Created By: WaxingName on December 28, 2012 Last Edited By: WaxingName on February 11, 2013
Troped

Curtain Call

At the finale of a show, all characters make one final appearance right before the end.

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NOTE: If you're going to tag this, please state that you did so and why in the comments below.

One of the best ways you can end either a show or a series is to have all the characters all come together in such a way that summarizes the entire show. The order in which they appear is generally minor or tertiary characters first, then characters that were more important take their bows, and the progression repeats until the major characters take their bow.

This procedure originated as common theatre courtesy from the cast, so that the audience may show their appreciation for the cast, and the cast to the audience for taking their time to watch them. This practice later migrated to other forms of media, with live action series and films (being evolutions of the theatre medium) being the most common. Animated media and video games can also do it, but this is less common.

See also Credits Medley, another way of summing up a show with elements throughout. In fact, they're commonly played during Curtain Calls. Everyone Comes Back Fantasy Party Ending is a subtrope.

Examples

Anime and Manga
  • Evangelion: "CONGRATULATIONS!"[[hottip:*:all of the named characters of the show appear at one final scene, congratulate Shinji on his epiphany, and then congratulate you, dear viewer]].
  • At the end of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, a picture appears showing the silhouettes of all Magical Girls in the show including the Witches.

Film

Live-Action TV
  • The finale of The Mary Tyler Moore Show famously ended with the cast breaking character and having Mary Tyler Moore pay tribute to her castmates.
  • Home Improvement ended on a similar note as Mary Tyler Moore with the cast breaking character and taking a bow.
  • Each individual episode of Saturday Night Live ends with the entire cast and any guest stars (and musicians in the guest band) gathering on the stage, with the ending theme music playing.
  • Several British sitcoms have made a feature of closing with new footage of the regular and guest cast waving, bowing, etc. These include Are You Being Served?, 'Allo 'Allo!, and Miranda.
  • The Series Fauxnale at the end of Scrubs season 8 ends with JD walking down a hallway and meeting a lot of the actors that has appeared on the show. A few dead people too. Some of them make comments referencing their story arcs.
  • Doctor Who has this happen twice.
    • In the episode "Journey's End", all the previous companions from the past 4 seasons return to help the Doctor save the universe.
    • In the episode "End of Time, Part 2", which was the final episode of the Tenth Doctor, the Doctor travels around to bid everyone goodbye.
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus. In the episode about the Golden Age of Ballooning, at the end of the title sketch there's a curtain call of all of the actors in the sketch, featuring the butler.
  • The end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer 'Once More With Feeling'. They don't bow, but they're all onscreen together singing the last song, with Buffy and Spike kissing at first, then singing with the rest. They even appear to lampshade it.
    Cast: The curtains close on a kiss, God knows, we can tell the end is near...

Music
  • This happens at the end of the music video for Madonna's Like a Prayer. Significant in that you don't realize until this point that the tense (and controversial!) video was all just a play, and the curtain call can actually serve as Nightmare Retardant.

Professional Wrestling
  • An infamous moment in the history of Professional Wrestling: The Kliq (some of whom were heels and some faces) broke kayfabe on Nash & Hall's final night in the WWF, celebrating in the ring and taking bows in front of the audience at Madison Square Garden. It's actually called "the curtain call" in pro wrestling history.

Theatre
  • Nearly every single theatre show, as mentioned above, as it's common courtesy for a theatre troupe to do this so as to allow the audience to applause and for the cast to show their appreciation.
  • The Shakespearean romantic comedy "As You Like It" incorporates this as part of the story, where all good characters make an appearance for their marriage and subsequent end of the play.
  • While most theatrical productions have this, occasionally the director will decide to skip it for emphasis. The first Broadway production of 1776 had no curtain call. The 2006 Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera also nixed the curtain call.

Video Games
  • EarthBound and MOTHER 3 both have curtain calls played out in cast rolls when the game ends and before the credits.
  • Final Fantasy VI has a Curtain Call that plays as the characters escape Kefka's Tower in which a vintage-style photo screen names each of the characters as well as objects symbolizing them then the screen shows each of the characters doing their part in the teamwork needed to escape.
  • The second Mario Party game ended with the playable characters (and Bowser) coming on stage to wave to the players.
  • The final scene of Odin Sphere, literally called Curtain Call.
  • During the credits of both Persona3 and Persona4, silhouettes of all playable characters are shown together with their Persona.
  • DynamiteHeaddy, being set as a puppet show/stage play, has a sequence where all the enemies and characters in the game come out with their names displayed near them before the credits.

Western Animation
  • Justice League Unlimited ended on a Curtain Call combined with And the Adventure Continues in its Grand Finale with all the members of the Justice League running/flying down from the steps of Metro Tower in order of importance. In a note of Bookends for the whole DCAU franchise, Batman is the very last hero seen on-screen; he was the very first hero of the DCAU.
  • At the end of Turner Feature Animation's Cats Don't Dance, studio mogul L. B. Mammoth commands the photographers, "Get a picture, boys. These kids are going to be big." All the significant animal characters from Farley Wink's Animal Agency are in the shot. Missing, of course, are the villainous Darla Dimple and her lackey, Max.
  • Luanne's wedding on King of the Hill, when everyone, even the most obscure characters, showed up.
Community Feedback Replies: 36
  • December 28, 2012
    WaxingName
    Tagged Already Have because I did a pretty thorough check of the wiki, but I still think that we might have this considering how ubiquitous it is.

    But if we don't have, How Could We Have Missed This One?
  • December 28, 2012
    WeAreAllKosh
    Each individual episode of Saturday Night Live ends with the entire cast and any guest stars (and musicians in the guest band) gathering on the stage, with the ending theme music playing.

    (Note: this is as of the last time I watched the show, maybe 10 years ago. I'm not certain that they still do that, but they have done it over the many years I have watched the show.)
  • December 28, 2012
    randomsurfer
    An infamous moment in the history of Professional Wrestling: The Kliq (some of whom were heels and some faces) broke kayfabe on Nash & Hall's final night in the WWF, celebrating in the ring and taking bows in front of the audience at Madison Square Garden. It's actually called "the curtain call" in pro wrestling history.
  • December 29, 2012
    O
    At the end of the Shakespearean romantic comedy "As You Like It", all good characters make an appearance for their marriage and subsequent end of the play.
  • December 29, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^Well, of course. All theatre shows end with a Curtain Call.
  • December 29, 2012
    O
    ^Most, but as far as I know, not many do so as part of the story itself, rather a bow. Don't ask me, I'm not a drama person.
  • December 29, 2012
    WaxingName
    ^All right, I'll mention special cases of theatre curtain calls.
  • December 29, 2012
    Skylite
    • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic episode "Hearth's Warming Eve" has a play about the origin of their Winter Holiday, Hearth's Warming Eve, and the Mane Six do a curtain call at the end.
  • December 29, 2012
    TrustBen
    Several British sitcoms have made a feature of closing with new footage of the regular and guest cast waving, bowing, etc. These include Are You Being Served, Allo Allo, and Miranda.
  • December 29, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In The Movie of The Fantasticks the cast comes on for a curtain call after it's over. They're done in order of credit, so the first-credited people (Joel Gray and Barnard Hughes) come on first, even though they don't have the lead parts.
  • December 30, 2012
    Arivne
    The Cirque Du Soleil usually does a curtain call at the end of its performances.
  • December 30, 2012
    WaxingName
    NOTE: I will not add any theatre examples unless they are special in some way, since it's a PSoC issue unless a mix-up is done.
  • December 30, 2012
    reub2000
    • The Series Fauxnale at the end of Scrubs season 8 ends with JD walking down a hallway and meeting a lot of the actors that has appeared on the show. A few dead people too. Some of them make comments referencing their story arcs.
  • December 31, 2012
    Duncan
    Would the Dance Party Ending in Theres Something About Mary count?

    And possibly Everyone Comes Back Fantasy Party Ending would be a subtrope.
  • December 31, 2012
    Duncan
    The remake of To Be Or Not To Be by Mel Brooks has a curtain call at the end- it begins as part of the Show Within A Show, but then the actors who are not playing actors also come out for a bow. Not sure if this was in the original.
  • December 31, 2012
    patches365
    Doctor Who has this happen twice.
    • In the episode "Journey's End", all the previous companions from the past 4 seasons return to help the Doctor save the universe.
    • In the episode "End of Time, Part 2", which was the final episode of the Tenth Doctor, the Doctor travels around to bid everyone goodbye.
  • December 31, 2012
    randomsurfer
    ^^ It isn't in the original 1942 version.
  • January 2, 2013
    TheHandle
    Evangelion: "CONGRATULATIONS!"[[hottip:*:all of the named characters of the show appear at one final scene, congratulate Shinji on his epiphany, and then congratulate you, dear viewer]].
  • January 5, 2013
    Duncan
    Oh, and while most theatrical productions have this, occasionally the director will decide to skip it for emphasis. The first Broadway production of 1776 had no curtain call. The 2006 Broadway revival of The Threepenny Opera also nixed the curtain call.
  • January 6, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Generally speaking, any TV episode where the focus is on a School Play will have one of these.
  • January 9, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the "Christams in Heaven" scene from Monty Pythons The Meaning Of Life most (if not all) of the characters we've seen in the film appear in the Heaven nightclub.
  • January 15, 2013
    dsneybuf
    The second Mario Party game ended with the playable characters (and Bowser) coming on stage to wave to the players.
  • January 15, 2013
    ThatDonGuy
    Actually, the one on The Mary Tyler Moore Show was just the airing of the last episode's actual curtain call. The Bob Newhart Show did the same thing, except that it aired over the closing credits, so there was no audio other than the theme music.
  • January 15, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    At the end of Turner Feature Animation's Film/{{Cats Don't Dance}}, studio mogul L. B. Mammoth commands the photographers, "Get a picture, boys. These kids are going to be big." All the significant animal characters from Farley Wink's Animal Agency are in the shot. Missing, of course, are the villainous Darla Dimple and her lackey, Max.
  • January 16, 2013
    Arivne
    Live Action TV
    • Monty Pythons Flying Circus. In the episode about the Golden Age of Ballooning, at the end of the title sketch there's a curtain call of all of the actors in the sketch, featuring the butler.
  • January 23, 2013
    chicagomel
    I think the end of Buffy The Vampire Slayer 'Once More With Feeling' might count. They don't bow, but they're all onscreen together singing the last song, with Buffy and Spike kissing at first, then singing with the rest. They even appear to lampshade it.
    Cast: The curtains close on a kiss, God knows, we can tell the end is near...
  • January 23, 2013
    SquirrelGuy
    Music: This happens at the end of the music video for Madonna's Like a Prayer. Significant in that you don't realize until this point that the tense (and controversial!) video was all just a play, and the curtain call can actually serve as Nightmare Retardant.
  • January 24, 2013
    TrueShadow1
  • January 24, 2013
    SquirrelGuy
    YMMV, but they kinda-sorta have this in the throne room scene the end of Star Wars:Episode IV (ANH).
  • February 2, 2013
    Tal63
    How is Everyone Comes Back Party Fantasy a Sub Trope of this?

    They're Sister Tropes. Along with Continuity Cavalcade, which is what I originally thought this was.
  • February 3, 2013
    WaxingName
    ^Can you explain? That trope seems to fulfill all requirements of being a Sub Trope to me.
  • February 3, 2013
    Tal63
    Curtain Call is an Ending Trope where everyone comes back to take a bow. Everyone Comes Back Fantasy Party Ending is about everyone comes back from the dead. I see how they're similar, I just think they're Sister Trope|S.
  • February 3, 2013
    LeeAnn
    This is an excellent trope. I'm surprised it's not already here. I thought of another one: Luanne's wedding on King of the Hill, when everyone, even the most obscure characters, showed up.
  • February 8, 2013
    WaxingName
    ^^I don't think I said that taking a bow is part of the trope. It covers all instances of characters making an appearance at the very end.
  • February 10, 2013
    WaxingName
    Who tagged this "Tropeworthy?"?
  • February 11, 2013
    WaxingName
    I'll launch this, now.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=4grjzo2h257az5594jwznsmv