"Sorry, we're all outta happy endings today! We only have ones that end with horrible beatings."
— Adell, Disgaea 2: Cursed Memories
"There's nothing on Earth like really nailing the last line of a big book. You have 200 pages to tickle their fancy, and seven words to break their heart.”
—Alex de Campi
"People love a happy ending. So every episode, I will explain once again that I don't like people. And then Mal will shoot someone. Someone we like. And their puppy."
"He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother."
— George Orwell, closing words, 1984
"Life's a bitch. And then you die."
— Don Carpenter
"I was kind of hoping for a happy ending."
— "Sarcastic" Hawke, near the end of the game right after everything starts blowing up, Dragon Age II
And that's how the show that had captivated America one year earlier ended — not with a delicious cherry pie, but with blood running down a defeated Cooper's smiling face.
"Empire had the better ending. I mean, Luke gets his hand cut off, finds out Vader's his father, Han gets frozen and taken away by Boba Fett. It ends on such a down note. I mean, that's what life is, a series of down endings. All Jedi had was a bunch of Muppets."
— Dante Hicks, Clerks
Tom Servo: So evil won, grampa?
Mike: Yes, Billy, even your puny soul is doomed.
"Oh, jeez, what a total downer!"
— Coach Z, Homestar Runner, "Homestarloween Party"
When you reach the part where the heartaches come
The hero would be me
But heroes often fail
And you won't read that book again
Because the ending's just too hard to take
— Gordon Lightfoot, If You Could Read My Mind
"And taking a look at the long range forecast, continued snow, darkness, and extreme cold. This is Howard Handupme. Goodnight. [Beat.] Goodbye."
— Dinosaurs (final line of the series)
"Zis ending stinks!"
— Fifi La Fume, Tiny Toon Adventures, "Out of Odor"
"A grand opera cannot have a happy ending — unless you consider it a happy ending when all the characters are too dead to sing any longer. Some do."
— Katharine Dayton, "Gypsies, Nobles, Peasants, Etc."
''"We cannot let this be... THE END."'note
"I went through all that torture just to be given the middle-finger salute?!"
IN MEMORY OF A PATRIOT WHO SAVED THE WORLD
"No, you have to choose. But in any case, all the mass relays get blown up..."
— Starchild, Mass Effect 3
"The Antediluvians destroy the world in their struggle, and drain all life to fuel their quests for godhood. All of humanity dies. All the animals die. All the plants die. Everything in the sea dies. Only the characters are left, the last dwellers on a planet as barren as the moon. They have nothing left to feed on, except each other, and then - a torpor that never ends, or the mercy of the sun. For extra irony, let the death-struggles of the Antediluvians propel the characters to the ancient site of Eden, now blasted and dead like the rest of the world. What do the characters do? When all hope has failed, when they have lost everything, when there is nothing left to achieve - what then? What do the characters choose as their final actions before they too meet their end?"
— "And The Rest Is Silence" ending of Vampire: The Masquerade: Gehenna
"Sad ending, isn't it?"
Hope Estheim: Noel? But why...? You were safe, everything was fine.
Noel Kreiss: The future changed. It changed. If you change the future, you change the past. The effects ripple outwards, up and down the timeline. The seeress is forced to see it all.
Hope Estheim: You mean Serah... she saw this vision?
Noel Kreiss: Yes. And it killed her. Serah. She knew the risk. If we altered the future, she knew what would happen; that her life could be in danger. But she still chose to save it. I wanted to protect her... I thought I had. I thought she was safe.
They say that "evil prevails when good men fail to act." What they ought to say is, "evil prevails."
—Yuri Orlov, Lord of War
Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown.
— Det. Walsh, Chinatown
I think there's a great potential in horror fiction that isn't easily available to realistic fiction. This is the potential to portray our worst nightmares, both private and public, as we approach death through the decay of our bodies. And then to leave it at that—no happy endings, no apologias, no excuses, no redemption, no escape.
That was the saddest story ever!
The Wyrm's victory is the world's ruin. Life continues, but horribly changed: a land covered with toxin-resistant weeds and dead trees, vermin and pests where larger animals have died, humans scrabbling, stealing, murdering and eating each other to live, or worse still, serving the Wyrm-Lords openly for their daily "bread". If the troupe's characters live to see this horror, make it obvious that this is not simply a "regime change." It is the death of Gaia, and the corruption of all upon Her corpse to the service of hate and filth.
—Werewolf: The Apocalypse - Apocalypse