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Bittersweet Ending / Web Original

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  • 330 Hours: While Jack is able to survive the game it comes at the cost of all of his teammates, and on top of that a mysterious man whispers to him that The Program is only the beginning.
  • Arby 'n' the Chief:
    • Season 5 has the duo stop the wedding of Gaming Tycoon, Trent Donnovich, (after the latter was caught cheating on his fiancee and Arbiter's Girlfriend), but at the cost of Arbiter and Chief's only access to the outside world, Xbox-Live.
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    • While not exactly being the end of the season itself, Kylie of Season 6 suffers one when she is banned by Arbiter and Chief and is stuck living with her father, who is revealed to be a cruel alcoholic, and is without any means of escape.
  • "The Domino's ad that vanished from YouTube" ends with Nick Robinson reaching the Tokyo headquarters of Domino's Pizza only to realize that Scott Oelkers, the CEO of the company and star of the commercial, had retired before Nick was able to meet him. At first, it seemed as though Nick was left with no answers, until he realized that Scott's retirement was the answer: because he starts off the video introducing himself as "President of Domino's Pizza", it was taken down since it contained outdated information. Further making this bittersweet was the bouquet of flowers he saw in the company lobby, where Nick had made the attempted call to Scott: he realized after the fact that those flowers were a "parting gift from other people who loved Scott just as much as [he] did", and that Nick had Missed Him by That Much. Despite not being able to meet his idol in person, Nick was nonetheless satisfied with the conclusions he was able to derive from his investigation, and able to see second-hand the impact Scott had made on others outside of his silly commercial.
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  • The Half-Life fan-film Beyond Black Mesa, ends with the transmission sucessfully going out, but Adrian and the remaining rebels blowing themselves up when they're cornered by the Combine.
  • Campaign 1 of Critical Role ends with Vecna sealed away, his cult defeated, and Vox Machina hailed as heroes. However, Vax'ildan - as per his deal with the Raven Queen - must go and serve her in the afterlife. This leaves Vex'ahlia without her brother, Keyleth without her lover, and the rest of Vox Machina without their friend.
  • The Cry of Mann: While Tank Mann returns and the family seems to be slowly returning to normal, Jouglat was killed by Frank and Jack has turned into an orange-muscled behemoth. Agent Martinez's attraction to Berry also ends badly as a caller preoccupies Berry as Martinez is about to leave, who was planning on making her move.
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  • Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog ends with Dr. Horrible achieving his greatest ambition - getting accepted into the Evil League of Evil. However, while pulling the heist that put him on the A-list of villains, he indirectly caused the death of the girl of his dreams. The finale song shows the Dr. Horrible, all the good in him seemingly dead, gloating about his victory and warning the world that "now the nightmare's real". However, the last shot is that of Billy (Horrible's human alter ego), clearly lost and heartbroken, staring blankly at the webcamera.
  • Dragon Age: Redemption ends with the saarebas re-captured and his plans foiled, but the templar Cairn and Josmael's betrothed are both dead. Tallis kills the saarebas to avenge Cairn's death, thus failing her mission. Nyree even states that it doesn't feel like much of a victory.
  • On both Dream's and L'Manburg's ends of the SMP war. On Dream's end, he won the war and showed the server who truly held the most power, but L'Manburg got its independence all the same. On L'Manburg's end, it got independence but it also got thoroughly trashed in the chaos (with Dream having earlier detonated TNT under its land), Dream showed that he could easily crush them if they tried anything again, and Tommy ended up having to give away his two prized music disks (which were partially responsible for his feud with Dream to begin with) to secure said independence.
  • In Greek Ninja, the battle determining the fate of the world was won by mankind, thanks to Sasha, however Iphigenie was amongst the casualties.
  • Half-Life: Full Life Consequences ends with the Combines being defeated, but both Gordon and John Freeman dying in the struggle, with the latter holding the Combines back to buy time for the 'humens' to escape. But now the humans humens are at peace, with Henry Freeman as their president, and at the end of the Djy 1991 version, you can see Gordon, John, and several others rising up to heaven.
  • I Love Bees: The assembled team seem to have saved the world and have been united with their family or otherwise reached a happy end despite their losses. And then the Covenant turn up. The ARG does take place right before Halo 2, after all.
