[[quoteright:350:[[Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/medd_02_img0128.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"What's here? A cup, closed in my true love's hand? Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end. [...] [[DrivenToSuicide O happy dagger! This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die.]]]]

->''"Oh, somewhere in [[{{Eagleland}} this favored land]] the sun is shining bright;\\
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,\\
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;\\
But there is no joy in Mudville -- mighty Casey has struck out."''
-->-- "Literature/CaseyAtTheBat" by Ernest Thayer

'''1.''' A finale to a movie, a TV series, a video game, or some other form of media that ends things in a way that varies from sad to [[{{Tragedy}} tragic]]. These tend to be rare, as there is overwhelming pressure to tie loose ends up in a "{{happy|Ending}}" way. Sometimes done as a way to assure that the show, once canceled, cannot be revived later (similar to the GrandFinale), but sometimes leaves the show on a {{cliffhanger}}.

'''2.''' A similarly low-key or unhappy ending to an episode of a normally "happy" series. Also rare, due to the same reasons as above. Sometimes used in an attempt to get Emmy nominations, or to at least surprise the viewer. When the series finale of an otherwise "happy" series is one of these, it's a SuddenDownerEnding.

Downer endings have effectively been used to drive home an episode's [[AnAesop Aesop]]. For some issues, it's the only effective way to deliver the message.

Sometimes, a downer ending can conclude the character arcs in a very satisfying way, despite (or because of) being dark. Other times, it can be overused to the point it feels like a MandatoryTwistEnding. If it comes out of nowhere or is the result of an AssPull, then it may be the result of the writers summoning DiabolusExMachina. If enough people consider it fundamentally unjust, it may acquire the FanonDiscontinuity and {{Snicket Warning Label}}s.

KillEmAll and TheBadGuyWins are particularly cruel variations of this. A {{Prequel}} may require one, or both; the HappyEnding was DoomedByCanon.

If the ending mixes elements of happiness and Downer Ending, then it's a BittersweetEnding. If the whole adventure leading up to it turned out to be meaningless, then it's ShootTheShaggyDog. The CliffHanger is often a Downer Ending, but one implicitly not final; tune in next time to see how they retrieve this one.

See also GainaxEnding, LastBreathBullet, CrapsackWorld, YankTheDogsChain, and ItsAWonderfulFailure. Occasionally, part of a {{Tragedy}} or an {{Utsuge}}. Sometimes a ForegoneConclusion, either because of a historical setting or if the work is a {{Prequel}}. [[TheHeroDies The hero may or may not die]]. [[EsotericHappyEnding Realization of]] an InferredHolocaust may turn even the most TastesLikeDiabetes "happy ending" into one. Downer Endings easily lead to {{Tear Jerker}}s or NightmareFuel. Compare DownerBeginning.

Naturally, '''every single example is a spoiler'''.
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!!Examples

[[index]]
* DownerEnding/AnimeAndManga
* DownerEnding/ComicBooks
* DownerEnding/FanFics
* DownerEnding/{{Film}}
* DownerEnding/{{Literature}}
* DownerEnding/LiveActionTV
* DownerEnding/{{Music}}
* DownerEnding/{{Other}}
* DownerEnding/{{Theater}}
* DownerEnding/VideoGames
* DownerEnding/WebComics
* DownerEnding/WebOriginal
* DownerEnding/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]
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