When a show (usually of the Failure Is the Only Option
or Stern Chase
variety) comes to an end with sufficient lead time, the production team may decide to go out with a bang by ending the endless chase, destroying the undestroyable foe, or in some other way definitively and permanently changing the core axioms on which the show depends. It usually resolves all the conflicts that have driven the series over its entire run, and offers some kind of resolution to the dramatic tension that they have powered.
This is the Grand Finale a way of very clearly saying to the audience "Okay, the show is really over. There's no more. Go watch something else." (That this doesn't always get through to viewers
can be a problem in and of itself...)
In contrast to American television series, anime series tend to be single, continuous season-long stories that build, like an episodic novel, to a climax in the final episode. In these cases, a Grand Finale is the only fair (and the usual) way to end the show. Of course, since most anime is based on manga, occasionally the anime gets ahead
of the manga (or gets canceled before the manga ends) and the anime writers have to make up their own ending
, which is usually not as good as the eventual ending of the manga. Alternatively, a la Bastard!!
, Angel Sanctuary
, and Ichigo 100%
, the writers can just leave it hanging.
May often involve Gondor Calls for Aid
or Save The World Climax
. Expect Tear Jerker
on a massive scale the longer (or more beloved) the show, the more tears will flow. Contrast with Cut Short
, The Resolution Will Not Be Televised
, and Series Fauxnale
. Compare with Season Finale
and sometimes Wrap It Up
, though if the Holy Shit Quotient
is high enough it can qualify as a Wham Episode
There will usually be Call Backs
, Continuity Porn
, Continuity Nod
and Book Ends
aplenty, along with characters coming Back for the Finale
. Expect to see Contractual Immortality
and Joker Immunity
thrown out the window.
As this Trope deals with endings, it obviously comes with a SPOILER WARNING
open/close all folders
- Fullmetal Alchemist has a pretty big one. Ed finally defeats Father, even after he harvests the souls of all Amestris to bring himself to an obscenely high level of power, but it takes Al sacrificing himself to bring Ed's arm back to do it; in the end, Ed finally figures out what he can give up to bring back Al - his ability to use alchemy. The brothers are finally reunited, and after two years, they separate again to go and repay everyone who helped them during their travels. Also, in the final chapter and at the end of the final episode of Brotherhood, Ed and Winry are shown holding up two babies, implying that the children are theirs.
- The 2003 anime version had a bittersweet and satisfying conclusion in its final episode: Ed, knowing that it takes a life to bring back a life due to Equivalent Exchange, sacrifices himself to bring Al back - he ends up on the other side of The Gate without the arm and leg he had regained because of Al's sacrifice, and Al is found alive and human again, but at the age he was when he and Ed tried to bring their mother back, and with no memory of the adventures he and Ed underwent. The movie came along and followed up on that (some fans would much rather ignore it, though): after a madman on the other side of The Gate breaks through to Amestris, Ed follows and is reunited with Al, and the two save Amestris; Ed eventually returns to the other side of The Gate to seal it, but Al follows him while Mustang seals The Gate from Amestris' side, ensuring that the Elrics remained reunited.
- Mazinger Z: At the end of the series, the group has finally located Hell's base, and they head towards there, supported by the Japanese army (in the Go Nagai manga, an army of Mass-Production Mazingers was produced; Hell's counterattack was sending a fleet of seventy Mechanical Beasts, a submarine and an aerial fortress to imvade and take over Japan in ten days). Mazinger, Aphrodite-A and Boss Borot duel against Hell's last Mechanical Beasts and start trashing his Base. Hell gets fed up and decides blowing his island up and fleeing on board of his aerial fortress. Mazinger goes after him and they engage in a last aerial duel. After winning, the heroes return to their Home Base, believing they are safe at last, but Dragon with an Agenda Archduke Gorgon sends two War Beasts behind them. Gorgon's Robeasts easily destroy the three Humongous Mecha and raze the Institute to rubble, but before they could kill Kouji, another Robot shows up and easily annihilates the Beasts, hinting the sequel.
- Great Mazinger: Kouji and Tetsuya's rivalry reaches a boiling point when the Mykene army attacks Mazinger and Tetsuya refuses helping Kouji. Finally, he gets talked into launching Great Mazinger, only to be shot down by a War Beast was awaiting for him. At the same time, flying aircraft Demonika appears and starts bombarding the Home Base of the heroes. The Professor Kenzo Kabuto (Kouji's biological father and Tetsuya's adoptive father) commits Heroic Sacrifice to save his adoptive son. Tetsuya suffers a Heroic BSOD, realizing his fear of losing his father has brought about his father's death, and Mazinger, Great Mazinger, Aphrodite and Venus combine forces to annihilate Emperor of Darkness' Co-Dragons and blowing up their fortress. And in one of the manga versions, Tetsuya committed another Heroic Sacrifice to atone for what he had done.
- UFO Robo Grendizer: After his daughter's death, Big Bad King Vega has lost his patience and decides deploying all of his remaining troops to launch a final attack. Gandal dissuades him, though, and challenges Grendizer to a mecha duel. When he loses, one of his personalities realizes Grendizer is invincible and plans killing King Vega to negotiate peace with Earth separately, but the dominant personality executes her by attempting to commit high treason, and tries to kill Duke Fleed with a kamikaze attack. When he fails, King Vega decides invading Earth, destroying his Space Base to show his troops there's no turning back. Meanwhile, the four heroes take off towards the space to fight the Final Battle, using Grendizer and a new Cool Starship. Both fleets clash among Earth and Moon. After a long fight, Duke and his friends manage to win. Unfortunately it also means he and his sister will have to bid farewell to their friends and return to his homeworld. In one of the manga versions, Vegans' final attack caused the End of the World as We Know It.
- The final OVA episode of Wolf's Rain features the climactic confrontation between The Hero, the Big Bad, and the Living Macguffin, the only individuals left alive in the world complete with Book Ends and a Tear Jerker.
- The final episode of Death Note, in which Light is finally cornered, revealed to be Kira, and eventually dies due to Ryuk writing his name in his Death Note. Now a scene iconic and famous enough to have spawned half of the series' Memetic Mutation.
- Monster: Tenma, Nina, Lunge, Roberto, Grimmer, and Johann all gather in Ruhenheim. A massacre ensues, and Johann is shot in the head by a terrified drunken bystander. Tenma saves his life again, and while Johann spends the next while comatose in his bed, everyone still alive goes back to their normal lives. Eventually, Johann wakes up and tells Tenma one final secret before leaving the hospital. Where he goes is left unknown. Assuming he even left and Tenma didn't just imagine him waking up.
- Given that the works of Rumiko Takahashi tend to go on for far longer than they should, some animes end up ending abruptly without closure. The biggest example being Ranma 1/2. So it came as a great surprise to many that the InuYasha manga was finally given its Grand Finale in early 2008. A new anime, InuYasha: The Final Act, began airing in late 2009 to resolve the anime's plot as well.
- The explosive climax of Magic Knight Rayearth, where events have inevitably led the main characters, but which is nothing like they expected.
- It sounds like this is talking about the season one ending, which is more of a Wham Episode. The actual final episode of the show is also shocking in its own way, but provides a much greater sense of resolution.
- The playful Gundam spuff SD Gundam Force had one of the biggest finales ever. Every single character that had ever appeared, in every form they'd ever taken appeared on a stage. They all said their goodbye's. Some saluted, some waved others, Zapper's gang claimed they'd go on forever. It was all rather touching actually.
- While we're on the subject, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack is basically the Grand Finale for original series main character Amuro Ray and The Rival Char Aznable. Some also consider it to be the finale for the original Universal Century continuity, although it had works set and released afterward.
- And in a variation, ∀ Gundam can be considered the Grand Finale for series creator Yoshiyuki Tomino's work on Gundam. It helps that the show claims to be the Distant Finale for the entire franchise.
- Sailor Moon went out with a series of giant revelations about the major conflicts throughout the story and loads of character deaths, leading to a Distant Finale showing Usagi marrying Mamoru in the manga. The anime version had different revelations, killed and revived all of the Senshi again and just ended the show with a rather traditional ending that had only a few series finale elements.
- The writers of The Big O cleverly wrapped a Cliff Hanger and Grand Finale together in the final series episode. Just when every character almost figures out the big secret, the entire plane of existence is erased and rebooted. A few years later, it came out that Cartoon Network had apparently told them to leave things open intending to finance a third season, but then changing their minds and left the show extremely screwed over.
- The Shaman King anime had a Grand Finale, one that remains controversial among fans. However, the manga never had an ending, since it was canceled before Hiroyuki Takei could write it. The only thing close to an ending in the manga is a four-part story depicting the future focusing on Yoh and Anna's son, Hana, ten years after the Shaman Fight. It wasn't until 2009 that Takei was finally able to provide a proper conclusion to the manga....which was also controversial among fans.
- In Excel♥Saga, ACROSS and Daitenzin confront each other head on (with no result whatsoever), and Pedro and Nabeshin finally defeat That Man. This, however, was the second-to-last episode, followed by the intentionally unairable, appropriately-titled "Going Too Far," essentially a parody of the series.
- Cowboy Bebop ends definitively with the gripping two-part finale "The Real Folk Blues". Vicious attempts a coup of the Red Dragon syndicate, only to fail; this gets everyone associated with him, including Spike, targeted for termination. Jet is injured in a gunfight with syndicate goons, and Spike finally reunites with his lost love Julia, thanks to Faye delivering some timely information. Vicious' takeover of the syndicate eventually happens, and he keeps the hit on Spike and Julia alive; Julia dies at the hands of the Red Dragon's hit squad, and Spike storms the syndicate's headquarters to get his revenge. Once he reaches the top of the building, Spike faces off with Vicious in the show's climactic battle; Vicious dies from a gunshot straight through his heart, and Spike (supposedly) dies soon afterwards due to Vicious's katana and the injuries sustained during his assault on the syndicate.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Short version: The Big Bad dies. Happy Ending. Not as short version: The Anti Spiral Leader is defeated in the Final Battle. Nia fades away right after getting married to Simon, and he walks the earth with Boota right up to the Distant Finale.
- Code Geass: Lelouch's saga, which took two years (real time and in-universe time), comes to its ultimate conclusion when he's stabbed through the chest by his best friend and dies in his beloved sister's arms, all while the world unites by condemning him as the greatest villain in history and cheers his friend for the murder. Don't worry, it was his idea.
- Macross Frontier. Short version: The Big Bad dies. Happy Ending. Not as short version: The frontier finds the Vajra homeworld, where the Final Battle occurs. The Big Bad is defeated, the humans make peace with the Vajra, and migrate to their planet.
- Kannazuki no Miko ends with Orochi being destroyed permanently, meaning that Chikane and Himeko's future incarnations will not have to perform the human sacrifice ritual.
- Last Exile — final episode "Resign" wraps it up in style.
- While not as action packed as the other examples on this page, CLANNAD's Grand Finale was a Reset Button Gainax Ending, where the Girl in the Illusionary World, who is actually Ushio, sends the Garbage Doll, who is Tomoya having undergone Identity Amnesia, back in time to the day he first met her mother, Nagisa. Having done this, Tomoya, having obtained a Light Orb from Ushio, relives his senior year with both him and Nagisa knowing of their future daughter's powers. Using the Light Orbs, Nagisa is able to give birth without dying this time around, and the Okazaki family lives happily ever after. Also a Crowning Finale of Heartwarming.
- Alternatively, Ushio just sent him back to the point where Nagisa was giving birth. While the anime is vague on this subject, the original game makes it clear that Tomoya remeeting Nagisa is something he's seeing in his head.
- Both the manga and anime of Chrono Crusade end with a bang. The last two volumes of the manga cover a 48 hour period in which all the characters come together for an epic battle to determine the fate of the world—and also ties up most of the relationships in the process. The anime version is a Downer Ending (or at best, a Bittersweet Ending), but ties up most of the loose threads and ends things on a very emotional note (although fan opinion is split on whether it was as good as the manga or not).
- Princess Tutu ends with a final epic battle in which the Big Bad is vanquished and Mytho once again becomes the Prince he once was, and also resolves the main romantic tension...although not in a way you might expect. It also ends somewhat open-ended by hinting that two of the characters (who had hints of a romantic relationship but never quite resolved it) might be starting on a new story together.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion. See also Gainax Ending.
- While the show's original TV ending ("Congratulations!") wasn't exactly spectacular, and became a bit of a Base Breaker in both the Japanese and American markets, it was not intended as the "proper" ending, the "proper" ending was in fact planned, but Gainax ran out of money to produce it. In 1998, however, End of Evangelion was finally released, and was a suitable grand Gainax Ending finale to the series:
- The first half of the movie features SEELE finally losing it with Gendo Ikari going against them and trying to hack into the MAGI computers to take over (and possibly self-destruct) the NERV base. When he gets the resident Mad Scientist Ritsuko Akagi to block them out, SEELE instead send convince the Japanese Government that NERV plans to end the world in Third Impact, and they send in the Japanese Strategic Self-Defense Forces to murder everyone in the NERV base. And that means everyone. The first half of the film generally documents the systematic attacks on the Geofront and Central Dogma. Asuka comes out of her coma and gets into a massive fight with the JSSDF some auto-piloted Mass Production Evangelions, culminating in her being utterly mangled to death. Meanwhile, Shinji undergoes a mental breakdown and ends up entering his Evangelion, who is also his mother, and in the process witnesses Asuka's mangled Evangelion, at which point he screams in terror. But wait! It gets better!
- After the intermission, Shinji's Evangelion is crucified, and Rei Ascends to a Higher Plane of Existence by merging with Lilith, and becomes an enormous alien giantess. In the process, she releases a form of energy that negates the energy of everyone on Earth, dissolving their bodies away into orange goo called LCL and freeing their souls to merge into Lilith. Shinji goes on a mental journey in which he decides humanity deserves to continue living, and is allowed to come back to life. He wakes up on a beach, and a few months later, finds himself laying next to Asuka, inexplicably alive. He throttles her to check she is alive, and then he collapses sobbing after she strokes his cheek, at which point she utters the final phrase in the series: "Kimochi warui" ("How disgusting"/"I feel sick"). Yeah. It's pretty confusing, and ninety minutes of intense mindfuckery that is impossible to forget.
- Space Runaway Ideon -one of the predecessors to Evangelion-, also used a movie for its grand finale (in this instance, the series was cut short due to budget constraints), and it pulls no punches in it. Opening with a shot of the hero's love interest getting her head blown off (a defining moment in the main series), we cut to how the Buff Clan and the Solo Ship's war has spiraled out of control. The Ide's sentience has become almost malevolent in nature, and its instability is making the two sides want to destroy each other at any cost. Then everyone starts dying. EVERYONE. The Ideon Gun's shockwaves kill Sheryl. Harulu kills her sister Karala not because of the war, but because she was jealous of Karala finding love and having a child. The ship engineer is shot by Doba. The child Ashura's head is vaporized by a bazooka. Kasha is killed by shrapnel from her own attack when protecting the ship interior. Bes is shot in the neck near the end. Harulu is killed in sub-space by the Ideon Gun. Doba is killed by his own men after finding out that meteors destroyed both Earth and the Buff Clan homeworld. Cosmo launches a suicide attack against the Gando Rowa which succeeds, but destroys the Ideon in the process, killing him and taking out the entire solar system they were in. The real tear jerker about it? None of this had to happen. Just before Doba died, both he and Cosmo realized that the Ide is unnaturally enhancing their negative feelings toward each other, and that this genocidal war was all brought about by a simple misunderstanding that neither side would make amends for. This is shown in the ending sequence, when everyone is a spirit in the afterlife, and how without the prejudices that they had in life, they are all able to happily live in peace. Then they're all reborn in a new world. Credits roll.
- Rose of Versailles ends about how you'd expect a show about The French Revolution to end. Short Version: Everyone except Rosalie dies. And if you think that's a spoiler, you need to brush up on your history.
- Seto no Hanayome has a Grand Finale which must be seen to be believed, involving the most ridiculous example of Storming the Castle ever. It involves a Terminator homage dressed in a schoolgirl uniform blowing crap up with eye beams. And that's far from the most insane thing that happens.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! ends with a four-episode Duel between Yugi and the Pharoah (Atem), each with his own body thanks to one last bit of magic from the Millennium Items. In short, Yugi defeats all three Egyptian God Cards and wins the Duel, proving that Atem is no longer needed. With his destiny of evil-fighting complete, Atem can finally move on to the Afterlife with all his old friends and family from ancient Egypt.
- The Dragon Ball Z manga and anime ends with the resolution of Goku and Vegeta's rivalry and the defeat of Kid Majin Buu, the ultimate evil in the Dragonball universe, followed by a Distant Finale ten years later where Goku Passes The Torch to Uub, a human boy who is the reincarnation of Majin Buu.
- GUNΧSWORD ends with a climactic battle that spans at least three episodes. By the middle of the last episode, Van killed the Claw; Joshua gave meaning to his brother's death by stopping the Claw's Instrumentality plot; Carmen defeated Fasalina; and Wendy said a definitive (and maybe deadly) farewell to her brother. The series ends on a few minutes of Distant Finale which suggest that a few years down the road, Van and Wendy have a shot at Happily Ever After.
- Possibly the funniest one is the final episode for 1965-67 Obake no Q-Taro (Q-Taro the Ghost) series. Q-Taro and Shota is held hostage by a gang leader. When all hope is lost, they are suddenly rescued by Perman. They ask who he is and Perman replies that he's the star of the show. Q-Taro angrily informs him that his show starts next week; Perman arrived one week early. And yes, a week after the final Q-Taro ran, Perman did take over the time-slot.
- Samurai Pizza Cats: "The Big Comet Caper". Even though there is one more episode after it ("The Cats Cop Cartoon"), The Big Comet Caper acts as more of a grand finale.
- Ojamajo Doremi had one for the Dokkan! season. In this, we learn that Hana-chan (who turns back into a baby), Majorika and the fairies go back to the witch world, Momoko moves back to New York, Onpu moves away and we see that she wrote a new book that is popular, Hazuki is going to a different middle school as Doremi, and Doremi confesses her love to an unknown boy.
- One Hundred Bullets ends the conflict between the Minutemen and the Trust, and ties up all other remaining plotlines, by slaughtering the lot of them, and leaving the survivors at the mercy of a Bolivian Army Ending (Loop, Victor, and Will not included).
- 1986's Superman: Whatever Happened to The Man of Tomorrow??, by Alan Moore and Curt Swan, closes the book on the Silver Age Superman, paving the way for the Man of Steel reboot by John Byrne.
- Batman: The Dark Knight Returns provides a definitive end to Batman's career, and ends his conflict with The Joker on the side....until The Dark Knight Strikes Again came out. After that, Whatever Happened To The Caped Crusader (a direct reference to the above) became more fitting an end.
- Preacher's Alamo ended with a final showdown between Jesse and Cassidy, Tulip executing Herr Starr, and The Saint Of Killers taking his vengeance against God.
- In The Sandman, the climax is reached in The Kindly Ones where characters from all other points in the time line come together in one hell of a story, propelling a long and complex string of events which eventually leads to Dream's death and resurrection inside Daniel. The lengthy aftermath is depicted in The Wake, where it's demonstrated that the previous events had such gravity that they affected everyone in existence. Including you.
- Crisis on Infinite Earths. Grand Finale to the Silver Age (though it was actually released at the end of the Bronze Age)? Check. Grand Finale to the DC Multiverse? Check. Grand Finale for Barry Allen, Supergirl, Earth-2 Superman, and everyone else in the DC Universe? Check. Became the comic event by which all previous and succeeding comic events would be judged? Double Check. Became
one of the only company-wide comic event to permanently rip the Timey-Wimey Ball a new one, and do it so as to be universally praised? Gigantic freakin' Check.
- Final Crisis serves as a Grand Finale for the "multiverse" crisis series (which includes Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, and 52) and the "hero exploration" crisis series (which includes Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis). It also gives a Grand Finale to Jack Kirby's DC creations Darkseid, the New Gods, and others like Dan Turpin.
- Kingdom Come. A grand finale for the DC Universe (or at least one, anyway).
- Spider-Girl: The End brings the long-running clone saga of the Spider-Girl books to a close whilst also sending off the character with both a happy and an open ending, with Mayday finally hooking up with her loyal friend Wes as her family look on. Wes asks the question "where do we go from here?". Time will tell if we'll ever know, as it is presently The End...for now.
- Wrath Of The First Lantern, specifically its own finale (Green Lantern issue 20), serves as this to Geoff Johns' run on the Green Lantern mythos, seeing the conclusion of story threads laid out ever since he became the main GL writer back in Rebirth.
- The Pony POV Series Chaos Verse ends with Discord: Complete Existence, which details Discord and Fluttercruel — joined by the occupants of their constructed world and Celestia and Luna — engaging in a Final Battle with the Big Bad Nightmare Phobia.
- Back in the original Pony POV Series, the Dark World — which grew to eventually being declared its own series with its own story arcs — has the Alicorn Ascension Arc (yes, even the name is a spoiler). Immediately following the events of the End of Days Arc, this arc deals with Twilight fusing with Nightmare Paradox to become the Concept of Magic and will presumably explain how the Dark World ties back into the main series.
- A Growing Affection: The second to last chapter wraps up most of the loose ends, and the finale chapter has two time skips to five years later when Naruto and Hinata finally get married; and the eight more years after that, when Naruto becomes the sixth Hokage.
- The My Hostage Not Yours series has the third story, The Inevitable Takeover, which has Zim and Gaz upgrade (downgrade?) from Anti Heroes to full Villain Protagonists, get married, and then begin a plan to conquer the whole planet and ultimately succeed. Oh, and Dib gets a Beta Couple plotline with Tak, finally giving him something to do in the series.
- Examples from the Calvinverse:
- Logically, the grand finale of the Dollars Trilogy would be For a Few Dollars More, agree with one paragraph at Wikipedia:
"The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is considered as a prequel by some, since it depicts Eastwood's character gradually acquiring the clothing he wears in the other two films and because it takes place during the American Civil War (18611865), whereas the other two films feature comparatively more modern firearms and other props, for example: Lee Van Cleef's character in For a Few Dollars More appears to be a Confederate veteran who has come down in the world, and a graveyard scene in A Fistful of Dollars features a gravestone dated 1873."
- Rambo IV.
- Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2.
- The Return Of The King is the Grand Finale of the The Lord of the Rings
- Matrix Revolutions: acts as the Grand Finale of the Matrix trilogy and ties up all the remaining plotlines in the series, ending with peace between Zion and the Machines, the Matrix being rebooted, and Neo finally defeating Smith.
- Return of the Jedi closes the story line of the Star Wars prequels and sequels. The Expanded Universe is another story. Possibly averted (depending on how the story goes), now that we're getting three more films.
- Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is the Grand Finale that Star Trek never had. The film had an air of finality to it; the crew and ship were due to be decommissioned, aside from Sulu who now had his own ship. They managed to save the galaxy one last time before retiring. Also, the first teaser trailer drove the point home; it was essentially composed of snapshots of the greatest moments of TOS and the previous five films. The movie also bridged TOS and TNG by sowing the seeds of peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire; this peace was well-established when TNG premiered.
- Toy Story 3. Not only did they get nearly all of the original voice actors (Jim Varneynote and Joe Ranftnote died before Toy Story 3 was put into production and Annie Potts didn't come back, as Bo Peep was written in the third movie as being one of the toys that has been sold off, tossed out, or given away between the second movie and the third), composer, and the co-director of the second movie to direct this film, there are a ton of callbacks to the original films loaded in this, and the film series ends with Andy giving his toys to a young girl named Bonnie, who will love and play with them just as much as he did.
- Transformers Dark of the Moon was intended to be this for the live-action Transformers series and wraps up the story with the Decepticons defeated (seemingly for good this time) and the Autobots accepting Earth as their new home. Now that a sequel is annouced, it's unclear how the creators will follow up on the story given how conclusively the movie ends.
- The Dark Knight Rises for The Dark Knight Saga.
- The final two books of Animorphs
- Mostly Harmless ended with writer Douglas Adams killing all the main characters and completely erasing Earth from existence (in this universe and every parallel universe). He later said he regretted ending The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy on a such a melancholy note and was considering a sixth book with a happier ending before he suddenly died of a heart attack.
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
- Prior to the publication of the last book, there was much speculation as to how Rowling, on a purely practical level, would choose to end something so popular and profitable (although the ending had been planned from the humble beginnings over ten years before). Many said that, whatever she'd been planning before the title character would have to die, for example, so that the author wouldn't be hounded for the rest of her life (or that she'd better not kill him off, so that she wouldn't be hounded for the rest of her life). Another "story-ending" possibility raised by some was for him to lose his magic. She seemed to solve the issue by implying that Harry had lived a quiet, peaceful life for at least 19 years following the defeat of Voldemort.
- Alan Dean Foster's Flinx Transcendent is the grand finale of thirty five years worth of novels set in the Humanx Commonwealth universe. Sure enough, each and every dangling plot element is resolved, one by one, like a checklist.
- The Grand Finale of Stephen King's magnum opus The Dark Tower series is infamous for ending with an Anticlimax Boss confrontation with the King Multiverse's Big Bad (who turns out to be a pathetic, powerless loony), followed by the protagonist walking through a door that turns out to be a big Reset Button that boots him back to the first scene of the series, with the implication that this has already happened many times before and that hopefully he'll eventually get it "right".
- Worse, we, the readers, will never learn exactly what "getting it right" will mean, because Stephen King wrote himself into a corner after creating such a divine mystery as to whatever is at the top of the Dark Tower. IF you ever want to see what's up there, forget it.
- Arthur Conan Doyle tried to give Sherlock Holmes a Grand Finale three times without success. The first time, Holmes dies. The second time (after Holmes turns out to be Not Quite Dead), Holmes achieves what he considers to be the pinnacle of his career when he stops a World War from happening (decades before World War I), in a story that was first mentioned as a Noodle Incident eleven years prior. The last was set years after Holmes' retirement during World War I, where Holmes and Watson pull a Xanatos Gambit that gave the Germans so much false information that effectively turned them into sitting ducks against the British forces; the story also gave Holmes an age for the first time in the series. But the combo of Public Demand and Executive Meddling made him continue each time. But when the real last story came, Conan Doyle said, "screw it" and completely averts this by giving us a standard-issue mystery as the last Sherlock Holmes story.
- I Shall Wear Midnight wraps up the Tiffany Aching subseries of Discworld, with Tiffany averting a worldwide witch-hunting craze and securing her status as leader of a new generation of Chalk witches. She also marries Roland to another young witch, and meets Eskarina Smith, the protagonist of Discworld's first witch novel.
- The Last Hope serves as the grand finale of Warrior Cats, wrapping up all the plot hooks and giving all the characters one last time in the glory.
- The Lord of the Rings concludes with the end of Middle-earth's Third Age and is chronologically the very last installment of Tolkien's Legendarium.note
- The Fugitive's final confrontation with the one-armed man in the original, where Lt. Gerard comes to his aid. Meanwhile, the remake in 2000 ended on a Cliff Hanger.
- This was almost unheard of for a show in the 1960s, and it only came about because David Janssen wanted to quit.
- The Prisoner finally escapes and destroys The Village and finds out who #1 is...or does he? Not according to the semi-canon Graphic Novel Shattered Visage.
- Babylon 5's last episode, "Sleeping In Light", which also doubles as a Distant Finale, and was actually filmed before the final season, as the writers didn't know whether the show would be continuing.
- While Doctor Who hasn't ended, the end of the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Tenth Doctors' tenures got a big finish, ending with their regeneration and (apart from Troughton) the reveal of the next Doctor. As the Tenth Doctor's finale was also the end of the Russell T Davies era, it really went for broke - it answered a lot of questions about the Time War mythos and ended with a string of cameos from previous companions and monsters. The next series started with a clean-slate Jumping On Point (new Doctor, new companion, new TARDIS set).
- Really, Series 4 of the new Doctor Who could be said to have two Grand Finales. Before "The End of Time" marked the Tenth Doctor's regeneration, the two-parter "The Stolen Earth"/"Journey's End" marked the end of Donna's tenure as a Companion—and featured a Crisis Crossover with the main casts of Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures, as well as a team-up between all three of the new series' Companions, and an all-out Dalek invasion led by Davros himself. The remaining episodes in Series 4 were just a denouement leading up to the Tenth Doctor's Grand Finale.
- Now for the others. The First Doctor's regeneration was a surprise, not being as blockbuster as the others, since it was the first step into unfamiliar territory for the writers. Six was unceremoniously offed due to a tenure plagued with Executive Meddling, while Seven received a similar fate in the TV movie after the show was cancelled. He returned for The Cameo and Changing of the Guard that was more like a kick in the pants than a graceful end. Eight has never officially been depicted to regenerate, and his story is still ongoing, with no endpoint reached yet....until now!!!
- Soon, the Eleventh Doctor will regenerate in the 2013 Christmas special.
- As usual, Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "Chosen" had to top everyone else, with a triple play closing the Hellmouth, defeating the First Evil and its army, and permanently changing the magical rules that define who becomes a Slayer and how. And completely destroying the entire city of Sunnydale, leaving only an enormous crater. Sadly, it still wasn't as powerful as the Heroic Sacrifice which closed Season 5.
- On the other hand, the final episode of Angel was Grand, but not Final, ending just as our heroes launched into a doomed charge against a demonic army. The message here was not "It's over, go home", but a final statement that the battle would never end.
- The ending of Blakes Seven was similarly a curiously open ended Grand Finale, in which all the characters were shot down in a massive gun battle. It wasn't clear whether any of them survived. The show's producers suggested that if a Season 5 were ever made, the survivors would be the characters played by any of the actors who wanted to return. Since there never was a Season 5, the internal reading should probably be that they all died.
- Northern Exposure: "The Quest"...if one is willing to apply some Canon Discontinuity to the episodes after Dr. Fleischman's departure.
- However, the ultimate Grand Finale, in terms of sheer viewership and dramatic power, had to be the final movie-length episode of Mash entitled "Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen". It ended the Korean war, irrevocably altered several characters, and brought an era of television to a close...plus it holds the record to this day for the highest single-episode ratings of any scripted show ever. Not even the Super Bowl could top it until 2010.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 had a Grand Finale both for when it was cancelled on Comedy Central (necessitating a Postscript Season when it returned), and later, when it was cancelled on the Sci-Fi Channel. The Scifi channel ending satisfied the Excuse Plot storyline by showing Mike back on Earth with the bots, living in an apartment and watching a B-Movie.
- All of the three 24th-Century Star Trek series each had one, in ascending levels of awesome.
- Star Trek: Voyager had a two-part finale in which Voyager finally made it home - years ahead of schedule, with a little help from Janeway's Future Badass self.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, having dealt with the Dominion conflict for five seasons and Sisko's Emissary role for all seven, wrapped up both stories back to back in the finale (and moved about half the cast off the station to boot).
- Star Trek: The Next Generation had Picard traveling back to Season 1 and forward into the future, meeting dead and departed crew members, seeing his friends grow old, witnessing the dawn of life on Earth, making causality his bitch, having a Heroic Sacrifice three times over, saving the whole of reality from an anomaly that threatens to destroy time, proving both his worth and the worth of the human species to Q, changing his crew's future for the better, and playing poker.
- WCW Monday Nitro's final episode was the "Night of Champions", which would see all the belts defended for the final time in WCW, as well as have the wrestlers talking about what WCW meant to them and where they would go from here. The final match of the night was Ric Flair vs. Sting, a fitting end as the two had had many storied feuds in WCW, even before Nitro went on the air. The last thing to happen on Nitro (in a simulcast with Raw) was Shane McMahon's announcement that he had bought WCW and was going to war with the WWF.
- Many seasons of Power Rangers end on a grand finale, usually following an episode that had very little relevance to the overall arc, leading to a somewhat hilarious incongruity of, say, Power Rangers in Space where a battle against the random Monster of the Week was immediately followed by what many fans consider to be the definitive Power Rangers finale, wrapping up no less than six seasons of stories, wiping out every major villain the series had ever had by that point, and showcasing the heroic sacrifice of Zordon to make all of the above happen.
- The Honey, I Shrunk the Kids TV series ends after 3 seasons with the episode "Honey, I Shrink, Therefore I Am". After the shrink ray has been downplayed since season 2, it finally appears for the finale as Amy accidentally gets shrunken again. Meanwhile, Chief McKenna wants to propose to Trudi, but fears that she doesn't love him as much as he does her, and she thinks the same thing. In the end, Amy is brought back to normal size with Wayne's help, The Chief works up to courage to propose to Trudi, Diane announces that she's pregnant (most likely with Adam from the movie sequels), and they all live happily ever after... and then, they all get shrunken.
- Battlestar Galactica's "Daybreak". They rescue Hera, Cavil dies in the midst of an epic struggle involving almost all the humans, Cylons, and ships we've seen in the series. Kara finally finds a habitable planet, and it turns out to be ours...150,000 years before our time. Yes, two Earths.
- Oh, and the Galactica? It's superstructure is so heavily damaged from the Final Battle that another jump would tear the whole ship to shreds. So she's evacuated by everyone except the hybridized Anders who then pilots the whole fleet into the Sun so that the new human civilization can start over from scratch and not make the same mistakes as the previous ones.
