[[quoteright:251:[[Webcomic/PennyArcade http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/happy.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:251:You just know this won't end "happily"]]

->'''Josh''': I loved them so much...\\
'''Alex''': You loved who? \\
'''Josh''': The girls of Madam Camae's Phillipino Palace... \\
'''Alex''': You've been spending our rent money on Phillipino hookers? \\
'''Josh''': They're not hookers, they're massage therapists. \\
'''Mover #2''': Yeah, she'll massage your cock for money. \\
'''Mover #1''': There's a word for that, I think it's hooker. \\
'''Josh''': YOU'RE A HOOKER!
-->-- ''Grandma's Boy''

Massages are good fodder for comedy, because the near-intimate touching is uncomfortable or can create [[RagingStiffie an uncomfortable situation]].

However, sometimes this "uncomfortable situation" is exactly what the customer is looking for. Beyond that, in fact, the customer is paying for sexual acts under the guise of getting a massage. When this happens, the customer will almost always be male, and the masseuse will almost always be an [[AsianHookerStereotype Asian female]].

TruthInTelevision; many massage parlors, especially Asian massage parlors, have been discovered to be fronts for prostitution or offer prostitution services on the side. Sadly, human trafficking tends to be involved. This is why "massage parlor" is sometimes used as a euphemism for a brothel.

The best way for an honest citizen who really needs a massage to get one without the sex getting in the way, by the way, is to look for a registered massage therapist rather than some random parlor. If you just go to some random place, it's probably going to be one of these; they're surprisingly common. If you ''do'' wander in to the wrong type, keep in mind that there is nothing wrong with just saying, "No, thank you" to whatever is on offer.


[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The titular character from ''ComicBook/DarkReign: Mister Negative'' is a crimelord, who among many other criminal businesses owns a brothel masked as massage parlor. In one scene inside it we see a guest that just asks for "happy ending" - seconds later both he and girl are killed by a supervillain working for TheHood, who had just declared a gang war on Negative.
* A fully consensual example happened in the ''SheHulk'' graphic novel, where Jen gets one from her current boyfriend Wyatt Wingfoot at the end. It was only implied that a "happy ending" would occur; if it did, given the Hell they both went through during the story, it might have also counted as GladToBeAliveSex.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/TheLifeAndTimesOfAWinningPony'': Rarity ''inadvertently'' sets up one of these for Cloud Kicker when arranging a spa trip for her as an apology for tricking her into [[BadlyBatteredBabysitter foalsitting the Cutie Mark Crusaders]]. Rarity had no clue she had set up ''this'' kind of massage until Cloud Kicker told her. For the record, the twins only agreed to it because it was Rarity their most loyal, long-term customer (who had saved the world three times, to boot) asking.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' parody "The Voyorgy Conspiracy", this is one of the routine tasks of the Emergency Medical Hologram, with a spoof of the Doc/Janeway massage scene in "Scientific Method".

* ''[[KolchakTheNightStalker The Night Stalker]]'' (1972). Kolchak is investigating the murders of several women, including a masseuse/prostitute. He goes the massage parlor to interview one of the girls, and ends up being arrested when the woman (actually an undercover vice cop) thinks he's asking for one of these.
* In ''Full Frontal'', Gus (played by Creator/DavidDuchovny) asks for a happy ending to his massage - and wonders if he can wear a plastic bag on his head while doing it. The masseuse refuses but blames herself later [[spoiler: when he's found asphyxiated in his room]]. And this is all played for laughs.
* Isaac in ''Film/FinalDestination 5'' tries to get one of these when he goes to an Asian massage parlor in town, using a ticket he [[{{Jerkass}} stole from the desk of a deceased colleague]], and despite the fact that the receptionist points out that [[AsianHookerStereotype their place isn't a brothel]].
* In ''Film/WarInc'', Yonica heavily implies that she has given these before.

