"Then comes the ending of the movie. Or the endings. One after another. Farewells. Poignancy. Lessons to be learned. Speeches to be made. Lost marbles to be rediscovered. Tears to be shed."
When a viewer, reader, or player finds the fiction they are perusing to be otherwise fine, but can't... quite... finish...
The reasons vary: maybe it has Pacing Problems
after the first half or the first main villain in the Sorting Algorithm of Evil
is defeated, or it's become deathly dull post-climax, or the effort needed to beat the Final Boss
just doesn't seem worth it, or perhaps the author just didn't know how to end it, couldn't decide on an ending and just threw all of them in.
Note that this isn't simply "the story is too long/goes too slowly," but it actually appears if it's going to end but doesn't several times. The effect of this, usually, is a frustrating and jarring experience which eventually has the viewer thinking something along the lines of "Just end
already!" This is, for the most part
a reaction you want to provoke in the reader, or the theater goer who badly wants to run to the restroom
but doesn't want to miss the end of the movie that they paid good money to see.
Boring Return Journey
is usually a deliberate attempt to defy this phenomenon. For a variant exclusive to video games in terms of gameplay, see Disappointing Last Level
(though if the story
falls under this, it still counts here). For series that Executive Meddling
forces to keep going, see Franchise Zombie
. Some songs that employ Epic Rocking
can lead to this, say, if the end is two minutes of instrumentals. If done well, Your Princess Is in Another Castle
is a subversion of this trope.
is a small-scale version, where a single story-arc goes on longer than it should. Compare Epic Instrumental Opener
, where the intro of a song seems neverending, and Leave the Camera Running
The Chris Carter Effect
is when this or Arc Fatigue
causes the audience to grow impatient and give up on the series (and it usually is a series of some kind).
For films/plays in theaters these can really be rough for someone fighting Bladder of Steel
, as there is no way to pause the production.
... so you'd wish. Here's the whole rest.
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Anime and Manga
- In both, the manga and the anime, of Fist of the North Star just after Kenshiro defeated his long time rival and main antagonist Raoh, he goes alongside his lover, Julia, to live in peace, giving farewells to all of his friends and marching into the horizon.The series could have perfectly ended there, but right after that, the series just keeps going with a lot of unnecessary and recycled plots, enemies, and a lot of completely out of nowhere backstories just for the sake of keeping the series going, despite having the main plot being resolved a long time ago.
- A common complaint about Death Note in manga form is that it drags through the second arc, largely because the author wanted there to be exactly 108 chapters. The anime, on the flip side, shoehorns as many as nine manga chapters into a single episode.
- After the death of Cherubimon in Digimon Frontier, the anime's pacing falls apart and the second half is just the main characters losing to the Quirky Miniboss Squad. Again and again and again. For eight episodes straight.
- Scrapped Princess either needed two fewer episodes or two more episodes, depending on how you look at it.
- Most of the longer works of Rumiko Takahashi face this problem. The longest one that didn't was probably Maison Ikkoku.
- InuYasha was an odd case, in that it took much too long to reach the end (many found it to be a very bad case and that it could have reached a proper ending with at least 100 chapters less), but the actual ending (a one chapter Distant Finale) is quite brief compared to the storylines of the series.
- There have been many discussion about this concerning Hellsing. Some of the most disillusioned have professed the opinion that they don't even care how it ends, so long as it involves someone shutting the Major up.
- YuYu Hakusho was intended to end with the blatantly climactic Chapter Black arc, but editorial management forced Yoshihiro Togashi to extend the series to one more story arc, which starts out about an approaching war, suddenly turns into a short and rather uninteresting Tournament Arc, and then ends with several random stories that indicate that Togashi had practically stopped caring at this point. The anime somewhat fixes things by cutting the random stories at the end out and making a better, more emotional series ending overall.
- The original Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Transforming Mecha, action-packed space battles, a climactic final confrontation... and then nine episodes of Hikaru trying to make up his mind about if he loves Misa or Minmei more.
- The later chapters of The Wallflower betray the fact that the author doesn't know how to end the damn manga, with grindingly slow character development and pushing the Belligerent Sexual Tension beyond the point of the reader's endurance.
- This actually tends to be a very common problem for manga, especially Shoujo. (Sometimes the author adds in a note somewhere, flat-out admitting they don't know how/when to end it!)
- The final arc of Eyeshield 21 (the World Youth Cup) was just one too many for a lot of the fans because the Devil Bats had already won the big game they'd be working towards from the start of the series and this just felt like a needless Post Script Season. It was also comparatively poorly written. The creators seemed to agree, as they wrapped the arc very hastily. It segued surprisingly well into the series finale, though.
- At the beginning of Bakugan: New Vestroia, the brawlers joined a resistance group that's trying to free the Bakugan enslaved by the Vestals. Then they had to stop the Vexos from destroying all the Bakugan on New Vestroia. Then they had to stop the Vexos from destroying the whole universe. By the time the brawlers are stopping Zenoheld's plan to end the whole universe, it feels like the climax had passed a long time ago. This was so bad that New Vestroia doesn't really seem to end as much as transition into Gundalian Invaders by the way it was ended.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure Part 5 hits the climax at the end of the final battle with King Crimson/ Diavolo... And then we get a four chapter long flashback centering around Spotlight Stealing character Buccelatti that does absolutely nothing for the plot, reveals nothing, and reduces Giorno's rise to the head of the mafia into a footnote.
- And Part 7 does it again, Johnny has just defeated Funny Valentine is defeated and the corpse can finally be put to rest, but Gyro dies in the process. At this point it looks like a good way to close out for the next part as all things are coming to their close Except now the corpse has been stolen again forcing Johnny to chase down the one responsible. As it turns out it's another Diego brought to this universe in between Funny's slow death from Tusk's ability. This Ultimately served no purpose outside of the storage of the corpse And ended with Johnny getting disqualified from the race.
- Monster. 74 episodes. Shots sustained simply to reproduce the manga rather than narrative purpose. Repeatedly winding up suspense to yet another lack of climax. Monster in general is a series that likes to take its sweet time in doing things. In general, it loved to do this thing where it would basically make the main protagonist, Tenma, disappear for a little while, introduce a side character or small set of side characters, give them A Day in the Limelight and sufficient Character Development to get the audience to like or remember them to some extent, and then much later reintroduce Tenma to clean up whatever the new characters were doing. The epitome of this would be the Bayern arc, for introducing about six new characters that went on with their own problems for, in the manga, about 15-20 chapters before Tenma even shows back up, and even then, the main plot is largely disconnected from this. All-in-all, the characters this arc focused on really didn't impact the plot in any huge way but was largely still compelling enough to read through to when it would. Plus, the story is resolved two chapters/one episode from the end, with the rest being dedicated purely to a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. Although there were so many character threads to wrap up that they fill that time quite easily.
- In the Warrior Cats manga The Heart of a Warrior, the main villains are defeated two thirds of the way through. The rest of the plot deals with Barley's brothers hanging around the barn, abusing Ravenpaw until Barley finally tells his brothers that they should get the hell off his property.
- Eiji from Bakuman。 references and defies this trope in-universe. When he first got published, it was on the condition that upon reaching number one, he'd be able to end a series of his choice. He meant his own; he wanted to end his series at its peak rather than drawing it out for profit to the detriment of its quality.
- The manga itself though, goes through some of this in it's final arc, being about "ending a manga when it should end", going out of it's way to mention it often, after a previous arc that amounted to a rehash of the message/story from a previous arc (including being the same antagonist doing "the same thing, just with more people"
- The climax of Steamboy definitely gives the impression that the director was having too much fun piling one piece of epicness after another onto the battle and didn't want to stop. The worst bit is when the Steam Castle is brought down and we get the Patrick Stewart Speech decrying its hubris (which is even delivered by Stewart himself if you're watching the dub), and then it's revealed that the Castle will destroy London and they have to travel deep into its engine room to stop it.
- MÄR falls into this in the anime, mainly due to excessive filler arcs but even without those the climax of the series is a whopping seven episodes long. This is in direct contrast to the manga ending, which was considered rushed and anti-climatic.
- Naruto's final battle went on for about two years. That's one battle taking multiple books to finish. It doesn't help that who the characters are primarily fighting against changed at least seven times from start to finish, with Tobi and Madara (and, to a much lesser extent, Kabuto, Orochimaru and Sasuke) becoming the focus more than once each. It also doesn't help that the "final" arc, the 4th Shinobi War of which this is the Final Battle, began in early 2011, i.e. the war went on for over three years, and Naruto was engaged in a single fight with Tobi and Madara for two of those years. And then a THIRD villain shows up in the form of Kaguya, the Rikudou Sennin's mom. And once all of these are finally dealt with, with plenty of Alas, Poor Villain and other denouement? Sasuke- who over the course of the battle had finally decided to abandon his revenge obsession and also pursue the position of Hokage and protect Konoha like his brother Itachi had tried to do- declares that the only way to ensure this never happens again is to tear down the whole system (like Tobi and Madara had tried to do) by taking control of the Tailed Demons and killing the Kage (and the demons as well once he's done). To be perfectly fair, the author had stated the manga's final fight would be between Naruto and Sasuke, but this was jarring beyond belief especially when much of the readership had long since gotten sick of Sasuke in general.
- A great number of rounds of Monopoly end up like this: once all the properties are bought, there's nothing really to do but keep going around the board waiting for those in last to run out of money, which they do at a slow rate as everyone still gets $200 for passing Go. Even if people are still trading properties etc., a roll of the dice can easily reintroduce a stalemate. Unusually, this is intentional: the game was originally designed as political propaganda, and the long, grinding endgame was intended to illustrate to the frustrated players the inherent unfairness of the real estate system. The effect is exacerbated by common house rules (such as awarding players a large amount of cash for landing on Free Parking) which are designed to give losing players a chance to catch up but in practice just prolong their inevitable defeat.
- This was exemplified in an episode of Achievement Hunter's Let's Play series. They broke it up into two parts and the first part was difficult to stop because there was just no natural stopping point they could find. And the second part dragged on for so long, the first person to get bankrupt, Gavin, cheerfully leapt out of his seat and ran out the room, screaming "I'M OUT OF HERE, BITCHES!"
- Risk does this frequently. The longer the game goes, the more reinforcements a player can get from cards, so failing to finish off an opponent during a long game can often lead to that opponent completely restocking his army on the next turn, extending the length of the game by another hour or so. Plus there's the fact that manipulation and diplomacy are half the fun. Once it's down to two players, this is all gone, leading to the long and boring fight (or quick Curb-Stomp Battle).
- Also has been known to happen with Trivial Pursuit, on account of having to reach the center space by exact die roll in order to receive the final question. If the die doesn't cooperate, or the final question is missed, this can go on for hours. Add to the fact that many editions of the game contain pretty antiquated trivia to people shy of their fifties.
- Talisman: The highly random nature of the game and the many pitfalls that can befall a particular character (death, losing all items/followers, reductions in stats, and random teleportation), some games can run several hours long before a player wins. The game manual even suggests alternate rules for determining who the winner is at the end of a set time limit for players who want to avoid this.
- The Dungeons & Dragons pre-written adventure The Red Hand Of Doom has the Fane of Tiamat, a rather uneventful, by the numbers, final dungeon to finish off the Big Bad after defeating the Red Hand itself. Guides written for Dungeon Masters running the adventure suggest scraping it entirely, and placing the Big Bad fight in the earlier Battle of Brindol, as the siege is considered a far worthier end the campaign
- Crisis on Infinite Earths was a long time ending, particularly because the Anti-Monitor just didn't want to die. When Superman finally kills him, he outright does it saying "I'VE HAD ENOUGH!"
- Trinity, DC Comics' paean to how special and awesome its three flagship characters are, was stretched out over an entire year because that seems to be how long they think Epic Series should last these days.
- Marvel Crisis Crossovers tend to fall into this, since apparently Joe Quesada's idea of a good crossover event is to have it go on for over a year, with every single title having a 6-issue tie-in. Not to mention, essentially having such crossovers back-to-back.
- The "Cross-Time Caper" plotline in Excalibur began in issue 12◊ with the plotline's name and "Part 1 of 9" on the cover. It continued through issue 19, took a break for issue 20 to catch its breath, then picked back up for issue 21 ... through 24. That's 12 parts (of 9, remember) not including the skipped issue. Issue 25 still included the "Cross-Time Caper" logo, but the words "is still over!"◊ followed it.
- The Clone Saga that ran for two years in Spider-Man has become a byword for overly long comic storylines. It was meant to end in less than a year, but editorial kept dragging it out because it was selling well. The catch, of course, is that fans weren't buying it because they enjoyed it, just because they were already committed to it. In fact, the extra length made the backlash worse — for instance, Ben Reilly "replacing" Peter Parker was always meant to be a fake-out, but the longer it went on, the more fans feared it was really permanent. Near the end, Marvel even released a self-mocking oneshot called 101 Ways to End the Clone Saga.
- Another byword for too-long comic stories is The Trial Of The Flash. This ambitious storyline from longtime The Flash writer Cary Bates put Barry Allen through hell for two years. It was meant to be long, but not to be Barry's last story; unfortunately, partway through, the order came down from editorial that Barry would die in Crisis on Infinite Earths. This hurts the Trial with readers, as does the false ending halfway through where Barry is nearly acquitted (mass amnesia erases this) and the many legal mistakes, including the need for a trial at all... not to mention the inherent story problems in keeping a hero known for battling villains with Super Speed inside a slow-paced courtroom environment. The second-last issue states boldly on the cover "IT'S OVER!" The reason it lasted as long as it did, was due to the fact that DC was modernizing itself creatively and that Cary Bates and Carmin Infantino were basically given Flash to write/draw because none of the editors wanted to give them any big time assignments due to the fact that they represented the old "50s/60s era DC Comics" style that they were trying to run away from. The whole trial storyline was designed to get the editors to see that they could be hip and relevant as far as capable of producing the long-form storylines that DC editorial wanted at the time; and DC editorial, partly because they didn't want to seem like heartless bastards, let the story run and run and run and run as long as it did mainly because no one wanted to be the one who would have to fire the two from the book. "Crisis" solved this problem, but at the same time made it worse: it was decided to keep Flash being published until Crisis On Infinite Earths #8 was published to hide the big reveal that Barry was going to die. This meant that the storyline had to be dragged out even longer so as to do so.
- Velvet Goldmine, not helped by the entire film being fairly incomprehensible to begin with. A contemporary reviewer described it as "the longest two hours of your life".
- Alienł has six or seven endings in quick succession, as if David Fincher couldn't decide on what closing shot would be coolest.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which runs around three hours, features about 25 minutes of denouement. Each character gets his farewell, resulting in a long sequence of "endings" (six of them!) that leaves some viewers restless. As Honest Trailers put it, "A film that took so much of Peter Jackson's life, he didn't want it to end, prompting five completely separate endings that go on and on forever, making it really hard to hold in your pee." The parody trailer mocks this problem in its own way: it ends three separate times. However the effect is mitigated somewhat if one considers it the ending of a twelve hour film, and the conclusion of the entire film trilogy.
- Godzilla Raids Again has Godzilla kill his opponent... over 30 minutes before the film ends. Afterward, the viewer is treated to a still-running and boring romance subplot about the human characters, and then a long and dull scene (five minutes) of airplanes causing an avalanche to bury Godzilla.
- Several of Robert Zemeckis's films:
- Cast Away first climaxes when Tom Hanks' character is rescued by an oil tanker after losing Wilson. We then follow him as he returns home, reunites with his now remarried wife, sees how people take simple tools for granted, and then goes on to show the audience that FedEX will deliver your package anywhere in the world. No matter how long it takes.
- Back to the Future, while not wearing out its welcome, looks like it's going to end about twice before it actually does. Doc drops Marty off at his house before heading off to the future. Is it the end? Cut to Marty waking up the next day. Marty is reunited with Jennifer. Is it the end? Doc returns to bring Marty along on another adventure. Then it ends.
- Forrest Gump just never seems to end, as you'd expect everything to wrap up once Forrest's life story caught up to the present and he reunited with Jenny, but it keeps going past that to cover their wedding and her eventual death via AIDS. It's kind of a surprise when the credits finally do roll.
- In the James Bond reboot film Casino Royale, what seems to be the climax of the film, the resolution of the big poker game, is only the end of the second act. Some audience members were confused that the film kept going, following Bond as he retires and ultimately faces the tragedy that makes him the ruthless lothario we all know.
- The 1967 versions of Casino Royale has this; it arguably starts when Evelyn Tremble and Le Chiffre are killed. The remainder of the film has to bring all the other characters together to unmask and confront the Big Bad. The resultant climax degenerates into a gigantic free-for-all fight in the casino with a Kill Em All ending played for LAUGHS, followed by a Fluffy Cloud Heaven ending. This was mainly due to a large amount of behind-the-scenes problems, most of which started when Peter Sellers left in the middle of filming.
- The Strangers reaches the perfect ending (It will be easier next time.) and adds a boring and unnecessary sequence just to show us that, despite the impossibility of it, Kristen is Not Quite Dead.
- The Departed. Even after Frank Costello dies, the viewer has to sit through a good half hour of tying up loose ends.
- The story goes that in directing Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas actually omitted a scene of Yoda arriving on Dagobah to begin his exile, because the movie had enough endings already. You can see it on the deleted scenes of the DVD.
- The one complaint about The Dark Knight seems to be that it goes on for too long and seems to be about to end three or four times before it finally actually does. Part of the problem might be that viewers became more emotionally attached to the Joker than Two-Face. The corruption of Harvey Dent is the masterstroke of Joker's plan, so the resolution with Two-Face is thematically the climax, but once the Joker himself has left the film, audiences started to lose interest. According to the writers, this situation happened because the film's final script was put together with parts from two other screenplays. Two-Face was supposed to be in a completely different film, but once the producers understood the appeal, they wrote him into the film. The original film was supposed to end at the scene where The Joker gets taken into custody.
- All other complaints aside, perhaps the biggest failing of Brazil was that the final part of the movie consists of one scene after another each of which looks like a climactic ending. Final count: about fourteen. Then it's all subverted with a monumental Twist Ending. The biggest problem with the Love Conquers All version is that it kept most of those endlessly rising endings and then cut the punchline/climax.
- The hospital dream sequence in All That Jazz stretches on for about five separate songs and more than 20 minutes, just repeating the same message over and over again. No wonder the last song is the main character choosing to die.
- The main plot in Mamma Mia! is wrapped up in the wedding scene, but there are three more musical numbers afterward anyway. "I Have a Dream" is how the show closes on stage, so that's understandable, but in between we have "When All Is Said and Done" and "Take a Chance on Me," the latter of which is merely a segment hooking up two supporting characters. And this isn't even counting the "Dancing Queen" reprise and "Waterloo" that makes up the first segment of the end credits. In the stage show, the cast basically keeps singing encores until the audiences starts to leave, so the lengthy denouement is an intentional reflection of this.
- Other film musicals that suffered this:
Dr. Frank 'n' Furter: Whatever happened...
Audience: To the plot?
- In The Wiz, after Evillene's defeat and the heroes discovering the Wiz's true identity, it takes three songs and a good deal of talk to get Dorothy home. Plus, they're relatively subdued compared to many of the songs that preceded them, which feels anti-climactic.
- Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band defeats the villains during "Come Together" and then wastes four songs (two performed in one medley) as the town and Billy Shears deal with Strawberry Fields' demise... which becomes a Disney Death after all that, making all the moping pointless.
- The Sound of Music has three of these: once when Maria leaves the Von Trapp house, the second at the wedding, complete with soaring, triumphant choral music (even for SoM), and the actual ending of the film. The first would probably not be an ending in itself (due to its downer nature in a mostly uplifting musical) if the first disc/tape didn't end there. Originally, the German release of the film did have the wedding scene as the ending, since the entire third act was cut because of its focus on post-Anschluss Austria.
- The plot of Hello, Dolly! is really over with the reconciliation of Horace and Dolly to the strains of the title song, but this continues without interruption into the entire cast storming on stage with reprises of all major numbers. The movie drags this glorified curtain call out even longer.
