Follow TV Tropes


Bittersweet Ending / Western Animation

Go To

Shows with their own pages

As said on the main page, spoilers are unmarked.
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers loved this one. About 1 in 5 episodes ended with the Rangers' "victory" being merely getting away with their shirts and souls intact. "Psychocrypt" and "Galaxy Stranger" are arguably close to a Downer Ending.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: In the episode "Battle of the Bands," Jimmy, Carl, and Sheen fail to win first place at the talent show, but they got their friendship back.
  • Adventure Time: "Betty" ends this way; Simon is still in the same situation, but Betty is confirmed to be alive, and she's in Ooo trying to find a cure for him.
    • In the final episode, Gumbald and Golb are defeated, but Betty sacrifices herself to stop Golb meaning that while Simon is finally back to normal, he didn't get the girl. Finn fails to get the girl too, not to mention his treehouse is destroyed.
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
    • "The Puppy": The turtle rampage was stopped for now, but the Wattersons are basically stuck with it until it dies of old age. Or so they thought, since the turtle escapes with its babies in "The Nest".
    • "The Recipe": Ant-One and the army of Anton clones have been defeated and Gumball and Dawrin are now aware that playing God is wrong... but Anton didn't make it. Ant-Two (unintentionally) took his place.
    • "The Heist": Darwin successfully delivers the bag of money back to the bank, saving Richard from being imprisoned, however the police immediately suspect the bag to be a bomb and quickly blows it up. The Wattersons look at with disappointment the flaming money falling down after the explosion.
  • Advertisement:
  • American Dragon: Jake Long has "Homecoming". The Huntsclan utterly destroyed? The weapon they were planning to use to kill all magical creatures also destroyed? Check. Did Not Get the Girl and an attempted Heroic Sacrifice? Check.
  • in The Animals of Farthing Wood, at the end of season 2, Bold returns home for the sake of his mate and unborn cubs. Because he was way too weak to make the long journey back home, he has to pay for it with his life. A couple of seconds before he dies, he hears from his father that he is proud of him, so he can die in peace.
  • Surprisingly, Aqua Teen Hunger Force had one, with both Frylock and Master Shake being Killed Off for Real. The last few minutes then show that after the deaths of his teammates, Meatwad got his act together, got married, landed a good job and a nice home, and eventually started a family. The series ends with Meatwad taking his family to visit the house he used to live in with the other Aqua Teens, and then they all drive off to eat dinner together. Good thing is, as revealed mere days later, this was not the actual finale of the series.
  • Advertisement:
  • Archer Dreamland has one, befitting its Darker and Edgier status. Archer finally learns the truth regarding Woodhouse's murder. Dutch receives his due karma, and Archer is no longer working for Mother at the moment. Unfortunately, Lana is dead and Poovey's Chinese sister-wives left. However, Archer is trying to move on with his life, and the Chinese sister-wives are trying to make it on their own. In real world terms, Archer also hasn't woken up, but he isn't dead.
  • The finale of the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Zhao is defeated (and killed) and the Northern Water Tribe is defended, but Yue must go to become the moon spirit, Iroh and Zuko are fully branded as traitors and have no one but each other, and Fire Lord Ozai has decided to become more proactive, and sends out his top enforcer, his daughter.
  • The Batman had episodes often end like this as time went on, but the first Bittersweet Ending in the series definitely had impact on the show; the two-part first season finale, "The Rubberface of Comedy" and "The Clayface of Tragedy". The Joker begins a crime spree with his Joker Putty, capable of turning anything into a putty-like material. When the police try to stop him, Joker kidnaps Ethan Bennett, Bruce Wayne's oldest childhood friend and an officer constantly harrased by Chief Rojas for thinking The Batman is good for Gotham City. At the end of the first part, Joker ends up mind raping Ethan and accidentally turns him into Clayface by exposure to gas based on Joker Putty. During the second part, Ethan attempts to exact revenge on Chief Rojas for his torment. Batman manages to save Chief Rojas, but is defeated by Clayface. Yin saves Batman, but Ethan escapes and is nowhere to be found, and since he can now shape-shift...Bruce feels he may never see his friend again. Of course, later he does in the second season...only for Joker to convince Ethan to not reform and instead embrace being a supervillain. At least in that episode, Batman caught Clayface this time.
  • "Mitefall!", the final episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Ambush Bug rescues the show from Bat-Mite's meddling and Batman saves the day, but it's too late to save the show from cancellation. With their new-found Medium Awareness, almost every character to ever appear in the show - heroes and villains, dead and alive - put aside their differences and have one last party in a Batcave which is revealed to be nothing more than a set and is being dismantled around them. Batman promises the audience that, until they meet again, wherever evil lurks, he'll be there to defend the innocent and the final shot of the series is a group shot of all the heroes - and, by extension, their entire world - fading to black.
  • Ben 10: Omniverse: "Frogs of War" ends with the Inkurseans defeated, or rather Milleus defeated, with Attea revealing she orchestrated his downfall, and has maneuvered the protagonists into a corner where their defenses are down. The Inkurseans, despite being scattered are firmly entrenched in Earth's sector, and will continue their oppression. Attea promises to remove the forces and pay for all damages, provided they let her go, meaning she'll be in charge of the empire (the last time she attained power, she tried to blow up Earth for fun; this time she's got the entire legion directly at her beck and call). Despite Ben's protests, Max concedes her point and lets her go (the alternative being prolonged Occupation and a possible power struggle). The ending with the Dating Catwoman and "Take That!" Kiss can push this into Esoteric Happy Ending as the narrative leans to make it more positive.
  • Beware the Batman ends on one. Deathstroke has been defeated and he can’t remember who Batman is, Batman, Katana, Man-Bat, Metamorpho, and Oracle join forces to protect Gotham, and Anarky’s plans are ruined and he has to start over from scratch. However, Harvey Dent has become Two-Face and is going to campaign for mayor, and Batman is considered a public menace.
  • The 2006 revival of Biker Mice from Mars ends this way. After the three-part episode "Once Upon a Time on Earth" concludes with Throttle, Vinnie, and Modo defeating the Catatonians, Ronaldo Rump, and their old enemy Lawrence Limburger for good, the final episode "Turf Wars" has the trio go back to Mars to end the drought that has been plaguing the planet. Upon returning to Mars, the Biker Mice find Vinnie's old girlfriend Harley, who unfortunately has become evil because she thought the Biker Mice abandoned her, and in the end, after coming to her senses and deactivating Stoker's invention the regenerator to prevent Olympus Mons from erupting, is supposedly killed. However, Throttle and Modo tell Vinnie it's possible she survived.
  • Bojack Horseman ultimately ends this way. Bojack is sentenced to a year in prison for breaking into his old house and both Diane and Hollyhock break all ties with him. On the bright side, Bojack manages to get sober again and his career appears to be picking up after his release. The other main characters get much happier endings-Todd reconnects with his mother and stepfather, maintains a stable romantic relationship, and VIM Agency's daycare idea has been the most successful venture he's had and will continue to run for the time being, Princess Carolyn gets married to Judah, Mr. Peanutbutter has finally learned to stop chasing relationships to find fulfillment, and while Diane ends her friendship with Bojack on mutual, if somber, terms, she finally finds happiness in Houston with Guy and as the author of the Ivy Tran mystery books.
  • Captain Planet's infamous HIV episode "A Formula for Hate" has one if you think about it. While Todd was accepted by the townspeople, who learned that HIV positive people need help and support and are not monsters and felt guilty about harrassing him, Todd still has HIV and will not get the chance to marry his girlfriend and have children, since they will also get HIV and Todd will eventually gain AIDS and die, and even if he lives to 1995, where the first HAART were used, he'll still have to spend a lot of time and money for his treatment.
  • Season 2 of Castlevania (2017) ends this way: Dracula is dead and his genocidal war is over, but most of Wallachia is in ruins and God knows how many people are dead. Carmilla also gets away scot-free and enslaves Hector to build an army so she can take advantage of the Evil Power Vacuum created by Dracula's death, and Isaac winds up in a distant desert region where he begins building his own army. Meanwhile, the heroes split up, with Trevor and Sypha going off together on more adventures (and it's implied that a romance might be starting to bloom between them) while Alucard stays behind to safeguard the combined knowledge of Dracula's castle and the Belmont Hold. But on top of both of Alucard's parents being dead, he has to live with the fact that he had to kill his own father to save the world. And to hammer in the bitterness of this ending, the very last scene of the season is Alucard breaking down in tears as he finally allows himself to grieve.
  • Code Lyoko: The currently final season ends with the characters completely annihilating XANA. However, Aelita's father Franz, in order to allow the team to destroy the Big Bad, sacrifices himself shielding his daughter. Along with that, William is stuck with no memories of the few months of his time possessed by XANA, but the others have a hard time no longer seeing him as The Dragon. Finally, they decide to erase Sissi's memories after she finally discovers why they were so cruel to her for the last two plus years, request her friendship after the last Return Trip to apologize for said cruelty, and shut down the supercomputer, permanently destroying any iota of hope in saving Aelita's father.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door: "Operation: T.R.E.A.T.Y.", the penultimate episode of the series, ends on one with heavy emphasis on the bitter. The Teens' plan to destroy the Kids Next Door is stopped and Nigel's name is cleared; however, the Chained Heat situation between him and his former mentor Numbuh 274/Chad deteriorates their already tenuous relationship, and even learning the truth ultimately changes nothing for either of them as the latter is also revealed to be a Broken Ace, which is why he tried to kill him.
  • Danny Phantom has two. "Public Enemies" ends with Danny Phantom completely hated by his hometown, staged by a vindictive ghost. Danny, however, regales in hope and continues to play hero (and eventually succeeds). "Flirting with Disaster" has Danny and Valerie dating happily, the latter willing to give up ghost hunting for Danny. Irony because while he saved the world, Danny [Phantom] himself caused Valerie to break up with him to further her career for his safety. Made even worse when Danny was just about to give her a class ring and ask her to be his official girlfriend. Ouch.
  • The Grand Finale of Daria leans toward sweet, since most of our main characters got into colleges they wanted and Daria and Jane are going to move to Boston together, but Kevin is being held back (likely dooming his relationship with Brittany), Trent is sad that Jane is leaving him behind like the rest of their family, Daria and Tom break up and Mack and Jodie are going to schools that are apparently far apart. Quinn's subplot is particularly bittersweet: she makes a friend who has a drinking problem, tries to confront her about it and the two have a big fight. The friend apologizes later, but she still does not acknowledge her problem and it's implied that, since they don't work together anymore, the friendship is not likely to last.
  • While always cheery, DuckTales (2017) has some bittersweet things mixed in.
    • The Shadow War: The Duck-Mcduck family stop Magica Despell after her return. But Lena was forced to seemingly sacrifice herself to protect her best friend. Donald's boat was also destroyed again, but he finally understands how important he and the nephews are to Scrooge, allowing a reconciliation. And in the final shot of the episode, we see that the woman who was the focus of so much of the season, Della Duck, is on the moon and SHE'S ALIVE!
  • The Fairly OddParents:
    • "Dream Goat!" ends with Timmy confessing that he freed Chompy, the town agreeing to let Chompy go, and Timmy soothing his guilt over the whole mess, but his parents still ground him for lying.
    • "That Old Black Magic" has Timmy defeating the anti-fairies and saving the Earth. But Adrenaland is still destroyed, forcing him to go to Escalator Land.
  • Futurama:
    • "The Luck of the Fryrish", Fry, while trying to find a seven-leafed clover that gave him extraordinary luck back in the 20th century, comes across a glorified statue of his older brother Yancy, with Fry's clover pinned to his coat and Fry's name on his pedestal, which praises him as the first man to reach Mars. Yancy apparently was well-known as a heroic 21st century pioneer and adventurer, but everyone knew him by Fry's name: Phillip J. Fry. However, in Fry's memory, Yancy was extremely jealous of Fry and his luck in the twentieth century, and was notorous for stealing from him frequently. Fry is devastated, certain that Yancy stole his clover, his name, and his glory; as it had always been Fry's greatest dream to be an astronaut; using Fry's lucky charm to win his success. However, when Fry finds Yancy's grave and plans to rob it to get his clover back, he catches sight of the epitaph: "Phillip Fry, the Original Martian. Named in loving memory of his uncle to carry on his spirit." Fry then realizes that the Original Martian was not Yancy at all, but Yancy's son, Phillip Fry II, whom Yancy named after his missing younger brother, and presented with Fry's clover, declaring "I love you Phillip, and always will." to both of them. The episode ends with Fry (who leaves the clover where it is) kneeling tearfully before his nephew's ancient tombstone, while "Don't you Forget About Me" plays in the background. This is even more meaningful when you remember that that Fry's father had told Yancy that all the first-born Frys are named Yancy.
