Beginning and end, volume 6. The game of musical apartments continues.

-we came in?

"Repeating earlier narration only this time with new understanding or irony cliché."
Jeremy Scott, CinemaSins

Matching scenes at the beginning and end of a story, often to show how things have changed through the course of the series, or to demonstrate that they haven't changed at all.

This is extensively used in kids' shows to illustrate the characters applying the lesson they learned today, which happens to apply to the issue presented in the beginning. Ya'know, just in case they didn't catch it. In any work, bookends are a way to show whether Character Development has occurred.

Compare and contrast Here We Go Again, How We Got Here, Where It All Began. See also Call Back, Ironic Echo. Often utilized in an And the Adventure Continues ending, with the last scene of the series mimicking the first, regardless of how long it's been running.

Not to be confused with the Simon & Garfunkel album of the same name.

Warning: Bookends don't always spoil the ending, but usually they do. So, watch out for spoilers ahead!

Example Subpages

Other Examples

    open/close all folders 

  • The Montana Meth Project has some chilling public service announcements with these two having the Book Ends.
    • The first video shows a girl trying meth with her friends, saying she's only going to do it once. Cut to the next scene, where she uses meth again, still saying it's only once more. This was repeated a few more times, with the girl getting worse by the use of meth. At the end, the girl dies on her bed. Her younger sister then takes some meth from her older sister's jean pocket, saying she's only going to do it once.
    • The next video shows a young man trying meth, also saying that he'll only do it once, as he doesn't want to be like "that guy", a meth-addicted psycho, which scarily resembles him. He then tries meth once again, also with the same promise. Repeat a few times with the man getting more addicted, and he ends up being exactly like "that guy". In the end, a young girl buys some meth with the promise of only trying it once, as she doesn't want to be like "that guy". Which is obviously the guy before.
  • An Australian alcohol awareness advertisement opened with a father asking his son to get him a beer at a party, followed the son's descent into alcoholism, then ended with the son as an adult, asking his son to get him a beer at a party, with the implication that his son's life would follow the same course as his own.

    Fan Works 
  • I Did Not Want To Die begins with an enemy solider being shot and concludes with the protagonist being shot.
  • Rolling Blackouts starts and ends with Shinji and Asuka snuggling underneath a blanket during a black-out.
  • The Star Trek: New Voyages episode "World Enough And Time" has beginning and ending scenes that take place about 30 years from the time of most of the episode, all based around the character Hikaru Sulu.
  • The Harry Potter Fan Fic After the End begins and ends with a group hug surrounding Harry. Everyone is in a dark room, lit by a bluebell flame, which someone kicks out.
  • This Axis Powers Hetalia USUK kink meme fill about a bulimic Arthur/England starts with 'He felt cold', and ends with '“Alfred,” he murmured as he nodded to sleep, “You’re warm.”'
  • The Digimon Tamers fanfic Digital Prey begins and ends with Ruki Makino riding a train.
  • A Very Potter Musical begins with the musical number "Gotta Get Back To Hogwarts." Fast forward to the end of the sequel, when Harry finishes a moving speech and the whole cast breaks into song. Guess what they sing?
  • Two in With Strings Attached:
    • At the very beginning of the First Movement, Paul and John nervously walk along the beach, completely new to the world, wary of each other, and frightened. At the end of the Second Movement (in the chapter “Full Circle, Moebius-Style”), they walk together along another beach, back to being friends, more or less accustomed to the world (if not to their new magic), and enjoying sharing this utterly unique experience.
    • When the four first arrive in Ta'akan, they have a frightening experience in the Owner's Head Tavern when an enormous Bar Brawl erupts around them. When they leave the city for the last time (not counting when Ringo accidentally teleports back there), they have dinner in the Owner's Head and laugh at how tame the nightly brawl seems now.
  • My Little Avengers begins and ends on Big Mac's birthday.
  • In the prologue of Game Theory (Fan Fic), Precia asks Fate if she would like to see Alicia. And in the epilogue...
  • Advent Crossover Crisis begins and ends with narration from Sly Cooper, both times discussing how everyone goes through very strange lengths of time, even relative to how strange their life usually is. To a lesser extent, the first and last line of spoken dialogue are both said by Deadpool.
  • Crossed Paths: Upon returning to their own worlds, Indy and the mane six find themselves in the areas where they disappeared, and presumably Jack did as well (though his scene starts a while after he returns to his world, so we don't know for sure).
  • Anthropology: "Are you gonna eat that?"
  • A Fan Vid by snakey973 called X-Files // bones focusing on Scully's personality starts and ends with Mulder and Scully looking at a blue origami bird. It's quite sublime and beautiful.
  • In the Total Drama story, Courtney and the Violin of Despair, the first and last chapters of the story proper (i.e. excluding the prologue) are very similar. Both chapters end with Courtney receiving a cursed violin (the Violin of Despair in the first chapter, and the Violin of Doom in the last) as a birthday gift from her parents, and the spirit inhabiting the violin contemplating Courtney’s fate.
  • The first season of Children of Time: the first episode starts with the Doctor saving an unconscious Sherlock Holmes. The last episode ends with Beth Holmes succeeding in bringing him back from the dead.
  • The Calvinverse: The opening of Can You Imagine That?, canonically the first installment in the series, is replicated nearly word-for-word in the end of Retro Chill (canonically its last... we think).
  • Uninvited Guests begins and ends with Toshiro Hitsugaya working with Nanao Ise in his office. The first time was a Daydream Surprise. The second time, Nanao and Rangiku Matsumoto traded squads.
  • Something's main story begins with a description of the stolen plot and ends with a description of the plot itself.
  • The first paragraphs of the first and last chapters of Warriors of the World: Soldiers of Fortune is exactly the same apart from a change in season to show the passage of time, to capture the image of the world before and after the events of the story.
  • Alicornundrum: A mild example, but both the first and last chapters feature an alicorn angsting over outliving a loved one right before said loved one ascends.
  • Necessary To Win begins and ends with a few paragraphs of narration worded in a way that can apply to either Miho or Saki. The beginning of the story talks about why they came to dislike tankery and why they're returning to it, while the end talks about the results and what awaits them in the future.
  • The first and last times Xander turns to stone onscreen in Defender of the Night, someone tries to peek under his loincloth. Jenny Calendar is unsuccessful but Buffy manages.
  • Judge Minty (a short fan film based on the Judge Dredd comics) opens with Minty almost getting killed on the streets by trying to grant a member of the Kovaks mob mercy and getting pulled off active duty by Dredd. At the end of the short, he finds himself in the same situation when a Cursed Earth dweller begs for mercy, which Minty denies him.
  • Hogyoku ex Machina: Aizen's story begins and ends with him being stabbed through the head by Ichigo. The first time, the Hogyoku saves him. The second time, it doesn't and he dies.
  • "Solaere ssiun Hnaifv'daenn": The first and last scenes start with Tovan tr'Khev walking in on Jaleh Khoroushi doing her daily prayers.
  • The Fifth Act: The beginning of Cloud's journey starts with him saving Genesis when the latter's chronic pain interrupts their fight, curing him from a painful deterioration and a horrific downward spiral. It ends with Genesis interrupting Cloud's fight with Sephiroth, saving both their lives and preventing Cloud's self-destruction.
  • The Gensokyo 20XX series begins with Reimu's narration and it ends with her narration.
  • This comic begins and ends with a doll waking up.
  • The Living Tombstone's "Five Nights at Freddy's Song" starts with the Toreador march. "I Got No Time", the Five Nights at Freddy's 4 Song, and Tombstone's last FNAF song entirely, ends with the Toreador march.
  • The second and last chapters of The Bug Princess revolve around surprise celebrations for Lydia.
  • Ghosts Of Evangelion: In the beginning of the story, Asuka hugs Shinji and makes him promise that he will not leave her from that day on. In the end of the story she hugs him tenderly and reassures him that he was true to his word.
  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide: In the first scene Shinji is watching over a sleeping, comatose Asuka. In the last scene, Shinji is keeping watch over a sleeping Asuka. There is a key difference, though: in the final scene Shinji is not depressed or hysterical; he is calm and confident that she will wake up. It's implied that she will.
  • At the end of the first chapter of A Black Comedy, Harry Potter tells someone (as he's being sucked into the Veil of Death), "You can keep my sandwich." At the end of the story, James flees a restaurant and when asked about the food he left, tells his son "You can keep my sandwich."
  • In The Prayer Warriors, some installments have these.
    • At the beginning of The Evil Gods, Part 1, the heroes pray to God, who kills Grover Underwood. At the end of the story, they call on God's assistance to defeat Hades.
    • Attack of the Sphinx begins with William spying on Carter meeting with Anubis, only to get surprised and captured. At the end of the story (at least thus far), Carter, now a Prayer Warrior, goes to Syria and gets kidnapped by the Islamic State.
  • Necessary To Win
    • The first installment of the series begins with Miho being called in to the student council office in an attempt to pressgang her into taking tankery. Near the end, Miho sees them again, and they thank her for her help.
    • "Paths Towards Victory" begins with the Atago family getting dressed for the convention. Their final scene involves them going back to their hotel room, and changing out of their business attire.
    • On a series-spanning example, Oarai's first and last battles with other schools both end in Oarai narrowly being defeated, with Anglerfish being eliminated immediately after(BC Freedom)/before (Pravda) they can take out the commander's tank.
  • A Scotsman in Egypt begins with Edward and Edmund Canmore getting piss drunk, cursing their father, and leading an army off to Egypt to conquer the Middle East; it ends three generations later, with a vast Scottish empire covering the length and breadth of Europe and Africa, and their great-grandson Kirk getting piss drunk with Angus the Mauler, Edward of Shetland and Edmund Besat, cursing his father, and leading his mates and a huge army to conquer the Aztec empire.


  • "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service both begins and ends with the same stanza, referring to the queerest sight ever seen by the Northern Lights (namely the eponymous cremation). The poem in between these stanzas describes the events of Sam's death, his subsequent cremation, and what the narrator saw when he looked into Sam's funeral pyre. He saw Sam sitting up "looking cool, and calm", happy to be warm for the first time since leaving his home in Tennessee.
    There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men that toil for gold
    The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold
    The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see
    Was that night on the marge of Lake Labarge that I cremated Sam McGee
  • Jabberwocky (largely nonsense):
    'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe,
    All mimsy were the borogroves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.
  • Rudyard Kipling's Ballad of East and West starts with
    East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet
    'Till earth and sky stand presently at God's great judgement seat
    But there is neither east nor west, border nor breed nor birth
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth.
And the poem ends with The Hero giving a speech as to exactly why Defeat Equals Friendship, using the same lines.
  • The poetic device called a chiasmus is this trope defined.
  • The first and last lines of the short poem "Jenny Kiss'd Me" are the title.

    Print Media 
  • The cover of Nintendo Power's last issue is a remake of its first issue's cover.
  • The cover of Doctor Who Magazine issue 500 is a remake of its first issue's cover.
  • Brazilian movie magazine SET had in its page "Nostalgia", featuring a famous movie image. Once the section was finished on issue 199, they went back to the first picture, Gilda.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Lance Storm began his wrestling career in 1990 with a match against fellow Hart Dungeon alum, Chris Jericho. In 2005, he came out of retirement for one last match at ECW One Night Stand against Chris Jericho.
  • The first and last Nitro both had Ric Flair vs. Sting.
  • If you accept the reunion show put on by Dynamo Pro, then Delirious's first and last opponent in Gateway Championship Wrestling was The Irish Luchador Billy McNeil.
  • In 2002, Triple H started his second major heel run by returning to Raw and Pedigreeing Shawn Michaels to squash a D-Generation X reunion. HHH would end up turning face in 2006 by reforming DX with HBK.
  • The 2010 Feud of the Year began when Kevin Steen smashed El Generico in the face with a steel chair after they lost to The Young Bucks at Final Battle 2009. One year later, during the main event of Final Battle 2010, Generico uses that very steel chair, still smeared with his own blood, and in the same arena where his former best friend betrayed and abandoned him, smashes it across Steen's face to win their grudge match and send Steen packing from ROH.
  • Roman Reigns began his ascent to the top of WWE by winning the 2015 Royal Rumble, where Philadelphia booed him straight out of the building. He completed his ascent on the December 14, 2015 of RAW by winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, in that same city, and the very same crowd that hissed and jeered at him couldn't cheer loud enough, happily celebrating his win.
  • In Progress Wrestling Jimmy Havoc's title run started with a pinfall counted by Jim Smallman and ended with a pinfall counted by Jim Smallman (one of the people who own the company).

    Role-Playing Games 

  • The National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety maintains a video channel for the public release of explanations of supplemental discipline. They're basically video essays; they start with a one-sentence summary of the punishment issued, then go into background and detail before restating the punishment.
  • The Montreal Expos played their first game in existence against the New York Mets. Before moving to Washington to become the Nationals, they also played their last ever game against the New York Mets. Both games took place at Shea Stadium.
  • In rugby union, the Heineken Cup was the top European club competition from the 1995–96 season through 2013–14, after which it was replaced by the current European Rugby Champions Cup. The first-ever Heineken Cup was won by French club Toulouse, which went on to win France's national championship. The last Heineken Cup was won by another French club, Toulon, which also went on to win the French championship.
  • Kobe Bryant first scored in the NBA on November 5, 1996 against the New York Knicks. He scored his last point in the NBA on April 13, 2016 against the Utah Jazz. Both points were from the free-throw line.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Many World Of Darkness sourcebooks both old and new begin and end with information related to a specific event. Mage: The Awakening has a diary in the front from a student, and ends with a letter from the mage who's teaching said student to that mage's last student, who went bad and was responsible for Awakening the student writing the diary. Promethean: The Created has the first and second halves of Mr Verney's interview with a psychiatrist.
  • The Eclipse Phase intro fiction 'Lack' begins and ends with Sava waking up in a new body and asking what the date is.
  • Battletech, the new ilKhan Brett Andrews started the Wars of Reaving in a Clan council where he demonstrated a Trial of Reaving by killing the Diamond Shark Khan, near the wars end he was killed in another Clan council when pulled a dirty move in killing the Star Adder Khan, and the Star Adder saKhan killed him almost immediately.
  • Microscope: Play begins with the selection of both the beginning and ending of the history the players build over the course of the game. This makes it easy to link the two thematically: empires and great families can rise and fall, new nations can arise in the ashes of the old, etc.

    Theme Parks 

    Visual Novels 
  • At the very beginning of Zero Time Dilemma's Decision Game, Zero says: "This is the Decision Game. The fates of you, me and the human race hang in the balance". At the very end of the videogame, he says: "The fates of you, me and mankind are all on the line. This is the Decision Game". What's ironic about all this is that Zero had the power to kill the characters at the beginning, and at the end the characters can kill Zero.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue has one of the three possible endings as an inverted book end—whereas Episode 1 features the Blues spying on the Reds, who are chatting atop the base, here we have the Reds spying on the Blues doing the same thing.
    • This is also the canonical ending.
    • Grif and Simmons also once again call shotgun on the new vehicle, this time in reverse.
    • This happens again in the Recollection Saga. Reconstruction began with a soldier looking at the dead body of a Freelancer as the camera panned up in Valhalla, showing a huge number of characters (so many that the creators actually had to run several games and use splitscreen to get that many). Revelation ends with a soldier looking at the body of Agent Texas in Avalanche and the camera pans up to show a similar shot.
  • The first scene of There she is!! is Nabi being harrassed by Doki at a drink machine. The final scene is Nabi wiping racist graffiti off of it while sharing a drink with Nabi.
  • The Strong Bad E-mail "theme song" from Homestar Runner actually begins and ends with Strong Bad singing "When E-mail Comes to Town, It's Like a Rainstorm in your Browser."
  • Bowser's Kingdom episode 1 ends with Mario beating up Hal and Jeff because a Shy Guy betrayed them and The Movie ends with Mario and Luigi beating Hal and Jeff because Steve betrayed them.
  • The story of Lucky Day Forever starts with 514 falling for the Whites' propaganda and ends with Sasiadka falling for the Whites' propaganda. This is a way to show that the Proles want to stand out like the Whites.
  • Deliberately invoked by Pencil in The Stinger of the final episode of Battle for Dream Island:
    Pencil: Wouldn't it be weird if the very first and very last spoken words of BFDI were the same?
    Match: Yeah!note 
  • At the start of Dick Figures: The Movie, young Red says "Cuz I'm AWESOME!" and he and young Blue high-five. At the end, old Red says "Cuz we're AWESOME!" and he and old Blue high-five.
  • In Mario Brothers, the series starts and ends with the same scene of Mario running from something.
  • RWBY: Pyrrha's Volume 3 first and last appearance had Ruby shouting her name, one in happiness, the other in despair.

    Web Comics 
  • Chapter 33 of Drowtales began with the lines. "Nuqrah'Shareh. The Modern, Peaceful and Beautiful jewel of the West!" It ended with " Nuqrah'Sharen; The Great. Modern jewel of the West"
  • This happened in the first story of Honeydew Syndrome (the first five chapters).
  • In the second panel of the first strip of 1/0, "Let there be light!" In the second panel of the last strip, "Let there be darkness!"
  • David Willis loves this trope.
    • Compare the first and second Roomies! strips with the final Roomies! strip (the rerun commentary even says "I really love my bookend conclusions, don’t I.") and (to a lesser extent) the first two Roomies! with this Joyce and Walky! which debuted two days after the Walkyverse's tenth anniversary.
    • The first strip of Shortpacked! has the megalomaniacal Galasso ranting about how all will bow before him, until Ethan reminds him "This is just a toy store." In the final strip, a different megalomaniac dismisses the staff's resistance by saying "This is just a toy store," and Leslie replies, "THE HELL IT IS."
  • Each volume of Ménage à 3 begins and ends with similar, frequently NSFW scenes, usually involving (or at least referencing) some of the same characters. Note that each volume is exactly 150 strips by the comic's own numbering scheme:
    • The first volume opens with Gary coming home early from work, having a soon-to-be ironic thought just before opening the door, and walking in on Matt sodomizing Dillon, which is when he finds out that they're gay. Matt and Dillon move out shortly afterward. It ends with Dillon coming home early from a rehearsal, having a soon-to-be ironic thought just before opening the door, and walking in on Sandra sodomizing Matt. Dillon moves back in with Gary shortly afterward.
    • The second volume opens with Gary having an Erotic Dream about Zii, which turns into an erotic nightmare when it's revealed it's a male version of Zii, because of the influence of Dillon's presence in the bed. It ends with Yuki in bed with Zii and having an erotic dream about a female Gary.
    • The third volume opens with Sandra waking up on DiDi's boobs, and ends with her waking up on Senna's.
    • The fourth volume opens with Yuki surprising Kiley in the shower, and ends with DiDi surprising Yuki in the shower.
    • The fifth volume opens with Dillon stunned to be called into a room where Chanelle is sitting naked and with thighs apart (apparently requesting oral sex), and an also naked Amber is standing around; he then gets kissed on the cheeks by the two women. The penultimate strip of the volume has Erik and Jim walking in on several naked women, notably Peggy with her thighs apart (receiving oral sex from Sonya); the last strip has Gary stunned to be called into a room which contains a naked Senna and clothed Sandra, both standing around, before he gets kissed on the cheeks by the two women. This breaks the pattern a little, in that the echo is arguably spread across two strips, and none of the characters from the first strip recur (although Gary is mentioned in the first strip and appears in the last), but it's close enough.
    • The sixth volume begins with Sonya getting home after an interesting evening and thinking about her situation, then being interrupted on the doorstep by Peggy, who has followed her home looking for a bed for the night. It ends with Gary getting home after an interesting evening and thinking about his situation, then being interrupted on the doorstep by Amber, who has followed him home looking for a bed for the night. The requirement for characters to be repeated has evidently been scrapped (except that both Sonya and Gary are thinking about Zii), but the visual and thematic echoes and contrasts are strong.
    • The seventh volume begins with Zii waking up in bed and finding Sonya sleeping next to her; then, she's shocked to find Yuki there too. It ends with Kiley waking up in bed and finding Yuki sleeping next to her; then, she's shocked to find Sonya there too.
    • The eight volume begins with a wrestling brawl between DiDi and Roxie; it ends with a wrestling ... something ... between Yuki, Sonya, and Gary, with three-quarters of the strip having near-identical pictorial composition.
  • 8-Bit Theater begins with Black Mage and Fighter lost while searching for a MacGuffin in the beginning. In the epilogue, they're once again lost while searching for another quest, and Fighter suggests they continue looking for the very same MacGuffin.
  • Concerned: The Half-life and Death of Gordon Frohman begins and ends with a snide joke about Valve's constant delays in releasing games.
  • Though not in the chronologically-first strips, Girly created these with the New First Comics and the Grand Finale.
  • Problem Sleuth begins with a particularly hard-boiled Private Eye Monologue delivered by the titular Problem Sleuth. After Problem Sleuth has performed Sepulchritude and used The Final Flip-Out, he's on the verge of death, where the original monologue's structure is used, except this time, it's talking about how he's in limbo.
  • The first Concession comic is mirrored by the appropriately-titled fifth-to-last comic. The Alt Text confirms that it is indeed the same customer.
  • The Phoenix Requiem begins with a celebration of "All Souls' Night" (in that setting it has similar importance than our Christmas/New Year's Eve). The comic ends with the same celebration two years later. The first scene begins with Jonas arriving. The last one ends the same way.
  • Homestuck did a variation at the end of its fourth act — the final scene of the end-of-act Animation Bump is of a meteor from the Reckoning passing through one of Skaia's defensive gates and striking John's house, which is exactly what happened in the conclusion of Act 1 and what kickstarted the adventure to begin with.
    • The end-of-Act 5 Animation Bump did the same thing: to represent all of the kids' reality being fundamentally reset by the Scratch, when Jade is enlarging the Fourth Wall for her and John to travel through, it displays a rapidly-reversing slideshow of many of the earliest panels of Homestuck, ending with the very first page of John standing in his room before cutting to white.
    • The first pesterlog of Act 5 Act 2 ended with John telling Karkat "See you soon". The last pesterlog starts with Karkat repeating the same line to Jade.
  • Irregular Webcomic!: "Hey, there's comics on the Internet!" Keep in mind that 2011 David Morgan-Mar's soul was transported back into his 2002 body and Death made him forget everything that happened over IWC!'s run. Also, #3182 is only the Grand Finale of the main arcs; guest comics and Annotation comics have been posted since.
  • Darken both starts and ends with a character being resurrected to serve a demon lord.
  • City Face #1 begins with City Face despondent over his sub-par female-wooing skills, and another pigeon shows up to offer him some advice. It ends with a similar scene, only this time City Face is the one offering advice.
  • The first strip of Arthur, King of Time and Space has Arthur draw the sword from the stone at which point he starts shifting through time. Merlin explains the situation to him in the baseline, space and western arcs, but his final message is Lost in Transmission when they become cavemen. The final strip has Arthur being taken to Avalon, still shifting through time. Morgan, Nimue and Elaine explain the further details of the situation in the baseline, western and space arcs, but their final message is Lost in Transmission when they become Energy Beings who speak in the Language of Magic.
  • Sandra on the Rocks: Pixietrix comics like this one are often organised in 150-strip volumes, with the last strip in each containing at least a minor echo of the first — see also Ménage à 3 above.
  • Sticky Dilly Buns: As with Ménage à 3 and Sandra on the Rocks above, this Pixietrix comic has minor bookends in the first and last strips of its 150-strip volumes.
    • Amber says to herself, "Dilly... never change" in the first strip, and in the last strip of the first volume, Ruby thinks to herself "Something's gotta change here" (reflecting their different views of Dillon, the character under consideration in both cases).
    • In strip #151, Ruby and Dillon are platonically in bed together, and Ruby grabs Dillon in his sleep, so he complains that he can't breathe. In strip #300, Dillon ends up in bed with Jerzy, and the sex leaves him breathless.
  • In Toki No Tanaka, the first and last pages of the first episode end with a panel of Sakura sleeping in exactly the same position.
  • The Unsounded short story Vienne of Seferpine begins and ends with an assessment of Vienne's capabilities. But while the beginning is upbeat and confident in tone, the ending is troubled and uncertain.
  • One Darths & Droids comic, Episode 1257: Loquacious Chum, begins and ends with Chewbacca saying, "I'm going to go insane here."
  • Bite Me!: Vive la revolution!

    Web Original 
  • Sailor Nothing has the following at the start and end of the Web Novel. "My name is Shoutan Himei. I'm sixteen years old/seventeen years old, going on eighteen in two months, and I'm very tired."
  • Broken Saints begins and ends with a voice-over monologue by Shandala, starting with "I dream". Both start off much the same, but grow gradually different to reflect the change from the beginning and ending of the story.
  • The pilot of Cause of Death begins and ends with a shot of the sunny street, which counters the horrible things that happened inside that house...
  • Awkward. begins and ends with the same discussion between Alex and Lester. The context and roles have changed, but the location and dialogue are the same.
  • Kickassia begins with The Nostalgia Critic knocking on President Kevin Baugh's door and telling him he plans to invade Molossia. It ends with a defeated Critic knocking on the door and giving Baugh his country back.
    • And speaking of The Nostalgia Critic, most of his reviews actually begin and end with him saying, "I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it, so you don't have to!"
    • Suburban Knights begins with Angry Joe believing he's won a free car. It ends with Chester A Bum believing he's won a free car.
    • Oddly enough, one could apply this to each of the (as of 2012, first) four Anniversary specials with respect to the relationship between the Critic and The Angry Video Game Nerd. The first one is basically a set-up for an all-out brawl between the two that had been developing for several reviews. At the end of the fourth special — To Boldly Flee — a now-friendlier Nerd ends up helping the Critic to save the day and get his friend home, revealing a sense of respect that had developed in their time since the feud, culminating in a friendly handshake between the two before the Nerd departs.
      Critic: See you on the other side, man.
      Nerd: Nice working with you, Critic.
  • A Very Potter Musical opens with the song "Gotta Get Back to Hogwarts" and A Very Potter Sequel ends with a reprise of the same song. The sequel is actually a prequel, so when they're singing "Gotta Get Back to Hogwarts," it's like putting the two ends right in the middle.
  • The Yogscast has one in their first season of its Minecraft series. A bit before discovering the town full of NPCs, Lewis Brindley and Simon Lane build a portal to the Nether (which doesn't work). At the end of the season, they are at the same portal, preparing to venture into it. However, they end up not trying to enter until the start of season three, with season two being more of a breather season. And the portal still doesn't work.
    • Season three starts with almost the entirety of Simon and Lewis's old world on fire, and them trying to reclaim items from the wreckage. Much later (though not at the end of the series, but at the end of an important part), they find Mistral City also on fire, and are trying to reclaim items from the wreckage. This time, specifically the Holy Record from the church.
    • In Survival Island (a custom map that eventually starts having slight relevance to the main plot that is billed as Season 2), they are in a slight hurry at the start to get coal for torches. Near the end, they again go looking for coal, this time to fuel the airship that will take them home.
    • The Blackrock Chronicle has a heart breaking one. Near the beginning and end of season 2. Both times the confession at the end is averted. First, because the computer explodes before Zoey Proasheck can read Rythian's message. The second time in the closing of season two, it's Zoey, and her sentence is interrupted by a nuclear explosion.
      Rythian/Zoey: I miss you, I need you, I love you."
  • Volume 3 of Dial B for Blog began with this image and ended with this one. Both are based on the cover to Strange Adventures #162.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd's 100th review ends with a shot of Castlevania II: Simon's Quest (the first game he reviewed).
  • At the start of the Mario Party TV group's first Grand Canal playthrough, Steeler states that Toadette is top tier thanks to her Triple Shroom Orb. At the end, after discovering he couldn't use other Orbs while it was in effect, he claims she's switched to bottom tier.
  • In The Runaway Guys' Let's Play of New Super Mario Bros. Wii, NintendoCapriSun is killed by the first Goomba in the game and the last Goomba in the game.
  • The first arc of Worm ends with the protagonist, Taylor, standing on a rooftop with Armsmaster, the leader of the local Super Team, discussing the options that Taylor has after having single-handedly taken down one of the most powerful supervillains in the city, whose minions will want revenge. At the end of arc twenty-two, after they both have changed so much, the supervillain Skitter stands on a rooftop with the Cyborg superhero Defiant, discussing the options that Skitter has after having killed one of the most powerful superheroes in the world, whose friends will want revenge. The chapter marks the close of Skitter's career as a villain.
  • The Super Failio Cousins Although Pencil normally won the races in their Mario Kart Wii series, Mollipop won the first and last races of the game.
  • Matthew Santoro:
    • Social Media Challenges begins and ends with a creepy face, which is usually only done at the end of all of his vlogs instead of at the beginning.
    • In the beginning of Matt's video A New Planet & Antimatter, Matt pats his body, and says, "Woah". This doesn't make sense until the end. At the end, Eugene breaks a container of antimatter, which kills Matt. Matt convinces St. Peter to let him go back to Earth instead of Hell, since he was just about to get 1500 subscribers. He goes back, pats his body, and says "Woah".
  • The first episode of The Most Stupid Deaths In Super Mario 64 ends with Mario getting a game over. He talks for a bit, then continues playing, much to the horror of the annotations.
  • Vsauce:
    • In some videos, Michael talks to the same person at the start as he does at the end. For example, in one video, Bill Nye asks him, "Why did the chicken cross the road?". At the end, Bill Nye returns.
    Michael: And as always...
    • Jake's "3 paradoxes" video forms a loop with the end seguing into the start, reasonably. While explaining the butterfly effect, Jake kills a fly, causing him to spontaneously grow a mustache. A knife also materializes in his pocket. He ends up throwing the knife behind him, killing another Jake in the distance. Jake uses this to segue into the grandfather paradox, the last of the 3. He realizes that the entire video is a paradox and tries to do his Signing Off Catch Phrase, but disappears from existence before he can complete the sentence. The camera winds up on the ground, in the exact same state that it was at the start. The beginning of the video replays itself, and you already know where this is going...
  • AlpharadTV's How To Play Smash 101 videos started and ended with playing as Villager.
  • The famous GMod channel RubberFruit started on October 28, 2006, and released its final video (before going defunct, at least) on October 28, 2013, exactly seven years later.
  • The Welcome to Night Vale episode "One Year Later" follows up on many of the plotlines first introduced in the pilot episode. The opening lines are nearly identical.
  • The Super Mario Logan episode, "Where's Jeffy?" begins and ends with Jeffy riding a unicorn piñata and playing a maraca, a rubber chicken, and a cat piano while Mario plugs his ears.
  • The first and final scenes of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared are practically identical; all of the puppets are sitting around a table as a notepad comes to life and asks them what their favorite idea is. Now, for context, the series finale ended with Red Guy unplugging a machine controlling the teachers that are currently torturing Yellow Guy, which ends up resetting all the events of the series, taking the characters all the way back to the first episode in a "Groundhog Day" Loop.
  • The first scene of Ruby Quest is Ruby waking up in darkness, and pressing a red button to turn on the lights, which reveals her to be in a locker. The final scene is Daisy waking up in darkness, and pressing a red button to turn on the lights, which reveals her to be in a locker.

    Real Life 
  • The planet Earth's very first moments manifested as a hellish, molten landscape, as will its final moments billions of years from now when the Sun reaches its 'red giant' phase.
  • The American Civil War began with the Union loss of Fort Sumter. Shortly after the war, on April 14, 1865, Fort Sumter had a flag-raising ceremony where the same commander who took the flag down when the Union lost the fort raised the same flag up.
    • The first major battle (First Battle of Bull Run) began on Wilmer McLean's farm in Manassas, Virginia, on July 21, 1861. During the war, McLean moved south to the quiet community of Appomattox Court House, Virginia, so as not to be caught between the armies again. But the war followed him. On April 8, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee finally decided to surrender his forces, and he sent out a messenger to find a place at which to meet General Ulysses S. Grant. The house the messenger found was Wilmer McLean's. Afterwards, McLean reportedly said, "The war began in my front yard and ended in my front parlor."
  • The first emperor of the Eastern Roman Empire or Byzantine Empire was Constantine I, who founded the city of Constantinople in 330. The last emperor was Constantine XI, who died when the city fell to the Turks in 1453.
  • Rome was founded as a city by a man called Romulus, while the last Roman Emperor (in the west) was called Romulus Augustus. It gets deeper, with the first Emperor of Rome having had chosen the name Augustus. The last Western Roman Emperor shared his name with both founders. Emperor Julius Nepos continued to be recognized by Odoacer as Emperor of the West for four years after Romulus Augustus, but because he didn't rule the city of Rome (his empire was limited to the province of Dalmatia), it's more romantic to ignore him and specifically invoke Book Ends on the Western Empire.
  • The Roman Republic began and ended with a rebellion and civil war involving a man named Brutus.
  • The Roman Empire begins with a single city (Rome) sacked by a powerful neighboring people (the Gauls, in 390 BC). The Romans declared that this must never happen again. It ends eighteen hundred years later with a single city (Constantinople) sacked by a powerful neighboring people (the Turks, in 1453 AD).
  • For many historians, the Middle Ages began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD, and ended with the fall of the Byzantine Empire (aka the Eastern Roman Empire) in 1453 AD.
  • The major European conflicts of the twentieth century. To wit: the Eastern Question of what would happen to the newly formed Balkan states after downfall of the Ottoman Empire triggered World War I, as Serbia wished to take over Bosnia which was an Austrian protectorate. WWI caused WWII, as Germany (and other nations) were deeply unsatisfied by the results of WWI. It also caused the Russian revolution, and the first major communist power. WWII caused the spread of communism through Eastern Europe, mostly through the Soviets, but through homegrown communist partisans in Yugoslavia. This led to the Cold War, which contributed to the downfall of communism in Eastern Europe. The downfall of communism in Yugoslavia led to the disintegration of the nation, and the Yugoslav Wars, posing the new question: what would happen to the newly formed Balkan states after the downfall of Yugoslavia? Especially as Serbia wished to take over Bosnia. The history of the twentieth century began and ended with "some damn thing in the Balkans".
  • France and Germany in the 1870-1950 period:
    • The III French Republic was proclaimed during a successful German invasion in 1870. It was dissolved during a successful German invasion in 1940.
    • After the end of the Franco-Prussian War in 1871, which was also the end of the II French Empire, France had to endure the humiliation of seeing a German Empire proclaimed in the Hall of Mirrors of Versailles, just outside Paris, and cede the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine to it. In 1919, after the end of World War I, which was also the end of the German Empire, the nascent German republic had to sign a peace treaty in the Hall of Mirrors of Versailles and cede Alsace and Lorraine back to France.
    • Preceding that peace treaty was an armistice signed in a train wagon outside Compiègne, in 1918. The 1940 armistice between France and Germany was signed in the same wagon and also in the same place outside Compiègne. Once again, France ceded Alsace and Lorraine to Germany.
    • To make sure that it wasn't used again, SS troops burned down that train wagon during the Battle of Berlin in 1945.
  • Michael I of Russia, the first Romanov czar, was elected while he was in the Ipatiev Monastery in 1613. The last Romanov, Nicholas II and his relatives, died in 1918, slaughtered by the Bolsheviks while they were imprisoned in a (otherwise unrelated) building named "Ipatiev House".
  • The Holy Roman Empire both began and ended with the conquest of Germany by a French emperor.
  • The Spanish American colonial empire began with Ferdinand V/IInote  and ended with Ferdinand VII.
  • The first Habsburg king of Spain was Charles I. The last was Charles II.
  • The Spanish Civil War began when the army mutinied over the perceived threat of a Communist takeover, in 1936. The Spanish Civil War ended when the (loyalist) army mutinied over the perceived threat of a Communist takeover, in 1939.
  • The first Nasrid king of Granada was Muhammad I, who rose in rebellion against Ibn Hud and collaborated with the Christians. The last king was Muhammad XI, who rose in rebellion against his father Mulay Hassan and collaborated with the Christians (before losing it all).

  • Playwright Eugene O'Neill's last words: "I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room, and God damn it, died in a hotel room."
  • There's that Stephen Wright joke that he wished his first word had been "Quote", so that on his deathbed he could say "Unquote".
  • Your parents take care of you when you're younger, and you usually end up taking care of them when they get older.
  • Lee Myung-bak was an engineer working for the Hyundai Group in the 1970s when it was contracted to build the Cheonggye Expressway atop the unsightly polluted wasteland that was the Cheonggyecheon stream in Seoul. Flash forward to 2003 and the same Lee Myung-bak has become Mayor of Seoul and in order to leave a legacy, he ordered the rehabilitation of the Cheogggyecheon stream by demolishing the same Cheonggye Expressway helped build as a younger man. The project was finished in 2005 and is a real life example of Crystal Spires and Togas. Lee's successful undoing of his own work is believed to have aided in his election as the 10th President of South Korea. In short, the Cheonggyecheon stream was "killed" then "resurrected" by the same man.

  • Should humanity go extinct, then many of our iconic buildings will actually deteriorate in the reverse order of how and when they were built: the more modern skyscrapers will be among the first to crumble away, while structures lasting since the ancient times (such as the Pyramids of Egypt) will take millennia to disappear.

  • "What hath God wrought?" was both the very first electric telegram, sent in 1837, and the very last telegram sent by Western Union. (Optical telegraphs, using smoke, mirrors, or semaphore, existed long before.) Telegraph is still in use in countries including Bahrain, Germany, Japan, and Sweden, mainly for formal notices (mainly funerals, weddings, and births), and for sheer novelty. It's also still in use in areas of the world without Internet access.

Isn't this where-

Alternative Title(s): Book End