending still being a extreme TearJerker by both having Jamie's goodbye be a duet with Cathy's most happiest song of the entire musical and for using ''their love theme'' as the melody to sing his goodbye with. For clarification, their love theme plays most prominently during ''their wedding''.

to:

* ''Theatre/TheLastFiveYears'' is a odd case since it has a Downer Beginning that leads to a DownerEnding. The two-actor, one-act musical revolves around Cathy and Jamie and their relationship/marriage. Cathy's story goes backwards (from the end to the beginning) while Jamie's story goes forward (from the beginning to the end). It starts with Cathy breaking down in tears since "Jamie is over and Jamie is gone" and ends with Jamie leaving their apartement apartment as he sings one last heart-rending "Goodbye". Since Cathy's story [[ForegoneConclusion spoils from the first note that they will break up]], the ending being a downer is a given and the audience only needs to find out why. Extra points for the ending still being a extreme TearJerker by both having Jamie's goodbye be a duet with Cathy's most happiest song of the entire musical and for using ''their love theme'' as the melody to sing his goodbye with. For clarification, their love theme plays most prominently during ''their wedding''.



* ''Theatre/{{Finale}}'' ends with the world ending, everyone dying, and life as we knew it ceasing to exist. Yep.

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* ''Theatre/{{Finale}}'' ends with the world ending, everyone dying, and life as we knew know it ceasing to exist. Yep.
3rd Jun '17 5:42:20 PM AutumnLeaves
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* ''Theatre/SnowMaiden'' ends with the heroine melting (like, literally, dissolving into water) on the morning of her wedding, her disconsolate bridegroom drowning himself, and everyone else (including the girl's foster parents, her friends, and another young man who had previously loved her) quickly shrugging it off and singing a hymn to the sun and summer.

to:

* ''Theatre/SnowMaiden'' ''Theatre/TheSnowMaiden'' ends with the heroine melting (like, literally, dissolving into water) on the morning of her wedding, her disconsolate bridegroom drowning himself, and everyone else (including the girl's foster parents, her friends, and another young man who had previously loved her) quickly shrugging it off and singing a hymn to the sun and summer.
3rd Jun '17 5:41:41 PM AutumnLeaves
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* ''Theatre/SnowMaiden'' ends with the heroine melting (like, literally, dissolving into water) on the morning of her wedding, her disconsolate bridegroom drowning himself, and everyone else (including the girl's foster parents, her friends, and another young man who had previously loved her) quickly shrugging it off and singing a hymn to the sun and summer.
29th Apr '17 10:05:24 PM kaxamdays
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* ''Theatre/{{Finale}}'' ends with the world ending, everyone dying, and life as we knew it ceasing to exist. Yep.
4th Apr '17 1:05:48 AM Trying2CIt
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** When Oedipus is born it is prophecized that he will kill his father and marry his mother. So, Oedipus is abandoned in the wilderness to die, [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim but of course]] [[GenreBlind this doesn't work]] and he is eventually adopted by the rulers of some other state who he believes to be his birth parents. In possibly the earliest documentation of road rage, Oedipus unknowingly kills his biological father. He solves the riddle of the Sphynx and unknowingly marries his biological mother and has children with her, which causes a plague to descend on his kingdom because nature/the gods/whatever are so not cool with this. His wife/mother commits suicide when she realizes what has happened. Once Oedipus realizes what has happened shortly afterward he finds the dead body of his wife/mother and [[EyeScream uses the broaches in her clothing to gouge his eyes out.]] And then the sequels just get worse and worse for Oedipus and his children.

to:

** When Oedipus is born it is prophecized prophesied that he will kill his father and marry his mother. So, Oedipus is abandoned in the wilderness to die, [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim but of course]] [[GenreBlind this doesn't work]] and he is eventually adopted by the rulers of some other state who he believes to be his birth parents. In possibly the earliest documentation of road rage, Oedipus unknowingly kills his biological father. He solves the riddle of the Sphynx and unknowingly marries his biological mother and has children with her, which causes a plague to descend on his kingdom because nature/the gods/whatever are so not cool with this. His wife/mother commits suicide when she realizes what has happened. Once Oedipus realizes what has happened shortly afterward he finds the dead body of his wife/mother and [[EyeScream uses the broaches in her clothing to gouge his eyes out.]] And then the sequels just get worse and worse for Oedipus and his children.
16th Feb '17 5:25:13 AM MoonByte
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* ''Theatre/TheLastFiveYears'' is a odd case since it has a Downer Beginning that leads to a DownerEnding. The two-actor, one-act musical revolves around Cathy and Jamie and their relationship/marriage. Cathy's story goes backwards (from the end to the beginning) while Jamie's story goes forward (from the beginning to the end). It starts with Cathy breaking down in tears since "Jamie is over and Jamie is gone" and ends with Jamie leaving their apartement as he sings one last heart-rending "Goodbye". Since Cathy's story [[Foregone Conclusion spoils from the first note that they will break up]], the ending being a downer is a given and the audience only needs to find out why. Extra points for the ending still being a extreme TearJerker by both having Jamie's goodbye be a duet with Cathy's most happiest song of the entire musical and for using ''their love theme'' as the melody to sing his goodbye with. For clarification, their love theme plays most prominently during ''their wedding''.

to:

* ''Theatre/TheLastFiveYears'' is a odd case since it has a Downer Beginning that leads to a DownerEnding. The two-actor, one-act musical revolves around Cathy and Jamie and their relationship/marriage. Cathy's story goes backwards (from the end to the beginning) while Jamie's story goes forward (from the beginning to the end). It starts with Cathy breaking down in tears since "Jamie is over and Jamie is gone" and ends with Jamie leaving their apartement as he sings one last heart-rending "Goodbye". Since Cathy's story [[Foregone Conclusion [[ForegoneConclusion spoils from the first note that they will break up]], the ending being a downer is a given and the audience only needs to find out why. Extra points for the ending still being a extreme TearJerker by both having Jamie's goodbye be a duet with Cathy's most happiest song of the entire musical and for using ''their love theme'' as the melody to sing his goodbye with. For clarification, their love theme plays most prominently during ''their wedding''.
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