An event that usually takes place at the Dénouement
of a story. Our heroes are rewarded by some authority figure (the King is a favorite); the rewards may include medals, titles, clothes
, the Princess' hand in marriage and half the kingdom
, etc. Expect all the main characters to be lined up to receive their praise one after another.
Often, the characters receive the very thing (or a representation thereof) they've been trying to acquire throughout the story. Alternatively, it's just a scene that lets us see the heroes receiving just adulation from the people they've spent no small effort saving. In extreme cases, praise may give way to outright genuflection
by the assembled masses.
Expect some awkwardness in the pinning of actual medals, especially if one receiver is highly unusual (particularly a non-human) or the giver is impaired in some way (blind, decrepit, etc.). Another common element is for the award-giver to be opposed to the heroes, such as an Obstructive Bureaucrat
, and must now show them honour in public as part of a Humiliation Conga
. They may try to sabotage the proceedings in secret.
May also involve an Awesome Moment of Crowning
, on the part of either the giver or receivers or at least be the result of Expose the Villain, Get His Job
. Contrast Dude, Where's My Respect?
Anime and Manga
- One of the best scenes in Berserk is the king making every member of the White Hawks a noble. Since it's Berserk, you can guess how long that lasted.
- Star Wars: A New Hope.
- Except for Chewie.
- The end of Star Wars: The Phantom Menace probably counts, since it's very similar to the end of A New Hope. There are no medals, but there is a triumph.
- At the end of Evolution, the Governor hands out various honors.
- In the film of McHale's Navy, an admiral pins medals on everyone (except the woman, because of the awkwardness).
- The end of Tropic Thunder takes place at the Academy Awards.
- At the end of Mars Attacks! the teenager who discovered how to defeat the Martians and his grandmother are awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Because the President was killed by the Martians, they're given the medals by the President's daughter, and instead of a U.S. Marine band, there's a mariachi band providing the music.
- Happens at the end of Iron Man 2.
- The Wizard of Oz, with the wizard handing out medals, certificates, etc.
- Subverted in Stephen Chow's Forbidden City Cop. The hero's family has captured the villain by duping him with an acting performance. The emperor starts to hand out acting medals in a parody of the Academy Awards, but the villain isn't quite vanquished yet.
- A marginal case occurs at the end of the first Harry Potter book, where Gryffindor house wins the honorary House Cup due to the specific deeds of Harry and his friends, with said accomplishments being listed in front of the assembled student body.
- The end of The Long Patrol has the heroes melt down a bunch of treasure and make it into medals for absolutely everybody who's still alive. They set the medals with a different type of gem for each species.
- Not literally medals, but the end of every Discworld City Watch book has the Watch in general or Vimes in particular getting some sort of reward (if it's Vimes in particular, often against his will - Vetinari keeps coming up with "rewards" that Vimes doesn't want, but feels he has to accept, like being made a Duke). This trope was strongest, and also a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming, in the first Vimes book, Guards! Guards!, where Vetinari offers boons to the entire police force (all three of them) and they ask for a new dartboard and some extra money in the budget to buy tea now and again.
- At the end of Area 7, the surviving heroes all receive medals from the president for their efforts during the book. Unfortunately, those medals were classified, so they don't get a big ceremony, and can't tell anyone about them.
- One of the later RCN books ended with Adele Mundy receiving the highest award the RCN gives ... and, even though she's a warrant officer, she got the version usually reserved for commissioned officers. On top of that, the presenter was an intelligence bureaucrat who'd tried, at the beginning of the book, to prevent her getting any medal. He'd exceeded his authority, and their mutual boss, Mistress Sand, was not happy with him.
- In All Hands! every named character gets one. Posthumously.
- The 10th Kingdom has all the main characters but one receive gifts off the last character, who happens to be the prince they just saved.
- The ending cinema of Kirby 64 The Crystal Shards has Kirby and all his friends getting medals.
- the Light Side Ending to Knights of the Old Republic. Cross of Glory to everyone - including the droids! Rather ironic that your PC started the whole mess in the first place as Darth Revan!
- The ending of Metal Gear Solid 3 plays this for added drama. Naked Snake and his support team are all lined up at a ceremony where Snake is being given what looks like the Distinguished Service Cross. The drama comes from the fact that Snake is being rewarded for killing the woman he loved most, which was, perhaps, all for naught anyway as the voice over says during the scene.
- He even ends up walking out immediately after shaking hands with the President, despite the fact that everyone there is applauding him and other people want to congratulate him. The disgust on his face is priceless. And heartbreaking.
- Subverted in the Recess episode, "Lawson and his Crew". The main six are given medals at the start of the episode, though the episode itself was originally planned as the Grand Finale.