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Distant Finale

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"August 29, 1997, came and went. Nothing much happened. Michael Jackson turned 40. There was no Judgment Day. People went to work as they always do. Laughed, complained, watched TV, made love. I wanted to run to through the street yelling to grab them all and say, 'Every day from this day on is a gift. Use it well.' Instead, I got drunk. That was 30 years ago. But the dark future which never came still exists for me. And it always will, like the traces of a dream. John fights the way differently than it was foretold. Here, on the battlefield of the Senate his weapons are common sense and hope."
Sarah Connor, Terminator 2: Judgment Day

A series finale or epilogue where we're shown what happens to the characters, places and/or the setting. Usually takes place many years after the proper ending of the plot. Intervening events may be depicted via Flash Back.

If the series gets a sequel that picks up after the finale, it becomes a Time Skip.

Differs from "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue in that it's a full scene that shows interaction between characters and most likely dialogue. If the Distant Finale shows how the entire cast dies, it's a Deadly Distant Finale. When a Distant Finale is used to reunite characters who separated at the end of a series, see Fast Forward to Reunion. Might suffer from Modern Stasis. If the distance is long enough, you can expect Babies Ever After.

Contrast of course Distant Prologue. If a work with a Distant Finale receives a sequel, see Distant Sequel.


This is an Ending Trope. As such, it contains massive spoilers.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Blue Flag: The penultimate chapter timeskips 7 years into the future, to showcase what happened to the main characters after high school. Two years after high school, Taichi and Kuze broke up. Masumi has married a man named Mitsuyuki. Taichi and Touma have married each other. Kuze's wedding to an unnamed man is the even that the final chapter follows.
  • The ending of Death Note takes place a year later.
  • Simoun's ending takes place five years later.
  • The end of Assassination Classroom takes place seven years after the story's end, showing all the grown up students living their careers.
  • The 2nd season of Lyrical Nanoha (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's) ends with a montage showing the characters as they are six years after the series ends as they get ready for a reunion of the cast through a new mission that they'll all participate in. The third season (Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS) begins 4 years after that.
  • GunBuster ends with two main characters returning to Earth after ending humanity's Bug War, and thanks to Time Dilation the planet has advanced twelve thousands years outside of their perspectives. Despite fear of the world forgetting about them, they're giving a (slightly misspelled hero's welcome. The sequel, DieBuster, has a much more modest version — only ten years. Turns out to be the exact same scene, from another perspective.
  • The final manga volume of His and Her Circumstances is set many years after the series to show the cast as happy adults. Though Arima was killed. By an assassin's bullet.
  • Both the anime ending and the manga ending of Mahoromatic happen about 20 years after the events of the main story but both offer different perspective endings where in the anime Suguru moves to the new Saint and human planet and gets cybernetic enhancements and kills combat androids. Either is dying or badly injured and sees Mahoro again and they walk together. The manga gets a different ending where Suguru becomes an officer in Vespar and defeats the last of Management and when he goes back home sees Mahoro again after she was reborn as a baby and grew up with all of her memories intact.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho's last episode ends two years after the Demon Tournament and the events of Sensui. The humans that were in Middle School were now almost finished with High School. Koenma went back to work,Genkai willed the group her estate before she dies,and Yusuke finally fulfilled his promise to return to Keiko.
  • The Cardcaptor Sakura manga flashforwards 4 years to reveal why Syaoran left Tomoeda in such a hurry: he was starting the process to become a permanent resident of Japan, so he could be with Sakura permanently.
  • Scrapped Princess ends with a few scenes showing all the characters living Happily Ever After.
  • Da Capo Second Season ends with the two obviously destined characters getting married, and in the repeated ending animation, 2 adults are shown (faceless) looking through a photo album. The finale's credits finally reveal (as if no one could have guessed) that the two adults are a married Nemu and Junichi.
  • Paradise Kiss's finale takes place 10 years later.
  • In Kurau Phantom Memory we see the lives of the main characters ten years after the events in the previous episode, in which Kurau loses her Rynax, causing her pair Christmas lots of grief. The most important event in the last episode therefore is the return of the Rynax-Kurau out of Christmas' body, much like Christmas herself did when she appeared out of Kurau years before.
  • The ending of Stellvia of the Universe fast-forwards two years to the day when the protagonist's younger brother enrolls into same academy as herself. Since a sequel was planned, it's safe to assume that he would have been its new protagonist but unfortunately, it was canceled.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has a Time Skip and a Distant Finale. The finale shows the characters about 20 years after the events of the show, with Rossiu becoming the benevolent president over the entire galactic alliance with Leeron as his aide, Yoko becoming principal of her school, teaching young children, Darry and Gimmy piloting Gurren Lagann, Viral being the supreme commander over the entire fleet and Simon still living out his life Walking the Earth as a hermit, free of all bonds of authority and the responsibilities it involves.
    • In the movie, though it omits the other character's scenes, it expands on Simon's epilogue. He's going around helping people in need, in exchange for planting flowers, fulfilling Nia's dream.
  • The anime ending of Magic Knight Rayearth takes place a year after the girls return from Cephiro. Hikaru, Umi and Fuu see the once again restored country of Cephiro in the large windows of Tokyo Tower, from where they were taken to Cephiro both times. Considering however that Hikaru wishes to return to Cephiro once more to discover the new story of the land, it's questionable whether this is really a Distant Finale or a foreshadowing of another trip waiting to happen. After all it was the girls' wish to return to Cephiro the second time that took them back! Dun dun dun! The manga's ending takes place sometime after the adventure, but it's not explicitly stated how long.
  • The manga ending for Rurouni Kenshin picks up 5 years later, where Kenshin has retired from swordsmanship and is married to and has a son with Kaoru, Kaoru has revived the Kamiya Kasshin-Ryû with numerous students, and Yahiko has become a master swordsman. The ending deals with Yahiko inheriting Kenshin's reverse blade sword. This becomes a Time Skip with the release of the third OAV, which shows the final years of Kenshin's life (which is not canon, anyways).
  • .hack//SIGN had one of these, with the events of the .hack games taking place in between. The game characters show up in the final episode.
    • The bonus episode is called ".hack//UNISON", and was only included in a super-duper special limited DVD edition. It was shown in Britain on the Anime Central channel following the series proper, but wasn't included in the rerun because the rerun was cut short. It's available on YouTube, but only in subbed Japanese. Unison is considered non-canon because Sora is in it and that complicates things later on. Sora is Haseo and lost his memories of ever playing The World.
    • .hack//Roots also had one entitled Returner. Like unison it has characters from the GU games and Roots in it.
  • The final episode of El Cazador de la Bruja is set unspecified time after the showdown with the Big Bad. Judging by how much Ellis has grown, it must have been several years.
  • The last episode of Godannar is set 7 years after the final battle, showing us what everybody is up to now. The last scene of that episode is then set one year after that.
  • The epilogue scene of Zegapain is set an ambiguous number of years after the final battle, with the lighthouse visited in an earlier episode now ravaged by time and reclaimed by nature. Depending on the viewer's interpretation, it can be a Bittersweet Ending as Kyo started aging once he had been reconstituted as a real human being, but the time needed to restore this technology, and save the rest of mankind, might have surpassed his own lifespan.
  • The last chapter of Inuyasha takes place 3 years later, then jumps ahead a bit for the last pages.
  • The Fruits Basket manga way overshoots the mark. The last few scenes completely skip past Kyo and Tohru's (and everyone else's!) marriage and life together and shows them as elderly grandparents (although indicating they've been happy.)
  • Sonic X originally skipped 6 years into the future for its finale, though the series was then resurrected for a further 26 episodes. These episodes took place 6 years after the original series in the Human World, but only 6 months in Sonic's universe.
  • Digimon Adventure 02 pulled one of these off. It's both this and a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, as it shows us the digidestined's reunion after 25 years, with Takeru also narrating on voiceover with interspersed little clips of the kids' careers and families now that they're all grown up.
  • ∀ Gundam serves as something of a Distant Finale for the entire Gundam franchise: it manages to do a surprisingly good job in tying what would otherwise be completely separate timelines. Also referenced in SD Gundam: G Generation Spirits where an omnicidal autonimous Turn-A Gundam appears to bring about the apocalypse, effectively ending the entire Universal Century and leading to the events of Turn-A the series. Probably not the canon version of events, though.
    • Gundam 00 has its own Distant Finale at the end of the movie, showing humanity 50 years after the conclusion of the story. They're at perfect peace with the ELS and are just about to launch their first interstellar starship, crewed entirely by Innovators and built with ELS components, to meet other sentient species across the stars.
  • In the final episode of Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water the main Characters are shown married and with a child.
  • The final episode of Infinite Ryvius takes place a year after the previous episode; the very end of the episode then jumps thousands of years into the future.
  • Someday's Dreamers II: Sora skips five years, to show how the students and instructors of the mage institute are doing and how some of them are dealing with Sora's death.
  • The manga ending of Love Hina depicts practically a new beginning in the Hinata Inn, with a female character very much resembling Keitaro going through almost the exact same shenanigans he went through when he first arrived, and ultimately showing Keitaro's and Naru's wedding.
  • The last chapter of Yokohama Kaidashi Kikou takes place at least a decade later.
  • There is one in Michiko & Hatchin, where Hatchin, grown up with a little kid, falls into the arms of her beloved Michiko.
  • Mx0 had an abrupt ending in which Taiga transferred out for a year, finally returning a year later.
  • One of three possible interpretations for Takaki's recurring dreams in 5 Centimeters per Second. Any posited "happy ending" for that movie fits here by definition.
  • The Rose of Versailles concludes stating what happened to Marie Antoinette in 1793, and later to Fersen in 1810. This is told by the three surviving main characters: Rosalie, Bernard, and Alain.
  • The final scenes of SoltyRei take place several years after the Final Battle (and attendant Heroic Sacrifice) to save the city from Eirene. Roy finds Solty floating in space, still alive.
  • The second bonus chapter of the Shoujo Sect manga jumped into the future to show that Momoku, Shinobu, and Maya were living together, and having this fact revealed to all of Shinobu's coworkers, much to her embarrassment.
  • The 13th episodes of both Please Teacher! and Please Twins! are these.
  • The ending to the Shaman King manga, "Funbari No Uta," is one of these. It follows Yoh and Anna's son Hana, his emerging spiritual powers, and how he meets his very own Anna, whom he is destined to be with. We also get to see the main characters and what's become of them now that they're all grown up.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball's ending takes place 3 years after Goku started training with Kami.
    • Dragon Ball Z's ending was set 10 years after the Buu saga.
    • Z also had the episode "Free the Future", in which Future Trunks returns to his own time and takes out the Androids and Cell of that timeline.
    • The ending to Dragon Ball GT is set 100 years in the future where Goku and Vegeta's descendants fight in a World Martial Arts Tournament.
  • The manga version of Chrono Crusade had an "epilogue" added in the final collected volume, which shows what happened to all of the characters (skipping between 1932 and 1999) and ties up some of the lose ends left over from the (much more open-ended) ending published in the original magazine.
    • The final scene in the anime also shows Father Remington in the Vatican on May 13, 1981, 52 years after the "end" of the series, where Aion appears and apparently is behind the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II.
  • Myself ; Yourself has an ending episode taking place ten years later.
  • Hellsing (30 years later).
  • Ai Yori Aoshi's manga epilogue takes place 4 years later, when Tina finally returns to Japan.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood's final episode takes place two months after the final battle, showing how various characters are dealing with normalcy, then it shows Ed and Al after two years, as they depart on their own journeys. The episode ends with a collage of photographs showing the characters several years later.
    • The Kids OVA for the 2003 anime series is also this to Ed, living in 2005. Ed is surprisingly still kicking past 100 years old and still with his grandkids. The movie, Fullmetal Alchemist: The Conqueror of Shamballa, takes place a few years after the anime ended.
  • In Kurogane Communication there is a scene set several years after the Grand Finale, in which Haruka and Katano return from Mars to have a joyous reunion with the robots that stayed behind on earth. They also bring their daughter with them.
  • After the credits to Noein it is revealed that Yuu came to terms with his angst and went to school in Tokyo, while Haruka and friends once again lead an ordinary life. Though she has Yuu, Haruka hasn't forgotten Karasu, and looks up at the church spire where she first saw him and tells him Yuu is coming back.
  • Amagami SS has two examples of this, both taking place ten years into the future:
    • Morishima Haruka's epilogue has both of them married and living together, with Junichi working as a detective. The setting is a visit from their friend Hibiki.
    • Ayatsuji Tsukasa's epilogue has Tsukasa, Junichi and their daughter visiting the Founder's Festival where they both recall the promise they made to each other ten years ago.
  • The last few minutes of GUN×SWORD take place a few years after the final battle. The final scene shows Van and Wendy unexpectedly meeting again after having reluctantly parted from each other. Although the scene is all too brief, the future looks promising for them. Without that Distant Finale, this would have been a Bittersweet Ending.
  • The last scenes of the final episode of Eureka Seven are set a year later. They show Eureka's children with Renton's grandfather, and also give brief glimpses of Renton and Eureka, and Dominic and Anemone.
  • At the end of Speed Grapher, we see an epilogue set five years later, which shows what several major and minor characters are doing now, tying up some romantic loose ends and reuniting Saiga and Kagura, now that she's no longer Jail Bait.
  • Gosick has the finale set 4 years after the main events, when Kazuya returns to Japan after the war, finally reuniting with Victorique who has been staying with his family, waiting for his return. It is also implied that they get married as well.
  • The OVA of A Little Snow Fairy Sugar functions as a Distant Finale of sorts, with the main story sandwiched as a flashback between scenes which take place some 4 years after the end of the TV series, showing a grown-up Saga and Greta, who apparently have become the best of friends.
  • Negima! Magister Negi Magi: The epilogue takes place 7 years in the future, showing a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue for the class.
  • The final episode of Kids on the Slope jumps 8 years into the future, showing the first meeting of the Kaoru, Sentaro and Ritsuko since the end of high school. We're also shown what became of several other members of the cast, such as Yurika marrying Junichi and Seiji fulfilling his dream of becoming a pop idol.
  • Pretty Cure:
    • The second half of HeartCatch Pretty Cure!'s final episode takes place a few months after the final battle, showing the girls a little while later: Tsubomi's a proud older sister and is back to wearing her glasses, Itsuki's dumped the male uniform for a standard female one and Yuri's much more happier than before. However, the ending is hard to reconcile with the Pretty Cure All Stars movie series which doesn't show these changes.
    • The second half of Hugtto! Pretty Cure's final episode takes place in 2030, 11 years after the events of the show. Saaya becomes a doctor, Homare becomes a famous ice skater, Emiru teams up with Dr. Traum to re-create Ruru in a new child body, and Hana not only becomes the president of a successful company, but also becomes the proud mother of Hagumi, better known as Hugtan.
  • Love Lucky: After Fuuta and Kirari no longer had to keep their marriage a secret, Fuuta became a House Husband. It then skips one year and we get to see how they were living. They live at a Big Fancy House, Kirari's father moved in and demands Fuuta to make his tea.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is weird about this. On the one hand, Part 2 ends with Joseph as an old man about to visit his grandson in Japan.... which is the beginning to Part 3. On the other hand, it also ends with a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue detailing the lives of Speedwagon, Erina, Lisa Lisa, and Smokey. Considering all the parts take place years after each other (except for part 7, it's complicated), this should be an aversion, but it's the only part to do this.
  • Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu ends by showing that, five years later, a few of the crew members have settled into normal lives back on Earth, but others remain on the Daiku Maryu, and its forays into space have become hampered by alien monsters, so the Daiku Maryu calls on Daiya once again to pilot Gaiking. And the Adventure Continues.
  • The last chapter of Naruto takes place several years after the penultimate one, showing not only the surviving main cast, but their children as well. The series is followed by Boruto, a Sequel Series and Spin-Offspring centering around Naruto's son.
  • The ending of End of Evangelion is theorized to happen months, perhaps years after the last scene in My Purest Hear For You (Episode 26'), due to the rust in Misato's cross, amongst other details, with Asuka and Shinji having spent years in Instrumentality. The ending also leaves open the possibility of a happy future for Shinji, Asuka and everyone else who might or might not return from Instrumentality, as much of a tragic one.
  • The final chapter of Bokura no Hentai skips five years. In chapter 40 Marika is in her final year of middle school but chapter 41 starts with her finishing high school. Ryousuke is in college and Tamura became a theatrical actor.
  • Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms: The plot proper ends little of after the birth of Ariel's daughter, while the little girl seen at the beginning of the epilogue quickly turns out to be Ariel's granddaughter.
  • Vampire Knight: The epilogue takes place a thousand years later, with Yuuki along with her two daughters (one of them bares a strong resembles to Zero) going to the family grave to bring what was left of the Bloody Rose and Yuuki gives her life to Kaname to turn him human.
  • The second part of the last episode of Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans takes place four years into the future and shows the aftermath of the McGillis Fareed Incident.
  • The last part of Pandemonium Wizard Village is set 16 years later. As explained by an older Molte, Zipher has spread the truth about the village and its inhabitants, married Domika, and had a son with her. As a result, variants have become accepted members of society, though there are some people who still believe in the negative rumors surrounding them. Furthermore, the village became a valuable archaeological site, with both variants and non-variants working together.
  • Boarding School Juliet ends with two Time Skips: the first the story breezes through the rest of their second year and whole third year up to the main characters' graduation; secondly a seven-year gap to the Official Couple's wedding.
  • Food Wars! ends with a three-chapter follow-up titled Le Dessert, the last of which skips seven years after the major cast has graduated from Tootsuki Academy and they've built successful careers as chefs.
  • Bleach skips to ten years later in Chapter 686. Ichigo and Orihime are married and have a son, Kazui; Rukia and Renji are married and have a daughter, Ichika. Chad has become a famous boxer, Ishida a doctor. Rukia, Iba, Isane, and Lisa have been promoted captains, replacing Ukitake, Komamura, Unohana, and Shunsui, respectively. While the Abarai family are visiting the Kurosaki, Kazui unwittingly destroys the last bits of Yhwach's essence, therefore permanently ending his threat over the universe.
  • School-Live! ends showing the characters a few years in the future. For example, Yuki has become a teacher and Kurumi is recovering in a wheelchairwhile studying to be a doctor.

    Audio Plays 
  • The Grand Finale of We're Alive skips ahead 14 years after the climax to show Saul and Lizzy's now 14-year-old son, Nicolas, taking his first steps out into the larger world by choosing to become a guardian.

    Comic Books 
  • There was foreshadowing that this device would be used in The Ballad of Halo Jones, with a scene set in a university history lecture several thousand years after the events of the main story discussing Halo's significance as a historical character/folk hero. However, the comic was, unfortunately, never finished.
  • Peter David set the final issue of his 12-year-run of Incredible Hulk 10 years after the previous issue. A Daily Bugle interview with Rick Jones serves as a fitting end to both David's tenure on the title and the Hulk mythos in general.
  • The final issue of Planetary takes place a year after the previous one. And was released 3 years after the previous issue.
  • Most of the last volume of The Sandman is this. Interestingly, it plays with the timeline by skipping back to Shakespeare at the end.
  • The end of Superman: Red Son. Almost all of the epilogue is the timeline over thousands of years after Superman's "departure" but it technically ends with Superman's time ship crashing back in 1918 using Siegel and Shuster's original idea that Superman was a super advanced human from the future as opposed to an alien.
  • Mike Costa ended his run on IDW's Transformers comics with a Distant Finale. Issue 31 skips ahead hundreds of years into the future where a new age of peace has begun. Ironhide and Alpha Trion are some of the few remaining original Autobots, the Transformers live on Gorlam Prime instead of Cybertron, and Optimus Prime and Megatron have both disappeared with their names becoming legend. The issue ends with a group of young Transformers asking Ironhide to tell the story of when the Autobots finally defeated Megatron....
    • Transformers: Regeneration One, a sequel to the original Marvel series, had the war come to an end thanks to the dark Matrix creature consuming much of the population of Cybertron and rendering it uninhabitable; with only three Decepticons known to have survived, they renounced war and helped the remaining Autobots spread peace throughout the universe for their remaining days. Untold eons later, the last surviving Transformer, Rodimus Prime, returns to Cybertron to die, with the energy form his Matrix dissipating into the planet, restoring it and causing the long-dormant Primordials to be reborn ad the newest generation of Cybertronians.
    • The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye ends its overall run and its time as Lost Light by skipping forward to Ratchet's funeral, although the final issue is told in Anachronic Order.
  • The final issue of Y: The Last Man gives us a view of what Earth has become 60 years after the series' climax, with flashbacks to update us on how the surviving characters spent the intervening time. Somehow, the issue maintains the same dramatic tension and plot twist quantity as all the others in spite of this device.
  • Hard Time was about Ethan Harrow, a 15-year-old school shooter who was sentenced to 50 to life at a maximum security prison. The comic was canceled just as Ethan neared the end of his first year inside; the final issue took place 49 years later and centered on Ethan's parole hearing. It was approved, if you're wondering.
  • The final installment of The Bojeffries Saga is set twenty years after the others, reflecting the real-world hiatus.
  • While it doesn't occur in the original story, the storyline that started in Kingdom Come has a finale that shows what happened in the several millennia following the comic's events. Batman (presumably) dies of old age with a very large assembly at his funeral, the Earth floods but humanity soon manages to recover and rebuild, mankind extends its civilization to the stars, and finally, in the 31st century, a frail and elderly Superman looks on proudly as futuristic superheroes fly off on a mission.
  • The Great Power of Chninkel: A serious contender for Most Distant Finale Ever as it shows how, after Bom Bom and some Tawals survived O'ne's rain of fire by taking refuge in deep caverns, it shows how life crawled back from the brink of annihilation by evolving back from single-celled organisms into complex lifeforms over hundreds of millions of years, up until the time where the Tawals' descendants, by then looking like early hominids (AKA modern humanity's ancestors), finally go out of their underground lairs... Only to see The Monolith that is O'ne and start worshipping it, while the narrator, actually the last of Bom Bom's descendants to remember the old stories, tearfully lament that J'on's sacrifice and the destruction of the old world was All for Nothing, as O'ne's return means that It will once again spread Its tyrannical notions of worship to what the reader now realises was Earth All Along.
  • Nemesis the Warlock: Nemesis traps both himself and Torquemada inside the Blitzspear to stop his nemesis from annihilating most life in the universe, which then travels through the wormhole connecting Earth to the rest of the cosmos and back again. This goes on for a billion years before Earth's star completes its life cycle and swallows the planet. The 2000 AD anniversary prog in 2016 adds a coda when Torquemada is subsequently released from his prison as the Blitzspear ascends, but Nemesis then arranges for him to be trapped again, this time for eternity.
  • All-New Wolverine ends with the self-explanatory "Old Woman Laura'' storyline.
  • Batman: Last Knight on Earth is a non-canon "last Batman story" which takes place in a distant post-apocalyptic dystopia. Specifically, it serves as a finale to Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's New 52 Batman run as Last Knight features multiple Call Backs and Continuity Nods.
  • The Grand Finale of Geoff Johns' run on Green Lantern is set an indetermined number of years after Wrath of the First Lantern, which shows a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue of the important characters in their senior years, including the Narrator All Along (of the final issue, at least), Sinestro.
  • The final issue of The Walking Dead skips forward by a decade or more, revealing what happened to most of the surviving main cast members following Rick's assassination; Carl and Sophia are married with a six year old girl; Michonne returned to practicing law and sits on the equivalent of the supreme court, Maggie has been elected president, Eugene is working on reconnecting the coasts via railway, and Negan remains in self-imposed exile. In death, Rick has become a folk hero and is regarded as a founding father of the new world.

    Fan Works 
  • Bridge to Terabithia 2: The Last Time: The Epilogue took place 18 years after the final chapter, and ends with Jess, Leslie (retconned from death, long story) and their children hosting a Thanksgiving gathering for their friends and families.
  • The Child of Love: The last chapter is an epilogue happens seven years and a half after Teri's birth and shows Shinji and Asuka as adults and raising their children as still living in Misato's apartment.
  • Children of an Elder God: The last scene happens a looooong time after the Final Battle and its initial aftermaths and features Maya telling Ritsuko what had happened the remainder characters and the world in the meantime.
  • The epilogue to Cold Nights takes place on Tomo and Yomi's fifth anniversary.
  • Higher Learning: The last scene happens over two years after the Final Battle, and features Shinji and Asuka waking up and walking together to their college. Their dialogue and thoughts tells what has happened to all characters and mankind after Third Impact.
  • The epilogue to Lady and the Tramp III: Family Troubles is set a few years after the previous chapter.
  • The Lion King Adventures end with a scene of an adult Simba and Nala now married and ruling over the restored Pride Lands.
  • Lothíriel by JunoMagic is fan fiction of The Lord of the Rings. The first 109 chapters happen in the years during and after The Lord of the Rings, but chapter 110 "Epilogue" skips ahead some decades.
  • The One I Love Is...: The epilogue happens four years after the Final Battle and narrates the Shinji and Asuka's wedding. During the ceremony, Shinji tells what has happened to the cast in the meantime.
  • Pound and Pumpkin Cake's Adventures (and Misadventures) in Potty Training ends five years later (six years after the actual show) when the Cake twins are starting first grade.
  • Crumbling Down: The epilogue takes place ten years after the story ends and shows what happened to both the heroes and Lila.

    Films — Animation 
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World: The final scene takes place ten years later, when Hiccup and Astrid, along with their two children, visit Toothless and his brood near the Hidden World after letting them go free.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Billy Elliot: The last scene is of his father and brother going to see him perform as a professional ballet dancer.
  • Dark Water: The last scene shows Ikuko, now in her teenage years, as she returns to the haunted apartment she shared with her mother, Yoshimi, as a child. She is briefly reunited with the ghost of her mother before she disappears. The final shot shows her walking away from the building, as she realises that her mother has been watching over her ever since her death. The American remake is much the same, except that the time skip is three weeks, rather than many years after.
  • In the final scene of Tim Robbins' Cradle Will Rock, which is set in The '30s and is about the corruption of both theater and the art world by money, the cast of a vaudeville show that has had its government funding yanked due to the Red Scare form a funeral procession for a discarded ventriloquist dummy and carry the tiny coffin into Times Square, which is shown to be the Times Square of The '90s.
  • Raising Arizona ends with H.I. dreaming about his distant future and the children he will eventually have with Ed.
  • The Dead Like Me direct-to-DVD movie Dead Like Me: Life After Death takes place 5 years after the series.
  • The "Double Secret Probation Edition" of the Animal House DVD takes the well-known "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue to the movie even further, with a fake documentary, actually titled "Where Are They Now", taking the text blurbs from the movie and running with them. Director John Landis is the documentary maker, who revisits his earlier "documentary", interviewing the characters. Save for Bluto; the hard-partying, mischief-making, unlikely-to-graduate Frat Bro is now "President Blutarsky". Unfortunately, he could not be interviewed on account of John Belushi being inconveniently dead.
  • Legally Blonde had an epilogue that is both this and a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, due to the request of the test audiences. It's a full scene of Elle giving the valedictorian speech at her Law School graduation ceremony, with interspersed text blurbs detailing what happened to the supporting characters.
  • In A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, David and Teddy remain frozen in the ice for over 2,000 years before they're thawed out by the Future Mechas, when humanity has long since died out.
  • In the last scenes of Atonement the main character tells what happened to the others, more than sixty years after the story took place. It changes quite a few things.
  • The last scene of Broadcast News shows the three main characters seven years on.
  • Heaven's Gate ends with the main character on a boat off the coast of Rhode Island, married to another woman, more than a decade later.
  • In the finale/epilogue of Elf, after an undisclosed period of time, Buddy and Jovie have since married and have a daughter (or son, in the Broadway musical) when they revisit the North Pole/Christmastown.
  • An...interesting variation occurs in Jumanji, wherein after time reverses to the beginning of the game in 1969 following the end of it in 1995, the finale occurs 26 years later in 1995, which was the present for most of the movie.
  • 13 Going on 30, where Jenna appears to wish herself to become a 30-year-old. She wakes up in a nice apartment, discovering that she's incredibly successful but lonely. She meets up with a guy who was her only friend in school and realizes she has feelings for him. They sleep together, but he then shuts her down, explaining that he's about to get married, and a brief rekindling of the flame is not enough to derail a long-term commitment. So... she wishes she was 13 again. She wakes up in the same closet where she locked herself after a failed party, runs out and kisses the boy. Cut to 17 years later when they're moving into their dream house.
  • The main action in the Biopic Chaplin ends in 1952: Charlie Chaplin, leaving for a film premiere in his native England, learns that he's been effectively exiled from the United States over accusations that he is a Communist. In the framing device set in 1963, he admits to a (fictional) biographer that he hasn't considered returning to the U.S., even though he could, as he doesn't feel that Americans care about him anymore. The distant finale takes place at the 1972 Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood, where — as he watches an audience enjoy a montage of his work in the leadup to his receiving an Honorary Oscar — he realizes they still do.
  • Where Are My Children? ends with the Waltons in a loveless marriage after Richard Walton finds out that his wife has aborted not one, not two, but three pregnancies. The last seconds of the movie use a dissolve to skip forward a good 25 years or so to show the Waltons old and childless.
  • Schindler's List: The final scene takes place about 50 years later, in which the surviving Schindlerjuden, along with their families and descendants, gather at Oskar's grave to thank him for all that he'd done.
  • The Ultra Series movie Ultraman Saga provides this for two Heisei series — Ultraman Dyna and Ultraman Cosmos. Dyna's reveals what the rest of Super GUTS has been doing since Asuka's Heroic Sacrifice (Captain Hibiki is now head of TPC, Ryo is now the captain of Super GUTS, etc.) and there's one last meeting between Asuka and his old teammates. In Cosmos' case, Musashi is now married to Ayano and lives on the planet Juran, rejuvenated into a kaiju sanctuary after its devastation by Sandros and now protected by Chaos Header (who had been redeemed by Cosmos in the series' own finale).
  • Logan is played as one for the X-Men Film Series, centered around an aged Wolverine and Professor X decades after the previous movies, albeit playing very loose with continuity (it was meant to give closure for those characters, but with series still going on).
  • The Dish takes place during the Apollo 11 mission. The ending shows Cliff looking at the historical radio telescope, now a mere relic, decades later. A guard tells him that it received the signal from the Moon back in 1969. Cliff smiles, tells him he knows, and leaves.

  • In Daniel Handler's A Series of Unfortunate Events, this is seven-thirteenths of The Beatrice Letters. Ostensibly they're just supplementary reading, but there's no such thing as "optional," is there?
  • In Alastair Reynolds' Revelation Space trilogy, the last chapter in Absolution Gap ends with the Hordeof Alien Locusts (Called Greenfly) eating up worlds, spreading through the universe. If you read the Shadow's dialogue, you'll realize that the entire universe is doomed
  • Happens in the later books of The Bible, with Revelation skipping from the 1st few centuries A.D. to the end of the world. Obviously that makes this trope Older Than Feudalism. Of course, it can be argued that the New Testament's authors expected the world to end in their lifetimes (several of Jesus' prognostications can be read like that), so Revelation may not have been skipping very far forward at all.
  • Dragon Bones has one that takes place only a year later, but changes everything. More precisely, Ward has a feeling that something has changed, rides to the place where he killed his slave and friend Oreg, and finds that Oreg was not, in fact, as dead as Ward thought he was, and the body that was killed was not his real one. And Oreg is a dragon, who is now freed of the evil magic that bound him before.
  • Zig-zagged with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. After the defeat of the White Witch and the coronation of the protagonists, the book skims over the events of the next several decades before coming back in on a scene of the four as adults. Then they wander back into their proper world (having nearly forgotten it) and discover that despite the passage of time they experienced, they've emerged only moments after they left, and they've even reverted to the ages they were at the time.
  • The main events of the epilogue of War and Peace take place 8 years after the events of the novel conclude. Tolstoy, per his genius, covers 8 years in thirty pages, compared with the first 7 years of the novel which took a thousand pages to describe.
  • The last chapter of Harry Potter takes place 19 years after the end of the story. It shows all the main characters taking their children to the Hogwarts train, where we briefly catch up with what they've been doing for the last few years. All of them married, some to each other.
  • The Handmaid's Tale ends x-mumble years later with the finding of the documents that made up the preceding book, and scholars opining: "Oh, my, weren't people back then just so foolish; of course, nothing like that could ever happen again."
  • Brothers of the Snake ends with the story jumping ten years forward, explaining how the Big Bad got his Karmic Death.
  • Nation, set around the turn of the 19th century, finishes in the present day with an old man wrapping up the story to his grandkids, who are not remotely impressed by the Bittersweet Ending.
  • 1984: The scholarly appendix at the end on Newspeak is written in the past tense in standard English, implying Newspeak is no longer the spoken language. A matter of some dispute.
  • Subverted in And Another Thing..., in which the Distant Finale was, in fact, a construct that took place in the minds of the characters while on an exploding planet. This was, oddly enough, at the BEGINNING of the novel. The story continues uninterrupted from there.
  • The Pendragon Adventure ends several decades in the future, where Bobby has been able to live out his life as if he had never been a traveler. Solara granted the wishes of the travelers, including Bobby, for them to get to live back in their homes, so it created an alternate timeline for them to live their lives in, until it was time for the travelers to return to Solara.
  • Titan by Stephen Baxter has a very Distant Finale; it jumps several billion years to when the Sun has gone red giant and Titan is warm enough to have evolved sentient life.
  • The Lord of the Rings was originally going to have one with Sam telling the story to his children, but Tolkien decided against including it. It was eventually published in Sauron Defeated.
    • The appendices include The Tale Of Years, which ends by summarising the next 150 years and telling us what happened to most of the main characters: Sam becoming a widower at an advanced age and (according to hobbit tradition) crossing the Sea to rejoin Frodo; Merry and Pippin dying as centenarians in Minas Tirith and later being entombed with Aragorn himself; Gimli crossing the Sea with Legolas after Aragorn's death, the only Dwarf ever to wish to do so or be allowed.
  • Tuck Everlasting has an epilogue that skips ahead several decades to 1950, two years after Winnie has died of old age.
  • The finale of Great Expectations is set 11 years after the main story.
  • The Warrior Cats prequel Bluestar's Prophecy ends many years after the main story, with Bluestar making a decision which causes the events of the first book.
  • Manifold: Space features a very brief finale set in the extreme future to demonstrate that the cycle of extinction events was indeed broken at last.
  • The Necroscope series eventually ends with an epilogue implying Vampirism is eventually cured in a few hundred years' time, that the whole world has developed esper skills, and is now a post-scarcity environment.
  • The novel of The Lovely Bones ends with Susie's charm bracelet, which could have provided a clue to her murder, being found years after the fact by a couple who have no idea to whom it once belonged.
  • Time Regained, the last volume of Marcel Proust's A la recherche de temps perdu, inverts this trope. We see all the characters we met in the preceding volumes—all those who have survived, at least—years or sometimes decades after they had last figured in the narrative. The party at which this all takes place is, however, the entire epic's present, with the whole story told in Flashback.
  • Star Trek: Federation has two of them. The first takes place after Star Trek: Generationsnote  and the Enterprise-D's destruction and deals with Picard receiving a time capsule from Starfleet Archives containing a message to him from Kirk, whose ship he encountered in the book due to a Negative Space Wedgie. The second takes place centuries in the future, in a time when the Federation has united the entire galaxy and a ship with "sidewarp" drive has traveled beyond its edge, finding a Preserver beacon out in deep space and opening a new era. "In the language of the time, the ship's name is Enterprise."
  • The Infernal Devices: The epilogue of Clockwork Princess takes place in modern day, with Tessa recalling her life with Will, his death of old age in her arms as Jem played the violin, and finally meeting with Jem who has been freed from the Silent Brothers and the two of them starting a new life together.
  • The Power of Five: The epilogue to Oblivion features Holly, decades later and now an old woman, reminiscing on the time she spent with the Five and what became of them after they disappeared.
  • A good number of The History of the Galaxy books end this way, although the "distance" is usually only a few years. Enough to show a happy family with a child or two. As can be expected, these characters are not featured in any subsequent books, their stories having ended. One notable example in the book The Serv-Battalion, where the titular battalion is wiped out to a man. The distant finale, in this case, involves the recovery of their mostly-intact machines and refitting them for further service in the war. Due to the nature of the Brain–Computer Interface, the machines slowly regain the memories and personalities of their dead pilots. They reform the battalion and return to the place of their creation to rescue the inventor of the machines.
  • After the penultimate chapter of Geoph Essex's Lovely Assistant, we get a pretty satisfying one of these in the final chapter, when Jenny goes to guide Calvin to the next world about seventy years later.
  • Queenie by Jacqueline Wilson is set in 1953, when eleven-year-old Elsie and her grandmother go to watch the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Its final chapter takes place sixty years later with Elsie, now a grandmother herself, wondering whether she will live to take her own grandchildren to see Prince Charles's coronation.
  • The Mortal Engines series ends with Shrike telling the story hundreds or thousands of years later.
  • Most of All The Light We Cannot See is set from 1934 to 1944, but a couple of later chapters jump the story to 1974 and the last chapter finds central character Marie, a teenager during World War II, as an old lady in 2014.
  • Small Gods had a finale set 100 years after the main storyline, leading to endless headaches for Discworld fans as they tried to work out if this meant the bulk of the novel was set 100 years in the past relative to the other books, or if the finale was set 100 years in the future of the other books, and what either of these options meant for the portrayal of Omnianism in later books. Thief of Time revealed that a century of Omnian history had been conflated together by the History Monks, and nobody noticed.
  • Lilies of the Field (1963) by William Barrett ends with a short flash-forward about twenty or thirty years. The ramshackle convent is now a bustling community center, school, and religious center. The events of the novel have become folklore and myth when they are remembered at all. The foundation of the convent and how Homer Smith helped them out has all become legend. No one remembers what Homer Smith really looked like (except they still know that he was African American). This has not stopped them from portraying him in stained glass and statutes as an angelic or saintly character.
  • The Black Obelisk essentially ends with Ludwig moving to Berlin shortly after the introduction of the Rentenmark in 1923, then quickly summarizes how the rest of the cast (Ludwig having moved to New York a few years later) fared during World War II - i.e., about as well as you'd expect.
  • The Super Powereds series ends with a birthday party for Nick and Alice's son 10 years after the events of the final novel. Alice, Roy/Hershel, Vince, and many of their friends have become well-known Heroes. Alice also runs her father's company and plans to release the Powered cure for pennies, as soon as she gives birth to her second child. Her husband Nick is a senator. Eliza is about to take over from Nick's retiring aunt. Many pairs have married (except Thomas and Violet, they still Cannot Spit It Out but live together). Vince also has a baby sister, from Globe pairing up with Clarissa. Alice's mom and Abridail have received the cure and are recovering. Globe has been given a teaching position at Sizemore, while Titan prepares to take over from Dean Jackson. While the future is still uncertain and may result in a war, Shelby's visions imply that her grandson will play a crucial role in it. Oh, and many others have kids now, except Hershel and Mary, but Mary thinks she may be pregnant.
  • Arthur C. Clarke's 2010: Odyssey Two ends with "Epilogue - 20,001".
  • The Genesis Fleet is a prequel to The Lost Fleet, set centuries earlier and retells the story of the formation of The Alliance. At the end of the prequel trilogy, we are once again thrust forward to the time of the main series (after it, actually), where the two main characters are reading a letter describing these events and the role their ancestors played in the formation of the Alliance (John Geary, for one, had no idea that his ancestor Robert Geary was a war hero, while Tanya Desjani had no idea that her ancestor Carmen Ochoa was born on Mars).
  • In The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School, the distant finale is a chapter set about 15 years after the main action, in which the protagonist returns to the school for a reunion with her old school friends and we learn what became of most of the main characters. In a twist, due to timey-wimey caused by a Thin Dimensional Barrier, it's not the last chapter of the book.
  • George Zebrowski’s "Foundation’s Conscience": This Short Story takes place centuries after Foundation and Earth, which was the latest volume by In-Universe chronology. It even takes place after the Encyclopedia Galactica edition that gets quoted in most of the other books, and is designed to be a story that brings closure to the series. However, context suggests only The Foundation Trilogy is canon for this story.
  • The Emperor's Gift: The final chapter of the novel takes place decades after the Months of Shame, with Hyperion now a Prognosticar and Malchadiel returning from his training as a Techmarine on Mars so they can finally ring the Bell of Lost Souls for Sothis.
  • Ravensong: The epilogue occurs 25 years later.
  • The final chapter of The Sisters Grimm jumps ahead 13 years, to Sabrina's wedding day... then 16 years further, to show her children and the sudden growth of wings on the oldest daughter, hinting that Sabrina's wedding plans changed, and she married Puck instead.
  • Eye of a Fly ends thirty years in the future, with a middle-aged Ernest revisiting his childhood neighborhood with his wife Erika in The '90s.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The final scene of Alias is set a few years into the future: Dixon visits Sydney and Vaughn, who are living in peace by the sea with their two children, to ask for their help catching Sark (again). Also, we learn that Isabelle has the potential to be a great spy, just like her mom — but it seems she just wants to lead a normal life.
  • 'Allo 'Allo! ends like this. All the members of the cast are elderly and Gruber and Helga (now married with children) come to visit and they wonder whatever happened to the Fallen Madonna. Helga still has the left boob in her purse and they work out that the rest of the painting is in the local statue of Rene the town put up. Then Rene elopes with Yvette as Edith shouts out the attic window at them.
  • The final episode of Austin & Ally takes place four years after the episode before it, and the final half of that episode skips to 10 years later where the title characters are married and have children.
  • Babylon 5: "Sleeping in Light", 19 years later, as well as the season 4 finale "The Deconstruction of Falling Stars", a whole episode of this trope, showing us the impact of the titular space station 100, 500, 1,000, and 1,000,000 years in the future.
  • The current page image comes from Battlestar Galactica (2003), in which the finale takes place 150,000 years after the series in modern times. It's implied that Hera Agathon is Mitochondrial Eve, and it's left ambiguous whether modern humanity is on the path to make the same mistakes that led to the series in the first place.
  • A possible interpretation of the final scene of Castle, though Dying Dream is another. Castle and Beckett are lying on the ground, both shot, with no apparent means of rescue, the screen fades to black, and then it cuts to a scene of the two in their apartment, having breakfast with three brunet children, roll credits. The series apparently ended a season before it was supposed to, so they kept the intended season finale Cliffhanger, then added on the intended series finale for an attempt at closure, to jarring effect.
  • Dawson's Creek: The two-parter "All Good Things..." and "...Must Come to an End", 5 years later. This had the added effect of making the actors look only 5 years older than their characters rather than 10 years.
  • Deadwood received a distant finale 13 years after the final episode in the form of a film set 10 years later.
  • Doctor Who: "Human Nature"/"The Family of Blood" ends with a scene set decades later, with an elderly Tim Latimer at a Remembrance Day service, which the Doctor and Martha have visited in order to see him one last time.
  • Dollhouse: Epitaph One, included with the first season DVDs, is set 10 years in the future, showing what the consequences of the Dollhouse's technology will be on civilization. It's not pretty. This is picked up in the second season, with Epitaph Two: Return, where the world is restored thanks to Topher's Heroic Sacrifice, Paul is anticlimactically shot, and Echo receives an imprint of him as a parting gift from Alpha.
  • Eureka's first season finale is four years in the future, but this is a subversion because two characters then proceed to time-travel back four years.
  • Flashpoint: The series finale's final scene takes place "One Year Later" and reveals that Spike and Winnie are dating, Sam and Jules have a daughter named Sadie, Sam has been named Team Leader of Team Three, Ed has been promoted to Sergeant, and that Parker was permanently disabled by the events of the finale and had to retire from active duty, but will continue to serve by teaching at the Police Academy.
  • Glee ends with a look at the glee club alumni in 2020:
    • Rachel married Jesse, is Kurt and Blaine's surrogate, and wins a Tony.
    • Kurt and Blaine perform together at Lincoln Center, work with children, and are expecting their own child via surrogate Rachel.
    • Mercedes toured with Beyoncé, then became a big music star herself.
    • Artie got back together with Tina and has a film in a film festival.
    • Will and Emma have more children and continue to work at McKinley, now a performing arts school.
    • Sue is Vice President of the United States, with Becky as her bodyguard/Secret Service agent.
  • The Good Place: Zig-zagged, though more played straight than not. The majority of the final episode takes place in The Good Place itself, opening a good amount of time after the previous episode and regularly jumping ahead in time as more people from the main cast's lives enter the Good Place (which itself requires them to undergo a Purgatory-type system that can take a great deal of time). By the end, the characters have experienced likely thousands of years in the afterlife. However, the Timey-Wimey Ball nature of the afterlife allows the final scene, set on Earth, to directly follow from that previous Time Abyss yet still occur in the present.
  • Gotham: The last episode jumps ahead 10 years from where the previous episode ended, with Bruce returning to Gotham after spending all those years away and finally becoming the hero he was destined to be.
  • Grimm: After Nick, Trubel, and the ghosts of Kelly and Marie kill Zerstörer, Nick is thrown back in time several days to when all his friends and loved ones (and Renard) are still alive. He's grateful. 20 years later, his son Kelly is writing down these events into the Grimm book, before Diana comes to get him for a Grimm job, grabbing Zerstörer's staff from the weapons locker. Diana mentions that their parents are coming too, as are Monroe and Rosalee's triplets. As Kelly playfully grabs the staff and runs out of the trailer, Diana's eyes glow, and the book closes by itself onto the "G" letter.
  • The Guiding Light 's 72-year run ended with a not-so-Distant Finale scene, set one year after the rest of the episode.
  • How I Met Your Mother reverses this — the premise is that 20 or so years after the main character has met, married and had kids with the girl of his dreams, their father decides to tell the story of how the two of them met — and the entire series becomes a giant flashback to relate this story, going on for nine seasons with only occasional remarks from Stock Footage of the kids to keep the frame story intact... until the series finale, where this is played more straight. The two-part finale begins in the present and skips forward through 2020 until the final scene which, naturally, occurs in the framing device itself with Ted and his kids (in 2030).
  • iZombie: The final ten minutes or so of the series finale jump ten years ahead from the end of the brief human-zombie race war in Seattle and the distribution of the zombie cure, and shows what's become of everyone — Clive and Dale have moved to San Francisco and are joint captains on the local police force, Ravi and Peyton have moved to Atlanta where he's now running the CDC and she's a district attorney, and Liv and Major are letting everyone but their friends think they died in the fighting and have retired together to a remote island along with the zombie orphans Liv took in as Renegade (and who can't be cured without their preexisting illnesses killing them).
  • The CW TV series Life Unexpected was cancelled in its 2nd season due to low ratings. To prevent ending the series without closure for the fans in an already short 2nd season, there is a random 2 year time skip at the end of the final episode, taking place after Kate runs into Ryan's ex-girlfriend Julia, who it turns out WAS pregnant from her brief affair with Ryan when he and Kate were separated. Kate returns to break the news to Ryan, and suddenly a "TWO YEARS LATER" title card appears and we are at Lux's graduation, where she is Valedictorian of her class, and we are slowly revealed that Julia and Ryan are now a couple, as are Math and the radio show producer, who is now pregnant. After the speech and the group posing for a photo op, the show ends with the big reveal that Kate and Baze are finally a couple (We watch the two of them share a long passionate kiss), thus giving Lux a real family with her real mom and dad.
  • Little Lunch: Enforced. The 2016 specials take place a year after the series proper, with "The Nightmare Before Graduation", as you can possibly guess, taking place just prior to the kids graduating. According to Word of God, this was because by the time of filming the kids had all grown so much they couldn't possibly pretend they were all still in grade 5.
  • The final episode of Lost revealed that the Flash-Sideways was a distant afterlife. Christian tells Jack that some of the other characters died "long after" Jack, and given that Hurley became the island's immortal protector, it's quite possible that millennia have passed since Jack's death.
  • Mad About You: "Final Frontier", 22 years later, with flashbacks.
  • Merlin (2008) ends in the present day with a very elderly Merlin walking down a road and looking out at the island of Avalon, still waiting for Arthur to return.
  • Inverted on Newhart: In the final scene of the last episode, Dick Loudon wakes up to discover that his entire life from 1982 to 1990 as depicted in Newhart was actually a dream of Bob Hartley, the protagonist of The Bob Newhart Show, which had last aired in 1978. That comes after a false "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue in the same episode.
  • Parks and Recreation: The series finale features an epilogue for all of the main characters, ranging as far into the future as 2048.
  • ReGenesis: "The Truth", 35 years later, although it's heavily implied to be David's dying hallucination.
  • Resurrection Ertugrul: The entirety of season 5 counts as this, taking place an entire decade after the events of the third and fourth seasons (Which themselves took place five years after seasons 1 and 2).
  • Six Feet Under: "Everyone's Waiting" follows (almost) all of the main characters to their deaths years in the future.
  • Smallville's final scenes take place in the year 2018, with Lex Luthor elected as the US president, and Clark, Lois and the younger Jimmy working at the Daily Planet; the episode also had a scene of Chloe reading a Smallville comic book to her son.
    • Of course, then Crisis on Infinite Earths comes along and adds another epilogue by showing that Clark ended up giving up his powers after a career as Superman and moves to the Kent Farm with Lois to raise their daughters. Ironically, this ends up saving his life when Earth-38's Lex Luthor comes to kill him with kryptonite. Then the entire multiverse is wiped out anyway.
  • Stargate SG-1's final episode, "Unending", featured SG-1 and General Landry being caught in a time-distortion field and living and aging 50 years while less than a second of time passed outside. This was undone, and everyone but Teal'c completely forgot the 50 years that had been.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: "These Are the Voyages", set 6 and 200 years later.
    • Interestingly, the episode is woven in with a Next Generation episode that aired more the 15 years before.
  • This trope seems to be popular with the latter-day producers of Star Trek: The Next Generation, Voyager and Enterprise — in approximate descending order of their reception — all have final episodes that show possible futures for the crew, but none are exactly set in stone: the futures in "All Good Things" and "Endgame" are alternate futures that aren't necessarily destined to unfold in the main timeline (in the latter case, the events of the episode specifically preclude the future depicted), and the events depicted in "These Are The Voyages..." are a retelling through a holodeck simulation, which allows the possibility that what's shown may not be exactly accurate to reality. (Many fans latched onto that last one out of a widely-agreed-upon belief that Trip dying a senseless, anticlimactic death to some minor bad guys six years later was a particularly lousy way to go out.)
  • Strange Days At Blake Holsey High has a strange exception, considering the final episode is a film. It takes place a year after Josie disappears into the wormhole.
  • Third Watch ends with Office John "Sully" Sullivan giving an epilogue on the fates of all the characters—marriage, children, jobs, etc., including himself, retired and living upstate.
  • Parodied in Tim & Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, as one of the earliest episodes is a preview of the 50th anniversary special.
  • Timeless: The last scenes of the Grand Finale jumps ahead five years, showing what's happened to the team in the meantime — Wyatt and Lucy have gotten married and had two daughters, Lucy is now a tenured history professor, and Rufus and Jiya have started a charitable organization that supports scientific education for children — and then has them come together for one last mission to put in place the events that started the series in the first place.
  • Ultraman Max, probably the only example in the Ultra Series so far, ends its series finale with a Time Skip maybe half a century into the future, with Kaito Touma and Mizuki Koishikawa sending off their grandchildren to university on Mars.
  • Veep: The last scene of the Grand Finale suddenly cuts ahead 24 years to depict Selina's state funeral, and show what's happened to all the other characters in the intervening time.
  • The final episode of Warehouse 13 ends "several decades in the future", with three new agents who are a lot like Pete, Myka and Artie, and Claudia having not only taken up Mrs Frederic's position but her Stealth Hi/Bye skills, some of her attitude, and her hairstyle.
  • A variation on The West Wing: The opening of the last season is set 3 years after the end of the previous one, and shows who has married, who has changed careers etc. It still leaves open the big question of who won the next general election, though.
  • The epilogue of Will & Grace occurs when the pair, who had a falling out around the time they each had children, are reunited by the meeting-in-college and eventual marriage of said children.


  • The final scene of Marjorie Prime takes place years after all of the human characters have died, leaving behind only their holographic representations to interact with each other.
  • At least a decade passes between the 3rd and 4th acts (only in the musical update) of Vanities. In the original, the Manhattan tea party was the finale. The off-Broadway version also had a How We Got Here format. In the Theatreworks version, it was more of a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • Pacific Overtures, during the final number, skips forward over more than a century of Japanese history after the beginning of the Meiji Restoration, and the entire cast changes into modern dress and starts rattling off facts about modern-day Japan.
  • Most of Saint Joan occurs during the period 1429-1431, ending on the day of Joan's death. The final scene, described as the "Epilogue", jumps forward 25 years to the day of Joan's official rehabilitation (and includes a dream vision that goes even further forward, to show Joan being recognized as a saint in 1920).

  • Beast Wars: Uprising: The final story, The Inexorable March, borrows from Babylon 5 and first goes from immediately after the previous story to a month ahead, a year, a decade, a century and then a millennia onward - the last one ending with two Cybertronian ships crash landing on an unknown planet, far from home, with the captain vowing to do what he can to get both parties back. "Little did he know."

    Video Games 
  • Zero's ending in Mega Man X6 was retconned into this when Capcom decided to continue to the series for a few more games.
  • The visual novel Fate/stay night has several, due to its Multiple Endings:
  • Asellus' "Human" and "Half-Mystic" endings in SaGa Frontier take place decades after killing the Big Bad, Orlouge. The Human ending shows a slideshow of her living out the rest of her life, while the Half-Mystic ending shows her having retained eternal youth, visiting her old friend, Gina. Her Full-mystic ending takes place more or less immediately after the final battle.
  • Mega Man Battle Network 6 does this in pure text, presumably to eliminate the need for new sprites.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • The epilogues of Final Fantasy V and Final Fantasy XII are both set a year after their respective final battles.
    • Final Fantasy VII's last scene is after the credits, showing Red XIII and his children, 500 years after the game, coming upon the ruins of Midgar. It is an edge case of the trope, since it's a short scene, but it only covers one character and there's no voiceover narration or text explanation.
    • Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII takes place 500 years after the end of the previous game, in which time has stopped for everything except the people, no one dies, and no newborns can be conceived. The ending of the game itself takes place sometime after the new world has been created, though exactly how that world even started is left unclear.
  • The final screen of Marathon Infinity is set in the last quantum moment before the end of the universe.
    • Not quite as impressive, but Marathon 2's ending screen detailed events happening 10000 years after the end of the gameplay.
  • Used in the Visual Novel Crescendo (JP), where the bad ending for Yuka's path takes place several years later at a class reunion.
  • The good ending of BioShock. The little sisters grow up to live normal, happy lives. Oh, and you die of old age...with every little sister you saved by your side in your final moments.
  • An unorthodox version in Ghost Trick: At the end of the game you go back 10 years into the past and save Yomiel from the meteorite. The epilogue shows what happened 10 years after that (though it's the same day as when the rest of the game was set) and how everyone's lives have changed as a result of the new timeline.
  • Valkyria Chronicles shows Welkin and Alicia married with their daughter named Isara.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
    • The Stinger of II is set a year after the events of the game, as revealed in Coded.
    • Similarly, Birth by Sleep has a secret ending set at the same time as II's post-credits scene. Since BbS is a distant prequel, however, it actually takes place 12 years after the rest of the game.
  • Shining Force 2's epilogue occurs two years after the victory against Zeon.
  • killer7: Chapter 6 ("Smile") is the proper final stage in the game, in which Garcian Smith discovers that his true identity is Emir Parkreiner and that the other six Smiths are actually people that he killed years ago in the Union Hotel. The epilogue, known as Cahpter 7: "Lion" is set five years later and has Garcian, having reverted back to his Emir identity, fulfilling a final mission on Battleship Island, eliminating the last few Heaven Smiles and either killing or sparing eminent Japanese politician Kenjiro Matsuoka. The very final scene is set one hundred years after that, showing Harman and Kun Lan meeting again in Shanghai beginning the next cycle of their eternal game against each other.
  • Fallout games show the montage of your adventure's long-term consequences, most of which depend on your sidequests' results.
  • The "A Wonderful Life" Harvest Moon sub-series ends with these, after you die.
  • While most of Rogue Squadron's story takes place prior to the Battle of Hoth, the last mission is years later during the Dark Empire conflict, specifically the Battle of Calamari where the World Devastators were stopped.
  • The epilogue of Mass Effect 3 occurs several millenia after the events of the finale, with an old man telling a story to a child about the series' protagonist, now known as "The Shepard". In one ending, the interlude is at least 50,000 years.
    Child: Did that all really happen?
    Stargazer: Yes, but some of the details have been lost to time. It all happened so very long ago.
    • With the Extended Cut, we also see still-frames showing what the various characters and factions got up to after Shepard's work was done. The possible scenes run the gamut from Awesome to Heartwarming to straight-up Tear Jerker territory, depending on what characters survived, and what choices Shepard made.
  • Star Control II ends with the protagonist as an old man, telling his story to his grandchildren.
  • Duel Savior Destiny: Lily Sheerfield's epilogue takes place a thousand years after the events of the story when her mother finally breaks out of a sealed dimension and returns home.
  • The final scene in Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is set 1000 years after the rest of the game, during the modern day, in which an immortal Zobek tries to enlist Gabriel (AKA Dracula) into helping him stop Satan from returning to earth. The sequel picks right up from that.
  • Subverted in Illusion of Gaia Where at the end the protagonists find that Due to the meteor's radiation the world had evolved quickly, and the futuristic ending is the present for them.
  • Lufia II: Rise of the Sinistrals has this as The Stinger. Much like how the first game started with a flashback to Maxim's final battle, Lufia II ends with Lufia meeting Maxim's descendant 90 years later.
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End ends in a segment where you play as Nate and Elaine's teenage daughter rummaging through her parents' old souvenirs of their adventures.
  • During the True Ending of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, there's a brief flash of what appears to be Venom Snake as Big Boss during the events of Metal Gear 1. As well as that, slow, echoing gunshots can be heard in the background during the beginning, implied to be coming from Solid Snake as he sneaks through Outer Heaven.
  • The Legacy of the Confederation mod for StarCraft (released prior to the Brood War Expansion Pack) has humanity fighting a desperate Hopeless War against the alien "Roaches" (i.e. Zerg) with the aliens eventually overwhelming humanity and nearly wiping us out. The Protoss then find out about it and arrive to obliterate the Zerg on Earth before leaving without saying a word to the human survivors, although they leave some of their tech to help the survivors rebuild their civilization. The final "mission" is entirely scripted and shows a mighty fleet gathered after a Time Skip to take the fight against the Zerg to the Koprulu Sector.
  • The true ending of Middle-earth: Shadow of War ties directly into the The Lord of the Rings trilogy which is roughly between 60-50 years after the game's events. After completing Shadow Wars mode which is unlocked after the Final Boss, Talion becomes a Ringwraith in service to Sauron and then fast-forwards to the very end of Return of the King when the One Ring is destroyed, Sauron is destroyed and Talion finally is released from his curse and allowed to pass on into the afterlife.
  • Dark Souls 3, compared to the other two entries of that franchise. They take place relatively close to each other (although there's at least a thousand years between them), with the First Flame showing no sign of permanently fading. Dark Souls 3, however, is set countless thousands of years in the future, where so many cycles have come and gone that the Flame is at risk of permanently going out, and the events of the first two games aren't just legends, but the legends of long-dead civilisations. Taken up to eleven with The Ringed City DLC, implied to be set even further in the future, and possibly travels further still, showing the ultimate fate of the last survivors, but also, ironically, revealing lore that originated before the first game.
  • Most of Hypnospace Outlaw takes place in The '90s, with time skips of a few weeks scattered in. However, the last chapter, after the Mindcrash, takes place in the Present Day, with the in-universe clock displaying the actual date and time on your computer thereafter.
  • The last anime cinematic of Tales of the Abyss takes place three years after the final battle, on the day of Luke's coming of age ceremony which he can't attend, since he's gone missing since the last battle. Tear goes to Tataroo Valley instead of going to the ceremony, and the rest of the party joins her there, including a mysterious red-haired figure who is either Luke, Asch or some combination of the two.
  • In Mizuchi, one of Ai's endings takes place in modern day, revealing that the protagonist Linh and Ai are still very much in love with each other after centuries have passed and that they have two daughters.
  • Mission Critical has the protagonist opt to travel into the new future at the end to see how things turn out with the Alliance winning the war. He arrives to find a Dyson Sphere surrounding the Sun where Earth used to be with humans living on the sunny inner side and the ELFs on the airless outer side. While everything appears to be great, the protagonist notes that the ELFs are rapidly evolving and may soon leave humanity behind.
  • The True Ending in Episode 22 of Asura's Wrath takes place 870 million years in the future in modern New York City.
  • Halo: Reach ends with a shot of the location of Noble Six's last stand over 30 years later, showing that Reach has been re-terraformed following the end of the Human-Covenant War, accompanied by a narration from Dr. Halsey explaining how instrumental Six was the the human's eventual victory, and lamenting that they didn't live to see it.

  • Unicorn Jelly ends with jumps of 350, 116,666, and finally 150,000 years. Then the semi-sequel Pastel Defender Heliotrope jumps 700,000 years after the original. And then that sequel has a 100,000 years later Distant Finale.
  • In 8-Bit Theater the epilogue is 3 years in the future, with a dramatic Art Shift to boot. Fighter and Black Mage never did find that Armor of Invincibility from the beginning of the strip.
  • Penny and Aggie, a high school dramedy, skips ahead 6 years in its final chapter (the previous arc having ended just before the main cast's senior year) to the characters' Class Reunion.
  • Dominic Deegan:
    • The comic's finale shows the titular character and his wife growing old together, apparently gaining at least one child along the way. As both were effectively sterilised along the course of the plot, if they adopted or became fertile again is left up the reader.
    • To a lesser degree, Dominic is given one last vision from the Heart of Magic, showing a few brief snippets of the future of his family, friends and homeland.
  • Dorkly:The last comic of The RPG parody series has a time skip of several decades. One of the female leads goes from being in her early twenties to middle age.
  • Gorgeous Princess Creamy Beamy was given a wrap-up comic page 4 years after its abrupt last update. The main character, now in college, explains the fates of the characters. She mastered her fat-based super powers and now used them to eat as much as she wants and keep her figure, her enemies ended up getting together and having kids, keeping them too busy to try and kill her. All the mysterious characters ended up just leaving for various reasons and her best friend gained a lot of weight in her freshman year and was revealed to be an alien.
  • The epilogue of Zebra Girl is framed as Sandra telling her adoptive daughter a bedtime story, some time after most of her mortal friends have died of old age and magical creatures have integrated with human society.

    Web Original 
  • Tech Infantry has the Y3K story, set almost a millennium after the rest of the plot, and the abortive '"Tech Infantry: Exodus'' project, set several centuries after that.

    Western Animation 
  • Played with in Adventure Time: The Framing Device for the main story takes place a thousand years in the future (during which yet another apocalypse is implied to have happened), where BMO is telling the story of the Great Gum War to a new pair of adventurers who are analogues of Finn and Jake. However, when BMO finishes the story, they've mentioned nothing of what happened past the single day it took place over, and the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue only shows events at most a few months later.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force's third Series Fauxnale, which as part of the show's Negative Continuity was retconned in the following episode, begins in the present then ends with Meatwad in the future with a wife and two human-meat hybrid children after Shake, Frylock and Carl have died.
  • There is an As Told by Ginger movie which gives closure to the series and shows us that Ginger ended up publishing her diaries. We also see that Ginger and Darren are now married and have a baby.
  • The Batman: While not a finale per se, the season 4 episode "Artifacts" shows archaeologists unearthing the Batcave 1000 years in the future, interspersed with a story set about 20 years from the main timeframe of the series. The episode was well-received, with nods to Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns" (even using that as a Title Drop) and other elements of Batman mythos including something that, due to its cause, you'd never expect in a Batman cartoon; Barbara being Oracle (Read The Killing Joke).
  • The finale of Chowder takes place in the future with Chowder as an adult with his own apprentice.
  • The Codename: Kids Next Door series finale takes place when the kids of Sector V have grown up into rather old adults (who, in an artistic twist, are portrayed by real life actors rather than animated characters). Most of the episode is told via interviews and flashbacks, and attentive viewers can infer what the kids of Sector V grew up to be. 2 & 5, as well as 3 & 4, end up married. Numbuh 4 found his brain at some point, being a graduate of both Harvard Medical and Yale Law.
  • A Fairly Odd Movie: Grow Up, Timmy Turner!, the first Live-Action Adaptation of The Fairly OddParents, shows the life of Timmy Turner and his fairies 13 years after the timeframe of the cartoon. Of course, it was supposed to be the finale; it later got two sequels, the second of which is even more of a finale.
  • The Family Guy episode where Peter declares his house an independent country after Mayor West reveals that Peter's house is not on Quahog's map ends with the entire previous 21 minutes shown as having been presented to a class of children in in a future history class in space. The only question raised was whether or not people understood Stewie when he talked, which is what a lot of fans wondered back in the early days of the show. Word of God revealed that people do know that Stewie can talk, but because he's a baby, they don't take his threats or cursing seriously.
  • The 2nd-season finale of Justice League Unlimited, "Epilogue" (often mistaken for the first-season finale because the DVDs inexplicably package the first two 13-episode seasons as a single 26-episode season), was originally meant to be the series finale. It takes places some number of years after Batman Beyond, the DCAU series set the farthest into the future, making it both a Fully Absorbed Finale and a Distant Finale for the entire DCAU.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • Chuck Jones' classic "One Froggy Evening" shows the plot's cycle beginning anew a century later.
    • The Wartime Cartoon "The Ducktators", barnyard parable about the rise of the Axis powers, ends with the peaceful dove character showing his two sons the villains' heads mounted on his wall.
      Dove: I hate war, but once begun, well, I just didn't choose to run. So, I can point with pride and say there's three that didn't get away.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes: "Thank You For Watching the Show" features a series of Time Skips through various future adventures of K.O. and his friends, eventually leading to a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. We see things like Rad opening a cat cafe after serving a tour of duty in Planet X's space force, Enid going to "witch college" and taking over the running of the Fitness Dojo alongside Red Action, Dendy growing up to become the new CEO of POW Card Industries, and a 35+ year-old K.O. becoming a level 100 hero and taking over Gar's Bodega.
  • Moral Orel ends with a peek ahead at Orel as an adult. He managed to overcome the hellish family situation he had, and is seen happily married to his Distaff Counterpart Christina, with two kids, and a dog.
  • The last episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, "The Last Problem", takes place some unspecified time into the future. It can be estimated to be at least 15 years since characters who were babies throughout the show's present are now adults, possibly more given how much adult characters have visibly aged.
  • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts closes out with a time skip five years later after the final battle. Kipo, at age 18, says hello to her now deceased brother, Hugo, and explains how life is going in Las Vistas now that humans and mutes are living together peacefully.
  • Pepper Ann ended with a reunion in the future, with a B-plot set in the show's "present" shown through flashbacks.
  • More of a distant penultimate episode or Dénouement Episode since it aired right before the real finale, but the Phineas and Ferb episode "Act Your Age" is about a post-high school Phineas looking for a college and also finally subverting Oblivious to Love and realizing Isabella's love for him, ultimately ending with them going to the same college together.
  • The miniseries Red Planet ended 70 years after the events of the main story, with New Aries recovering fully from the pollution encouraged by General Beecher and the fully metamorphosized Willis befriending Jim Marlowe's granddaughter Jamie.
  • Regular Show's finale ends with a flash-forward 25 years into the future.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: The last episode took place 17 years in the future (although it seems much farther), complete with all of the generic Sci-Fi cliches about the future. It stars Filbert's kids, who ask Filbert, who suddenly is a very old man (This is lampshaded) about a banana they found in an abandoned house, which happened to be Rocko's. He tells them that a mix-up with a monkey that was intended to be launched into space eventually ended with Rocko, Heffer, Spunky, and the monkey travelling aimlessly through the stars. Because Nickelodeon could never let a show truly end, the ship they were stuck on crash lands next to Filbert's house, and the main cast suddenly meets up again.
  • The Simpsons Christmas episode from season 23 ("Holidays of Futures Passed") was written as a potential finale and takes place 30 years in the future, showing Bart and Lisa as parents trying to raise their children and realizing that parenting isn't as easy as it looks. Bart is a divorced dad living in what used to be Springfield Elementary School—which is now an apartment complex, while Lisa is trying to bond with her rebellious teenage daughter whom she had with Milhouse, and Maggie, now a popular singer, is about to have a child of her own.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie is this for SpongeBob SquarePants. Word of God says that everything that comes after the movie, seasons 4 and onward, including the second and third movie, are actually interquels.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Victory and Death", after Ahsoka and Rex escape their crashing Star Destroyer during Order 66, the final scene shows the Empire excavating the wreckage years later, and Darth Vader picking up the lightsaber Ahsoka left behind at a makeshift memorial.
  • Star Wars Rebels takes place before the original film trilogy, in the early days of the war against the Empire. The final scene of the series, in "Family Reunion — and Farewell", is a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue after the original trilogy.

Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Distant Epilogue


The Last Problem

Many moons later, the now grown up Twilight Sparkle rules Equestria with Spike alongside her, and her student Luster Dawn sees friendship as a waste of time like she did.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / DistantFinale

Media sources:

Main / DistantFinale