    • There's also "Time Keeps On Slippin'," where Fry tries to figure out what he did to get Leela to marry him during the time skips. The crew deploys an explosive into the chroniton-filled nebula responsible for tweaking time, Fry notices that the stars spell out "I Love You, Leela," something he must have wrote during one of the time skips that won Leela over. Unfortunately, the explosion causes the stars to be sucked into a black hole, without Leela ever seeing the message.
    • A similar feeling is invoked in "Jurassic Bark", where Fry attempts to clone his pet dog, who had died 1,000 years previously, so as to 'have his best friend back'. By the end of the episode, however, Fry comes to the revelation that his dog was only a couple of years old, and had it died of old age then it would have been someone else's pet for longer than it was his, and therefore should be allowed to rest in peace. This is Bittersweet enough, however as the credits roll we learn that the dog loyally waited for it's Master to return, never moving from the spot until it died. It WAS Fry's pet and best friend all along, and he decided not to bring it back on a mistaken assumption. In fact this ending was such an immense Tear Jerker that the show's producers ended up receiving hate mail from viewers who had cried. However � possibly due to the aforementioned fan backlash � the ending was later retconned by the movie Bender's Big Score, which, due to time travel, allowed a time-displaced double of Fry to return to the past and pick up his life just how he left it, with Seymour at his side.
    • In "Yo Leela Leela", Leela admits that she was plagiarizing everything about her children's show franchise from the real Rumbledy-Hump. The producer decides to turn the show into a reality show. The Humplings go on to live better lives thanks to modern conveniences, and the orphans Leela tried to make happy with her show are adopted by the producer as his production crew. Leela herself, however, finds herself as a Karma Houdini demanding punishment for her actions as the episode closes.
    • In "Game of Tones" a destructive noise is threatening the Earth, and it turns out Fry remembers the sound from the last day he was in the past. Throughout the episode, Fry wants to say goodbye to his mom one last time, but is continuously interrupted before he's allowed to. He doesn't get the chance before they figure out what the noise is, but Nibbler lets Fry enter his mother's dream from a few days after he was frozen. So while Fry does get his opportunity to say goodbye to his mother, in the present he's still gone and she'll never see him again after this.
    • In "Meanwhile" Fry steals a time button from Professor Farnsworth to make the perfect proposal to Leela. Since all of his time traveling made his watch off from the actual time, he found out Leela was coming to the spot he planned, but it was too late, as he had flung himself from the Vampire State Building. After a lot of deaths and rewinds to save him, his friends eventually save him, but he smashes the device, making everything in the universe except for himself and Leela frozen in time, and Farnsworth seemingly dead. The two of them slowly age, exploring the frozen world, until both are elderly. Then, it turns out Farnsworth was alive, but stuck in time, trying to return to the present. He fixes the button, and makes it so it will send them back in time with no memory of their lives together. Fry and Leela agree to this, and the button press sends them back to before Farnsworth invented the button. So while Fry and Leela won't be able to hold onto the time they had together, they'll get to do it all over again.
  • The G.I. Joe episode "Sink the Montana!". A historic U.S battleship is scheduled to be decommissioned, but its admiral (a long-time friend of General Hawk) is strongly attached to the vessel and joins Cobra to prevent it from being scrapped. The Joes ultimately capture the admiral (who decides to go down with the ship until Hawk punches him out of it) and the ship is sunk by the U.S. Navy. In the final scene, Shipwreck (another Joe who had sympathized with the Admiral) wonders what punishment the Admiral will receives and Hawk responds that he doesn't know what'll happen but that his friend already paid "the ultimate price", as they watch the Montana sink and explode.
  • Granpa: Granpa dies but leaves behind his memories with Emily.
  • Harvey Beaks ends with the titular character's main friends, Fee and Foo, reunited with their parents, but having to move away from Littlebark. Harvey gets pretty saddened about them leaving, but he does know that he was lucky to be their friend. (Plus, they still get in contact with each other through mail letters.note )
    Irving: Sometimes people come into your life, and sometimes they have to leave.
    Harvey: It's so sad.
    Miriam: It is sad. But you're also really lucky you got to be their friend. Nothing's ever going to change that.
    Irving: Yeah, you found each other. When a friend comes into your life, it changes you a little. They challenge you. They make you laugh. They make you stronger. Each person gives you a gift. A special part of them that you keep forever. It's like they're always with you.
  • Hey Arnold!:
    • The "The Beeper Queen" episode ended in this. Helga's mom is no longer paying little attention to her due to her work, making Helga feel better and rekindling their relationship back to its old self. But now Miriam's back to being a depressed alcoholic, who will probably go back to neglecting her anyway.
    • "Pigeon Man" has Arnold taking his sick pigeon Chester to Vincent (the eponymous Pigeon Man), an outcast with a fascination for birds. In return for caring for Chester, Arnold takes Vincent out for some pizza, and while that occurs, Harold, Stinky, and Joey head to Vincent's roof and trash everything, but not without being chased out by the pigeons due to Joey holding a spilled bag of bird seed. When Arnold and Vincent find out that the roof has been vandalized, they are distraught and Vincent decides to literally fly the coop with his pigeons to help other birds in need. Even though Vincent distrusts humans again, he still trusts Arnold and hopes to find another human being like him.
      Vincent: Remember Arnold, always wash your berries before you eat them, and fly toward the sun.
    • "The High Life" ends with Arnold and Gerald shipping their watches back to the company, Wacko, but while Gerald doesn't have to pay for the company's shipment, he has to pay his father for his bills.
  • The Intruder III ends on this note. As it turns out, the base TOM and SARA have been operating out of since the last one is actually a ship and the Sand Worms that were the title characters this time around were really trying to help the two. However, the planet is dying and while the ship is able to leave with the youngest of the sand worms, the rest of the creatures die with the planet.
  • In the Jonny Quest: The Real Adventures episode "Ndovu's Last Journey," the Quest team successfully keep the poachers away in order for Ndovu (the titular elephant) to reach the elephant graveyard... so he can die.
  • Justice League:
    • "Paradise Lost" ends this way; Faust is dead and Hades is banished back to the underworld, but by bringing the rest of the League (who are all men) to Themyscira to help her, Diana broke the Amazons' most sacred law and is exiled by her own mother.
    • In "Starcrossed", the final episode of Justice League (before being rebranded into Unlimited), Earth is saved from destruction... at the cost of their home base, one of their members leaving (breaking up the series' main relationship), and an untold amount of the Thanagarians threatening the planet. Sweetened a bit by its continuation, Unlimited, which shows that things can be rebuilt, but even then there's a note of bitterness lingering throughout the series. Thanagar loses its war and planet, Shayera has to spend years slowly earning back the trust of Earth, can't earn back the trust of Thanagar, and the relationship between Diana and Shayera is one of the most strained in the League. At least Diana starts to warm up, and time travel shows that John does get back with Shayera.
    • Despite the proud tone of Justice League and Unlimited as the age of superheroes, Batman Beyond shows that all good things come to end, with the Batfamily having enough of Bruce's unwillingness to open up that they eventually abandon him and move on with their lives (thanks to a traumatic ordeal) and Bruce cutting off his ties to the League to return to working alone, as well as the League greatly reducing in numbers in the next thirty years.
      • And in line with the bleak and bitter(sweet) tone of Batman Beyond as the distant finale of the DCAU, the (dubiously canon) comic continuation reveals the fate of several other Leaguers and their associates: Superman outlived Lois and his other friends; Wonder Woman spent the last three decades willingly stranded in the Justice Lords universe; Shayera and John married... but Vixen was killed by Shadow Thief right as John was going to propose to her, Hawkman was killed in a futile attempt to bring peace to the Thanagarians and Rannians, and John was revoked of his ring for killing Shadow Thief in vengeance; Flash disappeared into the Speed Force and never came back; Aquaman cut off his ties with the outside world and was forced to disown his own children.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts: Dr. Emilia is finally defeated, and a prosperous new era of peace between humans and Mutes has begun. However, Scarlemagne ends up dying to save Kipo, and Lio and Song aren't able to create a cure to restore the Mutes back to the way they were.
  • The Legend of Korra:
    • Book Two: Vaatu is destroyed (at least until the next Harmonic Convergence), Raava is reborn and re-merged with Korra, and the Water Tribes are at peace again... but Korra has lost her connection to past Avatars, effectively restarting the Avatar Cycle from scratch.
    • The story of Wan, the First Avatar, ends on a bittersweet note. Wan succeeded in bringing lasting peace between humans and spirits, but he could not stop humanity's petty infighting. He dies on a battlefield, an old man knowing he had failed. Raava assures him that she will be with him for all of his reincarnations.
    • Book Three's ending sees Korra emotionally broken and confined to a wheelchair from ambiguous mercury poisoning while the season's main antagonists may have only been the tip of the iceberg, as many other members of the Red Lotus organization are thought to still be at large. However, Jinora is anointed an airbending master in a manner that heartwarmingly recalls her grandfather and Tenzin pledges that the re-established Air Nation will take on the Avatar's duties while Korra recovers.
    • The series finale, though mostly uplifting, still has some depressing notes. Kuvira was defeated, Varrick and Zhu Li have gotten married, and Korra and Asami have come out of the closet and started a relationship, but Republic City is in ruins, Asami's father dies just as he manages to make amends with her, and Bataar Jr. is heartbroken and devastated by Kuvira's betrayal as well as his own crimes.
  • Love, Death & Robots:
    • "Suits": The farmers have driven back the aliens and killed the big boss bug, but Jack didn't make it and most of their gear is wrecked. And there's still more out there...
    • "Good Hunting": The Magic Goes Away, Yan's original body is gone but thanks to Liang she has a new mechanical transforming body and she can exact justice on any British occupiers who bring harm to the Chinese.
    • "Shape-shifters": Decker avenges Sobieski, but feels nothing afterwards and ultimately gives up on humanity entirely after having enough of conflicts. The only silver lining is that he is finally free.
    • "Helping Hand": Alex survives the story, but it does require her to sacrifice one of her arms.
    • "Lucky 13": Cutter was commended for her bravery and rewarded with a Black Hawk ship, but the Lucky 13 was destroyed. She did manage to keep a plate that has the ship's full registry number, ensuring that it will live on in some way.
    • "The Secret War": All but one of the platoon members died in their Last Stand against the ghouls, but that same horde is destroyed by a fleet of bombers the following morning. The secret war goes on, and the Motherland will probably prevail.
  • The Magic Trolls and the Troll Warriors ends with Celia learning to be happy and Finn safe in the Magic Village, but she must return to the castle before King Nolaf hurts her father.
  • Marvel's Spider-Man: The second season finale, "The Goblin War" has the Goblin Nation and its leader, the Goblin King/Adrian Toomes defeated, but Otto Octavius performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop the Goblin King and dies in Peter's arms. However, his will essentially allows Peter to return to Horizon High and Gwen and Anya rekindle their friendship with Peter.
  • Metalocalypse:
    • The series usually has ones of these endings where at least one person has died a horrible gruesome death if not an entire town or many many other people like the typical end to one of their concerts. (You'd think that if most of their fans keep dying from episode to episode there'd be no more fans left.) But hey, Dethklok survives unharmed from all adventures if not ahead. The thing is, though, these endings are usually Played for Laughs.
    • A straighter example would be the season 2 finale: Dethklok lives, and some even get to be heroes, but Mordhaus is burning to the ground and Ofdensen is in critical condition.
    • Then the episode 'Dethhealth': Pickles isn't dying, but Toki's cat has died, and Nathan's dentist committed suicide right in front of him.
  • Mighty Ducks: The Animated Series: The series ends with the Ducks preventing Lord Dragaunus from freeing the rest of his army, but to do so, they had to destroy the machine that would've let them return to Puckworld.
  • Monster Allergy episode, "The Devourer" really has this kind of ending. The invasion of Bibbur-Si done by Magnacat is foiled, but Zick has lost his powers, including his ability to see monsters. There's good news in that: Elena can finally see monsters.
  • By the final episode of Moral Orel, none of the Puppington family's problems seem to have been solved (in fact, they were probably made worse). The only thing that keeps this from sliding into Downer Ending territory was the Distant Finale that showed Orel eventually growing up and successfully starting his own loving, functional family.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has a few examples:
    • Played for Laughs in "Swarm of the Century". Pinkie Pie is able to lure the parasprites away from the town, but it's still taken a lot of damage from Twilight's last botched attempt at stopping the parasprites from eating all the food (which caused the parasprites to instead eat everything except the food)
    • "The Best Night Ever" ends with the Grand Galloping Gala in disarray and several of the main characters' hopes for the night (Rarity meeting her Prince Charming, Applejack making money for the family farm, Rainbow Dash getting to hang with the Wonderbolts, etc.) dashed, but at least they're able to spend the rest of the evening with Princess Celestia and laugh off their bad night over donuts and cocoa.
    • An even more mild example occurs at the end of "Hurricane Fluttershy". Rainbow Dash has been assigned the duty of transporting the water from Ponyville's reservoir to the Cloudsdale weather factory via a pegasus-powered tornado. She not only wants to succeed in this task, but also beat the current tornado-wind-speed record of such a procedure. When Fluttershy finally overcomes her fear of performing and helps, she and the other pegasi succesfully transport the water, but still fail to beat the record.
    • "Flight To The Finish" ends with the episode implying Scootaloo may never be able to fly, but she gains back her confidence, allowing her she and the rest of the crusaders to win the flag-carrying competition.
    • "The Lost Treasure Of Griffonstone" ends with the characters being unable to recover the lost golden Griffon artifact that when lost, turned the once-proud Griffon Kingdom into a decrepit, downtrodden ghetto, and when RD and Pinkie leave, the town is still in complete ruin and shambles, but with Gilda the Griffon undergoing a Heel–Face Turn, they're hopeful that Gilda can instead use friendship to help the other Griffons overcome their greed and help rebuild their society.
    • The infamous "The Mean 6" ends with the heroes completely having no idea Chrysalis was around and they had Evil Doppelgangers of themselves, instead believing they themselves were responsible for acting mean out of nowhere and ruined their camping trip. However, Twilight resolves the feud and shows that even through a few misunderstandings, their friendship will always prevail, while the Tree of Harmony is making sure those clones never come back again.
    • In the final episodes, the villains are successfully defeated and the Distant Finale shows Equestria has become a Utopia, but Twilight has to move back to Canterlot and cannot live in Ponyville anymore, and she and her friends only meet once a month now due to their new responsibilities, though their friendship remains. They've all visibly aged while Twilight's become The Ageless, meaning there's a strong chance she'll outlive them.
  • In Ōban Star-Racers:
    • Eva and her father (who left her behind) rekindle their relationship, the galaxy is saved from the Big Bad, and all the good guys get to go home. Well, except for one. Jordan Wilde, Eva's star-racing partner, becomes the Avatar and must stay behind on Oban to take care of the galaxy for the next 10,000 years, all after he confessing that he loves her. He is last seen crying as Eva's ship takes off. Additionally, Eva's motivation for taking part in the first place, finding a way of bringing her mother back from the dead, was a pipe dream all along. However, she does learn to accept the loss by the end of the series.
    • The episode where Eva races Spirit, the creature she holds responsible for her mother's death, also ends on a bitter sweet note when she learns the truth of that day.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: As K.O. admits, he got older before he knew it, and his friends eventually left the Bodega to do other things. Despite this, K.O., Rad, Enid, and Dendy remained friends throughout their adulthood (with the last possibly romantically involved with K.O.), and K.O. ultimately achieved his dream of being a great hero.
  • If a Peanuts special or movie doesn't have a Downer Ending, it'll likely have a bittersweet ending:
    • Charlie Brown's All-Stars: Charlie Brown declines an offer for his team to be sponsored into a real league, the team loses their next game, and everyone gets mad at Charlie Brown to giving up their sponsorship and uniforms, but then Linus angrily tells them it's because the league wouldn't allow girls or dogs on the team, and, out of remorse for their unjustified anger, they make Charlie Brown his own uniform (out of Linus' blanket).
    • Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!: The kids celebrate the new year and Charlie Brown finishes his book report but with a bad grade (it's worth it), but he falls asleep right before midnight and misses the Little Red-Haired Girl, who showed up after all and dances with Linus instead, but he does get a kiss from Marcie to make up for it.
    • You're in Love, Charlie Brown: Right before the bus leaves, Charlie Brown gets a note from the Little Red-Haired Girl, saying that she likes him. But Charlie Brown now has to wait for the summer to end.
    • You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown: Linus wins the election for class president, but finds that the class president has absolutely no say in school bureaucracy, leaving Sally fuming that Linus sold out like all politicians.
    • You're a Good Sport, Charlie Brown: Charlie Brown wins the race, but doens't get the promoted prize, instead getting gift certificates for a free haircut, meaningless to him because his dad is a barber and doesn't have much hair to cut. To make matters worse, the original prize was tickets for the NFL Pro Bowl, but Marcy states they couldn't get them, either because they were too expensive, sold out, or they were turned away at the box office for being unaccompanied minors.
  • The end of the Ready Jet Go! episode "Jet Can't Sleep". Jet does successfully get to sleep, but at the end of the episode, it's Celery who can't get to sleep.
  • In the Grand Finale of Regular Show, Pops saves the universe from his Evil Twin, Anti-Pops, but at the cost of his life. The Park Crew are brought back from being erased and finally return home after spending three years in space. Families and loved ones are reunited, but the crew likewise have to inform Mr. Mallerd of Pop's sacrifice when they return. Pops is given a statue in the middle of the park honoring him and the crew soon all go their separate ways to go on to live fulfilling lives; Mordecai pursues his dream of being an artist and finds love while doing it, Rigby and Eileen raise a family together, as do Muscleman and Starla, Fives and Celia have a successful career together as a DJ duo, Benson and Pam get back together, Skips remains in the park to help mentor a whole new park crew. When they reunite 25 years later, Mr. Mallerd is revealed to have passed on as well. Indeed, while the characters lead happy lives, they never forget that it was thanks to Pops that allowed them to have it.
  • In the final segment of the Robot Chicken ninth season finale, "Hi.", the Nerd does successfully jump a motorcycle over the Grand Canyon to get the show renewed, but he immediately crashes into a taco truck by accident and is killed in a fiery explosion. Luckily, "Ginger Hill in: Bursting Pipes" is the next episode (as well as the tenth season premiere), and it shows that Robot Chicken and Mad Scientist revived him into a cyborg in the show's new opening sequence. Thus, the Nerd is forced to watch the skits while they high five.
  • The first season of Rollbots ends with Vertex and Vett's plan foiled and Vertex killed. However, he manages to take Captain Pounder with him.
  • Several episodes of Samurai Jack end this way, with Jack managing to defeat Aku's forces and save innocents from death or enslavement, but having to forfeit a chance to go home to do so. (Downer Endings in the series are quite common too, for that matter. But then, Jack never expected his quest to be easy.)
  • Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated ends with Scooby destroying the Evil Entity and saving Crystal Cove but in the process erasing it from existence, meaning that all of the crimes caused by its influence never happened, everyone's lives are better, and there are no mysteries for the gang to solve anymore. Then they get the CD...
  • The Secret Saturdays season 2 finale ends with the Big Bad vanished. The Cryptid war he started has also ended and everyone is alive and well. Except Van Rook who performed a Heroic Sacrifice for Drew Saturday whom he loved. Zak also loses his Cryptid powers, turning him into a normal boy.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power ends with Horde Prime dead, his empire in ruins, a Relationship Upgrade for a good portion of the cast (including Adora and Cadora, who have gone back to being friends after being separated by the war), and Glimmer reuniting with her father. However, trillions of people lost their lives at the hands of the Horde, including the tragic losses of Queen Angella and (to a lesser extent) Shadow Weaver. Moreso in Angella's case, as she will most likely never get to see her husband again.
  • The Simpsons:
  • The Small One ends with the boy selling his beloved donkey, but it's to Joseph, the man who will become the human father of the Messiah Himself, and not the tanner who would have killed him for his skin.
  • A handful of South Park end on that note:
    • "Raisins" involves Stan crossing the Despair Event Horizon and joins a group of goths after Wendy breaks up with him. After Butters gives him a pep talk about how his sadness is "beautiful", Stan quits the goth group and gets over Wendy... until 4 years later when they get back together in "The List".
    • "Lice Capades", "Over Logging" (hilariously).
    • The two-parter "You're Getting Old"/"Assburgers" ends with a deconstruction of the Reset Button: all of the dramatic changes (Randy and Sharon's divorce, the end of Stan and Kyle's friendship, etc.) suddenly get undone, right after Stan decides to stop fighting them and see this as an opportunity to move on and try new things in life. He ends up depressed while everyone else is happy for things to be back to normal.
    • Season 20 ends with Troll Trace being shut down before it could do long term damage, but now there's no evidence of Gerald ever trolling, meaning his relationship with Sheila is secure, it is implied that Kyle and Ike's relationship with him has become strained, and the Member Berries remain at large to manipulate Mr. Garrison.
    • Season 21 ends with Kyle and Ike stopping President Garrison together, and Heidi finally breaking up with Cartman for good after realizing how much her relationship with him has changed her. However, Garrison escapes captivity with people claiming how things will get worse now that he is become more desperate and leaves the season at a Cliffhanger.
  • Patrick's story, "The Ugly Barnacle", in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Something Smells" is this to an extent.
    "Once there was an ugly barnacle. He was so ugly that everyone died. The end."
    • Also, the episode "Mid-Life Crustacean". Mr Krabs gets grounded by his mother and is still embarrassed over the incident. However, this does make him feel younger which was his entire goal of the episode.
    • In "A Pal For Gary", Gary successfully gets rid of Puffy Fluffy, but is punished by SpongeBob for sending away his "pal" instead of being thanked for saving his life, and is brought with him to the Krusty Krab so he won't be alone.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man prematurely ends with Spider-Man defeating the Big Bad and New York is safe. However, said villain apparently died in front of his son's eyes, who again is Spidey's best friend and now hates Spider-Man. Peter's social life also isn't any better, as he breaks up with his girlfriend to get together with his true love, only she is being manipulated to not break up with Peter's best friend. Oh, and the Big Bad actually survived and is boarding a plane to a tropical island.
  • In the last episode of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Mina and her army are defeated, but it took the destruction of magic meaning the High Magic Commission as well as all beings that are made of magic are dead. Mina is still out there and might return, and it looks like it's going to take awhile for Earth and Mewni to get used to each other being merged. Since all the portals are closed, that also means Star and Marco can probably never see their friends like Kelly ever again.
  • Some episodes in Star Wars: The Clone Wars end with this trope.
    • "The Zillo Beast Strikes Back" is a mix between this and Downer Ending. The Republic manages to neutralize the Zillo Beast, saving Coruscant from more destruction. Unfortunately, though, it was the last of its kind.
    • "Altar of Mortis": The balance of the force is broken, and the Daughter of Mortis (the personification of the Light Side) is now dead, with the Dark Side dominating. Fortunately though, the Daughter manages to have her remaining life force transferred into Ahsoka, bringing her back to life after being killed by the Son of Mortis.
    • "Citadel Rescue": The Republic strike team manages to escape from Lola Sayu, along with the hyperspace route coordinates. However, Even Piell died, and although his half of the info was memorized by Ahsoka, Tarkin doesn't want to share his half of the info with the Jedi, claiming he was under orders from Chancellor Palpatine to bring the info directly to him, while Ahsoka, was instructed to only share her half with the Jedi only.
    • "Carnage of Krell": Krell is killed by Dogma for betraying the Republic, and the Republic succeeds in its campaign to retake Umbarra. Rex however, isn't in the mood for celebrating, as he is left wondering what the point of the Clone War is.
    • The fifth season finale, "The Wrong Jedi", is mixed between this and Downer Ending. Ahsoka gets subjected to Kangaroo Courts. She is eventually proven innocent, but the Jedi High Council has alienated her to the point where she finds herself unable to return to the order. (Of course, her status as Anakin's padawan was Doomed by Canon in the first place.)
  • Star Wars Rebels ends on such a note in the final episodes of the series.
    • Kanan is dead, but his Heroic Sacrifice destroys the TIE Defender factory, ensuring that the Empire has one less weapon to use against the rebels. However, this means that the Empire can funnel its resources into one project... the Death Star.
    • Ezra rescues Ahsoka from dying by Vader's hand via the World Between Worlds, but the Jedi Temple on Lothal disappears into the Force. Ahsoka convinces him to not use the World Between Worlds to save Kanan and let him go so to not make his sacrifice in vain, and though she cannot join Ezra back to his portal in order to preserve the space-time continuum as well, she promises to find him once she returns to her own time.
    • Ezra rejects the Dark side and Palpatine's offer, thus preventing Palpatine from accessing the World Between Worlds, while also letting go of his parents. Though Ezra performs a Heroic Sacrifice to defeat Thrawn, he's still alive somewhere — and so is Thrawn. However, Ezra's sacrifice allows the rebels to liberate Lothal from Imperial control. Though the Alliance still won't help the Lothal rebels, Sabine chooses to stay on Lothal to help rebuild and defend it if the Empire launches a counterattack... and fortunately, they don't. Though Gregor is killed during the final battle, Rukh is killed, and Pryce chooses death over redemption, the remaining cast continues to fight in the war and survive to live happily ever after, with Hera and Chopper taking care of her young son that she conceived with Kanan before his death, Zeb and Kallus finding inner peace as well as becoming best friends and returning to Lira San, and Sabine leaves with a returned Ahsoka to find Ezra and bring him home.
    • Though the show ends with the end of the Galactic Civil War, the cast will still have to endure the events of the Sequel Trilogy.
  • Steven Universe
    • In the episode "Bismuth", Steven manages to prevent Bismuth from putting the Breaking Point to use acting on her vigilante ambitions and survives while promising her to finally tell the others what happened to her, but he has to bubble Bismuth to defend himself, and it's clear no one is happy to have to put their friend back in her prison. Bismuth herself is devastated when she realizes she is about to be imprisoned again, but is comforted by the Steven's promise to tell his friends the truth about her.note 
    • The episode "Lars's Head" ends with Steven finally getting back home after being captured by Homeworld. However, he has to leave Lars and the Off Colors behind in enemy territory as Lars can't use the portal in his own hair to get back to Earth and the Off Colors refuse to leave without him.
  • Steven Universe: Future: The Grand Finale "The Future" takes place six months after Steven's meltdown in "I Am My Monster". It shows Steven is well on the road to recovery from a childhood filled with trauma and danger, but it also features him bidding a tearful farewell to his friends and family as he leaves Beach City and heads out on a Journey to Find Oneself.
  • The Super Mario Bros Super Show!: Normally, Bowser will escape when his plans fail, but in the episode "Flatbush Koopa" after Mario destroys the warp pipe leading back to Brooklyn preventing Bowser from going back there, Bowser reminds him that he and his friends are stuck with him. The episode ends with Bowser chasing the heroes while firing his magic wand.
  • Tales of Arcadia:
    • Trollhunters: The good news is that Gunmar and his army have been killed after centuries of causing conflict and Morgana has been banished to the Shadow Realm, the supposedly only means of entering and leaving it (the Skathe-Hrün) destroyed. While the existence of trolls has been revealed to the humans of Arcadia, Janeth’s reaction to the good trolls implies that the future regarding this will be bright, or at least not ending in disaster. The bad news is that Jim is now trapped in his troll-form with no hope of turning back, forcing him to abandon his human life - including his mother and his best friend - to go with Merlin and the rest of the trolls to set up a new Trollmarket in New Jersey now that the old Heartstone has been destroyed. He also will have to fight for the rest of his life until he inevitably falls in battle. In addition, Strickler and Nomura now have no hope of regaining their human lives since their familiars are now out of the Darklands, many of said familiars left with no families to return to since many of them have been there for literal centuries. That being said, Claire goes with Jim and the trolls on their journey to New Jersey in addition to both telling Toby that they'll see him again and AAARRRGGHH!! staying in Arcadia to keep Toby company. The world is safe — for now.
    • 3Below: General Morando is defeated for good, but Mother and the King and Queen had to perform a Heroic Sacrifice for that to happen. Also, while Aja and Krel can now return home, they both go their separate ways, as Aja goes back to Akiridion-5 to become queen while Krel decides to stay with his friends on Earth.
  • The ending of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) episode "The King"; Donatello meets a comic book artist named Kirby and they enter a strange dimension where all of Kirby's drawings are alive, and Kirby can draw new things into existence with a crystal. When the door between world's begins to collapse, only Don makes it through, along with this note; "Don, life at best is bittersweet. Take care of yourself, Kirby."
  • The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) episode "The Gauntlet" ends on a somewhat depressing note. Sure, the Turtles managed to stop the mutagen bomb from detonating and successfully fought off Bradford and Xever... But then the Shredder showed up and gave them all an absolutely brutal beatdown, with the Turtles only managing to escape when the Shredder was distracted by the mutating Bradford and Xever. On top of all this, April's father allowed himself to be caught whilst escaping, so that the Turtles could go and stop the bomb.
  • Teen Titans:
  • Thomas the Tank Engine:
    • In "Down the Mine", both Thomas and Gordon are in disgrace for their misbehavior - the former had ignored the danger sign and fell down a mine and the latter fell into a ditch an episode earlier, and as a result, Thomas is banished back to his old station pilot job, and Gordon is scheduled for goods work and nothing else, but the two engines agree to form an alliance as they set happily home.
    • In "Percy's Predicament", Percy is sent miserably to the works after an accident with the trucks, while Thomas returns from the works after crashing the stationmaster's house two episodes earlier, and works happily with Toby and Daisy on his branch line. This may be a subversion since the narrator says "all are great friends", meaning that Percy may have returned from the works, unlike in the novel where it states "all three engines are great friends". The show likely altered this to avert Snub by Omission for poor Percy.
    • In "A Scarf for Percy", after an accident with the jam and The Fat Controller's trousers, Percy soon cheers up after being cleaned and is informed by Henry that the weather will be warmer the next day.
  • Timon & Pumbaa:
    • In "Never Everglades", when Pumbaa realizes that Pumbaa Jr. should be with his own kind, he worries to leave him and his new girlfriend all by themselves. So Timon comes up with an idea of a special place on where they can send the two alligators. After Timon and Pumbaa say goodbye to Pumbaa Jr. and his girl, it is revealed that the "special place" is a chicken barn, since Timon believes that the alligators are "ugly chickens". When Timon and Pumbaa leave, there seems to be a chaos going on inside the barn.
    • In "Serengeti Western", Timon and Pumbaa save the western town from outlaw Mad Dog and his two henchmen. When they defeat Mad Dog, they see that they destroyed the town with the bananas, causing the residents to turn on the duo, making them the new outlaws of the town.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures:
    • In "Butt Out" (Part of "Life in the 90's), Babs Bunny wins a gift certificate to Le Trendy Dessertery, and spends it on an ice cream. Every time she tries to eat it, Roderick and Rhubella Rat blow cigarette smoke in her direction, prompting Babs to make them quit smoking. The short ends with Babs defeating Roderick and Rhubella, making them quit smoking for good, but by the time she finally gets to enjoy her ice cream, it unfortunately melts away.
    • "Falling to Pizzas", Calamity Coyote's segment in the episode "Career Oppor-toon-ities" has him pursue Little Beeper for some pizza, until the end where the pizzeria offers free pizza. Just when you thought that Calamity would go hungry, he is finally given a slice... of hot chili pizza, hot enough for him to be escorted to the hospital by Buster and Babs.
    • "Who Bopped Bugs Bunny?" ends with Buster and Babs rescuing Bugs Bunny and arresting Sappy Stanley, the culprit responsible for stealing Bugs' Shloskar award and framing Daffy Duck for the crime. However, despite Daffy's innocence being proven, he, Plucky, and Hamton, the latter two of whom tried to break him out of jail, are not pardoned of their criminal charges, and are kept in prison, making license plates with Stanley.
    • "Two-Tone Town" ends with obscure Warner Bros. cartoon stars Foxy, Roxy, Goopy Geer, and Big Bee getting lead parts on a new television show, ACME Oop! when they were previously all down on their luck. Unfortunately, ACME Oop! ends up replacing Tiny Toon Adventures in its time slot, cancelling it and leaving Buster and Babs (and presumably every other Tiny Toon except Plucky, who also managed to land a part in ACME Oop!) out of a job. This is exactly what Buster was worried would happen to him and Babs at the beginning of the episode.
    • "Homeward Bound" (part of "A Cat's Eye View") involves Furrball befriending a rich little girl and her pet kitten. The little girl wants to keep Furrball, but both the kitten's parents and the little girl's parents don't want a filthy cat in their apartment. Tossed into the streets, Furrball sees a homeless boy who's also not welcome in the little girl's apartment. Feeling sorry for him, Furrball befriends the homeless boy and shares his lunch with him.
  • Transformers:
    • The Transformers:
    • The series finale "The Rebirth, Part 3". Sure, Cybertron and Nebulos are saved, but the Decepticons aren't defeated - Galvatron and Zarak (and most likely their forcesnote ) survive and roam the universe inside Scorponok. It's also implied that Zarak will likely betray Galvatron. But due to declining interest, this was never expanded upon.
    • The second season episode "The Golden Lagoon" has the Autobots stopping the Decepticons from using the title pool's invunerability on themselves to conqueror the world. However, in the process the woodland paradise surrounding the Lagoon is ravaged. The ending has Autobot nature lover Beachcomber surveying the damage while mournfully declaring "We won."
    • In the Beast Wars series finale, the Maximals finally managed to defeat and capture Megatron but at a heavy cost. The first Dinobot sacrificed himself earlier on to prevent Megatron from destroying the proto-humans. Depth Charge killed himself and Rampage in a final attempt to stop Megatron from raising the Nemesis(he didn't succeed, though he did get closure with his long-time nemesis Rampage). Tigatron and Airazor came back as one being, Tigerhawk, only to be gunned down by Megatron aboard the Nemesis in a last-ditch effort to stall Megatron. The Transmetal II Dinobot clone turned good but died a mere few seconds later after refusing to save himself from the exploding warship. Heroes aside, fans have even mourned the deaths of the Predacons as well, including Rampage, Inferno, and Tarantulas. And there were all the abandoned Stasis Pods that the comics had to deal with it. In the final scene with the Maximals, Optimus Primal even noted that victory had come at a cost, having lost so many comrades and allies.
    • Transformers Animated, "Endgame: Part II". On the sweet side, Megatron, Shockwave, and Lugnut have been defeated and detained, Starscream is dead, 2 of the 3 Constructicons are presumed dead, The Allspark is whole again, Arcee has her memories back, and Omega Supreme is back online. Not to metion it's heavily implied Optimus will become Magnus. BUT on the bitter side Starscream's Clones, Swindle, Lockdown, Blitzwing, Team Charr, and maybe Soundwave are still at large, Blackarachnia and Waspinator are still stuck in what may be the Earth's past, Prowl sacrificed himself to rebuild the Allspark, Ultra Magnus is near death, and Sari's origins are still sketchy at best.

      If anything, it is even made more bittersweet, remember that Decepticon from "TransWarped" called Cyclonus? Entries in the Almanac pretty much make it clear he is from the future, where Megatron at some point becomes Galvatron. All of the battles our heroes had in the show were for nothing, and since it ended we have no way of knowing if everything turns out okay. Even worse when another entry implies Cyclonus is the future version of Starscream's cowardly clone. What kind of future could make THAT guy Take a Level in Badass? Most likely the universe's version of Unicron, but still.

      A deleted scene from the series finale also depicts Slipstream using an Allspark fragment to bring back Starscream for unexplained reasons. Had the scene been left in, and a fourth season greenlit, it could have seen Starscream making matters worse by leading a Decepticon splinter faction and starting a Decepticon Civil War.
    • Transformers: Prime: After 3 seasons of hard fighting, the Autobots finally defeat the Decepticons, destroy Megatron once and for all, and restore Cybertron to its former glory. However, this means they (except for Ratchet, at least) now have to leave all of their Earth friends behind. (Though as Bumblebee points out, they can still Space Bridge back and forth at will.)
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: At the end of the eighth and final season, peace has finally been brought to the universe, but Allura is dead and the survivors' days as the Paladins of Voltron are over. However, Allura approached her death with dignity and without fear, and the epilogue shows that the former Paladins and their allies have achieved lasting happiness with the people they love and continue to work to make the universe a better place.
  • 6teen features one of these, the finale "Bye Bye Nikki", involving Nikki moving permanently (at least until college, anyway) with her family to Iqaluit, Nunavut (her father got his dream job).
  • Wolverine and the X-Men. Yes, the Sentinel-ruled no-humans imprisoned-mutants future crisis has been averted; the Phoenix Force has been dissipated; and Genosha now has a new, kinder ruler in the Scarlet Witch. But the final battle cost Emma Frost her life, and Charles Xavier faces a new challenge after awakening from his 20-year coma: the Age of Apocalypse. Sure, this sounds like a great set-up for season 2, but the series has been cancelled, so yes, it counts an ending.
  • X-Men has a Bittersweet Finale "Graduation Day." Professor Xavier was hit by a Psychic wave that weakens him to the point of near death. After Wolverine, Cyclops and Jean were able to convince Magneto to send a message to the Shi'ar Empire, Professor Xavier said his good-byes to his X-Men (Morph included) and to Magneto before he dies. Empress Lilandra made it to resurrect Xavier so that he can be cared for with Shi'ar technology on their planet. The final scene involves Empress Lilandra taking off with Xavier for him to heal while Wolverine, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Storm, Jubilee, Gambit, Rogue, Beast, Morph and Magneto looking onward as the Earth itself face an uncertain future.
  • A few in Young Justice:
    • "Failsafe" ends with the team waking up from their comas as a result from the Unwinnable Training Simulation and the Justice League being alive but M'Gann is emotionally traumatized and weeping over what she has put the team through by accident and Martian Manhunter reveals to Batman that she has more raw power than himself.
    • The season finale "Endgame" ends with the whole world being saved and everyone safe and happy... except for Kid Flash who sacrificed himself to save everyone else. Artemis fully changes from "Artemis" to her other heroic persona "Tigress", stating that "Artemis was Wally's partner". Cue waterworks from the fandom.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: