Matching scenes at the beginning and end of a story, often to show how things have changed through the course of the series, or that they haven't changed at all.
This is extensively used in kids' shows to illustrate the characters applying the lesson they learned today, which happens to apply to the issue presented in the beginning. Ya'know, just in case they didn't catch it. In any work, bookends are a way to show if Character Development has occurred.
Compare and contrast Here We Go Again!, How We Got Here, Where It All Began. See also Call-Back, Ironic Echo. Often utilized in an And the Adventure Continues ending, with the last scene of the series mimicking the first, regardless of how long it's been running. In music, this is often a component of Album Closure. See Mirror Character for a similar concept applied to characters.
Warning: Bookends don't always spoil the ending, but they usually do. So, watch out for spoilers ahead!
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- The Montana Meth Project has some chilling public service announcements with these two having the bookends.
- The first video shows a girl trying meth with her friends, saying she's only going to do it once. Cut to the next scene, where she uses meth again, still saying it's only once more. This was repeated a few more times, with the girl getting worse by the use of meth. At the end, the girl is shown unconscious on her bed, her fate ambiguous. Her younger sister then takes some meth from her older sister's jean pocket, saying she's only going to do it once.
- The next video shows a young man trying meth, also saying that he'll only do it once, as he doesn't want to be like "that guy", a meth-addicted psycho, which scarily resembles him. He then tries meth once again, also with the same promise. Repeat a few times with the man getting more addicted, and he ends up being exactly like "that guy". In the end, a young girl buys some meth with the promise of only trying it once, as she doesn't want to be like "that guy". Which is obviously the guy before.
- An Australian alcohol awareness advertisement opened with a father asking his son to get him a beer at a party, followed the son's descent into alcoholism, then ended with the son as an adult, asking his son to get him a beer at a party, with the implication that his son's life would follow the same course as his own.
- The Drinking and Driving Wrecks Lives ad "Mark" begins and ends with the narrator calling Mark "a great blokenote ".
- Every episode of the Latvian cartoon Fantadroms began and ended with a shot of Indrikis (the show's main character) sneezing, for whatever reason.
- Happy Heroes: The story begins with Kalo looking up at the sky, musing to himself that heroes are believed to turn into stars in the sky once they die, as rays of hope for the people, and wondering if he'll even become a star himself. Arcas tells Careful S. the same thing after the story's over, in relation to Kalo actually having died.
- The Noonbory and the Super 7 episode "Pongdybory's Cold Feet" begins and ends with this exchange between Pongdybory and Noonbory.
Bory 1note : (sneezes)Bory 2note : Sounds like you're getting a cold, (name).
- Nintendo Power:
- The cover of the last issue (featuring New Super Mario Bros. U) is based on its first issue's cover (featuring Super Mario Bros. 2).
- When the Nintendo Tip Line opened, its very first call was a question about The Legend of Zelda. Coincidentally, the very last call before the line was closed was a question about The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
- The cover of Doctor Who Magazine issue 500 is a remake of its first issue's cover.
- Brazilian movie magazine SET had in its last page "Nostalgia", featuring a famous movie image. Once the section was finished on issue 199, they went back to the first picture, Gilda.
- Older Than Dirt: The Epic of Gilgamesh starts with a narration that extols the might of the walls of Uruk, which seem to be meant to emphasize the glory of their builder, the king Gilgamesh. Until, of course, Gilgamesh fails to gain eternal life, and in the final line of the epic, he speaks the same passage to his new traveling companion Urshanabi. (Scholarly opinion is divided whether this is intended as Ironic Echo, or an affirmation that true immortality is found in lasting greatness of a man's works.)
- In the Gospel of Mark, when Jesus is baptized, the heavens split in half and God announces that Jesus is His son. At the Crucifixion of Jesus, a curtain depicting the heavens in the Temple of Jerusalem tears in half and exposes the Ark of the Covenant (figuratively God's presence, representing his departure from the Temple).
- The Welcome to Night Vale episode "One Year Later" follows up on many of the plotlines first introduced in the pilot episode. The opening lines are nearly identical.
- Each regular episode of '80s All Over (and many of the Patreon bonus episodes) starts with the sound of a VHS tape being popped into a VCR and ends with the tape being popped out and put in a rewinder.
- "The Cremation of Sam McGee" by Robert Service both begins and ends with the same stanza, referring to the queerest sight ever seen by the Northern Lights (namely the eponymous cremation). The poem in between these stanzas describes the events of Sam's death, his subsequent cremation, and what the narrator saw when he looked into Sam's funeral pyre. He saw Sam sitting up "looking cool, and calm", happy to be warm for the first time since leaving his home in Tennessee.
There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men that toil for gold
The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Labarge that I cremated Sam McGee
- Jabberwocky (largely nonsense):
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe,
All mimsy were the borogroves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.
- Rudyard Kipling's Ballad of East and West starts with
- And the poem ends with The Hero giving a speech as to exactly why Defeat Equals Friendship, using the same lines.
- The poetic device called a chiasmus is this trope defined.
- The first and last lines of the short poem "Jenny Kiss'd Me" are the title.
- Dota 2: In The International 2019, OG's Main Stage run started and ended with Io, playing it as a carry in both game 1 of the Upper Bracket Quarterfinals and game 4 of the Grand Finals, the latter being their tournament-winning victory. These were also the only two games in this stage where OG got to play Io and ended both by fountain diving in soul-breaking fashion.
- Lance Storm began his wrestling career in 1990 with a match against fellow Hart Dungeon alum, Chris Jericho. In 2005, he came out of retirement for one last match at ECW One Night Stand against Chris Jericho.
- The first and last Nitro both had Ric Flair vs. Sting.
- If you accept the reunion show put on by Dynamo Pro, then Delirious's first and last opponent in Gateway Championship Wrestling was The Irish Luchador Billy McNeil.
- In 2002, Triple H started his second major heel run by returning to Raw and Pedigreeing Shawn Michaels to squash a D-Generation X reunion. HHH would end up turning face in 2006 by reforming DX with HBK.
- The 2010 Feud of the Year began when Kevin Steen smashed El Generico in the face with a steel chair after they lost to The Young Bucks at Final Battle 2009. One year later, during the main event of Final Battle 2010, Generico uses that very steel chair, still smeared with his own blood, and in the same arena where his former best friend betrayed and abandoned him, smashes it across Steen's face to win their grudge match and send Steen packing from Ring of Honor.
- Roman Reigns began his ascent to the top of WWE by winning the 2015 Royal Rumble, where Philadelphia booed him straight out of the building. He completed his ascent on the December 14, 2015 of RAW by winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, in that same city, and the very same crowd that hissed and jeered at him couldn't cheer loud enough, happily celebrating his win.
- The Shield's dissolution when Seth Rollins turned on his teammates happened in the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, the same arena that hosted the 2012 Survivor Series that the stable debuted.
- In Progress Wrestling, Jimmy Havoc's title run started with a pinfall counted by Jim Smallman and ended with a pinfall counted by Jim Smallman (one of the people who own the company).
- On WWE NXT, Sami Zayn and Adrian Neville's slow-burning feud begins when Zayn loses a number one contender's match for the NXT Championship against Neville. After the match, Neville extends his hand for a handshake but Zayn kicks his hand away... only to pull him in for a hug, showing that there are no hard feelings despite Zayn's loss. A year later, when their friendship is strained and the feud is at its peak, Zayn finally beats Neville for the NXT Championship at TakeOver: R Evolution. Post-match, the kicked hand-to-hug sequence plays out again Â only this time with the roles reversed.
- Edge: Before his surprise return to WWE in 2020, the very last move that he used in a televised WWF/E match was the Spear, the same move that was his very first in a televised match for that promotion. He also just happened to fight a Hispanic wrestler in both his first and "last" match (Puerto Rican Jose Estrada on the former, Mexican Alberto Del Rio on the latter).
- WALTER's run with the Defiant Wrestling's Internet Title starts with him defeating two departing wrestlers (Travis Banks -who just signed with WWE- and Zack Sabre Jr. -due to schedule conflicts with New Japan Pro-Wrestling-) and ends with him being the departing one (to WWE), losing it at the hands of Martin Kirby.
- Terri Poch began and ended her on-screen career associated with Scott Levy. Her first role, in NWA Pacific Northwest Wrestling in Portland was as Taylor Made Medina, an assistant to Scotty the Body. Her last role was as Raven's masked Ninja woman in WWE in early 2001.
- Defiant Wrestling's first and last special events before folding for good were called Built to Destroy.
- While Jushin Thunder Liger initially debuted under his real name of Keiichi Yamada in 1984, he unveiled the Liger persona at the first-ever Tokyo Dome wrestling show in April 1989, which was also the first Tokyo Dome wrestling show of the Heisei era* . He would end his career in January 2020... in the first Tokyo Dome wrestling show of the Reiwa era* .
- The Undertaker began his WWE career on November 22, at Survivor Series 1990. Exactly thirty years later, at the same event, he made his final farewell to the WWE Universe.
- Adam Cole made his NXT debut at the end of TakeOver: Brooklyn III. Four years later, his last appearance was at TakeOver 36. Both occurred during SummerSlam weekend.
- Paige made her main roster debut on the Raw after WrestleMania XXX, which took place in New Orleans, Louisiana. Four years later, she announced her retirement from in-ring competition on the Raw after 'Mania 33, also in New Orleans, where she debuted.
- Dimension X:
- In "The Man in the Moon", the episode begins with a character reciting the names and descriptions of people who had recently gone missing. The episode also ends with that character reciting the names and descriptions of people who had recently gone missing, which now includes the protagonist.
- "Pebble in the Sky": Robert Browning's poem isn't quoted in this adaptation of Pebble in the Sky, but the title is. First the narrator uses the title to describe how Earth is an ignored backwater planet, then at the end of the episode, Dr Arvardan uses the title to describe how Earth will be the only planet left with human beings.
- A surprising, yet completely unintentional, meta example in Dino Attack RPG. Alpha Team: Mission Deep Freeze RPG, which introduced PeabodySam to Play-by-Post Games and thus directly led to the creation of Dino Attack RPG, its Spiritual Successor, was started on December 21, 2004. Dino Attack: At War's End finally ended on December 21, 2012, exactly eight years later. Things truly do come full circle after all.
- The first scene of Ruby Quest is Ruby waking up in darkness, and pressing a red button to turn on the lights, which reveals her to be in a locker. The final scene is Daisy waking up in darkness, and pressing a red button to turn on the lights, which reveals her to be in a locker.
- The National Hockey League's Department of Player Safety maintains a video channel for the public release of explanations of supplemental discipline. They're basically video essays; they start with a one-sentence summary of the punishment issued, then go into background and detail before restating the punishment.
- The first football game of the Southwest Conference, a major NCAA league from 1915 to 1996, saw Rice host Baylor. The SWC's final football game, played in 1995,* was also hosted by Rice, this time against its crosstown rival Houston.
- The Montreal Expos played their first game in existence against the New York Mets. Before moving to Washington to become the Nationals, they also played their last ever game against the New York Mets. Both games took place at Shea Stadium.
- In Rugby Union, the Heineken Cup was the top European club competition from the 199596 season through 201314, after which it was replaced by the current European Rugby Champions Cup (though Heineken has since come back as the competition's name sponsor). The first-ever Heineken Cup was won by French club Toulouse, which went on to win France's national championship. The last Heineken Cup was won by another French club, Toulon, which also went on to win the French championship.
- Kobe Bryant first scored in the NBA on November 5, 1996 against the New York Knicks. He scored his last point in the NBA on April 13, 2016 against the Utah Jazz. Both points were from the free-throw line.
- The Red Sox's first World Series loss during the Curse of the Bambino, which began with trading star Babe Ruth to the Yankees, was to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1946. The team they beat to end the 86 year drought? The St. Louis Cardinals. Bonus points as the player that got the last out, Edger Rentería, was wearing number 3 just like the Babe.
- In their 2018 season, their ace Chris Sale served as their first starter that year. Come the World Series that October, Sale was called upon to serve as the closer in the final inning of Game 5. Sale started the Sox's season, and he ended it.
- Both the Chicago White Sox' and the Boston Red Sox' respective 88- and 86-year World Series droughts have links to each other with the White Sox' last victory coming the year before the Red Sox' last victory and the White Sox ending their drought the year after the Red Sox ended their drought. Notably, both teams also ended their droughts by sweeping their opponents in the World Series.
- The New England Patriots' 2003 season has an interesting take on this. They began their regular season with a 31-0 loss at the Buffalo Bills. When the Patriots faced the Bills again at home in Week 17, they won by the same 31-0 score. They would go on to win their second Super Bowl that year.
- Similarly, the following year, their 2004 season, as champions, they hosted the Kickoff Game and beat the Indianapolis Colts by three points with a score of 27-24. Then come the Super Bowl, they defend their title by defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 24-21, another three point game.
- And then 13 years later, in their 2017 season after their epic comeback victory in Super Bowl LI, the Kickoff Game was them against the Kansas City Chiefs, where they lost 42-27. They made it back to the Super Bowl and faced the Eagles once again, and lost 41-33. Both those losses were to opponents that scored over 40 points in total.
- In the aforementioned 2017 season, the New Orleans Saints' opening game would be an away game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium, where they would lose 29-19. Their season ends in the playoffs at the same stadium, with the Vikings winning 29-24 in an epic last-second miracle finish on their end.
- The 2014 Green Bay Packers. Their season began by losing the Kickoff Game to the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field. Then come the NFC Championship Game, where they have one of the worst chokes in NFL playoff history and blow a 19-7 lead with two and a half minutes to go, and proceed to lose in overtime.
- The Kansas City Chiefs' first Super Bowl win, in Super Bowl IV (1969 season, played in 1970), was broadcast by CBS, with Jack Buck, most famous as the play-by-play man for baseball's St. Louis Cardinals,note on play-by-play. They wouldn't appear in another Super Bowl until LIV (2019 season, played in 2020), which they also won. While this edition was aired by Fox, the play-by-play man was Jack's son Joe, who's also more famous for his baseball work (in his case, as Fox's lead announcer).
- Also in the 2017 season as mentioned above, the Cleveland Browns began their 0-16 campaign with a home loss to Pittsburgh and, fittingly enough, ended it with a loss at Pittsburgh.
- During the 108 years of heartbreak the Cubs endured, seasons would end in two ways. Being obliterated out of the Playoffs (2007, 2008, 2015) or being very close only to choke in the end (1969, 1984, 2003). What better way to end the century of heartbreak by being on the other side of the table, the team that many people count out after being down 3-1 in the World Series against the Indians, only for the Cubs to come all the way back to win the Series.
- The 1994 FIFA World Cup began with a missed penalty kick in the opening ceremony by Diana Ross, and ended with a missed penalty kick in the penalty shootout in the final by Roberto Baggio, which won Brazil the World Cup.
- Somewhat inverted with Manchester United and Adidas: When the sportswear manufacturer's initial stint with the club came to an end in 1992, their final away kit had a rather unorthodox 'M' pattern all over the shirt. When Adidas returned as United's kit manufacturer in 2015, that 'M' pattern featured on the trim on the home shirt and across the chest of the third shirt.
- English cricketer Alastair Cook scored a century in his first international test match against India. His last test match was against India, and he signed off his international test match career with a century against them.
- Baseball great Ichiro Suzuki started his MLB career with the Seattle Mariners in 2001, and his first game was a 5-4 victory over the Oakland Athletics. After many seasons in Seattle, he played briefly for the New York Yankees, and the Miami Marlins, before returning to Seattle to finish his career. His final game before retiring was a 5-4 win over the Oakland Athletics in 2019.
- Not only that, Ichiro's professional playing career ended in the country where it beganhis homeland of Japan. (The M's and A's opened the 2019 season in Tokyo.)
- In the 1981 NFL season, the Baltimore Colts lost all but 2 of their 16 games. Who were those 2 wins against? The New England Patriots in week 1, and the Patriots again in the final week.
- The first individual victory of biathlon legend Martin Fourcade's career was a pursuit race in Kontiolahti the 14th March 2010. Ten years and another 81 victories later, Fourcade got his 83rd and final win on the 14th March 2020, the final race of his career, which was a pursuit race in Kontiolahti.
- The first (XXXVI) and last (LIII) of the six Super Bowl championships that Tom Brady won with the New England Patriots were victories over the St. Louis/Los Angeles Rams, coming off 11-5 seasons which were his second and penultimate ones with the team.
- Furthermore, his first (XXXVI) and last Super Bowl (LVI) championship as an individual for Tom came during a season where he went 11-5, the last loss against the same team he would face in the Super Bowl, a team from Missouri (Rams and Chiefs respectivly).
- On March 14, 2006, Drew Brees signed as a free agent for the New Orleans Saints after having started out with the San Diego Chargers. Fifteen years later, on March 14, 2021, Brees announced his retirement from the NFL, having spent the previous 15 years playing for the Saints.
- Euro 2004 started with Greece beating Portugal. It ended with Greece beating Portugal.
- Similarly, the 2007-08 seasons for both Manchester United and Chelsea started with Manchester United beating Chelsea on penalties. It ended with Manchester United beating Chelsea on penalties.
- Kimi Räikkönen made his Formula One debut in 2001 driving for Sauber and retired in 2021 after having driven for Alfa Romeo, which is considered a part of the Sauber family.
- Similarly, the Mercedes tenure of fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas both began and ended with him changing teams to replace another Finn who had just retired; he joined Mercedes in 2017 after the shock retirement of Nico Rosbergnote , and left after 2021 to replace Räikkönen at Alfa Romeo.
- In the 1990-91 NFL playoffs, the Cincinnati Bengals defeated the Houston Oilers in the Wild Card Round before losing to the Los Angeles Raiders in the Divisional Round, leading to a 30+ year playoff win drought for the Bengals. In the decades that followed, the Oilers relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, and became the Tennessee Titans, and the Raiders returned to their previous home city of Oakland, California, before relocating to Las Vegas, Nevada, and becoming the Las Vegas Raiders. In the 2021-22 playoffs, the Bengals ended their drought by defeating the Raiders in the Wild Card Round and the Titans in the Divisional Round, and also winning the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs, reaching the Super Bowl for the first time in 33 years, only to lose to another team, the Los Angeles Rams, there, thus keeping the Bengals waiting for their first Lombardi Trophy until the Bengals do win their first Super Bowl title.
- Some NASCAR examples:
- Future first-ballot Hall of Famer Jimmie Johnson's first five Cup Series titles (which were consecutive) were flanked by Hall of Famer Tony Stewart's second and third Cup Series titles. Smoke's latter one came on a tiebreaker.
- The first and last events using the "Car of Tomorrow" / "Gen-5" chassis were won by the same organization, Hendrick Motorsports.
- Similarly, the first and last points-paying events using the follow-up "Gen-6" chassis were also won by Hendrick. Those years' championships went to the specific winners, Jimmie Johnson (his sixth) in 2013 and Kyle Larson in 2021.
- The Parade of Nations during the Olympic Games starts with Greece and ends with the host nation. So what happened in 2004, when Greece served as the host nation? Their flag came out first, did a lap of the stadium and vacated, before coming back out at the end of the parade.
- Battletech, the new ilKhan Brett Andrews started the Wars of Reaving in a Clan council where he demonstrated a Trial of Reaving by killing the Diamond Shark Khan, near the wars end he was killed in another Clan council when pulled a dirty move in killing the Star Adder Khan, and the Star Adder Khan killed him almost immediately.
- The Eclipse Phase intro fiction 'Lack' begins and ends with Sava waking up in a new body and asking what the date is.
- Microscope: Play begins with the selection of both the beginning and ending of the history the players build over the course of the game. This makes it easy to link the two thematically: empires and great families can rise and fall, new nations can arise in the ashes of the old, etc.
- Many World Of Darkness sourcebooks both old and new begin and end with information related to a specific event. Mage: The Awakening has a diary in the front from a student, and ends with a letter from the mage who's teaching said student to that mage's last student, who went bad and was responsible for Awakening the student writing the diary. Promethean: The Created has the first and second halves of Mr Verney's interview with a psychiatrist.
- Both the first and the final killer of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney turn out to be Kristoph Gavin.
- Heart of the Woods begins with Madison and Tara taking a train ride to Eysenfeld, the setting of the game and the focus of Tara's investigation for supernatural phenomena. The last scene before The Stinger of each ending is the surviving cast members taking a train out of town.
- Near the beginning of Katawa Shoujo, Hisao suffers a heart attack and wakes up in the hospital. Near the end of Lilly's route, he suffers another heart attack and wakes up in another hospital. The first and last scenes also show Hisao with his Love Interest at the time- the beginning of the game has Hisao meet Iwanako on a snowy day, while The Stinger of Lilly's route has him outdoors with Lilly in the summer.
- In the Good and Family Endings of Melody, the protagonist is actually about to open for the same band that hes fantasizing about opening for at the beginning of the story. This time, though, instead of having a spiteful fiancée snap him back to reality, he is there in real life, calling home to the love of his life.
- Spirit Hunter: NG starts and ends with Akira walking past a pair of drunk salarymen complaining about everyday issues, to signify that the supernatural events of the game are truly over and Akira has returned to his normal life.
- At the very beginning of Zero Time Dilemma's Decision Game, Zero says: "This is the Decision Game. The fates of you, me and the human race hang in the balance". At the very end of the videogame, he says: "The fates of you, me and mankind are all on the line. This is the Decision Game". What's ironic about all this is that Zero had the power to kill the characters at the beginning, and at the end the characters can kill Zero.
- Volume 3 of Dial B for Blog began with this image◊ and ended with this one◊. Both are based on the cover to Strange Adventures #162.◊
- Dream's "Minecraft Speedrunner VS 3 Hunters" (the first one) ends with Bad orchestrating a trap in the End spawn area designed to kill Dream upon entry — and he succeeds. The fifth episode & grand finale of the 3 Hunters series has Bad lead the hunters in setting up another End spawn trap to kill Dream again — however, Dream becomes aware of their plan and sends TNT through the portal to counter the trap.
- The transgender chickens that kick off Farce of the Three Kingdoms reappear in the final chapter.
- "I Like Monkeys": The story starts and ends with the words "I like monkeys".
- After the prologue, The Pirates Covered in Fur starts and ends with Michum hanging out at a skate park. But unlike how it is at the beginning, in the end, the park is in ruins and all his friends are dead.
- Sailor Nothing has the following at the start and end of the Web Novel. "My name is Shoutan Himei. I'm sixteen years old/seventeen years old, going on eighteen in two months, and I'm very tired."
- The first arc of Worm ends with the protagonist, Taylor, standing on a rooftop with Armsmaster, the leader of the local Super Team, discussing the options that Taylor has after having single-handedly taken down one of the most powerful supervillains in the city, whose minions will want revenge. At the end of arc twenty-two, after they both have changed so much, the supervillain Skitter stands on a rooftop with the Cyborg superhero Defiant, discussing the options that Skitter has after having killed one of the most powerful superheroes in the world, whose friends will want revenge. The chapter marks the close of Skitter's career as a villain.
- The second r/place experiment started with a blank white canvas and closed with people only being given access to use white, thus turning the canvas white again.