Originally, the word "comedy
" meant that the story ended on a positive note
, and the word "tragedy
" meant a Downer Ending
(or, at the very least, a Bittersweet Ending
). The meanings of these words have evolved over time, but the concept remains: Some stories end happily, and others...not so much. This is a scale of how happily a given story is bound to end. See Multiple Endings
when a work has more than one possible outcome (good, bad, AND neutral).
- Bittersweet Ending: The good guys win, but, due to some terrible tragedy, they're not going to be happy about it. Or they die, but everyone else is happy.
- Ray of Hope Ending: Alternatively, the bad guys win, but there are still hints that the heroes can turn things around, and all is not lost.
- Multiple Endings: A character's actions in the game decide how the ending turns out.
- No Ending: The ending is ambiguous. Did the heroes win, or did they all die horribly? The author or creator ain't talking, so it's up to the viewer to decide.
- Gainax Ending: The ending is confusing and full of Mind Screw; differing interpretations can lead it to being placed in any of these three categories.