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Sliding Scale of Endings
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).

Good Ending

Neutral Ending

  • 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.

Bad Ending


Sliding Scale of Divine InterventionSorting Algorithm of TropesSliding Scale of Fourth Wall Hardness

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