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Bittersweet Ending / Fan Works

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  • Ace Combat: The Equestrian War ends with ponies winning the war and reconciling with the griffins. Unfortunately, many ponies and griffins died during the war, many were traumatized and majority of Equestria was ravaged by the conflict. However, the epilogue goes toward Earn Your Happy Ending for some characters.
  • Clash of the Elements: The end of Part 1. Though Alex has become the Elemental Overlord and stopped Joe Dark, the Genesis Samurais are dead and the Inner Guardians' spirits will never be given the freedom Alex wanted to let them have after taking their souls into their bodies. Not to mention that because of the Star Spirit's interference during the battle Geno has to stay in Star Haven to mediate the world below. That's not even getting into the fact that Cackletta is still alive and so are Dimentio and Smithy.
  • Code Prime: R1 has a far better ending compared to its canon counterpart. The Decepticons have now started to occupy the planet with more Cons coming. However, many of the main characters survived the Decepticons' attack and new allies join the Autobot and Black Knight cause. Finally, R1 ends with Optimus Prime rallying his Autobots all across the universe to come and end the Decepticon threat once and for all.
  • Crossed Paths:
    • In the recreation of Equestria, this happens for all four duos; they all manage to escape and reconcile with each other, but not without some sacrifices on their part. Twilight and Jack had to kill many corrupted innocent ponies and couldn't stop the Many; Dash and Indy were unable to save anypony from the haunted orphanage, aside from Scootaloo, who was already dead; Pinkie and Fluttershy had to leave Lyra and Trixie in their own story to fight the Taken themselves; and Applejack and Rarity had to kill Diamond Tiara in order to escape the hospital.
    • The story itself; the group reasons with Fracture and assists it, allowing them to return to their homeworlds. Yet they never see each other again - at least not that we know of yet.
  • At the end of Don't Look, Shinji and Misato have survived their encounter with the Slender Man and have formed a loving relationship together and Rei III is activated. However, dozens of people have died including Kensuke, Touji, and Hikari. Furthermore, the Slender Man survived as well and is still after Shinji and Misato, though less willing to attack them when they're not unawares after the pain they inflicted on it. Lastly, Rei III has been infected by the Slender Man and has gained an interest in Shinji.
  • End of the Line ends with Xander averting the apocalypse by returning magic to the world after destroying Sailor Moon's barrier (which she'd created to protect her hometown from said apocalypse). But he, Faith, and all the Sailor Scouts were Killed Off for Real and countless people, animals, and plants died in between having magic ripped out of them and Xander returning it.
  • In Fallout: Equestria, Littlepip successfully disables the Enclave's cloud cloak and allows the sun to shine on the Wasteland for the first time in two centuries. However, to do this she must permanently seal herself in a stasis chamber so her brain may be used as a computer processor.
  • Fate of the Clans: Beast of Revelation and the Holy Grail was destroyed but a bunch of people wound up dead in a battle that only cause a lot of sorrow.
  • Although the heroes are able to defeat Thanos and undo the Snap in Infinity Crisis, the spin-off sequels note that only the dead who were killed by the Gauntlet came back to life after the Snap was undone, and there were therefore still numerous casualties caused by, for example, vehicles crashing because the drivers suddenly vanished.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger: Jaune is freed from Darth Nihilus's control, but not before Pyrrha gets fatally stabbed through the stomach. Having lost the girl he loves alongside everything he's worked for, a redeemed Jaune sacrifices himself to defeat Nihilus. On the sweet side: the City of Vale is saved, Cinder's faction and Adam's White Fang branch are throughly eradicated, and though Nihilus survives, his spirit is confined to his mask and locked away in Beacon's Vault, with Ozpin determined to find a way to permanently destroy him. On the bitter side: hundreds have died including Qrow, Ironwood, and Penny; Beacon Academy is reduced to rubble; and Jaune's surviving friends are left physically and mentally scarred. Ruby has repressed PTSD, Nora and Ren lost their Family of Choice, Weiss is permanently blinded, and Blake goes AWOL after her faith in humanity is shattered. To keep The Masquerade going, Ozpin covers up everything that happened and uses the White Fang as a scapegoat for Nihilus's crimes — setting back human-Faunus relations by decades in the process. Furthermore, Salem is still out there and has set her sights on the Mask of Nihilus, meaning that Nihilus may not remain imprisoned for long. The epilogue also reveals that Darth Krayt and his One Sith are headed for Remnant, having detected Nihilus's presence there.
  • The Girls' Generation/Super Junior crossover fanfic Kill or Be Killed. Sunny is the SNSD winner and Yesung is the SJ winner, and they are both taken away by their group managers, leading them to outcry in anger after realizing that all of the story's events could've been prevented had they interfered, especially with Sunny in a state of distress after her lover Sungmin is killed. Ryeowook is stabbed by Sunny and left for dead until Sooyoung (who he thought he had killed) nurses him back to health and asks Yesung to look after him while she goes in pursuit of a new life. Additionally, Jessica survives by escaping the amusement park Shawshank style.
  • In Necessary to Win, Oarai wins the tournament, enabling it to stay open. Several other characters have accomplished what they have set out to do; Miho has found her own way of tankery, Saki and her sister have reconciled, Nodoka is allowed to stay a her current school, Mako gets the tardies stricken from her record, and Hana has gotten her mother to accept her doing tankery. Not all characters are satisfied, though; Saki and Teru's parents divorce, rather than getting back together as they had hoped, and in the end, many characters, such as Momo and Yumi, are forced to say goodbye to each other as a result of graduating. Some problems remain, as Miho's mother has not disowned her, but does not regret doing so, and the future of Oarai is by no means guaranteed. But the characters remain hopeful, and remain committed to working toward their goals, with Miho and Saki having come to enjoy tankery again.
  • A Peaceful Afterlife:
    • Kira dies at the end, but he does so saving the others. Unlike other demons, his soul, represented by gold smoke, ascends away and he meets with a being who may be God. He is told he is not redeemed, but proven himself redeemable, and he is reborn as his JoJolion counterpart. From what we know from canon, it is a Foregone Conclusion that he will earn his way to heaven this time around.
    • For the others, their friend Kira is dead. But they see how his death is different from others. They don't know he has been reborn, but they have hope he escaped hell and received some form of redemption.
  • People Like Us: For several reasons, Arthur and Travis decide to leave Gotham City, but neither of them have a job and they aren’t really sure what to do next. However, Travis has saved Arthur from being Driven to Villainy, Arthur got some closure with his mother before she died, and instead of causing chaos and death the Joker persona becomes a cult sensation that a lot of Gotham citizens relate to. What matters to Arthur and Travis is that they have each other.
  • In Pipeline, Ben's okay, Ace establishes that he's a good father, the Utoniums are slowly accepting Buttercup's death, and Kevin and Dexter have agreed to be civil for Ben's sake. But... Ben and Kevin still need to work some things out, Kevin's betrayed Gwen's trust by keeping things from her, Buttercup and Mac are dead, Kevin and Dexter will never really be friends, and the war still isn't over. Ouch.
  • The Stars Will Aid Their Escape: Herald/Nyarlathotep is defeated, Shub-Niggurath's summoning is prevented, and even the Dark Young are killed. However, a large portion of the military is dead, many other ponies have been left insane, Twilight is bordering on insanity herself, Rainbow Dash is heavily traumatized, and on top of all that, it turns out that Nyarlathotep impregnated Fluttershy as a backup plan.
  • Ultimate Spiders And Magic: Thus far, this happens after every episode. Spidey wins the day, but it comes at a cost.
    • In Episode One, he defeats the Vulture, but because of the collateral damage, Jameson and Diamond Tiara label him a menace, thus immediately ruining his reputation in Canterlot City.
    • At the end of Episode Two, Spidey saves the school from the Dazzling's influence alongside the Rainbooms, but everyone thinks he simply hijacked the show. Tiara doubles down, most of the Rainbooms distrust him, and his reputation is tainted even further.
    • Jameson finds a way to blame all of the collateral damage on Spider-Man at the end of Episode Three, in spite of the Juggernaut and Wolverine being there as well.
  • Ultrasonic: Ultrasonic is defeated and Zootopia is saved with no apparent loss of life thanks to Miraculous Ladybug, and while the Butterfly is still out there and still as powerful as ever, he's implied to have given up in despair. Nick has been fired from the ZPD, but he avoids jail time for his actions during the crisis and is happy as long as Judy is safe - they get engaged in the last scene. As for Marinette, she finds a new home with Clawhauser and, in contrast to her self-destructive behaviour over the past year, she is willing to make the best of things in Zootopia. But it doesn't change the fact that Adrien is dead and she may never see Alya or her parents again.

Ace Attorney

  • Dirty Sympathy ends with one. Klavier and Apollo can never return to U.S. without being sent to jail by Phoenix and both of them lost their careers. Apollo and Trucy never find out they're blood-related and will never see each other again. Phoenix's plans of restoring the Jurist system might be for naught as Kristoph's rightful conviction is dependent on a crime he didn't commit. Edgeworth decides not to rekindle his relationship with Phoenix, seeing the price for it too high and will lead to inevitable disappointment. But Klavier and Apollo are free of their tormentors and are given a second chance at life. Klavier and Apollo are happily in love with each other and won't be sent to prison. Phoenix gets his reputation back and can start using his connections to start doing major good and Edgeworth gains two apprentices to help him.


  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs:
    • By the end of "What if the Auximorphs joined the team right away?", most of the Animorphs are dead, but James has made sure to honour their memories.
    • The author describes "What if they saved Jake's family?" as taking place in "a softer world". Jake and his allies' leaders sacrifice themselves, but Tom is saved, and Jake never went off the deep end enough to send the Auxillaries on a suicide mission and flush 17,000 Yeerks into space.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Margaret kills herself after being declared guilty, but the publicity surrounding her death has motivated people to donate to a fund that supports her surviving children.
  • Your Body is Not an Apology: Nobody is Spared by the Adaptation, but the surviving Animorphs don't lose the will to live after the war; they can use their fame to help trans kids like themselves.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

  • Blood Moon: The waterbender prisoners all escape and make it back to the South Pole. But Katara's innocence is gone, and she had to kill an Ax-Crazy Hama.
  • Imprisoned (This Time for Real): Katara and the last surviving Southern Waterbenders (a whopping four survivors, five in total if Katara is included) are freed from the Waterbender Prison after the war is over, but Katara is left with crippling long-term injuries to her body.
  • married to the flames: Zuko and Jin are Happily Married, but Zuko hasn't returned home. He lives in secret with his wife.
  • Still Stand in the Sun: Has a bittersweet ending that heavily leans on the bitter side of things. By the end of the story, Katara has managed to escape from the Waterbender Prison, but she's the only surviving Southern waterbender left. And she's had to bloodbend and kill multiple people (even if they're all Fire Nation soldiers) in order to escape. And there's no conceivable way for her to get out of the Fire Nation and return home to the Southern Water Tribe. And worse still, her childhood innocence has been completely and utterly shattered, and she doubts that she would be welcomed home with open arms, fearing that her tribe and family would think of her as a monster.
    • The fact that Katara is still trapped in the Fire Nation by the end makes the ending a Downer Ending by virtue of Fridge Horror, as she's not around to free Aang from the iceberg at the South Pole.

Batman: The Animated Series

  • Reunited: Victor is still an isolated criminal, but now he can be with his wife again.

Beast Wars

  • In Eternal Life, the Maximals win the Beast Wars and return to Cybertron with no risk of Megatron taking over and Waspinator and Tarantulas as their prisoners, but they achieved that victory after Dinobot is corrupted into a psychotic murderer by Rampage’s spark, which led to the deaths of all other participants.

Big Hero 6


  • The Bolt Chronicles: Many of these stories have outcomes that mix positive and negative elements.
    • "The Clouds": Homeless bum Soapy finds his One True Love and a Happy Ending, but Mittens don't fare so well. The tuxedo cat ends up without friends or lovers and wondering what Clouds, Love, and Life are all about.
    • "The Kippies": The story ends with Bolt having comforted Mittens, though they realize they cannot have babies.
    • "The Paris Trip": The story ends with Mittens realizing she is happiest not staying behind in Paris, though she will lose her connection with Berlioz.
    • "The Blood Brother": The story ends with Bolt tearfully apologizing to Mittens for his bad behavior towards her, but he loses his friendship with Duke, who is killed by a truck.
    • "The Wind": The story ends with Bolt returning home having survived a vicious dogfight, though his relationship with Mary is over.
    • "The Gift": The story ends with Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino reunited in Nirvana for eternity, though the story has earlier shown the death of the first two characters.
    • "The Cameo": The story ends with Bolt having met his father, 16-year-old Penny having had her first sexual experience, the two characters having enjoyed Los Angeles sightseeing, and their cameo filming session having been completed successfully — though Penny's first experience remains a disappointment and Bolt is unable to convince his father to come home and live with him.
    • "The Seven": Young Bolt and the collie puppy get adopted at the end of this story (and it's implied the other five are as well), but not before they go through a harrowing experience at the abandoned puppy mill and lose their mothers.
    • "The Spaceship": Rhino develops intermittent age-related dementia during this story and dies at the end, but before he passes away he enjoys a stunning view of the earth and moon from an orbiting spaceship, gets a chance to bid farewell to Bolt and Mittens, and spends his last hour or so watching his favorite TV program starring his hero and friend.

The Brittas Empire

  • At the end of It's a Wonderful Christmas, Carole, the three ghosts of Christmas are unable to change Brittas, and he will continue to cause chaos in the future. However, by engineering events so that he is knocked out over the Christmas Period, they're able to secure everyone else a happy ending, and there is still a chance that their message will get through to Brittas someday.

Captain Planet


  • Ex Tenebris, Lux: Cinderella is still traumatized from her own horrific upbringing and it is implied that she'll always be not entirely stable, especially after having a traumatic miscarriage. However, she is surrounded by people who love her, her husband puts in a better effort in helping her with parenting, and the story ends with her giving birth to a girl that she happily names Liberty, to represent her own freedom from her past.


  • Cat's In The Cradle: The fic examines how Makoto and Kyoko's relationship would have progressed if the killing game had never happened. By the time Kyoko realizes her feelings for Makoto, he has already fallen in love with Sayaka, and she only learns that they are in love by the time they are in a committed relationship. The two get married some time later, after Sayaka is forced to retire as an Idol Singer due to the public losing interest in her, but Kyoko stays friends with the couple.
  • Fractured Fates ends with eleven out of the fifteen participants dead—including the main character herself—as well as the mastermind escaping the underground bunker and avoiding being apprehended by the surviving students. There's also the fact that the world outside is a ravaged, lawless wasteland, not to mention the organization responsible for the killing game is still active and will likely try to hunt down the survivors for their role in ruining the killing game. Despite the odds, the four remaining students are determined not to waste the second chance at life they were given, determined to ensure the sacrifices Hiroshi and Hana made to end the killing game were not in vain, and are ultimately free to return to the surface and make something for themselves in the post-Tragedy world.
  • The PreDespair Kids ends like this. During the finale arc, Hope's Peak Academy is invaded by an army of Monokumas, Ibuki, Kazuichi, and Chihiro are all revealed to have fallen into despair, Ryouko learns that she's a clone of Junko before Yasuke mercy kills her to spare her from a worse fate at Junko's hands, Nagito is fatally stabbed in the heart, Kazuichi chooses to gut himself rather than hurt Sonia, Hifumi and Twogami are both brutally killed by a Monokuma, Sakura is repeatedly blasted with a shotgun by Chihiro while Hajime is Forced to Watch, Ethos finds out his best friend and girlfriend are both despairs before losing an arm in an attack, the survivors end up scattered, the school is demolished with almost three thousand people still inside, many friends and family members of the students are taken captive, and we learn that 3 billion people worldwide have been brainwashed into becoming despairs. What keeps it from being a Downer Ending that the fight between hope and despair is far from over. Junpei reveals himself to have been Good All Along, Class 79 survives the attack, Mukuro is sticking with her Heel–Face Turn, the Remnants of Hope find shelter with Sayaka taking up the role of The Leader, and the Future Foundation members manage to rescue a good number of the students, taking them to their island base where they can rest and plan for their rescue missions.
  • In Three-Point Shot, the killing game ends with more survivors than in canon. Not only do Shuichi, Maki and Himiko survive, but so do Kaede, Ryoma and (technically) Keebo. That said, all the survivors still have their emotional scars from the killing game, particularly Maki and Himiko, who lost people important to them. The survivors' actions dealt a serious blow to the in-universe Danganronpa show, but several years later, the show is still going.
  • Where Talent Goes series:
    • Where Talent Goes to Die ends with the mastermind dead and four survivors—Miura, Edogawa, Inoue and Tezuka- escaping the school to the ruined world outside. Their victory is hard to celebrate in light of how many people died, and how the Big Bad arguably got what he wanted in the end, so Miura feels guilty about being unable to save more people. That said, Miura does take some comfort in knowing that the survivors were able to accomplish their goal, and the start of her relationship with Edogawa.
    • Where Talent Goes on Vacation ends with the protagonists activating the Forced Shutdown and escaping the Neo World Program. Chiyuri's mother Yukari is arrested for collaborating with Ultimate Despair, a capital offense, but Miura promises to do everything she can to help her old teacher. The surviving classmates stay behind to watch over their comatose schoolmates, hoping that one day, they will awaken.
    • Where Talent Went To School: The Remnants of Despair are able to save the victims of the killing school cruise and bring them back to life, but several survivors are still bitter over what happened during the killing game and most go their separate ways. Yukari is spared the death penalty and given psychiatric treatment, but will likely be closely monitored after her release. The Remnants of Despair remain fugitives as a result of taking credit for the Final Killing Game, and are forced to go into hiding on Jabberwock Isle. Society rebuilds itself and some of the surviving characters get jobs at the new Hope's Peak Academy, even if not all of them are working the jobs they wanted. Years later, Miura and Edogawa get married.


