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Downer Ending / How It Should Have Ended

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A lampshaded problem of their alternate endings coming to pass: Whatever meaningful journey or Happy Ending the characters get would be undone if they were to go things the way Fridge Logic and Why Don't You Just Shoot Him? dictates. This trope is usually played for laughs:


  • Since a Munchkin killed the Wicked Witch before Dorothy took her journey through Oz, she went home early, and never took the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion to have their desires granted by the Wizard, and we see their bad fates. Oz then creates Mood Whiplash as he tries to cheer up the viewers.
    Oz: Eh, don't be sad. I didn't really ever give them what they asked for in the first place!
    • Though, if you think about it, that only makes it worse due to making the journey All for Nothing.
  • The other segment of Aliens ends with Ripley's decision to send the alien through the airlock, leading to the deaths of her, Newt, and Hicks.
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  • One of the segments in Ghostbusters ends with the Ghostbusters dying after trying to cross the streams.
  • Kirk and the Enterprise crew decide to just let themselves get sucked in by the black hole. They end up in the Star Wars universe, and get immediately vaporized by the Death Star under Darth Vader.
  • The Pulp Fiction video has Mia get a shot of adrenaline to the face, and Vincent and Jules killed by the man who failed to shoot them in the original movie. At least Marvin is still alive.
  • Played for laughs in Return of the Jedi. The younglings that Anakin killed in Revenge of the Sith show up as Jedi Ghosts at the end of Return of the Jedi, and Padmé, due to not being a Jedi, is not a Force Ghost.
    Child: You killed all of us as children.
    [beat]
    Yoda: Awkward, this is.
  • "Slender Games" ends with Slender Man killing, or doing whatever he does to all the characters.
  • One of the segments in The Dark Knight Rises ends with Batman bleeding to death and unable to move the reactor out of the bay, resulting in the reactor exploding, and everybody dying.
    Commissioner Gordon: Well, poop. I guess that means we're screwed. [explosion]
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    • The video for The Dark Knight ends with the events of the film happening anyways. Batman is still held responsible for Harvey Dent's death and is a wanted criminal.
  • The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 has Alice tells the Volturi exactly what will happen if they choose to fight them, to try and convince them to back down. The Volturi thank her for giving them foreknowledge of what to avoid, then they kill her and then proceed to massacre everyone except for Jacob and Bella's daughter.
  • Jurassic Park has the T-Rex eat Grant, Sattler, the kids and Mr. Arnold, and it's implied that a poison-spitting dinosaur kills Hammond, Malcolm and Frank Lapidus (who was piloting the helicopter that saved Hammond and Malcolm).
  • Since Gandalf made Bilbo destroy the Ring in The Hobbit, our heroes are unable to defeat Smaug, who apparently burns them as they try to flee.
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  • Inception (before the credits) ends with Mal pointing out Cobb and his team in Fischer's dream and dream security killing them. However, after that, it goes to a beach party ending, which isn't much of a downer.
    Mal: There they are.
    Fischer: Get out of my head, you criminals!
    Cobb: Dang it, Mal!
  • The Bourne Identity ends with Bourne being killed by an assassin after breaking all his bones from falling.
  • Predator ends with the Predator killing everybody in the helicopter because there are weapons on it.
    Dutch: You idiots! There are weapons on the chopper!
  • Played with in the The Hunger Games. Katniss suggests the same trick she does in the book which allows both her and Peeta to live, but at the last minute Katniss backs out and admits she was faking her love for Peeta just as Peeta falls dead.
  • Avengers: Age Of Ultron (Part 1) has Ultron sabotaging the Avengers' technology and equipment through the internet, buying himself some time to drop his Floating Continent on Earth. Fortunately, Superman (and somehow Batman) survives and goes to turn back time.
  • Jurassic World has several instances of things going badly as part of the Survival 101.
    • "Changing a battery doesn't fix a jeep that's been sitting 20 years.": Zach and Gray try to start the jeep, but it doesn't work, along with the fact that the tires have no air in them, as the I-Rex points out. It then eats Zach and Gray and the jeep.
    • "Don't let raptors out of their cages without a plan to get them back.": After killing the I-Rex, the strike team (except for Owen, who flees on his motorcycle) gets wiped out by the rampaging raptors.
    • "And finally... Don't run from a T-Rex in HIGH HEELS!": Claire tries to lure the T-Rex to take on the I-Rex, but unfortunately, one of her heels breaks and she falls and gets eaten alive by the T-Rex.
    • In Jurassic World Alternate HISHE, the I-Rex and T-Rex end up teaming up and eating Owen, Claire, and the Mitchell children. They then make their way towards the area of the park containing all the other humans where they will do the same thing. The former also avoids being eaten by the Mosasaurus.
  • Inside Out has Joy, Sadness, and Bing Bong reach headquarters with the original personality islands intact, but still unaware of Sadness' purpose. This, coupled with Bing Bong informing Riley about the people in her head, causes Riley to grow up into a Stepford Smiler Woman Child.
  • Played for laughs in the stinger after the main part of Casino Royale (2006), where Vesper still drowns herself despite that Bond has already killed all the bad guys.
    Bond: But I killed all the bad guys!
  • Implied in Attack of the Clones, almost in Bittersweet Ending territory. With Yoda destroying his escape ship, Count Dooku is captured with the Death Star plans still on him. Mace Windu announces this to the Senate and reveals that they've already destroyed the plans. Palpatine is shocked by this, but manages to keep his cover. He then quietly contacts a Clone Trooper to execute Order 66.
  • In one of the segments in Revenge of the Sith, instead of dueling Obi-Wan with lightsabers after he takes out Grievous's bodyguards, Grievous orders his battle droids to shoot Obi-Wan to death since he's surrounded, resulting in The Bad Guy Wins.
  • At the end of How A New Hope Should Have Ended (both the original and updated versions), The Death Star destroys Yavin IV.
  • Implied for laughs at the end of the Avatar video. The humans prepare to nuke the Na’vi from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.
  • A few segments of in the Captain America: Civil War video have this.
    • In the 4th segment, during the airport scene, Spider-Man webs up Team Cap, stopping them.
    • In the following segment, Vision goes through Giant Ant Man and destroys the quinjet, foiling Captain America and Bucky's escape.
    • In the segment after that, Rhodey/War Machine dies from the fall that incapacitates him in the actual film.
    • In the second-to-last segment, Iron Man shoots his repulsor beams at both Cap and Bucky, killing them.

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