- The ending of Blazing Saddles upsets some audiences for completely dropping the Western facade in the middle of the climactic rumble. The film feels a little adrift as the characters begin running around Hollywood backlots and Los Angeles streets, though highlighting the artificiality of the genre is a running theme throughout the film.
- The biofilm W.. had a seemingly fitting ending where all the actors morph into their Real Life counterparts and it ends with news footage... then the movie continues for another 30 minutes.
- By Steven Spielberg:
- Saving Private Ryan takes this trope as far as it can be taken. (after The Cavalry arrives, it tries to wrap everything as quick as possible)
- A.I. seems like it will end twice: when David drops on the sea that engulfed New York, and when he is talking to a submerged statue of the Blue Fairy, begging to be turned into a real boy. Both would be Downer Endings of their own, but then the film cuts to a Distant Finale long after humanity has gone extinct, and some Sufficiently Advanced Robots turn the film into a real Tear Jerker.
- The Lost World: Jurassic Park has its peculiar San Diego rampage epilogue, which seems more fit for a full-fledged sequel than the last half-hour of its predecessor.
- Hook waffles repeatedly between whether the eponymous Captain is going to survive in shame or die by Peter's hand, and then finally decides neither will do. As Roger Ebert saw it, what happens after that is overextended too — Peter bidding farewell to the Lost Boys; the kids being reunited with Moira and Wendy; Peter bidding farewell to Tinkerbell; Peter reuniting with the kids, Moira, and Wendy; the resolution of the "lost marbles" business with Tootles...
- Catch Me If You Can tries to end three or four times, but Leonardo DiCaprio just won't stop running away.
- Munich: After Avner returns to his family there are at least two to three scenes that feeling like the film is building up to its end, only to have it keep going.
- War Horse makes the viewer think there's an additional action scene going to take place after its climax, then drags out its denouement.
- Lincoln has a poignant shot of Honest Abe walking away after bidding his goodbyes before heading off to Ford's Theater. Does the movie end there? Nope. Instead it continues on to his assassination, or rather, psyching out the audience by depicting a simultaneous play, to Lincoln's deathbed, then to him giving his second inaugural address.
- The last third of Casino seemed to involve a lot of padding.
- Plenty of slasher movies do this by having the second half of the movie consist almost entirely of the killer chasing the Final Girl around, with no plot twists or anything to shake things up.
- Chico Marx's piano performance in Animal Crackers was an in-film example.
Chico: I can't think of the finish.
Groucho: I can't think of anything else!
- Chocolat has the climax about 30 minutes before the film ends. There are about a dozen false endings after this point, but the movie isn't actually over until the kangaroo disappears.
- Australia, which had an intermediate climax good enough for one movie on its own. It starts all over again halfway through.
- A major criticism of Transformers is that the final battle dragged on far too long. For the sequel it's more that the final battle was actually too short, while the whole sequence of running-to-bring-Optimus-back-to-life was too long.
- Japanese Film The Great Yokai War had a lengthy, exciting, and rather satisfying climax followed by an uncomfortable scene where all the colorfully-costumed youkai have left, without closure, leaving a young boy and a grown man alone in the ruins of Tokyo for several minutes in which they have an awkward conversation and the man begins to drink. With so little happening in what had been a pretty spontaneous movie up until then, all the audience has to think about are the resulting Unfortunate Implications.
- Battle Royale 2 does this at least three or four times.
- For being an 87 minute film, Freddy Got Fingered at least flirts with this, but also puts a fourth-wall-breaking lampshade on it: After the movie threatens to end about three times, Gord and his father return home from Pakistan, and they're greeted by a crowd holding up signs, one of which reads "Is this fucking movie over yet?".
- As pointed out quite humorously by The Nostalgia Chick the Pilot Movie of She Ra Princess Of Power ends and then promptly moves onto a previously unmentioned plot point, several times. (The film clearly was intended as a Five-Episode Pilot — it aired on television in that format later — not a theatrical film.)
"Okay, so now we're off to rescue some queen we've never heard of...."
"Christ Almighty! This movie has more fakeouts than Return of the King!"
- The Thumbelina section of Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny. It was a standalone film originally, and was repackaged for this as a story that Santa Claus is telling some children after his sleigh gets stuck in the Florida sand. It starts with a girl who enters a theme park and visits the Thumbelina section of the park where she's told the story of Thumbelina, making it a story within a story within a story within a story. The actual film is absolutely awful, and when the story ends you're really glad. We then have footage of the girl leaving the park, and we're then treated to five minutes of clips of people enjoying the park until it finally finishes. Then you have to sit through the rest of the Santa Claus plotline! Just end already!
- A common complaint of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is that the title event happens, and then the movie goes on for another hour. This is largely due to Billing Displacement and misgivings over the title. Jesse James isn't the main character, Robert Ford is and its the story of his legend compared to James's. This even extended to Casey Affleck bizarrely getting nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. In the as-yet unreleased director's cut it in fact goes on for another two hours after the assassination. This accounts somewhat for why the final third feels a bit more rushed than the previous two thirds.
- Bad Boys II would seem to logically end around the time when the team captures Tapia's drug and money shipments, gaining enough evidence to have him convicted. Instead, Tapiya kidnaps Sid and flees to Cuba, causing the film to go on for another half-hour and leading to a climax where Mike, Marcus and a few other cops go to Cuba, hook up with local resistance fighters, and assault Tapia's heavily fortified mansion. Even this takes longer than it should with the gun battle leading to an extended car chase and ending with a standoff outside of Guantanamo Bay. However, one may feel MUCH more satisfied to see him get blown up by a mine rather than just getting arrested.
- There are at least three points in The Box that would have been satisfactory endings to the film before the actual ending. One of these even follows the standard ending formula, with a huge climax and an obvious downward slope in the intensity afterwards, as if the film is winding down, only for it to pick up again. As a result the actual ending, which normally could have been a pretty powerful scene, ends up as kind of weak since at that point the viewer is just waiting for it to be over.
- The Night of the Hunter, otherwise a masterpiece of suspense, suffers from an ending that drags on for twenty minutes or so for little reason after the plot is resolved.
- Scott Pilgrim vs. The World subverts the trope. After a lengthy climax, Scott defeats the final villain and learns a lesson, but out of nowhere he's suddenly faced with his "evil doppelganger," making it look like there's a whole additional action scene about to take place. Instead, we cut to after their confrontation, in which they apparently just chatted and parted on good terms. The film ends quickly afterwards.
- The Guardian goes through about three perfectly acceptable endings after the final action scene.
- Excalibur. As William Goldman said, you're just unnerved when you should be shocked because King Arthur dies.
- Psycho. Modern audiences are often frustrated that the chilling finale in the cellar is followed by several minutes of exposition by the psychiatrist, who explains everything that happened in the film. Audiences at the time did not appreciate Left Hanging endings.
- Dinner for Schmucks. OK, we had the heartwarming scene, the movie must surely be about to wrap up...nope, there's still more! OK, we're done with the dinner...oh, a little more? Fine. The End, finally, now THERE'S EPILOGUE SCENES?! Ironically, the original film The Dinner Game avoids this by running just 80 minutes and focusing solely on the main story (the subplots were added for the remake as films under 90 minutes seem to be unfashionable in the US). The final result is considered by many one of the best French films of the 1990's.
- The Ring appears to suffer from this. The whole curse thing is resolved and we get a few scenes of the characters returning to their... hey, what's with Noah's TV? Ultimately subverted in that this fake-out ending is probably the best-remembered thing about the film.
- Braveheart. Several points where one might reasonably expect to see credits roll and be able to get on with something else.
- The Last Airbender, once the characters reach the North Pole.
- Limitless has a more mild example of this trope as only about 15 minutes remain in the film after the climax. However quite a bit is crammed into that 15 minutes, giving the impression that it might've been rushed to avoid this trope.
- The Beastmaster: Dar defeats the evil wizard who screwed up his life and took over his rightful kingdom, and announces that he's going to become the new king. Then it turns out the wizard's army is still out there and about to attack the kingdom, so we have a whole other climax on top of it. See this movie for a textbook example of why the Scouring of the Shire was cut from the Lord of the Rings films.
- Nollywood movies often have this, because they are usually very long (so long that they are on two DVD's).
- The film version of the Tyler Perry play I Can Do Bad All By Myself not only runs 20-30 minutes longer than it should but has two false endings. The first occurs after the actual ending, after a fade to black. You get ready to leave the theatre but instead of credits, you get a random musical number that has nothing to do with the plot. After that, you get your second false ending. After another fade to black, you get outtakes (on a movie that wasn't even a comedy, no less). By then, most people would have just given up and gone to their car.
- Scream 4 lampshades this, by the killer no less:
Jill: This is how it's gonna be, Sid? The ending of the movie was supposed to be at the house; I mean this is just silly.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000:
- The Wild World of Batwoman, as seen on the quotes page. In the film itself, the plot has been resolved, the villain defeated, everything is wrapped up...and yet the movie continues, inflicting more on the viewer, up until the cast evidently decides to indulge in a disco dance party (really badly), causing Tom Servo to lose it and just start screaming at the screen.
- In The Great Escape, after much build-up and planning, the actual escape starts an hour and forty-five minutes into the movie and is over fifteen minutes later. Then theres another forty-five minutes left in the movie.
- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Like the book, Blomkvist's legal troubles bookend the central mystery plot. After the mystery is resolved, we still spend some time resolving how Blomkvist and Lisbeth get back at Blomkvist's nemesis. Funny enough, the Swedish version knows when to shut up. After the plot is resolved, we get a short scene of Blomkvist in jail, the news report of his nemesis dead, and Lisbeth in Granada.
- Men In Black II- Serleena's defeated, the Light of Zartha's on its way home, and then ... a locker room/obligatory mind screw scene.
- The Help feels like it should end as Skeeter achieves success with her book and helps the maids out financially as they all begin to have success but the movie aimlessly wanders for about a half-hour too long after before Aibileen leaves to start a new life.
- Savages has what seems to be a big climatic finale that would end the story...oh wait it was just an Imagine Spot by the narrator. Now HERE'S the real ending!
- Air Force One. First there's the final showdown with the lead terrorist Ivan Korshunov, which should have ended the movie, along with the death of Radek... But then there's the dogfight with the Mi Gs, followed by the escape sequence, in which Agent Gibbs attempts to kill the protagonists in a Post-Climax Confrontation.
- Deliberately invoked in Hot Fuzz. After a long climactic battle where it seems all the villains have been dealt with, Big Bad Frank Butterman escapes and takes Danny hostage. Nicholas is just as exasperated by this as the audience, and shouts "Pack it in, Frank, you silly bastard!" The creators explicitly noted that they were inspired by the point in Bad Boys II where it looks like everything's wrapped up, but then Martin Lawrence's character intones that "This shit just got real," and the movie keeps going.
- The Bollywood film Arth is about a couple having a divorce, the story centered around the woman's emotional struggles. The two finally meet up again, both having gone through hardships. When the woman asks her ex-husband if they'd like to get back together again, the husband answers back, "No," and the second half of the film begins. This next half has a totally unrelated plot, where the last 30 minutes of the film consist of roughly seven sequences, each tying up a loose thread and each edited as if they would cut to credits.
- The originally-planned ending to Aladdin - a reprise of "Arabian Nights" where the Peddler from the beginning of the movie revealed himself to be the Genie - may have been cut in order to avoid this trope. It came after the quick reprise of "A Whole New World" and viewers from test screenings reportedly left their seats as the heroes flew off into the night and thus missed this sequence. This may have inspired the finished film's "Made you look!" ending, as it assumes the viewer is already leaving the theater at that moment.
- Reefer Madness: The Musical could have ended with Mary's death. It could have ended with the group number when Jimmy is pardoned on death row. Instead, it goes on for about five more minutes, including another song.
- Granted, that's how the musical and the film ended ORIGINALLY. Now it just ends with aforementioned group number when Jimmy gets pardoned.
- Averted with Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The movie ended before the climax!
- In the 1942 Jungle Book, the film continues even after Mowgli kills Shere Khan in their Final Battle, which is how the original book ended, with three villagers pursuing a treasure that they kill each other over until the survivor goes insane and burns both the jungle and the village to the ground, with the film ending after everyone escaped the fire. Especially since every other adaptation ends with the battle between Mowgli and Shere Khan. The similar 1994 film even deliberately averts this by having the treasure plot resolved before Mowgli's final confrontation with Shere Khan.
- The Lone Ranger: In the words of critic Christopher Orr:
Orr: Somewhere, around the hour-and-a-half mark, The Lone Ranger makes the fateful decision not to end. Worse, the movie keeps not-ending for another full hour.
- Man of Steel's last 45+ minutes are essentially one enormous action climax that gets too tiring to appreciate. Superman and Lois escape from Zod's ship! Now the fight goes to the surface, where Superman battles Faora and Nam! Then there's an even longer final fight where Sup and the US military collaborate to destroy Zod's ship and the World Engine, except the troops can't destroy Zod's ship until Sup destroys the World Engine, which he can't yet because the alien atmosphere is toxic to him, and even afterward they have deal with Jor-El's key not activating and Faora attacking them, and even after all that Zod still isn't dead...
- Up in the Air has Natalie successfully conducting her first day of layoffs, and Ryan attends his sister's wedding, where he learns that "everyone needs a co-pilot," with the implication that he has finally gotten the inspiration he needs to begin a more meaningful relationship with Alex. Great place to leave off, right? But what's this? Alex has a husband? And children? And then Ryan clocks in his ten-millionth flyer mile? And one of Natalie's layoffs commits suicide? And Natalie quits her job out of grief? And the remote layoff program is suspended? And then Natalie applies for another job...
- Jackie Brown sets things up so that it appears the plan in the clothing store will be the big climax...but nope the film goes on for another twenty plus minutes as Ordell just keeps one-upping the protagonists.
- Django Unchained - it seems like the gun fight at Candyland will be the finale. But then Django has to give himself up, gets hung upside down for two minutes of torture, has to talk a group of rednecks out of taking him to the mines, rescue his wife and then finally shoot up the rest of the people at Candyland. And this is after things have already gone on for over two hours. According to Samuel L. Jackson, the shootout at Candyland originally was the ending, but after they shot the scene, the director and some of the actors realized that ending was a bit too generic in light of all that had preceded it. Hence Tarantino's decision to add a bit more.
- According to the DVD commentary for The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, the film narrowly missed coming down with Ending Fatigue during production, since there were so many tiny loose ends to tie up. The Aardman team was anxious to avoid the trope, however, and managed instead to tie up all those loose ends in a Creative Closing Credits sequence.
- After the evil werewolves and government agents are dead, The Howling III: The Marsupials then starts a drawn out happy ending with the two werewolf women hooking up with their respective love interests, living happily together, having children, said children growing up, meeting each other after a long time, and so on.
- Doctor Zhivago could easily end with Yuri and Lara's final parting, with perhaps a brief epilogue to wrap things up. Instead we cuts back to Yevgraf and the girl he believes to be Yuri and Lara's child, for another 15-20 minutes of narration and exposition detailing Yuri's death, Yevgraf's relationship with Lara, Komarovsky's possible fate, more of The Girl's backstory... eventually it all seems monotonous.
- The 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a bad case of this due to Adaptation Expansion, namely the Dark and Troubled Past it gives Willy Wonka. Because of his Daddy Issues, he insists Charlie give up his own family if he wants to inherit the factory, and Charlie refuses. The fallout from this means the story requires an additional climax before the book's happy ending can commence, and pads the movie by at least five minutes (and that's not counting the setup in the flashbacks). This is especially noticable because other adaptations manage to flesh out the story's finale, which is a bit thin on the page, without dragging it out. Compare it to the 1971 film's suspenseful and emotional climax and denouement or the 2013 stage musical's closing stretch (which flirts with this trope via a subdued reprise of "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen" right after the huge "A Little Me" ensemble number — but that reprise is not only short, but efficiently springs some surprises).
- An amusing variation with the movie Clue. When the film was in theaters, moviegoers could see one of three different reveals and endings (or all three, if they wished), depending on which theater they went to. When the film went to the pay-TV channels and video, the creators included all three endings. This meant that if you wanted to see all three endings, you A) paid admission two more times to see the same 87 minutes but with two more different endings, or, B) you had to listen to Wadsworth tell you whodunit (and where, and with what) three times, without really knowing the truth for sure, since all three endings were equally valid and logically sound!
- The film version of Into the Woods has received complaints that it really should have just been an expanded version of Act 1, especially since some of the darker elements of Act 2 are toned down anyway. Since there is no attempt of translating the story being two separate acts into film, it also loses many of the powerful parallels of structure and song.
- A Walk Among The Tombstones seems set to end with the final shootout at the cemetery. Instead, it drags on as the antagonists escape and return to their hideout, at which point Albert kills Ray. Then Matthew and the gang show up and Albert is subdued; Matthew advises Kenny to go the Cruel Mercy route and leave Albert for the police, but the film still doesn't end, since Kenny decides to take his revenge, allowing Albert to escape and kill him. Matthew goes back inside, kills Albert, returns to his apartment, and falls asleep. Then it ends.
- Taken 3. First, there's the climactic Storming the Castle final shootout on Oleg Malankov's hideout, which ends with Bryan defeating Malankov. Then, Malankov reveals that he was merely The Dragon to Stuart's plan all along, with Stuart having played both Bryan and Malankov. Stuart wounds Sam and kidnaps Kim, forcing Bryan to chase after Stuart to an airport in a Porsche and eventually ramming it into the wheels of Stuart's plane, where he climbs out of the plane's remains and is ultimately subdued by Bryan by being shot and by being knocked out when Bryan pistol whips him.
- Jurassic Park: Tim has successfully improvised himself through Jurassic Park's computers to finally restore the main power, thus securing the survivors and being able to call for help. The end, right? Nope, Grant insists that they have to find all the dinosaur nests and count the eggs. They only find one nest before the Costa Rican military arrives, muscles the survivors off the island, and then firebombs it. Then when they get home, there's a Sequel Hook hinting at dinos that have escaped to the mainland... which was never followed upon in the sequel.
- K.A. Applegate's Animorphs has the three-year Human-Yeerk War ending. Then we get into Visser One's trial and Jake's Heroic BSOD. Then we get into Ax's kidnapping. Then we get into the new war that's about to start...
- Stephen King is prone to this trope. The Shining, for instance, could have ended at the destruction of the Overlook Hotel. But instead, we get another chapter set the following summer, for no particularly good reason.
- Also by King, The Stand, featuring an endless epilogue about how someone gets back home after the climax.
- Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the best American novel right up until Tom Sawyer shows up. Ernest Hemingway famously said, "If you read it you must stop where... Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating."
- The last several books of the Left Behind series suffered from this problem. After the Antichrist came back from the dead, killed people with fiery pillars from the sky, and desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem, there just wasn't anything more evil for him to do. And that was Book Eight of a 13 book series (not counting the three prequels). It doesn't help that anyone who will read that particular series through Book Eight already knows the ending (spoiler: Satan loses) and is just slogging along to see exactly how they're going to get there.
- While their quality remains consistent throughout, Harry Turtledove's Darkness Series are of an incredible length. The series probably does go one book too many, but it's based on World War II, which did extend three years past the "climax" (Stalingrad, El Alamein, and Midway) to resolve.
- His various series may fall here, though. One particular novel may look as if it's coming to the conclusion of a particular world's story, with a trilogy just about to be wrapped up... but nope, it's still going, and a new trilogy is about to start, so you still have to keep reading...
- Christopher Paolini's Inheritance has about 150 pages after the big bad is defeated.
- Dean Koontz's Phantoms. While a very good book overall, the battle against the Ancient Enemy is clearly the climax. Following that, the fight at the hospital feels completely tacked on. It is only tangentially related the main plot and doesn't count as a Twist Ending or Shocking Swerve because it doesn't actually change anything. It just feels like an attempt to cram one last dramatic moment into the final chapter, and it falls flat because the main plot of the story has already been soundly resolved.
- Diana Wynne Jones's later children's books. Readers used to complain that she finished her plots too abruptly and without sufficient explanation (the original book of Howl's Moving Castle and Fire and Hemlock are cases in point). Clearly her editor has got on to her about this, because from The Merlin Conspiracy onward, every single book seems to have a satisfying conclusion, and then at least one or two chapters explaining what happened to all the characters after that. Conrad's Fate tells you what happens in the next ten years or so.
- Neal Stephenson inverts this trope in his usual meta-fashion in Cryptonomicon. Rather than the reader losing interest in the plot, the POV character does. The result is several months' worth of action crammed into eight pages.
- Pamela. You'd think it would end after she resists and reforms her boss and they get married, plunking down An Aesop in the process. No, there are still 200 pages. It reaches the happily-ever-after and, instead of rolling credits, just keeps on going. At least one fictional character is on record as saying he wished the book were even longer. Then again, as he is Jamie Frasier, living in a cave hiding from post-Culloden vengeful evil English forces for ten years, he wanted his reading material to last him as long as possible.
- Used apparently on purpose and lampshaded in Sir Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals, which has "You think it's all over?" written in large letters, followed by another scene, a few times.
- As well as being a lampshading of this trope, this is a reference to the famous commentary of England's victory over Germany in the World Cup of 1966, which went into extra time after finishing level after 90 minutes, but which eventually led to England's victory. Which possibly makes the game itself an example of this trope.
- Also to an extent, but unlampshaded, in Hogfather. Susan's saved the Hogfather and defeated the Auditors. Then she still has to deal with Teatime. Fair enough, it's just that Your Princess Is in Another Castle. But then, with the main story definitely concluded, Pterry remembers the subplots and resolves them all one after the other: the raven's quest for carrion; the Cheerful Fairy and other manifestations of belief; Albert and the rocking horse; Ridcully's bathroom; and finally, the Canting Crew and their unexpected Hogswatch dinner, previously referred to about halfway through the book.
- Just about all of Terry Pratchett's books have this, though he writes it well enough and the books are short enough that the extended endings are not unpleasant to read.
- This Body. It's about a middle-aged mom named Katherine who dies unexpectedly and finds herself a year in the future in the body of a 20-something named Thisby (yes, A Midsummer Night's Dream is a recurring theme), who died of a drug overdose. Most of the book is about Katherine getting Thisby's life together and finding ways to reconnect with her original family. The book is interesting, but it soon becomes clear that the author didn't know how to finish it, and there's some three-month flash-forward before the book wanders into its ending.
- Battlefield Earth. The climactic battle against the aliens actually occurs at about 300 pages into the 1,050 page paperweight of a book. Once the humans have kicked the evil aliens off Earth, the rest of the book deals with the surviving villains fighting over the scraps of their empire, and some kind of legal battle over the real estate ownership status of the planet.
- The Lord of the Rings: The climax of the story takes place little over the halfway point of Return Of The King, with the return journeys home being just as important as the journey to Mordor in the first place, practically making it read like a Post Script Season.
- In The Poisonwood Bible, the epilogue is actually a sizable portion of the book. It details the lives of all of the main characters over the next thirty years. The book really ends almost 37 years later.
- Anna Karenina: The eponymous character commits suicide and the plot essentially ends at the end of book seven. There's a whole other hundred page book dealing with the spiritual awakening of secondary character Levin. It's referred to even in academic circles as somewhat masturbatory; Tolstoy had gone through a similar spiritual experience and wanted to spread the word.
- War and Peace gets dinged for this as well; after the war ends and we find out the fates of all the main characters, Tolstoy gives us a long dissertation on history and the forces that decide the fates of nations. Fascinating stuff, if a bit dry.
- The endings of many of Joe Haldeman's novels feel incredibly forced. Oddly enough, however, he uses this trope to good effect in The Forever War, as he's set the story up such that the only way to end it is to force an ending, which reinforces the point that the war has been going on for so many centuries that, at least on the part of the humans, no one knows any longer why they're fighting or what they hope to accomplish.
- Atlas Shrugged, more specifically John Galt's speech. Actually, you could skip the entire novel and just read that speech, and you'd get the gist of Ayn Rand's rant anyway.
- The Fountainhead as well. Around page 350, when Howard Roark gets his grand-standing speech in court describing his motives and his view on humanity (pretty much dropping Rand's anvil, if you haven't been awake long enough to get what she was aiming at the whole book). It seems when you've got your character in a position to monologue for three pages about everything that he did since the beginning of the book to society at a whole, this is a good place to say, "climax! Now for the denouement!" Apparently, Rand knew that her personal philosophy wouldn't go down quite as easy, so Roark ends up in prison and he doesn't get his moment as "revolutionary genius" until another 350 pages.
- The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown: We hit the climax of the book with a good 2 or 3 chapters in hand, which are then spent tying up loose ends and discussing Christianity.
- The Jungle by Upton Sinclair seems to find something of an ending when Jurgis joins the socialist labor union cause... and then the book goes on for another 20 pages to outline some arguments important to the socialist cause at the time. Even if you're familiar with Marxism and know what they're talking about, it's hard to read.
- Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold, one of her Vorkosigan Saga novels, has three endings. First, the main detective plot wraps up; then, Miles makes a decision about whether to take up Gregor's offer; and then he goes off to sort things out with Quinn. The two later endings are necessary to the continuing story, though, so if they hadn't been wrapped up in this one they would have needed to be explained in the next book.
- The Deltora Quest series has this problem. First, Lief has to find the seven gems for the Belt of Deltora, the only tool capable of defeating the Shadow Lord. Then collect and assemble the three pieces of the Pirran Pipe, the only tool capable of rescuing the people captured by the Shadow Lord. Then wake up the last seven dragons in Deltora, the only creatures capable of destroying the Four Sisters, evil objects slowly killing Deltora and created by the Shadow Lord. Lastly, said dragons must destroy an explosion of grey poison capable of destroying Deltora, and by doing so, defeating the Shadow Lord.
- Bats Fly at Dusk by Erle Stanley Gardner plays with it. While most of this series are first person narratives from Donald Lam, this book is a third person narrative centering around his partner, Bertha Cool while Donald is in the navy during World War II. Donald sends several telegrams suggesting lines of inquiry and pointing out facts about her case, but Bertha finally washes her hands of the case and goes fishing. The next day she comes back to the office to find Donald got a military pass, came to town, solved the case, and left her a note explaining it and pointing out her mistakes.
- Clive Barker's Coldheart Canyon — the tiled room's power is broken, and from there the forces that kept the villain safe are destroyed. The villain gets a satisfying comeuppance...and then the two survivors deal with a police investigation and a book based on their experiences, along with getting on with their lives. Then they learn that the male lead's soul hasn't crossed over yet, and try to save him from the inevitable before everyone realizes that there's no need to fight fate. This takes about 100 pages. To make matters worse, had this material been trimmed or dropped, the 75-or-so pages that set up the minor subplot points resolved in it could have been cut too!
- American Gods: After the book's climax is over, we're treated to 50 or so pages dedicated to tying up a minor subplot that's been sidelined since the middle of the book. Once that's done we get a proper epilogue but for some readers the climax is too far gone for this to really matter.
- The Agent Pendergast novel Book of the Dead sees the antagonist's plot foiled and said antagonist currently facing the front end of a gun. So villain gets killed and the story wraps up? Not yet. Instead we see him survive his attempted murder and have an extra hundred pages devoted to him getting hunted down before the story finally wraps up.
- Feed. The point about how the execution of the New Media had been pretty much made within part 2 - part 3 and 4 of the novels seem to feel like Anderson is trying to hammer it in even more.
Live Action TV
- Similar to The Lord of The Rings, the Season 2 finale of LOST has at least 3 perfectly viable endings, and has an unnecessary scene with Claire and Charlie between them, creating some ending fatigue. The endings are Desmond turning the key, Jack having the bag put over his head and the ending with Penny answering the phone.
- Babylon 5 lasted for five seasons. However, the main arc of the show (the Shadow War) was wrapped up in the fourth season's sixth episode. Its secondary arc (the Earth Civil War) was resolved at the end of the fourth season (it would've been by the fifth season's sixth episode or so but was compressed due to events beyond control). The fifth season was a Postscript Season which mostly consisted of "what comes after" stories, which at the end resolved the arc regarding Londo and the Centauri as well as letting all the characters slowly depart the station and move on.
- The Earth Civil War arc itself is seen by some, though by no means all, members of the fandom as this. On the one hand, Earth is clearly much less of a threat than the Shadows, so it makes sense to deal with the Shadows first and save Earth for later. On the other hand, the end to the Shadow War feels like much more of a natural climax, and once that's out of the way handling Earth just feels like wrapping up a loose end.
- The DVD commentary of the Christmas episode of Father Ted has one of the show's creators and writer of the episode complaining that the plot has petered out, even exclaiming at one point "End! END!!"
- Subverted by Six Feet Under, which has a satisfying (if cliched) conclusion 10 minutes before the end, but then goes on to have one of the most amazing, heartwarming endings ever.
- The farewell scene in the otherwise-good Doctor Who serial The Daleks.
- The episode "The Family of Blood" certainly has a drawn-out ending. First the Doctor dealing with the Family, then saying goodbye to Nurse Redfern, then saying goodbye to Latimer, then attending a memorial. Whether this fatigues you is personal variation.
- Journey's End spends the final quarter of an episode that had been extended to 65 minutes tying up all the loose ends. The ending where Donna has her memory wiped is quite climatic, but the ending had already dragged on, showing all the characters RTD had created, and showing a frankly ridiculous scene where the Earth is towed back to its original location.
- The End of Time. After absorbing a fatal dose of radiation, the tenth Doctor takes his time paying his respects to every single one of his companions apart from the ones in the Christmas and Autumn specials, (and a few people who weren't, such as the great-granddaughter of the aforementioned Nurse Redfern and making room for walk-ons by other past characters such as Midshipman Frame and a young Blon Fel-Fotch Slitheen), then he staggers around in the snow while the Ood sing him off, then he staggers around some more in the TARDIS, and then finally — finally! — he regenerates.
- DVD Commentary "It does have more endings than Lord of the Rings, this, doesn't it?"
- It was the end not just for the tenth Doctor, but also Davies's tenure at the helm; some of the walk-ons were ideas he'd had over the course of the series but never managed to squeeze in.
- After they finally find the real Earth (or rather our Earth, which is not the first Earth but merely named after it) in Battlestar Galactica, the show spends a good 45 minutes on what all the characters plan to do with the rest of their lives.
- And even that, having what could be considered a poignant ending during said stretch (Adama sitting on the patch of land he plans to build he and Roslin's cabin on), it continues to keep going.
- Also the end of Season 2, when they colonize New Caprica. Especially fatiguing is the fact that the episode is actually 90 minutes long, rather than the normal hour. If you don't know this going in, you may start to wonder just when the episode is going to end.
- Twin Peaks. Oh GOD Twin Peaks. Due to an unfortunate case of Executive Meddling, Laura Palmer's killer is revealed by the midway point of the second season, freeing up the rest of the season to focus on... James? Nadine still thinks she's a teenager? Civil war reenactments? The fact that the episodes are 45 minutes each does not help the situation. That being said, the episodes do have their moments, and it does build well to the finale, regarded as one of the best episodes of the series
- Noticeably averted in Star Trek: Voyager, when the series ended when the ship arrives at Earth, much to the disappointment of many fans. This may have been the reason for the overly-long ending of Battlestar Galactica, given Ronald D. Moore's desire to make an 'improved' Voyager with that series.
- Kamen Rider Kabuto had it set in about episode 30. After that, expect to be facepalming as they try and fail to tie up all the loose ends.
- Even the most ardent fans of the Cook/Effy/Freddie Love Triangle in Series 3 of Skins admit that Katie and Emily's episode (which ends with Naomily's Relationship Upgrade) is a better ending than the actual finale (which ends with So What Do We Do Now?).
- For several seasons Smallville was only nominally about the whole superheroic destiny thing and was vastly more concerned with Clark and Lana's on-again/off-again relationship, leading every single episode to wrap up its Monster of the Week plot around the 45-minute mark to allow Clark, Lana, Lex and sometimes Chloe to each have a little epilogue where they ruminated about their feelings. You know how when you watch most shows you look at your watch and think "They've gotta wrap this thing up in the next five minutes or it's gonna be 'to be continued'"? With Smallville you'd say that when there were 20 minutes left!
- Subverted in Flashforward in the episode "The Gift". The episode plays out like all the other episodes of the series, following a different aspect of Mark's investigation wall with a different police plot. Indeed, it is one of the more prevalent plot threads in the first part of the season. However the culprit is locked away, and everything seems to be finished by about 30 minutes in. Ending Fatigue should set in for the remaining 12. However, it uses this time to create a brilliant Twist Ending that plays on the emotional undercurrents of one of the characters in the episode.
- Averted quite noticeably in late-70s/early-80s British TV show The Professionals, where the credits often ran straight after the scene in which the bad guy was caught or shot (or the objective achieved). In such cases there were just a few seconds of terse post-action dialogue or banter before things finished. Where epilogue scenes did exist, they were still fairly short and no-nonsense.
- Parodied by (of course) Monty Python's Flying Circus here.
- The series finale of Hannah Montana. Or basically any two part episode, come to think of it. It was particularly tedious because the entire last season was a rushed mini-season with less than half the number of episodes a regular season had.
- The season four finale of True Blood. The season's Big Bad is defeated halfway through, which is followed by half an hour of character stuff that ranges from moving to "Shouldn't this be over?" But the last few minutes make up for it with a mind-boggling number of character deaths and cliffhangers. The fifth season is much worse. Even viewers who didn't suffer Arc Fatigue from The Vampire Authority's plotline were ready for a conclusion of some sort. Instead, the whole season ends right at the climax.
- Parodied in an episode of Frasier when he is reading a novel that an old friend of his wrote, based on a story he told him. Fraiser notices the end ludicrously overuses metaphors, and skips to the end. The series finale is also a case of this, as the writers wanted to have an ending for as many characters as possible.
- American Horror Story: Murder House, after ending climatically and pretty definitively, covers twenty minutes of the Ramos family buying the house and being scared off by the then-recently deceased Harmon family, ends dramatically again, and then has a 3 year time skip to reveal beyond a doubt that Tate's baby really was the anti-Christ. Even worse in Asylum. Every Big Bad has been killed off by the third last episode, and the viewer has to sit through two and a half episodes full of nothing but loose-end tying.
- The final double-episode of season 7 of How I Met Your Mother; it should have ended with the birth of Marshall and Lily's baby, but then we find out that Barney proposes to Quinn, then it cuts to "a little ways down the road," where we find out the bride is Robin.
Sometimes, not only is a song unusually long
, but it will reach a point that seems
like it's supposed to be the end but then keeps going. Sometimes a song will even have a fake-out ending intentionally
. In one of his humorous music-snarkery books, Tom Reynolds referred to this phenomenon as "Rasputin Syndrome" (after the Russian monk who famously survived numerous attempts at assassination
- Richard Wagner was very, very fond of this trope.
- Tristan's entire third act is about the tenor dying and waiting for the soprano to arrive... and waiting... and waiting... and when she arrives and he finally dies, she also sings a (quite short) 7-minute monologue before the curtain falls. If the tenor is bad — and he often is — this act will make you wish he would Just Die Already. Has naturally been parodied to death.
- In Der Ring des Nibelungen:
- Die Walküre has Wotan's endless farewell and the Magic Fire Music.
- Siegfried's finale — let's say it begins when Siegfried finds the sleeping Brünnhilde — lasts for about 35-40 minutes.
- Götterdämmerung. Brünnhilde's Immolation is the basis of the "Fat Lady Sings" joke.
- In a way they are also subversions, as the finales, especially "Wotan's Farewell and Fire Magic" and Brünhilde's Immolation scene are so good that the audience looks forward to them and they are also frequently performed on their own in concerts. While it probably is true to say that where the audience gets really restless is long scenes of expositional dialogue like in the second act of Die Walküre and the Norns' prologue in Götterdämmerung.
- And then, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg's third act seems like it never ends, and at the end, it has Sachs drooling over how great German art is. At this point, singers are usually NOT in the right condition for a 10-minute monologue, after having had the longest role in opera history...
- Death in Venice. The whole thing is about an aging tenor angsting over a bishounen, while nothing happens, and it ain't over till he lives. Only a great tenor can make it interesting, because it's really an one-man show.
- Turandot can get a bit boring after Liu's death. It's practically Calaf and Turandot making a "who can yell louder" contest for about 20 minutes. See Siegfried above. (Well, it's not Puccini's fault, poor man died and a colleague finished it.)
- Puccini did pay mind to this problem with Madama Butterfly by shortening its final aria and postlude.
- Don Carlos's final act. Elisabeth sings a massive aria, then an endless duet with Carlos. All while the best characters are either dead, exiled, or not present. Then thank God King Philip and the Spanish Inquisition appear and it ends very, very quickly.
- The Marriage of Figaro. The third act wraps up so many story lines, the fourth act can just seem unnecessary. It's when Basilio sings an aria telling an irrelevant story about when he was a younger man that the fatigue really sets in.
- Don Giovanni. A great opera, truly, but the whole thing could really have been wrapped up after the title character is dragged to Hell, with the curtain falling on Leporello's terror-stricken form. Instead we get another three arias about just desserts, and how everyone intends to get on with their lives - while the audience wishes they could. For that very reason, those extra arias were often cut in the 19th century, when people tended to be more interested in being entertained at the opera than in getting a complete work just as the composer had written it.
- Older Than Steam: The fifth acts of many William Shakespeare plays are simply Shakespeare rushing to tie up all the loose ends and give a resolution to every character. There are several exceptions, of course, ranging from Macbeth to King Lear. However, the worst offender has to be Antony and Cleopatra, where there are at least half a dozen points where Shakespeare could have ended the story, if he wasn't so obsessed with killing every minor and major character save Octavian and his entourage. The final ending of the play, when Cleopatra commits suicide, is suitably awesome, however.
- Paint Your Wagon: The big ensemble reprise of "Wand'rin' Star" sounds like a finale, but the show drags on for one more scene which does little else but bring the principal couple back together.
- Love Never Dies: Christine once again making her choice between lovers would seem to ensure a quick wrap-up, as the loser graciously decides I Want My Beloved to Be Happy — but then we find out her son has been kidnapped. The final scene on the pier, which is over fourteen minutes long, starts with a lengthy explanation of the villain's motivations, after which Christine is fatally shot. She manages to reveal Gustave's parentage to the boy, and bid her farewell to him, and then share a final moment with the Phantom. Then Gustave accepts him as his father, they go off together, and the show ends.
- Michael Jackson ONE has a bad case of this — one would expect "Man in the Mirror" to end the show, given that it features a Jackson hologram amongst the dancers, but after that the audience has to sit through most of "Can You Feel It" (which is mostly a video viewing), then a condensed version of the Macaulay Culkin Talky Bookends bit from "Black or White", then the cast reassembling for the song itself, which just becomes the curtain call after a few minutes.
- Into the Woods is an interesting case of this. The entire recounting of the traditional fairy tales wraps up with the Act 1 Finale 'Ever After'. However, there's another HALF of the show left. This has led to many cases of people mistakenly leaving at the interval.
- A number of fans have expressed such complaints regarding BIONICLE, though in this case, the trope is largely justified, as the writer, Greg Farshtey did intend to continue telling the story. But thing is, the main story was pretty much wrapped up mid-2010, the Big Bad killed, the planet restored, a new civilization has been formed, The Hero delivered his final enlightening speech... as for the side stories, those hadn't been tied up yet back then. However since the new story serials tried to tell completely new stories instead of attempting to give closure to the ongoing plots, some would rather see the whole thing end, fearing all the story threads would just degrade into a similar mess that some previous serials have become, especially since the writer is going through a horrendous Schedule Slip. The main story's famous closing lines ironically foretold the situation:
"NEVER... THE END"note
- Discworld is a game where most people think that they have finally completed it, only to find out that they've only completed act one... of four.
- Dragon Quest VIII is an egregious example. It could easily have ended 15-20 hours before it did and lost almost nothing of the plot (and that would still leave it with over 50 hours of gameplay.) However, it's still generally agreed that one sequence during the ending fatigue Marcello's rise to power, and the conclusion of the subplot to him and his half brother, Angelo was still worth it.
- Metal Gear Solid 4 could be one of the kings of this trope. From the final battle with Revolver Ocelot to the post-credits sequence, the ending runs for an hour... and it still keeps going in a conversation sequence played during the rest of the credits.
- One part in particular shows this has to be at least a bit self-referential. After the last scene of the epilogue, it cuts to the cast voice credits, only to pause moments later as the voice actor for Big Boss, who up to now had shown up only as a vegetable and in the flashbacks to MGS3, comes up, and is highlighted in the center of the screen, as if to say, "Oh, wait, we forgot this one," before going into the really final scene. And even this scene drags on, as Big Boss is supposedly dying from FoxDie, but he still manages up to 20 minutes of explanations.
- This trailer for the game demonstrates the trope nicely. It ends nicely around the 4:45 mark, with an action scene flashing to the title and a plot-teasing voiceover about Outer Haven. Then it continues for 90 more seconds with two more stinger-endings, a poop gag, and finally a monkey scene.
- Metal Gear Solid 3 isn't off the hook here, either. You defeat the Big Bad and ride off into the sunset, only to face a long Rail Shooter sequence. You then fight the Big Bad three more times, followed by another Rail Shooter sequence, an Escort Mission, and another boss. You finally get away... only for another character to climb onto the escape vehicle for one last showdown, followed by some long ending cutscenes.
- Also done in MGS3 sequel Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker; like the other games in the series, Snake (Big Boss in this instance) saves the day, stops the villain, several lengthy cutscenes run, and the game even wraps up some loose ends involving The Boss and MGS3 before the credits roll... until a post credits scene plays. And then the plot continues further up until another boss fight, another set of plot reveals, and then a second set of credits runs... followed by a second post credits scene.
- Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Make no mistake! The ending is great, very climactic and satisfying. But what is the one thing you want to do above all after defeating that nasty Boss? That's right! Save your progress! However, while you sit around with your Game Boy in your sweaty hands, shaking uncontrollably with the unquenchable desire to save, the ending drags on and on and on....
- The Tales Series plays with this trope. In Symphonia and Abyss, the Big Bad seemingly dies, but many parts of the storyline have yet to be resolved. Suddenly, the Big Bad returns and the world is thrown into an even more dire situation than the one it was just saved from, and the heroes head to the Very Definitely Final Dungeon for one last throw down with the final boss. It's actually much grander than it sounds.
- Legendia is the worst offender of this trope in the Tales series. You enter the Big Bad's fortress, defeat all of his major subordinates, defeat the Big Bad himself, and finally main character gets closure on his childhood love interest, complete with a nice cutscene. But then Your Princess Is in Another Castle and the game goes on. Later, you enter the Very Definitely Final Dungeon, fight the Very Definitely Final Boss, save the damsel in distress for the umpteenth time, the credits roll... and then the second half of the game starts.
- And the second half has its own share of Ending Fatigue. While it does resolve the plot threads and character arcs for the whole party, all you do is just retread the same dungeons you cleared in the first half of the game, which can be a 10-15 hour slog of nothing new or interesting to see. It doesn't help that this arc has no spoken dialogue at all (compared with the first half of the story, where almost every cutscene was voice-acted), making it feel like even more of a drag. This lasts until the Absolutely-Definitely-We-Really-Mean-It-This-Time Final Dungeon, which is little more than a Boss Rush with the True Final Boss at the end.
- .hack//G.U. Vol. 3: Redemption. After a battle with shiny lights, faux computer abilities and screams (lots of them), Ovan's Avatar finally finishes its mission to reset The World and save his little sister, by sacrificing his own life, and all people who went comatose do wake up, one by one. That should be the end of the game, huh? Well, not really. All of a sudden Yata reveals that Cubia, a Big Bad from the previous series of games, suddenly resurrected (under pretty vague circumstances) and now he is threatening to destroy The World. Now you have some more 6 hours of gameplay on doing almost nothing interesting to stop it.
- All of Volume 3 really has this problem. Before you fight Ovan you have to deal with Sakaki making a random return to....basically act evil, kick you out of your guild and host a tournament that does nothing really but waste time before you kick his ass again and he's finally removed from the story. The staff was banking on the Ovan reveal being a massively shocking plot twist that was the climax of the game. The director even mentioned they were expecting Evangelion level backlash, death threats and all. They didn't get it as most saw it coming and the others than didn't it wasn't that big a deal to. To make matters worse they had to reveal Ovan in Volume 2, so that people following Roots and people who played the game in Japan would get the reveal at roughly the same time (they tried to do the same in the US, but the US practices of changing timeslots and preempting episodes quickly ruined that plan) so Volume 3 is mostly wasting time before the fight with Ovan, and then Cubia as an epic final threat.
- The Longest Journey became a bit too long in the tooth at the end. The developers actually seems to be aware of this, as April (the protagonist) is around midway outright given a Plot Coupon, instead of having to do the usual fulfilling of ancient prophecy ballyhoo (April lampshades this).
- A common problem in 4X games such as Civilization, where a successful empire will usually reach a tipping point of being so much more powerful than its rivals that it cannot possibly lose to them, well before even the most generous victory conditions are met.
- Similarly, in most RTS game levels with 'Destroy the enemy' victory conditions, you get your well-deserved victory only by sending your entire, world-crushing army scouting round the entire, huge map, trying to find the last enemy tank that wandered off on its own. It's called "The last enemy syndrome". Later games tend to judge defeat by having no buildings left, which lowers this, unless they manage to smuggle a peasant out. Others, like StarCraft II, manage to fix this by letting the AI enemy request to surrender when it's close to defeat.
- Because of this, standard multiplayer RTS etiquette is for the losing player to surrender when the result is clear, so that the winner doesn't get frustrated hunting down the last unit. Newer players occasionally don't understand this, figuring it to be polite to give the opponent the satisfaction of smashing everything, but anyone who has won more than a couple of matches will simply find it tedious.
- This is especially bad in Achron since not only do you have to wipeout every unit from which it is possible to recover (which includes many common military units since there are no dedicated builder units), but you have to wait until said defeat reaches the immutable past, which usually takes several minutes of real time. (Until defeat reaches the immutable past, it is theoretically possible to paradox yourself back into existence thanks to Time Travel).
- Yggdra Union. The game should have ended after Gulcasa died and the dragon threat thing was over, but the game goes some chapters after just to explain what was Nessiah's purpose all along. While Nessiah is a cool character and a good enemy, that still doesn't change the whole "The game is over... NOT!" effect it makes.
- Guitar Hero 5. Do You Feel Like We Do. It is by far the longest song in the game at 13 minutes and 40 seconds, more than double the next longest song. There is an achievement just for getting 95% of the way through, whether you then successfully complete the song or not.
- And while you're at it, everything under the Music folder that has been on Guitar Hero or Rock Band also fits here. Which makes the Rock Band 2 edit version of Prequel to the Sequel the odd one out - the entire second half of the song is removed, and the fans HATED Harmonix for that.
- Eternal Sonata's endgame devolves into this for some people, possibly because the Big Bad gets killed in a very stupid way two dungeons before the end of the game, forcing the party to climb a ridiculously large tower and fight his right hand man instead. And then the game throws one last boss fight at you in the form of Chopin himself. Add to that a lengthy ending cutscene, not to mention the entire cast lecturing you over the end credits, and you've got a game that seems to go on forever.
- It gets fixed a bit in the PS3 Updated Re-release, as the Big Bad doesn't die straight away and instead accompanies his right-hand-man to the final dungeon. Everything else is the same though.
- Persona 3, which alternates between a Dating Sim and a Dungeon Crawler, takes place over the course of one year ingame, but come November you suddenly run out of things to do apart from your few remaining social links and no real pressure to hurry up in Tartarus anymore. Two solid months go by without real plot development.
- The Playable Epilogue "The Answer" is pretty bad too. The end is five boss fights in a row (thankfully you can save in between them) and long cutscenes.
- Notably averted in Persona 4, which fixes this by SKIPPING several months of in story time. Although they justify the time skip well enough, the remake Persona 4: Golden actually gives you most of this time back, and a few extra nifty things to do.
- Ultima VII Part II. After visiting the entire map with numerous roundabouts and mandatory sidequests, you finally face down with Batlin, the Big Bad whom you were chasing and why you were on Serpent Isle in the first place. Turns out this is about the half-way point in the game.
- Many games of Football Manager suffer this as a season draws to a close. Players heading towards the end of the season, especially if they stay up late and into the early morning, can often start pushing towards the end of the season and not paying as much attention to their team, lineups, tactics and various non-match related aspects like scouting new transfer targets for the off-season. This can lead to extremely frustrating losses and situations which can cause that entire season to go up in smoke. This is not the games fault as each season has as many games as it would in real life.
- Wild ARMs was notorious for feeling like it was going to end at many points throughout the game.
- Wild ARMs 2 fares better, but the end sequence itself feels longer than the entire game.
- All Pokémon games in general suffer from this after completing the league. You're left with simply grinding up your Pokémon to level 100 and entering those Pokémon in high level Player Versus Player battles with other players. Later games at least try to rectify this with closed off Routes you can only explore after completing the league and the introduction of the Battle Frontier for those that have done some INSANE grinding.
- Pokémon Generation I, didn't affect people as much due to being the first of the franchise, but the endgame grind after the league is still pretty fatiguing. Especially since there was a lot less move diversity in the first generation.
- Pokémon Generation II. Sadly, the remake of Kanto after completing the league falls victim to this if you're not butted by the nostalgia factor in seeing an updated Kanto from Generation I. The main flaw here was that the Kanto remake felt incomplete due to the Game Boy Color cartridge format lacking the room to portray Kanto as it was in Gen. I; this caused many points of interest such as the Safari Zone, Pewter City Museum, etc. to be closed off to save room on the cartridge. In addition, there was nothing close to a plot in the entire region other then a Side Story regarding a last-remaining Rocket member sabotaging the Power Plant. The Generation IV remake mostly rectified this other than there still being no major plot after completing the league.
- Pokémon Generation III. The humongous water routes after setting off from Lilycove City, spanning as much as the last two Badges and the League fatigued A LOT of people. The water routes in Emerald, even with the increased surf speed, can still be considered fatiguing, but the good news is that the well-liked endgame Battle Frontier was introduced here. Finally giving another reason outside Player Versus Player battles to grind up your Pokémon. Just a shame it takes FOREVER to grind levels in this generation.
- Pokémon Generation IV. The battle against Cyrus and Team Galactic is extremely interesting, at least for a main series Pokémon plot. But once you've defeated him and captured Palkia, Dialga, or Giratina, you've still got another Badge and the Elite Four to go before you see the credits roll. Did we mention that Cynthia may be a rare occasion where the Final Boss qualifies for That One Boss? Even with your godlike friend from the Spear Pillar (or the Distortion World), you're gonna have to grind big time.
- The Heatran island mission after clearing the league isn't any better. Just a bunch of high level trainers, some new Pokémon to catch and having no plotline. Platinum tries to make it more plot-relevant with a return of what's left of Team Galactic, but still comes off pretty weak.
- Pokémon Generation V, in Black and White, had this AFTER clearing the Plasma-controlled Pokémon league. Not only is there no relevant plot to follow in the now accessible Eastern portion of Unova, but the trainers rise to being 10 to 15 levels higher than what your Pokémon would be currently at after beating the league if you didn't grind a considerable amount beforehand. Not only that, but if you want to fight the league again and beat the champion, like you probably originally intended to do before having to deal with N you have to grind up to the mid-70's because they all gained 23 levels and 2 new Pokemon since the last time. Luckily, grinding was made a bit less annoying in these games.
- Pokémon Generation VI was infamous for this when it came out (and indeed prompted some Fan Dumb segments to declare it the worst game in the series before they had even played it). Notably, there are *no* post-game areas besides Kiloude City, and the Unknown Dungeon (which is a single room with Mewtwo in it). That means that there are no more Pokémon to catch outside of the Friend Safari. Unlike the past two generations there are only *four* legendaries to catch, counting the one that you catch during the main campaign, and two of them are from previous games. The Looker subplot was praised by some, however, for being better written than the main plot, even if it didn't offer much in terms of gameplay. Fans remain hopeful that the next game in Generation VI will improve in this area.
- Another entry in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, Gates to Infinity, is chock full of them, particularly at the very end of the game, which, after beating the Bittercold, the final cutscene before the credits is over a half hour long. Doesn't help that there are two rather lengthy ones in between the two parts of battling the Bittercold, either.
- The Lord of the Rings Online: Volume I of the Epic story has a short Epilogue, tying up some loose ends left after the climax of the story. Volume II that followed it, however, has as many as twelve different Epilogues, enough to form another Book or even two.
- Doom 3 seemed to go on forever... you go to hell, kill the boss, a great stopping point, then come back to Mars for hours of more gameplay, but it's the best part of the game!
- The story and gameplay of Final Fantasy Tactics remain fine for the final chapter, but the translation, already more than a little awkward, falls completely to little tiny pieces at this time.
- Super Meat Boy has five full chapters and a short finale chapter consisting of five levels and a boss. The end? Escape Sequence time! Your reward? A Smash to Black as a block is about to land on Meat Boy. The end? Brownie to the rescue! Now it's just Meat Boy and Bandage Girl watching the Floating Continent blow up. The end? Dr. Fetus attacks Bandage Girl! And it actually ends right there unless you beat the Dark World version of the boss level, in which case Bandage Girl turns out to be unfazed by Dr. Fetus's punches, and stomps on him.
- The Binding of Isaac, by the same developer, has a Disc One Final Boss which, when you defeat it, unlocks two more floors. Defeating the new final boss nine times unlocks an alternate version of that boss, as well as another floor with a new final boss. And if you have the Wrath of the Lamb DLC, you also unlock an alternate choice of floor with its own boss. Beating that floor six times, acquiring a trinket unlocked by doing so, and beating the alternate final boss with it unlocks yet another floor, which contains the (currently) Really Final Boss and a Mind Screwdriver ending.
- And then there's the Updated Re-release The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, which is rumored to have more playable characters and yet another final boss...
- The sequel to the otherwise famously excellent Game Mod Brotherhood of Shadow for Knights of the Old Republic, Solomon's Revenge has this. What appears to be a fairly straightforward final battle in a climactic location ends up in an extremely long scene littered with flashbacks, self-findings and whatnot and most importantly, neither the heroes nor the villains JUST.STAY.DEAD.EVER. Whenever it seems like one side has finally been dealt a lethal blow, they still somehow manage to get up again and everything begins once more. This actually culminates in a scene where the player character has to beat down the Brotherhood around a dozen consecutive times under exactly the same conditions in different environments until they finally give up.
- In BioShock, the Rapture Central Control level appears to be the end of the game, complete with a climatic confrontation with the main villain. However, then Disappointing Last Level sets in, and you have to slog through another five or six hours of the game.
- Chrono Cross. Gnrgh. The entire second disc just feels like one Big Bad fight after another, and it can get very wearing. First, you fight Lynx/Dark Serge/FATE, who has been built up as the Big Bad for the entire game. But then he goes down, and the Dragon Gods do a Fusion Dance and become the Dragon God, who promises to ravage the world now that FATE, the thing sealing it away, is dead. Then, you go through the Marathon Level to end all Marathon Levels, kill the Dragon God, and that's it, right? Nope, now you have to kill the Time Devourer. And if you don't jump through a couple of Guide Dang It laden hoops, then you literally do not get an ending, just a little card saying 'Fin'.
- The renowned hack Super Metroid Redesign has the same plot and bosses as the original game, but stretched out much, much longer. How much longer? The final escape countdown starts at 25 minutes.
- Metal Slug 3, the final mission. First you go through a long, hard dogfight with Morden's forces, then you fight Morden himself... But it turns out to be a Martian. The Mars People then abduct the character you're using, forcing another character to go after them, you storm the mothership, you battle the Mars People from inside, rescuing Morden and your captured comrade in the process... Then comes a Free-Fall Fight with the leader of the Mars People, Rootmars. On a good run, the game takes 45-50 minutes to complete, with the final mission taking about half an hour out of that time. Yes that's right, you spend over half of your play time on the final mission.
- Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time: You finally face off against Princess Shroob in the climax... But then the Cobalt Star is reconstructed, releasing Elder Princess Shroob. And just when you think you've won, she has a second form that takes even LONGER to beat. And then she possesses Bowser. Luckily, the Post Final Boss is easy and takes a shorter time to beat. It doesn't help that all the bosses have an ungodly amount of hit points.
- Metal Man's stage in the Mega Man 2 ROM Hack Rockman 2 GX has multiple doors that make it look like you're about to fight him in the next room, only for the stage to continue.
- Rockman 4 Minus Infinity: Wily 3 is an insanely long maze level, the Wily Machine has far too many health meters, Wily 4 has three more bosses, then the Bullet Hell Wily Capsule, and then an annoying stretch of level, and then finally you fight the final boss. AND THEN THERE'S A SELF DESTRUCT SEQUENCE. The credits are long too!
- Romance of the Three Kingdoms games tend to fall into this in the end game, much like civilization, since most of the fun comes from negotiating and dealing with the other factions. Thankfully, some games allow you to let the AI finish the game.
- Bravely Default has, counting both endings as one, nine chapters. The first four chapters deal with 90-some-percent of the game's content, from bosses to jobs to items. Then you hit chapter five, and the game dries up. There's nothing left to do but re-fight the same cadre of bosses with minor permutations such as increased HP or a new attack or a different enemy party. And if you want to get the True End, you have to do this four more times. You could skip the optional bosses, but that would leave you severely under-leveled and without the best abilities in the game. By the time you reach the end, The Reveal has become tedious and explicit, the game has become a cake walk, and it all goes in direct opposition of the game's moral.
- Lux-Pain is a visual novel-type game, with about 21 episodes which take about an hour each to complete. This can cause the game to feel eerily like a book.
- Umineko: When They Cry can fall into the trope on occasion, mostly because of the fact that every single episode has 2 epilogues after the conclusion of the main story, and the epilogues can go for a couple of hours sometimes. Even the characters, dangling in post-denouement, express how ready they are for to just get it over with. Even Beatrice gets sick of being "Endless". If boredom is fatal to witches, imagine what it'll do to audiences.
- Case 5 of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Trials and Tribulations. It feels like you finally got the murderer captured and have the proof, but then Godot and Phoenix drag it out by an hour or so. It's also invoked in case 4 of Justice for All, due to an in-game crisis causing the characters to deliberately stall for time.
- Revealing the identity of the villain in the final episode of Ace Attorney Investigations is a relatively simple task. Actually getting said villain arrested is a different story entirely. The fact that the dramatic tension of the Villainous Breakdown pales in comparison to both The Reveal and the accomplice's earlier breakdown really doesn't help matters. Hiimdaisy parodied it with the villain bragging about how his extraterritorial rights are too powerful to let the game end.
- The first few endings of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors are short; then there's a long one (the Safe Ending) that explains a lot, but ends badly. At this point, if you're familiar with visual novels, you're probably expecting one last ending — a variation on the Safe Ending with little changes that make it turn out better. You're right about the little changes, but the final ending is also hours longer and includes another two puzzle rooms. It's a long slog, but worth it for the revelations at the end.
- After the heroes defeat the villain in Dusk's Dawn, we are treated to… Donut walking through a corridor for an extended period of time talking to himself about how bored he is.
- Problem Sleuth's final battle takes up as much pages as the entire rest of the comic. Lampshaded with the command MSPA Readers: React to update.
- Sluggy Freelance's 4U City arc. Started in the middle of 2009 and reached its climax in April 2011.
- Late in Aoi House, the story transforms into little more than disjointed scenes with minimal context. This manages to create the whole "Just end already!" feeling while simultaneously getting a kind of "What the hell is going on now?" It doesn't so much end, it just ceases to produce any more scenes.
- The main fight in Sugar Bits takes virtually half the comic to get through and took four years to finally reach it's conclusion and move on with the story.
- Tom and Jerry: Jerry uses literal ending fatigue against Tom in "The Cat Concerto."
- A Family Guy spoof of the theme song to the TV series Maude drags out its opening by adding more and more verses about famous women. Peter keeps expecting it to get to the "And then there's Maude" part, but it goes on and on — and the verses get lyrically lazier each time: "Amelia Earhart flew a whole bunch of airplanes/'Cept for that one time when she didn't come back". When it finally progresses, he's nearly incoherent with frustration.
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