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Book Ends
-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 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 much of a Long Runner it's been.

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

Example Subpages


Other Examples

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    Advertising 
  • 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.
  • 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 Dot 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?"
  • Fallout: Equestria: The first paragraph is also the last paragraph.
  • 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.
  • In the Pony POV Series, the first sign of hope in Dark World is Apple Pie telling Twilight Tragedy that "Even in the darkest times, ya have'ta find something ta smile about". Later, they say it together when Twilight has to move on after they finally earn their happy endings.
  • 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.

    Mythology 

    Poetry 
  • "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.
  • The poetic device called a chiasmus is this trope defined.

    Print Media 
  • The cover of Nintendo Power's last issue is a remake of its first issue's cover.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Role-Playing Games 
  • 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.

    Sport 
  • 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.
  • In the 2012 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts selected quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick. With the last pick, they also selected a quarterback, Chandler Harnish.
  • 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.
  • In rugby union, the Heineken Cup (1995–96 to 2013–14) was Europe's main club competition before being replaced by the European Rugby Champions Cup. In the competition's first season, French side Toulouse won the Heineken Cup final at the National Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, and went on to win France's national championship. In the final season of the Heineken Cup, French side Toulon won the Heineken Cup final at Millennium Stadium, which occupies the former National Stadium site, and also went on to win that season's French championship. The "bookends" theme can be extended even further—in the Heineken Cup's second season (1996–97), it was won by another French side, Brive, while the second-to-last Heineken Cup final (2012–13) was won by Toulon (although neither of these clubs won the French championship in that season).

    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.

    Theme Parks 

    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.

    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, 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, generally 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.
  • 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.
  • 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: In the very first strip, Senna says "When I'm around, everything is glamorous". In the last strip of the first 150-strip volume, Marie says "When Sandra's around, everything is wild... and glamorous!". The Call Back is clearly deliberate, especially given that this comic is a spin-off from Ménage à 3, as discussed above.
  • Very similarly, the other spin-off from the same comic, Sticky Dilly Buns, has Amber say 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".

    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 Simons 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 MLP Analysis' Rift Saga, a season-long Story Arc started by Voice of Reason and An Y Pony with their "Magical Mystery Cure" review and ended by them with their "Twilight's Kingdom" review.
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Real Life 
History
  • 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.
  • 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 Dark Ages (or 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 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.
  • 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. 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.

People
  • Mark Twain, the author of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was born when Halley's Comet was at its perihelion (when it is closest to the Sun), and he died when said comet was at its perihelion again 75 years later. It was one of his life's goals to live between the comet's appearances.
  • 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, it is said that a butterfly flew over his coffin at his funeral.
  • There's that Stephen Wright joke that he wished his first word had been "Quote", so that on his deathbed he could say "Unquote".
  • Pedro I of Brazil (also Pedro IV of Portugal) died in the same room where he was born.
  • 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.

Science
  • 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.
  • Most stars are born from nebulae, and some turn into nebulae when they die.
  • The Earth. Approximately 4 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. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Technology
  • "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.
  • This applies to all websites' HTML codes. They all begin and end with the codes <html> and </html> respectively.

Other
  • For many people, their life begins and ends in a hospital.
  • There is a joke that you begin and end your life in diapers.
  • 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.
  • People sometimes go through these without taking much note of it. For example, you begin and end the day asleep.
  • Due to Christenings, after birth and death you'll be in a Church.
  • It's commonly joked that the best parts of university are when you enter (for beating the entry process) and when you leave (particularly for those who struggle to graduate).

Isn't this where-
Bonus MaterialEnding TropesBoring Return Journey
BlipvertScript SpeakBoom Up and Over
Big 'NO!"Tear JerkerBreak the Cutie
Unreliable NarratorOverdosed TropesBFS
Text TropesSelf-Demonstrating ArticleAbsent-Minded Professor
Anti-Climax BossWiki SandboxCreator's Favorite

alternative title(s): Book End
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