* ''WebAnimation/BrokenSaints'': [[spoiler: despite all the suffering they have had to go through, each of our "broken" heroes is healed in the end, the men by the power of [[AllLovingHero Shandala]]'s love, Shandala by the power of theirs, and the world is saved.]]
* The two main characters in ''WebAnimation/ThereSheIs'' go through a number of tribulations before they get to their happy ending.
* In the interactive poem ''VideoGame/TodayIDie'', this is used as a metaphor for overcoming depression. The protagonist must swim with a boulder tied to her waist.
* ''Roleplay/RubyQuest'' is a CosmicHorrorStory featuring plenty of BodyHorror and mental corruption. ''It's got a happy ending''. It's also a more literal example of this trope, as players earned their happy ending by going OffTheRails several times, like [[spoiler: tranquilizing Stitches (which they couldn't have done without a DungeonBypass) and giving him the Group Portrait, motivating him to come back for a BigDamnHeroes moment, and saving Jay, who they were supposed to MercyKill]]. Them being both very creative and [[SurprisinglyHappyEnding surprisingly]] [[VideoGameCaringPotential kind]] got them the GoldenEnding.
* ''Literature/SailorNothing'' is a huge {{Deconstruction}} of the MagicalGirl genre that has the main character being [[BreakTheCutie repeatedly broken]], her friends not faring much better, and the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism generally getting cranked up all the way to the Cynicism side, [[spoiler: yet it manages to end on a happy note, with the complete defeat of [[TheHeartless the Yamiko]] and every character on the good guy's side surviving and [[IJustWantToBeNormal earning the normal lives they very much deserve]]]].
** Which ''[[Headscratchers/SailorNothing apparently]]'' was a ''bad'' thing, because it meant someone's pick for "designated casualty" failed to die horribly.
* Summed up spectacularly with WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick's review of Creator/DonBluth's ''WesternAnimation/{{Thumbelina}}'', where the despairing heroine is surprised to find her prince Cornelius alive and well - "Things are impossible! Things are... oh! Hi dead boyfriend! Thanks for coming along and proving my pessimism wrong and not making me work for that happy ending!"
* ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionR'' (Prime ending)
* When WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic fell into pretty epic depression in his "Commercials Special", he got to win by doing a CrowningMusicOfAwesome and be happy for the first time in a long while.
** As that didn't take, leaving him to have a DespairEventHorizon over how horrible life has been, WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee lets him be a hero and [[spoiler: [[DiedHappilyEverAfter Die Happily Ever After]], having made a HeroicSacrifice to become the universe]].
* LetsPlay/SirRonLionheart, in his LetsPlay of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', went out of his way to set ''everything'' right, and we mean ''every'' last sidequest. It was a long haul, but it was worth it to see a dawn of a new day.
* ''WebVideo/CounterMonkey'': "The Last Ride of [[SpoonyBard Tandem the Spoony.]]" After making it through a horrendously difficult campaign against all odds, Tandem and the only other survivor find themselves with a ship that can cross dimensions, so they first go home to resurrect their friends, and then everyone was last seen sailing away to whatever adventures await them next.
* Most of the time, a CharacterArc in ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'' has a BittersweetEnding at best, due to the fact that [[KillEmAll almost the entire cast will die]]. However, in version four [[spoiler:STAR comes in to rescue students as long as they're not actively playing the game and come forward for it]]. As a result, this was how a portion of characters' storylines ended.
* Most of Creator/{{Wildbow}}'s ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' is very dark, and it's a very rough ride for the characters, especially the protagonist. But in the end, the world is saved [[spoiler: and Taylor survives with a chance to start her life over.]]
** ''Literature/{{Pact}}'' by same author is very rough to main characters too, and even darker than Worm, but its ending somehow even better: [[spoiler: Blake turns into a sparrow and spents his time with Green Eyes and Evan; Rose presumably finds sanctuary from Lawyers in the Abyss and starts hurting them through writing and disseminating diabolic texts]].
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4Gtw0iYQkE Bagger 288]] just wants to find a place where he will be accepted. Unfortunately, Bagger 288 is a ''ridiculously'' massive mining machine appropriated dubbed by [[MemeticMutation the internet]] as "[[HumongousMecha Giant-Assed Saw Thing]]" that gets chased out of wherever he goes by either the military or protesters. When aliens show up though, he sprouts jet engines and takes the invader down with a HeroicSacrifice, leaving him damaged to the brink of death and, when he sees all the people cheering for him, ''[[BittersweetEnding happy]]''.
** [[spoiler:The secret ending has the people [[DueToTheDead turning the area around him into a monument]], to never forget him and what he'd done for them.]]
* Year 3 (episodes 50-70) of ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale''. After a year of [[TheNarrator Cecil]] growing increasingly more depressed, unhappy, and discontent to the point of nearly leaving town, a misunderstanding that nearly cost him a close friendship, and desperately missing [[LoveInterest Carlos]], everything is resolved in one night. [[spoiler:Carlos returns to stay, Cecil and Dana's friendship is on the mend, Night Vale has a wonderful new opera house, and [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Hiram]] is finally jailed for his crimes (except for [[TokenGoodTeammate Violet]].) The only person left unhappy is [[StepfordSmiler Kevin]].]]
* [[https://i.imgur.com/qQ3j7MB.png This]] recounting of a person playing a DarkerAndEdgier tabletop game, which was set firmly on the [[CrapsackWorld deepest Cynical side]] of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism (to quote the story, "if somebody asked me for help with their sister who was being mugged, [[WoundedGazelleGambit it was a hook to mug me]]") and featured "corruption points" which represent how evil a character has become. The person in question played an AllLovingHero fisherman who continued being kind and friendly even though BeingGoodSucks in this world. Eventually they reached the main villain, who had used an ArtifactOfDoom [[OneWingedAngel to ascend to godhood]] [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity at the cost of multiplying his corruption points by 100]]; as he had 750 corruption points ''before'' using the artifact, the end result was described as being enough to make an EldritchAbomination [[EvenEvilHasStandards freak out]]. Just when all hope seemed lost, the player was able to revive and heal himself through a few lucky rolls, and then entered his LimitBreak state, the special ability of which was to give himself a damage boost based on the corruption points of the enemy. Since the BigBad had so many corruption points, this gave him a damage multiplier of ''112,500'', [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu allowing him to kill the]] BigBad [[OneHitKill in a single hit]]. Even better, he then used the same crystal used by the BigBad to become a god; just as the [=GM=] announced he had become the new BigBad, the player revealed that he had '''[[IncorruptiblePurePureness 0 corruption points]]'''. [[LoopholeAbuse Since zero times anything is still zero]], the ArtifactOfDoom turned him not into a new BigBad, but a GodOfGood. In the epilogue of the campaign, he used his RealityWarper powers to make the world a better place, turning it from a CrapsackWorld to a WorldHalfFull.
* ''WebAnimation/{{RWBY}}'': By the end of Volume 5, after the four heroines have [[BreakTheCutie undergone a lot of personal trauma]] and been through a number of arduous battles [[spoiler:and a major close call with Weiss, they have saved Haven Academy and recovered the Relic, representing their first victory against Salem's forces. Oh, and best of all, they're finally reunited.]]
----