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[-[[caption-width-right:288:"[[LampshadeHanging Happy End?]] [[EarthShatteringKaboom What the hell is Happy End?]]"]]-]

->''"All yet ''seems'' well..."''
-->-- '''The King of France''', at the end of ''Theatre/AllsWellThatEndsWell''

Bob writes a film and gives it what he thinks is the most wonderful, uplifting HappyEnding imaginable. Surely everyone will enjoy it as much as he -- wait...why is the audience cringing? Why are the critics hammering the hell out of it? Why does it already have several Wiki/TVTropes mentions under ''NightmareFuel''?

Well, it turns out the vast majority of the viewers disagree with Bob about what makes a happy ending. At the same time, there can certainly be disagreements about what particular endings properly classify as such, or at least to what specific extent they do, but the constant is that some of the viewers don't buy the perceived happiness of the finale. Sometimes this is just a result of [[ValuesDissonance changing values]].

When the ending comes with a half-baked "moral" attached, see {{Glurge}}. FridgeLogic, FridgeHorror, UnfortunateImplications, and InferredHolocaust are all corollaries of this.

Compare InferredHolocaust and OnlyTheLeadsGetAHappyEnding. The afterlife version of the trope would be a HellOfAHeaven, or an InfernalParadise. Not to be confused with a BittersweetEnding, in which the darker or less pleasant elements are acknowledged, although it can also frequently be caused when those same darker elements out-weigh the pleasant ones in the minds of some viewers.

'''As an ''EndingTrope'' there will be unmarked spoilers!'''


* A few Advertising/SegataSanshiro ads involve the title character beating up innocent people just for not playing a Sega Saturn ([[WouldHurtAChild even children]] in some cases).

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* [[WordOfGod The director claims]] that the ending of ''Anime/FiveCentimetersPerSecond'' is supposed to be uplifting, because Takaki smiles as he walks away in the last scene, indicating that he has moved on. But most viewers see it as a DownerEnding because he DidNotGetTheGirl.
* ''Manga/AfterSchoolNightmare''. The entire series was taking place in the minds of the unborn babies in a maternity ward. The babies are all born safely, but they grow up knowing nothing about anything that occurred in the series. A scene at the very end shows Mashiro and Sou running into each other and having no idea who the other is, pointlessly teasing readers about possibilities that will never be.
* ''Anime/AldnoahZero'': The trope qualifies at least for Slaine. At the end of the show, he is left to rot in prison after being accused of plotting to kill Princess Asseylum ''by Princess Asseylum herself''. In reality, all this time he attempted to protect Asseylum, who only incarcerated him out of political necessity. The writers said his ending is supposed to be a happy one because he is no longer obligated to serve Asseylum. Ironically, his original fate was scrapped for being even more depressing; but even his haters thought the revised ending was still too harsh.
* ''Manga/ArmedGirlsMachiavellism'': The anime adaptation ends with Nomura beating Amou, who gets expelled from Aichi Academy for causing trouble, but still manages to make peace with her. All's well and good... except for the fact that Amou still declares Nomura to be hers and hers alone, not to mention she never really shows any remorse for her sociopathic behavior. Furthermore, it's implied she didn't actually learn anything from her experiences in Aichi Academy and will continue causing trouble elsewhere, and yet we're expected to believe her love for Nomura has redeemed her somewhat. Not to mention, [[TheBadGuyWins getting out of the effective captivity the school had forced her into was her entire reason for going on such a rampage in the first place.]]
* ''Anime/AquarionEvol'' aimed for an ending that, in [[WordOfGod Kawamori's words]], wouldn't leave a bad taste in the mouth. But in the viewers' eyes, it looks rather upsetting. After Fudo was revealed to be Apollonius all along, [[ManipulativeBastard it makes it very clear that he's responsible for everything that has happened in the show, and that he has been manipulating everyone to solve the problems he himself started]], and in the end he gets free from punishment, shoving all the responsibility on Mykage instead. Nobody, except Crea, knows about this. The love triangle also seems to end on a rather troublesome note: [[OutOfCharacter Kagura's character was completely changed at the last minute to give up Mikono]] and [[CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds start caring about Zessica instead]], and [[ThousandYardStare Zessica is shown to be completely broken at the end]]. [[UnintentionallyUnsympathetic Mikono]] wasn't even allowed to choose who he liked more, since Kagura decided he actually supported Amata's love. [[TheWoobie And Zessica can't ever hope to be with Amata, not even in a future reincarnation, since she wasn't even allowed to make a 12,000 years promise.]] They're all smiling in the end, but the viewers can't say the same...
* At the end of the ''Manga/{{Area 88}}'' manga, Soria, Rishar, and King Zak are left to transition Asran from a monarchy to a modern republic. While Asran's civil war is over and the people are jubilant, Asran's future is far from secure. First, the country's infrastructure and finances have been devastated by years of war. Second, the civil war has probably left Asran's people with deep resentment toward each other. Finally, the whole mess has been inherited by a conservative monarch, a WideEyedIdealist, and an amnesiac who spent the previous two decades in cryogenic suspension. Suddenly, Asran's future doesn't look so bright ...
** Also at the end of the manga, Ryoko reunites with Shin. Shin suffers from amnesia due to head trauma and does not remember his time at Area 88. On the surface, this appears to be a happy romantic reunion, until you realize that Ryoko will need to explain to Shin why he's in Asran and why years of his memory are missing. To boot, Shin will undoubtedly suffer from unconscious war trauma, even if he can't remember Area 88. Finally, Shin broke Ryoko's heart several times throughout the manga, suggesting that he has cold tendencies. In short, Ryoko has chosen to marry a traumatized, amnesiac jerk, raising questions about what their life together will be life.
* The ending of ''Manga/{{Arisa}}'' is played as fully happy, with Tsubasa reconciling with Arisa and their mother and Arisa finding true love with Midori. This ignores that Midori was an ax-crazy killer who manipulated everyone, ''including'' Arisa, and she doesn't seem to have learned anything from the experience.
* Subverted in ''Anime/BirdyTheMighty: Decode''. At the end of season 1, the Roppongi area of Tokyo gets completely trashed by a combination of the ryunka and the sanctum sanctorum Killsat used to attack it. However, season 2 is mostly about how these events affected people, including the survivors.
* ''{{Manga/Bleach}}'' in the manga, ends HappilyEverAfter with ten years of peace after the war with Yhwach. However, the first of two novels released after the ending gives some disturbing implications. Namely, [[spoiler:Yhwach's corpse is taken by Squad Zero [[PoweredByAForsakenChild and made into the Soul King]]]], [[spoiler:[[WrittenByTheWinners with the history books being written to say that the original Soul King was successfully defended on orders of Squad Zero, and the war was named "The Great Soul King Protection War"]].]] While these points are not given much focus in the first novel, it does raise questions about the validity of the ending overall.
* ''Anime/BloodCTheLastDark'' ends with Saya finally getting her revenge after all the crap that she experienced in the [[Anime/BloodC TV series]]. But [[VengeanceFeelsEmpty what's the worth of it]] when she found out that Fumito, the man who tormented her emotionally and psychologically, killed many people in the TV series and turned Mana's dad into an Elder Bairn, happens to be obsessively in love with her and all that he did is for her own survival and to fulfill her desire to feed on humans which he already failed? And considering that one of the people who helped her get to Fumito happens to be in league with him all along, Saya would probably experience more trust issues and never touch a coffee mug again. She can't even go back to Mana after she found out that she killed her dad at the beginning of the movie. Her WalkingTheEarth at the end of the movie just shows that Saya would end up alone because she might not ever trust people again and end up hurting them if she does.
* ''Anime/BlueGender''. A few humans have survived GaiasVengeance, and they can all live in harmony with mother nature, free at last of technology! Then the FridgeLogic sets in - the only survivors will be physically strong people. If you're a person who is crippled, blind, deaf, has a curable terminal disease, etc. then you're hosed. Mother Nature hates you and you have no right to live.
** [[StrawmanHasAPoint And those well-meaning humans]] [[DesignatedVillain who were trying to save the planet by living in a space station (to ease the strain placed on Earth) and eliminating the hostile creatures that had infested Earth?]] [[KillEmAll Screw them]].
* ''Manga/{{Bokurano}}''. The Earth survives the ordeal in one piece and humanity is relatively safe, which when compared to what happened in ''Manga/{{Narutaru}}'' is a positive cause for celebration. All the main characters died, thousands of Japanese died, some 33 thousand other universes and Earths were destroyed, and the game goes on with a new set of [[strike:victims]] players as if nothing has happened... Yay?
** One example of the backlash was the anime's director. The GeckoEnding went on to brighten things slightly: While ''most'' of the above still happens, one of the main characters survives and the last pilot breaks the game and makes sure it cannot be repeated elsewhere. Some fans think this change was a welcome improvement over the manga, while others disagree.
** The concept gets discussed in the manga, when Kirie wonders why people would consider a movie in which [[OnlyTheLeadsGetAHappyEnding many people die but the main characters get what they want]] as having a happy ending.
* ''Anime/CodeGeass'':
** The series ends with an uplifting ending showing all the surviving characters smiling, despite the bittersweet nature of the preceding events and Lelouch's death, which is enough to make certain fans consider the whole thing a tragedy. The ending also leaves open what will happen to the world during the subsequent reconstruction phase. It is possible for viewers to speculate about how all the resulting death and destruction would have affected the social and economic structures of Japan, which may paint a rather pessimistic picture of this fictional world's future when all is said and done. The main culprit of this seems to be Okouchi and Taniguchi letting some of the staff throw out suggestions which caused a few of the visuals to be a little too happy, with one specific scene being borderline TastesLikeDiabetes (the wedding photo) while the narration points out how there is still a lot of rebuilding to be done which we never actually see.
** Another aspect that is open to debate is how Lelouch first had to reach the DespairEventHorizon following the Black Knights' mutiny and Nunnally's supposed demise. ForWantOfANail, Lelouch may well have gone with a less destructive and suicidal method. In addition, a few of the Britannian survivors had committed murderous acts in the series while [[TheStoolPigeon the two specific people]] [[UnwittingInstigatorOfDoom responsible]] for [[KangarooCourt aforementioned hasty betrayal]] also got a HappyEnding ([[FridgeBrilliance though it's implied they might be making it up to Nunnally for it]]). Lelouch himself admittedly saw beyond such concerns and recognized that everyone had to move toward the future together regardless of the past, but some viewers found the methods and results at least partially [[BrokenAesop self-contradicting]].
* ''Manga/{{DNA2}}'' has Mori's elaborate plan of using DNA Manipulation and TimeTravel to create his personal, mind controlled and telekinetically strong army to declare war on the entire world thwarted. Mori is dead. But this comes at the cost of Junta overcoming the Mega Playboy DNA within him, meaning the playboy never awakened, so his descendants that had the playboy's DNA all cease to exist. Which ''also'' included the son Junta and Karin were going to have. And ultimately, Karin shoots Junta with a DMC one final time to fully remove the playboy DNA aspects, and the memories of her and the entire adventure, from him and returns to the future. There is the one bright hopespot that Junta and Ami [[VictoriousChildhoodFriend will get together]].
* ''Manga/DeathNote'' appears to end with the villain (and his fanboy successor) dying and the world returning to normal. Until that final scene revealing that a happy-go-lucky shinigami was the sponsor for the fake Kira three years later, he liked the experiment, and he has an arsenal of death notes just waiting for new owners. How did he get them? He bought them from the king, who has no problem with selling each death note for 7 apples, and has not made any laws against this tourist trend. Which now means that Ryuk and hundreds of shinigami will be sponsoring hundreds of nonviolent sniping killers, each with their own ideals and agendas, all of whom will inevitably duel and war with each other unless something goes horribly wrong. This is considered a fitting end to this dark series.
* ''Anime/DigimonAdventure02'' seemingly ends on a happy note – bad guy is dead for good, the Chosen Children get to keep their Digimon, even Oikawa gets redeemed in the end. But what many overlook is that the ending says every human on earth gained their own partner Digimon, which leads to all kinds of disturbing implications. Just imagine how much damage a Digimon could do in the hands of a criminal or a dictator.
* ''Anime/DragonBallSuper'': The ending of Future Trunks arc is supposed to be seen as a bittersweet happy ending with them successfully defeating Merged Zamasu with Whis helping both Future Trunks and Future Mai have a bright future ahead of them by creating a CloseEnoughTimeline just for them. However, it still doesn't change the fact that everyone they knew and loved from their original timeline got erased from existence and Trunks wasn't able to protect them in the end because right after Future Trunks destroyed Zamasu's physical body, he became a bodiless EldritchAbomination that wipes out all the remaining survivors left on earth and is in the process of spreading across the universe and timelines, forcing them to summon Zeno just to stop him but at the cost of the entire timeline. In other words, [[TheBadGuyWins Zamasu had won]] and the heroes [[FailureHero completely failed their goal of stopping him]], even to the point of a DownerEnding for some fans. What mitigates this is that Whis ''does'' warn an AU version of himself about Zamasu, and thus there's now a ''new'' future for Trunks in which Zamasu doesn't get far.
* The anime of ''Manga/ElfenLied'' ends rather positively, because it adds a new ending before the manga crosses the DespairEventHorizon. Subsequently, the manga's ending is iffy - the Diclonii will be completely eliminated within a generation. Their powers are too dangerous to allow them to continue to exist, but they're not all bad people, and their extermination is at ''best'' a necessary evil.
* ''Anime/EurekaSevenAO'' tries to play its ending off as a happy one, but just a little bit of thinking reveals that its [[BittersweetEnding anything]] [[DownerEnding but]]. To clarify: The now [[RetGone written-out-of-history]] Scub Corals were EvilAllAlong, rendering the whole point of the first series meaningless. High-density Trapars are apparently [[TakenForGranite fatal]] to Human/Coralian hybrids, meaning [[TheHero Ao]] can [[YouCantGoHomeAgain never return to his real home or see his parents again]] (his ultimate goal was to reunite with his mother). To top it off, his [[CosmicRetcon messing with space-time]] may well have written him out of the memories of everyone he knew or cared about. Yet the ending wants us to believe he's perfectly fine with all this.
* ''Anime/{{FLCL}}'' implies that Naota moves on with his life, but Amarao's entire story is foreshadowing: he fell in love with Haruko at a young age and she eventually abandoned him. Amarao tries to warn Naota but Naota ultimately chooses Haruko, who then predictably abandons him. Naota's subsequent reaction to Ninamori ordering the carbonated drink shows that he hasn't changed or matured as a character; the emphasis on Haruko's guitar in his room reinforces this fact. Naota is going to spend the rest of his life pining for TheOneThatGotAway just like Amarao.
* This trope is the main reason why [[GrandFinale the concluding movie]] to ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemist'' (2003) was so controversial. The bad guys are dead and the Elric brothers are finally reunited and their bodies restored... but in order to prevent an invasion of Amestris by the Nazis, the brothers are forced to permanently seal the Gate of Alchemy from Earth's side, trapping them there, alone, for the rest of their lives. This seems to be an attempt at [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]] that went too far into the "bitter" ballpark for much of the fanbase's liking.
* ''Anime/GenmaWars'' ends on a supposedly uplifting note as Earth is freed from demons who have enslaved mankind for ages and civilization is stated to eventually rebuild itself. With that said, the leads attempt to travel back in time to prevent the demons from taking over Earth in the distant past, only to '''utterly fail in their mission'''. To make matters worse, they return to their own timeline where nothing really changed despite their efforts, most named characters (including their loved ones) have died over the course of the series and stayed dead. Also the BigBad responsible for influencing all events in the series isn't really destroyed by the heroes with his survival being ambiguous at really best. The only reason his victory isn't absolute is because the twins refuse to turn against each other and become his puppets.
* Many people were dissatisfied with the ending of the ''Manga/HotGimmick'' manga. While it was obvious that Hatsumi was going to end up with Ryoki, some readers held on to the hope that there would at least be enough CharacterDevelopment to give [[LoveMartyr Hatsumi]] a backbone or make Ryoki less of a {{Jerkass}}, but the general consensus is that there was little if any sign of any of that ever coming to pass. It didn't help that Azusa's CharacterDevelopment was negated at the end thanks to AesopAmnesia and that Shinogu, suffered from a blatant case of CleaningUpRomanticLooseEnds. In fact, about the only thing most readers liked about the ending were the [[BetaCouple Subaru/Akane]] bits.
* The ending to ''Anime/JewelpetSunshine'' has the human LoveInterest permanently turn into a Jewelpet so he can be with the Jewelpet protagonist forever. Meanwhile, the plot neglects to address the feelings of his parents and sister on such a decision, not to mention he disappears for 5 years without telling anyone so he can turn into a Jewelpet.
* The anime of ''Manga/KareKano''. Hinting that the official couple will break up sooner or later, and that it's OK, is a "happy ending" for Hideki Anno. Thankfully averted in the manga.
* In-universe example in ''Anime/KillMeBaby'': Yasuna has a dream where Sonya is the eponymous protagonist of Killtaro, who is out to slay an oni. Upon reaching the island of her destination, she takes a peach from a tree, and is called out by the villagers, who then chant "Ogre! Ogre!" We then have a discretion shot where she supposedly kills them, and then the narrator says "Such a happy ending..." Sonya then retorts "That wasn't happy at all!".
* ''Literature/KoiZora'' ends with Hiro succumbing to his cancer and dies, causing Mika to [[HeroicBSOD suffer]] and once again try to kill herself. She's stopped by her friends who show her Hiro's diary notes, which gives Mika the courage to live on and she learns that she is pregnant with Hiro's child. But the questionable happiness comes from the fact that Mika is not properly established as having a stable homelife, job and her emotional instability, which has caused her to attempt suicide twice over the course of the seris, is also a big issue. It makes one wonder whether she would be able to take care of the child, especially on her own.
* Many fans see the final Episode of ''Manga/KumaMiko'' as this trope. Machi (a 14 year old {{miko}} from a small village who dreams of moving to the big city but is ignorant of modern technology and has social anxiety problems) is forced into doing a performance in front of a large crowd in a city. She successfully does the performance (by going to her HappyPlace and seeing the audience as the forest) but once she completes her performance, she hallucinates that the cheering crowd is throwing rocks at her and has a breakdown. She continues to falsely believe that the crowd attacked her and becomes terrified of the city. Then Machi, broken and dead-eyed gives up her dreams and declares she will never go to the city again. Natsu and Yoshio, instead of correcting her delusions and getting her psychological help just decide to happily celebrate her decision. Natsu tells Machi that she never has to think about anything ever again and the series ends with Machi seemingly mentally regressing to the personality of a 5 year old, becoming more ignorant about the outside world than ever before and becoming more dependent on Natsu then ever before. And the show treats this as a happy ending as happy music plays in the background and everyone being happy.
* ''Anime/{{Macross}}'':
** ''Anime/MacrossFrontier'':
*** The TV series mostly ends on a happy note; the BigBad is defeated, EveryoneLives (barring a bazillion {{Redshirts}}), and they definitely [[EarnYourHappyEnding Earned Their Happy Ending]], so what makes it so esoteric? Though the action and overall plot all concluded neatly, the LoveTriangle that composed the greater part of the series was left unresolved to avoid upsetting the fans of either girl, which just upset ''both'' {{Shipping}} factions. Some though preferred it this way. Nevertheless, the debates wage on.
*** Returns with the movies with the ending being a TearJerker. It leaves off with Alto apparently dead and Sheryl in a coma right after Alto confessed to Sheryl. The fandom's going theory was that this was how they ended up, and that Sheryl's earrings, which being made of fold quartz ignore the normal laws of time and space, kept their hearts together, for at the end one was worn by Sheryl and one was worn by Alto, making it a very BittersweetEnding a la TogetherInDeath. [[EpilepticTrees Among other theories]]. An interview with Creator/ShojiKawamori later had him wondering how anyone got this idea and {{Jossed}} it by declaring that Alto survived and Sheryl woke up.
** ''Anime/MacrossDelta'':
*** Hooray! Delta Squadron has liberated the Brisingr cluster and Hayate and Freyja get their happy ending, but the Windemereans make it clear the war is not over and the death toll numbers in the millions. Also, poor Mirage got her LoveConfession rejected...
*** For the Windemereans’ case, their future doesn’t look bright for them. Though Heinz is willing to establish peace talks, at the same time, he wants the UN Government to pay for their sins, which might not go very well, as his kingdom will suffer a lot of backlash from the intergalactic community for their actions. Likewise, Heinz is slowly dying after his singing affected his health, and his brother, who is the strongest pilot in the air force, hass already died, which not only leaves the Aerial Knights in a vulnerable position, but also leaves no successors to take leadership of Windermere once Heinz kicks the bucket.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamAGE'' has an ending where the 100-year conflict between two races suddenly ends with one remark from a HeelFaceTurn ''[[GoodIsNotNice good guy]]'' and a vaguely defined compensation. The narrative paints this as an ultimate happy ending, but in reality, almost every important character dies, sympathetic characters don't get what they want, and a few villains are saved because [[TheScrappy Kio Asuno]] would care less about his teammates and would focus more on reforming the enemies.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''
** Sakura Haruno's ending sees her married to her longtime crush Sasuke Uchiha with a daughter, Sarada. Great! Except for the fact that in the intervening years Sasuke had pulled a FaceHeelTurn, abused Sakura both physically and psychologically on several occasions, tried to murder her friends, and even after [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor turning Face again]] and marrying her he abandoned her while she was pregnant with a rather flimsy justification and has never even met Sarada. Many fans felt this plot point came uncomfortably close to an endorsement of DomesticAbuse, especially after a WordOfGod statement said that if Sakura had gotten over her crush on Sasuke even after all he'd done, ''she'' would be the one at fault.
** Many fans were also unsatisfied with the fates of the villains. Of the BigBadEnsemble members, only [[WellIntentionedExtremist Danzo]], [[GenericDoomsdayVillain Kaguya and Zetsu]] receive severe punishments; the rest are either [[RedemptionEqualsDeath forgiven in death]] ([[DragonWithAnAgenda Nagato]], [[TheManBehindTheMan Obito]], [[PredecessorVillain Madara]]), get a slap on the wrist ([[MadScientist Orochimaru]], [[DangerousDeserter the aforementioned Sasuke]]), or [[KarmaHoudini just plain aren't punished at all]] ([[DragonAscendant Kabuto]]).
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': ''The End of Evangelion'' is definitely meant to be horrifying, but has a spark of optimism at the very end. It sees every human put through a death of the ego and their bodies dissolved, but Shinji gives them the chance to live again if they have the will (on a world wrecked by at least two disasters on a planetary scale). Ultimately, Shinji learns to accept himself and search for happiness, yet understanding that suffering is unavoidable in life; while some find this reassurance of hope even in the face of the apocalypse uplifting, others inevitably find it difficult to accept. Likewise, he and his [[HeroesWantRedheads red-head]] LoveInterest spent the whole series [[OblivioustoLove being unable to realize]] each other's [[EveryoneCanSeeIt blatantly obvious]] feelings, and the final scene hints that Shinji and Asuka at last have made a connection and may start to open up to each other.
* ''Anime/NowAndThenHereAndThere''. Even setting aside the whole GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion thing, the script seems to entirely forget that Sara's parents are now never going to see her again and she's very likely going to be killed by the Earth's still supernova-ing sun. Shu's optimism seems just a ''little'' misplaced.
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' debatably has one. On the one hand, Madoka was able to stop magical girls from becoming witches. On the other hand, her solution is basically to make them disappear from the world forever. And she [[RetGone gets erased from exsistence to boot]]. The ending is still hopeful and opitimistic, but it implies that the remaining magical girls won't last long in the new world, and [[TogetherInDeath Homura will only be reunited with Madoka in the afterlife]].
* ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'' inverts the trope. The ending's tone is depressing and pessimistic, what with Homura's FaceHeelTurn. Except...she returns Madoka and Sayaka to the world of the living. Madoka gets to be reunited with her family. Sayaka gets to be reunited with her friends. Even Mami gets a new friend in Nagisa. Really, the only ones who seem to be suffering are [[SelfInflictedHell Homura]] and [[AssholeVictim Kyubey]].
* ''Anime/ReCreators'': The world is saved, but almost nobody knows that since they thought the final battle was all a show or weren't aware of it. The villain received no punishment whatsoever and in the end got what she wanted. Most of the fictional characters that came to the real world accomplished nothing and/or died, and those who lived in the end still went back to their stories, subjected to their authors' whims. Oh, and there's still a crazy murderer on the loose in the real world. Hooray?
* ''Anime/RomeoXJuliet'' ends with most of the cast living happily ever after...all because Romeo and Juliet were horribly killed and sacrificed to a tree which had previously kept the city they live in afloat in the sky. What's worse, the show makes it very clear that none of this was Juliet's choice, but that ''every single woman born to the Capulet line'' had been sacrificed to this very same tree, meaning that she could have never reclaimed her throne (something the series had been building up to since the beginning) or ruled Neo Verona even if she wanted to.
* Done deliberately with ''Manga/{{Saikano}}'', which sees the main character and his girlfriend as the last living beings from Earth, drifting through space, said girlfriend now completely inhuman with no hope of ever turning back. This is played as being as happy as they can wish for given the situation. The author's notes at the end of the manga even admit that all hope is gone, "but there are memories, and maybe a future".
* ''Anime/SpaceRunawayIdeon'' has this with ''Be Invoked''. Yep, the universe is destroyed, but the spirits of the dead are preparing to celebrate its rebirth again as the Messiah takes the souls to a new planet. It took ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'' to create a proper DownerEnding as [[GodOfEvil Keisar Ephes]] corrupts the Messiah, allowing him to take control of the universe properly this time around.
* The ending of ''Manga/StrawberryOneHundredPercent'' was meant by the author to be a way to happily resolve the LoveTriangle and leave all parties happy. However, it ended up as a massive BrokenAesop and caused a gigantic BrokenBase, as Tsukasa's "loved him before he knew me" revelation was retconned in very late in the story with no hint that it ever existed beforehand, and Aya's own FramingDevice of her story being about a [[RichSuitorPoorSuitor peasant girl vs a princess for the love of the prince]] was seen by many as an obvious foreshadowing of her inevitable triumph for Junpei's affections. Instead of being an example of an underdog winning through compatible personalities and friendship as a base for romance, the ending simply reaffirmed the real-life CrapsackWorld-view of "pretty, popular girls win over girl-next-doors".
* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'': Yes, the universe was saved and the Anti-Spiral didn't kill off humanity, but many of the crew dies (including Kittan, right after he confesses his love for Yoko), Nia dies just after her and Simon's wedding and Simon himself becomes a [[WalkingTheEarth hobo]] of sorts, which comes off as a rather insulting fate for someone who saved the entire human race from extinction. And the Spiral Nemesis, the thing the Anti-Spiral were trying to stop from happening is still a potential risk that has a very real chance of transpiring and destroying everything. For such an idealistic series, the ending can be especially jarring.
* ''Manga/TsubasaReservoirChronicle'' ends with a happy note as while Syaoran is cursed to travel endlessly across dimensions he believes he will see his love Sakura again. However, the fact that time flows differently in other worlds means that if it takes him a year to return to Clow Country, Sakura could already be dead when he returns. Furthermore, the villain who cursed Syaoran, Fei Wang Reed, was revealed to an artificial being before his death. Despite dying, it has been stated that artificial beings can be reconstructed so it is possible that he will be back.
* An in-universe example with ''Manga/YakitateJapan'' during the Yakitate 25 arc, where Azuma starts declaring every victory for Pantasia a happy ending, apparently ignoring the fact that their opponents (who most of the time aren't particularly bad people) have been [[ItMakesSenseInContext transformed by Pantasia's bread]] with no sign of changing back any time soon, or the two occasions where the match ended with Ken becoming a {{Yakuza}} leader against his will or Kuroyanagi suffering from serious internal bleeding. Kawachi is usually quick to point this out.

[[folder:Asian Animation]]
* In ''Animation/GuardianFairyMichel'', the Black Hammers lost all the fairies they captured and the Tree of Life is saved but Michel dies in order to rejuvenate the tree, and Kim leaves the island. It's played as more happy than bitter, as Michel will be reborn later, Biam is with the fairies again, Kim reflects on her experience fondly and feels that Michel will remember her when he does return... but in the meantime the bad guys still have the floating castle, and without Michel or Kim around to protect them, the fairies could easily get captured again and start it all over.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Happens very often with [[ComicBook/ChickTracts Jack Chick]] tracts. There are too many examples to list specific ones, but they tend to fall into a few distinct categories.
## The main character converts to Christianity, dies an untimely (and usually also cruel or painful) death and goes to heaven. For example, in "The Little Princess," while Heidi gets herself and her family saved before dying, one has to wonder what it's like for her parents and brother to lose her.
## The main characters, following the death of someone close to them, convert to Christianity. The unsaved loved ones are promptly forgotten about, and the saved people will never see them again. This is especially jarring in "Happy Halloween," in which the boy killed in the traffic accident is forgotten about.
## The main characters convert to Christianity after suffering terrible traumas with no indication of any long-term problems, and with those responsible being EasilyForgiven or becoming outright [[KarmaHoudini Karma Houdinis]]. For example, in "Lisa", the girl may have gotten saved and may no longer be suffering abuse, but she also has herpes now and no shortage of trauma associated with this.
## Truly despicable people do terrible things all their lives, convert after one minute of EasyEvangelism, and go to Heaven, facing no consequences for their actions ''ever'', while people who did nothing wrong except ''not'' instantly choose to devote their lives to God, needing more than simply having John 3:16 read to them once in order to believe, have freak accidents kill them the next day and go to Hell. In Chick's theology (which is not shared by the vast majority of Christians, to say the least), this is because [[AllCrimesAreEqual all humans are equally evil]], and therefore all repentances are equally good.
## The ultimate fate of Earth. God will triumph over the Devil, but not before ages of suffering for the people of Earth followed by the majority of humankind being sent to Hell.
* ''ComicBook/JLAActOfGod'' has the story attempting to tell us that a new generation of heroes is about, the problems with this are that there were likely millions of innocents killed due to people losing their powers, few superheroes getting over their problems, and Kyle Rayner, ultimately, ends up killed due to psychotic obsession. This isn't getting into the fact that many tech-based supervillains keep their powers and abilities, and one new, superpowered being doesn't make the world better.
** As tough as the tech-based heroes are, they simply do not and indeed cannot compare to the combined force of Franchise/{{Superman}}, Franchise/GreenLantern, Franchise/WonderWoman, Franchise/{{the Flash}} and the ComicBook/MartianManhunter. The next time ComicBook/{{Darkseid}} (or indeed, any ''one'' of a multitude of cosmic and/or PhysicalGod-level heavy hitters) invades, he is going to steamroll the Earth with trivial ease.
* Creator/JoeQuesada has stated that when looking back at ''ComicBook/OneMoreDay'', he sees Aunt May saved through the Parkers' HeroicSacrifice of their marriage. Most fans see the OfficialCouple being forced apart and [[TheBadGuyWins the villain getting what he wants]]. Many fans also have a problem that the solution to the arc was the HERO making a deal with the devil without ever being held accountable, thus making deals with the devil without consequences a valid mean to happy endings.
* ''ComicBook/{{Asterix}}'' has some in the Uderzo era.
** ''Asterix and Son'' ends with Brutus getting punished, the Gaulish village he destroyed getting rebuilt, Caesar hosting a banquet for the Gauls and he and Cleopatra reunited with their adorable baby son, Caesarion. The narration notes that Caesarion will become the last pharaoh. Those who know anything about classics (most of the readership...) will realise that all of this will end up in a horrible, murderous disaster. Caesarion certainly would have had a happier and longer life if he'd continued with Asterix and Obelix as his guardians, terrible parents as they are.
** ''Asterix and the Secret Weapon'' ends with both the village's men and women compromising in a way that could be read as a call for a focus on understanding and collaboration to solve social injustice, or just being outrageously sexist, depending on interpretation. Either way, it's very difficult to side with the story after it specifies that women are allowed at the final feast (as they do not attend feasts usually), but they remain absent from all feasts afterwards.
* The ending of ''Night of the Living ComicBook/{{Deadpool}}'' is a likely intentional example. Every character in the story dies except Deadpool, and humanity is likely wiped out, but Deadpool gets a happy ending through a bizarre twist ending. Deadpool takes a massive dose of the regeneration serum that caused the zombie outbreak and is eaten by the zombies, causing his consciousness to evolve into a sapient zombie virus that [[MesACrowd spreads to all of the zombies and brings them all under his control as a massive Deadpool hive mind.]] Deadpool's last words in the comic are "Omnipotence won't be all that bad."
* ''Comicbook/TheAvengers'' issue 200 was intended to be the last-ever Comicbook/MsMarvel story, and features Carol walking off to live HappilyEverAfter... [[NotIfTheyEnjoyedItRationalization with her rapist]]. It didn't take, and the next time Carol is seen she [[WhatTheHellHero lets the rest of the team have it]] for letting her leave with that creep. There's a reason both professionals and fans often consider this issue the single worst done-in-one story ever published by Marvel.

[[folder:Fairy Tales]]
* Perrault’s tale "The Fairies" also known as "Diamonds and Toads". A Fairy [[SecretTestOfCharacter tests the politness of two sisters]]. She rewards the polite [[YoungestChildWins youngest sister]] with having either a jewel, a diamond or a pretty flower fall from her mouth whenever she spoke and curses the rude eldest sister with having either a Toad or a snake fall from her mouth whenever she spoke. The mother then drives both out of the house. The good sister meets and and marries a prince while the bad sister is rejected by everyone and starves in the woods. One may argue that maybe [[UnintentionallySympathetic the eldest sister]] may not deserve such [[DisproportionateRetribution horrible fate]] or point out that the mother [[KarmaHoudini gets away]] with the mistreatment of both her daughters. Not that clear with the youngest sister - some will say that the only reason the prince loves her is the gems, but the story only says that the prince fell in love with her after she told him her story, so optimists can believe that he loves her for herself, and merely views the gems as a way to avoid ParentalMarriageVeto. The [[ArtisticLicenceEconomics problems with constant gemstone production]], however, are indisputable.
** A number of later versions have a further chapter in which both the mother and the older sister return for revenge with a BrideAndSwitch scheme that the new king discovers and then foils by sentencing them to death, taking care of the questions of justice for them. Of course, this still leaves the question of what they're going to do about all the [[WorthlessYellowRocks inflation from the gemstones]]: they might be able to avert an economic collapse for the kingdom by dumping all the spare gems in the treasury and forgetting about them (or just [[RidiculousFutureInflation let inflation take its course]] and continue using silver and gold coins for the kingdom's currency), but having objects valuable or otherwise falling from her mouth all the time is [[CursedWithAwesome likely to get awfully inconvenient awfully fast]]. She might have to learn how to use her words sparingly or even go mute just to maintain her sanity.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* This is common in the darker side of fanfiction (Especially in fetish fics). A good example of this can be found in ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/3684981/1/The_Plushtopia_Chronicles_Lugia_II The Plushtopia Chronicles Lugia II.]]'' For those who don't want to read that, here's the cliff notes version: Guy picks up a plushie that is alive. Turns out the plushie is a {{Yandere}}. It asks him nicely if he wants to turn into a plushie too. He refuses; it violently and painfully kills him and then rebirths him as a plushie. Now they'll be together forever - and it's treated as a good thing.
* The Rose Potter series is an interesting example. Because the author slavishly copies as much of the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' canon as he can, each story ends on a happy note if and when the canon books do. Because the author tries to make things DarkerAndEdgier however, it just opens up a whole mess of FridgeLogic, plot holes, and generally makes the Ministry's arguments that Rose is psychotic look rational. One fine example would be Rose discovering the "Golden Patronus", which essentially lets her destroy the hundreds of Dementors in the third story. This is treated as a beautiful thing, with the "released souls" thanking her as they return to their bodies. Thing is, Dementors were used to carry out the wizarding equivalent of the death sentence, which means that Rose also released the souls of a number of dangerous criminals.
* Frequently discussed in the Fanficrants community on Live Journal. Apparently far too many fic writers do not understand how sexual consent and/or absence thereof works, and balk when informed that what they've written is effectively ''rape fic'' and really should be labeled as such.
* In addition to the (definitely NotSafeForWork) ''Disney/TheLittleMermaid'' FanFic ''[[http://textfiles.com/sex/EROTICA/A/ariel.txt Ariel's Wedding Night]]'''s dealing with the psychological version of the MermaidProblem, the text also brings up the interesting point that Ariel's father Triton and her husband Eric are going to have some diplomatic issues concerning the ''economy'' of Eric's kingdom: presumably, a lot of the people were living on seafood, which isn't likely to go over well with Ariel or Triton or any of the other mer-folk. How, then, is Eric going to keep his subjects fed? A later revision of the story resolves Ariel and Eric's romantic difficulties, but it says nothing more about how to resolve their kingdom's economic problems.
* One particular ''Pirates of the Caribbean'' fanfiction had a MarySue protagonist determined to save the seas and bring back freedom to the pirates. She accomplishes this by killing Calypso. Who, in the movie, was one of the few mystical beings remaining in the sea, especially after the Kraken was destroyed by Beckett, and one of the few things left keeping the world from "getting smaller". Oops... Everyone treats her as a hero for this. Also, you know, making the world a better place for pirates is making it a worse place for everyone who likes to keep their belongings and not get raped.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fanfic ''FanFic/TheConversionBureau''. The premise: Things aren't going well for humanity or Earth, so the ponies offer to let some of the humans into Equestria. Awesome, right? But then the FantasticRacism kicks in: anybody going in has to first be transformed irreversibly into a pony. This might not be so terrible if it wasn't repeatedly and explicitly stated that [[NotHimself someone who's transformed into a pony has their personality fundamentally altered]]. In other words, faced with a troubled species, the pony solution is, [[WouldBeRudeToSayGenocide well...]] While it's a DeadFic and thus never properly ended, the author implies this is meant to be a JustBeforeTheEnd scenario.
** Gets worse in the ExpandedUniverse stories. All of humanity being forcibly converted into ponies with no resemblance to who they once were, or if they refuse, murdered outright? Authors other than the original love to present this as being ''the best thing that could possibly happen to the world''. There's a ''reason'' this setting has a '''''massive''''' {{Hatedom}}.
* Happens within the [[PlotParallel titular game]] of the ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'' fanfic ''[[http://ks.renai.us/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=2435 Broken Dolls,]]'' where the [[MultipleEndings "best end"]] still involves the IllGirl [[{{Utsuge}} dying.]]
* In ''Fanfic/TheStalkingZukoSeries'', the author and Zuko see the ending to the tale of Oma and Shu as this. Oma ends a war and establishes a city, but loses her lover in the process, which is why those in the Fire Nation see it as a tragedy. Zuko, in particular, having seen his cousin Lu Ten's girlfriend take his death quite badly, understands how painful it can be to lose a lover.
* Certain ''WesternAnimation/TheLoudHouse'' fanfics based on the very unpopular episode "No Such Luck", which culminates in Lincoln's entire family (parents included) locking him out of the house because they believe him to be bad luck, end with Lincoln calling the police on his family, usually with Lynn Sr. and Rita Loud being the ones who are arrested. It's painted as a happy ending for Lincoln, but the ramifications of Lynn Sr. and Rita being arrested and Lincoln and his sisters having their parents being taken away from them is rarely touched upon. This is addressed in chapter 6 of the "No Such Luck" fic ''Fanfic/WhatIsAPersonWorth'', where [[spoiler: Lincoln gives some serious consideration to blowing the whistle on his family to the police, but doesn't when he realizes that getting his parents arrested over what, at its core, was a serious misunderstanding that was kind of his fault in the first place, would utterly destroy the family and make things worse.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]

* ''Anastasia'' by Creator/GoldenFilms has one. When Anastasia begins recovering her memories about her family, there is a happy atmosphere and a quick jump to the credits song, which is the same song Anastasia sung in her birthday, and is a happy song. However, all her family were shot, ergo she will never see them again. Meanwhile, Rasputin has [[TheBadGuyWins successfully taken over Russia.]]
* ''Animation/AnimalsUnited'' is an {{Anvilicious}}, if not untrue film about the dangers of pollution and human interference in nature. However, the end involves the cast taking over New York, with one human bystander being outright joyous in declaring [[AuthorTract "This is how it]] ''[[AuthorTract should]]'' [[AuthorTract be!"]] ... um, what?
* In ''Disney/MulanII'', the climax has Mushu ensure that neither Mulan nor the three princesses she was escorting to another kingdom have to submit to an ArrangedMarriage to its prince(s), and thus they can MarryForLove their respective sweethearts. The problem is that the {{Arranged Marriage}}s were explicitly explained to be necessary to secure a political alliance between the kingdoms so that they will band together to defend China from the Huns. As the denouement does not resolve that issue (though the audience was probably meant to assumed that [[spoiler:Mushu's "Golden Dragon of Unity" act convinced the Qigong Emperor to finalize the alliance anyway off-screen]]), the most straightforward assumption is that Mulan and her lady friends have '''selfishly doomed their homeland'''.
* ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'' ends with a "happy ending" in which the British and Powhatan come to terms with each other. Anyone with the vaguest knowledge of history knows this will last about three seconds before relations go south for about 300 years.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Ratatouille}}'' ends with Linguini, Remy and Colette opening their own private restaurant with the [[HeelFaceTurn reformed]] Anton Ego being their top customer. However, while the tone is undeniably happy, consider the facts. The whole reason Linguini and Colette have to open a new restaurant is because Gusteau's ancestral restaurant was closed down after its "rat infestation" was exposed, meaning that the legacy of Gusteau is over and the once world famous chef has been reduced to a disgraced joke. Skinner is still obsessed with capturing Remy for his own use, and there's nothing stopping him from pursuing new schemes (however ineffectual they may be). Finally, there's an entire former restaurant staff out there that could, if they wanted to, come forward with believable evidence that Linguini is mentally unwell due to believing in talking, cooking rats, and considering that Linguini's "madness" ruined their careers, they'll likely have a grudge against him and his new restaurant.
* At the end of ''WesternAnimation/SausageParty'' even though the food won their fight against the humans, it was only because they were lucky enough to have bath salts on them to use on the said humans. Once the friends and families of those humans the foods won't have anymore bath salts left to defend themselves with. Even if no one came to the store sooner or later most of the foods would expire. Only a few of the items are nonperishables, which makes the ending more like a ShootTheShaggyDog ending.
** Also, they find out they're in a movie. So they decide to do something about it by inventing a trans-dimensional teleporter to kick the asses of the film writers. They go through the portal, and... that's it. And then you realize they're still foot-tall convenience items who are now entering a world that isn't comically slanted in their favor. Deleted scenes reveal the last we see of them is their panic over the writers calmly eating their avatars in a diner, oblivious to the screaming deli meats outside the restaurant.
* At the end of ''WesternAnimation/SnoopyComeHome'', the Peanuts gang is initially overjoyed to see Snoopy returning and sing his praises. Then, Snoopy types letters to Linus demanding the return of his croquet set and chess set and to Schroeder for the return of his record collection. Lucy then tells Charlie Brown, "That does it, Charlie Brown! He's your dog, and you're welcome to him!" Yeah, it seems everyone's really happy to have Snoopy back after that.
* One of the reasons ''WesternAnimation/ATrollInCentralPark'' is considered Creator/DonBluth's worst-ever film is its infamous ending, which features the title character using his GreenThumb powers to make the vegetation of Central Park overrun New York City, a scene eerily similar to the original DownerEnding of ''Film/LittleShopOfHorrors''. The film portrays this as the ultimate triumph of nature over technology, but one gets the distinct impression that [[InferredHolocaust many of New York's eight million residents would likely disagree]].
* The elaborate end-title sequence in ''WesternAnimation/WallE'', showing the humans and the robots successfully rebuilding Earth over many generations, was added with the intent of averting this trope, after the initial test audiences thought all the humans died trying to rebuild Earth.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TwoThousandTwelve'' ends with the arks receiving news that the global floodwaters are receding and they're heading to start a new colony on the African continent. Only then you remember that the entire world had just experienced a huge mess of geological disasters- continent-cracking earthquakes, volcanic eruptions (including Yellowstone), gargantuan tsunamis that drown most of the world, the entire Earth's crust shifting by 23 degrees, the magnetic fields reversing, etc. In all likelihood, the majority of the Earth's ecosystems have been destroyed and nearly all species wiped out, either from the disasters themselves or the resulting pollution from natural and man-made sources. The Earth is also due for a volcanic winter of hellish proportions with the ash and sulfur dioxide all the eruptions. To make matters worse, most of the people on the arks are the wealthy elite and are probably not equipped with the skills needed to rebuild all of civilization. Not to mention the actions by those onboard showcase that most of them are pretty damn arrogant and will likely be squabbling over who gets to be in charge.
* In ''Film/TheApple'', the music-megacorp BIM pretty much takes over the world, with only a small hippie commune being the last refuge of truth and individuality. At very end [[DeusExMachina God/Mr. Topps comes and raptures all the good guys]], but the bad guys and the rest of humanity are just left alone. So essentially God took away the last chance for the freedom of Earth. And since it's implied BIM's CEO is the Devil himself, it pretty much means God let Satan win.
* [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Jean Cocteau in ''Film/LaBelleEtLaBete'' who deliberately made the Beast's transformation into a handsome prince feel oddly unsatisfying with Belle reacting to the transformation with not unbridled joy but a pensive "I'll have to get used to it." In Cocteau's own words:
-->"My aim would be to make the Beast so human, so sympathetic, so superior to men, that his transformation into Prince Charming would come as a terrible blow to Beauty, condemning her to a humdrum marriage and a future that I summed up in that last sentence of all fairy tales: 'And they had many children.'"
* ''The Book of Masters'', as many of the viewers agreed, made the mistakes of a) floating undecidedly somewhere between a classical fairytale, a parody of such, and GreyAndGrayMorality fantasy b) miscasting TheHero. The ending has formally all official couples getting a happy ending and the WickedWitch making a HeelFaceTurn (or rather getting a face-heel-brainwashing curse lifted). Actually, the viewers hated the main heroine (a somewhat naive but clever and responsible girl) marrying an infantile idiot, while the AntiVillain who would have been much more suitable for her not only is rejected, but gets turned to stone to save her life – and no one even remembers him in the end. On top of it all, the fates of EnsembleDarkhorse minor characters [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse aren't specified at all]].
** To make it worse, if you stick with the realistic fantasy interpretation, the main heroine is now doomed to serfdom, as marrying a serf in the feudalism era made you one as well, even if you were a princess.
* According to WordOfGod, the idea for ''Film/{{Brazil}}'' came from the director wondering whether or not an ending where the main character goes insane could be happy. On one hand, the lead character is tortured into insanity, on the other, well, he's no longer aware of it.
* ''Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill2008'' ends with Klaatu agreeing to spare the Earth and humanity, but only after he generates an EMP so powerful that it stops ''all'' technology on Earth. Assuming that it really is an EMP, and that the technology that is currently in existence is affected, then millions will die initially and then we will swiftly reconstruct the technology we had already designed. We will likely achieve world peace, which was his aim in the original, but we only be at peace with each other in order to better prepare to wreak vengeance on the aliens that caused this cataclysm. We may become more concerned with the environment, or simply not care about it anymore, in our rush to achieve sustainable civilisation outside of Earth's atmosphere. If it was something more than an EMP and that isn't possible, ''billions'' will die and human civilization will collapse into a bloody age of barbarism. [[ComicallyMissingThePoint But at least Jacob finally called Helen "Mom", right?]]
* The ''Film/FightClub'' movie is supposed to have a BittersweetEnding: The unnamed protagonist has eliminated Tyler Durden and has earned Marla's respect and love, but Tyler's Project Mayhem succeeds in destroying the headquarters of several large companies and banks. For some anti-establishment viewers, however, they see it as a complete happy ending, as they actually ''like'' what Project Mayhem intended to do and are glad that it accomplished a global financial crash.
* ''Film/{{Gravity}}'': While Stone [[EarnYourHappyEnding more than earns her happy endings]], surviving all those near-fatal encounters and making it back to Earth alive, the planet's orbit is now undergoing Kessler Syndrome. Basically, all that debris is going to be zooming around and making it highly impractical to send anything into orbit for decades, possibly even ''centuries.'' Nobody is leaving the planet anytime soon.
* ''{{Film/Hancock}}'': The titular hero has found out that he and Mary are the two last survivors of a group of [[PhysicalGod near-inmortal beings of enormous power]] and [[ReallySevenHundredYearsOld older than Genghis Khan himself]] who cannot be together without losing their powers and becoming mortal. The film ends with them having to give up on their romance to prevent each other's deaths and to keep the world safe. Problem is (other than [[DidNotGetTheGirl Hancock having his heart broken]]), this means Mary is fated to [[MayflyDecemberRomance see her husband Ray, their son and all the people she'll ever call "loved ones" grow old and die]], so her dreams of living a normal life are all but fated to go down the drain. Same goes for Hancock, and if a certain [[DestructoNookie deleted scene]] is to be believed, he can't even have sex without causing serious damages or death to those he has sex with, so procreation might be out of the question for him. Or, maybe he ''can'' reproduce and could potentially bring more demigods to the world [[FridgeHorror who may end sharing his same burden...or becoming supervillains]]. Also, [[ChronicHeroSyndrome since Hancock is so drawn to help others]] that he [[CannotSelfTerminate can't end his life the same way the other inmortals did]], this means he's fated to keep helping those in need for perhaps all of eternity, [[UngratefulBastard even if they end up treating him like crap later on]]. Finally, if Mary's story is to be believed, [[RelationshipRevolvingDoor Hancock and her have gone through the same on-and-off relationship for a long time]] and will probably end up doing the same thing [[HereWeGoAgain again]].
* ''Film/HouseOnHauntedHill1999'': The movie ends with the final two survivors escaping the evil ghosts of the house by climbing the tower and leaving through a window. Cue the sunshine and "we're alive!" hugs. They're still both stranded on top of a haunted house which is ''itself'' alive and will devour them the moment they go back inside, with no way down except a 200 foot drop off a cliff and no one coming to their rescue. How are they getting out of there again?
* ''Film/TheIncredibleShrinkingMan'': While Scott may have come to terms with the fact of what's happening to him as he shrinks to nothing (he states in the voiceover that "To God there is no zero"), this is at best bittersweet. He faces almost certain death; plus, his wife and his brother are convinced that he died a horrible death: being torn apart and eaten by [[CatsAreMean THE CAREYS' OWN CAT]]. [[spoiler: Matheson [[http://shrinking.freehostia.com/Stories/FantasticShrinkingGirl.html created a sequel]] where Scott's wife realizes she's shrinking too, reasons that he's not dead and that the antitoxin has a delayed effect, seeks him out and brings him back, but this was never produced]].
* ''Film/TheInternship'' ends with the main characters winning the competition, in which their rewards are nothing more than jobs at Google. [[http://www.timesunion.com/living/article/Mining-economic-misery-for-laughs-4583974.php This article]] discusses why some people who watched the film at the time of its release might not consider it a very uplifting story.
-->Was a movie like this ever made during any previous bad economy? The Great Depression equivalent might be the story of a pair of unemployed guys competing against hundreds to go work on Henry Ford's assembly line. But no, such a movie was never made — and could not exist — because in no previous America would turning yourself into a cog in somebody else's machine be considered an achievement worthy of celebration.
-->And in no previous America would it be considered a victory if [[OnlyTheLeadsGetAHappyEnding 95 percent of your fellows were still left on the street]]. Rather, the Great Depression cinema made heroes of gangsters, con men and fast talking individualists, guys who chose survival by not fitting in.
* ''Film/{{Juno}}'': A good number of viewers have expressed skepticism that Juno's son would be better off with the nervous, flighty, and recently divorced Vanessa than with Juno herself, who despite being only 16 is [[WiseBeyondTheirYears very smart and rational for her age]] and by all appearances has a better support network than Vanessa does. An earlier draft of the script was even worse as it showed Juno as absolutely miserable over giving up her baby.
* ''Film/JurassicParkIII'': The ''Pteranodons'' escaping and flying to the mainland at the end is treated with whimsy and mild interest, despite the fact these are dangerous man-eating animals that hunt people. In one comic book set after the movie, they end up going on a killing spree over the Southern USA, while supplementary material for ''Film/JurassicWorld'' says they were shot over Canada.
* ''Film/JurassicWorld'''s ending tries to [[InferredHolocaust gloss over]] all the death that happened through the film and has the two leads kissing and walking into the light. However, lots of innocent tourists, [[AdultFear as well as many kids]], security personnel and other employees like Zara ([[{{Retirony}} who was engaged to a guy who won't see her anymore]]) died at the hands of the dinosaurs; the park that Hammond dreamed of is going down since its CEO died in a helicopter crash and Claire in particular is most probably going to go to prison.
* ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'' ends with Gary stopping [[DoomsdayDevice a device that can turn everyone in the planet]] [[AxCrazy into mass-murdering psychos]] JustInTime and saving the day. Except, "JustInTime" here means "[[YouAreTooLate just five minutes after the device was activated]]", meaning that for five full minutes, every person on the planet without a special microchip turned into a bloodthirsty beast for enough time to murder any person nearby (including, of course, loved ones). That could easily mean millions, or even '''billions''' have died and/or caused countless destruction all over the world, and the physical, psychological or economic damage resulting from that could be enough to drive cities or even entire countries to the dirt and to [[DrivenToSuicide make the survivors kill themselves]] (even moreso if [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone they were part of those who murdered or injured their loved ones]]). To top it all off, Gary activated a device that made the aforementioned chips located in the brains of [[CorruptPolitician corrupt leaders and businessmen]] [[MadeOfExplodium explode into a]] [[{{Gorn}} gory mess]], and while that may seem like [[LaserGuidedKarma they got what they deserved]], that also means that dozens of important leaders have died, leaving their badly damaged countries in dire need of new leaders. To put it shortly, there should be no way this movie ended without [[ApocalypseHow the start of the apocalypse]].
* ''Film/{{Knowing}}''. Almost everybody is killed as the entire planet is incinerated, but some 30-odd kids survived and went to a wonderful Garden of Eden-esque place! [[YouFailBiologyForever And they're gonna repopulate the human race!]] Plus, since the aliens only saved a handful of prepubescent children and refused to rescue even one of the most highly-educated adults on the planet, their concern is clearly preserving human DNA, not human culture or civilization. [[FridgeHorror Why]]? Are they breeding slaves? Cattle?
* ''Film/TheLedge'': The director states that the ending was meant to be a BittersweetEnding as even though [[TheHeroDies Gavin dies at the end]], Hollis at least has reconciled with his family, Shana has [[OutgrownSuchSillySuperstitions outgrown the silly superstitions of religion]] and the [[TheFundamentalist dangerous maniac Joe]] is now in jail where he belongs. But Shana herself is now emotionally broken and all alone in the world, with her marriage destroyed, her husband in jail and her lover Gavin dead. It will be a damn miracle if she doesn't end up going back to her previous life of prostitution and drug abuse.
* This may or may not be the ''point'' of ''Film/LetTheRightOneIn''. There are two possible outcomes of the ending: one is that Oskar takes on the role of The Renfield for Eli and procures blood for her for the rest of his life, the other (endorsed by Word Of God) is that she turns him into a vampire, forcing him to kill for survival as well.
* ''Film/LiveWire'': The film ends with [[Creator/PierceBrosnan Danny O'Neil]] defeating the villains and getting his ex-wife back. Great! Unfortunately, his actual mission was to protect three Senators who had been targeted for assassination by said villains, and all of them die, two killed by the baddies, and the last [[DiabolusExMachina being accidentally impaled on a spike AFTER being rescued]]... but he was Danny's wife's new boyfriend and also a jerk, [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality so his life obviously doesn't matter]].
* ''Film/TheNextThreeDays'': They do escape to Venezuela, which is certainly preferable to the alternative...but now what? They'll have to find a way to make a living in a country where they don't have working rights and they probably don't speak the language (the movie never says they don't speak Spanish, but there's also no indication that either of them does). For good measure, back in Pittsburgh we see the last piece of evidence that might have cleared Lara is literally washed down the drain, so there's no chance at all they'll ever be able to go home.
* The Brazilian movie ''Film/OAutoDaCompadecida'' ends with hero being resurrected and getting a second chance in life and his best friend getting together with his love interest at last. The problem is that the girl ran off from home and was disowned by her father and the trio are now living by themselves in the harsh Brazilian Northeast deserts. It doesn't help that most of the cast also got killed off over the course of the movie too.
* WordOfGod describes ''Film/{{Oldboy 2003}}'' as having a happy ending that's sad or a sad ending that's happy. Either way, the implication is that the protagonist continues to carry on an incestuous relationship with his own unwitting daughter, and that he may or may not know himself.
* The ''Franchise/{{Lassie}}'' film, ''Film/ThePaintedHills'': Shep (Lassie) managed to avenge the death of her owner by driving his killer, Taylor, off a cliff. And rather than simply give up and die, she decides to live on with Tommy, the son of Jonathan's late partner. But Taylor had killed Jonathan in order to steal their gold claim for himself. The site of Jonathan's claim died with the two of them, and Taylor had hidden the gold dust he and Jonathan had already gathered: a fortune lost to Tommy and his mother.
* ''Film/ThePlayer'' is a [[IntendedAudienceReaction deliberate]] example that {{deconstruct|edTrope}}s the FocusGroupEnding: the obligatory happy ending simply doesn't work when [[AntiHero the hero]] not only [[KarmaHoudini gets away with murder]], [[ExaggeratedTrope but steals everything his victim had]].
* ''Film/Predator2'': Even though Harrigan beats the Predator and escapes the ship and has a cool "new" gun as a trophy, there's one problem he won't be able to beat. Tony Pope. While Pope was horrible throughout the movie and many fans would approve of Harrigan punching him, Tony technically never did anything legally wrong. Combined with Harrrigan being a known CowboyCop with a history of disobeying orders and violent tendencies, his chances in court look worse than against the Predator. Tony has video evidence of Harrigan punching him, so his case is unbeatable which means he's either going to get a ton of cash out of the LAPD, L.A. City itself, or get Harrigan fired, or both.
* ''Film/{{RIPD}}'': Who knows how many people were killed in the massive destruction caused by those vortexes opening up?
* ''Film/RockyV''. Rocky kicks Tommy's ass in a street fight, but he's still broke, and Tommy is still the champion. No wonder Stallone declared it CanonDiscontinuity, though ''Film/RockyBalboa'' still opens with Rocky back in his old neighborhood, though thankfully no longer broke as he now runs his own restaurant.
* ''Film/SevenPounds'' which tries to make Tim's obsessive self-flagellation and ultimate suicide a morally uplifting HeroicSacrifice. Also, his preferred method of suicide is box jellyfish. Which kills via a neurotoxin that will render the organs he wants to donate useless.
* The indie drama ''Film/{{Sleepwalking}}'' tries to make its ending seem like a happy and uplifting one: The mother finally returns realizing that she does love her daughter and her brother has realized how he is not enjoying life and decides to take charge, ending with the optimistic line "Today is the first day of the rest of your life." Well OK except for the fact that the mother is still unemployed, now homeless along with her daughter, and is probably going to get charged with abandonment and not be allowed to keep custody of her daughter who'll be forced back to her hated foster care and probably won't end up well. Meanwhile her brother will have to spend the rest of his life as a fugitive for the murder of his father. Not all that uplifting after all.
* ''Film/SourceCode'': Colter ''finally'' creates an AlternateUniverse where the train disaster is averted and he gets to live HappilyEverAfter with his new girlfriend... in the body of her old boyfriend Sean, who is now essentially dead since his consciousness has been overwritten. Colter will now have to adjust to living a life that is not his, with a family and career which are utterly unknown to him. He also has to try and very carefully pick the right time to tell his new girlfriend that he met her that day and has almost no idea who she is. Oh, and this reality also has a version of his brain in a box, so it's not like his suffering has actually ended at all. And apparently there's one alternate reality where Sean's friend remembers his last actions as irrationally attacking a random guy because he looks Middle Eastern, before falling onto a railroad track.
* ''Teen Beach 2'': Lela takes Mack's advice to change the movie and make it what she wants it to be for when she and Tanner get back. As a result, the fear that Brady and Mack each have of having never met comes true. ''Wet Side Story'' becomes ''Lela, Queen of the Beach'' and it becomes Mack's all time favorite movie, not Brady's. Mack's personality is very likely changed as a result of the movie's transformation too. Brady and Mack still meet and fall for each other, but it's under similar but different circumstances at the Save the Beach event. Fate had to intervene to eradicate them of their problems rather than let them figure it out for themselves and because of it, they've lost all the time that they had together before. It's nice that they're meant to be together no matter what, but it makes it that what happened in the first movie and this one no longer exist as well as form a paradox where ''Wet Side Story'' should have never changed at all if Brady and Mack were never there.
* ''Film/TimeBandits''. The boy's house is a smoking ruin and his parents are dead... but his parents were neglectful bastards to start with, and Agamemnon is now a firefighter, implying that he has a good future ahead of him. According to director Creator/TerryGilliam (on the Criterion [=DVD=] commentary), parents in the test audiences were upset with this ending, but their ''children'' liked it!
* ''Virus: Day of Resurrection'' ends on a uplifting note as the hero Yoshizumi walks from D.C. to Tierra del Fuego, collapsing into the arms of the woman he loves, intoning that "life is wonderful." This is after the aforementioned virus has wiped out the human race, and [[FromBadToWorse a nuclear assault]] has destroyed most of the ecosystem. The survivors are literally the only people left ''alive,'' and most them are already resigned to starving to death.
* In ''Film/WhyHim'', Stephanie doesn't marry Laird, choosing instead to go back to college. However, she continues ''dating'' him, he remains an unapologetic foulmouthed pervert, and he has successfully integrated into the Fleming family mostly by dazzling them with expensive gifts. This is presented as a good thing, because his shortcomings don't matter if he's a "nice guy" (as the film keeps telling us he is).

* Creator/HarlanEllison claims that the ending of ''Literature/IHaveNoMouthAndIMustScream'' is intended to be happy. Sure, the narrator ends by saying the title line in utter despair, after mercy-killing every other remaining human in the world, but he's so [[UnreliableNarrator unreliable]] he hasn't realized that his actions represent the final triumph of the human spirit. The game makes it into more a BittersweetEnding, with the humans finally taking down AM and settling into the duty of being a watchdog for the [=AIs=] as they await the reawakening of the humans on the moon.
* By all accounts, Creator/HansChristianAndersen [[CreatorBreakdown was a very depressed man]]. Out of all his fairy tales, there are only a few with unambiguously happy endings.
** ''Literature/TheLittleMermaid'' (not [[{{Disneyfication}} the Disney version]]). The little mermaid is turned into "daughter of air" with the prospect of eventually entering Heaven, very probably a result of revision by Andersen. Initially this was the selected ending, even put in the working title, but there was a happily reworked version in which the mermaid apparently just dissolved into foam in the end. Even the happier version has the FridgeHorror of knowing that the [[DeaderThanDead dissolving into foam]] fate is eventually going to befall the Little Mermaid's sisters and family if they don't act as she did.
** ''Literature/TheLittleMatchGirl''. TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth turned UpToEleven. The tone of the ending is [[BittersweetEnding very sad for the townspeople who discover her frozen corpse, but happy for the girl as she has ascended into Heaven]]. As such, some remakes from our more cynical times either rewrite it to give her a more materialistic HappyEnding ([[DeusExMachina somehow]]) or portray it as a truly tear-jerking DownerEnding. [[Discworld/{{Hogfather}} Even Death can't stand it.]]
** While not nearly as dark as the two above, one has to question just how HappilyEverAfter the Prince in ''Literature/ThePrincessAndThePea'' is actually going to live with his new bride. Someone who complains about a single pea under 40 mattresses has got to be ''ridiculously'' high-maintenance.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** It's explored in ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad'' where Lilith gives what is usually considered to be a happy ending to people whether they want it or not. This includes convincing a wolf it's human so that it nearly starves to death and goes insane, since it can't live as either human or wolf now, so that it would eat a grandmother and dress up like her a la ''Little Red Riding Hood''. By the time the three witches arrive, all the Big Bad Wolf wants is ''[[SuicideByCop an ending]]''.
** Intentionally played in ''Discworld/{{Eric}}'' which ends by saying that three wishes provided a happy ending for most of the people they've affected and giving as examples the Tezumen, who continue to slaughter people but no longer do so because of religion so they don't need to get up so early; the Tsorteans and Ephebians, whose war is over, allowing them to prepare for the next one; the demons and damned souls, who get back to inflicting/experiencing material punishment on immaterial spirit in the knowledge that at least it's not Astfgl's psychological torture; and Astfgl himself, who as Life President of Hell gets to spend his time writing policy statements entirely unaware that the rest of the demonic lowerarchy is completely ignoring him. What happened to our actual protagonists, we don't get told beyond "It could be worse". Lampshaded by the last two lines "And this too was happiness. Of a sort."
* Creator/RobertSilverberg's stories fall into this occasionally because his personal philosophy is so different from how most people (or at least most modern Western readers) view life and humanity. A particularly jarring example is ''The Face Upon The Waters''--the main character spends most of the story trying to maintain his cultural identity after the destruction of Earth and the scattering of its people, but ultimately concludes that people should adapt to whatever culture they live amongst... and joins up with TheCorruption[=/=]AssimilationPlot, which has a stated goal of assimilating everyone it can and killing everyone it can't.
* ''A Girl Called Blue'' is about girls growing up in a strict home for children in 1960s Ireland (run by Sadist Nuns). The book ends with Blue rejoicing that she's finally found a family of her own. Except the "family" is two people she's met twice and they're not allowed to adopt her so she has to wait three years before she's old enough to leave the school with them only allowed to visit her twice a year. Also three of her best friends have now left, one being drowned, another going back to live with her father and the last being sent to another school and she has been forced to sleep alone in a cramped room, and will likely still have to endure plenty more abuse from the nuns for the next three years. Oh and she never finds out who her real mother is either and the nuns will keep abusing children for many years in Ireland.
* The ending of Creator/CSLewis's final [[Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia Narnia]] book, ''Literature/TheLastBattle'', qualified as this for many young readers. Narnia ends, and everyone except Susan dies. Some minor characters are tormented and destroyed by a horrific many-armed GodOfEvil, while others who are judged unworthy and vanish forever into Aslan's shadow. [[OnlyTheLeadsGetAHappyEnding But the important people don't care about that]] because they all go to the "real" Narnia (a stand-in for heaven) as the Christian subtext becomes text. It can be uplifting or inspire nightmares, depending on which scenes stick with you. (Creator/NeilGaiman brilliantly deconstructed this in his short story ''Literature/TheProblemOfSusan'', in which he shows what happened to Susan after her siblings died in a train crash and she had to [[BodyHorror identify their corpses]].)
* Creator/{{Roald Dahl}}'s ''Literature/TheWitches''. The protagonist learns that he's stuck as a mouse and that mice don't live very long, but he's happy because he'll probably die near the same time as his elderly grandmother and doesn't care about living if he's not with her; they will live out their lives tracking down and destroying other witches together. The two also ponder Bruno's fate. One states that his mouse-hating mother probably drowned him in a bucket, but nobody seems very disturbed by this possibility. The movie has an unabashed happy ending where the last witch, who had undergone a HeelFaceTurn, undoes the mouse spell on the protagonist and is implied to do the same to Bruno. While many were appreciative of this happier ending, Roald Dahl was infamously ''not''.
* Coupled with ValuesDissonance for ''Literature/ALittlePrincess''. The book ends with Sara being restored to her wealth while Becky becomes her personal attendant. Oh and [[SadistTeacher Miss Minchin]] gets [[KarmaHoudini away with treating them like prisoners]]. However, if one takes into context the period the story is set in (Victorian London) then Becky going from little better than a slave to a powerful position in the household (with a kind and generous mistress too) where she would get a roof over her head and financial security, it's a happy ending for Becky indeed. And while Miss Minchin doesn't get an over-the-top instant comeuppance (save in the film adaptations, which pretty much need one) it's worth remembering that not only has she irrevocably lost her chance at a pupil who could've single-handedly ensured her school's success and her own financial comfort for life; once Sara's story becomes common knowledge in her social circle--as it inevitably will--Minchin's reputation will be in tatters and her school likely ruined. There's also a WhatHappenedToTheMouse for Melchisedec the rat and his family; one hopes kindhearted Sara will remember them and send Ram Dass over there with bread crumbs.
* At the end of ''Literature/AtlasShrugged,'' Galt's Gulch is the only non-Crapsack place left in the whole world. Which is great, because all of the looters and moochers are gone and the good people can rebuild the world, right? Then you remember the [[InferredHolocaust millions of innocent children who were left to starve...]] (Then again, by the book's morality, this is the looters' and moochers' fault rather than anything to blame on the protagonists...)
* ''Literature/RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms.'' Shu, Wei and Wu are united into one at last and peace throughout the entire country of China can finally begin. Unfortunately the victors are a splinter group of Wei who usurped the throne, conquered Wu and Shu who at the time were being ruled by Liu Shan (a truly incompetent ruler who defiles everything Shu originally stood for) and Sun Hao (a tyrant almost as bad as Dong Zhuo). The kicker? When these two surrendered they were given lucrative positions and the readers were told they lived out their remaining lives in luxury. To be fair though this novel closely follows the real life events in history and not a lot could be changed. And historically, the hard-fought reunification of China ended a decade or two later with [[HereWeGoAgain a new barbarian invasion.]] Also, the war to unify China was itself one of the bloodiest in human history, killing (by highest estimates) 74% of China's population, more people than the Second World War. The victors ruled dust and ashes.
* Back when ''Literature/TheIronGiant'' was a book instead of a movie, it ended with an encounter with a dragon-like alien that sang in a hypnotic manner. It sang loud enough that the entire world heard it, and everyone in the world spent the rest of their lives alternately taking care of necessities and listening to the song. It's specified that all war was completely eliminated, and the implication would be that art and culture vanished too. If the wording is to be taken literally, people didn't even converse with each other. Now, does this sound {{Utopia}}n, or more like a nightmare?
* The final book of the ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'' series gave Jacob, who had been suffering from unrequited love for Bella, his own happy romantic ending by having him imprint on Bella's newly born daughter Nessie. Oh, don't worry; Nessie grows really fast, so she'll be 17 years old in 7 years and ready to start a relationship with her "Uncle Jacob" then! Also, [[InherentInTheSystem there's apparently no good way to get rid of the Volturi or vampires like them]]. Given that the Volturi are growing more and more afraid of human technology, and more and more inclined to lash out at humanity, this is a ''very bad thing''. Das-Sporking's MST, when it gets to the end of ''Breaking Dawn'', points out that their "victory" at the end really isn't one, as while the Volturi are gone ''for now'', they have been given all the information needed to defeat the Cullens should they come around again.
* ''Literature/BendSinister'' by Creator/VladimirNabokov ends with the protagonist arrested by his nation's totalitarian government, and his young son horrifically killed by a crowd of mental patients--on film!--due to a ''clerical error''. But then Nabokov [[{{Metafiction}} reaches through the layers of reality]] and gives his main character the gift of insanity to make him forget all his pain. The novel ends with Adam Krug, as a result of his insanity, rushing the dictator and being shot to death. Nabokov, however, refuses to write this conclusion (after implying its inevitability) and instead describes his room and decides to go mothing. It's a strange case of being incapable of giving Krug a happy ending (even the insanity so benevolently bestowed upon him results directly in his being killed), and so at least giving him the consolation prize of not writing it at all, and therefore not allowing it to happen. It's about as esoteric as a 'happy ending' can get.
* ''Literature/LeftBehind'' gets this a lot for its ending where not only are all non-Christians sent to FireAndBrimstoneHell, but the paradise where all the protagonists end up is depicted as a faintly creepy commune where you can no longer eat meat or form relationships with anyone you want, and nobody experiences any strong emotions other than love of God. [[ValuesDissonance The writers treat this as a utopia.]]
* Nearly all of Zilpha Keatley Snyder's books have one of these. Save the Literature/GreenSkyTrilogy, and only because she was deluged with mail, realized she made a big goof, and authorized a sequel in the form of a video game, possibly the first video game to be acknowledged as {{Canon}} for something written in another medium.
* Creator/HPLovecraft's works:
** "Celephais," which ends with the main character finally returning to the wondrous dream-city that he created in his youth where he is appointed the chief god of all of the regions of Dream; and all he had to do was fall off a cliff and let the tides cast his corpse upon the rocks. Lovecraft [[LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this later in ''Literature/TheDreamQuestOfUnknownKadath'' when ''that'' story's protagonist meets this exact character who's since come to regret his decision but obviously can never go back.
** The sheer ValuesDissonance of applying this trope to "The Street" is why it's almost impossible to find it in print, as it involves treating the spontaneous collapse of an overcrowded slum that [[KillEmAll kills everybody living there]] as a good thing. Why? Because A: it used to be a beautiful Colonial country lane line with rosebushes and is now a dirty slum, and B: all of the people living in it are [[EvilForeigner dirty non-WASP immigrants ungratefully plotting revolution against America for taking them in]]... at least, [[TakeOurWordForIt so the narration says they are]].
* ''Mindswap'' by Creator/RobertSheckley. The protagonist is in the corrupted world but believes he has succeeded in his mission and has returned home.
* ''Literature/HushHush'' has a great happy ending, if you ignore the fact that part of Nora's house was burned down, there's a ClingyJealousGirl of a fallen angel after her, and that she is blissfully dating the guy who spent the book stalking her, sexually harassing her, and outright attempting to ''murder her''.
* At the end of ''Literature/TheGoddessTest'', Kate's beloved mother is actually the goddess Demeter, so she and her mother can be together for eternity. Sounds great, huh? Except if you think back to the prologue, where we hear Demeter outright telling Hades that she's going to have her second daughter to take the goddess test and be his wife, even though eleven girls have already died in the attempt and Hades ''says'' he wants to just give up rather than see anyone else die for him. There's also the fact that the last girl who was manipulated into an arranged marriage with Hades later begged for death. Throughout the story there is a lot of emphasis on the fact that being there is Kate's choice. However the reason she made the deal with Henry in the first place was to save Ava and then the reason she kept the deal was so that he could keep her mother alive and she could spend time with her before she died. Except you find out that both Ava and Diana are Goddesses and were never in any real danger. So that means that while it was technically Kate's choice, her entire choice was based on a lie. Plus the ending reveals that Diana put her daughter through four years of emotional turmoil by making her think that her mother was on the verge of death for years and forcing Kate to take care of her for no reason other than to set her up for the test.
* The "Susannah in New York" epilogue of ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' series has Susannah going into an alternate reality version of New York where Eddie and Jake are still alive and in fact are brothers. She appears in Central Park at Christmas time, alternate-Eddie greets her with a cup of hot chocolate, and it's clearly supposed to be her happy ending... Except many readers feel that Susannah abandoned the quest and is now trapped in a world that isn't her own with a couple of ReplacementGoldfish who aren't really the people she loved.
* The end of ''Literature/TheDarkIsRising'' sequence is unsatisfying in several ways. The forces of the Dark have been beaten back; all the main characters are OK and have forged a close bond; Bran has grown up normal, decided to stay with his foster-father, and has realised he's attracted to Jane. But not only do five of the Six have to forget that magic exists and never see their beloved Merriman again, the lovely magic of the Light is going to withdraw from the world altogether. And poor John Rowland is going to believe that his wife has suddenly died (which is presented as better than knowing she was an agent of the Dark). Will gets to remember everything because he's an Old One, but he'll have nobody to talk to about it for most of the time.
* Chris Adrian's ''Literature/TheChildrensHospital'' ends with every single adult left on Earth dying, as the global flooding recedes and the children leave the eponymous hospital to inherit their new Earth. The final image is the main character screaming as her newborn child is taken away and she dissolves into ash. Lampshaded throughout the book by the narrator who, as an angel who was once human, is supposed to wholeheartedly accept the end of the world as righteous, but can't quite do so.
* Whatever Evelyn Waugh may say about God's love and the power for redemption in ''Literature/BridesheadRevisited'', the facts remain as such: Sebastian's a hopeless alcoholic, Julia and Charles, having gone through with their respective divorces, decide never to see each other again, and the entire world is going to be inherited by the likes of [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Mottram]] and [[TheScrappy Hooper]].
* ''Literature/TheSoldierSon''. After almost three books of stressing how bad it is for Nevare's soul to be split, he is finally reunited with Soldier's Boy and absorbed by an ancestor tree, together with his beloved Lisana. Is this the end? No, he is split again. Admittedly, that half gets back together with Amzil, marries her and inherits the Nevare estate, but wasn't it bad to have one's personality split? Other issues concern the discovery of gold that draw the Gernians away from the Speck lands: how long before they'll return? And finally, Nevare completely destroys the source of the Plainspeople's magic in the process, sealing their fate. This is given almost no attention.
* Some of the "good" endings in the ''Literature/ChooseYourOwnAdventure'' books merely consists in the main character surviving, stopping the BigBad temporarily, or implying that ''perhaps'' you will have success in the future, leaving many plot points unsolved.
* The final book of ''Literature/TheDemonsLexicon'' has the surviving magicians pulling a mass HeelFaceTurn and joining the Goblin Market. Except we're given no reason to believe that it's genuine with all or even any of them, and they're probably just planning to destroy the Market from within.
* Inverted with Edmond Hamilton's 1932 short story 'The Man Who Evolved', which is traditionally interpreted as having the soul-crushingly nihilistic ending of learning that the human race is doomed to devolve into primordial ooze, and there is nothing that anybody, not even a Sufficiently Advanced super-intelligence, can do to prevent it. However, FridgeLogic shows that there are two ways in which the ending can be interpreted more optimistically: either Pollard continues down the path of Hollywood Evolution, AscendingToAHigherPlaneOfExistence and becoming an EnergyBeing, while leaving his body behind as protoplasm, or the story can be interpreted as set in the same universe as Hamilton's later short story, "Devolution", in which microbes are the most advanced forms of life, which developed an interstellar civilization and only got stuck on Earth after they de-evolved into all other forms of life (in which case Pollard could conceivably have retained his augmented intelligence). Note that neither of these interpretations alleviate the horror of Pollard's steady LossOfIdentity as he travels through the EvolutionaryLevels, however.
* The ''Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries'' ends with humanity ([[StarfishAliens with some help]]) defeating the [[AbsoluteXenophobe Inhibitors]], at the cost of fleeing the Milky Way as humanity's rogue [[AIIsACrapShoot Greenfly terraforming robots]] - now uncontained by the Inhibitors - overrun the galaxy, [[HordeOfAlienLocusts breaking apart worlds and anything artificial to turn into greenhouse habitats]] orbiting stars. ''Galactic North'' shows that the Greenfly has begun to expand outside the galaxy. [[EarthAllAlong The Shadows]] in ''Absolution Gap'' explain that their entire local cluster has been effectively overrun by the Greenfly. The author said that this ending was "[[http://web.archive.org/web/20050204072321/http://www.scifi.com/sfw/issue406/interview.html actually quite optimistic]]"
* In ''Literature/TheWormOuroboros'', the 'good guy' princes have lots of battles and perform heroic deeds to overcome the 'bad guys'. Having done so, they're bored. So the gods recreate the bad guys so that the good guys can have fun beating them again. And so the world is condemned to an eternity of warfare because otherwise the princes would get bored. This was because the book is specifically inspired by Nordic myth and legend, retaining the [[BloodKnight original]] [[ProudWarriorRace source morality]].
* ''Quest for the White Witch'', the final novel in Tanith Lee’s ''Birthgrave'' trilogy, ends with Vazkor finally meeting his neglectful mother. And the two decide that they like each other enough to enter into an incestuous mother/son marriage. This is considered “all right” because they are both essentially deities.
* Creator/GillianFlynn's ''Literature/GoneGirl'' is deliberately written to be this. Amy finally has someone who she can be herself with and Nick has the child he always wanted. They may eventually kill each other but, at heart, they're ''both'' sociopaths. This is averted in the film version, where Nick comes across more sympathetically.
* ''Literature/DeltoraQuest'' ends on a very happy note: the Shadow Lord's last plan has been foiled, the dragons have all been revived, trade with other nations is reoccurring, the king is happily married with several children... ''but'', the Shadow Lord still exists and isn't going anywhere, he still has control of the Shadowlands, he can breed new Ak-Baba, he's sorted out the errors in the Conversion Project, he still has the Grade-3 Ols, and he is perfectly capable of learning from his mistakes. While Lief is a good king, all the Shadow Lord has to do is wait for a descendant he can manipulate... and this is the guy who, we are often told, considers a thousand years to be like the blink of an eye.
* ''Literature/FiftyShadesOfGrey'' is meant to have a happy ending, but many would argue that marrying and starting a family with a controlling abuser is NOT a happy ending.
* Most of Creator/FlanneryOConnor's works share this trait--but she herself insisted that she was a writer of comic stories, rightly regarded. Again and again, her protagonists (often ironically and grotesquely) lose everything they thought they wanted and valued--their possessions, their dignity, their self-image, even their lives. Burned down back to the foundations, they are left unarmored, often ridiculous and humiliated, but finally open to the [[GoodIsNotNice terrible incursion of God's grace]]. O'Connor famously claimed that ''Literature/WiseBlood'' had a "very hopeful" ending; this reading, though, absolutely depends on understanding the author's and protagonist's priorities, which many readers have trouble internalizing.
* The plays and stories of Creator/AntonChekhov are ostensibly comedies, and they are still considered comedies in Russia. However, many other cultures tend to miss the unsentimental amusement Chekhov takes in his myopic characters and their future, and consider his works much darker, even tragic.
* ''Literature/TheQuantumThief''-trilogy ends with Mieli breaking the Planck Locks with the aid of the [[MineralMacGuffin Kaminari Jewel]] and using her newfound power to create an entirely new universe to all the people on Saturn, including the uploaded minds of Earth's remaining population. Unfortunately this also means that the heartless Sobornost collective is left to rule the rest of the Solar System unchecked, now that their worst enemies are out of the picture, and it's only a matter of time before they consume all the remaining small civilisations of the System, including Mieli's own people, the Oortians. On the other hand, the story end with [[RayOfHopeEnding another copy of Jean le Flambeur being released]], which could result in another wrench thrown in Sobornost's plans -- maybe.
* ''Literature/TheJungle'': Jurgis has lost his wife, his father, both his children and an absurd amount of jobs all directly or indirectly as a result of the squalid conditions he lives in as an early-1900s immigrant. But it's okay because [[AuthorTract at least he's found Socialism!]]
* ''The Beast Within: Literature/ATaleOf Beauty's Prince'' does this to the happy ending of Disney's ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast''. The curse is broken, the Beast is human again, and he and Belle are together... except the novella adds a backstory for the Beast that involves dumping his first fiancee for being poor, horrifically abusing his second finacee and gleefully allowing her family to go to ruin, and ''ordering a hit on a painter'' because he didn't like that the painting being made reflected the curse on him. Belle never learns about any of this, which means she's unwittingly ending up with someone considerably worse than she thought, while the Beast himself forgot his past for reasons never fully explained, meaning there's no chance of him learning from his past or making amends. The ending is still treated as completely happy, but more than a few readers have expressed the wish for Belle to leave the Beast altogether.
* In a similar case to ''The Last Battle'' above, at the end of ''[[Literature/TheBookOfTheDunCow Peace at the Last]]'', almost all of the named sympathetic characters are killed in a LastStand with a mob of corrupted animals. Meanwhile, Wyrm's HatePlague has corrupted the world and divided its animal inhabitants beyond repair. But it's played as a happy ending since they're reunited in the afterlife, along with characters who died in the previous books.
* The ''Literature/ArabianNights'' stories end with Scheherazade living happily ever after with her husband the king. A king who, when he first met Scheherazade, hated women so much that he [[TheBluebeard married a new one every night and then had her executed after sleeping with her]]. Sure, Scheherazade put a stop to all this, but after his past {{serial kill|er}}ings, many readers wonder "WhyWouldAnyoneTakeHimBack"
* The ''Literature/TheTurnerDiaries'' ends with all the world's Jews and non-whites eradicated in a long campaign of nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare, which has also killed 90% of the world's population and no doubt ruined the Earth's ecology beyond repair. Then again, what else could you expect from a poorly-written piece of racist, ultranationalist propaganda? At least it means the [[VillainProtagonist protagonists]] are doomed as well.
* ''Literature/{{Victoria}}'': Yay! The heroes survive the collapse of the corrupt multicultural U.S. government and the warring successor states and are free to build their enlightened, traditional Christian society. Where heathens are banished or burned at the stake, Black people can be hanged for a violent crime within a week, and technology created after the 1930s is severely frowned upon, as are women working or getting higher education. Oh, and Victoria will be serving as a training center for a global crusade against Islam.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''{{Series/Dollhouse}}'' has a BittersweetEnding at best, but some people are divided on the "Happy Ending" for Echo and Paul, in which Paul dies, but Alpha makes an imprint of Paul's personality for Echo to upload into herself. FridgeLogic questions whether it would be so great to [[SharingABody share a body with your true love]], if Paul would be more significant than [[MindHive the other hundred or so personalities]] inside Echo, and some just didn't like the pairing, which started out as Paul LovingAShadow and TheDulcineaEffect and became serious offscreen during a three-month TimeSkip.
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'''s finale is both very religious and very LuddWasRight, pissing off most of the sci-fi fans who'd watched it (if only because without modern technology, most of the survivors would have greatly shortened life expectancies and greatly reduced quality of life). The fans were even more irritated that this development came completely out of the blue, without foreshadowing or any anti-technology message in previous episodes. WordOfGod is that no {{anvilicious}} message was intended, but that it was just a last-minute fix to explain the lack of remains of the Fleet.
* ''Series/KamenRiderDecade'' does this in a couple of arcs due to forgetting WhatHappenedToTheMouse. Yaaay, the Grongi are defeated, and all the millions of people who have been turned into Grongi have ceased to exist when the main villain was destroyed! Aweso- wait, ''what?'' Using the secret weapon that's the last hope of the few surviving humans on the world where monsters and dark Riders rule, the Riders defeat a few enforcers before leaving forever, taking said device with them! New toy, yay-- wait, ''what?''
* ''Series/KamenRiderGaim'' has the protagonist win the war for the Golden Fruit, and rather than keep his new godlike powers on Earth he moves to a lifeless planet far away, saving Earth from destruction at the hands of the Helheim Forest. Helheim's avatar ultimately approves of this outcome [[InferredHolocaust and moves on to the next world to overrun while tempting its occupants to war with one another]]. The ending appears to be predicated on the audience believing that Helheim is in fact just a mindless plant and doesn't bear any blame for the worlds it invades and ruins, but its avatar being one of the most intelligent and philosophically-driven characters in the show means it instead comes across as a KarmaHoudini.
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'' is an example for an esoteric nonplussing ending. Larry David likely only intended to write an episode that is absurdist UpToEleven, and a setting to have a large number of characters BackForTheFinale, and when talking about the finale, had never hinted at any [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotDidactic intentions]]. However, the four main characters being sent to prison resulted in fans being unhappy, or stipulating that the show was intended to be about [[{{Fanon}} jerkasses]].
* ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'': Barney and Robin divorce and the Mother dies all so that Robin and Ted can get back together 20 years in the future. By the reaction of the kids -- essentially "Mom's been dead for 6 years, yay go bang Aunt Robin Dad!" -- this is meant to be the ultimate happy ending of two long-lost lovers. You wonder if the writers realize that the blue french horn Ted holds up for Robin at the end, has become an object of derision and tragedy in the fanbase. There's also no real reason to believe Ted and Robin are actually going to work out this time, since the show had previously spent quite a bit of time deconstructing their relationship and ultimately showing them as incompatible. Most of the issues that caused them to break up in the past haven't been resolved, nor have they ever managed to overcome them in their numerous attempts to get together in the past. It's worth noting that the ending was planned and in part filmed (the parts with the kids) years earlier. As a consequence, many of the reasons for the ending not working (establishing Barney and Robin as a FanPreferredCouple who'd have to be broken up and the various issues the writers had to raise in the Ted/Robin relationship to explain these two single supposedly "perfect for each other" people not being together all these years) hadn't been developed yet. Additionally, the ending relied on the romantic trope of making a big "romantic gesture" and living happily ever after. Unfortunately, the long running nature of the show meant it ultimately subverted this trope by having characters making these gestures repeatedly only to definitively not end up with the person they made the gesture to, thereby showing how it's definitely not guaranteed.
* ''Series/DegrassiTheNextGeneration'': Spinner and Emma's AccidentalMarriage (and deciding to STAY MARRIED). Especially frustrating, since the characters [[StrangledByTheRedString hardly even interacted before that]].
%%* The finale of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess''. The writers were actually booed at the final screening.
* The finale of ''Series/{{Lost}}'' could certainly be seen this way. Everybody from the Island remains friends in the afterlife, except for the ones you don't see for some reason. Okay, fine. But why does Sayid have to be with Shannon and lose Nadia? Why can't Locke stay with Helen? Christian Shepherd seems to have dictatorial powers over the lives of people he didn't even really know. Plus, it's implied that several of the characters who outlived Jack led long lives, yet apparently none of them formed any meaningful relationships during the intervening years--so Kate, Sawyer, and Claire all potentially spent decades mourning their respective love interests and never loving anyone else, while Aaron and Ji-Yeon apparently had such empty lives that they entered the afterlife as babies whose only bonds are with their parents. And Miles just gets abandoned and forgotten in limbo, despite his apparent devotion to Sawyer.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS23E2Mindwarp Mindwarp]]'' ends with Peri's body becoming the host to Kiv's brain before King Yrcanos supposedly finishes her. However, it is revealed later in the season that Peri in fact did not die and actually went on to rule Krontep alongside Yrcanos as his queen. While this is portrayed as a good thing, it should be noted that Peri showed no interest in Yrcanos the entire story and objected to the notion of becoming his wife. Expanded material has offered different versions of what become of Peri, though actress Nicole Bryant prefers her original fate in ''Mindwarp''.
** In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS28E10LoveAndMonsters Love & Monsters]]," one of the characters becomes a face on a paving slab ([[ItMakesSenseInContext long story]]) and she cannot move, eat or feel. [[FridgeHorror She also will never age.]] This is presented as a good fate for the character.
** At the end of "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E10Blink Blink]]," Sally has a photo of a Weeping Angel, but in season 5, we find out that Weeping Angels can project themselves through images, meaning that that photo is probably going to turn into another Angel. Fortunately, Sally gave that photo to the Doctor, who can hopefully dispose of it. But regarding the ''original'' Angels, the only thing keeping them immobilized is one bare lightbulb, which could burn out at any moment, and which ''they telepathically turned off earlier in the episode''. Yeah, WordOfGod made the situation less ominous by describing the Angels in "Blink" as weak scavengers, but there are always more Weeping Angels out there. [[TheFourthWallWillNotProtectYou Any statue could be a Weeping Angel]] -- maybe they ''[[ParanoiaFuel all]]'' are! ([[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking On a less dire note]], the "happy" ending features Sally and Larry making a living by running a video store...which probably is going to end up failing, since the episode took place in 2007, right before video stores started becoming obsolete.)
** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E13LastOfTheTimeLords Last of the Time Lords]]." So the Doctor defeats the Master, hits the ResetButton, and the entire Year of Hell has been undone. This is easily the happiest season ending of any in the RTD era. It wouldn't even be all that esoteric except for a few "little" things. Martha Jones and her family still remember this horrific, PTSD-inducing year. America still lost its President (who, despite being an unflattering {{Expy}} of UsefulNotes/GeorgeWBush, seemed like a good man who didn't deserve to die). Britain lost its best political minds when the Master gassed them all, and also lost a courageous woman whom the Toclafane tortured to death for resisting the Master. And speaking of the Toclafane, the final, definitive fate for humanity is that in the last generation, all of the humans (even the best of them) will within that generation degenerate into monstrous, childish thrill-killers, [[ShootTheShaggyDog making everything on the show that has anything to do with humanity feel completely pointless.]]
** "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS35E12HellBent Hell Bent]]" (the Series 9 finale) has the Twelfth Doctor defy his people and risk all time and space to save Clara Oswald from her fixed-point death by removing her from her timestream just before she dies, intending to mind wipe her of memories of him and return her to Earth. In the BittersweetEnding, the Doctor repents and ends up being mind wiped of memories of her, leaving him free to move on with his life, while the now-functionally immortal Clara ends up with her own TARDIS and fellow functional immortal Ashildr/Me. She decides to go back to Gallifrey and her death "the long way 'round" in pursuit of new adventures, as the universe will hold together so long as she returns at ''some'' point. The problems with this come from several angles, only one of which was addressed in the televised continuity by this Doctor's GrandFinale and departure of writer/showrunner Creator/StevenMoffat, meaning they might ''never'' be revisited:
*** Clara can never return to her old life on Earth; though by this point it meant little to her compared to a life of adventure, it's still pretty sad for her loved ones and colleagues who will only know her to have died a mysterious death. And since the universe ''is'' holding together, what finally gets Clara to return to her '''extremely painful''' death? Will she remember she has to go back? Be forced into it? Screw up so badly that death seems the only way to atone?
*** The Doctor didn't take Me on as a companion because as a virtual immortal himself both of them would become detached from mortals and even ''villainous'' -- a problem she was already struggling with and an indirect contributor to Clara's death (she was TrappedInVillainy and had to betray the Doctor, and Clara messed that up). Thus, the women could become what the Doctor feared -- and he wouldn't be able to stop them -- unless they acquire mortal companions. As well, can Clara be happy with a companion who's virtually an anti-Doctor given how much she came to love and need him?
*** After millennia spent pining for them and defending them, the Doctor is now a fugitive from his people and Gallifrey -- again -- for his actions during his SanitySlippage. Rassilon and his cronies are the types who would seek {{Revenge}} for his bloodlessly overthrowing and exiling them, and The Doctor left a power vacuum at the top by abandoning his Lord President post.
*** The Doctor suffered mightily just to save Clara, as depicted in "Heaven Sent". EarnYourHappyEnding should come into play given how the Whoniverse tends to work, but instead he, a '''torture victim''', is given NoSympathy whereas ''Rassilon the murdering dictator'' is. He gives up his TragicDream, and undergoes MindRape -- whereupon Clara and Ashildr/Me ''randomly dump him on Earth'', leaving him wandering about reconstructing the few Clara-related memories he retains and seeking his TARDIS, last seen abandoned in London. The FramingDevice has Clara (whom he no longer recognizes) return the TARDIS to him and he moves on, but he isn't rewarded for choosing the path of right ''and'' has been robbed of his right to grieve and rage. As it's unknown how much time passes between this story and "The Husbands of River Song", how long is the Doctor left bereft and brooding without a MoralityChain (a key reason why he went crazy)? Sure, he has the TARDIS, but it can't hug him. For the record, the MindRape is the ''one'' aspect of this ending addressed and undone (and only at the ''very'' end of the Twelfth Doctor's life, shortly before he regenerates).
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS36E2Smile "Smile"]], the Emojibots and Vardy kill a whole bunch of people due to not understanding that grief isn't a virus, but they end up being reset and agreeing to a contract with the awakened colonists afterwards. Problem is, nowhere there do we see the Doctor address the original problem at all, so there's no reason to believe the robots won't do the same thing after someone else dies in a few weeks/months/years time. Nor does he explain to most of the colonists that their friends and family might be dead after the massive misunderstanding either.
** Later in the same season, [[Recap/DoctorWhoS36E8TheLieOfTheLand "The Lie of the Land"]] ends with Bill Potts undoing her DealWithTheDevil with the Monks; they not only flee Earth and free humanity from enslavement but cause almost everyone on the planet to forget the events of the past six months, with the Doctor and Bill among very few exceptions. Unfortunately, during those six months dissenters to the Monks were imprisoned, forced into labor camps, and even executed. What will become of people who lost loved ones but can't remember what became of them and why, and of the still-living victims of the Monks' reign? Worse, Bill and the Doctor technically have culpability in the Monks' reign of terror. Granted, she made her deal to save the doomed Doctor's life partially because she knew he was their last best hope to get rid of the Monks altogether. He served as the Monks' PropagandaMachine only as a cover for his resultant plan. But they still ought to feel remorse over all the people who suffered and died in the interim; instead they're more concerned with her overdue essay on free will (overdue ''because'' of the Monks). Suddenly "Last of the Time Lords"' ResetButton, though imperfect, doesn't seem so bad.
* The TV movie ''Ice Angel'' is about a male hockey player (Matt) who dies and is brought back to life in the body of female figure skater (Sarah) so he can win an Olympic gold medal on the ice. He is surprised and unhappy at his unasked for GenderBender but adjusts to his new life and learns to let go of his old girlfriend and friends who have moved on. As he (now she) is in the middle of winning the gold medal the two angels who have been watching over Matt mention that as soon as the performance is over 'Sarah' will forget all about being Matt. This is presented as a happy ending but comes across more like Matt - who already has his Aesop and seems content to continue life as Sarah - gets his identity erased for no good reason. This holds true to the source of the story ''Here Comes Mr. Jordan'' (which the film ''Film/HeavenCanWait'' is also based off of) where the soul and habits of the deceased do live on in the new body but they will forget all else about their adventures and time in Heaven and the Afterlife Bureaucracy. It is meant to help the soul and person go back to living a normal life.
* ''Series/GossipGirl'' ends with the reveal that Dan Humphrey is Gossip Girl, the blogger who stalked and terrorized the other main characters for years. That wouldn't be so bad if the main heroine and the object of his obsession, Serena, didn't consider the reveal to be the hottest thing ever since [[StalkingIsLove he did it all to get her.]] Everyone else seems fine with it too. In fact, his plan gains him the respect of all the other characters and he finally [[InWithTheInCrowd becomes one of them.]]
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'': The episode "Past Tense" ends on a real high note, with the promise that the human-rights violating Sanctuary Districts will close and that real effort would be made to help the people inside find the jobs, homes and medical care that they need. According to Sisko this is one of the most momentous days in human history and helped pave the way for the Federation (as we see when their actions accidentally wipe it out). Unfortunately as anyone who is up on their Trek history knows; this episode is set two years before the Third World War. Everyone you see in this episode grinning about how bright their futures now are? Were either killed in the atomic hellfire and radiation of nuclear war, gunned down (or worse) by the enemy or (ironically) found themselves in refugee camps that were just as bad if not worse than the Sanctuary Districts were.
** Although Memory Alpha notes that [[http://memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/World_War_III World War III]] lasted 27 years, with 600 million deaths; opening in 2026 with Colonel Green killing 37 million. Very bad, but no reason to believe everyone on-camera in 2024 was doomed to be incinerated within a few years.
* ''Series/StarTrekEnterprise'': In "[[{{Recap/StarTrekEnterpriseS01E13DearDoctor}} Dear Doctor]]", Archer and Phlox decide not to give the Valakians and Menk a cure to their illness, likely dooming both races to extinction, and this decision helps Phlox gain new respect for Archer? The excuse was that the Valakians were [[YouFailBiologyForever fated to die according to evolution]], and so it would somehow be immoral to cure them. It was supposed to be character affirming as Archer does the 'right' thing no matter how hard it is, but even if we accept this warped HollywoodEvolution, most people don't think that some 'evolutionary plan' is more valuable than billions of lives.
** This can be blamed on ExecutiveMeddling, since the story was supposed to end with Archer and Phlox at odds with each other (Archer wanting the cure, Phlox opposing it), but executives didn't want any disagreements between them. This itself is a meta-example EsotericHappyEnding, as the executives were happy that they were able to avoid having a proper ethical dilemma and argument in the episode, which is the kind of thing that typical Star Trek viewers generally WANT in the show.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', Marcus Cole sacrifices his life to save that of his beloved Susan Ivanova, using an alien machine that transfers LifeEnergy. His body was placed in cold storage, however, and there was a strong implication that he was OnlyMostlyDead until they could work out a way to replace his LifeEnergy without killing someone else. Creator/JMichaelStraczynski then wrote a prose spin-off short story "Time, Death and the Incurable Romantic", in which Marcus does get resurrected, three hundred years after Susan's death. He then steals Susan's DNA from her tomb, has a duplicate of her created, implants it with Susan's memories up to shortly before the incident that led to her life-threatening injury, and maroons them both on an uninhabited planet, deceiving the duplicate into believing that she's the original Susan and it's still 2261. This was apparently considered to be a happy ending for both of them, but it absolutely horrified many fans who saw it as a grotesque, abusive violation of the duplicate's right to self-determination.
* ''{{Series/Roswell}}'' ends with the teens marked for death by the FBI Special Unit and forced to leave their families and loved ones and go on the run. Also, Max decides they need to give up on trying to return to their home planet and just worry about themselves, [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality dooming their people to remain slaves]]. Yet somehow the show tries to spin this as a positive ending, [[MoodWhiplash abruptly]] cutting from Liz's father crying over her farewell note to the teens [[AngstWhatAngst smiling like loons]] as Max and Liz get married in a country chapel and the show ends on Liz grinning into camera as a voiceover announces "I'm Liz Parker and I'm happy." Er, ''why''?
* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' episode "[[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS4E107Mute Mute]]" is about Ilsa, a little girl whose parents never speak verbally to her, because they are training her to become psychic. She and her parents ''are'' psychic, and can communicate very well, but after they're killed in a fire, she is sent to live with foster parents who are unaware of her psychic abilities and try to get her to speak normally. At school, her teacher basically torments her and makes her life a living hell until she finally begins speaking. Another psychic couple shows up wanting to adopt her and continue developing her psychic powers, but the girl turns them away, saying she'd rather stay with her foster parents. As the couple leaves, they comment that it was just as well that she stayed behind, as her psychic abilities had been destroyed by the horrific treatment she'd received at the school. It is stated by pretty much every adult character that this is a happy ending for Ilsa, in spite of the fact that she was tormented at school and lost a paranormal ability in the process. (The author has claimed that her original parents treated her more as a science experiment than a daughter, but there's nothing in the final version of the story to suggest that.)
* The Stephen King miniseries ''Literature/TheLangoliers'' ends with the main characters running towards the camera and leaping into the foreground laughing and smiling - just in case you were in any doubt that this is meant to be a happy ending. Don't think too hard however about the innocent blind girl who was stabbed to death, [[BlackGuyDiesFirst the black guy]] who was also stabbed to death, Mr. Toomy who was eaten alive (who is implied to have been a good person destroyed by his abusive father), and the guy who just heroically vaporized himself to save all of your lives. In addition, none of you will be able to explain what happened to the hundreds of other people on this flight who disappeared into thin air when the police start to investigate. At best the authorities will think they are mad, and at worst, they will be tried for hijacking and kidnapping.
* ''Series/RebeldeWay'': The series tries to present the season two finale as some wonderful, happy ending where true love triumphed, the students beat the bad guy and reformed the school...But it's not all sunshines and roses as the show implies. Aside from the fact that the series completely romanticized TeenPregnancy (never even alluding to all the emotional and economical problems a sixteen year old having a child will have), the finale also failed to address the huge problems both of the main couples had over the course of the series (Manuel dismissing Mia and cheating on her, Marizza misjudging Pablo) and tries to paint a picture of all being forgiven and true love saving the day. For a series that was recommended for trying to tackle real subjects in a realistic manner, this poorly thought-out ending seemed to have come out of some fairy tale kitsch desire.

* The last movement of Dmitri Shostakovich's Symphony No. 5 ends in a [[HappinessIsMandatory forced triumphant cry of the high strings and the brass]], suggesting one such trope.
** Not only that, but as conductor Michael Tilson Thomas notes, he slips in a few [[TakeThat zingers]] into the final "rejoicing" flourishes. When the music reaches major chords played by the brass, Shostakovich signals a conventional ending -- but, we find out a moment later that, instead of keeping put in that resting chord, Shostakovich ''keeps pushing'' the brass section higher and higher into minor registers, before lurching heavily into a tacked on ending.
* "Judy's Turn to Cry" -- the sequel to "It's My Party And I'll Cry if I Want To" by Lesley Gore has the singer pull off OperationJealousy to get Johnny's attention back (after he came to her party with another girl). It works: Johnny decks the poor sap and ditches Judy to come back to our heroine, who now... gets the guy who abandoned her for nothing and hits people for little provocation. Great?
* ''Music/TheChristmasShoes'' is about a man who learns the meaning of Christmas through an act of charity. However, the act of charity is a result of God making the man bump into a child whose mom is dying, and helping him out. The implication being that God felt it was more important to teach a grumpy guy a lesson than to miraculously heal this kid's dying mother. Creator/PattonOswalt does not neglect to note this in his take on the song:
--> Creator/PattonOswalt: ''Let's review: There's a guy in line. He's a little cranky on Christmas. God looks down and sees this. "Somebody in a bad mood on my son's birthday? BULLSHIT! Give that kid's mom cancer, make sure he's front of them in line, make him seven cents short for the shoes, this guy will buy them and then he'll be in a good mood." I almost feel like Jesus is behind God going, "I don't think we need to give a kid's mom-""Kid, you shut the FUCK up! This is gonna be the best birthday you ever had!"
* Music/CarrieUnderwood's [[http://www.vevo.com/watch/carrie-underwood/before-he-cheats/USAV70600096 "Before He Cheats"]] ends with a moment of triumph for the jilted (she assumes) girlfriend who assumes her boyfriend will "think before he cheats". A far more likely ending would involve him turning her in for vandalism, especially since she so conveniently carved her name into the seats. (Underwood herself has stated she does ''not'' recommend such retribution.)

[[folder:Radio Play]]
* ''[[{{Recap/BigFinishDoctorWho064TheNextLife}} Doctor Who: The Next Life]]'' ends seemingly happily: The Doctor, Charley and C'rizz are back in the main universe (or in it for the first time in C'rizz's case), acting like friends again and ready to go on adventures. Rassilon and Kro'ka got their comeuppance, and it seems everything worked out for the best. Except for the fact that [[spoiler: the Divergent Universe is doomed to reset over and over again. All of the stories set within the Divergent Universe will repeat again and again, but without the Doctor, many of them will have a much less happy ending for those involved, to say nothing of what will happen to the Eutermesans without C'rizz around. And even beyond that, Zagreus and Keep have decided to team up to terrorise this universe, so who knows what havoc and misery they will sow. The TARDIS team may have achieved their happy ending, but for the residents of the Divergent Universe, the horror is only just beginning...]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse'': In the Time of Judgment scenario in which the Wyrm is released from confinement in the Weaver's web, the Weaver and Wyrm become sane again, and the cosmos is restored to balance. However, virtually all the changing breeds have been killed and the human race has been hurled back into the stone age.
* ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' features an in-universe case in the Followers of Set clanbook: during the history chapter, the narrator briefly focuses on the disastrous events of the Children's Crusade, and true to history, it ended with the majority of the children either dead or sold at the slave markets of Alexandria. Of course, the Followers of Set admit to buying several consignments of enslaved crusaders, many of whom ended up as temple servants - or blood sacrifices. However, [[DeliberateValuesDissonance the narrator assures the reader that this is actually a happy ending]] - because out the thousands of children enslaved and murdered by the cult, ''eleven'' of them were Embraced into the clan... and ''four'' live on as respected elders of a vampire clan dedicated to furthering corruption and decay throughout the world.

* The end of ''Theatre/{{Grease}}'', in which Sandy [[BeAWhoreToGetYourMan remakes herself as less of a Sandra Dee innocent]] in order to win the attraction of Danny, has both its defenders and detractors. Depending on how well each individual show portrays it, either an uptight girl learns to loosen up a little in order to get the guy she's attracted to, who himself has been attempting to do the same, or else a perfectly fine woman changes herself for the worse in order to be conform with people who have acted like jerks for the past two acts.
** It's worth noting that in the film adaptation's MovieBonusSong "You're the One That I Want", the major theme of the song is "You better shape up" - in short, whether or not Sandy has changed for the worse, she's ''not'' going to put up with Danny's douchebaggery, and she makes it clear from the word go. So this trope may not apply to the film.
* The opera ''Theatre/{{Turandot}}''. Essentially, deposed PrinceCharming hooks up with [[GodSaveUsFromTheQueen the evil queen]] (well, [[IceQueen evil princess]]), immediately after she tortures his [[IncorruptiblePurePureness loyal slave girl]] [[TooGoodForThisSinfulEarth to death]]. Yes, this is supposed to [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone trigger]] the [[DefrostingIceQueen Defrosting of the Ice Queen]], but seriously, they get a happily-ever-after wedding hours after ''[[KarmaHoudini she tortured the best person in the whole opera to death]]'' - and nice job sending their life - and the hope of your people - into ruins, O Mighty Prince Calaf!
** In real stage time, it takes place ''minutes'' after.
%%* Samuel Beckett--The theater director Charles Marowitz has written in praise of Beckett's "no-bullshit optimism."
* Creator/{{Shakespeare}}'s got several of these. They're sometimes classed as "the problem plays," because it's hard to figure out what to do with them.
** The ending of ''Theatre/TheTamingOfTheShrew'' can be interpreted in many ways, which fall into three basic categories: A. Based on the values of the time, it's a happy ending in which an unpleasant shrew gets what's coming to her and learns a valuable lesson. B. Interpreted subversively, Katarina either learns to manipulate her husband or they come to an understanding. C. Taken literally, it's a comedy that becomes a tragedy, in which a strong-willed woman has her spirit broken by the kind of physical and psychological abuse favored by [[DomesticAbuse domestic abusers]], [[ColdBloodedTorture interrogation experts]], and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking members of any political party you don't like]], and [[AndThereWasMuchRejoicing everyone thinks that's a good thing]].
*** It's even worse if you consider the epilogue, which often is not included. You see, there's a framing device in the play where a drunk is taken off of the street, dressed up like royalty, and shown the production of the play, all for the amusement of a nobleman. The epilogue shows that the drunk passes out, is put back in his own clothes, and left on the streets again. When he wakes up, he decides that it was all a dream and decides to use the tale of Kate and Petruchio as a lesson on how to deal with his own shrewish wife. Yeah...
** ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice''. Okay, this one might just be ValuesDissonance, since a Jew being forcibly converted to Christianity was considered a good thing at the time. All the same...the play is ''very'' dark for a Shakespearean comedy, prejudice seems to be a theme running through the whole story, and Shylock does get that "if you prick us, do we not bleed" speech. And, frankly, while Shylock's a terrible person, all the Christian characters in the play are greedy, unlikeable bastards. Are we really supposed to be glad they won? This tends to be the reason most productions take Shylock's side, and treat the ending as [[DownerEnding a downer.]]
** ''[[Theatre/AllsWellThatEndsWell All's Well That Ends Well]]'' ends with the sweet, lovely and clever Helena having succeeded in forcing the young nobleman [[SpoiledBrat Bertram]] -- a snobby, childish {{Jerkass}} who hated her guts for no good reason -- to marry her. And this is clearly ''not'' just ValuesDissonance, because other characters point out that Bertram is clearly not good enough for her. But the play seems like a comedy, so...yay?
** ''Theatre/MeasureForMeasure'' has the just, lawful Duke put back in power, the wicked chancellor Angelo punished and made to marry his forgotten sweetheart, and the virtuous Isabella marrying the Duke. Great! Except... the Duke is kind of an amoral fellow who sits back and watches his own city fall apart, any woman getting married to [[SexIsEvilAndIAmHorny Angelo]] should ''not'' consider that a happy ending, and Isabella is a nun-in-training who DoesNotLikeMen, loathes the thought of sex, and she and the Duke have practically no interaction before he says they'll get married. Although the last part is more ambiguous than "happy", as there is no scripted response from Isabella to the Duke's marriage proposal.
* ''Theatre/LoveNeverDies'' tries for a BittersweetEnding: Meg accidentally kills Christine, but she dies in the Phantom's arms, affirming her love for him, and their son Gustave is willing to accept him as his father. But nothing suggests that the Phantom is fit to be a father to the boy -- after all, he's a mentally deranged murderer. Meanwhile, Raoul (who, alcoholic and gambler though he may be, did raise the boy for ten years) is presumably returning to France alone without even the money he needs to pay his debts, and while Meg's fate [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse is never revealed]], it's likely that ''at best'' she'll be sent to prison for what she did. And according to the original prologue of the London version, the beautiful Phantasma amusement park subsequently burns down and its freaks, shunned by the "ordinary" world, live in its remains! Where did the owner and his son go?
** It doesn't help that the Phantom pulls a bit of a KarmaHoudini in all this; he manipulates and destroys everyone around him and gets the woman he loves killed, and in return he gets...a loving hug from his son. Yay?
** It's even worse in the novel ''Literature/ThePhantomOfManhattan'' by Creator/FrederickForsyth, which was based on early ideas for a stage sequel and has some concepts that persisted into ''Love Never Dies''. In that version, the Phantom's son, here named Pierre, is explicitly a ChildOfRape (the show changes this to a consensual OneNightStand) and Raoul is a perfectly decent man who just happens to have been rendered infertile in a tragic ContrivedCoincidence and genuinely loved Pierre. But we're still supposed to cheer when Pierre chooses Erik, [[FirstFatherWins based solely on the fact that he's the biological father]] -- a decision treated by another character as a God-given miracle!
* Apparently, Leoš Janáček thought the ending of his opera ''The Cunning Little Vixen'' was soothing and happy enough to be played at his funeral, while it would otherwise generally be considered a (heavy on the bitter) BittersweetEnding. To recap: the title character has been shot dead, leaving her cubs to fend for themselves, and her skin made into a wedding gift so her killer, a poacher, can marry the human protagonist's sweetheart instead of him. But, hey, he gets to reflect on the cycle of life and death, so all's well! (It's worth noting that [[DeathByAdaptation this dark turn wasn't present in the source material]], and this is ''still'' lighter than most of Janáček's operas.)
* The ending to ''Jenufa'', another of Janaček's operas, is either that or BittersweetEnding. Depends on the production, on the tenor who sings Laca, and on your interpretation. To put it short, the heroine, after all sorts of suffering, finds true love – with the man who has previously scarred her for life in a fit of jealous rage, effectively frightening off all suitors except himself. He says he has repented and admits that by disfiguring the girl he caused many of the subsequent tragic events of the opera. If his remorse (and Jenufa's forgiveness) are convincing, then it's classic bittersweet. If not, it's this trope.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/SpiderManShatteredDimensions'' has this feeling occur in-universe after 2099 Spider-Man defeats his version of Scorpion; Scorpion took the tablet at the bidding of another villain, who promised to turn him back into a human (his backstory is that he was turned into a scorpion-like mutant) if he found it for her. Consequently, Spider-Man feels sorry for him and wishes there was something he could do. When Madame Webb congratulates him and assures him that the day is his, he glumly asks, "Yeah? Then why do I feel so ''bad'' about it?"
* ''VideoGame/CrusaderOfCenty'': In a game which not only [[BrokenAesop breaks its Aesop, but jumps on the pieces]], a lot of time has been spent setting up that monsters aren't evil, and just want peace, except when you have to fight them, which you spend the entire game doing (again, really BrokenAesop), with scenes with them begging you to find way for humans and monsters to live in peace... You go back to before humans existed and send all the monsters off to their own world, because HumansAreBastards, and will never, ever accept them. This is meant as a happy ending, evidently. Though one could argue that the alternatives are worse...
* ''Franchise/FinalFantasy'':
** The ''Compilation of VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' suggests that humanity switched from Planet-destroying Mako energy to... fossil fuels, which are destroying our own planet in real life. Fans tend to assume that people are reverting to fossil fuels as a stopgap to keep society going while looking for more ecologically sound alternatives, but there's no evidence for this in the text, and - as we know from real life - switching over is unlikely to be easy.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' ends on an upbeat note, with Squall having made substantial progress in overcoming his emotional issues, Ultimecia defeated, and [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Time Compression]] thus prevented. Unfortunately, the StableTimeLoop means that Ultimecia's rise in the future, and her subsequent reign of terror up until her death at the hands of the protagonists, are inevitable.
** ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXV: Episode Ignis'''s GoldenEnding gives a happy ending to the bros (and Ravus) and screws over Ardyn's plan, but Ardyn's still a pile of demons biding his time, Lunafreya is still dead, and Lucis is still an absolute monarchy with all its sins of unchecked privilege, imperialism and apathy. Your [[AlternateCharacterInterpretation opinion on Ardyn]] and your own political views will probably influence whether a good guy being in charge of that institution is a happy ending or not. On top of that, Ardyn's only been given another couple of millennia to think about his plan before another candidate for the prophecy is born...
** Like a lot of works that feature both [[RealityWarper reality warping]] and a "face reality" Aesop, ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTacticsAdvance'' ends with the characters returning to the real world and facing all the problems they'd previously tried to escape from. This makes a certain degree of sense in the Japanese version, but the English translation puts less emphasis on how many people are suffering in Mewt's world (which is implied by the fact that three zombies/vampires share the same names as Mewt's bullies), and more emphasis on the idea that perhaps said world is just as real as their own, making the whole thing somewhat pointless. What's more, Doned is still crippled.
* [[IronWoobie Aribeth's]] story in ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights'' ends with her spirit earning its way into heaven by helping the wounded in the aftermath of Mephistopheles' attack in the second expansion pack, but it's pretty ambiguously 'happy' given the degree of crap she had to go through and the magnitude of the fight she put up to remain a good person that apparently didn't matter to whatever authority consigned her to hell based on actions taken under mental influence in the first place. Not to mention that [[KarmaHoudini the leadership of Neverwinter]] doesn't answer for unjustly executing two staunch champions of the city as scapegoats, which means none of the wrongs anyone ever did Aribeth were addressed.
** In ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'', there are hints that the Hero of Neverwinter had a severe falling out with Lord Nasher and walked away from the city. If you accept that the Hero of Neverwinter is also the same person as the protagonist of last expansion pack, then its likely he walked away due to the fact that the city was demonizing his two good friends, Fentwick and Aribeth, who he ''knows'' are generally innocent of the crimes laid against them.
* ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'': Sonic and friends sit in the middle of Station Square, congratulating themselves on beating [[EldritchAbomination Chaos]] and stopping Eggman's evil plan...but the city has been completely destroyed, and there may be thousands, if not ''millions'' of people dead. ''[[KarmaHoudini And Eggman gets away!]]''
** When you think about it, this is particularly hard on Tails, whose character storyline ends with him saving Station Square from Eggman's "if I can't have it, no-one will!" revenge plan to nuke the place. Then again, it might be easier to rebuild from a flood than a nuke...
* The good ending of ''VideoGame/{{Eversion}}'' plays this for laughs--the princess turns into a monster, but the hero becomes a monster as well, and the two live happily ever after.
* ''VideoGame/GodOfWarIII'': After killing anyone and everyone who has ever even vaguely pissed him off until there is nothing left of the world but a charred, storm-swept wasteland, Kratos discovers that he has accidentally become the physical repository of the concept of hope, released from Pandora's Box. Instead of giving it to the ghost of Athena to rebuild mankind on her terms, he commits suicide to release it to all of mankind... The currently busy with drowning, being riddled with plagues and locust swarms, tormented by the dead returning from the graves and having no afterlife, having to escape fire falling from the sky, ravaged by constant lightning strikes and uncontrollable storms and living in a world without sunlight, order or gods of mankind. Literally, the only thing they have left is hope. The only brightside is that without the tyranny of the Olympians, the world can finally heal and start over.
** According to IGN, the whole thing is supposed to play out as a Twisted "Comedic" Tragedy, where the main character makes all the wrong decisions; fighting the gods, killing the gods, feeding innocent people (more than one in this game) to death traps, and leaving the power vacuum without a successor. It's heavily implied that this is not any kind of happy or downer ending; Kratos WON... and that's a bad thing.
* ''VideoGame/AceCombat6FiresOfLiberation'' has a handful of initially-unrelated plotlines, chief among them a fighter pilot upset over having to retreat and abandon his family, and a refugee (who believes her fighter pilot husband was killed in the failed defense of the city) searching for her missing daughter. When allied forces finally liberate the city, are we treated to a heartwarming scene of the fighter pilot husband reunited with his refugee wife and newly-found missing daughter? [[TheyWastedAPerfectlyGoodPlot Nope]]. The refugee's husband is actually dead, ''and so is the fighter pilot's family'' (they were killed during the initial invasion, so have been dead [[ShootTheShaggyDog the entire time he was fighting to liberate them]]). The pilot briefly becomes a DeathSeeker, but ends up a WheelchairWoobie instead after his probably-unnecessary HeroicSacrifice [[BungledSuicide doesn't work out how he wanted]]. But wait, it's okay! The pilot meets the refugees after the war and they become each other's ReplacementGoldfish.
* ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor2'' has MultipleEndings, but this specific one is the Liberator ending. In this ending, Polaris has been killed and the world is no longer being swallowed up into a void, and the people still around are doing their best in managing the situation now. But the rest of the world hasn't returned, so all that is left is what little of the surface remains and the rest is simply a huge ocean full of undrinkable water. And by killing Polaris, the world has lost all supernatural aspects that were, yes, trying to kill them, but also removed all possible benevolent help they could have gotten. Humanity is now likely doomed to die of starvation and this situation could cause people to go back and become violent again. The only HopeSpot is that the next person in line for the Heavenly Throne will arrive and fix things, but how soon that will happen...
** ''[[UpdatedRerelease Record Breaker]]'' pushes the InferredHolocaust angle even further by revealing that Canopus, the ultimate head of the Administrator System, deems humanity as a threat to universal order after the party kills Polaris. As mentioned above, if the next set of invaders, the Triangulum, appear in the Liberator world, humanity will have absolutely no way to fight them back.
* ''VideoGame/TalesOfXillia2'' has MultipleEndings and the 'semi-good' ending can be seen as this. In this ending, Elle became the millionth divergence crystal, humanity has successfully completed Origin's trial and he has removed all fractured dimensions, as was the party's plan. Everyone's doing fine and Ludger is shown to meet Lara, with implications that they will fall in love, get married and have [[KidFromTheFuture Elle]]. However, this ending implies that Ludger could go down the same path of his alternate self in the fractured dimensions, turning into 'Victor', who murdered majority of the Xillia past when they tried to use Elle. Considering how this ending is called 'Fate Repeater' ''and'' it's the only ending that gives you the Victor Costume, the implications are definitely there.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' has a beautiful, uplifting ending... unless you play ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask Majora's Mask]]'' and prefer to take a darker interpretation of the WordOfGod stating that [=OoT=]-Link eventually becomes ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess Twilight Princess]]'''s Hero Shade. Things might not have gone so hot for Link after the ending.
** There's also the knowledge that even though Link went back in time and created a new timeline where Hyrule ''wasn't'' burned and conquered by Ganondorf, the original timeline is still going on, one where the people are finally free, but a lot of them are dead, the castle is completely destroyed in a lake of lava, and the Hero of Time has vanished and thus can't help them anymore, [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker leading to the flooding of Hyrule when Ganondorf resurfaces]].
*** Even then, the new timeline still has to face the ravages of Ganon ''at least [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess two]] [[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaFourSwordsAdventures more]] times''.
** The worst might be from ''[[VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaLinksAwakening Link's Awakening]]'', where our hero causes a DreamApocalypse and wakes up stranded in the middle of the ocean.
* TheHero has beaten the BigBad in ''VideoGame/FragileDreamsFarewellRuinsOfTheMoon'' and is set to journey with the heroine to find other survivors in the empty world. What makes this an example is the ending dialogue features a voiceover of the aged hero, with many implications he's at the end of his life, his female companion has died and he's back to square one of being alone again. The game ends following his monologue.
* At the end of ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'', Chell is finally set free by an emotionally exhausted [=GLaDOS=] and dropped off in the middle of a wheat field, the CompanionCube from the first game by her side. Good for her!... Except the ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' games take place in the same universe as ''VideoGame/HalfLife'', meaning that Chell is likely now living in a post-apocalyptic world ruled by tyrannical aliens from another dimension, overrun by monsters and zombies, with no weapons or knowledge of how to handle herself in a Combine-run society. Given, there is some timeline confusion between ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' and ''VideoGame/HalfLife'', but the fact that the ''Borealis'' is missing from its loading dock in ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' confirms the Combine Invasion has already happened in ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'s'' timeline.
** Then there's SelfDemonstrating/{{GLaDOS}}: After a game and a half of being a murderous rogue AI, we find out she has a soft side, the recorded personality of Caroline, Cave Johnson's trusty assistant. As soon as she gets the chance, [=GLaDOS=] deletes Caroline from her mind. From her point of view this frees her from emotion and allows her to devote all of her attention to testing, but from our point of view she's just destroyed the only good thing about her.
** Invoked in the co-op campaign. It ends with [=GLaDOS=] telling the bots "you saved science!" and the robots starting dancing with joy as the very upbeat electro song "Robots FTW" starts playing. How did the robots save science? By rescuing thousands of humans preserved in cryogenic storage, who are now going to be put through dangerous tests like Chell was, until they die painfully. Just to twist the knife further, the robots get blown up by [=GLaDOS=] due to being made obsolete, the happy music ''still'' plays [[BlueAndOrangeMorality because the robots only cared about science]], so it was a success to them, and the ''Peer Review'' DLC reveals all those humans died off in less than a week.
* Depends a little bit on your interpretation of the epilogue in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss''. If you think/support Luke coming home, and Tears' tears being from joy, then you win. If you support Asch coming home, and Tears' tears being from the realization that she'll never again see the man she loved, then this fits it pretty well. Either way, though, Natalia has lost someone close to her. You ''can'' TakeAThirdOption and choose to believe the person who came back was a SplitPersonalityMerge of Luke and Asch, [[LoveTriangle either]] of [[OneTrueThreesome which]] leaves the ending happy but complicated. And while Van's plan of wanting to destroy the world and every single person alive (to replace them with Replica to take their place and hence prevent [[BecauseDestinySaysSo the Score's]] [[ScrewDestiny predetermined end of the world]]) has been thwarted, the Planet Storm has been stopped, meaning that any fonic arts are growing weaker and will likely [[TheMagicGoesAway cease to exist soon]], leaving the inhabitants, who are somewhat reliant on fonic arts for various machinery and similar to be completely useless... until they perhaps find a substitute, which could take years, if not decades or centuries.
* In ''VideoGame/MaxPayne2TheFallOfMaxPayne'', Max lays in the destroyed Inner Circle manor and mentions a dream about his dead wife, who is dead but "that was alright". But the closest thing he had to a ''living'' spouse/girlfriend/what have you is dead, and anyone who can explain anything is dead including the extremely powerful Alfred Woden, who had connections to senators. His death, and the death of Detective Winterson are going to be in all likelihood put squarely on Max's shoulders. So not only is he going to be a scapegoat for the death of these powerful people, but also justly prosecuted for the death of a detective with a ''blind son'', who is now an ''orphan''. An Ex-Cop is going to be sent to jail, and we all know how well they go over there. This was probably intentional given the narrative, but it's something of a miracle that a sequel was produced at all that did not involve Max getting shanked to death in the first thirty minutes. If you finish the game on the hardest difficulty, the final Noir cutscene ends with Mona waking up, implying that this could be an EarnYourHappyEnding, but the third game runs with the "Mona is dead" ending as canon and goes out of its way to point out how unhappy Max was, with or without her.
* ''VideoGame/Mother3'' ends with the corrupted world being destroyed by a benevolent EldritchAbomination, and then cuts to total blackness. However, you can still walk around in it, and you soon discover that everyone made it out alive. You can talk to the other characters, who are apparently right there with you, and most of them seem relieved that they no longer have to live in that [[CrapsackWorld Crapsack of a world]]. However, given the fact that you're all in a black void, and the ''world was just destroyed'', you all may very well be ''floating through space''. Plus, nothing can change the fact that Lucas's Mother and Brother are dead.
* All the cheeriness from the ending of ''[[VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} Pikmin 3]]'' fizzles away when you realize that even though Olimar makes it off the planet alive, he still failed his mission, left his partners to die, and ultimately screwed over his employer. In short, it's a happy ending for Koppai, but not for Hocotate.
* The first ending to the original ''VideoGame/KingdomHearts'' mildly fits this trope, as the ending was intended to be bittersweet either way. The final cut-scene shows Sora and Mickey sealing the door to (then referred to as) Kingdom Hearts with Riku's help, and Sora has a sort of spiritual talk with love-interest Kairi, desperately getting out that he will indeed find his way back to her somehow, before they are symbolically and spiritually separated as the fragments of worlds realign to their original places, and [[TheChosenOne Sora]] has saved the universe! FridgeHorror sets in when one realizes that a defenseless best friend Riku and King Mickey have been trapped permanently in a dimension populated entirely by an army of Heartless monsters, and that Sora and the party are either in some zero-space between worlds (since they were not restored to their "proper homes" as the end montage shows for everyone else, even making a point of showing Kairi alone on the island), or at worst, since their final showdown was on a patchwork planet made up of what was left of the worlds devoured by Heartless, they may have been left in cold, dark space to die without a planetary body to sit on, and their spaceship, made up of the old barriers between worlds? Yeah, that barrier has been restored, presumably with their spaceship. This ending disturbed the American representatives at Disney so much that they made Square tack on a game-footage Coda to the end of the stunning FMV ending, signaling that Sora and co. may not be home, but they're at least alive and "looking for Riku and the King" implying they too survived.
* By the time ''VideoGame/{{Xenogears}}'' is over most of the world's population is dead or worse. The ending focuses on the fact that you've saved Elly and taken care of the forces that'd been working against you, but does it really matter at that point?
* ''Videogame/MassEffect3'''s original ending caused more than a little backlash among fans for various reasons, but sticking to just this trope:
** The Mass Relay network is destroyed. This method of faster-than-light travel is absolutely essential to galactic civilization. There's no indication that the technology or knowledge exists to repair or replace relays, and it's treated as something of a surprise earlier in the trilogy that a since-extinct race was able to build their own relay. Without them, galactic civilization as the player has experienced it for three games is essentially destroyed.
** A DLC for the second game shows that when a Mass Relay is destroyed (by crashing a giant asteroid into one), it releases energy comparable to a supernova, and also destroys the star system it occupies. The method used to destroy the entire network in ''Mass Effect 3'' gives no indication that it avoids this side effect, so on top of destroying civilization, it also looks like trillions of people die.
** The player's companions seemingly survive the initial event, but wind up stranded on an apparently uninhabited planet. In addition, only three (seemingly randomly chosen) characters are definitively shown to survive. [[note]]And given how biochemistry works in ''Mass Effect'', even if everyone survived, either two of your companions are now doomed to starve to death, or everyone but those two are going to starve.[[/note]]
** One of the three endings, Destroy, kills every robotic character in the galaxy, on top of destroying the Relay network and maybe destroying star systems with relays.
** The so-called "best" ending Synthesis, does a poor job of explaining why it should be considered the best. [[note]]The clearest indication to this effect is the rather meta fact that it is simply the most difficult to unlock.[[/note]] Supposedly somehow fusing organic and inorganic life into one greater whole -- involuntarily, at that -- the only actual effect it is shown to have is to cover organisms in a glowing green circuitry pattern and make their eyes (if they have them) glow green.
** To [=BioWare=]'s credit, the free Extended Cut DLC, which extends the ending cinemas, addresses at least these issues, by [[RetCon retconning]] it so the Relay system is only damaged, not destroyed, definitively showing it can be repaired, and including scenes showing civilization rebuilding after the war. However "Destroy" is confirmed to wipe out the Geth and kill Edi (who is added to the montage of fallen comrades). Futhermore synthesis is apparently shown granting husks sentience. The horrific implications of Cannibals, Banshees and ''worse'' abominations being made self-aware didn't escape fans.
** Two of the endings are also esoteric in that the message is that synthetic and organic life are (somehow, in some vaguely-defined way) utterly incompatible and will inevitably try to destroy each other for poorly-defined reasons, and that this can only be resolved by implementing a galaxy-wide Final Solution of some variety that inevitably involves either obliterating ''all'' synthetic life without exception or forcibly apply UnwillingRoboticisation to ''all'' organic and synthetic life against their will. Both of these completely break the Aesop of every single interaction you have with synthetic allies. (The Control ending avoids this problem, since it only affects the hostile Reapers.)
** The Extended Cut Control ending can be seen as questionable depending on the type of character the player eventually caused Shepard to be. A Paragon Shepard whose primary motivation was freedom, allowing people to make their own decisions, trying to find peaceful solutions first, respectful to others whatever their origin and willing to fight to the end and sacrifice themself to allow as many as possible to live, probably not so bad to have around as a transhuman God. A xenophobic, jerkass, shoot first and don't worry about it later, do what needs to be done whoever else needs to be sacrificed to do it--and screwing around with them first just because they found it amusing--Renegade Shepard as the most powerful entity in the galaxy? Oy. Essentially, imagine if your choice of all-powerful god was between [[TheParagon Superman/Captain America]], or {{Deadpool}}.
** In Synthesis and Destroy, the Citadel is also shown exploding, with the Presidium, the structural core of the station, collapsing. Through inference of its holding station instead of orbiting when the Reapers brought it to Earth, the billion-ton ward arms would be falling Earthward and possibly causing five extinction event impacts. The Extended Cut [[HandWave Hand-Waves]] this into having the Citadel instead look like it should be condemned and dismantled, with holes in the Wards' bases, and a huge chunk out of the Presidium (which again is the structural core of the station). Control averts this.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge'' has become infamous for this among mage and/or elf fans. Every game, the PlayerCharacter protects the local Andrastian human kingdom or religious organization from crumbling due to their own incompetence and/or corruption. [[note]]The Warden saves Ferelden from Civil War and the Blight, Hawke saves Kirkwall from the Qunari and the rebel mages and Templars from tearing the city apart, and the Inquisitor saves Orlais from Civil War, the Chantry from crumbling, and Andrastian Southern Thedas from falling to a Tevinter madman[[/note]] However, these same Andrastian human kingdoms and religious institutions have deeply ingrained FantasticRacism against mages and/or elves. Even if the PlayerCharacter is an elf/mage, saves the world, and is exalted as as a hero at the end, within a few years the society you saved goes back to mistreating your people.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', a City Elf Warden can {{lampshade}} this trope at the very end, after using their new status as hero to grant the alienage a bann to represent them at court. Your father is thrilled that humans are praising an elf as their hero, while the City Elf [=PC=] can cynically reply that it's only a matter of time before they start treating elves like crap again. A Mage Warden also can say as much to their mentor regarding mages. Both turn out to be right.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeInquisition,'' a player who chooses to aid elven rights activist Briala co-rule Orlais with Gaspard or Celene is presented as a happy end to the civil war for elves. Reuniting Briala with Celene is especially presented as the "ideal" happy ending for all parties. However, a lot of players note that both outcomes look shaky and short-lived at best, since Briala's power lasts only as long as Gaspard is alive ''and'' under her thumb, or her relationship with Celene continues to go well, since Celene still has ''all'' the power and hasn't hesitated to use it to screw over Briala and the elves before. Basically, despite the game framing Briala co-ruling with Gaspard or Celene as a happy ending for elves, many players are waiting for the other shoe to drop.
** Even when you take helping elves out of the equation, those who've read ''Literature/TheMaskedEmpire'' feel that the game resenting the reconciliation between Celene and Briala as the most ideal happy ending to the whole Orlesian Civil War as this. While the game treats the reunion as a heartwarming example of love triumphing over hard feelings, those who've read the book know [[spoiler:how toxic, imbalanced, and even abusive their relationship was, and how this "reunion" doesn't address the power imbalance that allowed Celene to hurt Briala as badly as she did.]] Many players don't see it as a heartwarming reunion so much as convincing an angry, emotionally vulnerable abuse victim to go back to her abuser.
* ''VideoGame/FireEmblemAwakening'' has two endings: depending on who you choose to deal the final blow to the final boss. Chrom's version is generally considered to be one of these by most players, as it merely [[SealedEvilInACan seals Grima away for another thousand years]], meaning that while the main characters get to live their lives happily, Grima will one day return to terrorise the world again and to the protagonists that's just SomebodyElsesProblem. The Avatar's ending kills Grima permanently, seemingly at the cost of the Avatar's life, which would make it a BittersweetEnding... were it not for the fact that the Avatar is revealed to have survived. As such, since the latter is a GoldenEnding with no drawbacks, most players consider the first ending choice pointless.
* The story mode of ''VideoGame/FireEmblemWarriors'' ends with the OriginalGeneration twins being crown co-Regents in the ruins of Aytolis castle, having defeated Velezark and sending the many heroes back to their own realms. Except the twins committed a character-flaw-driven mistake, the sort most ''Fire Emblem'' Lords learn to overcome, in the last three chapters of the game, and many people would argue that it's indicative of poor priorities for a ruler. Further, the neighboring kingdom of Gristonne is now completely lacking a royal family and any sort of armed forces. Finally, with what can be learned about Aytolissian succession, both twins are going to have firstborns with an equal claim, making a SuccessionCrisis and civil war all but certain. Small wonder the final cutscene doesn't actually address the plot's aftermath at all.
* The [[EarnYourHappyEnding best ending]] in ''VideoGame/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaPortable'' has Madoka successfully avoid a contract while the other four girls defeat Walpurgisnacht. The story then ends with the girls having a ShipTease-laden tea party, happily smiling and joking at each other. However, since Madoka didn't make a contract, millions of girls are still dying of despair, humankind is still plagued by witches, and the main characters are probably going to all die in a few years after their Soul Gems start to run dry.
* In-universe in ''VideoGame/StrongBadsCoolGameForAttractivePeople'', everyone complains about Strong Bad's ending for ''Dangeresque 3''.
* ''VideoGame/ToTheMoon'' ends with Johnny fulfilling his wish of going to the Moon with the love of his life, River. But... it's all a DyingDream, Johnny's twin brother, Joey, remained dead in the real world for most of Johnny's life, the real Johnny dies without knowing what his wife, River, was trying to tell him, while the real River died knowing Johnny [[ForgottenFirstMeeting never remembered his first meeting with her]], something she was desperately trying him to do so for most of her life. The whole uplifting ending never happened in reality.
* ''VideoGame/{{Transistor}}'' ends with Red finally stopping the Process, but not before all of Cloudbank and its citizens have been processed. At this point, she has the power to remake the city however she wants, but instead chooses to return to the man in the Transistor's body and kill herself with it. But then the credits sequence starts getting surprisingly upbeat until it's revealed that Red killing herself with the Transistor resulted in her getting processed as well, and she can spend the rest of her life with the man in the Transistor in the Country. However, like Bastion, it's implied the game's events will repeat themselves inside the Transistor world.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bastion}}'s'' Restoration ending, which hits the ResetButton on the entire plot and goes back to before [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the Calamity]] happened. However, it's heavily implied (especially in the NewGamePlus, where Rucks starts having moments of deja vu during his narration) that history will simply repeat itself and the Calamity will just be triggered again, trapping everyone in a GroundhogDayLoop until the Kid chooses not to reset everything.
* Parodied with ''VideoGame/ImOK'', a response to Jack Thompson's "Modest Video Game Proposal" featuring a vengeful father out to slaughter video gamers and devs over the death of his son. After gorily massacring a multitude of bystanders (including children. Many, many children,) industry employees, and eventually destroying the building E3 is hosted in, the game gives a generic "Congratulations! You killed every game designer in the world! America is saved!" ending.
* The ending of ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind'' with its add-on ''Tribunal''. Okay, "the false gods" are gone, which is represented as a good thing. However, those "false" gods were the beings which essentially created and shaped Dunmer society as it is, and cared about the Dunmer people. And the "true" gods are Daedra, who are notorious for their BlueAndOrangeMorality, petty vengefulness and the fact that their idea of good and righteous Dunmer society is tribalism. Not to mention the entire big floating rock debacle which led Morrowind to a slight local apocalypse. ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'' confirms that the aftermath of ''Morrowind'' did indeed result in the near complete destruction of Dunmer civilization.
* ''VideoGame/SaintsRowGatOutOfHell'' plays this for laughs: Its MultipleEndings run the whole gamut of "happy": from Johnny (re)gaining personal happiness, gaining immense power, securing his friends' happiness, to hitting the ResetButton on the entire franchise. The last ending, however, is decisively esoteric: Johnny gains the answers to all questions in the universe and just stands there for a bit, going "Ooooh!" with an incredibly satisfied smile, before the credits roll.
* The ending of ''VideoGame/SandsOfDestruction'' is unambiguously meant to be happy: Kyrie has control of his PowerIncontinence, the [[SandIsWater Sand Sea]] is now filled with water (and therefore much more livable) and it's no longer trying to swallow all the continents to help end the world, humans are no longer [[FantasticRacism oppressed by Ferals]], and [[AlwaysSaveTheGirl best of all]], he and Morte (who no longer wishes to end the world) are a happy OfficialCouple. Well, great, except the epilogue doesn't show ''any'' Ferals except [[OnlyTheLeadsGetAHappyEnding Taupy, Rhi'a, and Naja]]. What happened to the rest? Rhi'a is seen chasing after a house cat who resembles Felis Rex, so perhaps they've been turned into ordinary animals - a fitting end to those who were oppressive, sure, but the game points out that Ferals are as diverse as humans in personality; some are cruel and some are kind. On top of that, the only reason Kyrie has control of his powers is ThePowerOfLove, and he and Morte are teenagers: what happens if they break up, like so many other teenagers tend to do? Worse yet, the Crimson Sun gave Morte the Destruct Code that controls Kyrie's powers, and the only reason she's [[LoveRedeems no longer interested in ending the world]] is because Kyrie is WorthLivingFor; she's still shown to be temperamental and prone to acting before she thinks. So if Kyrie ever falls out of love and breaks her heart, she's [[SuicidalCosmicTemperTantrum likely to end the world in a fit of anger]] because she now knows ''exactly'' how to do it, and he'd be powerless to stop her. Oops.
* Not in regards to the actual ending, but in ''VideoGame/YokaiWatch'' for completing a SideQuest the player gets a "Bonus Scene", a little animation that plays out one of three ways, "Boo" which is the worst ending with no prize, "Bingo!" which is the good ending and a small prize, and "Jackpot!" which of the best ending with the best prize. However one scene shows the demon cat Jibanyan trying to help the kappa Walkappa up the mountain, with the "Boo" ending being they both fall off and the "Bingo!" ending being Jibanyan helps Walkappa up the peak. For some reason, the "Jackpot!" ending has Walkappa missing Jibanyan's hand and falling down the mountain, with Jibanyan just standing there and shrugging in confusion.
* ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles'' ends with the war being won, the bad guys being defeated, and the good guys going back to their rescued hometown to live their peaceful lives. That's all well and good for ''them'', but it doesn't acknowledge the fallout: one, it's possible to replicate Valkyria powers artificially. Max's attempt was blown up, but it ''worked'', and it's not-so-subtly implied that it failed primarily because Valkyria are exclusively female and Maximillian is a man. Sure, ''Max'' is gone, but everyone who ''produced'' that technology is still in the Empire. Two, Alicia proves that any random orphaned little girl may be descended from the Valkyrur, and practically ''any'' non-Darcsen woman in Europa could easily claim the same thing: the entire game is about how AmbitionIsEvil and some people will do anything to control the power of the Valkyria, and the most viable potential Valkyria are an extremely vulnerable demographic that have to be ''nearly dead'' to awaken their powers. And three, the Princess of Gallia just openly declared that the entire history of Gallia is a big fat lie and she is a Darcsen, a minority race that is widely reviled. ''VideoGame/ValkyriaChronicles2'' [[AscendedFridgeHorror examines the consequences of most of these]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'':
** The GoldenEnding in general is quite positive, but the Amalgamates returning to their families to live happily seems out of place, considering the horror attached to their reveal and the BodyHorror they experience.
** Flowey/Asriel's fate (losing his physical body and reverting to an emotionless flower creature) rubs a lot of people the wrong way, and somewhat diminishes what would otherwise be a literally perfect ending for everyone. Many a FixFic involves finding a way to get Asriel his soul back.
** A similar, but far more subtle and subjective case could be made about Sans. He explicitly states at the end of a No Mercy route that it doesn't matter to him if he makes it to the surface or not - he's been so conditioned by Flowey/the player's continuous resets that making it would just feel like a false hope being dangled in front of his face. The question here is a matter of AlternateCharacterInterpretation; was he only saying that because he was at his DarkestHour, and has enough faith in the protagonist/player by the end of a pacifist route to enjoy life on the surface like everyone else, or will he spend the rest of his days just as depressed and nihilistic as before?
* In ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent'', you have the choice between two of these or a straight-forward DownerEnding when you finally face Alexander. If you disrupt the ritual and allow The Darkness to devour Alexander, Daniel is allowed to go free and presumably pursue a normal life... despite the countless people he helped to torture and murder as part of Alexander's plans. More closely fitting to this trope is the alternative, where you send Agrippa's head through the portal. Alexander and Daniel are both devoured by The Darkness, but Agrippa is apparently able to somehow rescue Daniel and draw him through to another dimension... which brings with it the FridgeLogic of how this is supposed to save Daniel from being tracked down by The Darkness again, which is explicitly mentioned in an InUniverse document as being why Alexander was going to simply abandon Daniel when the ritual was complete.
* In ''Videogame/AmnesiaAMachineForPigs'', FridgeLogic turns the BittersweetEnding of Oswald Mandus making a HeroicSacrifice to destroy the titular machine into this; yes, London was saved, but how much damage did the Machine and its PigMen do to London before Oswald defeated it, and what effect will it have on the coming future?
* Unabashedly used in ''VideoGame/{{SOMA}}''; due to the nature of how BrainUploading works in that universe, after all the effort of trudging through the monster-riddled ruins of [=PATHOS II=] and launching the [=ARK=] into space, protagonist Simon is left stranded in his cobbled-together ArtificialZombie body at the bottom of the oceanic abyss, as he was only able to make a copy of his mind aboard the satellite's artificial reality, rather than directly transferring himself. As he argues with his only companion, a previously uploaded engineer who created the [=ARK=], about this fate, the imperfect computer she's been forced to use to host her consciousness finally overloads and kills her, leaving him completely alone, the last vestige of human sentience, under miles of water on a planet where the surface has been scorched clean. Up above, the duplicates of Simon and Catherine enjoy a happy reunion in the [=ARK=]... although how long it'll actually ''survive'' is anyone's guess.
* Made a DiscussedTrope in ''VideoGame/NierAutomata''. As they're reconstructing the protagonists' bodies to give them a final chance at a free life, the Pods speculate that since they're going to be using a complete image of each android's personality at the time of their death, it's entirely possible they'll just repeat the same mistakes. However, they conclude that they feel the androids deserve that chance, and the fact they themselves have GrownBeyondTheirProgramming enough to contemplate and make said decision is proof the androids can avoid past mistakes.
* There's a strange variation in ''VideoGame/Fallout3''. The regular ending has two choices: You sacrifice yourself to save the wasteland by activating Project Purity (which will flood the activation room with radiation), or you get Lyons to sacrifice herself for you. The ultimate effect is the same, but the game [[WhatTheHellHero chews you out]] if you choose to sacrifice Lyons. Thing is, you don't even have the ''option'' of say, sending Fawkes, the '''explicitly radiation-immune''' Super Mutant to do it, or Charon, the ghoul who's '''healed by radiation''', using a robot, surviving by use of the copious amounts of Rad-Away you've most likely accumulated over your journey, or even poking the activation buttons with a pole from far away. Severe fan backlash got Bethesda to release the ''Broken Steel'' DLC, which allows you to [[TakeAThirdOption take the obvious third option]] and send Fawkes to do it. The wasteland has pure water, EverybodyLives, AndTheAdventureContinues. Sounds like a GoldenEnding, right? Except the narrator mocks you for taking the logical solution to minimize deaths just the same as if you had sent someone else to die in your place.
* The ''VideoGame/RuneScape'' quest ''The Brink of Extinction'' has you saving the [=TzHaar=] race from going extinct. You eventually defeat the villain responsible and solve the cause of the problem. However, if you go back to the villain after the quest to confront him about the reasons for his actions, he reveals that the [=TzHaar=] are slowly growing weaker with every generation due to losing their [[GeneticMemory racial memories]] because they were never intended to reproduce. By taking away their ability to reproduce, he was trying to force them to return to the Elder Kiln so they could be properly reborn as intended. So although you have saved the [=TzHaar=] in the short term, you have doomed them in the long run, although the situation is not quite as bad as it was before because now the [=TzHaar=] are aware that their bodies need to be returned to the sacred lava after death so their souls can be freed from AndIMustScream, and the Ga'Al ([=TzHaar=] born [[BlankSlate without any memories]]) are no longer being killed on birth.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In SilverChaos, Adonis and Might have to die in order to be together, then reincarnate and lose the memory of each other. A small déja vu will be left, though.
* ''VisualNovel/{{Danganronpa}}'' ends with the protagonists refusing to give in to despair and surviving, but the world outside is post-apocalyptic, making it unlikely they'd even survive for long. Furthermore, 15 friends (considered humanity's brightest hopes) killed each other until only 6 remained, showing the rest of the world [[TheBadGuyWins how far the world's best had fallen]]. And although the BigBad was executed, Junko [[NightmareFetishist ENJOYED it]], [[KarmaHoudini dodged all responsibility]], and managed to start another Killing Game.
** The hidden AlternateEnding has ''all'' of the characters surviving and escaping the school. However, Junko manages to escape and continue her schemes to bring despair to the world.
** The second game at least addresses the issue, showing at least three (likely four) of the survivors are still alive and working to rebuild the world. Not only that, the GaidenGame ''VideoGame/AbsoluteDespairGirls'' outright confirms that they all survived.
** The ending of ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'' can fall into this based on your interpretation. At the end, the survivors wake up with their memories but, for whatever reason, they remain sane and stay behind on Jabberwock Island to restore their comatose friends. If you think that they succeed, as Naegi said they would this is pretty decent. If you think the opposite, then the survivors are doomed to waste the rest of their lives tending to their braindead loved ones. Even then, there's the problematic fact that the students are known to the world as world-destroying terrorists and have most likely no surviving loved ones and that Naegi and his allies are likely going to end up in hot water with the Future Foundation over what happened. To top it off, Komaeda is implied to of been KilledOffForReal and, even if he does wake up, he's in a situation he most likely doesn't want, has no one left to trust him and only has a few years left to live. ''Anime/DanganRonpa3'' is set to at least address this and, judging off the promo image, it looks like the part with Naegi unfortunately came true.
** ''HOO-BOY'' does ''Anime/Danganronpa3'' end with one of these. The Final Killing Game, which pitted all the leaders of the Future Foundation against one-another, wasn't actually caused by the remnants of despair, but by ''one of their own'' trying to weed out the despair he believed was hiding among their group and to convince Ryota Mitarai to use his brainwashing video to spread hope to this CrapsackWorld [[BrainwashingForTheGreaterGood by force]]. Second, we learn that Class 77 was brainwashed into becoming the Remnants of Despair against their will. When they're all restored to live by Hajime, they arrive in time to stop Ryota and choose to take the blame for the killing game, then go to spend the rest of their lives in exile on Jabberwock island. Makoto and his friends survive, the Tragedy ends, and Hope's Peak is rebuilt with Makoto as headmaster. So a bunch of kids who were brainwashed into becoming murderous terrorists will now forever spend their lives as pariahs so the truth of the Future Foundation's corrupt leader will remain concealed, while the survivors of Class 78 rebuild the school that caused this entire situation for some reason. Oh, and all the other branch heads die save for Munakata. He'd found out that his girlfriend had been a despair for years and will never know how or why, his best friend ([[ArmoredClosetGay who was secretly in love with him]]) [[HeroicSacrifice sacrificed his own life to end the game]] even after Munakata tried to kill him, and everything he thought he was fighting for was pointless. What happens to him? [[OnlyTheLeadsGetAHappyEnding No idea.]] But hey, at least Makoto and Kyoko are finally together. [[MaybeEverAfter Possibly.]]
* The True End of ''VisualNovel/KaraNoShoujo'' seems to have been shooting for the bittersweet feeling that most True Ends have, but fridge logic kind of shoots it down. First of all, about half the cast is dead. Second, Reiji's sort of girlfriend Toko is among them. Third, he's still alone. All he has that he didn't have before is closure over his dead fiancee.
* [[spoiler: Joseph's "good" ending]] in ''VisualNovel/DreamDaddy''. [[spoiler: On the third date, Joseph tells the player character that things are over between him and his wife, Mary. He and the player character then have sex on Joseph's yacht, with a full-blown romantic relationship on the horizon. Then, at Amanda's graduation party, Joseph reveals to the player character that he and Mary reconciled, and are staying together. Joseph promises they can still be friends, but he loves his family and can't find it in himself to abandon them. The player is left heart-broken.]] Keep in mind, this is the ''good'' ending. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that the developers never really had a happy ending planned for [[spoiler: Joseph, as they didn't want to send the message that it's okay to break up people's marriages.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''{{Webcomic/Endtown}}'' sees fan-favourite Holly Hollister PutOnABus by way of electing to stay in a Matrix-esque illusion. It's implied she's going to have a loooong life... living in a literal bubble of denial with a faulty computer pretending (badly) to be her dead husband along with an imaginary child, all this after being the character defined by such things as detesting the way some people live in their own make believe worlds and forcing herself out of her clock tower home and back into reality prior the start of the story for the sake of finding happiness. Yay? More than anything it comes across as the author's half-hearted attempt to be rid of her while also leaving her "happy" enough not to completely disappoint the fans who were hoping for a happy ending for her. Said fans will probably still wait forever for [[TheBusCameBack the bus to come back]]...
* ''Webcomic/RedString'' ends with Makoto and Miharu getting engaged. The author would have you believe that this is the best outcome for all parties, but a more critical examination can point out the problems with this. Makoto has just thrown away his very good and stable job to be with her, which he totally didn't need to do because he is marrying into the family anyway. He has savings, but those things aren't limitless and he will eventually run out, which has lead many fans to believe that he will sponge off of his very wealthy parents and avoid getting a job so he can be with Miharu all the time. Miharu, meanwhile, has no stable goal in life (besides shopping, eating and dating) and no job skills besides a waitress, which is a mediocre pay at best. Neither of them show any real chemistry with one another besides heavy petting and sexting, and they avoid actual, meaningful communication like the plague. They are co-dependent to a fault and almost consciously refuse to see the consequences of their actions towards one another and others. It tallies up to two selfish, petty and immature individuals who won't make it past the honeymoon stage and will eventually become broke and destitute due to their own stupidity.
* Most issues of ''Webcomic/{{Sonichu}}'' (at least from Issue #5 and onwards) end with the author's SelfInsert character pummeling anyone he feels has wronged him, even if they didn't or had good intentions, and calls it a job well done. However, the entirety of "Director Amenities" consists of him engaging in a bloody massacre of his perceived enemies (and brainwashing a few into compete loyalty), ending with him as a dictator with [[AGodAmI godlike powers]]. This is also considered a happy ending, and the story to come after this one is a ChristmasEpisode.
%%* {{Homestuck}} has a severely BrokenBase over the ending; many loved it, but for reasons gone into in great detail at [[https://bitterstucker.tumblr.com/ Bitterstucker]], many did not.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Invoked in ''WebAnimation/TheDementedCartoonMovie'', which shows the caption "HAPPY END!" over an EarthShatteringKaboom.
-->'''Guy in Green Chair''': [[LampshadeHanging "Happy end"? What the hell is "happy end"?]]
* The ending of ''Theatre/{{Starship}}'' features Bug accepting his bug form and getting his true love February, Tootsie and Mega-Girl getting married and everyone saving the bug world from the G.L.E.E. Happy right? Well, what happens when the G.L.E.E. comes back and investigates? How is Dr. Space Claw going to react when he finds out about his son's death? Where do the Rangers go from here, are they stuck on the planet? Mega-Girl is still a robot. So what happens when Tootsie ages and dies while she stays the same? And Bug is still a bug, so if you take the "Six long days of life" joke at face value the same could apply to them.
* Cracked [[http://www.cracked.com/article_16570_the-6-most-depressing-happy-endings-in-movie-history.html has]] [[http://www.cracked.com/article_15416_6-horrible-aftermaths-implied-by-movies-with-happy-endings.html written]][[http://www.cracked.com/article_20108_6-happy-movie-endings-that-actually-ruin-heros-life.html numerous]] [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19536_6-happy-endings-that-accidentally-screwed-movies-hero.html articles]] [[http://www.cracked.com/article_18684_6-movie-heroes-who-actually-made-things-worse.html that]] [[LampshadeHanging point out]] that several films has [[DesignatedHero protagonists]] that believed they had done the right thing, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero but actually screwed up badly]] [[FridgeHorror if you think about it]].
* ''Literature/FunnyBusiness'' ends with the main character [[RealityWarper Jeanette]] brought down to normal and erasing any memory of what she could do before. Perhaps her way of avoiding potentially JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope rather than simply resetting it just enough to erase the world's memories of finding out what she could do. She could have gone back to the playground after either way. As it is, she took away her inner conflict by effectively crippling herself within her little world.
* It would probably be easier to list the Website/GoAnimate Grounded videos that ''don't'' end this way, as many of them invariably end with the main character grounded for long periods of time at best, have their lives completely ruined or even beaten up or killed at worst. Rarely does the video present this as anything but a happy ending for those beside the main character(s). The worst cases of this trope as it pertains to grounded videos are the "X Gets Executed" videos, which are centered around a troublesome character being killed for their past misdemeanors with their death being celebrated (by their families, friends, and even the entire town) both before, during, and after the execution. (Often with the characters quite literally dancing on their grave.) Despite having such a demented premise and having everyone involved clearly crossing the MoralEventHorizon, this is presented as a good ending for everyone involved. (Except the character being executed, of course.)

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The ending for the ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' episode "Tree Trunks" ends with the eponymous character of the episode, an elderly, grandmotherly elephant, finally eating the crystal apple she traveled alongside Finn and Jake, who kept [[BadlyBatteredBabysitter putting their lives on the line]] to prevent any of the [[EverythingTryingToKillYou many monsters in the Evil Forest]] from harming her. As soon as Finn asks her how it tastes, she suddenly explodes. However, after a few seconds of Finn and Jake [[HeroicBSOD staring blankly]], it soon cuts to Tree Trunks merrily dancing along inside the crystal (a scene added by ExecutiveMeddling to soften the blow of the otherwise grim ending). [[SubvertedTrope Later subverted]] in "Crystals Have Power" when we learn what really happened to her.
* Extremely parodied in ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' in "The Others", where Gumball and Darwin become aware of the other older students of school Anais sees. They focus on her friend Clare leaving the school and the city because of her dad losing his job. As Clare constantly tries to narrate her thoughts, Gumball and Darwin constantly butt in [[SpotlightStealingSquad just to remain in focus of the episode]]. This culminates with Gumball ''forcing'' a happy ending on Clare by fixing everything wrong with her life. Loudly.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' has an in-universe example in the episode "The Ember Island Players." The ending of the play ''[[PropagandaPiece The Boy in the Iceberg]]'' is happy if you're from [[TheEmpire the Fire Nation]], but since the heroes are the Fire Nation's biggest foes, they find it highly uncomfortable to see themselves dying while the audience applauds.
* A large part of the controversy surrounding ''WesternAnimation/BeastMachines'' owes its existence to this trope. Early on, the Maximals discover that Cybertron once supported organic life, and restoring it becomes their goal for the remainder of the series. Why this goal is a ''correct'' one isn't particularly well-explained, considering Cybertron had been doing just fine with mechanical life for millions of years, and since nobody seems to remember the organic life even given how long-lived Transformers are, it likely died out well before their civilization even began. On the other hand, the alternative seems to be Megatron's mindless army of drones. It seems that no one is interested in restoring Cybertron to its pre-Megatron-takeover state.
* ''Franchise/{{Ben 10}}''
** ''WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce'': The episode "Simple" had a girl call Ben to her planet to stop two factions fighting a ForeverWar. Ben managed to settle the war by accidentally destroying one of their most valued statues, pitting them against him, and ending the war for good. The episode ends with the girl comically telling Ben that she and the rest of the planet hates him, and that her life is even worse now as her work hours are longer. However, she finds a pile of treasure that Kevin and Argit left behind as part of their war profits and the episode closes with her celebrating. While the war has stopped, it doesn't solve anything. Ben's discussions with the military leaders showed them to be incessantly corrupt Generals who refused to see reason, and even admitted to using the war as a convenient excuse to blame their social and economic problems on. The girl and other civilians had to work long hours producing weapons and had a hard time finding homes. While she gets to keep the money from Kevin and Argit's war-mongering, there are still countless other civilians who're still suffering from poverty because of the pointless draining war.
** ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'': the Incursion invasion StoryArc is concluded in "Frogs of War", where it turns out all that happened was a BatmanGambit by [[DaddysLittleVillain Princess]] [[MagnificentBitch Attea]] all along to [[TheStarscream overthrow]] her father [[TheEmperor Emperor Milleus]]. By the end of the episode, she agrees to leave Earth with the Incursion Empire in exchange for the Plumbers keeping her daddy in custody, which is presented as an acceptable, if not entirely happy, ending. The thing is, in previous episodes, it had been clearly established that Attea was ''much'' worse than her father, being an AxCrazy PsychoticManchild motivated by RapePillageAndBurn whereas her father was a more {{pragmatic|Villainy}} GalacticConqueror. In fact, she almost blew up Earth ForTheEvulz in her introduction episode. Now, granted, she is sort of in a DatingCatwoman situation with Ben, so she will most likely avoid attacking Earth again, but that's little consolation to the rest of the galaxy.
* The infamous ''WesternAnimation/CasperTheFriendlyGhost'' cartoon "There's Good Boos Tonight" has Casper befriending a cute little fox, only for the fox to be killed by hunters... but it's okay, the fox comes back as a ghost so they can be together forever. To some this makes it suck because it effectively renders the pathos over the fox's death meaningless. To others this makes it suck because he's still dead (in the way "Literature/TheLittleMatchGirl" is far from a happy ending). But Casper's technically "dead" too, so it's anyone's call.
* Most episodes of ''WesternAnimation/TheDreamstone'' end with the Land of Dreams having successfully fended off the Urpneys, [[MinionWithAnFInEvil pitiful]] [[TrappedInVillainy unwilling]] Mooks to [[BigBad Zordrak]], and managing to save their stone. The Urpneys usually end each episode beaten and miserable (inflicted by both the heroes and their BadBoss) for orders [[TheDragAlong they didn't even want to be part of]], while the genuinely evil Zordrak himself is [[KarmaHoudini rarely punished for his misdeeds]], but, hey, [[SeriousBusiness at least Noops got good dreams that night]].
** Used most egregiously in the season one finale "Megattack", which ends with the heroes using HeelFaceBrainwashing on almost the entire Urpney army.
* ''WesternAnimation/HomeMovies'' has an in-show example in ''Kafka: The Musical'': "Hello Franz Kafka! My name is God! I think you are going to like it here!"
* The last episode of ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' ends with Bobby finally finding a hobby that pleases Hank. He got a chance to find himself, but still on his father's terms. When the writers go out of their way to avoid a father either accepting his son for who he is or disowning him for having conflicting interests, you should know [[ProtagonistCenteredMorality just how badly they've been on Daddy's side from beginning to end]]. And this is just the series finale; there were other episodes that didn't end any differently.
* An InUniverse example happens in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfWinnieThePooh''. Piglet reads a [[FracturedFairyTale fractured version]] of Jack and the Beanstalk to a group of bunnies that ends with the giant [[KillEmAll eating everybody]] and living happily ever after, [[DissonantSerenity (which Piglet very strangely read as though he agreed it was a happy ending).]] The bunnies all start crying.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'' has a lot of them:
** The two-parter "Stimpy's Big Day". Stimpy [[CelebrityIsOverrated gives up his celebrity status and fame]] to return to living with Ren. After a tearful reunion, Ren [[WhatTheHellHero smacks the everloving hell out of Stimpy]] because [[EasyComeEasyGo he also "gave away" his vast multimillion dollar fortune.]]
** The banned "Man's Best Friend" ends with Ren beating his owner George Liquor to a bloody pulp with an oar... after which he commends Ren for being such a good guard dog and the cartoon closes with them dancing along with Stimpy to upbeat Raymond Scott music.
** In "Rubber Nipple Salesmen", the two finally manage to sell some rubber nipples after many failed attempts. The suburbanite couple that purchased them kicks Ren and Stimpy out the door and on the backs of a couple of crazed bulls who then ride off into the distance (this is a ShoutOut to Film/TheThreeStooges, for what that's worth).
* The ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'' episode "Rick Potion #9": Rick's newest invention causes everyone to fall in love with Morty and both attempts to reverse it just make things worse, first by turning the previously afflicted into mantis mutants who now want to have sex with Morty ''and'' eat his head, then by turning everyone on Earth not related to Morty into Creator/DavidCronenberg-style amorphous blobs. Rick decides to just go to a dimension where he fixes everything but he and Morty are destined to die in a lab explosion, and the original two take the dead ones' places. Meanwhile, in the original dimension, Jerry and Beth are happier without Rick and Morty while Summer entertains them by reenacting ''Film/{{Jaws}}'', and a Cronenberg-style Rick and Morty from a dimension where the ''opposite'' happened take up residence there.
** This may ultimately be subverted, as it's later established that Morty is still well aware of the fact that every morning he eats breakfast near his own grave, clearly indicating that while Rick may have treated this as a happy ending, Morty certainly didn't.
* ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' paints the ending to ''Disney/OneHundredAndOneDalmatians'' as one of these with a friendly little dose of FridgeLogic. Twice. The first has 50 of the puppies pregnant, meaning the family's going to be drowning in puppies and forcing them to ultimately ''give them to Cruella Deville''. The second fast-forwards two weeks ahead where the puppies have overrun the house, smashed everything, and pooped everywhere. Anita is leaving Roger who, now an alcoholic, is singing a depressing song about how much he hates dogs.
* After more than 50 years of struggles, ''WesternAnimation/SamuraiJack'' manages to [[spoiler: go back to the past and slay [[BigBad Aku]], preventing the Aku-ruled BadFuture from happening. Unfortunately, the love of his life is retroactively erased from existence too, being the daughter of Aku and all, leaving Jack [[HeartbrokenBadass heartbroken]]. Considering the massive impact Aku had on the world, it is likely she is not the only one - how many of the characters we've grown to know and love no longer exist due to the [[ButterflyOfDoom butterfly effect]]?]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** Lampshaded at the end of the episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS5E4Rosebud Rosebud]]".
-->'''Homer:''' Well, we didn't get any money, but Mr. Burns got what he wanted... Marge, I'm confused. Is this a happy ending or a sad ending?\\
'''Marge:''' It's an ending. That's enough.
** Also parodied in-universe in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS13E1TreehouseOfHorrorXII Treehouse of Horror XII]]":
-->'''Homer''': Yep, everything worked out for the best.
-->'''Marge''': What? Bart is dead!
-->'''Homer''': Well, saying I'm sorry won't bring him back.
-->'''Marge''': The fortune-teller said it would.
-->'''Homer''': She's not the boss of me!
** But it is played straight in the infamous episode "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS9E17LisaTheSimpsons Lisa the Simpson]]". The Simpson gene only affects males meaning that Lisa will remain smart, and that's good, but it even outright states that [[FridgeHorror Bart will inevitably grow up to become a dumb loser that will fail at anything he'll want to do. But who cares, it's just Bart, right? And what if Lisa ends up having only sons?]]
* Such is often the case with each season finale of ''WesternAnimation/TotalDrama'', but the final episode of its fifth season "The Final Wreck-ening" is easily the most infamous example of this. It follows Mike and Zoey in their final run for the million dollar prize, with Mike finally overcoming his evil alter-ego Mal by means of a reset button pressed inside his head, erasing Mal and his other personalities. Mike and Zoey are happily reunited with their first kiss before finally winning the million which they intend to split between each other. However, prior to the challenge no less than eight eliminated contestants are sent floating away in fart-filled balloons carelessly left to drift away by Chris, with their fates remaining unexplained as they are last seen blowing into the sky. Mike and Zoey are then sent drifting with their friends Gwen and Cameron as the entire island sinks due to Chris and Chef's land drill, while Heather and Alejandro are chased by sharks. The episode ends with Owen water skiing proclaiming it to have been the greatest finale ever; the fandom disagreed.
* The ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales'' episode entitled "Madame Blueberry" is surprisingly shocking and rather brutal, considering how light-hearted the series was at this point. The episode details how the titular character goes around buying things in hoping that it won't make her feel sad anymore. However by the time [[YouAreBetterThanYouThinkYouAre she learns that she just needs to be thankful for what she has already]], her own house gets destroyed, all of her possessions become worthless, and she herself becomes homeless. Though the book "Madame Blueberry Learns to Be Thankful" subverted this that Bob and Larry helped rebuilt the treehouse after the events of said episode.