->''"Hey, let me tell you something. I just finished this show/movie/book, and it's'' '''''awesome!''''' ''It has such a great plot! There are so many great mysteries and secrets in it, and the writing is just excellent... Well, at least for the first bit... I mean, it sort of starts to collapse under its own mythology after a while, and the ending doesn't really answer all the questions it raises, but man... you're in for a heck of a ride! ...hey, where are you going?"''


When people get involved in a story, many have the basic expectation that it will have a satisfactory ending. This, in and of itself, is not unjustified: no matter how good Acts One and Two are, if Act Three is unsatisfying, that is all that the people outside the theater will be talking about.

The thing is, so much conspires ''against'' a satisfactory conclusion.

Maybe the show was ScrewedByTheNetwork and was [[CutShort canceled]] [[LeftHanging before any of the questions it raised could be answered]]. Maybe [[KudzuPlot as time went on, the story collected so many elements]] that [[TheChrisCarterEffect there was no possible way]] that [[LeaveThePlotThreadsHanging they could do each justice]]. Maybe it was the first part of a series [[OrphanedSeries left unfinished]] by the now-[[AuthorExistenceFailure deceased]] or [[AttentionDeficitCreatorDisorder bored]] author, leaving the long epic unfinished. Maybe the SeriesGoal was [[TheResolutionWillNotBeTelevised never achieved]]. Maybe the writers just plain [[SeasonalRot ran themselves out of creativity]] by the end of it, and so much FanonDiscontinuity is claimed, you could swear the fandom was composed solely of historical revisionists. Maybe too many a {{spoiler}} was revealed, and it seems rather pointless to watch. Or maybe you've just heard that the whole thing devolves into such [[GainaxEnding unspeakable]] [[MindScrew surreality]] that it would taint the rest of the experience. Maybe you know that [[DoomedByCanon in-universe material taking place later in continuity]] [[HappyEndingOverride makes any happy part of the ending]] a study in FridgeHorror.

Hearing about all these things makes many people very wary. No one wants to spend time dedicating themselves to something long and epic that will leave them slowly disappointed. Maybe the overall experience would have more than compensated for any supposed deficiencies of the ending, but the potential viewer has been scared off.

This is Ending Aversion.

Now, of course, someone ''could'' make an attempt to keep watching it for as long as they liked it, then turn it off when they didn't. When someone becomes ''too'' attached to the characters and the whole story, however, that's easier said than done. This, then, often results in the viewer [[InternetBackdraft going online]] to complain about what happened in the story... and the cycle begins anew.

Ironically, the biggest contributor to Ending Aversion might just be those who consider themselves the most hardcore fans of a work. Criticism is fun to read and to write and fan discussion will inevitably lead to someone choosing to AccentuateTheNegative of the shows they love: "TheyChangedItNowItSucks." "It was better when [[LeaveThePlotThreadsHanging all the mysteries were still up in the air]]." "It was great when it started, but the last couple of seasons [[FanonDiscontinuity never happened]]", and so on.

And well, it's hard to say that [[TVTropesWillRuinYourLife we're not somewhat to blame either]].

If a work is avoided because of a DownerEnding, that is AngstAversion.

Compare to HypeAversion and TheFireflyEffect (wariness of committing to a new show, as opposed to one that has concluded). See also AwesomenessWithdrawal. Contrast EndingFatigue when the audience starts wanting the story to end.

'''Warning: Ending SPOILERS below.'''

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!!Examples and Reasons:

!!!GainaxEnding
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' is infamous for its GainaxEnding, and is, as of now, the show that lead to StudioGainax being the TropeNamer. The last two episodes make so little sense that some fans might recommend you skip them and go straight to ''EndOfEvangelion''....except that ''EndOfEvangelion'' is ''equally as divisive!'' This makes it the rare work that is a clear example of something hit by Ending Aversion, HypeAversion, ''and'' AngstAversion.
* ''Series/ThePrisoner''.
* ''Series/{{Lost}}'', what with the fact that the ending chose to go for a more metaphysical angle, with several of the questions being unanswered.
* ''Anime/TheBigO'' (which was also possibly CutShort).
* While not an ongoing series, ''MetalGearSolid2'''s ending has a sufficient reputation for being bizarre and incomprehensible to bring about this trope.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' has gained a reputation of being to VideoGames what ''Series/{{Lost}}'' was to LiveActionTelevision and what ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' was to {{Anime}}. The highly controversial ending and resulting InternetBackdraft scared off numerous potential players, although the company later released DLC that seems to have made the endings more palatable and is reducing the effect considerably.

!!!MindScrew
* ''TwinPeaks'': Also suffered from seasonal rot in the second series; [[TheChrisCarterEffect mainly because they had no intention of solving the main mystery of the show]]. To elaborate, the original intention of the series was that the main mystery (Laura's murder) would [[RiddleForTheAges never be solved]]. The network didn't like that and forced the creators to come up with a solution, ''then'' added on a new season even though the writers didn't have any plans beyond that. This caused massive amounts of MindScrew, KudzuPlot, and TheChrisCarterEffect.
* ''TsubasaReservoirChronicle''.

!!!SeasonalRot
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' - Season 4 made some decisions that weren't very popular, though the general attitude is that season 5 got better again. Showrunner Joss Whedon then took a year off during season 6 to focus on the musical episode (and ''Series/{{Firefly}}''), and while people do remember and celebrate the musical episode even years later, this meant that he handed off writing duties for season 6 to other writers, and it showed. Things got moving again in season 7 when Joss came back full time, and the story intentionally built up to the final battle, but many still found it to be little better due to problems with the characterization of much of the cast.
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' - the first two seasons are great, to the point that it won a Peabody Award during the break between seasons two and three. When season 3 got underway, they started running out of ideas, and it was downhill from there. It didn't help that a large portion of the acclaimed writing staff (but not the head writer) left the show before season 3 got underway, particularly all of the female writers (who also were acknowledged to be the guiding hand in the writing of the female characters up to that point). Though YMMV on if season 3 was where the seasonal rot started - there is also a large contingent of fans that thinks the second half of season 4 was where things started getting bad. And that's not even getting into the controversy over the series' [[EsotericHappyEnding Esoteric Happy]] GainaxEnding.
* ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'': Season 8 ended JD's story (our protagonist and narrator for the entire series) on a high note, and was [[SeriesFauxnale intended to be a series finale]]. Season 9, however, revamped much of the cast (Turk and Cox were still regulars, others were relegated to guest stars), changed the setting, and had a different focus (med school). Series Creator Bill Lawrence initially wanted to rename the show [[SpinOff to make it clear that this was a new beginning]], but this was [[ExecutiveMeddling nixed by the network.]]
* ''Series/TheWestWing''.
* ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess'': Season 5 is generally regarded by Xena fans as when the show went downhill.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' - Some people think the rot even began with the season one finale. The problem isn't that the writers never planned out the show...it's that they intended the show to have an anthology-format with a rotating cast. Problem was that the season one characters instantly became popular national sensations, so they were forced to come up with new plots for them on the fly. It didn't help that there was a Writer's Guild of America strike which truncated season 2. Viewers started leaving in droves during season 3 when they started just recycling plots from season 1 (how many times can Sylar flip-flop from evil to good and back?). Was anyone actually watching this show by the fourth and final season?
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' - They'd sort of resolved all of the main story arc by the end of season 7, and a later episode broke the Fourth Wall to say that fans felt they phoned it in for season 8. The real break was seasons 9 and 10, when they introduced an entirely new set of villains, which to be honest were [[MeetTheNewBoss something of a retread of the earlier ones]]. They were even going to rename the show "Stargate Command" when season 9 began to try to emphasize how different it was, but rather than make a sequel-spinoff the network felt more viewers would stay if they kept the name intact.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' - Depending on who you ask, the mid-series switch from Kes to Seven of Nine may cause this trope to apply to the early seasons. The finale is also controversial, especially the sudden Chakotay/Seven relationship; old viewers are likely to warn new ones not to get invested in pairings like Janeway/Chakotay and Doctor/Seven for that reason.
* ''BunnyDrop'' - While the second half of the story introduced a GenreShift and a TimeSkip [[BaseBreaker that was disliked by some]], what really turned off a larger portion of the audience was [[spoiler: the inverted WifeHusbandry aspect of the ending, where the female protagonist Rin is revealed to be in love with the man who raised her for at least a decade, [[IncestIsRelative who is her nephew]]. It follows through till the end, and they end up as a couple. Worse, the author randomly reveals they aren't related after all, destroying the central aspect of the series.]]
* ''Series/RobinHood'' ended its second season with the [[StuffedInTheFridge murder of Maid Marian]] at Guy of Gisborne's hands, described enthusiastically by the creators as "a shocking twist" and a chance to "rock the show." Audience reaction ran the gamut from bafflement to disgust, and it became increasingly clear throughout season three that the writers had put little thought into what would happen ''after'' removing the show's emotional centre. The show floundered through a range of [[TrappedByMountainLions unconnected plotlines]] and [[ReplacementScrappy arbitrary new characters]] before being cancelled with all the [[EnsembleDarkhorse fan-favourite characters dead]], the hated [[TheScrappy Scrappies]] still standing, and [[LeaveThePlotThreadsHanging several plot threads dangling]]. Still, it's quite fun telling non-viewers about Marian's death: they'll invariably pull a face and go: "Huh? Why would they do ''that''?"
* The ''Film/{{Saw}}'' series. An excellent example of why [[MythArc myth arcs]] and mainstream-Hollywood-strength ExecutiveMeddling do not mix.
* The show ''Series/{{Alias}}'' had two fascinating and complex seasons, but then a series of mistakes on the part of the writers, the producers, a dose of ExecutiveMeddling, and a nasty feedback loop from 'shippers in the fan community derailed the series in Season 3. Throughout much S3, the show circled in a holding pattern, then in S4 and S5 the ongoing, overarching storylines collapsed and the writers even began to lampshade their own failures.
* ''{{Sliders}}'', thanks to some of the most notorious ExecutiveMeddling, lost the intellectual "what-if" in favor of "movie ripoff of the week" and [[DroppedABridgeOnHim bridge dropped]] almost the entirety of the original cast, leaving most fans abandoning ship by the fourth season. A common disclaimer will now say to watch the first two seasons, and [[FanonDiscontinuity pretend the others didn't happen]].
%%* ''Videogame/BeyondTwoSouls''.%%
* ''Series/{{Dexter}}'', starting with the fifth season, was heavily criticized for its focus on [[TheScrappy more lesser received characters]], lots of padding resulting in uneven pacing, and often underwhelming resolutions to its plotlines.

!!!BolivianArmyEnding
* ''Series/{{Angel}}''.
* ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven''.

!!!TheResolutionWillNotBeTelevised
* ''Series/{{JAG}}''
* ''SamuraiJack''.
** The creator, Genndy Tartakovsky, originally intended to create a movie to end the series. However, after the less than stellar performance of his ''PowerPuffGirls'' movie, he shelved the idea and hasn't come back to it since. Interestingly, the series was never officially canceled, so he could theoretically end it at any time.

!!!TheChrisCarterEffect
* ''Series/TheXFiles''.
* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents''. In this case, The Chris Carter Effect [[InvokedTrope was intentional]].
* ''VideoGame/ChronoCross'' pulls more plot threads out of its ass in the second disc than some games pull their entire ''length'', and none of them are properly resolved.

!!!LeftHanging / CutShort
* ''WesternAnimation/CloneHigh''.
* ''Series/{{Carnivale}}''.
* ''JoanOfArcadia''.
* ''TruCalling''.
* ''HarshRealm''.
* Alan Moore's run on ''{{Supreme}}''.
* ''LoisAndClark''.
* ''AModestDestiny''.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' - cut short due to abrupt cancellation at the end of season 4, after they'd ''already'' been told they'd get a fifth season, so they didn't plan it as the final season. The show did later get a finale-miniseries which was intended to be the truncated version of the plot developments in what would have been season 5. Surprisingly, this actually provided good explanations ''and'' resolution for many of the running plotlines, so ultimately ''Farscape'' averted this trope.
** And now it has comics wrapping things up even tighter, including wrapping up the series-long plot point of Rygel wanting to take his throne back from his traitorous cousin (never done on the show because making and operating so many Hynerian puppets would be been impossible).
* ''Series/StargateUniverse''
* ''{{Soap}}'' which ended on three cliff-hangers
* ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'' which attempted to save the show by coming up with with the biggest twist they could think of, only for it not not to save the show and ultimately drive fans of the show insane. With a completely unrelated Terminator series on the cards it seems fans will forever be in limbo.
* ''MahouSenseiNegima'' was given a rushed ending when AkamatsuKen fought with the editors regarding property rights over the series and decided to [[TorchTheFranchiseAndRun End The Franchise Early And Run]] rather than surrender them.
** The first anime also had a very rushed ending as the creators thought they would have multiple seasons to work with ([[LongRunners as was necessary to adapt Negima faithfully]]) and were disabused of this notion with only 1/3 of the season left to wrap it up.
* ''FlashForward2009''.
* ''{{Caprica}}''. Not as bad as some of the examples in that the writers were given time after the series' cancellation to write an epilogue to wrap the whole thing up, but the entire sequence is just one huge sequence of WhatCouldHaveBeen.
* ''TheEvent''

!!!AuthorExistenceFailure
* ''Literature/MostlyHarmless'', which gets bonus points for having a DownerEnding.
* ''Literature/TheMysteryOfEdwinDrood''.
* ''Series/{{Riget}}'' - not the author, just around 4 essential cast members.

!!!AuthorFilibuster / AuthorTract
* ''{{Cerebus}}''.

!!!EndingFatigue
* ''Series/BabylonFive'' by way of hasty resolution of the MythArc leading to EndingFatigue until the actual finale.

!!!NoEnding
* ''Film/{{Inception}}''. [[spoiler: Don't bother to watch if never learning whether or not it was AllJustADream would interfere with your enjoyment. Although there are people willing to swear it's clear and obvious for both sides.]]
* ''Series/TheSopranos'' is a particularly controversial example. [[spoiler: The ending ''may'' depict Tony's death but it's left very ambiguous and up to the viewer's interpretation.]]
* ''Literature/StuartLittle''. It should be noted that this only applies to the original book and not the movies.
* ''Literature/ASeriesOfUnfortunateEvents''. The most basic conflict is resolved, but a great many plot threads are simply left hanging.

!!!OrphanedSeries
* ''RPGWorld''.
* Every DeadFic in existence, by the concept's very nature.

!!!DoomedByCanon
* ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'': The final levels are very unsatisfying, especially on the second where the bosses turn out to be [[AnticlimaxBoss not much of a challenge]]. Worse, ''everything'' in those games is trashed by the [[StarWarsTheOldRepublic MMO]], including the protagonists.
* ''StarWarsTheCloneWars'': We saw how it all ends in tears by ''RevengeOfTheSith'' with Ahsoka nowhere to be seen.
** [[spoiler:Looks to be averted, as the (chronologically) last episode shows her leaving the Jedi Order. Or, more accurately, she was expelled after being framed for a crime and declined to come back after her name was cleared. So it's likely she survived the events of RevengeOfTheSith because she wasn't a Jedi at the time.]]
* ''{{WesternAnimation/TronUprising}}'': We see in ''{{Film/TronLegacy}}'' that Beck's rebellion does ''absolutely nothing'' to even slow Clu down and [[spoiler: The BigGood of the series is twisted into TheDragon]]. Add a side of BolivianArmyEnding for good measure.

!!!KeepCirculatingTheTapes
* ''ComicBook/{{Zot}}'', for quite a while. (The final set of print issues, representing Zot's adventures on our Earth, and often described as some of the best work of the series, had not been collected in trade form until later.)

!!!Miscellaneous
* ''MaiHime'', for undoing almost all the character deaths and associated traumas, although those critical of the darker tone in later episodes, among others, disagree.
* Inverted by ''Naruto Veangance Revelaitons''; most viewers despised the fic, but enjoyed the postscript chapter the author's stepbrother added, in which the EnsembleDarkHorse returns the canon characters to normal, enabling them to kill the DesignatedHero AuthorAvatar.
* ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}'' was hit by a KudzuPlot EndingFatigue which relied too much on {{Shocking Swerve}}s and was LeftHanging due to a massive ScheduleSlip, with only one of the plots wrapped up. Throw TheChrisCarterEffect in there somewhere, along with the post-script revelation that almost all the character deaths have been undone or ''re''done off-screen.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' got a bit of a negative reputation after word of the ending got out. The backlash was more or less mitigated by later DLC, though.
* ''HowIMetYourMother'''s finale is one of the most controversial, love-it-or-hate-it endings on record. [[spoiler:Barney and Robin get divorced after only three years; Barney goes right back to his womanizing ways; Tracy (a.k.a. the Mother) is revealed to have died in 2024; the kids encourage Ted to go after Robin yet again]]. The dust is far from settled, but it's safe to say the widely-reported disappointment of many fans will ''not'' encourage new viewers to check out the show.
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