"Sorry, we're all outta happy endings today! We only have ones that end with horrible beatings."
— Adell, Disgaea 2
"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 loved Big Brother."
— 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."
— 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."
"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."
"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 thatóno happy endings, no apologias, no excuses, no redemption, no escape.