History Main / BittersweetEnding

27th Apr '15 7:41:11 PM TalonsofIceandFire
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Bittersweet Endings can fall on either end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism. They also work well when the characters are at a loss about [[SoWhatDoWeDoNow what to do now]]. They come up frequently in HighFantasy, for obvious reasons -- an epic that ends with the hero triumphing over the ultimate BigBad and bringing peace and prosperity to the land, but at the same time defeating the ultimate BigBad does always come without sacrifice, whether or be him dying in the end or having him at a lost as for [[SoWhatNow what to do now]]. Sometimes these are worlds and stories where you can EarnYourHappyEnding, though it won't be ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.

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Bittersweet Endings can fall on either end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism. They also work well when the characters are at a loss about [[SoWhatDoWeDoNow what to do now]]. They come up frequently in HighFantasy, for obvious reasons -- an epic that ends with the hero triumphing over the ultimate BigBad and bringing peace and prosperity to the land, but at the same time defeating the ultimate BigBad does not always come without sacrifice, sacrifices, whether be most or be him all of the characters dying in the end or having him the characters are at a lost as for [[SoWhatNow loss about [[SoWhatDoWeDoNow what to do now]]. Sometimes these are worlds and stories where you can EarnYourHappyEnding, though it won't be ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.



In short, if the characters are worse off than when they started, it's a DownerEnding. If they're better off (or at least status quo is preserved), but the work still ends on a melancholy note, it's a Bittersweet Ending. Another way to think of it is that if the story's main conflict is resolved in favor of the protagonists, but at great sacrifice, it's a Bittersweet Ending, and a DownerEnding requires the heroes to fail, and the conflict to be resolved in the favor of the antagonists.

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In short, if the characters are worse off than when they started, it's a DownerEnding. If they're better off (or at least status quo is preserved), but the work still ends on a melancholy note, it's a Bittersweet Ending. Another way to think of it is that if the story's main conflict is resolved in favor of the protagonists, but at great sacrifice, it's a Bittersweet Ending, and a Ending. A DownerEnding requires the heroes to fail, and the conflict to be resolving with nothing good happening in the end, if it's even resolved in the favor of the antagonists.
at all.
27th Apr '15 7:31:00 PM TalonsofIceandFire
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Bittersweet Endings are frequent in stories on the cynical end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism. They also work well when the characters are at a loss about [[SoWhatDoWeDoNow what to do now]]. They come up frequently in HighFantasy, for obvious reasons -- an epic that ended with evil winning would usually mean the end of the world, and the mother of all {{Downer Ending}}s, but at the same time defeating the ultimate BigBad without paying some kind of price would be awfully unsatisfying. Sometimes these are worlds and stories where you can EarnYourHappyEnding, though it won't be ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.

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Bittersweet Endings are frequent in stories can fall on the cynical either end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism. They also work well when the characters are at a loss about [[SoWhatDoWeDoNow what to do now]]. They come up frequently in HighFantasy, for obvious reasons -- an epic that ended ends with evil winning would usually mean the end of hero triumphing over the world, ultimate BigBad and bringing peace and prosperity to the mother of all {{Downer Ending}}s, land, but at the same time defeating the ultimate BigBad does always come without paying some kind of price would sacrifice, whether or be awfully unsatisfying.him dying in the end or having him at a lost as for [[SoWhatNow what to do now]]. Sometimes these are worlds and stories where you can EarnYourHappyEnding, though it won't be ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin.
14th Jan '15 8:54:06 PM CaptEquinox
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Contrast with RayOfHopeEnding, where the villain prevails but not all is lost.

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Contrast with RayOfHopeEnding, where the villain prevails but not all is lost.
lost. Also with EsotericHappyEnding, where the author clearly ''meant'' it to be joyful, beautiful and uplifting... but the readers don't see it that way.
13th Jan '15 4:55:02 AM MelancholyUtopia
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->''"How can everything be so amazing and so terrible all at the same time?"''

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->''"How can everything be so amazing and so terrible horrible all at the same time?"''
13th Jan '15 4:53:41 AM MelancholyUtopia
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->''"Sometimes there are no happy endings."''

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->''"Sometimes there are no happy endings."''->''"How can everything be so amazing and so terrible all at the same time?"''
-->-- '''Dipper''', ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls''
24th Dec '14 7:35:09 AM TheTropper
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->''"How can everything be so amazing and so terrible all at the same time?"''
-->-- '''Dipper''', ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls''

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->''"How can everything be so amazing and so terrible all at the same time?"''
-->-- '''Dipper''', ''WesternAnimation/GravityFalls''
->''"Sometimes there are no happy endings."''
7th Nov '14 11:43:54 PM RTranzit
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->''"How can everything be so amazing yet so horrible all at the same time?"''

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->''"How can everything be so amazing yet and so horrible terrible all at the same time?"''
15th Oct '14 8:33:44 PM Angeldeb82
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Sometimes the story's {{Aesop}} requires a bittersweet ending in order to be effective. For certain issues, this is [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped the only way]] to get the point across without the effect being undermined by other tropes such as the EverybodyLaughsEnding.

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Sometimes the story's {{Aesop}} {{A|nAesop}}esop requires a bittersweet ending in order to be effective. For certain issues, this is [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped the only way]] to get the point across without the effect being undermined by other tropes such as the EverybodyLaughsEnding.
8th Oct '14 2:50:21 PM avon
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* The good guys accomplish what they set out to do but there is an overall feeling that they [[IdiotBall put on a "bad show" this time.]]

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* The good guys accomplish what they set out to do but on a personal level, there is an overall overarching feeling that they [[IdiotBall put on a "bad show" this time.]]
8th Oct '14 2:47:16 PM avon
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Added DiffLines:

* The good guys accomplish what they set out to do but there is an overall feeling that they [[IdiotBall put on a "bad show" this time.]]
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.BittersweetEnding