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->''"...Shaw explains how Liza ends not with Higgins but with Freddy and -- Shaw and Heaven forgive me! -- I am not certain he is right."''
-->-- '''Alan Jay Lerner''', note in a published edition of ''MyFairLady''

When it comes time for an author to wrap everything up, the final judgment on his ultimate creation hinges on the conclusion: an ending can [[TwistEnding make]] or [[GainaxEnding break]] an entire work or series. So important is the ending, in fact, that it's especially subject to ExecutiveMeddling and public influence.

The biggest problem arises when the author has already written and/or produced the final ending and executives or test audiences dislike it, most commonly due to it being a DownerEnding. They pressure the author to change the ending to one they think the public will like better, usually to a HappilyEverAfter. The author reluctantly complies and the ending is changed (see also HappilyEverBefore -- a specific type of sub-trope).

If the endings were radically different, what usually happens is that the original ending is revealed to the public in a later edition, and fans become split between favoring the original or revised ending. For [[TrueArtIsAngsty some reason]], {{Downer Ending}}s are usually considered to be the better of the two (partly because they are more likely to be the original, and people get hung up on "the director's original vision" - and of course, TrueArtIsAngsty). But as was previously mentioned it can be the exact opposite as well.

Can be seen as a form of AuthorsSavingThrow if the RevisedEnding was created to appease audiences.

Be warned, considering this trope is specifically about the endings to works, it should be painfully obvious that spoilers are going to occur.

FocusGroupEnding is a subtrope. When the revised ending changes an ending that was already shown, it's also an OrwellianRetcon.

'''Since this is an EndingTrope, expect spoilers.'''

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' has what may be the most thorough revised ending, the [[GainaxEnding final two episodes of the TV series]] being replaced by the movie ''End Of Evangelion''. The original is [[MindScrew notoriously incomprehensible]]; the movie is a BittersweetEnding. And the manga's ending, with what we have so far ([[spoiler: Adam giving Gendo god-like powers, Shinji making it in time to save Asuka, and Shinji starting to remember things from his childhood that he'd forgotten or repressed as Rei/Lilith interacts with him]]) is setting things up for yet another mind fuck. And then there's ''Rebuild'', which [[EpilepticTrees has some implications]] that it's ''not'' an AlternateContinuity.
** More specifically there is the epilogue: In the leaked original script for episode 26 (which was used for the last half of End of Evangelion) featured two different proposed versions, neither of which corresponded completely with the one in End of Evangelion: The first one ultimately ends as the finished film does, but portrays itself somewhat more positively. The second one however was much bleaker than the film [[spoiler: with Shinji being the only human self-reflective enough to return from instrumentality, meaning he will be spending the rest of his life alone]]. The final version both takes and discards scenes from both versions and changes one piece of dialog ([[spoiler: Asuka's "I won't let you kill me" to the infamous "I feel sick"]]). As for the manga's epilogue? [[spoiler: It pulls a CosmicRetcon and [[HappyEnding creates a world where Second Impact never happened]].]]
* ''Anime/TheBigO'' had its ending revised numerous times before being broadcast, with the final product being subject to a [[ExecutiveMeddling request]] to be ''less'' conclusive than previous drafts, in case the network decided on a third series. It didn't, leaving the show with a GainaxEnding and no proper resolution. By most accounts, though, even the previous drafts didn't provide a concrete resolution.
* Surprisingly, the anime adaptation of ''Anime/FullMoonOSagashite'' had a more BittersweetEnding compared to the original [[Manga/FullMoonOSagashite manga]] which had a true HappyEnding, given all the events and details of characters removed or changed in the anime.
* TheMovie version of ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' had two different endings produced for it. The original theatrical ending (the same ending used in the Creator/StreamlinePictures dub) was a GeckoEnding which featured Kenshiro losing the final fight against his elder brother Raoh, with his life spared due to [[MessianicArchetype holy child]] Lin's intervention. When the movie was released on [=VHS=] and Laserdisc in Japan, the ending was changed to have Kenshiro and Raoh end their fight in a stalemate (but is otherwise identical), which is closer how their first fight ended in the manga. For awhile the theatrical ending was not available in Japan until the movie's [=DVD=] release in 2008, leading to the common misconception among western fans that the revised ending was the original ending.
* The manga adaptation of ''BreathOfFireIV'' actually had both minor and not-so-minor versions of this (fan speculation is that these may be a setup for a possible sequel). Among major changes (besides the incorporation of ''both'' of the MultipleEndings of the game in a "bad ending to good ending" storyline) are [[spoiler: Scias and Ershin clearing out hexes in Chamba and Fou-lu ultimately splitting from Ryu again and surviving. There has been a ''great'' amount of rejoicing with the latter.]]
* The manga and novel versions of ''GundamWing'' end with the five Gundam Pilots going to Mars to aid in the terraformation project started by Relena; the TV series has them staying on Earth, and this is the ending that all the sequels follow. Gets a lampshade in the {{Yonkoma}} for the manga version of TheMovie, where someone asks the manga-ka "[[PlotHole I thought the boys went to Mars?]]" and he nervously fumbles and tries to change the subject.
* ''Anime/GatchamanCrowds'' wrapped up with what seemed to be a rather bizarre GainaxEnding in its broadcast, leaving the exact fate of the villain (Berg-Katze) rather unclear, as well as the manner in how he was defeated. It turned out that the final two episodes had to be edited for the broadcast, with episode 11 having a ClipShow slapped on to the beginning and the rest of the episode being broadcast as "episode 12", with only part of the actual final episode's footage utilized. Supposedly there was trouble with completing the deadlines for animating the footage as well. The Blu-Ray release contains the completed version of episode 12, giving a fuller ending to the plot.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The original ending of TheDarkPhoenixSaga in ''Comicbook/{{X-Men}}'' had Phoenix [[spoiler:surviving with her powers taken away.]] Editor-in-chief JimShooter insisted that [[spoiler:Jean go through a great punishment (such as eternal torture) commensurate to the crimes she committed as Dark Phoenix, notably killing a planet inhabited by several billion aliens. In the end Chris Claremont and John Byrne decided to just kill her]]. The original ending was eventually published in ''Phoenix: The Untold Story''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fanfic]]
* The infamous ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' DarkFic ''Fanfic/{{Cupcakes}}'' ends with Pinkie Pie horrifically killing Rainbow Dash and getting away with it, but has a ''lot'' of alternate endings, few, if any, by the original writer. These range from her moving on to the ''rest'' of her friends, [[AllJustADream it being a dream]], [[OhCrapThereAreFanficsOfUS it being a fanfic]] written by one of the characters, it being a play, Rainbow Dash breaking free and killing Pinkie Pie instead, and [[BrokenAngel Rainbow Dash being rescued, but losing her wings]]. The AllJustADream version has a great many versions, including one called ''Fanfic/RocketToInsanity'' where the dream causes Rainbow Dash to eventually kill Pinkie Pie...which in turn has its own AlternateEnding (''Fanfic/RocketToInsanityAlternateEnding'') where she snaps out of it and gets Pinkie Pie to the hospital in time but has to earn forgiveness for it. Another psudo-AlternateEnding is ''Fanfic/TheLightInTheDarkness'', wich goes with the AllJustADream version and ends on a ''very'' heartwarming note (to the point it's been dubbed "the antithesis of ''Cupcakes''") but it's vague on if this is a true one or not, despite the fact the author originally intended for it to be before being rewritten.
* ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3460966/1/Difficult_to_Fight_Against_Anger Difficult to Fight Against Anger]]'' is an alternate ending to the sixth season of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', where [[spoiler: Tara isn't shot, but rather raped by Warren Mears, and Willow's ensuing rampage is fueled not by grief, but by rage]].
* The end of [[FanFic/TheDearSweetieBelleContinuity "The Sin of Envy, or a Mother's Love"]] was meant to foreshadow another story with Twilight Sparkle experiencing a nightmare similar to Rarity's (being consumed by pride instead, becoming an alicorn and wiping everyone else out). After she really ''did'' become an alicorn in canon, the author decided to change the {{Cliffhanger}} to lead into [[spoiler:the confrontation with the demon responsible]] instead (having decided that the ideas for the other characters' stories/nightmares were subpar).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Both ''Disney/TheLionKing'' films have alternate, unproduced original endings. The first one would've had Scar throw Simba off Pride Rock, but Scar would then perish laughing hysterically as the flames consume Pride Rock. Simba survives, but doesn't get his revenge. In the final film, he ends up throwing Scar off of Pride Rock where the evil lion is eaten by his angry Hyena {{Mooks}}. The second film's original ending would've had Zira commit suicide by letting go of the cliff with the line "No...never..." in response to Kiara's attempts to save her life. In the real version, she simply slips and falls.
* ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' had at least two alternate endings. Originally, it was supposed to end with a reprise of "Arabian Nights", which was later used in the second sequel, ''Disney/AladdinAndTheKingOfThieves''. The second deleted ending starts with the reprise of "A Whole New World" as seen in the final movie, but then cuts to a sequence where the peddler from the beginning of the movie reveals himself to be the Genie. This is followed by a cruder version of the "made you look" gag from the final ending.
* ''Disney/LiloAndStitch'' was orginally going to end with the heroes stealing a passenger jet from an airport to save Lilo from [[TheDragon Gantu]], and destroying most of Honolulu while they are chasing each other, but because of what happened on 9/11, the airplane was replaced with a spaceship.
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0lKC9akgeA original theatrical cut]] of ''AGoofyMovie'' simply ended the film on the gag where Goofy kicks his [[TheAllegedCar damaged car]], causing it to explode and blow him sky high. However, the ending received a mixed reception and many audience members were upset by it, seemingly interpreting that Goofy had been ''killed'' in the explosion (somewhat of a justified reaction, given that the film was aimed at children). An additional scene was added to later versions, which shows Goofy falling back down and crashing into Roxanne's front porch, thus reassuring viewers that he was alive and well.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* James Cameron's Sci-fi film TheAbyss originally had an ending more complex than the theatrical release, with Bud engaging in more dialogue with the underwater aliens, a giant tidal wave, and a HumanityOnTrial and ArmiesAreEvil Aesop. Unfortunately, the effects technology to make the tidal wave were not yet advanced to Cameron's tastes, so he shortened the ending into a more ambiguous conclusion that left many critics unhappy. A few years later, the original intended ending was included in the Special Edition version, which garnered a lot of praise.
* Creator/OrsonWelles' second film, ''Film/TheMagnificentAmbersons'', was taken from him in post-production, savagely edited down, and given a new HappyEnding. It is considered a classic despite this ExecutiveMeddling.
* ''[[Franchise/EvilDead Army of Darkness]]'' originally had a {{Downer|Ending}}/TwistEnding, in which [[spoiler: Ash is given a potion in order to sleep until he awakens in his own time, but he takes too much of the potion and (in a CruelTwistEnding) awakens in a post-apocalyptic England]]. This was changed to a happier ending (through ExecutiveMeddling), which does admittingly have a few more catchy [[PreAssKickingOneLiner One Liners]] than that ending.
** The original ending was retained in the film's international release.
* The ending of the 1956 movie ''TheBadSeed'' was changed to conform with UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode, which required that "the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil or sin". Thus EnfanteTerrible Rhoda could not [[KarmaHoudini get away with her crimes]] like she did in the ending of the stage play, and the novel it was based on, in which [[spoiler:she survives after her mother Christine, having realized Rhoda is a sociopathic little murderess, poisons her and then kills herself. So, in the movie, Christine survives a bullet to the head at point-blank range -- judging from her actions earlier in the film, the viewer can only surmise that it missed her brain -- and eight-year-old Rhoda is killed by a literal bolt of lightning.]]
* ''Film/BladeRunner'''s original ending wasn't really a DownerEnding, but left a lot to the imagination, especially with the implication that the main character's love interest, an android, had [[MayflyDecemberRomance only a few more years to live]]. Executives insisted that the ending be changed to an unambiguously happy one with the love interest turning out to have a long life after all. The film was restored back to its original vision in the Director's Cut DVD.
* The edited-for-TV broadcast version of ''Film/{{Brazil}}'' ended with the hero living happily ever after with his love interest. What television audiences didn't see was a scene cut out in which this win-all ending is revealed to be a [[CuckooNest delusion of the main character]]. (The American theatrical release has been MisBlamed for this; its ending is identical to the European theatrical version, except with more footage of clouds.)
** There's a book detailing the hard fight Creator/TerryGilliam fought to have the original ending in all versions: ''The Battle for Brazil''.
* The theatrical release of ''Film/TheButterflyEffect'' had a [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]] "things are ok-ish but Evan and Kayleigh never knew each other and pass in the street with only a wistful sense of what might have been" ending. The director's cut [[spoiler:has what may well be the only prenatal suicide in film history, as Evan concludes the only way to avoid all the bad things that happen to the people he loves is to not survive birth]].
* The original DownerEnding to ''Film/{{Clerks}}'' was changed to a BittersweetEnding by removing the very last scene, which would have been the shooting of Dante. This meant that a whole lot of {{Foreshadowing}} went to waste. However, ''Film/ClerksII'' and ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Clerks}} Clerks: The Animated Series]]'' would have been nullified by this original ending.
** So that's where the ending of Red Skull shooting Captain America in the parody cartoon came from.
* ''Film/TheInfernalAffairsTrilogy'': In this Hong Kong cops-and-robbers movie, Andy Lau's character, a mole placed in the police by [[TheTriadsAndTheTongs triads]] he betrayed, [[spoiler:leaves a building besieged by police forces holding a police badge after betraying and killing everyone inside out of desperation in the final climax to ensure his real identity remains a secret]]. However, an alternate ending was made for the theatrical releases in China, Singapore, and Malaysia, showing that [[spoiler:the character was arrested by police upon leaving the building when it is stated, without explanation, that there was proof of his complicity in the crime]]. This, apparently, was to please the governments in those three countries stating [[spoiler:that crimes does not pay]].
** In the American rendition of the movie, ''Film/TheDeparted'', [[spoiler:Matt Damon, playing Andy Lau's character, does indeed manage to leave the building keeping his identity a secret, but, perhaps to please American audiences, he is eventually confronted by another detective who discovered the truth in the movie's end, and is killed]].
** [[spoiler:The difference between Lau's and Damon's interpretations of the character was that Lau's genuinely wanted to change when he realized that his secret life was going to make him lose his wife, whereas Damon's was just trying to protect himself. Lau's character certainly didn't want to go to prison, but the ending at the funeral (and Lau shooting the other mole) showed that his character had changed.]]
* The ending of the film ''Film/TheDescent'' was revised for the US release, with the director's approval. In the US version, [[spoiler:the film ends with Sarah escaping from the cave, but seeing the friend she left to die, bloodied and corpselike, implying that she's been driven insane by her experiences, but has at least escaped.]] In the original version, [[spoiler:after this, she wakes up, still in the cave, and lingers, completely insane and hallucinating her late daughter is there with her, as the crawlers close in and presumably kill her]].
** The sequel follows the ending of the US version.
* ''Film/InvasionOfTheBodySnatchers'' is an odd case. The original novel had an unambiguously happy ending, with the Pods fleeing Earth, the Pod People slowly dying off, and the town returning to normal. The first movie adaptation initially had a DownerEnding, with the hero hysterically screaming "You're next!" to oblivious highway drivers (and the audience) as truckloads of Pods are shipped all over the country. The execs didn't care for this ending, and slapped on a prologue and epilogue that showed the military discovering the threat, and preparing to fight back. Meanwhile, the 1978 and 1993 remakes had unambiguously {{Downer Ending}}s and the 2007 remake restored the happy ending of the original book.
* ''Film/LittleShopOfHorrors'': The film adaptation of the musical originally had a DownerEnding with our heroes eaten by Audrey II and several Audrey II saplings growingthroughout America. This was changed in ExecutiveMeddling to a happy ending. Director Creator/FrankOz explained that in a play, the characters' death is no big deal, because it's obviously just a play and they all come out for a curtain call at the end. In a movie it's much more real, and it felt like a crime to kill the two characters that the audience has spent the whole movie falling in love with. The stuff they shot for the original ending was pretty damn cool, though.
* The movie adaptation of Creator/StephenKing's ''TheMist'' replaced the story's ambiguous ending with a soul crushing ShootTheShaggyDog ending. King has been quoting in saying that not only did he ''love'' the ending of the movie, but also that "everyone who spoils this ending should be hung from a noose until dead". Yes, King has issues.
* Creator/WesCraven planned for the original ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet1984'' to have [[EarnYourHappyEnding a happy ending]], but this was changed by [[ExecutiveMeddling the executives]], and the DownerEnding (where Nancy's mother is killed, and Nancy's own fate is left ambiguous) was created.
* The 1932 version of ''Film/{{Scarface|1932}}'' featured an alternate ending to comply with the then-recently released [[UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode Hays Code]]. In the original ending, [[spoiler:Tony Camonte gets shot to death by the police while trying to escape]], while in the Hays-approved ending, [[spoiler:Camonte is arrested, tried, and executed by hanging]].
* ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay'' featured an ending where Sarah Connor reflected on her experiences many years after the events of the movie, as she watches her son playing with his daughter at a park. Cameron has stated that the Dark Highway ending was a better for the film since it better represented the ambiguous nature of the future. The playground ending would imply that the future was now set, and thus deterministic.
* ''Film/DawnOfTheDead2004'' remake originally ended on an ambiguous bittersweet note; after test audiences complained, an additional, more pessimistic, sequence was filmed and interspersed through the credits.
** The irony of all this is that the exact opposite happened with the original.
* The 2007 film ''Film/IAmLegend'' has a particularly striking case of this. The original ending is far more in tune with the theme and morality of the book, clearly fits with the foreshadowing of the creatures' intelligence, and is in general a more original and though-provoking ending. However, test audiences apparently reacted poorly to it, so it was changed to a pretty standard [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic Christ-like]] HeroicSacrifice ending, complete with a fireball explosion (caused by a grenade of all things). This is an even more startling case as the original is not strictly a DownerEnding; it's simply ambiguous.
* The cult classic zombie college film ''Film/NightOfTheCreeps'' was originally supposed to end with a funny parody of standard horror movie TheStinger endings, with a zombie parasite seemingly escaping to cause more mayhem, only to be vacuumed up by alien zookeepers. Due to ExecutiveMeddling, this was replaced in the final film with a more cliche TheStinger DownerEnding where an alien parasite suddenly jumps out of an infected dog at the camera, presumably zombifying the female love interest.
* Averted by the 1963 ''X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes''. In its theatrical release, the [[ProfessorGuineaPig lead character]] ultimately [[EyeScream blinds himself]], because his [[BlessedWithSuck super-eyesight]] has shown him the [[GoMadFromTheRevelation swirling madness that underlies reality]]. For years, rumors circulated that his self-mutilation was originally meant to be followed by the terrifying line: "I can ''still see!''" The DVD commentary, however, reveals that this line was inserted as a spur-of-the-moment improvisation by director Roger Corman, who found it unsatisfying and opted to stick with the original script.
* ''Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld'' has an alternative ending, which consists of Scott getting with [[spoiler:Knives rather than Ramona]].
* ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon'''s original ending can be read in the movie adaptations. According to those, [[spoiler:Megatron finally decides to end the war after his constant failures, forms a truce with the Autobots, and heads back to Cybertron.]] The movie ending gives us a complete opposite scenario: [[spoiler:Megatron proposes a truce, but Optimus Prime kills him without hesitation. Cybertron is (apparently) destroyed, and though the war is over, there are still many Decepticons lurking around Earth whose faith is never touched upon.]]
* ''Film/TheGoldenCompass'' was originally filmed to stay true to the book's ending, but [[ExecutiveMeddling executives didn't want]] a DownerEnding to launch a franchise, so scenes of Roger's death were cut and moved to [[StillbornFranchise the sequel that never happened]].
* ''Film/NationalTreasure'' originally ended with the protagonists learning of a new treasure to search for. It was intended to be an AndTheAdventureContinues ending, but test audiences assumed it as a SequelHook.
* Referenced by director Kasi Lemmons on the commentary track of the director's cut of her film EvesBayou. The original ending was much more ambiguous, giving no final interpretation of the movie's central event [[spoiler: Did Louis molest Cisely or did she come on to him?]], leaving the truth locked in the mind of a disabled character who witnessed the event (and was subsequently cut from the theatrical release.) Kasi laments that she did not have experience taking test audiences' judgments with a grain of salt so she thought she had no choice but to change the ending to something more satisfying, though she prefers the ambiguity.
* The movie version of StephenKing's ''Literature/{{Dreamcatcher}}'' has an original ending that's considered far superior to the theatrical version. [[spoiler: While in the theatrical version, Duddits turns into another alien and fights Mr. Gray, in the original ending, he uses his psychic powers to force Mr. Gray out of Jonesy, then destroy him, then he throws up his arms triumphantly, yells "I Duddits!", and then dies of his cancer.]]
* ''Film/TheBigBlue'': Besides making many cuts, the American theatrical release replaced the DownerEnding with one in which Jacques is rescued by the dolphin.
* ''Film/GodzillaVsDestoroyah'''s original ending was different than what was the film's ending now. After having his wings being destroyed, Destoroyah is forced to fight Godzilla to the death without any retreat. Godzilla, [[spoiler:having [[TearJerker/{{Godzilla}} witnessed his son being killed by Destoroyah]], [[EarthShatteringKaboom is on the verge of a planet-destroying meltdown]], and is [[KickTheDog being fired on by the military while at his weakest state]]]], [[NoHoldsBarredBeatdown beats Destoroyah into a disintegrating pulp]] until both monsters are consumed by the military's firepower, which destroys them both. Fortunately, [[ExecutiveMeddling Toho cut this ending due to it being too anti-climactic]] and instead [[AssPull had Destoroyah killed quickly]] so that [[TearJerker/{{Godzilla}} Godzilla could have center-stage for his meltdown]].
* ''Film/WarOfTheGargantuas'' had a different proposed ending to the film that was considerably darker than the one in the film. After the Gargantuas were killed by a surprise volcano, the lava flow released from it winds up engulfing all of Tokyo, killing the main cast and destroying all of the remaining cells of the gargantuas left behind in their fight. Tomoyuki Tanaka dropped this idea due to the enormous budget that would be required to film such an effect, so the ending was more toned down.
* The original ending of ''Film/TheWolfman2010'', in the rough draft of the screenplay that was leaked online before the movie's release, had Lawrence [[spoiler:''throw himself off a cliff'' in order to save Gwen from himself.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Charles Dickens' ''Literature/GreatExpectations'' originally ended with Pip and Estella, who Pip had spent the entire book hopelessly in love with, meeting briefly and parting ways. Dickens gave his friend Edward Bulwer-Lytton a preview of the ending. Bulwer-Lytton disliked the DownerEnding and asked him to write a happier one for his readers. Dickens obliged and wrote a separate ending that reunited Pip with Estella, but left it up to the readers to decide if they were able to start a relationship or not. Unlike some other examples of this trope, Dickens himself was pleased with the new ending.
--> '''Pip''': I saw no shadow of another parting from her. ''(last line of revised ending)''
* Sir Arthur Conan Doyle [[KilledOffForReal killed off]] Literature/SherlockHolmes in "The Final Problem" to be able to focus on other literary projects. Public demand and mourning was so great that he eventually wrote a new short story that [[{{Retcon}} retconned]] Holmes' death as only a faked one and continued his adventures. (It didn't hurt that Watson NeverFoundTheBody, either.)
* ''Literature/AClockworkOrange'' is an unusual case: the revised ending is actually the DownerEnding, and the "true" ending is more optimistic. The film adaptation was based on the revised ending (the American publication that cut out the last chapter), either because TrueArtIsAngsty, or, as is claimed, Stanley Kubrick had never seen the original until some time into production and when he did he didn't like it.
** The supposed reason he didn't like it is that it's done in a way to show that Alex matures and grows out of his violent nature. It's a classical example of TeensAreMonsters and this whole thing was just a phase. Kubrick thought it completely removed the message of the story.
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Podkayne of Mars'' had an original ending [[spoiler:where Podkayne dies,]] intending it to be AnAesop about [[spoiler:a working mother not properly taking care of her children]]. The publisher made him use a revised ending [[spoiler:where she is injured but survives]]. It was eventually published with both endings, which differ only on the last page.
* Creator/HGWells' story ''The Country of the Blind'' has an original and revised version which diverge at a point where the protagonist is going to agree to have his eyes removed to become a member of the titular society. In the original, he ditches his JunglePrincess fiance in the middle of the night and is implied to have died in his efforts to climb down a mountain back to civilization. In the revised version, he escapes with her and they have sighted children and live HappilyEverAfter.
* Two of Creator/StephenKing's novels play with this: At the end of ''Black House'' and ''Dark Tower'', King offers up a happy ending in the penultimate chapter, and then a warning that "if you like happy endings, stop reading here." The "real" ending in the last chapter is more of a downer.
** The Dark Tower case is actually somewhat interesting: it's very much a BittersweetEnding, but it fits Roland's character arc, and is suitably Mythic, as the series itself has been.
** ''Christine'''s two endings work similarly, but without the warning.
* ''Creator/ThomasHardy'''s ''Literature/TheReturnOfTheNative'' originally ended with the deaths of Eustacia and Wildeve, Tamsin is left a widow and single parent and there are implications that Clym might be going insane. However popular demand encouraged Hardy to write a sixth volume in which Clym manages to pull through his depression and Diggory Ven marries Tamsin.
* ''Captain Corelli's Mandolin'' has one of the most beautifully {{Bittersweet Ending}}s: [[spoiler:Corelli and Pelagia are not reunited until they are very old, as Corelli believes Pelagia has moved on]]. The film disposed of this and had them reunited a few years later.
* OlderThanFeudalism: [[Literature/TheFourGospels The Gospel of Mark]] seems to have originally ended with a report of the resurrection of Jesus; a later revision incorporated events up to the Ascension.
* The deleted last chapter to Joan Lindsday's ''Literature/PicnicAtHangingRock'', which explains what happened to Miss [=McCraw=], Marion, and Miranda, was first published in 1987. The reader discovers that [[spoiler: Hanging Rock is in the middle of some kind of mystical temporal anomaly; the three women change shape and vanish into the rock itself, leaving Irma (in an echo of "Literature/ThePiedPiperOfHamelin") stuck outside.]]
* According to many scholars, the HappilyEverAfter ending to the Book of Job in the Bible was a revision by editors who wanted to make the moral of the story as clear as crystal.
* The ending of Alexey Tolstoy's ''The Hyperboloid of Engineer Garin'' (a.k.a. ''The Garin Death Ray'') was revised two times. In the original serialized version, Zoe Montrose dies, captain Jansen lives, MagnificentBastard Garin was a KarmaHoudini. In the second version, Jansen dies, Garin and Zoe were a KarmaHoudini, and the noves ends with a SequelHook. In the final edition Jansen dies, and Garin and Zoe were punished by LaserGuidedKarma.
* Fans of Ted Dekker's ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Circle_(Dekker_novel Circle]]'' series were so unhappy with the conclusion of ''Green'' (which ends with the protagonist deliberately trapping himself in a seemingly unending StableTimeLoop) that Dekker wrote a new, "happier" ending for the series's compilation novel.
* Later editions of Henry Williamson's ''Tarka the Otter'' have a revised ending. In the original, Tarka fights a hunting hound called Deadlock, and neither survives. In the revised ending, Tarka fights a hunting hound called Deadlock, and neither survives. Despite the plot being the same, Williamson became horrified by the way he had originally described it. He even kept the original ending as a postscript after the revised ending, followed by a note expressing his disbelief that he ever wrote it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The original ending of HannahMontana was a AllJustADream senario. The show was revealed to be the dream of a young Miley Cyrus. Thanks to ExecutiveMeddling it was thought to be too confusing for children and the ending was changed to [[spoiler:Miley giving up the movie in Paris to attend college with Lily]]
* ''Series/{{MADtv}}'':
** Parodied in a sketch which featured supposed "alternate endings" that were shot for ''Film/GoneWithTheWind''. It's introduced by one of the actors, "Slave Girl #8" (she's the only one who's still alive), who has to re-enact the racial stereotype of her previous role, which she eventually notes is kind of degrading. In the first ending, Rhett goes on a profanity-laden tirade after Scarlett begs him not to leave, and punches her in the stomach before walking off in disgust ("Audiences didn't like that ending at all"). In the second one, Rhett, Scarlett, and some of the soldiers and slaves [[SuddenMusicalEnding suddenly break into a dance number]]. In the third one, Rhett [[ShockingSwerve just gets on a broom and flies off]], and Scarlett follows him [[AnachronismStew on a jetpack]] on the advice of UsefulNotes/AbrahamLincoln and a talking penguin ("It's a mystery to me why they filmed this last ending at all").
** There was a similar one done with ''Film/TheSoundOfMusic''. In the first ending [[TheHeroDies the von Trapp family were shot and killed by the Nazis]] (which the audience was appalled by, [[InfantImmortality especially the children's deaths]]), in the second [[FaceHeelTurn the Von Trapps join the Nazis]] (this ending was popular only [[AllGermansAreNazis in Germany]], [[ArgentinaIsNaziland Argentina]], and parts of the US midwest), and in the last one the kids fight back with ''ComicBook/{{X-Men}}''-style superpowers.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]
* The play ''Liliom'' ends with the dead protagonist being escorted back to purgatory after striking his widow. For the musical adaptation, ''Carousel'', Oscar Hammerstein made this DownerEnding into a BittersweetEnding by having the protagonist stick around for one more scene, in which his daughter graduates and the entire cast sings a reprise of "You'll Never Walk Alone." Ferenc Molnar, author of ''Liliom'', saw this RevisedEnding and approved of it.
** ''Oklahoma!'' has a HappilyEverAfter ending. The non-musical source play, ''Green Grow The Lilacs'', has a more ambiguous ending, with Curly still awaiting trial for murder.
* Eliza comes back to Higgins at the end of ''MyFairLady''. Alan Jay Lerner borrowed this final scene from Gabriel Pascal's (non-musical) film of ''Film/{{Pygmalion}}'', which managed to create this RevisedEnding (which Shaw loathed) by recycling earlier lines, to get around the contractual stipulation that every single line of dialogue would be written by Shaw (and credited to him).
** Worth noting that the original cast of the play didn't like Shaw's ending either and subverted it as much as they could. Henry and Eliza would take their curtain call together, posed as if they were bride and groom.
*** While at least one production of ''My Fair Lady'' subverted the revised ending by having Higgins deliver the final line ("Where the devil are my slippers?") in such a stinging and domineering way that it becomes clear that Eliza can't return to him and maintain her self-respect, and thus contrary to the musical's stage instruction the two stand at opposite ends of the stage as the curtain falls with no sign of them moving together.
* ''Literature/AndThenThereWereNone''. In Creator/AgathaChristie's original novel, [[spoiler:[[CaptainObvious everyone dies.]]]] When she adapted the work for the theatre, she felt the book's DownerEnding was unsuitable for the stage, and revised the plot so that [[spoiler:the two most sympathetic characters from the book turn out to be innocent of the crimes they are accused of, survive, and fall in love with each other.]] All of the numerous film versions, with the exception of the Russian version, have retained the changed ending of the play.
** This in part because the solution in the DownerEnding is revealed in a posthumous letter discovered several months later. Having the solution just be read out to the audience really is bad theatre.
** This is not the only time Christie changed the ending of one of her works when adapting it for the stage. In the stage version of ''Appointment With Death'', [[spoiler:the murder is changed to a suicide.]]
** Assuming these are the same characters, the PC game [[spoiler:has the two characters turn out innocent, and they ''may'' survive depending on player actions. The killer's identity is also different, who dies by an accidental hanging.]]
* The musical ''{{Show Boat}}'' reunites Magnolia and her grown daughter Kim with Ravenal and Captain Andy for the final curtain. At the end of Edna Ferber's novel, Captain Andy and Parthy have both died, and Ravenal is PutOnABus for good. Of the three film versions, only the first (mostly silent) one includes the deaths of Captain Andy and Parthy, and even that reunites Ravenal and Magnolia. The 1936 movie version has a variation on the stage ending (not a surprise, as Oscar Hammerstein adapted it himself); the 1951 version has a completely original ending which brings together Ravenal, Magnolia, Kim (still a child), Captain Andy, Parthy and even Julie.
* The book version of ''Literature/{{Wicked}}'' ends with an absurdly bleak DownerEnding. In the musical? [[spoiler: Oh Elphaba's still alive. And so is Fiyero. And they get to live happily ever after, albeit somewhere else.]]
* In fiction: A key part of ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'', "Eugene, Eugene" has Eugene horrified that the guy producing his school's musical has changed a perfectly good HappyEnding into a downer (a result of his CreatorBreakdown) which is at odds with the play's message.
* In the original ending of Creator/HenrikIbsen's ''Theatre/ADollsHouse'', Nora leaves her stifling marriage with Torvald. This was so controversial in the late 19th century that Ibsen, a Norwegian, [[ExecutiveMeddling was persuaded]] to write a new ending for the German productions in which she is reminded of her [[StayInTheKitchen duties as a mother]]. Don't get him wrong, he hated it. Later he would openly refer to the alternate ending as "a barbaric act of violence towards the play. Its use is absolutely contrary to my wishes, and I hope that it will not be used by many German theatres."
** So why did he write it? According to a letter from Ibsen to a Danish newspaper, a lack of intellectual property laws meant that Scandanavian plays were at risk of disastrous 'adaptation' when performed in other countries. "I prefer," Ibsen stated, "to commit such violence myself, rather than surrender my works to treatment... by less careful and less skilful hands than my own."
* In-story example: In ''ManOfLaMancha'', Cervantes declares his story finished after Don Quixote's defeat and humiliation by Dr. Carrasco. The Governor declares the ending unsatisfying, but Cervantes begs to "have a little more time" to continue the tale before he is sent off to the Inquisition. (And indeed, the ending the fictional Cervantes invents differs from what the real Cervantes wrote.)
* ''{{Pippin}}'' is occasionally produced with the alternate ending: instead of a few spoken lines between Catherine and Pippin, Theo starts singing "Corner of the Sky" and the Leading Player and the musical accompaniment return.
* The first version of Mussorgsky's opera ''Theatre/BorisGodunov'' ended with a scene in St. Basil's Cathedral (drawn from Pushkin's original play, though it was not the final scene there), in which the Simpleton is accosted by street urchins, and as Boris approaches and asks him to pray for him, refuses and calls him "Tsar Herod." The last act was replaced in the 1870s with an entirely new KingOnHisDeathbed scene, followed by a scene in Katyn Forest where [[AndThereIsMuchRejoicing there is much rejoicing]] over Boris's death as the Pretender rides on to victory. This second scene incorporated most of the Simpleton's part from the older version in between triumphant choruses. Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov then rearranged much of the opera, reversing the order of the scenes in the new final act to end the opera with Boris's death. Productions in Soviet Russia from the 1920s onward restored the St. Basil's scene (in a Rimsky-Korsakov-like arrangement by Nicolai Ippolitov-Ivanov), even though it conflicts with or duplicates the musico-dramatic content of the revised final act.
** Rimsky-Korsakov's edition has a revised ending on a lesser scale: Act III, which Mussorgsky ended with Rangoni joining Dimitri and Marina in a quiet trio, now ended with a loud choral climax.
* The original play version of Jack Heifner's ''Vanities'' ended with the dissolution of the characters' friendship, but TheMusical included a fourth scene where they patch things up.
* ''Theatre/KingLear'', which normally ends with a complete DownerEnding, recieved an alternate ending in 1681, where Cordelia survives and marries Edgar (despite already being married to the King of France).
* ''Theatre/HeddaGabler'' was originally simply DrivenToSuicide by Brack's threat to make her submit to him, but one alternate ending has her perform a {{Mind Screw}}y choreography ending with a gunshot, and [[BolivianArmyEnding it is not determined whether she actually shot herself]].
* ''Theatre/{{Chess}}'' has had a complex history of plot revisions, including many different variations on the ending, mostly regarding who Anatoly plays in the final match, whether he wins, and whether Florence gets reunited with her long-lost father. There's no [[BrokenBase clear consensus]] on which is best. TimRice [[WordofGod has said]] he considers the plot of the 2008 Royal Albert Hall concert, which uses the original ending, [[CreatorPreferredAdaptation to be the new canon]], but this hasn't done anything to prevent the other variations-- and new ones, even-- from continuing to appear.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The ending of ''VisualNovel/{{Snatcher}}'' on the PC-88 and [=MSX2=] was a rather dark one, with many of Gillian's allies dead and the Snatcher menace still a lingering threat. This was because the ending was actually the climax before the real ending - the development of the game was behind schedule and the game's third and final act had to be excluded. When ''Snatcher'' was [[VideoGameRemake remade]] for the [[TurboGrafx16 PC-Engine]] years later, the actual intended ending was included. [[GeckoEnding A very different version]] of the ending was already featured in the previous RPG remake ''VideoGame/SDSnatcher''.
* The arcade version of ''VideoGame/DoubleDragon II: The Revenge'' ends with Billy Lee's girlfriend, Marian, still dead after being killed by the BigBad at the opening intro. The [[NintendoEntertainmentSystem NES]] adaptation on the other hand, features a different ending in which [[BackFromTheDead she comes back to life]] after defeating the TrueFinalBoss, a nameless martial artist who wasn't in the arcade version.
* After finishing all three routes of the PS2 ''Realta Nua'' version of ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'', a Last Episode is opened up, which offers a happy conclusion to the [[spoiler:Fate route, the only route which had only one bittersweet ending, giving Shirou and Saber a happy reunion in what might be Avalon. Overlaps with DiedHappilyEverAfter, TogetherInDeath and IWillWaitForYou.]] Opinion varies on whether it fits the theme of said route, though.
* One of the proposed endings for ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'' had Solid Snake and his sidekick Otacon being convicted for terrorism and executed by the government. The ending was vetoed by Kojima's staff before it was even produced; it's been described as a full on revolt. The ending theme "Here to You", a song about two real-life anarchists executed for murder who were believed to be innocent, is an allusion to the proposed ending.
* The PS2 port of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' replaced the [[EarnYourHappyEnding happy-ending]] ''Matsuribayashi-hen''(Festival Music Chapter) with the BittersweetEnding ''Miotsukushi-hen''(Canal Drying Chapter). The main plot of each differs wildly, but come to similar conclusions, with one MAJOR difference. ''Matsuribayashi'' focused [[spoiler:mainly on Rika and Hanyuu getting everyone to believe them, and working together to prevent the BigBad's plans from succeeding. It ends with (in the anime) Takano pointing a gun at the group, and Hanyuu stepping forward to shield them; Takano fires, and the bullet misses in an IronicEcho of the time she dared God to strike her with lightning. (The miss was explained more in the original sound novel, where Hanyuu uses her powers to stop time, and Rika plucks the bullet out of the air. It's reasonable to assume that Hanyuu's powers are the reason it missed in the anime was well.)]] ''Miotsukushi'', on the other hand, had [[spoiler:three of the 'insane' plotlines get triggered at once: ''Watanagashi''(Cotton-drifting), ''Tatarigoroshi''(Curse-Killing), and ''Tsumihoroboshi''(Atonement): Rika and Keiichi are left alone, and have to rescue everyone from their respective plotlines before anything bad can happen. They manage to do it, and it ends with the same confrontation with Takano that ''Matsuribayashi'' does: Pointing the gun at the group, Hanyuu steps forward to shield them. The difference is when Takano fires, the bullet ''hits and kills Hanyuu''. (No idea why she didn't use her powers that time.) So, the group does reach their happy ending, and none of the horrible murders happened, but it comes at the HeroicSacrifice of the one who enabled them to reach that ending in the first place.]]
* The 2005 ''Film/KingKong'' movie games have an alternate ending as an unlockable extra, in which [[spoiler: Kong lives and returns to Skull Island.]] The last level of the actual game may count, as Kong can smash many more of the attacking biplanes than he ever could in the film.
* The 1996 point-and-click AdventureGame ''Fable'' (no relation to the [[VideoGame/{{Fable}} more famous game series from 2000s]]) originally had an ending which reveals that [[spoiler: the entire story was indeed a "fable"... told by a delusional murderous criminal in a prison cell]]. For [[ShootTheShaggyDog obvious reasons]], especially considering the game's overall humorous nature, such a conclusion did not go over well with the players -- [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNJpFVaMEok this]] LetsPlay video has a ''mild'' example of what happens if you weren't prepared for it. The US game publisher naturally [[ExecutiveMeddling freaked out]] and managed to get the developers to change the ending, but apparently not before the original version got an international release. The new ending, while feeling slightly rushed, was generally seen as an improvement anyway. What's worse, a bit of FridgeLogic could tell you that the original ending pretty much explains all the AnachronismStew throughout the game...
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', after very negative reaction to the original ending, released a free "Extended Cut" DLC to try to placate the fans.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://mountaincomics.com/2010/08/02/mountain-time-195/ One episode]] of ''Webcomic/MountainTime'' offers 2 alternate endings, as the author anticipated that readers [[DownerEnding might find the original one rather unhappy.]] The alternates aren't exactly cheery, though...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Originals]]
* This is a popular form of video spoofs on the internet. Take an existing film/series/game/what have you, and then create a fictional "alternate ending" by, for example, having [[TheHeroDies the heroes die all of a sudden]], take some step that would defeat the villain and end the movie in about 30 minutes, have the plot just take a complete left-field turn, etc.
* The author of the ''WebOriginal/YouCouldMakeALife'' NHL fiction universe originally had [[http://archiveofourown.org/series/53557 Mike and Liam]]'s story end after eight chapters on an ambiguous MaybeEverAfter, but she later added four more chapters to it to give them...an ambiguous MaybeEverAfter that nonetheless has a more conclusive feel and optimistic tone to it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' episode "The Lure Of The Orb" has two similar endings, both in which the Smurfs have their comeuppance with Allura. In one ending, Jokey gives Allura one of his surprises and it simply explodes and reveals the true face of Allura behind her kind gentle persona. In the other ending, Papa Smurf sprinkles some magic dust on Jokey's surprise so that, when he gives it to Allura, it explodes and turns Allura into a frog. The version with the latter ending (with its other change being that the Smurfs held captive by Allura in her fortress have chains on their legs) is usually shown in markets outside the United States.
* The original ending of ''Franchise/HeroFactory: Invasion from Below'' was completely revised in the last 12 hours of production. Originally, the Heroes would have befriended the Beasts terrorizing the city. In the final version, this does happen, but after that, the Heroes kill them due to a misunderstanding. This has made the episode pretty controversial for the fans, since the rest of the story made it clear that the Beasts were innocent and only wanted to protect their nest, a fact which the Heroes were darn well aware of.
[[/folder]]
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