* Red Grant's masseuse in ''Literature/FromRussiaWithLove'' doesn't go out of her ''way'' to do this with her clients, per se, but... it apparently turns out that way a lot. Grant stands out in that (among other things) he doesn't [[{{Asexuality}} react at all]].
* At one point in ''Literature/ADirtyJob'', the main character had too much "sexual energy". Even though he ended up at a massage parlour, he didn't ask for a "happy ending" but instead later went to an "official" hooker. This led to trouble[[spoiler:, as the girl he chose turned out to be a crazy incarnation of Death]]. Even the cop who saved him said that he should have just chosen the happy ending.
* In Irvine Welsh' ''Literature/{{Porno}}'', this is the way college student Nikki Fuller-Smith makes good money: she knows she's not great at the job, but she's a much more conventional beauty than her colleagues and some customers ask for her based on looks alone. Arguably, [[HighClassCallGirl it gets worse]].
* Played with in a ''very'' disturbing way in Creator/TennesseeWilliams' short story "Desire and the Black Masseur": the client finds himself getting a sexual charge from when the masseur hits him too hard. It escalates to broken bones [[spoiler: and eventually cannibalism]].
* Mass murderer Kevin Olmstead in ''Literature/AlexCross'' novel ''Cross My Heart'' targets parlors that offers these.
* Inverted in the German novel ''Gottes Bodenpersonal - eine unwahrscheinliche Liebesgeschichte'': The protagonist has to promise his lover that it will ''not'' be one of ''those'' to get him to accept a massage.[[RapeAsBackstory They are emotionally very close, but sex is a problem.]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''TwoAndAHalfMen''. Charlie turned Alan's chiropractic office into a place for these after filling in for ''one day''.
* In an episode of ''SexAndTheCity'', Samantha goes to a masseur precisely because he's supposed to do this. When he doesn't, she takes matters into her own hands (literally!), eventually leading to the man being fired.
* Spike's ''{{Manswers}}'' gives advice on how to get such a massage. (They do, however, add a [[DontTryThisAtHome disclaimer]] that this could be prosecuted as prostitution depending on where you live.)
* The ShowWithinAShow ''Studio60OnTheSunsetStrip'' had an ad for an (Asian, female) psychological therapist with the tagline "Doesn't everyone deserve a happy ending?"
* Brenda from ''SixFeetUnder'' was a chiatsu masseuse, and one of her male customers got a RagingStiffie during the massage. She gave him a happy ending out of curiosity.
** Inversely, she threw out a pushy customer who came to the appointment expecting a "happy ending."
* ''Series/RumpoleOfTheBailey'': Rumpole's client in "Rumpole and the Judge's Elbow" was accused of running an establishment that provides these. One of the other main characters (Mr. Justice Sir Guthrie Featherstone, a stiff-necked, somewhat conservative type[[note]]He can't have been ''that'' conservative, however, given his deeply disturbing discovery of disco during a fling with a clerk in 1978-79, and the fact that he was a [[UsefulNotes/BritishPoliticalSystem Labour and then Social Democratic Party MP]] before becoming a judge[[/note]]) [[spoiler:''thinks'' that he]] has been going to that parlour for actual massages, not realizing what was going on. He finds himself presiding over Rumpole's client's trial, and of course recusing himself would be incredibly embarrassing (effectively admitting that he had attended a house of ill repute if the accused were convicted), so he spends much of the trial siding with the defense, to Rumpole's delight and confusion. [[spoiler:As it turns out, he was going to a totally legitimate parlour with an almost-identical name; good for him, as the accused was found guilty.]]
* ''{{Entourage}}'' does this a few times, with the characters fully aware of the expected result, referring to it as a "rub and tug"
* There's an episode of ''MalcolmInTheMiddle'' that references this.
* Dr. Kelso from ''{{Scrubs}}'' took Turk to one of these once. Turk got a crick in his neck and had to watch Dr. Kelso receive his Happy Ending. YIKES.
** Once? It is implied that he's getting them on a regular basis off camera.
--> "My name is Bob Kelso and I like whores."
* ''TheLeagueOfGentlemen'' featured a man who started a massage parlor (with a [[AttractiveBentGender [supposedly] hot blonde woman]] as a front to improve business) and learned that all of his customers expected these. Still, a customer is a customer...
* Phoebe from ''{{Friends}}'' worked in a real massage parlour. Her idiot brother thought it was the other kind. [[HilarityEnsues Awkwardness ensues]]. Though she did once bite the arse of a guy she fancied, which implied that she'd be happy to do it for the right customer.
* They tried to bust one of these in ''{{Reno 911}}''. The Masseuse gave him a very painful and entirely non-sexual massage, and he determined that this place in not a HappyEndingMassage. After he left, we find out that it is.
* Twelve-year-old Shane on ''{{Weeds}}'' gets in trouble at school for claiming that his uncle Andy bought him a HappyEnding at an Asian massage parlor. He is, in fact, being truthful.
* Carlos ''accidentally'' gives one of these while working as a masseur (his job while he was blind) on ''DesperateHousewives''.
* In the ''{{Series/Supernatural}}'' episode "[[Recap/SupernaturalS03E06RedSkyAtMorning Red Sky At Morning]]", Dean mentions having a HappyEndingMassage because, in his opinion, the supernatural object that he and Sam are looking for, a HandOfGlory[[note]]A hanged murderer's severed, preserved hand which is used as a macabre candelabra[[/note]], sounds like a euphemism for one.
* In one episode of ''Series/LasVegas'', the staff struggle to find a tactful way to explain to the Montecito spa's new masseur that he is not supposed to be providing Happy Endings.
* In ''Series/TheFreshPrinceOfBelAir'' Will takes Uncle Phil to a massage parlour so he can get relief for a back injury, unaware of the "special extras" they offer. The police break in just as the masseuses are about to give them their (well, not so much Uncle Phil's) Happy Ending.
* In an episode of ''Series/CurbYourEnthusiasm'' Larry accepts a happy ending from a masseuse without knowing what that means.
* In the short-lived series ''In Case of Emergency'' Kelly Hu's character works at one of these parlors.
* In an episode of ''Series/BarneyMiller'' Fish goes to a massage parlor which had just recently been busted for prostitution. His wife is justifiably worried, but he really did just go for a massage.
* On of George's coworkers on ''{{Seinfeld}}'' was on his way to get a massage. George winks at him in front of his wife, causing her to suspect this trope. In reality, George had grapefruit pulp in his eye and winked accidentally.
* ''Horribly'' subverted in OneThousandWaysToDie. An American tourist in Thailand goes to a massage parlor to get one of these... and ends up stung to death by [[BeeAfraid a bunch of Asian Hornets]].
* The premise of LifetimeMovieOfTheWeek-turned-series ''The Client List'' starring Creator/JenniferLoveHewitt revolves around the protagonist specializing in this for money to take care of her child. Complications ensue.
* In the ''Series/{{Graceland}}'' episode "Happy Endings", the criminals who stole Agent Badillo's car are using it to rob a Happy Ending Massage Parlor because employees and patrons of an illegal business are both likely to have cash and unlikely to call the police.

[[folder:Stand Up Comedy]]
* RonWhite has a skit where he talks about how an upscale hotel's services are top-notch even for his dog. The concierge for dogs even offers a relaxing massage for his animal, to which Ron White says he replied "he's going to want a happy ending."
* Creator/GabrielIglesias encountered one of these.
-->'''Lady''': Hey, you! You, come inside!
-->'''Gabriel''': No, no thanks--
-->'''Lady''': No, really, you ''come'' inside!
-->'''Gabriel''': ''[suddenly interested]'' Felipe, you hear that?
-->'''Felipe''': Fool, I'm inside!
* DanielTosh has turned these into something of a running gag; Japanese chiropractors, little old ladies, "pleasure coaches," chickens...
* Rodney Carrington on massages:
-->'''Rodney:''' "I donít understand the whole concept of a massage. You get a woman to rub all over every single part of your body except the one part you really want rubbed on. And it's not like she didn't know what part I was talking about. I kept pointing at it and clearing my throat."
* Creator/CraigFerguson has a bit on this in one of his standups. He says that every time a man goes to get a massage, he knows it's not going to be a HappyEndingMassage... but in the back of his head, he always thinks it might turn into one. He logically knows it won't. But it miiiiiight.


[[folder:Video Games]]
* In Laharl's cameo in the ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'' spinoff, ''VideoGame/PrinnyCanIReallyBeTheHero'', Etna seems to reference this when she says Laharl is going to massage her ''SO hard'' when they get home or she might teach him some ''new tricks''. It doesn't help that Laharl is a Prinny in the cameo.
** She makes a Prinny massage her in the Drama CD as well. If you don't know what is going on it sounds just like what you would think it would sound like.
* In each of the Game Boy Color remakes of ''VideoGame/DragonQuestI'' and ''VideoGame/DragonQuestII'', the hero has an [[OptionalSexualEncounter opportunity]] to get a "puff puff massage" from a flirtatious young woman.
* The second SaintsRow game has an activity where the player has to save their favorite massage parlor from going out of business. How do they do this? By delivering truckloads of sex workers to the place that the Boss rescues from abusive pimps working for the rival gangs.
* Wei from SleepingDogs is heavily implied to get these whenever he visits certain massage parlors dotted across the map. With enough leveling he even gets a "special bonus" every time he buys one.

* ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'': [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/11/19/ The Jubilant Culmination]] references this, as seen in the page image.
* [[MsFanservice Katharin]]'s "Services" in ''TwoKinds''.
* Referenced in ''{{Spinnerette}}'', [[CatGirl Katt's]] massages [[SubvertedTrope aren't this]] but she is offended by people thinking about it.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' ends with Raven getting one from a bunch of aliens. Three inch tall HiveMind aliens. One of the more pleasant endings, but no "happy ending". [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar Not that it didn't sound like it...]]
* Parodied in a ''RobotChicken'' sketch where the customer tries to decline the "happy ending" and ends up being chased all over town by his [[ImplacableMan overenthusiastic masseuse]]. Even snapping an officer's neck. It turns out [[spoiler: the "happy ending" was actually a free egg roll.]]
* Posey from ''MissionHill'' becomes a massage therapist; all her customers become angry on finding out that she's not a prostitute, and a local pimp even comes after her for infringing on his territory. Her ad accidentally said " Healing Release" instead of "Healing Relief".
* ''{{Sealab 2021}}'': when the other Debbie went on vacation, she insisted on getting one of these.
* In ''KingOfTheHill'', Dale's wife cheats on him with John Redcorn, all under the guise of a massage treatment to help with her headaches. It is later revealed that John really does have a legitimate massage office, but it's strongly implied that his therapy works as a sort of foreplay.
* This quote from Otto the bus driver on ''TheSimpsons:'' "Man. I guess this story had a happy ending after all. Just like my last massage."

* Needless to say, this is a common trope in pornography, with more examples and variations than we really want on this page.
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdWYXwjJhAU This]] YouTube video. Don't worry. It's Safe for work.
* This can frequently happen in RealLife during real massages, as the sensation of hands rubbing against your body, even if it's for therapeutic purposes, can produce a physiological response. Most decent men know perfectly well that "it's not that kind of a massage," and any massage therapist worth their salt will know that the human body reacts in certain ways to certain stimuli in a way that is completely involuntary and be understanding in the above situation.