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Fade Out

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"Stop trying to fade me out, I'm giving a monologue here."

Dissolve from a scene to black (or, on occasion, white). Often, the last instruction in a script or screenplay.

This trope originated on stage, where the stage's lights would fade out to mark transitions.

It's also a musical technique whereby a song fades to silence. Most of the time this is done to save the songwriter the hassle of having to write an ending — the chorus will repeat, sometimes with a Truck Driver's Gear Change, and the song will fade out.

Please list subversions under Fake-Out Fade-Out.

Opposite Trope of Fade In. Compare Fade to Black, when the screen going black marks important moments, not the end of a scene. Contrast with Smash to Black, when the screen suddenly goes black. Don't confuse with Fade Forward.


Films — Animation

  • Turning Red: There is a fade-out that takes place after candles are blown out by the wind.

Films — Live-Action

  • A Corner in Wheat from 1909, by cinema pioneer D. W. Griffith, offers one of the earliest known examples of this trope. In this case, it reinforces the Downer Ending where everything is terrible for everyone (the wheat farmer has been reduced to poverty, the people in the cities are going hungry, and even the wheat speculator dies when he's buried in a grain elevator).
  • White Shadows in the South Seas: A unique spin on this that ties into the title, as several shadows pass in front of the camera at the end, gradually darkening the image of Fayaway in mourning on a hilltop.

Web Comics

Western Animation