Ghost Reunion Ending

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An Ending Trope in which the spirits of the dead reappear at the end of the work. This may be because they were Barred from the Afterlife but the resolution of the plot now allows them to cross over. It could also be because the Unfinished Business the ghosts were worried about has been taken care of. A still-living character who is having a Dying Dream may see the ghosts of characters who have gone before. A villainous character may meet the ghosts of people they killed or otherwise wronged. It may be as simple as a protagonist at the end of a work remembering all those who have been lost.

Compare:

A form of Back for the Finale. See also Nostalgia Heaven, a closely related trope in which the character dies, often temporarily, and sees the dearly departed in the afterlife.

This is an Ending Trope AND a Death Trope. As such, it contains massive spoilers.


Examples:

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    Comic Books 
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: At the end of the chapter "The Billionaire of Dismal Downs", the spirits of Scrooge's parents look at him as Scrooge and his sisters leave their ancestral home and reunite with one of their ancestors before passing on.

    Films — Animation 
  • At the end of The Lion King, shortly after saving the Pride Lands and taking his place on Pride Rock, Simba hears Mufasa's ghost saying "Remember" to him, just before he performs his victory roar.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The end of Longtime Companion has the surviving main characters meet their friends who died off AIDS over the course of the movie.
  • The most famous example is Return of the Jedi. As Luke is giving Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker a Viking Funeral, he looks up and sees the "Force ghosts" of Anakin, Obi-wan, and Yoda watching him.
  • The above example is Parodied at the end of Happy Gilmore, when Happy looks up at the sky and sees the ghosts of Chubbs, the alligator...and Abraham Lincoln? What?
  • Scrooged. At the end, the ghost of the dead homeless guy appears on screen with the other Christmas ghosts.
  • At the end of Siberiade the oil well has struck a gusher, which means the dam won't be built and the local Siberian village consequently won't be destroyed to accommodate the artificial lake. As a bulldozer flattens the cemetery (the oil fire is too close), Phil the commissar sees the ghosts of his father and brothers, as well as the ghosts of Alexei his old friend and Anastasia (Nastya), the girl that he once loved. Nastya kisses him and Alexei gives him a hug.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors: Subverted. After apparently defeating Freddy, the ghost of Nancy's father appears to her. It's really Freddy in disguise, using it to give her a Deadly Hug.
  • In Space Battleship Yamato, the last thing Susumu sees before carrying out his Suicide Attack on the final Gamilas spaceship is the ghosts of his dead comrades.

    Literature 
  • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry's duel with Voldemort causes the spirits of Voldemort's victims, including Cedric Diggory and his parents, to appear. They then help Harry out in the climactic duel. As Dumbledore later explains, they're actually magical imprints, not unlike magic paintings.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cold Case almost always ends with somebody seeing the victim. Often they were seen by a detective but it was a loved one a lot too (especially in the later seasons).
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead: Parodied in the season 2 finale when during the rally that Ash's hometown organized for him, the ghosts of Ash's deceased friends and family show up in the audience in imitation of Return of the Jedi.

    Theater 
  • At the end of the play Fortenbras all the dead characters of Hamlet, who have been haunting Fortenbras throughout the play, all appear onstage with him.
  • The end of Les MisÚrables has the ghosts of Eponine and Fantine (and, in the 2012 film, the Bishop) come to take Valjean to heaven. Waiting for him in heaven are Enjolras, Gavroche, and the other dead students. Curiously absent is Javert, who is the only character to die in the play and not return in the Finale.
  • At the end of Hamilton, Hamilton himself appears to join Eliza, his wife, and they exit through the back of the stage. Given the nature of the final song, it's unclear whether it's Hamilton's ghost or just a memory of him, as other deceased people (such as Washington and Laurens) appear seamlessly alongside those who are still alive (Burr, Lafayette, Jefferson, Madison, and Mulligan).
    • However, the appearance of Laurens, Philip, Washington, and Hamilton's mother in the previous song do validate this trope (also falling under Nostalgia Heaven).

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 
  • After numerous attempts to dispose of an unwanted cat in Cordell Barker's cartoon The Cat Came Back for the National Film Board of Canada, the No Name Given man fills his house with explosives, then sets them off, killing himself in the process. His ghost returns to laugh at the cat, which can no longer torment him ... until his dead body falls on the cat, killing it. Nine numbered feline ghosts appear, and chase the man's ghost, screaming in horror, into the sky.

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