Follow TV Tropes

Following

Last Of His Kind / Real Life

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/4b72dfbd_6bb1_45d9_952e_314943bcf6b4.jpeg
‘Najim’ and her daughter ‘Fatu’ are now the Last two Northern White Rhinos after the last male ‘Sudan’ died in 2018.
Advertisement:

Those who were the last of their kind in real life.


    open/close all folders 

     Organism - By Species 
  • Far, far too many extinct and critically endangered species. There's a term for the last members of a species — they're called endlings.
    • The last Passenger Pigeon, Martha, died in 1914 a very honored, but alone, bird.
    • Lonesome George, the very last Pinta Island Tortoise. He passed away on June 24, 2012.
    • The last Tasmanian Tiger, "Benjamin" note , died in the Hobart Zoo in 1936. Only a few months prior, the species had received protection. The animal died of exposure to the elements because there was a strike at the zoo and he was locked outside with no shelter during a period of extreme daily highs and nightly lows because nobody remembered to open the door to his pen.
    • "Booming Ben", the last known living specimen of Heath Hen (Tympanuchus cupido cupido), was heard for the final time on March 11, 1932, on Martha's Vineyard, still hopefully drumming to try to attract a mate.
    • The Cornell Lab of Ornithology recorded the song of the last Kauaʻi ʻōʻō bird before its death in 1987. The song was from a Male, singing a mating call to female that sadly, would never come. Most tragically, the recorded song was only half of the mating call: Kauaʻi ʻōʻōs mated for life and sang a duet— the conspicuous, empty pauses in the last recording were supposed to be where the female would chime in.
    • Hyophorbe amaricaulis, the Loneliest Palm. This is a species of palm tree with only one known member in the world, in a garden in Mauritius.
    • Encephalartos woodii “E. woodii” is a species Cycad native to Africa and is one of rarest plants on earth with only one tree of its kind housed in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, London (all clones of the plant are housed in private Botanical collections around the world including Britain, Ireland, America and Italy).
    • Spix's Macaw, the kind in Rio, was eventually reduced to just one animal in the wild (over 80 currently survive in captivity).
    • The Rabb's fringe-limbed tree frog was reduced to a single known specimen in 2012. Named Toughie, his species had been wiped out by chytridiomycosis, a fungal disease that has been devastating frogs throughout the Americas and Australia. He died in 2016, most likely taking his species with him.
    • The last Golden Toad was a single male sighted in Monteverde Cloud Forest, Costa Rica In 1989.
    • What was possibly the last baiji (Yangtze River dolphin) was tentatively identified as such from eyewitness descriptions.
    • Sudan, the last male Northern White Rhino, passed away on March 19, 2018, due to age-related complications. Now only two females Najin (Sudan’s daughter) and Fatu (Najin’s Daughter) are left, and both are living under constant protection from poachers and have health issues that prevent them from being able to become pregnant. In vitro fertilization (using genetically-similar Southern White Rhino females as surrogates) may be the only hope, as they did freeze his sperm and the sperm of other male rhinos, and the surviving females are still producing viable eggs that could be used.
    • The last Aurochs was an old female that died in Poland's Jaktorow forest in 1627. She outlived the other last aurochs (three younger males) by over ten years.
    • The last Pyrenean Ibex was an old female named Celia, who was killed by a falling tree in 2000. Celia was successfully cloned in 2003, but the clone died after several minutes. This made the Pyrenean Ibex the first biological taxon to go extinct twice.
    • An extinction that is particularly infuriating is the death of the last pair of Great Auks in 1844, which were tracked and clubbed by three Icelandic sailors hired to find a specimen for a Danish collector. A legend has the clubber stepping on the pair's egg while trying to find a good spot to club them.
    • As of 2019, there are three living Yangtze giant softshell turtles, which is (for now) the largest living species of freshwater turtle in the world. All three of them are males, making the species functionally extinct unless a live female that's healthy enough for reproduction can be found somewhere.
    • ‘George’ was the last (Achatinella apexfulva) a species of snail native to Oahu, Hawaii. He was born and lived in captivity at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa and died at the age of 14 in 2019.
    • Subverted (yay!) by Romeo, thought for the longest time to be the last Sehuencas water frog until five more were found alive in 2019. Two of the five are female, and one of them - named Juliet of course - is slated to be bred to Romeo once she and her companions have been treated against chitridiomycosis.
  • Homo sapiens sapiens (us humans) is the last species of the Homo genus, and the last of an entire lineage of bipedal apes who once lived in abundance across the old world. The past ten or so thousand years is the first time in the history of hominins that there has been one species.
    • That said, there are attempts to either shift the entire Homo genus to the Pan genus (where Bonobos and Chimpanzees reside) or shift the Pan genus into the Homo genus. This causes problems in taxonomy, due to how things are arranged.
    • At one point around a million years ago, there were three entirely separate genera of fully bipedal hominids living in roughly the same geographic area— Australopithecus (our ancestors), Homo (that's us), and Paranthropus (a separate, alternate branch of bipedal apes). What's more, each genus had its own array of individual species. Today, Homo sapiens sapiens are the last living fully bipedal primate alive as well as the last human species.
    • Even in the (evolutionarily) short 300,000 or so years that Homo sapiens has existed, we've shared the planet with multiple other human species: H. erectus, H. rhodesiensis, H. heidelbergensis, H. floresiensis, H. luzonensis, Neanderthals, Denisovans, possibly H. naledi, and, if they are a separate species and not hybrids, the Red Deer Cave people, and genetic evidence indicates that H. sapiens interbred with even more, as yet unidentified, separate human species. And now there's only us.
  • There are many similar cases with other species being the last of a lineage.
    • The tuatara, the last reptile that isn't a squamate (lizards and snakes), a turtle or an archosaur (birds and crocodiles). It is the only surviving species of the order Rhynchocephalia, which has an illustrious 240 million year-long history.
    • Aardvark, the last member of the order Tubulidentata. Its isolation is stark when you compare it to other placental mammal orders, all of which have more than one species. Though on a less lonely note, it's a part of the group Afrotheria, which means the aardvark finds kinship with mammals as absurdly disparate as elephants, manatees and hyraxes.
    • The other isolated mammal order is the Microbiotheria, whose last living species is the monito del monte, a mouse-like marsupial from South America.
    • In an example not based on a species, but a whole class, Aves— better known as birds— make up the last surviving branch of dinosaurs. Once a massive array of different related reptiles that dominated the Earth, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event rapidly whittled them down to just birds. That said, given that birds are the most diverse and widespread of extant vertebrates, numbering in the thousands of species and found in every continent including Antarctica, their status as the "last of the dinosaurs" is less of a tragic tale common with this trope but rather a hopeful story of success.
    • A similar case is true with mammals: early on in tetrapod evolution, the amniotes (non-amphibian tetrapods) diverged into two groups, the sauropsids (a group including all reptiles such as dinosaurs, birds, crocodiles, squamates, turtles and a whole array of now-extinct lineages), while the other group were the synapsids: a once diverse group ruling throughout the Permian as the pelycosaurs (such as the famous Dimetrodon) as well as the therapsids, dicynodonts, therocephalians, gorgonopsians and cynodonts. Of these, nearly all would be wiped out by the Permian extinction, and while a few lineages would soldier on through the Triassic by the time of the Jurassic only one lineage remained: the Mammaliformes, the direct ancestor of today's modern mammals.
  • Ginkgo biloba, a kind of tree, is not only the last living species within its genus, it's the last living species within its whole division (the botanical equivalent of a phylum). In a sense, it would be like if human beings were the last animal with vertebrae.
  • There are only 2 samples of smallpox left on earth. Fortunately both are locked away in highly secure laboratories.
  • Solo, the last African wild dog on Botswana's Mombe Island. Famously, after lions wiped out her entire pack, the desperately-lonely dog began sharing her kills with young spotted hyenas and jackals, becoming a peripheral member of the hyena troop and helping her jackal companions rear their pups.

     Organism - Human - Specific 
  • For a list of last surviving veterans of wars, see The Other Wiki's page here.
  • Being the last speaker of a language can be like this. Here's a list, including speakers both alive and dead.
  • Ishi was the last member of the Native American Yahi tribe. From 1911 to 1916, his status gave him a lot of attention from anthropologists in California. 'Ishi' was not even his real name- it's the Yana word for 'man' -because Yahi tradition prohibits outsiders from knowing a Yahi's personal name unless another Yahi formally introduces them to the outsider first. By the time Ishi was contacted, there was no one left from his tribe to introduce him and say what his name was.
  • The famous artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, the last descendant of the family of the Counts of Toulouse.
  • Luchino Visconti, the Italian film director, was the last of the famous Visconti di Modrone family.
  • The last survivor of the Bo, an indigenous tribe of the Andaman-Nicobar Islands, died on Feb 16th, 2010.
    • The nearby Sentinelese are the last uncontacted tribe of the Old World. All others live in South America and New Guinea.
  • Truganini, the last known full-blooded Aboriginal Tasmanian, died in 1876. However, it must be noted that Australian aboriginal culture considers anyone descended from Tasmanian Aboriginals to be part of that group; with several thousand such people living today, there is still hope for the culture.
  • After the Khmer Rouge devastated Cambodia, there was one living person who knew anything of how to perform the three-thousand-year-old traditional dances. She happens to be an old lady trying to teach people everything she can remember in the hopes that when she goes, not all the knowledge will vanish with her. It's likely most of it has already been lost.
  • Jacques de Molay was the last Grandmaster of The Knights Templar and since he was killed in 1314, several years after The Purge and defection of other Knights Templar, he might have been the Last Templar of the Crusader Era.
  • Bartholomew Roberts, who died in 1721, is considered the last Great Pirate of The Golden Age of Piracy. He was the most successful of them all and the classic book A General History of the Robberies and Murderers of the Most Notorious Pyrates marks his death as the End of an Age.
  • Zablon Simintov, the last Jew of Afghanistan. Yes, it's a country with over thirty million people, and only one single Jew left. Jews have lived in Afghanistan since the 7th century, and in 1948, about 5,000 Jews lived there. By 2004, only two were left, Simontov and Isaac Levy. Levy died in 2005, leaving Simontov the only Jew in the country.
  • Shanawdithit was the last surviving member of the Beothuk, a First Nation (the Canadian term for what would be called a "Native American tribe/nation" in the US) from Newfoundland. She died in 1829.
  • During the Cultural Revolution many practitioners of ancient Chinese arts were targeted, with numerous skills lost forever. One of the survivors is Yang Fuxi, who is currently the last traditional bow maker in China. He has taken three students so hopefully his skills won't disappear as well.
  • Squanto was a Patuxet Native American who was captured by Englishmen and sold into slavery in Europe. He was freed by Spanish priests and returned home, only to find that the rest of his tribe had died from European-borne disease.
  • The last known living weapons master of the Indian martial art of Shastar Vidya is attempting to pass on his knowledge.
  • With the death of Jacques Rivette on January 29, 2016, Jean-Luc Godard became the last of the Cahiers du Cinéma (Notebooks on Cinema) half of the French New Wave and the one with the longest career. The March 29, 2019 passing of Agnès Varda, herself the last survivor and longest-lived of the Rive Gauche (Left Bank) group of the movement, left Godard as the very last survivor of the French New Wave. Varda had become the last Rive Gauche survivor when Alain Resnais died on March 1, 2014.
  • The most isolated man on earth. He lives in the Brazilian rainforest. It's thought that he's the last member of a tribe that was either massacred or wiped out by disease. Since he rejects all contact, nobody knows what tribe he belonged to, what language he speaks, or what his name is.
  • Agafia Lykov is the last surviving member of the Lykov family, a family of Russian Old Believers that fled persecution by escaping into the wilds of Siberia. Neither Agafia nor her three siblings ever married or had children (cut off from all other humans for decades, it wasn't really a possibility for them), so Agafia will be the last of that family.note 
  • Last Kings:
    • Cleopatra VII Philopator was effectively the last Hellenic ruler of Egypt. Upon the defeat of Mark Antony at the Battle of Actium and the annexation of Egypt into The Roman Empire, she committed suicide. Her defeat also ended the last Hellenic Kingdom, set up by the Diadochi, in the wake of Alexander the Great's death. Her son by Julius Caesar, Caesarion, was the last ruling member of the Ptolemaic dynasty, but in name only and for less than a month, since the Roman takeover proceeded rapidly after Cleopatra's death.
    • Nero: The last Julio-Claudian emperor. The bloodline of Augustus and Julius Caesar ended with him.
    • Julian the Apostate, who attempted to revive paganism, was the last non-Christian ruler of The Roman Empire and the Western World, and his rule is invoked by writers and historians as the closest history has come to marking the Death of the Old Gods.
    • Richard III was the Last of the Plantagenets, and the last King of England to be killed in battle. The Plantagenets were England's longest-ruling dynasty.
    • Bahadur Shah Zafar, the Last Mughal Emperor, died in exile in the wake of the 1857 Mutiny. During the Mutiny three of his sons were murdered after surrendering to British forces (having been fighting alongside the mutineers). Of his 19 remaining sons, none became Emperor after his passing. While the genetic line continued the titles did not.
    • Louis-Philippe and Napoleon III were respectively the Last King and Emperor of France, Nicholas II was the Last of the Romanovs, Mohammed Reza Pahlavi was the last Shah of Iran, and of course Pu Yi was The Last Emperor of China.
    • Stanisław August Poniatowski was the last elected King of the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the last King of Poland as a whole.
    • The House of Hohenstaufen, a clan of powerful, talented German nobles which produced seven kings and emperors of Germany between 1138 and 1254, was hunted to extinction by their arch-enemies, popes Urban IV and Clement IV, and the papacy's ally, Charles of Anjou. Holy Roman Emperor Friedrich II was in constant conflict with the papacy, and his sons and descendants paid the price. His favorite, but illegitimate, son, Enzo of Sardinia, was captured by his family's enemies the Guelphs (a faction sympathetic to the Pope) in 1249 and imprisoned for decades until his death. Friedrich II's only legitimate son, the last Hohenstaufen emperor Konrad IV, died under mysterious circumstances in 1254. In 1266, his half-brother Manfred was killed in battle by Charles of Anjou, who'd been promised Manfred's kingdom (Sicily) by the pope. Charles also captured and imprisoned all of Manfred's children. Two years later, Manfred's nephew (Konrad IV's son) sixteen-year-old Konradin attempted to seize his family's domains in Italy from Charles of Anjou. He was captured and publically executed. A few months later, Konradin's bastard half-brother, Corradino, was also captured and murdered by Charles of Anjou, finally extinguishing the Hohenstaufen in the male line.
    • Elizabeth I, known as the Virgin Queen due to her celibacy and therefore lack of offspring, was the last Tudor monarch.
    • Queen Anne was the last monarch of the Royal House of Stuart. Despite several pregnancies, she was unable to produce a surviving heir. Her successor, George I, was a distant cousin who became the first Hanover monarch.
    • Feodor I Ivanovich, the middle son of Tsar Ivan "The Terrible" IV, was the last of Russia's Rurik dynasty. Both of his brothers, Ivan Ivanovich and Dmitry Ivanovich, were either killed accidentally or murdered, and his only child, Feodosia, died at age 2. Mind you, there were plenty of other Rurikids (and still are), it's just that the two assemblies which chose the new ruler in 1598 and 1613 both selected people related to the older king by marriage rather than blood.
    • Charles II was the last Habsburg king of Spain, and he was so inbred his family tree turned into a circle.
    • Speaking of Habsburgs, Karl I was the last Austro-Hungarian emperor and the last Habsburg monarch to rule anywhere.
  • Before his 2018 death, Jerry Maren was the last surviving Munchkin from The Wizard of Oz (he played one of the members of the Lollipop Guild) and the last "true" surviving cast member of the entire movie (Caren Marsh Doll, Judy Garland's stand-in for the film, is also technically a cast member, though uncredited).
  • Similarly, Madeline Lebeau was the last surviving cast member of Casablanca before her death in 2016.
  • Since bass singer Melvin Franklin’s death in 1995, Otis Williams has been the last surviving member of The Temptations’ original or classic lineups, and the only surviving sixties/heyday member since the death of Dennis Edwards in 2018.
  • Joseph Medicine Crow-High Bird was the last war chief of the Crow tribe and the last living Plains Indian war chief. Because of the requirements to gain the status of war chief (which he performed during World War II)note , he is likely truly the last. Fulfilling the requirements was extraordinary and improbable even in his own time: while three of the four rites are still possible to accomplish today, cavalry was last used in western warfare in World War I, and Joseph was only able to fulfill the fourth rite— stealing an enemy's horse— because his platoon just happened to come across a Nazi-owned barn.
  • Fidel Castro was the last major world leader from the Cold War era, having outlasted his Latin American/African/Asian allies and counterparts (Mao Zedong/Salvador Allende/Hugo Chavez/Ho Chi Minh/Kim Il-sung/Nelson Mandela/Indira Gandhi/Che Guevara) and his opponents (Kennedy/Johnson/Nixon/Reagan/Thatcher/Pinochet). Since China, Vietnam, Laos, and North Korea have all radically moved away from Communist principles (with the latter in fact reorienting itself in the exact opposite direction of Communism— ethnic ultranationalism— via Kim Il-sung's Juche ideology), Cuba is perhaps the last Marxist-Leninist/Stalinist nation, an era that is expected to end in the wake of the Cuban Thaw of 2015. Indeed a number of tourists have toured Cuba in the hope of seeing The Remnant before the inevitable reopening of the free market on the Island. He died in 2016 at the age of 90.
  • Lazar Kaganovich was the last Old Bolshevik, the members of the Communist Party from before the 1917 Revolution. He lived through the Russian Civil War, the 1932-33 famine, World War II, multiple purges, the Sino-Soviet split, almost the entire Cold War, and the fall of the Berlin Wall. He died in 1991, just five months before the fall of the Soviet Union.
  • By the time she died in 2017, June Foray was the last remaining prominent voice actress from The Golden Age of Animation, as well as the last surviving main cast member of Rocky and Bullwinkle (she frequently reprised her role as Rocky for multiple projects well into her golden years, with the last being a short film that was released just three years before her passing).
  • Prior to his death on November 8, 2019, Werner Doehner was the last living survivor of the Hindenburg disaster.
  • Prior to her death on May 31, 2009, Millvina Dean was the last living survivor of the sinking of the RMS Titanic
  • John Glenn was the last surviving member of the Mercury Seven astronauts before he passed away in December 2016 at age 95.
  • Partially due to the fact that many of the Our Gang stars fell victim to horrible deaths (see this article for more on that mess), Jean Darling was the last living member of the original group until her death in 2015 - she appeared in the films when they were silent.
  • Following the death of Soundgarden's Chris Cornell in May 2017, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam became the last surviving major grunge singer of the early '90s.
  • As of the passing of Little Richard in 2020, Jerry Lee Lewis is the last surviving rock star from the pre-Beatles era.
  • Mickey Rooney and Sid Caesar were the last two surviving main cast members of It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World before dying within two months of each other in 2014.
  • Max Baer Jr. is the last surviving member of The Beverly Hillbillies' regular cast, with the passing of Donna Douglas in 2014.
    • The same goes for Tom Lester of sister show Green Acres after the death of Mary Grace Canfield (Ralph Monroe) in 2014.
  • By 1991, only one year after A Chorus Line ended its original Broadway run, four of the five co-creators, James Kirkwood Jr., Edward Kleban, Nicholas Dante, and Michael Bennett had passed away. The last creator, Marvin Hamlisch, survived until August 2012.
  • Any creature who doesn't have any children or biological siblings. They become the last member of an unbroken chain of organisms that had managed to survive and reproduce since the very beginning of life on Earth.
  • It was inevitable that sometime in the early 21st century, there would be only one surviving human who was born in the 19th century (i.e. prior to 1901), which would've happened in 2021 at the latest unless they'd also broken the record for verified oldest person (currently held by the late Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at 122 years). Nabi Tajima held this dubious honor before her death in 2018 at 117 years old (and thus the third oldest person in the world).
  • Complete/absolute orphans are a very special last of kind. They're the last of their bloodline; usually it's when two only children have an only child and then die, leaving the kid with no uncles, no aunts, no cousins, no siblings, no parents, and no grandparents. A similar phenomenon are "elder orphans", senior citizens who have outlived the rest of their family.
  • Also the fate of many old noble families, many who can trace their family lines back to the Dark Ages
  • Jimmy Carter is the last living POTUS who was active duty military (He was a graduate of the US Naval Academy and served from 1948 to 1953, and as a reservist until 1961).note 
  • The Taron people of Myanmar. There are only 5 people left.
  • Since the heavy commercialization of YouTube and the rise of more sophisticated channels such as those specializing in music (especially T-Series) and children's education and entertainmentnote  as well as foreign-language individuals augmenting in popularity and vintage channels like Smosh, Ray William Johnson and Fred witnessing their downfall, there are only two channels remaining in the top 50 most-subscribed that satisfy the quota of individual, English-speaking content creators: PewDiePie and MrBeast.
    • To additionally show the extent to which YouTube has transformed, Justin Bieber, Eminem, and Rihanna are the only three channels currently in the list to have also appeared at the start of 2012.
  • The other wiki has a whole list on these people.
  • At his passing in July 2020, Congressman John Lewis was both the last living member of the Civil Rights Movement's Big Six and the last living speaker from the 1963 March on Washington.
    • While Lewis was the last living speaker from the 1963 march, four musicians who performed at that event are still with us: Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey of Peter, Paul and Mary; Joan Baez; and Bob Dylan.note 
  • Emma Martina Luigia Morano was the last person to live throughout the entire 1900s and at one point was the oldest woman in the world, living to the age of 117 and dying in 2017.
  • With the passing of Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek in November 2020, Wheel of Fortune host Pat Sajak is the last of the 70s-era American game show hosts still active.
  • With the passing of Dawn Wells in December 2020, Tina Louise became the last surviving cast member of Gilligan's Island.
  • The late 17th century Barbadian privateer Theodore Paleologue and his posthumous daughter Godscall were (of all things) the last known members of the Palaiologoi, the last Byzantine imperial dynasty.

     Show Business 
  • From the 1994 cancellation of Caesar's Challenge until the 2010 revival of Let's Make a Deal, The Price Is Right on CBS was the last of the network daytime game shows airing nationally in the United States, not counting syndicated programs.
    • For individual networks, Caesar's Challenge was the last daytime game show on NBC, while the 1990-91 version of Match Game was ABC's last. Fox never had a network daytime game show that aired on weekdays, though they aired Family Double Dare and Fun House on weekends in their early years, with Fun House being cancelled last in 1991.
  • General Hospital is the only surviving Soap Opera on ABC, Days of Our Lives is the only one left on NBC. At some point, either one of those two, The Young and the Restless or The Bold and the Beautiful will be the last surviving American daytime soap opera. Considering soap operas are Older Than Television (Guiding Light began as a radio show) whichever one who gets that dubious title is going in the record books.
  • By the time it was replaced with E/I programming in September 2014, Vortexx was the last Saturday morning kids block on the Big Five networks which broadcast entertainment instead of only existing to meet E/I requirements. Toonzai had also fit this trope before Vortexx replaced it. KidsClick would count, but it aired mainly on This TV affiliates and a few Sinclair-owned stations, yet this too was not to last.
  • By the time it finally made the switch to full digital animation in 2015, Sazae-san was the last traditionally cel-animated show in the world that was still in production, as just about all animated series are either an All-CGI Cartoon or colored digitally with software.note  The last major cel-animated movie was Pokémon Ranger and the Temple of the Sea (2006), the last major cel-animated movie not tied to a preexisting franchise was Millennium Actress (2001), the last new cel-animated serial cartoon was Whatever Happened to... Robot Jones? (2002) and the last serial cartoon to switch from cel animation to digital was Ed, Edd n Eddy (1999, shifted in 2005).
  • The demise of The Dandy leaves its stablemate The Beano as the last weekly humour anthology comic in the United Kingdom.
  • [adult swim], with their Toonami revival block, is currently the only adult-oriented TV channel to consistently show anime in the United States.
  • Beyblade Burst is likewise the only anime still airing on a children's network in the United States, and has held this status since Pokémon moved to Netflix.
  • When NBC Universal shut down all G4TV operations on November 30, 2014, AT&T U-Verse was the last cable/satellite provider that still carried the network until it officially ended at the stroke of midnight on January 1, 2015.
  • X-Play was the only Tech TV-produced show to survive the transition to G4TechTV. If you count Attack of the Show! as a Retool of The Screen Savers, rather than a replacement, X-Play becomes the only Tech TV program to make an unaltered transition. When X-Play was canceled in 2013 as G4 was shutting down, co-host Morgan Webb was the last remaining Tech TV on-air personality.
    • The last surviving G4 original show, Cinematech, was cancelled in April 2007.
  • Opie & Anthony were '90s shock-jocks who lasted until 2014, long after their style of (male-oriented, aggressive) comedy had fallen out of favor. By the time Anthony was fired for a series of offensive tweets, the show had spent years with no real competition, as Howard Stern had downplayed radio for the sake of his TV career, and the public airwaves had abandoned the genre completely (both they and Stern moved to satellite radio).
  • Sesame Street presents an odd case. Either Loretta Long (Susan) or Caroll Spinney (Big Bird/Oscar) were the last remaining members of the original 1969 cast to still remain with the show, but at that point in time most of the humans seemed to have been Brother Chucked with the exceptions of Alan, Chris, and Nina; everyone else only appeared sporadically by the time the much-publicized announcement that several of the older actors would be "let go" made its way to the publicnote . And while Caroll would still do his characters occasionally, he had Matt Vogel and Eric Jacobson as the respective understudies for Big Bird and Oscar prior to his official retirement in 2018 (he would die the next year). Cameraman Frank Biondo may also fit into the "last of their kind" mold, having been part of the show since the very first episode.
  • MAD was the last remaining magazine that focused mainly on satire, until its shuttering in July 2019.
  • Upon his retirement in 2019, Outside the Lines host Bob Ley was the last of ESPN's original on-air personalities still with the network.
  • The Dick Van Dyke Show was the last multi-season network show in America to complete its entire run airing in black-and-white. The plan was to broadcast in color for Season 6, but the show creators decided to end things after five seasons.
  • With the cancellation of The Jerry Springer Show in 2018, Maury is the last remaining "Trash TV" Point-and-Laugh Show, of which examples from their heyday in The '90s are legion.
  • Ricou Browning, who portrayed the Gill-man (for the underwater scenes) in the Creature from the Black Lagoon series, is the last surviving actor who wore the suit/make-up for any of the classic Universal Horror monsters.
  • Until it ended in 2020, Supernatural was the last series on The CW carried over from its two predecessors, The WB and UPN, outlasting One Tree Hill (ended in 2012) as the last scripted series and America's Next Top Model (moved to VH1 in 2015) as the last series overall.
Advertisement:

     Vehicle 
  • Many historical aircraft survive only as singular museum pieces.
    • Out of even relatively common historical military aircraft, there are many that have only one or none examples of stock planes, planes near assembly line specifications, which you would think would be the most common examples. This is because the military scrapped nearly everything it had and surviving aircraft of a type are often the results of obscure contracts and deals and either remained useful or put into storage when the standard line was scrapped. Examples include the fact that there is only one stock B-24, one B-29 that wasn't modified into an atomic bomber or trainer at some point, and one PBY Catalina that wasn't an airliner.
  • Flying Scotsman. The last of Sir Herbert Nigel Gresley's famous A1/A3 express passenger steam engines. All others of the class were scrapped by 1968. Flying Scotsman was only rescued through private patronage. One fictional example exists, though: Gordon the Big Engine.
    • Green Arrow, too, as the last of Gresley's V2 mixed-traffic engines.
    • A lot of famous locomotive classes are now down to one survivor, and this is more likely the older the class. Patrick Stirling's GNR No. 1 is the last of the "Stirling Singles," and LNWR 790 "Hardwicke" is the last of FW Webb's Precedent-class engines.
  • See this article from The Other Wiki. You may spot some ships listed below there and then some more.
    • The USS Texas, BB-35, is the last World War I-era dreadnought, the kind of superheavy "big guns and smokestacks" battleship that most people still think of when you say 'warship'. Also the last of the New York class, due to her sister ship New York being sunk for a nuclear weapons test.
    • The IJN Mikasa is the last pre-dreadnought type battleship in the world. She is also the last remaining ship of the once-mighty Imperial Japanese navy and the last surviving British built battleship.
    • The USS Salem is the last heavy cruiser in existence. She is also the last of the Des Moines class cruiser, her sisters having been scrapped after it was deemed they wouldn't be able to compete with Salem as museum.
    • Georgios Averof is the last armored cruiser. She was also the last ship of this type to serve in a combat role, as she participated in combat during WWII.
    • RMS Queen Mary is the last golden age Atlantic ocean liner and could become the last "grand liner"note  if efforts to save her postwar rival the United States fail. She's also the last ship to have sailed under the "Cunard White Star" brand.
    • SS Nomadic is a former tender of the White Star Line, launched on 25 April 1911 in Belfast now on display in Belfast's Titanic Quarter. She was built to transfer passengers and mail to and from RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic, and is the only White Star Line vessel in existence today.
    • Hikawa Maru is one of only two of Japan's pre-World War II ocean liners to survive the war and the only one still around today. She's also the last ocean liner designed for use in the pacific.
    • HMS Caroline is the last surviving ship to fight in the Battle of Jutland, and the last surviving British light cruiser from World War I.
    • HMCS Haida is the last of the British Tribal-class destroyers, which served in World War II.
    • HMS Belfast is the last of the British Town-class cruisers, again of World War II vintage.
    • LST-510/MV Cape Henlopen is the last D-day veteran ship still in active service, albeit as a ferry rather than a military unit.
    • USS Olympia is the last surviving ship from the Spanish-American War.
    • Though sea cruising is a thriving industry, the Cunard Line's RMS Queen Mary 2 is the only ocean liner in the world still in operation and the only sailing vessel still providing regular transatlantic passenger service between New York and Southampton.
    • The last two surviving vessels from the attack on Pearl Harbor are the Coast Guard cutter USCGC Taney and the tugboat Hoga.
    • Brazil's Parnaíba is the last pre-WWII river monitor in service and the oldest active armed vessel in the world.
    • Prior to her retirement on September 26, 2017, Peru's BAP Almirante Grau (formerly the Dutch HNLMS De Ruyter) was the last cruiser with guns as her primary weapon (though she did also have missiles, installed later), and also the last light cruiser in service.
    • USS Little Rock is the last surviving Cleveland-class light cruiser in existence.
      • She's also the last missile cruiser conversion in the world, though Peru's Almirante Grau, had missiles added to supplement (but not replace) its guns and might be preserved. Little Rock though had the majority of her gun armament replaced with missile launching capability.
    • Soviet cruiser Mikhail Kutuzov is the last surviving Sverdlov-class cruiser.
    • As of 2018, HTMS Pin Klao (formerly USS Hemminger) is the last World War II-era Cannon-class destroyer escort still in active service.
    • Kommuna is the last ship in active, as in not training or ceremonial service, from World War I. No, we didn't leave out an extra "I" there—Kommuna was commissioned in 1915 as submarine rescue vehicle and still is one, among her other duties. The Russian Navy even says they still consider her quite a valuable addition to their fleet.
    • The world's oldest lifeboat Zetland is also the last surviving example of the first class of purpose-built rescue lifeboats that were built in South Shields in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.
  • There is only one surviving whaleback-type ship, the SS Meteor, today a museum ship.
  • The last Delta II rocket flew on September 15, 2018.
  • The Bovington Tank Museum in England has several last surviving examples of armoured vehicles, including the only surviving Mark I tank from World War 1 (the original tank, theirs may well be the second Mark I ever made), as well as a Mark II from the same time period. They also have Tiger 131, the last functional Tiger, which was captured during the North Africa Campaign of World War II.
  • The Ford Panther platform, which underpinned the Ford Crown Victoria, Mercury Grand Marquis, and Lincoln Town Car, was the last "great American sedan"note , built full-size body-on-frame with a V8 engine and rear-wheel drive. The Panther platform's main rival, the GM B-body (which underpinned the Chevrolet Caprice and among other GM full-sized sedans), was discontinued in 1996, while the Panther platform soldiered on for another decade and a half, being popular with fleet operators (Crown Vic for taxi and police service and the Town Car for limousine service). The Crown Vic and Town Car were both discontinued in 2011 with their Grand Marquis sibling discontinued a year earlier, coinciding with the shuttering of the Mercury brand.
  • Only one fully intact General Motors EV1, the first mass-produced and purpose-designed electric car by a major automaker in the modern era (produced from 1996–1999), exists today. The EV1 program was ended in 2002, with GM repossessing every last one of the vehicles, which it could do because they never offered them for sale in the first place—it was only available on lease deals. GM then crushed most of the cars and deactivated the electric power system on the roughly 40 remaining vehicles, which were delivered to museums and educational institutions on the condition that they never be driven on public roads. Except for the car donated to the Smithsonian Institution, which has a strict policy of accepting only intact specimens. (A couple of other EV1s have been reactivated, but do not have all of their original parts.)
  • Northrop Grumman's Stargazernote  is the last operational Lockheed L-1011 "TriStar"note  on Earth.

     Political Entity 
  • The Soviet Union doesn't really disappear in The Great Politics Mess-Up: a little-known region called Transnistria, a separatist state of Moldova, is all but Soviet in appearance. It retains the hammer-and-sickle logo for its flag and emblem, plus Stalinist architecture preserved in its utmost purity.
  • The Principality of Liechtenstein is the only surviving polity of the Holy Roman Empire, which ceased to exist as a political entity in 1806, after almost a thousand years of existence. Its survival is due to a number of Contrived Coincidence and pure luck since it managed to avoid being incorporated into the newborn Austrian Empirenote  and the Swiss Republic, which tried to annex it at some point or another. It even managed to avoid being Anschluss'ed into the Nazi Germany by virtue of its association with Switzerland (though it was more or less sympathetic to them). Thus it came out of it unscathed and remains independent, even if it functions more like another canton of Switzerland nowadays. Since 1924, it's been in a customs union with Switzerland.
  • Likewise, the Most Serene Republic of San Marino, which is the only survivor of the once-numerous city-state republics in the Italian Peninsula (and indeed, all of Europe). It uses a Switzerland-like directorial parliamentary system, but while Switzerland has a leader representing each of its cantons, San Marino has two "Captains Regent", mirroring the use of the Roman dual praetorship system; from a certain perspective, you can say that San Marino is also the only surviving polity of the Roman Republic, which ceased to exist in 27 BC.
  • Vatican City, the last independent European country with an absolute monarchical rule.note 
    • The Vatican is also the last elective monarchy of Europe, the system that was the norm in the continent (ironically) after the fall of Rome.
  • Japan is currently the only country in the world whose monarch is styled as "emperor", which technically makes it the world's sole surviving empire. It does not call itself that, though, as it would bring to mind unpleasant memories from the 1940s.
  • The Principality of Andorra is the last remaining state of the Spanish March, which was created by Charlemagne as a buffer against Muslim Spain around 800 A.D.

     Business 
  • The Frisco is the last of the Nighthawk chain of restaurants (and, yes, they all had separate names). Had a pretty big outpouring of support to help it survive its 2009 relocation, but had to close by 2018 due to rent issues and changing dining scene.
  • Nintendo is the last of the dedicated video game console companies. All others, like Atari, Hudson Softnote , and SNK, but most notably Sega either went third-party or just went defunct. Sony Computer Entertainment was the first to start a trend of hardware companies making the consoles while game studios made the games, Nintendo has resisted and pressed on.
  • Luftschiffbau Zeppelin is often considered the first major company based on aviation, and as such holds the title of last of its kind in multiple categories. First they are the last company that started by making lighter than air vehicles and may soon be the last manufacturer of airships. They are the aircraft manufacturer that existed before world war one and the last German aircraft manufacture from before World War II (or at least the last one still making aircraft). Before you think that Zeppelin's glory days are done, keep in mind that they hold numerous altitude records and are poised to be the first organization to send an object to space without the use of rocket propulsion.
  • Following the 2016 announcement that the Bangor, Maine location would close, the last remaining Howard Johnson's restaurant in the world is located in Lake George, New York (and even that one was closed in 2011 before reopening in 2015).
  • The only surviving location of cult fast-food chain Hot 'n' Now is in Sturgis, Michigan, following a fire at the only other remaining location in Bay City, Michigan (which was in the middle of rebranding anyway) in September 2016.
  • The last remaining location of the family restaurant chain Lum's was in Bellevue, Nebraska (although a franchise opened briefly in Massachusetts in 2010). However, the Bellevue location finally closed in May 2017.
  • Since the locations in Pomeroy, Ohio and Spencer, West Virginia stopped selling it in August 2017, the McDonald's on Sand Lake Road in Orlando, Florida is the last one that still sells pizza.
  • With the demise of Child World/Children's Palace, Lionel Kiddie City, Circus World, and KB Toys (which later bought out Circus World), Toys "R" Us was the last remaining general purpose toy store chain in the US... and then they went out of business, after which KB Toys announced they would potentially be taking the slack left by TRU, thus having the last of their kind reign handed over to them.
  • Similarly, f.y.e. has been the last remaining American nationwide record store chain for several years following the demise of Musicland (which owned Sam Goody and Media Play), Tower Records, and many regional competitors (some of which were merged into f.y.e.). In Canada, that honor goes to Sunrise Records, which was a regional chain before expanding to replace most of the vacant spots left by the recently-closed HMV. In 2020, Sunrise acquired f.y.e.
  • Following the closure of locations in Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska in July 2018, and Perth, Australia in March 2019, the last remaining Blockbuster Video in the world is in Bend, Oregon...
    • ...And following the sudden permanent closure of all Family Video stores in early-2021. By technicality, Blockbuster is the last remaining 'brick-and-mortar' stores that focused on home video rentals itself.
  • San Francisco Rush 2049 was the last arcade game to be published under the Atari name. By this point, Atari's arcade unit was an In Name Only division of Midway Games, who opted to retire the Atari name following Rush 2049's release in order to avoid confusion with the newly-revived Atari Interactive, which was actually built from the ashes of GT Interactive Software rather than the original Atari. Skins Game, a golf arcade game, was the last arcade game to feature any involvement from Atari's arcade branch (by then known as Midway Games West).
  • Until they were finally liquidated in 2019, there were only two locations left of the iconic Canadian store chain Zellers, one in Toronto and one in Ottawa. However, they were both basically operating In Name Only.
  • In 1996, the last remaining Burger Chef franchise, in Cookville, TN, was forced by the franchise's license holder to drop the name, converting to a Pleasers location. The location held the name for 14 years after the chain was sold the Imasco corporation and absorbed into their own Hardee's chain. note 
  • The last of the Sambo's chain, located in Santa Barbara, CA, existed from 1981 to 2020. It rebranded to Chad's, scrubbing the restaurant of it's "Little Black Sambo" imagery in the wake of the George Floyd protests.note 

     Technology 
  • With the discontinuation of the Amstrad CPC in 1990, the Atari 8-Bit Computers and ZX Spectrum in 1992, and the Apple ][ the next year, the Commodore 64 was the last of the 8-bit computer platforms still in production at the time of Commodore's 1994 implosion.
  • The Atari 2600 was the last of the consoles from The Golden Age of Video Games to be discontinued, with production of new units ceasing in 1992.
  • The Famicom and Super Famicom were the last systems from the pre-internet era of console gaming to be discontinued, with production and distribution for both systems officially ceasing in Japan simultaneously in 2003 (the Neo Geo ceased software support in 2004, but the actual hardware was discontinued in 1997).
  • The last system from the pre-internet era of handheld gaming to be discontinued was the Game Boy Advance, with the device officially ceasing production and distribution for the American market in 2010. While the internet era of console gaming was already underway by the time the GBA launched in 2001, online support for handheld systems would not become widely popular until the release of the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable in 2004.
  • By the time of its worldwide discontinuation in 2013, the PlayStation 2 was the last console released in the 20th century to still be officially available on store shelves (due to the lack of a year zero in the Gregorian calendar, its release year of 2000 was still part of the 20th century). In light of the rapid expansion of online gaming, digital distribution, and the controversial "games as a service" model in the 2000s and 2010s, it was also the last surviving console from the "classic" era of console gaming.
  • By the time of its discontinuation in 2020, the Nintendo 3DS was the last remaining dedicated handheld system put out by a major video game hardware developer. Its loose successor, the Nintendo Switch, is a hybrid system rather than solely a home console or solely a handheld, and with Nintendo having had a near-monopoly on the handheld gaming market since 1989 and the Switch still going strong sales-wise, it's unlikely anyone will step up to try and revive the dedicated handheld market.

     Miscellaneous 
  • Basque is the last pre-Indo-European language still spoken in Western Europe.
  • You might already know that the entirety of Romance languages (French, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, Spanish, etc.) were descended from Latin. What you probably don't know is that Latin is just a member of the Italic branch of the Indo-European language family; it has many sibling languages whose speakers settled in (appropriately) the Italian Peninsula, all of which were assimilated/killed off when the Roman Republic began to consolidate the peninsula.
  • The Last of the Romans, in Latin Ultimus Romanorum, is a term that has historically been used to describe a man thought to embody the values of Ancient Roman civilization, values which, by implication, became extinct on his death. It has been used to describe a number of Roman individuals. It has also been metaphorically used in other contexts to describe someone that is the last to embody the moral spirit of his culture.
  • This song about an old member of the Communist Party captures the sense of tragedy of being the last of a movement that seemed on the brink of changing the world for so many years. It also recognizes that the failure of that movement can be traced to a large degree to the sins of that movement (slavish devotion to Moscow, opportunistic betrayal of principle for quick popularity).
  • As late as the 1960s, many of the Ivy League universities were open only to men, at least as undergraduates; Cornell is the only one that was coeducational from its founding. Columbia was the last of the Ivies to admit undergraduate women, doing so in 1983.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report