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[[quoteright:350:[[Disney/RobinHood http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/happily-ever-after_disney-robin-hood_7769.jpg]]]]

->'''Willy Wonka:''' But, Charlie, don't forget what happened to the man who suddenly got everything he ever wanted.\\
'''Charlie:''' What happened?\\
'''Willy Wonka:''' He lived happily ever after.
-->-- ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory''

So, we've had a whole love story. The main couple have passed through all the possible obstacles separating them: physical distance, a LoveTriangle, a properly jealous villain (AlphaBitch, maybe), maybe even the BigBad (common in epic fairy tales). Now, they are {{kissing|Tropes}} each other [[AgainstTheSettingSun at sunset]] as the very well-known words are narrated:

"''And they lived happily ever after...''"

[[{{Sequelitis}} Normally]], that's the end.[[note]]Note that this is an English trope. German fairy tales usually end with "Und wenn sie nicht gestorben sind, dann leben sie noch heute" - "and if they haven't died yet, they're still living today". French end with "ils se marièrent et eurent beaucoup d'enfants" -- "They married [[BabiesEverAfter and had many children]]", which is seen as an invitation for parodists. Russian tales involving romance actually account for death, apparently ending with, "And they lived their lives happily and died in one day," meaning that when they ''did'' [[DiedHappilyEverAfter eventually die]], [[TogetherInDeath they died together]], and didn't have to live without each other. Hungarian takes it even further with "Boldogan éltek, amíg meg nem haltak" - "They lived happily until they died", with no implication of togetherness.[[/note]]

However, this ending is so classic it's sometimes considered a DiscreditedTrope, or even an UndeadHorseTrope. It is often a subject to [[SatireParodyPastiche parody]], and is frequently avoided in favor of a TwistEnding.

Despite being one of TheOldestOnesInTheBook, this trope is still used more frequently than you'd think. Many audiences simply ''want'' a HappyEnding because it makes them feel good. [[TrueArtIsAngsty True art may be angsty]], but AngstAversion is also a fact of life. Everyone has their own favorite spot on the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism, and the Happily Ever After ending is meant to appeal to those who prefer the more idealistic side of things.

The original source of the Happily Ever After endings, the FairyTale, often dealt with the end of the evil characters, with great finality and with more details than the hero and heroine's happiness. The WickedStepmother arrives at Literature/SnowWhite's wedding, whereupon she is forced to put on red-hot iron shoes and dance until she dies, and this is an utterly typical fairy tale ending.

Interestingly enough, this is something of a DeadUnicornTrope, as many of the older fairy tales had endings that provided AnAesop, however [[FamilyUnfriendlyAesop unfriendly]].

See also TrueLovesKiss, DiedHappilyEverAfter, BabiesEverAfter, DancePartyEnding, TheGoodGuysAlwaysWin. Contrast DownerEnding and BittersweetEnding, the cruellest examples of which make us ''think'' they're going to be a case of this trope before [[CruelTwistEnding yanking the rug out from under the audience]]. Compare MaybeEverAfter, which leaves open the possibility of a happily ever after ending, but doesn't make it a certain conclusion, and EarnYourHappyEnding, in which the characters only live Happily Ever After if they're prepared to put some effort into it. In more modern works, even a straight Happily Ever After can have the rug pulled out from under it in the sequel, in which we catch up with PrinceCharming and his princess and find that they're [[DowntimeDowngrade getting on each other's nerves]] and [[{{Sequelitis}} have to fall in love all over again]].

'''As this ''is'' an ending trope, unmarked spoilers abound.'''

Not to be confused with the [[WesternAnimation/HappilyEverAfter animated Filmation feature]]. Or [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqIL78NEHAw a certain song]] [[Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann from a certain mecha show.]] Or even a [[WesternAnimation/HappilyEverAfterFairyTalesForEveryChild series of multicultural fairy tales]] that aired on {{Creator/HBO}}.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/CardcaptorSakura'': In spite of the intentional {{Cliffhanger}} as Sakura jumps across the wide gap between her and Syaoran, it is already clear that the couple (and possibly the other characters, too) get to live happily after the story. The PowerOfFriendship and the PowerOfLove prevail! One of the very few anime shows that actually have true happy endings.
* The eventual end of VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry had everyone (including the main villain) survive. Shame it took a thousand years to accomplish.
* ''Manga/InuYasha'' ends with [[BetaCouple Miroku and Sango]] HappilyMarried with BabiesEverAfter, and [[OfficialCouple Kagome and Inuyasha]] reunited after 3 years of separation, [[TrappedInThePast this time more permanently.]]
* In ''LightNovel/MaoyuuMaouYuusha'' The Hero, the Demon Queen and Lady Knight decide to retire in the end of the Light Novel series, seeing that the many people they came in contact with has absorbed and taken after their ideals, the trio leave together to travel to some faraway and quiet place.
* ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'': Most of the surviving heroes marry and have children. [[TheHero Naruto]], in particular, marries [[OneTrueLove Hinata]] after they finally became a couple in ''Anime/TheLastNarutoTheMovie'', has two children with her (one of whom [[Manga/{{Boruto}} headlines a sequel series]]), and finally achieves his dream of becoming Hokage.
* One of the most surreal versions of this trope happens in an episode of ''Anime/{{Pokemon}}''. James trades his [[ManEatingPlant overly-affectionate]] Victreebell to the Magikarp Salesman for a supposedly more-obedient Weepinbell, and gives it to Jessie. It spontaneously evolves into another Victreebell, and becomes just as affectionate. [[ShooTheDog They ditch the new one entirely]]. At the same time, the Magikarp Salesman abandons James's Victreebell. The two Victreebell run into each other, and [[LoveAtFirstSight fall madly in love]], bouncing off into the sunset together.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* One guard in Fanfic/TwilightSparklesAwesomeAdventure, after delivering [[ShootTheMessenger Queen Celesia]] BadNewsInAGoodWay and surviving, is stated to live happily [[RougeAnglesOfSatin even]] after.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Pretty much everything Creator/{{Disney}} does. Except ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'' and ''Disney/TheFoxAndTheHound''. And the ending of the [[Literature/TheFoxAndTheHound original novel of the latter]] was [[DownerEnding even worse]]!
* Every Creator/DonBluth movie too. In fact, Bluth has gone on record to say that as long as the story ends Happily Ever After, then kids can handle whatever dark and depressing stuff happens beforehand (and in Bluth's earlier movies, happen it does.)
* ''WesternAnimation/WallE'': Played straight as the love-struck robots kiss at the end while the humans rediscover their humanity. The epilogue shows human civilization advancing back to full glory.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Rio}}'', as per tradition of most of the known western animated films.
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/TheLastUnicorn''.
-->'''Prince Lir:''' ...A happy ending cannot come in the middle of the story.\\
'''Molly Grue:''' But what if there isn't a happy ending?\\
'''Schmendrick:''' [[{{Deconstruction}} There are no happy endings,]] [[TropesAreNotBad because]] [[NoEnding nothing ends.]]
%%* ''WesternAnimation/QuestForCamelot'' ends in this way.
* ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}} Shrek 2]]'' puts somewhat of a spin on this. Shrek willingly drinks a potion so that he and Fiona can live their happily ever after in beautiful human forms. To make it permanent, the pair must kiss at midnight. Fiona's decision?
-->'''Fiona:''' I want what every princess wants, to live happily ever after... (''Shrek moves in to kiss her, but Fiona stops him'') ...''with the '''ogre''' I married''.
* WesternAnimation/HappilyNeverAfter obviously revolves around this trope with the main villain changing all the Fairy Tale happy endings to bad ones.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/OurMissBrooks'', [[TheMovie the cinematic]] [[GrandFinale grand finale]] of the series of the same name, Miss Brooks and Mr. Boynton finally marry.
* Just about every Adam Sandler movie has this. Even if the film doesn't end with him "getting the girl," it will at least end with some kind of happily-ever-after epilogue (case in point: Film/BigDaddy).
* ''Film/BackToTheFuture'' both subverts and plays this straight. We can assume Marty's parents lived "happily ever after" once Marty altered their meetup in 1955... if only Doc's time machine would quit getting in the way.
* The film adaptation of ''Film/{{Stardust}}'' seemed to be headed to a "happily ever after" ending, but the ending turned out to be even happier, as the lead couple get transformed into stars when they reach old age, enabling them to truly live "happily ever after" (or at least for several billion more years).
** This is actually a DoubleSubversion: the narrator notes that "no man can live forever . . . except he who possesses the heart of a star. And Yvaine had given hers to Tristan completely."
* ''Film/{{Enchanted}}'': naturally, the PowerOfLove prevails over the modern world.
* The ''Film/HighSchoolMusical'' trilogy: Most of the gang get into the colleges they wanted to go to, Troy escapes from the pressure he's under in Albuquerque, and he and Gabriella go to schools near each other so they can stay together.
* Inverted in ''Film/ThePalmBeachStory'' by opening the film with a wedding. Reconstructed by showing how the marriage goes awry but the couple finding back together by the end.

* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' novels often [[{{Deconstruction}} deconstruct]] this rather fiercely.
** Especially ''Discworld/WitchesAbroad''. While many end happily, it's the "ever after" part that doesn't hold up past the start of the next book.
** ''Discworld/TheAmazingMauriceAndHisEducatedRodents'' in particular points out the exact point where another story would declare that everyone lived happily ever after, before abandoning it and showing the effort that is needed to make something like that work. In some ways, [[EarnYourHappyEnding this ending is actually more satisfying]].
* Subverted in ''Literature/ThePrincessBride'': the narrator's father said that the characters "lived happily ever after," but when the narrator gets around to reading the book himself as an adult, he finds out that it's actually an open ending with the success of the escape [[LeftHanging left in doubt]]. The movie adaptation, however, plays this trope straight.
* Happens in the epilogue of the final ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' book: while three of the [[spoiler:surviving]] Animorphs go off into space to save SixthRanger Ax and ultimately face down a BolivianArmyEnding, Cassie gets to stay behind on Earth and enjoy the peaceful new life she's made for herself.
* Subverted in ''Literature/{{Atonement}}'', in which the narrator Briony, who pulled an IShouldWriteABookAboutThis, says she wanted to give her sister and her lover a happy ending, but [[spoiler:in reality both are dead.]]
* Subverted in ''Literature/{{Candide}}''. The title character has reunited with his love and Pangloss goes on another diatribe about how this is the best of all possible worlds. Only the girl is sunburned, leathery, and peevish from outdoor labor and, with all the tragedy Candide gamely suffers throughout the story, he politely tells Pangloss to shove it. On the other hand, the point of the book is that "If this is not the best of all possible worlds, it is at least not the worst", and Candide manages to find ''some'' satisfaction in his new life. "We must all tend our garden."
* Most ''Literature/{{Xanth}}'' books end like this, at least for the major protagonists, though even people who've had their happy endings sometimes get into an adventure again, usually because of an unrelated problem.
* ''Exaggerated'' in Creator/TomHolt's ''Literature/FlyingDutch''. Happily Ever After really ''means'' something when the elixir of life is a major plot point.
* ''Franchise/TheDarkTower'' plays with the phrase: [[spoiler: when Susannah enters the door in front of the Dark Tower and finds herself in another alternate version of New York City, she meets alternate version of Eddie and Jake, and in this universe they apparently are brothers and they already know her. It's stated that "Will I tell you that these three lived happily ever after? I will not, for no one ever does. But there was happiness. And they did live."]]
* At the ending of ''Literature/TheEyesOfTheDragon'' there is a similar statement: "Did they all live happily ever after? They did not. No one ever does, in spite of what the stories may say. They had their good days, as you do, and they had their bad days, and you know about those. They had their victories, as you do, and they had their defeats, and you know about those, too. There were times when they felt ashamed of themselves, knowing that they had not done their best, and there were times when they knew they had stood where their God had meant them to stand. All I'm trying to say is that they lived as well as they could, each and every one of them; some lived longer than others, but all lived well, and bravely."
* ''Literature/{{Twilight}}'': the last line of the last book is ""And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever." 'nuff said.
** ''Breaking Dawn'' ends with all of vampire Bella's problems solved as she heads home to have sex with her eternally young and attractive husband. And despite several "battles" throughout the four books, all of the main characters survived.
** The final chapter is actually ''titled'' "The Happily Ever After".
* Parodied in Kim Harrison's "The Hollows" series, in which the saying is revealed to be a translation error. It was apparently meant to say, "and they lived happily ''in the ever-after.''"
* ''Literature/DaddyLongLegs'' and its sequel give the impression that the heroine of each book will be thus rewarded; indeed, the sequel verifies that the original heroine has as close to a purely happy ending as a girl can possibly get in 1910's New York.
* ''Literature/TheHobbit'' notes, shortly before the end, that Bilbo "remained very happy to the end of his days, and those were extraordinarily long." In a ContinuityNod in ''Literature/TheLordOfTheRings'', Bilbo mentions that he'd decided on using a similar phrase ("he lived happily ever afterwards to the end of his days") as the ending of his book. "But where will they live," Sam wonders under his breath [[spoiler: in his case and Bilbo and Frodo's Eressëa - at least for a while.]]
** When Tolkien rolled up his sleeves to begin the "Hobbit sequel" his publishers had asked for, he invented Frodo because he realized, after a few false starts, it couldn't be a story about Bilbo because he'd said that.
* ''Literature/TheLastBattle'':
---> "'The term is over: the holidays have begun. The dream is ended: this is the morning.' And as He spoke He no longer looked to them like a lion; but the things that began to happen after that were so great and beautiful that I cannot write them. And for us this is the end of all stories, and we can most truly say they all lived happily ever after. But for them it was only the beginning of the real story. All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before."
** However some characters' stories are not resolved, and the resulting [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse unexplored]] [[DisproportionateRetribution ramifications]] put the ending well into ValuesDissonance for many.
* ''An Exercise in Futility'': [[spoiler:Emperor Kathelm doubles the size of the empire and gets over his insecurities.]]
* In Creator/TanithLee's ''Literature/TheDragonHoard'', the end states in as many words that everybody lived happily ever after. Well, almost everybody...
* In Norton Juster's ''The Dot and the Line'', after the Line learns to be more dynamic and wins the heart of the Dot, the two are said to live "happily ever after, or at least reasonably so."
* In Creator/PeterSBeagle's ''Literature/TheLastUnicorn'', Schmendrick tells Molly that "[[{{Deconstruction}} There are no happy endings,]] [[TropesAreNotBad because nothing ends.]]"
* Literature/TrappedOnDraconica: Everyone on Team Good gets one, including Gothon.
** [[spoiler: Ben reconciles with his mother, reconnects with his father (who is out of jail and turning over a new leaf) and [[MeetCute meets cute]] a reincarnated Erowin.]]
** [[spoiler: Daniar and Kalak are married with a kid on the way.]]
** [[spoiler: Rana marries Taruok and they set about rebuilding the Baalarian Empire]]
** [[spoiler: Gothon is escorted to the afterlife by his beloved wife.]]
* ''Literature/ABrothersPrice'' ends with Jerin's point of view and this slightly ambiguous sentence.
--> [[TemptingFate Surely]], the gods were merciful and loving. [[SequelHook Surely]] they smiled upon this union, and he and his wives would live happily ever after.
* Totally word-for-word in the last ever ''{{Sharpe}}'' novel. Usually, Bernard Cornwwell's afterword explaining the historical context of the plot and pointing out any deviatios from historical fact would sign off with "...some day, [[AndTheAdventureContinues Sharpe will march again]]". In the final volume, he signed off with, "Sharpe and [[TheLancer Sergeant Harper]] returned home and, so far as I know, lived happily ever after." And goodness knows [[TheGump they'd earned it by then.]]
* In ''Literature/DragonInDistress'', the end has a Happily Ever After; immediately followed up with:\\
'''Narration Qoute:'''...Or at least until Sir George fell off and broke his leg. [[spoiler: He was riding a flying dragon at the time.]]
* Creator/JaneAusten is a consistent provider or happy endings. Expect happy marriages for all, except the people you've grown to dislike, financial security, and a brief epilogue providing details of the happy couple's happy lives.
* ''Literature/ThisImmortal'':
** Conrad and Cassandra are not only reunited in the end but also build themselves a new home, complete with a dog and their own private beach on which they end the story, watching the sunset.
** This is also implied with Dos Santos and Diane, whom Conrad suspects to be a couple from the very beginning, but who give up on Returnism and move together to Taler, never to be heard of again.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* After enduring avalanches of angst and complications from life-changing injuries to divorces to deaths in the family to UnrequitedLove throughout the show's eleven-year run, ''Series/{{Frasier}}'' ends with Martin remarrying, a still-HappilyMarried Niles and Daphne having their first child, and Frasier finally, ''finally'' finding a great woman who he loves and who loves him back. It took years of catastrophes and hijinks, but it's gratifying to see the Crane men finally hit the jackpot.
* ''Series/GoodTimes'': Keith gets another shot at pro football when the Bears give him a contract, enabling him and Thelma to move to a swanky condo. Thelma is pregnant and she and Keith invite Florida to live with them. Michael moves to a dorm on campus. Willona is promoted to head buyer at the boutique and she and Penny also move to the same condo but on a different floor. JJ creates a comic book character called [=DynoWoman=] and she is modeled after Thelma. He is given a huge advance, enabling him to move out of the projects as well.
* The happy ending of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' has been a ForegoneConclusion since the first minute of the pilot episode. Yet the writers somehow -- beyond all realms of reason and imagination - managed to brutal subvert this in the finale. At best it managed a BitterSweetEnding. Played straight with the alternate ending through.
* ''Series/{{Roswell}}'' has an epilogue tacked on to the series finale, revealing that Liz and Max get married and the gang is doing well even though they are permanently on the run from the government. The last line is "All I know is that I'm Liz Parker, and I'm happy."
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'' combines this and a BitterSweetEnding. All the characters are clearly happy with their careers, spouses and families but its also the end of an era and they're, to a certain extent, parting ways.
* ''Series/{{Skins}}'': The S4 finale very strongly implies that Naomi and Emily will be this, having finally realised they're each other's One True Love.
** There's even a sign hanging in Naomi's room in S4 that says "... and they lived happily ever after."
** And then ''Skins: Fire'' happened.
* ''Series/TheSteveHarveyShow'': Steve follows Regina to her new job in California, Ced and Lovita win the lottery just as Lovita goes into labor, and Romeo, Lydia, and Bullethead graduate from high school and are accepted at college.
* In ''Series/TheTwilightZone''episode ''The Hunt'', this is implied for Hyder and Rachel--[[spoiler: They will be together forever in Heaven.]]
* In ''Series/DoctorWho,'' it's already a ForegoneConclusion that thanks to the TimeyWimeyBall which is their relationship, the Doctor and River cannot have a HappilyEverAfter. But at the end of ''[[Recap/DoctorWho2015CSTheHusbandsOfRiverSong the Husbands of River Song]],'' the Doctor takes her to the Singing Towers of Darillium, where [[spoiler: they spend 24 years together.]] As River tells him, "happy ever after" isn't about forever, it's just about spending the rest of the time you have with the one you love. The closing shot shows the words:
-->[[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming "They lived happily ever after."]]
-->[[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming "They lived happily"]]
-->[[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming "happily"]]

* The [[https://youtu.be/xqmFxgEGKH0?t=6m23s music video]] for Music/TomPetty's "Into The Great Wide Open" end on that line.

[[folder:Myths & Religion]]
* A core element in many religions (such as Christianity and Islam) is the promise of an infinitely perfect afterlife for believers. This element is not found in Judaism, which predates both of the aforementioned religions in the development of Abrahamic monotheism.

* A classic subversion is found in the play ''Theatre/TheFantasticks''. Act One concludes with a classic Happy Ending, with the fathers ending their "feud" and approving their children's romance after the boy rescues the girl from a (staged) abduction. Act ''Two'' starts as reality begins to set in.
* ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods'' has a similar setup to ''The Fantasticks'': Act One concludes with a classic Happy Ending, but then there's Act Two...
* ''Theatre/AFunnyThingHappenedOnTheWayToTheForum'' plays this as a ForegoneConclusion.
-->"No royal curse, no TrojanHorse,\\
And there's a happy ending, of course!
** Well it's a happy ending for everyone except poor Senex, who's still stuck with his shrewish wife Domina.
* Parodied in ''The Stoned Guest'' by P.D.Q. Bach. This "half-act opera" would end with a KillEmAll, except then the entire cast inexplicably rises again to sing a final chorus. It even ends on the words, "Happy ending!"
* Creator/WilliamShakespeare's comedies generally end this way, particularly ''Theatre/AMidsummerNightsDream'', ''Theatre/MuchAdoAboutNothing'', and ''Theatre/AsYouLikeIt'', which each end with two to four couples HappilyMarried. Often as not, though, there's character or two [[DidNotGetTheGirl left out in the cold]] and excluded from the world of love and marriage--see [[AmbiguouslyGay Antonio]] in ''Theatre/TheMerchantOfVenice'' and [[AmbiguouslyGay Antonio]] and [[SadClown Feste]] in ''Theatre/TwelfthNight''.
** ''Theatre/LovesLaboursLost'' also subverts the trope: everything is shaping up perfectly toward a happy ending, the four young swains have successfully wooed the four young maidens--but in the final scene the female lead gets word that her father has died, causing a palpable MoodWhiplash, and she and her friends decide to return to her kingdom,leaving their loves. It's substantially depressing, and it seems cruel that the sequel that was apparently written, ''Love's Labour's '''Found''' '', is one of Shakespeare's works to have been lost.
* ''Theatre/{{Anastasia}}'' ends with Anya reunited with her grandmother but choosing to lead an incognito life with Dmitry, and the ghosts of her family surrounding her and Dmitry as they head off to start a new life.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'' (also known as ''Tales of Symphonia: Knight of Ratatosk''), there are three possible endings. In one, the "good ending" (dubbed "the mega-happy ending" by the author of this statement) [[spoiler:Emil and Marta end up together, through a complicated series of circumstances. Emil's personality is separated from that of Ratatosk, and that personality is allowed to live his life as a human.]]
* The same applies to ''VideoGame/CaveStory''. Aside from the "good" ending, there is also a GuideDangIt "best" ending, which saves two NPC's who otherwise die, stops the island from falling, and offers redemption to the QuirkyMinibossSquad. The final cutscene shows Curly, [[spoiler: Quote]], and [[spoiler: Balrog]] flying off into the sunset, resolved to find someplace with a beautiful view to live the rest of their days.
* Played straight in one ending of ''VideoGame/TheBardsTale''. [[spoiler: It's the ''evil'' ending. The good ending requires sacrificing wealth, power, and the hottest body in the world to save the world, with [[WhatYouAreInTheDark no reward or even recognition for doing so]].]]
* You get to joke about the possibility with Liara in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' at the end of ''Lair of the Shadow Broker'' if you romanced her in the first game.
-->'''Liara:''' If this all ends tomorrow Shepard, what happens with us.
-->'''Shepard:''' [[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming I don't know. Marriage, old age, and a lot of little blue children.]]
* A [[MultipleEndings possible ending]] of ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2: Mask of the Betrayer'', in which you can end up going back home after a few more adventures and settling down with Safiya/Gann.
* At the conclusion of the ''Videogame/BaldursGate'' series, your character can earn a truly happy ending by renouncing godhood and marrying his/her LoveInterest. [[spoiler:Unless the LoveInterest happens to be Viconia -- that relationship ends on a more [[BittersweetEnding bittersweet]] note.]]
* It is not confirmed, but it is heavily implied in ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'' that [[spoiler: there was a happy ending for Lord Blumiere (Count Bleck) and Lady Timpani. At the end of the game (after the staff credits) there is a scene showing what appears to be a man and a woman on a peaceful, green hill in a bright meadow, the man wearing a hat that looks much like the one worn by Bleck. Most players assume that it's them, and that they are now living happily in a an undisclosed place.]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/MajiDeWatashiNiKoiShinasai'' invokes this in a couple of different ways. In their respective routes [[spoiler: Wanko]] is HappilyMarried, [[spoiler: Miyako]] gets BabiesEverAfter, and [[spoiler: Mayucchi]] GrowOldWithMe, to name a few examples. At the end of the Ryuuzetsuran route, the ryuuzetsuran is transplanted to the Kawakami School of Martial Arts, the family has gotten a new member and is still going strong, and even the villains are getting a [[RedemptionQuest shot at redemption]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'' ends when all the characters who were supposed to die in the Cataclysm, plus Bob and George who were supposed to go home and be miserable and die young respectively, fake their deaths, move to Acapulco, and live happily ever after.
* ''Webcomic/AxeCop'' once married [[GenderBender Girl Abraham Lincoln]] and lived Happily Ever After... until he got really bored.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Mike Nelson has inverted this trope a couple of times in his Podcast/RiffTrax of movies. One example is his Riff of ''Film/RoadHouse'' where he goes into detail during the closing credits about how all the character's lives go horribly wrong after the movie's ending.
** This happened earlier in ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'''s sporking of ''Film/SoulTaker'', where Crow and Servo refuse to accept the movie's Happily Ever After and instead offer a DownerEnding where the protagonist ends up in jail. Mike asks if they aren't being a little doom-and-gloom, and they [[SarcasmMode sarcastically]] suggest a SugarBowl ending that is literally rainbows and unicorns. Mike asks if there can't be a middle ground and they say nope, it's either prison or unicorns.
* [[MultipleEndings One ending]] of ''Literature/ThreeWorldsCollide'' makes living happily ever after ''horrifying''. Happiness is overrated.
* [[Website/{{Wrestlecrap}} RD Reynolds]] writes in his ''No Holds Barred'' [[http://www.wrestlecrap.com/classic35.html induction]] "And thus everyone lives happily ever after... Well, except for [[CorruptCorporateExecutive Brell]] and [[TheAntagonist Zeus]], since they're dead."
* [[http://wanderers-library.wikidot.com/a-loaf-story A Loaf Story]] from ''Wiki/TheWanderersLibrary'' ends with this. [[TearJerker You'll still cry.]]
* Parody artist Jon Cozart, aka WebVideo/{{Paint}}, deconstructs the happy endings of Creator/{{Disney}} films in his "After Ever After" series by imagining what might happen if they were set in [[RealityEnsues the real world]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'': After some of the darker undertones of the series, the ending is downright saccharine. Every single main character survived to the end, the entire world is free from tyranny, our heroes are well-respected and lauded for ending the Hundred-Year War, and the male and female lead become an OfficialCouple after three seasons of handwringing and denial.
* Subverted in two ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episodes, [[DroppedABridgeOnHim dropping a bridge on a character]] each time:
** "And they all lived Happily Ever After, except for Pocket who died of hepatitis B."
** "And they all lived Happily Ever After, except for Kyle who died of AIDS two weeks later."
*** [[CrowningMomentOfFunny "Goddamnit Cartman!"]]
* Kim and Ron in ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible''. The two SealedWithAKiss series [[StockSeriesFinales finales]] and the WordOfGod make this such.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'' episode "Insomiac Ren" had Stimpy reading a story to Ren.
-->'''Stimpy:''' And the last word he spoke as his head rolled across the floor was...'''''AAAAAAAAAUUUUGGGGGGHHHH!!!!!''''' [[MoodWhiplash And they all lived happily ever after.]]
** The ending of "Magical Golden Singing Cheeses" has the titular cheeses transform into [[ButterFace milk cur princesses]] and the narrator narrates:
-->'''Narrator:''' So they were forced to marry the princesses, lived happily ever after and then starved to death.
* Subverted (and parodied) by the snarky {{Narrator}} of the ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' episode "Transformation":
-->'''Narrator:''' So the happy, young girl returned home with her friends, and they all lived happily ever after. That is… until Beast Boy got the chicken pox.
* The ending of the WesternAnimation/WanderOverYonder episode, "The Hero" parodies this notion as [[BeastAndBeauty Princess Demurra and King Draykor]] get married:
-->'''Wander:''' And they lived happily ever after!
-->'''Princess Demurra:''' Well, that's the plan, but real relationships take a lot of work.
-->'''King Draykor:''' However, if we listen, communicate, and are sensitive to each other's needs --
-->'''Wander:''' Happily ever after!!
...And good endings [[TropesAreNotBad remained in style]] happily ever after.