Sometimes at the end of a show, right before the Fade to Black
, there will be a shot of a door closing, covering the characters from the audience's view. The type of door may vary, it could be anything from a typical front door on a house to the sliding doors of an elevator or the grand gates of some lavish estate.
Why the door is being shown this way at all will also vary.
- It may be done to tease the audience, if, for example, the last characters seen are a favored pairing in a romantic looking setting and the writers are leaving the audience to ask Did They or Didn't They?.
- It may be for comedic purposes, where one character has done something which is sure to lead to a Hilarity Ensues moment, but the door closes, leaving audience to imagine what happens next.
- It may be for something darker. If the hero has been captured by the Evil Overlord and has been taken to the dungeons to be tortured, but just as he is strapped to the rack, the dungeon door closes, shutting viewers out, and locking him inside along with whatever it is they are about to do to him.
- Finally, if done at the end of a Grand Finale episode or the last movie of a series, it could be used to invoke the sense that the final curtain has come down.
These are a few examples, but it is by no means limited to them.
May overlap with various types of Discretion Shots
- An example of the first kind occurs at the end of Amazing Spider-Man #149, Peter Parker says farewell to the Clone of Gwen Stacey and then went home to his apartment, where he was pleasantly surprised to find someone waiting for him.
Peter Parker: Mary Jane! Lady, am I ever glad to see you.
Mary Jane Watson: Do you mean that, Tiger? For real?
Peter Parker: Come her... and I'll show you. (Closes the door in the audience's face with an audible CLICK).
- Strangers in Paradise ends the entire series like this.
- In Fantasia, the "Dance of the Hours" segment ends with the palace doors slamming so hard they're knocked off their hinges.
- The director's cut of Blade Runner ends like this, immediately after the main character has found out he's a replicant too.
- A the end of the 1984 film The Stone Boy, about a boy who accidentally shoots & kills his older brother and the family's grief, there is a shot of the surviving brother and his father closing the barn doors, seen from the inside.
- At the end of Kenneth Branagh's Henry V the modern-dress Chorus ends the film with his epilogue, then closes the door on the newly engaged King Henry and his bride-to-be. This parallels the opening of the film, where after the Chorus's prologue he throws open the doors to show the first scene.
- The Lord of the Rings, as Sam returns to his family and home, having just seen the last of the fellowship leaving.
- At the end of The Godfather, after Michael lies to Kay about not being responsible for killing his brother-in-law, we see the door shut on Kay as Michael is being proclaimed the new Don.
- At the end of The Searchers, a happy family reunion occurs inside a house, but Ethan realizes there is No Place For Me There and wanders off to the background desert. Ethan is left literally out of the picture as the door of the house closes and "The End" appears.
- At the end of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the title character and his love interest walk through a door to hyperspace and it closes behind them.
- Event Horizon ends with the door closing to the sleep chamber deck as Starck screams uncontrollably from the stasis nightmare she's had as the rescue crew try fruitlessly to calm her.
- The film of Don Giovanni ends with a servant closing the palace's doors.
- Several of the Saw films, three times using the same room.
- The Mask Of Zorro ends with a door closing behind the eponymous hero as he strides out into the sunset.
- Babylon 5:
- One episode had Delenn ask Ivanova a rather awkward question as they get into a turbolift ( about human female periods), and while Ivanova tries to figure out how to respond, the doors close.
- Another had G'Kar as a prisoner of Emperor Cartagia, who decides he doesn't like how G'Kar is looking at him. The solution? Pluck out his eye. As the emperor leaves, a guard pulls out a knife and the prison door is shut.
- Warehouse13 has shots before some commercial breaks where the final screen shrinks and as if panning back to show the screenshot is inside a crate on a black field, then the top of the crate closes over it with a snap sound effect and then it goes to commercial.
- Charmed did this many times throughout the series, including the series finale.
- In The Closer: the last we see of Brenda Leigh Johnson in the Grand Finale is her eating one of her long-missed chocolates as the elevator doors close.
- Scrubs 1x15, "Bed, Banter, and Beyond" deconstructed Will They or Won't They?, showing JD and Elliot's first day together as well as the ensuing weeks and their break-up. The episode ended on the door of JD's apartment closing on the Dramatic Irony of JD and Elliot promising each other the relationship won't proceed down the path we just saw it follow.
- An episode of The Larry Sanders Show combines this with Brick Joke: midway through an episode, a character can be seen drawing something on the office door. The last thing that happens is people walk out the door, and as they close it behind them, we're treated to a drawing of a giant middle finger.
- The Nightmare Room does this twice every episode: once before the commercial break and once at the end.
- Mad Men does this numerous times, finally deliberately averting it in "The Suitcase."
- Boardwalk Empire: The second-to-last scene of Season 3 has one as an homage to the one from The Godfather, with a gender reversal as Margaret is the one who closes the door on Nucky.
- The Inner Sanctum radio show ended with the creaking door slamming shut.
- Katawa Shoujo has one for Rin's Route If you select "Then Explain" during Hisao's argument with her, he slams the door on his way out, ending with a short quip.
- Super Smash Bros for the N64 had a variation on this. After defeating Master Hand on Classic, the camera zooms out to reveal the room from the title sequence, followed by the screen going black to the sound of a door shutting. Cue credits.
- Defeat another faction by force in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, and you get to see one: the defeated faction leader levitating in a sphere of Electric Torture. Bloodcurdling scream. Blast door with the defeated faction's logo slamming shut, closing off the victim from view mid-scream.
- One Over Zero ends this way, with a happy ending where everyone is Back for the Finale. Those who died during the comic's run were resurrected get turned into humans (except the Running Gag, which gets turned into a fish). The door in question is a dimensional door between the world of the comic (which will be destroyed) and the real world.
- The Godfather's final shot is homaged in the ending of a mafia-themed episode of The Simpsons, with Lisa in the role of Kay. Subverted as the door opens again to reveal Michael is playing with his toys.
- When Terrytoons started formatting their cartoons for TV, they attempted to end each show with a door closing, the character's face on the door and a star flashing above. Only three shows had this closing—Mighty Mouse Playhouse, The Heckle And Jeckle Cartoon Show and The Deputy Dawg Show.