-we came in?
Matching scenes at the beginning and end of a story, often to show how things have changed through the course of the episode, 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
Compare and contrast Here We Go Again
, How We Got Here
, Where It All Began
. See also Call Back
, Ironic Echo
Bookends don't always
spoil the ending, but usually they do. So, watch out for spoilers ahead!
open/close all folders
- 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, 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).
- PONY.MOV: SWAG.MOV ends (not counting The Stinger) the same way APPLE.MOV started: with Applejack eating a shitload of apples.
- 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.
- Older than Dirt: The Epic of Gilgamesh starts with a narration that extols the might of the walls of Uruk, which seem to be meant to emphasize the glory of their builder, the king Gilgamesh. Until, of course, Gilgamesh fails to gain eternal life, and in the final line of the epic, he speaks the same passage to his new traveling companion Urshanabi. (Scholarly opinion is divided whether this is intended as Ironic Echo, or an affirmation that true immortality is found in lasting greatness of a man's works.)
Hebraic multilingual poetic device called a chiasmus is this trope defined.
- "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.
- "Ladies and gentlemen, Shawn Michaels has left the building."
- The Season 3 episode of WWE NXT that introduces the comedy gold commentary team of CM Punk, Heel Michael Cole, and Josh Matthews begins and ends with CM Punk telling his fellow commentator to "Shut up, Josh".
- The final match in the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro was a rematch of the first match on the first episode, Ric Flair Vs Sting.
- In Edge's final match, he won the match with a Spear. The very first move he used in his very first match? The Spear!
- The Illuminati-style dominance of the nWo expy stable Immortal over TNA storylines was first established with Hulk Hogan finally turning heel at Bound for Glory in 2010 and a 30-40-minute segment explaining things on the following Impact. Said dominance would dwindle over time until it inevitably died the following year with Hulk Hogan finally turning face at Bound for Glory in 2011 and a 30-40-minute segment explaining things on the following Impact.
- Molly Holly began her career in WWE as a blond in pigtails. Her persona, wardrobe and hairstyles changed more than a few times over the course of her career, but in her final in-ring appearance (The Divas Battle Royal at WrestleMania 25), she reprised her original blond pigtailed look.
- A surprising, yet completely unintentional, meta example in Dino Attack RPG. Alpha Team: Mission Deep Freeze RPG, which introduced PeabodySam to Play By Post Games and thus directly led to the creation of Dino Attack RPG, its Spiritual Successor, was started on December 21, 2004. Dino Attack: At War's End finally ended on December 21, 2012, exactly eight years later. Things truly do come full circle after all.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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, and (to a lesser extent) the first two Roomies! with this Joyce and Walky! which debuted two days after the Walkyverse's tenth anniversary.
- Each volume of Ménage à 3 begins and ends with similar NSFW scenes. The first volume opens with Gary walking in on Matt and Dillon having sex on the couch and ends with Dillon walking in on Matt and Sandra having sex in about the same position. The second volume opens with Gary having an Erotic Dream about Zii in which she turns out to be a man and ends with Yuki having an Erotic Dream about a girl who turns out to be a female Gary. The third volume opens with Sandra waking up on Di Di's boobs, and ends with her waking up on Senna's.
- 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 2 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- This one's a weird case, because 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. A little inversion, then?
- The Yogscast has one in their first season of its Minecraft series. A bit before discovering the town full of NPCs, Lewis and Simon 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 Zoeya can read Rythian's message . The second time in the closing of season two, it's Zoeya, and her sentence is interrupted by a nuclear explosion.
: 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.
- The Eastern Roman Empire, more commonly known as Byzantium, began with an emperor called Constantine, Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, who founded the city of Constantinople in 330. It ended with an emperor called Constantine, Constantine XI Palaeologus, who died when the city fell to the Turks in 1453. Similarly, Rome itself 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 also began and ended with a rebellion and civil war involving a man named Brutus.
- Arguably, 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 (Constantinopel) sacked by a powerful neighboring people (the Turks, in 1453 AD).
- Mark Twain, the author of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was actually born when Halley's Comet was at its perihelion (when it is closest to the Sun), and he actually died when said comet was at its perihelion again 75 years later.
- It was actually one of his life's goals to live between the comet's appearances.
- The American Civil War's first major battle was The First Battle of Bull Run (July 18, 1861), and the Confederates used Wilmer McLean's house as a headquarters. During the war, Wilmer eventually moved to the quiet(er) community (one that wasn't right on the front lines), of Appomattox Courthouse Virginia. On April 8, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee finally decided to surrender his forces, and he sent out a messenger to find a house to handle the surrender in. The house the messenger found was Wilmer McLean's. The war started in his yard, and ended in his parlor.
- Also, the 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. While this is nice bookends for the fort itself, this ceremony of taking back the fort was on the very same day Abraham Lincoln was assassinated - the last major loss of the Civil War.
- For many people, their life begins and ends in a hospital.
- There is a joke that you begin and end your life in diapers.
- And for the more Blood Knight types, that you will go out the way you came in: naked, screaming, and covered in someone else's blood.
- There's that Stephen Wright joke that he wished his first word had been "Quote", so that on his deathbed he could say "Unquote".
- One theory about how the universe will end is that the universe will eventually stop expanding and collapse until everything explodes back into a small singularity, much like the Big Bang that created the universe, but played backwards. Averted however, by the fact that more recent studies show that the universe is still expanding, meaning that everything will ultimately fade away as the universe is one day doomed to expand forever.
- Also averted with most stars, since they usually expand when they die. Played straight, however that most stars are born from nebulae, and some turn into nebulae when they die.
- Also played straight with the Earth. Approximately about 1 billion years ago, it was too hot to support life due to its surface completely being covered by magma, but in another 1 billion years, the Sun's transformation into a red giant will again make it too hot to support life.
- Only if, by "approximately 1 billion years," you mean "4 billion years." Earth's crust was solid by 4 billion years ago. Life was up and running on Earth as early as 3 billion years ago, complete with oxygenic photosynthesis.
- Also because of the Sun's gradual increase in brightness, the Earth in the distant future will actually experience the same conditions as in its distant past but in the reverse order (for example, in the past there was a supercontinent preceding a meteorite collision preceding an ice age, in the future there will be an ice age followed by a meteorite collision followed by a supercontinent). At the same time the last living things will actually die out in the reverse order of how they evolves, with the last to appear also being the first to vanish. As a result the last living things to disappear will actually be bacteria, which were also the first to appear on our planet.
- And 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.
- Several people died on their birthdays. The most famous would probably be Ingrid Bergman. Tradition also holds this for William Shakespeare. (We only know when he was baptized and when he died, but the dates are such that it's certainly possible.)
- Muammar Gaddafi - born in Sirte, killed in Sirte.
- In general, the life cycle of any given species — many organisms don't live long after producing offspring of the same form (egg, tiny animal, what-have-you) that they entered the world in. This is most noticeable with creatures that metamorphose, such as frogs or butterflies.
- Or species that reproduce by splitting, such as bacteria. The individual bacterium is born when its "parent" splits, and it dies when it splits into two more bacterium.
- "What hath God wrought?" was both the very first, and the very last, telegraph transmission.
- To be a little more specific, "What hath God wrought?" was the first electric telegram, sent in 1837. (Optical telegraphs, using smoke, mirrors, or semaphore, existed long before.) The "last telegram" mentioned above was the last telegram sent by Western Union. 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.
- People sometimes go through these without taking much note of it. For example, you begin and end the day asleep.
- The major European conflicts of the twentieth century. To whit: 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."
- Pedro I of Brazil (also Pedro IV of Portugal) died in the same room where he was born.
- 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."
- When Jaroslav Seifert, a Czech Nobel Prize winning poet, was born in September, a butterfly flew into the room and alighted on his mother's bed. When he died, there was a butterfly flying over his coffin at his funeral. The church must have been warmed by loads of people present or it must have been an unusually warm winter becuase he died in January.
- In NASCAR, Jimmie Johnson's five consecutive Sprint Cup champion titles (2006-2010) were preceded and followed by Tony Stewart's second (2005) and third (2011) titles.
- This applies to all websites' HTML codes. They all begin and end with the codes <html> and </html> respectively.
- 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.
- In a similar vein, 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.
- The cover of Nintendo Power's last issue is a remake of its first issue's cover.
Isn't this where-