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Ending Fatigue

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"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 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.

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.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • This actually tends to be a very common problem for manga, especially Shoujo. (Sometimes the author adds in a note somewhere, flat-out admitting they don't know how/when to end it!)
  • Eiji from Bakuman。 references and defies this trope in-universe. When he first got published, it was on the condition that upon reaching number one, he'd be able to end a series of his choice. He meant his own; he wanted to end his series at its peak rather than drawing it out for profit to the detriment of its quality.
    • The manga itself though, goes through some of this in its final arc, being about "ending a manga when it should end", going out of its way to mention it often, after a previous arc that amounted to a rehash of the message/story from a previous arc (including being the same antagonist doing "the same thing, just with more people"
  • At the beginning of Bakugan: New Vestroia, the brawlers joined a resistance group that's trying to free the Bakugan enslaved by the Vestals. Then they had to stop the Vexos from destroying all the Bakugan on New Vestroia. Then they had to stop the Vexos from destroying the whole universe. By the time the brawlers are stopping Zenoheld's plan to end the whole universe, it feels like the climax had passed a long time ago. This was so bad that New Vestroia doesn't really seem to end as much as transition into Gundalian Invaders by the way it was ended.
  • Happens in both the novel and manga adaptation of Battle Royale in regards to Kiriyama finally going down and ending the game, though the manga makes it more obvious. A student manages to land a hit on Kiriyama, he might be injured, but not dead. He was in a building that freaking explodes and he still survives it. Even after getting a shotgun blast to the stomach, a throwing knife into the eye and being shot through the cheek, he still gets up for the next hit.
  • A common complaint about Death Note in manga form is that it drags through the second arc, largely because the author wanted there to be exactly 108 chapters. The anime, on the flip side, shoehorns as many as nine manga chapters into a single episode.
  • After the death of Cherubimon in Digimon Frontier, the anime's pacing falls apart and the second half is just the main characters losing to the Quirky Miniboss Squad. Again and again and again. For eight episodes straight.
  • The final arc of Eyeshield 21 (the World Youth Cup) was just one too many for a lot of the fans because the Devil Bats had already won the big game they'd be working towards from the start of the series and this just felt like a needless Post-Script Season. It was also comparatively poorly written. The creators seemed to agree, as they wrapped the arc very hastily. It segued surprisingly well into the series finale, though.
  • In Fist of the North Star, just after Kenshiro defeated his long-time rival, older brother, and main antagonist Ken-Oh/Raoh, Ken finally manages to rescue his lover Yuria, gives farewells to all of his friends, and ends his farewells by literally Riding into the Sunset with Yuria by his side. The series could have ended perfectly right there, but it just kept going with a lot of recycled plots and enemies, plus adding a lot of completely out of nowhere backstories just for the sake of not wanting to end. The Asura arc manages to pick up the pace a bit, but then at the very end, after Kenshiro has defeated Raoh's elder brother, Kaioh and brought peace to the Land of Asura, the manga continues for another few arcs before finally coming to an end. Notably, the anime doesn't follow the series past the end of the Asura arc, leaving the last few arcs exclusively manga-only.
  • There have been many discussion about this concerning Hellsing: the series ran for ten volumes, and the "end arc" is the Battle of London... which kicked off about halfway through the fourth. It took place over the course of one night, but given Hirano's record of Schedule Slip, the arc ran on for about eight years.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Part 5 hits the climax at the end of the final battle with King Crimson/ Diavolo... And then we get a four-chapter long flashback centering around Spotlight Stealing character Bucciarati that does absolutely nothing for the plot, reveals nothing, and reduces Giorno's rise to the head of the mafia into a footnote.
    • And Part 7 does it again, Johnny has just defeated Funny Valentine, villain is defeated and the corpse can finally be put to rest, but Gyro dies in the process. At this point, it looks like a good way to close out for the next part as all things are coming to their close. Except now the corpse has been stolen again forcing Johnny to chase down the one responsible. As it turns out it's another Diego brought to this universe in between Funny's slow death from Tusk's ability. This ultimately served no purpose outside of the storage of the corpse and ended with Johnny getting disqualified from the race.
    • Many fans have complained about this in regards to Part 8, which has more than 100 chapters (compare Part 7's 95 chapters) and the end still isn't within sight; the part's main villain hasn't been revealed yet, there are numerous plot points that haven't been addressed, and fans often complain that after the defeat of Tamaki Damo and the Josuke's identity being fully explained, that the plot has devolved into a game of keepaway regarding the rokakaka branch, with each villain's defeat introducing even more villains. Worth mentioning is that Part 8 has been running longer than any other part, currently at 8 years and still ongoing, surpassing part 7's previous record of 6 years.
  • Kaiji has the second arc's fight with "The Bog". It's easily the most intense Pachinko game of all time, but it goes on for so incredibly long that the tension starts to eat your brain. It's kind of justified in that The Bog was designed to be unbeatable, but wow. The sheer number of times it looks like a ball is going to make it through, championed by dramatic narration likening it to single tank breaching enemy lines and so on... and then doesn't, is astounding. Even the characters just want it to end. Eventually it's beaten, in the only way possible - sheer, mind-numbing attrition, clogging the machine up with so many balls that they can't possibly go anywhere but the final hole. And after all that, Kaiji STILL gets screwed out of most of his enormous, well-deserved earnings by the rat bastard Endou. Geez...
  • MÄR falls into this in the anime, mainly due to excessive filler arcs but even without those, the climax of the series is a whopping seven episodes long. This is in direct contrast to the manga ending, which was considered rushed and anti-climatic.
  • Naruto's final battle went on for about two years. That's one battle taking multiple books to finish. It doesn't help that who the characters are primarily fighting against changed at least seven times from start to finish, with Tobi and Madara (and, to a much lesser extent, Kabuto, Orochimaru, and Sasuke) becoming the focus more than once each. It also doesn't help that the "final" arc, the 4th Shinobi War of which this is the Final Battle, began in early 2011, i.e. the war went on for over three years, and Naruto was engaged in a single fight with Tobi and Madara for two of those years. And then a THIRD villain shows up in the form of Kaguya, the Rikudou Sennin's mom. And once all of these are finally dealt with, with plenty of Alas, Poor Villain and other denouement? Sasuke—who over the course of the battle had finally decided to abandon his revenge obsession and also pursue the position of Hokage and protect Konoha like his brother Itachi had tried to do--declares that the only way to ensure this never happens again is to tear down the whole system (like Tobi and Madara had tried to do) by taking control of the Tailed Demons and killing the Kage (and the demons as well once he's done). To be perfectly fair, the author had stated the manga's final fight would be between Naruto and Sasuke, but this was jarring beyond belief especially when much of the readership had long since gotten sick of Sasuke in general.
    • The anime was even worse in this regard when after the aforementioned final battle, began adapting the Konoha Hiden novels, before finally ending the series on episode 500 with Naruto and Hinata's wedding.
  • One of the many criticisms of the Best Wishes portion of Pokémon is its Decolore Islands Filler Arc of a final season. With the main plot of the series (Both Ash's badge quest and dealing with Team Plasma) over and done with, and several months before Pokémon X and Y would have been released, there's nothing more for Ash to do except head back to Kanto... a goal that takes several episodes of island-hopping to accomplish, and unlike the Orange Islands series, there's no original goal or motive for him (or the audience) to invest in. After 10 episodes of pure filler, we finally get one episode that is actually important to the plot, that being a character from Kalos who plays a somewhat major role in the first few episodes of the next series joining the group for the small remainder of the series. Granted, we have to sit through another 6 filler episodes before Ash finally reaches Kanto.
    • Unfortunately, The XY series's ending fell victim to ending fatigue too. After the big climax of the series, there are still 4 episodes following it. Granted, important events do happen in these episodes, it's just that they're paced very slowly and they could have easily been merged together into only 3 or 2 episodes.
    • 90% of the Pokémon movies fall victim to this too, as their climaxes tend to make up half of the movie's running time. It has become so bad that you can just leave the room and get a snack and the story still hasn't advanced.
  • Scrapped Princess either needed two fewer episodes or two more episodes, depending on how you look at it.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins didn't just have a long ending, it had multiple false endings, with the sudden Face–Heel Turn ending of the reality warping cat being the most egregious out of the bunch. There's even a chapter called "The End" and guess what? It's not the end.
  • Most of the longer works of Rumiko Takahashi face this problem. The longest one that didn't was probably Maison Ikkoku.
  • The climax of Steamboy definitely gives the impression that the director was having too much fun piling one piece of epicness after another onto the battle and didn't want to stop. The worst bit is when the Steam Castle is brought down and we get the Patrick Stewart Speech decrying its hubris (which is even delivered by Stewart himself if you're watching the dub), and then it's revealed that the Castle will destroy London and they have to travel deep into its engine room to stop it.
  • The original Super Dimension Fortress Macross. Transforming Mecha, action-packed space battles, a climactic final confrontation... and then nine episodes of Hikaru trying to make up his mind about if he loves Misa or Minmei more.
  • The later chapters of The Wallflower betray the fact that the author doesn't know how to end the damn manga, with grindingly slow character development and pushing the Belligerent Sexual Tension beyond the point of the reader's endurance.
  • In the Warrior Cats manga The Heart of a Warrior, the main villains are defeated two-thirds of the way through. The rest of the plot deals with Barley's brothers hanging around the barn, abusing Ravenpaw until Barley finally tells his brothers that they should get the hell off his property.
  • The ending of Yu Gi Oh ARCV. The series-arching Big Bad is defeated eight episodes before the show ends. The final arc consists of tying loose ends and giving closure to some of the characters. This is padded out with a superfluous plotline about the protagonists trying to remember the past after a Cosmic Retcon. After that, the episodes follow a formulaic plot of "Yuya goes to X dimension and duels Y person." It really isn't helped by the plotline itself, involving trying to purify the spirit of the Big Bad by making the baby he's trapped in smile, already being a tough sell for a lot of people.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho was intended to end with the blatantly climactic Chapter Black arc, but editorial management forced Yoshihiro Togashi to extend the series to one more story arc, which starts out about an approaching war, suddenly turns into a third Tournament Arc, the majority of which gets blatantly fast-forwarded through, and then ends with several random stories that indicate that Togashi had practically stopped caring at this point. The anime somewhat fixes things by cutting the random stories at the end out and making a better, more emotional series ending overall.

    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.
  • 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!"
  • 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.

  • 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!, three months for Dick to be Batman before Bruce returned to the mantle. That's right, the storyline, counting Zero Hour, lasted three years.

    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! is already a pretty terrible movie, but 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.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Velvet Goldmine, not helped by the entire film being fairly incomprehensible to begin with. A contemporary reviewer described it as "the longest two hours of your life".
  • Alien³ has six or seven endings in quick succession, as if David Fincher couldn't decide on what closing shot would be coolest.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. From the destruction of Sauron to the actual end of the movie is almost 30 more minutes, during which the movie "fades out" six times! The effect is mitigated somewhat if one considers it the ending of a twelve-hour film, and the conclusion of the entire film trilogynote .
    • A further complication is that the novel doesn't have six potential endings in a row: the film adaptation cut out the longer "Scouring of the Shire" sequence, due to the (debatable, but not irrational) assessment that it is anticlimactic and would slow down the pacing of the film - and, if nothing else, it would add another 30 minutes or so of screentime to the movie, between the farewell to all the non-Hobbit characters at Minas Tirith, then the farewells to the Hobbit characters. In the source material, it was less "multiple endings in a row" than an entire sequence serving as a coda. Loosely compare to how adaptations of Les Miserables speed through the Distant Finale epilogues for the entire cast, which were better paced in the novel (but a book can do things a film can't).
  • Godzilla Raids Again has Godzilla kill his opponent... over 30 minutes before the film ends. Afterward, the viewer is treated to a still-running and boring romance subplot about the human characters, and then a long and dull scene (five minutes) of airplanes causing an avalanche to bury Godzilla.
  • Destroy All Monsters has the Humans free their Kilaak-enslaved colleagues. Then astronaut soldiers destroy the enemy base on the moon. Then they themselves take control of the monsters and mass them at the main Kilaak base. But before they can begin the attack, Ghidorah shows up, under Kilaak control, and the Kilaaks also manage to undo Earth's control of the monsters. But it's okay - the monsters know who their enemy is. Dog pile on Ghidorah, he goes down, but the Kilaak's unleash a 'Burning Monster', that turns out to be just another spaceship which Earth forces destroy, and the Kilaak base is finally put down. When the final overview of the peaceful monsters back on Monsterland occurs, you fight between wanting it to end and fully expecting something else to happen.
  • Several of Robert Zemeckis's films:
    • Cast Away first climaxes when Tom Hanks' character is rescued by an oil tanker after losing Wilson. We then follow him as he returns home, reunites with his now remarried wife, sees how people take simple tools for granted, and then goes on to show the audience that FedEX will deliver your package anywhere in the world. No matter how long it takes.
    • Back to the Future, while not wearing out its welcome, looks like it's going to end about twice before it actually does. Doc drops Marty off at his house before heading off to the future. Is it the end? Cut to Marty waking up the next day. Marty is reunited with Jennifer. Is it the end? Doc returns to bring Marty along on another adventure. Then it ends.
    • Forrest Gump just never seems to end, as you'd expect everything to wrap up once Forrest's life story caught up to the present and he reunited with Jenny, but it keeps going past that to cover their wedding and her eventual death via AIDS. It's kind of a surprise when the credits finally do roll. (Ironically, some might have expected the movie to go on even longer since it was released in 1994 but the movie's "present" is in the early 1980s.)
  • In the James Bond reboot film Casino Royale (2006), what seems to be the climax of the film, the resolution of the big poker game, is only the end of the second act. Some audience members were confused that the film kept going, following Bond as he retires and ultimately faces the tragedy that makes him the ruthless lothario we all know.
  • The 1967 version of Casino Royale has this; it arguably starts when Evelyn Tremble and Le Chiffre are killed. The remainder of the film has to bring all the other characters together to unmask and confront the Big Bad. The resultant climax degenerates into a gigantic free-for-all fight in the casino with a Kill Em All ending played for LAUGHS, followed by a Fluffy Cloud Heaven ending. This was mainly due to a large amount of behind-the-scenes problems, most of which started when Peter Sellers left in the middle of filming.
  • The Strangers reaches the perfect ending (It will be easier next time) and adds a boring and unnecessary sequence just to show us that, despite the impossibility of it, Kristen is Not Quite Dead.
  • The Departed. Even after Frank Costello dies, the viewer has to sit through a good half hour of tying up loose ends.
  • Star Wars:
    • One of the (many) criticisms of The Phantom Menace is that it has four simultaneous ending threads that it cuts rapidly between. This makes each individual thread difficult to follow. George Lucas realized how problematic this was too late into production to fix it, but the lesson learned here led to much more concise endings for Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.
    • Unfortunately, the climax of Attack of the Clones tends to go on and on. First Anakin and Padme; go to Geonosis to rescue Obi-Wan, get into a scrap in the droid factory, get captured, and have to fight in an arena battle alongside Obi-Wan. Then the other Jedi show up and have a fight with battle droids. Then Yoda shows up with the Clone army and there's another massive battle while the heroes chase Dooku. And then there are three separate lightsaber duels involving Obi-Wan, Anakin, Yoda, and Dooku, before the movie finally reaches its resolution. While there are certainly some good and exciting moments in the third act, considering the entire film is over two hours long (until The Last Jedi was released, it was the longest theatrical Star Wars film), one gets the sense some of the action could've been condensed to shorten the runtime.
    • Defied with Revenge of the Sith; George Lucas notes in the DVD Commentary that he cut out a scene from the epilogue of Yoda traveling to Dagobah expressly because the ending was already so lengthy and information-packed that anything more would just make it drag on.
    • Rogue One invokes this in an interesting way. At the climax, the Rogue One crew have successfully transmitted the Death Star plans to the Rebel Alliance, but all died in the process. It looks like the end, but then the movie just... keeps going. For the next ten to fifteen minutes, it seems to forget about Rogue One and shifts to the Rebel soldiers who are carrying the Death Star blueprints to safety. The movie keeps shifting viewpoints until it eventually lands on Princess Leia getting the plans, leading directly into the events of A New Hope. All to drive home that Jyn and Cassian and the others weren't the heroes; they were just the Red Shirts and Spear Carriers whose narrative purpose was to set up the actual heroes. Once they're gone the story just goes on without them.
    • The Last Jedi: There are four climatic fights stuffed between the second and third act of the movie. Kylo Ren defeating Snoke and then he and Rey fighting his guards and then each other, Finn dueling Phasma as Snoke's ship goes pear-shaped due to Holdo hyperspace-ramming the Raddus into it, the First Order's assault on the old Rebel base on Crait where the last of the Resistance are hiding, and finally rounds it out with a duel between Kylo Ren and Luke Skywalker. To say the least, it goes on and on, and it's a lot to take in.
  • The one complaint about The Dark Knight seems to be that it goes on for too long and seems to be about to end three or four times before it finally actually does. Part of the problem might be that viewers became more emotionally attached to the Joker than Two-Face. The corruption of Harvey Dent is the masterstroke of Joker's plan, so the resolution with Two-Face is thematically the climax, but once the Joker himself has left the film, audiences started to lose interest. According to the writers, this situation happened because the film's final script was put together with parts from two other screenplays. Two-Face was supposed to be in a completely different film, but once the producers understood the appeal, they wrote him into the film. The original film was supposed to end at the scene where The Joker gets taken into custody.
  • All other complaints aside, perhaps the biggest failing of Brazil was that the final part of the movie consists of one scene after another each of which looks like a climactic ending. Final count: about fourteen. Then it's all subverted with a monumental Twist Ending. The biggest problem with the Love Conquers All version is that it kept most of those endlessly rising endings and then cut the punchline/climax.
  • The hospital dream sequence in All That Jazz stretches on for about five separate songs and more than 20 minutes, just repeating the same message over and over again. No wonder the last song is the main character choosing to die.
  • The main plot in Mamma Mia! is wrapped up in the wedding scene, but there are three more musical numbers afterward anyway. "I Have a Dream" is how the show closes on stage, so that's understandable, but in between we have "When All Is Said and Done" and "Take a Chance on Me," the latter of which is merely a segment hooking up two supporting characters. And this isn't even counting the "Dancing Queen" reprise and "Waterloo" that makes up the first segment of the end credits. In the stage show, the cast basically keeps singing encores until the audiences starts to leave, so the lengthy denouement is an intentional reflection of this.
  • Other film musicals that suffered this:
    • The Floor Show in The Rocky Horror Picture Show has good songs but doesn't do anything to advance the story, largely because there's so little left to tell by that point. The traditional Audience Participation exchange references this fact:
      Dr. Frank 'n' Furter: Whatever happened...
      Audience: To the plot?
    • In The Wiz, after Evillene's defeat and the heroes discovering the Wiz's true identity, it takes three songs and a good deal of talk to get Dorothy home. Plus, they're relatively subdued compared to many of the songs that preceded them, which feels anti-climactic.note 
    • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band defeats the villains during "Come Together" and then wastes four songs (two performed in one medley) as the town and Billy Shears deal with Strawberry Fields' demise... which becomes a Disney Death after all that, making all the moping pointless.
    • The Sound of Music has three of these: once when Maria leaves the Von Trapp house, the second at the wedding, complete with soaring, triumphant choral music (even for SoM), and the actual ending of the film. The first would probably not be an ending in itself (due to its downer nature in a mostly uplifting musical), but it feels that way as it leads into the Intermission. Originally, the German release of the film did have the wedding scene as the ending, since the entire third act was cut because of its focus on post-Anschluss Austria.
    • The plot of Hello, Dolly! is really over with the reconciliation of Horace and Dolly to the strains of the title song, but this continues without interruption into the entire cast storming on stage with reprises of all major numbers. The movie drags this glorified curtain call out even longer.
  • The ending of Blazing Saddles upsets some audiences for completely dropping the Western facade in the middle of the climactic rumble. The film feels a little adrift as the characters begin running around Hollywood backlots and Los Angeles streets, though highlighting the artificiality of the genre is a running theme throughout the film.
  • The biofilm W. had a seemingly fitting ending where all the actors morph into their Real Life counterparts and it ends with news footage... then the movie continues for another 30 minutes.
  • By Steven Spielberg:
    • Roger Ebert cited Hook as an example of this trope for good reason. With the climax down to the swordfight between Peter and Hook, it ends and begins again twice before the villain finally gets his comeuppance. After that, Peter sends Jack and Maggie back to London with Tinkerbell guiding them, then bids farewell to the Lost Boys (and chooses Thudbutt as their new leader) before setting off alone. The kids greet Moira and Wendy in the latter's townhouse, but Peter comes to Kensington Park for some reason and encounters in turn a trashman who may be Smee and Tinkerbell, making a final farewell to her. He returns to the townhouse for another joyous family reunion, the business deal and "Tootles's lost marbles" subplots are tied off, and then the movie ends.
    • The Lost World: Jurassic Park has its peculiar San Diego T-Rex rampage epilogue, which was not in the source novel and seems more fit for a full-fledged sequel than the last half-hour of its predecessor — especially with most of the human characters absent save for the protagonist, his lover, and the villain. The story goes was that it was originally conceived as such, but Spielberg doubted he would direct a third film. In addition, it does make the movie slightly less of a straight retread of the first one.
    • Saving Private Ryan takes this trope as far as it can be taken. Finding the eponymous James Ryan is only the end of the second act, and there's a full battle scene to prepare for. After The Cavalry arrives, it tries to wrap everything as quick as possible.
    • A.I. seems like it will end twice: when David drops on the sea that engulfed New York, and when he is talking to a submerged statue of the Blue Fairy, begging to be turned into a real boy. Both would be Downer Endings of their own, but then the film cuts to a Distant Finale long after humanity has gone extinct, and some Sufficiently Advanced Robots turn the film into a real Tear Jerker.note .
    • Catch Me If You Can tries to end three or four times, but Leonardo DiCaprio just won't stop running away. Even when he does finally get caught and it has a perfectly satisfactory ending, there's a good 20 minutes more about his working with the man who caught him!
    • Munich: After Avner returns to his family there are at least two to three scenes that feel like the film is building up to its end, only to have it keep going.
    • War Horse makes the viewer think there's an additional action scene going to take place after its climax, then drags out its denouement.
    • Lincoln has a poignant shot of Honest Abe walking away after bidding his goodbyes before heading off to Ford's Theater. Does the movie end there? Nope. Instead it continues on to his assassination, or rather, psyching out the audience by depicting a simultaneous play, to Lincoln's deathbed, then to him giving his second inaugural address.
  • The last third of Casino seems to involve a lot of padding.
  • Plenty of slasher movies do this by having the second half of the movie consist almost entirely of the killer chasing the Final Girl around, with no plot twists or anything to shake things up.
  • Chico Marx's piano performance in Animal Crackers was an in-film example.
    Chico: I can't think of the finish.
    Groucho: I can't think of anything else!
    • For context, Chico is playing Sugartime and...just keeps playing it, going over the same part over and over again. This eventually leads to a series of jokes about trying to end it.
    Chico:I think I went past it.
    Groucho:Well, when you come around again, jump off!
  • Chocolat has the climax about 30 minutes before the film ends. There are about a dozen false endings after this point, but the movie isn't actually over until the kangaroo disappears.
  • Australia, which had an intermediate climax good enough for one movie on its own. It starts all over again halfway through.
  • A major criticism of Transformers is that the final battle dragged on far too long. For the sequel it's more that the final battle was actually too short, while the whole sequence of running-to-bring-Optimus-back-to-life was too long.
  • In Star Trek Into Darkness, there seems to be a perfectly adequate ending of Spock setting off a series of explosives aboard Khan's ship, followed by Kirk performing a Heroic Sacrifice to prevent the Enterprise from crashing. But then there's an extra ending where Khan, who hasn't been seen for about ten minutes, crashes on Earth and Spock chases him through a city...
  • Japanese Film The Great Yokai War had a lengthy, exciting, and rather satisfying climax followed by an uncomfortable scene where all the colorfully-costumed youkai have left, without closure, leaving a young boy and a grown man alone in the ruins of Tokyo for several minutes in which they have an awkward conversation and the man begins to drink. With so little happening in what had been a pretty spontaneous movie up until then, all the audience has to think about are the resulting Unfortunate Implications.
  • Battle Royale 2 does this at least three or four times.
  • For being an 87-minute film, Freddy Got Fingered at least flirts with this, but also puts a fourth-wall-breaking lampshade on it: After the movie threatens to end about three times, Gord and his father return home from Pakistan, and they're greeted by a crowd holding up signs, one of which reads "Is this fucking movie over yet?".
  • As pointed out quite humorously by The Nostalgia Chick the Pilot Movie of She-Ra: Princess of Power ends and then promptly moves onto a previously unmentioned plot point, several times. (The film clearly was intended as a Five-Episode Pilot — it aired on television in that format later — not a theatrical film.)
    "Okay, so now we're off to rescue some queen we've never heard of..."
    "Christ Almighty! This movie has more fakeouts than Return of the King!"
  • Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny falls into this in the version that is a repackaging of a standalone Thumbelina film because that movie already has a framing device of a young woman visiting an amusement park and visiting a series of dioramas illustrating the fairy tale — it's a story within a story within a story! When the retelling is over, there's a few minutes following the woman back outside; then the movie returns to the new framing device of Santa Claus trying to get his sleigh out of the Florida sand! Just end already! It doesn't help that Thumbelina, being plopped wholesale into the film, has its own credits intact, meaning there's a "The End" title card shown before returning to Santa and company.
  • A common complaint of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford is that the title event happens, and then the movie goes on for another hour. This is largely due to Billing Displacement and misgivings over the title. Jesse James isn't the main character, Robert Ford is and it's the story of his legend compared to James's. This even extended to Casey Affleck bizarrely getting nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar. In the as-yet-unreleased director's cut it in fact goes on for another two hours after the assassination. This accounts somewhat for why the final third feels a bit more rushed than the previous two thirds.
  • Bad Boys II would seem to logically end around the time when the team captures Tapia's drug and money shipments, gaining enough evidence to have him convicted. Instead, Tapiya kidnaps Sid and flees to Cuba, causing the film to go on for another half-hour and leading to a climax where Mike, Marcus, and a few other cops go to Cuba, hook up with local resistance fighters, and assault Tapia's heavily fortified mansion. Even this takes longer than it should with the gun battle leading to an extended car chase and ending with a standoff outside of Guantanamo Bay. However, one may feel MUCH more satisfied to see him get blown up by a mine rather than just getting arrested.
  • There are at least three points in The Box that would have been satisfactory endings to the film before the actual ending. One of these even follows the standard ending formula, with a huge climax and an obvious downward slope in the intensity afterwards, as if the film is winding down, only for it to pick up again. As a result the actual ending, which normally could have been a pretty powerful scene, ends up as kind of weak since at that point the viewer is just waiting for it to be over.
  • The Night of the Hunter, otherwise a masterpiece of suspense, suffers from an ending that drags on for twenty minutes after the main conflict is resolved, for little reason (other than it's following the similarly dragged-out ending of the original novel).
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World subverts the trope. After a lengthy climax, Scott defeats the final villain and learns a lesson, but out of nowhere, he's suddenly faced with his "evil doppelganger," making it look like there's a whole additional action scene about to take place. Instead, we cut to after their confrontation, in which they apparently just chatted and parted on good terms. The film ends quickly afterwards.
  • The Guardian goes through about three perfectly acceptable endings after the final action scene.
  • Excalibur. As William Goldman said, you're just unnerved when you should be shocked because King Arthur dies.
  • Psycho. Modern audiences are often frustrated that the chilling finale in the cellar is followed by several minutes of exposition by the psychiatrist, who explains everything that happened in the film. Audiences at the time did not appreciate Left Hanging endings.
  • Dinner for Schmucks. OK, we had the heartwarming scene, the movie must surely be about to wrap up... nope, there's still more! OK, we're done with the dinner... oh, a little more? Fine. The End, finally, now THERE'S EPILOGUE SCENES?! Ironically, the original film The Dinner Game avoids this by running just 80 minutes and focusing solely on the main story (the subplots were added for the remake as films under 90 minutes seem to be unfashionable in the US). The final result is considered by many one of the best French films of the 1990s.
  • The Ring appears to suffer from this. The whole curse thing is resolved and we get a few scenes of the characters returning to their... hey, what's with Noah's TV? Ultimately subverted in that this fake-out ending is probably the best-remembered thing about the film.
  • The Last Airbender, once the characters reach the North Pole.
  • Limitless has a more mild example of this trope as only about 15 minutes remain in the film after the climax. However quite a bit is crammed into that 15 minutes, giving the impression that it might've been rushed to avoid this trope.
  • The Beastmaster: Dar defeats the evil wizard who screwed up his life and took over his rightful kingdom, and announces that he's going to become the new king. Then it turns out the wizard's army is still out there and about to attack the kingdom, so we have a whole other climax on top of it. See this movie for a textbook example of why the Scouring of the Shire was cut from the Lord of the Rings films.
  • Nollywood movies often have this, because they are usually very long — so long that they come on two DVDs.
  • The film version of the Tyler Perry play I Can Do Bad All By Myself not only runs 20-30 minutes longer than it should but has two false endings. The first occurs after the actual ending, after a fade to black. You get ready to leave the theatre but instead of credits, you get a random musical number that has nothing to do with the plot. After that, you get your second false ending. After another fade to black, you get outtakes (on a movie that wasn't even a comedy, no less). By then, most people would have just given up and gone to their car.
  • Scream 4 lampshades this, by the killer no less:
    Jill: This is how it's gonna be, Sid? The ending of the movie was supposed to be at the house; I mean this is just silly.
  • Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    • The Wild World of Batwoman, as seen on the quotes page. In the film itself, the plot has been resolved, the villain defeated, everything is wrapped up... and yet the movie continues, inflicting more on the viewer, up until the cast evidently decides to indulge in a disco dance party (really badly), causing Tom Servo to lose it and just start screaming at the screen.
    • Soultaker has that hospital climax that just drags on and on. Most annoyingly, it keeps cutting to a shot of a clock long after the story's Cosmic Deadline has passed and it no longer matters what time it is.
    • In the short "A Case of Spring Fever" the main character wishes that there was no such thing as springs (long story). Coily the Spring Sprite appears and grants his wish. Turns out life sucks without springs and the man soon relents. Lesson learned, right? Nope, turns out there's an entire third act to the short with the man explaining the wonder that is Springs to his increasingly annoyed buddies.
      Tom Servo: Shouldn't this be over?
    • Time of the Apes. Has to be seen to be believed (warning: not for first-time MST3K viewers). The first time the writing staff watched it, they had been misinformed about the running time, so the multiple false endings — a side effect of the film being a Compilation Movie — drove them nuts.
  • In The Great Escape, after much build-up and planning, the actual escape starts an hour and forty-five minutes into the movie and is over fifteen minutes later. Then there's another forty-five minutes left in the movie. Justified in that getting out of the camp is only the first obstacle. The escapees still have to get out of enemy territory and to a neutral country for the escape to really end. And most of the escapees don't make it that far.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Like the book, Blomkvist's legal troubles bookend the central mystery plot. After the mystery is resolved, we still spend some time resolving how Blomkvist and Lisbeth get back at Blomkvist's nemesis. Funny enough, the Swedish version knows when to shut up. After the plot is resolved, we get a short scene of Blomkvist in jail, the news report of his nemesis dead, and Lisbeth in Granada.
  • Men in Black II: Serleena's defeated, the Light of Zartha's on its way home, and then... a locker room/obligatory mind screw scene. It's not that long, but still.
  • The Help feels like it should end as Skeeter achieves success with her book and helps the maids out financially as they all begin to have success but the movie aimlessly wanders for about a half-hour too long after before Aibileen leaves to start a new life.
  • Savages has what seems to be a big climactic finale that would end the story...oh wait it was just an Imagine Spot by the narrator. Now HERE'S the real ending!
  • Air Force One. Just when you thought the film was gonna end after Korshunov and Radek die, MiGs loyal to Radek launch to shoot down the plane only to be stopped by friendly F-15 Eagles. Then, it turns out the plane is almost out of fuel and thus unable to land. Marshall pilots the plane to the Caspian Sea and the USAF sends in an MC-130 to evac the president and everyone else via zip-line, but then Gibbs tries one last attempt to kill him, but fails to do so as the plane crashes, taking him with it. The film finally ends for real afterwards.
  • Deliberately invoked in Hot Fuzz. After a long climactic battle where it seems all the villains have been dealt with, Big Bad Frank Butterman escapes and takes Danny hostage. Nicholas is just as exasperated by this as the audience, and shouts "Pack it in, Frank, you silly bastard!" The creators explicitly noted that they were inspired by the point in Bad Boys II (see above) where it looks like everything's wrapped up, but then Martin Lawrence's character intones that "This shit just got real," and the movie keeps going.
  • The Bollywood film Arth is about a couple having a divorce, the story centered around the woman's emotional struggles. The two finally meet up again, both having gone through hardships. When the woman asks her ex-husband if they'd like to get back together again, the husband answers back, "No," and the second half of the film begins. This next half has a totally unrelated plot, where the last 30 minutes of the film consist of roughly seven sequences, each tying up a loose thread and each edited as if they would cut to credits.
  • Reefer Madness: The Musical could have ended with Mary's death. It could have ended with the group number when Jimmy is pardoned on death row. Instead, it goes on for about five more minutes, including another song. Granted, that's how the musical and the film ended ORIGINALLY. Now it just ends with aforementioned group number when Jimmy gets pardoned.
  • Inverted with Monty Python and the Holy Grail. The movie ends before the climax!
  • In the 1942 Jungle Book, the film continues even after Mowgli kills Shere Khan in their Final Battle, which is how the original book ended, with three villagers pursuing a treasure that they kill each other over until the survivor goes insane and burns both the jungle and the village to the ground, with the film ending after everyone escaped the fire. Especially since every other adaptation ends with the battle between Mowgli and Shere Khan. The similar 1994 film even deliberately averts this by having the treasure plot resolved before Mowgli's final confrontation with Shere Khan.
  • The Lone Ranger: In the words of critic Christopher Orr:
    Orr: Somewhere, around the hour-and-a-half mark, The Lone Ranger makes the fateful decision not to end. Worse, the movie keeps not-ending for another full hour.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Man of Steel's last 45+ minutes are essentially one enormous action climax that gets too tiring to appreciate. Superman and Lois escape from Zod's ship! Now the fight goes to the surface, where Superman battles Faora and Nam! Then there's an even longer final fight where Sup and the US military collaborate to destroy Zod's ship and the World Engine, except the troops can't destroy Zod's ship until Sup destroys the World Engine, which he can't yet because the alien atmosphere is toxic to him, and even afterward they have deal with Jor-El's key not activating and Faora attacking them, and even after all that Zod still isn't dead...
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice climaxes with Superman's Heroic Sacrifice and the denouement starts with a scene between Martha and Lois. Then we get a talk between Bruce and Diana, an extended funeral montage, another talk between Bruce and Diana, a sequence wrapping up Lex's fate, and teasing that Superman is Not Quite Dead before the credits finally roll.
    • One of the most common criticisms of Wonder Woman (2017). While the movie clocks in at a little over two hours (not exceptionally long by superhero movie standards), some people feel that the last act drags on more than it should, which, along with it being often considered as the movie's weakest part altogether, has made some feel that it could have been shorter.
    • SHAZAM! (2019) was often criticized for its length, which was probably caused by the really long final battle. First, there's a seemingly final battle in the Shazam throne room. Then, the main characters have to escape from the throne room. Then, there's a battle in the amusement park. Then, the Shazam gang appears. Then, there's a big final battle that lasts around fifteen minutes. As a whole, the climax of Shazam! is one of the most overlong in the DCEU, which is already a big competition.
  • Up in the Air has Natalie successfully conducting her first day of layoffs, and Ryan attends his sister's wedding, where he learns that "everyone needs a co-pilot," with the implication that he has finally gotten the inspiration he needs to begin a more meaningful relationship with Alex. Great place to leave off, right? But what's this? Alex has a husband? And children? And then Ryan clocks in his ten-millionth flyer mile? And one of Natalie's layoffs commits suicide? And Natalie quits her job out of grief? And the remote layoff program is suspended? And then Natalie applies for another job...
  • Jackie Brown sets things up so that it appears the plan in the clothing store will be the big climax... but nope the film goes on for another twenty-plus minutes as Ordell just keeps one-upping the protagonists.
  • Django Unchained: It seems like the gunfight at Candyland will be the finale. But then Django has to give himself up, gets hung upside down for two minutes of torture, has to talk a group of rednecks out of taking him to the mines, rescue his wife and then finally shoot up the rest of the people at Candyland. And this is after things have already gone on for over two hours. According to Samuel L. Jackson, the shootout at Candyland originally was the ending, but after they shot the scene, the director and some of the actors realized that the ending was a bit too generic in light of all that had preceded it. Hence Tarantino's decision to add a bit more.
  • After the evil werewolves and government agents are dead, Howling III: The Marsupials then starts a drawn-out happy ending with the two werewolf women hooking up with their respective love interests, living happily together, having children, said children growing up, meeting each other after a long time, and so on.
  • Doctor Zhivago could easily end with Yuri and Lara's final parting, with perhaps a brief epilogue to wrap things up. Instead we cut back to Yevgraf and the girl he believes to be Yuri and Lara's child, for another 15-20 minutes of narration and exposition detailing Yuri's death, Yevgraf's relationship with Lara, Komarovsky's possible fate, more of The Girl's backstory... eventually it all seems monotonous, especially since most of it happens offscreen.
  • The 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has this due to Adaptation Expansion, namely the Dark and Troubled Past it gives Willy Wonka. Because of his Daddy Issues, he insists Charlie give up his own family if he wants to inherit the factory, and Charlie refuses. The fallout from this means the story requires an additional climax before the book's happy ending can commence, and pads the movie by at least five minutes not counting the setup in the flashbacks. This is noticeable because other adaptations manage to flesh out the story's finale, which is a bit thin on the page, without dragging it out. Compare it to the 1971 film's suspenseful and emotional climax.
  • An amusing variation with the movie Clue. When the film was in theaters, moviegoers could see one of three different reveals and endings (or all three, if they wished), depending on which theater they went to. When the film went to the pay-TV channels and video, the creators included all three endings. This meant that if you wanted to see all three endings, you A) paid admission two more times to see the same 87 minutes but with two more different endings, or, B) you had to listen to Wadsworth tell you whodunit (and where, and with what) three times, without really knowing the truth for sure, since all three endings were equally valid and logically sound!
  • The film version of Into the Woods has received complaints that it really should have just been an expanded version of Act 1, especially since some of the darker elements of Act 2 are toned down anyway. Since there is no attempt of translating the story being two separate acts into film, it also loses many of the powerful parallels of structure and song.
  • A Walk Among the Tombstones seems set to end with the final shootout at the cemetery. Instead, it drags on as the antagonists escape and return to their hideout, at which point Albert kills Ray. Then Matthew and the gang show up and Albert is subdued; Matthew advises Kenny to go the Cruel Mercy route and leave Albert for the police, but the film still doesn't end, since Kenny decides to take his revenge, allowing Albert to escape and kill him. Matthew goes back inside, kills Albert, returns to his apartment, and falls asleep. Then it ends.
  • Taken 3. First, there's the climactic Storming the Castle final shootout on Oleg Malankov's hideout, which ends with Bryan defeating Malankov. Then, Malankov reveals that he was merely The Dragon to Stuart's plan all along, with Stuart having played both Bryan and Malankov. Stuart wounds Sam and kidnaps Kim, forcing Bryan to chase after Stuart to an airport in a Porsche and eventually ramming it into the wheels of Stuart's plane, where he climbs out of the plane's remains and is ultimately subdued by Bryan by being shot and by being knocked out when Bryan pistol whips him.
  • In Run All Night, Shawn is killed right at the start of the final act, which makes the last twenty minutes and the showdown with Andrew Price feel unnecessary and longer than it should be.
  • Speed goes on another half-hour after resolving the bus plot, leading to a prolonged chase scene/hostage standoff in a subway.
  • In Cooties, The teachers get away from the school - the main plot point that had to be overcome. Then they get a Jump Scare in the truck. Then they get to Danville. Then they get chased again. then they're cornered. Then The Cavalry comes. THEN the movie ends.
  • Spectre builds up the climax to be in Morocco. However, with half an hour left for the movie, the real Final Battle occurs when Bond returns to London.
  • Exodus: Gods and Kings teases its audience with about three possible endings after Ramses is defeated, before finally ending with an elderly Moses and the Ark of the Covenant.
  • Angry Video Game Nerd: The Movie introduces a few too many plot threads and ends up with a bloated climax to tie everything up. The Nerd and the alien have to escape from Area 51, the alien has to rebuild his ship, and the Nerd has to review Eetee for his fans, which would have been plenty to end the film on, but there's also a giant monster that has to be stopped, which adds a solid twenty minutes to the runtime and drags the main plot to a halt.
  • The film The Throne has three different endings. First Sado dies, then King Yeongjo mourns over his body. Pretty powerful ending. Then Yeonjo himself dies. Then Sado's son has a son, who grows up and honours Yeongjo's elderly wife in a celebration, and finally the movie ends.
  • Out of Africa spends its last hour with Isak Dinesen saying goodbye to, it seems, every character with a speaking role ... in scenes that each individually seem like they were written to be the final scene.
  • Inverted during post-production of The Terminator. The producer insisted that the film ends at the scene where the title character appears to have been killed in the oil-truck explosion. Cameron locked him out of the editing suite so he could include the scenes in the factory after it, where Reese dies after blowing up the metal skeleton, leaving Sarah to finally crush him to death herself. No one complained that it went on too long.
  • The climax of X-Men: Apocalypse has been seen as this by some viewers. It's awesome to see characters like Cyclops, Storm, and Magneto cut loose with their powers unlike in previous films, but after a certain point, it can become a bit numbing to watch.
  • The ending of The Tiger Makes Out. It could have ended like the play it was based on, The Tiger, with Ben and Gloria planning to meet her again. But after they consummate their relationship, Gloria goes back home. Ben follows her and gets run over by luggage carts. Ben rides with Gloria on the train. Gloria gets off at her stop. Ben stalks her home. He's noticed by Gloria's husband, and Gloria and her husband jump on the bed so much that their heads go through the ceiling (and probably would have suffocated if the police hadn't started to arrive). Ben runs away from the police. The movie finally ends when Ben is lying in the bed with his landlady and her husband.
  • Funny People-George is dying but gets to make all his restitution emotionally with the people in his life. He then gets the one that got away to fall back in love with him. Then his assistant, who is a child of divorce, ruins that in favor of the couple who is already married. Then George and his assistant reconcile. It's quite a bit of mood whiplash
  • Film/Cruella Really had an excessive number of showdowns between Cruella and the baroness as if one would bring more stakes than the one before it
  • Lampshaded and defied in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang:
    Harry: Don't worry, I saw Lord of the Rings. I'm not going to end this seventeen times.
  • Averted twice by David Cronenberg with both The Dead Zone and The Fly (1986). As originally shot, both movies ended with short, hopeful epilogues detailing the final fate of the protagonist's lover (and in the latter their unborn child). In fact, no less than four versions of an epilogue were shot and tested for the latter. But none worked well with test audiences or the filmmakers themselves, so instead both films just end immediately after the protagonist dies. In the case of The Fly, this aversion meant that a major plot point went unresolved...and allowed a sequel to be produced three years later.
  • Avengers: Endgame spends roughly 30 minutes wrapping things up after the climactic final battle and Tony Stark's funeral. Justified in that the film is the Grand Finale of the first three phases of the MCU, so there's a lot to wrap up.

  • Jurassic Park: Tim has successfully improvised himself through Jurassic Park's computers to finally restore the main power, thus securing the survivors and being able to call for help. The end, right? Nope, Grant insists that they have to find all the dinosaur nests and count the eggs. They only find one nest before the Costa Rican military arrives, muscles the survivors off the island, and then firebombs it. Then when they get home, there's a Sequel Hook hinting at dinos that have escaped to the mainland... which was never followed upon in the sequel.
  • Stephen King is prone to this trope. It's said that he's great at fitting a 300-page story into a 600-page book.
    • The Shining, for instance, could have ended at the destruction of the Overlook Hotel. But instead, we get another chapter set the following summer, for no particularly good reason.
    • The Stand features an endless epilogue about how someone gets back home after the climax. The uncut version has an additional epilogue, though this one's only a few pages.
    • It: During the final (1985) confrontation, a storm rages aboveground while the Losers' Club battles Pennywise (in Its Giant Spider form) in Its lair; the effects of the incredibly destructive storm on the residents (and landmarks) of Derry are exhaustively described. After the Losers finally defeat It, the book goes on to describe how the surviving members of the Club leave Derry one by one, how each one of them (including Mike) are forgetting everything for good this time, and how Bill revives the catatonic Audra. And then, how the Losers parted ways after their confrontation with It in 1958.
    • Firestarter. After the slam-bang climax at the Shop's HQ, there's a sizable dénouement with Charlie finding her way back to the Manders' farm, Irv and Norma nursing her back to health while trying to keep quiet her presence at the farm (the reconstituted Shop is determined to find her and liquidate her), and, finally, her journey to NYC to find someone to tell her story to.
  • Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is the best American novel right up until Tom Sawyer shows up. Ernest Hemingway famously said, "If you read it you must stop where... Jim is stolen from the boys. That is the real end. The rest is just cheating."
  • The last several books of the Left Behind series suffered from this problem. After the Antichrist came back from the dead, killed people with fiery pillars from the sky, and desecrated the Temple in Jerusalem, there just wasn't anything more evil for him to do. And that was Book Eight of a 13 book series (not counting the three prequels). It doesn't help that anyone who will read that particular series through Book Eight already knows the ending (spoiler: Satan loses) and is just slogging along to see exactly how they're going to get there.
  • While their quality remains consistent throughout, Harry Turtledove's Darkness Series are of an incredible length. The series probably does go one book too many, but it's based on World War II, which did extend three years past the "climax" (Stalingrad, El Alamein, and Midway) to resolve.
    • His various series may fall here, though. One particular novel may look as if it's coming to the conclusion of a particular world's story, with a trilogy just about to be wrapped up... but nope, it's still going, and a new trilogy is about to start, so you still have to keep reading...
  • Christopher Paolini's Inheritance has about 150 pages after the big bad is defeated.
  • Dean Koontz's Phantoms. While a very good book overall, the battle against the Ancient Enemy is clearly the climax. Following that, the fight at the hospital feels completely tacked on. It is only tangentially related to the main plot and doesn't count as a Twist Ending or Shocking Swerve because it doesn't actually change anything. It just feels like an attempt to cram one last dramatic moment into the final chapter, and it falls flat because the main plot of the story has already been soundly resolved.
  • Diana Wynne Jones's later children's books. Readers used to complain that she finished her plots too abruptly and without sufficient explanation (the original book of Howl's Moving Castle and Fire and Hemlock are cases in point). Clearly her editor has got on to her about this, because from The Merlin Conspiracy onward, every single book seems to have a satisfying conclusion, and then at least one or two chapters explaining what happened to all the characters after that. Conrad's Fate tells you what happens in the next ten years or so.
  • Pamela. You'd think it would end after she resists and reforms her boss and they get married, plunking down An Aesop in the process. No, there are still 200 pages. It reaches the happily-ever-after and, instead of rolling credits, just keeps on going.
  • Used apparently on purpose and lampshaded in Sir Terry Pratchett's Unseen Academicals, which has "You think it's all over?" written in large letters, followed by another scene, a few times.
    • As well as being a lampshading of this trope, this is a reference to the famous commentary of England's victory over Germany in the World Cup of 1966, which went into extra time after finishing level after 90 minutes, but which eventually led to England's victory. Which possibly makes the game itself an example of this trope.
    • Also to an extent, but unlampshaded, in Hogfather. Susan's saved the Hogfather and defeated the Auditors. Then she still has to deal with Teatime. Fair enough, it's just that Your Princess Is in Another Castle!. But then, with the main story definitely concluded, Pterry remembers the subplots and resolves them all one after the other: the raven's quest for carrion; the Cheerful Fairy and other manifestations of belief; Albert and the rocking horse; Ridcully's bathroom; and finally, the Canting Crew and their unexpected Hogswatch dinner, previously referred to about halfway through the book.
    • Just about all of Terry Pratchett's books have this, though he writes it well enough and the books are short enough that the extended endings are not unpleasant to read.
  • This Body. It's about a middle-aged mom named Katherine who dies unexpectedly and finds herself a year in the future in the body of a 20-something named Thisby (yes, A Midsummer Night's Dream is a recurring theme), who died of a drug overdose. Most of the book is about Katherine getting Thisby's life together and finding ways to reconnect with her original family. The book is interesting, but it soon becomes clear that the author didn't know how to finish it, and there's some three-month flash-forward before the book wanders into its ending.
  • Battlefield Earth. The climactic battle against the aliens actually occurs at about 300 pages into the 1,050 page paperweight of a book. Once the humans have kicked the evil aliens off Earth, the rest of the book deals with the surviving villains fighting over the scraps of their empire, and some kind of legal battle over the real estate ownership status of the planet.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The climax of the story takes place little over the halfway point of Return Of The King, with the return journeys home being just as important as the journey to Mordor in the first place, practically making it read like a Post-Script Season. Partly justified: Tolkien didn't want a cliche "happy-ever-after" ending, and included the Scouring of the Shire to show how the small hobbits of the Fellowship had grown into true heroes in and of themselves. It also shows how most of the hobbit race (except for some bad eggs) are Crouching Moron Hidden Badasses when push truly comes to shove, and that they absolutely abhor killing their own kind, which was one of the MAJOR failings of the Elves of the First Age.
    • Unfortunately, while the use of the extended ending worked well with that story, with the book being the ur-example of fantasy fiction, it had the side effect of many other authors writing extended sequences in imitation. Famed author George R. R. Martin has expressed his intent to have a "Scouring of the Shire" like section in his A Song of Ice and Fire series. Considering the general popular and critical dislike of the post-climactic section of the television adaptation, one hopes he will be very careful in how he implements this.
  • In The Poisonwood Bible, the epilogue is actually a sizable portion of the book. It details the lives of all of the main characters over the next thirty years. The book really ends almost 37 years later.
  • Anna Karenina: The eponymous character commits suicide and the plot essentially ends at the end of book seven. There's a whole other hundred-page book dealing with the spiritual awakening of secondary character Levin, Tolstoy's Author Avatar. It's referred to even in academic circles as somewhat masturbatory; Tolstoy had gone through a similar spiritual experience and wanted to spread the word.
    • War and Peace gets dinged for this as well; after the war ends and we find out the fates of all the main characters, Tolstoy gives us a long dissertation on history and the forces that decide the fates of nations. Fascinating stuff, if a bit dry.
  • The endings of many of Joe Haldeman's novels feel incredibly forced. Oddly enough, however, he uses this trope to good effect in The Forever War, as he's set the story up such that the only way to end it is to force an ending, which reinforces the point that the war has been going on for so many centuries that, at least on the part of the humans, no one knows any longer why they're fighting or what they hope to accomplish.
  • Atlas Shrugged, more specifically John Galt's speech. Actually, you could skip the entire novel and just read that speech, and you'd get the gist of Ayn Rand's rant anyway.
  • The Fountainhead as well. Around page 350, when Howard Roark gets his grand-standing speech in court describing his motives and his view on humanity (pretty much dropping Rand's anvil, if you haven't been awake long enough to get what she was aiming at the whole book). It seems when you've got your character in a position to monologue for three pages about everything that he did since the beginning of the book to society at a whole, this is a good place to say, "climax! Now for the denouement!" Apparently, Rand knew that her personal philosophy wouldn't go down quite as easy, so Roark ends up in prison and he doesn't get his moment as "revolutionary genius" until another 350 pages.
  • The Lost Symbol, by Dan Brown: We hit the climax of the book with a good 2 or 3 chapters in hand, which are then spent tying up loose ends and discussing Christianity.
  • The Jungle by Upton Sinclair seems to find something of an ending when Jurgis joins the socialist labor union cause... and then the book goes on for another 20 pages to outline some arguments important to the socialist cause at the time. Even if you're familiar with Marxism and know what they're talking about, it's hard to read.
  • Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold has three endings. First, the main detective plot wraps up; then, Miles makes a decision about whether to take up Gregor's offer; and then he goes off to sort things out with Quinn. The two later endings are necessary to the continuing story, though, so if they hadn't been wrapped up in this one they would have needed to be explained in the next book.
  • The Deltora Quest series has this problem. First, Lief has to find the seven gems for the Belt of Deltora, the only tool capable of defeating the Shadow Lord. Then collect and assemble the three pieces of the Pirran Pipe, the only tool capable of rescuing the people captured by the Shadow Lord. Then wake up the last seven dragons in Deltora, the only creatures capable of destroying the Four Sisters, evil objects slowly killing Deltora and created by the Shadow Lord. Lastly, said dragons must destroy an explosion of grey poison capable of destroying Deltora, and by doing so, defeating the Shadow Lord.
  • Bats Fly at Dusk by Erle Stanley Gardner plays with it. While most of this series are first-person narratives from Donald Lam, this book is a third-person narrative centering around his partner, Bertha Cool while Donald is in the navy during World War II. Donald sends several telegrams suggesting lines of inquiry and pointing out facts about her case, but Bertha finally washes her hands of the case and goes fishing. The next day she comes back to the office to find Donald got a military pass, came to town, solved the case, and left her a note explaining it and pointing out her mistakes.
  • Clive Barker's Coldheart Canyon — the tiled room's power is broken, and from there the forces that kept the villain safe are destroyed. The villain gets a satisfying comeuppance... and then the two survivors deal with a police investigation and a book based on their experiences, along with getting on with their lives. Then they learn that the male lead's soul hasn't crossed over yet, and try to save him from the inevitable before everyone realizes that there's no need to fight fate. This takes about 100 pages. To make matters worse, had this material been trimmed or dropped, the 75-or-so pages that set up the minor subplot points resolved in it could have been cut too!
  • American Gods: After the book's climax is over, we're treated to 50 or so pages dedicated to tying up a minor subplot that's been sidelined since the middle of the book. Once that's done we get a proper epilogue but for some readers, the climax is too far gone for this to really matter.
  • The Agent Pendergast novel Book of the Dead sees the antagonist's plot foiled and said antagonist currently facing the front end of a gun. So villain gets killed and the story wraps up? Not yet. Instead we see him survive his attempted murder and have an extra hundred pages devoted to him getting hunted down before the story finally wraps up.
  • Feed. The point about how the execution of the New Media had been pretty much made within part 2 - part 3 and 4 of the novels seem to feel like Anderson is trying to hammer it in even more.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Similar to The Lord of The Rings, the Season 2 finale of Lost has at least 3 perfectly viable endings, and has an unnecessary scene with Claire and Charlie between them, creating some ending fatigue. The endings are Desmond turning the key, Jack having the bag put over his head and the ending with Penny answering the phone.
  • There have been a couple of instances in The Amazing Race where teams have gotten so far behind in a leg late in the season that they’ll never be able to catch up only to be saved by it being non-elimination. Since it’s a Foregone Conclusion that they will be eliminated in the following episode, it messes with the pacing of the ending. They legally are not allowed to change the placement of non-elimination legs once they are set because it would be insurance fraud so there’s not really anything that can be done if this happens.
    • In season 17, Nick and Vicki made it to the second to last leg and quit a task out of frustration in fourth place. Since there was another episode and the finale is three people, they should have known that episode was non-elimination but they quit anyway. The penalty is six hours added to the start time of the next leg so they were not able to get on the same flight as the other three teams. At that point, there was no way for them to come back so two episodes unwittingly became just pure filler.
    • In season 21, James and Abba’s taxi driver stole their bags and one of their passports in leg seven. They had had a twelve-hour lead on some of the other teams because of a missed flight but they spent the entire evening trying to track the guy down, including going to Interpol. They finally were allowed to check in once the two other teams who’d gotten so far behind did so to find out it was non-elimination. The next leg didn’t have any travel so they spent the entirety of the day trying to find the passport while still technically racing. Being non-travel also made it impossible for them to catch anyone when they finally did the tasks. Not helping matters is the looming fact that they’d be eliminated on the spot when they had to go to another country. This also made two episodes late in the game unintentional filler.
  • Babylon 5 lasted for five seasons. However, the main arc of the show (the Shadow War) was wrapped up in the fourth season's sixth episode. Its secondary arc (the Earth Civil War) was resolved at the end of the fourth season (it would've been by the fifth season's sixth episode or so but was compressed due to events beyond control). The fifth season was a Postscript Season which mostly consisted of "what comes after" stories, which at the end resolved the arc regarding Londo and the Centauri as well as letting all the characters slowly depart the station and move on.
    • The Earth Civil War arc itself is seen by some, though by no means all, members of the fandom as this. On the one hand, Earth is clearly much less of a threat than the Shadows, so it makes sense to deal with the Shadows first and save Earth for later. On the other hand, the end to the Shadow War feels like much more of a natural climax, and once that's out of the way handling Earth just feels like wrapping up a loose end.
  • The DVD commentary of the Christmas episode of Father Ted has one of the show's creators and writer of the episode complaining that the plot has petered out, even exclaiming at one point "End! END!!"
  • Subverted by Six Feet Under, which has a satisfying (if cliched) conclusion 10 minutes before the end, but then goes on to have one of the most amazing, heartwarming endings ever.
  • Doctor Who sometimes runs into this:
    • The farewell scene in "The Daleks".
    • "The War Games" was Patrick Troughton's last story and intended at one point to be the finale of the show. The show at the time had been in Troubled Production, and it had to be written quickly to cover several serials that had fallen through. It is ten episodes long, much longer than any other Who serial ever before and again. Terrance Dicks has noted that it was possible to pad it indefinitely because its premise (the history of human warfare) was a case of 'how long is a piece of string?', so they were able to add in new groups of human warriors to deal with whenever they ran out of story.
    • "Pyramids of Mars" is one of the great triumphs of the Classic series, but Robert Holmes had an attack of writer's block about ten minutes of the way through the fourth episode and had to cobble the rest together from producer and director suggestions - and it shows. The first three episodes are suspenseful, gently funny Gothic Horror with elements of family drama and a terrifying villain. The last episode starts with an amazing moment where Sutekh takes over the Doctor's mind, steals the TARDIS, and has the Doctor executed in front of Sarah's eyes by a henchman!... and then the Doctor's revealed to be okay via an Ass Pull of him developing a new power he's never shown before, and the plot derails into Filler of goofy puzzle rooms, with Sarah even doing an ad-libbed Lampshade Hanging on its similarity to a (lame) previous script.
    • "The Face of Evil" has a weirdly long ending. The Doctor restores Xoanon to sanity less than halfway through the final episode, and the rest is him chatting in the Tesh 'Sacred Heart' with Leela, chatting with Xoanon about what exactly had been wrong with him, the Sevateem and Tesh arguing over who gets to be leader, Leela helping with the debate... and ''finally' Leela facing the Doctor and demanding to come with him in the TARDIS.
    • The episode "The Family of Blood" certainly has a drawn-out ending. First the Doctor dealing with the Family, then saying goodbye to Nurse Redfern, then saying goodbye to Latimer, then attending a memorial. Whether this fatigues you is personal variation. (Human Nature, the Virgin New Adventures novel this was adapted from, has a similarly prolonged wrap-up — Paul Cornell wrote both.)
    • "Journey's End" spends the final quarter of an episode that had been extended to 65 minutes tying up all the loose ends. The ending where Donna has her memory wiped is quite climatic, but the ending had already dragged on, showing all the characters RTD had created, and showing a frankly ridiculous scene where the Earth is towed back to its original location.
    • "The End of Time, Part Two" was the Grand Finale for the Tenth Doctor and Russell T. Davies's tenure as showrunner, so he used its final stretch not only to revisit previous events and companions but also to realize ideas he had over the course of his tenure that he'd never managed to squeeze in. Thus, after absorbing a fatal dose of radiation, the Tenth Doctor takes his time paying his respects to every single one of his companions apart from the ones in the Christmas and Autumn specials — and a few people who weren't, such as the great-granddaughter of the aforementioned Nurse Redfern. There are walk-ons by other past characters such as Midshipman Frame and a young Blon Fel-Fotch Slitheen, then he staggers around in the snow while the Ood sing him off, then he staggers around some more in the TARDIS, and then finally — finally! — he regenerates. As the DVD Commentary puts it, "It does have more endings than Lord of the Rings, this, doesn't it?"
    • Clara's death in "Face the Raven". It deserves plenty of focus and attention because it's the first time a companion has properly, actually died since the 1980s ( even though she gets "wiggle room" two episodes later). But after it becomes a Foregone Conclusion we get the Doctor arguing with Ashildr about trying to find a loophole, Clara giving a big speech to the Doctor, Clara giving another big speech to the Doctor, and then Clara going out to confront the Quantum Shade in slow-motion. Even when she actually dies, we see the Shade hitting her again, in several slow-motion replays, from different angles. She is a controversial companion to start with, but even the fans who liked her were wishing she'd just get on with it and be dead.
    • The final two episodes of the Twelfth Doctor and Steven Moffat's showrunner tenure, "The Doctor Falls" (Series 10 Season Finale) and "Twice Upon a Time" (Christmas Episode / Grand Finale) play with this concept. The denouement of "The Doctor Falls" reaches the How We Got Here point shown at the start of the previous episode "World Enough and Time", and then Once More, with Clarity! kicks in: the Doctor doesn't regenerate because he'd rather just die. With that, a Ray of Hope Twist Ending sets up "Twice Upon a Time": he and the First Doctor, who felt the same way about regeneration, cross paths. Some of this comes off as a poke at "The End of Time"'s notoriously drawn-out ending. Steven Moffat has admitted that he intended "The Doctor Falls" to be Twelve's Grand Finale, but when the incoming showrunner decided not to handle the 2017 Christmas special, threatening the end of an annual tradition, he decided to give Twelve a happy, low-stakes adventure as a contrast to the sorrowful "The Doctor Falls". "Twice Upon a Time" flirts with this trope after the Doctors return the Captain to the battlefield and the Time Stands Still crisis ends. First the Captain survives after all thanks to Twelve having his return coincide with the Christmas Truce. Then the Doctors bid farewell to each other and the First departs and regenerates. Then Twelve bids farewell to all three of his companions in Glass People form, Clara and Nardole being Unexpected Characters, including a Who Wants to Live Forever? speech, before retiring to the TARDIS. THEN he gives a Final Speech to his next self and regenerates — but all of that plus Thirteen's first scene is accomplished in fifteen minutes or so. And since this is not an epic-length, action setpiece-driven story to begin with — again, unlike "The End of Time" — it doesn't feel like a big comedown to have the final stretch primarily involve characters having heart(s)-to-heart(s) chats.
    • Those last two examples also work on an arc level with regards to Jenna Coleman and Steven Moffat, both of whom had several false endings to their careers in the franchise.
    • Coleman was going to depart at the end of Last Christmas, but then decided to stay on another year. The ending of the special therefore had to be changed: The Doctor finds her as an elderly woman reminiscing about her time with him decades prior, but this turns out to be another dream and she's actually still young. Another effect is that Clara's role is much reduced in series 9 compared to 7 and 8.
  • After they finally find the real Earth (or rather our Earth, which is not the first Earth but merely named after it) in Battlestar Galactica, the show spends a good 45 minutes on what all the characters plan to do with the rest of their lives.
    • And even that, having what could be considered a poignant ending during said stretch (Adama sitting on the patch of land he plans to build he and Roslin's cabin on), it continues to keep going.
    • Also the end of Season 2, when they colonize New Caprica. Especially fatiguing is the fact that the episode is actually 90 minutes long, rather than the normal hour. If you don't know this going in, you may start to wonder just when the episode is going to end.
  • Twin Peaks. Oh GOD Twin Peaks. Due to an unfortunate case of Executive Meddling, Laura Palmer's killer is revealed by the midway point of the second season, freeing up the rest of the season to focus on... James? Nadine still thinks she's a teenager? Civil war reenactments? The fact that the episodes are 45 minutes each does not help the situation. That being said, the episodes do have their moments, and it does build well to the finale, regarded as one of the best episodes of the series
  • Noticeably averted in Star Trek: Voyager, when the series ended when the ship arrives at Earth, much to the disappointment of many fans. This may have been the reason for the overly-long ending of Battlestar Galactica, given Ronald D. Moore's desire to make an 'improved' Voyager with that series.
  • Kamen Rider Kabuto had it set in about episode 30. After that, expect to be facepalming as they try and fail to tie up all the loose ends.
  • Even the most ardent fans of the Cook/Effy/Freddie Love Triangle in Series 3 of Skins admit that Katie and Emily's episode (which ends with Naomily's Relationship Upgrade) is a better ending than the actual finale (which ends with So What Do We Do Now?).
  • For several seasons Smallville was only nominally about the whole superheroic destiny thing and was vastly more concerned with Clark and Lana's on-again/off-again relationship, leading every single episode to wrap up its Monster of the Week plot around the 45-minute mark to allow Clark, Lana, Lex and sometimes Chloe to each have a little epilogue where they ruminated about their feelings. You know how when you watch most shows you look at your watch and think "They've gotta wrap this thing up in the next five minutes or it's gonna be 'to be continued'"? With Smallville you'd say that when there were 20 minutes left!
  • Subverted in Flashforward in the episode "The Gift". The episode plays out like all the other episodes of the series, following a different aspect of Mark's investigation wall with a different police plot. Indeed, it is one of the more prevalent plot threads in the first part of the season. However the culprit is locked away, and everything seems to be finished by about 30 minutes in. Ending Fatigue should set in for the remaining 12. However, it uses this time to create a brilliant Twist Ending that plays on the emotional undercurrents of one of the characters in the episode.
  • Averted quite noticeably in late-'70s/early-'80s British TV show The Professionals, where the credits often ran straight after the scene in which the bad guy was caught or shot (or the objective achieved). In such cases, there were just a few seconds of terse post-action dialogue or banter before things finished. Where epilogue scenes did exist, they were still fairly short and no-nonsense.
  • Parodied by (of course) Monty Python's Flying Circus here.
  • The series finale of Hannah Montana. Or basically any two-part episode, come to think of it. It was particularly tedious because the entire last season was a rushed mini-season with less than half the number of episodes a regular season had.
  • The season four finale of True Blood. The season's Big Bad is defeated halfway through, which is followed by half an hour of character stuff that ranges from moving to "Shouldn't this be over?" But the last few minutes make up for it with a mind-boggling number of character deaths and cliffhangers. The fifth season is much worse. Even viewers who didn't suffer Arc Fatigue from The Vampire Authority's plotline were ready for a conclusion of some sort. Instead, the whole season ends right at the climax.
  • Parodied in an episode of Frasier when he is reading a novel that an old friend of his wrote, based on a story he told him. Fraiser notices the end ludicrously overuses metaphors and skips to the end. The series finale is also a case of this, as the writers wanted to have an ending for as many characters as possible.
  • American Horror Story: Murder House, after ending climatically and pretty definitively, covers twenty minutes of the Ramos family buying the house and being scared off by the then-recently deceased Harmon family, ends dramatically again, and then has a 3 year time skip to reveal beyond a doubt that Tate's baby really was the anti-Christ. Even worse in Asylum. Every Big Bad has been killed off by the third last episode, and the viewer has to sit through two and a half episodes full of nothing but loose-end tying.
  • The final double-episode of season 7 of How I Met Your Mother; it should have ended with the birth of Marshall and Lily's baby, but then we find out that Barney proposes to Quinn, then it cuts to "a little ways down the road," where we find out the bride is Robin.
    • The entire final season. There are multiple perfectly good ending points, and the real ending is a rushed series of flash-forwards that create loose ends just to tie them up five minutes later.
  • Happens In-Universe (thankfully mostly off-screen) with Sue and Brad's school play in The Middle episode "The Lonliest Locker". Unable to agree upon an ending, they use all of the endings they came up with. This leads Brick to comment that he likes the third ending the best.
  • Scream Queens (2015)'s first season finale was criticised for this, being made up of mostly the killer's narration explaining the backstory of everything. Once that's over with, there's about ten minutes dedicated to trying to wrap the episode up.
  • Beetleborgs impressively manages to feature this trope while having No Ending, due to the show being cancelled. After the Astral Coins saga, which resulted in the titular heroes acquiring the allegiance of a powerful sentient Humongous Mecha, the show kind of loses its drive. Many of the episodes following it are just the Beetleborgs and Crustaceans fighting and summoning their Humongous Mecha, who also fight each other. Most of the final episodes don't even feature a unique Monster of the Week.
  • Jessica Jones (2015): The first season's main conflict, capturing Kilgrave, ended on episode 9 of a thirteen-episode long season, the following episodes would focus on Kilgrave somehow escaping every time he is captured, more often than not due to characters randomly grabbing the Idiot Ball.
  • The Defenders (2017): The last third of the final episode is devoted to a bunch of very slow wrap-up scenes. Even worse, they're mostly based around the characters coming to terms with their grief over Matt Murdock's "death" in Midland Circle, which for the audience falls squarely into Like You Would Really Do It territory since it had already been announced in July 2016 that a third season of Daredevil (2015) was coming, and this would be a weird writing choice after season 2 of Daredevil went to the trouble of setting up Wilson Fisk starting to seek revenge on Matt, Foggy and Karen.
  • Daredevil (2015): The credits for the season two finale roll about ten minutes after the final battle, and aside from Karen delivering a cheesy monologue, Matt revealing his secret identity to Karen, a scene setting Frank Castle up for his own show, and a brief shot setting up Elektra being brought back to life by Alexandra for The Defenders, not much happens.
  • Luke Cage (2016):
    • The general consensus from the critics and fans seems to be that the show starts off incredibly strong, but begins to lag during the final few episodes. In particular, it's noted that the first seven episodes are incredibly strong in characterization and narrative flow, only to fall apart once Cottonmouth dies.
    • One of the major complaints about Diamondback is that he's able to escape time and time again despite having no real reason to actually do so. He's not superhuman, he's not a trained elite warrior, he's not an ultra-charismatic leader. But from episode 7 onward, the entire show revolves around stopping him and, despite everyone hating him, he keeps the upper hand until the final battle. It takes until the twelfth episode for him to pull another game-changing secret weapon to show why he's the main threat and he needed Plot Armor to use it (keeping Domingo's soldiers off when they had him dead to rights to get his Powered Armor.)
  • In the final episode of The Haunting of Bly Manor, the story keeps going for another half an hour after the climax. While it sums up what happened to the main characters and reveals who the Storyteller is, a lot of it ends up feeling long-winded, bordering on plot fluff, and could've been condensed without affecting the overarching story.

Sometimes, not only is a song unusually long, but it will reach a point that seems like it's supposed to be the end but then keeps going. Sometimes a song will even have a fake-out ending intentionally. In one of his humorous music-snarkery books, Tom Reynolds referred to this phenomenon as "Rasputin Syndrome" (after the Russian monk who famously survived numerous attempts at assassination).

  • Half of the premise of this old Dudley Moore pastiche of a Beethoven piano sonata. Even the pianist eventually can't hide his frustration.
  • In Bill Bailey's Remarkable Guide to the Orchestra, there's a musically-played-out argument between Bailey and the orchestra about which party gets the final notes of the performance. The orchestra plays different endings à la Dudley Moore.
  • CDs vs. LPs. They both have their advantages and disadvantages as far as sound quality goes, but CDs can hold 80 minutes of music, while it's difficult to find an LP that can hold more than 50. Musicians feel compelled to fill up the entire CD so the listener can get their money's worth, which leads to lots and lots of filler.
  • Several tracks by Godspeed You! Black Emperor don't really end as much as disintegrate; once the crescendo of the song has been reached, the band will prolong the aftermath in ambiance or noise for minutes on end. Examples: "East Hastings" and "Static". Then there are tracks like "Storm" and "9-15-00", which will spend 15 minutes building on one idea only to shift into a completely separate-sounding coda.
    • F# A# Infinity's vinyl edition ends on a locked groove. Thus, the last song literally goes on forever with two notes unless the listener finally takes the clue and removes the needle. Fridge Brilliance, natch.
  • Pendulum's albums usually have final tracks that contain false endings, one of which is used incredibly well in "The Tempest" which ends their 2008 album In Silico with an Epic Rocking part that goes on for 2 minutes. However, one particularly odd case is "Encoder", which ends 2010's Immersion. There's a fade-in cymbal which you think marks the end of the song, then a Coldplayish part fades in that musically is out of place completely with the rest of the song. then once you think it's over, we are subject to a full minute of water splashing and heavy breathing, then the song finally ends as a wham noise begins to fade in but cuts out. It's a good song, but it's annoying the first couple times you hear it.
  • Billy Idol's "Mony Mony" has a whole third verse when you've think you've gotten to the last chorus.
  • Unearth's "Grave of Opportunity" ends with a very long guitar note. The guitarist then plays a quick riff and abruptly stops. What's worse is that this song is featured as a bonus song in Guitar Hero World Tour. It's a very fun song to play, but that last note is always annoying.
  • Averted in Blind Guardian's "And Then There Was Silence". The song has three such points, but they're all rather short and are used more like act breaks to shift points of view in the story. The song "The Maiden and the Minstrel Knight", however, does this at the end. The music and singing reach a crescendo, then start to trail off, then five seconds of silence and the music and singing come back, full force.
  • Hunters & Collectors' "Throw Your Arms Around Me" is exactly this, especially its live version.
  • Seemingly just to screw with the listener, The Flaming Lips' "Scratching The Door" starts fading out where you'd expect the song to end, only to fade back in. Then it happens again. And a third time. Then it finally ends. This takes up two minutes of the song.
  • Mew's "Comforting Sounds". The song is done and dusted after four minutes; the remaining five minutes are spent repeating one theme about ten times. Granted, it gets some embellishments, and is more epic as it goes along, but by the seventh time around the loop you're forced to wonder how much more they can do with it. And there's still an acoustic outro after what Guitar Hero might have called the End Wankery section.
  • The Irish band Hothouse Flowers had one huge hit in the '80s, a song called "Don't Go". They now milk this for all its worth with a live version of the song that lasts for at least 20 minutes.
    • The Eight Steps by Joe Satriani, fading back in to continue the end solo that was going on before the fade out.
  • Futurama has a bit of a Self-Deprecation in Beck's guest star episode. While singing a song, a standard time-cut is shown, and Beck ends the song, then says:
    Beck: Wow. That song usually doesn't last for three hours, but we kinda got into a thing... and then I forgot how it ended....
  • Caïna's second album Mourner suffered from this a little bit.
  • Anton Bruckner's symphonies go on for hours pretending to end.
  • In a very rare Country Music example, Keith Urban has done this a few times:
    • He jams for about 2 minutes at the end of "Somebody Like You", and does some lesser jamming on "Better Life".
    • "Once in a Lifetime" also shed about 2 minutes (out of a possible 6) between album version and radio edit.
    • "Stupid Boy" is possibly the worst offender, as it's one of the only ballads he's done that's gotten this treatment. The song is 6:12 on the album, but only 3:46 for the radio edit.
    • "Everybody" also has a lot of vamping, but with an orchestra instead.
  • Woven Hand's "Animalitos (Ain't No Sunshine)" is 14 minutes long, with at least four fakeout endings.
  • The song "Everything Right Is Wrong Again" by They Might Be Giants is not especially long or boring. In fact, it's rather short and enjoyable. It is still very confusing to hear "And now this song is over now and now this song is over now and now this song is over now, this song is over now," and then have the song keep going for another minute or so. Oh TMBG, you amuse me so.
    • Several songs on 1996's Factory Showroom went on about a minute longer than they really needed to.
  • The Jesus Lizard's "Panic in Cicero". The song stops. The drums don't. For, like, two minutes. The majority of the song is the never-ending ending.
  • Motörhead's "Overkill" has two false endings, before the double kick starts up again and the song continues. Though this was obviously intentional, given the song title.
  • Adiemus' "Cu Challain" from their fourth album, The Eternal Knot. The song pauses twice where it could and should end. As such, it feels like three songs Frankensteined together.
  • Handel's Messiah. After two hours, the final chorus has three distinct sections to it. The third of these sections consists of ten pages of 'Amen' sung fugal style, which was written as an afterthought.
    • And the iconic "Hallelujah!" segment that everyone remembers isn't even the end of the piece. It's just the end of the second part of three.
  • Bryan Adams' "(Everything I Do) I do it for You" has a significant pause around 2:45 which most people remember, but it also has another one around 3:45 that most people forget about.
  • Knights of the 21st Century by HammerFall ends, then has about a minute and a half of silence before briefly reprising the opening, which consists of a few seconds of groaning followed by "Hell fuckin' yeah! The Prophecy!"
  • Delta Goodrem has committed this trope twice, once in Believe Again, which has excess intro and outro to the tune of 80 extra seconds, and both the intro and outro could've been cut in half or not used AT ALL. The second time she did this was with Control which has an excess of 42 seconds free style singing at the end for no reason. It has a clear finale at the point of 3.19!
  • The lyrics of Milliontown by Frost* end around 17 minutes into the song. The song continues with an instrumental section, which itself has a bit of a false outro, until around 25 minutes, where it apparently ends. After about 30 seconds of silence, a short piano section is played and the song ends at about 26 and a half minutes.
  • "A Pleasant Shade of Gray" by Fates Warning has a bit of this. At the very end of the song, there is a short pause followed by the sound of an alarm clock ringing for about 15 seconds.
  • Lady Gaga does this at the very end of "Poker Face". You think she's stopped singing, but she repeats the lines over and over.
  • Korpiklaani: The title track of Korven Kuningas, which is also the final track, ends with a repetitive bit of booming percussion. This repeats for 15 minutes, three times the length of the actual song.
  • "Even Rats" by The Slip has a rather long, repetitive wordless vocal coda.
  • Video game music example: The "Castle" music in the TurboGrafx CD version of Monster Lair (which used Redbook audio) has a really long violin solo that seems to go on forever before finally fading out (you'll only hear it all on a CD player). The boss music is also rather long, with half-a-dozen guitar solos and a Truck Driver's Gear Change near the end; in-game, the Boss Battle will time-out before you hear the whole thing.
  • Relient K's song, Deathbed suffers from this. Several times throughout the song it starts to wind down or appear to be ending, only to suddenly start into another verse. After several times of this, one starts wishing the guy on his deathbed would just die already.
  • Also, "I'm Your Captain" by Grand Funk Railroad. The song is pretty fantastic. Then you get to the halfway point and the singer keeps saying "I'm getting closer to my home." over and over again.
  • "Everybody Hates My Guitar Sound" by Beat Crusaders (best known for the fourth opening of Bleach. Only its ending consists of a really long and bad guitar solo. They end up getting booed into shutting up.
  • ABBA's "Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" seems to go on for an awkward amount of time after starting to fade out. There's also an extended version that has a disco-inspired breakdown in the middle.
  • The end of the song "Assassins" by Nachtmystium fits this trope. Who REALLY wants to hear an entire minute of the same synth buzzing noise over and over again?
  • The song "...Before I Leave!" by Czech metal band Root. It clocks in at 19:36, but the last two-thirds of it consist of singing the final stanza repeatedly after the rest of the instruments have left.
  • Yo La Tengo has a tendency to tack on 10-20 minutes of repetitive, anxiety-inducing noise-symphonies to the end of albums that in no way enhance the tone of the album, possibly in an effort to never make a perfect album. Most notorious examples: "I Can Feel The Heart Beating As One" and "Popular Songs."
  • Done deliberately in the Monty Python song "I'm So Worried". Ending of third to last verse: "I'm so worried about whether I should go on, or whether I should just stop." Beginning of second to last verse: "I'm so worried about whether I ought to have stopped. And I'm so worried 'cause it's the sort of thing I ought to know." Beginning of final verse: "I'm so worried about whether I should have stopped then. I'm so worried that I'm driving everyone round the bend." Note that when the final verse starts, you hear the backing chorus come back into the room, as though even they thought it was over. You can also hear an audibly frustrated sigh in the background.
  • Chicago's "Fancy Colours." It's a good song, but at the end, all you get is extremely loud obnoxious long notes repeated over and over.
  • "Pretend We're Dead" by L7. "We're deeeeaaaaaaaaaad" about 12 times, with the only variation being a very short, simple guitar solo towards the end.
  • Malcolm Arnold's "A Grand, Grand Overture", for comic effect.
  • Opeth seem to suffer from this trope a lot. Almost every song has a riff that seems to be cut short before being repeated with a remarkably machinelike (and monotonous) accuracy over and over again...and over again.
  • Bruce Springsteen's "Born In the USA" has a very long, drawn-out ending in which the chords repeat over and over while the drummer does some cool fills.
  • The tracks from Captain Beefheart's Mirror Man album. "25th Century Quaker" and "Kandy Korn" make up for it with their shorter lengths and neat ideas (the former showing off an Eastern, proto-Krautrock dirge; the latter containing a hilarious jingle for candy corn), while the title track and "Tarotplane" just go on and on with no variation.
  • Potentially subverted with "Desolation Row" and "Stuck Inside of Mobile With The Memphis Blues Again", both by Bob Dylan. While the songs basically contain the same verse sections with no bridges, the phantasmagorical lyrics have the listener wanting to find out what happens next. Still, it might be played straight for those not into Dylan's voice or lyrics.
    • "Like A Rolling Stone" started out as this. Dylan had about 10 to 20 pages worth of verses and considering the average length of a verse was about a minute and a half, that version probably would've taken up an entire LP. Fortunately, Dylan picked the best parts and put them together in the form we know today.
  • Syd Barrett's "Gigolo Aunt" is this to some fans. While the main part of the song is considered good, the ending jam just meanders.
  • Invoked by Paul and Storm as an Overly Long Gag at the end of "Shake Machine" (as the separate track "Shake Machine, Part II"). The track consists of eighty-eight seconds worth of fake-out endings (and one final ending)...after Part I's already lengthy ending.
  • The Barenaked Ladies song "Grade 9" has great fun with this trope, building up to two false endings before the real one.
  • The Lambeth Walk, the closer for the first act of Me & My Girl, is a Chorus-Only Song that repeats for 5 minutes, changing keys each time.
  • Autechre's drone ambient piece "Perlence Subrange 6-36" is 58 minutes, and the second half is mostly a repeat of the first half.
  • The several-minute-long harpsichord solo towards the end of the first movement of Bach's Brandenburg Concerto no. 5. It keeps sounding like it's going to end and the rest of the orchestra is going to come in, but no, the solo just keeps going.
    • Unless you're familiar with classical concerto form, in which this type of extended solo before the final cadence (called a cadenza) is a standard feature.
  • The finale of Joseph Haydn's String Quartet in E-Flat Major, Op. 33, No. 2, aka "The Joke", sounds like a normal rondo until the end of the piece, when there's a grand pause. Then he starts the piece over with the four-phrase main theme, with two measures of silence between each phrase - and then four measures of silence, followed by the first phrase again, at which point the piece ends, in the musical equivalent of the middle of a sentence. Audiences had no idea when to applaud, as the piece just kept going.
  • Pulp's "The Day After the Revolution", the final track from their album This is Hardcore, comes to a natural halt at around the five-minute mark; but a held strings chord continues for the next nine minutes, at which point lead singer Jarvis Cocker helpfully bids us goodbye.
  • The harpsichord flourish ending a recitative (the second movement) of the P.D.Q. Bach cantata Iphigenia in Brooklyn (it starts around 2:35 in the video and lasts a little over a minute). P.D.Q. Bach has so much of this. Notes held for incredibly long amounts of time, little things that are four or five times as long as they "should" be... it's one of his most common gags, behind blatantly ridiculous instruments. A prime example is the Schleptet in E-Flat Major, which opens with two insanely long-held chords, separated by the wind players taking a deep, loud, comical breath. (And these are not fermatas — the opening is scored in a ridiculous time signature, something like 72/4.) In live performances, the usual schtick has the horn player black out from holding the second note, falling off the chair, and taking the music stand to the floor with a crash. (Which, for a musician untrained in physical slapstick, can be hazardous, and has sometimes resulted in a damaged horn, or a damaged horn player!) He would also end pieces on unresolved chords
  • Allan Sherman has "The End of a Symphony," which directly addresses the tendency in classical music for long, drawn-out endings. In the piece (which runs over eight minutes) he complains about this while offering multiple parodic examples.
  • The dance remix of "Where You Are" by Jessica Simpson is 11 minutes, but mostly repeats the final refrain over and over for the last 5 minutes, preceded by a fake ending.
  • These can be painful to listen to live. Any song with a Fake-Out Fade-Out and a not perfectly knowledgeable fanbase is going to end up with a lot of people applauding in the wrong place and then being very annoyed and/or confused when the song keeps going.
  • Dinosaur Jr.'s "Said The People" has what feels like a natural Solo Out conclusion, until it comes back for another verse, another chorus, and another solo.
  • Kanye West
    • "Last Call", the closer from The College Dropout, lasts 12 minutes, starting with an excellent 4-minute track and spending the last 8 minutes in a monologue of Kanye's career up to that point,
    • "We Major", from Late Registration, which goes on for a good two more minutes than it should,
    • "Runaway", from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, where a Subdued Section about 6 minutes in leads into what can best be described as "three minutes of vocoder wankery."
    • The music video version of "All of the Lights". It almost has beginning fatigue in the music video with the string orchestra intro, then goes on for instrumentals and repeats the chorus for almost a minute after where the radio and album versions end.
  • Alan Jackson:
    • "Long Way to Go" drags on and on because he repeats the chorus four times in a row at the end.
    • "I Still Like Bologna" also has a third verse that basically spins its wheels and only drags the four-verse song down some.
    • On "Country Boy", he couldn't decide whether to use one of two different bridges, so he just used both. And then he repeats the chorus twice on top of that.
  • The Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" has a keyboard break that goes on for half a minute, and you'd think that's when the song ends. Nope. After about half a minute, the break ends, then the rest of the band joins in.
    • The album version of "Who Are You" is 6:27, and the single is only marginally better: 5:06. The US radio edit cuts it down to 3:27, slicing three whole minutes.
    • "You Better You Bet" clocks in at 5:36, most of the second half of which is the chorus ("When I say I love you, you say you better / You better, you better, you bet!")
    • Live versions of Who songs tend to get lengthened, even short ones like "Magic Bus", which becomes a ten-minute jam (though the fatigue is generally averted here).
  • Art Blakey's legendary rendition of A Night in Tunisia last for about 11 minutes... of which, about 2 and half minutes consists of them winding down to ending. Just take a listen for yourself.
  • Arlo Guthrie's hilarious song "Alice's Restaurant" clocks in at a little over 18 minutes. It could easily have ended with the resolution of the littering plot... but then he reveals he came to talk about the draft for the Vietnam War, which is only somewhat connected to the littering plot, then starts talking about walking into a therapist's office singing "Alice's Restaurant", then gets the audience to sing it with him twice, which have to wait for the right spot to come around in the melody...
    • In some versions, Guthrie lampshades it during the Audience Participation part: "I've been playing this song for 15 minutes. I can play it for another 15 minutes. I'm not proud... or tired..."
    • An updated version that Arlo sang in The New '10s includes yet another monologue about an urban legend regarding the song as it relates to the Watergate scandal.note 
  • The Proclaimers' album track "Oh Jean" ends with four minutes of a repeated riff accompanied by singing of the title, both getting louder and louder, suggesting that any time soon they're going to launch into another rousing rendition of the chorus - but it never happens. Eventually the riffing just stops and the track ends there.
  • Catatonia's "Karaoke Queen" proclaims in the chorus that "it's just a three-minute song, it doesn't last very long". Uh-huh. It's a five-minute song because the outro ("ooh sha la la, ooh sha la la" repeat) goes on forever.
  • "Sylvie" by Saint Etienne has to be lampshading this, with "Over and over and over and over again" about eleven times in a row - each one carefully timed to overlap the previous on the -gain of "again", resulting in "over and over and over and over a/over and over and over and over a/over and over..." etc.
  • Spoofed by Radio Active in their Status Quo parody "Boring Song (by Status Quid)". Each time the "final" guitar chord starts to fade away, the song starts up again, with lyrics lampshading the song's apparent refusal to end.
  • "It's No Game (Part 1)" by David Bowie does this intentionally; once you think the song's about to end, Robert Fripp's guitar solo starts to drag on, prompting Bowie to give Fripp three Big "SHUT UP!"s.
  • "Moonchild", by King Crimson. Basically a two-and-a-half-minute song with a ten-minute-long improv piece tacked at the end that goes nowhere. It got so bad that for the newest reissue Robert Fripp cut off about two minutes of it.
  • Repeatedly Played for Laughs by none other than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in his four movement A Musical Joke.
  • "Adonai", by Hurt. The song ends... and then a quiet recording of someone chanting a prayer plays for a while (at least a minute) before finally Fading into the Next Song.
  • "Sinner Man" by Nina Simone seems to be ending at the eight-minute mark, only to continue for another two minutes with some A Cappella scatting and a drum solo.
  • Devo has been known, in concert, to play a thirty-minute version of Jocko Homo, in Mark Motherbaughs words, "until people were actually fighting with us, trying to make us stop playing the song. We'd just keep going, "Are we not men? We are Devo!" for like 25 minutes, directed at people in an aggressive enough manner that even the most peace-lovin' hippie wanted to throw fists."
  • Magazine intentionally invoke this trope at the end of 'I Wanted Your Heart', a song Nick Kent of the New Musical Express picked out as a masterpiece, which it is, right up until the last minute when the band seemingly find themselves having some sort of vaguely Captain Beefheart style jam that seems completely out of place in the context of both the song and the album.
  • The music tracks in OutRun loop their final section until you complete the race, which is especially annoying with "Magical Sound Shower", where it sounds like a broken record.
  • Dance remixes and dance songs in general will sometimes have false leads outs, often containing little more than the beat, mid-way through the track to give DJ's an option to mix out. Often if you kept playing the track, you might get a repeat of the first part, a reprise that repeats or sometimes instrumentation. Worst-case scenario is when the 'true' ending to the track will be a fade-out or a cold stop (with no beat-only outro) making the DJ's wish he would have taken the mid-track lead out instead to get a cleaner mix.
  • Donald Fagen, and Steely Dan in general. The outros to his songs tend to start at about the halfway mark of the track and just. keep. going. Notable examples: "West of Hollywood" and "Tomorrow's Girls".
  • Electric Light Orchestra's famous "Mr. Blue Sky" seems to have a proper fade-out at the 3:48 mark...but then goes into Ominous Latin Chanting and Last Note Nightmare for another minute and a half.
  • Ravel's famous Bolero goes on for about 15 minutes, which is probably five times as long as it needs to be. It's like Ravel knew he was on to a good thing and didn't want to let go.
  • Michael Jackson became prone to this post-Thriller. Like Meat Loaf, he also has bad cases of starting fatigue.
    • "Man in the Mirror" hits this at the "I'm gonna make that change/It's gonna feel real good!" part, since the previous chorus capped off with the na-na-nas was a perfectly fine way to end the song.
    • The full-length version of the "Black or White" video has the notorious "panther dance" epilogue, which goes on for several minutes after the actual song has long since ended, and doesn't seem to logically/thematically follow on with what previously happened in the clip. The quick payoff with Homer and Bart Simpson really isn't worth it. (The album version has starting fatigue thanks to a superfluous Slash solo and a skit with the kid and the dad who wants him to turn his music down.)
    • "Will You Be There" has two choral preludes, the first of which is nicked from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony (which initially went uncredited). Then, after he stops singing, he offers a spoken-word prayer to God. The single edit drops all this...and is thus slightly less than half the length of the album edit.
    • The Brazillian favela version of the "They Don't Care About Us" Music Video goes on for almost two-and-a-half minutes after the song itself ends; the time is filled by an extended drum solo for the Olodum troupe, as Michael prances, mugs, and occasionally shouts non-words along to the beat. Not surprisingly, there's an official edit that cuts out most of this.
    • "HIStory" could have cut at least a minute off its 6:46 running time if they'd dropped all the soundbites and recitations of famous dates in history from the beginning and especially the end. To make matters worse, while this would have been an appropriate closer for the HIStory album with its upbeat tempo and attitude, there's still two more tracks to go afterward: the Glurge-laden "Little Susie" and the Cover Version of Charlie Chaplin's "Smile", which itself has trouble ending.
  • Sibelius' Fifth Symphony has a unique ending. The symphony builds to its conclusion in several waves of sound and at just the point where you might think there's nothing more to say... everything ends and there are six sudden explosions of whole-orchestra noise, like hammer blows, at two or three-second intervals - six false endings, in fact.
  • Colbie Caillat was guilty of this with "Breaking At the Cracks". Roughly a minute and a half or so of her repeating "Love, I need you back" ad nauseam.
  • John Mayer's "Say (What You Need To Say)" ends with so many repetitions of the title phrase that one gets the feeling that she'd like to say what she needs to say, but he won't shut up long enough to let her do so.
  • Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds song Babe I'm on Fire without the Music video. Fourteen minutes of repeating fairly similar lyrics with each increasingly silly variation on who says the titular phrase being ending with the same musical sting that could be the ending.
  • "Abacab" by Genesis.
  • "Suzy Q" by Creedence Clearwater Revival.
  • Steve Vai's "Fuck Yourself" lasts for a reasonable four minutes... and then the entire song repeats with a guitar solo instead of lyrics.
  • Little Big Town's "Boondocks". The coda with the repeated "You get a line, I get a pole / We'll go fishin' in the crawfish hole / Five-card poker on Saturday night / Church on Sunday morning" goes on for well over a minute. It was mercifully cut down on the radio edit.
  • "Born to Fly" by Sara Evans. The album version has a nearly one-and-a-half-minute instrumental ending.
  • The Mars Volta. At one point during the last, 30-minute-long track of Frances the Mute, you can feel the song itself getting a little tired.
  • Enzo Siffredi's "High On Trumpets" is 7 minutes long, but after the climax comes (shortly before the 5-minute mark), the remaining 2 minutes are nothing but the dull, looping background percussion part — almost makes the song sound like it was unfinished.
  • "Texas (When I Die)" by Tanya Tucker. The chorus repeats six times at the end.
  • The album version of Tony! Toni! Toné!'s "Anniversary" (on Sons of Soul) is nine minutes and twenty-four seconds long. The actual song ends somewhere around 4:30. After thirty more seconds of repetition note , at around 5:00, the instrumental outro comes in, which consists of the entire song being played over again, but with different, almost drifting, vocals. Needless to say, the radio edit clipped the last five minutes.
  • The song "Girls Like You" by The Naked and Famous, despite being Awesome Music, suffers from this trope more than it should. It may be the last song on the Passive Me, Aggressive You album, but the song's ending patterns of distorted guitars and synths go on for 2 more minutes after the song actually ends.
  • The Bob Seger song "Night Moves" has it happen very jarringly, with a fairly poignant line about how "the night moves... when autumn's closing in..." fade out, and then jump to an entire rehash of the chorus.
  • The The "Uncertain Smile". More than one radio moderator complained about the outro that seems to be longer than the rest of the song.
  • Metallica themselves stated that this was the reason for their going in a softer, more poppish direction. Kirk Hammett has stated that he isn't a fan of ...And Justice For All because the songs were "too fucking long" and noted one incident in particular- a grueling concert during the Damaged Justice tour, where he saw "the entire front row yawn after the 8th minute" of the eponymous track.
  • While he avoided it on his albums, Prince had a tendency to let solos and instrumentals go on ad nauseam in concert. Concert versions of "Purple Rain" would play the last twelve or so bars, including the suspended note, twenty times before it properly ended!! And his controversial performance of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," at a tribute show for George Harrison, featured a 4+-minute electric guitar solo long after Tom Petty, Steve Winwood, and Jeff Lynne ended the song proper.
  • "Monoliths" by Lotus Plaza features a repeated coda that takes up slightly more than half of the song.
  • In Supa Scoopa & Mighty Scoop, Kyuss plays the final riff nine times with increasingly prolonged pauses. This is the same group that eventually led to Queens of the Stone Age - famous abusers of fake endings in their songs.
  • Low do tend to drone on a bit in their slow, minimalist rock workouts, but one example particularly stands out: "Born By The Wires" from the Songs For A Dead Pilot EP. The song ends with several minutes of a single chord being strummed every several seconds, stretching a nearly six-minute song to thirteen. It's either really mellow and hypnotic, or it'll just drive you up the wall.
  • "I Can't Love You Back" by Easton Corbin is four-and-a-half minutes long, nearly half of which is an instrumental coda that repeats the main melodic hook ad nauseam.
  • In the Elvis Presley song "Suspicious Minds", the song begins to fade out over the coda, only to then fade back in and continue in the same vein for another minute or so. Considering that the final lyrics when this happens are "I'm caught in a trap / I can't walk out / Because I love you too much, baby", this is entirely intensional.
  • Just when you thought Hazel O'Connor's song "Will You" had come to a satisfying end, a couple of seconds later a brief drum riff leads into a blistering two-minute sax solo by Wesley McGoogan. It's virtually two epic songs for the price of one.
  • Trying to end one of Beethoven's symphonies is a very tedious process.
    • The Fifth Symphony is a big offender. The Presto section at the end of the finale (beginning at bar 364 of 446), which is scored for full orchestra throughout, goes on for over six pages in one edition of the score (out of just over fifty) and could achieve an epic ending almost anywhere after the second page, but instead it goes on and on and on. The last 29 bars of the symphony consist entirely of C major triads repeated over and over until at last, the orchestra plays a final-sounding C major chord... and then another... and then another... and then three more... and another... and finally a unison C. One has the impression Beethoven couldn't decide which ending to use, so he decided to use them all, one after the other. As noted by the commentary in Peter Schickele's "New Horizons in Music Appreciation", even just the first movement has some fake-outs.
      Pete: Wait a minute! The brasses have taken the theme! They're not letting it stop! They're taking the theme and running ahead! Bob, this piece is definitely going to go into overtime, I can see that.
    • Pointing to any phrase on the last two pages of the Seventh Symphony will give you a satisfactorily epic ending. BUT NO.
    • The finale of the Ninth Symphony builds toward a fast, loud climax, but gets interrupted several times by abrupt slowdowns. By this point the lyrics of the "Ode to Joy" have been exhausted, so the words from previous sections are reused.
  • Gorillaz:
    • Almost half of "Clint Eastwood" is 2D's refrain being repeated several times and the instrumentals. Radio stations tend to cut out about half way through the instrumental portion.
    • The Soul Child remix of "19/2000" repeats Noodle's section two extra times at the end, making the song about 2 minutes longer than the original version.
  • "I Love It Loud" by Kiss. It starts to fade out and it seems like the end to the song, but it fades back in even louder, just under a minute before the song fades out again.
  • "Human Touch" by Rick Springfield. At about the point where you think the song is going to end (about 3:20) cue unnecessary guitar work, keyboards, and repeating of the chorus for another four minutes.
  • Thanks to Jeff Buckley's well-known Cover Version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah", most other cover artists neglect some of the original song's most poignant verses in favor of repeating "hallelujah" over and over again, for a solid two minutes. Good luck finding a cover that doesn't.
  • The first and third movements of "Embryons desséchés" by Erik Satie each end with a ridiculous number of final chords relative to their length (eighteen consecutive G major chords in the first movement and over two dozen F major chords in the third).
  • Meat Loaf songs tend to be on the long side. "Paradise By The Dashboard Light" is a whopping 8 minutes and 30 seconds, "Like A Bat Out Of Hell" is 9 minutes and 52 seconds, and "I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That)" runs for roughly 12 minutes. In short, never select a Meat Loaf song for karaoke. Everyone will hate you.
  • This is how Rivers of Nihil feels about the touring cycle for Monarchy, and it was one of the bigger factors in the substantial change in sound on Where Owls Know My Name. While Monarchy did a lot to establish them as a band with teeth rather than an overhyped upstart that was going to drop off the face of the earth once their fifteen minutes of fame were up, they felt that the touring cycle for the album had roughly six good months followed by a whole lot of nothing and just kept dragging on and on, and by the end of the 2017 edition of Devastation on the Nation (the last tour in support of Monarchy), they felt like they had dragged it out well past the point of justifiability and had far less to show for it than they had hoped for, which led them to more or less say "fuck it" and go for broke on what wound up being their true watershed album.
  • The Oasis album Be Here Now is loaded to the brim with songs over five minutes, and quite a few end up like this, such as the two minutes of noodling and "la la la" that closes "All Around the World". Noel Gallagher even said he expected the label to cut some of "D'You Know What I Mean?", but they didn't.
  • José González's song, Cycling Trivialities, has a crescendo near the logical endpoint of the song, before going into a decrescendo and repeating the same phrase 27 times, at which point it finally ends. The repeated phrase is pleasant the first few times but quickly becomes monotonous.
  • Iron Maiden has it at times. "The Angel and the Gambler" ends with the chorus being repeated 7 times. "The Red and the Black" has an instrumental section that goes for 6 minutes. "Empire of the Clouds" returns to the pared-down sound that made for a Slow-Paced Beginning, and the calm delivery makes every verse feel like it could be the last.
  • The lack of production polish is one of the charms of the early transitional Ska and Blue Beat records from Jamaica in The '60s, leading up to the birth of Reggae. But one issue is that the producers really didn't know when to fade out the songs, and they just go on and on. "Do The Reggay" by Toots & The Maytals, the song that gave the genre its name, sounds like it should end around the 2:15 mark, but there's almost a minute left to go at that point.
  • "Trip to Heaven" by epic house/progressive trance act Blue Amazon, in addition to being 14 minutes long overall, has a 5-minute ambient coda that overstays its welcome.
  • Gary Moore's song "No Reason To Cry" is 9 minutes long...and roughly 6-7 of those minutes are instrumental. Also, roughly 3/4 of the instrumental is at the end of the song, with no lyrics.
  • Al Stewart's songs "Year of the Cat" and "Time Passages" are both around 7 minutes long, but contain extremely long instrumentals after their bridges, before the final verses. However, Tropes Are Not Bad in this case.
  • Jefferson Starship's song "Miracles" gets pretty monotonous at the end, and it's also close to 7 minutes. But once again, Tropes Are Not Bad.

    Pro 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.
  • 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 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.

  • A lot of observers point to the length of baseball games as one reason for the decline in popularity of the sport, as baseball has no time clock and the rules in Major League Baseball don't allow for draws, which means that a game must go into extra innings if not resolved in nine. Games also have more lineup changes than Yes, particularly pitchers, which also slows down an already slow-paced game significantly, especially in later innings. MLB has recognized this as a problem, and in 2020 implemented a rule limiting mound visits.

  • 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. Musical theater You-Tuber, Tommy of Musical Theater Mash, refers to the "second act slump" while The Nostalgia Critic, in his group commentary of his Les Miserables review, refers to how musicals like Les Miz tend to have story-driven first acts and emotionally driven second acts which often feel like they slow down the story. 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.
  • 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.

  • A number of fans have expressed such complaints regarding BIONICLE, though in this case, the trope is largely justified, as the writer, Greg Farshtey did intend to continue telling the story. But thing is, the main story was pretty much wrapped up mid-2010, the Big Bad killed, the planet restored, a new civilization has been formed, The Hero delivered his final enlightening speech... as for the side stories, those hadn't been tied up yet back then. However since the new story serials tried to tell completely new stories instead of attempting to give closure to the ongoing plots, some would rather see the whole thing end, fearing all the story threads would just degrade into a similar mess that some previous serials have become, especially since the writer is going through a horrendous Schedule Slip. The main story's famous closing lines ironically foretold the situation:
    "NEVER... THE END"note 

    Video Games 
  • In most RTS game levels with 'destroy the enemy' victory conditions, you get your victory only by sending your world-crushing army scouting round the entire map, trying to find the last enemy unit that wandered off on its own. It's so common that RTS fans have a name for it: Last Enemy Syndrome. Later games tend to judge defeat by having no buildings left, which lowers the chances of this, unless they manage to smuggle a peasant out. Others, like StarCraft II, let the AI enemy request to surrender when it's obvious that a human player is going to win.
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 resolved this problem with a creative and very fitting technique: once you destroy all their production facilities, the enemy will instantly sell the rest and then send all their remaining units against you in a final "blaze of glory" march. Which can be surprisingly effective and might end up destroying your base, but at the same time, it's far more entertaining than the hard way.
    • Standard multiplayer RTS etiquette is for the losing player to surrender when the result is clear so that the winner doesn't get frustrated hunting down the last unit. Newer players occasionally don't understand this, figuring it to be polite to give the opponent the satisfaction of smashing everything, but anyone who has won more than a couple of matches will simply find it tedious.
    • This is especially bad in Achron, since not only do you have to wipe out every unit from which it is possible to recover (which includes many common military units), but you have to wait until said defeat reaches the immutable past, which usually takes several minutes of real time.
    • Though turn-based rather than real-time, "rout the enemy"-style maps in Fire Emblem tend to get this critique to a tee—HHM Cog of Destiny in Fire Emblem: The Blazing Blade is particularly infamous for going on much longer than it needs to, due to the massive amount of enemies, all of whom use magic attacks and therefore can only be countered by other mages or Ranged Emergency Weapon-users. "Defend"-style maps can get this if the player is particularly quick to take the fight to the enemy, meaning that the first three or four turns are an explosive confrontation and the next turns are just mopping up the token reinforcements.
  • .hack//G.U. Vol. 3: Redemption. After a battle with shiny lights, faux computer abilities, and screams (lots of them), Ovan's Avatar finally finishes its mission to reset The World and save his little sister, by sacrificing his own life, and all people who went comatose do wake up, one by one. That should be the end of the game, huh? Well, not really. All of a sudden Yata reveals that Cubia, a Big Bad from the previous series of games, suddenly resurrected (under pretty vague circumstances) and now he is threatening to destroy The World. Now you have some more 6 hours of gameplay on doing almost nothing interesting to stop it.
    • All of Volume 3 really has this problem. Before you fight Ovan you have to deal with Sakaki making a random return to....basically act evil, kick you out of your guild and host a tournament that does nothing really but waste time before you kick his ass again and he's finally removed from the story. The staff was banking on the Ovan reveal being a massively shocking plot twist that was the climax of the game. The director even mentioned they were expecting Evangelion level backlash, death threats and all. They didn't get it as most saw it coming and the others than didn't it wasn't that big a deal to. To make matters worse they had to reveal Ovan in Volume 2 so that people following Roots and people who played the game in Japan would get the reveal at roughly the same time (they tried to do the same in the US, but the US practices of changing timeslots and preempting episodes quickly ruined that plan) so Volume 3 is mostly wasting time before the fight with Ovan, and then Cubia as an epic final threat.
  • In Baten Kaitos, once you've whupped Malpercio's ancient godly ass and saved the world everything's over, right? Nope! You're in for about a half-hour of exposition that attempts to wrap up all the loose ends left by the game's rather confusing plot. Then it's over, right? Nope! They introduce new plot points and drop even more exposition on you that takes an extra 20 minutes or so to wrap up. Then it's over, right? "Noooooo! Not so fast kiddies! What do you think you're doing?!" Yep, Geldoblame is somehow back to cause a ruckus with one brief final boss battle, followed by another half-hour or so of the ocean being restored, Xelha's fake-out Heroic Sacrifice, a bit more exposition to wrap things up, and the final "good-bye to the player" scene. Yes, you could actually watch Toy Story in its entirety in the time it takes for Baten Kaitos to finally wrap up.
  • In BioShock, the Rapture Central Control level appears to be the end of the game, complete with a climactic confrontation with Andrew Ryan, only to reveal that "Atlas" was Frank Fontaine, and Jack was just helping him gain control of Rapture thanks to being mentally controlled with a trigger phrase. Cue five or six more hours of gameplay, including two much-hated stages with randomly switching powers and an Escort Mission, capped off with a nonsensical final boss fight.
  • Bravely Default has, counting both endings as one, nine chapters. The first four chapters deal with 90-some-percent of the game's content, from bosses to jobs to items. Then you hit chapter five, and the game dries up. There's nothing left to do but re-fight the same cadre of bosses with minor permutations such as increased HP or a new attack or a different enemy party. And if you want to get the True End, you have to do this four more times. You could skip the optional bosses, but that would leave you severely under-leveled and without the best abilities in the game. By the time you reach the end, The Reveal has become tedious and explicit, the game has become a cake walk, and it all goes in direct opposition of the game's moral.
  • The second disc of Chrono Cross feels like one Big Bad fight after another, and it can get very wearing. It's not helped by the plot infamously collapsing in on itself due to a Gambit Pileup. First, you fight FATE, who has been built up as the Big Bad for the entire game. But then he goes down, and the six elemental dragons do a Fusion Dance to become the Dragon God, who promises to ravage the world now that FATE, the thing sealing it away, is dead. Then, you go through the Marathon Level to end all Marathon Levels, kill the new Big Bad, and that's it, right? Nope, now you have to kill the Time Devourer, which is a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere compared to the other enemies you had to fight. And if you don't jump through a couple of Guide Dang It! laden hoops, then you literally do not get an ending, just a little card saying 'Fin'.
  • A universal problem in 4X games such as Civilization, Total War and many others. Players tend to reach the point where their empire is so powerful that they can't possibly be defeated, but mopping up the AI or completing the Victory Conditions may still take several more hours, at which point the game ceases to be challenging or interesting. Nothing to do but load up a new game and start again! Nowadays games try to mitigate this in various ways, usually by having a scripted "crisis" occur in the late game to actually challenge the player's empire. Even so, many players freely admit to never having actually finished a game, despite having dozens or even hundreds of hours of playtime. (In 4X-game Stellaris for example, only 5% of all players have the Steam achievement, "Win the game through any victory condition." And the game is one of the pioneers of throwing scripted crisii at the player near the end with its Endgame Crisis system; even that has not been enough to make players actually finish the game after the crisis is over)
  • If you play Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble! to its regular conclusion, you won't encounter this trope, but if you go for the Golden Ending and try to find all the secrets, you're in for an anticlimactic time. The secret levels themselves are fine, if not especially novel and exciting, and your reward for clearing all of them is a new vehicle, the Gyrocopter. The Gyrocopter itself is cool, but the only new areas it unlocks are the last few Banana Bird Caves, which means the last thing you'll do in the game is solve a Simon puzzle, before a final cutscene that is, admittedly, pretty funny. Contrast with Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest, whose bonus levels ended in an appropriately-climactic True Final Boss battle.
  • The original Doom has a case of this, due in part to its origins as Shareware. New enemy types, powerups, and weapons start to get thin on the ground after the end of the first episode (which was the part released for free), which means most of the later levels don't have many options for how to change things up other than "spawn twice as many enemies as the last one." After the Cyberdemon boss fight at the end of the second episode, there's still nine levels left to go, and by that point, the only things there are left to see are the missable, Too Awesome to Use BFG-9000, and the game's final boss, which is a relative pushover. Part of what made Doom II so significant was just that it added a ton of new enemies, which meant later levels still had tricks up their sleeve.
  • Doom 3 seemed to go on forever... you go to hell, kill the boss, a great stopping point, then come back to Mars for hours of more gameplay, but it's the best part of the game!
  • Eternal Sonata's endgame devolves into this for some people, possibly because the Big Bad gets killed in a very stupid way two dungeons before the end of the game, forcing the party to climb a ridiculously large tower and fight his right-hand man instead. And then the game throws one last boss fight at you in the form of Chopin himself. Add to that a lengthy ending cutscene, not to mention the entire cast lecturing you over the end credits, and you've got a game that seems to go on forever.
    • It gets fixed a bit in the PS3 Updated Re-release, as the Big Bad doesn't die straight away and instead accompanies his right-hand-man to the final dungeon. The cast lecture is either altered or eliminated as well, depending what version of the ending, you get, as well as certain changes to some scenes.
  • In Fire Emblem: Three Houses, the Verdant Wind and Silver Snow routes suffer from this. After the apparent final confrontation with Emperor Edelgard, there's another mission in which the army invades Shambhala, home of Those Who Slither In The Dark. But the game isn't over yet, as there's one more mission against a resurrected Nemesis on Verdant Wind and a berserk Rhea on Silver Snow. To make matters worse, in the final month of the Silver Snow route, the characters act as though the war is over in monastery conversations, and the game actually does end with the aforementioned Disc-One Final Boss on Azure Moon.
  • Many games of Football Manager suffer this as a season draws to a close. Players heading towards the end of the season, especially if they stay up late and into the early morning, can often start pushing towards the end of the season and not paying as much attention to their team, lineups, tactics, and various non-match related aspects like scouting new transfer targets for the off-season. This can lead to extremely frustrating losses and situations that can cause that entire season to go up in smoke. This is not the games fault as each season has as many games as it would in real life.
  • Golden Sun: The Lost Age. Make no mistake! The ending is great, very climactic, and satisfying. But what is the one thing you want to do above all after defeating that nasty Boss? That's right! Save your progress! However, while you sit around with your Game Boy in your sweaty hands, shaking uncontrollably with the unquenchable desire to save, the ending drags on and on and on...
  • Guitar Hero 5. Do You Feel Like We Do. It is by far the longest song in the game at 13 minutes and 40 seconds, more than double the next longest song. There is an achievement just for getting 95% of the way through, whether you then successfully complete the song or not.
    • And while you're at it, everything under the Music folder that has been on Guitar Hero or Rock Band also fits here. Which makes the Rock Band 2 edit version of Prequel to the Sequel the odd one out - the entire second half of the song is removed, and the fans HATED Harmonix for that.
  • Kingdom Hearts wraps up nearly all of its plot points in the Hollow Bastion chapter, where Sora defeats the Big Bad Maleficent, rescues the seven Princesses of Heart, squares off against Riku in a dramatic Cain and Abel confrontation, and pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to save Kairi by temporarily becoming a Heartless—all of which would make for a perfectly satisfying ending. But then the game just keeps going with the End of the World area, with Sora reliving all of his adventures in the previous worlds, culminating in a battle with Chernabog. Except that's not the ending either: afterwards, Sora still has to survive the most intense Heartless battle in the game... which only leads to the door to a boss battle with the (actual) Big Bad Ansem. And even then, he has to defeat Ansem four times in a row, then fight his way through a succession of Heartless-packed room before destroying his battleship form.
  • The new Kirby games are notorious for their insanely long Marathon Boss finales.
    • Kirby's Return to Dream Land ends with a fight with Landia, a shoot-em-up section, a fight with the Lor Starcutter, and a fight with Magolor. In case that's not enough, the fight with Magolor is split into two distinct phases, the former of which ends with a section that uses Kirby's super abilities.
    • Kirby: Triple Deluxe has a two-phase fight with Masked Dedede, a fight with Queen Sectonia, a cannon-firing segment, another fight with Queen Sectonia, and a Hypernova Kirby finale.
    • Kirby: Planet Robobot has a fight with Mecha Knight, a fight with President Haltmann, and a three-phase final boss against Star Dream. The True Arena version is even worse as Star Dream has an additional fourth phase.
    • Kirby Star Allies is the worst, though. It has a fight with Zan Partizanne, a two-phase fight with Hyness, and a four-phase fight with Void Termina. And that's not even the end, after beating Void Termina, you have to go through a button-mashing segment to truly defeat him.
  • The sequel to the otherwise famously excellent Game Mod Brotherhood of Shadow for Knights of the Old Republic, Solomon's Revenge has this. What appears to be a fairly straightforward final battle in a climactic location ends up in an extremely long scene littered with flashbacks, self-findings, and whatnot, and most importantly, neither the heroes nor the villains JUST.STAY.DEAD.EVER. Whenever it seems like one side has finally been dealt a lethal blow, they still somehow manage to get up again and everything begins once more. This actually culminates in a scene where the player character has to beat down the Brotherhood around a dozen consecutive times under exactly the same conditions in different environments until they finally give up.
  • At around the three-fourths mark in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, the game sends Link on a fetchquest to recover part of the Triforce, which requires the player to find the 8 charts showing their locations, have enough cash to get all of them deciphered, and then sail to where they're at and haul them up with their boat's grapple arm. All this really amounts to is stretching out the running time when the story is clearly wrapping itself up. The HD rerelease addressed this by introducing the much more efficient Swift Sail and reducing the fetching needed by replacing most of the charts with the Triforce pieces themselves.
  • The Longest Journey became a bit too long in the tooth at the end. The developers actually seem to be aware of this, as April (the protagonist) is around midway outright given a Plot Coupon, instead of having to do the usual fulfilling of ancient prophecy ballyhoo (April lampshades this).
  • The Lord of the Rings Online: Volume I of the Epic story has a short Epilogue, tying up some loose ends left after the climax of the story. Volume II that followed it, however, has as many as twelve different Epilogues, enough to form another Book or even two.
  • Super Meat Boy has five full chapters and a short finale chapter consisting of five levels and a boss. The end? Escape Sequence time! Your reward? A Smash to Black as a block is about to land on Meat Boy. The end? Brownie to the rescue! Now it's just Meat Boy and Bandage Girl watching the Floating Continent blow up. The end? Dr. Fetus attacks Bandage Girl! And it actually ends right there unless you beat the Dark World version of the boss level, in which case Bandage Girl turns out to be unfazed by Dr. Fetus's punches, and stomps on him.
    • The Binding of Isaac, by the same developer, has a Disc-One Final Boss which, when you defeat it, unlocks two more floors. Defeating the new final boss nine times unlocks an alternate version of that boss, as well as another floor with a new final boss. And if you have the Wrath of the Lamb DLC, you also unlock an alternate choice of floor with its own boss. Beating that floor six times, acquiring a trinket unlocked by doing so, and beating the alternate final boss with it unlocks yet another floor, which contains the (currently) Really Final Boss and a Mind Screwdriver ending.
      • And then there's the Updated Re-release The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth, which has more playable characters and yet more final bosses! And it kept escalating with every DLC, too. Reaching the true, actual, final, closure-bearing ending of the story needs hundreds and hundreds of runs all on its own, and that's not counting challenges done just to unlock things to help.
  • Mega Man:
    • Metal Man's stage in the Mega Man 2 ROM Hack Rockman 2 GX has multiple doors that make it look like you're about to fight him in the next room, only for the stage to continue.
    • Rockman 4 Minus Infinity: Wily 3 is an insanely long maze level, the Wily Machine has far too many health meters, Wily 4 has three more bosses, then the Bullet Hell Wily Capsule, and then an annoying stretch of level, and then finally you fight the final boss. AND THEN THERE'S A SELF DESTRUCT SEQUENCE. The credits are long too!
    • Make a Good Mega Man Level Contest 2's final stage consists of, in order: a brief intro sequence; a lengthy cutscene; another insanely long maze in the vein of Rockman 4 Minus Infinity with five boss fights scattered throughout; a long battle against a Wily Machine that spends most of its second phase out of your attack range; the Final Boss fight, bookended by lengthy cutscenes; a Post-Final Boss; one last cutscene; and finally the credits roll. That's eight boss fights and four cutscenes in one stage! Then the postgame opens up: 12 new stages (including several infamous That One Levels) with 14 energy elements and 37 Noble Nickels between them, a huge really-final-we-mean-it-this-time stage with 24 good-sized areas to clear (though thankfully you're only required to do six unless you're going for 100% Completion) along with three more Noble Nickels and a four-phase Bonus Boss. And then it ends for real—unless you want 100% on your save file. Whew!
    • Every Mega Man Battle Network and Mega Man Star Force game has lots of awesome postgame content — and every time, you can't get to the end of it without filling your BattleChip library. The final boss and the bonus boss are always separated by a wall of many hours of grinding for rare drops. BN4 comes close to being the worst by requiring extra playthroughs if you're careless enough to miss a Mystery Data on any of your first three runs. But BN3 is the champion: it pulls a Pokemon and requires Navi chips from the opposite version (which are treated as non-required Secret Chips in all the other games). If you don't have access to it, you're not fighting the Omega Navis unless the BugFrag Trader listens to your prayers.
    • While not quite as prolonged as Rockman 4 Minus Infinity's ending, the Wily Fortress in Rockman 7 EP starts to drag on towards the end. The final Wily stage (which is the new fifth stage rather than the fourth) takes over twenty minutes even for a fast player, owing to its four lengthy Multi-Mook Melee rooms, rematches with all eight mid-bosses, and one more level segment and a Marathon Boss afterwards.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has Skull Face being killed and Metal Gear Sahelanthropus destroyed in Mission 31. However, there's 50 missions total so the game drags on for another 19 missions to wrap up minor sideplots and introduce MORE sideplots that never get resolved. Also, half of those 19 missions are actually just rehashes of some of the first 31 mission with increased difficulty. And the icing on the cake was that there was supposed to be a massive 51st mission that was supposed to wrap up all of the still unresolved plot points, but it was ultimately cut from the game.
  • Metal Slug 3, the final mission. First you go through a long, hard dogfight with Morden's forces, then you fight Morden himself... But it turns out to be a Martian. The Mars People then abduct the character you're using, forcing another character to go after them, you storm the mothership, you battle the Mars People from inside, rescuing Morden and your captured comrade in the process... Then comes a Free-Fall Fight with the leader of the Mars People, Rootmars. On a good run, the game takes 45-50 minutes to complete, with the final mission taking about half an hour out of that time. Yes, that's right, you spend over half of your play time on the final mission.
  • The renowned hack Super Metroid Redesign has the same plot and bosses as the original game, but stretched out much, much longer. How much longer? The final escape countdown starts at 25 minutes.
  • NieR: Automata is a strange example, as the game literally says that you got ending A when you beat the game while playing as 2B. This unlocks route B, which consists of playing through mostly the same game as 9S (with some differences, as you see what happened with 9S when he was separated from 2B). This ends in the same way as the first ending, giving you ending B... and unlocking the second half of the game, route C+D, which is entirely new content. Each of the endings marks a Point of No Return, but you can go back after you get ending C or D (whichever you choose) and replay earlier content in the game, including sidequests which otherwise would have been unobtainable. Though if you complete ending E, and choose to sacrifice your save data to help other players, you really will lose all your save data and have to start the game over from scratch.
  • Odin Sphere: The Book of Armageddon, if you're going for the best ending. You need to see every scene possible, even the ones where you pit the wrong character against certain bosses. This requires a minimum of four playthroughs, although thankfully you can cut the second and third short in the remake after beating the third boss without missing anything if you don't make any redundant character choices.
  • Parasite Eve is divided into 6 day segments. Day 5 is easily the longest in the whole game where you slog through the American Museum of Natural History whose duration in time spent in there is almost as long as the trek through Central Park earlier in the game. The museum has four floors with a lot of backtracking required once you have the proper keys to open doors. A lengthy cut scene with the The Dragon ensues, followed by a mini-boss fight, an actual boss fight, a trek to the top floor to confront the Big Bad, a really lengthy cut scene showing the protagonist and the military teaming up to reach the villain, and then a two-stage boss battle with the main bad girl herself. But wait, now you have to progress through day 6 before completing the game! While the 6th day is thankfully short, it mostly consists of a cut scene, the Final Boss fight that has five stages with a cut scene in between, followed by a chase sequence with the dying final boss going after you while you flee, rig the cruiser to explode, then escaping as the ending (which is reasonably short) plays out. Woe to you if you die during any of these segments and have to watch the cut scenes all over again!
  • All Pokémon games in general suffer from this after completing the league. You're left with simply grinding up your Pokémon to level 100 and entering those Pokémon in high level Player Versus Player battles with other players. Later games at least try to rectify this with closed off Routes you can only explore after completing the league and the introduction of the Battle Frontier for those that have done some INSANE grinding.
    • Pokémon Generation I, didn't affect people as much due to being the first of the franchise, but the endgame grind after the league is still pretty fatiguing. Especially since there was a lot less move diversity in the first generation. The Gen III remakes did add plenty more content after the main story though by adding a group of islands with a sizable plot. They also added the ability to rematch the Elite Four and champion, but a lot of grinding will be needed especially by the time you get to the fourth and final rematch.
    • Pokémon Generation II. Sadly, the remake of Kanto after completing the league falls victim to this if you're not butted by the nostalgia factor in seeing an updated Kanto from Generation I. The main flaw here was that the Kanto remake felt incomplete due to the Game Boy Color cartridge format lacking the room to portray Kanto as it was in Gen. I; this caused many points of interest such as the Safari Zone, Pewter City Museum, etc. to be closed off to save room on the cartridge. In addition, there was nothing close to a plot in the entire region other than a side-story regarding a last-remaining Rocket member sabotaging the Power Plant. The Generation IV remake mostly rectified this other than there still being no major plot after completing the league.
    • Pokémon Generation III. The humongous water routes after setting off from Lilycove City, spanning as much as the last two Badges and the League fatigued A LOT of people. The water routes in Emerald, even with the increased surf speed, can still be considered fatiguing, but the good news is that the well-liked endgame Battle Frontier was introduced here. Finally giving another reason outside Player Versus Player battles to grind up your Pokémon. Just a shame it takes FOREVER to grind levels in this generation.
    • Pokémon Generation IV. The battle against Cyrus and Team Galactic is extremely interesting, at least for a main series Pokémon plot. But once you've defeated him and captured Palkia, Dialga, or Giratina, you've still got another Badge and the Elite Four to go before you see the credits roll. Did we mention that Cynthia may be a rare occasion where the Final Boss qualifies for That One Boss? Even with your godlike friend from the Spear Pillar (or the Distortion World), you're gonna have to grind big time.
      • The Heatran island mission after clearing the league isn't any better. Just a bunch of high-level trainers, some new Pokémon to catch, and having no plotline. Platinum tries to make it more plot-relevant with a return of what's left of Team Galactic, but still comes off pretty weak.
    • Pokémon Generation V, in Black and White, had this AFTER clearing the Plasma-controlled Pokémon league. Not only is there no relevant plot to follow in the now accessible Eastern portion of Unova, but the trainers rise to being 10 to 15 levels higher than what your Pokémon would be currently at after beating the league if you didn't grind a considerable amount beforehand. Not only that, but if you want to fight the league again and beat the champion, like you probably originally intended to do before having to deal with N you have to grind up to the mid-70s because they all gained 23 levels and 2 new Pokemon since the last time. Luckily, grinding was made a bit less annoying in these games.
    • The sequels to the Gen V games returned to the Gen IV style plot progression after the major twist of the previous games. After dispatching with Team Plasma for the final time, you still have the Elite Four and Champion before the credits roll. Once again afterwards there is no more plot to speak of as you explore the rest of Unova, including the Southeastern part which held the first quarter of the story from the first games. Like the previous games trainers in these areas have Pokémon ten levels higher or so than you would be by that point in the game requiring more grinding. Fortunately the games also introduced the Pokémon World Tournament which allows for trainers to be battled from previous games in the series
    • Pokémon Generation VI was infamous for this when it came out (and indeed prompted some Fan Dumb segments to declare it the worst game in the series before they had even played it). Notably, there are no post-game areas besides Kiloude City, and the Unknown Dungeon (which is a single room with Mewtwo in it). That means that there are no more Pokémon to catch outside of the Friend Safari. Unlike the past two generations, there are only four legendaries to catch, counting the one that you catch during the main campaign, and two of them are from previous games. The Looker subplot was praised by some, however, for being better written than the main plot, even if it didn't offer much in terms of gameplay. Meanwhile, the Delta episode from Pokémon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire received considerable criticism for its reliance on backtracking and its short length, with the only real highlights being Mega Rayquaza and the final battle against Deoxys.
    • Generation VII have a very different plot from previous games in the series, with the Gym Challenge replaced by the Island Challenge and a very major turn of plot taking center stage midway through with the Island Challenge as an afterthought. Both the Island Challenge and major plot point wrap up right before the Pokémon League, but after the credits roll, once again there is no more major plot to speak of. The player can join Looker in a sidequest to catch six ultra-dimensional Pokémon but every leg of the sidequest runs the same. You talk to Looker at one of the hotels, go to the area where it might be, and engage it in battle. Besides that, there is only one new area, the Battle Tree. It does allow the player to fight Red and Blue among other tournaments, but you'll need a lot of grinding to be able to face them easily.
    • Another entry in the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon series, Gates to Infinity, is chock full of them, particularly at the very end of the game, which, after beating the Bittercold, the final cutscene before the credits is over a half-hour long. Doesn't help that there are two rather lengthy ones in between the two parts of battling the Bittercold, either.
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 has two epilogue chapters from John Marston's perspective after Arthur Morgan dies, containing perhaps 10 to 15 hours of more story content, longer than the entire story of many games. The epilogue covers John's attempts to lead a peaceful life and build the ranch at Beecher's Hope after an eight-year Time Skip, but — while it does have some touching moments between John, his family, and several surviving gang members — it doesn't have the kind of drama of the game's six main chapters. The early epilogue missions in particular can be extremely frustrating because of how slow and uneventful they are. Arthur's story ends with a great deal of action and emotion, and almost immediately afterward, the player is essentially required to sit quietly and complete errands that feel far more like a tutorial than something you need to do 80% of the way through a game. Even when John has to fight, it's only against generic thugs, gangs, and bounty hunters until the final mission, when the player finally gets to kill Micah Bell.
    Yahtzee Croshaw: Saturday afternoon, I was like, "Oh boy! I finally reached the epilogue! Maybe I'll actually have Sunday free to relax on!" Eight hours of additional story later "Fuck me, my definitions are out of date! I had no idea that 'epilogue' now means 'entire second game'!"
  • Just a simple game of Rise of Nations can end up having this once the players have researched all of the endgame upgrades. These upgrades allow the player to instantly create units, quickly accumulate resources, instantly take over cities and be immune to nukes and missile attacks. This results in a tedious endgame, in which the surviving players throw endless hordes of units at each other, in which the winner is usually the player who can persevere against the tediousness of it all.
  • Romance of the Three Kingdoms games tend to fall into this in the end game, much like civilization, since most of the fun comes from negotiating and dealing with the other factions. Thankfully, some games allow you to let the AI finish the game.
  • Ryo's journey to Kowloon in Shenmue II ends with a lengthy, spectacular climactic fight through the Yellow Head gang's headquarters that culminates in an awesome rooftop duel against leader Dou Niu, all while the Big Bad watches from a helicopter. We then get a denouement where Ryo learns that he must travel to Guilin, and he departs for the next chapter of his adventure. So far, so good, but then we find out that wasn't the real ending; it actually makes up the entirety of disc 4.
  • Persona
    • Persona 3, which alternates between a Dating Sim and a Dungeon Crawler, takes place over the course of one year in-game, but come November you suddenly run out of things to do apart from your few remaining social links and have no real pressure to hurry up in Tartarus anymore. Two solid months go by without real plot development.
    • The Playable Epilogue "The Answer" is pretty bad too. The end is five boss fights in a row (thankfully you can save in between them) and long cutscenes.
    • Notably averted in Persona 4, which fixes this by skipping several months in story time. Although they justify the time skip well enough, the remake Persona 4: Golden actually gives you most of this time back, and a few extra nifty things to do. Also unique in how each Ending (three or four depending on the version) extends the game, meaning that the ending is only as long as how far the player wishes to ‘pursue the truth’.
    • This trope comes back again in Persona 5. After the Big Bad is defeated, the rest of your days are spent on final exams and finishing up any last bit of Confidants you have left. That's not too bad, but the fatigue really starts to kick in a few days after that as you go through the Disc-One Final Dungeon and The Very Definitely Final Dungeon in a single day. That's right, you spend a single day having to do what amounts to two dungeons, without any breaks, which is especially jarring when the series' core gameplay consists of progressing through dungeons in small increments and taking breaks to pursue Social Links and otherwise improving your character. The second dungeon is essentially four minibosses in a row, which doesn't help. It's not too bad if you've been consistently making trips to Mementos, which gives you immediate access to its deepest parts, but it can be very draining.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario RPG: After maintaining a brisk pace through the first two thirds, the game slows to a crawl once you beat Yaridovich and get the fifth Star Piece. The trek for the sixth star takes you through Land's End, Bean Valley, Nimbus Land, and then Barrel Volcano. All of these areas are rather long, have at least one boss in them (Nimbus Land has two, as well as skippable miniboss fights, and Barrel Volcano has three) and Nimbus Land also has a lot of cutscenes to sit through. But at last, you get the sixth star in the volcano. Then it's on to Bowser's Castle which is even longer than the previous areas and at one point forces you to fight your way through four of six random hallways, which variably pit you against difficult platformer segments, logic problems, or just a gauntlet of enemies. And when you finally get to the end of the castle, after beating the third of three bosses, guess what? There's still one more dungeon to go, even longer than Bowser's Castle, with six bosses before you get to Smithy at last, and the stage is full of clones of Smithy's minions that are themselves minibosses. When Bowser steps out at the entrance to said dungeon and basically says "I'm done, I'm not going any further," the player is probably agreeing with him.
    • Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time: You finally face off against Princess Shroob in the climax... But then the Cobalt Star is reconstructed, releasing Elder Princess Shroob. And just when you think you've won, she has a second form that takes even LONGER to beat. And then she possesses Bowser. Luckily, the Post-Final Boss is easy and takes a shorter time to beat. It doesn't help that all the bosses have an ungodly amount of hit points in the US version.
  • Tales Series
    • In Tales of Symphonia, the Big Bad seemingly dies, but many parts of the storyline have yet to be resolved. Suddenly, the Big Bad returns and the world is thrown into an even more dire situation than the one it was just saved from, and the heroes head to the Very Definitely Final Dungeon for one last throw down with the final boss. It's actually much grander than it sounds.
    • Tales of the Abyss features a similar situation to Symphonia, but it also adds in a lot of padding and dealing with minor side villains before the central conflict can be resolved. It's still an interesting example because this trope is felt and expressed by the party members, Luke in particular. Already gloomy from his unresolved issues as a Replica, he gets more and more depressed as everything the party worked so hard to accomplish falls apart.
    • Legendia is the worst offender of this trope in the Tales series. You enter the Big Bad's fortress, defeat all of his major subordinates, defeat the Big Bad himself, and finally main character gets closure on his childhood love interest, complete with a nice cutscene. But then Your Princess Is in Another Castle! and the game goes on. Later, you enter The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, fight the Final Boss, save the damsel in distress for the umpteenth time, the credits roll... and then the second half of the game starts.
  • Ultima VII Part II. After visiting the entire map with numerous roundabouts and mandatory sidequests, you finally face down with Batlin, the Big Bad whom you were chasing and why you were on Serpent Isle in the first place. Turns out this is about the half-way point in the game.
  • Wild ARMs was notorious for feeling like it was going to end at many points throughout the game.
    • Wild ARMs 2 fares better, but the end sequence itself feels longer than the entire game.
  • For all of it's high quality, not even The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is immune to this. After finally rescuing Ciri, and the epic showdown at Kaer Morhn, the game looks to be reaching its climax very soon after. Instead, there's still 10+ hours of story left to go, which brings the momentum from said fight to a screeching halt. Now you have to go back over previously cleared areas of the world with Ciri at your side. With no new parts of the world left to explore, it can make the final few missions feel like they drag on and on, though seeing several key side characters and plot points get resolved does help alleviate this somewhat. Notably, even CD Projekt Red seems to agree that the game went on a bit longer than it needed to, and have stated that the upcoming Cyberpunk 2077 will be shorter than Witcher 3, perhaps to avoid this trope popping up again.
  • In X-Men 2: Clone Wars, the final level is the Phalanx Mothership and it is almost as long as the entire rest of the game combined. Multiple stage segments, two big boss battles (Cameron Hodge and the Brood Queen), and then the final battle is a rather anticlimactic fight with clones of each of the playable X-Men (Magneto optional). One at a time. And this on a game that lacks a save function or level select cheat.
  • Yggdra Union. The game should have ended after Gulcasa died and the dragon threat thing was over, but the game goes some chapters after just to explain what was Nessiah's purpose all along. While Nessiah is a cool character and a good enemy, that still doesn't change the whole "The game is over... NOT!" effect it makes.

    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 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).
  • 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.

    Web Comics 
  • 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...

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • 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?

4.91 (22 votes)

Example of:

Main / EndingFatigue

Media sources:

Main / EndingFatigue