[[quoteright:257:[[{{Website/Cracked}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mario-downer_7971.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:257:Wait, ''what?'']]
->''It was like finding out that [[Series/TheCosbyShow Cliff Huxtable]] had murdered his family, buried them in the basement and then [[TomatoInTheMirror hallucinated a decade]] of wacky Cosby adventures. Cue laugh track. End series.''
-->-- '''{{Website/Cracked}}''', "[[http://www.cracked.com/article/242_6-tv-shows-that-completely-lost-their-shit/ 6 TV Shows That Completely Lost Their Shit]]"

A Sudden Downer Ending is a series finale in which an otherwise completely [[SugarBowl upbeat, accessible series]] ends on an [[DownerEnding unimaginably bleak note]]. Can also apply to self-contained movies, books, video games, or etcetera with such endings.

Often done because TrueArtIsAngsty and because MoodWhiplash is an effective way of manipulating your audience, or as a way of adding depth to the main characters at the last moment.

The 3-way baby of MoodWhiplash, CerebusSyndrome, and DownerEnding. See also DiabolusExMachina, TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, TheBadGuyWins, GainaxEnding, CruelTwistEnding, ShootTheShaggyDog, and KillEmAll. Can be a result of CreatorBreakdown. Can result in major EndingAversion and cries of DarthWiki/RuinedForever.

As an EndingTrope, expect spoilers.

'''If a work was dark or serious to begin with, it does not qualify for this trope and is simply a DownerEnding.'''
----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' parodies this, like everything else, in one late-run episode, which is very dark and humorless compared to the other episodes and ends with Excel being shot and left to die. [[spoiler:It's actually around episode 23 of 25; the ''actual'' final episode (#26) was unaired due to [[CrossesTheLineTwice crossing the line]] ''way'' too many times.]]
* ''{{Mahoromatic}}''. It's a ForegoneConclusion that Mahoro would die; it's the whole premise. The ending is still ridiculously dark. [[GainaxEnding And confusing.]]
* The last few episodes of ''[[Anime/AbenobashiMahouShoutengai Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi]]'' turn what was a series of parodies of video games and anime into a serious fable about dealing with grief.
** Then again, the series was from [[GainaxEnding Gainax]]...
* ''Manga/FairyTail''. The S-class/Tenrou Island arc ends with [[spoiler:the main cast and semi-main cast being blasted by Acnologia and presumably dead.]]
* ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'' takes it UpToEleven. In the very last minute of the series, [[spoiler:Stocking turns out to be evil, slices Panty into 666 pieces, and walks into the sunset with the revived BigBad]].
** Though this itself was a parody of a [[SequelHook Sequel Hooks]], since immediately afterwards [[spoiler: Brief is told that he must embark on a quest to revive Panty and stop the villains, setting the stage for a second season that was never in the works to begin with]].
* ''MasterOfMartialHearts'': The first 4 out of 5 episodes will make you think that this OVA is just a silly, goofy, mushy comedy with some brutal fights between the main character Aya and her opponents in a tournament. Then the 5th episode comes in. To wit: [[spoiler:Aya ends up killing her opponent in a BerserkerRage. Then she finds out that every one of her friends was a BitchInSheepsClothing who had manipulated her right from the beginning. They mentally broke all the losers of the tournament, making them into "perfect women" to be sold into sexual slavery. Aya's "friends" did this because her parents did the same thing to their parents, and they want to kill her to get back at her mother. Then Aya's mother shows up and kills them off, revealing to her that this is a CycleOfRevenge going back to their grandparents. So KillEmAll ensues, with Aya limping away from the blown up building. Then her so-called best friend's mother gets a visit from someone that she is very scared to see...]]. There had been very few hints that something like this was going to happen. Yikes!
* The 1975 anime adaptation of ''Literature/ADogOfFlanders'', true to the original material, has the main character and his dog [[spoiler:freeze to death]] in the last episode. The series is quite positive and upbeat (and looks like ''Heidi'') otherwise, so to many children, this came as quite a shock.
** Since a lot of people in Japan were familiar with the eponymous tale and how it ended, fans of the show sent tearful mails to the staff days before the final episode aired, pleading not to have Nello and Patrasche die at the end. Though the staff ignored the pleas, they at least softened the blow of the ending a little by having it presented on an uplifting note.
* The first half of the first series of MagicalPrincessMinkyMomo had this in episodes 45 and 46. [[spoiler: In episode 45, Momo's main mode of transportation, the Gorumepopo looses energy and disappears, Momo looses her pendant and pets on a train, Momo encounters bad guys who wanted her pets, and when she tries to get her pendant in order to transform to save the man who helped her, her pendant shatters. In the next episode, Momo tries to go to school and can't pay attention, so she goes to the park where she tries to retrieve a baseball and gets run over by a truck. She then dies, but is reincarnated as the real child of her foster parents.]] The rest of the series is [[spoiler: AllJustADream in the mind of the human Momo about a new Minky Momo that came to earth.]]
* Happens in-universe in episode 8 of season 1's ''LightNovel/BokuWaTomodachiGaSukunai''. Sena is playing a VisualNovel where her character is having fun with friends at a swimming pool, and Yozora nonchalantly mentions that the game would be godly if a shark suddenly appeared out of nowhere and killed them. Sena berates her for suggesting such an awful thing, but then [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor that's exactly what happens.]] Sena at first thinks its a joke and that her main character would easily vanquish it, only for the shark to kill him, and she suffers from a bad ending. Rika mentions that this game was particularly notorious in online forums for this ending if you failed to trigger a certain flag earlier in the game. Everyone in the clubroom, Yozora included, were completely shocked by it, and after she recollects herself, Yozora calls it a godly game, while Sena angrily snaps the disc in half.
* In ''Animation/GuardianFairyMichel'', after 25 episodes of happy, lighthearted hijinks, [[spoiler:Michel dies at the end to rejuvenate the Tree of Life, Kim leaves the island, and the villains still have their floating castle]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder: ComicBooks]]
* ''TransformersWingsOfHonor'': Metalhawk's and Onslaught's teams (as well as the other Elite Guard teams who operate mostly offscreen) work well together, complete many missions with an unbroken victory streak, and beat back numerous Decepticons, in relatively light-hearted adventures. And then it all goes to hell. [[spoiler: Onslaught's team defects to the Decepticons, and attacks the Autobot base. They also become a combiner, Bruticus, which ends up crushing Sentinel Major in its hand, Over-Run is crushed by one of his drones, and almost all of the other Elite Guard are also killed in various ways including Powerflash. While Bruticus is finally brought down by one of the heroes, Onslaught still kills his former friend Metalhawk on their way out. It finally ends with the last remaining Elite Guard team coming to the base and requesting permission to land, but finding no response. Even a side comic which is usually a bunch of humorous stories about goofy newscasters, ends with, not a funny punchline, [[http://rid-nightviper.deviantart.com/art/Around-Cybertron-Part-13-195388458 but one of the reporters coming to the sight of the carnage and asking to go home in shock]].]] Geez.
** Though this was only the first story; the sequel ends with a bittersweet, but more upbeat note.
* ''Graduation Day'', the GrandFinale of ''Comicbook/YoungJustice''. After 56 issues of comedy, the mini-series sees the violent deaths of Omen and Donna Troy, and the dissolution of both Young Justice and [[Comicbook/TeenTitans the Titans]]. One of the last scenes is of WonderGirl tearfully stating that the kids will never learn enough to be real heroes, and that the entirety of the series was essentially a massive waste of time.
* ''SecretSix'', which was basically a BlackComedy about supervillains, ends with the team being taken down by the combined might of the [[JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Justice League]], Comicbook/TeenTitans, [[JusticeSocietyOfAmerica JSA]] and numerous other heroes. [[BolivianArmyEnding It's deliberately unclear as to whether or not most of the Six survived]], and the last scene is of Bane, battered and alone, being hauled off to Arkham Asylum.
* Thanks to a combination of RunningTheAsylum (editor Nick Lowe's determination to see Gert Yorkes be resurrected at any cost) and ExecutiveMeddling (Marvel's decision to cancel the series in mid-arc due to dropping sales), ''{{Runaways}}'' ended with Chase Stein abandoning the other Runaways and then getting hit by a car after somehow running into Gert Yorkes on the street.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Eastern Animation]]
* The Russian animated short [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejJNX_BUzL0 Mountain of Dinosaurs]] portrays the Age of Dinosaurs as a SugarBowl, but ends with their extinction.
[[/folder]]


[[folder: Film]]
* ''MarleyAndMe''. The film actually ends with the [[DeathByNewberyMedal eponymous dog being put to sleep]] because of old age.
* ''RollerBoogie'', a light-hearted roller-disco film, inexplicably ends on a downbeat note, with the main characters tearfully separating to pursue their futures in different cities.
* Notoriously, the original ending to ''{{Clerks}}'' would have ended with this. A lighthearted comedy about two lazy store clerks wasting a day shift? The original version ended with a robber entering the store and shooting the main character, killing him instantly.
* ''ThisIslandEarth'': Sure, the earth is saved, but the [[EverybodysDeadDave entire Metalunan race is wiped out]] by the [[TheBadGuyWins Zagons]]. The Metalunans weren't really bad, just desperate. And the movie ends with [[LastOfHisKind Exeter]]'s ship crashing into the ocean in flames.
* The silent film ''Film/ExitSmiling'' is a zany comedy about a terrible actress in a traveling theater troupe trying to save the man she loves from going to jail. She succeeds. But he never finds out she was the one who saved him, and he's so happy about being able to stay in town with some other girl he likes that she simply doesn't tell him. The movie ends with her crying quietly as he steps off the train.
* At the end of ''{{Boytown}}'', the band [[spoiler:''dies in a plane crash'', leaving behind wives, children, and an unrealised relationship for the recently outed Carl]]. It's extremely incongruous for a film that was quite light and farcical up to that point. It's uncomfortably played for laughs and drama.
* The end of ''Film/TheMolePeople'': Adad and Bentley managed to escape the destruction of the Sumerian kingdom and had reached the surface... Only for Adad to suddenly and inexplicably turns back towards the cave entrance and be crushed by a falling pillar. Her death was [[ExecutiveMeddling mandated by the studio]], who considered American Bentley and Sumerian Adad a "mixed-race couple" and feared having them live happily ever after would be seen as endorsing miscegenation. [[http://i.imgur.com/7IhdZNm.jpg This]] is Adad, by the way.
* In ''Film/TrainOfLife'', the Jewish villagers manage to smuggle their train across half of Europe, tricking the Germans along every step of the way, and eventually reach the safety of the Russian border. Everyone is celebrating, and Schlomo starts telling us [[WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue what happened to the characters]] as the camera slowly zooms out from his face... revealing him standing behind the barbed wire of a concentration camp. The entire story was [[NestedStoryReveal wishful thinking on his part.]]
* ''MagicMike'' starts out (and was marketed as) a comedy with male stripper Mike taking 19-year-old Adam under his wing at the strip club. It ends with Adam getting involved with drugs and owing $10,000 to drug dealers, and Mike having to bail him out.
* The film ''Rue des plaisirs'' is the story of a handyman in love with a prostitute called Marion whose own boyfriend is in danger with mobsters. They've successfully managed to evade them and are living idyllically in the countryside. [[spoiler: And then the gangsters arrive out of nowhere and kill her boyfriend, and then her, leaving the handyman alone to mourn. Cut to the two prostitutes who've spent the movie listening to a third one tell the story of how Marion managed to make something of herself, and cut to the credits. (Even the ''director'' later regretted sticking on the unhappy ending.)]]
* ''Film/PayItForward'' infamously ends with the hero being unceremoniously murdered by random bullies and all of his good deeds being undone in increasingly cruel ways.
* Brazilian Z-movie "Zindy The Swamp Boy" set up a happy ending where Zindy kills the [[SuperPersistentPredator ever-present cougar]] and is taken back to civilization by the parents of the girl he rescued. Possibly even able to claim inheritance of his grandfather's estate. Then the film suddenly pulls the rug out from under the audience: Zindy gets mauled by the dying cougar and dies himself, leaving the girl lost in the rain forest to fend for herself, with no word on whether or not her parents find her.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature]]
* In the final chapters of ''Tottie: The Story of a Doll's House'', one of the dolls is [[KilledOffForReal burned to death]].
* ''Literature/MostlyHarmless'', the fifth book of ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', ends with all but one of the protagonists dying horribly. The author, Creator/DouglasAdams, did plan on writing a sixth book and ending the series on a happier note, but [[AuthorExistenceFailure his own death prevented this.]] [[Literature/AndAnotherThing A more upbeat sixth book]] ''was'' eventually written.
* Xinran's ''Miss Chopsticks'' is a fairly upbeat book about three sisters making their way in modern China and finally gaining their father's respect. The Author's Note at the end reveals that of the three real-life girls the characters were based on, one was then forced into an unwanted marriage, one lost her job when her employer was shut down for distributing banned books, and the third disappeared.
* Played with in the ''Literature/CaptainUnderpants'' series. At the end of the ninth book, Tippy Tinkletrousers accidentally creates a post-apocalyptic timeline and apparently gets crushed to death, and the book appears to end with a textless two-page spread of SceneryGorn... but then the following page reveals that the story will be continued. Doubly so when you realise that Tippy's disruption of George and Harold's arrest (seen at the end of Book 8 and the beginning of Book 9) had yet to happen.
* The novel ''Breathers'' is a horror-comedy about a world where the recently dead randomly reanimate (but still retain their minds) and have no civil rights, are used as lab animals and are even destroyed for fun in the streets. The protagonist Andy eventually becomes a celebrity who fights for zombie rights and really seems to be making a difference despite that fact that [[spoiler:he and several other zombies secretly eat people, since human flesh reverses zombie decomposition, makes their hearts beat again and even makes them able to have children]]). Then at the very end Andy, his [[spoiler:pregnant]] zombie girlfriend Rita and his zombie best friend Jerry are attacked by fratboys who [[spoiler:burn Rita and Jerry to (re)death. Knowing which fraternity is responsible, Andy then gathers their circle of zombie friends and attacks the frathouse in a RoaringRampageOfRevenge, slaughtering everyone inside [[RevengeBeforeReason despite knowing full well that this will utterly destroy the zombie rights movement.]] While some of their armed friends rescue them after their capture, they face a BolivianArmyEnding with the police closing in and nowhere to run. Andy's only comfort is that he'll at least die on his terms rather than as a lab rat.]] This all happens in the last ''twenty pages.''
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* In the final episode of ''{{Dinosaurs}}'', the main character accidentally triggers an ice-age by over-industrializing the world. He then has to explain why they're all going to die to his youngest child. Cut to the outside of the house, where snow is piling over the entire house. In the final shot, a newscaster solemnly states that the snow is getting harsher, the days are getting darker, and there's no end in sight. He issues a formal "Good night". He reconsiders for a moment, then looks straight in to the camera with weary, uncertain eyes, and solidly states, "Goodbye."
* In terms of individual seasons, ''Series/PowerRangersTurbo'' ends rather sadly. ''Turbo'', being based on [[Series/GekisouSentaiCarranger a parody sentai]], was written as light-hearted (even compared to ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' in general). However, the ending is downright depressing. It is, so far, the only season to end with the Big Bad actually ''winning''. The ending of ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' came close, but the start of ''Zeo'' reversed most of its more serious consequences back to the status quo, whereas the start of ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'' took the SuddenDownerEnding and ran with it.
* The finale of ''{{Blackadder}} Goes Forth''. Made all the more sad because the same trope (KillEmAll) was played in two previous series [[PlayedForLaughs for laughs]]. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that [[PlayedForLaughs playing the events of the finale for laughs]] this time would not have produced [[DudeNotFunny the best reaction]] [[WorldWarI given what they concerned]].
** Also because for anyone with any emotional investment in WW1 (read: everyone in Britain above a certain age), the ending is actually [[TropesAreNotBad incredibly touching, respectful, and appropriate]]. Writer Ben Elton's uncle, an eminent historian specialising in the period, was outraged when he first saw ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' and practically disowned him for what he saw as trivialisation of the war. After seeing the final episode, he wrote his nephew a letter apologizing and praising him for the way it was handled.
* The finale of ''{{Roseanne}}'', where it's revealed that the entire last season was part of a book Roseanne had written after Dan died of a heart attack.
* In the last episode of ''Series/{{Alf}}'' our wise-cracking alien protagonist is captured by the Alien Task Force, presumably never to be seen again by the Tanners. The producers were told they'd get a TV Movie to WrapItUp, but it wasn't until years later that it actually happened, and the tone of it was distinctly darker than the series.
* This trope began a season early in the BBC's version of ''Series/RobinHood''. At the end of season two, [[spoiler:Maid Marian]] was brutally murdered at Guy of Gisborne's hands, changing an upbeat family show into something unimaginably bleak, and without any hope for a happy ending. Bizarrely, season three tried to regain its reputation as a family show, but the fed-up actors left for greener pastures, ensuring that the show ended with the deaths of [[spoiler:Robin Hood, Allan-a-Dale, Guy of Gisborne, and the Sheriff of Nottingham]]. Despite the gutted cast, there was an attempt to introduce a LegacyCharacter for Robin Hood, but the show was not commissioned for a fourth series. The show ended with the remaining outlaws vowing to continue the fight against Prince John, but anyone with [[FridgeHorror a rudimentary knowledge of English history]] knows how well ''that'' [[ForegoneConclusion would have turned out]].
* Publicity for the last ever episode of largely light-hearted series ''Series/{{Lovejoy}}'' focused on the return of WillTheyOrWontThey love interest Lady Jane and Lovejoy's wedding to ReplacementLoveInterest Charlotte. Instead, the VillainOfTheWeek kidnaps Lovejoy on the way to the wedding as revenge for foiling his plot and Charlotte refuses to believe it, thinks she's been jilted, and takes a job away from the area. What's more, Lovejoy's other two friends also take jobs away from the area and he's effectively evicted from his home/shop. The final scene of him packing his things into the back of his truck and driving off alone is actually quite depressing.
* ''{{Seinfeld}}'''s two-part series finale. The show itself was about [[{{Jerkass}} selfish, people]] [[KarmaHoudini coasting through life]], and the finale showed them finally [[LaserGuidedKarma getting their comeuppance]]. Still, it divided fans of the show, some thought that it was a very dark and uncharacteristically serious way to send off a sitcom, especially one that had prided itself on being a "show about nothing".
* Although ''{{Medium}}'' dealt with many bad things, its overall ethos was generally that the bad guys always got caught and everything turned out well in the end. Which made the series finale [[spoiler:in which Alison's husband Joe is killed in a plane crash, most of the episode is taken up with a bizarre soap opera tale of it all being a ghastly mistake and an amnesiastic Joe is living in Mexico which turns out to be a dream, and then Alison spending the next 40+ years of her life without the one person who has kept her sane throughout her psychic travails and who she has repeatedly been shown to depend on utterly and all alone because she never finds someone else or remarries]] all the more difficult to take.
* The ''TrueLife'' episode "I Don't Trust My Partner" had two couples talking about their trust issues. The audience sees Nikki and Shawny, the second couple interviewed, fighting for the extent of the episode, thanks to Shawny flirting with girls behind his girlfriend's back, and eventually going to couple's therapy to see whether they should move in together. Fast forward some months later, the show pans over to the new apartment the couple talked about renting, with their stuff inside. Problem is, shortly after they moved in together, Shawny suddenly died after complications from a hernia, and Nikki went through a period of overwhelming grief. For a show that usually goes no further than a BittersweetEnding, this depressing conclusion came out of nowhere.
* The last episode of ''ThirdRockFromTheSun'': [[spoiler:all of the main characters are forced to return home. Mary doesn't want to leave Earth, and she is given a MindWipe so she won't remember Dick]]. An alternate ending has [[spoiler:Mary being abducted by Dick after the MindWipe, but it still ends on a depressing note.]]
* In ''{{Glee}}'s'' third season finale, Kurt was rejected from the prestigious performing arts college he spent the whole season trying to get into. The whole thing felt extremely out of the blue since his audition made him out to be a shoo-in several episodes prior, being praised by the recruiter and all.
* The final episode of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess''. Things looked dark, darker than usual, but there was a clear path to victory set up that was going to make everything better. Except right before reaching it, the protagonist suddenly decided that RedemptionEqualsDeath (despite the ''entire show'' up to that point being explicitly about redemption via living a better life) and chose to just stay dead, leaving her soulmate alone. It wasn't even a heroic sacrifice, as nothing was gained by it. This ending was quickly disavowed by the comic book continuation.
* ''ThatMitchellAndWebbLook'' had an interesting variant of this. The [[DiscussedTrope trope was discussed]] in the penultimate episode, with the duo deciding they wanted their last sketch to be this. The sketch at the end of ''that'' episode was a [[PlayedForLaughs spoof]] of the trope. Then the actual last episode came around, and it ended with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp02ubGuTIU one of the most depressing sketches ever made.]]
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'' did this for every season finale -- but especially in the final ''three'' episodes of the series. In the first, Christopher's mother Juanita shows up suddenly in Christopher's house, apparently having broken out of the mental hospital she was in. The episode is mostly lighthearted as usual, focusing on Christopher and his family trying to catch/find Juanita...[[spoiler: until they finally have her cornered, in a closet, when Erin comes in with a message from the mental hospital, that Juanita had committed suicide four hours prior; meaning Christopher had been hallucinating her the entire time.]] And THEN, there is the two parter finale that continues the story, 'Insanity Genetic', in which the cast is on an airplane coming back from [[spoiler: Juanita's funeral]], Christopher has a mental breakdown, and they all cause a panic and get arrested under suspicion of being terrorists. They are all thoroughly interviewed, the authorities become convinced Christopher is mentally ill, and the rest of the cast end up [[spoiler:admitting him to a mental hospital, where he reassures Erin that he'll be okay as she tearfully says goodbye, and we're left with a last, lingering shot of Christopher sitting alone in his cell.]]
* ChinesePaladin I: after defeating the Big Bad, saving the world, and slaying the water-demon who killed her mother, Ling'er [[HopeSpot returns triumphantly from the battle]]; and then collapses in her husband's arms, having fulfilled her destiny to [[HeroicSacrifice die saving the world.]] The final scene--of her husband and newborn daughter returning home alone--becomes even worse with the realization that her daughter is going eventually to [[GenerationXerox meet the same fate]] as her [[PosthumousCharacter mother]], and grandmother.
* The series finale of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' had earned the scorn of most fans for this. [[spoiler: The mother dies, Barney and Robin divorce, and the gang split apart and become shells of their former selves. ]] For a show that was mostly light hearted and fun the ending came as a shock to many fans. The season 9 DVD is said to contain a more "happy" ending to the series.
* {{BBC}}'s ''Series/{{Merlin}}'' suffers deeply of this - for all that the first 4 years were mostly light, and even for all the {{Darker and Edgier}} vibes on the 5th season, it reaches new heights by the series finale. Considering the legends it comes from, though, it is a {{Foregone Conclusion}}.
* The infamous ending of ChoujinSentaiJetman. The Vyram have been defeated and all is well. We flash forwards two years to [[spoiler:Ryo and Kaori's wedding]] and then [[spoiler:Gai gets murdered by a random street thug.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Music]]
* The last track of TheDarkSideOfTheMoon, "Eclipse", is a lively song explaining that everything under the sun is in harmony... and ends with "but the sun is eclipsed by the moon".
[[/folder]]

[[folder: VideoGames]]
* In the true ending of ''VideoGame/{{Persona 3}}'' [[spoiler:TheHero defeats Nyx but suddenly dies in the game's last second.]] The mini-sequel, ''Persona 3 The Answer'' explores the reason behind this sudden downer ending.
* The true ending of ''VideoGame/{{Braid}}''. [[GainaxEnding Open to interpretation]], but it would appear that [[spoiler:the princess was trying to escape from the protagonist to the antagonist, not the other way around. Or she's the atomic bomb. Either way, or both ways, she appears to ''explode'', which is sort of hard to think of as a positive ending.]]
* ''VideoGame/DrawnToLife: The Next Chapter'' for the DS. Basically, all of the adorable animal characters in the village are killed, G-Rated style (they fade away). One of the characters, named Mike, fades away last. The voice of Mike's sister Heather is heard asking the Creator, the god-like figure in the game, to bring her brother back, which at first seems like a SugarWiki/{{Heartwarming Moment|s}}. Then, her message changes and she was really trying to say, "God, just bring back my little brother to me." It is now revealed that Mike and Heather are actually humans, and the whole story with the village of cute animal things was all just a dream that Mike was having. It wasn't a regular dream, either; it turns out that Mike and his family were in a ''car crash, which killed his parents, injured his sister, and put him in a coma.''
%%* The general reaction of players to the ending movies of ''VideoGame/{{Final Fantasy XIII-2}}'' is something like this: "You know, they say this game has a [[DownerEnding bad ending]], but I gotta say, I'm not really seeing -- ...oh. There it is."
* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonAWonderfulLife''. You die. Admittedly, the game is one of the darkest in the franchise (if not the darkest), but it's typically quite happy. To make matters worse you die suddenly and rather young (likely in your 50s or 60s).
* ''[[BitTrip BIT.TRIP FATE]]'' is a pretty dark game compared to the other games in the series, but the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKOD7kjSDfw#t=8m47s ending]] takes the cake. Upon defeating the FinalBoss, [=CommanderVideo=] TurnsRed, gets into position... [[SuicideAttack and rams himself into the boss, destroying it and killing himself]]. After the final point tally, [=CommandgirlVideo=] arrives at the site of the final battle, realizes what just happened, and sheds a SingleTear.
* ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice: The Devil's Playhouse'' is a comedy LovecraftLite that, while DarkerAndEdgier than the previous games, is still very lighthearted and playful. The ending involves [[spoiler:Max being KilledOffForReal]].
** The Narrator's clear and unmistakeable announcement that it would happen should have removed the 'suddenly' qualifier, but that was taken with a hearty dose of LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt, leaving the shock when it actually [[SubvertedTrope did happen]].
** There was also a last-minute, post-credits inversion of this trope didn't so much negate the DownerEnding as even it out to BittersweetEnding. [[spoiler: The Max that died was still the same one who had been with Sam since "Chariot of the Gods", when time travel copies of Sam and Max was created. And if the Max who joined with Sam at the end was the "real" one, then that would mean the real Sam had died during his adventures elsewhere.]]
** These events are mentioned in ''VideoGame/PokerNight2''. Strangely, Max confirms Sam's version of the events instead of his own.
* ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay''. After a humorous ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' styled adventure, Conker becomes King Of All The Lands.... [[spoiler:but at a price: the people in his kingdom are all morons, and to make matters worse, his girlfriend, Berri, is dead. As for Conker himself, it's highly implied that he's spiraling towards a booze-filled self-destruction.]]
** In the original ending, things were a bit less... subtle. [[spoiler:In the bar scene at the end, Conker was supposed to shoot himself in the head. The only reason this was changed was because the creators were planning on a sequel.]]
* ''Videogame/DeathSpank'' is a comedic hack and slash RPG that prides itself in its wacky, lighthearted VideoGame/MonkeyIsland-esque humor. [[spoiler:Then, at the end of the sequel, [=DeathSpank=]'s closest ally and possible love interest [[FaceHeelTurn goes batshit insane]] due to the Thongs of Power's corrupting power, and he must either let himself be killed to fuel her delusions of godhood or cut her down himself, which greatly troubles him as he mourns and buries her. Unlike literally the entire rest of the series, this is all treated as somber and tragic as possible.]] And the canonical choice? [[spoiler:He kills her.]]
* This isn't the ending of ''VideoGame/TheReconstruction'' as a whole, but it is the ending of chapter 3, "Life and Debt". Up until that point, the story reads like a fairly typical HeroicFantasy adventure story, with a few hints of a greater, overarching plot and only a few very serious moments. You'll probably think that it'll maintain the fairly carefree, happy-go-lucky vibe the heroes have going on. Well, at least, until [[spoiler:[[SacrificialLamb Metzino]] ''[[MoodWhiplash gets thrown off the Faithall Tower]]'', you fight your first boss fight with a human character (who dies bloodily), and at the end of the day, it's revealing that the characters were {{Unwitting Pawn}}s the whole chapter and their efforts were meaningless]]. It's also immediately followed by interlude 3, which is filled to the brim with TearJerker.
** However, since it only happens in the middle of the story, it's more the game's way of saying that [[WhamEpisode it's done pretending it's lighthearted, and things are going to get serious from now on]].
* The Bad Ending to the 8-bit version of ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'', in which Sonic fails to get all the Chaos Emeralds before fighting Silver Sonic, and is punished for it by not completing his adventure, and instead showing a montage of him running from the middle of the day into the dead of night while the credits roll. The bad part? When he stops running, he looks up into the sky and sees Tails' face in the sky, implying that [[KillTheCutie he died]].
* The ending to ''Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light'', which had up to that point been a fairly normal, relatively upbeat [[spoiler:(no major betrayals, no major massacres, nobody dies, etc)]] RPG, can only be summarized by [[TheBadGuyWins this trope.]]
* You could argue that ''VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves'' ends this way. Granted, the BigBad is finally gone for good [[spoiler:(both of them)]] and Sly gets away in the end, but [[spoiler:the gang disbands due to [[GeniusCripple Bentley]] getting crippled for good during the fight and [[ItsAllMyFault Murray]] blaming himself for it. ''VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves''' first chapter is the three coming back together and confronting their lingering feelings from that disaster.]]
** Also, [[VideoGame/SlyCooperThievesInTime the fourth game]] becomes a DownerEnding when [[spoiler: Penelope betrays the Cooper Gang for her own selfish gain (but escapes prison and continues sending postcards to her now-ex Bentley), Sly disappears without a trace and the Bad Guy nearly wins]]. The secret ending reveals that [[spoiler: Sly is alive in Ancient Egypt, setting up a sequel which has yet to be announced]].
* The Conquest ending to the otherwise giggles-and-rainbows game ''VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptuniaMk2'' has [[spoiler:Nepgear taking the lives of the 7 other CPUs, including her own sister, in the most heartwrenchingly depressing death scenes you can imagine.]]
* ''Fire Emblem 7'' talks about what happened to all the characters after the ending. All of them turned out pretty okay getting married and whatnot...oh except for Canas who died along with his wife in a snowstorm. Nino also disappears and leave two children behind since either she or her husband is wanted by soldiers.
** ''Fire Emblem 3 and 12'', where certain characters get bad endings for little reasons. Est, for example, feels guilty over her uselessness that caused her husband Abel to commit FaceHeelTurn to protect her, and [[StarCrossedLover leaves him without saying a word.]]
* ''{{Ultima}} 5'' ends this way; the Avatar returns to Earth to discover that his house has been robbed while he was away saving Lord British. This was apparently done to drive home the moral that the path of virtue is its own reward.
* Possible in ''ManiacMansion'' if you contact the Meteor Police before showing the Meteor the publishing contract. While the Meteor is on the talk show in the ending, a policeman will beam down and arrest him. "I don't care if you're reformed, I'm still arresting you."
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' had this problem, amongst other issues (such as a GainaxEnding, {{Railroading}}, [[InferredHolocaust multiple inferred holocausts]], plot holes large enough to drive a truck through). The endings contain a combination of Shepard dying, the Citadel exploding, and a guarantee in all endings that the mass relay network is destroyed. This effectively ends galactic society as we know it and dooms all the ravaged worlds to a slim recovery at best. At worst, it outright obliterates every system with a mass relay (of which most Homeworld systems are) due to the established precedent of exploding mass relays = supernova-grade explosion. Retconned in the free ''Extended Cut'' DLC, where the relays and Citadel are merely lightly damaged. Also, WordOfGod confirms that Shepard lived in the destroy ending.
* ''VideoGame/{{Dead Space 3}}: Awakened'': After destroying the Tau Volantis moon, Isaac and Carver return to Earth only to find that the [[EldritchAbomination Brethren Moons]] [[LateToTheTragedy got there first]].
* ''RatchetAndClankFutureToolsOfDestruction'' appears to end on a happy note. Tachyon and Slag are defeated, the Cragmites are permanently banished again, and Polaris is now free from the former's tyranny. But then [[spoiler: the Zoni reappear and kidnap Clank, taking him back to their home where he is put into a coma]].
* The various books in OdinSphere give each of the playable characters relatively happy endings, with Velvet making progress in trying to avert Armageddon. [[spoiler: Then Armageddon happens anyway, and everyone dies except for four of the five main characters. Things get better after that, but the sudden swerve towards the sadistically cruel can be surprising.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Webcomics]]
* The 'Flower Knight' sidestory in ''{{Drowtales}}''. A Knight quested and struggled for years to find the world's most beautiful flower for his queen. He finds it, brings it to his queen and the two live HappilyEverAfter alongside BabiesEverAfter. Then the flowers reveal themselves to be parasitic in nature and drain the life out of ''every single person'' in the Knight's city. His wife, his children, his servants, the commonfolk... '''''Everyone''''',leaving him the sole survivor in a city of bodies. He sets out of the city to kill the creature that gave him the flower and ruined his life. ''That is when the story ends''. No resolution and to make it worse [[spoiler: The flowers ''are still around''.]]
* ''[[http://doobl.comicgenesis.com/d/20060623.html Doobl]]''. What appears to be a normal family-friendly webcomic for a fair number of strips, then has the protagonist go crazy and slaughter the cast before killing himself. Meanwhile, in the news posts, the author's mother dies. He spends the remaining posts increasingly lashing out against the world. It ends with a newspaper clipping covering the author's suicide. [[spoiler:It turned out to be a hoax.]]
* ''{{Concerned}}, the Half-Life and Death of Gordon Frohman'', is mostly a gag strip that ends with... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin oh, guess]]. Of course, it's still ''funny'' while doing so.
* TheLastDaysOfFOXHOUND has everyone DoomedByCanon. As such, the last chapter is just a montage of their bodies. It's emphasized by how sudden it is -- cutting straight from the "preparing for battle" montage to the death montage. At least the ghosts of the dead characters show up to joke about their ineptitude, providing a relieving comical note.
* ''It's All Been Done'' ended with the main character and his wacky group of talking toys about to have an adventure when [[spoiler:he realizes the entire thing was an attempt to avoid dealing with his wife's death.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The original ''WebAnimation/{{Jerry}}'' short.
** The final ''Jerry'' short was also quite dark compared to the others, until the ending.
* [[WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog Doctor Horrible's Sing-along Blog]] seems like a silly musical about super heroes and villains, even if it does have a VillainProtagonist. Then you hit the point where the "evil scheme" starts to unfurl, and things start happening, and suddenly [[InelegantBlubbering you start crying.]]
* The 100th episode of ''WeeblandBob'' actually ends with [[spoiler:the death of Donkey, Chris the Ninja Pirate's wife.]]
** Inverted in the following episode, which revolves around Weebl, Bob, and Chris attending Donkey's funeral. [[TheFunInFuneral Cue Mr. Teeth.]]
-->'''Mr. Teeth''': It's time to put the donkey into the asshole!
* ''WebVideo/TalesFromTheTable'' started off very comedic and ends in a surprising and depressing way.
* In the last episode of ''NekoSugarGirls'', [[spoiler:Raku dies of a broken heart after she confesses her love for Hitoshi, only to find out that he has entered a romantic relationship with his kidnapper]].
* The flash series "[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic My Little Pony]]: [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} Thinking With Portals]], is a lighthearted comedy crossover between MLP and ''Portal'', and features each of the Mane Cast (and the Princesses) having lighthearted hijinks with portal guns. The final episode, which will involve Twilight getting her revenge for being the ButtMonkey for the entire series, is stated to be ''much'' more serious than the rest of the series, the author admitting some of it may end up veering into GrimDark territory. [[spoiler:However, the author has personally leaked that in the end, [[EverybodyLives everyone lives]].]]
* The finale of [=GuavaMovement's=] LetsPlay of ''XCom Apocalypse''. [[spoiler:Humanity ''won''. They defeated the aliens. Then, in the final chapter, Soup Bot, an android who has been protagonist Otto Zander's closest friend and ally throughout the story, reveals that he was manipulating and using Zander from the beginning as part of his plan to commit genocide on humanity in retribution for their mistreatment of Androids. Soup Bot also reveals that ''he'' was responsible for several of the story's major events (the attack on the Evening Star, the attack on the Senate that X-Com was framed for, etc). The story ends with Otto, alone and dejected in his base, unable to do anything but watch as Soup Bot's army takes over the world. Oh, and TheStinger has a member of [[ReligionOfEvil the Cult of Sirius]] forming an alliance with the Alien Hive Mind to destroy both the Androids ''and'' humanity.]]
* ''WebVideo/DemoReel'' was never very happy to begin with, but ''The Review Must Go On'' ended with the death and RetGone of all of the characters except Donnie, who regressed back into WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic, who seems to be even more unhappy and suicidal these days than he was before ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee''.
* The quirky and random ''Machinima/MassDefect'' video ends on a [[MoodWhiplash really somber note]] with [[spoiler:[[TheHeroDies Shepard being killed]].]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The finale of ''WesternAnimation/CodenameKidsNextDoor''. Teary goodbyes and [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming heartwarming moments]] abound, yes, but then Numbah One leaves Earth, forever, and never sees his friends or his ''parents'' again.
** At least until the Stinger: [[spoiler: "[Father] bought it. Oh, and Numbah One? Welcome back."]]
* ''CampLazlo'' - Lumpus was never really the scoutmaster, he was a ''literally insane'' man who had locked the real scoutmaster away, presumably for the duration of the entire show, to steal his life. He is sent to an asylum. This twist is so dark and downright shocking that the entire cast except Lazlo can do nothing but stand in silence for a moment. WordOfGod claims that Jane Doe busted him out afterward and married him, but it's still a ShockingSwerve.
* The {{classic Disney short|s}} "Chicken Little" plays like a normal Cat-and-Mouse cartoon... until the end, where despite the Narrator's assurance to the audience that everything turns out alright, Foxy Loxy catches and eats all the chickens, turkeys, and ducks, smiling smugly all the while. "Hey, wait a minute!" the Narrator exclaims. "This isn't right! That's not the way it ends in my book!" Foxy, leaning against his "[[Literature/MeinKampf Psychology]]" book, responds, "Oh, yeah? Don't believe everything ya read, brother!" Yeah.
* ''TheSnowman'', which remains upbeat SweetDreamsFuel until the final moments, which reveals first that the Snowman has melted and died, then that it definitely wasn't a dream. The main character breaks down and cries. Cue credits.
** [[AnAesop Appreciate your happier moments while you can]] as [[EasyComeEasyGo they don't last forever.]] Presumably, [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped even kids have to learn that at some point.]]
** Actually ended up subverted in a rather off-hand way in a cartoon based loosely on another children's graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, which takes place in the same universe.
-->'''Father Christmas:''' [[spoiler:Glad you could make it again! The party, I mean, not the snowman.]]
* The classic ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "WesternAnimation/WhatsOperaDoc" is mostly a goofy parody of opera tropes combined with BugsBunny's typical slapstick and AttractiveBentGender gags. [[spoiler:Then Elmer kills him. Bugs does revive long enough to deliver the last line, though:]]
--> "Well what did ya expect in an opera-- a happy ending?"
* The infamous (within its fandom, at least) "Holly Jolly Secrets" ChristmasSpecial of ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime''. It is about the heroes Finn and Jake watching a bunch of videotapes made by their arch-enemy and IneffectualSympatheticVillain, the Ice King. The whole time, Finn and Jake continue because they believe the Ice King has hidden "evil secrets" in the tapes. Once the Ice King finds out that they are watching his tapes, he tries to stop them, but fails to prevent them from putting the last tape in their VCR. At that point, all he can do is watch in horror as Finn and Jake discover that ''[[FauxHorrific he used to wear glasses]],'' but more importantly, that [[spoiler:he used to be a normal human being who was driven insane and transformed by a supernatural artifact that he'd bought. They watch the young Ice King lose his mind and the woman he loved (who he called his "princess" before she left him)]]. Before this, the Ice King had almost always been a funny character, and plenty of things that were PlayedForLaughs in the past [[FunnyAneurysmMoment were made tragic by this revelation.]] The writers seem to understand this and have given the character a break so far. Or possibly they don't know what to do with him. In addition, the other tapes before the last one are usually the Ice King saying or doing hilarious things, but some of them show him sitting around his house, crying, although that still seems to be Played For Laughs. Ice King's past comes up again in "I Remember You", when it's revealed that [[spoiler: Simon took care of Marceline when she was a child in the aftermath of the Mushroom War. [[ArtifactOfDoom The crown's magic]] was the only thing that kept him alive, but [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity was also slowly driving him insane]]; at present, he doesn't remember her very well]]. It's later subverted when he temporarily becomes normal again and brings Betty (his "princess") to the future. She swears that she'll find a way to reverse what the crown did to him, and the fact that he never lost her makes the revelation less tragic.
* If any episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has any character change in a positive way or gain something nice, and they keep it near the end of the episode -- [[YankTheDogsChain expect it be suddenly yanked away]] soon afterward. [[StatusQuo The Status Quo]] ''must be preserved''. That being said, there were only a few notable exceptions: [[spoiler:Barney recovering from his alcoholism (although the writers eventually undid this), Lisa telling Homer that she'll never be happy with her body image (though the whole thing about Lisa being insecure with her body hasn't been mentioned since that episode), and Milhouse's parents staying divorced (though they did get remarried in "Little Orphan Millie,")]].
* ''DrawnTogether'' ends with [[spoiler:one of the main characters dying a brutal, [[TearJerker tragic]] death, and then ''reality itself'' being {{Retgone}}d due to Spanky's idiocy.]]
[[/folder]]
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