Follow TV Tropes


Ghost Reunion Ending

Go To

An Ending Trope in which the spirits of the dead reappear at the end of the work. This may be because they were Barred from the Afterlife but the resolution of the plot now allows them to cross over. It could also be because the Unfinished Business the ghosts were worried about has been taken care of. A still-living character who is having a Dying Dream may see the ghosts of characters who have gone before. A villainous character may meet the ghosts of people they killed or otherwise wronged. It may be as simple as a protagonist at the end of a work remembering all those who have been lost.


A form of Back for the Finale. See also Nostalgia Heaven, a closely related trope in which the character dies, often temporarily, and sees the dearly departed in the afterlife.

This is an Ending Trope AND a Death Trope. As such, it contains massive spoilers.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Attack on Titan, the ghosts of the Survey Corps and other cadets give one last salute to Levi (with Sasha doing the same for Connie and Jean) after Eren is killed and the titans are erased from the earth.
  • Grave of the Fireflies Has Seita and Setsuko reunite as ghosts at the beginning of the movie. Setsuko's ghost calmly waits for Seita to succumb to starvation and starts to enter the building where his body is located only to pause when he touches her shoulder. She smiles.
  • Naruto has Hishaku reunite with the rest of the ship's crew after Naruto defeats the Giant Lobster that killed the crew and capsized their ship.

    Comic Books 
  • The Life and Times of Scrooge McDuck: At the end of the chapter "The Billionaire of Dismal Downs", the spirits of Scrooge's parents look at him as Scrooge and his sisters leave their ancestral home and reunite with one of their ancestors before passing on.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • At the end of The Lion King (1994) and its 2019 remake, shortly after saving the Pride Lands and taking his place on Pride Rock, Simba hears Mufasa's ghost saying "Remember" to him, just before he performs his victory roar.
  • The final musical number of The Suicide Shop has several of the characters who committed suicide in the film return as ghosts.
  • The end of Coco takes place one year after the main events of the film on the next Dia de Los Muertos, when Héctor, Imelda, Coco, and the other dead Riveras pay a visit to their living relatives. Fitting, as the entire point of Dia de Los Muertos is a reunion between the dead and living family members.
  • After the titular Monster House is destroyed, Mr. Nebbercracker dances with the ghost of Constance as she disappears.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Edge of Darkness (2010): As Thomas Craven is lying in the hospital at the end of the movie dying from the poison, the ghost of his daughter Emma pops in to indicate to him that it's time to go. The movie then ends with the two as ghosts leaving the room and walking down the hallway together.
  • The end of Longtime Companion has the surviving main characters meet their friends who died of AIDS over the course of the movie.
  • Star Wars:
    • The most famous example is Return of the Jedi. After Darth Vader/Anakin Skywalker's Viking Funeral, Luke joins his friends (and the Ewoks) in celebrating their victory over the Empire. He looks behind him at one point and sees the "Force ghosts" of Anakin, Obi-wan, and Yoda watching him.
    • The Rise of Skywalker ends with Luke and Leia's ghosts watching Rey bury their lightsabers.
  • The above example is Parodied at the end of Happy Gilmore, when Happy looks up at the sky and sees the ghosts of Chubbs, the alligator...and Abraham Lincoln? What?
  • Scrooged. In the end, the ghost of the dead homeless guy appears on screen with the other Christmas ghosts.
  • At the end of Siberiade the oil well has struck a gusher, which means the dam won't be built and the local Siberian village consequently won't be destroyed to accommodate the artificial lake. As a bulldozer flattens the cemetery (the oil fire is too close), Phil the commissar sees the ghosts of his father and brothers, as well as the ghosts of Alexei his old friend and Anastasia (Nastya), the girl that he once loved. Nastya kisses him and Alexei gives him a hug.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors: Subverted. After apparently defeating Freddy, the ghost of Nancy's father appears to her. It's really Freddy in disguise, using it to give her a Deadly Hug.
  • In Space Battleship Yamato, the last thing Susumu sees before carrying out his Suicide Attack on the final Gamilas spaceship is the ghosts of his dead comrades.
  • Rose gets reunited with Jack's ghost when she dies at the end of Titanic.
  • Hocus Pocus: After the witches are defeated, Thackery's spirit is finally freed from his cat form and reunites with his little sister, who was killed at the beginning of the movie, allowing the two to finally pass on.
  • When Dan is inside the exploding hotel at the end of Doctor Sleep, he turns into a child and is reunited with his mother. He later appears again as an adult in Abra's room. It's briefly left vague if he somehow survived or came back as a ghost. The latter turns out to be true.

  • Played with in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry's climactic duel with Voldemort causes the spirits of Voldemort's victims, including Cedric Diggory and his parents, to appear. They then help Harry out in the duel. As Dumbledore later explains, they're actually magical imprints, not unlike magic paintings.
    • A somewhat straighter example (but still closer to climax than resolution) comes at the end of Deathly Hallows, when Harry uses the Resurrection Stone to summon the spirits of his parents, and Sirius and Remus. They give him their courage and love and stay with him while he walks to his death.
  • Played with at the end of Wuthering Heights. After Heathcliff's death, many locals claim to have seen his ghost in various places, and one little shepherd boy claims to have seen him with a woman, presumably the ghost of Cathy. But it's never made clear if these sightings are real or just imagined. Most media adaptations play the trope straighter and actually show Heathcliff and Cathy's ghosts Together in Death in the end.
  • Happens occasionally in Warrior Cats.
    • At the end of the Tigerstar and Sasha manga, Tigerstar appears next to Sasha and promises her that he'll watch over their children.
    • In Tree's Roots, Tree's father reappears at the end to him to tell him that he doesn't regret having died to save his son, and to tell Tree not to live his life alone.
    • In the last scene of Veil of Shadows, Rootpaw sees the ghosts of all the cats who had died in the book, stuck in between worlds because StarClan is currently blocked off.
  • At the end of the Rose of York Series Anne's ghost comes to Richard as he is dying at Bosworth and says he will soon be with her and their son, Ned.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cold Case almost always ends with somebody seeing the victim. Often they were seen by a detective but it was a loved one a lot too (especially in the later seasons).
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead: Parodied in the season 2 finale when during the rally that Ash's hometown organized for him, the ghosts of Ash's deceased friends and family show up in the audience in imitation of Return of the Jedi.
  • At the end of Spartacus: War of the Damned, the crucified Gannicus has a dying vision of his best friend Oenomaus, who died in the previous season, welcoming him to the afterlife.
  • As Susan leaves Wisteria Lane in the final episode of Desperate Housewives, she's watched by several dead characters from earlier seasons.
  • The Finale Movie of Homicide: Life on the Street ends with the recently deceased Giardello meeting up with Felton and Crosetti in the afterlife. It's ominously implied that another member of the unit (likely Bayliss) will join them soon.
  • The Season 3 finale of Shtisel ends on a scene where Shulem, Nuchem, and Akiva share a drink and are surrounded by the ghosts of several generations of relatives. The show already had Dead Person Conversations several times per season, though it's left ambiguous whether it's all in a character's head.

  • The video for Limp Bizkit's "Re-arranged" ends with all the band members floating in Heaven after being executed in the flood chamber.

  • At the end of the play Fortenbras all the dead characters of Hamlet, who have been haunting Fortenbras throughout the play, all appear onstage with him.
  • At the end of Hamilton, Hamilton himself appears to join Eliza, his wife, and they exit through the back of the stage. Given the nature of the final song, it's unclear whether it's Hamilton's ghost or just a memory of him, as other deceased people (such as Washington and Laurens) appear seamlessly alongside those who are still alive (Burr, Lafayette, Jefferson, Madison, and Mulligan).
    • However, the appearance of Laurens, Philip, Washington, and Hamilton's mother in the previous song do validate this trope (also falling under Nostalgia Heaven).
  • The end of Les Misérables has the ghosts of Eponine and Fantine (and, in the 2012 film, the Bishop) come to take Valjean to heaven. Waiting for him in heaven are Enjolras, Gavroche, and the other dead students. Curiously absent is Javert, who is the only character to die in the play and not return in the Finale.
  • Spring Awakening ends with the ghosts of Moritz and Wendla coming back to talk to Melchior.

    Video Games 
  • Final Fantasy X: After Sin is defeat, Tidus begins fading away due to the Fayth awakening and their dream ending (where he originated from). After bidding the party farewell, he dives off of the deck of the Fahrenheit and passes by the ghosts of Braska, Auron, and lastly his father Jecht as he's diving, before high-fiving Jecht mid-dive.
  • In Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney, the protagonist's mentor gets killed right at the start of the second case, but she returns in the group picture taken to celebrate an important victory in the game's last original case.
  • The Golden Ending of Suikoden V has this overlapped with Not Too Dead to Save the Day: the Falenan Royal Family, the Godwins and their supporters appear before the Prince to congratulate him and use the power of the Sun Rune to revive Lyon.
  • Super Robot Wars Alpha 3: In the Grand Finale, when the heroes use the positive energies of the song "GONG" to cancel out Keisar Ephes's invulnerability, it has the side effect of weakening the barrier between the worlds of the living and the dead, causing the spirits of deceased friends, family, and rivals to appear and lend them words of encouragement for the final battle. Amusingly, it's possible for Char Aznable to show up twice - he appears to Kamille in his "Quattro" persona, and to Amuro as the Well-Intentioned Extremist from Char's Counterattack.
  • At the end of Sakura Wars 4: Fall in Love, Maidens, the newly-retired Ikki Yoneda walks in Ueno Park when he sees the spirits of the Paris and Imperial Combat Revue members reuniting with Ichiro Ogami, as well as the spirits of his former comrades Ayame Fujieda, Shinnosuke Yamazaki and Kazuma Shinguji watching him.
  • At the end of Spud's Adventure, Arnie Eggplant and Devi's spirits smile down on Spud, the princess, and the knights from the afterlife.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • After numerous attempts to dispose of an unwanted cat in Cordell Barker's cartoon The Cat Came Back for the National Film Board of Canada, Old Mr. Johnson fills his house with explosives, then sets them off, killing himself in the process. His ghost returns to laugh at the cat, which can no longer torment him ... until his dead body falls on the cat, killing it. Nine numbered feline ghosts appear and chase Johnson's ghost, who screams in horror, into the sky.
  • Elena of Avalor: At the end of the first Dia de Los Muertos episode "A Day to Remember", in which the topic of Elena's deceased parents is first brought and we learn that Elena can see ghosts on this day, this discovery is only taken to its logical conclusion at the end of the episode after Elena has dealt with the problem-of-the-day; as she and her family visit her parents' ofrenda, she sees the ghosts of her parents smiling down on them.
    Isabel: Elena, I really feel like Mami and Papi are here with us. Does that sound weird?
    Elena: [looks up to see their parents standing next to their altar] No. I know they are.