It's time to say goodbye. You've just delivered your loyal audience a Grand Finale (or a Season Finale) that stunned them into silence, tugged on their heartstrings, made them shout for joy, and hopefully wrapped everything up in a befitting and satisfying package. However, there's one last thing to do: the credits sequence. Sure, you could use the same standard credits you've used in every other episode. But it's the finale, so why shouldn't the credits be as special as the rest of it?
As the name suggests, Finale Credits is when the final installment of a work has different Closing Credits than what you'd normally see from that series. Some examples include using a Solemn Ending Theme or extended version of the Theme Tune, a montage of the series' most iconic moments, and the credits playing over the final scene.
See also Special Edition Title, where this is done with opening titles.
Since these are the credits of finales, there will be spoilers.
- .hack//Roots did this in episode 26, where credits play over the music piece "Dwindled Bible."
- Death Note: Piano music plays as Light dies.
- Cowboy Bebop: The camera zooms out from Spike's body as it moves into the sky and finally stops at a fading star as the series ends with the incredible "Blue".
- Kemeko Deluxe!: The camera zooms in on a just introduced character as the normal credits play in a picture-in-picture.
- Trigun: The town celebrates the tapping of their water well, as Vash carries his unconscious brother over his shoulder.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: The credits roll and the theme goes as the brothers reminisced on the meaning of Equivalent Exchange and their promise to reunite. This actually results in Alphonse completing the first opening narration, which had been hinted at for the whole series to be incomplete.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood has this for its final two episodes (as the final one is a Dénouement Episode). Episode 63 doesn't have an opening, and the OP theme is used as the ending, over Hohenheim's Really Dead Montage. Episode 64 likewise has no opening, but the episode ends with the second OP theme playing over a collection of photos displaying the cast's futures.
- Digimon Savers: The first opening song plays over an epilogue where we see what everyone is getting up to five years in the future.
- Cardcaptor Sakura: Platinum (the final opening song) is played over a montage of Sakura + Syaoran moments.
- Ojamajo Doremi:
- Dokkan ended with a rendition of "Watashi no Tsubasa" being sung by Doremi's class, with the first half playing over a montage where the class graduates, and the second half played over the normal animation.
- Naisho played a montage of events that happened in episode 13 in a screen to the left, whilst the credits were cued over black to the right. The usual closing theme was played.
- S1 and Sharp had this too. The Tear Jerker musics that were the ending themes drove the point home regarding exactly what happened just prior to those endings...
- Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex: The final episode of season one featured an extended version of the opening theme music over the credits, rather than the usual closing theme. And the credits omitted the pictures of the characters that were normally displayed.
- The final episode of the Fist of the North Star anime series (or more precisely Hokuto no Ken 2, the Sequel Series) has Kenshiro riding away on his horse Kokuoh while a montage of every major character in the series up to that point (plus a couple of anime-originals that managed to sneaked in as well) is shown at the background. Instead of "Love Song" by Tom Cat, the usual ending theme of Hokuto no Ken 2, ending theme for this episode was Crystal King's "Yuria Towa ni", the first closing theme of the original series.
- Excel Saga normally shows Menchi (the dog) singing "Bolero of Sorrow - So, You are Going to Eat Me" while a woman reads the translation. At the end of the final episode, "Going Too Far", the translator trades places with Menchi. She crawls on screen wearing a dog collar and leash and sings the bolero, while Menchi reads the translation (into dog-ese). Note that Menchi, the dog, never actually wore a dog collar during the normal ending credits. The song also sounds fairly innocent when Menchi sings it, but has a lot of double meanings when the woman sings it. There are also some jokes in the credits, but that happens in every episode (with one exception).
- The last episode also has a gag version of the opening credits.
- The second-to-last episode "We Will Not Be Held Responsible" skips the opening credits, and uses a modified version as the ending credits, including clips of what happens to some of the characters afterwards. This episode was the last episode broadcast, since "Going Too Far" was partly a Take That! directed at the censors.
- The Familiar of Zero: the ending credits for the first season show Louise and the other mages receiving commendations from Princess Henrietta. Louise then runs back to her room to show her medal to Saito... who is outside talking to Siesta.
- Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu: The credits roll in a black background as the whole school panics in the background as a result of Sousuke's clothes-eating biological weapon. After the credits there is a final shot of Sousuke trying to call in an evac when he is cornered by a mob of vengeful students.
- Bonus points in the English dub which includes a Hilarious Outtakes. See the page for details.
- Kamichama Karin gives us as the ending credits for the last episode a Montage of the characters going through a day while Karin waits for Kazune to return. He comes back in The Stinger.
- Code Geass have special credits in the last episode. They have the same music but the images shown are different.
- GaoGaiGar and its sequel King of Braves GaoGaiGar FINAL have special credits, the original having the main cast bidding Mamoru and Galeon farewell and FINAL showing the secondary characters recovering from the effects of the final episodes, rebuilding Earth and paying tribute to the missing Gutsy Galaxy Guard. While the original series plays the normal version of "Someday, In The Sea Of Stars", FINAL dumps its usual end theme, "Leon Renne" in favor of a cast-based version of "Someday, In The Sea Of Stars".
- Angel Beats! usually ends with a montage of the camera initially being zoomed in on Yuri, and the camera zooms out as the other character start to appear. When the camera is fully zoomed out, the entire episode cast is completely shown. But for the finale, the credits start with a fully zoomed out, full cast shot of the series, but the camera start to zoom in with the character slowly fading away signaling that they moved up from the afterlife, and the final shot is the camera completely zoomed in, but all the characters have faded away.
- Sonic X does this with both the last and next-to-last episodes, at least in the original version. The next-to-last has Tails and Cosmo talking to each other one last time while standing in a bright, white void. The last episode ends with a still image of a plant pot with a tiny seedling growing in it, presumably the white seed that Cosmo left behind.
- Both seasons of Haiyore! Nyarko-san do this; of important note, each features a cute Ship Tease scenes between Mahiro and Nyarko that shows the progress in their relationship. In the first season closer Nyarko says "I love you" without being zany and goes in for a kiss, while in the second Mahiro willingly eats her food and admits it's good, prompting an overjoyed reaction.
- Gungrave has a sequence of the series' character portraits calling out for one of the two plot-driving characters killed at the end of the series. The portraits choices of which of the two they call out to in their memory as well as how they say the character's names briefly says a fair bit about their relationship.
- The Asterisk War's season 1 end credits originally had a mirrored shot of two Julises turning to each other, reaching out, and passing through each other. Later, this was changed to show the two Julises pressing their hands together. In the first season finale, it shows the two Julises clasping hands, breaking their symmetry, and then touching their heads together and looking into each other's eyes.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable ends with a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue (that didn't exist in the original manga), which is set to a Triumphant Reprise of the theme song "Great Days" performed by all of the artists who've performed JoJo theme songs up to that point.
- Transformers Cybertron has the usual stock footage replaced with a Where Are They Now Montage.
- Pretty Cure:
- Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash★Star had moments from the series play over "Ganbalance De Dance". Partway through the chorus, Saki narrates and thanks the viewer for watching the series over the years and promises that the characters will meet again someday.
- Pretty Cure All Stars DX3 showed notable scenes from all the previous Pretty Cure series over the end credits.
- Smile Pretty Cure! ends with "Mankai Smile!" playing over a montage of clips from that season as the Cure Happy CGI model danced alongside them.
- The last episode of Jewelpet: Magical Change has moments from the series play over the characters performing a cover of X21's "Magical Kiss", the show's closing thme.
- The penultimate episode of Idol Time PriPara had one of these set to "Rainbow Melody" over clips from the entire series.
- GO-GO Tamagotchi! has one of these at the end of the last episode set to the show's opening theme (which also shares the same name as the show) set to clips from all of the Tamagotchi anime series. As soon as the second chorus starts, Mametchi thanks the viewers for watching as he and the protagonists stand in front of Tamagotchi School.
- Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: The final episode of the first anime season has pretty much the entire cast get dragged into a giant stampede that follows Shirogane and Kaguya until they're all standing in a circle as the pair reaffirm their goal to make the other confess. The second season instead has Fujiwara's balloon-popping game blow up the entire school, causing the various cast members to fly by the screen (long enough for their actors to get credited) before it ends on Shirogane helping Kaguya to her feet in the ruins of the "destroyed" school. Both scenes can be presumed to be purely metaphorical, as they would otherwise create plot holes.
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, the final movie in the trilogy, used production sketches as a backdrop for the credits, including character sketches for the main actors.
- At the end of Breaking Dawn Part 2, picture credits were shown for every character from all five films.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- Iron Man 3 uses montage from all 3 films in its series.
- Avengers: Endgame tops that beyond all compare. As the Grand Finale to the eleven-year and twenty-two-movie long Myth Arc, the cast roll call shows up to a whopping fifty-four names on-screen, with the original six Avengers saved for last, each with their figures shown onscreen with clips behind them and the actors' signatures, akin to Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. 39 of the first 48 are individually named with an accompanying clip from their appearances in past movies, usually their first appearance.
- Game Shows: When game shows were the essence of daytime programming, when a series finale aired, often the full credits roll would follow. This was frequently an extended version of the "full credits" that would be seen once or twice a week (often, the Friday show), to ensure everyone who was associated with the show was recognized and to play out the entire theme.
- Extended, finale-style credits were famously seen on the would-be finale of the August 1, 1980, episode of the NBC Wheel of Fortune. NBC had given the ax to Wheel in early July 1980, likely to make way for the new soap opera "Texas." However, the cancellation order is quickly overturned and two 90-minute programs on the schedule The David Letterman Show and Another World are cut by 30 minutes each instead.
- Lost: At the end of season 5, the end title screen went white (instead of the usual black.)
- Cheers: Episodes of Cheers always ended with a still of the bar while yellow-colored credits popped up, accompanied by a whimsical, peppy clarinet closing theme. However, for series finale "One for the Road", white credits played over a solid black background, with a melancholy, Lonely Piano Piece version of the closing theme.
- Jeeves and Wooster: The credits roll over footage of Bertie and Jeeves being chased in circles around the church by angry wedding attendees. As the last credit comes up, the image freeze-frames on the two racing through the front gate before fading over to the animated band from the opening sequence, which bounces/dissolves into the white background as the final notes of the theme song play which is followed by a special black Carnival Films and Granada end board. On the 2011 UK restored DVD however, the freeze-frame was cut and instead in its place, we slowly zoom into the angry wedding attendees chasing Bertie and Jeeves before fading over to the animated band from the opening sequence, which bounces/dissolves into the white background as the final notes of the theme song play.
- With the Kamen Rider franchise, most of the Heisei series will have the final episode skip the opening theme, then play it at the end of the episode over ending credits, which is noteworthy because these shows almost never have end credits in the first place (exceptions being Kuuga and the first half of Hibiki). Specific examples:
- Kamen Rider BLACK RX: Footage of the previous Showa Riders were edited into the final closing credits.
- Kamen Rider Kuuga: After saying goodbye to some kids he just met, Yusuke walks down a beach and the credits are cued over that with the second verse of the ending theme playing.
- Kamen Rider Den-O: The actual closing credits are cued up over Ryotaro on his bike riding next to the DenLiner with everyone saying goodbye whilst "Climax Jump" plays in the background.
- Kamen Rider Kiva: Wataru's son from the future bursts into the church where everyone was and declare that villains named "Neo Fangire" have appeared. Everyone then does a final henshin and the show ends with everyone doing a Rider Kick to the screen.
- Kamen Rider Decade: The exception among the Heisei shows; it ends not with credits as with the preceding series (or special ending sequences and whatnot) but rather on a completely abrupt cliffhanger note with the same (lack of) closing sequence as all preceding episodes. This is because the finale is a theatrical release.
- Kamen Rider Double: Shotaro and Philip transform into Double for the first time in a year and fight one last Dopant, ending with them delivering their Catch Phrase: "Now, count up your crimes!"
- Kamen Rider Gaim: The main plot actually wrapped up in the penultimate episode, while the final episode is a postscript several months set several months later. The credits show the sacred tree has been replanted in its original location, Mai says farewell to Kaito's spirit as he moves on to the afterlife, then she and Kouta return to "Planet Helheim" — which has gone from inhospitable to blue and fertile during the Time Skip.
- Super Sentai examples (all of them are Heisei series):
- Choujin Sentai Jetman: The credits are cued over the scenes of the Jetman's previous battles.
- Kyoryu Sentai Zyuranger: The credits are cued over the Zyurangers leaving for Heaven to meet their dinosaur spirits with the second verse of the opening theme playing. As they fly over Tokyo, footage of each of the rangers is seen. The children they gave the dinosaur eggs to wave goodbye to them. The Zyurangers then arrive at Heaven, the picture turns into an illustration, and the book from the opening credits shuts.
- Gosei Sentai Dairanger: The credits are cued over the Dairanger (who are now grandparents) remembering their adventures over the series whilst their grandkids, whom have inherited their powers, beat up a monster with the DaiRenOh with the opening theme playing rather than the usual ending theme.
- Ninpuu Sentai Hurricaneger: The opening song are played over the Hurricanger and Goraigers getting their diploma scroll from Mugensai easily, showing their amazing progress over the series while at the same time showing them getting on with their lives and jobs and also a scene with the Shurikenger's previous hosts showing up at the restaurant where the five are eating and the cook yelling "STOP!" at them showing that he may be Shurikenger.
- Bakuryuu Sentai Abaranger: The credits are cued over the three remaining Abaranger and their friends having a reunion and eating at the Dino Snack.
- Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger: The opening theme plays over the credits cued over Tetsu announcing his permanent assignment to SPD's Earth division (he has a silver badge) and the other Dekarangers getting on with their lives/job. Includes Ban, who is now a member of the SPD Fire Squad, an all-red ranger squad. After the credits, it shows the first case of Super Sentai Passing the Torch. Dekared is show meeting and shaking hands with Magired, the red ranger of Mahou Sentai Magiranger.
- GoGo Sentai Boukenger: The credits are cued over Boukenred leaving for outer space, with Boukenpink stowing away. Meanwhile, the remaining Boukengers continue to defend Earth against Shizuka. At the very end as Boukenred's ship flies away from Earth, the words "Bouken Dreams On" appear behind the vessel (a reference to the regular closing credits where the words "Bouken Dreams" would appear in front of the Boukengers).
- Juken Sentai Gekiranger: The credits are cued over Gekired leaving to go on a trip and scenes of the other rangers' battles in the series.
- Engine Sentai Go-onger played a special rendition of the ending theme entitled "Engine Winning Lap" over the usual (later) ending credits.
- Samurai Sentai Shinkenger. There's no ending song, and the credit is played as one by one the vassals say goodbye to Takeru, and ends with Takeru looking outside the Shiba house, and the narrator said his Catch Phrase: "This brings the chapter to a close."
- Tensou Sentai Goseiger: The credits are cued over the Goseigers going their separate ways.
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger: The opening theme is played rather than the usual ending theme. The credits are cued over the Gokaiger aboard their vessel as it leaves Earth, whilst Capt. Marvelous returns the Ranger Keys to their original owners (and thus we see cameos from numerous Sentai alumni).
- Star Trek: Discovery: The Season 1 finale features an arrangement of the classic theme music from the original series over the credits instead of its own. Of course, it also makes sense in context: the episode ends with the USS Discovery receiving a distress call from the USS Enterprise.
- Star Trek: Picard: The end credits for the Season 1 finale features a blue nebula instead of a plain black background. The music is arranged differently with a faster tempo and a more upbeat tone, with the over-all effect being that the crew of La Sirena is warping to a glorious new adventure.
- Blackadder Goes Forth had a Tear Jerker Drama Bomb Finale which faded to a shot of the poppy fields at the Somme.
- The final episode of Friends played an instrumental of the opening theme over shots of New York where the credits were cued up. Normally we would have a last gag over the credits.
- In Doctor Who, the final episode of Tom Baker's final season had his face masked over.
- The final episode of Matt Smith's first season featured the credits being cued over the opening titles (with the credits and logo removed) as the episode ended with the TARDIS flying through the time vortex.
- All the way back in season 2 of the classic series (1965), the end credits for the last episode featured, successively, artistically posterized faces of William Hartnell, Maureen O'Brien, and Peter Purves against a starfield just before the credits rolled.
- The Babylon 5 series Finale forgoes opening credits, sticking finale specific Through-the-Years Credits in the end, complete with pictures of the production and filming crew available in an announced Freeze-Frame Bonus, and claiming you have just finished watching a documentary.
"And now, for those of you that have been archiving this ISN Special Documentary, the people responsible... Funding for this program was made possible by grants from the Anla'shok Memorial Fund."
- The final episode of Everybody Loves Raymond, instead of a plate of food at the Where's Lunch section of the credits, a bill appears on the plate that reads, "No Charge, Thanks."
- Coal House At War ended with a montage of scenes that had happened during the series accompanied to a 1940s song rather than the usual closing theme.
- The season 1 finale of M.I. High had the picture freeze after Daisy's last line and fade to black over the credits, rather than giving one last gag.
- The season 5 finale has the credits playing over the green background from the show's title as opposed to playing over the last scene, as well as playing a heroic-sounding piece of music as opposed to the usual music.
- Ashes to Ashes (2008) had shown clips of the characters with their names and the actors who played them before cutting to the usual green on black credits. This was then followed by a clip of Dixon of Dock Green saying goodbye and the words "The End" showing up before cutting to the end board.
- In the series finale of The Young Ones, the manic, ska-style Ending Theme was replaced with a slower, sax-heavy '50s-style piece as the credits listed, in alphabetical order, every single person who had appeared on or contributed to the show in any way throughout its run. Considering the way the show ended (the lads, their landlord, and SPG the hamster all die), the effect is, strangely, rather wistful and heartfelt.
- To honor Farscape's passing, the 4th season finale had absolutely no music during the credits. The only sound is the deep swoosh of Moya as she glides past the camera. The show got brought back as a miniseries, although the projected storyline was badly truncated.
- In the BBC's adaptation of The Chronicles of Narnia adventure Prince Caspian, the last episode uses the credits background from the following adventure The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as the end of that episode led directly into the beginning of the following adventure with Lucy, Edmund and Eustace being whisked off to Narnia through the picture.
- The Shield had a montage of scenes from all seven seasons intercut with its credits.
- The final episode of St. Elsewhere ended with the closing credits running under a Logo Gag of MTM Productions, showing a bedridden, dying cat hooked up to medical equipment. And once the credits are done, you hear the steady beep of the Flatline.
- The UK Challenge version of Takeshi's Castle ends the final episode with one of these, with Craig Charles speaking in a more poignant tone in contrast to his usual upbeat narration from the rest of the series, as the eponymous castle catches fire and burns down.
- The credits of the Miami Vice finale "Freefall" feature the song "Tell Me" by Terry Kath instead of the Miami Vice theme, and use clips of previous episodes instead of the usual stock footage of Miami.
- In the last episode of The Terror, a reprise of "The Silver Swan", which was sung after the death of a character earlier in the series, plays with the credits.
- A Silent Credits is used for the series finale of The Man in the High Castle.
- The sixth episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (which was intended at the time to be the final episode) ends with Louis Armstrong singing "What a Wonderful World" instead of the usual end-credit music. The same thing was done on the sixth episode of the TV version (which actually was the final episode).
- Final Fantasy Tactics Advance Radio Edition's finale credits uses the song "Fulfilled Dream Segment" instead of "A Place We Should Return To".
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: A remade version of the main theme plays over the final credits.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated: Instead of the usual closing theme song and the credit background (the Mystery Incorporated symbol), it is replaced by the same familiar light green and dark green color along with the familiar orange flowers of the mystery machine van background and the opening theme to end the series.
- Ed, Edd n Eddy: The end credits sequence for The Movie starts with Edd placing a label on the blank screen reading "The End". After that, over the credits sequence, the kids sing "Friends are There to Help You". After The Stinger, the AKA Cartoon logo is shown — with a watermelon in the background.
- Gravity Falls: Some Wham Episodes would have ambient music over some environment related to the episode instead of the usual Stinger (for example, "Not What He Seems" has the sounds of creaking hinges and crashing tides as both Stans sit on a swing set as children). More in line with this trope is the Grand Finale, "Weirdmageddon Part 3: Take Back The Falls", where the end credits take the form of Mabel's scrapbook.
- Codename: Kids Next Door: The credits from the Grand Finale "Operation I.N.T.E.R.V.I.E.W.S" show a quick montage of every episode from beginning to end and end with a picture of Sector V looking at the sunset outside the treehouse with two words above them, "Stay Young".
- OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes has the credits play over footage of the cleared-out section of the animation floor where the show was produced. The lights are off and the camera is pointed at the exit, with the only sounds being an air conditioner and the faint laughter from the show's wrap party taking place down the hall.
- Subverted in the finale of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Fans were expecting either a special ending theme tune or Silent Credits for a moment of silence to say goodbye. Nope. Instead they continued their Overly Long Gag by suddenly playing the rockin instrumental version of the theme song. At least it was enough to trigger Tears of Joy from the fandom.
- Played straight at the end of the final episode of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts in the form of a last episode theme reprise complete with lyrics!
This life is full of wonder
Hold on to me
Hey, hey, hey, whoo!
New age, let's go discover
This life is full of wonder
Hold on to me