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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.
  • Or perhaps it was very ambiguous and they wanted to add more resolution.
  • Or perhaps the original was an Audience-Alienating Ending for one reason or another (possibly overlapping with one of the above) and they wanted to please the fans by giving them a more satisfying ending.
  • 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.
  • Death Note: The manga ends with Mikami revoking his opinion of Light as a god, calling him worthless trash instead. Light, completely out of options, begs Ryuk to kill all the people around him to spare himself from being arrested. Ryuk instead writes Light's name in his Death Note, Light having proven that he's totally out of ideas if he's desperate enough to ask Ryuk for help. The anime ends with Mikami staying loyal to Light, killing himself with a fountain pen to distract those around him while Light uses the opportunity to escape while injured. Rather than speaking with Light directly, Ryuk instead thinks to himself that he'd rather not wait around for Light to die in prison and his killing of Light comes off more as a Mercy Kill than a final insult.
    • The live-action film, Death Note: The Last Name, veers even farther away from the source material while simultaneously retaining the sequence of Light asking Ryuk to kill his captors. Rather than being killed by Rem, L instead immunizes himself from the Death Note's effects by writing his own name in it ahead of time with the condition that he won't die until twenty-three days later. Having proven to the Task Force that Light is Kira and with himself unable to die from Light writing his name, Light tries to get Ryuk to kill everyone else with the hope that he and Misa can physically overpower L so long as he has no other backup. Like the manga, Ryuk instead writes Light's own name, though at least in this version Soichiro is alive to share Light's final moments.
  • 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 first part of Megazone 23 ends with main protagonist Shogo Yahagi getting thrashed by his nemesis, B.D., after witnessing one of his friends, Tomomi, get killed. He survives, albeit severely wounded to the point of near death, with another one of his friends, Mai, leaving, with girlfriend Yui left all alone. When this part was adapted into the movie of Robotech, thanks to Executive Meddling on Cannon Films' part, it ends with Shogo (who, in the Robotech version, is now "Mark Landry") racing to the airport to save Professor Embry (who, in Megazone, was Mayor Yumekano, who was merely a supporting character originally) from a cloned Colonel B.D. Andrews' army, defeating him, and reuniting with Yui (Becky).
  • 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 that 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 body)'s deteriorating 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 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.
  • The anime adaptation of Violet Evergarden had a significantly different ending than the original novels; 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 
  • Kull the Conqueror (1971) directly adapts one of the most famous Robert E. Howard Kull stories, "By This Axe I Rule", midway through its run. The Conspiracy, aided by a new ally, finally makes its move to depose the king. In the original story, their new ally is an infamous bandit leader, and Kull barely defeats them. In the comic, Kull loses, and the conspiracy's ally is revealed to be the ancient evil sorcerer Thulsa Doom, Kull's arch-enemy, who seizes control of the kingdom. The story is a Wham Episode that repositions the rest of the comic's run (now renamed to ''Kull the Destroyer'!), with the fugitive Kull trying to regain his throne.
  • The comic book adaptation of Metal Gear Solid has an Everybody Lives ending, where the two endings of the original game are combined into one and both Otacon and Meryl leave Shadow Moses together with Snake. In the original game, Otacon lives but stays in Shadow Moses, and Snake leaves with Meryl in the good ending; while Meryl dies and Snake leaves with Otacon in the bad ending. The Rail Shooter scene in the game, where Snake has to clear a path while escaping Shadow Moses, and the final chase with Liquid, are also Adapted Out.
  • 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 
  • 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 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.
  • 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. There is a sequel based on the time skip from the book, however.
    • 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.
  • Gnomeo & 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 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 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 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 (2015), 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.
  • Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths: The film is a loose adaptation of the graphic novel JLA: Earth-2 and changes things so that instead of the Justice League being forced to leave the Crime Syndicate's universe after learning that theirs is a world where evil always triumphs over good, the League are successfully able to defeat the Crime Syndicate and end their reign over the planet.
  • The Last of the Mohicans ended on something of a downer, one of the colonel’s daughters Cora is killed by one of Magua’s men and Uncas the son of Chingachgook is killed by Magua during their final confrontation, leaving Chingachgook as the last living Mohican and when he dies the Mohican tribe will go extinct, the Hanna-Barbera version has Uncas survive and Alice leaves with him to marry him and repopulate the Mohican tribe.
  • 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.

    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.
  • The 1999 live-action version of Animal Farm ends with some animals escaping the farm after they realise what tyranny they are living under. The movie cuts to few years later as farm is destroyed by Napoleon's incompetence, with surviving animals watching as the new human family moves in.
  • 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.
  • One of the complaints about The Bonfire of the Vanities was that it changed the ending from Tom Wolfe's original novel, though, admittedly, the movie ending is a little better. In the original novel Sherman plays the tape of Marla admitting she was the hit & run driver, but since he didn't record it himself, it's inadmissible as evidence, so he gets convicted and loses everything, while Marla and the others become a Karma Houdini. The film, on the other hand has the judge acquit Sherman, despite knowing he perjured himself by claiming the recording of Marla was his own, then gives the court a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, pointing out how those who accused & tried to convict Sherman are no better than he is, and Sherman is said to have disappeared.
  • Casino Royalenote  greatly simplifies the ending of the novel. Whereas in the novel a SMERSH operative kills Le Chiffre and Vesper commits suicide after being revealed to have been a mole for the bad guys against her will, here Le Chiffre is killed by Bond himself and Valerie (Vesper's counterpart) survives.
  • Catherine Called Birdy (2022): The film ends with Rollo dueling Shaggy Beard to negate the betrothal, so Birdy can spend more time with her family. This is a deviation from the novel, where Shaggy Beard dies and his more likable son inherits the betrothal to Birdy.
  • Children of the Corn (1984): The original short story ends with Vicky being killed by the children, Burt being trapped and devoured by He Who Walks Behind the Rows, and the latter punishing the children for their failed sacrifices by lowering the age of favor to 18. As all the 18-year-olds prepare themselves for sacrifice, He Who Walks Behind the Rows instructs the children to "be fruitful and multiply." In the film, Burt and Vicky survive, convince most of the children to leave the cult, kill He Who Walks Behind the Rows by torching the cornfield, defeat Isaac and Rachael, and leave with the freed children.
  • Clifford the Big Red Dog: Unlike the original book series and it's TV adaptation, Clifford and his family don't move away from the city that the story starts in.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The film adaptation of Ender's Game ended with Valentine staying on Earth instead of joining Ender, leaving him to wander the galaxy alone.
  • 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.
  • In the original Fletch novel, Alan Stanwyk gets gunned down from a distance by the chief of police (having tailed Fletch and mistaken Stanwyk for him) while explaining his plan and Fletch grabs his 3 millions getaway money, heading to Brazil to start a new life for himself. In the movie, the two are revealed to be in cahoot for the drug operation on the beach: the chief kills Stanwyk after Fletch exposes his plan to leave with some of the drug money and a fight ensues where Fletch and Gail Stanwyk subdue him and turn him over to the authorities, after which the pair take a temporary vacation in Brazil. Since the plot of most of the sequel novels hinged on Fletch's status as a secret millionaire, the author wrote the prequel book Fletch Won specifically to be easier to adapt as a sequel to the movie.
  • In the book Fight Club, the protagonist tries to destroy one building, but fails when Tyler botches the explosive mixture (which the book foreshadows in the opening chapter). The Narrator ends up in a mental institution — though he considers it Heaven — and some of its wardens are members of Project Mayhem, who patiently wait for Tyler to return from the depths of the Narrator's mind. The book also explicitly says the mental split happened the moment the Narrator fell in love with Marla — the Tyler psyche loved her, while his regular psyche hated her — while the movie only hinted at this. In the movie, the Narrator manages to regain his sanity, but eleven buildings end up annihilated by Tyler's explosives, with the Narrator and Marla hold hands while watching in awe. Nice big cock, roll credits. Chuck Palahniuk has gone on record saying he liked the movie's ending more than his.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Frankenstein:
  • The Hunter: The book and the film have the hunt resolve similarly but have different conclusions for the subplot with the family Martin is staying with. In the book, Sass becomes a full-time resident of a children's hospital after narrowly surviving a house fire, her mother descends fully into addiction, and Bike is taken away by social services. In the film, Lucy and Sass don't make it out of the burning house and it is implied that Martin adopts Bike.
  • 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 Ωmega 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Film of the Book of The Lincoln Lawyer 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.
  • A Little Princess (1995) radically changes the climax. In the book, 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 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.
  • 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 film's 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.
  • Matilda: In the original book, Matilda loses her telekinesis in the epilogue — Miss Honey postulates that her powers were caused by having an overabundance of brainpower and nothing to use it on, which is no longer the case now that she's in more advanced classes that actually challenge her properly. In the film, the narrator says she never has to use her powers again — she still has them, but uses them only for trivial tasks like summoning a book from across the room.
  • The McKenzie Break: In the book, the escape tunnel collapses prematurely, and only one Nazi escapes (plus the two who escaped earlier to do advance work). When they make it to the coast where two U-boats are waiting, they are captured immediately, and nearby Allied ships and planes sink one of the U-boats while the other narrowly escapes. In the film, there is only one U-boat, which escapes, but Connor forces it to abandon Schluter and three others by strafing the area from a plane.
  • Minority Report: The short story has a typically Philip K. Dick Mind Screw ending; Anderton's access to the raw data from the precogs meant that he could be the subject of three minority reports, and the two wildly diverging minority reports with the same outcome were erroneously averaged by the computer system into a majority report. This was also what happened. The glitch in the system is plugged by ensuring that the Commissioner of Pre-Crime is kept under conventional surveillance, and life goes on with Pre-Crime protecting the world. In the film the Big Bad (who doesn't exist in the short story) manipulates Anderton through Pre-Crime to cover up the way Pre-Crime acquired it's precogs, and ends with Anderton either imprisoned in his own mind or with Pre-Crime disbanded, depending on whether or not you believe the fan theories.
  • Les Misérables (1935) ends with Javert's suicide, omitting the months of further plot development from the novel that end with Valjean's death.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The Natural: In the original book, Roy takes the Judge's bribe, strikes out and ends his career in defeat and disgrace. In the film however, he refuses the money, manages to hit the home run, and becomes a baseball legend.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Although Our Ladies (2019) still ends with the girls ditching school as in the novel The Sopranos (Warner), this leads to a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue which gives them endings that aren't congruent with what we learn about them in the sequel novel The Stars in the Bright Sky save for some marginal overlap. Kay still gets an abortion. Orla still dies, but the The Stars in the Bright Sky mentions this happening a few years later than this epilogue says. Manda does fall pregnant during the Time Skip between the novels, but not by the Bouncer, and she's implied to still be living with her dad rather than in her own council flat. This is then followed a non-diegetic Dance Party Ending where the cast lipsync along to a cover of In a Big Country.
  • 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.
  • The 1940 film adaptation of Our Town changes the huge Downer Ending in which Emily dies in childbirth into an extended dream sequence.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 original Stardust ends with Tristran dying after a long and happy reign as the King of Stormhold, while Yvaine continues to rule without him as the immortal Queen. The film version (which also changes his name from Tristran to Tristan) changes it so Tristan is functionally immortal since he has the heart of a star. However, after decades of reigning together he and Yvaine use the Babylon candle to return to the stars so they can be together forever. There's also the detail from the books that implies that Yvaine's nature makes it impossible for her to have children whereas in the movie she and Tristan are mentioned as having grandchildren.
  • 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.
  • 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.
    • Cell: The book version has Clay and company destroying the Kashwak flock and Clay finding his son, with hope for Johnny to recover. The movie ends with Clay part of the phoner flock.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

  • A book adaptation of Disney's The Aristocats has a different ending from the film it's based on. In the movie, O'Malley gets captured by Edgar when he tries to rescue Duchess and her kittens from him, and needs to be rescued by Scat Cat and his friends, who end up locking Edgar in the trunk he tried to ship the cats to Timbuktu in, with Madame being oblivious to this the entire time. In the book adaptation, O'Malley successfully rescues Duchess and her kittens, Madame finds out about Edgar's plan, and fires Edgar.
  • 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.
  • King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table: Like in Tennyson's Idylls of the King, Gareth ends up with Linnet and Gaheris with Liones; in the source material, Le Morte D Arthur, it's the other way around.
  • 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.
  • Longsummer Nights, "Seeds of Solace": Alessia is implied to be one of the three gorgons from the myth of Perseus and Medusa, and one of her statues to be Perseus himself. This would mean that unlike in most versions of the story where Perseus emerges triumphant after killing Medusa, here he lost.
  • Oliver Twisted: In the original story, Oliver Twist, Charley Bates gets a Heel–Face Turn, Dodger gets arrested, and Fagin is hanged for his crimes. In this novel, Fagin and his gang, including Charley, save for Dodge successfully evade capture from the Knights of Nostradamus and are nowhere to be found. Dodge instead does a Heel–Face Turn, aids in Oliver's rescue and they become True Companions.
  • 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 fiancé and company.
  • Qixiannu Zheng Zhuan, a book adaptation of the myth of Dong Yong and the Seventh Fairy offers a happier ending to the original myth. Depending on the version of the myth, the original story either ends in a Bittersweet Ending where the Seventh Fairy ends her marriage to Dong Yong and returns to heaven herself once his debt is paid and his son is born, or, in the more commonly known version, an outright Downer Ending where the Seventh Fairy is yanked back to heaven by the Jade Emperor against her will. The book on the other hand, ends with Dong Yong being given a choice by the Jade Emperor to cultivate and ascend to heaven be with the Seventh Fairy or to have her become mortal by having her immortal essence sucked out of her body, they both choose the latter and live Happily Ever After as mortals.
  • 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.
  • Space Jam: In the Junior Novelization, the Road Runner comes in and scores the second-to-last points of the game instead of Bill Murray. This was actually based on the original planned ending for the film.
  • 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.
  • A Golden Look-Look Book adaptation of the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Rock 'n Roar" expands upon the episode's original ending. In the book adaptation, after Buster sets Rover, his pet dinosaur free, he picks up what looks like his soccer ball to trick Montana Max into thinking that there was no dinosaur, only to discover that he instead picked up a dinosaur egg that hatches into a baby girl dinosaur.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon ends with Megatron weakening Sentinel Prime and then sarcastically asking for a truce, only for Optimus to kill him and then Sentinel. In the novelization, Megatron instead saves Optimus and teams up with him to kill Sentinel, then realizing the pointlessness of the conflict declares that the Autobots and Decepticons enter a truce to rebuild Cybetron without harming Earth and letting their long conflict end once and for all with all sides agreeing.

    Live-Action TV 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 character giving in to their evil side, but only doing it to bad people.
  • 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.
  • 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 Rise of Phoenixes: The novel ends with Zhi Wei and Ning Yi faking their deaths to go and live quietly away from the palace. The series ends with Zhi Wei committing suicide.
  • The Sandman: The episode "A Hope in Hell" adapts an issue of The Sandman called "Passengers", in which a woman named Rosemary gives a lift to the deranged John Dee. The original version ends with a Hope Spot where it seems like John has been impressed by Rosemary's kindness and is going to let her go unharmed, and then he kills her anyway. This adaptation inverts that ending: it seems like John is going to kill Rosemary, but instead he lets her go unharmed because he's been impressed by her kindness. The change reflects a shift in John Dee's characterization from the comic to the screen: in the TV series, he has a warped world view from his upbringing but is still capable of recognizing the good in people, whereas in the comic he was an unrepentant agent of chaos with no regard for other people.
  • Saturday Night Live frequently has sketches about parodic versions of alternate endings.
    • One sketch shows an alternate ending to It's a Wonderful Life, where George Bailey (Dana Carvey) and the people of Bedford Falls beating up Mr. Potter, who was a Karma Houdini in the original movie.
    • Another sketch is an alternate ending to Titanic (1997), showing host Bill Paxton, reprising the role of Brock Lovett, and the deep sea diving team beating the crap out of old Rose (Cheri Oteri) out of annoyance with her story, with Titanic director James Cameron appears at the end explaining why he scrapped this ending.
  • Scarlet Heart: In the novel that the TV series adapted from, Zhang Xiao doesn't return to the present time of China after she dies in the Qing dynasty era in another person's body. This ending got slightly changed in the TV version. Instead of just dying and remaining stuck in that time period, Zhang Xiao awakens from her coma after her car accident that brought her back into that time period, she ends up seeing a reincarnated version of Yin Zhen in a museum but he unfortunately doesn't recognize her. She feels extremely guilt-ridden for all the things she had done while stuck in his time period and doesn't say anything to him other than taking her glasses off as the tears start to fall down on her face.
  • Sweet Home (2020): In the webtoon the remaining survivors make it to the mountain safely after Hyun-su and Eun-hyuk sacrificed themselves in the process of defeating the Big Bad and they eventually find themselves in a military encampment. In the series, the remaining survivors encounter the military right after emerging to a snowy cityscape after hours of walking through an underground tunnel network. They're escorted off to a van except for Yi-kyung, who parts ways to find answers about her fiancé on her own after the military refuses to co-operate with her due to the survivors' actions. Meanwhile, Hyun-su wakes up to find himself being driven by a possessed Sang-wook to somewhere. Cue Fade to White.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959):
    • The original short story of "The Chaser" consists of just one scene in the potion-seller's shop and ends with the young man buying the love potion, only hinting that eventually his lady-love's devotion will become smothering and he'll come back to buy the "glove cleaner" to get rid of her. The episode's Adaptation Expansion shows these things happening, and adds a new Twist Ending where Roger is about to serve Leila poisoned champagne, only to drop and shatter the cups when she reveals that she's pregnant with his child.
      • The Tales from the Crypt episode "Loved to Death" adapts the same story, but has yet another Twist Ending: the male lead accidentally drinks the poison himself, dies, and finds himself in the afterlife, only for the woman to suddenly join him there, having killed herself so they could be Together in Death, meaning that he'll be trapped with her obsessive love for all eternity.
    • "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.

  • Dimension X: In the original "Time and Time Again" by H. Beam Piper, the transfer of the 43-year-old Allan Hartley's mind into his 13-year-old self's body in 1945 is seemingly permanent. However, when it was adapted into episode thirty-nine, the process reverses after only a few hours and the older Allan dies in both body and mind in 1975. As such, the radio version leaves it ambiguous as to whether his father Blake will succeed in being elected President in 1960 and preventing the outbreak of World War III. While he only has a vague impression of the events that the next thirty years will bring, he is determined to save his son's life. Blake also has the list of the race winners up to 1970 that Allan gave him before his mind returned to the future so that he can still raise the necessary capital.
  • The BBC Radio 4 Discworld adaptations:
    • Wyrd Sisters ends with Verence II becoming king, but rather than him being the entirely non-royal son of the elder Fool and his wife, and getting the throne through the Exact Words of the witches saying he and Tomjon are brothers, he is indeed the son of the king and Mrs Fool, just like everyone thinks. Oddly, the adaptation keeps the reveal that Tomjon is the son of the elder Fool and the queen, meaning they're not brothers.
    • The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents ends much the same as the book, with the rats being accepted by the town and Keith becoming the official Rat Piper, but adds that he married Malicia and Maurice became their pet cat, whereas the last scene in the book is Maurice finding another stupid-looking kid and beginning another scam.

  • The stage version of And Then There Were None had a different ending authored by Agatha Christie herself that changes the bleak "Everybody Dies" 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.
  • 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.
  • Zigzagged in Jasper in Deadland. Early on, Gretchen implies that Jasper and Agnes will wind up suffering the same fate as Orpheus and Eurydice, only to have the show pretend to go for a different Downer Ending multiple times.
    • Once Jasper and Agnes regain their lost memories, they realize that they aren't even sure that the Living World is worth returning to, and prepare to drink more Lethe-brand Water to erase their memories again. This gets subverted when Eurydice herself arrives and convinces Jasper that life is Worth Living For.
    • After Jasper and Agnes reach Pluto, he initially refuses to give them the same offer that he gave Orpheus. Unwilling to accept Agnes' death, Jasper offers his own life in exchange for Agnes being allowed to return to the surface. Touched by this sacrifice, Persephone convinces Pluto to let them both leave.
    • Finally, after being told not to look back while swimming through the River Lethe, Jasper almost makes the same mistake as Orpheus, but is saved by Eurydice again. Then when he reaches the surface, for a moment it seems like Agnes didn't make it.
  • 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.
  • The first act of Les Indes galantes ends with Emilie sailing for France with her fiancé Valére after Osman Pasha, Valére’s rival for her affections, settles on I Want My Beloved to Be Happy. In the 2014 Bordeaux staging, Emilie ultimately chooses to break up with Valére and stay with Osman.
  • L'Orfeo has this compared to the myth it's based on; after losing Eurydice again, Apollo appears to take Orpheus to Olympus. Notably, the original ending to the opera hewed much closer to the myth, with the Bacchantes vowing to hunt Orpheus down and ending in a wild rave.
  • 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.
  • 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 2019 revival changed the ending where instead of attacking Curly with a knife at the wedding, Jud gives him a gun as a wedding present and essentially forces Curly to shoot him. After this, the cast reprised "Oklahoma!" but done in a way that they all looked broken by what had occurred.
  • Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice has a happy ending, as once Orpheus turns around and loses Eurydice again, Cupid brings her back to life as a reward for their undying love.
  • 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.

    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 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When EarthBound Beginnings was first released as MOTHER for the Famicom in 1989, the ending simply had the protagonist, Ana, and Lloyd face the camera after Giygas retreats, while the credits rolled behind them, after which the protagonist and his friends vanish and the words "To Be Continued" appear. Come the 1990 localization (which wouldn't be released for 25 years), the developers decided to replace this with a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue to be better received by American players. 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.
  • In I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream, Harlan Ellison was convinced by the devs to include a Golden Ending (requiring significant effort on the players' part) in which the player manages to save the human race as they were concerned about a Too Bleak, Stopped Caring situation. It paid off and the game remains a Cult Classic to this day, although it's all too easy to end up in a Downer Ending that preserves the And I Must Scream ending of the original story.
  • Kingdom Hearts has a few cases of alternate endings in regards to the films they adapted.
  • The remake of Live A Live has an alternative ending in the "Ninja" chapter if you went "full genocide" and killed 100 people in Ode Iou's Castle. If you went the pacifist or neutral route, the ending plays out pretty much like the SNES original, with Ryoma Sakamoto complimenting you and (if you didn't kill anyone) giving you Oboro's Infinity +1 Sword while the sun rises in a clear morning sky. If, however, you killed all 100 people in Ode's castle, the sky suddenly darkens with black clouds covering the morning sun, and a strong thunderstorm starts while the narration simply states the number of lives you've taken. This is a nod to Undertale, which was in fact largely inspired by the SNES original, implying that the murders you commited will weigh on Oboro's conscience and implies that what you did will have dark consequences for the future of Japan.
  • 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.
  • In the original RoboCop Versus The Terminator comic, Murphy went back in time after defeating Skynet to the start of the story and destroy it before Judgment Day can happen. In the SNES version of the game, Murphy opts to stay in the future to help humanity rebuild after destroying Skynet.
  • In Marvel Super Hero Squad: The Infinity Gauntlet, the game concludes with Iron Man beating the Dark Surfer and restoring him to his Silver Surfer self and the duo dispose of the Infinity Sword and Stones by tossing them into a wormhole whereas in the cartoon, the Squad works together to bring down Dark Surfer and turn him back to normal with Silver Surfer being willingly taken into custody by Ronan the Accuser.

  • 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 Original 
  • In all previous adaptations of "Pop Goes the Diesel", Diesel is laughed at by the trucks after trying and failing to move some old rusty ones, then sent away from Sodor after making up lies about Duck. In the "Thomas and Friends Storytime" adaptation, however, Diesel refuses to let Duck show him what to do, then listens to Duck's advice after failing to move the trucks and is allowed to stay on Sodor.

    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".
    • One example, in his version of the infamous Gaara vs. Toph episode (this being his very first of the videos): the battle ends with Gaara performing his signature Sand Coffin/Sand Burial combination (which, according to Gaara in-series, is a painless death) on Toph, killing her instantly (headphone users beware because her death scream is really loud). Another Youtuber has also made a similar video that's basically the full episode of Gaara vs. Toph, but with the same alternate ending (and is of higher quality).
    • Another example is his version of Meta vs. Carolina, where it's changed from a Near-Villain Victory to a Hope Spot ending.
  • In GameToons's take on Squid Game, Player and Noob are the only two to survive through all six games and the ending was overall uplifting as light shines upon them. In the original Squid Game, only Gi-Hun makes it out alive and the ending was more somber.

    Western Animation 
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, Pawtucket Pat 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


Video Example(s):


The Ant and the Grasshopper

Sam the Eagle reads to the audience the fable of 'The Ant and the Grasshopper'. Much to his horror, the ending has been changed.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / SpoofAesop

Media sources: