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Fake-Out Fade-Out

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"You're like 'hey, November Rain's over!' No, it's not. There's more."

Commonly used at the end of an episode or a song, a Fake-Out Fade-Out is where the scene/music fades out as if it were the end, at a place where that could be realistic and believable, then a moment later jumps back in (Your Princess Is in Another Castle!!) with more stuff happening.

Not to be confused with Fake-Out Make-Out. Compare Stop and Go, where the music just suddenly stops for a second or two without bothering to pretend that the song's ending.

See also Kaizo Trap and Fission Mailed, the gameplay equivalents.



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  • Bleach: After Wonderweiss shows up, one-shots Ukitake, and frees Halibel, Aizen, Gin and Tosen from their respective "prisons", all of the Shinigami in Karakura town are shown. Then we see Aizen's face and the screen slowly fades to black... only to quickly fade back in to show that the Vizard have just arrived to join the battle.
  • Doraemon: Nobita's Great Adventure into the Underworld: After Nobita and Doraemon had escaped from the Devil's World back to earth, they managed to get Doraemon's sister, Dorami, to provide them with a spare What-If Phone Booth to reset the world back to normal. Yay! Roll credits... except, their friends are still in the magic alrernate timeline, having been captured by Demon King Demaon earlier, and it turns out they still need to retrive their friends first. The story then continues for a while until the final battle.

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King was quite guilty of this.
    • Probably the best known example of this comes right after the Ring is destroyed. Sam and Frodo are stranded on an erupting Mount Doom, the screen fades out... and then it fades back in to show the Eagles coming to pick them right off the cliff-face.
  • Seven Psychopaths starts to fade to credits as Marty finishes his screen play and happy music plays, only for the film to continue in a matter of seconds with Zachariah reminding Marty that he forgot his message to Maggie in the credits and he was going to kill him.
  • The scene in Looney Tunes: Back in Action when the car is plummeting from the air and stops abruptly because it ran out of gas. After the screen fades out, Kate protests "That's not how it works!" The scene cuts back in and the car hits the ground. Then it fades out again.
  • Basic Instinct has a notorious example. The film "ends" with Nick and Catherine kissing passionately on the bed. Fade out. Then fade back in: the camera pans down, revealing an icepick on the floor and leading the audience to believe Catherine was the killer all along—The Chessmaster and Femme Fatale rolled into one.
  • Sin City does a fake-out fade out before a Heroic Second Wind, to mirror a similar fake-out in the original graphic novel.
  • Spectre: The movie ends with Bond and Madeleine walking away from the chaos. . .no, there's still one last scene of Bond visiting Q to retrieve his car, and then he and Madeleine depart.
  • The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part seems to end in tragedy, while everyone starts singing a depressing song of giving up. We even get a "The End" title card, so all is lost—but Lucy still manages to find a way to inspire everyone, and the movie continues from there. Some theaters aided in this fake out by turning on the lights while it happens, usually the signal that the movie is over. When it's revealed to be a fake-out, though, the lights go back down as the movie continues to play.
  • Parasite (2019) has an emotional scene of Ki-woo reuniting with Ki-taek after his plan to become wealthy succeeds. The camera fades to black as they embrace only to fade back in on Ki-woo in the semi-basement apartment, having imagined the entire scenario.
  • In The Sponge Bob Movie Sponge Out Of Water, Burger Beard reads a story about the Krusty Krab to the seagulls after obtaining the Reality-Writing Book. Fake credits start rolling after he concludes the story with a premature Downer Ending, until a seagull interrupts and complains that it can't end like that.
  • Spanish film Rewind is about a young man who finds a magic camera that can make time rewind to were something is recorded. At some credible time in the movie, the protagonist dies and the credits roll...until someone else finds the camera and makes time rewind.
  • Everything Everywhere All at Once does this 90 minutes in, seemingly ending in tragedy and playing credits... but these credits turn out to be those of a movie that one of the alternate Evelyns was in, and is watching the premiere of in a theater.
  • Vice (2018) also has a fakeout ending involving Dick Cheney not putting his political career instead of his family, but then the movie resumes and he does exactly that.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Comic Strip Presents: Consuela. Happy ending, credits roll, needle zip, more stuff, sad ending, credits roll.
  • The Doctor Who episode "Death in Heaven". After the Doctor and Clara part ways for seemingly the last time, the credits start to roll... only for it to abruptly cut to a man knocking on the door of the TARDIS. Said man is then revealed to be Santa Claus, setting up the series' Christmas special.
    • Done in "The Forest of the Dead," although without the fade-out. We're set up for a Bittersweet Ending, with the people saved in The Library rescued, but only at the cost of the Heroic Sacrifice of River Song. The Doctor leaves behind her sonic screwdriver and sadly walks away with Donna, while River delivers a final monologue... and then the Doctor runs back in, having suddenly realized his future self left him a way to save River's final memories.
  • Corner Gas has an episode where at five minutes in a simple solution is put forward, "Why don't you carry a wallet like everyone else?" It cuts to Hank holding a wallet and saying "You're right this solves all my problems." The image freezes and the closing theme is cued up signaling the end of the episode. The show cuts back to the previous scene and Hank waves off the idea saying "I'm not really a wallet guy." The actual conclusion to this subplot is exactly the same, Hank is holding a wallet, says "You're right this solves all my problems.", the image freezes and the closing theme is played.
  • Not the same scene, but Lost's second season finale seemingly ends with a fade out of Claire and Charlie...and then it fades back in somewhere in the Arctic, where two people discover the Island.
  • NCIS toys with this a bit: at the start of the episode and right after each commercial break, it shows the fade-to-gray that will come up before the next commercial or at the end of the episode. On a couple of occasions, however, the episode will get up to where the final gray-out is shown to be, and then continue on with another scene with a major plot point in it, making it hit you out of nowhere twice over.
  • The Monty Python's Flying Circus episode, "Michael Ellis", ends with Eric Idle trying to decide what ending to use for the show. When offered a typical slow fade, screen slowly fades to black as Eric mulls it over, saying "Nnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnno." — and springs back.
  • The Sherlock episode "A Scandal in Belgravia" ends with Mycroft Holmes telling John Watson that Irene Adler and asking him to lie to Sherlock that she was, instead, accepted into the CIA Witness Protection program. John lies but asks if Irene sent Sherlock any more text messages after their last encounter. Sherlock tells him it was just one, a goodbye message. John leaves, and the scene switches to Karachi, Pakistan, where Irene, dressed in a burqa, is on her knees about to be beheaded. They let her send one last text to Sherlock. As the swordsman raises his sword, she closes her eyes, and the scene fades... only for her to hear the moaning text tone she put on Sherlock's phone. The swordsman (Sherlock) tells her to run and charges the other men.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer. At the end of "Faith, Hope and Trick" Buffy decides to get on with her life, placing the ring Angel gave her at the spot where she was forced to kill him and saying goodbye to her The Lost Lenore. Fade to Black. Suddenly the ring is lit up, and a Back from the Dead Angel falls through a blinding white hole in the blackness.
  • Game of Thrones "Kill the Boy" has Tyrion falling overboard and dragged underwater by a Stone Man, fading to black as he loses consciousness, which mirrors a chapter cliffhanger ending from the book. Then it cuts back in to show he was rescued by Jorah; the actual ending of the episode is Jorah inspecting a wound and learning he's infected with greyscale.

  • James' "Vervaceous".
  • Florence + the Machine's Dog Days Are Over fakes you out about a minute before it's ending.
  • The Corrs' cover of "Old Town".
  • The Beatles' didn't do this in their earlier career, when their recorded work tended to sound like their live playing, with clean endings. But as they branched out in the studio, they became big fans of this trope.
    • "Helter Skelter" from The White Album fades out and then fades in again twice. Averted in the mono version of The White Album, however, in which the song fades out completely when the first fade would occur in the stereo version.
    • "Happiness Is a Warm Gun", from the same album, has a slight variation of this: in the end, it goes like:
    Happiness is a warm, yes it i-i-is... ......................... GUN!!! (and resumes for a bit)
    • "Strawberry Fields Forever" from Magical Mystery Tour does this because the band went out of time before the final mellotron section, so George Martin added the fadeout and -in to cover up the bad bit. The result was a Last Note Nightmare.
    • "I'm Only Sleeping" from Revolver.
    • "Rain", compiled on Past Masters sort of combines this with Stop and Go, after the line "Can you hear me?" Rather than a fade-out, everything comes to a crashing halt...then resumes for a proper fade after a Beat.
    • They even do this on "Free as a Bird" from The Beatles Anthology, the "new" single which the three surviving Beatles created in 1995 by fleshing out an old unreleased John Lennon recording.
    • One of Paul McCartney's solo songs, "Let 'Em In", has a variation on this: the song seems like it's going to fade out, and suddenly the song ends normally at full volume.
  • The song "Static" from Mutations by Beck.
  • Brooks & Dunn's song "Indian Summer" provides a jarring example. It's a slow, wistful song about a schoolgirl who was impressed by a football player's skillful performance at a hometown game, and ended up sleeping with him, only to have her life ruined when he bragged about it to his friends afterwards. This is, of course, fatal to one's reputation in a small town, and she ended up having to drop out and move across the country to start over. At the end, the singer regretfully admits that he was the Jerk Jock and now, looking back on it, he wonders if things might have been different had he acted differently. Fade out... a perfect place to end. And then it jumps back in with a strong guitar slide and one last exultant rehash of the chorus, about how cool the whole experience was.
  • The Taranchula song "Moving Very Slowly", from Strong Bad Sings and Other Type Hits.
  • Brad Paisley's "Me Neither": A guy at a bar keeps trying to pick up this girl, and she keeps turning him down, so he pretends that he didn't really want to either and he was just testing her. In the end, he's finally ready to give up.
    "Do you think it's time for me to end this song?"
    * dead stop*
    * a couple moments of silence*
    "Me neither!"
    * big long instrumental to finish up*
  • Queens of the Stone Age loves this, as well as "false endings" in general.
    • "God Is in the Radio" fades out to a nearly inaudible volume after two choruses and a bridge, but fades back in for the big ending.
    • "Someone's in the Wolf" does basically the same thing, to a lesser extent.
  • The Stone Roses song "I Am The Resurrection" comes to an end and then keeps going. That's probably more Stop and Go, but it still counts.
  • "Are Everything" by Buzzcocks starts to fade out and then abruptly leaps up in volume and fades out from there instead.
  • The Cure's cover of "Purple Haze" on the Join The Dots boxset begins to fade out, then quickly back in, then out again.
  • DJ Jimi's "Where They At". The beat comes to a halt, there's a second of silence and then... "Sliiide and do the Pussy Pop!"
  • Joy Division "Isolation" from Closer.
  • The Bloodhound Gang's cover of "Kids in America" (off of their first album) fades almost completely to silence, only to come back in for 8 or so seconds and then fade out for real.
  • "White Punks on Dope" by The Tubes.
  • Terry Jones's Monty Python song "I'm So Worried" from Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album does this twice.
  • Michael Jackson notoriously abused this trope on Invincible, which, combined with the Epic Rocking nature of most of the album's tracks, left listeners feeling somewhat worn out near the end of each song.
  • Green Day's music video for "21 Guns" does this.
  • Dream Theater has "Misunderstood", which fades out...and then fades back in.
    • More recently, they also have "At Wit's End", which fades out, but it fades back into the instruments playing in what sounds like an echo chamber, rather than capping off the song.
  • Ditto "We Know Who Our Enemies Are" by mewithoutYou.
  • "I Never" by Rilo Kiley seems to end at an appropriate spot...but then just dives right back in.
  • The Flaming Lips' "Scratching The Door" turns this into an Overly-Long Gag, fading out then fading back in about 4 times over the course of it's final two minutes, before finally settling on sort of a Last Note Nightmare instead (Mark Coyne shrieking "LET ME IN!")
    • "Chrome Plated Suicide" is a more conventional example, fading out once and abruptly fading back in at the end of the song.
  • "Thank You" by Led Zeppelin.
  • "Do You Love Me" by The Contours fades way down at about the point where it sounds like it should be fading out, but then suddenly crashes back to full volume and goes on for a little more. The trick was reused in the soundalike sequel "Shake Sherrie".
    • The version on Tiny Toon Adventures plays with this by adding a second one, followed by an abrupt end as Babs (who was plucking her eyelashes) yells, "Make it stop! MAKE IT STOP!!"
  • Guns N' Roses is known for this at times; "November Rain" has a fake-out ending at about six minutes, and "Street of Dreams" has one with about a minute to go into the song.
  • Lisa Ono's version of Saliane had this at the near-end. The song ends abruptly (not fading, though) and then continued again.
  • Freaky Chakra's "Blacklight Fantasy", the final track on the titular album.
  • "Heart" by the Pet Shop Boys, to represent one's heart skipping a beat.
    • The single version of "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind of Thing" also has one, in homage to the Beatles examples above.
  • The original single mix of Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds" (some album versions don't have it, though).
  • "Listen to the Band" by The Monkees has what sounds like a cold ending, leaving just a soaring steel guitar line that fades out, but then an organ fades in and starts playing a bridge, leading up to a reprise of the chorus.
  • Walk the Moon's song "Work this Body" has a rather abrupt one.
  • Josh Groban's You Raise Me Up does this.
  • On BT's Ima album, at the end of "Blue Skies (The Delphinium Days Mix)", the song starts to mix into "Embracing The Future", but fades out, then the "Sasha's Voyage of Ima " megamix starts with that same song.
  • "Everything Fades to Gray" by Sonata Arctica is an odd example. The song seems to be just the intro to the album it's on but now with vocals. It ends when the instrumental intro ends, then after a few seconds jumps back in and plays for about another minute.
  • "My Stupid Mouth" by John Mayer has the lyrics go: "I'm never speaking up again...starting now." <fade out> "One more thing!" Quite apt.
  • The full version of Sig Sig by Kors K.
    • Keeping on the Bemani note, the full version of Kachoufuusetsu.
  • Matti Laamanen - Flakes (Ferry Corsten Remix). In the middle of the song, to boot.
  • Croove's OUTLAW from the DJMAX series has a complete stop in the middle that will ALWAYS throw off those new to the song, unless they're familiar with general rhythm game song lengths or have already heard and memorized the song's patterns.
  • Lacuna Coil's "Our Truth" does this at the end. The song fades out over a repeating riff, only to fade back in and immediately end.
  • The Clash's song "Safe European Home" does this, it fades out until you can only hear the drums, then rushes back in to end very abruptly.
  • "Vertigo" by Monster Magnet, the final track of Dopes to Infinity. Think the record's over? Wait two more minutes.
  • The original recording of The Beach Boys' "Help Me, Ronda" (from The Beach Boys Today! album) features this, although the actual hit version recorded months later does not. The 2012 remix of the Today! version removed of the fade-outs.
    • "Heroes and Villains" had so many false endings that one radio DJ at the time nicknamed it "the disc-jockeys' nightmare".
  • Cream have an arguable example from the live version of "Spoonful". The song kind of dies out at the end, short pause. Then out of the blue, Jack Bruce wails one last, extended "EVERYBOOODY'S CRYIN' ABOOOOOOOUT IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT" and the band launches into the patented chaotic ending.
  • The Smiths' "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" fades out, then back in before carrying on for another minute and fading out again. Inverted, however, with "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" where the song fades out rapidly and then fades slowly back in at the start of the song.
  • "Smooth" by The Kentucky Headhunters does this. It starts to fade out during a solo but then fades back in.
  • Nickel Creek's "Can't Complain" appears to be fading out with the same peaceful string dirge it faded in with, until Chris Thile startles the listener with a sudden, raspy shout of "NO, SHE CAN'T COMPLAIN!"
  • U2 did this on their very first album Boy, fading out near the end of "The Electric Co.", only for it to fade back in and then run seamlessly into the final track, "Shadows and Tall Trees".
  • Can's "Bel Air" fades out, fades back in and continues for two more minutes before finally fading for good.
  • Supertramp’s “Lover Boy” fades out before coming in, at full volume, with one final verse.
  • Radiohead's "I Might Be Wrong" from Amnesiac fades out near the end before returning with a subdued instrumental section.
  • "She Said" by Barclay James Harvest.
  • "Sandblasted Skin" by Pantera fades out completely at 3:25, playing nothing for a minute and a half before starting again with the same riff it ended on.
  • "Animal" by Def Leppard. Nice power-chord-laden chorus and then a sudden stop, right where you think it should end. There's a pause just barely long enough for the reverb to dissipate, and then...FULL-FLEDGED CHORUS REPRISE. Joe Elliot, the lead singer, chuckles slightly at the end, possibly lampshading this.
  • "In the Summertime" by Mungo Jerry seems to end when the car noises come...and then the song starts up again, repeating the first three verses.
    • "Baby Jump" does almost exactly the same thing, with the song winding down, with the singer shouting "ALL RIGHT ALL RIGHT ALL RIGHT-UH!" ...and then they all take it from the top and sing the first two verses and chorus again.
  • The Bangles' "Waiting for You" fades out, fades in for a 30 second instrumental, then fades out again.
  • Lady Gaga's "Speechless".
    • Her song "Again Again" inverts this; it ends extremely abruptly, leaving you asking, "That's it?"
  • My Chemical Romance's "Kids From Yesterday" fades out completely, and then two secs later, it comes again with a similar, if not exactly, sound like on the beginning.
  • Alice in Chains' "Rain When I Die."
  • Midnight Oil's "Read About it" doesn't fade so much as it appears to end. Then, following a pause, returns with a reprise of the first verse.
  • Foo Fighters, "Next Year".
    • "Rope" does it twice, one at 2:45, and the other at 4:00.
    • "Come Back" is arguably the most notable instance in the Foo Fighters catalog. A seeming fade out that doesn't quite fade completely, followed by a long instrumental which THEN fades out... and kicks right back up.
    • "In Your Honor" and "White Limo" each return with a bloodcurling scream.
  • Hüsker Dü's "Ice Cold Ice" fades out and after a couple seconds of silence, there's a final loud guitar chord.
  • Buckner & Garcia's "Do The Donkey Kong" from their Pac Man Fever album where it fades out before jumping right back into the chorus.
  • MGMT's "Kids" from Oracular Spectacular fades out almost completely before a sudden reprise of the chorus. Amusing when it fakes out people dancing in clubs.
  • Blind Guardian pulls one of these on "The Maiden and the Minstrel Knight."
  • KISS's "I Love It Loud"
  • Arctic Monkeys' "Perhaps Vampires Is a Bit Strong But..."
  • Les Baxter's hit '50s instrumental "The Poor People of Paris" has one of these.
  • Alabama:
    • "She and I" — the album version has one during the extended coda, then returning to full volume and then finally fading out for good. The single mix omits this (as well as heavily edits the coda).
    • "Jukebox in My Mind" comes to its natural conclusion...then a second later, we hear the sound of a coin inserted in a jukebox, then a needle on an LP, and then the song starts up again.
  • DragonForce ends many of their songs in this fashion- just when you think they're going to ring out on a big, final chord, oh no! Here comes another thirty seconds of sweep arpeggios, scales and kick rolls!
    • Former lead singer ZP Theart used to do this live, holding the last note of "Heroes of Our Time" for absurd lengths of time.
  • Most of Deep Purple's songs have more or less a full repeat, not counting the coda but often including the intro.
  • Brazilian band Skank had one in their Signature Song, "É Uma Partida de Futebol". The music video tries disguising it as the supposed fade out (at about 4:04) occurs while an announcer is talking.
  • The Modest Mouse song "Ocean Breathes Salty" stops for a second after a climactic noise at 2:40, and then restarts to finish about a minute later.
  • Italian band I Nomadi (literally "The Nomads") did this with their song, "Là dove stanno gli dei" (literally, again, "There, where the gods are"): at a certain point (around the 4:00 mark) the music stops abruptly... only to start again with a quick fade-in. Not As Annoying As It Sounds.
  • Pavement's "Elevate Me Later" goes into what sounds like a Big Rock Ending, then jumps right back into the main riff again for another 30 seconds. "Trigger Cut / Wounded At :17" and "Shady Lane / J Vs. S" might count, although the titles suggest the instrumentals that fade in after their endings are separate interludes that just aren't on their own tracks. In fact "Wounded at :17" originally was the main riff of a full song called "Nothing Ever Happens".
  • The Ramones' "53rd & 3rd" from Ramones does this, though without a literal fade-out.
  • Soundgarden's "Somewhere", with a slow, non-complete fade-out, followed by a slow fade-in, still with the same Big Rock Ending until the proper ending moments later.
  • "Rock is Sponge" by Joujouka, famously featured in the fourth stage of Rez, does this during the mid-track breakbeat. The version heard in-game omits this section.
  • Spacecorn's version of "Popcorn" combines this with Letting the Air out of the Band.
  • The original extended mix of Binary Finary's "1998" does this at the point where the radio edit ends.
  • "Pasadena" by The New Temperance Seven seems to end after a long instrumental break, then comes in again with a slightly shorter instrumental break, stops again and finally ends with a short riff.
  • "Long Agos and Worlds Apart" by The Small Faces.
  • "Summergirl" by The Mayfield Four stops quite abruptly, then just as you're about to turn off the stereo it comes back in again, and after a brief instrumental interlude treats you to a Moment of Awesome from singer Myles Kennedy (later of Alter Bridge): a soaring wail so high and held so long (F#5 and 22 seconds, to be precise) it sounds positively superhuman.
  • "Parade" by Justice.
  • Textbook example by Electric Six in "Waste of Time and Money", where it fades out at the end...only for another blast of music to come in afterwards, then it ends for real.
  • Joe Walsh, "Second Hand Store" from But Seriously, Folks.
  • "Anywhere Is" by Enya.
  • The title track to the Rush album Clockwork Angels.
  • "Keep On Dancing" by The Gentrys is an interesting version, as the "false" fade-out in the middle of the song actually was intended to be the end. The original recording, at 1:30, was deemed too short to be released as a single, so the song was artificially extended by repeating the first half. Thus, the "real" fade out is technically the same as the "fake" one.
  • "Counting Backwards" by Throwing Muses gets to what sounds like a final chord about two and a half minutes into the song, and they let said chord ring out just long enough to make you think it's the ending - then a drum fill comes in and the song goes on for another 45 seconds or so. Because said drum fill is nearly identical to the one that started the song, the listener might be confused into thinking they've got the song on repeat.
  • Electric Light Orchestra's "Mr. Blue Sky", from their Out of the Blue album, fades out and stops partway through the song, only to start back up with a guitar-heavy section with a choir, with the song's actual end being a vocoded voice saying "Please turn me over" (referencing the song's status as the last song on that side of the record).
  • Living Colour's "Funny Vibe".
  • Talking Heads' "No Compassion" from Talking Heads: 77.
  • In classical music, Beethoven does a variant of this - not so much a fade-out as what sounds like a plausible ending cadence, only for the work to keep going. This is particularly egregious in the first movement of the Fifth Symphony. Igor Stravinsky does a similar trick in the Sacrificial Dance from The Rite of Spring.
    • The "Fifth" example is discussed in "The Timpanist of the Berlin Philharmonic, 1942" by SF writer Kim Stanley Robinson.
    • Dudley Moore's "And The Same To You" from Beyond the Fringe does the same thing; it's a Beethoven parody.
  • The Art of Noise's "E.F.L." does this twice in its full length version, though on some appearances the second fake ending is treated as the real end.
  • 2 Live Crew's "Pop That P---y".
  • Psychostick's "#1 Radio $ingle", a Deconstructive Parody of formulaic Corporate Rock music, ends with a chorus that is "so freaking catchy it's stuck in your head for the rest of your life". And then, after a brief silence, "once again repeat[s] the chorus for dramatic effect, to remind you that it will be stuck in your head. For the rest of your life."
  • This happens several times throughout The Mars Volta's "The Bedlam in Goliath" album. Certain songs sound like they've totally used up their energy and gone silent, but no, there's even more more expression and riffing. It's convincing when you can't remember which tracks are 6 minutes and which are 10 minutes.
  • Nena "99 Luftballons".
  • Turned into an Overly-Long Gag in Status Quid's "Boring Song". Another end, another end...
  • Billy Ocean's "I Can Help"
  • Fountains of Wayne's "Sick Day"
  • "Anne's Song" by Faith No More fades out completely, then fades back in after a few seconds of silence, just abruptly cutting off once it's come back to full volume. To add to the abruptness, the very next song on Introduce Yourself, the title track, has a Lyrical Cold Open.
  • Motörhead did this with their song 'Overkill' by playing a Big Rock Ending, only for the drums and bass to do the intro again and launch into the main riff. Twice.
  • "Witch Hunt" by Petra fades back in after it's nearly faded out, only to have the audio deliberately start to glitch, bending upward in pitch and then back down before ending on what's basically the digital equivalent of a Record Needle Scratch.
  • The 1975's "Is There Somebody Who Can Watch You?".
  • At what sounds like the end of "Bold As Love" from Axis: Bold As Love by the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Hendrix plays the same phrase three times, with the third time slightly longer and more percussive than the other two and flowing into drumming that one would expect to end in a final crash of cymbals. However, the cymbal crash to end the song never comes, and instead the drums rev up again, followed by another minute or so of Hendrix on the guitar.
  • When "This is How We Do" rather abruptly ends, Katy Perry complains and says "Bring the beat back!", and the song does exactly that.
  • Sophie B. Hawkins' "Damn I Wish I Was Your Lover" builds to a huge instrumental climax with an Incredibly Long Note on top courtesy of Sophie, then begins to gradually fade out ... just kidding, there's a whole verse, chorus and coda left.
  • Chromeo's "Sexy Socialite".
  • "Left and Right in the Dark" by Julian Casablancas fades out properly before slamming the volume right back up for one second, ending the song.
  • KMFDM's "Bargeld" begins to fade out on the final chorus, but before it fades out completely, the music comes back at full volume for a final guitar solo.
  • Matthew Sweet's "Divine Intervention" pulls a "Helter Skelter" (fades out, beat, then fades back in).
  • Flemish singer Louis Neefs’ “Ik heb zorgen” has a false ending that managed to fool both the audience at the 1967 Eurovision Song Contest (who began to applaud prematurely) and the Austrian commentator!
  • "The Cat Crept in" by Mud. End. And then the cat came back.
  • "In Every Dream Home a Heartache" by Roxy Music fades out around four and half minutes into the song, then fades back in for another minute before ending for real. Amusingly, some early pressings of the song had the running time of the song being a minute shorter than it really is because of this.
  • "The Sailor" by Bright Moments has an odd variant of this with no dead air, instead after the chorus the song slows and a chord plays which usually signals the end of a song, but while this is playing the vocalist starts singing another verse.
  • Also pulling a "Helter Skelter": Sebadoh's "Flame."
  • "Satisfy My Soul" from Bob Marley's Kaya fades out, then a Last Note Nightmare sound comes back in, before it is finally over.
  • The third movement of Paul Hindemith's "Symphonia Serena" has a coda which returns to the bracing original tempo to give the contrapuntal theme one last go around, but the strings don't take their mutes off and there isn't much of a crescendo before the volume starts falling off again, with eventually the only instruments still playing even very faintly being the violas and occasionally the piccolo. Suddenly the loud brass fanfare that began the movement returns to end it.
  • A little over two minutes into Keane's "Somewhere Only We Know" this happens.
  • Mr. Bungle's "Ma Meeshka Mow Skwoz" ends in combination of electric organ and drums fading in silence. After a couple of seconds, the song suddenly jumps back with vocalist's series of brisk shouts and finally ends in atonal clusters.
  • Glenn Miller and his Orchestra's "In the Mood" gets quieter and quieter towards the end, then jumps back to full volume for the finale. Recorded 1939, it might be the earliest example in popular music and possibly even predates fadeouts in general; what is believed to be the earliest example of a fadeout in a commercial recording, "Catfish Blues" by Robert Petway, was recorded in 1941.
  • The Count Basie arrangement of the standard "April in Paris" uses it twice: after what seems to be the big ending, Basie instructs the band to play the last few bars "one more time". After the "ending" is played again, he asks for it "one more once". The third time, the song ends for real. Future performances of the song by other artists used that ending as well.
  • "Chou Wasabi" by Julien Doré does this close to the end.
  • Ludwig van Beethoven's rondo finales often have codas that get quieter and quieter as the tempo slackens, only to come back in full fortissimo vigor in the last few bars. Examples of this include the Piano Sonata No. 3 in C Major, Op. 2 No. 3; the Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, Op. 15; the Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat Major, Op. 19; the Symphony No. 4 in B-flat Major, Op. 60; the Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat Major, Op. 73; and the Piano Sonata No. 28 in A Major, Op. 101.
  • "Zodiac Shit", "Satelllliiiiiiiteee", and "Mmmhmm" (all on the same album) by Flying Lotus both have natural endings and then outros that follow that sound like different songs entirely. "Mmmhmm" is a unique example since its outro is used to transition into the next song, "Do the Astral Plane".
  • Twenty One Pilots' "Lane Boy" does this by having the song seemingly end only to transition into a 30-second drum solo. Many fans believe that the outro was unnecessary, and likely confused listeners since the drum solo was not included in the song's music video.
  • Stina Nordenstam's "So This is Goodbye".
  • "Free To Be...You And Me" by The New Seekers, from the album of the same name, has a fade-out near the end of the song, and then the music picks up again for the next half minute before it fades out again.
  • "Centerfold" by The J. Geils Band appears to end with the group singing the song's main melody, but it then continues for an additional 45 seconds with instruments playing the melody before ending for real with the song being whistled.
  • "Murder Mitten" by I See Stars.
  • "The Way" by Fastball.
  • Tobacco utilizes this in some of his songs, including "Streaker".
  • "Dirty World" by the Traveling Wilburys seems to end when the lyrics stop, then it picks up again for the last minute to close it out with the actual song ending.
  • J.S. Bach - Toccata and Fugue in D minor, BWV 565. Apporaching the end of the Toccata section, the music enters a state where it seems that it will end entirely (complete with a long chord). Instead, it starts with the Fugue, and the music continues for at least 6 more minutes.
  • Caravan's "Jack and Jill" does a repeat and fade, but then launches back into a segment based on a Noël Coward quote.
  • Brett Eldredge's "Somethin' I'm Good At". The song seems to end and the instruments cut out... just as Brett says "You thought it was over" and another verse kicks in.
  • "Beg" by Evans Blue has a fake fade out near the end. It then picks up again for several seconds, before the song ends for real.
  • Of Monsters and Men has a fairly subdued one in "Love, Love, Love".
  • The last verse of "Homeboy" by Eric Church is just acoustic guitar and Church's voice, with even the guitar picking slowing down towards the end, as the narrator pleads with his brother to come home and make peace with their aging parents before they die. He holds the last note for a second or two— and then the other instruments crash back in for a long, energetic musical conclusion.
  • "Heat Waves" by Glass Animals seems to end with a short, string-based reprise of the chorus, until the drum beat kicks in a few seconds later, and the chorus repeats itself one more time before the song fades out.
  • "The Air That I Breathe" by Albert Hammond seems to end a few seconds before the rest of the band joins the singer and guitarist.
  • "Keep Your Distance" by Patty Loveless comes to a dead stop and then picks up for one more repeat of the chorus.
  • Yellow Magic Orchestra's cover of "Tighten Up" by Archie Bell & The Drells contains a false fadeout. It resumes with the spoken line, "Here we go again".
  • "Stars" by Hum seems to end only a few seconds in.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • NXT TakeOver: Chicago had as its main event a Tag Team Championship ladder match between #DIY and the Authors of Pain. Despite losing the match, #DIY members Tommaso Ciampa and Johnny Gargano play to the crowd who give a standing ovation to them. Cue WWE's typical closing copyright notice to end the show ... only then does Ciampa pull a Face–Heel Turn on Gargano by throwing him onto the set and putting him through a table.
    • It also happened again at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia when the show's closing copyright notice appears alongside a disappointed Gargano and his wife following his NXT Title match loss ... only for Ciampa to return from injury since Chicago and attack Gargano with a crutch right afterwards.
  • The Horror Show at Extreme Rules 2020 had as its main event Braun Strowman and Bray Wyatt facing each other in a swamp. Braun eventually kicks Wyatt into the water. When he doesn't surface, Braun declares it over and starts walking away as the show's closing copyright notice appears... only for Wyatt to reappear and drag Braun into the water.

  • "Bon Vivant" from the operetta Song of Norway has the chorus starting to exit during the fade, only to jump back in.
  • "Those Magic Changes" from the 1994 Broadway revival of Grease has a fake ending, followed by what would be considered a "reprise" in the mind of the character singing it.
  • In Anyone Can Whistle, Cora's accomplices shuffle offstage at the end of "I've Got You to Lean On," and Cora pretends to follow them, but she returns to take a final bow by herself as the orchestra suddenly resumes its former tempo.
  • In Closer Than Ever, the first verse of "One of the Good Guys" ends with a rallentando e poco diminuendo on a calm tonic chord that prompts the singer to get ready for his exit. However, a louder chord reminds him that he still has a second verse to sing:
    "That's not the end, as you suspected..."
  • The stage version of Scrooge (1970) does this with Jacob Marley's ghost. After Marley shows Scrooge the phantoms, he disappears just long enough for Scrooge to think it was a dream before reappearing to talk some more.

    Video Games 
  • "Max 300" and "Maxx Unlimited" from Konami's DanceDanceRevolution series. Pretty obvious you're not done when there are still arrows to hit, but bystanders often don't know about that.
  • The second-to-last stage of Dinosaurs For Hire pulls this on you after you defeated a boss... which turns out NOT to be the Final Boss.
    Well done! Game's over. Thanks for playing... NOT!
    This Final Boss is a mystery, no one has ever made it this far before... [cue the real Final Boss battle]
  • In Ray Crisis, "Son Dessein" starts to fade out at one point, then cuts to the next section with a Scare Chord, at least on the OST.
  • The credits start rolling in Resident Evil: Outbreak shortly before the True Final Boss fight.
  • During the ending of Dead Space 2, Isaac calmly sits down with a tired look on his face as the Marker is about to explode with him in it. Emotional music starts playing and the credits start to roll as a computerized voice urges all personnel to evacuate. The credits are abruptly interrupted with a message from Ellie, who calls Isaac a bastard for trying to get himself killed and declares that she's punching a hole through the roof with a gunship in order to save him.
  • The end of the single player campaign in Modern Warfare 2, right before the credits.
  • In Call of Duty 3, at the end of the first level, the battle seems to come to an end, the squad is in a house having a break, the screen starts fading out... just before a tank shell bursts the wall of the house open.
  • In the reveal of Super Smash Bros. Brawl, the trailer blacked out right after Wario's mishap. Several seconds go by... then the Codec alert popped up.
    • They did something similar for the fourth game's reveal. The clip showed the Villager as a newcomer, the title was shown, and a 2014 release date was revealed as the image gradually fades out...then "NEW CHALLENGER APPROACHING!" pops up accompanied by a klaxon, cutting to Mario, Link, Donkey Kong and Kirby looking up at a short blue robot standing on a cliff.
  • Rhythm Heaven
    • This happens at the end of Remix 10 in Rhythm Heaven Fever, twice. Savvy players will catch that in both previous games of Packing Pests, which ends the remix, the game didn't end until the hands caught their paychecks...
    • Inverted at the beginning of Figure Fighter 2, where gameplay begins before the visuals even fade in.
  • Skylanders Superchargers: The Darkness has been sealed away by the Dark Rift Engine, causing a massive dark vortex to swallow it up, and the credits roll, with the vortex still there. Suddenly, The Darkness escapes from the vortex and the Skylanders have to defeat it and push it back in.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: Just after defeating Medusa, the credits (of the original game) start to roll and Pit and Palutena are having a cheerful conversation. Out of nowhere a voice tells them to hold on, and a hand tears through the credits roll, revealing the true Big Bad of the game, Hades. Really the game is only a little over a third of the way completed at this point, though this fact was hidden rather well.
  • Happens on occasion in Ace Attorney, where sometimes it looks like the trial won't end in your favor and it cuts to black only for someone to Object.
  • In the iOS game Layton Brothers: Mystery Room, sometimes when you think you have solved the case, the suspect may pull this on you.
  • Metal Gear became notorious for this after Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, which has an hour long epilogue of cutscenes which seemingly resolves every series plot point, followed by a credits sequence which then abruptly ends as another 20 minutes of "debriefing" cutscenes are introduced. There's even a stinger conversation after the true credits are done.
    • The two main games that came after 4, Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain, feature entire gameplay chunks after the initial credits. Peace Walker has you doing side quests and building your own Metal Gear until an unexpected True Final Boss appears and kick-starts the game's true ending (which is also followed by a stinger after the true credits). The Phantom Pain takes it even further: After the first credits, a trailer plays for Chapter 2, followed by half a dousin new story quests and a mind-bending final mission which itself has a stinger post-credits scene. Even after all that, there's several important cassette tapes to listen to which flesh out certain character motivations during, before and even after the game's events.
  • Happens after rescuing Leon in Rune Factory 4. The main character chooses to take his place and stay trapped in the Forest of Beginnings forever, credits start rolling...And then Ventuswill stops the credits with a roar and breaks in to get you back to Selphia.
  • In the Christmas Episode of The Darkside Detective, after the Krampus has been defeated and Santa rescued, the "Case Closed" caption appears and the usual outro music plays — and then there's a shout for help from offscreen, and there turns out to be one more puzzle to solve.
  • In WarioWare Gold the credits begin to roll like normal after Wario is defeated in the tournament by the player only for 9 Volt to interrupt the credits since he and the rest of the group are demanding payment from Wario for their help on the game. When they get their money off him the credits begin for real.
  • Donkey Kong Country starts to roll fake credits after beating the second phase of the boss fight. All of the names in the fake credits are the names of the game's enemies. After about a screen's worth, K. Rool comes back and you go back to fighting. The real credits end up being much more of a spectacle.
  • Everhood does something similar after you pick up your arm. It cuts to black, the real credits start to roll... and then they slow down, the music runs down like a record, and the screen wipes to the trippy kaleidoscope background you've encountered before, now with the Frog there to teach you how to use the arm and why you needed it back.

    Web Animation 
  • Happens after a Big "WHAT?!" in the Matt 'n' Dusty episode "Flipper's Revenge".
  • Done twice in a row in the Homestar Runner episode, "A Death-Defying Decemberween".
    Strong Bad: So, The Cheat's helping Homestar the cheat, eh? I wonder what would happen without that mattress there... Hmm...
    (scene starts to fade out, but abruptly fades back in)
    Strong Bad: Oh, wait. Homestar would probably die! I gotta go move it!
    (scene fades out again, before fading back in)
    Strong Bad: I was really wondering for a second there.

  • Homestuck
    • After a very silly animation in which the main character sings the song "How Do I Live" while reenacting the final scene from Con Air, curtains close with the text "END OF ACT 4" under them. In the next panel they reopen. PSYCHE.
    • Also used in the song "Time On My Side", seeming to end before cutting back in with an Audible Sharpness sound effect, and in "Unite Synchronization".
    • Later parodied... and then done again on the NEXT PAGE.
  • This happens in chapter fifteen of Orange Marmalade with what looks like an extremely dramatic turn of events, using the writer's usual ending for each chapter. Turns out the character in question was only joking.
  • Sleepless Domain: Generally, a simple text box reading "End of Chapter [#]" marks the last page of each chapter in the comic. On what appears to be the final page of Chapter 18, however, this text box is shattered into pieces, and the scene continues into what is thereafter titled Chapter ???. The chapter's true conclusion isn't until several pages later, this time with an intact "End of Chapter 18" box.

    Web Original 
  • In Flander's Company, the season 4 episode "Karma Tsunami" ends with the surprise return of Jean-Luc Shredder. The ending credits start, but Armand yells for this to stop, demanding an explanation.
  • Linus Tech Tips: After Linus drops one of his 60 20TB hard drives in "Dream has Too Much Money", Jake claims he is leaving the video an not going to finish building the storage server, making the end screen show up briefly.
  • Nerdwriter's video on "How Emily Dickinson Writes a Poem" fades out at the 1:50 mark but then is revealed not be over just yet. He does it again at the end but this time it's a subversion.
  • In the SuperMarioLogan video "SML Movie: The Pantry", after they go into the pantry, they hear the door automatically close behind them after a broom fell onto the handle. After Bowser Junior simply tries to open the door, the door opens immediately. The episode's SML Question is shown, though in the background audio of the SML Question screen, Junior snaps Cody out of his imagination and tells him that the closet door just closed. After Junior tries to simply just open the door for real this time, it is locked.
  • In Ten Little Roosters, when Ryan is trapped in a hole, quickly running out of oxygen, he lies down on the ground and appears to pass out. It fades to his framed picture and plaque, indicating that he's died. Then the picture falls to the ground abruptly and shatters. And then we cut back to Ryan smashing the glass ceiling, and escaping from his prison.

    Western Animation 
  • Used in the Looney Tunes classic Duck Amuck. Daffy wants to "get this picture started," only for the camera to Iris Out onto a "The End" card... which Daffy promptly pushes out of the way with a shout of "NO! NO!"
    • Reused in the Nintendo DS game version, with Daffy wanting to "get this game started", and the camera irises out to a Game Over screen. He pushes that out of the way as well.
    • Foghorn Leghorn does this at least twice ("Crowing Pains" and "A Fractured Leghorn"), just to get in one last line of dialogue.
    "You gotta keep on your toes. Toes, that is!
    "One time I darn near starved to death! Wouldn't tell him I was hungry!"
  • The Futurama episode "Put My Head On Your Shoulders" ends with a heart-shaped Iris Out on Bender claiming that the events on the episode were just as he planned. Suddenly, Leela calls him out and the scene irises in again. The episode then ends on another heart iris... on Bender's exploding butt.
  • Done while Beavis And Butthead watched the Godley & Creme video "Cry".
    Singing: Cryyyyyyyy...
    Beavis: Well I'm glad that's over—
    Singing: CRYYYYYYYY!
    Beavis: AAAAAH!
    Butt-head: Now it's over—
    Singing: CRYYYYYYYY!!!
    Butt-head: AUUUGH!
    Beavis: AAAAH! STOP IT!
  • The end of the South Park episode "Scott Tenorman Must Die" involves an a Iris Out, followed by an Iris In of Eric Cartman imitating the classic Looney Tunes farewell dialogue.
  • Used towards the end of the Beast Wars episode "A Better Mousetrap", as Sentinel shuts down outside the Maximal ship Axalon. According to Rhinox, Sentinel would only shut down if an intruder had been neutralized, thus making the Maximals fear that Rattrap, who was trying to shut it down, is dead. Thus, as they mourn, starts to Iris Out when Rattrap exits the Axalon, saying "Boo-hoo, boo hoo!"
  • A Goof Troop episode used this. A gang of bullies (The Pharaohs) forced Max and P.J. from visiting their favorite hangout ("No geeks on the Pharaohs' turf!"). With the intervention of Max's former babysitter, they turn the tables and win a contest against them claiming the hangout as their own. When the Pharaohs try to return, Max, P.J, and the babysitter tell them "No geeks on the Pharaohs' turf!" Cue fade out, then fade back in with Max telling them "NOT!. Come on in, you guys."
  • The intro to Fillmore! pauses as if it's going to end but the music starts up again and it lasts a few seconds more.
  • Hilda played it straight at the end of "The Storm". Just when it seems that Hilda was presumably dead, the ending music begins to kick in as the screen fades to black. Only for the music to stop abruptly as Hilda regains consciousness.


Video Example(s):


How will Bowser get back home?

Bowser, Peach, Kamek, and the Toad Brigade had no clue to get to the Koopa Kingdom as they were lost, cueing the end screen as if this episode was left on an unresolved cliffhanger until Blue Toad uses the Starshroom that he built that will enable them to return to Bowser's Castle, adding an additional fifteen minutes to the story.

How well does it match the trope?

4.71 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / FakeOutFadeOut

Media sources: