[[quoteright:257:[[{{Website/Cracked}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mario-downer_7971.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:257:Wait, ''what?'']]

->''"It was like finding out that Cliff Huxtable had murdered his family, buried them in the basement and then hallucinated a decade of wacky Cosby adventures. Cue laugh track. End series."''
-->-- '''Website/{{Cracked}}''', [[http://www.cracked.com/article/242_6-tv-shows-that-completely-lost-their-shit/ "6 TV Shows That Completely Lost Their Shit"]]

A Sudden Downer Ending is a GrandFinale in which an otherwise completely [[SugarBowl upbeat, accessible series]] ends on an [[DownerEnding unimaginably bleak note]]. Can also apply to self-contained movies, books, video games, etc. with such endings.

Often done because TrueArtIsAngsty and because MoodWhiplash is an effective way of manipulating your audience, or as a way of adding depth to the main characters at the last moment.

The 3-way baby of MoodWhiplash, CerebusSyndrome, and DownerEnding. See also DiabolusExMachina, TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, TheBadGuyWins, GainaxEnding, CruelTwistEnding, ShootTheShaggyDog, and KillEmAll. Opposite of a SurprisinglyHappyEnding. Can be a result of CreatorBreakdown. Can result in major EndingAversion, cries of DarthWiki/RuinedForever and even {{Narm}} if handled poorly. Could have induced [[DarknessInducedAudienceApathy audience apathy]]... but then, you've probably already finished watching it, haven't you?

As an EndingTrope, expect spoilers.

'''If a work was dark or serious to begin with, it does not qualify for this trope and is simply a DownerEnding.'''



* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRVslkan08U This]] infamous 2015 Super Bowl commercial by Nationwide Insurance. Most of the commercial is the typical run-of-the-mill life insurance ad, with a young kid speaking about his future aspirations...and then the rug is pulled underneath the viewers when the commercial reveals the kid died in an accident (presumably from a bathtub drowning). Even though this ad aired during the very same Superbowl as the MoodWhiplash inducing domestic violence ad, this was far darker in a much more unexpected fashion. The backlash was immediate, aggressive, and completely understandable.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''[[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion The End of Evangelion]]'', not when viewed as a stand-alone work, but as an end to the TV series as a whole, is this after some heavy-handed CerebusSyndrome that had been dissipated by a [[GainaxEnding strange]] yet [[EsotericHappyEnding undeniably optimistic]] [[GrandFinale ending]] returns with a bitter twist in this film adaptation - resurrected by the [[FanMyopia alienation and dissatisfaction of the bulk of the series original fan-base]].
* ''Anime/ExcelSaga'' parodies this, like everything else, in one late-run episode, which is very dark and humorless compared to the other episodes and ends with Excel being shot and left to die. [[spoiler:It's actually around episode 23 of 25; the ''actual'' final episode (#26) was unaired due to [[CrossesTheLineTwice crossing the line]] ''way'' too many times.]]
* ''Manga/{{Mahoromatic}}'': It's a ForegoneConclusion that Mahoro would die; it's the whole premise. The ending is still ridiculously dark. [[GainaxEnding And confusing.]]
* ''Manga/FairyTail''. The S-class/Tenrou Island arc ends with [[spoiler:the main cast and semi-main cast being blasted by Acnologia and presumably dead.]]
* ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'' takes it UpToEleven. In the [[GainaxEnding very last minute]] of the series, [[spoiler:Stocking turns out to be evil, slices Panty into 666 pieces, and walks into the sunset with the revived BigBad]].
* ''Anime/MasterOfMartialHearts'': The first 4 out of 5 episodes will make you think that this OVA is just a silly, goofy, mushy comedy with some brutal fights between the main character Aya and her opponents in a tournament. Then the 5th episode comes in. To wit: [[spoiler:Aya ends up killing her opponent in a BerserkerRage. Then she finds out that every one of her friends was a BitchInSheepsClothing who had manipulated her right from the beginning. They mentally broke all the losers of the tournament, making them into "perfect women" to be sold into sexual slavery. Aya's "friends" did this because her parents did the same thing to their parents, and they want to kill her to get back at her mother. Then Aya's mother shows up and kills them off, revealing to her that this is a CycleOfRevenge going back to their grandparents. So KillEmAll ensues, with Aya limping away from the blown up building. Then her so-called best friend's mother gets a visit from someone that she is very scared to see...]]. There had been very few hints that something like this was going to happen. Yikes!
* The 1975 anime adaptation of ''Literature/ADogOfFlanders'', true to the original material, has the main character and his dog [[spoiler:freeze to death]] in the last episode. The series is quite positive and upbeat (and looks like ''Heidi'') otherwise, so to many children, this came as quite a shock.
** Since a lot of people in Japan were familiar with the eponymous tale and how it ended, fans of the show sent tearful mails to the staff days before the final episode aired, pleading not to have Nello and Patrasche die at the end. Though the staff ignored the pleas, they at least softened the blow of the ending a little by having it presented on an uplifting note.
* The first half of the first series of ''Anime/MagicalPrincessMinkyMomo'' had this in episodes 45 and 46. [[spoiler:In episode 45, Momo's main mode of transportation-- the Gorumepopo-- loses energy and disappears, Momo loses her pendant and pets on a train, Momo encounters bad guys who wanted her pets, and when she tries to get her pendant in order to transform to save the man who helped her, her pendant shatters. In the next episode, Momo tries to go to school and can't pay attention, so she goes to the park where she tries to retrieve a baseball and gets run over by a truck. She then dies, but is reincarnated as the real child of her foster parents.]] The rest of the series is [[spoiler:AllJustADream in the mind of the human Momo about a new Minky Momo that came to earth.]]
* Happens in-universe in episode 8 of season 1's ''LightNovel/BokuWaTomodachiGaSukunai''. Sena is playing a VisualNovel where her character is having fun with friends at a swimming pool, and Yozora nonchalantly mentions that the game would be godly if a shark suddenly appeared out of nowhere and killed them. Sena berates her for suggesting such an awful thing, but then [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor that's exactly what happens.]] Sena at first thinks it's a joke and that her main character would easily vanquish it, only for the shark to kill him, and she suffers from a bad ending. Rika mentions that this game was particularly notorious in online forums for this ending if you failed to trigger a certain flag earlier in the game. Everyone in the clubroom, Yozora included, were completely shocked by it, and after she recollects herself, Yozora calls it a godly game, while Sena angrily snaps the disc in half.
* In ''Animation/GuardianFairyMichel'', after 25 episodes of happy, lighthearted hijinks, [[spoiler:Michel dies at the end to rejuvenate the Tree of Life, Kim leaves the island, and the villains still have their floating castle]].
* The end of the ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' prequel film ''Legend of Kenshiro'' is so pointlessly sadistic it could have been written by Thouzer himself. Ken has recovered his spirit, embraced his destiny as the messiah and saved the city... then Siska turns out to have a ''third'' detonator and blows it up anyway, leaving Kenshiro screaming despondently among the ruins and corpses of his friends.
* The 2009 adaptation of ''VisualNovel/PhantomOfInferno'' followed the Elen route from the game all the way up to the more-or-less happy ending Elen and Reiji got, ending on the same image of Eren standing in the middle of the flower field, smiling... [[spoiler:then an Inferno sniper shoots Reiji dead and Elen kills herself out of grief]]. [[CaptainObvious Which isn't something that happened in the game.]]
* The 1981 anime ''[[Literature/{{Frankenstein}} Kyōfu Densetsu: Kaiki! Frankenstein]]'' features a particularly off-the-wall instance of this trope. In this version of the story, Frankenstein's Monster befriends a little girl, whose father and the other villagers try to kill him. Frankie fights them off, but the little girl gets hurt in the crossfire, so he realizes that as long as he's around she'll be in danger. Saying his final goodbyes, Frankie throws himself off a cliff. The girl's father, seeing this, has a MyGodWhatHaveIDone moment and [[DrivenToSuicide shoots himself]], and the movie ends with the little girl now a friendless orphan.
* The final episode of the first season of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' ends on a happy looking ending where everything is back to normal after [[spoiler:Rena tries to bomb the school]]. When Rika gets called into Ooishi's car [[spoiler:it's revealed that the GroundhogDayLoop has started again.]] This is emphasised in the first episode of the second season when [[spoiler:a present-day, [[KidHeroAllGrownUp now adult]], Rena]] discusses what really happened after [[spoiler:she hugged Keiichi on the rooftop]]. As it turns out [[spoiler:she was arrested and sent away. Hinamizawa then suffered an accident, leaving Rena the SoleSurvivor of the village]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/TransformersWingsOfHonor'': Metalhawk's and Onslaught's teams (as well as the other Elite Guard teams who operate mostly offscreen) work well together, complete many missions with an unbroken victory streak, and beat back numerous Decepticons, in relatively light-hearted adventures. And then it all goes to hell. [[spoiler: Onslaught's team defects to the Decepticons, and attacks the Autobot base. They also become a combiner, Bruticus, which ends up crushing Sentinel Major in its hand, Over-Run is crushed by one of his drones, and almost all of the other Elite Guard are also killed in various ways including Powerflash. While Bruticus is finally brought down by one of the heroes, Onslaught still kills his former friend Metalhawk on their way out. It finally ends with the last remaining Elite Guard team coming to the base and requesting permission to land, but finding no response. Even a side comic which is usually a bunch of humorous stories about goofy newscasters, ends with, not a funny punchline, [[http://rid-nightviper.deviantart.com/art/Around-Cybertron-Part-13-195388458 but one of the reporters coming to the sight of the carnage and asking to go home in shock.]]]] Geez.
* ''Graduation Day'', the GrandFinale of ''Comicbook/YoungJustice''. After 56 issues of comedy, the mini-series sees the violent deaths of Omen and Donna Troy, and the dissolution of both Young Justice and [[Comicbook/TeenTitans the Titans]]. One of the last scenes is of ComicBook/WonderGirl tearfully stating that the kids will never learn enough to be real heroes, and that the entirety of the series was essentially a massive waste of time.
* ''ComicBook/SecretSix'', which was basically a BlackComedy about supervillains, ends with the team being taken down by the combined might of the [[ComicBook/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Justice League]], Comicbook/TeenTitans, [[ComicBook/JusticeSocietyOfAmerica JSA]] and numerous other heroes. [[BolivianArmyEnding It's deliberately unclear as to whether or not most of the Six survived]], and the last scene is of Bane, battered and alone, being hauled off to Arkham Asylum.
* Thanks to a combination of RunningTheAsylum (editor Nick Lowe's determination to see Gert Yorkes be resurrected at any cost) and ExecutiveMeddling (Marvel's decision to cancel the series in mid-arc due to dropping sales), ''ComicBook/{{Runaways}}'' ended with Chase Stein abandoning the other Runaways and then getting hit by a car after somehow running into Gert Yorkes on the street.
* The Kid Loki storyline in ''ComicBook/JourneyIntoMystery'' and ''ComicBook/YoungAvengers'' ended this way with [[spoiler:the Old Loki erasing Kid Loki and taking over his body after he had essentially won back everyone's trust and become a hero.]]
* ''ComicBook/AgeOfTheSentry'': The first five issues are faux-Silver Age wackiness, with the Sentry facing radioactive bears, planets about to give birth, overbearing shippers, himself from the Golden Age of Comic Books, superpowered hillbillies, a friend with romance problems, and Cranio (The Man With the Tri-Level Mind!). Issue 6 has [[spoiler:him learning his entire life is a lie, that he's been warping reality to fit around him since he doesn't really belong there. Cranio dies informing him of this secret, and then the Void completely drains the Sentry of life, killing him, before turning into a new version of the Sentry, with no-one the wiser.]]

[[folder:Eastern Animation]]
* The Russian animated short [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejJNX_BUzL0 Mountain of Dinosaurs]] portrays the Age of Dinosaurs as a SugarBowl, but ends with their extinction.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/SpringDreams'': A ScrewballComedy (from Japan) that seems to have a more or less upbeat, silly ending. Miss Yasugi has gotten paired off with the doctor. Chizuko has gotten paired off with Mr. Ema after all. Tamiko will avoid social humiliation. Miss Yae is left chasing after Mr. Okudaira, having confessed her love. And while Grandma couldn't bring herself to tell Mr. Atsumi who she is--they were lovers 50 years ago--at least she got to see him again after all those decades and get closure. Then at the end Tamiko looks into Grandma's room and sees what is the very last shot of the movie: Grandma collapsed in death on the floor of her bedroom, her copy of ''Romeo and Juliet'' lying on the carpet next to her.
* ''Film/MarleyAndMe''. The film actually ends with the [[DeathByNewberyMedal eponymous dog being put to sleep]] because of old age.
* ''Film/RollerBoogie'', a light-hearted roller-disco film, inexplicably ends on a downbeat note, with the main characters tearfully separating to pursue their futures in different cities.
* Notoriously, the original ending to ''Film/{{Clerks}}'' would have ended with this. A lighthearted comedy about two lazy store clerks wasting a day shift? The original version ended with a robber entering the store and shooting the main character, killing him instantly.
* ''Film/ThisIslandEarth'': Sure, the earth is saved, but the [[EverybodysDeadDave entire Metalunan race is wiped out]] by the [[TheBadGuyWins Zagons]]. The Metalunans weren't really bad, just desperate. And the movie ends with [[LastOfHisKind Exeter]]'s ship crashing into the ocean in flames.
* The silent film ''Film/ExitSmiling'' is a zany comedy about a terrible actress in a traveling theater troupe trying to save the man she loves from going to jail. She succeeds. But he never finds out she was the one who saved him, and he's so happy about being able to stay in town with some other girl he likes that she simply doesn't tell him. The movie ends with her crying quietly as he steps off the train.
* At the end of ''Film/{{Boytown}}'', the band [[spoiler:''dies in a plane crash'', leaving behind wives, children, and an unrealized relationship for the recently outed Carl]]. It's extremely incongruous for a film that was quite light and farcical up to that point. It's uncomfortably played for laughs and drama.
* The end of ''Film/TheMolePeople'': Adad and Bentley managed to escape the destruction of the Sumerian kingdom and had reached the surface... only for Adad to suddenly and inexplicably turn back towards the cave entrance and be crushed by a falling pillar. Her death was [[ExecutiveMeddling mandated by the studio]], who considered American Bentley and Sumerian Adad a "mixed-race couple" and feared having them live happily ever after would be seen as endorsing miscegenation. [[http://i.imgur.com/7IhdZNm.jpg This]] is Adad, by the way.
* In ''Film/TrainOfLife'', the Jewish villagers manage to smuggle their train across half of Europe, tricking the Germans along every step of the way, and eventually reach the safety of the Russian border. Everyone is celebrating, and Schlomo starts telling us [[WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue what happened to the characters]] as the camera slowly zooms out from his face... revealing him standing behind the barbed wire of a concentration camp. The entire story was [[NestedStoryReveal wishful thinking on his part.]]
* ''Film/MagicMike'' starts out (and was marketed as) a comedy with male stripper Mike taking 19-year-old Adam under his wing at the strip club. It ends with Adam getting involved with drugs and owing $10,000 to drug dealers, and Mike having to bail him out.
* The film ''Rue des plaisirs'' is the story of a handyman in love with a prostitute called Marion whose own boyfriend is in danger from mobsters. They've successfully managed to evade them and are living idyllically in the countryside. [[spoiler: And then the gangsters arrive out of nowhere and kill her boyfriend, and then her, leaving the handyman alone to mourn. Cut to the two prostitutes who've spent the movie listening to a third one tell the story of how Marion managed to make something of herself, and cut to the credits. (Even the ''director'' later regretted sticking on the unhappy ending.)]]
* Brazilian Z-movie ''Film/ZindyTheSwampBoy'' set up a happy ending where Zindy kills the [[SuperPersistentPredator ever-present cougar]] and is taken back to civilization by the parents of the girl he rescued. Possibly even able to claim inheritance of his grandfather's estate. Then the film suddenly pulls the rug out from under the audience: Zindy gets mauled by the dying cougar and dies himself, leaving the girl lost in the rain forest to fend for herself, with no word on whether or not her parents find her.
* ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0030909/ Unashamed]]'' - a 1938 "naturist"[[note]]read: "Pre-Hays Code Nudist Exploitation"[[/note]] melodrama has protagonist Rae [[IgnoredEnamoredUnderling lose the affections]] of her boss to a socialite newcomer. She deals with this by dramatically climbing to the top of the highest mountain available... [[SpurnedIntoSuicide And throwing herself off.]] CueTheSun.
* ''Film/TheLastAmericanVirgin'': a ''teen sex comedy'', mind you. Minutes after a tender kiss that looked like [[SealedWithAKiss a sealing one]], it turns out that not only the protagonist DidNotGetTheGirl - she also willingly chose her abuser over him. [[NiceGuysFinishLast This ending being much more true-to-life]] than an expected happy one actually makes it even ''more'' impressive.
* ''Film/Troll2'' ends with the family seemingly defeating the goblins [[spoiler:until it turns out the goblins somehow survived and end up turning the mom into plant food and eat her right in front of the screaming son as the movie ends]]. Yes, this is the same film whose twist was that nilbog backward spells goblin.
* ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService'': Bond's defeated Blofeld's evil scheme and got the girl - in fact, for the first time in the 007 series, he's married her. It doesn't last. In the final scene, [[spoiler:Bond is driving away from the wedding with his bride Tracy when Blofeld drives by and shoots her dead.]]
* ''Film/{{Suburbia}}'': The TR kids successfully fight off an invasion by Jim and Bob and are seen celebrating. [[spoiler: Cue the duo coming back around for round two, followed by Ethan getting run over and killed and Jack's father arriving too late to stop any of the aforementioned events from happening]]. Roll credits.
* ''Film/AFairlyOddSummer'' the third in the live action ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'' films, is pretty jovial and filled with the usual shenanigans of the series [[spoiler: until the climax where Timmy ''falls into lava'' trying to stop Foop from taking the Abracadanium. He only survives due to the artifact turning him into a fairy (of his ten year old form for some reason) and, due to this, he ultimately has to let go of Cosmo, Wanda and Poof as his godparents. The only good that comes from it is 1) His godparents become ones to two siblings they befriended and live close by and 2) This is an AlternateUniverse, so it's not canon.]]

* In the final chapters of ''Tottie: The Story of a Doll's House'', one of the dolls is [[KilledOffForReal burned to death]].
* ''Literature/MostlyHarmless'', the fifth book of ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'', ends with all but one of the protagonists dying horribly. The author, Creator/DouglasAdams, did plan on writing a sixth book and ending the series on a happier note, but [[AuthorExistenceFailure his own death prevented this.]] [[Literature/AndAnotherThing A more upbeat sixth book]] ''was'' eventually written.
* Xinran's ''Miss Chopsticks'' is a fairly upbeat book about three sisters making their way in modern China and finally gaining their father's respect. The Author's Note at the end reveals that of the three real-life girls the characters were based on, one was then forced into an unwanted marriage, one lost her job when her employer was shut down for distributing banned books, and the third disappeared.
* Played with in the ''Literature/CaptainUnderpants'' series. At the end of the ninth book, Tippy Tinkletrousers accidentally creates a post-apocalyptic timeline and apparently gets crushed to death, and the book appears to end with a textless two-page spread of SceneryGorn... but then the following page reveals that the story will be continued. Doubly so when you realise that Tippy's disruption of George and Harold's arrest (seen at the end of Book 8 and the beginning of Book 9) had yet to happen.
* The novel ''Breathers'' is a horror-comedy about a world where the recently dead randomly reanimate (but still retain their minds) and have no civil rights, are used as lab animals and are even destroyed for fun in the streets. The protagonist Andy eventually becomes a celebrity who fights for zombie rights and really seems to be making a difference despite that fact that [[spoiler:he and several other zombies secretly eat people, since human flesh reverses zombie decomposition, makes their hearts beat again and even makes them able to have children]]). Then at the very end Andy, his [[spoiler:pregnant]] zombie girlfriend Rita and his zombie best friend Jerry are attacked by fratboys who [[spoiler:burn Rita and Jerry to (re)death. Knowing which fraternity is responsible, Andy then gathers their circle of zombie friends and attacks the frathouse in a RoaringRampageOfRevenge, slaughtering everyone inside [[RevengeBeforeReason despite knowing full well that this will utterly destroy the zombie rights movement.]] While some of their armed friends rescue them after their capture, they face a BolivianArmyEnding with the police closing in and nowhere to run]]. This all happens in the last ''twenty pages.'' Fortunately, despite the ending implying otherwise, [[spoiler: Andy survives to a sequel, ''I Saw Zombies Eating Santa Claus,'' where he does get a happier ending.]]
* ''Literature/OnHerMajestysSecretService'' is a thrilling ''James Bond'' story in Ian Fleming's trademark cavalcade of spy thrillers. In its ending, James marries the beautiful Tracy Draco and drives off into the sunset, but their car breaks down. James steps out to inspect the damage, while Tracy is simultaneously killed by [[TheDragon Irma Bunt]] and [[BigBad Ernst Stavro Blofeld]] in a drive-by shooting. This ending has become one of the most memorable in the ''Bond'' franchise, and it isn't hard to see why.
* ''Literature/TheWinterQueen'' has Lady Astair letting Fandorin escape from her suicide bomb after Fandorin promises not to hunt down the members of her Azazel secret society. But the Moscow police start hunting down Azazel members, with Fandorin being involved against his will. The book seems to be ending happily, with Fandorin having solved the mystery and getting married to his beloved Elizaveta. However, the remnants of the Azazel group get their revenge in the last two pages, via a bomb that fails to kill Fandorin but does kill his wife.
* In the Creator/OscarWilde short story, ''The Star Child'', the eponymous star child finally learns AnAesop about humility and not judging others based on their physical appearance. He is rewarded for his troubles by being reunited with his royal birth parents, and eventually succeeding them as a King. Then the story ends with a sentence saying that the star child would die young, and that the ruler after him is a cruel tyrant.
* The English novel ''The Towers of Trebizond'' is generally a light comedy of manners/travelogue, featuring, for example, an old woman riding a deranged camel to church and gentle mockery of attempts to convert Turkish people to Anglicanism. Although the book sometimes discusses faith in more serious tones, it generally maintains its breezy air right up until about five pages from the end, when the protagonist's poor judgment in driving kills her adulterous lover. She then spends the remainder of the book musing about the relationship of love and faith and ultimately seems to decide that she is destined to die outside of the church, which she believes to be the path of salvation.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In terms of individual seasons, ''Series/PowerRangersTurbo'' ends rather sadly. ''Turbo'', being based on [[Series/GekisouSentaiCarranger a parody sentai]], was written as light-hearted (even compared to ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' in general). However, the ending is downright depressing. The Rangers have to sacrifice all of their Zords and all of their weapons to defeat Goldgoyle. Dimitria and Blue Senturion leave to help Zordon, who has been kidnapped. The Power Chamber is raided and destroyed. The Turbo Rangers lose their powers and can't stop Divatox from taking over the Earth. The only reason she doesn't is because she is called away by Dark Specter, who has been behind all of the previous threats facing Earth. The four teen Rangers leave with Alpha 5, powerless, into space to find Zordon, with no idea if they can find him, or whether they can even rescue him if they do find him. Justin stays behind to be with his dad.It is, so far, the only season to end with the Big Bad actually ''winning''.
* The ending of ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' came close, but the start of ''Zeo'' reversed most of its more serious consequences back to the status quo, whereas the start of ''Series/PowerRangersInSpace'' took the SuddenDownerEnding and ran with it.
* The finale of ''Series/{{Blackadder}} Goes Forth''.
** Made all the more sad because the same trope (KillEmAll) was played in two previous series [[PlayedForLaughs for laughs]]. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that [[PlayedForLaughs playing the events of the finale for laughs]] this time would not have produced [[DudeNotFunny the best reaction]] given [[UsefulNotes/WorldWarI the subject matter]].
** Also because for anyone with any emotional investment in UsefulNotes/WW1 (read: everyone in Britain above a certain age), the ending is actually [[TropesAreNotBad incredibly touching, respectful, and appropriate]]. Writer Ben Elton's uncle, an eminent historian specialising in the period, was outraged when he first saw ''Blackadder Goes Forth'' and practically disowned him for what he saw as trivialisation of the war. After seeing the final episode, he wrote his nephew a letter apologizing and praising him for the way it was handled.
** And the ending was nearly an accident, being almost entirely [[FixItInPost fixed in post,]] as seen [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hbR9-etyN6I here.]]
* The finale of the original ''Series/{{Roseanne}}'' series, where it's revealed that the entire series was a book Roseanne had written after Dan died of a heart attack. When the series was revived, the death was retconned to be part of the book itself, with Dan (possibly jokingly) being annoyed about it.
* In the last episode of ''Series/{{Alf}}'' our wise-cracking alien protagonist is captured by the Alien Task Force, presumably never to be seen again by the Tanners. The producers were told they'd get a TV Movie to WrapItUp, but it wasn't until years later that it actually happened, and the tone of it was distinctly darker than the series.
* This trope began a season early in the BBC's version of ''Series/RobinHood''. At the end of season two, [[spoiler:Maid Marian]] was brutally murdered at Guy of Gisborne's hands, changing an upbeat family show into something unimaginably bleak, and without any hope for a happy ending. Bizarrely, season three tried to regain its reputation as a family show, but the fed-up actors left for greener pastures, ensuring that the show ended with the deaths of [[spoiler:Robin Hood, Allan-a-Dale, Guy of Gisborne, and the Sheriff of Nottingham]]. Despite the gutted cast, there was an attempt to introduce a LegacyCharacter for Robin Hood, but the show was not commissioned for a fourth series. The show ended with the remaining outlaws vowing to continue the fight against Prince John, but anyone with [[FridgeHorror a rudimentary knowledge of English history]] knows how well ''that'' [[ForegoneConclusion would have turned out]].
* Publicity for the last ever episode of largely light-hearted series ''Series/{{Lovejoy}}'' focused on the return of WillTheyOrWontThey love interest Lady Jane and Lovejoy's wedding to ReplacementLoveInterest Charlotte. Instead, the VillainOfTheWeek kidnaps Lovejoy on the way to the wedding as revenge for foiling his plot and [[CassandraTruth Charlotte refuses]] [[YouHaveToBelieveMe to believe it]], [[RunawayBride thinks she's been jilted]], and takes a job away from the area. What's more, Lovejoy's other two friends also take jobs away from the area and he's effectively evicted from his home/shop. The final scene of him packing his things into the back of his truck and driving off alone is actually quite depressing.
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'''s two-part series finale. The show itself was about [[{{Jerkass}} selfish people]] [[KarmaHoudini coasting through life]], and the finale showed them finally [[LaserGuidedKarma getting their comeuppance]]. Still, it divided fans of the show, some thought that it was a very dark and uncharacteristically serious way to send off a sitcom, especially one that had prided itself on being a "show about nothing". It also didn't help that said comeuppance came at the hands of the minor and one-shot characters from the series, many of whom [[EvilVsEvil were even worse]] than the protagonists.
* Although ''Series/{{Medium}}'' dealt with many bad things, its overall ethos was generally that the bad guys always got caught and everything turned out well in the end. Which made the series finale [[spoiler:in which Alison's husband Joe is killed in a plane crash, most of the episode is taken up with a bizarre soap opera tale of it all being a ghastly mistake and an amnesiac Joe living in Mexico which turns out to be a dream, and then Alison spending the next 40+ years of her life without the one person who has kept her sane throughout her psychic travails and whom she has repeatedly been shown to depend on utterly, all alone because she never finds someone else or remarries]] all the more difficult to take.
* The ''Series/TrueLife'' episode "I Don't Trust My Partner" had two couples talking about their trust issues. The audience sees Nikki and Shawny, the second couple interviewed, fighting for the extent of the episode, thanks to Shawny flirting with girls behind his girlfriend's back, and eventually going to couple's therapy to see whether they should move in together. Fast forward some months later, the show pans over to the new apartment the couple talked about renting, with their stuff inside. Problem is, shortly after they moved in together, Shawny suddenly died after complications from a hernia, and Nikki went through a period of overwhelming grief. For a show that usually goes no further than a BittersweetEnding, this depressing conclusion came out of nowhere.
* The last episode of ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'': [[spoiler:all of the main characters are forced to return home. Mary doesn't want to leave Earth, and she is given a MindWipe so she won't remember Dick]]. An alternate ending has [[spoiler:Mary being abducted by Dick after the MindWipe, but it still ends on a depressing note.]]
* In ''Series/{{Glee}}'''s third season finale, Kurt was rejected from the prestigious performing arts college he spent the whole season trying to get into. The whole thing felt extremely out of the blue since his audition made him out to be a shoo-in several episodes prior, being praised by the recruiter and all. Luckily in season 4 he gets in after another audition at the winter showcase.
* The final episode of ''Series/XenaWarriorPrincess''. Things looked dark, darker than usual, but there was a clear path to victory set up that was going to make everything better. Except right before reaching it, the protagonist suddenly decided that RedemptionEqualsDeath (despite the ''entire show'' up to that point being explicitly about redemption via living a better life) and chose to just stay dead, leaving her soulmate alone. It wasn't even a heroic sacrifice, as nothing was gained by it. This ending was quickly disavowed by the comic book continuation.
* ''Series/ThatMitchellAndWebbLook'' had an interesting variant of this. The [[DiscussedTrope trope was discussed]] in the penultimate episode, with the duo deciding they wanted their last sketch to be this. The sketch at the end of ''that'' episode was a [[PlayedForLaughs spoof]] of the trope. Then the actual last episode came around, and it ended with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp02ubGuTIU one of the most depressing sketches ever made.]]
* ''Series/{{Titus}}'' did this for every season finale -- but especially in the final ''three'' episodes of the series. In the first, Christopher's mother Juanita shows up suddenly in Christopher's house, apparently having broken out of the mental hospital she was in. The episode is mostly lighthearted as usual, focusing on Christopher and his family trying to catch/find Juanita… [[spoiler:until they finally have her cornered, in a closet, when Erin comes in with a message from the mental hospital, that Juanita had committed suicide four hours prior; meaning Christopher had been hallucinating her the entire time.]] And THEN, there is the two parter finale that continues the story, 'Insanity Genetic', in which the cast is on an airplane coming back from [[spoiler:Juanita's funeral]], Christopher has a mental breakdown, and they all cause a panic and get arrested under suspicion of being terrorists. They are all thoroughly interviewed, the authorities become convinced Christopher is mentally ill, and the rest of the cast end up [[spoiler:admitting him to a mental hospital, where he reassures Erin that he'll be okay as she tearfully says goodbye, and we're left with a last, lingering shot of Christopher sitting alone in his cell.]]
* Series/ChinesePaladin I: after defeating the Big Bad, saving the world, and slaying the water-demon who killed her mother, Ling'er [[HopeSpot returns triumphantly from the battle]]; and then collapses in her husband's arms, having fulfilled her destiny to [[HeroicSacrifice die saving the world.]] The final scene--of her husband and newborn daughter returning home alone--becomes even worse with the realization that her daughter is going eventually to [[GenerationXerox meet the same fate]] as her [[PosthumousCharacter mother]], and grandmother.
* The series finale of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' had earned the scorn of most fans for this. [[spoiler:The mother dies, Barney and Robin divorce, and the gang split apart and become shells of their former selves.]] For a show that was mostly lighthearted and fun the ending came as a shock to many fans, fortunately the season 9 DVD had a happier ending which many fans considered far superior.
* Creator/TheBBC's ''Series/{{Merlin|2008}}'' suffers deeply of this -- for all that the first 4 years were mostly light, and even for all the {{Darker and Edgier}} vibes on the 5th season, it reaches new heights by the series finale. Considering the legends it comes from, though, it is a {{Foregone Conclusion}}.
* ''Franchise/SuperSentai'':
** The infamous ending of ''Series/ChoujinSentaiJetman.'' The Vyram have been defeated and all is well. We flash forwards two years to [[spoiler:Ryo and Kaori's wedding]] and then [[spoiler:Gai gets murdered by a random street thug.]]
** ''Series/HikoninSentaiAkibaranger'' is a massively humorous SelfParody of the franchise. First season still maintains its humorous tone, and the second season as well. But then, in the second season's finale, [[spoiler:after spoofing the HeroicSacrifice in the Delusional World, it turns out said sacrifice had the Akibarangers KilledOffForReal [[YourMindMakesItReal in the real world]].]]
* ''Series/AdamRuinsEverything'' is an informational comedy about a know-it-all named Adam that goes around, barging into people's lives and bothering them with harsh truths. The whole series is played for laughs and discusses a wide range of subjects, but the last episode of the first season, "Adam ruins Death", takes a pretty somber turn. It starts with Adam talking directly to the viewer, telling them the harsh truth that they, the person watching this, will die someday, and there's nothing they can do to stop it. Shortly after that, [[spoiler:Emily, a recurring character, gets hit by a truck and ends up in a coma, with her fiance overlooking her unconscious body. Adam comes up and talks to Emily's spirit, before giving the harsh truths of the episode, revolving around the concept of death.]] At the end of the episode, [[spoiler:Emily makes a miraculous recovery and comes out of her coma. Everything seems to leading towards a happy ending, until Hayley, Emily's friend and Adam's love interest, has a nasty fall while coming into the hospital room to check up on Emily, and dies. The episode ends with Adam having a breakdown at Hayley's funeral, telling Emily that despite his vast knowledge on the subject, he is still terrified of death. The two friends leave the church to go on a walk together, with Emily trying to cheer Adam up with random facts, like he used to do. Roll credits.]]
* For the most part, ''Series/UltramanLeo'' is a fairly standard Showa era entry in the Franchise/UltraSeries, that is until Black Directive arrives, giving the series' end a definitive BigBad. In the very first episode he appears in, he sics his first Saucer Monster, Silver Bloome, on [=MAC=], and it ''kills all of them'', save for Gen (Ultraman Leo) and Dan (Ultraseven). From this point until the show's conclusion, Leo must fight alone against Black Directive's ever-stronger subordinates, without his friends by his side.
* One occurs in the ''Series/{{iCarly}}'' episode "iGo Nuclear": Cal, the man that helped Carly make an exquisite nuclear power generator which gives her an A+, is revealed to be a wanted criminal as the rod he used to the generator's energy source was an illegal substance. As a result, Carly's grade reverts to a D- and she is forced to attend her class's "Root and Berry Retreat" for extra credit.
* The season 1 finale of ''Series/DirkGentlysHolisticDetectiveAgency'' qualifies as this. Up until the last five minutes of the episode, everything seems to have ended happily: the case is solved, Estevez has gotten revenge for the death of his partner, Farah has come into a large sum of money and tells Dirk and Todd over brunch that she'll use it to start up the detective agency, Ken decides to stay with Bart and the two go on a road trip, and Amanda and the Rowdies are happily dancing in a field. Suddenly, [[StupidEvil Friedkin]] shows up at the police station and gloats that he's been made head of the newly-reestablished Blackwing initiative (and that he burned Farah's house down) before [[ShootTheShaggyDog brutally murdering Estevez]], all of the psychics and Ken are taken into CIA custody to be tortured and experimented on, and Todd learns that he's contracted pararibulitis.
* Companions being KilledOffForReal in ''Series/DoctorWho'' is a very rare event. Therefore the deaths of [[spoiler: Adric]] in the 1982 storyline "Earthshock" and [[UpToEleven especially]] [[spoiler: Clara Oswald]] in 2015's "Face the Raven" (a tragedy that still happens, despite thow show playing with the TimeyWimeyBall afterwards) have impact on viewers who have avoided spoilers. The endings of the David Tennant episodes "Doomsday" (2006) and "Journey's End" (2008) are likewise extreme downers for an otherwise upbeat series.

* "Detroit Rock City" by Music/{{KISS}}: A song about a young man driving to a KISS concert and generally enjoying the hell out of life. Right up until he's killed in a head-on collision with a semi. Worse, it's BasedOnATrueStory.
* Lilian Garcia's video for "You Drive Me Loca" seems like it's just Lilian having fun with her boyfriend on the beach. Then the end of the video reveals that Lilian is actually in a mental hospital and the boyfriend is actually her doctor.
* Music/DepecheMode has "Blasphemous Rumours"/"Somebody". It's about a sixteen-year-old girl who attempts suicide, survives and is so thankful that her faith in God is renewed... but less than two years later, she is involved in a car accident, ends up on life-support and dies.

[[folder:Puppet Shows]]
* In the final episode of ''Series/{{Dinosaurs}}'', the main character accidentally triggers an ice-age by over-industrializing the world. He then has to explain why they're all going to die to his youngest child. Cut to the outside of the house, where snow is piling over the entire house. In the final shot, a newscaster solemnly states that the snow is getting harsher, the days are getting darker, and there's no end in sight. He issues a formal "Good night". He reconsiders for a moment, then looks straight in to the camera with weary, uncertain eyes, and solidly states, "Goodbye."

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The true ending of ''VideoGame/{{Braid}}''. [[GainaxEnding Open to interpretation]], but it would appear that [[spoiler:the princess was trying to escape from the protagonist to the antagonist, not the other way around. Or she's the atomic bomb. Either way, or both ways, she appears to ''explode'', which is sort of hard to think of as a positive ending.]]
* ''VideoGame/DrawnToLife: The Next Chapter'' for the DS. Basically, all of the adorable [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter Raposa]] in the village are killed, G-Rated style (they fade away). One of the characters, named Mike, fades away last. The voice of Mike's sister Heather is heard asking the Creator, the god-like figure in the game, to bring her brother back, which at first seems like a SugarWiki/{{Heartwarming Moment|s}}. Then her message changes and she was really trying to say, "God, just bring back my little brother to me." It is now [[TheReveal revealed]] that Mike and Heather are actually humans, and the whole story with the village of cute animals was AllJustADream that Mike was having. It wasn't a regular dream, either; it turns out that Mike and his family were in a ''car crash, which killed his parents, injured his sister, and put him in a coma.'' [[note]] The CompilationRerelease, on the other hand, has a way different ending: Mike and his sister Heather were outside catching fireflies, Mike accidentally falls off of a tree while trying to catch one, sending him in a coma. This ending was most likely changed due to the rating in the original game. [[/note]]
%%* The general reaction of players to the ending movies of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII2'' is something like this: "You know, they say this game has a [[DownerEnding bad ending]], but I gotta say, I'm not really seeing... Oh. There it is."
* ''VideoGame/FantasyZone'' is a weird and silly CuteEmUp that involves a sentient space ship called Opa-Opa who has to stop the planet Menon from stealing other planet's money to build a giant army and find out who is responsible by shooting cute, bizarre looking enemies. In the end, it turns out that [[spoiler: [[LukeIAmYourFather Opa-Opa's long-lost dad is responsible]], and Opa kills him and saves the Fantasy Zone, but wonders if it was worth it.]] The end, [[NewGamePlus begin a new loop.]]
* ''VideoGame/HarvestMoonAWonderfulLife''. You die. Admittedly, the game is one of the darkest in the franchise (if not the darkest), but it's typically quite happy. To make matters worse you die suddenly and rather young (likely in your 50s or 60s).
* ''[[VideoGame/BitTrip BIT.TRIP FATE]]'' is a pretty dark game compared to the other games in the series, but the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKOD7kjSDfw#t=8m47s ending]] takes the cake. Upon defeating the FinalBoss, [=CommanderVideo=] TurnsRed, gets into position... [[SuicideAttack and rams himself into the boss, destroying it and killing himself]]. After the final point tally, [=CommandgirlVideo=] arrives at the site of the final battle, realizes what just happened, and sheds a SingleTear.
* ''VideoGame/SamAndMaxFreelancePolice: The Devil's Playhouse'' is a comedy LovecraftLite that, while DarkerAndEdgier than the previous games, is still very lighthearted and playful. The ending involves [[spoiler:Max being KilledOffForReal]].
** The Narrator's clear and unmistakeable announcement that it would happen should have removed the 'suddenly' qualifier, but that was taken with a hearty dose of LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt, leaving the shock when it actually [[SubvertedTrope did happen]].
** There was also a last-minute, post-credits inversion of this trope didn't so much negate the DownerEnding as even it out to BittersweetEnding. [[spoiler: The Max that died was still the same one who had been with Sam since "Chariot of the Gods", when time travel copies of Sam and Max was created. And if the Max who joined with Sam at the end was the "real" one, then that would mean the real Sam had died during his adventures elsewhere.]]
** These events are mentioned in ''VideoGame/PokerNight2''. Strangely, Max confirms Sam's version of the events instead of his own.
* ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurDay''. After a humorous ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' styled adventure, Conker becomes King of All the Lands.... [[spoiler:but at a price: the people in his kingdom are all morons, and his girlfriend, Berri, is dead with the implication that he might've had a chance to bring her back but didn't take it, and by the time he realizes it, it's too late. As for Conker himself, it's highly implied that he's spiraling towards booze-filled self-destruction.]]
** In the original ending, things were a bit less... subtle. [[spoiler:In the bar scene at the end, Conker was supposed to shoot himself in the head. The only reason this was changed was because the creators were planning on a sequel.]]
* ''Videogame/DeathSpank'' is a comedic hack and slash RPG that prides itself in its wacky, lighthearted VideoGame/MonkeyIsland-esque humor. [[spoiler:Then, at the end of the sequel, [=DeathSpank=]'s closest ally and possible love interest [[FaceHeelTurn goes batshit insane]] due to the Thongs of Power's corrupting power, and he must either let himself be killed to fuel her delusions of godhood or cut her down himself, which greatly troubles him as he mourns and buries her. Unlike literally the entire rest of the series, this is all treated as somber and tragic as possible.]] And the canonical choice? [[spoiler:He kills her.]]
* The Bad Ending to the 8-bit version of ''VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2'', in which Sonic fails to get all the Chaos Emeralds before fighting Silver Sonic, and is punished for it by not completing his adventure, and instead showing a montage of him running from the middle of the day into the dead of night while the credits roll. The bad part? When he stops running, he looks up into the sky and sees Tails' face in the sky, implying that [[KillTheCutie he died]].
* In ''VideoGame/SonicBattle'', after spending the entire game learning, forming strong friendships, and growing more powerful, with the player watching Emerl grow from babyhood to a mature young robot, Eggman overloads him with power and makes him go crazy. You play as Sonic to kill him.
* The ending to ''Blade Dancer: Lineage of Light'', which had up to that point been a fairly normal, relatively upbeat [[spoiler:(no major betrayals, no major massacres, nobody dies, etc)]] RPG, can only be summarized by [[TheBadGuyWins this trope.]]
* ''VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves'' ends this way. Granted, the BigBad is finally gone for good [[spoiler:(both of them)]] and Sly gets away in the end, but [[spoiler:the gang disbands due to [[GeniusCripple Bentley]] getting crippled for good during the fight and [[ItsAllMyFault Murray]] blaming himself for it. ''VideoGame/Sly3HonorAmongThieves''' first chapter is the three coming back together and confronting their lingering feelings from that disaster.]]
* Also, [[VideoGame/SlyCooperThievesInTime the fourth game]] becomes a DownerEnding when [[spoiler: Penelope betrays the Cooper Gang for her own selfish gain (but escapes prison and continues sending postcards to her now-ex Bentley), Sly disappears without a trace and the Bad Guy nearly wins]]. The secret ending reveals that [[spoiler: Sly is alive in Ancient Egypt, setting up a sequel which has yet to be announced]].
* The Conquest ending to the otherwise giggles-and-rainbows game ''VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptuniaMk2'' has [[spoiler:Nepgear taking the lives of the 7 other [=CPUs=], including her own sister, in the most heartwrenchingly depressing death scenes you can imagine.]]
* ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemElibe Fire Emblem: Blazing Sword]]'' talks about what happened to all the characters after the ending. All of them turned out pretty okay getting married and whatnot... oh except for Canas who died along with his wife in a snowstorm. Nino also disappears and leave two children behind since either she or her husband is wanted by soldiers. Both are actually {{Foregone Conclusion}}s if one has played ''Binding Blade'', but [[NoExportForYou nobody except Japan]] [[ContinuityLockout would know this]] at the game's release.
** ''[[VideoGame/FireEmblemAkaneia Fire Emblem: Mystery of the Emblem]]'', where certain characters get bad endings for little reasons. Est, for example, feels guilty over her uselessness that caused her husband Abel to commit FaceHeelTurn to protect her, and [[StarCrossedLover leaves him without saying a word.]]
* ''VideoGame/UltimaV'' ends this way; the Avatar returns to Earth to discover that his house has been robbed while he was away saving Lord British. This was apparently done to drive home the moral that the path of virtue is its own reward.
* Possible in ''Videogame/ManiacMansion'' if you contact the Meteor Police before showing the Meteor the publishing contract. While the Meteor is on the talk show in the ending, a policeman will beam down and arrest him. "I don't care if you're reformed, I'm still arresting you."
* ''VideoGame/ReahFaceTheUnknown'' ends with a final encounter with the phantom Alchemist, who delivers an ominous speech that blows away anything presumed about the player's reason for ever coming to the planet, Reah. [[spoiler: Everything the player had seen from the beginning was actually made up by the Alchemist, as part of his "cybernetic dream", and that the alchemist wasn't just a ghost, but some kind of AI. Furthermore, the player has already come along the path he took before, hence why everyone along the way knew him. It's implied that the alchemist had wiped the player's memory, and used him as a test subject of sorts for some kind of experiment. And on top of it all, the alchemist intends to [[AndIMustScream keep using this person for as many times as he sees fit.]] ]] The player character normally talks a lot, but in this scene, [[NothingIsScarier he has no words to say]]. After the alchemist stops talking, the game then abruptly turns to a "GAME OVER" screen, and no possible alternate endings exist for this game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Dead Space 3}}: Awakened'': After destroying the Tau Volantis moon, Isaac and Carver return to Earth only to find that the [[EldritchAbomination Brethren Moons]] [[LateToTheTragedy got there first]].
* ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankFutureToolsOfDestruction'' appears to end on a happy note. Tachyon and Slag are defeated, the Cragmites are permanently banished again, and Polaris is now free from the former's tyranny. But then [[spoiler: the Zoni reappear and kidnap Clank, taking him back to their home where he is put into a coma]].
* The various books in ''VideoGame/OdinSphere'' give each of the playable characters relatively happy endings, with Velvet making progress in trying to avert Armageddon. [[spoiler: Then Armageddon happens anyway, and everyone dies except for four of the five main characters. Things get better after that, but the sudden swerve towards the sadistically cruel can be surprising.]]
* The Amstrad CPC version of ''VideoGame/{{Contra}}'' had the heroes defeating the evil Red Falcon and saving the Earth... but, by destroying Red Falcon, it activated a bomb which destroys the Earth anyway!
* In ''VideoGame/WordRealms'', you're trying to save the local village from a monstrosity called Lord Nightmare before he can come to full power. The art style is very cartoony, combat consists of making bad puns at your opponent, and dialogue is generally very genre-savvy bordering on fourth-wall-breaking. [[spoiler: If you lose to Lord Nightmare when you fight - and you probably will, [[PuzzleBoss unless you know the trick]] - the rest of the game is very bleak, leading to an ending where you either unwittingly destroy half the town, leaving it in ruins, or unwittingly destroy half the town ''and'' murder almost everyone living there.]]
* More of a Sudden BittersweetEnding but ''{{VideoGame/Klonoa}}: Door to Phantomile'': [[spoiler: reveals at the end, that Klonoa came from another world and his entire life in this world was a lie made by the ''good guys'' (including Huepow) to stop the BigBad. Nevertheless his adoptive grandfather is still dead, and he and Huepow must be separated for good as the world is returned to normal.]]
* If you complete a KillEmAll run in ''VideoGame/{{Undertale}}'', both variants of the GoldenEnding gain a [[TheStinger Stinger]] that transforms them from ordinary happy endings into bad ones. [[spoiler:After completing the KillEmAll run, the world was destroyed, and you had to sell your SOUL to the Fallen Child to get it back. The added stinger strongly implies that they intend to use that SOUL to take control of the PlayerCharacter and KillEmAll again without you.]]
* The ending for ''[[VideoGame/DistortedTravesty Distorted Travesty 3]]'' has Jerry and Claire [[spoiler: defeat both Hexor and the Warmaster and proceed to bring down the Warship, only for Hex to have put a safeguard in both control consoles. Jeremy, Jerry, and Claire all perish when the Warship is destroyed, leaving Chao as the only survivor, and in the end, Hex got what he wanted, [[TheBadGuyWins his own demise and that of Jeremy]]]].
* The visual novel ''Malus Code'' is mostly a light-hearted romp not unlike ''Tokyo School Life'' (made by the same people), but at the end of each route things become ''very'' [[NightmareFuel messed up]]. Also, after finishing the game once, the title screen changes to a more horror-inducing one. You can see the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnYSAXigYks&list=PLZLY-65da7WaizguFZQw4hiTfLFXDaLRV&index=9 endings]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMOWcM2cMlQ for]] [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu5MT9nVLJA yourself]].
* In ''Cheesy'', right after you defeat the final boss Cheesy throws the last ingredient into the magic pot, and then jumps inside it. He falls into a room filled by mouse traps; he looks around and shrugs. Then the screen goes black and you hear the mouse traps being activated and you hear him scream in pain.
* The best ending of ''Videogame/{{Prey 2017}}'' implies that you made the best out of a terrible situation. You rescued the humans that could be saved, you defeated an unexpected and terrible foe and have evidence on the wrongdoings of an EvilInc. And ''then'' [[spoiler: it turns out it's all been a simulation! The bad guys won, or at least have infested Earth. Morgan, and likely everyone you 'saved'. were likely dead all along, and you are a monster dreaming of being a human who can slaughter any remaining hope of humanity's survival right at the last moment.]] Yeesh.
* The original ending of ''Videogame/{{Portal}}'' was moderately happy, with the player successfully defeating the Mad AI [=GLaDoS=] and escaping from the facility. However, in the patch released shortly before ''Videogame/{{Portal2}},'' an unseen robot is heard, and it drags Chell ''back'' into the nightmarish Aperture Science Facility.

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* The original ''WebAnimation/{{Jerry}}'' short. The final ''Jerry'' short was also quite dark compared to the others, until the ending.
* The 100th episode of ''WebAnimation/WeeblAndBob'' actually ends with [[spoiler:the death of Donkey, Chris the Ninja Pirate's wife.]] Inverted in the following episode, which revolves around Weebl, Bob, and Chris attending Donkey's funeral. [[TheFunInFuneral Cue Mr. Teeth.]]
-->'''Mr. Teeth:''' It's time to put the donkey into the asshole!
* The flash series ''[[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic My Little Pony]]: [[VideoGame/{{Portal}} Thinking With Portals]]'', is a lighthearted comedy crossover between MLP and ''Portal'', and features each of the Mane Cast (and the Princesses) having lighthearted hijinks with portal guns. The final episode, which will involve Twilight getting her revenge for being the ButtMonkey for the entire series, is stated to be ''much'' more serious than the rest of the series, the author admitting some of it may end up veering into GrimDark territory. [[spoiler:However, the author has personally leaked that in the end, [[EverybodyLives everyone lives]].]]
* In the last episode of ''WebAnimation/NekoSugarGirls'', [[spoiler:Raku dies of a broken heart after she confesses her love for Hitoshi, only to find out that he has entered a romantic relationship with his kidnapper]].
* The quirky and random ''Machinima/MassDefect'' video ends on a [[MoodWhiplash really somber note]] with [[spoiler:[[TheHeroDies Shepard being killed]].]]
* Episode 12 of ''WebAnimation/LlamasWithHats'' ends on a very downbeat note. After Paul left Carl in episode 6, Carl struggled to adapt to life without him and he became even more unhinged than ever. Episode 12 takes place after Carl has destroyed all of civilization and Carl tries to get back together with Paul, only to find out that Paul died a long time ago. With his only friend gone and nothing left to do, [[DrivenToSuicide Carl throws himself off a bridge and drowns]]. Unlike the rest of the series, none of this is played for laughs.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The 'Flower Knight' sidestory in ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}''. A Knight quested and struggled for years to find the world's most beautiful flower for his queen. He finds it, brings it to his queen and the two live HappilyEverAfter alongside BabiesEverAfter. Then the flowers reveal themselves to be parasitic in nature and drain the life out of ''every single person'' in the Knight's city. His wife, his children, his servants, the commonfolk... '''''Everyone''''', leaving him the sole survivor in a city of bodies. He sets out of the city to kill the creature that gave him the flower and ruined his life. ''That is when the story ends''. No resolution and to make it worse [[spoiler: The flowers ''are still around''.]]
* ''[[http://doobl.comicgenesis.com/d/20060623.html Doobl.]]'' What appears to be a normal family-friendly webcomic for a fair number of strips, then has the protagonist go crazy and slaughter the cast before killing himself. Meanwhile, in the news posts, the author's mother dies. He spends the remaining posts increasingly lashing out against the world. It ends with a newspaper clipping covering the author's suicide. [[spoiler:It turned out to be a hoax.]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Concerned}}, the Half-Life and Death of Gordon Frohman'', is mostly a gag strip that ends with... [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin oh, guess]]. Of course, it's still ''funny'' while doing so.
* ''Webcomic/TheLastDaysOfFOXHOUND'' has everyone DoomedByCanon. As such, the last chapter is just a montage of their bodies. It's emphasized by how sudden it is -- cutting straight from the "preparing for battle" montage to the death montage. At least the ghosts of the dead characters show up to joke about their ineptitude, providing a relieving comical note.
* ''It's All Been Done'' ended with the main character and his wacky group of talking toys about to have an adventure when [[spoiler:he realizes the entire thing was an attempt to avoid dealing with his wife's death.]]
* ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel'' had a mini-arc in which the female lead Lihah becomes pregnant [[ConvenientMiscarriage only to have a miscarriage]]. Yes, this is the same comic in which the main character built a wacky human-hating robot out of an Xbox and who was once crowned the King of Gaming after an evil company that wanted to exploit the fictional gamer holiday of "Winter-een-mas". Naturally, [[MemeticMutation the internet]] made its own humor out of the situation, making the miscarriage strip one of the comic's most famous, and arguably an inversion of this trope to new readers.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''[[WebVideo/DoctorHorriblesSingAlongBlog Doctor Horrible's Sing-along Blog]]'' seems like a silly musical about super heroes and villains, even if it does have a VillainProtagonist. Then you hit the point where the "evil scheme" starts to unfurl, and things start happening.
* ''WebVideo/TalesFromTheTable'' started off very comedic and ends in a surprising and depressing way.
* The finale of [=GuavaMovement's=] LetsPlay of ''VideoGame/XCom Apocalypse''. [[spoiler:Humanity ''won''. They defeated the aliens. Then, in the final chapter, Soup Bot, an android who has been protagonist Otto Zander's closest friend and ally throughout the story, reveals that he was manipulating and using Zander from the beginning as part of his plan to commit genocide on humanity in retribution for their mistreatment of Androids. Soup Bot also reveals that ''he'' was responsible for several of the story's major events (the attack on the Evening Star, the attack on the Senate that X-Com was framed for, etc). The story ends with Otto, alone and dejected in his base, unable to do anything but watch as Soup Bot's army takes over the world. Oh, and TheStinger has a member of [[ReligionOfEvil the Cult of Sirius]] forming an alliance with the Alien Hive Mind to destroy both the Androids ''and'' humanity.]]
* ''WebVideo/DemoReel'' was never very happy to begin with, but ''The Review Must Go On'' ended with the apparent RetGone of all of the characters except Donnie, who regressed and reawakened back into WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic, who seems to be even more unhappy and suicidal these days than he was before ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee''.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/CampLazlo'' - Lumpus was never really the scoutmaster, he was a ''literally insane'' man who had locked the real scoutmaster away, presumably for the duration of the entire show, to steal his life. He is sent to an asylum. This twist is so dark and downright shocking that the entire cast except Lazlo can do nothing but stand in silence for a moment. WordOfGod claims that Jane Doe busted him out afterward and married him, but it's still a ShockingSwerve.
* The WesternAnimation/{{classic Disney short|s}} "Chicken Little" plays like a normal Cat-and-Mouse cartoon... until the end, where despite the Narrator's assurance to the audience that everything turns out alright, Foxy Loxy catches and eats all the chickens, turkeys, and ducks, smiling smugly all the while. "Hey, wait a minute!" the Narrator exclaims. "This isn't right! That's not the way it ends in my book!" Foxy, leaning against his "[[Literature/MeinKampf Psychology]]" book, responds, "Oh, yeah? Don't believe everything ya read, brother!" Yeah.
* ''ComicBook/TheSnowman'', which remains upbeat SweetDreamsFuel until the final moments, which reveals first that the Snowman has melted and died, then that it definitely wasn't a dream. The main character breaks down and cries. Cue credits.
** [[AnAesop Appreciate your happier moments while you can]] as [[EasyComeEasyGo they don't last forever.]] Presumably, [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped even kids have to learn that at some point.]]
** Actually ended up subverted in a rather off-hand way in a cartoon based loosely on another children's graphic novel by Raymond Briggs, which takes place in the same universe.
-->'''Father Christmas:''' [[spoiler:Glad you could make it again! The party, I mean, not the snowman.]]
** ''WesternAnimation/DerSchneemann'' ("The Snowman") is a 1944 German cartoon that basically has the exact same ending. A [[{{Snowlems}} snowman that comes to life]] sees a picture of summer in July and decides to wait in an icebox until July comes so he can enjoy summer. One might expect, given the light, whimsical tone of the cartoon, that the snowman would eventually go back to his icebox, or somehow escape his fate. Nope. He melts.
* The classic ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "WesternAnimation/WhatsOperaDoc" is mostly a goofy parody of opera tropes combined with WesternAnimation/BugsBunny's typical slapstick and AttractiveBentGender gags. [[spoiler:Then Elmer kills him. Bugs does break the fourth wall long enough to deliver the last line, though:]]
--> "Well what did ya expect in an opera-- a happy ending?"
* ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' has two examples, both related to the Ice King:
** The infamous (within its fandom, at least) "Holly Jolly Secrets" ChristmasSpecial. It is about the heroes Finn and Jake watching a bunch of videotapes made by their arch-enemy and IneffectualSympatheticVillain. The whole time, Finn and Jake continue because they believe the Ice King has hidden "evil secrets" in the tapes. Once the Ice King finds out that they are watching his tapes, he tries to stop them, but fails to prevent them from putting the last tape in their VCR. At that point, all he can do is watch in horror as Finn and Jake discover that ''[[FauxHorrific he used to wear glasses]],'' but more importantly, that [[spoiler:he used to be a normal human being who was driven insane and transformed by a supernatural artifact that he'd bought. They watch the young Ice King lose his mind and the woman he loved (who he called "princess" before she left him)]]. Before this, the Ice King had almost always been a funny character, and plenty of things that were PlayedForLaughs in the past [[CerebusRetcon were made tragic by this revelation.]] The writers seem to understand this and have given the character a break so far. Or possibly they don't know what to do with him. In addition, the other tapes before the last one are usually the Ice King saying or doing hilarious things, but some of them show him sitting around his house, crying, although that still seems to be Played For Laughs.
** Ice King's past comes up again in "I Remember You", when it's revealed that [[spoiler: Simon took care of Marceline when she was a child in the aftermath of the Mushroom War. [[ArtifactOfDoom The crown's magic]] allowed him to protect her from danger, but [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity every time he used that magic, he started losing his mind, and came closer and closer to being irreversibly driven insane]]; at present, he doesn't remember her very well]]. It's later [[SubvertedTrope subverted]] when he temporarily becomes normal again and brings Betty (his "princess") to the future. She swears that she'll find a way to reverse what the crown did to him, and the fact that he never lost her makes the revelation less tragic.
* If any episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' has any character change in a positive way or gain something nice, and they keep it near the end of the episode -- [[YankTheDogsChain expect it be suddenly yanked away]] soon afterward. [[StatusQuoIsGod The Status Quo]] ''must be preserved''. That being said, there were only a few notable exceptions: [[spoiler:Barney recovering from his alcoholism (although the writers eventually undid this), Lisa telling Homer that she'll never be happy with her body image (though the whole thing about Lisa being insecure with her body hasn't been mentioned since that episode), and Milhouse's parents staying divorced (though they did get remarried in "Little Orphan Millie")]].
* ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' ends with [[spoiler:one of the main characters dying a brutal, [[TearJerker tragic]] death, and then ''reality itself'' being {{RetGone}}d due to Spanky's idiocy.]]
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/BojackHorseman'', where, thanks to Bojack's growing disillusion with the show, ''Horsin' Around'' ended with his character dying and his adopted kids being sent off to foster care.
* The infamous ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode ''Jurassic Bark'' shows one of the few positive things about Fry's life in the 20th century: the stray dog Seymore Asses who he befriended and adopted, and centers around him wanting to use the dog's remains to revive it. He ultimately comes to the conclusion that it would be wrong, since the dog lived its natural lifespan and probably forgot all about him, and [[BittersweetEnding decides to let his friend rest in peace]]. Cue sudden [[PlayerPunch punch to the crotch]] that is the ending credits, where it shows Seymore [[TearJerker waited the rest of his natural life in front of the pizza parlor for Fry to come back]], not only because he loved his master that much, but also because Fry's last words to him were [[UndyingLoyalty "stay here, I'll be right back"]]. Its tearjerker status was so great that the writers [[AuthorsSavingThrow ended up retconning it]], and had a second Fry created via TimeyWimeyBall who took care of Seymore all those years in the past.
* ''WesternAnimation/RickAndMorty'': "Total Rickall" seems to end on a triumphant note as Beth shoots the final parasite, Mr. Pooopybutthole... only for it to be revealed that he was actually ''real''. The episode ends with Beth having a chillingly realistic [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone nervous breakdown]] and the rest of the family panicking as they desperately try to save Mr. Poopybutthole. Although it ends up being a Sudden BittersweetEnding, as Mr. Poopybutthole survives, but is shown [[RealityEnsues to need months of painful rehab in order to get back to functioning again]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'':
** In Episode 118, when the AlphaBitch Pretty posts humiliating pictures of Kaeloo, Stumpy, Quack Quack and Mr. Cat on social networking site "[[BlandNameProduct Fakebook]]", they get revenge on her, and then the fight escalates until the four of them use DisproportionateRetribution to punish her. At the end of the episode, they decide that they were too harsh and go to apologize and give her some presents, [[spoiler: but before they can, they find out that she wrote a book revealing all of their embarrassing secrets and already published two million copies. They decide to leave without saying anything and accept that they'll never change her.]]
** In Episode 124, Kaeloo, Stumpy and Quack Quack play a new game that uses technology which requires an immense amount of concentration. The episode goes well and they have fun together, but at the very end of the episode, [[spoiler: since [[TheDitz Stumpy]] doesn't have much in the way of a brain, concentrating proves to be too much for him and he has to go to the hospital, and ''[[TheyKilledKennyAgain ends up flatlining]]''[[note]][[ButtMonkey Stumpy]] dies fairly often on this show, he's fine by the next episode[[/note]]. Of course, this being ''Kaeloo'', nobody cares, but it still is pretty sad.]]
** In Episode 16, the episode has a generally funny plot, but at the end, Mr. Cat suggests kicking Kaeloo out of Smileyland and everyone else agrees. The episode ends with Kaeloo's friends kicking her out.
* The finale of ''WesternAnimation/ScaryLarry'' has the band breaking up and all the members moving out of the house.