So stay tuned to this station,
If not, we'll be unemployed,
A specific type of Medium Awareness, where the impeding end of the series is referenced within the show itself. Such events generally happen on the Grand Finale. Depending on the series, this may be done in the form of events in the final batch of episodes having a double meaning that alludes to an ending of some kind or characters directly Breaking the Fourth Wall.
Because this can sometimes imply a vocal dissatisfaction with the conditions (lack of viewers, Executive Meddling, Screwed by the Network) that could bring about an early end to a show, this may tie in with Biting-the-Hand Humor, and is generally used in media that lend themselves to it, such as Live-Action TV or Western Animation.
The opposite sort of lampshade to And the Adventure Continues. Contrast The Resolution Will Not Be Identified, where an intentionally written finale is not acknowledged as such in universe or on its network.
- The last episode of the Aggressive Retsuko shorts aired on TBS has Restuko getting a phone call telling her that the show is losing its timeslot. She demands an extension, and then asks the viewer to keep up the support for the show. This wasn't the end however, as Aggressive Retsuko then got a reboot on Netflix.
- Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo: The characters (including the narrator) complain that the series is canceled just before an epic fight, and the narrator complains that he was never visible through the entire series.
- The first Mahou Sensei Negima! anime has Satsuki and Zazie narrating the next episode preview for the final episode, during which they both point out they've yet to have any lines.
- In Cowboy Bebop, the preview at the end of episode 25 has Faye saying "It's over?"
- One of the chapter covers in Dr. Slump had a character on a phone stating there was only one volume to go before the series ends.
- Happens oh so very much in Gintama, often with plenty of Self-Deprecation from the characters as well. In fact, there's a whole episode based on the fact that the anime was unexpectedly cancelled (as opposed to all the times they were expecting to be cancelled) and the characters try to plan a fitting ending for the series.
- The final episode of I Can't Understand What My Husband is Saying begins with Hajime ranting about how he feels when a Slice of Life Thirteen Episode Anime is ending, and how he wishes he could see what happens to the characters afterwards. He also notes that just before an anime ends, something happens, like a graduation. And at the end of this anime? Well, the episode is titled "Me, Her, and Another".
- The Funimation dub of Crayon Shin-chan spent its third season finale shattering what was left of the fourth wall.
Narrator: Boy, this show's been swearing more this season. That's either a sign that the Supes support it.. o-or don't care about it! Hey Zach! We're not getting canceled, are we!?
ADR Director Zach Bolton: Nah, they got like 600 of these in Japan. We'll be doing this for years!
- Chronicles of the Going Home Club has this trope turn up as early as episode 4, with the cast trying to avoid cancellation or retooling into a fighting anime. Discussion of the ending also comes up in episode 11 (out of 12).
- In Medaka Box, the antagonist Anshin'in-san claims that the motivation for their master plan (Namely, having Zenkichi dethrone Medaka as the main character of the series) is that "Any manga that goes over 10 volumes is just coasting. And this series is already three volumes over the limit." Ultimately subverted, as Medaka reveals that Anshin'in doesn't have true Medium Awareness, but rather a psychological condition where she believes she's a fictional character, and needed to see something impossible like a protagonist being dethroned before she could commit suicide and end her existence.
- During Peter David's run on Captain Mar-Vell, Rick Jones developed Comics Awareness, knowing he's in a comic book and that it was about to be cancelled. The final issue of the series was entirely about the fact that it was the final issue of the series.
- The last issue of the first Mini Series of Ambush Bug had the title character celebrate the end of his series by hosting an after-party.
- In a Robert Kanigher issue of Wonder Woman during The Silver Age of Comic Books, one story was about Kanigher himself dropping most of the supporting characters to retool Wonder Woman into something closer to The Golden Age of Comic Books, as well as characters wondering whether or not he has a yellow bowtie.
- Robert Kirkman's Irredeemable Ant-Man, staring superhero slacker Eric O'Grady got the can at #12 leading to this cover◊. Which has various references to the previous cancelled titles from marvel's stable. In the reader mail section it's explained lack of buyers killed the book and Kirkman repeatedly jokes "Well if you buy 10,000 of this issue we can keep going."
- Issue #10 of the Marvel run of Mighty Mouse (which was derived from the Bakshi animated series) had the hero aware of the final issue as he confronts a foe he first feels he cannot defeat but soon reaches an epiphany:
Mighty Mouse: I've starred in ten gosh-darned good issues and nothing can change that!
- In Cartoon Network Block Party, the cover of issue #59 has everyone from CN who has appeared in the comic appear on a stage to take their last bows.
- The very last issue of X-Statix, Guy Smith is increasingly gripped with a sense that the team's final mission is going to be a very final mission. Sure enough, the whole team is killed off.
- The last issue of The Intimates features Punch talking about how much he hates when companies just suddenly cut off a comic book series without providing a resolution, which is precisely what happened to Intimates.
- Issue #17 of the first Quantum and Woody series ends with Woody picking up a telephone, then informing Quantum (and the reader) that the book has been cancelled. The trope was reversed when the title was un-cancelled a year later with a second phone call.
- Archie's Mega Man last issue was #55 before "going into hiatus" and ended with Dr. Light receiving a shock from the Time Skimmer. He sees visions of everything that will happen to Mega Man from adaptations of the 4th game onward, Mega Man X, Zero, ZX, and Legends before eventually being brought out of it, ensured that Mega Man, no matter what generation, will keep fighting the good fight. The issue ended with a full page Short Circuit comic (usually reserved for silly quick gags) which had Mega Man, his friends and villains singing "We'll Meet Again" even including other incarnations such as Bad Art Mega Man featured in Street Fighter x Tekken, the 90's Mega Man cartoon, European covers of Mega Men, and even his version from Captain N. Closing out with thanks to the viewers for reading, a gag about Mega Man Legends 2's infamous Cliffhanger ending, and the classic death explosion.
- Now it seems as if it really is the end, as many of the people who worked on the comic left to work on IDW's version of the Sonic the Hedgehog comic, taking the chance of the series continuing with them.
- The Unbelievable Gwenpool foreshadows the end of that series in #23, when Gwen realizes she can only see two more issues on the horizon through her medium awareness ability. Surely enough, it was confirmed Gwenpool would be ending at issue #25 shortly after the release of the former.
- The 44th and final issue of the Comic-Book Adaptation of The Ren & Stimpy Show had the story's last page end with "Goodbye, kids. It's been swell".
- The 16th issue of The All-New Batman: The Brave and The Bold, the second comic book tie-in of Batman: The Brave and the Bold, ends with Bat-Mite despondent from hearing that the comic is cancelled. Batman cheers him up by pointing out that he can always re-read Batman's adventures as long as he has his old comics.
- The last month or so of Bloom County was replete with this trope, as the characters are "fired" by Donald Trump (whose brain was implanted into Bill The Cat), and try to find jobs in other comic strips: Steve Dallas turns up as one of Cathy's dates, Oliver integrates The Family Circus, Milo appears in The Far Side, et cetera. At one point, Opus even laments that "comic strips aren't supposed to end!", and in the penultimate strip, summarily boots Ronald Ann through the doorway to Outland (yes, Berke Breathed's Sunday-only successor strip, mentioned by name), reasoning that "she was dawdling, and Beetle Bailey is taking over this space Monday."
- In the comic strip FoxTrot, the characters are aware that their creator, Bill Amend, is going to stop drawing regular daily comics and switch to Sundays only.
- The final daily strips of U.S. Acres had some hidden messages about the end of the strip, such as Lanolin wearing a sign on her body that says "The End is Near", and Orson reading a newspaper and trying to find himself in there. When Orson finds out he isn't in there, he disappears.
Sheldon: Orson, did you ever wonder if our days are numbered?
Orson: Not only numbered, but signed and dated, Sheldon.
Sheldon: No! Seriously!
Orson: Seriously, I live each moment as if it were my last panel. And after that, there's always animation!
- Finally, there was the Looney Tunes-style Porky Pig gag at the end of the very last comic.
- The last story arc of the strip Cleats had one character believe that if he stopped playing hackeysack with his soccer ball, the world would end. several "signs of the apocalypse" were shown, including an obese character becoming fit overnight. It was decided that "there's only one way to find out", upon which the character was jostled to make him drop the ball. And thus, the strip ended.
- This short fanfic for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic takes the fan interpretation that one character has Medium Awareness and runs with it... right off a cliff into a river of tears.
- In the epilogue of the final Calvin and Hobbes: The Series episode, the heroes ponder over their adventures and remark on how it feels like an era has ended, tying into the end of the series.
- The plot of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series at one point starts to involve the threat of somehow being "cancelled" by in-universe characters. It even changes its name to Cancelled Series.
- Ouran: The Vaguely Abridged Series has a three-part series finale in which Haruhi and the hosts eagerly await the ending of the show, and even try to stop it from getting renewed.
- Ultra Fast Pony: In "The Pet Games", when the flamingo gets disqualified from a talent competition for using Disney footage in his performance, the color commentators note that this copyright violation might get Ultra Fast Pony taken off the internet.
- In one of Mo Willems' Elephant & Piggie books, "We Are in a Book!", the main characters realize they're in a book. Piggie flips ahead to see how many pages are left, and Gerald freaks out when he sees how few there are. Subverted in that the book is not the end of the series.
- Similar to the above example, in the Sesame Street books The Monster at the End of This Book and Another Monster at the End of This Book, Grover becomes more and more panicked as he realizes that it's getting close to the end of the book and we're about to see the monster. ( In the first book, he is the monster at the end. In the second, it's Elmo.)
- Are You Scared, Darth Vader? is a Star Wars picture book. The book is about a group of kids trying to scare Darth Vader with various monsters like a wolfman and stuff like a Bedsheet Ghost, only for him to state repeatedly that he is not scared, that nothing can scare him. Even after they take off the costumes and reveal themselves to be nothing but a bunch of kids, who proceed to raucously play with him, and mess with his lighstaber, he is still not scared, only "most displeased." The kids leave in a huff, but the narrator reveals that there's still one kid left, the reader, who's about to close the book, trapping him inside it. This, Darth Vader does not want to allow, admitting that he is indeed scared and even offering the reader that We Can Rule Together. His pleas do not work and the book is closed.
- In the last episode of the first season of The Neighbors many Leaning on the Fourth Wall moments happen, the most obvious being Alien Larry Bird begging his father to let his group stay on Earth for "another season" — before quickly changing this to "I mean, another year".
- In the Arrested Development episode "S.O.B.s", several characters make veiled references to the impending cancellation of their show and the behind-the-scenes negotiations about moving to a different network. At one point, the narrator, Ron Howard, says "please tell your friends about this show," in an effort to increase the fanbase to save it.
- The last episode ends with Howard saying "It was Arrested Development."
- Not to mention they manage to introduce the possibility of the story being continued in a movie in-universe, without breaking the Fourth Wall.
- Subverted retroactively. Five years after the end of the series, Netflix Un-Cancelled the show and gave it a fourth season and confirmed a fifth. Granted, the fifth season's been in Development Hell for five years.
- The show I Married Dora was about a man and his maid who have a Citizenship Marriage. In the last scene of the last episode, he is about to leave on a two-year job assignment overseas when...
Peter: It's been cancelled.
Dora: The flight?
Peter: No, our series.
- In the last episode of Moonlighting, the plot is interrupted by news that the series has been cancelled. Suddenly the characters have to deal with their reality falling apart, as sets are being dismantled all around them.
- A character dies because he had spoken his last line.
- Dave and Maddie rush off to find a preacher in the hope that by getting married they can save the series (and their lives).
- A popular supporting character chews out the leads for their off-set drama derailing the series and asserts that if there is a god in heaven she and her love interest will get a spin off.
- The closing narration notes that the crime they were investigating before they got distracted by the fact their show was ending has never been solved.
- The last episode of Becker has a brief mention of a patient named Nielsen (after the company that provides TV ratings) and how the numbers of his chart seem fine to him.
- Also the last episode was titled "DNR" meaning Do Not Resucitate. A medical term for patients who do not want to be revived if they are dying.
- The short-lived Stephen Bochco musical procedural Cop Rock did this in the final scene.
- Stargate SG-1
Mitchell: They cancelled it? Really? I didn't even know the new season had started.
- The show called out the then-Sci-Fi Channel in the Season 10 episode "Family Ties" through the use of this trope. Note the careful word choice.
Carter: The truth is, the Stargate program just doesn't get the support it used to from the people in charge.
Jacek: Why not?
Dr. Lee: Eureka! One down, twelve to go.
Jacek: That's too bad because after all your Stargate program has accomplished for this network of planets, I would think that the decision-makers would show it the respect it deserves.
- That episode has an even more blatant example in the very first line:
- Each season from 6 to 9 were expected to be the last of the show, so there was always a great deal of End-of-Series Awareness and plenty of time to plan epic season finales, but they were always renewed at the last second. Interestingly, the show was picked up for an 11th season comparatively early initially...but that didn't pan out, sadly. As such, the actual series finale is the first season finale since season six that couldn't have made a perfect Grand Finale. It was a Locked in a Room character study, fun but total Filler as far as moving the plot along goes. Of course, we got two Wrap It Up movies, the first ending the last two seasons' storyline and the second bringing SG1 to the epic conclusion it deserved.
- The show called out the then-Sci-Fi Channel in the Season 10 episode "Family Ties" through the use of this trope. Note the careful word choice.
- The swan song of Star Trek: The Next Generation hints at this by having Q tell Picard that "All good things must come to an end."
- He also announces at one point that "it's time to end your trek across the stars."
- In the last episode of British children's drama Byker Grove, the entire youth club is made aware of the fact that they are all fictional characters, that their entire world is fictional, and that the almighty scriptwriters have decided to end their show. But the scriptwriters give them a parting gift...a stack of magic script paper; anything they write on the paper will happen in front of them. The idea is that they can write their own happy endings before the show is finished for good. They do...until two of the younger children write in a ton of dynamite and try to blow the youth club up.... (end credits)
- Boston Legal was absolutely relentless about this, it being how it is..
- The last episode of St. Elsewhere had a fat lady sing in the last hospital scene. Then after the infamous All Just a Dream ending, the MTM kitten flat-lined.
- On the season three episode of Cougar Town, "It'll All Work Out", Jules decides to celebrate Thanksgiving early because she is afraid that they won't all be together in the fall. They also mention how they missed Thanksgiving last fall (with Laurie adding that she missed Halloween and Christmas as well), a reference to the fact that season 3 was set back to mid-season.
- This was the whole driving force behind the Red Dwarf special "Back to Earth", in which the characters discover they are the stars of a popular TV series... which is about to end.
- The final episode of Hikonin Sentai Akibaranger runs on this trope, as the characters have become aware that they are in a television show that is about to be cut short, so they try all kinds of methods to prolong their series (e.g. introducing long-term plotlines, refusing to fight the Final Boss, etc.) while the producers rewrite the show around them to cram in as many Ending Tropes as humanly possible.
- The Electric Company (1971) ended the last episode of its original run with the cast bidding farewell to the viewers in song.
We're glad you came to call
We really had a ball
The show is done, we hate to run
We're sorry, but that's all.
- 30 Rock always joked about the likelihood that it would be cancelled, and it did it more and more as the show reached its (preplanned) final episodes.
- In one of the last episodes of Monster Garage, Jesse repairs some damage to the project car and says to the mechanics working on it "Need a body specialist? I'll be out of a job in three weeks."
- Brazilian sitcom Toma Lá Dá Cá had such a moment with insane Post-Modernism. A riot on the condominium was threatening the main characters' lives. The solution was giving a notebook for the character played by the show's co-creator\writer, so he could give them a better ending. So a spaceship boarded by a character previously Put on a Bus appears and takes everyone away from the angry mob.
- Every series of Mrs. Brown's Boys - inevitably, as it has No Fourth Wall.
- The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson increasingly pointed out that they were approaching their series finale (complete with a "Just a few more weeks of this crap~!" jingle). The finale featured a viewer e-mail from someone who had apparently only started watching Ferguson that week.
Geoff Peterson: You're watching the very last Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson; now Grandma can finally get some sleep!
- Game Shows in general, although this practice isn't near as common as it was prior to about the mid-1990s.
Ray: You know, I've been doing this show for six years and this could be the first time that I had a person who actually got no points and... I think it's a damn fine way to go out. Thought I was a loser 'til you walked up here, you made me feel like a man.
- The last syndicated Card Sharks in 1987 has consistent use of "last show of the season", although host Bill Rafferty slips while explaining the Money Cards to the final champ and says "series". Later, while said champ places the four Jokers, Bill can be heard saying "Which one?", evidently referring to being told which card is the CAR one; as it was the leftmost card the player had marked with a Joker, Rafferty opted to start from the right and go in descending order.
- A variation occurred during the last episode of Ray Combs' tenure as the host of New Family Feud in 1994 — when the second contestant got zero points altogether during Fast Money, a (very justifiably) bitter Combs decided to use the moment to mark his exit from the program:
"Well, sadly, that's the very last show in the series. I don't know when I'm going to see you again, but hopefully soon."note
- "If you would like to be a contestant on Hit Man...forget it!"
- While Press Your Luck doesn't appear to have had a direct mention of its demise, several comments by host Peter Tomarken during 1986 indicate they knew (or at least strongly suspected) their days were numbered.
- Sale of the Century: The 1989 U.S. finale ... on the final week of the show, the studio's prize areas (for both Instant Bargains and what was then the Big Money Winner's Game) clearly were disassembled, as though the producers were beginning to take things apart. Host Jim Perry dropped hints throughout the week that the show's last episode was airing that Friday (March 24), and several Instant Bargains that week reflected that theme. On the next-to-last episode, a special Garage Sale Instant Bargain was held with more than $8,000 in previously unwon merchandise up for offer (the contestant bought it); and on the finale, after the contestant played the Instant Cash game but failed to find the correct box containing $1,000 ... Perry simply commented that the cash would forever be unclaimed.
- In the final scene of the last episode of the original run of The Crystal Maze, after handing out the commemorative crystals to the players, then host Ed Tudor Pole remarks that this was the very last episode. And it was, until the revival in 2016 and 2017.
- Roundhouse's final episode starts as a simple Graduate from the Story plot, but then proceeds to utterly tear itself apart as Ivan finds out that the show has been cancelled and tries to save it. It ends on a somewhat melancholy note as Ivan gives a speech about how the cast has become like a family and everyone else sings a song about how everything must eventually come to an end.
- The last episode of each series of Monty Python's Flying Circus ended with a joke about it being the end of the series or getting cancelled.
- The A-Team did this with its final two episodes "The Grey Team" and "Without Reservations"note . "Howling Mad" Murdock is seen wearing a shirt that reads "Almost Fini" in "Without Reservations" ("Fini" being French for "End") and a shirt reading "Fini" in "The Grey Team". In addition, the very end of "The Grey Team" has the A-Team wonder what will be in store for them after all their adventures are over.
- On the Grand Finale of Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Herc's nephew Evander finds a dead bird and doesn't understand why it won't wake up. Zeus tells him that all things have beginnings, so it's only fair that they have endings, too. Evander asks if things could just start over again—reflecting how that's what happened when the show went into reruns. Also, during a fight, Hercules quips that he's done "after this one" (though in the last scene he decides against officially retiring because he's yet to find a place he'd actually want to stop his travels at).
- "Hercules, Tramps & Thieves" actually features a sly one. It seems like just a typical adventure with Autolycus, but in the last scene, Hercules leaves a crowded bar of partying people (played by various production personnel), looks at them a bit sadly, and leaves. Due to production scheduling, this was the last episode to be filmed and that was the final scene Kevin Sorbo shot. In effect, it's basically him taking one last look at the cast and crew before departing for other projects.
- The final episode of Madan Senki Ryukendo starts with a clip show of the main cast set to a somber piano version of the theme song. Also, the main cast is hesitant to end the series by sacrificing its Empathic Weapons to seal the Power Spot that caused everything.
- In the final episode of Chou Sei Shin Gransazer:
Mika: Our final battle, right?Tenma: Yeah.
- Many Super Sentai and Kamen Rider series have a character announce that this is the final battle as the show moves into its endgame (not always the last episode; it's whenever the gang is charging toward the final Big Bad as he is ready to throw the switch on his final plan.) Interestingly, we get a twist on it in Uchu Sentai Kyuranger. With three or so episodes to go, they think they're about to take out Don Armage once and for all (while Don Armage is planning to take out the universe once and for all, and has already activated the means by which he intends to do it.) We get the usual this-will-be-our-final-battle quote, only for things to go sideways and the heroes are much worse off by the end of the episode than they were at the beginning. The heroes then vow to keep fighting for as long as it takes.
- During the final episodes of The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Conan, as a series of final jabs at NBC over how it had been handling his show, held a series of sketches that showcased (supposedly) extremely expensive scenarios that NBC had to pay for. Such as, for instance, a Bugatti Veyron with mouse ears with the master recording of The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" playing in the background ($1.5 million!), Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird in a mink Snuggie watching "restricted" Super Bowl footage ($4.8 million!), and having a fossil of a "rare ground sloth" from the Smithsonian spray beluga caviar at a original Picasso painting ($65 million!). They were all fake though (either being donated, look-a-likes, or from a defunct football league that tried to compete with the NFL), except for the Rolling Stones music however.
- The Gene Kelly episode of The Muppet Show, although officially the first episode of season 5, was the last episode to ever be filmed. The main backstage plot has Beauregard convinced (thanks to some dodgy fortune-telling) that the end of the world is nigh, and trying to warn the others. Meanwhile, the "Pigs in Space" crew approach the end of the universe.
- The final episode of the Secondary Phase of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has the continuity announcer, who normally asked ridiculous rhetorical questions as cliffhangers, ask if the show would ever be renewed for another series.
- The last book of the 3.5 edition of Dungeons & Dragons, Elder Evils, featured a score of EldritchAbominations so powerful, their mere presence is enough to radically alter whole worlds. Word of God is that they were created to give players the option to clear their old campaign worlds in time for 4th edition.
- No More Heroes has two gags at the end of the first game that joke about how it probably won't get a sequel. Including one crack about how the sequel could turn into No More Heroes Forever and be delayed forever and another where a character flat out says "Too bad there will never be a sequel!" All of it was averted, mind you, since it was able to get a sequel.
- In Banjo-Kazooie: Nuts & Bolts, it is CONSTANTLY joked that the game will sell terribly, the fans will hate it for being vehicle-based instead of the traditional platformer they were promised 8 years ago, and that there will never be another Banjo-Kazooie game. Sadly, it seems like they were right, as there hasn't been a Banjo-Kazooie game since. That said, at the end of the game, L.O.G promised that the next game (if there is one) would be a traditional platformer if Nuts & Bolts is poorly received. He was right... sort of.
- Merrill of Dragon Age II appears to have this; the Cloud Cuckoolander she is, she asks Aveline if she thinks "we'll win in the end," because "it feels like something is ending." She also asks Varric, The Narrator of the story, how it will end, only for him to gently rebuff her in-story because he really doesn't know (at that point).
- Mass Effect 3 has this in the Citadel DLC, the final piece of Commander Shepard's story.
- The 2009 installment of Punch-Out!! being the end of the line is made explicit in the hidden "Mac's Last Stand" mode. After its completion, Career Mode is locked permanently, emphasizing that Little Mac has retired.note
- Batman: Arkham City had some version of this, as an Easter Egg set to react to the date of Rocksteady's founding (December 13, 2004) has Calendar Man tell Batman "The end of days is coming," foreshadowing the Grand Finale Batman: Arkham Knight.
- The final Dragon magazine strips of The Order of the Stick involve the characters being told about the history of the magazine and its impending cancellation by metaphor, and then flying off into the sunset.
- The characters in 1/0 know exactly when their comic is going to end, and it causes plenty of angst among the characters.
- Some characters in Concession are aware of the impending end of the comic.
- Brawl in the Family's 580th comic, appropriately titled "World Eight-Four", where the Kirby characters announce the comic's end, with Kirby reacting as pictured. And then the grand finale, "Meet Me At Final Destination", in which the characters learn their worlds are changing because Master Hand is tired and wishes to pass on the torch to someone else so all the characters' adventures can continue in some form.
- In NFL Quarterbacks On Facebook, Drew Brees points this out, to the shock of Colin Kaepernick:
Drew Brees: Fine. Go ahead. Get all these [Cutler's] Mom jokes out of your system. Might as well, since its our last convo and all.
Colin Kaepernick: Yeah, use them up, since this is our last WAIT, ITS OUR WHAT?!?!
Drew Brees: Our last convo. What, did you think this was going to go on forever and ever. Its not the Cleveland Browns Super Bowl drought, you know.
- Parodied in the 100th episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Frylock starts obsessing about the number 100, and Shake realizes it is the 100th episode, time to cash in for syndication cash. However, the network heads inform him that since the show is only 11 minutes long, they really only have only 50 half hours. Returning home, he finds a giant creature in the shape of the number 100 destroying the Aqua Teen set, demanding "Give me the episodes!" Suddenly, the gang are transformed into a parody of Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! called Aqua Unit Patrol Squad 1. From that point on the show has adopted a new name every season (Although the series premise remains the same).
- In one episode of The Simpsons, the family gets counselling, and is no longer prone to wacky misadventures. Lisa says, "Could this be the end of our series?" When the family gives her odd looks for the statement, she tacks on "...of events?"
- In The Boondocks, Granddad mentions that his life is getting too stressful, and that he might not have a lot of episodes (a descriptor for heart attacks, as well) left.
- In Family Guy's first episode back from cancellation, a scene is shown of Peter informing the family too soon that they were cancelled. Lois asks if there's anything that can be done, to which Peter says only if every show that was aired in the meantime gets cancelled, which they were.
- One of the pre-cancellation episodes has a blink-and-you'll-miss-it gag: a TV Guide cover with Luke Perry on the cover also has the note "If you're reading this, we haven't been cancelled yet."
- Chowder exhibited this for a significant number of its last episodes due to the creator's suspicion that only being renewed for a nine episode third season was a sign of impending cancellation, which it was. And then he dedicated the Grand Finale specifically to pointing out the main character had to grow up.
- The theme tune of Freakazoid! mentions this in its final verse, the page quote. This proved prophetic, and the final episode of the second season ended with a musical curtain call to the tune of "We'll Meet Again", sung by virtually every character that appeared in the show.
- Robot Chicken plays with this. The characters always imply at the end of each season that the series is cancelled, while each season premiere begins with the show being "renewed".
- This was the premise for the final episode of The Angry Beavers, at least until some higher-up at Nickelodeon saw that it broke the network's continuity rules of the time (which forbade any series from having any final resolution) and refused to air it. That's just one version of the story, of course—executive producer Mary Harrington says she thought it was brilliant but refused to air it because the main characters Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, which might upset the kids.
- Rocky and Bullwinkle definitely became aware that their series was in danger, though possibly not when it was actually cancelled.
Rocky: Bullwinkle, I'm worried.
Bullwinkle: Ratings down in the show again?
Bullwinkle: That's odd.
Rocky: I'm worried because there have already been two attempts on your life.
Bullwinkle: Oh, don't worry. We will be renewed.
Rocky: I'm not talking about The Bullwinkle Show.
Bullwinkle: You had better; we could use the publicity.
- The final Couch Gag during its initial run on Fox read "See you on some other network."
- In one episode of the original final season, Bender refers to Star Trek: The Original Series as "another classic science-fiction series cancelled before its time."
- The show also gives us a rare post-cancellation example. When it was revived on Comedy Central, the first episode opened with the Professor explaining that Planet Express had been shut down 2 years ago by the brainless drones at the Box delivery network, but that their spaceship was now back "on the air".
- The opening text at the beginning of their most recent finale says "AVENGE US".
- Taken to extreme extremes with The Brak Show. Prior to its airing, there was no indication whatsoever that "Cardburkey" was going to be the final episode, or even that the show was ending at all, until Brak delivers the episode's final line "I wish we weren't penguins and our show wasn't cancelled!" Cut to black. Cartoon Network logo with a deflated snippet of the theme song. End.
- As this was aired during a New Year's Eve Marathon at the time, bumpers had various Adult Swim characters watching the TV with Brak's Dad lampshading how sudden the cancellation was.
- The (aired) final episode of KaBlam!, "Just Chillin'!" has a scene in the beginning with Henry and June discussing that the show is coming close to cancellation. (Also note that this show was one of Nick's best examples of being Screwed by the Network.)
- Batman: The Brave and the Bold had an interesting spin on this with "Mitefall", where Bat-Mite is tired of the show and desires a Darker and Edgier Batman series, and thus tries to get the show cancelled by making it jump the shark. Meanwhile, Ambush Bug tries to stop him by alerting Batman of both of his existence as a fictional character and of Bat-Mite's plot. Ultimately, Bat-Mite ends up succeeding in cancelling the series, replacing it with a more serious CGI cartoon, only for Ambush Bug to pop in and remind him that he's also a fictional character and that cancelling the show has erased his own existence, as a more serious Batman show has no room for Fourth Wall Observers like them. The episode ends with all the characters that have appeared over the cartoon's run, now aware that this is the final episode of a television show, having a farewell party in the Bat-Cave.
- King of the Hill:
- In the final episode, when Bobby expresses an honest interest in a manly hobby, Hank says, "I've been waiting thirteen years to hear you say that." 13 is both Bobby's age and the number of seasons the show ran.
- Also from the finale: as the episode draws to a close, Hank and Bobby are grilling steaks. Bobby looks at the final steak left to be cooked and says meaningfully "Well, dad, I guess this is the last one."
- The finale aired as the second half of a two-parter with the penultimate episode, which began with the foursome in the alley realizing, "Oh no, we're out of projects!"
- Upon finding out The Buzz on Maggie was cancelled, the animators had Maggie wave goodbye to the audience at the end of the final episode.
- Two of the music video segments in the final season of ChalkZone gave implications that they did everything they thought they could do throughout the series, "Time To Go Home" and "Let's Go Wandering". The former had Rudy Tabootie, Snap, and Penny Sanchez sing to a forlorn audience about how funtime's over and it's time to leave. The latter not only had people crying and bidding farewell to the ChalkZone gang, but if one looks closely, recurring villain Skrawl was among the people tearfully waving goodbye.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy:
Jonny: What? There's no time left? It's the end of the movie? What movie?
- Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show has Edd (Double D) stating it took it only took "130 episodes, 4 specials, and a movie" for the Eds to finally get their respect from the Cul-De-Sac kids.
- And before that, the final episode proper ("A Fistful of Ed") ended with Eddy sharing some hot dogs with Ed and Edd after saving them from the Kanker Sisters and angrily asking if everyone was happy already.note
- The first series finale of Kim Possible (before it was Un-Canceled) had Drakken after he was defeated and being thrown into a paddy wagon stating "This can't be over!" only for Ron to close the door on him and answer "Deal with it, Dude. It's over."
- The very last scene in the Direct-to-Video Recess Grand Finale, Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade is T.J. waving goodbye to the audience. As this scene was a reference to the end of the theme song (which could've been interpreted as T.J. waving hello to the audience ready for their next adventure), many tears were shed.
- Garfield and Friends:
- An episode, "The Discount of Monte Cristo", predicted the reason the show ended. The episode is all about Aloysius cutting the show's budget. In the episode, Orson hated Aloysius ruining the story by firing people who made the show in order to keep the show's budget low. The reason for Garfield and Friends' cancellation is that CBS wanted budget cuts for the show, and the show's creators refused to let the show suffer the budget cuts.
- Also in the episode "A Tall Tale" the network executives want Nermal to take over as star for an episode. Garfield refuses to have him on his show and says (So what if they don't like it. What can they do to me?) and an announcer then says that Garfield and Friends will never be seen again.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! begins its final episode with Iron Man telling Captain America that he has started wondering how the Avengers will go down in history after he's gone.
Captain America: This is only the second time I've heard you use the word, "history."
Iron Man: That's because I've never been able to imagine a world without me in it... until recently.
Captain America: You wanted to know how history will remember the Avengers, Iron Man? Well, here's your answer.
- By the time the episode ends, the Avengers save the world from getting destroyed by Galactus, and the civilians' cheers (preceding a fade to the show's title) reassure Cap and Tony that history will remember them as legends.
- The Drawn Together episode "The Musical Elimination Special, Part II: The Musical Elimination" contained references to the show's cancellation. A magazine the Jew Producer reads has the headline, "Popular Comedy Central toon cancelled", two "fun facts" refer to the episode as if it was the last, and the episode ends with the cast entering the unemployment office with their belongings.
Toot: Hey, assholes! Thanks for watching!
- Jem did this in the final episode "A Father Should Be...". The final shot of the episode was Jem waving to the audience, and the final song ever played in the series was titled "This Is Farewell". It is a Leaning on the Fourth Wall example. "This is Farewell" is written in-series about Ba Nee leaving with her father, however it is clearly the characters saying farewell to the audience. All the bands come together to say goodbye and they say it to the "camera".
- After every episode of The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius ended, one of the main production companies, DNA Productions, would have a short bumper where a three-eyed genetically altered monkey named Paul would pop up and wave to the audience, saying, "Hi, I'm Paul!". Once "Lady Sings the News", the last episode of series, went to credits and the DNA Productions bumper came on, Paul the monkey does not show up. Expecting him to appear, someone calls out, "Paul?". This and a Big Damn Kiss between Jimmy and Cindy made it clear that the series was over. The post-credits gag was also a Lampshade Hanging of the fact that the DNA Productions company itself had just been dissolved after a messy lawsuit, and Paul was now out of a job. Although it was a commonly used closing logo (Nicknamed "Coffee Break Paul"), its use here was fitting.
- The final episode of The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police ended on a flashback clip show parody (all of which was original content) while the titular duo commented how extremely unlikely it would be for their show to get renewed for a second season.
- The last episode of Disney's Doug had the titular character bidding his journal farewell as he prepared for a new chapter in his life, most likely resulting in a new journal. Due to him narrating the episodes to the audience, this is also seen as him bidding farewell to them.
- In the last episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends when Bloo finds out Mac is moving, he tries to convince him to stay by listing things they can do, all of which were the plots of previous episodes. When Mac tells him they've done all those things already, Bloo says that if they've done everything, the only thing left is to jump the shark. The episode also ends with the opening sequence being drawn in reverse, almost like it's being erased.
- The final episode of The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries is filled with this. The episode's premise is that Sylvester dreams that he finally eats Tweety Bird, resulting in the show being cancelled when Tweety's replacement proves unpopular and there are several remarks people make about the show having had its day in the sun. The episode's title was even "This is the End".
- The third (and so far last) season of Turbo F.A.S.T. has Turbo deliver a witty line that makes everyone laugh for once, and deciding to bow out on a high note.
- Regular Show's final few episodes of the series have the characters preparing for a battle that could potentially destroy or reset the universe as it has countless times before. And with Regular Show being the type of show it is...
- "Operation Hear No Evil" had a sly one with Mordecai and Rigby getting hooked on a TV Show called Lazer Hunters which Muscle Man tells them has ran for eight seasons and has its final episode airing in a week. Regular Show itself ran for eight seasons, with its own finale airing three months after this episode.
- The episode "Meet the Seer" has the characters going to Planet Nielsennote to meet the titular seer, a being who watches the events that occur in all universes, and who refers to the adventures of the Park Crew as if they were episodes in a television series. In fact, her room is filled with television screens playing various episodes of the show, the intro sting included, and she spends the remainder of the episode mentioning the show's tropes, its changing quality over the years, audience reception to some storylines like Mordecai's romance troubles, and how all shows must eventually end (even noting that their "universe" has lasted longer than most).
- The episode "Cheer Up, Pops" has the characters record their memories on a Blu-Ray Box Set that contains the show's eight seasons and two bonus discs, for people to watch in the next universe in the event that they fail.
- The third and final part of the Grand Finale, "A Regular Epic Final Battle", is entitled "The Power": the exact same name as the show's first episode. As reality collapses, the characters find themselves flying through the title card, becoming post-it note drawings and storyboard sketches, and even falling into one of the creator's student films (which was the first appearance of some of the characters). After a Time Skip ending, Pops remarks "Jolly good show" as a VHS tape of the series finishes playing.
- The New Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show holds a tribute to History's Lasts (to compliment the first episode's tribute to History's Firsts) and closes an a large guest musical number that the entire cast joins in on. And while everyone stresses it's just the last episode of the season, no one seems to be able to say "of the season" in a way that sounds confident that there will be any more seasons.
- The final episode of Gravity Falls has the series' Big Bad, Bill Cipher, perform the song "We'll Meet Again".
- "Dipper and Mabel vs. the Future", the penultimate episode before the three-part finale, has the fact that summer is ending emphasized. Her friends Candy and Greta, won't be able to attend her birthday party as they're leaving town for one last hurrah before school starts again, Wendy is registering for high school courses and Mabel basically having a breakdown at the thought of becoming a teenager after experiencing all of this, not helped when she overhears Dipper considering staying with Ford to become his apprentice.
- In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Vegging", the word puzzle on Win or Don't Win clearly has the answer "The show ends after season ", referencing the (not then quite confirmed) intention for the sixth season to be the last.
- Spider-Man: The Animated Series ended with a two-part episode called "Spider Wars", the second part of which had the subtitle "Farewell, Spider-Man", as if acknowledging that it was the very final episode of the series.
- Mighty Magiswords: The final episode pretty much lampshades this to heck and back what with the Warriors' friends suddenly losing interest in the adventuring life and the siblings trying to find someone who they can still work with. Ultimately, they accept the nature of things and head back home as the sun sets.
Prohyas: Aww man, is that a sunset?
Prohyas: Welp, we had a good run.