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Final Exam Finale
When a work's finale serves as an encapsulated version of all the events that came before it. They may appear in a different context this time, but somehow or other, every single part of the succession of continuity nods moves the finale's story along in a way that's very much like a Plot Tailored to the Party. This can manifest itself in the form of Gondor Calls for Aid and the Combined Energy Attack during a Grand Finale, but it's not uncommon in shows that have a lower key setting than epic battles.

This one may have originated in Fairy Tales. For the usual video game version, see Final Exam Boss.


Examples:

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     Anime and Manga 
  • The finale of High School Girls has every element that appeared in past episodes return during the School Festival in some form or another.
  • Maria†Holic, through a series of increasingly goofy circumstances, plays this out as Kanako attempts to get to the school pool.
  • Special A makes use of everything the Special A class can do in the finale, one after the other.
  • In Persona 4: The Animation, episode 12 (the mid season finale) has the entire team needing to work together, and Yu needs to unleash all the Arcana he's gathered over the past 11 episodes to take down Shadow Mitsuo.
  • In the Grand Finale of Digimon Adventure 02, the first part of the final battle takes place in an alternate dimension where wishes come true. The Digidestined used this to manifest every form their partner digimon had gained during the series to fight MaloMyotismon. And it was very impressive.
  • Holyland: The fight with King, while not technically the final fight, demands Yuu bring to bear everything he learned throughout the series.

     Film 
  • Although it's a film, rather than a series, Kung Fu Panda uses this for its climax, with Po's fight with Big Bad Tai Lung involving everything he's learned throughout the film — both martial arts, and more... unusual skills for combat.
  • The big closing number of The Muppet Movie recreates Kermit's journey on an obvious movie set. Which then blows up, because this is the Muppets.
  • The big race at the end of Cars has Lightning using everything he has learned (Mater taught him how to drive backwards, Doc taught him how to drift, and The King's crash led him to recall Doc's own fate.

     Literature 

     Live Action TV 
  • FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman uses elements from previous challenges in the season finales, leading to a literal Final Exam Finale as the next-to-last challenge.
  • The Amazing Race: Several finales have involved a final puzzle that included remembering location and tasks from all the previous legs.
    • Season 3's finale included a totem pole that contained animal faces. The player had to correctly align up the five animals that had been featured in the different episodes.
    • Season 5's finale included a task where players needed to search a maze for 4 boxes containing pictures of different locations that they visited. After aligning them in the correct order, the teams could continue.
    • Season 8 contained an exam for the 2nd and 3rd place teams. They were able to complete a task where they received cards detailing tasks during the race and they had to place them in the correct order on a map for the lesser prize.
    • Season 9's finale (US Edition) had a Roadblock (a task only one player per team can complete) where he or she had to find 9 specific of 285 flags detailing the countries they visited. After that, the player had to arrange the flags in order by which country they visited. Seen here.
    • Season 12 had one of the most difficult tasks where the player had to select 10 items from 15 and place them on a stage. There were also two requirements that had to be met:
      • First, no two items could be from the same Leg (episode). While there were 15 items, there were only eleven Legs and therefore could create difficulty
      • Second, the items chosen needed to follow a checklist: Three animals and/or animal by-products, One item being from a U-Turn during the game, Three items located at or brought to the Pit Stops, Two items of transportation requiring wheels (one of these had to have been used at a Detour), and One item of transportation resembling a stick.
    • Season 13's challenge required players to reveal a sign from each of their 10 Legs (episodes). Each picture, being a Roadblock, Detour, Route Info, or Pit Stop. After knowing what they needed, the player would search 150 boxes for a picture of the related question. Once each picture was entered into the answer slot, a green light would prompt the next question.
    • Season 14 contained a Challenge near the final moments where the player needed to search 300 surfboards for boards depicting "a task, location, or person" from each of the episodes prior (two boards were from the "Double Leg" which spanned two episodes). Once all 11 boards were placed in order, the players could continue the race.
    • Season 16 required players to carry a trunk through downtown San Francisco to a bar, then place psychedelic posters of the teams in the order of elimination, including teams that had arrived last on non-elimination legs.
    • Season 17 required players to face a wall of all of the Race Pit Stop greeters from seasons 1 through 17 and place them in the order in which the racers saw them, identifying them by their hats.
    • Season 19 required one team member to use a rope while being hoisted in the air to trace the route they had taken. Because many teams in the past were Genre Savvy enough to take extensive notes throughout the race, a rule was set in place in which the players could not use notes.
    • Season 21: Teams had to hoist flags in which the words Hello and Goodbye up by the countries' respective flags.
    • Season 22: Teams had to have one team member jump into a container of balloon globes and find specific globes marked with a country in which they had visited, while the other team member took the globes and placed them in the order in which they were visited.
    • Season 23: Required teams to assemble totem poles that had the names of the currencies of the countries that were visited and place them in order.

  • Done quite literally in The Mole — the finale of each season has a quiz on everything that has happened over the course of the season, particularly details from the various challenges that the contestants have faced, with the jackpot going to the player who answers the most questions correctly.
  • Much like the above example,Whodunnit had as its final challenge riddles that related to each of the murders committed,with a clue from the murder in question being a hint as to each riddle's correct answer.

     Video Games 
  • Metal Gear Solid 4 was basically about Ocelot harnessing the power of Continuity Porn to save the world.
  • Used as one of the few genuinely clever design ideas in Painkiller Overdose: The movie studio level includes movie sets themed after the previous levels in the game, featuring cardboard cut-out versions of the past levels' enemies.

     Western Animation 


Fisher KingNarrative DevicesFive Second Foreshadowing

alternative title(s): Finale Exam
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