Solemn Ending Theme

This is my cheesy song for an RPG
Artistically invalid, but it rhymes sufficiently
And now it modulates to D
because it is the saddest of keys
To denote the tragic romance
That ended so predictably
"Cheesy RPG Song", ending theme of Turn Based Battle

An emotional, solemn, usually slow-paced song played during the credits. Common especially in anime and video games.

The most common type is a pensive, retrospective or sad Anime Theme Song, but it can be an instrumental tune as well. Since except in some cases the soundtrack usually supports the temper of the ending, this is often a sign of a bittersweet or Downer Ending, except in anime, where the opening theme is usually more exciting in order to build excitement for the coming show while the closing theme is more somber to provide a resting period or moment of reflection between shows.

Might be accompanied by a Credits Montage.

Tropes and styles commonly found in a Solemn Ending Theme:

Preferably provide links to the song (Youtube or otherwise) when adding examples. Take care, linked credits videos might obviously contain ending spoilers; to prevent this, it would be optimal to link the song without the credits video or mark credits videos as such.




Live-Action TV
  • Gerry Anderson's UFO has a fast upbeat opening theme, but closes with an ominous atmospheric piece.
  • Game of Thrones, especially after important characters kick the bucket. The credits music at the end of "Baelor" is particularly sad, and "The Rains of Castamere" has no ending credits music at all, due to the shock and tragedy of the Red Wedding.
  • Parodied by the version of the Mystery Science Theater 3000 "Love Theme" that plays over the show's closing credits, which is a much slower, more ponderous instrumental version of the theme sung over the opening credits.
  • The ending theme of The Incredible Hulk, "The Lonely Man".
  • The Mickey Mouse Club. "Now it's time to say goodbye to all our company..."
  • Kamen Rider Black: "Long Long Ago 20th Century"
  • Friday episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood from 1971-72 closed with the solemn-sounding "Weekend Song".
    • A part of this song would also serve as the coda to the closing version of "It's Such A Good Feeling" used since 1972, but the solemn effect was less pronounced because the preceding portion was upbeat, and the tempo picked up again for the instrumental as Mister Rogers said his closing words.
  • Used on the final episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, in which an acoustic guitarist played the Liberty Bell March. It sounded like a brand-new guitarist was playing it, slightly halting and unsure. Strangely, it works.
  • The Sweeney has a fast-paced opening theme as befits an action-packed cop show, but the closing titles use a surprisingly low-key arrangement of the same theme.
  • Archaeology show Time Team has a slower ending theme without its usually drumbeats that it uses on "special" shows where they may be investigating things like WW2 archaeology or other sites that had a significant death count.
  • Most episodes of Once Upon a Time end with a quiet and almost haunting sounding piano tune.

Professional Wrestling
  • When Mick Foley first appeared as "Mankind" in the WWF, he had two themes, an entrance theme and a different, more solemn exit theme that played when he won a match.

  • The primary phase of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy ends with a recording of Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World."
  • While most episodes of Adventures in Odyssey end with a reprise of their signature upbeat theme-tune, episodes that either deal with serious subject matter or are just considerably darker (if not both) than the usual episode end with a slower and more solemn version of the usual theme. "Mortal Coil", "Blaackgard's Revenge" are couple of examples of this.

Video Games

Web Original

Western Animation
  • The ending for the Linus The Lionhearted show (1964) was like a funeral dirge. All the characters were sadly placing their props in a trunk, ending with Billie Bird sweeping up afterwards.
  • The Porky Pig Show ending starts off sadly but perks up when they say they'll be back next week.