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* ''Theatre/IAndYou'': Despite sharing a kiss and finding mutual understanding with each other, Anthony and Caroline will likely never see each other again since he's dead, and never got the chance to meet her before he died. However, Caroline finally gets the liver transplant she desperately needs and her health can finally recover, allowing her to see the world the way she dreamed of while she spent months if not years confined to her house due to her illness. While she'll never see Anthony again, it's strongly implied she'll always remember him and that she gave him the closure he needed to move on.


* ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'': Clara/Marie has her wonderful adventure with the Nutcracker Prince in the Land of Sweets, but in the end, in most productions, it turns out to be AllJustADream. Some productions like Mikhail Baryshnikov's particularly highlight the sad element, having Clara show clear distress as the Prince and other fantasy characters slowly drift away from her just before she wakes up. Downplayed in other productions, though: for example, George Balanchine's iconic New York City Ballet version ends with Marie and the Prince happily flying home in a sleigh, leaving it [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane ambiguous]] whether Marie is dreaming or not, while others, like the Royal Ballet's in London, have an OrWasItADream ending by having Clara wake up only to meet Drosselmeyer's nephew, who looks just like the Prince.

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* ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'': Clara/Marie has her wonderful adventure with the Nutcracker Prince in the Land of Sweets, but in the end, in most productions, it turns out to be AllJustADream. Some productions like Mikhail Baryshnikov's particularly highlight the sad element, having Clara show clear distress as the Prince and other fantasy characters slowly drift away from her just before she wakes up. Downplayed in other productions, Other productions end more sweetly, though: for example, George Balanchine's iconic New York City Ballet version ends with Marie and the Prince happily flying home in a sleigh, leaving it [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane ambiguous]] whether Marie is dreaming or not, while others, like the Royal Ballet's in London, have an OrWasItADream ending by having Clara wake up only to meet Drosselmeyer's nephew, who looks just like the Prince.

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* ''Theatre/TheNutcracker'': Clara/Marie has her wonderful adventure with the Nutcracker Prince in the Land of Sweets, but in the end, in most productions, it turns out to be AllJustADream. Some productions like Mikhail Baryshnikov's particularly highlight the sad element, having Clara show clear distress as the Prince and other fantasy characters slowly drift away from her just before she wakes up. Downplayed in other productions, though: for example, George Balanchine's iconic New York City Ballet version ends with Marie and the Prince happily flying home in a sleigh, leaving it [[MaybeMagicMaybeMundane ambiguous]] whether Marie is dreaming or not, while others, like the Royal Ballet's in London, have an OrWasItADream ending by having Clara wake up only to meet Drosselmeyer's nephew, who looks just like the Prince.


* ''Theatre/AidaJohnRice'' turns the DownerEnding from the [[Theatre/AidaVerdi original opera]] into this. Radames and Aida still die, but Amneris goes on to make peace with Nubia in their honor, and the final scene shows the modern-day reincarnations of Aida and Radames finding each other again.



* The ending of ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'' is chock full of [[FridgeHorror Fridge Horror]]. Angel is dead, and although Mimi miraculously survives her own brush with death, considering she, Collins and Roger are still suffering from AIDS in the early '90s, it's unlikely that they have all that much time left. It doesn't help that [[WordOfGod Word of God is she doesn't survive that much longer after the musical finishes.]] There's also a possibility that Benny (and by extension, his wife too) has contracted HIV from Mimi. This leaves Mark alone, which he [[SurvivorsGuilt repeatedly expresses fear at becoming]].

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* The ending of ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'' is chock full this with a hint of [[FridgeHorror Fridge Horror]]. Angel is dead, and although FridgeHorror. Mimi miraculously survives her own brush with death, considering she, Collins death and she and Roger are finally admit the depth of their feelings to each other, but she's still suffering from infected with AIDS in the early '90s, it's unlikely that they have all that much time left. It 1990s, as are Roger and Collins, which means their days are limited (WordOfGod is that, despite her miraculous recovery in the moment, Mimi in particular doesn't help that [[WordOfGod Word of God have long to live). Not to mention Angel is she doesn't survive that much longer after the musical finishes.]] There's also still dead, a possibility that Benny (and by extension, his wife too) has contracted HIV from Mimi. This leaves Mark alone, fact which he [[SurvivorsGuilt repeatedly expresses fear at becoming]].the viewer is keenly reminded of in the final scene.



* In the musical ''Theatre/SpringAwakening'', Melchoir finds that his pregnant friend, Wendla, is dead. Racked with guilt, he attempts to commit suicide only for her ghost, and his friend's ghost, to appear and convince him to live. Even more creepy, in the original play. Mortz's ghost finds that he rest with a pride and a smile on his face, while Melchior, remorseful of his part in Wendla's death, lives on under the works of the Masked Stranger.

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* In the musical ''Theatre/SpringAwakening'', Melchoir Melchior finds that his pregnant friend, sort-of girlfriend, Wendla, is dead. Racked with guilt, he attempts to commit suicide only for her ghost, suicide, but Wendla's and his friend's ghost, Moritz's ghosts come to appear him and convince him to live. Even more creepy, in go on with his life.
** The ending of
the original play. Mortz's ghost finds play is even darker, coming close to a full-on DownerEnding. In that he rest with a pride and a smile on his face, while Melchior, remorseful of his part in show, Wendla's death, lives on under ghost doesn't appear at all, while Moritz's ghost essentially tells him that the works of afterlife is miserable. So Melchior is alive and will go on, but not only are Wendla and Moritz dead, at least the Masked Stranger.latter will be suffering for eternity.


* In ''Theatre/{{Jenufa}}'', on the day of her wedding the titular heroine discovers that her baby whom she thought dead of natural causes has been murdered by her stepmother. The whole village now knows she had a child out of wedlock, and the stepmother is taken to trial. However, the two have a SugarWiki/{{Heartwarming|Moments}} forgiveness duet, the jerkass father of the baby who abandoned the heroine is finally exposed with his villainy and no girl wants to look at him again, while Jenufa's fiancé assures her he'll never leave her side whatever happens and she realizes she now loves him and not the previous guy.

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* In ''Theatre/{{Jenufa}}'', on the day of her wedding the titular heroine discovers that her baby whom she thought dead of natural causes has been murdered by her stepmother. The whole village now knows she had a child out of wedlock, and the stepmother is taken to trial. However, the two have a SugarWiki/{{Heartwarming|Moments}} forgiveness duet, the jerkass father of the baby who abandoned the heroine is finally exposed with his villainy and no girl wants to look at him again, while Jenufa's fiancé assures her he'll never leave her side whatever happens and she realizes she now loves him and not the previous guy.

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{{Bittersweet Ending}}s in theatre.

As said on the main page, '''spoilers are unmarked'''.
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* ''[[Theatre/SeventeenSeventySix 1776]]'' ends with the Continental Congress signing the Declaration of Independence- with the knowledge that they have a long, arduous war that they have little chance of winning to look forward to, considering their army is a shambles and the British Navy was the greatest in the world. Hindsight tells us they'll win eventually (since it ''is'' based of history), but ''they'' don't know that.
* ''Theatre/AvenueQ'' ends with Princeton discovering that he might [[DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife never find his purpose in life.]] But his friends are there to remind him that lots of people never find their purpose, and that it's best to enjoy what we have for now.
* ''Theatre/AChorusLine'': Paul is injured with a 50/50 chance of ever being able to dance again. And only some of the dancers will be accepted into the chorus line; the others have to go. In both cases, such is the reality of show business.
* ''Theatre/CyranoDeBergerac'': Roxane knows the truth of Cyrano PlayingCyrano for Christian and assures the dying Cyrano that she will mourn him, De Guiche discovers that is LonelyAtTheTop, Roxane realizes that she has been LovingAShadow for fifteen years and [[DidNotGetTheGirl that all her suitors abandoned her or are dead]], Ragueneau not [[RefusalOfTheCall only doesn't cook anymore]], but he [[DesperatelyLookingForAPurposeInLife never could keep a stable job]] [[BrokenPedestal and is very angry because]] Creator/{{Moliere}} [[WritersSuck stole a scene from Cyrano]], and [[OnlySaneMan OnlySaneGascon]] Le Bret [[DespairEventHorizon rebels against destiny, because he never understood the self-destructive tendencies of his best friend and he could do nothing to help him]].
* ''Theatre/DearEvanHansen'': Evan admits his lie to the Murphys, even though the truth crushes them and destroys his relationship with the family. But, he ends up reconciling with Heidi, and after a one-year DistantFinale, Zoe. [[DidNotGetTheGirl Even though Evan's relationship with Zoe ends up being relegated to a status of]] AmicableExes, his final letter reveals he has changed over the course of the play, and has embraced himself as a [[NervousWreck socially awkward]], yet [[{{Determinator}} resolute]] man.
* ''Theatre/{{Finale}}'' ends with [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the world ending]], but at least the main characters all got to tie up all loose ends and spend their last few days enjoying life.
* ''Theatre/FuddyMeers'': Claire remembers all that happened before her condition until she falls asleep in the car at the very end.
* ''ComicBook/FunHome's'' musical adaption: Bruce kills himself, but Allison is able to come to terms with his death and moves on, completing her autobiography with a picture of him catching her in a pool.
* ''Theatre/{{Hamilton}}'': Aaron Burr shoots Hamilton and gets his revenge, only to immediately realize that the world was "wide enough for the both of us" and that he is permanently doomed to be history's villain forever. Unlike most of the other Founding Fathers, Hamilton runs out of time and dies too young to ensure his legacy. However, he gains the post-mortem respect of arch-nemeses Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, and Eliza works tirelessly to cement his earned place in American history and to accomplish all the things her husband never got the chance to. She succeeds.
* The climax of Shakespeare's ''Theatre/HenryV'' sees the vastly outnumbered English defeat the French at the (in the play) decisive Battle of Agincourt. The victorious Henry charmingly woos the French Princess Katherine to seal the deal. But the Chorus reminds the audience that "this star of England" would die just a few years later, and his son, unfit to rule, would lose France and [[UsefulNotes/WarsOfTheRoses "make his England bleed]]."
* By the end of Act II in ''Theatre/IntoTheWoods'', only [[TeamMom Cinderella]], [[AxeCrazy Little Red]], [[IdiotHero Jack]], [[TheHero The Baker]] and the Princes with their new wives end up surviving the Giantess' RoaringRampageOfRevenge.
* In ''Theatre/{{JB}}'', J.B. indeed gets his health and his wife back in the end, but the town where he once made his fortune is now completely destroyed, to say nothing of [[EverybodysDeadDave what happened to all of his children]]. Still, HopeSproutsEternal, and the play ends as J.B. and Sarah begin to rebuild their home.
* In ''Theatre/{{Jenufa}}'', on the day of her wedding the titular heroine discovers that her baby whom she thought dead of natural causes has been murdered by her stepmother. The whole village now knows she had a child out of wedlock, and the stepmother is taken to trial. However, the two have a SugarWiki/{{Heartwarming|Moments}} forgiveness duet, the jerkass father of the baby who abandoned the heroine is finally exposed with his villainy and no girl wants to look at him again, while Jenufa's fiancé assures her he'll never leave her side whatever happens and she realizes she now loves him and not the previous guy.
* ''Theatre/LoveNeverDies'': It turns out that Christine loved the Phantom more all along -- her son Gustave is the product of a one night stand they had before she married Raoul -- and Raoul accepts this. Unfortunately, Meg Giry, driven mad by the Phantom never paying attention to her and being unaware of how much she did to build his fortune in America (she was forced into prostitution by her mother) tries to murder Gustave. When the others confront her, Christine is accidentally killed...but she dies in her true love's arms and Gustave is ready and willing to accept the Phantom as his father, so he is no longer alone in the world.
* ''Theatre/LesMiserables'': Jean Valjean dies, as did a good number of the main cast. However, unlike most of the other casualties, who were either murdered, committed suicide, or died in misery and squalor, he dies with Cosette and Marius by his side, and is welcomed into Heaven with open arms by Fantine to a triumphant reprise of "Do You Hear The People Sing?" The song even highlights his contentedness at being able to learn how to love after spending a significant portion of his life mired in fear and/or hatred.
* ''Theatre/PerfectPie'': Francesca leaves, admitting that she can't bear to stay for fear that she'll become Marie Begg again, with Patsy concluding that this is the last time they they'll ever see each other again. But the bond between them has been repaired, with Francesca finally able to move past the guilt and trauma she's been carrying ever since the accident and Patsy saying that she'll never forget her.
* ''Theatre/ThePhantomOfTheOpera'': Christine gets her TenorBoy Raoul, leaving the Phantom alone and miserable.
* ''Theatre/ThePillowman'': Katurian is executed despite his innocence, Tupolski gets away with it completely, and Ariel is ordered to burn Katurian's stories. He keeps them instead.
* ''Theatre/{{Ramona}}'': In the current version of the [[http://ramonabowl.com/ramona-history-classic/ Ramona Pageant]], Felipe manages to save the rancho from foreclosure and convince Ramona to marry him, but Alessandro is dead, as is Eyes of the Sky.
* The ending of ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'' is chock full of [[FridgeHorror Fridge Horror]]. Angel is dead, and although Mimi miraculously survives her own brush with death, considering she, Collins and Roger are still suffering from AIDS in the early '90s, it's unlikely that they have all that much time left. It doesn't help that [[WordOfGod Word of God is she doesn't survive that much longer after the musical finishes.]] There's also a possibility that Benny (and by extension, his wife too) has contracted HIV from Mimi. This leaves Mark alone, which he [[SurvivorsGuilt repeatedly expresses fear at becoming]].
* Although it's usually considered tragic, ''Theatre/RomeoAndJuliet'' finishes with the ending of a terrible feud which was probably going to have killed a lot more than five people over the years had it been allowed to continue.
* In the musical ''Theatre/SpringAwakening'', Melchoir finds that his pregnant friend, Wendla, is dead. Racked with guilt, he attempts to commit suicide only for her ghost, and his friend's ghost, to appear and convince him to live. Even more creepy, in the original play. Mortz's ghost finds that he rest with a pride and a smile on his face, while Melchior, remorseful of his part in Wendla's death, lives on under the works of the Masked Stranger.
* Nathan of ''Theatre/ThrillMe'' does get his parole, and so gets to go out and live his life. However, there are only two characters in the show, and this makes it look like the only meaningful relationship of Nathan's life was with Richard, who is now dead. The ending can be played better or worse--anywhere from Nathan still being fully obsessed with Richard to Nathan finally beginning to get over him--but regardless, Nathan gave up most of his young life to a bad relationship, and only now gets any chance at starting over. Not to mention the fact that [[BlackAndGrayMorality a convicted murderer being set free isn't necessarily the best ending]].
* ''Theatre/TribulationTrail'' ends with most Of humanity dead, and occasionally [[spoiler:the lead]] as well. But Christ has won and God has set up a new heaven. [[spoiler:But the point of the whole show is: What is your choice?]]
* ''Theatre/{{Wicked}}''. Even though the protagonist survives, and Glinda banishes both Morrible and the Wizard, Glinda is still left alone believing every close friend she's ever had to be dead. Fiyero, now cursed as a scarecrow, and Elphaba might have survived but can never return to Oz. Glinda and Elphaba come to terms with the irreversibility of fate and circumstances and ultimately realize that the fact that they met and changed each other was what really mattered.
* Creator/GilbertAndSullivan's ''Theatre/TheYeomenOfTheGuard'' ends with one happy couple and poor Jack Point realizing his love is well and truly lost to him.

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