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Fully Absorbed Finale

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When a show ends without a Grand Finale — likely if it was cancelled without enough warning to the producers to film a proper ending — the producers may instead wrap up any loose ends in an episode of another show set in the same Verse.

Conceptually, this is the Counter Trope of a Poorly Disguised Pilot. The Poorly-Disguised Pilot is effectively the first episode of a show on a different show; the Fully Absorbed Finale is effectively the last episode of a show on a different show. Like the Poorly-Disguised Pilot, the main characters from the "absorbing" show may take a back seat in the episode, with the focus on the characters from the "absorbed" finale.

If the ended show was launched with a Poorly-Disguised Pilot on one show, the Fully Absorbed Finale will usually be an episode of the same show (assuming, of course, that the parent show is still in production).

Alternatively, things might get wrapped up in The Movie.

Sister Trope to Crossover Finale, where the final Story Arc of a work also happens to tie-in to a larger crossover event within a Shared Universe. Basically, if the grand finale of The Alice and Bob Show is an episode of The Adventures of Carol and Dave, it's this trope. But if the final episodes of the former have characters from the latter show up, it's that trope.

As this is an ending of sorts, expect unmarked spoilers for the series having their finale abroad. Unmarked spoilers for the host series may also be present, especially if the shows were related prior to one of them being Cut Short.

As this is an Ending Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Much of the cast of the Danganronpa Hope's Peak saga ends up being involved in the appropriately named Grand Finale that is Danganronpa 3: The End of Hope's Peak High School.
  • Hiroya Oku created two manga series, both called Hen ("strange"). The original one ran from 1988 to 1992, and the second one ran from 1992 to 1997. The books had completely different casts, and the second book was much more popular than the first one. The last three volumes of the second book are widely despised because they brought back the cast of the first book and more than half of the stories revolved around characters that many readers didn't know or care about.
  • Akira Miyashita's early manga Ultimate Path Private High School was cancelled after two volumes, ending just as main character Masa and latest rival Tamasaburo were about to fight. In his next manga, Rage!! The Gokutora Family, the Ultimate Path Private High School characters show up, the titular school is destroyed, it's revealed that the fight between Masa and Tamasaburo was a draw, and they have another duel to settle the score once and for all. Masa wins, and while not as a result of the fight, Tamasaburo dies a few chapters later.
  • UQ Holder! is a sequel series to Negima!, but later on in the story it's revealed that the former and the latter take place in two different timelines. They do have a wrap-up of the original Negima timeline, where it's revealed that Hisame is Negi's crush and Eva eventually goes on to marry his father Nagi.
  • X1999 shows what happened to Subaru and Seishiro after the events of Tokyo Babylon.

    Audio Plays 
  • Big Finish Doctor Who:
    • The Companion Chronicles episodes "The Catalyst", "Empathy Games" and "The Time Vampire" end Leela's arc, which was set up in Gallifrey.
    • Gallifrey, in turn, concludes Ace's arc as a Time Lord Academy student, which was planned on TV during the Aborted Arc of the Cartmel Master Plan and explored further by Big Finish in the Lost Stories releases.

    Comic Books 
  • The final story arc of Beast's feature in Amazing Adventures concerned an old friend named Vera, who approached Hank with the revelation that she needed his help to save the world from some unspecified threat. The threat was never revealed in Amazing Adventures, and the story was eventually (hastily) concluded in an issue of The Incredible Hulk. That still left the subplots about his lab assistant at the Brand Corporation being an agent of the Secret Empire and a mysterious conversation he had with Patsy Walker, which Steve Englehart resolved years later as part of the ongoing Secret Empire story in Captain America and Patsy's becoming Hellcat in The Avengers.
  • The Avengers:
    • When his short run on The Avengers in the late 1980s was cut short, Walt Simonson revisited and resolved the main plot he had set up (the Black Celestial building a universe-destroying superweapon behind an impenetrable time bubble in the future and a plot to set him free masterminded by the Cross-Time Council of Kangs) in his subsequent run on Fantastic Four, which featured guest appearances from Iron Man and Thor, two Avengers he had been prohibited from using in the actual Avengers title. (Simonson later remarked that he had more latitude to use two Avengers in FF than he did in the actual Avengers comic book!)
    • Avengers Annual #10 serves as this for the abruptly cancelled Ms. Marvel. In short, Chris Claremont had written a Grand Finale for the comic, and it was halfway through artwork when Marvel pulled the plug, leaving it unreleased until 1992. So, Claremont just took over Avengers Annual 10 using the plot points concerning Rogue's attack on Carol Danvers from the cancelled issue and tying it into the then-ongoing Brotherhood of Evil Mutants/Days of Future Past storyline. Incidentally, the issue also serves as a Fully Absorbed Finale and a Take That! to the events of Avengers #200 (which infamously had Carol going to Limbo with a man who attempted to escape there though complicated means involving her, and the rest of the Avengers do nothing to help her throughout the story), finally allowing Carol (and Claremont!) to give a long-overdue What the Hell, Hero? over Carol's treatment both in-story and out-of-story.
  • The Michael Lane Azrael series was cancelled before the story could be resolved. Writer David Hine was allowed to finish out Azrael's story via a Bat Family Crossover that ran through Batman, Red Robin and Gotham City Sirens.
  • When the series Aztek: The Ultimate Man started publishing, co-writer Grant Morrison was also writing the series JLA (1997) and had Aztek join the Justice League. When his solo series was cancelled, Morrison wrapped up his storyline in the pages of JLA by having Aztek sacrifice himself in "World War III", the arc that concluded Morrison's run on the comic.
  • Captain Marvel #53 provided a wrap-up for the cancelled 1975 Inhumans series. Prior to this, the Inhumans feature in Amazing Adventures had also been cancelled before the plot could be resolved. This would eventually be concluded in the famous "Kree-Skrull War" storyline from Roy Thomas' Avengers run, with Black Bolt teaming up with the Avengers to free Attilan from Maximus the Mad.
  • When Darkstalkers was cancelled and thus couldn't continue its story to adapt the third (and second canon) game, its plot was instead incorporated into the story of Street Fighter vs. Darkstalkers. The Street Fighter side, meanwhile, had new material.
  • Champions (1975): After the book was cancelled, the narration told us to look for a resolution in the pages of the Avengers - which never came to pass. Instead, the Champions (a few of them, anyway) next appeared on the pages of Spectacular Spider-Man, where it was revealed that their final battle demoralized them and caused the team to dissolve. The lingering plot threats that the last issue left about Darkstar would be resolved in yet another book.
  • Doctor Strange, after his odd "Blue" period, had his book cancelled and then showed back up in the issues of The Incredible Hulk, where he decided to retire. This would not last, as he was soon brought back in the pages of Marvel Feature to form the Defenders.
  • Jack Kirby's original run on The Eternals was cancelled before the major plot point about the Celestials returning to pass judgement on mankind could reach its conclusion. This was eventually resolved in the "Eternals Saga" storyline from Roy Thomas' The Mighty Thor run, which saw the title character fight to save Earth from the Celestials.
  • Ghost Rider (Danny Ketch)'s original comic was cancelled at the 94th issue... which then went unpublished, as well. The 93th issue ended up becoming the de-facto final issue, but then Ghost Rider was brought back to life somehow in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #93 (an amusing coincidence, surely). This was not a true finale, as it did not explain any of the threads from the original, aside from implying that The Reveals there were lies by Mephisto or Blackheart, and leaving the truth up in the air for future writers. The actual final issue was finally published as the one-shot fittingly titled Ghost Rider: Finale, now of uncertain canonicity.
  • The storyline that concluded the original Iron Fist series was wrapped up in Marvel Team-Up after Iron Fist had been cancelled. Likewise, the 80s Heroes for Hire series ended on a Cliffhanger that was resolved in a Namor storyline years later.
  • Ka-Zar had this happen to him twice, one ongoing being wrapped up in the pages of X-Men, another being resolved on the pages of The Avengers.
  • The Mighty Crusaders mini-series served as this for the DCU versions of the Red Circle heroes before their rights reverted to Archie Comics.
  • The Mighty Valkyries partially salvages what would have been Jane Foster: Valkyrie #11 and #12, the last solicited issues of that series before its abrupt ending at #10 as a result of the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • Jack Kirby himself did this twice with the same story (albeit in a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo way). He intended to end his run on The Mighty Thor with Ragnarok, which would wipe the slate clean and allow a new pantheon to be introduced. When he jumped ship to DC, he created New Gods, which kicks off by showing an unknown pantheon of "old gods" perishing in a mysterious battle that leads to the creation of the New Gods. He also intended to have Orion and Darkseid battle one another and have the son vanquish his father, but when New Gods got prematurely canned, he wrote a book for another publisher called Pacific Comics under the condition that he'd have full creative control, Captain Victory and the Galactic Rangers, whose main character is clearly meant to be Orion's kid, and features a flashback and allusions to those events.
  • Dwayne McDuffie's final comic book, Milestone Forever, tied up most of the hanging plot threads from the Milestone Comics series Static, Hardware (1993), Icon and Blood Syndicate, each of which had been cancelled mid-storyline over fifteen years earlier, all while Dharma foresees a forthcoming disaster and looks into the futures of the various Dakotaverse heroes to try and figure out how to prevent the disaster. The most noticeable indications of finality include Holocaust dying from accidentally burning himself to death when he tried to use his powers to kill Wise Son, Curtis Metcalf retiring from being Hardware and relinquishing his ownership of the late Edwin Alva's company to finally be with his significant other Barraki Young and Virgil Hawkins being married to Freida Goren with two kids as well as his sister Sharon being a mother-to-be. It also provided an explanation for the characters' sudden appearances in the main DC Universe by establishing that Dharma saved the Milestone universe by merging it with the DC universe.
  • Namor's nineties ongoing series ended by telling readers to look for the rest of the story in the pages of the miniseries Atlantis Rising.
  • The New Universe got two of them. First was the mini-series The War, in which the US and Russia preparing to go to war using their own paranormal beings before being stopped by the mysterious Star Child. The second was a storyline in Quasar which lead to the multipart adventure Starblast.
  • Nick Fury Agent Of SHIELD's original ongoing introduced the mysterious villain Scorpio and ended (for a given value of ended - there were three more issues, but they only had reprints) with Nick Fury dead, assassinated by Bulls-eye (no relation to the Daredevil villain). Then, Avengers #72 came along and had the Avengers facing Scorpio and his new Zodiac team... only, Scorpio turned out to be an undercover Nick Fury, and the one who died was an LMD. Scorpio's identity was finally revealed as Nick's brother Jake.
  • Nova :
    • The first series ended with a group of the series regulars heading off into outer space; the story continued in Fantastic Four (then written by Marv Wolfman, creator and writer of Nova), and finally wrapped up in an issue of Rom: Spaceknight.
    • This happened again decades later. The 2008 volumes of Nova and Guardians of the Galaxy were cancelled due to low sales, so the creators were allowed to wrap up their stories in The Thanos Imperative.
  • The original Omega the Unknown series ended on a cliffhanger with the fates of most of the cast left unrevealed. The storyline was concluded in The Defenders.
  • The 90s revival of Peter Cannon, Thunderbolt was cancelled after only 12 issues, leaving some hanging plot threads. This led to Thunderbolt's final battle with his nemesis Andreas being depicted in an issue of Justice League Quarterly.
  • A few of the lingering threads from Gail Simone's Rose And Thorn reboot were tied up in Birds of Prey.
  • Scooby-Doo! Team-Up: In "Perils Before Swine", the Hooded Claw, the villain from The Perils of Penelope Pitstop, is finally unmasked and arrested for his several attempts to kill Penelope Pitstop and get her fortune.
  • Silver Surfer Volume 1 #18 (1970) ends with an angered Surfer swearing revenge on mankind. Future guest appearances and his later comics wouldn't touch upon the change of attitude. In 1999, a follow-up occurs in #4-6 of Webspinners: Tales of Spider-Man.
  • Marvel 2099
    • The cancellation of the Spider-Man 2099 comic left the identity of villain Thanatos unresolved until writer Peter David did The Reveal in the pages of Captain Marvel (Vol. 4). David stated that Thanatos' true identity had several possibilities, but he decided that the alternate reality Rick Jones concept fit best with the resolution in Captain Marvel (where the main Rick Jones is a major character).
    • The entire original run of 2099 titles was merged into a single book late into its lifetime, either due to low sales or because the original editor left. After that point, if you wanted to know what happened to Spidey, or the Hulk, or what Doom was going to do, you had to read the new series, 2099 Unlimited, a rather ironic title given how the writers were limited by the fact that all their stories had to be told in a single, cramped book.
  • Strange Tales: The Golem's feature ended on the ominous note of Big Bad Kaballa threatening to attack the Golem through his family, but the characters would disappear from the magazine with the next issue. The story would be picked up in the pages of Marvel Two-in-One #11, where The Thing fought the Golem, who had been separated from his supporting cast and thus susceptible to Kaballa's influence. Ultimately, the Golem's allies arrive just in time to give the Golem the strength to resist Kaballa, who vanishes to lick his wounds, and the Golem goes inert.
  • DC's Sun Devils team ended inconclusively, with the team now on the run from the Centauri after finally dealing with the threat of the Sauroids and their leader, Karvus Khun. On the pages of Superman, after a space misadventure with Lobo, Superman ran into the remaining Sun Devils, Rik Sunn as well as the daughter of Scylla. They were tracking the whereabouts of the still-alive Karvus Khun, now a Retired Monster and living with his grandson. Rik confronts Karvus and, enraged that his hated enemy did not recognize him after all these years, killed both Khun and himself. The Centauri were not mentioned.
  • Tangent: Superman's Reign serves as the conclusion to the Tangent Comics continuity (where the names of established DC Comics characters were recycled for new characters who had very little in common with their namesakes), consisting of a 12-issue maxiseries where the Superman of the Tangent universe has taken over Earth and killed or imprisoned most of the heroes who opposed him after defeating the Ultra-Humanite in a misguided effort to end the world's problems and proceeds to attempt conquest of the main DC Universe to end that world's problems on his terms as well, necessitating the Justice League and the surviving heroes of the Tangent universe teaming up to bring him down.
  • A storyline in Teen Titans ended on a cliffhanger with Kid Eternity being kidnapped by the Calculator. This was resolved sometime later in an issue of Batgirl, where the title character discovered that Eternity had been beaten to death by Calculator.
  • Transformers:
  • Warlock's storyline in Marvel Premiere had been cancelled in the middle of a cliffhanger - the Man-Beast, Warlock's arch-foe, was revealed as the president of the Counter-Earth version of the U.S. and Warlock vowed to stop him... The End! The story would later be revisited and concluded by Gerry Conway, via a suggestion from Roy Thomas (who reinvented Warlock in the first place, though he wasn't writing his story by the time of that cliffhanger), in the pages of The Incredible Hulk.
    • This also happened with the Warlock series from the 1970s. After Marvel cancelled it in the middle of an epic story arc involving Warlock killing himself so that he would not become the Magus, his future/past evil self and Thanos preparing to commit a cosmic genocide, Jim Starlin was invited to wrap up the story by writing and drawing the Marvel Two-in-One Annual and Avengers Annual.
  • After the 2010 Young Allies revival was cancelled, the team's story was finished up in the Onslaught Unleashed mini-series. A few of the surviving characters have since been brought over into other books such as Avengers Academy.

    Comic Strips 
  • John Darling ended very suddenly in 1991 with the title character's murder on panel, in an act of Torch the Franchise and Run during a heated battle against his syndicate over the strip. The murder was never solved in that strip and in fact, at the time, creator Tom Batiuk had not intended to ever solve it and had not originally planned who the killer was. In 1997, Batiuk returned to the storyline in Funky Winkerbean when Les wrote a book about the murder and through the writing process solved the mystery.
  • In one of the most surprising examples of this, the final arc of Little Orphan Annie ended somewhere between a Bolivian Army Ending and And the Adventure Continues with the main character getting kidnapped (as happened very often). Three years later, this was finally resolved in a crossover arc on Dick Tracy.

    Fan Works 
  • Chapter 17 of Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger (appropriately titled "Legends") ties up two storylines from the Star Wars Legends continuity.
    • The fate of Nariel Pridence, a Jedi Knight encountered in a side-quest of Star Wars: The Old Republic, is finally shown. In the game, she parts ways with the Smuggler after they help her obtain Darth Nihilus's holocron during "The Lightspring" mission. A flashback in the fanfic picks up shortly after that, where Nihilus's mask is revealed to have been stored inside his holocron. After saying goodbye to the Smuggler, Nariel flies her ship into the Unknown Regions to keep Nihilus's mask out of the Sith's hands. Mid-journey, Nihilus's spirit manifests from the mask and kills Nariel. Nariel's ship is later found and looted by smugglers.
    • "The Mask of Darth Nihilus" was a mini-adventure from The Unknown Regions supplement of Star Wars: Saga Edition. The mini-adventure featured a conflict on the planet Volik between the players, a pirate gang, and a Sith cult; all of whom are seeking to claim the eponymous mask. The fanfic depicts the outcome of this battle. Just as all three factions are about to shoot each other, Nihilus's ghost interrupts the stand-off and kills everyone present with the exception of the players (here represented as droids). Following this, the droids decide to get rid of the mask due to how how dangerous it is and dump the mask on Remnant.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Within the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Agent Carter, a spin-off starring Captain America's wartime sweetheart Peggy Carter, about her founding S.H.I.E.L.D. with Iron Man's father Howard Stark, received not one but three separate fully absorbed finales:
      • In Captain America: Civil War, it's revealed that Howard was assassinated in 1991, while Peggy dies of old age (and possibly Alzheimer's disease) in the present day. A week after the movie's release, it was revealed that Agent Carter would not be renewed for a third season. Given the lengthy and poignant funeral scene, one can't help but wonder if this was pre-planned.
      • In Avengers: Endgame, Steve takes the opportunity to live happily with Peggy in an Alternate Timeline (according to the script, he travelled to 1949 — four years after he got frozen, and two years after the events of Season 2 of Agent Carter) and passes the mantle of Captain America to Sam "Falcon" Wilson.
      • Season 7 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. also wraps up the story of Agent Sousa, Peggy's love interest post-Steve who was also theorized to be her husband in the original timeline. At some time in the decade following Agent Carter, he and Peggy ended their relationship, while she founded S.H.I.E.L.D. with Howard, and he transitioned from the head of the L.A. SSR branch to that of L.A. S.H.I.E.L.D. branch. Following this, he was assassinated by Hydra in 1955 after coming to suspect Hydra's infiltration, becoming the first S.H.I.E.L.D. agent to die in the line of duty. An Alternate Timeline version of him is saved from this fate and joins the time-traveling S.H.I.E.L.D. team, eventually forming a relationship with Daisy Johnson.
    • Also for Endgame, there wasn't an Iron Man film since 2013's Iron Man 3, although Tony Stark had continued to appear in a prominent role since. In Endgame, he marries Pepper, has a daughter, and dies in the climax of the movie.
    • Spider-Man: No Way Home acts as this for both the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Marc Webb Spider-Man duology by giving their respective Peter Parkers a much stronger narrative send-off.
      • Peter (Raimi Version) is revealed to be older and wiser, with it implied that he's sharpened his scientific skills in the interim and might still be with Mary Jane, given his comments to MCU Peter about challenges in relationships and getting past them. Otto Octavius discovers that his dream of creating a portable reactor with the power of the sun was realized... in the form of Stark's Arc Reactors, finally receives a cure for the faulty regulator in his mechanical arms, and has the chance to reunite with Peter from the Raimi-verse. Conversely, Norman Osborn is finally cured of his insanity caused during the 2002 film, and has a My God, What Have I Done? moment the last time he's seen. Although Sandman had already made a Heel–Face Turn by the end of the third film, here he is finally restored to his proper human form (after implied decades of physical deterioration) and can live a more or less normal life.
      • On the other side of the equation, Peter (Webb Version) gets his own personal redemption when he saves the life of the MCU Mary Jane (after having failed to save Gwen in his universe), manages to cure Dr. Connors for good with the serum he develops, cures Max and has a conversation with him about their respective histories, and aids in helping permanently cure Norman (something he never did in the ASM series with the Webb-version of Norman's son) by throwing the antidote to MCU Peter at a key moment.
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past is a quasi-example. Though it is part of the same film franchise, the movie serves to conclude the original X-Men trilogy (and send off its cast), while continuing the storylines and Timeshifted Actors established in X-Men: First Class. Although, Wolverine and Professor X got a proper finale in Logan.

  • Cthulhu Armageddon has an epilogue with The Future of Supervillainy. Said book has an unexpected crossover with John and Mercury where it is revealed that they sought a gateway to another world to take as many survivors from their world to another. It ends up being the Hollow Earth of Gary's world where they settle with the help of the locals.
  • In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, Gary Russell's Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Placebo Effect provided a finale to his Doctor Who comic strip from the Radio Times, which had been Cut Short.
  • In the year 2000, authors Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child released a novel called The Ice Limit. The novel ends with a Sequel Hook (which was expanded by a short epilogue on their website). The authors' other works would make (sometimes self-deprecating) references to a The Ice Limit sequel, but none was forthcoming. In 2011, Preston and Child started the Gideon Crew series of novels, which included a prominent character from The Ice Limit as Gideon's boss. Finally in 2016, Preston and Child released the fourth Gideon Crew book. Its name? Beyond The Ice Limit. One gets the distinct impression Preston and Child made an entirely new series just so they could make the sequel to their earlier story.
  • The four-volume Ringworld series by Larry Niven ends with the fate of its protagonists left open for a Sequel Hook. This is resolved in the conclusion of the five-volume Fleet of Worlds series that Niven co-wrote with Edward M. Lerner.
  • Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson gets somewhat of a resolution in Catalyst, in which it is revealed that Andy got off on the rape charges.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played with in 30 Rock, when Kenneth and Tracy reassemble some of the cast of Night Court and attempt to film a proper finale for the show. Hilarity Ensues.
  • American Horror Story: The Apocalypse episode "Return to Murder House" effectively serves as a Distant Finale to the original season. Not only is it used to show how Michael Langdon went from the demonic child seen at the end of Murder House to a fully realized antichrist on Apocalypse, but several plot lines from Murder House finally receive some proper resolution.
  • Arrowverse:
  • In the Childrens Hospital episode "Party Down", we get to see that for four of the main characters of Party Down it's still business as usual. Cast regulars Ken Marino and Megan Mullally briefly reprise their Party Down characters.
  • Several dangling plot threads from The Colbys were eventually answered in mothership series Dynasty (1981).
  • Ted Buckland from Scrubs appeared in the Cougar Town episode "Something Good Coming", where he revealed that after the events of the final season of Scrubs, his wife had left him for Dr. Hooch.
  • Curb Your Enthusiasm has one that's meta. Seinfeld had a rather odd ending, but one Larry insists is fine. In order to win back his wife, however, Larry kicks off a season-long plot to do a Reunion Special to act as a proper finale. The whole cast from Seinfeld makes guest appearances throughout the season as they cast and rehearse the finale, though we only ever get to see excerpts of it.
  • The Dallas reboot effectively did a variant of this for Knots Landing. While the latter series did have a Grand Finale, the show was still out of continuity with its parent series and had several lingering threads in the Reunion Show, Back to the Cul-de-Sac, that were never followed up on. The second season of Dallas resolved this in an arc that begins after J.R. Ewing's death, revealing that Val and Gary broke up sometime between the ending of the spin-off show and the episode he comes back on, Gary coming terms with said character's death and his association with Sue Ellen and the rest of the family, and Sue Ellen herself essentially getting Gary and Val back together as a way to atone for her actions.
  • Doctor Who:
  • Part 1 of the Grand Finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air also functioned as a Fully Absorbed Finale for The Jeffersons and Diff'rent Strokes, in which Arnold and Willis consider buying the Banks' mansion, but it ends up being bought by the Jeffersons (George, Weezy, and Florence all appear). The Jeffersons had never gotten a proper finale from CBS, so this in effect resolved the plot, with the Banks and the Jeffersons essentially swapping locales: The Jeffersons moved west to Bel-Air and the Banks family moved east to New York.
  • Full House was cancelled before the writers could make a proper finale, so the pilot of its Netflix Sequel Series, Fuller House was written as this and as a Reunion Show.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • The franchise has managed to take this trope and mashed it together with The Movie and created something called Movie Wars, in which it's the equivalent to the usual the "bring back last season's Power Rangers" episodes, with the added twist of having two stories, one for each starring rider featured. Usually the last season's Kamen Rider gets the finale part, while the current Kamen Rider gets more of a side story. The only Movie Wars to not pull the finale off was Kamen Rider Double's half of Movie Wars Core, though considering that they already had a Grand Finale, it made more sense to instead do an Origins Episode/Whole Episode Flashback for a Posthumous Character.
    • The Direct-To-DVD crossover miniseries Kamen Rider 4, released when Kamen Rider Drive aired on TV, does this for Kamen Rider 555. The finale for 555 itself was notorious for not offering any true resolution while leaving the fate of the main character Takumi be ambiguous. Kamen Rider 4 resolves some of these plot points and gives Takumi a proper sendoff. What makes this entry notable, is that Kamen Rider 4 acts as a Fully Absorbed Finale for a series that stopped airing 11 years before its release.
    • Kamen Rider Zi-O acted as this for quite a few Kamen Riders, most notably the early Heisei Riders from Agito to Kabuto. For the most part, it just catches the audience up on what a certain Kamen Rider is up to, but there are cases like Ryuki, Blade, and Hibiki where they conclude the series in a way that befits those shows. A special mention goes to Drive, where, while not having a dedicated arc, got a lot of focus in the endgame and shows what Gou is up to, as well as Decade, in which Tsukasa and Kaito play large roles in the show all the way up to the final arc. This is ultimately double subverted by the series finale where the Reset Button is pressed to rewind time back to the beginning of Zi-O, while implying these endings may not have been undone in the process.
  • Lopez Tonight played with this, presenting a "proper" finale for The George Lopez Show. It involved George waking up from a dream. It heavily implies that the entirety of The George Lopez Show was All Just a Dream in the mind of... Doug Heffernan from The King of Queens!
  • While Everybody Loves Raymond did get a proper finale, Ray would make one more appearance the following season on The King of Queens where an episode shows what he's still up to when he and Doug hang out and try to go to a nightclub, acting as an epilogue to the character.
  • The late '90s superhero series Night Man featured a sort-of epilogue to creator Glen A. Larson's short-lived 1983 series Manimal in Episode 206, where Johnny Domino/Night Man allies himself with Prof. Jonathan Chase. In the years since the events of Manimal, Chase married his former partner Brooke, who later died after giving birth to Chase's only daughter.
  • The Last Man Standing episode, "Dual Time" had Tim from Home Improvement show up for a Doppelgänger Crossover. He mentioned he'd ended his Tool Time show after eight seasons as he felt it had run its course (mirroring Home Improvement ) but he was promoted in the Binford tool company. Word of God said Tim and Jill were originally going to be divorced but that idea was shot down.
  • The Parkers considered making one to resolve Moesha finding a pregnancy test in her home and her brother getting kidnapped, but let's just say the Parkers had their own problems.
  • Power Rangers:
  • Psychoville was cancelled after two series, and the creators went on to devise the anthology series Inside No. 9. They initially considered, but ultimately resisted, the idea of using the setting of Psychoville for an episode in the first series, feeling that their new show had to stand by itself without leaning on their past work. Come the fifth series, they used the episode "Death Be Not Proud" as the effective Grand Finale for Psychoville.
  • In the second episode of Raising Hope, a TV newscaster can be heard in the background saying that a former small-time crook who made a list of his wrongdoings to atone for had finally finished. Although promised the details after the break, the plot moves on quickly past it.
    • Another episode has a cast reunion for My Name is Earl, with them playing their characters on Raising Hope, but with numerous references to Earl and the relationships their characters had therein.
    • And there's also the Earl J. Hickey Memorial Nursing Home, and the other various background references.
  • The final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise was intended to serve as a finale to the entire post-TOS continuity by producers Rick Berman and Brannon Braga, who had served as producers since Star Trek: The Next Generation, resulting in the show's events being reduced to a holodeck program run by Will Riker from TNG. Taking place during the events of one fairly unimportant TNG episode as Riker looked to his predecessors while deciding what to do, you got your basic TNG holodeck episode guest-starring the Enterprise crew that doesn't really tell a story about the Enterprise characters (and doesn't really make much sense anyway because the Enterprise scenario doesn't even have much at all in common with Riker's dilemma), and Trip Tucker gets a Dropped a Bridge on Him death to boot. It sure wasn't anything like the Grand Finale to the pre-reboot Trek Verse that Bermaga evidently thought they were making. The episode resulted in considerable amounts of backlash from the fans (and from the actors as well), who just wanted a solid finale to Enterprise itself.
    • Ultimately, it does end up a Poorly Disguised Pilot to Enterprise's Expanded Universe, which takes the ideas "These Are The Voyages" introduced, made it not suck, and combines it with the events known to have taken place between Ent. and TOS (particularly the Earth-Romulan War that fans had been hoping to see since before Enterprise was even announced). This storyline had its own combination of Poorly Disguised Pilot and Fully Absorbed Finale in the form of a Deep Space Nine novel in which Jake Sisko and Lieutenant Nog uncover evidence that the official record of Trip's death was a coverup of what really happened in the events of the Enterprise finale.
  • Not quite a Fully Absorbed Finale, but when ABC pulled Taxi off the air, Dick Ebersol gave the entire cast a send-off and curtain call on Saturday Night Live.
  • That's So Raven has one combined with a Crossover in The Suite Life of Zack & Cody episode "That's So Suite Life of Hannah Montana", which takes place sometime after the Raven episode "Checkin' Out", the canon last episode of the former's shownote , in which Raven plays a large part. She has a vision of Cody getting into trouble at Carey's party, which is the driving force behind the main plot, and is pivotal to the subplot, where, with Maddie's help, she ends up selling her dresses to London Tipton and Hannah Montana.
  • Dharma & Greg appear on the Two and a Half Men finale as potential buyers of the recently-deceased Charlie's house. Evidently they moved from San Francisco to Los Angeles, and based on their bickering, things aren't going very well for them (Although, given the number of D&G plots revolving around the couple role-playing in public for fun, this should be taken with a grain of salt).
  • The mystery of the Cut Short series Vanished was intended to be solved in the third series of Bones, but the WGA strike put an end to that plan.
  • Even though Hercules: The Legendary Journeys had its own finale where he makes peace with his arch-enemy Hera, the character's last canon appearance came a year later in the Xena: Warrior Princess episode "God-Fearing Child". Hercules and Hera team up to protect a pregnant Xena from the wrath of Zeus, due to the prophecy that her baby will bring about the Twilight of the Gods. Zeus kills Hera for her betrayal and Herc kills Zeus to save Xena and baby Eve.
  • The X-Files:
    • "Millennium" serves as a finale to Millennium (1996). To the credit of those who put together the DVD release of Millennium, that episode was included on the DVDs of the last season. This might be one of the best examples of this trope backfiring. Many fans of Millennium and its star Lance Henriksen were very unhappy with the result and the way it trivialized Millennium's Myth Arc.
    • "Jump the Shark" serves as a finale for The Lone Gunmen, which had been a spinoff of The X-Files. (Although the title characters from The Lone Gunmen appeared in other episodes of The X-Files after cancellation of The Lone Gunmen and before "Jump the Shark", only "Jump the Shark" tied up storylines from the canceled series.) This episode does appear on the DVDs for the one and only season of The Lone Gunmen.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • The International Wrestling Council World Heavyweight Title, the Grand Prix Championship Wrestling SUPER-X Monster Title, the Mexican National Heavyweight Title, and the Universal Wrestling Association World Light Heavyweight Title were unified by El Mesías to create the AAA Mega Championship belt.
  • When the WWWA and AGWA title belts were revived in 1970, they ended up under the ownership of All Japan Women's Pro-Wrestling, the former becoming the top titles of the promotion. Zenjo also attained the IWA(Canada) women's title.
  • Japan has been the final resting place of a few classic AWA title belts, especially in Pro Wrestling ZERO1 and its offshoots. Zero 1 ended up retiring the Women's belt following Sherri Martel's passing. It was last used in Honolulu when Hikaru took it, along with Saki Maemura's hair and replaced it with the Hawai'i Championship Wrestling Women's title.
  • ECW One Night Stand 2005 was originally this for Extreme Championship Wrestling. ECW had closed in 2001, with its assets purchased by WWE sometime after. The original concept of ONS was a one-time WWE-produced ECW reunion show, which made it an example of this trope until ECW was resurrected on a full-time basis the next year.
  • When Lucha Libre Internacional went out of business in 1995, its title belts were divided among AAA, Michinoku Pro Wrestling and several smaller independent companies based in Mexico, Japan, and Puerto Rico with four UWA sanctioned belts coming under the personal ownership of Zuleyma, Gran Hamada, Loco Valentino, and El Canek.
  • National Wrestling Alliance:
    • The NWA New Zealand Heavyweight Title originally did not have NWA in its name, as it was in use before the Alliance came to be in 1948 and is one of the oldest title belts in the world, being first established in 1919.
    • In 1989, since it left the NWA, All Japan Pro Wrestling hosted what was essentially the finale for the NWA International, NWA United National, and Pacific Wrestling Federation Heavyweight titles when the holder of the first, Jumbo Tsuruta, defeated the holder of the other two, Stan Hansen. Following this, a new belt was created to represent all three, The Unified Triple Crown Heavyweight Title!
  • Rick Michaels, the final NWA Georgia Heavyweight Champion, reused the belt to represent the NWA Wildside Heavyweight Champion, the promotion itself being a merger of National Championship Wrestling and NWA Georgia. Also, Wildside had served as one of WCW's functional farm leagues and thus helped a few wrestlers working there continue to get some exposure after WCW's shutdown, most notably AJ Styles.
  • Defied when Yoshihiro Tajiri's SMASH was set to close down and Divas Champion Kana wanted to hop on a plane with the title belt before it happened. Syuri vowed to defeat her to ensure the belt went down with the rest of the promotion.
  • After the WWE purchased WCW and WCW Monday Nitro had been cancelled, WWE dedicated the last 10 minutes of an episode of Monday Night Raw to effectively be a finale for Nitro. The house banners and decorations were changed, and WCW personalities Scott Hudson and Arn Anderson took over the commentators' desk. The segment featured a match between Buff Bagwell and Booker T. The match was deemed so boring and uninteresting by the WWE's fans, that WWE's planned Myth Arc for the "Invasion" storyline became radically altered, and the WCW branding would all but disappear shortly thereafter.


    Video Games 
  • Darkstalkers:
    • Even though no true Darkstalkers sequel has been made since the release of Vampire Savior/Darkstalkers 3 in 1997, Marvel vs. Capcom: Clash of Super Heroes follows up on Morrigan's ending in Vampire Savior by revealing that she and her "sister" Lilith have merged into one.
    • Other games, such as Cross Edge and Marvel vs. Capcom 3, seem to affirm other plot points from Vampire Savior. Two of the more notable ones are Felicia becoming a nun like her foster mother and starting an orphanage (although Cross Edge notes that she still operates as a singer to help support said orphanage and her ending in MvC3 has Felicia singing together with Dazzler in a concert) and Morrigan finally accepting her responsibilities and becoming the Queen of Makai.
    • Project × Zone would later have Morrigan claim that she cares not for the internal politics and power struggles of Makai, leaving the task of defeating Jedah to Demitri (and Dante). Though the plot of Project × Zone is a direct sequel in some ways to Namco × Capcom, it's unknown how interconnected the continuity of Capcom's crossovers are. This may also count as some plotline closure for Demitri, the original intended protagonist of the series until Morrigan stole his show, who actually does have ambition to rule Makai; he never faces Jedah in his Vampire Savior story (Morrigan is instead his Final Boss, but Demitri does serve as the last opponent in Jedah's route) and a drama CD for the third game implies that Jedah killed him.
  • Ensemble Girls! Memories gives one to Ensemble Stars!; or more specifically, the protagonist of the latter. She finally gets to reconcile with her former schoolmates, continue her path as a producer, and makes her peace with her brother, Girls!'s protagonist. We also learn that Mika Kagehira of the latter and Suzu Kuromori of the former were siblings separated at birth, and are happy to reunite once the discovery is made.
  • The "Epistle 3" plot summary for what would have been Half Life 2: Episode 3 covers Gordon and Alyx's journey to find the Borealis, the discovery of its time-warping nature, and their attempt to weaponise it against the Combine. Most importantly, it ended with Alyx being brought under the employ of the G-Man, and Gordon being let go and placed in an unknown time in the future. Half-Life: Alyx adapts the "Alyx is hired and Gordon is abandoned" portion of the original finale plan, but significantly alters the circumstances of it.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky: By the time SC concludes, every Enforcer's subplot has been resolved, save for Renne. While Estelle's acts of kindness have clearly struck a chord, her indoctrination still leaves her confused and unsure of her feelings, leaving her to run off. The last scene of the game has Estelle and Joshua set out to find her as a Sequel Hook. In The 3rd, they end up reuniting in a dream world (long story) with an optional scene found in the resident Bonus Dungeon providing a crucial chunk of backstory. While the game functions as a finale for the rest of the Sky cast, Renne's story remains unresolved as the nature of Phantasma means that its inhabitants will return to their places in the physical world, while Renne refuses to tell them where she is. It's only in the Crossbell Arc that the duo manage to catch up with her during the new cast's own storyline. Fortunately, her character arc is resolved on a happy note.
  • The Longest Journey was supposed to have been continued and concluded by a sequel titled The Longest Journey Home, however, for numerous reasons, TLJH has been canceled before it even got into pre-production. Instead, April's character arc and the whole War of the Balance storyline were concluded in the final episode of Dreamfall Chapters—a sequel to a spin-off of the original TLJ.
  • The Japanese video game Moonlight Syndrome, part of the Twilight Syndrome series, which was written by Suda51, ends with a cliffhanger. The resolution is found in the first case of the first game series Suda 51 wrote after he formed his own company, The Silver Case, in which two of the three survivors from Moonlight Syndrome are unceremoniously shot and killed.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic contains two Flashpoints that conclude the storylines of both protagonists of the Knights of the Old Republic series: Revan is saved from the stasis where he was kept by the Sith Emperor for 300 years in a Republic Flashpoint; Meetra "Exile" Surik, who has been dead since the fight with the Emperor, finally becomes one with the Force in the same Flashpoint; then an Imperial Flashpoint invades Revan's secret new anti-Sith droid factory and kills him. The Bounty Hunter storyline also concludes Canderous Ordo's arc: his attempts at reforming the Mandalorians as Mandalore the Preserver ultimately fails as the Mandalorians end up aligning with the Sith once again and the rebellion attempting to honor Canderous' ideals is unceremoniously crushed. Revan and Meetra's storyline would then be given a final conclusion in the Echoes of Oblivion Expansion Pack with the death of the Sith Emperor, making this a double example.
  • Street Fighter: Ryu's Super Mode in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, the Hado Kakusei, shows that he eventually overcomes the Satsui no Hadou (which was originally affirmed in Street Fighter Alpha 3, but then resurfaced in Street Fighter IV), or at least masters the Power of Nothingness that his master Gouken uses (which was introduced in SFIV and its corresponding OVA). Street Fighter V would then depict Ryu undergoing special training to rid himself of the Satsui no Hadou, seemingly for good.
  • The Wonderful 101 has a side character in the form of Silvianne Lumière, known as Wonder-Cheerleader. Astute viewers might think she looks like an older version of Silvia from Viewtiful Joe, a previous Hideki Kamiya work. It's not just a reference: Not only does a Game Over screen have Wonder-Pink call Silvia, and reference Joe, Word of God has, apparently, outright stated that Wonder-Cheerleader and Sexy Silvia are indeed the same person. Meaning, no matter what happens in a theoretical Viewtiful Joe 3, Joe and Silvia will make it out of the events alive and well, they'll still be together, and she'll eventually take her superhero experience to the real world as part of the Wonderful 100.

    Web Original 
  • The Nostalgia Critic:
    • While the Critic's series did have its own thematic finale, To Boldly Flee was where the Nostalgia Critic's story truly ended as he absorbed the Plot Hole and became one with the universe.
    • Ironically, it happened again, the other way around when the special announcing the return of the Critic served as the apparent conclusion of Demo Reel. Demo Reel actually had wrapped up its own plot, the point of the special is explicitly to lampshade what an Ass Pull the connection is to justify ending the one show and bringing back the other.

    Western Animation 
  • Link and Zelda guest-starred in several episodes of Captain N: The Game Master after the cancellation of their own series. One of these episodes, "Potion of Power", resolves two unresolved Series Goals from the original series, a resurrected Ganon is defeated for good and Link finally gets the kiss from Zelda he was after for the entire original series.
  • Challenge of the GoBots managed to receive two indirect versions through online Transformers media by Fun Publications.
    • The text stories exclusively posted on the Transformers Club website featured an arc where a large instability in the fabric of reality caused the Gobots universe to start slowly fading away. The Gobots discover that this is happening because an unexpected splinter Transformers timeline has been created, offsetting the balance of the multiverse. The story then involves the Gobots traveling to that splinter timeline (the Transformers: Classics universe) to find a way to stop this Cataclysm before it destroys their universe or any others. The arc was eventually wrapped up in the story "Spatiotemporal Challengers Part 4: Last Sunset", where the Guardian known as Small Foot and the energy being Solarbot sacrificed themselves to prevent the destruction of the Gobots universe and the Guardians and Renegades went back to business as usual while forgetting that Small Foot ever existed.
    • The Facebook page Ask Vector Prime had a guest column that ran from October 13-21, 2015 called Renegade Rhetoric, where the Renegades' leader Cy-Kill had found his way into the Transformers: TransTech homeworld of Axiom Nexus and made posts where he described the events of a hypothetical second season of Challenge of the GoBots before being forced to retreat back to his home universe with several new Renegade recruits. Renegade Rhetoric then continued as its own separate Facebook page on November 2, 2015, with the final posts (save for a series of posts about the exploits of the Generation 2 Transformers Go-Bots and a final farewell from Cy-Kill posted at the beginning of 2017) being a two-part story titled "Combiner Wars", which had the humans, the Guardians and the benevolent Rock Lords form a peace treaty between their respective home planets Earth, Gobotron and Quartex and a calamitous battle involving Renegade combiners Nemesis, Puzzler and Monsterous resulting in the Renegades and the evil Rock Lords soundly defeated while their respective leaders Cy-Kill and Magmar were forced to lie in wait until their next chance at battling the Guardians and the good Rock Lords.
  • A few years after its cancellation, Evil Con Carne got a finale on its sister show, The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, in the episode "Company Halt".
  • How about a show that got two of these outside finales? Green Lantern: The Animated Series lasted one season on Cartoon Network before it met the same fate as the channel's other contemporary and subsequent superhero action shows— being canceled after frequent rescheduling and no advertising.
    • The next big DC Comics animated adaptation, Justice League Action, probably knowing they were heading in the same direction, had Lantern co-producer Jim Krieg write one of their later episodes, "Barehanded", featuring that show's version of Green Lantern Hal Jordan hitching a ride with Space Cabbie to find his lost power ring. The last scene strongly implied that the cab's hypercompetent navigational app was actually Aya, Hal's hypercompetent navigational computer A.I., having lost her memory after destroying herself with a computer virus at the end of GLTAS. The episode ends with her remarking that Hal seemed familiar to her, and leaving the cab because she felt inspired by him to search for someone. Both Hal and Aya kept their voice actors from GLTAS.
    • Later, Young Justice, which was originally canceled right alongside GLTAS (the two shows aired back to back on Cartoon Network, and aired their finales the same day), was Un-Canceled for a third and fourth season. The fourth season saw Jim Krieg and co-producer Giancarlo Volpe write another late-season episode, featuring Razer and Kilowog, Hal's and Aya's co-stars. Razer and Kilowog are fundamentally unchanged from GLTAS, with Razer using the time to pay off the big Sequel Hook he left back in his home series, before returning to his search for Aya. As before, the roles of Razer and Kilowog were reprised by the same actors who played them before. With any the luck, the next DC cartoon will sneak in an episode where they finally find each other!
  • Justice League:
    • The series concludes various plot threads from Superman: The Animated Series. The second season's opening two-parter brings back Darkseid, continuing the grudge between him and Superman and the New Gods storyline, and the third season's Cadmus arc resolves plot threads that were left hanging; specifically the fallout from "Legacy", which results in Superman having to earn back the trust of the public while dealing with the machinations of an increasingly paranoid government. "Destroyer" is the Grand Finale, since it effectively closes the book on Superman's longstanding conflict with Lex Luthor and Darkseid, giving both characters an epic sendoff.
    • The third season finale, "Epilogue", functions as a finale for Batman Beyond. It was also essentially the Distant Finale for the entire DC Animated Universe, so the Batman Beyond setting might have doubled as a convenient setting for a distant finale.
  • The Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures episode, "Heroes and Zeroes" is a "guest star" story revealing that The Mighty Heroesconsisting of  had retired from super-heroics many years beforehow long?  because they "got tired of life in the fast lane" and started the chartered accounting firm of Man, Man, Man, Man and Man. Mighty Mouse convinces them to come out of retirement and stop one last villain.
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes:
    • The episode "A Hero's Fate" serves as a finale for RPG World, a webcomic that creator Ian Jones-Quartey made as a teenager and had abandoned due to decreasing interest. The episode has K.O. befriend the comic's main character, Hero, who had spent so much time solo Level Grinding for his final confrontation with Galgarion, that he's neglected everything else in his life. After the duo attempt and fail to beat Galgarion, who had also been leveling up due to being stuck in the boss room and having nothing better to do, K.O. tells Hero that there's more to life than just constantly training and leaves. Hero and Galgarion proceed to talk and, realizing that they've both forgotten why they're even fighting to begin with, decide to take a break from their conflict, with Hero going back home to reconnect with his friends and have a daughter with Cherry.
    • A later crossover episode with Captain Planet and the Planeteers establishes that the Planeteers eventually split up due to constant squabbling and all but Kwame have left to "get real jobs" while Dr. Blight is still trying to destroy the planet with pollution.
  • The Scooby-Doo Direct-to-DVD movie Scooby-Doo! and the Curse of the 13th Ghost serves as a belated conclusion to The 13 Ghosts of Scooby-Doo.
  • There were plans to write a finale for Sonic Underground in Sonic Universe. However, the project was delayed constantly. It was originally scheduled for Issue #50 but was replaced, and then it never went to see the light of day with SEGA cutting all ties with Archie Comics in 2017, as well as not resuming any of the other Archie storylines or original characters (although there's an exception) with the transfer to IDW Comics.
  • Star Wars Rebels: "The Last Battle" serves as one to Star Wars: The Clone Wars, which was Cut Short at the time. The crew run into and fight an outpost of holdout battle droids, but eventually realize that the Empire was always their real enemy, and team up to fight the Imperial forces that turn up. Rex ends up lampshading it by declaring Ezra the one who ended the Clone Wars for good.
  • Though done as a semi-parody, The Venture Brothers would seem to offer an answer to what happened to Race from Jonny Quest... he dies in his over-the-top successor Brock's arms after a rather humiliating sequence of injurious events. Unlike most parodies of this type, the character's name is left intact and he even makes a reference to another name-intact character, Jonny. In the next season, we actually see Jonny, who has become a pill-popping psycho that lives in a marine exploration pod (and who has since recovered from his addiction—but not his messed up childhood). These characters appeared because they were originally going to be Lawyer Friendly Cameoes until the creators found out that they could use the actual characters due to the network owning the rights to themnote  Could be seen as a Fully Absorbed Finale just depending on how serious you can take anything in The Venture Bros.
  • The Family Guy episode "He's Bla-ack!" serves as one for The Cleveland Show, with Cleveland moving back to Quahog with his new family.