* ''WebAnimation/BrokenSaints'': [[spoiler: despite all the suffering they have had to go through, each of our "broken" heroes is healed in the end, the men by the power of [[AllLovingHero Shandala]]'s love, Shandala by the power of theirs, and the world is saved.]]
* The two main characters in ''ThereSheIs'' go through a number of tribulations before they get to their happy ending.
* In the interactive poem ''VideoGame/TodayIDie'', this is used as a metaphor for overcoming depression. The protagonist must swim with a boulder tied to her waist.
* ''Roleplay/RubyQuest'' is a CosmicHorrorStory featuring plenty of BodyHorror and mental corruption. ''It's got a happy ending''. It's also a more literal example of this trope, as players earned their happy ending by going OffTheRails several times, like [[spoiler: tranquilizing Stitches (which they couldn't have done without a DungeonBypass) and giving him the Group Portrait, motivating him to come back for a BigDamnHeroes moment, and saving Jay, who they were supposed to MercyKill]]. Them being both very creative and [[SurprisinglyHappyEnding surprisingly]] [[VideoGameCaringPotential kind]] got them the GoldenEnding.
* ''Literature/SailorNothing'' is a huge {{Deconstruction}} of the MagicalGirl genre that has the main character being [[BreakTheCutie repeatedly broken]], her friends not faring much better, and the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVsCynicism generally getting cranked up all the way to the Cynicism side, [[spoiler: yet it manages to end on a happy note, with the complete defeat of [[TheHeartless the Yamiko]] and every character on the good guy's side surviving and [[IJustWantToBeNormal earning the normal lives they very much deserve]]]].
** Which ''[[Headscratchers/SailorNothing apparently]]'' was a ''bad'' thing, because it meant someone's pick for "designated casualty" failed to die horribly.
* Summed up spectacularly with WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick's review of Creator/DonBluth's ''WesternAnimation/{{Thumbelina}}'', where the despairing heroine is surprised to find her prince Cornelius alive and well - "Things are impossible! Things are... oh! Hi dead boyfriend! Thanks for coming along and proving my pessimism wrong and not making me work for that happy ending!"
* ''Fanfic/NeonGenesisEvangelionR'' (Prime ending)
* When WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic fell into pretty epic depression in his "Commercials Special", he got to win by doing a CrowningMusicOfAwesome and be happy for the first time in a long while.
** As that didn't take, leaving him to have a DespairEventHorizon over how horrible life has been, WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee lets him be a hero and [[spoiler: [[DiedHappilyEverAfter Die Happily Ever After]], having made a HeroicSacrifice to become the universe]].
* LetsPlay/SirRonLionheart, in his LetsPlay of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', went out of his way to set ''everything'' right, and we mean ''every'' last sidequest. It was a long haul, but it was worth it to see a dawn of a new day.
* ''WebVideo/CounterMonkey'': "The Last Ride of [[SpoonyBard Tandem the Spoony.]]" After making it through a horrendously difficult campaign against all odds, Tandem and the only other survivor find themselves with a ship that can cross dimensions, so they first go home to resurrect their friends, and then everyone was last seen sailing away to whatever adventures await them next.
* Most of the time, a CharacterArc in ''SurvivalOfTheFittest'' has a BittersweetEnding at best, due to the fact that [[KillEmAll almost the entire cast will die]]. However, in version four [[spoiler:STAR comes in to rescue students as long as they're not actively playing the game and come forward for it]]. As a result, this was how a portion of characters' storylines ended.
* Most of Creator/{{Wildbow}}'s ''Literature/{{Worm}}'' is very dark, and it's a very rough ride for the characters, especially the protagonist. But in the end, the world is saved [[spoiler: and Taylor survives with a chance to start her life over.]]
** ''Literature/{{Pact}}'' by same author is very rough to main characters too, and even darker than Worm, but its ending somehow even better: [[spoiler: Blake turns into a sparrow and spents his time with Green Eyes and Evan; Rose presumably finds sanctuary from Lawyers in the Abyss and starts hurting them through writing and disseminating diabolic texts]].
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x4Gtw0iYQkE Bagger 288]] just wants to find a place where he will be accepted. Unfortunately, Bagger 288 is a ''ridiculously'' massive mining machine appropriated dubbed by [[MemeticMutation the internet]] as "[[HumongousMecha Giant-Assed Saw Thing]]" that gets chased out of wherever he goes by either the military or protesters. When aliens show up though, he sprouts jet engines and takes the invader down with a HeroicSacrifice, leaving him damaged to the brink of death and, when he sees all the people cheering for him, ''[[BittersweetEnding happy]]''.
** [[spoiler:The secret ending has the people [[DueToTheDead turning the area around him into a monument]], to never forget him and what he'd done for them.]]
* Year 3 (episodes 50-70) of ''Podcast/WelcomeToNightVale''. After a year of [[TheNarrator Cecil]] growing increasingly more depressed, unhappy, and discontent to the point of nearly leaving town, a misunderstanding that nearly cost him a close friendship, and desperately missing [[LoveInterest Carlos]], everything is resolved in one night. [[spoiler:Carlos returns to stay, Cecil and Dana's friendship is on the mend, Night Vale has a wonderful new opera house, and [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Hiram]] is finally jailed for his crimes (except for [[TokenGoodTeammate Violet]].) The only person left unhappy is [[StepfordSmiler Kevin]].]]
----