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Adaptational Alternate Ending

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"...Shaw explains how Liza ends not with Higgins but with Freddy and — Shaw and Heaven forgive me! — I am not certain he is right."
Alan Jay Lerner, note in a published edition of My Fair Lady

When a story gets adapted from one medium to another more or less faithfully, but the ending is changed for one reason or another.

There are numerous possible reasons for this type of change:

  • Perhaps the original ending was too much of a downer and those responsible for the adaptation wanted to make it more optimistic, or the inverse when they decide to make the ending bleaker than the original one.
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  • Or perhaps it was very ambiguous and they wanted to add more resolution.
  • Or perhaps it was just one of those endings that is simply not practical to do in an adaptation. For instance, an ending that was only a few lines of text in a novel might require elaborate special effects in a live-action medium.
  • Or perhaps the one that ended up being used was one of several alternative endings chosen by a focus group.
  • Or hey, maybe they just wanted to bring something new to the table.

This can overlap with Not His Sled when the original work has become so famous for a Twist Ending that everyone and their neighbor already knows it. Thus, the twist gets changed to maintain the surprise for people. It can also overlap with Disneyfication if the ending is changed from a Downer Ending to a more upbeat one to make the work more child-friendly.


Not to be confused with Gecko Ending, where an adaptation gets an ending before its source material does (which very often results in glaring discrepancies). Compare to Happily Ever Before, when a depressing ending from the original story is simply cut to suggest a more upbeat tone at the end.

Sub-Trope of Adaptation Deviation. Also see Spared by the Adaptation and Death by Adaptation. Not to be confused with Revised Ending, which are alternate endings within the same work.

Since this is an Ending Trope, expect spoilers. Examples are sorted by medium of the adaptation, which is not necessarily the medium of the original.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • AKIRA: The original manga has Tetsuo defeated by Akira and merely killed, and Akira is still alive. In the movie adaptation, Akira is dead to begin with, and instead of killing Tetsuo when he returns in corporeal form, he seals him in another dimension where it's implied he becomes the God of it.
  • The manga version of Tokyo Mew Mew ends with Ichigo and Masaya getting together by celebrating a fake wedding, with a brief Sequel Hook with Berry (the main character in the sequel manga, Tokyo Mew Mew - à la mode) passing by the Mew Mew Café only to discover it's closed. The anime instead ends on a more generic Here We Go Again! with the main characters going to fight an undescribed new menace.
  • Kinnikuman Nisei originally had Mantaro lose to Kevin Mask in the Chojin Olympics final match. It continued onward for a while afterwards. In the anime, because they ended it with the Chojin Olympics, it instead ends with Kevin Mask losing to Mantaro.
  • MÄR: The manga originally ended with Ginta and his friends storming the Chess Piece base, killing Phantom (by his own wish), the Queen (who is revealed to be Dorothy's older sister who betrayed their homeland), and the King (which is revealed to be an orb containing the evils of MAR-Heaven and has been possessing the body of Ginta's father) and ends with Ginta bidding his friends goodbye and returning home with his father after they beat the orb. However due to it's rushed pacing, it was considered very anti-climatic. So in the anime, the heroes have to get through a line of defense known as the Ghost Chess and rescue Alviss who nearly succumbs to the zombie tattoo, some extended fights with Cadence and Rolan, having to rescue Snow from a complex trap, and dealing with Phantom (though in a much more tearjerking fashion where he gets some last minute character development). From here however, Orb-Danna reveals himself much earlier and unlike the manga, he's no pushover as he actually kills nearly all the heroes when he confronts them save Jack and Ginta. After the queen is beaten as shown in the manga, though Dorothy is killed in a sneak attack, the Orb is pulled from Danna's body before going into the Earth world to try and take it over. This leads to a final battle in Tokyo where a last minute power-up from Snow allows Ginta to destroy the orb. In the end, the heroes are revived save Snow who merges with her Earth counterpart Koyuki to be with Ginta when he returns home with his father.
  • The Naruto anime just outright skipped over the final chapter. Chapter 700 was a Distant Finale showing the character's children growing up in a more peaceful world than their parents did. It was probably skipped because it was a surprise in the manga, however the anime had already shown the children years before the anime ended. Due to how slow the final episodes came out, two movies depicted the children in anime form (one outright was about Naruto's son post-finale). All this meant that the ending would have been a bit of a redundant Late-Arrival Spoiler if it was included. The removal of chapter 700 meant that the anime ended up losing the Call-Back to the first episode, where Boruto paints the Hokage portraits like his dad did as a kid. The chapter was later loosely adapted in Boruto.
  • The manga adaptation of Neon Genesis Evangelion ends on a much more upbeat note, with humanity and the Earth shown restored after the events of End of Evangelion.
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Ginji's Rescue Team only adapts the main story of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team. The manga ends with Ginji waking up a human and an ambiguous ending. The game ends in the main character staying a Pokémon and continuing their adventure.
  • Both the anime and the manga of Revolutionary Girl Utena reach a climax where Utena sword duels Akio for the fate of Akio's sister Anthy, with Utena realizing her motivations were selfish and resolving to be a true prince for Anthy, leading her to perform a Heroic Sacrifice which frees Anthy to be her own independent person and leave Ohtori Academy. At the climax of the movie adaptation, Adolescence of Utena Utena is turned into a car so can Anthy drive her out of the academy herself, fending off other students who have also turned into cars and an idealized projection of Akio, and when she escapes Utena turns back to normal.
  • The original webcomic the manga, Shishunki Bitter Change, is based on ends on a rather depressing note. Yuuta in Yui's body becomes distracted by the realization he has a crush on Tachibana, causing him to fail to notice Yui in Yuuta's deterioating mental state. One timeskip later, it's revealed that Yui had passed away, having either died in an accident or committed suicide, while Yuuta continues to live in her body, growing up to become a wife and a mother while lamenting to Kazuma that he felt he could have done more if he was mature enough to understand Yui at the time. The manga itself averts this ending by allowing Yuuta and Yui to properly communicate their feelings towards each other and turning down the people who have crushes on them, which becomes vital when Yui gets hit by a truck and causing them to return to their original bodies. With Yuuta in critical condition, Yui prays for them to swap again if it means saving Yuuta, a prayer that is answered sometime off-panel. The two start dating, accepting their circumstances and referring to each other by the other's name, with the epilogue revealing they got married and have a son and daughter.
  • The spring 2018 television anime Violet Evergarden had a significantly different ending than its source novels which published in 2016: during the train hijacking incident, Gilbert never shows up to help Violet. This was due to the director of the anime wishing to leave his survival ambiguous, while the novel spelled it out very clearly that he was alive and in hiding. As a result, this change meant that the Grand Finale of the series, which was concluded in a 2020 feature film, was completely different from the final 2020 light novel volume and rendered the two mediums as being in irreconciliably separate continuities.

    Comic Books 
  • Victorian Undead 2: Sherlock Holmes vs Dracula: The mini-series places Holmes and Watson during the events of the Dracula novel but a lot of things go off the beaten path as originally told. For one, they fail to kill Lucy after she turns into a vampire who flees from both them and Dracula rather then continue in the conflict. Another is that the finale doesn't have Dracula fleeing back to Transylvania but rather attempt to kill the Queen of England. He's ultimately thwarted and is staked in the ensuing fight via the wood of a building they crashed into (though Quincy still does die as a result) and the whole escapade reveals the supernatural to the world rather then just be an isolated incident between the main characters as in the novel.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Several films in the Disney Animated Canon do this for films based on preexisting stories:
    • Bambi: In the book, Bambi spends more and more time with his mentor and parent-figure the Great Old Prince of the Forest. He in turn becomes distant from everyone and loses interest in his mate Faline. Bambi ends up becoming much like the Great Prince, a distant and aloof buck. In the film, there is a fire where Bambi's father, the Great Prince of the Forest (a younger Composite Character of the book character and Bambi's sire), helps him and his new mate Faline escape. Both the book and film end with Bambi and Faline having twins, however in the book Bambi is absent in their life just like a real deer. The film also excluded the part where Bambi sees the body of a dead hunter and the part where Faline's Adapted Out brother comes back and gets shot.
    • Fun and Fancy Free: The original "Little Bear Bongo" story by Sinclair Lewis does feature a happy ending, but is still more cynical and violent. Notably, Bongo never becomes accepted by the other bears, his beloved rejects him for Lumpjaw, and the happy ending comes from another circus troupe finding him and re-introducing him to civilization. In the movie, the other bears and his beloved accept him.
    • Peter Pan: The original novel and play end with Captain Hook getting eaten by the crocodile, the Lost Boys come to London to live with Wendy, John and Michael and there is a Time Skip to Wendy as a mother with a daughter, Jane, who flies to Never Land with Peter. In the Disney adaptation, Captain Hook survives, the Lost Boys stay in Never Land, and there is no time skip.
    • The book The Fox and the Hound ends with a full blown Downer Ending where Tod and both of his mates and his kits all die, and Copper gets shot in the head by the hunter so he doesn't have to abandon him when he's taken to a nursing home. The Disney adaptation alters it into a Bittersweet Ending where Tod, his mate Vixie, and Copper survive, but are forced to go their separate ways.
    • In The Little Mermaid (1989), the mermaid gets to marry the prince and live Happily Ever After. In the original story by Hans Christian Andersen, she dies after refusing to kill the prince. In the original ending she turned to sea-foam however Anderson later revised it into a happier, more Christian-geared, ending. In the revised version the mermaid turns to sea-foam but instead of ceasing to exist, like other mermaids, she's turned into an air spirit and given a chance to gain a soul and get into heaven if she can do enough good things within the next several centuries.
    • If The Lion King, as it commonly is, is taken as an adaptation of Hamlet, then the equivalents of Hamlet himself (Simba), Ophelia (Nala), Gertrude (Sarabi), Polonius (Zazu), and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (Timon and Pumbaa) all live, whereas the play has them all die in the end.
      • Similarly, if the sequel, as it commonly is, is taken as an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, then the equivalents of Romeo (Kovu) and Juliet (Kiara) are both alive and Happily Married, whereas in the play, Romeo and Juliet die.Furthermore, the equivalent of Lady Montague (Zira) dies because she refuses to reconcile with the equivalents of Lord and Lady Capulet (Simba and Nala, respectively).
    • Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame heavily changes the ending of the story - in the original Victor Hugo novel, both Esmeralda and Quasimodo die; in the Disney version, they both survive, Esmeralda marries Phoebus and Quasimodo gets accepted by the society. Interestingly, the Screen-to-Stage Adaptation of the Disney movie places the ending somewhere in the middle, killing off Esmeralda but not Quasimodo.
    • Disney's Hercules completely changes the ending. In the original myths, Herakles dies, but after Philoctetes lit his funeral pyre, he ascended to godhood in Mount Olympus and stayed there. The Disney movie changes it to where Hercules earns his godhood by saving Meg from Hades and is allowed to come home to Olympus—but Hercules, who realizes Meg can't join him there, willingly gives up his godhood so that he can stay with Meg.
    • Fantasia 2000: In the original Hans Christian Andersen story The Steadfast Tin Soldier, both the Tin Solider and the Ballerina he loves die in a fireplace. In the adaptation for Fantasia 2000, they both live; instead, it's the villainous jack-in-the box that dies in the fireplace. The main reason for this change in the Disney adaptation is because the writers of the film actually did not want to cause any Soundtrack Dissonance considering the fact that the musical piece accompanying this scene is an optimistic-sounding one.
  • The Fleischer Studios animated adaptation of Gulliver's Travels. Besides only being a very loose adaptation of the the Lilliput section the book, the ending is overhauled. In the book, Gulliver is convicted of treason by the Lilliputians and is sentenced to be blinded, but with the assistance of a kind friend, "a considerable person at court," he escapes to Blefuscu. Here he spots and retrieves an abandoned boat and sails out to be rescued by a passing ship, which safely takes him back home. In the movie, Gulliver helps stop a war between the two nations and leaves in a giant boat built by both of them for him, leaving all of them on good terms.
  • The 1954 Halas & Batchelor animated adaptation of Animal Farm is a Lighter and Softer adaptation of George Orwell's hard edged allegory, so the ending is inevitably made more uplifting. The book was a Satire of the Russian Revolution, so things do not end well in it and the pigs become the new tyrants. The animated movie has a slightly more upbeat ending in which the farm animals rise up against their new overlords and put a decisive end to them.
  • The 1966 animated adaptation of The Hobbit, already an In Name Only adaptation, changes the ending so that Bilbo slays Smaug himself and ends up marrying Princess Mika, a Canon Foreigner exclusive to this adaptation.
  • The 1998 direct-to-video movie The Mighty Kong, besides being a Lighter and Softer Disneyfied adaptation of King Kong, changes the originals Bittersweet Ending into a straight up Happy Ending, right down to Kong surviving the battle on (and subsequent fall from) the Empire State Building.
  • Romeo & Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss: Being a Lighter and Softer adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, both of the lead characters survive in the ending.
  • Gnomeo and Juliet: In Romeo and Juliet, both of the main characters die. In this comedic adaptation with lawn gnomes, the only character to die is Tybalt—-and somehow he gets reassembled for the Dance Party Ending! This is even Lampshaded during Gnomeo's conversation with a Shakespeare statue, where he calls the original a "horrible ending."
  • The book The True Meaning of Smekday has a century-long Time Skip at the end where Tip suddenly dies of old age during the unveiling of the time capsule. The film adaptation, Home, completely throws this out in favor of a happy ending, and Tip lives.
  • Mondo TV (the same people who did The Legend of the Titanic) did their own adaptation of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, where everyone is Spared by the Adaptation (yes, even Frollo). note 
  • The ending of The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Burbank Animation) is not the grim thing of the book. Almost nobody dies, Esmeralda's innocence is proven and she congratulates Quasimodo.
  • The BFG: The ending is changed significantly from the book. For one, the Fleshlumpeater is a much bigger problem in the climax when it turns out that he wasn't among the giants tied up by the soldiers and has to be dispatched by the BFG siccing a living nightmare on him. The BFG also returns to his home dimension with Sophie at the end, whereas in the book he decided to integrate into human society.
  • Christmas Carol: The Movie gives Scrooge a happier ending than usual, as he and Belle make up and get another chance at love.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Animal Crackers: The Summation scene is completely different from the original stage version. The bit where Harpo chloroforms everyone else and finally himself was taken from an earlier scene.
  • Bicentennial Man: The original story ends with Andrew's dying words taking place after the celebration of his bicentennial, but the film ends with Madame President giving her speech hours before Andrew's bicentennial, and he dies before she's finished. Portia dies soon after.
  • The Day of the Triffids: The book ends with the triffids still overrunning the world, and the protagonist and his friends holed up on an island and determined to carry on the fight against them. The 1962 film ends with the discovery (by a character invented for the film) that the triffids dissolve when sprayed with seawater, allowing them to be easily defeated and giving the film a more conclusive happy ending.
  • First Blood: In the book, Rambo dies at the hands of Col. Trautman, due to his inability to re-adapt to civilian life. This was found to be an unsatisfactory end to the film, which depicts Rambo more sympathetically, so the film ends with Rambo going through a Heroic BSoD and being taken away by Trautman, hopefully to get his soul patched back together.
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956): The original novel had an unambiguously happy ending, with the Pods fleeing Earth, the Pod People slowly dying off, and the town returning to normal. The first movie adaptation ends with truckloads of Pods being shipped all over the country and (at the insistence of execs who didn't want a complete Downer Ending) the military discovering the threat and preparing to fight back. Meanwhile, the 1978 and 1993 remakes have unambiguously Downer Endings.
  • Ophelia is a downplayed example. Like Hamlet, it ends with the majority of the cast dying for vengeance and Fortinbras taking control of Denmark, although the circumstances of some characters' death are altered. However, in this version the title character fakes her suicide and starts a new life with her daughter (who is implied to be Hamlet's daughter too), so it ends on a happier note.
  • Our Mother's House changed the book's ending to be less open ended. In the book the children are caught burying Charlie, and as such are being forced to go to the orphanage. The cliffhanger is whether they will go. In the movie, after the death of Charlie, they agree to turn themselves in.
  • Purple Noon was an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, and a pretty faithful one, up until the ending. In the book, Tom Ripley kills two people and gets away with it. In the movie, the corpse of his first victim is discovered and he's caught. Highsmith was irritated by this change.
  • A Little Princess's 1996 film radically changes the climax. Ram Dass steadily fills Sara and Becky's attic room up over a few months with fine food and fresh bedding, which Miss Minchin never sees. In the film the room is filled up overnight (and Ram Dass is implied to be magical) and Minchin assumes Sara has stolen the finery. Sara escaping from the police prompts the climax - wherein she bumps into her father, who has been Spared by the Adaptation. Also Becky ends the book becoming Sara's personal attendant. Due to the Values Dissonance, the film changes it so that Becky has been adopted by Captain Crewe at the end. In the book Miss Minchin remains on at the school, living in fear that Sara could ruin her with one word to the right people. In the film she does lose the school and is reduced to working as a chimney sweep at the end.
  • The 1940 film adaptation of Our Town changes the huge Downer Ending in which Emily dies in childbirth into an extended dream sequence.
  • Fatherland: The original novel concluded with Xavier March locked in an armed stand-off at the former Auschwitz camp site, and not knowing if Maguire will be able to deliver evidence of the Nazi war crimes to the Americans. The film provides a more conclusive ending when Maguire delivers the evidence in person to the visiting U.S. President Joseph Kennedy, who immediately calls off his meeting with Hitler. The ending narration by Xavier's grown-up son states that the Nazi state ultimately collapsed without U.S. support.
  • Flowers in the Attic killed off Corrine Dollanganger in the climaxnote , who survives the novel. Reportedly, the studio had planned on adapting all four novels of the series which proved impossible as the second book's entire story revolved around on Cathy planning an elaborate revenge against Corrine, as well as the third book's entire plot revolving around Corrine seeking forgiveness from her children. A script was apparently circulated around substituting the grandmother in Corrine's role, but obviously wasn't produced.
  • Maleficent: Being an Alternate Continuity retelling of Disney's 1959 adaptation of Sleeping Beauty that's told from Maleficent's POV, a lot of things are changed, especially in the ending. Maleficent survives and King Stefan (who is now the films Big Bad) is killed, and Maleficent, not the Prince, is the one who awakens Aurora from her curse. Aurora is also crowned queen to unify the human and fairy kingdoms.
  • In the short story "The New Daughter", the story ends with the changeling Louisa taunting "her" father that sooner or later he'll slip up and allow the mound's residents to replace "her" brother as well. The movie closes on John burning the mound and the mound-walkers creeping up on Sam.
  • The Thing (1982): In the original story "Who Goes There?", the story ends at the cabin where they locked up Blair when three survivors discover the half-finished spaceship and kill the Blair-Thing. The movie includes this final confrontation, but only those three humans survive the previous events. Afterwards is far more ambiguous with two survivors of whom one or both may be another Thing.
  • The 1986 film adaptation of Little Shop of Horrors has a happy ending where Seymour and Audrey defeat the evil plant and live Happily Ever After, as opposed to the 1960 film where Seymour gets eaten, and the stage version where everyone gets eaten and it's implied that the plant will eventually destroy humanity, starting with the audience. It’s worth noting that the latter was intended to be the film's ending, but test audiences didn’t like it, so the happier ending was filmed.
  • The film adaptation of Ender's Game ended with Valentine staying on Earth instead of joining Ender, leaving him to wander the galaxy alone.
  • The Jungle Book (2016) ends with Mowgli deciding to stay in the jungle with his animal family rather than returning to the man-village like in the version it's remaking.
  • The original novel I Am Legend, essentially the Ur-Example of the Zombie Apocalypse genre, ends with the protagonist realizing that he's the real monster, because the vampires he's been killing were intelligent enough to suppress their violent instincts. It's been adapted to film three times (1964's The Last Man on Earth, 1971's The Omega Man, and 2007's I Am Legend), and none of those feature that Heel Realization. Although the I Am Legend film initially did follow the original ending—but focus groups didn't like it, so they retooled it into a Heroic Sacrifice instead.
  • The Lincoln Lawyer's Film of the Book leaves out the downside of the novel's Bittersweet Ending. In the book, while Mickey Haller gets Martinez exonerated, he ends up disbarred for several months for breach of professional ethics and is sued for malpractice by Martinez for originally convincing him to plead guilty. Additionally Martinez is now HIV-positive due to Prison Rape.
  • Tromeo and Juliet: Played for Laughs at the end. Rather than committing suicide together because of a misunderstanding like in the play, Tromeo and Juliet suddenly find out they're actually siblings and drive off into the sunset to raise their mutant children.
  • The play Pygmalion originally ended with Eliza going off to marry Freddy. The 1938 film adaptation implies Eliza and Higgins ending up together completely against Shaw's wishes. To get around the contractual stipulation that every single line of dialogue would be written by Shaw (and credited to him), the final scene has only two lines of dialogue, both of which are Meaningful Echoes of words spoken earlier in the play, with context and body language doing the rest. My Fair Lady takes a middle road, where Eliza does return to Higgins but the ending is no more than a Maybe Ever After.
  • Movies based on Stephen King's works:
    • Carrie (1976) is a downplayed example. The book just ends with mention of another girl somewhere who might have similar telekinetic powers to Carrie. The film's ending is far more famous; featuring Sue laying flowers on Carrie's makeshift grave and Carrie's hand grabbing her from under the earth. It was one of the first horror films to have a shock ending.
    • Carrie (2002) has Carrie being revived with CPR by Sue and then going into hiding in Florida while the FBI are investigating her. This change was for a planned TV series that never materialised.
    • Carrie (2013) has an alternate ending where Sue gives birth to Tommy's baby — a minor subplot that was cut from the first two films — and has a nightmare of Carrie in the hospital.
    • The Mist: Frank Darabont infamously changed the ending from the novella into a Diabolus ex Machina for the film. The original left it on a more ambiguous note, with the survivors facing an uncertain fate with the whole world apparently overrun by the monsters from the mist. In the film, the main character reluctantly decides to shoot his companions to save them from a more horrible death, mere minutes before the mist suddenly starts to dissipate and the army rolls in to clear the area. Stephen King has said that he actually preferred this version to the one that he wrote.
    • The Night Flier: The movie version expands a lot on the short story in the Nightmares & Dreamscapes collection, including an altered ending. In the story Dees just gives the vampire, Dwight Renfield, the film strip in his camera and escapes the final encounter with his life. In the film he subsequently races after Dwight because he wants to see his face, who responds by putting him in a trance that ends with Dees unwittingly hacking up the corpses that Dwight is actually responsible for. He's shot by the police and framed as the "real" Night Flier by his rival colleague—ironically putting his face back on the front cover of the tabloid magazine he worked for.
    • Apt Pupil: The original ending was pure Nightmare Fuel, with Todd murdering his guidance counselor and going on a 5-hour shooting spree in a populated area before getting shot to death by the police. In the film he just blackmails the guy to keep the secret about Todd's connections to Kurt Dussander and goes off to college.
    • 1408: The short story ends on a far more cynical note than the movie, with Mike Enslin setting himself on fire rather than the room to escape its horrible influence. He survives with extensive third degree burns, but he lives the rest of his life alone and in fear. His tapes are also completely worthless and don't convince anyone of anything. Everything indicates that the evil room will simply continue to claim victims despite Mr. Olin's efforts to contain it. The film has multiple endings, both of them different: The theatrical version has Mike setting the room on fire to destroy it, getting saved by firemen and finding a tape recorder with his dead daughter's voice on it as proof that the room is supernatural. The director's cut has Mike setting the room on fire as well, but dying alongside it. Instead his wife finds the tape after his death.
    • Thinner: In both the book and film versions Billy Halleck manages to get the Gypsy Curse on himself lifted by forcing the sorcerer to place it inside a pie. Billy feeds it to his wife (whom he hates), before his daughter (whom he dotes on) eats a piece of it by mistake. Wracked with guilt, Billy then eats the pie himself. The movie added a subplot of a man that Billy suspects his wife is cheating on him with, who rings the door right at that moment. Billy invites him in so he can have a slice of pie as well.
    • Secret Window: The ending of the film is completely changed from the novella, despite both keeping the reveal that Mort Rainey is suffering from multiple personality disorder and is in fact his own tormentor John Shooter. However, it then diverges when in the film Mort kills his wife and her new husband and buries them in his garden, the same ending as the novel he was writing in-universe. In the novella, Mort does attempt to kill his wife after his Split-Personality Takeover but ends up getting killed instead when someone else arrives to save her. An epilogue shows her discussing Mort's mental break with her husband and hints that Shooter might be Real After All.
  • The 2007 film adaptation of A Room with a View substitutes its own epilogue for E. M. Forster's, having George die in the First World War.
  • The film and graphic novel of Road to Perdition both end with the death of Michael Sullivan (or "O'Sullivan", as he's called in the book), but Michael Jr.'s ultimate fate is quite different in both versions. In the book, he avenges his father by taking up his gun and killing his assassin in a fit of rage, but then has a crisis of conscience when he realizes that he killed a man in cold blood, with the epilogue revealing that he became a Catholic priest to atone for the murder that he committed. The movie ends a bit more happily: Michael Jr. wants to kill the assassin, but he falters, and his father manages to take a fatal shot at him with his last breath, allowing him to die at peace knowing that his son didn't become a killer like him. The ultimate fate of the crime boss John Rooney ("Looney" in the book) is also different: the book has him arrested and sent to prison by the Historical Domain Character Elliot Ness well before the climax, while the movie's climax has Michael killing him in a hail of bullets to get to his son Connor.
  • The Power (1968): In the original book’s ending, Tanner’s discovering his own psychic powers and killing Hart leads to him going mad with power, and looking forward to abusing people the way Adam did. In the movie, however, Tanner manages to retain his humanity and walks off with Margery, though he does pause to worry about whether his new found power will corrupt him.
  • Frankenstein:
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past has a similar premise to the comic book storyline it's based on: mutants are being herded into concentration camps while the X-Men are actively hunted by Sentinels, and a member of the team with the power to send one's consciousness through time sends someone to the past to stop the villain Mystique from killing the mutant-hating Senator Kelly, an event that directly leads to the Bad Future. In the comics, Rachel Summers—the daughter of Cyclops and Jean Grey—sent Kitty Pryde. In the movie, Kitty herself somehow develops this power and sends Wolverine (Scott and Jean both died before conceiving a daughter in the original films, so some deviation was necessary) to prevent the murder of Bolivar Trask (Senator Kelly had already been used in the original films, set 30 years after DOFP's 1973). The biggest divergence in the ending is we're shown that Wolverine succeeded. He stopped Mystique from killing Trask, which neatly prevents the Mutant Holocaust. In the original plotline, Kitty wakes up with the older "Kate" personality already gone, and the reader doesn't find out whether the future was averted. It's not until years later that that future is revisited.
  • The ending of the film version of The Witches (1990) ends with the boy, named Luke in this version, being changed back into a human by the surviving witch who had undergone a Heel–Face Turn and he tells her to also change Bruno back. Whereas in the original book they remain mice for the rest of their lives, and the boy acknowledges that he might not live very long and that he didn't want to outlive his grandmother anyway, so he decides to dedicate the rest of his life to hunting down and killing the rest of the witches with his grandmother.
  • In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy wakes up at home. It turns out the entire film was All Just a Dream. This is different from the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy just goes home. Not only is Oz not fictional, but Dorothy repeatedly visits it in future Land of Oz books and later outright moves there with her family. Apparently this was because the filmmakers thought viewers wouldn't accept a real fantasy world.
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1910) ends with the Wizard retiring as king and leaving in a hot-air balloon. Not Dorothy, just the Wizard. As a result, Dorothy is presumably stuck in Oz and she doesn't seem to care. This differs from the books where Dorothy goes back home and goes back to Oz later on.
  • Nightfall (2000): The original ending has everyone lose their minds upon realizing how little they matter compared to the size of the universe. In this adaptation, however, it's merely blind fanaticism that sends the Watchers against the Scholars. Metron and Illyra manage to survive and watch the Stars appear while Saro city burns.
  • Pokémon Detective Pikachu changed the ending. The original video game was open-ended, with Harry Goodman still missing and Tim and Pikachu looking elsewhere for him. The movie, however, was more conclusive, with the mystery of Harry's disappearance resolved.
  • True Grit (the John Wayne version) considerably brightened and softened the ending. In the film, Mattie survives the snakebite with no long-term ill effects; the last scene is Rooster returning her to her home, where she tells Rooster that she has reserved a final resting place for him next to hers in the family plot — in other words, that he now and forever will have her as family. The Coen Brothers version, while faithful to the original novel, is much darker.
  • Both adaptations of Red Dragon changed the Pyrrhic Victory ending of the book.
    • The ending of Manhunter is much lighter, being changed completely from the book's ending to one where Graham gets to fight and kill Dolarhyde before he ever gets the chance to invade his home and attack his family. As a result, his psychological troubles are now set at ease so that he can go back to retiring in peace.
    • The 2002 film also has a nicer ending. The ending of the book implies that Molly is going to leave Graham, who is laid up in the hospital, largely unable to move and with a face that has been cut to shreds. We later hear from Starling's narration that he's become an alcoholic. In the film, Graham still has his family, not to mention Edward Norton's face.
  • All versions of The Quiet American end with Fowler aiding the murder of the titular American, in order to stop the very real damage Pyle is doing to Vietnam for the sake of his mental image of democracy. However, the 1958 version is far more sympathetic to Pyle's motives and erases Pyle's terrorist activities entirely. Thus, the film ends with Fowler losing Phoung and forced to live alone with his guilt for killing Pyle out of jealousy instead of more honorable reasons.
  • My Sister's Keeper: The book originally ended with Anna getting into a fatal car accident, and her kidney are then used for Kate - who goes into remission. The film swaps this around so that Kate dies from her leukemia with dignity, and Anna gets to live.
  • I Know What You Did Last Summer has Helen and Barry being killed off, and a twist where the man they hit with their car not only wasn't dead — but also the murderer of the man they thought they'd killed. That's hardly the only change.
  • Dracula has this happen in a few adaptations
    • Horror of Dracula: In the book, Drac is killed in his coffin since Helsing states to the hunters they couldn't take him in a direct fight after tracking him down to Transylvania. Here, Helsing does directly fight Dracula and destroys him by forcing him into sunlight.
    • Bram Stoker's Dracula: It does follow chasing the gypsies to stop Dracula. But Mina, through her partial vampirisim, creates storm clouds to block out the sun. Allowing Dracula to directly attack the hunters. He still gets stabbed and his throat slit as usual while mortally wounding Quincy. But rather than the hunters finishing him off. Mina stops them and allows Dracula to go into his castle. As he lays dying, Mina's sympathy and love help him gain redemption with God and undoes his vampire curse. Mina finishes him off by cutting off his head and it's implied Dracula was reunited with his beloved in the afterlife. Though the movie doesn't address how this will affect Mina's relationship with Johnathan after all this.
    • Dracula (1979), the film ends on the boat Dracula was using to flee back to Transylvania with Lucy (in this version, Mina is the one that gets turned into a vampire and staked). Helsing and Harker confront him where Helsing dies in the final battle against him, though they manage to kill Dracula but impaling him with the hook of a mast and hoisting him into sunlight. Lucy is saved though there's the implication that Dracula may return.
  • Myra Breckinridge: in the original book, Myra ends up in a car accident, forcing her to have her breasts removed, and she goes back to her old life as Myron, living in a Sexless Marriage with Mary Ann. Rex Reed, who played Myron, didn't like that ending and refused to film it, so the film used All Just a Dream instead.

  • Arthur episode "The Boy Who Cried Comet" has a novelization which noticeably lacks the original episode's infamous Gainax Ending wherein the events of the episode (or possibly even the whole show) are revealed to have been filmed in a studio on another planet, with the characters all being costumed aliens and as a result concludes in a much more down-to-earth manner. (Incidentally, the point at which the novelization ends is right at the point where said Gainax Ending starts in the original TV episode.)
  • Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg's The Positronic Man: The original story ends with Andrew's dying words, but this Novelization ends when the World President appears to shake hands with Andrew in recognition of Andrew as a human.
  • The original Charles Perrault version of Little Red Riding Hood ends with the wolf eating Red and serving as a cautionary tale to young ladies to beware of "wolves", especially those who are "charming, quiet, unassuming, complacent, and sweet". Depending on which adaptation of the story you're reading or watching, either ends that way, or has the girl and her grandmother be rescued by a passing huntsman or other benefactor, whereupon they may take revenge upon the wolf (in "Rotkäppchen", they fill the wolf's belly with stones); this alternate version may have come about from the influence of The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids or similar tales.
  • A children's book/record based on Pete's Dragon (1977) ends in a different manner than the movie, where Elliot doesn't leave Pete or Passamoquoddy, and is given a medal by the town for lighting the lighthouse and saving Nora's fiance and company.
  • The Pink Panther Strikes Again: The novelization (written by the screenplay's co-writer, Frank Waldman) ends very differently than the movie. Rather than just Dreyfus being disintegrated by the Doomsday Machine, both he and Professor Fassbender meet that fate. The last chapter reveals that they rematerialized in the distant future, in a lonely part of space known as the Ultimate Galaxy of the Dimension Quattro. Everything they used the Doomsday Machine to disintegrate (including the United Nations Building and the front half of a French poodle named Shlep) ended up there as well. Together in this empty plane of existence for eternity, Dreyfus and Fassbender have become friends.
  • Saga of the People of Tattúín River Valley, Jackson Crawford's In-Universe retelling of Star Wars as if it were an Icelandic saga, includes a number of changes to make the story fit the value system of the sagas. A significant one is the high value placed on loyalty to a liege lord, which turns the saga into a tragedy where Lúkr's final confrontation with Veiðari ends with Veiðari sadly concluding that his loyalty to King Falfaðinn outweighs his loyalty to his family, and executing his own son as a traitor. The saga then continues to tell of how Veiðari was killed in turn by his grandson, Leia's son.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series: In the episode "Operation - Annihilate", Spock is temporarily blinded when they test a cure for a neural parasite on him before using it to free a planetary population. In the novelization of that episode, the planet is freed from the infection before Spock goes through the procedure, which does not blind him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Goosebumps: The TV adaptation changed a few endings from the books:
    • The original book "The Blob That Ate Everyone" ended with a bizarre twist ending that revealed the whole story to have been written by two blobs. In the episode based on that book, this ending was simply left out, possibly out of fear that it would be too narmy on screen even by the goofy standards of the show.
    • The book version of "Be Careful What You Wish For" had a sadder ending where Samantha undoes the negative effects of her wishes, but is then turned into a bird because of a wish made by the Alpha Bitch in her class. In the TV version this just becomes straight Laser-Guided Karma when the Alpha Bitch instead wishes to be "admired forever" and is turned into a park statue.
    • The ending of Night Of The Living Dummy III is far more pleasant. The book ends with Trina and Dan getting Grounded Forever for all the terrible things that Zane and Slappy framed them for, Trina giving Slappy to Zane as a present as revenge for getting them in trouble, and a strong implication that Slappy is going to make Zane's life just as much of a hell as he did for them. In the tv version, Zane's misdeeds are exposed to the parents (while Slappy does none himself here), clearing Trina and Dan's names. Zane is punished with several hard chores for it, but afterwards, he and his cousins admit both their faults to each other and reconcile. After a close encounter with Slappy the following night, Zane leaves with his Uncle on pleasant terms with his cousins, even expressing interest in having them come visit them on the holidays. All's well that ends well.
    • "A Shocker On Shock Street" ends with Erin and Marty revealed to be robots that were meant to test out the horror theme park, who end up being shut down when the staff believes they might be malfunctioning due to their odd behavior. The TV Version adds in an extra scene where they reactivate by themselves and get revenge on their creator, who was in the middle of building their replacements.
    • The ending to "Awesome Ants" is mostly the same, with the protagonist waking up from his "nightmare" about supersized ants to find that giant ants keep humans in town-sized vivaria. However, in the book this is explicitly meant to be karmic since it resulted from the food pellets that the boy gave them, and the ants kept growing until they took over. In the episode, it's more of a Tomato Surprise since it's indicated that ants have always been the dominant species on Earth, and he was really just dreaming about a role reversal.
    • The story that "Perfect School" is based on had a Downer Ending, with Brian being betrayed by his "friend" and locked up to be replaced with a robot. In the episode, he switches places with the robot, pretending to be a model child to fool his parents while he plots to break out his classmates.
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon diverges greatly from the manga's Dark Kingdom arc. First of all Minako is suffering from a terminal illness and dies before the final battle. In the manga all the girls are killed in the fight with Queen Metaria. In this version it's actually Usagi's Superpowered Evil Side that destroys the world. In the manga (and first anime) a dying Usagi wishes for the Silver Crystal to restore everyone - and it does, removing all memories of the last six months. This time the girls remember instantly when they are restored to life. The series also plays around with a Heel–Face Turn for Queen Beryl - where she realises she can't control Metaria and decides to Face Death with Dignity, while Jaedite (who at this point in the manga had long been killed off) stays loyally by her side.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "The Inheritors", the fate of those who entered the alien machine built by Jacob Hardy, Kelly Risely and Curtis Sawyer is left ambiguous. At the end of The Outer Limits (1963) two-parter of the same name on which it is based, it is revealed that the disabled children are being brought to the aliens' planet so that they can live out their lives free of their infirmities.
  • Catch-22: The original novel ends on an up note with Yossarian resolving to go AWOL and live a life of adventure on his own terms, while the series ends with Yossarian refusing to wear clothes and continuing to fly bombing missions, with no more desire to leave the military. He has apparently "gone insane" per Catch-22.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • "Still Valley" ends with Rod Serling noting that Sgt. Joseph Paradine and the other members of his troop were moved to Gettysburg with the implication being that they will be killed in the battle. In the short story "The Valley Was Still" by Manly Wade Wellman, Paradine survives the war and repeatedly claims in his old age that the cause of the Confederacy was lost not at Antietam or Gettysburg but at the titular valley hamlet of Channow.
    • In "The Incredible World of Horace Ford", Laura Ford finds the beaten 10-year-old version of her husband Horace when she goes to look for him on Randolph Street and he turns back into an adult. Horace then comes to accept that his childhood was not as idyllic as he had always made it out to be. The original Studio One version ends with Horace still a child and seemingly trapped in his miserable childhood forever.
    • In "Night Call", the caller, whom Miss Elva Keene has realized is her late fiancé Brian Douglas, says her that he will leave her alone and never call her again. She had previously told him to do just that. When Brian was alive, Elva, by her own admission, had been quite dominating and he had always done what she had said. This remains the case even in death. The short story "Long Distance Call" by Richard Matheson ends with the unidentified caller saying "Hello, Miss Elva. I'll be right over."
  • The Twilight Zone (1985):
    • In "Button, Button", Arthur and Norma Lewis are sent a button unit by Mr. Steward who tells them that if they press the button, they will receive $200,000 but someone whom they don't know will die. Norma presses the button over Arthur's objections. Mr. Steward returns the next day and tells them that the unit will be reprogrammed and given to someone whom they don't know, with the implication being that one of them will die. In the short story by Richard Matheson, it was Arthur who died when Norma pressed the button. When she challenged Mr. Steward on the matter, he said "Do you really think you knew your husband?" The change was made at the insistence of CBS executives, leading Matheson to take his name off the episode.
    • In "A Game of Pool", Jesse Cardiff challenges the ghost of Fats Brown to a pool game to determine which of them is the best and loses. Fats tells him that he will die forgotten as all second raters do. After Fats disappears, Jesse begins to practice furiously.]] In the original episode, Jesse wins the game. After his death, he has to spend his entire afterlife defending his title as the best pool player ever and winds up miserable. Although The Remake used the originally intended ending of the 1961 version, the production team did not tell the writer George Clayton Johnson, which angered him.
  • The Nightmare Room did this a few times
    • Don't Forget Me!: The book ended with the protagonist's friend addressing her and Peter by the wrong names, implying her memories of them have been replaced. The episode ends with the family moving away, only for another to move in.
    • Locker 13: The book had a rare happy ending for this series, while the episode had a teacher discovering the bad luck charm inside a frog that the protagonist placed it in.
    • My Name is Evil: Another happy ending, the episode had the main charecter giving in to their evil side, but only doing it to bad people.


  • The stage version of And Then There Were None had a different ending authored by Agatha Christie herself that changes the bleak Kill 'Em All ending of the book so that one or more characters survive. Many of the novel's adaptations in other media follow this ending, including the 1945 film and 1965 film. Also, in the book all the victims except the murderer were guilty of the crimes they were accused of by "U. N. Owen". Any survivors in film versions turn out to be innocent. Even the 1987 Soviet film and the 2015 BBC miniseries, the adaptations that stick the most faithfully to the book's ending, change the killer's explanation of how they pulled off their crime from a Message in a Bottle found only after their death (which wouldn't work very well in a film) to a Motive Rant delivered either in an internal monologue or to the last survivor.
  • This is not the only time Christie changed the ending of one of her works when adapting it for the stage. In the stage version of Appointment With Death, the novel's solution is replaced with Suicide, Not Murder.
  • Carousel is a musical adaptation of the play Liliom, which ends with the dead protagonist being escorted back to purgatory after striking his widow. Oscar Hammerstein made this Downer Ending into a Bittersweet Ending by having the protagonist stick around for one more scene, in which his daughter graduates and the entire cast sings a reprise of "You'll Never Walk Alone." Ferenc Molnar, author of Liliom, saw this ending and approved of it.
  • My Fair Lady is adapted from both the play Pygmalion and the 1938 film, and uses the latter's new ending in which Eliza returns to Higgins.
  • Oklahoma! has a Happily Ever After ending. The non-musical source play, Green Grow The Lilacs, has a more ambiguous ending, with Curly still awaiting trial for murder.
  • The musical Show Boat reunites Magnolia and her grown daughter Kim with Ravenal and Captain Andy for the final curtain. At the end of Edna Ferber's novel, Captain Andy and Parthy have both died, and Ravenal is Put on a Bus for good. Of the three film versions, only the first (mostly silent) one includes the deaths of Captain Andy and Parthy, and even that reunites Ravenal and Magnolia. The 1936 movie version has a variation on the stage ending (not a surprise, as Oscar Hammerstein adapted it himself); the 1951 version has a completely original ending which brings together Ravenal, Magnolia, Kim (still a child), Captain Andy, Parthy and even Julie.
  • The original play version of Jack Heifner's Vanities ended with the dissolution of the characters' friendship, but The Musical included a fourth scene where they patch things up.
  • Wicked replaces Elphaba and Fiyero's real deaths with Disney Deaths. While in the book Elphaba really does have a deadly allergy to water, here it's just a rumor that she takes advantage of to fake her own melting, and instead of being murdered for real, Fiyero is saved by Elphaba turning him into the Scarecrow. In the end, all of Oz thinks they're dead, but really they run away together.
  • Shakespeare's King Lear is a somewhat complicated example: in 1681, Nahum Tate wrote an adaptation in which Lear saves Cordelia from being hanged and is restored to his throne, while Cordelia marries Edgar (her canonical husband, the King of France, having been cut from this version). While modern audiences tend to find this level of adaptation of a Shakespeare play horrifying, Tate's changes proved quite successful in their own time; it was not until 1838 that the play's original ending became common in performance again. Less known to the modern reader, though, is that Shakespeare's play itself is also an example. The ending of Tate's adaptation is similar to that of Shakespeare's key source, anonymous play King Leir, although Leir has no Edgar as that subplot is Shakespeare's invention, as is the tragic ending. As Shakespeare's audience might have been familiar with the story from the earlier play and a number of other sources, the deaths of Cordelia and Lear must have been quite shocking to them.
  • John Luthor Long's original novella of Madame Butterfly has a Bittersweet Ending: Cho-Cho-San attempts suicide, but her maid Suzuki stops her and they take her child and run away rather than give the boy to Pinkerton and his wife. When David Belasco adapted the story as a one-act play, however, he changed the ending so that the heroine does commit suicide, and Puccini's opera followed suit.
  • In the fifth canto of The Divine Comedy, Dante meets the damned adulterous lovers Paolo and Francesca, hears Francesca's story, faints with pity and moves on with his journey after recovering. In the finale of Ambrois Thomas's opera Françoise de Rimini based on the canto, a heavenly choir led by Beatrice appears to announce Paolo and Francesca have been forgiven for their sins and shall ascend to Heaven.

    Theme Parks 
  • Several instances of this occur in the Disney Theme Parks:
    • Monsters, Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue! ends with Mike and Sulley having no trouble in returning Boo to her door while in the door hangar, and they apparently never see her again after that.
    • Mr. Toad's Wild Ride greatly deviates from the film it's based on once Toad is sent to prison. Instead of having his innocence proven, he is able to bust out on his own. Following that, he takes his motor mania so far that he ends up getting hit and killed by a train and ends up in Hell.
    • The original version of the Magic Kingdom's Snow White's Scary Adventures had the Evil Queen succeed in killing Snow White/the riders when she dropped a boulder onto them. Later versions would revert back to the original, happier ending where the queen dies and Snow White wakes up.
    • Stitch's Great Escape!, which is set during the beginning of Lilo & Stitch, ends with Stitch winding up in Florida instead of Hawaii.

    Video Games 
  • Dante's Inferno mostly follows Inferno's ending with Dante emerging from Hell on the opposite side of the Earth, walking towards Mount Purgatory. However, the ending cuts out Virgil and adds a major detail for a more action-oriented Sequel Hook: Satan takes the form of a serpent and slither towards Purgatory.
  • A few of the video games that adapt the storyline of Dragon Ball Z choose to end it an arc early with the Cell Saga, the most notable being Dragon Ball Z: Budokai. Since the arc ends with Goku choosing to stay dead and in the afterlife, this can make for a surprisingly bittersweet conclusion.
  • The arcade version of Double Dragon II: The Revenge ends after Billy and Jimmy defeat their shadows, showing a photograph of themselves and Marian (who gets killed during the opening) during happier times. In the NES version, the game continues with an additional stage (when played on the hardest difficulty) in which the Lee brothers confront an additional enemy after defeating shadows. Defeating this enemy results in the Lee brothers fulfilling a prophecy which restores Marian back to life.
  • When EarthBound Beginnings was first released as Mother for the Famicom in 1989, the ending simply had Ninten, Ana, and Lloyd face the camera after Giygas retreats, while the credits rolled behind them, after which Ninten and his friends vanish and the words "To Be Continued..." appear. Come the 1990 localization (which wouldn't be released for 25 years), Nintendo of America decided to replace this with a Where Are They Now ending to be better received by American children. This ending ended up working out a lot better in hindsight, given that the sequel focused on a completely different set of protagonists, so it was put into the Japanese GBA release as well.
  • Kingdom Hearts has a few cases of alternate endings in regards to the films they adapted.
  • Big Fish Games have adapted the works of Agatha Christie but changed some details about the original stories due to how well known the endings are. Their 2010 point and click adventure game of Murder on the Orient Express had the original ending and three curve balls. The first one? That isn't Pierre in the conductor's uniform. That's one of Daisy Armstrong's kidnappers seeking revenge against Cassetti! The second one? Cassetti didn't kill Daisy Armstrong - he killed the kidnapper's daughter by mistake! The third one? Daisy is on the train! The original story's Bittersweet Ending is made a bit sweeter with Daisy's reunion with her grandmother.
  • Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3: As the war was still ongoing at the time in the Naruto manga and anime, a non-canon ending to the story was made. Defeated, Tobi, Madara and Kabuto fall back, thus giving victory to the Allied Shinobi Forces. The Five Great Shinobi Countries shinobi return to their villages while Kage discuss on preparing for a counter-attack against Madara's group along with bettering the peace between them and their countries. Naruto is congratulated for his victory upon awakening from his battle with Tobi in Konoha and is spurred by the spirits of his parents to join his friends. Sasuke, however, leaves the Mountain's Graveyard to find Naruto.
  • The One Piece: Pirate Warriors games end differently compared to the original source:
    • Pirate Warriors 3 ends with Dressrosa arc. Because said arc was still ongoing by the time the game was released, the developers went for an alternate ending where Luffy and Law fight him in the arena.
    • Pirate Warriors 4 also does this with the Wano arc. However the Arc had been ongoing for a while, so certain story beats follow as close as they can and we get to see Kaido's devil fruit power.
  • Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled came with nearly all of the content of Crash Nitro Kart, but without its adventure mode. Consequently, when the final Grand Prix event added Emperor Velo XXVII as the only missing racer from itnote , he got reintroduced in the context of being Gasmoxia's true ruler as Oxide teams up with him for a grudge match with Earth's racers.

  • Dracula: Ruler of the Night: Unlike the novel, the climax takes place entirely in London and in the manor of a socialite friend of the Westenras whom Dracula takes over as his new base after Carfax Abbey is destroyed, subsequently making said friend into a new vampire bride. The climax is also to save Mina directly who was kidnapped by Dracula rather than prevent her turning. In the end, he and his initial three brides are staked. But Lucy, her mother, Minerva, (who was turned during the events of the story) and said friend, Ms. Petri, escape into the night. Mina still has some slight vampire features on her but isn't a full undead and Quincy, killed as he was in the novel, turns after his body is shipped back home to Texas for burial, as the hunters believed they had killed Dracula before that could happen.
  • The Order of the Stick's Stick Tales sometimes end up going in a different direction:
    • In Elan and the Beanstalk, max falling damage isn't enough to kill the giant, who isn't evil and is mostly concerned with making sure the goose, who is evil, stays locked up. Fortunately, all parties involved (including the wizard who made the cow-for-beans transaction) are able to come to a solution and everybody's happy (except for the goose).
    • In Haleo and Julelan, Haleo makes her second saving throw against the poison and wakes up before Julelan can finish stabbing himself to death (those 1d4s take a while to add up), and the two of them run off together.

    Web Videos 
  • This is a popular form of video spoofs on the internet. Take an existing film/series/game/what have you, and then create a fictional "alternate ending" by, for example, having the heroes die all of a sudden, take some step that would defeat the villain and end the movie in about 30 minutes, have the plot just take a complete left-field turn, etc.
  • Youtuber The Green Azumarill has made alternate endings of several episodes of Death Battle for those who weren't satisfied with the actual endings. These videos are mostly just the fight sequences of the episodes that are edited so that the loser of the fight looks like they won, often by cutting away from an attack that seems like it could kill the opponent, unlike in the actual episodes where the opponent survives and eventually wins. Of what reception these videos have, it seems to be mostly positive, with even some comments claiming that some of the alternate endings should be "the real ending".

    Western Animation 
  • DuckTales (1987) adapted more than one of Carl Barks' stories about Scrooge's adventures, but for some reason (possibly in some cases thanks to its more family-oriented nature), some of the endings got changed.
    • "The Status Seekers": In the comics story "The Status Seeker", Scrooge keeps the Candy-Striped Ruby as the gains of another successful treasure-hunting expedition. The episode has Scrooge throw away the mask that substituted for the ruby and his membership in the Association of Status Seekers to remain true to himself and his lower-class but loyal friends and family.
    • "The Golden Fleecing": For unknown reasons, the writers changed the way Scrooge tries to obtain the fleece from judging a cooking contest to having Launchpad act as "the big deipno"note  and get the fleece's location out of the harpies so Scrooge and the boys can find it. Additionally, the ending is changed from Scrooge losing interest in the fleece because it's too cold to serve as a replacement for his old coat to giving it up to save Launchpad from being roasted or eaten alive by the fleece's guardian.
    • The adaptation of "Tralla La" also has a changed ending, but in this case is because of Gizmoduck's presence: instead of the ducks being sent back to civilization as persona non grata to stop the rain of bottlecaps, Gizmoduck cleans the bottlecaps from Tralla La and the ducks part in better terms.
  • The Disney Silly Symphonies short "Babes in the Woods" (which is actually an adaptation of The Brothers Grimm story Hansel and Gretel'') changes the ending to where Hansel and Gretel are almost turned into animals by the witch forever, but they end up getting saved by the town of Dwarves they met earlier. And whereas the witch was killed by being kicked into an oven in the original story, the cartoon has her get turned into stone by the potion she was using on the children she had kidnapped.
  • Likewise, the Walt Disney short adaptation of The Three Little Pigs changes the ending so that all of the pigs and the wolf live, and the latter escapes from the pigs and runs off humiliated instead.
  • The Disney short cartoon "The Brave Engineer"; In real life, John Luther "Casey" Jones actually died in the train crash. The Disney cartoon lets him live.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures did an adaptation of Ernest Thayer's Casey at the Bat called Buster at the Bat, with Buster in the titular role. While the Disney version followed the poem, the Tiny Toons adaptation ends with a last-minute switch in the last line as Buster knocks a home run out of the park. When immediately called out on that not being how the poem ends, Buster retorts that he's the hero.
  • Part of the Family Guy episode "Wasted Talent" is a spoof of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory with one key change: in the original film, Charlie and Grampa Joe steal Wonka's Fizzy Lifting drinks and nearly get themselves killed floating up to a ceiling fan. Wonka gives no indication that he knew about the incident until after the factory tour, and although initially upset over them and revoking their lifetime supply of chocolate, he relents when Charlie returns the Everlasting Gobstopper that Slugworth was interested in. In the Family Guy parody, the Wonka expy was waiting for Peter and Brian outside the room with Permasuds (in execution similar to the Fizzy Lifting Drinks and in concept similar to the Everlasting Gobstoppers) and immediately kicks them out of the tour, leaving the rest of the episode to go in a different direction.


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