->''"As usual in these situations, I now lost consciousness, being overcome with horror at the thought of all the descriptive detail that would otherwise have been needed."''
-->-- '''Creator/GrahamChapman''', ''A Liar's Autobiography''

A cop out is when a story builds to a certain climax and the writer suddenly wusses out and chooses a different, less ambitious or less satisfying ending, or worse, [[NoEnding chooses not to end the story at all]]. This may come out of ExecutiveMeddling, CreatorBreakdown, lack of talent, or simply an incomprehensible creative choice. Often results in a BrokenBase.

According to Wiki/ThatOtherWiki, "Cop out is an idiom meaning to avoid taking responsibility for an action or to avoid fulfilling a duty." (Which, of course, is [[IThoughtItMeant not related in the slightest]] to the other idiomatic meaning of "cop" as in CopsAndDetectives, nor to the film ''Film/CopOut''.)

Compare with OffscreenMomentOfAwesome.

Different from an {{Anticlimax}} in that a story with a Writer Cop Out can have a climax, just not necessarily the one that would be the most dramatically satisfying. In the right (or wrong) context, a ClimacticBattleResurrection could be the easy way out. It may also be seen as a Writer Cop Out if a film adaptation of a work with a DownerEnding goes for something slightly happier ([[TrueArtIsAngsty or vice versa]]). Expect cries of TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot. The flip side of AuthorsSavingThrow.
!!This is a bit of an umbrella trope as there are many different ways to cop out. Some of the most infamous are:

* AbortedArc
* AllJustADream
* AssPull
* CliffhangerCopout
* ConvenientMiscarriage
* DebateAndSwitch
* DeusExMachina
* DeusExitMachina
* DiabolusExMachina
* DisneyDeath
* EndingAversion
* GainaxEnding
* JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope
* LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt
* NoEnding
* NotBloodSiblings
* NotHimself
* NowWhat
* OnlyTheAuthorCanSaveThemNow
* OffscreenMomentOfAwesome
* OffstageVillainy
* ResetButton
** ResetButtonEnding
* RelationshipWritingFumble
* ShaggyDogStory
* ShootTheShaggyDog
* StupidSacrifice
* SuddenDownerEnding
* ThirdActStupidity
* VillainExitStageLeft
* AWizardDidIt