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Door-Closes Ending

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Sometimes at the end of a show, right before the Fade to Black, there will be a shot of a door closing, covering the characters from the audience's view. The type of door may vary, it could be anything from a typical front door on a house to the sliding doors of an elevator or the grand gates of some lavish estate.

Why the door is being shown this way at all will also vary.

  • It may be done to tease the audience, if, for example, the last characters seen are a favored pairing in a romantic looking setting and the writers are leaving the audience to ask Did They or Didn't They?.
  • It may be for comedic purposes, where one character has done something which is sure to lead to a Hilarity Ensues moment, but the door closes, leaving the audience to imagine what happens next.
  • It may be for something darker. If the hero has been captured by the Evil Overlord and has been taken to the dungeons to be tortured, but just as he is strapped to the rack, the dungeon door closes, shutting viewers out, and locking him inside along with whatever it is they are about to do to him.
  • Finally, if done at the end of a Grand Finale episode or the last movie of a series, it could be used to invoke the sense that the final curtain has come down.

These are a few examples, but it is by no means limited to them.

May overlap with any of various types of Discretion Shots. Opposite and possible Book End to the Open-Door Opening. A type of Hat-and-Coat Shot. Compare and contrast with Off-into-the-Distance Ending, Ending by Ascending.

As this is an Ending Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, the bonus chapter "The Blind Alchemist" ends with the gates to the mansion closing behind the Elric brothers as they depart.
  • Nightwalker: In the final scene of the show, Guni hangs a "closed" sign outside Shido's detective office and shuts the door.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica The Movie: Rebellion ends with a closed window ending. It represents Homura's sealing of the Law of Cycles after overthrowing Madoka and becoming a God of Evil, it's sealed shut with Madoka's ribbons.

    Comic Books 
  • An example of the first kind occurs at the end of Amazing Spider-Man #149, Peter Parker says farewell to the Clone of Gwen Stacey and then went home to his apartment, where he was pleasantly surprised to find someone waiting for him.
    Peter Parker: Mary Jane! Lady, am I ever glad to see you.
    Mary Jane Watson: Do you mean that, Tiger? For real?
    Peter Parker: Come here... and I'll show you. [Closes the door in the audience's face with an audible CLICK].
  • Strangers in Paradise ends the entire series like this.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Fantasia, the "Dance of the Hours" segment ends with the palace doors slamming so hard they're knocked off their hinges.
  • Frozen's Award-Bait Song "Let It Go" ends with Elsa closing the door of her ice palace, separating herself from all of civilization. It's used as part of a larger theme of doors and gates separating people, both for good and for bad.
  • Hey Arnold! The Jungle Movie ends with P.S. 118's doors closing behind Arnold after he enters the building. While this happens, we see his now-found parents Miles and Stella smiling on the stairway before the screen goes black and the show's "created by" credit appears.
  • The Mitchells vs. the Machines: The credits roll after Katie enters film school and closes the door behind her.
  • The Stinger in Mr. Peabody & Sherman has the titular characters walking into the WABAC Machine and shutting the door behind them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The original ending of 28 Days Later. Test audiences however assumed it meant the surviving protagonists were doomed, so a happier ending was filmed showing they had survived the Zombie Apocalypse.
  • Arms and the Man: Ends with a servant closing the gate to the Petkoff farmhouse, after the comedy is over and the two couples have been paired off.
  • Beyond a Reasonable Doubt ends with Tom being denied a pardon for his murder conviction—the governor finds out at the last second, literally as he's about to sign the paper, that Tom is guilty after all. The film ends with Tom being led out of the office by a prison guard as the door shuts behind him.
  • The director's cut of Blade Runner ends like this, immediately after the main character has found out he's a replicant too.
  • Breach: After Eric runs into Hanssen on the elevator and assures him that he'll pray for him, the elevator doors close. Cue Fade to Black.
  • The Candidate, in which one-time idealist Bill McKay wins election to the Senate, but sells his soul in the process. After the famous line "what do we do now?", Bill's campaign workers burst into the suite and more or less drag Bill and Marvin out of the room. The door closes behind them, leaving the hotel room empty and silent. Roll credits.
  • Child's Play '88 almost does this. As we see Andy heading out the door of his apartment but still fixed through it on Chucky's remains, the shot freezes before the door closes completely, but the sound is still heard.
  • The film of Don Giovanni ends with a servant closing the palace's doors.
  • Event Horizon ends with the door closing to the sleep chamber deck as Starck screams uncontrollably from the stasis nightmare she's had as the rescue crew try fruitlessly to calm her.
  • At the end of The Godfather, after Michael lies to Kay about not being responsible for killing his brother-in-law, we see the door shut on Kay as Michael is being proclaimed the new Don.
  • Goodfellas ends with Henry Hill closing the door of his new witness protection house.
  • At the end of Kenneth Branagh's Henry V the modern-dress Chorus ends the film with his epilogue, then closes the door on the newly engaged King Henry and his bride-to-be. This parallels the opening of the film, where after the Chorus's prologue he throws open the doors to show the first scene.
  • House on Haunted Hill (1959) ends with a door to the house closing by itself, accompanied by weird sounds.
  • How to Murder Your Wife ends with the butler sheepishly closing the door on the audience as he is about to possibly have sex with the mother of his employer's wife.
  • At the end of Hud, Anti-Hero/Villain Protagonist Hud watches his nephew Lonnie walk away. Now all alone after having driven everyone off, Hud gives a dismissive wave and closes the screen door to the kitchen. The End.
  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit: As Ryan is lead in to give his briefing to the president, the camera pulls back as the office door shuts.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service proper ends with Merlin closing the monitor panels of his Mission Control computer console, so as to discreetly avoid watching Eggsy having Rescue Sex with Princess Tilde. But this is quickly followed up by The Stinger.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, as Sam returns to his family and home, having just seen the last of the fellowship leaving.
  • The Mask of Zorro ends with a door closing behind the eponymous hero as he strides out into the sunset.
  • The Saw series does this multiple times with the same door of the same bathroom:
    • The first film ends with the Jigsaw Killer saying "Game over" before closing the bathroom door, leaving Adam to die.
    • The second film ends with Amanda saying "Game over" before closing the bathroom door, leaving Eric to die.
    • The seventh film ends with Dr. Gordon saying "Game over" before closing the bathroom door, leaving Hoffman to die. Noticing a pattern here?
    • The eighth film ends with Logan saying "I speak for the dead!" before closing the milking room door, after Halloran had died.
    • The ninth film ends with Emmerson (William Schenk) escaping the warehouse via elevator and Zeke shouting a Big "NO!" before the elevator doors close, after Marcus has died.
  • At the end of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the title character and his love interest walk through a door to hyperspace and it closes behind them.
  • At the end of The Searchers, a happy family reunion occurs inside a house, but Ethan realizes there is No Place for Me There and wanders off to the background desert. Ethan is left literally out of the picture as the door of the house closes and "The End" appears.
  • Sicario: Day of the Soldado ends with this, when Alejandro asks Miguel if he wants to become a sicario.
  • Snow White & the Huntsman ends with the throne room doors closing during Snow White's coronation.
  • The Spy Who Loved Me ends as the Royal Navy recovers the pod and the two spies are seen in an intimate embrace through its port window, much to the bemusement of their superiors on the ship. James Bond closes the blind on the window—seen from the outside—to give them some privacy.
  • A the end of the 1984 film The Stone Boy, about a boy who accidentally shoots & kills his older brother and the family's grief, there is a shot of the surviving brother and his father closing the barn doors, seen from the inside.
  • Stop! Look! And Laugh! has a humorous version. When Paul Winchell goes next door to complain about the party's noise, he walks into the middle of a pie fight, gets a Pie in the Face and angrily leaves by closing the door behind him followed by a "The End".
  • The Taking of Pelham One Two Three subverts this trope by having Mr. Green - the last surviving hijacker, who has been sneezing throughout the whole subway train heist - escort the two cops who were questioning him out of his apartment. Just as he closes the door, he sneezes one last time... cue Walter Matthau (whose character has heard that particular sneeze before) opening the door very slowly and giving Mr.Green the stink-eye.
  • The Truman Show has a variation. The in-universe show ends with a shot of Truman walking up a staircase and through the door that leads out of the studio and into reality. This isn't the last shot of the film, as it's followed by scenes of other characters reacting to the end of the show — but it is the last the real audience, as well as the in-universe audience, sees of Truman. Once he's left the show, Truman gets to live the rest of his life without anyone watching.
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader ends with a door closing on the picture of the Dawn Treader, presumably symbolising the end of Edmund and Lucy's adventures in Narnia.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Babylon 5:
    • One episode had Delenn ask Ivanova a rather awkward question as they get into a turbolift ( about human female periods), and while Ivanova tries to figure out how to respond, the doors close.
    • Another had G'Kar as a prisoner of Emperor Cartagia, who decides he doesn't like how G'Kar is looking at him. The solution? Pluck out his eye. As the emperor leaves, a guard pulls out a knife and the prison door is shut.
  • The Series Finale of Barney Miller ends this way, with Barney closing the door to the detectives' squadroom for the last time (the whole station is being decommissioned).
  • Boardwalk Empire: The second-to-last scene of Season 3 has one as an homage to the one from The Godfather, with a gender reversal as Margaret is the one who closes the door on Nucky.
  • Eleanor Bramwell flees to the English countryside to recover from a breakup with her fiancé. Throughout the episode, she has numerous flashbacks of him. In the final flashback, as she prepares to return to London, she imagines him walking out of a room and closing the door behind him, symbolizing that she's finally over him.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
  • Charmed did this many times throughout the series, including the series finale.
    • The season finales usually ended this way.
    • The Pilot ended this way, making subsequent uses of this trope more of a Call-Back.
  • The series finale of Cheers ends with Sam going through the routine for closing the bar in the evening. He walks over to his office and is about to enter when there is a knock at the front door. Sam thinks about answering it, but dismisses it, goes into his office, and closes the door. This is the inverse of the opening scene of the first episode of the series, where Sam emerges from his office and goes through the routine for opening the bar in the morning.
  • Occurs on Chuck at the end of "Chuck vs. the Masquerade" as Vivian reactivates Volkoff Industries.
  • The Closer: The last we see of Brenda Leigh Johnson in the Grand Finale is her eating one of her long-missed chocolates as the elevator doors close.
  • Inverted after the final battle of The Defenders (2017). As the Defenders file into the room where their friends are waiting to embrace them, Foggy Nelson and Karen Page are left staring at the open door, waiting for Matt Murdock to enter as well. He doesn't.
  • Friends: The last shot of the series pans arounds Monica's empty apartment, past the six keys belonging to the characters and fades out on the purple door and iconic gold frame that is the Friends motif to millions. Definitely representing the final curtain coming down as the gang have left Monica's for the last time and are moving on to a new era in their lives.
  • The final episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show ends with Ellen, after taking one Long Last Look at the cheering crowd, she turns off the TV as the stage door closes one last time.
  • During the closing credits of Get Smart, we see Maxwell Smart walking through a long series of doors, which each close behind him. Except for the last one, which doesn't close until Smart goes over to it to see why it's not closing, whereupon it closes on his nose.
  • The iCarly episode "iTwins" ends with Carly and the Puckett sisters in the elevator, as its door closes.
  • An episode of Kings ends with David bringing his brother home to a family that is not happy with him for supporting the king and shutting the door on him.
  • An episode of The Larry Sanders Show combines this with Brick Joke: midway through an episode, a character can be seen drawing something on the office door. The last thing that happens is people walk out the door, and as they close it behind them, we're treated to a drawing of a giant middle finger.
  • Mad Men does this numerous times, finally deliberately averting it in "The Suitcase."
  • The ending of a Modern Family episode parodies The Godfather ending, with Phil sternly telling Claire not to ask about his business, and Luke shutting the door in her face.
  • Movie segments on Mystery Science Theater 3000 end with a series of doors closing on the Satellite of Love.
  • The Nightmare Room does this twice every episode: once before the commercial break and once at the end.
  • Scrubs 1x15, "Bed, Banter, and Beyond" deconstructed Will They or Won't They?, showing JD and Elliot's first day together as well as the ensuing weeks and their break-up. The episode ended on the door of JD's apartment closing on the Dramatic Irony of JD and Elliot promising each other the relationship won't proceed down the path we just saw it follow.
  • Seinfeld did as well, when Jerry and Elaine are dumped as prospective godparents for a couple's child, who choose Kramer. They go across the hall to talk to him, and shut the door exactly (with the Fade to Black) as was done in The Godfather.
  • Star Trek: Picard: The final shot of the episode "The Impossible Box" is of Hugh and Elnor preparing to hold off Romulan footsoldiers until the Sikarian spatial trajector can power down, with the queencell's chamber door closing over them.
  • Warehouse13 has shots before some commercial breaks where the final screen shrinks and as if panning back to show the screenshot is inside a crate on a black field, then the top of the crate closes over it with a snap sound effect and then it goes to commercial.
  • An episode of Without a Trace ends like this after an agent sneaks into the Victim of the Week's bathroom in order to steal a bottle of painkillers (he's developed an addiction after being shot). He stops to stare at himself in the mirror as though he's horrified at what he's turned into, then walks out and turns out the light, prompting a cut to the end credits.

  • King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp's solo album Exposure closes with the sound of him hanging up a phone, walking away, and opening and closing a door, giving the impression of him exiting the album itself.
  • Sound Horizon: In the fourth horizon, five of the songs end with the sound of a heavy door (or, perhaps, a gate) being closed. Fans often interpret this as being the sound of the gates to paradise closing.
  • Yes did this on their album Fragile, when Jon Anderson's solo piece "We Have Heaven" ended with the sound of footsteps walking away and then a door slamming; the album's closing track, "Heart of the Sunrise", ends with a hidden track of the door reopening onto a reprise of "We Have Heaven.")
  • Michael Jackson's song "Thriller" begins (appropriately for a song about classic horror movies) with a creaky door opening, and ends (over Vincent Price's Evil Laugh) with that same door creaking shut and closing.

    Radio Drama 


    Video Games 
  • In BlazBlue, the Astral Finish of Relius Clover has him capturing the other character. The scene cuts to what appears to be a dungeon with shadows of hanging corpses in the backrgound and the victim restrained in one way or the other (each character has a different one). Relius then proceeds to say something, usually in the lines of "Let the experiments begin". Double doors close on the scene and the captured character is heard screaming.
  • Dark Souls II ends with the Player Character taking their seat on the Throne of Want, which is basically a kiln with a chair inside, and the door closing on them.
  • The Game Over sequence in Donkey Kong Country 3 has this.
  • Succeed in Evil Genius and the game concludes with a henchman shutting the door of the UN assembly hall, fully cementing that evil has triumphed because of you.
  • The ending of Little Nightmares II shows the door from the intro swinging shut on Mono's future self, the Thin Man.
  • Mario Party 8 has this in one minigame; the minigame starts with a door opening to find Player 1 in a room full of clocks. The winner, however, will be shown for the minigame end scene, where all of the clocks start ticking. After a while on the results screen in Party Mode, the door is then shown to be closing.
  • Project Zone ends with Kogoro and Mii walking into the latter's mansion for a drink of tea as the doors are closing.
  • Saw: The Video Game has this in the Truth ending. After his dead partner's wife dies in front of him, Tapp suffers a complete break from reality, hallucinating that he's still trapped in Jigsaw's games. He winds up in a mental hospital, and as he hallucinates a pendulum blade about to cut him in half, a hospital door closes on the player.
  • Defeat another faction by force in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, and you get to see one: the defeated faction leader levitating in a sphere of Electric Torture. Bloodcurdling scream. Blast door with the defeated faction's logo slamming shut, closing off the victim from view mid-scream.
  • Super Smash Bros. for the N64 had a variation on this. After defeating Master Hand on Classic, the camera zooms out to reveal the room from the title sequence, followed by the screen going black to the sound of a door shutting. Cue credits.
  • In Undertale, choosing to stay with Toriel at the end of the True Pacifist ending results in one of these. If you did a Genocide run at any point beforehand, though, there's one more Reveal Shot before the cut to black.

    Visual Novels 
  • The Game Over sequences in the Ace Attorney franchise end with the courtroom doors closing.
  • Inverted in Hotel Dusk: Room 215 and Last Window. The last player-controlled action is to open the door of the building the adventure has taken place in, representing Kyle having accepted the events of the game and moving on with his life.
  • Katawa Shoujo has one for Rin's Route If you select "Then Explain" during Hisao's argument with her, he slams the door on his way out, ending with a short quip.
  • Virtue's Last Reward has this on a more dramatic note. In certain endings/game overs where one or more player gets nine BP then you get to see the number nine door close slowly with a groan.

    Web Comics 
  • 1/0 ends this way, with a Happy Ending where everyone is Back for the Finale. Those who died during the comic's run were resurrected and turned into humans (except the Running Gag, which gets turned into a fish). The door in question is a dimensional door between the world of the comic (which will be destroyed) and the real world.

    Western Animation 
  • Code Lyoko's "Straight to Heart" ends with the door closing on the audience.
  • The first episode of Gravity Falls closes with one of these; Just as Dipper's narration wonders what other mysteries are in the titular Town with a Dark Secret, Grunkle Stan enters the secret passage behind the Mystery Shack's vending machine.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: "Volpina" ends this way after Marinette visits Master Fu and he reveals that he knows her identity because he gave her the Ladybug Miraculous in the first place.
  • The Grand Finale for Phineas and Ferb ends with a shot of Phineas waving the viewer goodbye and closing his back door.
  • The very last line of the Christmas special Rapsittie Street Kids: Believe in Santa is Nicole's father loudly ordering someone to close the front door of his house.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The episode where Plankton fails to see what the Krabby Patty is made from for the secret formula ends this way.
  • When Terrytoons started formatting their cartoons for TV, they attempted to end each show with a door closing, the character's face on the door and a star flashing above. Only three shows had this closing—Mighty Mouse Playhouse, The Heckle And Jeckle Cartoon Show and The Deputy Dawg Show.
  • The Thomas & Friends episode, "Lady Hatt's Birthday Party" ends this way after Sir Topham Hatt finally makes it to Lady Hatt's Birthday Party at Kirk Ronan Station.
  • The Owl House: The Season 2 finale, "King's Tide" ends on a shot inside the old house while it rains. Near the end, drops of Belos' goo fall from the ceiling and onto the doorknob, slamming it shut.


Video Example(s):


Arresting the HMKG Commander

Two Russian spooks overlook the fact that the funnily-dressed man they're to arrest/abduct/coerce has an actual military unit - His Majesty The King's Guard - at his beck and call.

How well does it match the trope?

4.6 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / MuggingTheMonster

Media sources: