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Ending Fatigue

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A rare case of self-awareness.

"Then comes the ending of the movie. Or the endings. One after another. Farewells. Poignancy. Lessons to be learned. Speeches to be made. Lost marbles to be rediscovered. Tears to be shed."
Roger Ebert, on Hook

When a viewer, reader, or player finds the fiction they are perusing to be otherwise fine, but have a problem with the fiction when it can't... quite... finish... itself.

The reasons vary: maybe it has pacing issues after the first half or the first main villain in the Sorting Algorithm of Evil is defeated, or it's become deathly dull post-climax, or the effort needed to beat the Final Boss just doesn't seem worth it, or the Final Battle goes on for too long, or the designated main couple just will not admit their feelings for each other, or perhaps the author just didn't know how to end it, couldn't decide on an ending and just threw all of them in.

Note that this isn't simply "the story is too long/goes too slowly," but it actually appears if it's going to end yet doesn't, several times. The effect of this, usually, is a frustrating and jarring experience which eventually has the viewer thinking something along the lines of "Just end already!" This is, for the most part, not a reaction you want to provoke in the reader, or the theatergoer who badly wants to run to the restroom but doesn't want to miss the end of the movie that they paid good money to see.

Boring Return Journey is usually a deliberate attempt to defy this phenomenon. For a variant exclusive to video games in terms of gameplay, see Disappointing Last Level (though if the story falls under this, it still counts here). For series that Executive Meddling forces to keep going, see Franchise Zombie. Some songs that employ Epic Rocking can lead to this, say, if the end is two minutes of instrumentals.

Arc Fatigue is a small-scale version, where a single story-arc goes on longer than it should. Compare Epic Instrumental Opener, where the intro of a song seems neverending, and Leave the Camera Running. Your Princess Is in Another Castle! is when the reader/player thinks the protagonist has reached the ending, only to find out it's a ruse. Sometimes, a Marathon Boss can cause this if it's the Final Boss.

The Chris Carter Effect is when this or Arc Fatigue causes the audience to grow impatient and give up on the series (and it usually is a series of some kind).

Contrast Awesomeness Withdrawal where you find yourself wishing the story would go on, and It's Short, So It Sucks! which is basically the reverse criticism of this. Also contrast Prolonged Prologue, where the opening of the story is what's making everything seem like it's dragging.

For films/plays in theaters, these can really be rough for someone fighting Bladder of Steel, as there is no way to pause the production.

Example subpages:


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    Board Games 
  • The Dungeons & Dragons pre-written adventure The Red Hand Of Doom has the Fane of Tiamat, a rather uneventful, by the numbers, final dungeon to finish off the Big Bad after defeating the Red Hand itself. Guides written for Dungeon Masters running the adventure suggest scrapping it entirely and placing the Big Bad fight in the earlier Battle of Brindol, as the siege is considered a far worthier end to the campaign.
  • Ludo: Once all your pieces reach the Safety Zone, the dull endgame begins. There is no longer any interesting decisions to make or fun risk of pieces capturing each other. All you do is rolling the dice and hoping you get the exact number you need to enter the exit. Extra infuriating if you have multiple pieces on the same space, which makes it even harder to get anywhere.
  • A great number of rounds of Monopoly end up like this: once all the properties are bought, there's nothing really to do but keep going around the board waiting for those in last to run out of money, which they do at a slow rate as everyone still gets $200 for passing Go. Even if people are still trading properties etc., a roll of the dice can easily reintroduce a stalemate. Unusually, this is intentional: the game was originally designed as political propaganda, and the long, grinding endgame was intended to illustrate to the frustrated players the inherent unfairness of the real estate system. The effect is exacerbated by common house rules (such as awarding players a large amount of cash for landing on Free Parking) which are designed to give losing players a chance to catch up but in practice just prolong their inevitable defeat. This was exemplified in an episode of Achievement Hunter's Let's Play series. They broke it up into two parts and the first part was difficult to stop because there was just no natural stopping point they could find. And the second part dragged on for so long, the first person to get bankrupt, Gavin, cheerfully leapt out of his seat and ran out the room, screaming "I'M OUT OF HERE, BITCHES!"
    • Apparently one Monopoly fan decided a standard game was too short and invented INSANE MONOPOLY that greatly extended the length of a match with three boards with multiple rings, dozens of new mechanics such as a stock market and employees, and 252 properties available for purchase (nearly ten times the number of properties available in a standard game). Only one group has ever been recorded finishing a single game of Insane Monopoly and they were playing for almost EIGHT HOURS STRAIGHT. It wasn't even to the last man standing, they ended the game as soon as one player went bankrupt.
  • Risk does this frequently. The longer the game goes, the more reinforcements a player can get from cards, so failing to finish off an opponent during a long game can often lead to that opponent completely restocking his army on the next turn, extending the length of the game by another hour or so. Plus there's the fact that manipulation and diplomacy are half the fun. Once it's down to two players, this is all gone, leading to the long and boring fight (or quick Curb-Stomp Battle).
  • Talisman: The highly random nature of the game and the many pitfalls that can befall a particular character (death, losing all items/followers, reductions in stats, and random teleportation), some games can run several hours long before a player wins. The game manual even suggests alternate rules for determining who the winner is at the end of a set time limit for players who want to avoid this.
  • Also has been known to happen with Trivial Pursuit, on account of having to reach the center space by exact die roll in order to receive the final question. If the die doesn't cooperate, or the final question is missed, this can go on for hours. Add to the fact that many editions of the game contain pretty antiquated trivia to people shy of their fifties.
  • Some positions in Chess can result in this, even with the 50-move rule (the game is a draw if no pawn is moved or piece is captured for 50 consecutive moves) in place - this position is forced mate for White in 130 moves, but since it involves Black being forced to move their pawns forward due to being placed in Zugzwang over and over, the 50-move rule is irrelevant.

  • Ross Noble is a huge fan of this and a good sign of Tropes Are Not Bad. He'll start one topic of discussion or at least mention a story but then never actually finish it or tell the story until the very end of his routine (roughly an hour or two after the first mention) because he'll get distracted by something completely off-topic and then loads of other discussions will come up. Except they all get tidied up at the end. He lampshades this constantly:
  • Billy Connolly could be even worse at times. On one occasion, he had a routine at the Sydney Opera House go so far over time that the car park was locked with the audience's cars inside. There was also one documented case where he started a joke about a guy in a bathroom with holes in his penis, didn't finish it that night, and told someone in the audience annoyed by this that he'd have to attend the next show, in another town, to find out... then at that next show, during the wrap-up, there came a wail from the audience:
    "Billy! You promised! What happened to the guy in the bathroom?!"

    Comic Books 
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths was a long time ending, particularly because the Anti-Monitor just didn't want to die. When Superman finally kills him, he outright does it saying "I'VE HAD ENOUGH!"
  • Trinity, DC Comics' paean to how special and awesome its three flagship characters are, was stretched out over an entire year because that seems to be how long they think Epic Series should last these days.
  • Marvel Crisis Crossovers tend to fall into this, since apparently Joe Quesada's idea of a good crossover event is to have it go on for over a year, with every single title having a 6-issue tie-in. Not to mention, essentially having such crossovers back-to-back. It got so bad that after the disaster that was Secret Empire, Marvel promised not to even think of such things for at least 18 months.
  • The "Cross-Time Caper" plotline in Excalibur began in issue 12 with the plotline's name and "Part 1 of 9" on the cover. It continued through issue 19, took a break for issue 20 to catch its breath, then picked back up for issue 21... through 24. That's 12 parts (of 9, remember) not including the skipped issue. It was about the team accidentally travelling from an alternate Earth to another, and they got back on their Earth several times, only to flash away moments later. Issue 25 still included the "Cross-Time Caper" logo, but the words "is still over!" followed it.
  • The Clone Saga that ran for two years in Spider-Man has become a byword for overly long comic storylines. It was meant to end in less than a year, but editorial kept dragging it out because it was selling well. The catch, of course, is that fans weren't buying it because they enjoyed it, just because they were already committed to it. In fact, the extra length made the backlash worse — for instance, Ben Reilly "replacing" Peter Parker was always meant to be a fake-out, but the longer it went on, the more fans feared it was really permanent. Near the end, Marvel even released a self-mocking oneshot called 101 Ways to End the Clone Saga.
  • Another byword for too-long comic stories is The Trial of the Flash. This ambitious storyline from longtime The Flash writer Cary Bates put Barry Allen through hell for two years. It was meant to be long, but not to be Barry's last story; unfortunately, partway through, the order came down from editorial that Barry would die in Crisis on Infinite Earths. This hurts the Trial with readers, as does the false ending halfway through where Barry is nearly acquitted (mass amnesia erases this) and the many legal mistakes, including the need for a trial at all... not to mention the inherent story problems in keeping a hero known for battling villains with Super Speed inside a slow-paced courtroom environment. The second-last issue states boldly on the cover "IT'S OVER!" The reason it lasted as long as it did, was due to the fact that DC was modernizing itself creatively and that Cary Bates and Carmine Infantino were basically given Flash to write/draw because none of the editors wanted to give them any big-time assignments due to the fact that they represented the old "50s/60s era DC Comics" style that they were trying to run away from. The whole trial storyline was designed to get the editors to see that they could be hip and relevant as far as capable of producing the long-form storylines that DC editorial wanted at the time; and DC editorial, partly because they didn't want to seem like heartless bastards, let the story run and run and run and run as long as it did mainly because no one wanted to be the one who would have to fire the two from the book. "Crisis" solved this problem, but at the same time made it worse: it was decided to keep Flash being published until Crisis on Infinite Earths #8 was published to hide the big reveal that Barry was going to die. This meant that the storyline had to be dragged out even longer so as to do so.
  • Cerebus background artist Gerhard very nearly quit before the comic was complete due to having completely lost the ability to enjoy the story due to the rather odd twists and turns Dave Sim had introduced and the way it seemed to be dragging along. He forced himself to finish it by latching onto a prediction Sim made that it would be "done by Christmas" if a certain number of pages were completed each workday, and made that his mantra to keep himself motivated.
  • Knightfall was a stupidly long storyline. It spent six months building itself up by introducing Bane, Azrael, and Batman's Heroic RRoD, then nine months were used to break Batman and bring Azrael in, eight months to show Azrael's Sanity Slippage, two months for Bruce to come back and defeat Azrael, and after a two-month break for Zero Hour: Crisis in Time!, three months for Dick to be Batman before Bruce returned to the mantle. That's right, the storyline, counting Zero Hour, lasted three years.

    Fan Works 
  • The narrator of Pokémon Strangled Red invokes this when Steven is wandering around after Miki's death.
    "I pondered for a moment if this was really the ending, Steven doomed to do nothing but wander Kanto in misery, haunted by memories, forced to listen to everyone's concerns about him."

    Films — Animation 
  • The originally-planned ending to Aladdin - a reprise of "Arabian Nights" where the Peddler from the beginning of the movie revealed himself to be the Genie - may have been cut in order to avoid this trope. It came after the quick reprise of "A Whole New World" and viewers from test screenings reportedly left their seats as the heroes flew off into the night and thus missed this sequence. This may have inspired the finished film's "Made you look!" ending, as it assumes the viewer is already leaving the theater at that moment.
  • According to the DVD commentary for The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, the film narrowly missed coming down with Ending Fatigue during production, since there were so many tiny loose ends to tie up. The Aardman team was anxious to avoid the trope, however, and managed instead to tie up all those loose ends in a Creative Closing Credits sequence.
  • A Bug's Life has three separate climaxes coming right after the other.
  • Kubo and the Two Strings suffers a bit from this, first Kubo confronting the Big Bad. Then he wakes up and his village is restored to normal. Then his grandfather wakes up with memory loss. Then we have another afterlife ceremony and then the credits roll.
  • The Christmas Brigade: Just when it seems like the main story is wrapping up after only thirty minutes of its 72-minute runtime, it moves on to Jennifer and her twin sister Amy singing Christmas songs for over ten minutes. Then, forty-six minutes in, it starts going through the plot of its prequel except with narration. Then, when that's over, it proceeds to drag its feet for the remainder of the runtime.
  • Foodfight!: The ending does a lot to drag it down even from a So Bad, It's Good perspective, due to most of it being consumed by a very lengthy battle scene where the characters throw food at each other. It takes up most of the film's last third, and the repetitive gags, continuous splat sound effects and animations, and lack of advancement in general make it downright interminable. Even the majority of Caustic Critic reviews just flat-out skip over most of the sequence because there's just so little to say about it.
  • A minor complaint by some critics is that Ron's Gone Wrong builds to an emotional climax only for it to continue into the actual climax — while struggling to maintain tension — and then the denouement.
  • Foam Bath ends several scenes after the central Love Triangle has been resolved. A very lengthy musical number ties up the plot but leaves the messages open to interpretation. Following this is another long scene of Anna just walking for minutes, then a Distant Finale shows her meeting with Zsolt to discuss the story's themes. They then attend the naming ceremony of Zsolt and Klára's baby. Zsolt and Klára then have another chat, laying out the events from Klára's view, and the true ending is Anna sitting silently in her room for an extended shot. Most of this is probably because the film was originally planned to last 50 minutes but 25 extra minutes had to be tacked on for release.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The Death of WCW cites this as the reason WCW Monday Nitro moved from three hours to two, it simply being too long for a wrestling show that comes on every week. When WWE extended WWE Raw to three hours in 2012, this was promptly lampshaded in the book's anniversary edition, and by all accounts several officials (most notably Triple H) agree with them. However, because USA is paying so much for that extra hour, Vince McMahon has no intention of getting rid of it.
  • While it is true matches in the US had been getting shorter over the decades, that fans had been asking for a return to form, a common criticism Ring of Honor main events is that they tend to overcompensate on that front, especially during its earlier years. On, for example, it was suggested the 75-minute Testing The Limit match between Bryan Danielson and Austin Aries should have been over at the forty-five-minute mark with Danielson crushing Aries, since the suggestion Aries could be outwrestled and punished for as long as he did and still mount a comeback was beyond their Willing Suspension of Disbelief, as did the suggestion it would take Danielson over thirty minutes, much less more than an hour, to reach the culmination of his game plan(even while they praised him as perhaps the greatest technical wrestler in the world).
  • This tends to happen when long matches tease too many finishes. The Hell In A Cell match between the Undertaker and Triple H at WrestleMania XXVIII was notorious for this. The last five minutes of it were made up of nothing but false finishes.
  • As a whole, wrestlers on the indies are warned against making their matches longer than fifteen minutes and keeping false finishes to a minimum precisely for this reason. Fans tend to be more forgiving of this trope at something like WrestleMania whereas a small indie event will just bore the crowd.
  • Speaking of WrestleMania, this is speculated to be the reason why the company decided to split the event into two nights after the COVID-19 Pandemic forced the issue for WrestleMania 36. By the time that happened the event had gone from its original duration of four hours to lasting as long as six or even seven hours for the last several iterations, with many fans and wrestlers both complaining about it. Making it a two night-event with each night being three to four hours each ensures the crowd isn't too exhausted by the amount of content and allows an extra night of rest for the roster, so when 36 proved to be a success the company decided to stick with the change even after the crowds came back.

  • Richard Wagner was very, very fond of this trope.
    • Tristan's entire third act is about the tenor dying and waiting for the soprano to arrive... and waiting... and waiting... and when she arrives and he finally dies, she also sings a (quite short) 7-minute monologue before the curtain falls. If the tenor is bad — and he often is — this act will make you wish he would Just Die Already. Has naturally been parodied to death.
    • In Der Ring des Nibelungen:
      • Die Walküre has Wotan's endless farewell and the Magic Fire Music.
      • Siegfried's finale — let's say it begins when Siegfried finds the sleeping Brünnhilde — lasts for about 35-40 minutes. Arguably justified because Brünnhilde would only be on stage for five minutes otherwise.
      • Götterdämmerung. Brünnhilde's Immolation is the basis of the "Fat Lady Sings" joke.
      • In a way they are also subversions, as the finales, especially "Wotan's Farewell and Fire Magic" and Brünhilde's Immolation scene are so good that the audience looks forward to them and they are also frequently performed on their own in concerts. While it probably is true to say that where the audience gets really restless is long scenes of expositional dialogue like in the second act of Die Walküre and the Norns' prologue in Götterdämmerung.
    • And then, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg's third act seems like it never ends, and at the end, it has Sachs drooling over how great German art is. At this point, singers are usually NOT in the right condition for a 10-minute monologue, after having had the longest role in opera history...
  • Death in Venice. The whole thing is about an aging tenor angsting over a bishounen, while nothing happens, and it ain't over till he lives. Only a great tenor can make it interesting because it's really a one-man show.
  • Turandot can get a bit boring after Liu's death. It's practically Calaf and Turandot making a "who can yell louder" contest for about 20 minutes. See Siegfried above. (Well, it's not Puccini's fault; poor man died and a colleague finished it.)
  • Puccini did pay mind to this problem with Madama Butterfly by shortening its final aria and postlude.
  • Don Carlos's final act. Elisabeth sings a massive aria, then an endless duet with Carlos. All while the best characters are either dead, exiled, or not present. Then thank God King Philip and the Spanish Inquisition appear and it ends very, very quickly.
  • The Marriage of Figaro. The third act wraps up so many storylines, the fourth act can just seem unnecessary. It's when Basilio sings an aria telling an irrelevant story about when he was a younger man that the fatigue really sets in.
  • Don Giovanni. A great opera, truly, but the whole thing could really have been wrapped up after the title character is dragged to Hell, with the curtain falling on Leporello's terror-stricken form. Instead we get another three arias about just desserts, and how everyone intends to get on with their lives - while the audience wishes they could. For that very reason, those extra arias were often cut in the 19th century, when people tended to be more interested in being entertained at the opera than in getting a complete work just as the composer had written it.
  • The second acts of stage musicals overall are generally victim to this trope. It's been referred by different names and definitions. Another possibility of musical ending fatigue is that a lot of musicals' signature songs are performed in the first act, leaving most audiences feeling dry as if the songwriters laid down their best cards too early. An example of this can be found in Anything Goes where the title song, "You're the Top" and many other famous tunes from Cole Porter's catalog are performed in the first act. The second act is considered very forgettable. This slump is actually the reason that The Eleven O'Clock Number exists, as a way to wake the audience up and lead them into the finale. An example of this is in Flora, the Red Menace, which has become widely forgotten, save for the second-to-last number, "Sing Happy" which made a star of the song's originator, Liza Minelli.
  • Older Than Steam: The fifth acts of many William Shakespeare plays are simply Shakespeare rushing to tie up all the loose ends and give a resolution to every character. There are several exceptions, of course, ranging from Macbeth to King Lear. However, the worst offender has to be Antony and Cleopatra, where there are at least half a dozen points where Shakespeare could have ended the story, if he wasn't so obsessed with killing every minor and major character save Octavian and his entourage. The final ending of the play, when Cleopatra commits suicide, is suitably awesome, however.
    • A Midsummer Night's Dream is particularly bad about this with three to four endings depending on what you consider a satisfying end. You have Oberon setting things right for the lovers and removing the enchantments on Titania and Bottom. Followed by the lovers sorting things out with Theseus and Egeus. Then comes the mechanicals' play. And then the actual ending.
  • Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat ends with Joseph reunited with his father, singing the show's signature song, and putting on the miraculously-restored titular garment again after all these years. Then the cast performs another ten or fifteen minutes' worth of reprises of the show's major numbers (some of which had multiple encores the first time). About half of productions are merciful and dispense with the reprises.
  • Paint Your Wagon: The big ensemble reprise of "Wand'rin' Star" sounds like a finale, but the show drags on for one more scene whose only highlight is the Big Damn Reunion of the principal couple.
  • Love Never Dies: Christine once again making her choice between lovers would seem to ensure a quick wrap-up, as the loser graciously decides I Want My Beloved to Be Happy — but then we find out her son has been kidnapped. The final scene on the pier, which is over fourteen minutes long, starts with a lengthy explanation of the villain's motivations, after which Christine is fatally shot. She manages to reveal Gustave's parentage to the boy, and bid her farewell to him, and then share a final moment with the Phantom. Then Gustave accepts him as his father, they go off together, and the show ends.
  • Michael Jackson: ONE has a bad case of this — one would expect "Man in the Mirror" to end the show, given that it features a Jackson hologram amongst the dancers, but after that, the audience has to sit through most of "Can You Feel It" (which is mostly a video viewing), then a condensed version of the Macaulay Culkin Talky Bookends bit from "Black or White", then the cast reassembling for the song itself, which just becomes the curtain call after a few minutes.
  • Into the Woods is an interesting case of this. The entire recounting of the traditional fairy tales wraps up with the Act 1 Finale 'Ever After'. However, there's another HALF of the show left. This has led to many cases of people mistakenly leaving at the interval.
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory downplayed this trope in the original West End staging, then averted it on Broadway.
    • In the West End version, after Charlie and Willy Wonka return to the factory gates after their flight in the Great Glass Elevator and "Pure Imagination", there's a So Proud of You celebration for the boy with "A Little Me" as the rest of the Bucket family joins them and the Oompa-Loompas. Then there's a short final dialogue followed by a reprise of "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen" that springs some last-minute surprises, but that takes less than three minutes, thus downplaying the trope.
    • The Broadway version replaced "Pure Imagination" with "The View from Here", followed by a reprise of "Strike That! Reverse It!" that brought back all the major characters including the restored Four Bratty Kids, then a variation on the West End version's final dialogue. But when this didn't play well in previews, the Triumphant Reprise was completely cut, and "The View from Here" was followed by a short dialogue exchange between Willy Wonka and Charlie before the Door-Closes Ending, averting the trope. However, this makes the show's ending both low-key, as "The View from Here" is a sentimental ballad and no other characters appear afterward, and substantially darker because now all the brats aside from the now-shrunken Mike may be dead. This ended up backfiring, with the ending derided as an Esoteric Happy Ending, as yet another example of Wonka being Unintentionally Unsympathetic on Broadway, and being too short.

  • Certain fans have expressed such complaints regarding BIONICLE, though in this case the trope is largely justified, as writer Greg Farshtey always intended to continue the story after it had wrapped in mid-2010. The Big Bad was killed, the planet restored, a new civilization formed, The Hero delivered his final enlightening speech. Since the post-ending story serials set up new stories instead of giving closure to the ongoing plots, things became messy, further compounded by Greg's Schedule Slip that forced him to abandon the story merely a few chapters in. In fan correspondence, Greg laid out some of his story plans, revealing an entire new, in-depth storyline that was set up but never came to fruition. In summary, what was intended as the beginning of a new story inadvertently became an extended ending awkwardly tacked onto the finished one, introducing a new plot and extending the old side stories but not wrapping up any of them. The main story's closing lines ironically foretold the situation:
    "NEVER... THE END"

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Invoked in case 4 of Justice for All (2-4), due to an in-game crisis causing Phoenix to deliberately stall for time.
    • Case 5 of Trials and Tribulations (3-5). It feels like you finally got the murderer captured and have the proof, but then Godot and Phoenix drag it out by an hour or so.
    • The first game's DS-exclusive fifth case suffers from this. You know pretty much who the murderer is, but because of some dumb case-exclusive restrictive leash put onto you, you cannot proceed and have to use a loophole to nail him into a potential confession. Had that leash not been there, the case would've been much shorter. And if your client wasn't withholding important evidence from you... again.
    • Revealing the identity of the villain in the final episode of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth is a relatively simple task. Actually getting said villain arrested is a different story entirely. The fact that the dramatic tension of the Villainous Breakdown pales in comparison to both The Reveal and the accomplice's earlier breakdown really doesn't help matters. Hiimdaisy parodied it with the villain bragging about how his extraterritorial rights are too powerful to let the game end.
    • The third case of Ace Attorney Investigations 2 is absurdly long, with the constant switching between the past and present. Just when it seems like you can start looking for the culprit, a new twist pops up and you have to play through another flashback, then use the knowledge obtained from it to investigate in the present. The last case is also very long, but it's less noticeable since it has more variety in characters, locations, and plots.
    • The final trial of Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney spans three whole chapters each for the investigation and trial, when the entire rest of the game (minus the tutorial) takes four chapters total. Most of the three trial chapters are filled with very long Info Dumps about how the entire plot fits together, with few puzzles or testimonies to break it up. The actual ending itself is quite long, too, making the game feel like it's in no hurry to get itself over with.
  • Danganronpa:
    • The first game's final Class Trial. All of the school's mysteries need to be revealed and only then will the mastermind show their face. And then it comes to breaking the mastermind down. This section of the game can take a good two hours or more to finish, at which point, the player is sick and tired of talking to the mastermind, who is shrugging everything off note  and unnecessarily prolonging the trial. The epilogue after the trial itself is, comparatively, much shorter and concise.
    • The Gaiden Game Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls is even worse, as, after what appears to be the Final Boss, there's a forty-five-minute long cutscene heavily featuring Hate Sink villain going into great detail about her evil plan during which you must refuse to break the controller for the Monokumas five times before fighting the true Final Boss.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony's last class trial also suffers from this. Among other problems that people have with it, the trial keeps dragging on and on even after the Big Bad is exposed. The whole thing (including the epilogue) lasts roughly four hours, the longest of ANY Danganronpa game. And when the gameplay finally turns up, you are mostly restricted to using only one Truth Bullet, to say nothing of the segments where you have to lose the minigames on purpose to progress. After that, you get to play as every survivor (which is a nice add-on feature, but it quickly wears out its welcome when they don't control any different than the main character). And then you finally have the final Argument Armament with the outside world. Regardless of how people feel about the ending, most can at least agree that it goes longer than necessary. Whether if it's a lot or a bit depends on each person.
  • Lux-Pain is a visual novel-type game, with about 21 episodes which take about an hour each to complete. This can cause the game to feel eerily like a book.
  • The first few endings of Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors are short; then there's a long one (the Safe Ending) that explains a lot but ends badly. At this point, if you're familiar with visual novels, you're probably expecting one last ending — a variation on the Safe Ending with little changes that make it turn out better. You're right about the little changes, but the final ending is also hours longer and includes another two puzzle rooms. It's a long slog, but worth it for the revelations at the end.
  • Umineko: When They Cry can fall into the trope on occasion, mostly because of the fact that every single episode has 2 epilogues after the conclusion of the main story, and the epilogues can go for a couple of hours sometimes. Even the characters, dangling in post-denouement, express how ready they are to just get it over with. Even Beatrice gets sick of being "Endless". If boredom is fatal to witches, imagine what it'll do to audiences.

    Web Animation 
  • After the heroes defeat the villain in Dusk's Dawn, we are treated to... Donut walking through a corridor for an extended period of time talking to himself about how bored he is.

  • Problem Sleuth's final battle takes up as many pages as the entire rest of the comic. Lampshaded with the command MSPA Readers: React to update.
  • Sluggy Freelance's 4U City arc. Started in the middle of 2009 and reached its climax in April 2011.
    • Sluggy itself has arguably been stuck in this trope for the past 10 years.
  • Late in Aoi House, the story transforms into little more than disjointed scenes with minimal context. This manages to create the whole "Just end already!" feeling while simultaneously getting a kind of "What the hell is going on now?" It doesn't so much end, it just ceases to produce any more scenes.
  • The main fight in Sugar Bits takes virtually half the comic to get through and took four years to finally reach its conclusion and move on with the story.

    Web Original 
  • Thomas Sanders invokes Monopoly's memetic tendency to last for ages is parodied in a couple of his Vines.
    *MANY MONTHS LATER* "It's Alex's turn!" "Alex is dead!" "Then roll for him!"
    In a World… where you actually finish a game of Monopoly...
  • Parodied on RiffTrax's commentary for Return of the King:
    Bill Corbett: Well, great movie, but finally ov-oh, dear God!

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: The sheer amount of content and complex lore this show has with all of it spanning across 11 years, it can be hard to keep getting invested until you reach the end with the Distant Lands miniseries.
  • Tom and Jerry: Jerry uses literal ending fatigue against Tom in "The Cat Concerto", by repeatedly restarting the frantic finale of "Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2" and forcing him to play it out each time rather than let the audience know he's being played, until he finally finishes and just collapses on the piano on the brink of unconsciousness.
  • A Family Guy spoof of the theme song to the TV series Maude drags out its opening by adding more and more verses about famous women. Peter keeps expecting it to get to the "And then there's Maude" part, but it goes on and on — and the verses get lyrically lazier each time: "Amelia Earhart flew a whole bunch of airplanes/'Cept for that one time when she didn't come back". When it finally progresses, he's nearly incoherent with frustration.
  • The episode of The Simpsons "The Kids Are All Fight" has an In-Universe example. After Homer tells the story of how Bart and Lisa used to fight, he continues to tell related stories, until eventually Bart tells him to be quiet, with Lisa adding that he's had three natural endings already.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Laboring The Point, Labouring The Point


Batwoman End MST3K

The Wild World of Batwoman decides to spend time on pointless fanservice, much to Tom Servo's anger.

How well does it match the trope?

4.95 (40 votes)

Example of:

Main / EndingFatigue

Media sources: