It finally happened. After all the {{Fanwank}} and {{Shipping}}, after all the [[SheIsNotMyGirlfriend denial]], after all the WillTheyOrWontThey, after all the fighting (by either [[BelligerentSexualTension the couple]] or [[ShipToShipCombat the fans]]), and after all the heartless [[ShipTease teasing]], devoted fans and viewers alike are at last rewarded with the two characters (usually the main character and his/her close friend of opposite gender) [[FanPreferredCouple everyone knows and/or demands should inevitably get together]], finally doing just that. Too bad it can't be enjoyed, what with the show being over and all. Well, at least it will be, give it another two seconds.

With a Last Minute Hookup, even the most uncreative and hilariously unromantic of writers are enabled to enjoy all the benefits of rewarding incessant [[{{Fanon}} fans]] with an intimate relationship, without the hassle of actually having to do so. All they need to do is make sure the two have [[TheBigDamnKiss that one single kiss]] or exchange a single "I love you" at the very end, and it's all good. It's just that easy.

This is also a way writers [[CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds get rid of inconvenient romantic competition]] by having said competition [[PairTheSpares suddenly fall for someone else]].

Though certainly not exclusive to them, the trope is especially frequent in [[PrecociousCrush premature crush]]-laden shows directed towards kids and tween audiences, where very few writers have the guts to take a jab at illustrating actual romance, but nonetheless, a vast majority still feel the overwhelming need to drop an innumerable amount of [[{{Anvilicious}} anything-but-subtle]] "[[ShipTease hints]]" toward the prospect all throughout the series. For the few bold ones that do have the guts to at least give it a try, they are hampered by {{Media Watchdog}}s and the usually larger portion of the audience who, quite frankly, just aren't into that kind of stuff.

While actually seeing the couple together and having a relationship would have been nice, there can be potential problems that arise from that, which this trope removes, such as the new couple [[ShippingBedDeath not having the same chemistry now that they're together]], their [[RomanticPlotTumor romance taking over the story]], or the characters becoming SickeninglySweethearts. It may result in another [[ShipSinking ship being sunk]], but that couple's shippers are spared having to see their rival ship together. This sometimes overlaps with StrangledByTheRedString when it's done ''especially'' badly, but it can also serve as damage control for that trope, though there is a risk of any of these happening in [[PostscriptSeason unexpected sequels]].

See HookedUpAfterwards for when this happens to side characters, and MaybeEverAfter for when the hook up is hinted or implied rather than being certain.

Contrast with NewOldFlame.

'''Important Note''': Even though this is not an AudienceReaction, and is usually pretty straightforward, (i.e. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the couple hooks up at the last minute]]), that examples can get subjective due to ShipToShipCombat, ShippingGoggles, or just plain disagreements. What one person considers to be the couple getting together, another person may not. For example, the couple may have confessed their feelings for each other earlier, at which point part of the audience now considers them to have hooked up, but the couple doesn't have their FirstKiss until the very end, (or vice versa) and the other part of the audience doesn't consider them officially together until then. This can also apply to couples that hook up earlier but break up and don't get back together until the very end.

!!Warning: This is an EndingTrope, so spoilers abound
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* ''Manga/{{ARIA}}'': A variety of this trope occurs at the end of the series, when super-undine Alicia declares that she will retire and get married. Before that there was no indication whatsoever that she was even ''seeing'' someone, let alone that she was getting engaged. Throughout the series [[RomanticTwoGirlFriendship she appears to be mostly focused on Akari]], so her announcement does come totally out of the blue. Worse, her fiancé doesn't even get the slightest bit of screen time, so it all feels like quite a cop-out.
** Alicia receiving a ring for the ''Marriage to the Sea'' event was the only scene that implied that she had a boyfriend.
* ''Manga/CaptainTsubasa'': In the last two Volumes of the first manga series (volumes 36 and 37) Tsubasa and Sanae realized the feelings they have for each other, Sanae finally became honest with herself and her feelings, but Tsubasa is a strange case, he showed no hints whatsoever that he liked Sanae or anyone else, so his love confession felt like a last minute plot. This is saved from its own awkwardness because that’s only the first manga series’ climax, the sequels does take its time to show Tsubasa showing affection towards Sanae, and consequently developing their relationship.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Clannad}}'': The KyoAni adaptation had [[OfficialCouple Nagisa and Tomoya]] hook up during the final episode of the first season. In the VisualNovel however, if you play through Nagisa's route, they end up hooking up much, ''much'' earlier (in the anime, it's a day after the Culture Festival, in the game, it's on April 24, and the game starts on April 14).
* ''[[TheLawOfUeki The Law of Ueki Plus]]'': Ueki and Mori officially become a couple at the end.
* ''NodameCantabile'': It isn't until the very last scenes of the anime that Chiaki finally recognizes his feelings for Nodame and decides to study abroad together with her.
** Alas, their relationship has [[spoiler:been put back a level again]] for the second season, following the manga.
* ''RanmaOneHalf'': Ryoga's getting together with Akari Unryuu could technically count as one of these. While Akari appears about four volumes before the final volume, she only makes appearances in four stories.
* ''SamuraiPizzaCats'': The original version sees protagonist Speedy frequently lusting after tea-girl Lucille; late in the series, he develops feelings for his teammate Polly, and they literally end up in each other's arms in the [[GrandFinale series finale]]. However, writers for the dubbed version weren't provided with scripts of the original episodes, forcing them to make up plotlines and dialogue as they went; as a result, Speedy's growing attraction to Polly is never mentioned at all until the final episode, making their embrace at the end seem very sudden.
* ''TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': Yoko kisses and establishes a relationship with [[spoiler:Kamina]] right before he dies. [[spoiler:Kittan]] tries to sort his feelings for Yoko right before ''he'' dies.
* ''{{Vandread}}'': [[spoiler:Dita]] finally gets into the space ship with the male protagonist to fly home with him, after he [[SayMyName calls her name]]. [[spoiler:Coincidentally, the only time Dita calls Hibiki by ''his'' name is in that episode.]]
* In ''VisionOfEscaflowne'', Hitomi and Van, who confess their feelings for one another in the last half of the last episode and don't even get a kiss. This was mostly the result of the series getting massively cut down from the intended number of episodes, forcing the rushed ending. Had the series continued as planned this presumably would have been averted.
* ''MagicKnightRayearth'': in the anime version, Hikaru and Lantis do this, with a full blown confession from both of them, right before [[spoiler: Hikaru gets whisked back to her world. [[WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue The last few scenes]] however seem to imply that they won't be separated for long...]]
* The ''ShamanKing'' manga has [[spoiler:Ren & Iron Maiden Jeanne]] whom never exchanged more than three lines in the entire series yet have a [[GenerationXerox son]] in the [[WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue epilogue]].
* ''MartianSuccessorNadesico'' holds off on making the relationship between Akito and Yurika official until the very end. While Yurika was pushing for a reciprocated ChildhoodFriendRomance from the start, Akito avoided it at every turn. The fight leading UP to the romance began with 5 minutes left in the series and is established with about 2 minutes left.
* This is heavily implied in the anime ending of Manga/{{MAR}} between Ginta and Koyuki/Snow. Their last scene together is very suggestive, and literally about 2 minutes before the end.
* Happened in ''Anime/IGPXImmortalGrandPrix''. [[spoiler: Takeshi and Liz spent all of 26 episodes (two years in-universe) [[BelligerentSexualTension exchanging blows]]. Takeshi already had a girlfriend in Fantine, a pilot for a rival team, who noticed Liz's connection with Takeshi and promptly broke off their relationship. In the last few minutes of the final episode, Takeshi [[CannotSpitItOut struggles to ask Liz out on a date.]] Liz responds with a [[TheBigDamnKiss gentle kiss]], confirming her answer.]]
* In ''Anime/GundamZZ'', Roux Louka ends up joining Judau in the ending. He's the hero, his primary love interest (the BigBad, Haman Khan) is dead, and his UnluckyChildhoodFriend Elle is more-or-less hooked up with Beecher, so Roux (the only unattached girl on the Gundam Team) is elected despite having no more subtext with him than any other female major character.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:ComicBooks]]
* ''StrangersInParadise'': The hookup of [[spoiler: Casey and Tambi]] in the last issue struck many readers as [[StrangledByTheRedString forced]], given that they'd only been revealed even to have had an employer/employee relationship two issues previously; both were examples of Terry Moore's KudzuPlot tendencies getting out of hand as the series drew to a close.
* ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}'': Over 20 years (real time) after their initial relationship crashed and burned, Shadowcat and Colossus finally consummated in the pages of ''Astonishing X-Men'', [[spoiler: She's lost in space, presumed nearly dead, within the year.]] But he was also dead for nearly a decade of that time.
* Within a year of Harley Quinn crossing over into canon comics, writers flip-flopped and started showing that the Joker really would kill Harley and only kept her around because she was loyal and made him laugh. A good handful of writers even had Joker openly flirting with Batman and Lex Luthor to amp up his creepiness. But in the very last issue of ''Gotham City Sirens'', when Harley wants Joker dead for good and believes he's luring her into a trap, right before the New 52 complete reboot of the DC Universe, Joker kisses Harley. Note that this particular writer had zero experience writing the Joker before this.
* Fairy tales often leave off with the couple overcoming the problem at hand, having a kiss and proceeding to "live HappilyEverAfter". This is turned right on its ear with the ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}'' comicbook series, where it's revealed that the "Prince Charming" from the various tales is all the same guy, working through a series of failed marriages.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Film}} -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' ended with the titular hero and his romantic interest marrying and sailing off on a magic carpet together---but the sequel movies and TV series which follow press the ResetButton a little bit, making them only ''engaged'' (with Aladdin living in the palace to learn the ropes about being a Prince before the marriage takes place). While this may seem practical, it also allows the show to avoid the squicky-to-ten-year-olds portrayal of physical intimacy between the two romantically linked characters. (It also conveniently gives the hero a chance to [[AManIsNotAVirgin demonstrate his manliness]] by becoming a [[MagneticGirlfriend desire magnet]] for every [[TheVamp hot villainess]] and [[DistressedDamsel damsel-in-distress]] who comes to town.)
* ''{{Shrek}}'': For all of the fairy tale subversions, plays this straight by having Fiona and Shrek hook up at the end, but the subsequent sequels serve to illustrate the ups and downs of their abnormal marriage.
* ''WesternAnimation/AMonsterInParis'' stretches this trope to its limits, with [[spoiler: Raoul and Lucille]] only hooking up ''after'' the [[spoiler: DancePartyEnding]].
* ''TheNightmareBeforeChristmas'' Jack and Sally.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Film}} -- Live Action]]
* ''AttackOfTheKillerTomatoes'': Lois Fairchild and Mason Dixon, after having perhaps [[StrangledByTheRedString thirty seconds of screen-time together]] before this, fall passionately in love in the last sixty seconds and sing the beautiful romantic duet appropriately titled ''Love Theme from Attack of the Killer Tomatoes'' before literally Walking Off Into The Sunset Together.
* ''BillyMadison'': Practically every single character pairs up with someone right at the end, including a real person and a giant penguin that had previously only existed in Billy's mind.
* ''Fool's Gold'': Gemma Honeycutt and Alfonz. He at least had formerly expressed lust about in her in a fairly sleazy manner, but her attraction came out of absolutely nowhere (she had spent the film mooning over Finn).
* ''Film/JamesBond'': In most of the films, Bond will hook up with other women throughout the movie, but he almost always waits until the last few minutes to hook up with the main [[GirlOfTheWeek Bond Girl]]. Of course, [[TheCasanova Bond being Bond]] he's usually slept with them once, or at least kissed them, before that.
* ''Film/SkyHigh'': Will and Layla.
* ''The Snake King'', A SciFi Channel Original Film, ends with the male lead and female lead, who have shown ''[[StrangledByTheRedString no interest in each other at all]]'' up to this point, falling in love after the final battle. It is a prime example of this trope, complete with the one single kiss at the very end.
* ''Film/StrangeDays'': Mace and Lenny get together just seconds before the end credits roll.
* ''Timelock'' ends with a spaceship pilot and a criminal in bed... despite the fact that she was a total bitch to him and he should be serving his sentence at Alpha One.
* ''Film/SavingSilverman'': J.D. hooks up with Coach Norton at the end of the movie, immediately after both admit they are gay. They get married in the next scene.
* PiratesOfTheCaribbean: In 'The Curse of the Black Pearl' has Will and Elizabeth, who despite being obviously in love with each other the entire movie don't kiss until the penultimate scene, (which also includes an AnguishedDeclarationOfLove).
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'': The pairing of Faramir and Éowyn at the end of the third film comes [[StrangledByTheRedString basically out of nowhere]] (though [[AdaptationExplanationExtrication it's given much more attention in the books]]) after Éowyn has spent most of her time pining after Aragorn. Though you might argue realizing the crush is hopeless shows CharacterDevelopment.
* In ''{{Film/Holiday}}'', John and Linda wait until the ''very last shot'' of the movie to make their relationship official. That's still one up on the play's MaybeEverAfter ending.
* ''Film/{{Highwaymen}}'': After Fargo's defeat, the protagonist initially considers leaving as his quest for revenge is over (Fargo previously murdered his wife). He and Molly seem to get together just before the end credits.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:{{Literature}}]]
* This happens in so many books of AgathaChristie such as ''The Murder on the Links'', ''Towards Zero'' or ''Why Didn't They Ask Evans''.
* In the ''Darkest Powers'' series, Chloe and [[spoiler:Derek]], only get together at the end. However given they may make an appearance at some point in the next YA trilogy (''Darkness Rising''), there might be the possibility of seeing them as a couple then.
* ''TheDaVinciCode'': The romantic subplot between Langford and Sophie was limited to this trope, more for the sake of the hero getting the girl than for any plot purpose.
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Hermione and Ron, anyone? After seven books of WillTheyOrWontThey, they make out in the hall while Voldemort and the Death Eaters are attacking the school and people are dying. The movies try to avert this by building them up as a couple earlier by giving more ShipTease. Just look at the film version of ''[[Film/HarryPotterAndThePrisonerOfAzkaban Prisoner of Azkaban]]''.
** ''[[Literature/HarryPotterAndTheHalfBloodPrince Half-Blood Prince]]'': A book specific example would be Harry and Ginny. They probably deserve to be the [[TropeCodifier king and queen of this trope]]. Not only do they become a couple close to the end after Harry spends a good portion of the book crushing on her, but they ''still manage to break up before the end of the book!'' To make matters worse, they spend [[UpToEleven even less screen time together]] in the last book. [[spoiler: By the epilogue, they're HappilyMarried]], leaving even those who took no sides in the shipping scratching their heads. Again, the film tries to avert this. Not only does Ginny get a fair more screen time and more scenes with Harry in the ''Half Blood Prince'' adaptation, but they don't break up at the end, either. Plus their interactions in ''Deathly Hallows, Part 1'' count too. (Thank you Creator/SteveKloves!) However, like Hermione and Ron, it still suffers on account of [[CompressedAdaptation how much is left out]].
** [[spoiler:Lupin and Tonks' relationship at the end of HBP]] also qualifies. The actual romance between the two was hardly ever seen from Harry's perspective. Those who didn't notice the hints were naturally shocked, and even after the two are explicitly stated to have married between the penultimate and the last book, the readers still don't see much evidence of romance between the two. [[spoiler: Heck, Lupin even ditches her for a while when he finds out he got her pregnant because he was afraid he passed [[OurWerewolvesAreDifferent his condition]] onto [[WhatIfTheBabyIsLikeMe their child]]. He mans up after a WhatTheHellHero moment from Harry though.]]
* ''Just Friends'' by Robyn Sisman sees the two main characters embark on rather serious relationships (with other people) and have genuine problems when living with each other for a short time. The relationships with their partners conveniently end so they can end up together on the last page, leaving many questions as to how they would live together and deal with each other's and their own character flaws unanswered.
* ''An Old Fashioned Girl'' by Louisa May Alcott. She spends the final paragraphs letting readers know that, the two main couples did indeed marry, and pairs off most of the other unmarried characters, not without a TakeThat to readers who objected to [[spoiler:Laurie marrying Amy rather than Jo at ]]the end of ''LittleWomen.''
** Although the hookup is mentioned in the middle of the book, she does this again in ''Jack and Jill'' by explaining that all the assumed pairings would happen in a decade but they're just children now. She has to add the obligatory old maid, however, in Molly.
* The ''PrydainChronicles'' by LloydAlexander. (Taran and Eilonwy get married at the very end of the last chapter of the last book).
* ''Literature/SenseAndSensibility'': The main female characters finally get with their men during the last two chapters out of fifty. Creator/JaneAusten seems to prefer spending more time on the conflict arising from bad relationships than on the good relationships.
** Right, this is because Austen specialized in courtship plots. The whole point of a courtship plot is that it follows a couple from the beginning of the relationship to a successful conclusion, which in Austen's time meant an engagement or wedding. You can't have the couple getting together in the middle of the novel, because then the plot would end.
* ''WarAndPeace'' ends with [[spoiler:Pierre and Natasha getting hitched]]. The [[DistantFinale epilogue]] shows them HappilyMarried.
* Done surprisingly well in Creator/GuyGavrielKay's ''Literature/TheLastLightOfTheSun''. At the start of the story, Bern Thorkellson is saved by witch-in-training Anrid. He then goes off to have numerous adventures, while she stays behind and eventually becomes the head witch on her island. Neither of them ever forgets the other though, and when Bern returns home at the end of the novel, Anrid is waiting for him. She explains that he has been pardoned and is allowed to come home to the family farm, while dropping some not-so-subtle hints that she would like to go with him. Bern--who at this point has watched his father die and is more or less disillusioned with life in general--decides that having some genuine warmth in his life would be a good thing, and they decide to get married and give it a shot.
* In ''Literature/MemorySorrowAndThorn'', although the relationship between [[TheHero Simon]] and [[RebelliousPrincess Miriamele]] had been shaping up over the course of all three books, it's not until the denouement that they finally upgrade it thanks to a bit of GladToBeAliveSex coupled with StandardHeroReward.
* It's not until the last page of "[[Literature/TheHungerGames Mockingjay]]" that Katniss ends up with [[spoiler:Peeta.]]
* ''Changes'' in ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' actually manages to subvert this: Harry and Karrin finally almost-acknowledge their feelings for each other and manage to set up a date, but Harry [[spoiler:gets shot and dies]] just before the date can happen. Of course, this being Harry, [[PlotArmour the hero of the series]], [[spoiler:he goes on to solve a case ''while being a ghost'', then comes back alive]].
* [[Literature/Twilight Jacob Black]] with [[spoiler:Renesmee. It takes them ''less than a minute'' to be paired up, especially after Bella delivered her and recently passed away. Way to mourn the girl you thought you were in love with, Jake.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/{{Alice|2009}}'': Hatter and Alice.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'' has a variation, where [[spoiler: Fred and Wesley]] don't so much hook up at the last minute as they do hook up and then have EXACTLY ONE MINUTE to enjoy it before [[spoiler: Fred dies in the very next episode]].
* ''AshesToAshes'': In a heartbreaking way [[spoiler: Alex and Gene]]. Not to mention [[spoiler: [[BetaCouple Shaz and Chris]]]].
* Spoofed at the end of Series 2 of ''ATouchOfCloth'' when Jack Cloth suddenly and inexplicably hooks up with the only available main character - his nemesis, who killed his wife and who he was inches away from killing for most of the series, and who is also another man, with no indication given to Jack's (or his) orientation prior.
* ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}'': Faith and Principal Robin Wood. The two head off to the Cleveland Hellmouth to [[TheyFightCrime battle there]]. [[spoiler: However, as of the comics, they've apparently broken up.]]
* ''Film/{{Clueless}}'' Even though Dionne and Murray had sex in the movie, they do not hook-up [[{{Disneyfication}} on the TV show]] until the last episode of the show.
* ''CrossingJordan'': In the should-have-been-a-season-finale series finale, we do get one final angst-free kiss between Woody and Jordan.
* [[spoiler:Rose and the Tenth Doctor's metacrisis clone]] in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' series 4 finale "Journey's End".
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'': Simon and Kaylee don't have a chance to get very far on the show itself, but in the BigDamnMovie, they finally share their feelings during the final showdown with the Reavers, and one of the last shots is them making out.
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'': The final episode ended along similar lines: Ross and Rachel had already been together and broken up in various capacities, but only in the series finale did they get to hook up For Real, presumably to be together happily ever after.
** And even within the finale, the WillTheyOrWontThey theme was dragged out to the very. Last. Moment.
** Thankfully averted with both Chandler/Monica and Mike/Phoebe. Chandler and Monica were together for over half the series without any break ups to hook them up again, and married for the final three seasons. Phoebe and Mike got (back) together at the beginning of Season 10 and married halfway through.
* ''GilmoreGirls'': The very last scene of the finale has Lorelai running into Luke's arms and kissing him. A bit of a variation, as it wasn't a matter of WillTheyOrWontThey -- they already ''had'' -- but had broken up a season earlier: the real question was whether or not they'd get back together.
* ''{{JAG}}'': After ''nine seasons'' of {{UST}}, Harm and Mac get together in the ''last five minutes'' of the series finale.
* ''ICarly'': After ''5 years'' of shipping wars, pandering for the Sam/Freddie side and the Carly/Freddie side ''and'' both relationships having canon relationships that are broken up, Carly and Freddie have a last minute kiss in the final episode before Carly leaves the country.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDouble'': Akiko and Ryu hook up six episodes (plus a movie) before the end of the season. Akiko started with a vague interest in each of the three male leads, though definitely leaning towards Ryu, who on the other hand, didn't seem interested in a relationship at all. Despite Akiko never overtly pursuing Ryu on-screen, he finally asks her out in the ''A to Z'' movie, then in the show they are confirmed to have hooked up via a prank on Shoutarou. This left very limited time to develop the relationship beyond some superficial lines and gestures, but in ''Movie Wars Core'' they got married (and were still married by the time of the ''Accel Returns'' movie which confirmed Ryu does love her.)
* ''Series/{{Life On Mars|2006}}'': Sam and Annie.
* ''LifeWithDerek'' has one of the VictoriousChildhoodFriend variety in the penultimate episode of the series between [[spoiler: Derek and Emily]].
* ''LizzieMcGuire'': In the series finale movie Lizzie and Gordo have their kiss at the end complete with fireworks.
* ''MysteryScienceTheater3000'' mocked this concept when it occurred at the end of one movie: "I know our love wasn't part of the plot, but... let's be part of the loose-end festival anyhow."
* ''TheOffice'': Tim and Dawn in the UK Version. [[spoiler:Dawn finally leaves Lee for Tim at the end of Christmas special (which was actually after the series finale). David also finally hooks up with a girl, but it's uncertain if that will be as lasting.]]
* ''PhilOfTheFuture'' has the two main characters and best friends, Phil and Keely, starting their relationship just before Phil finds out that his family is returning home in the final episode of the series, and sharing their first kiss a few minutes before Phil leaves.
* ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' had Sabrina [[spoiler:returning to first love Harvey instead of getting married]] when [[ScrewedByTheNetwork the network]] refused to allow an hour long finale.
* ''SpaceCases'': In a [[StarCrossedLovers love sucks]] version of this, Harlan and Catalina share their feelings for one another [[spoiler: right before an explosion sends her to another dimension]] and she is replaced by [[SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute Suzee]]. However Harlan starts to hit on Suzee almost immediately at the start of Season 2.
* ''{{Spaced}}'': In an instance of this trope occuring long after the actual series is over, the last two minutes of the DVD documentary features a couple that look exactly like Tim and Daisy arguing over who should change their baby.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'': In the final episode, Daniel and Vala finally get together, having been constantly bickering (and, in Vala's case, flirting) throughout season 10 and some of season 9. They spend many long, monogamous years together. Even then, the hookup is reversed when Teal'c goes back in time and changes the past, but, it's implied that they'll end up together eventually anyway.
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': The [[StrangledByTheRedString out-of-nowhere]] CrackPairing of Seven of Nine and Chakotay in the final season. This was largely a way to appease Robert Beltran, who had been complaining about the uselessness of his character, so they shut his mouth by slipping Jeri Ryan's tongue into it. It got one episode more than halfway through the final season suddenly establishing that Seven had a one-sided interest in Chakotay, despite a complete lack of chemistry or buildup prior to this (and both having far more ShipTease with ''other'' characters). Then, in the very last episode, with no further explanation, they suddenly get together. Fans generally went [[FlatWhat "what"]]. (The ExpandedUniverse novels, faced with actually having to deal with this relationship, ended it immediately.)
** This is endemic among Star Trek writers. ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' introduced a will-they-or-won't-they relationship between Worf and Troi that ultimately remained ambiguous.
** Not to mention ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'', which as the most character-driven Star Trek, took this up to eleven. [[CasanovaWannabe Julian Bashir]]'s interest in [[HotScientist Jadzia Dax]] is [[FirstGirlWins clear from the very first episode]]. Seven years later, Jadzia Dax has [[GirlOfTheWeek fallen in love with a character of the week]], [[OneShotCharacter been forcibly separated from him]], [[LesYay fallen for a woman]], [[{{Anvilicious}} been separated from her by social stigma]], [[UptightLovesWild fallen for a Klingon]], [[CrazyCulturalComparison married him]], [[LawOfInverseFertility tried to get pregnant]] [[IWantMyBelovedToBeHappy (with Bashir's reluctant medical assistance)]], [[RealLifeWritesThePlot been senselessly murdered]], [[TheNthDoctor had the Dax symbiont extracted and rejoined to create Ezri Dax]], [[RelationshipSalvagingDisaster slept with said Klingon again]], [[OldFlameFizzle broke up with him]], [[FirstGirlWins realized she had feelings for Bashir]], [[TwiceShy spent a third of a season avoiding him]], and then finally [[ElevatorGoingDown kissed him in the next to last episode]] and [[LastMinuteHookup slept with him in the last]]. They probably ended the series because they ran out of ways to torture the Bashir/Dax shippers.
* ''SugarRush'': Kim and her crush, the hedonistic Sugar, finally cop off after Sugar stabs a guy. Rather than letting them have any kind of relationship the second series fastforwards 18 months and ''nothing more'' has happened between them. Talk about a let down.
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'':
** ''Series/ChoujinSentaiJetman'': After a series-long love triangle between Ryu, Kaori and Gai, with the attraction between Ryu and Kaori only implied, a WhereAreTheyNow epilogue shows that they marry three years after the events of the show.
** ''Series/BakuryuuSentaiAbaranger'': The WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue and Dekaranger Vs hint at Yukito and Emiri being in a relationship. Finally confirmed in Gokaiger that they got married.
** ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'': Episode 46 is a massive ShipTease between Sen and Umeko, but it's not till Magiranger Vs the following year that it is confirmed as canon.
** ''Series/MahouSentaiMagiranger'': Hikaru and Urara suddenly marry two episodes before the end of the show. JustifiedTrope since Hikaru had had a vision of his own forthcoming death so there wasn't really time to extend the courtship.
** ''Series/JukenSentaiGekiranger'': Mele's motivation throughout the whole of the series is her love for Rio, but he doesn't return her affections until right before [[spoiler:they die together]] at the end of the show.
** ''Series/ZyudenSentaiKyoryuger'': Amy and Daigo get together in the final episode after she suddenly confesses that she loves him.
* ''TheWestWing'':
** CJ and Danny get together in the last few episodes.
** [[FanPreferredCouple Josh and Donna]] who share their first kiss late in the last season and whose relationship status is then left hanging until the finale (where all we see is them waking up together).
* ''{{Wonderfalls}}'' has Eric return at the VERY LAST MINUTE, having left his wife for good.
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' didn't have Scully and Mulder become a couple until near the end of the seventh season, when they weren't sure there would be an eighth. And even then it was only implied.
* ''Series/{{Zoey101}}'': Zoey and Chase. After three seasons of ShipTease and EveryoneCanSeeIt they confess their love to each other, but only after they're 6000 miles away from each other and can't do much about it. Chase is then PutOnABus for the final season, only to come [[BackForTheFinale back in the finale]], where they finally kiss and become a couple ''in the last five minutes''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Mythology and Folklore]]
* Numerous fairy tales leave off with the StarCrossedLovers overcoming the problem at hand, having a kiss and proceeding to "live HappilyEverAfter." With the state of modern marriage, it would've been nice for the storytellers to have left some notes and guidelines as to how a man and a woman could come to achieve this. Maybe even a study guide.
** The HappilyEverAfter ending is deconstructed in ''IntoTheWoods'', the StephenSondheim musical. In their song ''Agony'', the two princes sing about their love for (obviously) Cinderella and Rapunzel (their ''names'' in the script are officially "Cinderella's Prince" and "Rapunzel's Prince", removing any possible doubt). They eventually catch up with their respective love interests any marry them at the end of Act One. Then, in Act Two, they reprise the song, except this time it's just as obviously Sleeping Beauty and Snow White they're singing about. It's pretty clear (even before one of them seduces [[spoiler:the Baker's wife]]) that the Princes are a ''lot'' more interested in the chase itself than in HappilyEverAfter.
--> '''Rapunzel's Prince:''' She has skin white as snow...
--> '''Cinderella's Prince:''' Did you learn her name?
--> '''Rapunzel's Prince:''' No, there's a dwarf standing guard.
* OlderThanSteam: One of the most obvious examples is "Snow White and Rose Red", where not only does Snow White get the prince (formerly bear), but her sister [[CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds Rose Red marries his brother, who had not even been mentioned so far]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* In Agnes de Mille's ''Rodeo,'' the Cowgirl spends three-quarters of the ballet fruitlessly pursuing the Head Wrangler. During the final movement, the Hoedown, she falls for the Champion Roper instead, leaving the Head Wrangler to pair off with the Rancher's Daughter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Aveyond}}: The Darkthrop Prophecy'' has a PlayableEpilogue that's just choosing and wooing a bride for male lead Edward. It's also an in-universe LastMinuteHookup; he has until the end of the day to choose his bride, or his mother will choose one for him. Earlier games in the series tended to play this straight for the main couple and avert it with side couples, who could get married at any point in the quest as long as the conditions were met.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblem'': You can make this happen if you put off getting an A support between two characters until the final battle.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'': In the first game, just before heading through the Mu Mass Relay in pursuit of [[spoiler:Saren]]. In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', during the hours leading up to the suicide mission through the Omega-4 Mass Relay. In both games, this trope applies only if you sufficiently nurtured a relationship with a romanceable character throughout the course of the game. Something about uncharted Mass Relays seems to heighten hormone levels in organic species...
** And happens again in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', just before the assault on Cerberus HQ. Probably not so much the 'uncharted Mass Relay' bit as it is the 'we're probably going to die so let's do it while we still can' bit.
* ''NeverwinterNights'': You can, if you want, try and develop a relationship with Aribeth --[[spoiler:after you've defeated her and she is awaiting a likely execution for treason, and just before you go off to fight the BigBad]].
** And as we find out in the expansion pack, [[spoiler:she ''is'' executed, whether you redeemed her or not]].
* ''ShiningForce 2'': There are a couple last minute hookups. [[spoiler: Bowie and the princess hook up after his kiss brings her out of her coma. Sarah we found out had a crush on Bowie all along and is heartbroken, but we're led to assume that she [[PairTheSpares hooks up with Kazin instead]].]]
* ''StarWars'' ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'': All three potential romances do not reach their resolutions until the end of the game. The [[GayOption lesbian relationship]] with Juhani occurs after you decide to stay on the good side once and for all, the relationship with Carth occurs when you return to the ship, and the relationship with Bastila begins not long before the final boss battle.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenosaga}}'': Allen and Shion get together at the end.
* Typical romance theme in RivieraThePromisedLand between the Ein and [[HaremGenre the girls]] isn't really obvious other than a RelationshipValues untill the very end of the game, [[spoiler: where a BigBad kills off the protagonist's soul mate to revive an [[SealedEvilInACan sealed lady monster]] for a final battle [[DisneyDeath before she gets revived after you beat the game.]]]] Rose's good ending is not better either, [[spoiler: since Ein has been treating her as a cat for the entire game untill some magical medicine turns her into a human girl.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebComics/Web Original]]
* ''{{Fans}}'' had a few examples in the strip's fifth book (which was meant to be the series' last arc, until T. Campbell and Jason Waltrip decided to [[{{Revival}} return to the strip a year or so later]]). Will and Shanna, after [[WillTheyOrWontThey dancing around each other]] finally hook up. After Tim's tech business goes bust, [[PairTheSpares Tim and Julia get together]]. And in one of the more bizarre variations on this trope, Alysin (who had at the beginning of the arc decided to leave her husband Rikk because she felt she didn't deserve him) not only reconciled with Rikk, but resolved the Rikk/Aly/Rumi triangle...[[MarryThemAll by inviting Rumi to join their marriage.]] As of two or so years of the revival, all three relationships are still doing well(although Will and Shanna have had some stumbling blocks).
* ''Webcomic/KidRadd'': At the end of the title character's "game", he always leans in to kiss his girlfriend Sheena ... at which point he's interrupted by the credits. [[spoiler:(This extends to the end of the comic itself.)]]
* AgentsOfCracked: [[spoiler: Dan and Michael.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Avalon}}'' had two, [[spoiler:Joe & Helène, and Ceilidh and Phoebe. This second one become a rather large BaseBreaker for many fans, as there was little to no hint of it in the strip before the ScheduleSlip until the text summary that the author ended the comic with. The second one felt rather out of left field (perhaps to the point of Phillips' falling prey to PairTheSpares), while the first one was pretty obvious for quite some time.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' is quite an obvious example: after three seasons of flirting and [[UnresolvedSexualTension UST]], Danny and Sam finally get together at the end of the series finale.
* ''{{Doug}}'': Providing an animated equivalent to the ''{{JAG}}'' example, after seven seasons of WillTheyOrWontThey, Doug and Patti finally become a couple in the last few minutes of the final episode.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'': A little unclear, but appears to happen when Leela may have fallen for Fry after the big Faustian showdown at the opera in the last episode, but if so, this was unintentional as it wasn't meant to be the last episode, but rather the series got ScrewedByTheNetwork and cancelled. Complicated by the later [[UnCanceled revival of the series]], which hit the ResetButton, and any such relationship no longer survives.
** Then another last minute hookup happened at the end of ''Into The Wild Green Yonder'', which was supposed to be the series finale. Now the show has been revived a second time, and the writers are actually acknowledging the hookup.
** In the ''final'' Final Episode, there's an almost literal Last Minute Hookup: Fry decides to ask Leela to marry him, and an accident involving a "time-looping device" results in the entire world ... except for the two of them ... being frozen in time. They spend the rest of their lives growing old together in this frozen moment, until [[spoiler:Professor Farnsworth, who was apparently killed in the accident but was actually "rotated into an orthogonal time dimension", shows up and rebuilds the looping device to loop the world back to before he got the idea to invent the device]].
* ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'': The last minute of the finale rushes giving all of the good guys a happy ending. This includes randomly having Jackie and Viper [[StrangledByTheRedString hook up out of almost nowhere]], though Jade had been their ShipperOnDeck from Viper's first appearance.
* ''KaBlam'': The supposedly final episode had June reveal her crush on Henry by giving him a kiss, which he accepted, considering their hookup to be the end to the finale. One week after the episode premiered, came a brand-new episode, [[PostScriptSeason continuing for another season]].
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': A special case, in that it would've without-a-doubt fulfilled the trope with Kim and Ron's Disney kiss in the intended GrandFinale movie (lampshaded a few episodes beforehand). However, grassroots operations orchestrated by fans [[UnCanceled brought the show back]]. The creators have repeatedly stressed within interviews how hard they had to work to avoid JumpingTheShark or "gross[ing] out the 10-year-olds watching."
** Done again, although more quietly, with Drakken and Shego in the ''new'' GrandFinale.
* ''MyDadTheRockStar'': In the final episode, Willy, the male lead, and his female friend Alyssa start dating.
* ''ReBoot'' had Bob and Dot finally kiss during the last couple minutes of the series finale. The series was UnCancelled three years later, and the ResetButton was pushed to a degree - they spend the first few episodes of the season back in JustFriends territory and are still not really officially together by the new finale.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheReplacements'': In the final episode, it is revealed that Jacobo and Tasumi are a couple. Considering that the idea of them as a couple had only been hinted at once previously, Todd and Riley's surprise at that reveal is [[JustifiedTrope pretty justified]].
* ''WesternAnimation/SuperRobotMonkeyTeamHyperforceGo'' [[spoiler:finally gave fans the {{fanon}} pairing Sprx/Nova towards the end of the last episode.]] In the show's defence, ''SRMTHG'' was meant to go another season, but it's possible the pairing was added to tie up loose ends once they realized it was getting cancelled and would have been held off more if the show continued.
* The biggest WillTheyOrWontThey on ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor'' were Numbuhs Four and Three. [[spoiler: In "Operation I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S., the SeriesFinale where the heroes are portrayed as adults, the two are shown to be married (the revelation not made until close to the end of the episode).]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'': The series ended without any of the couples hooking up. Then, even in the {{OVA}}, ''TeenTitansTroubleInTokyo'', Robin and Starfire have their BigDamnKiss in the last few minutes of the movie.
-->'''Cyborg:''' Well, [[ShipperOnDeck it's about time]].
* ''WesternAnimation/JimmyNeutron'' did this with Jimmy and Cindy in LITERALLY the last minute of the last episode, "The Lady Sings the News". Even though the episode itself was [[ADayInTheLimelight Libby-centered]]...
* Suprisingly subverted in WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko. In the finale episode of season 4, Ulrich and Yumi are shown sharing a moment and holding hands, and it seems like they are about to kiss. Jeremy activate the [[ResetButton Return to the past]] at that point, and they are last seen deactivating the Supercalculator.
* The series finale of ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' randomly has [[TheBigGuy Wonder Girl]] and [[TheSmartGuy Robin]] hook up, though neither had received much screentime or characterization to lead up to the development. A part of the script that didn't make it into the final product [[LampshadeHanging even pokes fun at how sudden relationships can happen]], with the two stating "We know" and secretly holding hands.
** That same unused scene reveals that [[GlassCannon Tye]] and [[TheChick Asami]] get together. There was nothing explicitly romantic between them previously, but they at least interacted more and it was [[FanPreferredPairing already popular with the fans]].
* The GrandFinale of ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}}'' has [[ExtravertedNerd Upchuck]] [[ShipsThatPassInTheNight randomly hitting on]] [[{{Goth}} Andrea]] during a party. She agrees to leave the party to go on a date with him, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny to his complete and utter amazement]].
[[/folder]]
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