  • At the end of KateModern: The Last Work, the main characters celebrate with a party. Except Julia, who winds up pregnant with a trait positive baby that isn't even genetically hers, with her husband apparently dead, her source of money presumably gone as well, and her friends alienated. Poor Julia.
  • The Last Generation, big time. Inna and Hawke fail to save the Multiverse, with literally every single person they have ever encountered throughout the story (even Inna's 7 year old daughter Ellie) dying either when the neutron star consumes their world or shortly before. Hawke needs to sacrifice himself, remaining on the last world standing in order to send Inna to the neutron star, where she merges with it and becomes a god-like being, losing herself in the process. The Multiverse is reborn, but as something completely different, and most of the people who died never returning, and those who have (like Ellie) don't remember that Inna even existed. Literally the only thing preventing this from going into straight on Downer Ending territory is the fact that Inna managed to restore the Multiverse, even in some limited form.
  • Marble Hornets: By the 87th and final entry, the Big Bad of the series, Alex, is finally defeated by Tim, who ensures that the Operator will never return (it had terrorized Tim for his entire life). However, this victory comes at the cost of the lives of practically the entire cast, including the so-called main character Jay. Tim is one of only 2 people to survive at the end (alongside Jessica), and the final recording of the series is of him moving out of town presumably to start a new life. It then cuts to black, where three powerful words are displayed: "Everything is fine."
  • Mirror World: The krylyrk turns the inhabitants of Inoptica back to their normal human forms and sends them all back to their homes, with the inhabitants having changed for the better. However, thousands of innocents—including Geiger, Axel, and Razmin—have all died due to a series of needless conflicts constructed by the krylyrk, and the krylyrk is forced to live in solitude once again.
  • Nuzlocke Comics invariably end like these, seeing as the protagonist would have lost many friends along the way. No matter how happy the author might try to make the the ending be, it will always be permeated by the feeling of loss and lonliness, both by the reader and the characters.
  • Our Avatars Were In A Room Together The Continuation: In the end, the Fairies' world was destroyed. Fortunately, Travis made a wish to change the behavior of its people and that the remaining Queen is slowly rebuilding said world.
  • The Pirates Covered in Fur. Everyone dies except for Rob and Margot, and Diamond City is destroyed by military bombers. However, Captain Lyle Krinkor and his forces are all killed as well, and Rob and Margot later find out that hundreds, if not thousands of innocents were saved before the bombings started.
  • In the youtube series Pokemon Pals, in the end, Ash has to fake his own death, still doesn't have his license, and has a dream that teaches him to never get close to anyone, because they will betray you. This essentially ruins any possibility of Misty and him ever getting together.
  • Red vs. Blue:
    • In the last episode of The Blood Gulch Chronicles, the Reds and Blues defeat Omega and Wyoming and tie up all the loose ends of the earlier time loop, but apparently lose Sheila, Tex, Andy, and Junior in the process.
    • The Recollection trilogy is even worse:
      • Reconstruction ends with the Big Bad seeming to have been defeated, and the Reds and Blues have new bases, but Alpha-Church is permanently destroyed, along with Delta, and Washington's fate is left ambiguous.
      • Recreation ends with Church having been revived in spirit as Epsilon, the return of Tucker, and one of the season's two big bads finally killed, but the Reds and Blues apparently have to fend off a force of aliens. Meanwhile, elsewhere, Agent Washington pulls a Face–Heel Turn and kills two major characters.
      • Revelation has Washington pull a Heel–Face Turn, and the Reds and Blues finally kill the trilogy's Big Bad, and all go off to continue their Red-Blue battles. Unfortunately, Epsilon is trapped in a powerless memory storage unit, unable to escape, trying to find Tex, though he seems fairly content with his circumstances.
    • The Freelancer Sage puts the Recollection to shame:
      • At the end of season 9, Epsilon is rescued from the capture unit, but he thinks it's the unit failing and finally comes to peace with Tex by "forgetting" her... only to discover it was actually a rescue attempt and now Tex may well be gone permanently.
      • Season 10 picks up where season 9 left off. The good guys win, but the final episode includes a seriously depressing reveal, an off-screen suicide, and two main characters leaving the others behind without saying goodbye.
    • To draw even more of a line, The Chorus Trilogy has its fair share of these. Season 11 ends on the aftermath of a massive battle between the Federal Army of Chorus and the Reds and Blues. The New Republic manages to extract the good guys. but only Simmons, Grif, Tucker and Caboose. Wash, Sarge, Donut and Lopez are left as POWs of the Federal Army, who are no doubt expecting their friends to rescue them.
  • The Salvation War: By the end of Pantheocide, humanity has toppled Satan, and with the covert help of Archangel Michael, succeeds in toppling Yahweh, many parts of Hell are prospering under the rule of Julius Caesar, demons and angels have begun their (uneasy) reconciliation with humanity, and many worldwide conflicts have been resolved. That being said, the economy faces a tough transition from war-based production, and the relocation of savings to Hell by Second Lifer humans. Many areas of the world, such as the Midwest and Bermuda, are facing a long road to recovery. The existence of Second Life has forced world governments to rethink social and constitutional values, such as execution. An insurgency in hell has been started by Grand Duke Belial. And the existence of other worlds that contain creatures more dangerous than demons has forced other nations to prepare. All these things and put many badly needed reforms on the back burner. These issues will be explored in the third book... if it is ever written.
  • "Shadows Of The Past" at the end of season one after the two assassins trying to kill them and a giant mech with a crazy A.I and a mission to kill all "idiots" within a hundred mile radius are defeated. Venus is accepted into their group as a friend despite her betrayal and everything is shaping up to be a happy ending. Until the box. Sage activates an ancient piece of technology that transports him to yet another unknown world where alternate versions of his "friends" knock him out and drag him away.
  • Suburban Knights ends with Team TGWTG saving the world, but at the cost of Ma-Ti's life. The team reflects on the loss, with Spoony breaking down during his Final Fantasy XIII review and The Nostalgia Critic lying in bed.
  • Tails of the Bounty Hunter ends with Cale and Stollar becoming True Companions, Cale accepting that he can't cure his terminal illness, the Quintuple Cartel in ruins—with its leader getting killed in prison—and hundreds of millions of lives saved. That being said, the five heads of the Cartel still succeed in slaughtering thousands (including launching a chemical attack in a crowded basketball stadium), Commander Maynard is still at large, Cale and Stollar are fully aware that they'll be facing more horrible villains in the future, and the pathogen that Cale was exposed to has deteriorated his body so much that he'll be dead within a year or two.
  • While on the subject of TGWTG, To Boldly Flee ends somewhat bittersweet as well. Everyone is still alive and all the villains have been destroyed for good, but Spoony has lost his memory, Last Angry Geek is dead and the Nostalgia Critic, having transcended and become one with the plothole, is gone for good.
  • At the end of T.O.T., Dylan and Rachel survive, kill Maximus Slade, and the Time Skip shows that they moved on with their lives and went back to trick-or-treating on Halloween. However, every other character—including their close friends Boog and Mark—perish, and dozens of people in the Green Water subdivision were either murdered or deeply traumatized by the events that took place.
  • The ending of Vox and King Beau. Vox has a brain tumor (as was suspected), but (thanks to Beau) it gets caught in time to be surgically removed before it does any real harm, and Vox is expected to make a full recovery. However, Vox also says that she hasn't heard from Beau lately and she thinks that he's in serious trouble and needs her help—and unfortunately, she has no idea how to contact or find him. A later comment allegedly posted by Vox actually says that Beau died; but, as the comment was anonymous, nobody is positive if it was actually her or not.
  • In episode 49 of Welcome to Night Vale, the citizens of Night Vale are free from StrexCorp and the Smiling God, and Intern Dana returns home and is elected mayor... but Carlos is still trapped in the Desert Otherworld.
  • In Worm, Scion is defeated and Dragon is freed, but Taylor had to mind control thousands of capes, the whole world is in chaos, villains still exist, the rest of Scion and Eden's species is still out there, Taylor loses her powers and is trapped on a different Earth, and the Endbringers are still around.
  • In episode 100 of Scott the Woz, titled It's Awesome Baby, Madden 08 is destroyed forever in exchange for a timeline where people aren't legally forced to love Dick Vitale's Awesome Baby College Hoops. It gets subverted though, as Scott wins a sweepstake to make whatever game he wants.


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