- Scrubs "ends" with "My Finale". Even though it has apparently been renewed, this episode is the finale of the series in its current format as well as the swan song/goodbye to JD as the main character. The episode features JD's last day at Sacred Heart before leaving for a new job to be closer to his son Sam. He manages to get goodbyes from most of the cast, even getting to part with the Janitor on good terms and getting to hug Dr. Cox. JD is left somewhat disappointed by his ending and imagines a line-up of guest stars from past seasons seeing him off, including dead characters such as Mrs. Wilks and Jill Tracy, but this fantasy ends when JD sees the futility of living in the past, so he instead decides to look forward to his future due to inspiration from a patient about taking control of one's future. The final montage shows JD imagining his future life to Peter Gabriel's "Book of Love". JD and Elliot are shown marrying and having a child, then reuniting with Turk, Carla, Dr. Cox and Jordan for Christmas in a peaceful setting. Sam and Isabella are even shown being engaged in another fastforward. The montage ends with visions of JD and Elliot kissing, and Dr. Cox willingly walking into JD's hug. In his final narration, JD feels that his fantasies should come true, just this once. Cue the ultimate sitcom Tear Jerker
- The last words said in the finale are "Good night", said between series creator Bill Lawrence and star Zach Braff.
- The series finale of Prison Break has the main couple getting married, the gang's final prison break (breaking Sara out of a women's prison before the General's assassins can kill her), and a Heroic Sacrifice (Michael gives his life so that his wife and unborn child can be free).
- Friends concludes with Ross and Rachel finally getting past their Will They or Won't They? woes with a declaration of their love and a vow to "stop being stupid" while Monica and Chandler watch their children being born, and Phoebe and Joey accept the changes occuring. The friends also start a new era of their lives, leaving the apartment complex and city that was their home for so long. The episode ends with the friends going to the coffee house one last time and one last look at the now-empty apartment. Despite the happy ending, many viewers found it one of the most bittersweet ending of any show ever, and both the cast and crew couldn't get through the final scenes without crying.
- The finale of Six Feet Under is arguably one of the best seen on television. Brenda finally gets over her fears for the well-being of her newborn daughter, Willa, and makes peace with Nate. Ruth finds herself a new purpose in helping Brenda help raise Maya and Willa. Dave and Keith finally put their relationship in place so they can raise their adopted sons. Federico leaves the Fisher Funeral Home in order to start his own business. And Claire leaves to work in New York even after the initial job offer she received was axed. As a whole, the entire cast is able to shed their dysfunctional selves and find a semblance of peace. The last six minutes of the finale shows the future lives and deaths of all major characters, which doubles as a Tear Jerker and a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
- Happy Days had an ultimate sitcom-style ending. Joanie and Chachi finally got married, Fonzie adopted a young boy, Richie returned to see everything off, and Howard ended the episode by thanking the audience for being a part of their family, then name-dropped the title. (But never explained where Brother Chuck vanished to, unless you consider the outtake where Howard does a spit-take and exclaims "Hey, where's Chuck?!")
- The Steve Harvey Show actually had two, but they were aired out of order. The Graduate from the Story episode the kids graduate. Lydia goes to Princeton, Romeo to an unnamed university, and Bullethead to Community College was supposed to air first, but the show had been Screwed by the Network and canceled so the Happily Ever After episode Regina accepts a job at a fancy prep school in California and Steve follows her; Ced and Lovita win the lottery and she goes into labor immediately after learning the news. We never learn the sex of their baby. was shown as the Grand Finale with the graduation episode shown later. They continue to be shown in this order in syndication.
- That '70s Show finally ends its eighth and final season by Jackie and Fez becoming a couple, Randy not fully appearing in this episode, Kelso coming back to visit and Eric Forman returning home from Africa to win back Donna. It also closes out the 1970s, beginning on December 31, 1979 and ending just after the start of January 1, 1980.
- The Red Green Show ended with Harold, the Hollywood Nerd, getting married, Dalton renewing his wedding vows with his wife who appeared onscreen for the first time, Mike becoming a police officer, and Bill appearing outside of the black and white Adventures with Bill segment for the first time since season 2.
- A Different World ended with Dwayne and Whitley finding out they're pregnant and moving to Japan for Dwayne's job and a big goodbye party for them is shown. During the party, Kimberly and Spencer decide to get married.
- California Dreams did this by having the entire band break up at the end of high school to go off to different parts of the country (and one to Europe) to end the show. Unfortunately, it created something of a Downer Ending in the process.
- The last three episodes of Monk gave Adrian his detective badge back before allowing him to realize he'd been happier without it, solved Trudy's murder, discovered and became close to Trudy's long-lost daughter, sent Randy Disher off on a job of his own as the Police Sergeant of a town in New Jersey and hooked him up with Sharona, and to top it all off implied that Adrian is finally getting over his OCD.
- The last NBC Columbo from the 1970s ended on a nice note. Columbo drinks a toast with his last murderer (an Irish gunrunner) and his last words are a quote referring both to the amount of whiskey they'll drink, and the show as a whole "We'll go this far, and no farther." Little did they know then that ABC would take them farther a decade later.
- The West Wing ended on the day of Santos' inauguration, with creator Aaron Sorkin making a cameo in the swearing-in scene. Jed Bartlet left office but not before finally signing Toby's pardon in the last second, and in a Tear Jerker moment, gave his own little book of the US Constitution to the soon-to-be-in-law-school Charlie ("You're going to need it more than I do"). All the cast (old and new) are on deck, with Josh and Donna moving into their respective office as chief of staff for POTUS and FLOTUS, CJ gave Josh a slip that says "WWLD" ("What would Leo Do?") before leaving the White House and heading to California and Danny. Kate and Will Bailey don't know what to do in the afternoon now that they are not working at the White House anymore. Finally, on Air Force One heading back to New Hampshire, Bartlet opens the gift that Leo's daughter Mallory left him the framed cocktail napkin on which Leo wrote "Bartlet for America" that started the journey so many years ago. Industrial-strength Tear Jerker.
- Little House on the Prairie ended with a bang. Walnut Grove gets purchased by a Jerk Ass developer, but instead of allowing the townspeople to buy the land back from him, he decides to allow everyone to stay...as his employees. In retaliation, they have a meeting at the church/school and decide that they'd rather blow the town up and leave with nothing rather than allow the developer to have everything they have worked for. So all the men get dynamite and they blow up Walnut Grove. Jerk Ass returns to the town with the Army in tow and demands that everyone be arrested. The Army refuses to do so, and the citizens of what used to be Walnut Grove leave singing "Onward Christian Soldiers".
- The Diffys finally fix their time machine and apparently return home in the grand finale of Phil of the Future.
- Nip/Tuck ends with Sean and Christian making Liz a partner in the practice, effectively calling it McNamara/Troy/Cruz. Liz, who is pregnant via donated sperm from Sean, is happy but decides to leave for parts unknown when Sean decides that he wants to be a part of the baby's life, which she doesn't agree with. Christian, feeling that he is the reason Sean is not living a more fulfilling life, kicks him out of the practice and gives him a one-way ticket to Bucharest so that he can work in an orphanage doing pro-bono surgeries. Matt decides to make a life with his transsexual lover Ava. Julia moves to England and remarries, taking Annie and Conor with her. Christian is left alone to run Troy/Cruz. Their final patient is an elderly porn star who gets his heart surgery scar removed. He later dies with a smile on his face while filming a sex scene in his latest movie. The final scene is Christian, seeing the ghost of Kimber in a bar and wishing her well, then meeting a new young starlet who's thinking about plastic surgery — exactly the way the series begun (with Christian meeting Kimber in a bar).
- Given that David Krumholtz has moved on to other projects, this season's finale of NUMB3RS was probably the Grand Finale. Charlie and Amita get married before their move to England to teach at the University of Cambridge. Larry seems to have found what he was looking for, and plans to take over for Charlie.
- The writers of LOST knew their finale's end date three years in advance, they certainly made theirs epic. The source of all the show's mysterious happenings was revealed for the first time - and was promptly turned off, risking the island's imminent destruction. And then... was turned back on again. The lead character had a final knife-fight on crumbling cliffs in the rain with the Big Bad - a villain who'd appeared in every season and in the very first episode and who'd taken the form of another main character, the lead's philosophical rival. Several characters escaped the island once and for all, flying off in a 777 as the runway disintegrated beneath them. The season's flashes were revealed to show the characters in the afterlife, letting the final scene reunite almost every main character after death. And the final shots were an exact reversal of the show's opening shots, with the lead character returning to the show's opening spot, falling there, and closing his eyes as he died.
- Life On Mars: Sam Tyler commits suicide by jumping from the top of a tall building. And saves the lives of his friends in 1973, gets the girl and drives off into the sunset.
- The US version featured him waking up in a spaceship as part of a mission to find literal life on Mars. Several of the themes from both series were weaved in to make a bit more sense, but the ending voided any and all chance of ever having an American Ashes to Ashes.
- By Contrast, the Series finale of Life On Mars was voted on a Sky 1 special to be the No. 1 TV show ending out of a list of 49 other competitors.
- The sequel series Ashes to Ashes had to wrap up multiple storylines:
- Alex finally put all the pieces together about the numbers, the ghost copper, and the grave in Lancashire 6620 is the serial number of the dead copper who's buried up in that farm in Lancashire (the one with the weathervane that she's been seeing all season, and that was on the TV report in her hospital room in 3.01)...aka Gene Hunt. Gene was a 19-year-old PC in 1953 when he surprised a burglar in a barn on Coronation Day, and was shot through the head. His will was so strong that he didn't pass over, he created a Purgatory for coppers with issues like himself and remade himself into its guardian the badass Gene Genie, Manc Lion, head-bashing sheriff, like John Wayne or Gary Cooper. His job is to help the coppers that end up in his realm work through their issues, then help them cross over, only he forgets every single time what's really going on.
- Sam figured out what was going on and, together with Gene, faked his death so Gene wouldn't question why he was gone.
- Meanwhile, everyone including Alex is already dead. Alex died in her hospital room in the present day/reality. Shaz was a copper during the 1990s who surprised a carjacker and was stabbed to death with Chekhov's Screwdriver. Chris followed his superior officer into a shootout in the 1960s and was shot in the line of duty. Ray committed suicide on Coronation Day as well, after murdering a young kid and his DCI covered it up. Each of them are made to rewatch the circumstances of their deaths by Keats, who, by the way, is the Devil himself or at the very least, a high-ranking minion. Keats tries, and almost succeeds, in tempting the team away from Gene, actually breaking the world (destroying CID) to peel back the construct and reveal the star-covered sky everyone's been seeing. Alex's loyalty to Gene still holds, and she reforms the office.
- The final scene is Gene taking the team to what is revealed to be the Railway Arms pub, where Nelson, the bartender from Life On Mars, is waiting as a Saint Peter figure to help them cross over. Ray, Chris, and Shaz reconcile and cross over. Alex and Gene finally kiss, but it's goodbye, and she crosses over, leaving Gene to go back to CID where the newest dead copper comes barging in, shouting about his iPhone, and Gene offers him some friendly advice "a word in your shell-like, pal".
- Law & Order just ended with the episode "Rubber Room" in which it's another school shooting...except it's a sacked teacher who snaps and plots the rampage.
- Then again, for something that was originally meant to be a Season Finale, the final scene, with all the detectives and D.A.'s gathered in the same spot, enjoying a round of drinks, and having a pleasant time (rather than reflecting on the crime) brings a nice close to the series. Especially since this episode was a rare (for the series) straight, unironic example of Everybody Lives.
- The Golden Girls wrapped up its 7th and final season with one. Blanche, having set Dorothy up with her uncle Lucas in order to go on a date that night, is gotten back at when the two decide to fake an engagement to freak her out. However, Dorothy and Lucas actually fall in love, and then marry in the final episode. The last moments of the episode are that of Dorothy, giving the girls her last goodbyes, and, after returning twice immediately after walking out the door, finally sets off on her honeymoon. The last three girls simply come together into a hug, sobbing as the credits roll.
- The Stargate Verse have a very interesting relationship with this trope.
- Stargate SG-1 is notable for not having a grand finale, forcing the creators to come up with two additional straight-to-video movies to wrap up the main storylines: the Ori invasion and Ba'al. The finale itself involved a Reset Button, after which the team went on to business as usual. ...Indeed!
- SG-1 actually had a grand finale in season 8, with the two-parter "Moebius." It went so far to actually show how Ra had been chased out of Earth (so far only alluded at), and featured him as the villain. Then the show got renewed for two other seasons.
- Interestingly enough, the real grand finale (and probably the best candidate in the series) came before this season-ending two parter, with the three-part story of "Reckoning" and "Threads" that brought about the fall of the Goa'uld, Replicators and Anubis all in one fell swoop. "Threads" even had to be extra-long in order to clean up all the plot threads, and ends with everybody fishing at Jack's pond.
- Stargate Atlantis, on the other hand, had a little more of a grand finale with climatic battles between Tau'ri forces and a super-Hive ship. Interestingly, they only manage to destroy the enemy by using the same method used to kill Ra in the original film (see Armageddon for a detailed description of why this works). Still, the Wraith are far from being defeated, and there is a good chance this can happen again.
- Stargate Universe has a bizarre somewhat grand finale. Much like the series, all the characters aboard the ship are put into suspended animation with the exception of Eli. The symbolism alone qualifies it as a Tear Jerker ending.
- Robin Hood had a sort-of one of these, wherein most of the main characters die, including Robin. They also blew up Nottingham Castle.
- Bizarrely, it wasn't actually meant to be the grand finale at all, but merely the set-up for the next season. Then the show got cancelled.
- "Changing Nature" from Dinosaurs. The episode has Earl Sinclair accidentally setting off a chain of events that will destroy the world and as a consequence, all the dinosaurs in the show die out, including the Sinclair family. The last thing we actually see before the dinosaurs go extinct is news anchor Howard Handupme telling the viewers "This is Howard Handupme, signing off for the very last time. Goodnight...and goodbye..."
- Dark Oracle's finale episode, "Redemption" killed off the Big Bad and former villain Omen, featured Big Bad Wannabe Vern's Heel-Face Turn and wiped the comic, the source of all the show's problems, from existence.
- 3-2-1 Contact: Island week.
- Quantum Leap ends with God Himself telling Sam that he has always been the master of his own fate and that, contrary to what he believed, Sam has done a lot of good by helping people throughout history one at a time. The lives he touched, touched others, and those, others. Realizing something of his own value, Sam gives up a chance to go back and saves his friend Al's marriage to Beth (Al's first wife and true love). The ending consists of a few text lines confirming that Al and Beth have their Happily Ever After and Sam Beckett never returned home.
- Smallville has the fittingly titled "Finale". Clark finally flies for the first time and finally becomes the hero he's destined to be.
- Newhart: "The Last Newhart," one of the most memorable sitcom finales among fans and critics. A Japanese tycoon purchases the entire (unnamed) Vermont town instead of the Stratford Inn, which series protagonists Dick and Joanna Loudon co-owned. After everyone goes their separate ways, the action picks up five years later, where Dick has progressively gotten more frustrated with his life as he deals with crazier loons than what populated the inn years earlier, and his wife has even gotten nuts; he's also unable to get over a golf course being built around the inn without his permission. Then, the old folks — handyman George Uttley, Larry (along with his brother Darryl ... and his other brother, Darryl), and the vain Stephanie and Michael Harris with their daughter (a vain clone of her yuppie parents) — all come back and drive Dick to the brink of a nervous breakdown. The Darryls speak for the only time in the series' history ("QUIET!!!" to shut their annoying girlfriends up). Eventually, Dick snaps when he is unable to bring order to the inn, and is making good on his vow to leave the Stratford Inn when he is knocked unconscious by a wayward golf ball. The screen goes black ... and when a light comes back on, the scene shifts to Dr. Robert Hartley's bedroom from The Bob Newhart Show, and his wife Emily (Suzanne Pleshette in a cameo of her famous role). The whole series of Newhart, it seems, was but a (bad) dream that Bob had one night.
- The original Concentration ended its 14-year/7 month run on NBC daytime with an apropos puzzle to its fans ("You've Been More Than Kind"). Musicians Milton Kaye and Tony Columbia strike up "Auld Lang Syne" during the closing credits.
- "Chuck Versus the Goodbye" wrapped up the final arc of the season with Team Bartowksi embarking on their (fourth) last mission to stop the latest Big Bad, recover the Intersect and help Sarah recover her lost memories, all while running on the usual Rule of Cool with a healthy dose of Continuity Porn. The episode is littered with call backs to the pilot and the return of old characters, locations and Running Gags, culimating in Jeffster performing at a concert hall to delay a bomb from killing General Beckman while newly re-Intersected Chuck disarms it with the Irene Demoana virus.
- Once the last adventure is over, there are a lot of little character resolutions: Casey leaves Burbank to find Verbanski and leaves his apartment to Morgan and Alex, who are moving in together; Jeff and Lester are offered a record contract and leave the Buy More; Ellie and Awesome get new jobs in Chicago and move there with Clara; Subway takes over the Buy More; and as Sarah's memories slowly return, she start falling in love with Chuck all over again.
- Punky Brewster ended its four-season run (2 on NBC, 2 in syndication) with her dog Brandon getting married to a girl golden retriever named Brenda. The final shot is a photo of the cast during the ceremony as the show's logo is superimposed on the bottom right.
- How about The Mary Tyler Moore Show? Under new management, the crew—except for Ted—is given their marching orders. Their final goodbyes was most memorable.
- Desperate Housewives had a bittersweet grand finale, featuring major changes in the lives of all the main characters: Mrs. McCluskey saves Bree by falsely confessing to the murder she is on trial for and later dies of cancer. Bree marries her lawyer, Trip Weston, moves to Kentucky, and becomes a politician. Lynette accepts the CEO position that Katherine offers her in her company, moves to New York with Tom, and later becomes a grandmother of six. Gabrielle starts her own fashion website and TV show, and moves to California with Carlos, where they buy a mansion. And Susan moves away with Julie, MJ, and her new grandchild as the ghosts of Wisteria Lane watch her leave. However, Mary Alice informs us that the women never again get together as a group.
- Merlin pulls no punches when it comes to their Grand Finale. The prophecy that was first introduced way back in series 1 - that Mordred would one day kill Arthur - finally comes to pass, with Mordred defecting to Morgana's side and the two of them waging war on Camelot. Merlin powers up in the Crystal Cave and kills Morgana. Arthur is killed by Mordred, kills him in turn, dies in Merlin's arms and is taken to Avalon. Guinevere becomes the sole ruler of Camelot by her husband's edict, with Gaius and the remaining knights swearing their loyalty to her. Gwaine is killed in battle. Finally, Merlin is seen in a Distant Finale scene in modern times, still awaiting the return of the Once and Future King.
- Leverage episode "The Long Goodbye Job" is filled with call backs to their pilot episode "The Nigerian Job". The team go for a "black book", a record that has the names of all the rich and powerful who ruined the world economy. Nate proposes to Sophie and they leave the team to be run by Parker. And the Adventure Continues.
- Wizards of Waverly Place ends with Alex becoming the family wizard. Professor Crumbs retires and passes on full wizardry power to Justin, who becomes the Headmaster of WizTech. Max inherits the family business.
- House ends with the titular character pulling off an elaborate scheme to fake his own death so he can be with Wilson during his last months to live, even though it means he can never practice medicine again. The series ends with both friends riding motorcycles off into the sunset.
- Breaking Bad ends with Walt executing a well-laid plan one step at a time to ultimately get everything he could hope for at this point money for his children, freedom for Skyler and Jesse, a proper burial for Hank and Gomez, vengeance on those who have wronged him - before dying on his own terms.
- Queen's '''The Show Must Go On! is clearly this for Freddie Mercury. He wrote it while dying of AIDS, poring everything he was into it, and recorded the main vocals in one take after taking a shot of vodka mere days before his death.
- Dream Theater's Epic Rocking song "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" (a 42-minute-long song), ends with a section called "Losing Time / Grand Finale".
- Rush's "2112" last section is called "Grand Finale".
- Orbital's Blue Album concludes with the epic "One Perfect Sunrise", which was also supposed to be the swan song for the band, but they later got back together.
- Abbey Road was probably intended to be this for The Beatles, being their final recorded album, closing out with a big medley of short songs, including a song titled "The End". However, circumstances led to Let It Be being the band's final album.
- The song that ends Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, "A Day In The Life," concludes with all four of the Beatles striking the piano in a final chord that runs 45 seconds. Music critic Greil Marcus called it "an ending that will never be matched."
- The Smashing Pumpkins played their final show (at least before they reformed) in 2000 at the same venue they played their first gig at. The concert featured songs from all of their albums, and even Billy Corgan's dad showed up on stage.
- "MTV Unplugged in New York" could be seen as this for Nirvana.
- The Last Waltz by The Band.
Mythology and Religion
- Ragnarok. The world is consumed, everything burns, every living creature dies, game over, insert coin. Someone does. note
- The Book of Revelation is this for The Bible and could be for reality as we know it according to some. The book ends with all the evil thrown away to the lake of fire and the good people live with God with the last passage is "The grace of Lord Jesus be with God's people. Amen."
- In a rare move for an 80's kids show, Fraggle Rock got a series finale. To be more accurate, it was kind of a three-part finale with 1.) Junior Gorg becoming king, then renouncing his title when he realizes everyone is doing okay ruling themselves (three guesses as to who taught him), 2.) the main characters all learn about the interconnectedness between all the species (Fraggle, Doozer, Gorg, Trash Heap, and the Human World) that Jim Henson had envisioned the show to be and, most importantly, 3.) Doc (the main/only human character) finally sees the Fraggles. The finale does all this while also being as touching and entertaining.
- The last episode (The Raymond Nostril Story) of the second-to-last series of Im Sorry Ill Read That Again was one of these (the very last series aired three years later, so presumably it was Un-Cancelled). It had reappearances of almost all the recurring characters, catchphrases, running gags, and most importantly, announced the end for Radio Prune. Towards the end, the performers ask to sing their beloved signature Angus Prune Tune "happily and cheerfully" as they always have. They're allowed, and perform a slow, sad, sobbing version punctuated by tearful cries and shouts. David reads the credits, tearing up, as the others punctuate it with nostalgic sighs at the names mentioned. Finally, David asks John to utter those magic sign-off words, with the others protesting as they couldn't possibly handle the impact...and then John says, manically cheerful, "It's I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, again!" and they sing the Angus Prune Tune as joyfully as ever as the episode closes.
- Grand Theft Auto III. Word Of God says that represents the grand finale of all adaptations of the GTA III Era. This was a sequel set since 1986 (from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City) and finally ending in 2001 with GTA III.
- Metal Gear Solid 4 serves as the ultimate conclusion of over ten years of Metal Gear lore (twenty if one counts the early MSX2 games as well). While there has been at least two new games in the series released since MGS4 (the former being a prequel and the latter being a sequel), and a two-parter that is also a prequel, taking place after Peace Walker but before the MSX Metal Gear game.
- Despite a long-shot Sequel Hook in the bonus ending, Halo 3 neatly
finishes the fight wraps up the plot of the entire game series. Or, as claimed by ex-employees of Bungie who joined Infinity Ward, Master Chief is the Troubleshooter from Marathon with the AI being the corrupted version of Cortana (Durandal in Marathon) However, they are still making spin-offs and have made a Halo 4.
- Much of the Final Fantasy series, to one degree or another. Notable because many of these games' endings retain their grandeur even after advancing technology would seem to make their endings less impressive. Final Fantasy VI's half-hour-long sprite animation ending can still enrapture and move the player just as much as the fantastic full CG finales of games that came four to seven titles after it.
- Thief 3: Deadly Shadows served this purpose with regards to the series' plot, with a conclusive ending that brings Garrett's story full circle.
- While ending his career as a professional criminal, it's probably the beginning of a whole new career spent in the shadows (Garrett doesn't seem the type to stick to administrative work longer than he has to). Good both for creators of fan missions, and possibly for the sequel in the works.
- Ultima IX brings a conclusive end to the saga of the Avatar, incorporating plot elements and characters from all the previous games in the series and concluding the long standing struggle between the Avatar and the Guardian.
- Phantasy Star IV brought an epic and conclusive end to the saga of the Algol star system, wrapping up all the plot threads and unanswered questions brought up in the previous 3 games. Stories set in the same universe and based on the exodus colony ships would continue to crop up in the Phantasy Star Online series, though.
- Wizardry 8 wraps up the plot of the Wizardry series (although only games 6-8 had an actual continuous plot) and ends with the option of having your characters ascend into godhood.
- Quest For Glory V featured appearances from characters from all 4 previous games, and brought the series' story to a conclusive end. In fact, the game was almost never made (much like the intended Grand Finale Space Quest 7), and the developers deliberately staged it as their Grand Finale knowing it would be the last game they would make under their name.
- Although the game still allows the trademark option of letting you save your character for future use. Either they were giving players one last dose of hopeful nostalgia, or they weren't completely ruling out the possibility of a sequel.
- Though there are sure to be other games and media produced later, Resident Evil 5 certainly feels like a Grand Finale. Series Big Bad Albert Wesker has finally abandoned all subtlety and now harbors delusions of godhood, and is ready to unleash a biological threat of global proportions as opposed to one isolated to a mansion or a city. At this point in the timeline, Umbrella is all but gone. And at the climax, the game defies Joker Immunity; Chris Redfield, his new partner Sheva, and his old partner Jill Valentine finally end Wesker's madness with a couple of well aimed rocket propelled grenades. While Wesker's waist deep in a lava pit. The ending is different this time as well: there are no mysterious phone calls, no stingers, no hints that Wesker might still be alive. Only the relieved looks on the heroes' faces as they realize that their struggles against the threat posed by Umbrella and Wesker is finally over. Series producer Masachika Kawata even said that the inevitable Resident Evil 6 will "have to reinvent the series with another full model change or else it won't be able to keep on going."
- All things considered, Resident Evil 6 might be the last game, as it has appearances from several high profile figures from previous games, and they already have knowledge to beat zombies, just there is a new virus. Though there will be several spin offs and merchandise available
- Mega Man Zero 4, technically the first in the entire series. The fascist government that the heroes are fighting against is finally destroyed although not without heavy casualties. The Big Bad is now in a desperate Kill 'em All mindset, setting his Kill Sat on a literal crash course towards the last chance of healing a dying world. The Hero succeeds in stopping the Big Bad once and for all, although he sacrificed himself in the process. Due to the actions of The Hero, the humans have started to believe in Reploids once more, and true peace has finally surfaced after hundreds of years of war.
- Legacy of Kain: Defiance brings Raziel and Kain's destiny full circle with Raziel's Heroic Sacrifice. After being an Unwitting Pawn to nearly everyone in the series, Raziel finally chooses his own destiny and willingly merges with the Soul Reaver and renews his loyalty to Kain. Other plot threads are resolved as well. Moebius The Dragon to the true Big Bad of the series, the Elder God, and the time traveling villain responsible for Kain becoming a vampire in the first place, is rendered Deader than Dead in the most final way possible when his soul is devoured by the Elder God. And the Elder God himself is finally defeated by Kain wielding the fully empowered Soul Reaver. The last scene implies that Kain has finally accepted his destiny and responsibilities as the Scion of Balance as well.
- The good endings of the Sorrow games mark the conclusion of the battle between Dracula and the Belmont clan. In the first, Soma Cruz manages to defeat the evil of Castlevania that sought to turn him into Dracula again. In the second, he refuses the mantle once again despite being told that the Balance Of Good And Evil demands that he become the King of Evil. So even if the universe truly needs a Big Bad, it won't be Dracula again. To keep the franchise from dying, all subsequent games take place before the Sorrow series. Though those games also break the pattern by featuring non-Belmont protagonists who don't specialize in whips (Jonathan being a borderline example since he uses a variety of weapons).
- And right before the Sorrow series, the Dracula saga ends with a bang in 1999, as Julius Belmont killed him off for good. Hopefully, they'll get along to making that final battle into a game eventual-oh, wait, they're rebooting the series with Lords Of Shadow, aren't they? Damn it, Hideo Kojima.
- Mother 3 was the finale to the Mother series. Itoi has even said himself that was not making any more Mother games, he'd prefer playing them. (That didn't stop fans from making their own Mother 4.)
- Mass Effect 3 ends Shepard's storyline and involve the war between the sentient species of the galaxy and the Reapers. Towards the end of the game, Shepard is faced with three choices - Control the Reapers; merge organics & synthetics; or destroy the Reapers (And every other synthetic being). In the game's Extended Cut, a fourth choice is added, refusing the other three options... And dooming every species fighting the Reapers to extinction, with the species of the next cycle defeating the Reapers 50,000 years later.
- The Citadel DLC, the final downloadable story mission, is a send-off for the entire cast of characters filled with continuity nods, shipper jokes and self-deprecation. It wraps up with cameos for everyone you've kept alive and a shore leave party in a fancy apartment.
- Case 3-5 of the Ace Attorney series is notably longer than most others, wraps up all unanswered plot threads, brings back multiple characters that were Put on a Bus just in time for the finale, and features unusual and awesome sections such as playing as Edgeworth for a while and Phoenix teaming up with Franziska for an investigation.
- Throne of Bhaal wraps up the Bhaalspawn saga in a truly epic manner.
- Since pulling the cord on the series, Warriors of Rock was this to Guitar Hero. Rush's own Grand Finale is even playable.
- Mortal Kombat Armageddon was the Grand Finale for the original Mortal Kombat canon. It gathered every single playable character up to that point, and set them all in a gigantic battle intended to prevent the apocalypse. As Mortal Kombat 9 shows, it ends up being a Downer Ending, as everyone aside from Shao Kahn and Shinnok was killed in the battle.
- Similar to Halo 3, Gears of War 3 ends on a very epic note and gives a final conclusion to the game universe's central conflict. One of the most major characters dies in a Heroic Sacrifice, most of the plot threads are resolved, and the Big Bad is finally killed. However, a few questions regarding the backstory and the truth behind the causes of the war are Left Hanging.
- Modern Warfare 3 neatly wraps up every loose plot thread from the previous Modern Warfare games. World War 3 is brought to a conclusive end, the last of the world's 3 Big Bads is finally killed, and every single major character except Price ends up dying.
- In a unique example, Fallout: New Vegas gives a grand finale to it's DLC. Dead Money, Honest Hearts, and Old World Blues hinted that the events were set in motion due to the actions of the Sixth Courier, Ulysses. And this isn't the first time he is mentioned, in fact, he's been mentioned several times in the vanilla game. All of this build up leads to Lonesome Road. Not only do you get to confront him, but the DLC itself also resolves plot holes from the main storyline of the game.
- The Sacrifice DLC for Left 4 Dead wraps up the story and struggle for survival for the survivors. The group reaches Georgia and plan to use a boat to sail to the Florida Keys for safety away from the zombies, but a drawbridge is in the way and it needs to be raised by activating three generators. Each generator that is turned on attracts a horde and then a Tank. Once the bridge is down, it can be raised high enough to let the boat through. However, the bridge stops halfway and one survivor has to jump off the bridge and restart the stalled generator to get the bridge moving again while they face against a horde plus three Tanks. The survivor then winds up sacrificing their life after they fix the generator and get the other survivors to safety.
- The Passing in Left 4 Dead 2 reveals that the canon death in The Sacrifice was Bill's.
- The Impossible Quiz Book: Chapter 3. Starts off normal, but quickly decays into a muddled space-time mess, with questions becoming engulfed in lava towards the end. In the final question, the player must choose to wipe the Impossible Quiz from history in order to save the space-time continuum, which leads to a montage of characters, images, and questions from all the games in the series being sucked into space-time. The game ends on a gray screen with the text "ERROR 404: "The Impossible Quiz.swf" could not be found."
- Narbonic ended its original run with a final episode that showed several possible futures for the main characters. This was one of only two Sunday episodes that were canon (the very first Sunday was the other).
- Subverted by Eight Bit Theater, to the extent that many fans were unaware that it had ended until Brian Clevenger made a news post a month after the final strip.
- Bob and George concluded with a full-scale battle against Bob. Bob and George themselves get some final Character Development too, culminating with George finally having the will to use his blaster. The Author shows up one last time to wrap up the comic, the final revelation being that everybody faked their deaths in the Cataclysm thanks to Zero telling Dr. Wily about it, so they all lived Happily Ever After.
- Girly ended with a sufficiently grand finale, featuring at least a cameo from everyone. You'd think Chris was trying to get every single character into the last page of his comic.
- It's Walky! had a truly spectacular epic finale, wrapping up everything, with every villain so far crashing into each other on SEMME's doorstep, including the long-foreshadowed martian invasion.
- Homestuck hasn't ended quite yet, BUT the author is going to post everything. All. At. Once. Might I remind you this is the comic that crashed GOOGLE FOR 10 MINUTES just from a EOA? It's gonna be BIG.
- The 24th chapter of Broken Saints (aptly titled "Truth") features the climactic confrontation between our heroes and the Magnificent Bastard behind the Myth Arc, complete with an Ethereal Choir, Just Between You and Me (justified), several Heroic Sacrifices, lots and lots of religious symbolism, and a good Tear Jerker here and there.
- KateModern ended with a 12 part finale, "The Last Work", which resolved most of the show's plotlines surprisingly neatly.
- Red vs. Blue: Revelation's final episode definitely feels like a grand finale, although a ninth season has been confirmed. In any case, it was the grand finale of the Recollections arc, just as much as episode 100 was for the Blood Gulch Chronicles.
- And now Season 10's ending is undoubtedly the end of the series, as it not only has a credits roll, it also advertises a new series made by Rooster Teeth and Monty Oum coming out in 2013.
- Doubt ahead! Jossed by everyone in the company, going on record to say that if people are still watching it (which they are) there will be no end in sight to Red vs Blue. Season 10, however, IS the confirmed finale to the Project Freelancer saga.
- The Webcam Ward ended on October 30th 2010 with a short riff on Chris-chan.
- The Chaos Timeline has a really Grand Finale: Nothing less than a World War Three which is prevented, and the world being taken over by the Logos (hackers) and AIs.
- Walrus Guy ended his Youtube Poop career with "One More Final: I Need You(tube Poop)".
- Cracked TV had Clippy attempt to take over the show while Michael Swaim tried to list "The 39 Most Astounding Celebrity Reinventions". Soon, Swaim aborts the list and went to erase Clippy's memory, at the cost of his own. He was then rebooted, complete with a new outfit. He finally pulls a switch and the show ends with a teaser for his next series, Does Not Compute.
- Avatar The Last Airbender had possibly the grandest of grand finales: a four episode/two hour movie special that had been built up to for three seasons. With the exception of the ultimate fate of Zuko's mother (which is a major focus of The Search), most plot threads were tied up neatly, and it finally put a definitive end to the Shipping Wars for the primary pairings (or at least what's canon) with a Big Damn Kiss as the final shot of the series.
- The finale of X-Men: Evolution was a two parter, the very last episode entirely a global fight with many small characters coming back to help, it had foreshadowing, and the final moments showed a future with conflicts and situations similar to the comic universe.
- Kim Possible's So The Drama was a rare example — when it was written. After the fact, the series was uncanceled and given a Post Script Season. Then it got a second Grand Finale, that ended the High School-based series in the most final way possible — a two-parter entitled "Graduation".
- The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh got "Winnie The Pooh & Christmas Too". By this point, Paul Winchell had retired from the role of Tigger (until Pooh's Grand Adventure), and they got him to come back for this last episode, and a very heartwarming one it is.
- Justice League Unlimited is another exception to the rule, with a grand, two-part finale — the second part of which was a colossal battle pitting the Justice League and the Secret Society against Darkseid and his armies in an Enemy Mine scenario — a battle that not only spanned the entire world, but also the entire length of the final episode.
- Interestingly, this was the show's third Grand Finale: The writers had believed that Justice League was to be canceled after the second season, and therefore ended it with a three-part episode involving an alien invasion, a traitor in the League's ranks, and shattering a romance that had been built up throughout the series... among other things. Then the show was renewed and re-tooled as Justice League Unlimited. It was believed that it was to be canceled again in its second (or fourth depending on how you look at it) season, and thus a four-part episode was created to end things with a bang, followed by a lower-key episode that served as a coda for the DCAU. It was then renewed for a second and final time, eventually resulting in the two-parter mentioned above.
- In an interview, the writers remarked that they wrote every season finale with something that could work as a Grand Finale, since in the business they had little guarantee of getting another season.
- Staying in the DCAU, Superman: The Animated Series had the excellent episode "Legacy", in which Superman is brainwashed by Darkseid and set upon Earth.
- The Animated Adaptation of Jumanji had a finale, at a time when such was extremely rare for kids' shows. Unfortunately, it's a Clip Show in which we sit through boring Stock Footage until we finally see Alan's first trip into Jumanji, including the clue that he never got to see. Once they solve it, the three leave the World of Jumanji for good. As Peter says at the end: "Game over."
- The American animated series based on Street Fighter had a definite ending. The last story arc of Cammy being brainwashed by M. Bison ended after Cammy came to her senses and freed her comrades, culminating in a final battle between Guile and Bison (Guile was made the main character of the cartoon instead of Ryu, the franchise's usual lead character). Guile finished Bison off once and for all by, bizarrely, blasting him into a computer, at which point his powers cause it to overload and the wires and insides of it seemingly begin to eat him alive, before the computer then explodes. There is then the obligatory walking into the sunset of the five characters present, although there is no get-together with all the other characters or any other sense of closure. All that is known is that Bison, their eternal enemy, is definitely dead once and for all.
- Surprisingly, Camp Lazlo ends with one of these. As appropriate to the tone and style of the series, it's not so much flashy as spectacularly weirder than anything that's happened previously — and this is a series where an episode revolves around one character getting stuck up another's nose. It still qualifies as definitively and permanently changing the core axioms on which the show depends, though.
- Scoutmaster Lumpus turned out to NOT be the camp's scoutmaster. Samson, the Butt Monkey of the series said it best: "I think it just got to the point where things can't possibly get any weirder."
- The final episode of Animaniacs originally aired as an hour-length program titled The Animaniacs Super Special. Among the segments included was a seven-minute music video titled "The Animaniacs Suite", featuring an orchestral medley of the show's theme music pieces synced to various clips from previous episodes. However, there were some indications, especially in the credits gag, that the staff didn't expect the show to end there. Wakko's Wish ultimately served as more of a Grand Finale, as it defies the series' Status Quo Is God and actually gives most of the characters' stories endings.
- The segment included in said "Super Special" was a lengthy one entitled "Star Warners," and despite originally airing as an Animaniacs episode is treated as the final one for Pinky and the Brain, thus making it the Grand Finale to that as well.
- Danny Phantom, "Phantom Planet": After some humiliation competing against a new ghostbuster team, Danny decides to remove his powers and retire. However, the world is imperiled and needs Danny again. With great difficulty, Danny regains his powers and succeeds in saving the world. As a result, Danny is honored throughout the world while he and Sam hook up for good in his new and busy life, while Vlad is (seemingly) killed by a meteor.
- Transformers: Beast Wars ends with a final confrontation between Megatron and Optimus Primal on an ancient and massive warship in a battle for the fate of the timeline itself.
- Beast Machines had its own Grand Finale, changing Cybertron in a way that inspired controversy and death threats.
- Transformers Animated managed to wrap up nearly all the remaining plot threads in "Endgame". Megatron makes his final assault and is thwarted by the combined efforts of the Autobots, and we finally get the Optimus Prime/Megatron beatdown we've been waiting three seasons to see. The fact that Optimus returns to Cybertron with the Magnus Hammer and what appears to be the Matrix also indicates that he might become the next Magnus. And, Prowl and Starscream both die. And Blackarachnia and Waspinator are both left for dead in an unknown jungle. And Thundercracker, Skywarp, Slipstream, Soundwave, Laserbeak, Lockdown, Team Chaar, and the Constructicons are all probably still at large.
- Transformers Cybertron had a nice wrap-up too. The Unicron Singularity destroyed, Galvatron slain, and Cybertron more beautiful than ever before. The Space Bridge Project is begun again, and many adventures through the credits montage, ending in Coby and Lori's wedding.
- The Emperor's New School had a Grand Finale that ended with Kuzco becoming Emperor and getting an actual date date with Malina.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy ends with a Drama Bomb Finale movie, where Eddy's big brother appears, the kids actually fight back against Eddy's brother when they realize that he's been pushing him around ever since they were kids (and that most of the torment he put him through most likely led to his sleazy personality), and the kids finally accepts the Eds as friends.
- In the meantime, the regular series finale was pretty damn satisfying. It too, defies Status Quo Is God — Eddy stands up for Edd against the Kanker Sisters after Edd has a particularly bad day ("HE'S HAD ENOUGH ALREADY!!!"). Moreover, the Sisters actually decide that maybe it's best they leave for the moment. Eddy then hands Ed and Edd hot dogs, and asks them — albeit in a very nasty tone of voice — "There, is everyone happy? Good!" Sure, maybe they didn't actually accomplish anything, and Edd and Eddy are both bruised beyond belief, but you get the feeling that they finally got to end on a happy note and maybe realized they don't have to be the Cosmic Playthings forever.
- King of the Hill averts a flashy Grand Finale, but in the last episode "To Sirloin With Love," Hank and Bobby find a common ground (grilling beef) and finally start bonding like father and son, while Dale gives Nancy a massage that's better than John Redcorn's and viewers finally find out what Boomhauer does for a living: he's a member of the Texas Rangers. The original last episode was supposed to be in season 10 with Luanne marrying Lucky and everyone from past seasons coming to the wedding, but the show got picked up for two more seasons.
- As well Boomhauer's mysterious first name was revealed to be Jeff.
- Lilo & Stitch: The Series got a Grand Finale in the movie Leroy & Stitch, where all the experiments are recovered, Gantu does a Heel-Face Turn against Dr. Hamsterville, whose Joker Immunity wears off, and all the experiments in the series are listed by name in the credits.
- The actual last episode before Leroy and Stitch also counts, as it involves Lilo and Stitch recovering the experiments stolen from Gantu, who was planning to reconvert them to evil using Angel.
- The animated Conan The Adventurer which was vastly underrated, had an awesome Grand Finale. It was actually the first show that built up a plot and had the heroes defeat their ultimate Big Bad. And restore Conan's family back to normal after Wrath-Amon turned them to stone.
- Jackie Chan Adventures had a spectacular one: Drago, the Big Bad of the final season, manages to absorb the powers of the Demon Sorcerers (his aunts and uncles) and transforms into a truly monstrous form more than capable of easily defeating everything the heroes can throw at him. He then proceeds to have his Quirky Miniboss Squad destroy Section 13 while he prepares to bring about The End of the World as We Know It. This leaves the heroes with no choice but to join forces with Drago's father (and overall series Big Bad) Shendu, who doesn't like the idea of Drago messing around with "his" world. They have a rather epic fight scene, which only ends when the heroes manage to banish them both to the demon world for good, along with the Plot Coupons that started the series in the first place.
- Men in Black: The Series had a cool one, in which the MIB is finally forced to reveal themselves to the world while thwarting a full-on alien invasion and entering a Final Battle with Big Bad Alpha.
- And yet they still somehow managed to find a Reset Button big enough and red enough to show that as far as they are concerned Status Quo Is God. This was probably due to Men in Black II.
- Static Shock had one in the episode "Power Outage" where most bang babies became powerless and both of Static's top bad guys merging together before being finally defeated (though Static and Gear suspect they aren't gone for good.)
- Turtles Forever acts as the grand finale for the second TMNT cartoon, as the turtles, (and the turtles, and the turtles) have what is most definitively their final battle with The Shredder in order to save every existing TMNT universe.
- It may or may not have been intentional, but with the sale of TMNT to Nickelodeon, Turtles Forever winds up being the Grand Finale of the entire Mirage-owned TMNT franchise.
- The Sponge Bob Squarepants Movie is the Grand Finale for the show as a whole, no matter how many more episodes are made.
- Though a sequel to the movie is being made, making that movie the new Grand Finale. Hopefully.
- The Replacements had a Grand Finale where Conrad Fleem's face is finally revealed, and it's revealed that he's Todd and Riley's uncle.
- Adventures of the Gummi Bears had "King Igthorn", which ended with Igthorn losing his castle and army of ogres, Gummi Glen is destroyed, or at least severely damaged, and the Great Gummis are confirmed to return.
- Futurama had at least three Series Fauxnales ("The Devil's Hands Are Idle Playthings," the made-for-DVD movie "Into the Wild Green Yonder," the non-canon episode "Reincarnation," and "Overclockwise," which purposely left the fate of Fry and Leela's relationship hanging, though it's implied that they will be together) before finally coming to an end with the season seven episode "Meanwhile"note
- Ben 10 had Secret of the Omnitrix, a 3-part episode/TV movie that had Ben learning more about the Omnitrix, meeting its creator, ending his feud with his cousin Gwen at last, and defeating Vilgax. The end, right? WRONG.
- Though interestingly for the original (as in before the movie aired) there were actually two that rounded off the series. You got the two parter, "Ben 10 vs The Negative 10", which sees Ben, Gwen and Max going up against a few of his past enemies culminating in a battle on Mt. Rushmore against the Forever Knights king. And "Goodbye and Good Riddance" which has Ben tangling one more time with Vilgax and his father discovering his super hero identity. The thing is though, the former was considered canon in the series while the latter was presented as an "What If?" story yet was the final episode of the show. Weird.
- Ben 10: Alien Force's "The Final Battle" resulted in the Omnitrix being completely destroyed, Ben getting the Ultimatrix from his Evil Twin, Kevin turning back to normal as a result of the Omnitrix exploding, Ben unlocking upgraded forms of his initial aliens (though it just shows Ultimate Swampfire), Vilgax being defeated one more, and it ends with Ben, Gwen, Kevin, and Max having a Group Hug. Happily Ever After, right? Again, WRONG.
- Ben 10: Ultimate Alien's "The Ultimate Enemy" ties up the loose ends with Diagon and the Lucubras resulting with Ben using Ultimate Way Big, Sir George getting killed, the majority of the population being turned into Flamekeeper's Circle soldiers, Vilgax absorbing Diagon's power, Ben defeating Vilgax with George's sword therefore having the Ultimatrix's power combined with Diagon's AND the sword's, turning all the FKC soldiers to normal, Ben getting kissed by Julie on the lips for the first time, Azmuth cutting the Ultimatrix off, and Ben getting what is called the real Omnitrix. This ends with Ben, Gwen, Kevin, and Julie being in a group hug. The end, right? Once more, YOU ARE WRONG!
- Dexters Laboratory had two before it got Uncancelled. The nominal end of the series was "Last But Not Beast" which involved Dexter revealing his lab to his parents so they can help him fight a giant monster. It's a bit of an aversion, since he erased all of their memories of the entire battle after it was won. The second one was The Movie Ego Trip, which concluded the rivalry between Dexter and Mandark in the distant future. What followed after that is better left ignored.
- Although Loonatics Unleashed was Cut Short, it did end with the Five-Man Band ascending from protectors of Acmetropolis to protectors of the universe, and relocated their base to Planet Blanc for convenience.
- In the American Dragon Jake Long final episode "Hong Kong Longs", Jake's father finally finds about Jake and Haley being dragons, Jake meets Rose again, Rose remembers Jake and her former life after Jake changed the timeline so she never became a dragon hunter, and together they defeat the Dark Dragon, the most powerful villain of the series. Although there was a plan for a third season, it's a satisfactory conclusion.
- Chowder Grows Up. What better way to wrap up a weird series than with a weird ending. And a Time Skip one no less.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series ends with Spider-Man saving the Multiverse and hanging out with a live-action Stan Lee. The producer had some ideas about where to go next (finding Mary Jane, etc.) but acknowledged, "You really can't top that".
- The three-part Gargoyles episode "Hunter's Moon" was effectively this for the show; while technically only the second season finale, neither Word Of God nor most of the fanbase considers season three canon, while "Hunter's Moon" was epic in scope, brought the story full circle, had lots of callbacks to eariler episodes, and culminated in thwarting Demona's master plan. The release of a shortlived but canon comic continuation somewhat muddies the waters.
- The final story arc in Trollz had the BFFL sealing Simon and Snarf away for 1,000 years, reaffirming their friendship, and ending with a Farewell Luau.
- The final of Xiaolin Showdown is a two-parter about Omi freezing himself using the Orb of Tornami and waking up in far future to discover that while he was gone Jack Spicer has conquered the world and defeated not only the other Xiaolin monks in the process, but also recurring villains Wuya, Chase Young, and Hannibal Roy Bean as well. After Omi frees his comrades he tries to acquire the Sands Of Time - Wu allowing to travel back in time- which he does, but at the cost of his friends' lives. He then goes back in time to realize his original goal - preventing Chase Young from ever turning to The Dark Side. However, by doing that he creates another timeline, in which Chase is good...but Master Monk Guan has took his place at Heylin and become even worse than original Chase ever was, which resulted in bad guys taking over the world, death of Master Fung and Jack being turned into a good person. Omi, figuring out his counterpart from this reality would be doing the same thing he tried to do leads the Monks to the place he originaly has frozen himself...which now is in the middle of enemy base. Heroes got themselves captured and Chase sacrifices himself to evil to get them free. This results in a big final battle and Omi creating a time paradox that resets everything to the original status quo...only with everyone remembering what happened. Raymundo, because of proving himself to be a competent leader in both alternate timelines gets promoted to team leader. And the episode ends with Kimiko kissing Raymundo, and every single villain the monks have ever faced joining forces to attack the temple for some reason, as our heroes get ready to beat them all up. Whew.
- The finale of DuckTales has Scrooge McDuck getting possession of the Golden Goose...a magical artifact that can turn anything it touches to gold. The problem is, it eventually, it becomes sentient, and starts acting on its own, going after anything and anyone, turning them to gold. Then, things get even worse, when the goose starts The Golden Death... a massive, spreading wave that will eventually turn the entire planet to gold, and everyone on it. Scrooge has to return the goose to the temple it was stolen from, before he looses everything he holds dear due to his greed. Thankfully, he manages to make it at the very last second, and save the planet.
- Totally Spies!: "Totally Dunzo" (outside the US, where the series ended with the fourth season finale, or maybe not).
- Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade. Also a Book Ends ending.
- Outside Japan, "The Rebirth" was the grand finale for Transformers Generation 1.
- The Batman ends with the full Justice League coming together to save the world from the same alien threat that attacked the Earth when the League first began to form back in the previous season finale, and Batman's most dangerous and intelligent enemy, Dr. Hugo Strange, becoming completely lobotomized from absorbing all knowledge of the universe.
- Batman The Brave And The Bold's last episode said "if we're going down, we're taking the fourth wall with us". The plot was actually driven by the fact that it was the last episode. Bat-Mite, bored with the show after 65 episodes, decides to make the show Jump the Shark in hopes of chasing off viewers and getting it canceled, to make way for a new, Darker and Edgier take on the Dark Knight. Ambush Bug fights valiantly to keep the show from losing viewers, and ultimately fails — but then explains to Bat-Mite that the Darker and Edgier show Bat-Mite wants has no place for a silly character like Bat-Mite, and thus he just wrote himself out of existence. The show ends on a wrap party in the Batcave, as every hero and villain that appeared on the show mingles and stagehands haul away parts of the "set", while a hopelessly-confused-about-what's-real-and-what's-not Batman promises the viewers that he'll keep fighting for justice, no matter what happens.
- Timon & Pumbaa had a series finale called "Cliphangers" consisting of Timon and Pumbaa trying to catch a bug off a cliff, but then they fall, nearly facing their deaths, while clips play of their previous adventures. Luckily, Pumbaa pulls out an umbrella and the two land safely.
- The Powerpuff Girls "rock opera" episode "See Me, Feel Me, Gnomey" has been widely thought to be the series' grand finale, even though it was a season five episode (and has never been screened in the U.S.). The last original first-run episode screened was "What's The Big Idea?".
- The 10th Anniversary special, The Powerpuff Girls Rule, becomes the actually aired finale, and fits the trope nicely as Mojo actually achieves his goal of taking over the world...and making it a better play much to the surprise of everyone. However he gets bored of peace and goes right back to causing mayhem, which in turn forces the girls to resume their hero duties.
- The final episode of Danger Mouse, "The Intergalactic 147" ends like a grand finale. The plot had aliens engaged in a space-wide snooker game and to win they had to pocket earth into the black hole Alpha Omega. DM wastes no time in getting the whole world to take a giant leap to the right and tilt Earth long enough for the aliens' cueball to miss. It ends with a wide shot of London having been cleaned off by the aliens (for the cueball to hit), the narrator's tangent fading off, majestic music and a slow fade out.
- The last episode of Popples was about them going to the zoo.
- Fosters Home For Imaginary Friends ends with the home believing Mac is moving away, so they try to make it his best day yet. Bloo however can't get time with him and ends up confronting him about it. This reveals that he isn't moving to another town, just another apartment. The one previously owned by Cheese's creator, who moves to a place that doesn't allow imaginary friends. Guess who becomes the newest resident at Foster's.
- Some fans believe that the final episode of Rockos Modern Life is supposed to be "Put Out to Pasture/Future Schlock" (the first segment features Rocko and gang reminiscent on how they met Heffer, while the other takes place 17 years in the future, when Rocko and Heffer disappear in an experimental rocket). However, Nickelodeon aired it as a next-to-last episode, with the final one airing being the Thanksgiving Episode. But it wouldn't be a stretch to say that it was actually made earlier, only to be held off so it can air near the holiday.
- A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner! is the last episode of The Fairly OddParents chronologically. It even retconned the ending of "Channel Chasers".
- Because the series was cancelled before a second season went into production, the Good Vibes episode "Red Tuxedo" counts as the series finale, and it ended with Gina ditching Turk for Mondo.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes officially ends with "Avengers Assemble," which pits the Avengers, the New Avengers, the Fantastic Four, some SHIELD agents, the Heroes For Hire, and some of Red Skull's former minions against the planet-devouring Galactus and his Heralds.
- Word Of God states that had the show continued for a third season, it would have ended by resolving the Surter plot that began in the early second season and bring in other high level magical enemies such as Dormammu.
- The Courage the Cowardly Dog episodes "Remembrance of Courage Past" and "Perfect" resolve Courage's inner turmoils and set several problems straight.
- Daria has "Boxing Daria", in which Daria's parents assure her that they still love her in spite of being The Snark Knight. After this, the Made-for-TV Movie Is It College Yet? shows Daria and her classmates graduating high school, reinforcing faithful relationships, and ending troubled romances. Daria's sister Quinn also gets a job, and helps disband the school's Fashion Club.
- Drawn Together has The Movie titled The Drawn Together Movie: The Movie! as the grand finale.
- Although it has not yet been released to the market, it is believed that the grand finale of The Ren & Stimpy Show is a full-length episode titled "Life Sucks", and has not yet been released.
- Beavis And Butthead had the episode "Going Down". The episode could be seen as the grand finale, and that have not been redone new episodes and ended with this latter.
- Before this, it was the episode "Beavis And Butthead Are Dead", in which Butthead tells the school he and Beavis are dead when they call about attendance. As their school mourns them, they show up at the school and take a small jar of money they were collecting for charity from Principal McVicker, who ends up having a nervous breakdown (or a heart attack, it's hard to tell).
- CatDog had The Movie titled "The Great Parent Mystery" as the grand finale. In spite of this, it still had a few episodes after it, including a brief revival in 2004.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated ends with the episode "Come Undone", where the gang finds Nibiru sealed in his crystal sarcophagus and Professor Pericles frees him. The two of them merge and go One-Winged Angel, destroying Crystal Cove and devouring its inhabitants, threatening to do so to the rest of the universe if not stopped, but Scooby musters the courage to destroy Nibiru by throwing the Heart of the Jaguar into the sarcophagus, which not only destroys Nibiru but also makes it so that he never existed in the first place, so all the casualties caused by him are reversed and everyone in Crystal Cove is leading a better life than they did in the original timeline since they were never affected by his influence. With no more mysteries to solve in Crystal Cove, the gang gets a CD from a timeline-hopping professor inviting them to a semester at his school where there are mysteries for them to solve.
- The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police ended with the creators fully aware that the show would not be renewed for a second season. They proceed to gather all of the villains from the first season, and showed off a clip show and a series of flashbacks of new scenes and ends with the characters fully aware that their show will most likely be cancelled after it.
- Codename: Kids Next Door's "Operation: I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S." which medium blends live action and it's usual animation as the now grown up Sector V (sans Numbuh One) are interviewed about their final mission with their leader. It turns out to be a ploy by Father to find out Nigel's whereabouts so he can pay him back for stealing his pipe. Though this turns out to be a plan by Sector V to get rid of him once and for all. What's more Nigel is revealed to have returned to Earth from his intergalactic mission.