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Beginning and end, volume 6. The game of musical apartments continues.
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-we came in?

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, book-ends 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.

Not to be confused with the Simon & Garfunkel album of the same name.

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Warning: Book-Ends don't always spoil the ending, but they usually do. So, watch out for spoilers ahead!


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Other Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • 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 dies on her bed. 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.

    Eastern Animation 
  • Every episode of the Latvian cartoon Fantadroms began and ended with a shot of Indrikis (the show's main character) sneezing, for whatever reason.
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    Mythology and Religion 
  • 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 dead of Jesus in the crucifixion, 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).

    Jokes 
  • Some people point out that there is very little difference between Ancient Egypt and the Internet: both heavily feature cat worship and writing on walls.

    Poetry 
  • "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
    East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet
    'Till earth and sky stand presently at God's great judgement seat
    But there is neither east nor west, border nor breed nor birth
    When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth.
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.

    Print Media 

    Professional Wrestling 
  • 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 – only this time with the roles reversed.
  • Edge: His very first and last ever move that he used in a televised WWF/E match is the Spear. He also just happened to fight a Hispanic wrestler on 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.

    Role-Playing Games 
  • 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.

    Sport 
  • 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 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 1995–96 season through 2013–14, after which it was replaced by the current European Rugby Champions Cup. 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 Renteria, 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 scoring 29 points 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 Century Link 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.
  • 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 star Ichiro Suzuki started MLB career with the Seattle Mariners, 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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.
  • The Eclipse Phase intro fiction 'Lack' begins and ends with Sava waking up in a new body and asking what the date is.
  • 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 saKhan killed him almost immediately.
  • 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.

    Theme Parks 

    Visual Novels 
  • 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.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue has one of the three possible endings as an inverted book end—whereas Episode 1 features the Blues spying on the Reds, who are chatting atop the base, here we have the Reds spying on the Blues doing the same thing.
    • This is also the canonical ending.
    • Grif and Simmons also once again call shotgun on the new vehicle, this time in reverse.
    • This happens again in the Recollection Saga. Reconstruction began with a soldier looking at the dead body of a Freelancer as the camera panned up in Valhalla, showing a huge number of characters (so many that the creators actually had to run several games and use splitscreen to get that many). Revelation ends with a soldier looking at the body of Agent Texas in Avalanche and the camera pans up to show a similar shot.
  • The first scene of There she is!! is Nabi being harrassed by Doki at a drink machine. The final scene is Nabi wiping racist graffiti off of it while sharing a drink with Nabi.
  • The Strong Bad E-mail "theme song" from Homestar Runner actually begins and ends with Strong Bad singing "When E-mail Comes to Town, It's Like a Rainstorm in your Browser."
  • Bowser's Kingdom episode 1 ends with Mario beating up Hal and Jeff because a Shy Guy betrayed them and The Movie ends with Mario and Luigi beating Hal and Jeff because Steve betrayed them.
  • The story of Lucky Day Forever starts with 514 falling for the Whites' propaganda and ends with Sasiadka falling for the Whites' propaganda. This is a way to show that the Proles want to stand out like the Whites.
  • Deliberately invoked by Pencil in The Stinger of the final episode of Battle for Dream Island:
    Pencil: Wouldn't it be weird if the very first and very last spoken words of BFDI were the same?
    Match: Yeah!note 
  • At the start of Dick Figures: The Movie, young Red says "Cuz I'm AWESOME!" and he and young Blue high-five. At the end, old Red says "Cuz we're AWESOME!" and he and old Blue high-five.
  • In Mario Brothers, the series starts and ends with the same scene of Mario running from something.
  • RWBY:
    • The song "From Shadows" is a powerful song with hard rock and metal elements as the singer speaks of revolution — of the down-trodden rising up from darkness to take back what's rightfully theirs. However, the introduction and close book-ends a song of revolution with a slow and lonely piano solo.
    • In "Lessons Learned", the first and last shot of the scene of Winter tutoring Weiss is of a caterpillar, which acts to identify the progress Weiss is making in developing her Semblance. The scene starts with Weiss's lack of faith in her Summoning ability while the caterpillar crawls alone in view of the camera. The scene ends with the caterpillar being stopped by a tiny summoned sword as Weiss and Winter depart, unaware that Weiss has started to manifest her ability.
    • Pyrrha's first appearance in Volume 3 is accompanied by Ruby flinging her arms wide and calling out her name in delight when Pyrrha appears just in time to solve the problem they were facing, which is that Weiss's credit card has been declined so they can't pay for their food. Pyrrha's final appearance in Volume 3 is also accompanied by Ruby flinging her arms wide and calling out her name. This time, Ruby's cry is despairing; she tries to reach Pyrrha in time to save her from a major problem — fighting the too-powerful Fall Maiden, Cinder — but instead arrives just in time to witness Cinder murder Pyrrha.
    • The "beginning" of the opening act in the machinations of the villains' occurs in the pilot episode. The show opens to a narration by a mysterious woman that ends with a male narrator refuting her darkness by expressing faith in a "smaller, more honest, soul". The same episode quickly reveals the male narrator to be Professor Ozpin, headmaster of Beacon Academy. The next three volumes consists of Ruby and her team trying to develop their skills at Beacon Academy while also trying to figure out what the villains are up to. Volume 3 closes with the same mysterious woman narrating a response to Ozpin's pilot episode objection; as she announces the close of the first stage of her plan and her intention to begin "the end" of Ozpin.
    • Weiss's Volume 4 storyline is introduced to the audience with the sight of a subdued girl being summoned by the butler from the isolation of her sunlit room to walk through long, empty hallways as her heels loudly echo in a silence that only broken when she reaches her father's study and overhears him arguing with General Ironwood about the General's decision to inflict a Dust embargo on the world. Her Volume 4 storyline ends with the same butler again triggering her to walk through the long hallways. This time, her heels are muffled by carpet and she's determined rather than subdued. She is again stopped at the doorway to her father's study, overhearing him arguing with General Ironwood, this time about Ironwood's latest decision to close the Kingdom's borders to movement in either direction. While the first study argument leads to her subjugation throughout the volume, the second study argument leads to her emancipation as she locks the men in the study while she escapes from the mansion to freedom.
    • Cinder's first and last line in Volume 5 is "Shut up!" in response to being mocked. In the first scene, her retort to Watts mocking her lost eye reveals that she's recovered from her injuries and can be sent back out against the protagonists. In the last scene, her retort to Raven reveals that she's lost control of the battle and is about to be defeated as a result of not paying attention to an enemy whose presence she should not have forgotten.
  • BagelBoy's Meme Man saga began with "sitt", wherein Meme Man sits in a chair in an overly-dramatic manner. "riddle of the rocks 2", the final episode, caps off Meme Man's adventures with him taking another "sitt".
  • Animated Spellbook's Longerform Campaign Journal starts with the villain Shifty Wick in danger of being killed by wolves, and the party choosing to save him. The third episode ends with wraiths attacking the cave Shifty Wick is hiding in, and the party needing to decide if they're going to help him.

Isn't this where-

Alternative Title(s): Book End

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