  • Angel of the Bat:
    • For the most part, the ending is far more sweet than bitter: The Seraphim and his Religion of Evil are defeated, Stephanie's surgery on her ACL is successful, Cassandra successfully converts to Catholicism and even has a love interest. The bitterness comes with the fact that her love interest is another woman. While their relationship is just sweet and fun now, if Cassie continues pursuing same-sex relationships into adulthood (with her current girlfriend or anyone else), she will almost certainly face scrutiny from the religion she is now so dedicated to.
    • A second epilogue (that the author himself isn't sure is canon) is still bittersweet, but more hopeful. Three years after the events of the fic, Cassie asks her girlfriend Sadie to marry her. She has accepted the Catholic Church may ostracize her, but they can never take away her relationship with God and Christ. She also states that when (not if, when) the church realize the error of its ways, she will forgive it.
  • The End of Ends ends with Terra returning to being a Titan, the universe being saved from the destructive powers of the Dark Prognosticus, and Count Logan finally coming to his senses and redeeming himself. However, his injuries got too much for him and he died, which caused the Titans to feel bummed because Count Logan was really Beast Boy.
  • Retrograde Motion sees Circe defeated and Jason rescued, with Circe having removed the spell that was threatening his life. However, Jason's Fountain of Youth transformation is permanent, meaning he will have to grow up to be an adult again and confirming that the older Jason is gone forever. The family, especially Bruce, mourns the loss but accepts it and moves on, with Dick moving back to Gotham permanently to raise Jason as his son. Artemis and Bizarro also decide to move to Gotham to help raise Jason as well.

Death Note

  • Fade, L's reign of terror as Kira as ended and Light is spared execution and allowed to go back to his normal life. But Light has lost his family, his lover and his health and has a decade or less to live. Light makes the best of it to put the nightmare behind him.


  • Peter Chimaera's Digimon 2: Return of Digimon ends with Digimon destroying his Evil Counterpart Evil Digimon and stopping his nefarious plan to destroy all the roads on earth, but with Digimon's girlfriend suddenly leaving him.

  • Digimon Adventure 02: The Story We Never Told is a darker retelling from the original; it features a much higher level of violence, mistrust in both generations of the Digidestined and Oikawa, who was a Tragic Villain possessed by Myotismon, is portrayed as a dangerously unstable psychopath who is more than willing to kill people in cold blood to get what he wants, whose ultimate goal, unlike the original, is to destroy the real world and the Digital World to remake them in his own image. His plan fails in the end and he is killed in the final battle and both worlds are saved, but as a result of his actions, many Digimon now hate humans, and neither side is ready to accept the other yet. Wormmon died for real with no chance of being reborn and Ken was killed by Oikawa, with the latter's parents losing their last surviving child to him. The Digidestined give up their crests and their Digimon to fully restore the Digital World and are further saddened when they learn from Gennai that the Order has decided to seal the link between the real world and Digital World and isolate them from each other to prevent them from being harmed. There is some hope in the last part of the final chapter that may imply that the Digimon could return.

Dragon Ball

  • No More Forgiveness is a Deconstruction Fic regarding Goku's parenting to the point that Gohan has fully disowned him for it and ends with Gohan managing to free having found his own closure from his past trauma after their battle while Goku heeds his son's advice after losing to him in a fight and genuinely improved to become a better father. However, despite this, Goku's constant neglect proved too much for Gohan and the fic ends with the latter never forgiving him, showing no signs of reconciliation between the two with the story explicitly confirming the fight to be the last time they interact and have now lived their own separate lives.

Final Fantasy VII

  • Us and Them: Aeris manages to summon the Lifestream and destroy Meteor, but the effort allows the Id's Death in her system to overwhelm her and she dies. She's revived but because the gateway to the Galactic Capital is destroyed, no one on Gaia knows about it and think she's dead.

Family Guy

  • Family Guy Fanon:
    • "The Guyfathers" ends with Peter and Francis having their hits called off and living to see another day, but their mobster friend Paulie dying and Peter and Francis being upset, but despite it are thankful he saved them and wouldn't forget him.
    • "The Quagmire Show" ends with Quagmire and his underage wife Kimi divorcing after being together for seven years, but both parties are on better roads now compared to where they started out as. Quagmire becomes a better man and ditches his pervert ways - aside from brief gag relapses - while Kimi gets her life back together with the help of her sister Kira, heading to a new high school to return to her normal life as a teenager.
    • "Karma's a Bitch", despite being a far-off Distant Finale, still has one. The episode ends with the Griffins losing their home, their lives and essentially are banned from Quahog for all the hell they caused. However, Peter remains hopeful and tells the family they'll start a new life somewhere else in the world, whether under fake identities or not.

For Better or for Worse

  • In The New Retcons, Michael and Deanna eventually make peace and find happiness in their lives. But they had to divorce each other to do it.

Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends

  • One Step Ahead: Because of Bloo's cruel prank on Mac from the episode "I Only Have Surprise for You", Mac does not visit him the next day. Wilt angrily calls Bloo out on the way he mistreated Mac and everyone else and tells Bloo that Mac will never come back again. It's implied that Bloo's other friends unfriended him, and the rest of Mac's friends are devastated that they helped Bloo with his prank and drove Mac away forever. However, life moves on, three years pass, and more friends get adopted while new friends join Fosters; Bloo discovers that Mac has moved on from him and now has a better relationship with his brother Terrence and a girlfriend named Sam. The only person completely miserable at the end of the story is Bloo.



  • In Blame It on the Brain, while Earth is saved, the mutants are now publicly accepted, and Fry isn't dead, the Nibblonians are gone, Earth has sustained serious damage, and Mom, her sons, and Zapp Brannigan are dead (they might have been jerks and idiots, but they did their part for Earth on a larger scale), even if Earth's new state of peace may help with the reconstruction.


  • Ecto Flu: Winston manages to get vaccinated against the eponymous disease, so he never catches it, and thanks to the vaccine, the threat of ecto flu becoming an epidemic has been eliminated. However, Peter, Ray, and Egon are still sick in bed.
  • Silent Spengler: Egon still has selective mutism, but he's relatively happy.


  • Abraxas (Hrodvitnon): More Sweet than Bitter compared to Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019), but still. On the Sweet side: The world is saved (and this time there was no worldwide massive loss of life), Keizer Ghidorah is destroyed, Monster X's story-long Trauma Conga Line is at an end, and Mothra and Susan are both still alive despite all fears that they wouldn't make it to the story's ending alive. On the Bitter side: More than 150,000 people fell victim to the Many, a city-sized area and its surroundings have been rendered completely uninhabitable to humans for decades to come (which has furthermore forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes in the immediate aftermath), Thor is dead as is San-Who-Could-Have-Been after pulling a Redemption Equals Death, multiple Zmeyevich are uncounted for by Monarch (with at least two currently in the hands of Apex Cybernetics), Nadezhda's near future fate and the fates of multiple other pregnant Zmeyevich mothers is likely a Foregone Conclusion, and although Viv and San are inseparably together they can never directly express certain forms of affection towards each-other again in their final form's state.

Grandmaster of Demonic Cultivation: Mo Dao Zu Shi / The Untamed

Harry Potter

  • Sapphire Eleanor Rose Suzette de Mont vs. Canon ends with Sapphire defeated, but the Anonymous, Missy, Jenny, and Tara all escape and the Mary Sue Extermination Association is left questioning their own morality.
    Aphrodite: ...So why aren't I happy?
  • Eden, by Obsessmuch: Although Hermione and Ron finally escape their slavery, Hermione's life is forever changed. Lucius had tortured her, murdered her parents and raped her before she manages to bring out some good in him and, despite all that happened, the two fell in love and Lucius found himself turning over a new leaf. However, not only does he die, the two had conceived a child during their secret relationship that she promised his betrayed wife she will never tell who the father actually is. The son of Lucius and Hermione goes on thinking he's the son of Ron Weasley despite that they look nothing alike, refusing to believe he's the bastard son of a rapist. Hermione herself is unable to ever tell him the truth, and even into adulthood and having two more children with Ron, her heart still yearns for the man who both ruined her life and became who she loved more than anyone.

Hetalia: Axis Powers

  • In the doujinshi called From the New World with Love, England wakes up from his coma and America is redeemed, but... America is very much Lonely at the Top and knows that one day, the monster that was unleashed in WWII will come out again. There's a reason why it has two sequels, a "good end" (Miracle of a Superhero) and a "bad end" (Tragedy of a Superhero)...

The Hunger Games

  • Saving the Boy: Peeta wins the Games, meaning Katniss and him can finally be together for real. However, twenty-three other children still died to get him there, and he's still very much traumatized from his experiences in the arena. Even more than that, they're still at the mercy of Snow and the Capitol, though only Katniss really understands what that means.
  • Some Semblance of Meaning has an ending that is very bittersweet. After tragically losing multiple allies in the Games, Vale herself dies in the final confrontation, in the act of defying the Capitol. Even the victor (former Career tribute Obsidian) ends up getting killed in a mining accident... after faking his own death and traveling all the way to District Twelve to meet Vale's family. Basically, a lot of beloved characters end up dead, though they do find peace in what Vale once dubbed the "place without districts." Meanwhile, Damon and Lavinia end up Happily Married in District Twelve, naming their children after Vale and her district partner Kit, while Vale's sister Laurel finds happiness with Glint, Obsidian's cousin, and both families escape the bombing of Twelve and survive the war against the Capitol. In the end, years afterward, Lavinia relays Vale's story to Katniss Everdeen, thinking that was what Vale would have wanted.

Jackie Chan Adventures

  • Queen of All Oni: Jade and Viper are freed from the mental corruption that made them villains, but are stuck as physically Shadowkhan and left emotionally scarred by the whole experience (Jade is also physically scarred from the Final Battle and can't even walk without magical aid); Viper is such a wreck, in fact, that she flees from the heroes and runs off on her own in a desperate search for a cure. Meanwhile, Blankman has successfully stolen ten of the talismans and used them to take over the Magisters, while the Grand Design has started to break down, potentially unleashing many sealed evils onto the world. However, Uncle is quick to remind everyone that change is a natural part of life, and that something good may still arise from all of this.

Jurassic Park

  • The ending of The Geeky Zoologist's reimagining of Jurassic World is bleaker than that of the film it is based upon. The Indominus is killed and Mount Sibo's eruption ends but the park is in ruins, hundreds of people have found death during its fall, the grey guards suffered heavy losses, the whole northern part of Isla Nublar has been turned into a volcanic desolation, and the very symbol of the first film and Fan Favourite Roberta the tyrannosaur passes away. Things doesn't improve in the following weeks, with the operation Fallen Kingdom managing to rescue only one third of the animals before being hindered by the US government who prevent Ingen from bringing its creatures back to the United States for now, forcing it to kept them in a facility in mainland Costa Rica, which trigger protests and political tensions. The company is also about to face another economic crisis because of the fall and many Ingen employees are fired, including Owen Grady who can no longer take care of Blue, his only surviving Achillobator. Not only Claire Dearing has been disfigured and crippled by the Indominus but it's also very implied that her family will turn its back on her, with her half-sister Karen blaming her for Gray's death. On Ingen's side, Lynton is likely to order Wu to resume his work on genetically-engineered dinosaurs for military applications. The epilogue reveals that an Ornitholestes and a group of Compsognathus have managed to reach the mainland by their own means and a series of attacks begins.

Katawa Shoujo

  • Reconciliation: Hisao dies of a heart attack, devastating both his wife Lily and Hanako, and preventing Hanako from apologizing to him. However, Hanako and Lilly renew their friendship, and Hanako later gets into a relationship with her publicist Sho.

Kill la Kill

  • Concerning a Drifter's ending has the note of, while things don't go back to normal and her nieces are without their mother, Satsuki is, at least, able to find some strength to move on, along with that she'd be able to see Ryuuko outside of her room at the mental home.
  • Kiryuuin Chronicles ends with Satsuki's family being reunited but her Parental Substitute, Rei, who rescued her and her sisters from their abusive situation (and a fire) and looked after them, has passed away and, thus, doesn't get to see the family reunited.
  • Lost, Found has Ryuuko being reunited with her family but in the chapter after she is, Nui (suddenly) dies. Apparently, the two couldn't exist together at once, afterwards.
  • The last chapter of The Outside. Ryuuko learns that she can come to terms with Satsuki's failing health and dying, after the latter suffers and nearly dies of (another) asthma attack, learning to let go. Though, Satsuki survives tuberculosis and the aforementioned, we find out that her life expectancy is shorter than Ryuuko's, so, with her being Delicate and Sickly, she'll likely die before a certain point.
  • The the alternate ending to Piano Notes is this. Despite everything, treatments, surgeries, and all, Satsuki's illness still takes her life, however, as on her deathbed, she tells Ryuuko how much she's made her happy and that she loved her.
    • An earlier fic by the same author titled Sunshine (sequel to Raindrops, which has a Downer Ending) has a terminally ill Satsuki being Peaceful in Death and being reunited with her sister, Ryuuko.

Kung Fu Panda

  • The Vow, which focuses on Lord Shen, ends with him surviving his canon fate and reuniting with his wife Lady Lianne. Crippled and thought to be dead by all of China, he's forced to live the rest of his life as his wife's secret prisoner, remembered as nothing but a mass-murderer and a would-be conqueror. Though this isn't the kind of life he wants, he has his wife and their son Zian whom Lianne has decided to raise in secrecy before he's ready to face the world that is still sore from his father's crimes. The Wolf Boss Zhan and most of his pack are sent away before they can be killed in the final battle. With their reputation worse than ever, they travel west to find a new life, with Jade accompanying them out of love towards Zhan. Zhan ends his long servitude to Lord Shen out of resentment, but they still part in civil terms, with Zhan keeping open the possibility of meeting his friends Shen and Lianne in the future. Also, while the soothsayer Ah-Ma is left out of the loop regarding her former ward Shen's survival, she at least knows that his line will live on through Zian.

Lady and the Tramp

The Legend of Zelda

  • The Legend of Zelda: Paradise Calling: Ingo is killed and the ranch is safely in Talon and Malon's hands, but Link has to leave again to finish his quest. On top of that, the author's comments indicate the Bittersweet Ending of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time also applies: Link will be sent back to his childhood after defeating Ganon without getting to say goodbye to Malon, and there's no guarantee he'll be able to form the same relationship with her in the Child timeline, or even want to try.
  • Sacred Reliquary leaves us with "evil" defeated as usual... but to prevent the cycle from repeating, Link chooses to destroy the Triforce completely, wiping all magic, magical beings, and the memory of such from the face of the earth entirely. And given the morally grey undertones of the fic, the results of the final battle are something of a Pyrrhic Victory.
  • Zelda's Honor, has a rather depressing one. The majority of the Gerudo are killed in Link's purge of holy hellfire; all the Kokiri except for Saria are basically dead and she's left pregnant and decides to live alone in the woods raising a new brood of Kokiri; Malon had her son aborted in front of her and is now left a single mother of a future daughter; Impa and Talon are dead; Giana, Darunia and various other characters have lost limbs and are disabled for the remainder of their lives; Link dies alongside Navi by Zelda's hand to save the world from his righteous judgement against all who opposed Hylia and the Triforce. But hey, the good guys still won in the end, right?

The Loud House

  • The Boy Who Cried Idiot:
    • The original ending involves Martin realizing the error of his ways and Lincoln being ungrounded, but Lincoln's sisters beating him up.
    • The third alternate ending involves Lincoln and Martin having made up, but Lincoln beating everyone else up.
  • The Broken House ends with Lori no longer a bounty hunter and Happily Married, but it's to Carol instead of Bobby; she never made up with him, Leni has broken up with Brad and is no longer mute, but is still in therapy, Luna's still insane but considerably less so, Lynn's happy as a coach but still in a wheelchair, Lincoln no longer has a split personality since Liberty is now real, Lana still thinks she's a dog, and Lily's still dead (albeit a ghost). The only ones who went completely back to normal are Luan, Lucy, Lola, and Lisa.
  • At the end of Fracture, the sisters are forgiving towards Lincoln, but Lola's arm is still broken.
  • Really Isn't Your Fault: More Sweet than Bitter, but the main culprit of the fake photo is found, the students stop harrassing the victims after the truth comes out, the relationships are preserved and are stronger than ever. However, Rusty lost his friendships with Lincoln, is a pariah and is grounded indefinitely.
  • Power Chord: High School Musical: Luna defeats Luan by overcoming her insecurities, and Luan is willing to keep her identity secret. However, Luna is still self-conscious and unwilling to be a hero, and we learn in The Stinger that Luan has escaped from jail.
  • Trustworthy ends with the Louds' favourite possessions destroyed in a fire, but they've made up. Also, Izzy and El Diablo may or may not have died in the fire.

Love Live!

  • Flowers Drenched in Vodka: Both Hanayo and Eli are on their way to recovery but they've broken up and decided to take a break from seeing each other.

The Matrix

  • Applies to both parts of the What If? series;
    • In What If, Trinity’s memories are restored and the human resistance has begun to rebuild in the real world, but Morpheus and the Oracle are dead, Zion has been decimated, and Neo is essentially trapped in the Matrix.
    • In The Return of What If, the humans have defeated the machines and Neo has been restored to his body, but they had to kill virtually everyone connected to the Matrix to achieve victory.

Miraculous Ladybug

  • The Karma of Lies:
    • Marinette earns her Karmic Jackpot, taking down Hawkmoth and Mayura with the help of her True Companions and being recognized by all of Paris as their protector. However, the way that Adrien and her Fair-Weather Friends abandoned her still stings, and Lila escaped Paris with a stolen fortune. Ladybug tracks her down to issue one last warning about how she can't evade consequences forever, at least.
    • Adrien, meanwhile, has been hit hard by Laser-Guided Karma, being soundly punished for his Betrayal by Inaction and utter Lack of Empathy towards all of Lila and Hawkmoth's victims. Whether this counts as bittersweet justice or is an outright Downer Ending varies based on one's sympathy for his situation.
  • Kill count: Thanks to Karmic Balancers being able to reveal how many deaths (temporary or otherwise) somebody is responsible for, Gabriel is exposed as Shadowmoth and finally brought to justice. However, that same technology has ruined the lives of many former Akuma, who are also being judged for what they did while akumatized. And Gabriel's secret was only exposed because of Adrien's death toll as Chat Blanc being revealed, forcing him to step down as Chat Noir.
  • Leave for Mendeleiev:
    • Things mostly end happily for the heroes, though with a minorly bittersweet note in that Marinette retires her Ladybug alter ego. Though she continues to fight alongside Oudragon and the rest of her team as Marigold, Tikki returns to resting in the Miracle Box of her own volition; Word of God is that she only saw Marinette as a way to restore order.
    • The Agrestes, meanwhile, play this straighter: Emilie is restored, but this comes about in spite of Gabriel's efforts, not because of them, as the heroes learn about her plight and save her despite Gabriel taunting Tempavo about how he's supposedly doomed to share her fate. Since he chose to terrorize Paris as Hawk Moth rather than seeking help in less destructive and demanding ways, he gets arrested and goes to jail.
    • Adrien stops attending school in order to stay by his mother's side while she recovers in the hospital, turning away Nino and all other visitors aside from Chloe. It's unclear whether or not any of the times he's been called out on his selfish behavior ever sunk in, or if he continues denying responsibility for anything he's done.
  • Luckier Without: Pushed beyond her breaking point by Chat Noir's entitled behavior, Marinette decides to give up her role as Ladybug along with her Guardianship, knowing that doing so will wipe out her memories. She isn't certain how much her memory will be impacted; however, Luka helps her prepare several measures to protect her future amnesiac self, and the two affirm their love for each other.
  • In Marinette Dupain-Cheng's Spite Playlist:
    • Marinette proves that sometimes, the best revenge is living well by building her portfolio and achieving many of the things Lila falsely claimed to have done herself. Hawkmoth is gone, but the revelation of his identity took a toll on her partner, and she and Adrien also have to permanently give up their Miraculous. It's not completely goodbye, as they can keep in contact with Fu, Tikki and Plagg, but neither of them can be Ladybug or Chat Noir again.
    • Adrien discovers not only that his father was Hawkmoth, but that his mother wasn't actually dead, just in a coma from misusing the Peafowl. He voluntarily spends several months checked into a mental hospital, then emancipates himself, cutting all ties with both of his parents. Thankfully, he's building a new family with Marinette and her parents.
    • Alya realizes just how much of a False Friend Lila was, and is able to reconcile with Marinette. The damage has still been done, and it's clear that Lila doesn't care about how much she hurt her... but Alya is able to make her peace with this and move forward.
  • Traps and Sneaks: Lila triggers a booby trap Marinette set up to protect the Miracle Box, hitting her with a heavy dose of Laser-Guided Karma and convincing the Dupain-Chengs to press charges, as well as accept their daughter's decision to employ such desperate matters in the first place. But Marinette's sense of safety and security in her own room has still been shattered, and she recognizes that it's unlikely she'll feel truly safe anytime soon. Not until she's able to complete even further measures. She also acknowledges that she can't trust her friends, since Alya let Lila into her room in the first place.
  • Truth and Consequences: Emphasis on the bitter: Hawkmoth is defeated once and for all, Emilie has been returned to life, Gabriel's identity was kept a secret so that Adrien won't face any persecution for being the son of a supervillain, Nooroo and the Butterfly Miraculous have passed to Kagami, and Luka has regained control of his body from the Mayura Akuma. The cost is that Gabriel Agreste died in his son's arms, Marinette's relationship with Adrien, Alya, Nino, Nino, Chloe, and Luka have all been damaged possibly past the point of repair, resulting in her leaving Paris in shame, most of the Miraculous are still in the possession of Kaiser Long and Firebird, who remain at large planning who knows what, and the people of Paris' trust in heroes has been severely damaged. Even though Marinette has accomplished all the goals she set out for, she's left having lost everything she cared about. The bright side is that Word of God is that a sequel is in the works, so it's not the ending.
  • What Goes Around Comes Around:
    • Adrien's Karma Houdini Warranty runs out, exposing his naive, sheltered, and frankly self-centered way of thinking to his friends and classmates. While he manages to realize his mistakes and redeem himself, finally taking responsibility for his actions, he isn't able to repair all of his relationships, along with having to deal with being Convicted by Public Opinion now that the world knows that he was Chat Noir and that his parents are supervillains. Ultimately, he is forced to leave London, but has found the loving family he desperately desired in his aunt and cousin.
    • Nathalie cooperated with the heroes and gained a reduced sentence; however, this doesn't change the shock and horror of learning that she is actually a Sentimonster created to replace the original Nathalie, who was killed for knowing too much. While her relatives have tentatively reached out, offering to try starting anew once she's served her time, she remains uncertain about whether or not she should accept.
  • Who You Know: Lila's deception cost Alya a grand opportunity; however, she unintentionally dug her own grave, unaware that Marinette was rising fashion star MDC the whole time. Alya also hopes that she can make amends with Marinette, and intends to ensure that the rest of Lila's lies are exposed.

My Hero Academia

  • Played for Laughs in How to murder your father, Izuku Midoriya and Shouto Todoroki have spent the past 5-6 years trying to kill their fathers (All For One and Endeavor respectively) for the two men's life insurance and the two boys' revenge. The boys' single-minded determination in this task resulted in them becoming a vigilante(Izuku) and villain (Shouto) as well as exponentially growing in power. They succeed in getting the life insurance for their families... but not because they killed their fathers. For Endeavor, a combination of his canon Heel Realization, the constant assassination attempts and the knowledge that Shouto and Dabi (Touya) are responsible for the latter resulted in the weary, Prematurely Grey-Haired hero giving all his assets to his family and quietly retiring. For All For One, despite being better off then Endeavor (restored to his prime and still being far stronger than Izuku, who has gained better control of One For All and its secrets), being nearly killed by the recent bout with his son causes the villain to call for a 10 year truce and give away all his assets before temporarily leaving Japan. Unfortunately, these assets include inheriting the No. 1 spot (Shouto) and a criminal empire and All for One's praise (Izuku), which is the last thing the two teens want.
  • Mastermind: Strategist for Hire ends with Izuku Midoriya being caught along with his identity of "Mastermind" being exposed to the world, leading to the sequel. But:
  • Nemesis ends with Bakugou managing to save all of the hostages Mischief (aka Izuku) had taken, but his relationship with Kirishima is naturally damaged by the truth about his past bullying of Izuku coming out, and Mischief ultimately escapes, having spelled out for Katsuki precisely how he's getting his revenge: by making sure the two of them are permanently linked in the eyes of the world.


  • In Perfection Is Overrated, the SUEs, the Usurper, and the Obsidian Lord and his minions are defeated. Not everyone survives, though — Hitomi killed over 20 innocent people and Yukariko died thwarting Ishigami's plan — and unlike in canon, their deaths were not undone. The surviving Himes have various problems to deal with in their lives, both mundane and magical (Shizuru, despite Natsuki having accepted her love, must one day deal with how her parents will react to her coming out of the closet), but they resolve to face those problems in the future (Nao, for example, overcomes her bitterness and hopes to become someone her mother can be proud of when and if she comes out of her coma), having realized that this world and their lives will never be perfect and chosen to face those challenges.

My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic

  • Actually, I'm Dead sadly ends more on the bitter side of the trope: In the end The Dark Force in The Alicorn Amulet takes over Trixie's body almost completely and The Mane Six had to seal her in stone with The Elements, while Trixie was just barely there enough to tell them to do it. Not only that, but they also had to reseal post-reformation Discord in the process, as he was holding her down so they'd have an opening. Oh, and Lightning Dust was beat and mauled so badly, she needed a wheelchair to attend the memorial. About the only bright sides, are the fact that the the stone prison Trixie and Discord are in can be undone once the others have found a way to help her and Word of God confirming this story is only part one of a series, where these lingering problems can be resolved later in.
  • Antipodes: By the end of the story, the Princesses are revived, the sun and moon resume moving and allow the world to become habitable once more, Tantalus is defeated, and Equestria can begin rebuilding, but all this came at the cost of Jigsaw's life.
  • Best Friends Forever: After centuries of being regressed to infancy by Twilight in a demented attempt to spare them from dying of old age, the surviving members of the Mane Six are free: they can now grow up and live their own lives as they see fit... because Celestia has finally put Twilight out of her misery, and is crippled with guilt as a result. For extra depression, Celestia has to lie and tell the foals that Twilight is resting and that they'll see her again soon, knowing that this is only because without Twilight around to put them through their Parent Induced Extended Childhood, they'll eventually die of old age and be reunited with her.
  • Bittersweet: At the end, just when you think Pinkie's alive again, she's only there to tell everyone to move on. In other words, Pinkie Pie got Killed Off for Real.
  • The Conversion Bureau: Not Alone ends on this note. After getting soundly defeated by humanity's military forces trying to stop her conversion crusade and sustaining heavy casualties, Celestia takes Equestria and they retreat back to their own home dimension, but in the process, are forced to leave behind about three thousand ponies. The good news is that Equestria won't be bothering anyone else anytime soon, humanity of course survives, there is hope for peaceful coexistence between humanity and the ponies that were left behind on Earth, and the last chapter has the Queen of the Gryphons state that Celestia will have to answer for her crimes eventually. The bad news is that the PER and HLF are still out there causing trouble, hundreds of ponies are still stuck in the internment camps despite the growing international pressure calling for their release, South Africa is rapidly turning into a fascist hellhole, and several countries start spending large amounts of money (at the cost of education and healthcare) beefing up the military for a war that will never happen.
  • Falling Backwards: After Rainbow Dash suffered sever brain trauma, that reduces her to having the mind of a small child, it seems like a hopeless situation, until the Princesses come up with a solution. The catch? It involves physically regressing her to her current mental age. Which will give her a new lease on life, but take away the chance of her friends ever getting Rainbow back in their generation and making it improbable that she will ever be exactly the same again.
  • Guppy Love: After realising how her puppy love crush is causing her to selfishly cling onto the mermaid Rarity as a replacement for her dead parents, Applejack accepts that she and Rarity can never be together and lets her return to the ocean once her injured tail heals. Years later, she and Rarity have friendly visits, Applejack is now married with a child on the way and Rarity is in a relationship with another mermaid: Sunset Shimmer.
  • Rainbooms and Royalty: May the Best Friends Win ends with Trixie admitting to being a Jerkass and apologizing to everyone, thus saving her and Rainbow Dash's friendship. However, she can't bring herself to stay in town, saying that she needs to leave and make her own friends, rather than leech off of Rainbow Dash's life anymore.
  • Loved and Lost: The heroes still feel guilty about their mistakes, are still shaken over everything they've endured, and express remorse over Jewelius' fate despite all of the suffering he inflicted upon them and Canterlot. Nonetheless, they manage to clear their names and reconcile with each other before enjoying Shining Armor and Princess Cadance's delayed wedding in the epilogue.
  • Master Thief Dragon: Tirek has been killed by a mysterious sniper and the people Spike cares for are safe. However, his identity as Dragon is revealed to the girls during the whole debacle and things are never the same after that; Twilight has greatly distanced herself from her family and friends, and transfers to Crystal Prep Academy, a rival school; Cadance, along with her infant daughter, has moved back with her aunts, selling the house she and Twilight lived in; Spike decides to quit being Dragon for a while and leaves Canterlot city, and who knows how long he'll be gone; and lastly, while it wasn't out right stated, there's some heavy implications that Tirek's death may have some unforeseen consequences for the city. The reason that this isn't a full on Downer Ending is that Spike will one day return and make things right.
  • The Monster Mash is a collection of horror-themed stories in which the ponies cross paths with the supernatural. Despite earning their happy ending, in most cases the characters are left marked by their experiences.
  • Nightmares Are Tragic, being a retelling of "Elements of Harmony", ends with Princess Luna freed from the Nightmare state. And she's found the new incarnation of her One True Love, Dusk Skyshine, who died over four thousand years ago. The only problem is, in this life he's a ''mare'', Twilight Sparkle. And while Luna clearly hopes they can fall in love again, this isn't a fanon where Everyone Is Bi, and there is no guarantee that It's Okay If It's You will apply for either of them. By story's end she still hasn't mustered up the courage to tell Twilight about their past connection. On a larger scale, the Shadows are massing on the Moon, clearly preparing to invade the Earth, so there's no guarantee that anyone will get a Happy Ending.
  • Our True Colors: Pinkie Pie finds the orphaned Scootaloo a new (foster) home but it isn't with her.
  • The Palaververse: In The Motion of the Stars, the day-night cycle is restarted and the world is on its way to healing, but millions are still dead, society has been reduced to a few scattered holdouts, the world's ecosystems are devastated, and Rarity sacrificed herself to restart the Sun's motion.
  • Pony POV Series: The Dark World ends like this. The heroes finally earn their happy ending by overthrowing Discord and defeating Nightmare Paradox, restoring harmony to the world and even managing to resurrect everyone killed by Discord or his minions during his reign of chaos. However, those who died indirectly or through old age (like Pinkie Pie and Fluttershy) remain dead, and there's also the fact that Twilight has become the Alicorn of Happy Endings, and now has to leave to help other worlds reach their happy endings as well, leaving her friends behind to their well-deserved happiness.
  • Pony POV Series Chaos Verse: The Big Bad Nightmare Phobia, is destroyed, and Discord and Fluttercruel make peace with the Princesses, but the Construct Ponies are all dead, leaving Discord and Fluttercruel alone in Limbo once again. Though the Constructs also managed to gain their own souls and earn a place in Pony Heaven and Fluttercruel manages to reconcile with Fluttershy with Luna's help. The last scene has Discord begin recreating Chaos, with Celestia offering her and Luna's help.

My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU

  • The End of the Affair: Hachiman and Yukino have met up and more or less reached a resolution of their mutual attraction from high school. Unfortunately said resolution is basically them reaffirming how they would never get together due to the consequences of their choices and following their ideals, ending with them going to live their separate, and quite possibly unhappy, lives once more with the implication that they would never see each other again.


  • In Naruto: Asunder we have the Akatsuki defeated, Minato and Kushina are still alive and the five elemental nations are at peace. The cost however was Gaara, Tsunade, Jiraiya, Kankuro, Lee, Hinata (whose dying words were "Naruto-kun. You still owe me a date.") and Naruto. They do become legends though.

Neon Genesis Evangelion

  • Children of an Elder God: At the end, Shinji and Asuka have lost almost everyone that they care about, and due to their mutations they don't fit into human society any longer, so they abandon civilization forever. Still they are still together, the narration states that their remaining friends will meet them again, and thanks to them humanity has been saved and will endure for several centuries more.
  • Ghosts of Evangelion: The story ends in 2080 when Asuka passes away and Shinji dies three days later. However they have a daughter, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Kaworu and Rei visit Shinji when he dies and Rei hints that he and Asuka will be together in the Afterlife. After their deaths, Ryuko, Kyoko and Misato go about their many accomplishments when they were alive.
  • HERZ: After the last battle, Shinji and Asuka are alive are able to be happy together. Most of canon characters have survived, Yui and Kyoko's souls have been released and SEELE has been defeated once and for all. However Rei seals herself together with the Evas, Adam, Lilith and the Lance to ensure that they will never be used again, which means she has to say goodbye to her family forever.
  • At the end of Neon Genesis Evangelion: Genocide, SEELE still exists, NERV's workers are at the mercy of the Japanese Government, and Shinji and his family lose their home. However, Instrumentality has been averted, Keel has been assassinated, leaving SEELE without a leader and at the risk of being exposed, and the main characters are safe and sound.
  • When She Smiles (Fresh C): Asuka never recovers her memories lost during the end of the world, but she sets out to become a new person rather than obsessing with the past.

Odd Squad

  • A Frozen Flower ends with Orchid being happy working at Precinct 13579, with Grimes and the others no longer a threat. However, it comes at the cost of her having a short lifespan and her coming to the realization that she'll need to perform a Heroic Suicide and sacrifice herself in order to save the world from utter destruction caused by her, with only a couple years before she has to push the red button she keeps with her that will end her life.
  • Near the end of Ships Ahoy!, Olive, and eventually Otto, are promoted to the Management department and leave for another precinct to lead it as co-Directors, but as a consequence, they are forced to leave their significant others behind. Opal and Otto work things out with each other and resolve to still be together in a Long-Distance Relationship. Olive and Oscar, on the other hand, are forced to break up after decades of them going through ups and downs.

One Piece

  • In Marie D. Suesse and the Mystery New Pirate Age!, the Disinfector manages to, with the help of the Suesse family, push the Reset Button and undo 20 years worth of terrible events in the One Piece universe that include the deaths of Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hats, but one of the events undone in the process is Madelyn meeting Garreth and having Mar with him. However, the last scene shows Garreth and Madelyn meeting again.



  • At The Food Court: Ash is permanently, irrecoverably insane, and not even Rhys's mock Pokemon battle could get through to him, but at least the monsters who did this to him are arrested at the very end.
  • A New Chance For Adventure: At the end of Hunting The Hunter, Ash and his team succeed in defeating Rico and saving Team Rocket's Pokemon, with the covert help of Skailyn, but they arrive too late to stop him from selling Larvitar's mother to Team Magma, and have no leads with which to find her. Not to mention Latios giving into his anger and offing Rico behind Ash's back.
  • In A Pikachu in Love, after spending the entire fic questioning his relationship with Ash and growing closer to Pichi, Pikachu finally realizes just how much Ash and Co. care about him, and decides that it's too important to ever doubt or break. Unfortunately, on the same night he plan to tell Pichi that it would be the last time he would see her, Pichi had already realized she was in love with Pikachu and plan to tell him that on the same night. Though she manages to tell Pikachu first, and Pikachu does admit that he loves her to, he was forced to explain how he can't leave Ash just like that. Though hurt, Pichi understands, and bids a tearful goodbye to her love for the final time. What keeps this from being a complete downer ending though is that Misty, who had secretly followed Pikachu and saw it all, managed to get the gist of what's going on and quickly comforts Pikachu, reminding her how much she, Ash, and Brock all love him. On top of that, there's also an implied chance at the end that Pikachu will see Pichi again someday.
    The small group of friends journied on under the bluest of skies, the most golden of sunshine, and Pikachu took pleasure in smelling the clean air that gently blew into their faces. It felt like the world was beautiful all over again, and that there was something special waiting for him at the end of the road.

Real-Person Fic

  • In With Strings Attached, after successfully restoring the Vasyn to Ketafa, the four are informed that they can't take their magic home with them. Whereas John and Paul are pleased because they were fretting about returning to Earth as Blessed with Suck, Ringo is devastated, because he was profoundly transformed by his magic and had all kinds of plans for using it. He ends up clinging to the hope that the four will be given a chance to use it again in the future, making this a rare book where the characters actually ask for a sequel.

Red vs. Blue

  • Recovery None ends on a much higher note than in canon, with Tex, York, South, Alpha, Theta, Epsilon, and Niner all surviving the fall of Project Freelancer and joining the Reds and Blues at Blood Gulch alongside Carolina and Wash. The Director and the Meta get Spared by the Adaptation and are arrested by UNSC, ensuring that both will face justice for their crimes. However, North, Delta, and Crunchbite are still dead; not to mention the fact that Hargrove got away scot free while accomplishing nearly all of his goals. In addition, several characters get a much happier ending compared to their canon selves, but each had to go through hell and back just to get there.
    • Wash spends the entire story getting put through the wringer and suffers countless betrayals from people he thought he could trust, leaving him a paranoid and bitter man wrecked by PTSD. However, he eventually finds his True Companions in the form of Blue Team and he's shown to slowly get better as he spends more time with them.
    • South repairs her fractured relationship with North and gains an AI unit like she always wanted, though the latter comes at the cost of her twin brother's life. She later forms a genuine friendship with Kaikaina and is shown to slowly regain the trust of her former teammates.
    • York joins Red Team and rebuilds his fractured relationships with Wash, Carolina, and South. However, he loses Delta to the Meta, temporarily leaving him a near Empty Shell from the trauma.



  • The Babies Who Floated Off into Space has several endings. There is one Happy Ending, one Downer Ending, and two Bittersweet Endings:
    • In one ending, Tommy gets back to Earth just fine, but he has a disease called "rat disease", Chuckie has still blown up, and Phil and Lil are still lost in space.
    • The other one ends on an unresolved cliffhanger— Chuckie has exploded and Tommy, Phil, and Lil are still lost in space, but there's hope, since an alien they meet knows of a planet on which people are brought Back from the Dead, called "Planet Death". However, it ends before we can find out if they discover Planet Death or go back to Earth.


  • While Heartbreak intially ended on a Downer Ending, it's sequel chapter concludes on a more softer, if still somber, note. Yang reaffirms her love for Garnet and is able to get back together with him, but she will have to live with the fact that she basically broke his heart for nothing, and that Garnet's trust in her is at an all time low, coupled with the fact that she won't be so Easily Forgiven by most of Garnet's friends and family, especially his mother.
  • Ruby and Nora has had a few stories end like this. If it keeps up, the Grand Finale will certainly have one, too.

A Song of Ice and Fire

  • The Hidden Queen: Daenerys loses her dragons and her supporters, and is overthrown by Stannis Baratheon, believed dead by everyone and forced to go into hiding under an assumed name, and everything she has fought for in Essos is lost as well. However, her dragons perish in a Mutual Kill with the Others and so the world is safe from eternal winter, the Seven Kingdoms are doing more or less okay under Stannis' rule, and Daenerys herself is fairly content in her marriage to Jorah Mormont and accepted by his family and the people of Bear Island.

Sonic the Hedgehog

  • Sonic X: Dark Chaos: Two of the alternate endings for the rewrite are this. Ending A has Tails dying to stop Dark Tails, the galaxy left in ruins and the Forerunners invading the universe... but Sonic and his friends got their Planet Egg back and everyone joins forces to stop them. Ending D is the "happiest" of the endings - the above still happens, except Tails doesn't die which (while leaving Dark Tails alive) stops the Forerunner invasion entirely.
  • Veritas Dolor: Shadow is talked out of his suicide, but Rouge knows that it'll happen again sometime in the future. She just hopes he'll be able to stop himself if she's not around for him someday.

South Park

  • Dead Man Walking ends with Kenny, Wendy, and the rest ultimately failing to stop Cthulhu, with all but Kenny and Wendy dying in the attempt, and God having press the Reset Button on the universe to prevent Cthulhu's reign. But Kenny and Wendy share Last Wish Marriage together, and the rest of the boys already dead, on Kenny advice, meet up together in a bar in hell with their other fallen friends to wait for the end together. And with the universe reset, they all get a second chance at life, with the final scene showing Kenny successfully befriending Wendy back in pre-school and inadvertently preventing his first death, implying the new timeline might be a happier one.
  • My Super Best Friend: The end features this for multiple plots.
    • Kyle was able to raise awareness about the suffering in Canada through the video he and his friends made and uploaded on the internet for everyone to see, allowing them to donates millions of dollars to the country and convincing America to help Canadians recover while preventing a possible nuclear war between the two countries from happening. However, millions of Canadians are still dead and the President who caused those deaths is still out on the loose, but the fact that Kyle was able to have a positive impact on Canada by undoing the damaged that was caused is enough for him to recover from his trauma and was able to reconcile with Stan and the rest of his friends.
    • The Gender War has also started to end with several boys and girls slowly making up. However some couples remain broken up, such as Stan and Wendy, but they are taking time to talk to each other, while implying that they'll fully reconcile and get back together.
    • Kyle and Heidi's relationship also ends on this note. While the two still aren't on speaking term, the barrier between them is slowly breaking away with the two moving on from their past incidences and becoming better people while suggesting that they'll become friends once more.
    • Eric Cartman himself, manages to snag one of these. He fails to get Heidi to take him back and Kyle gives him a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown that leaves him in the hospital beaten up and broken. However, Butters convinces Cartman to forget about Heidi, allowing him to move on with his life.

Spec Ops: The Line

  • Afterglow (Unfaithful): Well, as bittersweet as you can get with a game like Spec Ops The Line. After spending days wrestling with his hallucinations and his guilt, Walker comes to terms with his actions and peacefully lays down his weapon when the soldiers come to rescue him.


  • Inkopolis Chaos: The villains are defeated, the good octolings that were trapped and brainwashed underground are now free from the tyrannical octo valley, meaning that the tension between inklings and octolings is finally over (except the bad octolings and octarians, who all remain underground). The heroes and innocents are living happily, but their victory came at a cost. Ruby Diorite died in a heroic sacrifice, and now Jade will have to live with the weight of knowing that someone died for her to live. Sylvia also gets PTSD from her experiences in the camps, even if she managed to recover from her emotionally broken state. Finally, it’s hard not to mention the thousands of octolings that Lieutenant Obsidian executed, which is a brutal loss for the octoling race. While overall the trilogy ends happy, there were some consequences.

Spongebob Squarepants

  • The Bikini Bottom Horror: As implied by the title of the final chapter before the epilogue, "Bittersweet Victory". The Tortured One is gone for good, and SpongeBob, Guilty!Patrick, Sandy, Gary, and Squidward are all alive. But the rebuilt Bikini Bottom is now practically under the control of SpongeBob, who is revealed to have masterminded everything to take over the city, and Sandy, unable to oppose him, returns to Texas.
  • Some Things Never Change: More bitter than sweet, but "Finite" ends with Squidward visiting Squilliam’s grave and admitting to his late rival that the latter has won their feud, while also refusing to mock him at his final resting place, insisting that he's the "bigger man" for admitting defeat and for having a sense of accountability (which Squilliam never had). Squidward is fully aware that he has squandered his life and that there's nothing he can do to change that, but has also learned to move on and is avid about eating humble pie and trying to enjoy what time he has left.

Star Fox

  • The Friend has two bittersweet endings and one that is a complete downer.
    • Ending A has Star Wolf being defeated by the protagonist and the Star Fox team, however, thanks to Corneria's corrupt police force, Fox and Peppy are shot dead right in front of the protagonist and Falco is struck by an EMP blast, bringing his Arwing down to the ground and supposedly dying on the crash. Then, the protagonist is arrested...if not killed.
    • Ending S has the protagonist killing himself to avoid doing what Star Wolf demanded him to do. With the protagonist's dead, Fox McCloud is struck violently by it and enters deep depression, never understanding why his best friend did that.

Star Wars

  • Ouroboros: The first work of the series, Wake the Storm, ends with Anakin swearing to never turn to the dark side and reuniting with Obi-Wan and Padme after they thought he was captured and brainwashed by Seperatists and Anakin killing Palpatine. However, as he's dying, Palpatine executes Command Code Retribution, resulting in the Jedi, planetary leaders, CIS leaders, and the Senate all being killed and the armies of the Republic and Seperatists going rogue.
  • Out of the Dark Valley: At the end, the heroes' overall goal — killing Palpatine and reinstating the Republic — has been achieved. On the other hand, Anakin's impulsive and poorly thought-out actions have badly hurt his bond with Padmé and largely ruined her public image, Leia has become alienated from her family and mourns her lost closeness with her brother, and her actions while Palpatine's hostage and apprentice have likely irreparably shattered her friendship with the Organas.

The Cleveland Show

  • The Cleveland Show Fanon: The Cleveland Show's newly added finale "Cleveland Moves Out" becomes one. The Brown-Tubbs family is able to successfully blow up the meteor, saving the Earth, but one of the blown-up pieces of the meteor crushes The Brown-Tubbs House and there's no hope in repairing their house because Cleveland and Donna got fired from their jobs and can't get money anymore. And to add salt to the wound, Roberta and Rallo are now social outcasts at school and can never show their faces in public again. With Cleveland deciding to move back to Quahog, Rhode Island with his family so he can go back to his old house and get his old job as a deli worker back again. Then, they can live their lives normally.

Tolkien's Legendarium

  • The Heart Trilogy: Heart of Ashes, the second part, has this kind of an ending after the first part Heart of Fire had a "Ray of Hope" Ending. The now identified Fankil is defeated before he can use Kathryn in freeing his father Morgoth from the void, but he's still at large and will return to fight another day. Smaug has killed Freyja and a lot of Vathvael's people, but the city will carry on under Queen Lalemwen, and Andraya is no longer alive to bother Smaug or Kathryn with her schemes. Kathryn gives Smaug the ultimatum of giving up his plans to take back Erebor and have his revenge, if he wants her to remain with him. The danger of being corrupted again by Sauron's taint within him also forces him to be mindful of his darker desires. With a lot of reconciliation to work on, Kathryn and Smaug decide that it's in their best interests to go into hiding from everyone, but Gandalf believes they will meet again.

To Love Ru

  • To-Love-Death: Mr Law's Zombie Fic ends like this: Rito and several of his classmates and teachers survive, but not without most of the main Toloveru cast being killed off in horrible ways. Not to mention Nana making it all the way to the end before being decimated by helicopter blades by a surprise zombie. Turns out they didn't love death after all!

Total Drama

  • Despair Island: After all the death and suffering, the surviving players are able to return to their normal lives with relative ease, while Chris and his minions are arrested, with Chris himself dying. However, most of the players are dead, their families are presumably devastated, and Zolkoff and Johnathan Gavrilovic are unscathed, with the latter still in a position of power with the Canadian government.
  • Haunted: The canonical ending of the series sees Chris get exposed, but the girls he's hurt are still damaged.
  • In Legacy, which is set ten years after the events of the show, Heather and Duncan spend much of the story reminiscing about the death of a colleague, a tragedy that disrupted the season and nearly killed the show. The late colleague was someone whom Heather couldn't stand whilst they were living at the camp; but ten years later, the more mature Heather reveals a heartfelt gesture of remembrance to her late enemy.

Turning Red

  • In The Great Red Panda Rescue, Mei is rescued, and the scientists who tortured her are dead, but it's clear Mei has trauma and scars that will never heal.

Warrior Cats

  • In Spottedleaf's plot, Mapleshade gets her revenge on Spottedleaf, but Mapleshade also dies as a result.


  • Fallen King ends like this. Pegasus was stopped from getting the Millennium Puzzle, both Ryou and Yami Bakura are presumed dead, and Joey, Tea, and Tristan have escaped with the soulless Mokuba. However, Joey realizes that they'll never stop being hunted, declares that they cannot be friends, and the trio separate to save the world.