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Grand Finale
aka: Series Finale

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"Well, this is the end, beautiful friends. After more than 11 years, this is Toonami's final broadcast. It's been a lot of fun, and we'd like to thank each and every one of you who made this journey with us. Toonami wouldn't have been anything without you. Hopefully we've left you with some good memories. So, until we meet again, stay gold. Bang."
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When a show (usually of the Failure Is the Only Option or Stern Chase variety) comes to an end with sufficient lead time, the production team may decide to go out with a bang by ending the endless chase, destroying the undestroyable foe, or in some other way definitively and permanently changing the core axioms the show depends on. It usually resolves all the conflicts that have driven the series over its entire run, and offers some kind of resolution to the dramatic tension that they have powered.

This is the Grand Finale, a way of very clearly saying to the audience "Okay, the show is really over. There's no more. Go watch something else." (That this doesn't always get through to viewers can be a problem in and of itself...) If this happens without warning, it's a case of The Resolution Will Not Be Identified.

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In contrast to American television series, anime series tend to be single, continuous season-long stories that build, like an episodic novel, to a climax in the final episode. In these cases, a Grand Finale is the only fair (and the usual) way to end the show. Of course, since most anime is based on manga, occasionally the anime gets ahead of the manga (or gets canceled before the manga ends) and the anime writers have to make up their own ending, which is usually not as good as the eventual ending of the manga. Alternatively, a la Bastard!!, Angel Sanctuary, and Strawberry 100%, the writers can just leave it hanging.

May often involve Gondor Calls for Aid or "Save the World" Climax. Expect Tear Jerker on a massive scale—the longer (or more beloved) the show, the more tears will flow. Contrast with Cut Short (when a series ends without a proper conclusion to the story), The Resolution Will Not Be Televised (when a cancelled series has its story wrapped up in a different medium), and Series Fauxnale (when a series does an episode that could work as a finale, but gets renewed for more episodes anyway). Compare with Season Finale (for final episodes of a show's seasons rather than the series in general), Finale Movie (for when a work that isn't a film series reaches its conclusion in the form of a movie) and sometimes Wrap It Up (when the production team decides to make a conclusion to the series fast after hearing that the series won't be renewed), though if the "Holy Shit!" Quotient is high enough it can qualify as a Wham Episode.

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There will usually be Call Backs, Continuity Porn, Continuity Nod and Book Ends aplenty, along with characters coming Back for the Finale. A Will They or Won't They? running for the length of the series will usually get a Last Minute Hookup. Expect to see Contractual Immortality and Joker Immunity thrown out the window. Given its nature as being the very final entry of the series, there may even be some End-of-Series Awareness beforehand. Sometimes accompanied by The Last Title.

As this Trope deals with endings, it obviously comes with a SPOILER WARNING.


Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • The Jonathan Goldman iteration of The Most Interesting Man in the World got one of these where, to much fanfare and with many fans watching, he boarded a shuttle to take a one way trip to Mars, never to return.
    Random General: [as he holds up a bottle of Dos Equis] Adios, amigo!
  • Done three times with Hamlet Cigars, each time being related to advertising of tobacco being banned each time in the UK:
    • In 1991, tobacco advertising was forbidden on TV, and as such, "Shot in the Dark" (highly stylized but likely NSFW) was the company's last TV ad. It showed a sperm being unable to get into an egg. It was truly Something Completely Different, as instead of showing it taking a smoke, it just wallows away, and the famous "Happiness is a warm cigar named Hamlet" slogan isn't even said at the end. Talk about a Downer Ending.
    • Then, in 1999, Hamlet pulled advertising from theaters as it simply was suitable in a time where cigarette smoking couldn't be done in theaters and advertising for such was pulled, but not before going out with a bang. "Farewell (Happiness Will Always Be A Cigar Named Hamlet)" was the company's last cinema ad, and as such featured people stuck in sticky situations humming the familiar Hamlet jingle, "Air on a G String".
    • And finally, in 2003, tobacco advertising was taken off completely, this time being from the radio, resulting in Hamlet's final ad, ever. "Tony & Milo" was their last radio ad, and it featured ad writers Tony Burke and Milo Campbell talking about their job and mentioning that they work almost exclusively in tobacco advertising. However, Tony then tells Milo that by midnight, all cigarette commercials will be pulled. Milo asks what do they do now, and we hear a lighter, followed by the famous Hamlet theme and slogan.
  • Silk Cut also did this as well. In the 1980s, they gained fame for a series of surrealistic poster ads that often didn't even feature the name of the product; their first one simply showed a purple silk fabric with a cut inside it. They ended their campaign in 2003 with a poster that depicted an opera singer wearing a silk dress with a cut in it, referencing the term "It isn't over until the fat lady sings."
  • 1998's Segata Sanshiro Shinken Yugi was the last first-party game for the Sega Saturn, and as such, it was only natural that its accompanying advert would be the last for the Segata Sanshiro campaign. A man clad in black-and-white clothing (obviously representing a rival company- presumed to be either Sony or Nintendo) launches a rocket at Sega HQ, just as they finish developing the Dreamcast. Segata Sanshiro then drops down from the top of the building, clings his feet to the window while grabbing hold of the rocket, and then launches away into space. The inevitable occurs, cuing up Shinji Nikra narrating "Segata Sanshiro will live on in your hearts", and you breaking down in Manly Tears.
    • Ultimately downplayed. Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed retcons his final commercial, having him survive and showing that he spent THE ENTIRE 14 YEARS SINCE THEN making sure Nintendo/Sony's rocket never hits Sega headquarters. And somewhere along the line, it seems that he's able to toss the rocket and have it explode somewhere else, and gets back into kicking ass in Project X Zone 2.
  • Capri-Sun had a series of commercials in which a kid did something to their Capri-Sun pouch and suffered a transformation to themselves as punishment, turning into what was known as a "Disrepectoid". The advertisement series came to an end with an online web-camera game that saw the Disrepectoids go on an adventure for a "Golden Pouch", with the ending seeing them get turned back to normal.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The writers of The Big O cleverly wrapped a Cliffhanger and Grand Finale together in the final series episode. Just when every character almost figures out the big secret, the entire plane of existence is erased and rebooted. A few years later, it came out that Cartoon Network had apparently told them to leave things open intending to finance a third season, but then changing their minds and left the show extremely screwed over. In this show, it was more like a FINAL STAGE!!
  • Bleach has an abrupt Distant Finale which provides happy endings for some characters but leaves myriad of unanswered questions. Apparently, the author was suffering from a debilitating sickness and had to Cut Short the manga. Rather ironic for a series infamous for its Arc Fatigue.
  • Both the manga and anime of Chrono Crusade end with a bang. The last two volumes of the manga cover a 48 hour period in which all the characters come together for an epic battle to determine the fate of the world—and also ties up most of the relationships in the process. The anime version is a Downer Ending (or at best, a Bittersweet Ending), but ties up most of the loose threads and ends things on a very emotional note (although fan opinion is split on whether it was as good as the manga or not).
  • While not as action packed as the other examples on this page, CLANNAD's Grand Finale was a Reset Button Gainax Ending, where the Girl in the Illusionary World, who is actually Ushio, sends the Garbage Doll, who is Tomoya having undergone Identity Amnesia, back in time to the day he first met her mother, Nagisa. Having done this, Tomoya, having obtained a Light Orb from Ushio, relives his senior year with both him and Nagisa knowing of their future daughter's powers. Using the Light Orbs, Nagisa is able to give birth without dying this time around, and the Okazaki family lives happily ever after.
    • Alternatively, Ushio just sent him back to the point where Nagisa was giving birth. While the anime is vague on this subject, the original game makes it clear that Tomoya remeeting Nagisa is something he's seeing in his head.
  • Code Geass: Lelouch's saga, which took two years (real time and in-universe time), comes to its ultimate conclusion when he's stabbed through the chest by his best friend and dies in his beloved sister's arms, all while the world unites by condemning him as the greatest villain in history and cheers his friend for the murder. Don't worry, it was his idea.
  • Cowboy Bebop ends definitively with the gripping two-part finale "The Real Folk Blues". Vicious attempts a coup of the Red Dragon syndicate, only to fail; this gets everyone associated with him, including Spike, targeted for termination. Jet is injured in a gunfight with syndicate goons, and Spike finally reunites with his lost love Julia, thanks to Faye delivering some timely information. Vicious' takeover of the syndicate eventually happens, and he keeps the hit on Spike and Julia alive; Julia dies at the hands of the Red Dragon's hit squad, and Spike storms the syndicate's headquarters to get his revenge. Once he reaches the top of the building, Spike faces off with Vicious in the show's climactic battle; Vicious dies from a gunshot straight through his heart, and Spike (supposedly) dies soon afterwards due to Vicious's katana and the injuries sustained during his assault on the syndicate. "Bang."
  • Cyborg 009 finally wrapped up in 2014, with "Conclusion: God's War", although as Shotaro Ishinomori had passed away back in 1998, it was his son at the helm, having used his father's drafts and story notes for the arc. The story puts the cyborgs and Dr. Gilmore through one last great battle that seems impossible to survive, with the darkness and violence in the story escalating. There's a bit of light at the end of the tunnel, but it takes the team a lot of hell to get there.
    • Long before that, the series was originally to have its grand finale with the 1966 Underground Empire arc, which ended in the defeat of Black Ghost and the deaths of 002 and 009, who burnt up in the atmosphere and became a shooting star seen by two children. Fan revolt quickly turned this into a Series Fauxnale.
  • Danganronpa 3 - Side: Future serves as one for the Danganronpa franchise's Hope's Peak Academy arc. Side: Hope also serves as the Grand Finale to both Side: Future and the concurrently-running prequel arc Side: Despair.
  • The final episode of Death Note, in which Light is finally cornered, revealed to be Kira, and eventually dies due to Ryuk writing his name in his Death Note. Now a scene iconic and famous enough to have spawned half of the series' Memetic Mutation.
  • The Dragon Ball manga and Dragon Ball Z anime ends with the resolution of Goku and Vegeta's rivalry and the defeat of Kid Majin Buu, the ultimate evil in the Dragon Ball universe, with a Spirit Bomb formed by everyone on Earth (and Namek)note , followed by a Distant Finale ten years later where Goku Passes the Torch to Uub, a human boy who is the reincarnation of Majin Buu.
  • In Excel Saga, ACROSS and Daitenzin confront each other head on (with no result whatsoever), and Pedro and Nabeshin finally defeat That Man. This, however, was the second-to-last episode, followed by the intentionally unairable, appropriately-titled "Going Too Far," essentially a parody of the series.
  • Fairy Tail climaxes with virtually every character introduced in the series coming together for the epic back-to-back Final Battles with Zeref and Acnologia, followed by a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue and the main heroes embarking on a 100 Years Quest. However, this was overturned by the sequel, storyboarded by author Hiro Mashima himselfnote  and picking up immediately where the original left off.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist has a pretty big one, complete with a "Save the World" Climax. Ed finally defeats Father, even after he harvests the souls of all Amestris to bring himself to an obscenely high level of power, but it takes Al sacrificing himself to bring Ed's arm back to do it; in the end, Ed finally figures out what he can give up to bring back Al: his ability to use alchemy. The brothers are finally reunited, and after two years, they separate again to go and repay everyone who helped them during their travels. Also, in the final chapter and at the end of the final episode of Brotherhood, Ed and Winry are shown holding up two babies, implying that the children are theirs.
    • The 2003 anime version had a bittersweet and satisfying conclusion in its final episode: Ed, knowing that it takes a life to bring back a life due to Equivalent Exchange, sacrifices himself to bring Al back - he ends up on the other side of The Gate without the arm and leg he had regained because of Al's sacrifice, and Al is found alive and human again, but at the age he was when he and Ed tried to bring their mother back, and with no memory of the adventures he and Ed underwent. The movie The Conqueror of Shamballa came along and followed up on that (some fans would much rather ignore it, though): after a madman on the other side of The Gate breaks through to Amestris, Ed follows and is reunited with Al, and the two save Amestris; Ed eventually returns to the other side of The Gate to seal it, but Al follows him while Mustang seals The Gate from Amestris' side, ensuring that the Elrics remained reunited.
  • GUN×SWORD ends with a climactic battle that spans at least three episodes. By the middle of the last episode, Van killed the Claw; Joshua gave meaning to his brother's death by stopping the Claw's Instrumentality plot; Carmen defeated Fasalina; and Wendy said a definitive (and maybe deadly) farewell to her brother. The series ends on a few minutes of Distant Finale which suggest that a few years down the road, Van and Wendy have a shot at Happily Ever After.
  • Gundam
    • The playful spuff SD Gundam Force had one of the biggest finales ever. Every single character that had ever appeared, in every form they'd ever taken appeared on a stage. They all said their goodbyes. Some saluted, some waved others, Zapper's gang claimed they'd go on forever. It was all rather touching actually.
    • While we're on the subject, Mobile Suit Gundam: Char's Counterattack is basically the Grand Finale for original series main character Amuro Ray and The Rival Char Aznable. Some also consider it to be the finale for the original Universal Century continuity, although it had works set and released afterward.
    • And in a variation, ∀ Gundam can be considered the Grand Finale for series creator Yoshiyuki Tomino's work on Gundam. It helps that the show claims to be the Distant Finale for the entire franchise.
  • Initial D ends with Takumi racing his Trueno against another. The anime adaptation even refers to this arc as Initial D: Final Stage.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure has a big finale for its in its sixth story arc, "Stone Ocean": Enrico Pucci is moments away from completing his grand scheme to create a universe in the late DIO's image, and almost all of the heroes, including Jotaro and Jolyne, are dead. Emporio manages to defeat him, however, and when the universe is rebooted, he finds himself in an alternate universe where the Jolyne and Jotaro are alive and history overall took a much better route (implying that many— if not all— of the show's various protagonists who died over the course of the series survived in this universe). This gives way to a new timeline and continuity, starting with "Steel Ball Run"; this alternate universe is completely unrelated to the one seen in "Stone Ocean".
  • Kannazuki no Miko ends with Orochi being destroyed permanently, meaning that Chikane and Himeko's future incarnations will not have to perform the human sacrifice ritual.
  • Kill la Kill actually got two.
    • The initial ending climaxes in a final clash against Ragyo, both as a group effort at the academy and later a one on one confrontation between Ryuko and Ragyo in space to stop her and the Life Fibers from taking over Earth. Ryuko succeeds but Senketsu sacrifices himself to save Ryuko in the re-entry as they fall back to Earth. The threat of the Life Fibers is averted and people are free from their influence.
    • The last, last episode wraps up loose ends with Honnouji Academy's graduation, Satsuki trying to decide what to do now since Ragyo's defeat, since most of her life was dedicated to stopping her and Ryuko trying to carry on after the above's events. Ragyo's former assistant, Rei, soon arrives to avenge her with the last of the Life Fibers she manages to get a hold of and waging a final battle against the heroes. It ends with Rei defeated when the spirit of Senketsu returns the Scissor Blades to Ryuko for one final attack. Afterward Satsuki convinces Rei the world doesn't have to be a crappy place and that they should work together to make it better. The island destabilizes due to the battle and sinks into Tokyo Bay. Everyone manages to evacuate, giving one final salute to the school and Mako convinces Ryuko that Senketsu will always be with her, in heart and spirit.
  • Macross Frontier. Short version: The Big Bad dies. Happy Ending. Not as short version: The frontier finds the Vajra homeworld, where the Final Battle occurs. The Big Bad is defeated, the humans make peace with the Vajra, and migrate to their planet.
  • The explosive climax of Magic Knight Rayearth, where events have inevitably led the main characters, but which is nothing like they expected. Fan outcry was such that CLAMP had to write a sequel to deal with the Downer Ending.
  • Mazinger:
    • Mazinger Z: At the end of the series, the group has finally located Hell's base, and they head towards there, supported by the Japanese army (in the Go Nagai manga, an army of Mass-Production Mazingers was produced; Hell's counterattack was sending a fleet of seventy Mechanical Beasts, a submarine and an aerial fortress to invade and take over Japan in ten days). Mazinger, Aphrodite-A and Boss Borot duel against Hell's last Mechanical Beasts and start trashing his Base. Hell gets fed up and decides blowing his island up and fleeing on board of his aerial fortress. Mazinger goes after him and they engage in a last aerial duel. After winning, the heroes return to their Home Base, believing they are safe at last, but Dragon with an Agenda Archduke Gorgon sends two War Beasts behind them. Gorgon's Robeasts easily destroy the three Humongous Mecha and raze the Institute to rubble, but before they could kill Kouji, another Robot shows up and easily annihilates the Beasts, hinting the sequel.
    • Great Mazinger: Kouji and Tetsuya's rivalry reaches a boiling point when the Mykene army attacks Mazinger and Tetsuya refuses helping Kouji. Finally, he gets talked into launching Great Mazinger, only to be shot down by a War Beast was awaiting for him. At the same time, flying aircraft Demonika appears and starts bombarding the Home Base of the heroes. The Professor Kenzo Kabuto (Kouji's biological father and Tetsuya's adoptive father) commits Heroic Sacrifice to save his adoptive son. Tetsuya suffers a Heroic BSoD, realizing his fear of losing his father has brought about his father's death, and Mazinger, Great Mazinger, Aphrodite and Venus combine forces to annihilate Emperor of Darkness' Co-Dragons and blowing up their fortress. And in one of the manga versions, Tetsuya committed another Heroic Sacrifice to atone for what he had done.
    • UFO Robo Grendizer: After his daughter's death, Big Bad King Vega has lost his patience and decides deploying all of his remaining troops to launch a final attack. Gandal dissuades him, though, and challenges Grendizer to a mecha duel. When he loses, one of his personalities realizes Grendizer is invincible and plans killing King Vega to negotiate peace with Earth separately, but the dominant personality executes her by attempting to commit high treason, and tries to kill Duke Fleed with a kamikaze attack. When he fails, King Vega decides invading Earth, destroying his Space Base to show his troops there's no turning back. Meanwhile, the four heroes take off towards the space to fight the Final Battle, using Grendizer and a new Cool Starship. Both fleets clash among Earth and Moon. After a long fight, Duke and his friends manage to win. Unfortunately it also means he and his sister will have to bid farewell to their friends and return to his homeworld. In one of the manga versions, Vegans' final attack caused the End of the World as We Know It.
  • Monster: Tenma, Nina, Lunge, Roberto, Grimmer, and Johann all gather in Ruhenheim. A massacre ensues, and Johann is shot in the head by a terrified drunken bystander. Tenma saves his life again, and while Johann spends the next while comatose in his bed, everyone still alive goes back to their normal lives. Eventually, Johann wakes up and tells Tenma one final secret before leaving the hospital. Where he goes is left unknown. Assuming he even left and Tenma didn't just imagine him waking up.
  • My Bride is a Mermaid has a Grand Finale which must be seen to be believed, involving the most ridiculous example of Storming the Castle ever. It involves a Terminator homage dressed in a schoolgirl uniform blowing crap up with eye beams. And that's far from the most insane thing that happens.
  • While the Naruto franchise as a whole is still going strong, the original Naruto series as written by Masashi Kishimoto ended with chapter 700, which is a Distant Finale set 15 years after the previous chapter. It is followed by The Last: Naruto the Movie, which is actually set two years after chapter 699, then several novels set between chapter 699 and 700. Kishimoto subsequently authored a short-lived manga series meant as a tie-in to another film, but by this point, we're on another series entirely.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion. See also Gainax Ending.
    • While the show's original TV ending ("Congratulations!") wasn't exactly spectacular, and became controversial in both the Japanese and American markets, it was not intended as the "proper" ending. The "proper" ending was in fact planned, but Gainax ran out of money to produce it. In 1998, however, End of Evangelion was finally released, and was a suitable grand Gainax Ending finale to the series:
      • The first half of the movie features SEELE finally losing it with Gendo Ikari going against them and trying to hack into the MAGI computers to take over (and possibly self-destruct) the NERV base. When he gets the resident Mad Scientist Ritsuko Akagi to block them out, SEELE instead convinces the Japanese government that NERV plans to end the world in Third Impact, and they send in the military to murder everyone at NERV. And that means everyone. The first half of the film generally documents the systematic attacks on the Geofront and Central Dogma. Asuka comes out of her coma and gets into a massive fight with the military and some auto-piloted Mass Production Evangelions, culminating in her being utterly mangled to death. Meanwhile, Shinji undergoes a mental breakdown and ends up entering his Evangelion, who is also his mother, and in the process witnesses Asuka's mangled Evangelion, at which point he screams in terror. But wait! It gets better!
      • After the intermission, Shinji's Evangelion is crucified, and Rei Ascends to a Higher Plane of Existence by merging with Lilith, and becomes an enormous alien giantess. In the process, she releases a form of energy that negates the energy of everyone on Earth, dissolving their bodies away into LCL and freeing their souls to merge into Lilith. Shinji goes on a mental journey in which he decides humanity deserves to continue living, and is allowed to come back to life. He wakes up on a beach, and a few months later, finds himself laying next to Asuka, inexplicably alive. He throttles her to check she is alive, and then he collapses sobbing after she strokes his cheek, at which point she utters the final phrase in the series: "Kimochi warui" ("How disgusting"/"I feel sick"). Yeah. It's pretty confusing, and ninety minutes of intense mindfuckery that is impossible to forget.
    • The manga of the series ends things on a slightly happier note: Like in End of Evangelion, Instrumentality is underway. However, Shinji comes to realizes that if people were unable to hurt each other, there would be no capacity to love each other. He tells Rei as much, rejects Instrumentality, and Rei pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to undo Instrumentality and give humanity a chance at a better future.
  • Possibly the funniest one is the final episode for the 1965-67 Little Ghost Q-Taro series. Q-Taro and Shōta are held hostage by a gang leader. When all hope is lost, they are suddenly rescued by Perman. They ask who he is and Perman replies that he's the star of the show. Q-Taro angrily informs him that his show starts next week; Perman arrived one week early. And yes, a week after the final Q-Taro ran, Perman did take over the time-slot.
  • Ojamajo Doremi had one for the Dokkan season. In this, we learn that Hana-chan (who turns back into a baby), Majo Rika and the fairies go back to the witch world, Momoko moves back to New York, Onpu moves away and we see that she wrote a new book that is popular, Hazuki is going to a different middle school than Doremi, and Doremi herself confesses her love to an unknown boy who is later revealed to be Kotake.
  • Princess Tutu ends with a final epic battle in which the Big Bad is vanquished and Mytho once again becomes the Prince he once was, and also resolves the main romantic tension...although not in a way you might expect. It also ends somewhat open-ended by hinting that two of the characters (who had hints of a romantic relationship but never quite resolved it) might be starting on a new story together.
  • Rose of Versailles ends just as you'd expect a show about The French Revolution to end. Short Version: Everyone except Rosalie dies.
  • Given that the works of Rumiko Takahashi tend to go on for far longer than they should, some animes end up ending abruptly without closure. The biggest example being Ranma ½. So it came as a great surprise to many that the Inuyasha manga was finally given its Grand Finale in early 2008. A new anime, Inuyasha: The Final Act, began airing in late 2009 to resolve the anime's plot as well.
  • Sailor Moon went out with a series of giant revelations about the major conflicts throughout the story and loads of character deaths, leading to a Distant Finale showing Usagi marrying Mamoru in the manga. The '90s anime version had different revelations, killed and revived all of the Senshi again and just ended the show with a rather traditional ending that had only a few series finale elements.
  • Samurai Pizza Cats: "The Big Comet Caper". Even though there is one more episode after it ("The Cats Cop Cartoon Careers"), The Big Comet Caper acts as more of a grand finale.
  • The Shaman King anime had a Grand Finale, one that remains controversial among fans. However, the manga never had an ending, since it was canceled before Hiroyuki Takei could write it. The only thing close to an ending in the manga is a four-part story depicting the future focusing on Yoh and Anna's son, Hana, ten years after the Shaman Fight. It wasn't until 2009 that Takei was finally able to provide a proper conclusion to the manga....which was also controversial among fans.
  • Space Runaway Ideon -one of the predecessors to Evangelion-, also used a movie for its grand finale (in this instance, the series was cut short due to budget constraints), and it pulls no punches in it. Opening with a shot of the hero's love interest getting her head blown off (a defining moment in the main series), we cut to how the Buff Clan and the Solo Ship's war has spiraled out of control. The Ide's sentience has become almost malevolent in nature, and its instability is making the two sides want to destroy each other at any cost. Then everyone starts dying. EVERYONE. The Ideon Gun's shockwaves kill Sheryl. Harulu kills her sister Karala not because of the war, but because she was jealous of Karala finding love and having a child. The ship engineer is shot by Doba. The child Ashura's head is vaporized by a bazooka. Kasha is killed by shrapnel from her own attack when protecting the ship interior. Bes is shot in the neck near the end. Harulu is killed in sub-space by the Ideon Gun. Doba is killed by his own men after finding out that meteors destroyed both Earth and the Buff Clan homeworld. Cosmo launches a suicide attack against the Gando Rowa which succeeds, but destroys the Ideon in the process, killing him and taking out the entire solar system they were in. The real tear jerker about it? None of this had to happen. Just before Doba died, both he and Cosmo realized that the Ide is unnaturally enhancing their negative feelings toward each other, and that this genocidal war was all brought about by a simple misunderstanding that neither side would make amends for. This is shown in the ending sequence, when everyone is a spirit in the afterlife, and how without the prejudices that they had in life, they are all able to happily live in peace. Then they're all reborn in a new world. Credits roll.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. Short version: The Big Bad dies. Happy Ending. Not as short version: The Anti Spiral Leader is defeated in the Final Battle. Nia fades away right after getting married to Simon, and he walks the earth with Boota right up to the Distant Finale.
  • Trigun: The manga and anime end with one final showdown between Vash and his brother Knives, but under vastly different circumstances. In the manga, it happens during an all-out war between Knives and humanity, complete with an entire fleet of spaceships, while in the anime, it's purely a one-on-one fight that isn't nearly as huge in scope, though Knives is still trying to wipe out all mankind.
  • Vandread really puts the "Grand" into its finale by ending its second season on a colossal battle between Earth, the series' main antagonists, and the space fleets of every single planet and faction the Nirvana crew managed to ally with over the course of two seasons, led by the combined form of all four of Nirvana's Combining Mecha. The ending ultimately shatters the entire galactic order that existed throughout the series (and a for long time before that), making sure that the protagonists' lives will be very different from there on.
  • The final OVA episode of Wolf's Rain features the climactic confrontation between The Hero, the Big Bad, and the Living Macguffin, the only individuals left alive in the world complete with Book Ends.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! ends with a four-episode Duel between Yugi and the Pharoah (Atem), each with his own body thanks to one last bit of magic from the Millennium Items. In short, Yugi defeats all three Egyptian God Cards and wins the Duel, proving that Atem is no longer needed. With his destiny of evil-fighting complete, Atem can finally move on to the Afterlife with all his old friends and family from ancient Egypt.

    Audio Plays 
  • We're Alive ends with "The Ink Runs Dry" in which Ink is finally stopped by means of a heroic sacrifice by Saul. At the same time Scratch and the two other remaining Mallers attack Dunbar in hopes of killing Pegs. Pegs manages to shoot Scratch during a showdown on the fire escape, but Scratch lives, only to be Buried Alive by Burt as revenge for her torturing him and cutting off his finger. The story ends 14 years later as Saul and Lizzy's son, Nicolas, joins the defense force for the slowly rebuilding nation centered at The Colony.
  • For a long time in Doctor Who, there was one Doctor in particular who seemed to miss the boat on a big finale because he was unfairly booted from the role. Jump ahead 28 years and he finally got one. The "The Last Adventure" anthology provides a final Story Arc for Colin Baker's Sixth Doctor, including the wide gamut of friends, companions, and enemies he encountered throughout his tenure.

    Comic Books 
  • 100 Bullets ends the conflict between the Minutemen and the Trust, and ties up all other remaining plotlines, by slaughtering the lot of them, and leaving the survivors at the mercy of a Bolivian Army Ending (Loop, Victor, and Will not included).
  • 1986's Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow?, by Alan Moore and Curt Swan, closes the book on the Silver Age Superman, paving the way for the reboot by John Byrne. It's a non-canon story about how Superman faces his greatest and final challenge; Anyone Can Die, and old villains and other characters return in a veritable parade.
    • Neil Gaiman's Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?, which has a similar title but takes a vastly different approach; It acts as a send-off to Batman, who had recently "died" at the time, but it's not just a finale for one particular iteration of the character. It's a send off for the franchise as a whole, showing how multiple versions of the Dark Knight met their end, and how multiple versions of his friends and enemies from significant eras and adaptations come together to mourn in a dream-like, metaphysical context. It even involves Batman learning that his story has and will continue to go on, and that all the different takes on the Batman mythos result from that, leaving the overall franchise with quite a Gainax Ending.
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns provides a definitive end to Batman's career, and ends his conflict with The Joker on the side... until The Dark Knight Strikes Again came out. After that, Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? (a direct reference to the above) became more fitting an end.
  • Preacher's Alamo ended with a final showdown between Jesse and Cassidy, Tulip executing Herr Starr, and The Saint Of Killers taking his vengeance against God.
  • In The Sandman, the climax is reached in The Kindly Ones where characters from all other points in the time line come together in one hell of a story, propelling a long and complex string of events which eventually leads to Dream's death and resurrection inside Daniel. The lengthy aftermath is depicted in The Wake, where it's demonstrated that the previous events had such gravity that they affected everyone in existence. Including you.
  • In Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, the two-part story "Graduation Day" tied up all ongoing plotlines, featuring a battle for the fate of the universe.
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths. Grand Finale to the Silver Age (though it was actually released at the end of the Bronze Age)? Check. Grand Finale to the DC Multiverse? Check. Grand Finale for Barry Allen, Supergirl, Earth-2 Superman, and everyone else in the DC Universe? Check. Became the comic event by which all previous and succeeding comic events would be judged? Double Check. Became one of the only company-wide comic event to permanently rip the Timey-Wimey Ball a new one, and do it so as to be universally praised? Gigantic freakin' Check.
  • Final Crisis serves as a Grand Finale for the "multiverse" crisis series (which includes Crisis on Infinite Earths, Infinite Crisis, and 52) and the "hero exploration" crisis series (which includes Identity Crisis and Infinite Crisis). It also gives a Grand Finale to Jack Kirby's DC creations Darkseid, the New Gods, and others like Dan Turpin.
  • Kingdom Come. A grand finale for the entire DC Universe (or at least one of them, anyway) that also helped bring an end to The Dark Age of Comic Books.
  • Spider-Girl: The End brings the long-running clone saga of the Spider-Girl books to a close whilst also sending off the character with both a happy and an open ending, with Mayday finally hooking up with her loyal friend Wes as her family look on. Wes asks the question "where do we go from here?". Time will tell if we'll ever know, as it is presently The End...for now.
  • Wrath of the First Lantern, specifically its own finale (Green Lantern issue 20), serves as this to Geoff Johns' run on the Green Lantern mythos, seeing the conclusion of story threads laid out ever since he became the main GL writer back in Rebirth.
  • The Black Ring and Reign Of Doomsday (running simultaneously across separate books) served as this for the Post-Crisis Superman, wrapping up most of the plot threads that the series had left hanging before the New 52 reboot. Major events included: Supergirl coming to terms with her Super-Powered Evil Side, the capture of the Cyborg-Superman, the last team-up between Superman, Steel, Superboy, the Eradicator (who performs a Heroic Sacrifice), and Supergirl, the return, and final defeat of Doomsday, and of course, the last battle between Post-Crisis Superman and Lex Luthor, ending with Luthor being imprisoned in the Phantom Zone. With the majority of Superman's other foes already dead, imprisoned, or in the Zone, the two arcs allowed the series to end on a high note before the reset button was hit.
  • Convergence is essentially the ending to the pre-Flashpoint DC Universe. However, thanks to the ending bringing the multiverse back from the brink of collapse, it has been confirmed the pre-Flashpoint universe still exists, and it's possible we'll see it again. DC Rebirth later confirmed that the New 52 universe is indeed the same as the pre-Flashpoint universe, just tampered with by Dr. Manhattan.
  • "The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne" is this for Golden Age Batman, as well as his Unresolved Sexual Tension with Catwoman. It ends with the two of them getting married and retiring. They also have a daughter who goes on to become the Huntress in this continuity. Though a more fitting example might be "Only Legends Live Forever" where an older Bruce Wayne, now widowed and dying of cancer, dons the cape and cowl one last time to help the JSA stop the magically empowered thief Bill Jenson, at the cost of his own life. It ends with all the heroes, including former sidekick Dick Grayson and daughter Helena Wayne, attending his funeral.
  • "Some Of These Days" by Tom King is this for the Rebirth era of Batman. The story chronicles the first and last romantic exchanges between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. In between we see the two, having married and grown old together, dealing with Bruce's cancer, which culminates in Bruce dying in bed surrounded by Selina and his Bat-Family, including their daughter Helena
  • Nemesis the Warlock: In the final issues Torquemada's regime is ended, Purity's new earth Government puts him on trial but he manages to escape to activate his 'Final Solution', then Nemesis sacrifices himself to finally stop his archenemy once and for all.
  • At one point, Marvel released a series of stories known as The End, meant to serve as possible grand finales for some of their major franchises (X-Men, Fantastic Four, Hulk, etc.) while existing outside the main continuity.
  • Rick and Morty (Oni): "The Rickoning" five-part storyline serves as this to the main-line series, making up the final five issues (56-60).
  • Blaze Of Glory has the subtitle 'The Last Ride of The Western Heroes' for a reason. All the big-name Marvel western heroes are here, and for most of them this serves as their last canonical adventure. Rawhide Kid is the only one who survives, and he gets his own Grand Finale (along with Apache Kid) in the Sequel Series, Apache Skies.
  • Ultimate Marvel
    • In the initial plans, Ultimatum was going to be the grand finale of the Ultimate Marvel universe, followed by a reboot. The three ongoing series at the time, Ultimate Spider-Man, Ultimate X-Men and Ultimate Fantastic Four got their Title Requiem issues. But then it was decided to continue the story from that point. However, it still counts has a grand finale for the phase 1 of the X-Men.
    • The Secret Wars (2015) storyline is this for the Ultimate Marvel universe.
    • Ultimate Spider-Man: Ultimate Peter Parker's story originally ended with Ultimate Spider-Man #160, where he dies fighting the Green Goblin and the Sinister Six, paving the way for his successor Miles Morales. It later turns out that he's Not Quite Dead, and he has a final showdown with the Green Goblin, for real this time, then officially passes the torch to Miles and elopes with Mary Jane.
    • Cataclysm: The Ultimates' Last Stand was the grand finale for The Ultimates. The fight against Galactus was won, but Captain America died and Thor was lost in the Negative zone. Iron Man still lives, but can't go on without his Bash Brothers, so he disbanded the team.
      • It also serves as a sort of finale for Ultimate X-Men, since Kitty Pryde is recognized as a hero for her contributions in the fight against Galactus by the President himself, who hopes to use this as a way to promote co-existence between humans and mutants with her help. Tellingly, the last issues of Ultimate X-Men are tie-in issues to Cataclysm.
    • The All-New Ultimates were formed after the break up of the Ultimates; it was a standalone group with no members from the previous team, and focused on gang wars instead of global threats. It had its grand finale against a mutated giant and a fight against all their enemies up to that point at the same time.
  • B.P.R.D. The Devil You Know serves as this to Mignola's Hellboy universe, though he will continue to write more stories revolving around Hellboy's past adventures.
    • The Hellboy series Hellboy in Hell is used to wrap up Hellboy's character arc before he is revived one year later in the final part of the Messiah arc in BPRD: The Devil You Know.
  • Darkseid War served as this to Geoff Johns's work with the Justice League, including Justice League (2011), and to the New 52 era as a whole.

    Comic Strips 
  • For Better or for Worse: The final installment was published August 31, 2008, and revealed what became of the main characters in future years:
    • Main protagonists Elly and John Patterson retire to travel, volunteer in the community, and help raise their four grandchildren.
    • The Pattersons' son and oldest child, Michael, an author, has four books published and later realizes a lifelong dream with the signing of a film contract. Deanna opens a sewing school and teaches Robin how to cook. Meredith enters dance and theater.
    • Older daughter Elizabeth, who has married longtime boyfriend Anthony Caine, continues to teach. She and Anthony have a child, James Allen, presumably named in honor of his great-grandfather Jim Richards. Anthony manages Mayes Motors and its various related businesses, introduces Elizabeth to ballroom dancing, and hopes to eventually open a bed-and-breakfast.
    • The younger daughter, April — presumably graduating from high school in 2009 — enters college (at an unnamed university) and eventually earns a degree in veterinary medicine. Following her established love of horses, she gets a job with the Calgary Stampede. She eventually establishes herself in western Canada, where she meets her boyfriend.
    • Family patriarch James Richards ("Grandpa Jim," Elly's father), a widower who had suffered a stroke earlier in the 2000s that left him unable to talk or care for himself, lives to welcome the birth of his fourth great grandson James Allen. In early 2010, at age 89, Jim — who had other health issues late in his life, including several heart attacks — dies peacefully in his sleep, his second wife, Iris (who had been his caretaker) at his side.
  • Following the death of Stan Lee in 2018, The Amazing Spider-Man comic strip was eventually discontinued. The final storyline saw Peter Parker team up with his wife Mary Jane and Luke Cage to battle The Purple Man. Afterwards, the Parkers head off for a vacation in Australia, where they will remain until, or if, the strip is revived.
  • The first four Berkeley Breathed strips each provided a sense of closure for their respective star characters:

    Fan Works 
  • The Pony POV Series Chaos Verse ends with Discord: Complete Existence, which details Discord and Fluttercruel — joined by the occupants of their constructed world and Celestia and Luna — engaging in a Final Battle with the Big Bad Nightmare Phobia.
  • Back in the original Pony POV Series, the Dark World — which grew to eventually being declared its own series with its own story arcs — has the Alicorn Ascension Arc (yes, even the name is a spoiler). Immediately following the events of the End of Days Arc, this arc deals with Twilight fusing with Nightmare Paradox to become the Concept of Magic and will presumably explain how the Dark World ties back into the main series.
    • It's companion Arc (the Shining Armor Arc) has one of its own where Shining has his final showdown with the Blank Wolf, finally admitting his love for Cadence and proposing after the Blank Wolf is defeated, Running Gag proposes to Garnet, and Minuette begins a stable relationship with Captive Audience after feeding her Enemy Within the Master to the Blank Wolf and freeing herself from him.
  • A Growing Affection: The second to last chapter wraps up most of the loose ends, and the finale chapter has two time skips to five years later when Naruto and Hinata finally get married; and the eight more years after that, when Naruto becomes the sixth Hokage.
  • Higher Learning: The finale arc is six-chapters-long. After the death of the Final Messenger, SEELE's forces invade the Geofront, intending to kill everyone and put Instrumentality in motion. Shinji and Asuka fight for last time in their Evangelions as they struggle to solve their remainder psychological issues. Kaoru finally reveals his identity and his backstory. Despite everything what the heroes did, humankind goes through Instrumentality, and Shinji has to make a choice. The last scene happens several months later, featuring Shinji and Asuka going to school while humanking is gradually returning and rebuilding their world.
  • The My Hostage Not Yours series has the third story, The Inevitable Takeover, which has Zim and Gaz upgrade (downgrade?) from Anti Heroes to full Villain Protagonists, get married, and then begin a plan to conquer the whole planet and ultimately succeed. Oh, and Dib gets a Beta Couple plotline with Tak, finally giving him something to do in the series.
  • Examples from the Calvinverse:
  • The final three stories of The Lion King AdventuresThe Message, The Final Task, and The End — form one continuous story that deals with the various issues that have built up over Series Five, all building up to the arrival of, and confrontation with, The Writer, the Ultimate Evil behind the series. And after the Final Battle, there's a Distant Finale showing an adult Simba and Nala Happily Married and ruling over the restored Pride Lands with their surviving friends and family.
  • Young Justice: Darkness Falls, as fitting a superhero continuation of Young Justice ends with a great battle against super villains. The episode in question, Retaliation deals with the league and the team in their Final Battle against Klarion and the forces of Darkseid. Not only does it end with tons of cool battles and wrapping up almost all the emotional arcs of the fic (and the show in some cases as well), but it also gives the show the kind of closure Greg Weisman gave Gargoyles: an open ended ending that still manages to be satisfying. For even though the light is still at large, the League and Team have finally averted the Bad Future Bart Allen came from.
  • My Family and Other Equestrians has one final interlude chapter for each member of the family. After that is one final Story Arc (the story's last proper arc is the Apple Family Reunion arc).
  • Star Trek: The Original Series formally ended back in the day on the rather Anti-Climatic and infamously sexist "Turnabout Intruder", ending the show in what can really only be described as a somewhat lacking fashion at best. The Web Video show Star Trek Continues, being a Fan Sequel, tries its hand at offering a properly grand send-off to the original show with the "To Boldly Go" two parter, which is set as a Bookend to "Where No Man Has Gone Before" sees the original Enterprise crew facing off against a threat to all known galactic civilization and finally complete their five year mission, before ending on a couple of more personal and low-key moments of Kirk, Spock, and McCoy discussing the future of their careers (thereby setting the stage for Star Trek: The Motion Picture) and Kirk taking one last stroll on the bridge of the Enterprise.
  • For the Ruby and Nora series, we get Cold, in which the heroes fight against Jacques Schnee's dictatorship over Atlas in the first half and Salem and the God of Destruction, Void, in the second half, in which all the Grimm are absorbed into Void's body and Nora pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to unlock the power of Ruby's silver eyes and destroy Void completely. While there is one last story after this in Ruby and Nora, it's simply a short epilogue to the series.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: “The Gift” serves as the final wrap-up story for the series, with Bolt, Mittens, and Rhino reunited for eternity in Nirvana after their deaths.
  • It's not uncommon for fans of series that were Cut Short or Left Hanging to write fics giving the series a proper conclusion.

    Films — Animation 
  • Toy Story 4 is the finale of the Toy Story Franchise. According to Tom Hanks, this will presumably be the final film in the Toy Story franchise, capping off a 24-year tetralogy. The ending appears to confirm this: the seemingly inseparable duo of Woody and Buzz Lightyear peacefully part ways.
  • Shrek Forever After was initially designed to act as a finale to the Shrek series as a whole, to the point where promotional material outright referred to it as "The Final Chapter". Though it could be said that the third film had a sense of closure to it, Forever After has an ending that's anything but open. Shrek, after going through one of his most dangerous adventures yet and having everything he knows and loves taken from him, comes to accept and embrace his life as it is, realizing the life he had before was meaningless and he prefers his vast group of friends and family. The end credits even show clips and still images from all four movies. The series had a prequel spin-off film afterwards, and a fifth film was announced a few years later, presumably meaning the "finale" moniker no longer applies.note 
  • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is an epic end to the series, with Hiccup saying goodbye to Toothless as he sets out with his mate, the Light Fury, and other dragons into the Hidden World, where they can live safe from humans. In the Distant Finale, Hiccup and Astrid briefly visit the place to let their children fly with Toothless and another dragon.
  • Justice League Dark: Apokolips War is this to the DC Animated Movie Universe, with most of the heroes dead or crippled and Earth left near-inhospitable and Flash goes back in time and preventing the entire tragedy from ever happening in the first place, just like what happened in The Flashpoint Paradox, meaning that the resulting reality will be completely different than the one they remember.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Irishman. Given that it had been a long time that Martin Scorsese was not directing a Mafia movie again, adding to the fact that this movie brings together three legendary Mafia film actors (Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci and Al Pacino), many see this movie as the grand finale to Scorsese's Mafia movies. Quite simple, The Irishman marks the end of an era and the ultimate deconstruction.
  • Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker is the Sequel Trilogy's capper as well as the official end of the 9-films Skywalker saga that started in 1977. Whether or not the trilogy format will be retained in the future remains to be seen.
  • The Friday the 13th series has had a FEW of these:
    • The title of the fourth entry, Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter, makes its intention clear. It ends with Jason being Killed Off for Real by a kid named Tommy Jarvis, who takes him out quite brutally with a machete. The next movie came out LESS THAN A YEAR later, and got around the ending of The Final Chapter by using a copycat killer as the villain instead of the real Jason. Then another year after that, there was Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin - the real Jason is resurrected as an undead killing machine, by Tommy, no less.
    • Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan was, according to the writer/director, supposed to be this. It infamously ends with Jason being caught in a flood of toxic waste in the NYC sewers and seemingly transforming back into a little boy, though there's some debate over whether this was a hallucination by the main character or some sort of metaphor.
    • The very next film after the above was Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, which got around the end of Part VIII by simply not acknowledging it. It ends when Jason is stabbed by his last living blood relative with a sacred dagger and dragged down into hell by demons... and Freddy Krueger. This was followed in story order by Freddy vs. Jason, where Freddy Krueger revives Jason from hell as part of a plan to get back in the game himself. The sequel in release order was Jason X, a Recycled IN SPACE! Affectionate Parody of the series that once again just seemed to ignore the events leading up to it, though it makes a bit more sense in retrospect as a follow-up to Freddy vs. Jason.
  • The grand finale of the Dollars Trilogy would be For a Few Dollars More, if one agrees with one paragraph at Wikipedia:
    "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly is considered as a prequel by some, since it depicts Eastwood's character gradually acquiring the clothing he wears in the other two films and because it takes place during the American Civil War (1861-1865), whereas the other two films feature comparatively more modern firearms and other props, for example: Lee Van Cleef's character in For a Few Dollars More appears to be a Confederate veteran who has come down in the world, and a graveyard scene in A Fistful of Dollars features a gravestone dated 1873."
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 and 2.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the Grand Finale of the The Lord of the Rings, and by extension The Hobbit as well.
  • The Matrix Revolutions: acts as the Grand Finale of the Matrix trilogy and ties up all the remaining plotlines in the series, ending with peace between Zion and the Machines, the Matrix being rebooted, and Neo finally defeating Smith at the cost of his own life.
  • Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country is the Grand Finale that Star Trek never had. The film had an air of finality to it; the crew and ship were due to be decommissioned, aside from Sulu who now had his own ship. They managed to save the galaxy one last time before retiring. Additionally, the film was produced and released during the 1989-1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, the conclusion of which 19 days after the film's release would mark the end of not only the Cold War, but also the country that the Klingon Empire was designed to be an expy of. Consequently, the film essentially acts as a prolonged rumination on the fast-approaching end of the very international climate that birthed one of the series' most central conflicts, and serves to more or less give closure to a series birthed in a soon-to-be-bygone era. The first teaser trailer went out of its way to drive the point home; it was essentially composed of snapshots of the greatest moments of TOS and the previous five films. The movie also bridged TOS and TNG by sowing the seeds of peace between the Federation and the Klingon Empire; this peace was well-established when TNG premiered (though in hindsight it wound up being a bit too idealistic regarding its predictions on America's relationship with The New Russia).
  • X-Men Film Series:
    • X-Men: Apocalypse: Bryan Singer has referred to this film as the culmination of all his work on the franchise, starting with X-Men way back in 2000. He states in the May 2016 issue of Empire:
      "This movie to me is closure. It's in a way, a conclusion to a six-film journey."
    • Logan sees the final time Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart will play their respective roles of Wolverine and Professor Xavier.
    • Dark Phoenix was intended to be the start of another trilogy but, due to the Disney-Fox merger, it ultimately ended up having to be the end for the series. Although The New Mutants was the final film released in the X-Men film series.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon was intended to be this for the live-action Transformers Film Series and wraps up the story with the Decepticons defeated (seemingly for good this time) and the Autobots accepting Earth as their new home.
  • The Dark Knight Rises for The Dark Knight Trilogy.
  • The radio and television series Our Miss Brooks concludes with a film where she finally marries Love Interest Phillip Boynton.
  • The Godzilla series has so far gone through two major Continuity Reboots, leading to the series being split into three sub-series (the Showa series, the Heisei series, and the Millennium series). As such, each sub-series has its own Grand Finale, often marked by noticeably higher production values.
    • Destroy All Monsters (1968): In the far-off year of 1999, Godzilla and his fellow Kaiju live at peace with humanity in an island enclosure off the coast of Japan, until an invasion by the hostile Kilaak aliens leads to them being harnessed as living weapons and forced to attack Earth's major cities en masse. After winning their freedom, the monsters rebel against the Kilaaks to save humanity, leading to an unprecedented team-up between Godzilla and nine previous monsters as they take on their nemesis King Ghidorah in a final showdown. note 
    • Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995): The forces of the UNGCC prepare to capture and contain Godzilla once and for all, once it becomes clear that a fatal overdose of radiation will soon kill him in a catastrophic nuclear meltdown—along with most of the population of Earth. Meanwhile, Godzilla and his now fully-grown son are drawn into a climactic battle with the mutated offspring of the Oxygen Destroyer, the experimental weapon that first killed him in 1954. In the final battle, Godzilla Junior dies in battle against Destoroyah, but Godzilla and the Japanese military team up to avenge him. The film ends with the promised death of Godzilla, with Junior arising fully mutated from his remains, prepared to take up his father's mantle as the new Godzilla.
    • Godzilla: Final Wars (2004): The Xilien aliens make their long-awaited return and attempt to subdue the people of Earth by unleashing an army of nearly every one of Godzilla's previous adversaries. As the soldiers of the Earth Defense Force attempt to hold the line to protect humanity, they're forced to free the long-dormant Godzilla from captivity to save them, leading to Godzilla running the gauntlet against every monster in the Xiliens' army before ultimately being persuaded to forgive humanity by his son Minilla.
  • Blade: Trinity was intended as the third and final installment of the Blade films.
  • Michael Jackson's This Is It was made to give fans a glimpse into what Michael Jackson had planned for his This Is It concert residency in London before he died in 2009, and to give a satisfying ending to his nearly fifty year career.
  • Back to the Future Part III was this for the Back to the Future trilogy. All the loose ends are tied up, Marty outgrows his "Nobody calls me chicken" attitude, the DeLorean is destroyed, Doc has fallen in love and now has kids, and Marty and Jennifer have a promising future ahead of them.
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, as the title suggests, is the final movie in the Resident Evil film franchise. Alice returns to the Hive in Raccoon City, in order to final destroy the Umbrella Corporation and end the T-Virus plague once and for all.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Rambo: Last Blood sees John Rambo go on his final and most blood-soaked mission. That title (Last Blood) is there for a reason.
  • Bill & Ted Face the Music is considered as the finale of the bill and ted franchise where the duo finally made the song that will reunite the world by having everyone around the world play music together saving reality as we know it.

    Literature 
  • The final two books of Animorphs showed the end of the war with the Yeerks, and gave us a glimpse of the heroes' lives a few years afterwards. Cassie is the only one to 'come home' from the war - Rachel dies the final battle, Ax is taken prisoner by a mysterious new enemy, and everyone else goes on a suicide mission to rescue him.
  • Mostly Harmless ended with writer Douglas Adams killing all the main characters and completely erasing Earth from existence (in this universe and every parallel universe). He later said he regretted ending The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy on a such a melancholy note and was considering a sixth book with a happier ending before he suddenly died of a heart attack.
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows finished the series-long conflict between Harry and Voldemort, complete with more major character deaths than the other books combined.
    • Prior to the publication of the last book, there was much speculation as to how Rowling, on a purely practical level, would choose to end something so popular and profitable (although the ending had been planned from the humble beginnings over ten years before). Many said that, whatever she'd been planning before the title character would have to die, for example, so that the author wouldn't be hounded for the rest of her life (or that she'd better not kill him off, so that she wouldn't be hounded for the rest of her life). Another "story-ending" possibility raised by some was for him to lose his magic. She seemed to solve the issue by implying that Harry had lived a quiet, peaceful life for at least 19 years following the defeat of Voldemort.
  • Alan Dean Foster's Flinx Transcendent is the grand finale of thirty five years worth of novels set in the Humanx Commonwealth universe. Sure enough, each and every dangling plot element is resolved, one by one, like a checklist.
  • The Grand Finale of Stephen King's magnum opus The Dark Tower series is infamous for ending with an Anticlimax Boss confrontation with the King Multiverse's Big Bad (who turns out to be a pathetic, powerless loony), followed by the protagonist walking through a door that turns out to be a big Reset Button that boots him back to the first scene of the series, with the implication that this has already happened many times before and that hopefully he'll eventually get it "right".
    • Worse, we, the readers, will never learn exactly what "getting it right" will mean, because Stephen King wrote himself into a corner after creating such a divine mystery as to whatever is at the top of the Dark Tower. IF you ever want to see what's up there, forget it.
  • Arthur Conan Doyle tried to give Sherlock Holmes a Grand Finale three times without success. The first time, Holmes dies. The second time (after Holmes turns out to be Not Quite Dead), Holmes achieves what he considers to be the pinnacle of his career when he stops a World War from happening (decades before World War I), in a story that was first mentioned as a Noodle Incident eleven years prior. The last was set years after Holmes' retirement during World War I, where Holmes and Watson pull a Xanatos Gambit that gave the Germans so much false information that effectively turned them into sitting ducks against the British forces; the story also gave Holmes an age for the first time in the series. But the combo of Public Demand and Executive Meddling made him continue each time. But when the real last story came, Conan Doyle said, "screw it" and completely averts this by giving us a standard-issue mystery as the last Sherlock Holmes story.
  • The Last Hope serves as the grand finale of Warrior Cats, wrapping up all the plot hooks and giving all the characters one last time in the glory. Well, at least it did before HarperCollins decided that the series was selling too well to end it.
  • The Lord of the Rings concludes with the end of Middle-earth's Third Age and is chronologically the very last installment of Tolkien's Legendarium.note 
  • The last story of Awake in the Night Land is one for The Night Land mythos. At the end of times The Powers of the Night are finally defeated and prevented from getting into the next Universe.
  • The Fairy Chronicles has Journey's End, which closed the series with Marigold taking on an apprentice.
  • Captain Underpants and the Sensational Saga of Sir Stinks-a-Lot is the final book of the Captain Underpants series and has Mr. Krupp permanently stripped of his powers and Captain Underpants identity as well as George and Harold moving on from making Captain Underpants comics.
  • Survivor Dogs ends on on the twelfth book (not counting the novella compilation) The Final Battle. Storm finds the traitorous dog and saves her pack.
  • Codex Alera has the book First Lord's Fury, where Tavi rallies whatever forces he can (comprised of the last of Alera's legions, Canim refugees, Marat Tribesmen, and even the forces of nature) in a desperate Last Stand to defeat the Vord Queen and her Horde of Alien Locusts.

    Music 
  • Queen's '''The Show Must Go On! is clearly this for Freddie Mercury. Brian May had penned the song, but was unsure that Mercury, who was dying of AIDS, could sing it. Fortunately, Mercury was able to nail it, pouring everything he was into it, and recorded the main vocals in one take after taking a shot of vodka.
    • The rest of Innuendo is seen by this by a lot of fans, containing some of the best songs of late-era Queen, including the aforementioned "The Show Must Go On", the title track, "I'm Going Slightly Mad", "Headlong" and "These Are the Days of Our Lives".
    • The true grand finale for the band, at least before May and Taylor went on tour with other musicians, was the 23-minute hidden ambient track on Made in Heaven (the album released after Innuendo, almost four years after Mercury's death), given the Fan Nickname "Ascension".
  • Dream Theater's Epic Rocking song "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence" (a 42-minute-long song), ends with a section called "Losing Time / Grand Finale".
  • Rush's "2112" last section is called "Grand Finale".
  • Orbital's Blue Album concludes with the epic "One Perfect Sunrise", which was also supposed to be the swan song for the band, but they later got back together.
  • Abbey Road was probably intended to be this for The Beatles, being their final recorded album, closing out with a big medley of short songs, including a song titled "The End". However, circumstances led to Let It Be being the band's final released album.
    • The song that ends Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. "A Day in the Life" concludes with all four of the Beatles striking the piano in a final E major chord that runs 45 seconds. Music critic Greil Marcus called it "an ending that will never be matched."
  • The Smashing Pumpkins played their final show (at least before they reformed) in 2000 at the same venue they played their first gig at. The concert featured songs from all of their albums, and even Billy Corgan's dad showed up on stage.
  • "MTV Unplugged in New York" could be seen as this for Nirvana.
  • The Last Waltz by The Band.
  • "High Hopes" by Pink Floyd, works very well as this, being the last song they ever recorded (until session on 2014's The Endless River began), and managing to feel like something is ending, with a very melancholic tune, and lyrics that focus not on the future or the present, but about how things were better in times past. It's also the last song on the last released Pink Floyd album from before they broke up.
  • Merle Haggard: Averted, but in the late 1990s, in an interview he threatened to — but ultimately did not — record a "farewell" album (and retire) in response to his growing distaste for modern country music and radio (which had drifted, as it occasionally does, toward radio-friendly, pop-sounding material) virtually ignoring his new material, despite critical acclaim. The album, he said, was to be titled "On the Brink of Extinction." Haggard continued to record and perform until his death in 2016.
  • Bridge Over Troubled Water, Simon & Garfunkel's final studio album, turned out to be a huge success, topping the charts in the US for 10 weeks and the UK for 33 non-consecutive weeks, and even won a Grammy for Album Of The Year. It helped that it contained some fan favorites such as the title track, "El Condor Pasa (If I Could)", "Cecelia" and "The Boxer".
  • David Bowie's Blackstar plays like this, especially the final two tracks, where he spells out that it's the end. He passed away two days after its release.
  • J Dilla's Donuts was created as he was dying from an incurable blood disease, and was consciously crafted as a farewell to fans. It was released on his thirty-second birthday, and he died three days later.
    • His fourth album The Shining also counts. It was made at the same time, and it was 75% complete when Dilla passed away. As he saw it coming, Dilla tasked beforehand his close friend and collaborator Karriem Riggins to finish the album.
      • More precisely, the last song of the album, "Won't do". After so many collaborations and instrumentals, "Won't do" is all about Dilla : Dilla writing, Dilla rapping, Dilla singing, Dilla producing. Solo. No featuring. It's an awesome way to end the album.
  • Warren Zevon's The Wind was also crafted after the singer was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer, and reflects his impending mortality. He died approximately two weeks after it was released.
  • Nujabes : The sixth and final "Luv(sic)", aptly titled "Luv(sic) Grand Finale" (by Nujabes himself), which is the last beat we'll be hearing from that Japanese producer. Its angelic sound is more grandiose than any sound on any of his other albums.
  • George Harrison's last album, Brainwashed, was also recorded as the singer was dying of cancer. He was unable to complete it before his illness overwhelmed him and it was completed posthumously by his son and his producer Jeff Lynne.
  • Frank Zappa's Civilization Phaze III is generally considered to have been intended as this for the prolific songwriter. He died before completing the album and several of the songs seem to reflect his impending mortality. The final dialogue sequence on the album is usually taken as his closing commentary on the craft of music.
  • Big L's second and final album The Big Picture wasn't intented to be his last hurrah (excluding posthumous albums put together using unreleased tracks). If anything, it was supposed to help skyrocket his career. And then, while the album was still incomplete, he passed away in a drive-by shooting in 1999. His manager Rich King finished the album and published it the following year. The intro tells you immediately this is the last time you get to hear L. Better enjoy it.
    DJ Premier: Big L rest in peace!
  • Less morbid than the previous six examples is Crass's Yes Sir... I Will. The band had already agreed to break up in 1984 and had good reason to suspect it would be their final full-length album (as it was, only followed by a brief EP released after the band broke up), so they went all-out and recorded a scorching manifesto about the state of British politics and society at the time.
  • While Jim Morrison's death lead L.A. Woman to be this for the classic line-up of The Doors, some writers have suggested that the album probably would have ended up as this anyway due to Morrison wanting out of the group. In any event, it certainly has the ingredients for it, with its introspective lyrics and three of the band's best known hits ("Love Her Madly", "L.A. Woman" and "Riders on the Storm").
  • Outsider Musician Tunnel Rat planned for the Muffin Dawn album to be his last under that name. The album is exactly album-length at thirty minutes and features a description where excessive stress and tensions balanced by the manic and scatterbrain nature of the album lead it to be the last.
  • The Grateful Dead's Fare Thee Well tour during the summer of 2015 where it would be last time the remaining members of the band would play together under that name.
  • After dealing with strife over Creative Differences and failing to find mainstream success, Spilt Milk wound up being Jellyfish's second and last album. And boy howdy was it a bang to go off on!
  • In 1993, Billy Joel released his final pop/rock album, after over twenty years in the industry. The last song on the album, "Famous Last Words", is all about goodbyes and closing up shop for the season.
    "These are the last words I have to say/That's why this took so long to write"
  • Destiny's Child's Destiny Fulfilled is considered to be this as the group planned to disband after the album due to the title meaning they had fulfilled their destinies.
  • R.E.M. concluded their work as a band with the appropriately named single "We All Go Back to Where We Belong".
  • Circles for Mac Miller. Ironically subverted with the last track from Faces, "Grand Finale."

    Myths & Religion 
  • Ragnarok. The world is consumed, everything burns, every living creature dies, game over, insert coin. Someone does. note 
  • The Book of Revelation is this for The Bible and could be for reality as we know it according to some. The book ends with all the evil thrown away to the lake of fire and the good people live with God in Paradise.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • After the WWF acquired the promotion, the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro aired on March 26, 2001 from its annual trip to Panama City. Vince McMahon made various appearances from Cleveland (where they were broadcasting Raw that night) in Kayfabe to address the deal, as well as perform some spring cleaning by firing WCW performers he didn't like — such as Jeff Jarrett (although this particular firing was legit due to actual animosity between them). Meanwhile in Panama City, WCW held the "Night of Champions" — which would see four of WCW's major championships defended for the final time, as well as have the wrestlers talking about what WCW meant to them. The final match of the night was Ric Flair vs. Sting, a fitting end as the two had many storied feuds in WCW, even before Nitro went on the air. They both broke kayfabe and performed in a very upbeat and informal manner to bring the Monday Night Wars to an end.
    • In a segment at the end of Nitro which was simulcast between both programs, Vince gloated and bragged about the purchase, and requested that Ted Turner personally deliver the contract to him to sign at WrestleMania X-Seven that weekend. However, it was revealed that Shane McMahon (who had been in an ongoing feud with Vince) was in Panama City at Nitro, and that he had already signed the contract to purchase WCW under his own name. This twist led into a street fight between Vince and Shane at WrestleMania, and set the stage for the "Invasion" — an angle which integrated the performers and championships of WCW and fellow acquisition ECW (which was bought in-universe by Stephanie McMahon) by having them form an alliance trying to overthrow Vince.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppet Show episode guest starring Gene Kelly is a downplayed example. The episode has a storyline involving The End of the World as We Know It, we get to see what the narrator looks like, and the closing number ends with Kelly himself ending the medley with a melancholy reprisal of his Signature Song, Singin' in the Rain. But it was only the last episode taped - it aired as the first episode of Season 5.
  • In a rare move for an 80s kids show, Fraggle Rock got a series finale. To be more accurate, it was kind of a three-part finale with 1.) Junior Gorg becoming king, then renouncing his title when he realizes everyone is doing okay ruling themselves (three guesses as to who taught him), 2.) the main characters all learn about the interconnectedness between all the species (Fraggle, Doozer, Gorg, Trash Heap, and the Human World) that Jim Henson had envisioned the show to be and, most importantly, 3.) Doc (the main/only human character) finally sees the Fraggles. The finale does all this while also being as touching and entertaining.
  • Pee-wee's Playhouse had a series finale where Miss Yvonne was upset that Pee-Wee is selling the playhouse. It turns out that the word "Lemonade" had fallen off the alleged "For Sale" sign
  • While seven other episodes that were intended to air earlier ended up airing in syndication after the fact, Dinosaurs ended with the episode "Changing Nature", where Earl Sinclair accidentally sets off a chain of events that will destroy the world and as a consequence, all the dinosaurs in the show die out, including the Sinclair family. The last thing we actually see before the dinosaurs go extinct is news anchor Howard Handupme telling the viewers "This is Howard Handupme, signing off for the very last time. Goodnight...and goodbye..."
  • Sam & Friends has this for the final episode (which aired on December 15, 1961), in which Kermit sings a song, then tells Harry that the series is ending after 7 years. Harry then blows up everything on the set, including all the scenery and equipment, since they probably won't be using it ever again. While no footage of it is known to exist at this time, the script for the episode was located and released.
  • Mr. Meaty ends with the TV special Dream of the Dead which ends with them finally starting their career as filmmakers, quitting their jobs at the titular restaurant and never returning until some point in the future where they are rich enough to buy out the entire franchise for the sole purpose of shutting it down. Also half the people in their hometown get their brains eaten by a zombie, but no one seems to notice that.

    Radio 
  • American Top 40: The finale of the original run, from January 28, 1995, was hosted by Shadoe Stevens. With obvious clues announcing that this was the last episode, Shadoe played a Long Distance Dedication to loyal listeners — James Brown's "Move On." The end theme was replaced by the song "Happy Trails" by Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.
  • The last episode (The Raymond Nostril Story) of the second-to-last series of I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again was one of these (the very last series aired three years later, so presumably it was Un-Canceled). It had reappearances of almost all the recurring characters, catchphrases, running gags, and most importantly, announced the end for Radio Prune. Towards the end, the performers ask to sing their beloved signature Angus Prune Tune "happily and cheerfully" as they always have. They're allowed, and perform a slow, sad, sobbing version punctuated by tearful cries and shouts. David reads the credits, tearing up, as the others punctuate it with nostalgic sighs at the names mentioned. Finally, David asks John to utter those magic sign-off words, with the others protesting as they couldn't possibly handle the impact...and then John says, manically cheerful, "It's I'm Sorry I'll Read That Again, again!" and they sing the Angus Prune Tune as joyfully as ever as the episode closes.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One special scenario in a Gorkamorka expansion was about the Necrons in the ruins waking up and going on an icily murderous rampage. Any mob that was below the usual retirement point was going to have a very hard time with it, and so it was there to end the campaign.
  • Warhammer: The End Times was the big final blowout for the Warhammer setting, with all of those apocalyptic wars that had been hovering juuusst at the point of disaster for decades all going off at once. You can guess the results from the title.
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Die, Vecna, Die was intended as the wrap-up point for the second edition, allowing groups to move on to the significantly different mechanics of third edition.
    • The Apocalypse Stone is a second-edition adventure written to be used as a Grand Finale for any high-level campaign, though it also discusses ways to go on with the campaign afterwards if you prefer. It's about the end of the world, and one of the side plots involves a fight against an archdevil after he's killed all the player characters' loved ones.
  • The Old World of Darkness had a grand finale... once. As part of the Time of Judgment, each of the major gamelines that was still being published got a book detailing various end-of-the-world scenarios for characters to either avert or endure, all to pave the way for the New World of Darkness. Then came the 20th Anniversary editions, written as if the world never ended and Armageddon was not necessarily looming any higher than the default state... and then the 5th editions, which pushed the games forward to today, with all possible end times either getting pushed back or turning out to be damp farts.
    • And before the Time of Judgment, Wraith: The Oblivion got an endgame in Ends of Empire, which saw the Shadowlands get scythed clean during the Sixth Great Maelstrom.

    Toys 
  • Beast Wars: Uprising: The last four stories constitute the finale, where the Builders unleash the Vehicon Apocalypse. Every main character from the previous stories (except the ones who died) join together to fight it, and the cause. Good triumphs, but at the cost of a hell of a lot of people, sometimes in horrible and unfair ways, leaving behind a Cybertron more willing to try and make a society that works. And of course, as any Transformers fan will note, it never ends. A brief follow-up story came after, showing maddeningly brief glimpses of what happened after, ending with two Cybertronian ships crash-landing on a strange, unknown planet.

    Video Games 
  • Portal 2 has as closed an ending as it can possibly have. Wheatley is stuck in space, along with the Portal Device and Space Core, persumably forever. GLaDOS is back in charge and has ATLAS and P-Body to test for her. Chell is finally set free. Combined with the fact that Valve can't count to three, it seems like this series has come to a close.
  • Grand Theft Auto III. Word of God says that it's the grand finale of the GTA III era. Interestingly, it was the first game in the GTA III era to be made.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots serves as the ultimate conclusion of over ten years of Metal Gear lore note . There has since been at least two new games in the series released since MGS4 (the former being a prequel and the latter being a sequel), and a two-parter that is also a prequel, taking place after Peace Walker but before the MSX2 Metal Gear game.
    • On a more meta level, Metal Gear Solid V as a whole acts as a Grand Finale not just for the myth arc of Big Boss and as a bridge to the chronologically later games, but also for the Metal Gear franchise under Kojima Productions, following their parting from Konami in December 2015.
  • Despite a long-shot Sequel Hook in the bonus ending, Halo 3 neatly wraps up the plot of the original Halo trilogy. Or, as claimed by ex-employees of Bungie who joined Infinity Ward, Master Chief is the Troubleshooter from Marathon with the AI being the corrupted version of Cortana (Durandal in Marathon). However, they are still making Halo games, with there already being a Halo 4 and 5.
  • BlazBlue: Central Fiction is the Grand Finale of Ragna's story arc, and amongst things to deal with are his sister-turned-death god Izanami and an existential crisis.
  • Much of the Final Fantasy series, to one degree or another. Notable because many of these games' endings retain their grandeur even after advancing technology would seem to make their endings less impressive. Final Fantasy VI's half-hour-long sprite animation ending can still enrapture and move the player just as much as the fantastic full CG finales of games that came four to seven titles after it.
  • Thief: Deadly Shadows served this purpose with regards to the series' plot, with a conclusive ending that brings Garrett's story full circle.
    • While ending his career as a professional criminal, it's probably the beginning of a whole new career spent in the shadows (Garrett doesn't seem the type to stick to administrative work longer than he has to). Good both for creators of fan missions, and possibly for the sequel in the works.
  • Ultima IX brings a conclusive end to the series, incorporating plot elements and characters from all the previous games and concluding the long standing struggle between the Avatar and the Guardian. Alas, due to Executive Meddling many fans felt that it was a sad way to end the saga.
  • Phantasy Star IV brought an epic and conclusive end to the saga of the Algol star system, wrapping up all the plot threads and unanswered questions brought up in the previous 3 games. Stories set in the same universe and based on the exodus colony ships would continue to crop up in the Phantasy Star Online series, though.
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. Geralt faces The Wild Hunt and find his adoptive daughter Cirilla who must stop a doomsday scenario of the White frost happening. Recurring characters die such as Vesemir and Eredin, and based on choices so can Radovid, Sheala or Vernon Roche. Players can finally retire Geralt with Triss or Yennefer. Ciri becomes empress, a witcher or seems to die fighting the white frost.
  • Wizardry 8 wraps up the plot of the Wizardry series (although only games 6-8 had an actual continuous plot) and ends with the option of having your characters ascend into godhood.
  • Quest for Glory V featured appearances from characters from all 4 previous games, and brought the series' story to a conclusive end. In fact, the game was almost never made (much like the intended Grand Finale Space Quest 7), and the developers deliberately staged it as their Grand Finale knowing it would be the last game they would make under their name.
    • Although the game still allows the trademark option of letting you save your character for future use. Either they were giving players one last dose of hopeful nostalgia, or they weren't completely ruling out the possibility of a sequel.
    • The game also, after three prequels of having to either seal away or prevent ancient, powerful beings from being summoned or unsealed, decrees that you're now strong enough to just flat-out kill the Sealed Evil in a Can Of The Week. Even better, it's a dragon, which previous game manuals had included as a potential encounter as a Running Gag, suggesting that you run at the fight sight of one.
  • Though there are sure to be other games and media produced later, Resident Evil 5 certainly feels like a Grand Finale. Series Big Bad Albert Wesker has finally abandoned all subtlety and now harbors delusions of godhood, and is ready to unleash a biological threat of global proportions as opposed to one isolated to a mansion or a city. At this point in the timeline, Umbrella is all but gone. And at the climax, the game defies Joker Immunity; Chris Redfield, his new partner Sheva, and his old partner Jill Valentine finally end Wesker's madness with a couple of well aimed rocket propelled grenades. While Wesker's waist deep in a lava pit. The ending is different this time as well: there are no mysterious phone calls, no stingers, no hints that Wesker might still be alive. Only the relieved looks on the heroes' faces as they realize that their struggles against the threat posed by Umbrella and Wesker is finally over. Series producer Masachika Kawata even said that the inevitable Resident Evil 6 would "have to reinvent the series with another full model change or else it won't be able to keep on going."
  • Mega Man Zero 4, technically the first in the entire series. The fascist government that the heroes are fighting against is finally destroyed although not without heavy casualties. The Big Bad is now in a desperate Kill 'Em All mindset, setting his Kill Sat on a literal crash course towards the last chance of healing a dying world. The Hero succeeds in stopping the Big Bad once and for all, although he sacrificed himself in the process. Due to the actions of The Hero, the humans have started to believe in Reploids once more, and true peace has finally surfaced after hundreds of years of war.
    • Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Gregar and Cybeast Falzar also served as the big finale for its characters. Dr. Wily decides to stop being evil and tries to help society for a change, Mega Man can finally interact with his brother in the human world thanks to a Copy Bot, a quick "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue bit to bring us up to speed on the others and the Official Couple of Lan and Mayl even get a little Babies Ever After moment.
      • Word of God says Mega Man Battle Network 3: White and Blue was originally supposed to be this for the Battle Network series, and it shows as the game has a sense of finality to it. The doomsday monster that was the prototype of the internet world is revived and serves as the final boss, we meet Tadashi Hikari (Lan's grandfather and the creator of the internet world), Lan gets to interact with Mega Man in the cyber world via Pulse Transmission, the origins of the Undernet are revealed, Wily is finally arrested, Bass' backstory is revealed and he later loses his memory and hatred of humanity with it, and Mega Man pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to save Lan- prompting Lan to work on becoming a more mature kid in Mega Man's absence (Mega Man gets better during the end credits). This isn't the first Mega Man series this happened to (see below).
    • Mega Man X5 was supposed to be this for the X series, dealing with X and Zero trying to stop a catastrophic Colony Drop and a worldwide Maverick virus epidemic, while further extrapolating on Zero's connection to Dr. Wily, and ending with Zero performing another Heroic Sacrifice to stop Sigma for good (allowing a smooth transition to Zero.) Certain stages designs, bosses and music choices also end up filling the game with Mythology Gags, giving the game the air of being a retrospective of not only the X series, but the Mega Man (Classic) series, was well. Unfortunately, Capcom wasn't ready to let the X series go just yet, and the series awkwardly lurched back to life with the highly difficult X6, the near universally-hated X7, and the improved but-not-enough-to-keep-the-series-going X8.
    • Mega Man 6 can be seen as a minor send-off to the NES Mega Man games, as unlike the games before it where Wily gets away, here Wily is finally captured and sentenced to prison, with a comment on how "The world is finally at peace." Of course, this all becomes less of a finale when Mega Man 7 rolls around and Wily is freed from prison by Burst Man, Cloud Man, Freeze Man, and Junk Man.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption concludes the trilogy and the Phazon arc. This is an even more Actionized Sequel and begins with the space pirates declaring all out war on the galactic federation. Samus must help them fight back, destroy several more Leviathans and defeat Big Bad Dark Samus, whilst Samus is basically dying from Phazon corruption. However, it wouldn't be the last Metroid Prime game, as Metroid Prime 4 would be announced in 2017.
  • Legacy of Kain: Defiance brings Raziel and Kain's destiny full circle with Raziel's Heroic Sacrifice. After being an Unwitting Pawn to nearly everyone in the series, Raziel finally chooses his own destiny and willingly merges with the Soul Reaver and renews his loyalty to Kain. Other plot threads are resolved as well. Moebius The Dragon to the true Big Bad of the series, the Elder God, and the time traveling villain responsible for Kain becoming a vampire in the first place, is rendered Deader Than Dead in the most final way possible when his soul is devoured by the Elder God. And the Elder God himself is finally defeated by Kain wielding the fully empowered Soul Reaver. The last scene implies that Kain has finally accepted his destiny and responsibilities as the Scion of Balance as well.
  • The good endings of the Castlevania: Chronicles of Sorrow duology mark the conclusion of the battle between Dracula and the Belmont clan. In the first, Soma Cruz manages to defeat the evil of Castlevania that sought to turn him into Dracula again. In the second, he refuses the mantle once again despite being told that the Balance Of Good and Evil demands that he become the King of Evil. So even if the universe truly needs a Big Bad, it won't be Dracula again. To keep the franchise from dying, all subsequent games take place before the Sorrow series. Though those games also break the pattern by featuring non-Belmont protagonists who don't specialize in whips (Jonathan being a borderline example since he uses a variety of weapons).
    • And right before the Sorrow series, the Dracula saga ends with a bang in 1999, as Julius Belmont killed him off for good. Hopefully, they'll get along to making that final battle into a game eventual-oh, wait, they're rebooting the series with Castlevania: Lords of Shadow, aren't they? Damn it, Hideo Kojima.
    • Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 also brought an end to the Lords of Shadow storyline, and given Konami's change of focus from mainstream gaming, is likely to be the finale of the entire Castlevania franchise.
  • Mother 3 is the finale to the Mother series. Itoi has even said himself that if he was not making any more Mother games, he'd prefer playing them. (That didn't stop fans from making their own Mother 4, later renamed Oddity.)
  • Mass Effect:
    • Mass Effect 3 ends Shepard's storyline and involves the war between the sentient species of the galaxy and the Reapers. Towards the end of the game, Shepard is faced with three choices - Control the Reapers; merge organics & synthetics; or destroy the Reapers (And every other synthetic being). In the game's Extended Cut, a fourth choice is added, refusing the other three options... And dooming every species fighting the Reapers to extinction, with the species of the next cycle defeating the Reapers 50,000 years later.
    • The Citadel DLC, the final downloadable story mission, is a send-off for the entire cast of characters, filled with continuity nods, shipper jokes and self-deprecation. It wraps up with cameos for everyone you've kept alive and a shore leave party in a fancy apartment.
  • Case 3-5 of the Ace Attorney series is notably longer than most others, wraps up all unanswered plot threads, brings back multiple characters that were Put on a Bus just in time for the finale, and features unusual and awesome sections such as playing as Edgeworth for a while and Phoenix teaming up with Franziska for an investigation, though the series eventually continues on after a Time Skip and a temporary change in protagonists.
  • Guitar Hero Warriors of Rock was not explicitly labelled as being the end of the series, but with the band game market about to crash due to oversaturation (caused mainly by themselves), it sure felt like it (and indeed, it was officially killed in 2011, until the brief Continuity Reboot Guitar Hero Live). The game has a story mode building upon its classic characters, which were given superpowers and enlisted to fight "the Beast" with The Power of Rock to save the world. There was an entire chapter built around Rush's "2112", a brand-new Megadeth song to serve as the final song (specifically composed to be Harder Than Hard), and Creative Closing Credits showing Neversoft staff members being loaded into a death metal-themed rocket and launched into space.
  • Mortal Kombat: Armageddon was the Grand Finale for the original Mortal Kombat canon. It gathered every single playable character up to that point, and set them all in a gigantic battle intended to prevent the apocalypse. As Mortal Kombat 9 shows, it ends up being a Downer Ending, as everyone aside from Shao Kahn and Shinnok was killed in the battle.
    • Mortal Kombat 11 is the finale of the new universe trilogy started in 9. Unlike Armageddon, however, this one ends on a better note. Raiden gives Liu Kang his powers, turning him into a god, he beats Kronika and, though the timeline has been wiped before he could, Liu Kang vows to recreate it to the best of his abilities either with the aid of Raiden (Normal Ending) or Kitana (Golden Ending).
  • Similar to Halo 3, Gears of War 3 ends on a very epic note and gives a final conclusion to the game universe's central conflict. One of the most major characters dies in a Heroic Sacrifice, most of the plot threads are resolved, and the Big Bad is finally killed. However, a few questions regarding the backstory and the truth behind the causes of the war are Left Hanging. Like the Halo series, a prequel and fourth game have been made 9since then.
  • Modern Warfare 3 neatly wraps up every loose plot thread from the previous Modern Warfare games. World War III is brought to a conclusive end, the last of the world's 3 Big Bads is finally killed, and every single major character except Price ends up dying.
  • In a unique example, Fallout: New Vegas gives a grand finale to its DLC. Dead Money, Honest Hearts, and Old World Blues hinted that the events were set in motion due to the actions of the Sixth Courier, Ulysses. And this isn't the first time he is mentioned, in fact, he's been mentioned several times in the vanilla game. All of this build up leads to Lonesome Road. Not only do you get to confront him, but the DLC itself also resolves plot holes from the main storyline of the game.
  • The Sacrifice DLC for Left 4 Dead wraps up the story and struggle for survival for the survivors. The group reaches Georgia and plan to use a boat to sail to the Florida Keys for safety away from the zombies, but a drawbridge is in the way and it needs to be raised by activating three generators. Each generator that is turned on attracts a horde and then a Tank. Once the bridge is down, it can be raised high enough to let the boat through. However, the bridge stops halfway and one survivor has to jump off the bridge and restart the stalled generator to get the bridge moving again while they face against a horde plus three Tanks. The survivor then winds up sacrificing their life after they fix the generator and get the other survivors to safety.
    • The Passing in Left 4 Dead 2 reveals that the canon death in The Sacrifice was Bill's.
  • The Impossible Quiz Book: Chapter 3. Starts off normal, but quickly decays into a muddled space-time mess, with questions becoming engulfed in lava towards the end. In the final question, the player must choose to wipe the Impossible Quiz from history in order to save the space-time continuum, which leads to a montage of characters, images, and questions from all the games in the series being sucked into space-time. The game ends on a gray screen with the text "ERROR 404: "The Impossible Quiz.swf" could not be found."
  • Crysis 3 decisively finishes the storyline of the games, ending the war against the Ceph and CELL for good and completing Prophet's Character Development.
  • beatmania THE FINAL, as the title suggests. While various other BEMANI series have met their end, the 5-key beatmania series is the only retired series in the franchise to have a game explicitly billed as the final installment. Even the GITADORA "classic" series' final gamenote  was simply GuitarFreaks & drummania V8note .
  • Dance Dance Revolution EXTREME was intended to be the final installment of that franchise (or at least the beginning of a major hiatus). But it coincided with an explosion of popularity in North America, leading to its resumption with DDR SuperNOVA.
  • Doom 64 could be seen as the big finale to the original series before Doom 3 rebooted it. Doomguy has seemingly killed every last demon in Hell, and chooses to stay behind to ensure that no demon ever rises again. Doom Eternal reveals that the Doom Slayer is the original Doom Guy. Unfortunately, by the time Night Sentinels found him in between 64 and DOOM (2016), he went crazy from the ripping and tearing he did in hell.
  • Prince of Persia: The Two Thrones brings an end to the Sands of Time trilogy, with the Vizier finally being killed for good, all the temporal snarls created by the Prince's abuse of time travel ironed out, and Kaileena becoming the Sands of Time and then leaving for other words so that no one abuses its power again. The game ends with the Prince meeting up with Farah again and bookending the series by telling her his opening lines from the first game.
  • Saints Row: The Third was touted as the climax to the Saints Row games, only for the fourth entry to jump off the rails of sanity with alien invasions and demonic brides. Further sequels are expected to be even wackier, so in a way, Saints Row 3 is the final game in the series that makes any sense. At all.
    • All in all, Gat Out Of Hell serves as the Grand Finale for the series as a whole as Gat and Kinsey cause a Cosmic Retcon and creates the universe of Agents of Mayhem.
  • The original Nexus War ended epically, as the planes of existence shut down one by one, the Void swallowed the world, and the gods walked the earth. The second game makes the end and rebooting of the universe a more regular occurrence, albeit usually with less fanfare.
  • The game Another Century's Episode 3 The Final was this for the PlayStation 2 version of the franchise, going so far as to introduce its first Super Robot franchise with Getter Robo Armageddon.
  • The third installment of the Warriors Orochi series feels this way, by having a fleshed out story mode that deals the relationships of the characters and having the heroes fight the remnants of Orochi's power leading to a definitive ending where they either return to their own worlds with Victory-Guided Amnesia or decide to settle their differences and create a world of peace. Expanded upon with Ultimate which features the origins of Orochi, and the final war against the villain who triggered everything that happened in the series of games.
  • DROD 5: The Second Sky is the Grand Finale of the series. The mysteries that have been built up throughout the series — the Pit Thing's nature, the Grand Event, the Archivists' and Patrons' plans — are answered, and Beethro ends up in an epic race against time to save everyone on the surface.
  • Within the Panzer Dragoon series, the third game Saga neatly finishes the dragon's mission to destroy the Towers, yet it's the last installment Orta which showcases a proper conclusion to the franchise, as without the Towers' influence, humanity and genetically engineered monsters created by the Towers in the Crapsack World Panzer Dragoon takes place in have started to bond with one another, creating an ecosystem free of the Towers.
  • Dark Souls III is the final chapter in the Dark Souls series, showing what happens to its world After the End.
  • Batman: Arkham Knight is the final game in the Batman: Arkham series, and ends with Batman unmasked on live television by Scarecrow, forcing him to activate his "Knightfall Protocol"; he says his final goodbyes to his allies before disappearing with Alfred when Wayne Manor explodes. The final scene shows a demonic Batman-like being attacking two thugs, recalling Bruce's final words to Catwoman that something "more terrible" than Batman would be needed now.
  • Dariusburst: Chronicle Saviours appears to be this for the Darius series, particularly the CS Mode campaign, which culminates in a fight with Gigantic Bite, described as "the final enemy of the human race."
  • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is the conclusion of the Uncharted story, being Nathan Drake's final treasure hunting adventure, fully revealing his backstory and origins, and showing what became of his marriage to Elena Fisher.
  • After numerous updates and expansions to The Binding of Isaac, the game eventually met its end with Afterbirth+. The expansion includes what is intended to be The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, with one last ending that clearly summarizes the backstory told through several other endings. Support for Game Mods was added with the sole purpose of letting fans breathe new life into the game, long after official development for it has stopped.
  • R-Type Final, as the title implies, was intended to be this, only to be followed up with the R-Type Tactics duology of spinoff games, and 16 years later the hilariously-titled R-Type Final 2 is now in development.
  • Sonic 3 & Knuckles serves as the grand finale of the Death Egg saga, which began in Sonic the Hedgehog 2. It can also be considered one to the classic 2D series as a whole, with later games being all mere spin-offs until the next main console game brought the series into 3D four years later and ended the "classic" era.
  • Splatterhouse 3 serves as the final entry of the original Splatterhouse game series, as it has Rick fight against the influence of the Terror Mask after learning that it's Evil All Along in the final boss fight and, depending on how quickly the player has beaten certain levels, ends with the Terror Mask being defeated for good as well as Rick living happily ever after with his wife Jennifer and his son David.
  • Armored Core: Last Raven concludes the plot of the third Armored Core generation by having every character except the player die and the world in ruins. It also served as a finale to the original Armored Core gameplay, as the Armored Core 4 and Armored Core V generations would introduce big changes to the mechanics and style of the games.
  • With the Baldur's Gate saga revolving around the prophecy of the Bhaalspawn, Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal shows the final war between the Bhaalspawn, in which almost all of them die, reveals the destiny of the Player Character as the Chosen One, and gives the player character the chance to either become a god or give up the essence of Bhaal for good. It also features epilogues for all the NPC party members you have with you. (Baldur's Gate III was announced much later, but it's set hundreds of years in the future and has a different premise.)
  • World of Warcraft: Legion pretty much deserves a mention for being an aversion, for being an incredibly epic-scale and final Grand Finale for something that isn't. The Legions of Hell that have been the Greater-Scope Villain behind at least half of everything happening in the myriad plots in the series are finally invading the world in full force, and to defeat them, the Player Character acquires one of the most legendary weapons in the lore of the world and becomes a leader in such an esteemed organisation they're basically a Big Good instead of just The Hero now — oh, and by the way, about the biggest Big Goods in the world are killed in the introduction, and more named characters keep dying all the time. You finally go to the legendary Tomb of Sargeras, which had a big role in starting the conflict back in Warcraft I, and kill the demon monarch Kil'jaeden, but instead of ending there, this leads to the planet that is the demons' main base of operations being drawn through space to sit next to your world, so next you invade it, make your way to the heart of the Legion's base of operations and destroy it, then fight and defeat two titans, beings with planet-scale powers, while saving all the good titans, who used to be dead and who basically made your world in the far past, so you just saved your own gods. Then the Satanic Archetype Galactic Conqueror Omnicidal Maniac God of Evil appears in person for the first time and tries to stab your world to death with a sword bigger than mountain ranges before finally being thwarted for good. And then you see how it's, nevertheless, all been paving the way for another expansion.
  • Sakura Wars 4: Fall in Love, Maidens serves as the fourth and final chapter in Ichiro Ogami's story arc for Sakura Wars, which started with the original 1996 game.
  • The King of Fighters 2000 is this in a more meta sense. While it's only the second game in the NESTS trilogy, it was the final game made before SNK's bankruptcy. As such, it has more of a sense of finality and celebration of SNK's legacy to it, with lots of new Strikers not only taken from other SNK games with no regard to continuity (i.e. Last Blade, Samurai Shodown and Savage Reign), but also Strikers like Neo & Geo from an obscure quiz game, SNK's original mascot G-Mantle, and multiple prototype and alternate versions of certain characters. The game also ends with the destruction of South Town, the setting for Fatal Fury and the most important location in the SNK verse, symbolizing the end of the SNK era.
  • The official Grand Finale of the main Five Nights at Freddy's series is Freddy Fazbear's Pizzeria Simulator. The fire destroys Molten Freddy, the remains of Ennard whom are now controlled by Funtime Freddy, Springtrap aka William Afton, deteriorated even further but now being able to speak and just as willing to murder as always, Scrap Baby, Circus Baby once she put herself together following Ennard's ejection of her, and embracing her identity as William's daughter Elizabeth to become a murderer like him, Lefty, a seemingly new character that really is a suit designed to trap the Puppet, now revealed to be possessed by Henry Emily's daughter Charlotte, and the Freddy's pizza chain as a whole. Only the fate of the Puppet is debatable, but even then, it gets closure to its story.
  • DoDonPachi SaiDaiOuJou is not just this for the DonPachi franchise, but is also CAVE's last big shmup.

    Web Animation 
  • The 24th chapter of Broken Saints (aptly titled "Truth") features the climactic confrontation between our heroes and the Magnificent Bastard behind the Myth Arc, complete with an Ethereal Choir, Just Between You and Me (justified), several Heroic Sacrifices, and lots and lots of religious symbolism.
  • Red vs. Blue: Revelation's final episode definitely felt like a grand finale. In any case, it was the grand finale of the Recollection trilogy, just as much as episode 100 was for The Blood Gulch Chronicles.
  • Walrusguy ended his YouTube Poop career (supposedly) with "One More Final: I Need You(tube Poop)". The title is a reference to the notorious movie ending of Neon Genesis Evangelion.
  • The YouTube Poop webseries NextG Poop has "NextG Poop and the (Supposedly) Last Crusade", which is filled with references to earlier NextG Poop episodes and specials and closes with a re-done version of the last scene of the pilot episode of the series. NextG officially retired from pooping altogether with "NextG's Ancient Prophecies", the longest poop he's made since Everybody Now!, crammed with even more references to earlier episodes.
  • "The End" is this for Eddsworld. It involves Tord, who was gone for a majority of the show's run, coming back and becoming the final Big Bad. It also involves the house the entire show took place in blowing up. However, there's a chance for the show's return.
  • "All Gone" is the final episode of Klay World. How do they finish off the series? By killing everyone, with only Chip surviving. Dr. Bob is also revealed to be the Big Bad of the entire series. Robert Benfer confirmed the show isn't coming back.
  • Brawl of the Objects: The thirteenth episode of this object show is the very, very, very last episode.

    Webcomics 
  • Narbonic ended its original run with a final episode that showed several possible futures for the main characters. This was one of only two Sunday episodes that were canon (the very first Sunday was the other).
  • Subverted by 8-Bit Theater, to the extent that many fans were unaware that it had ended until Brian Clevenger made a news post a month after the final strip. And then it got a proper finale with a surprisingly happy tone.
  • Bob and George concluded with a full-scale battle against Bob. Bob and George themselves get some final Character Development too, culminating with George finally having the will to use his blaster. The Author shows up one last time to wrap up the comic, the final revelation being that everybody faked their deaths in the Cataclysm thanks to Zero telling Dr. Wily about it, so they all lived Happily Ever After.
  • Girly ended with a sufficiently grand finale, featuring at least a cameo from everyone. You'd think Josh was trying to get every single character into the last page of his comic.
  • It's Walky! had a truly spectacular epic finale, wrapping up everything, with every villain so far crashing into each other on SEMME's doorstep, including the long-foreshadowed martian invasion.
  • Problem Sleuth ends with the Big Bad defeated and the characters finally getting the key to escape the building they were trapped in. A mostly textless Where Are They Now epilogue follows, which ends with the three detectives starting a new case. There is one final animation where the Big Bad stomps on his hat while Death pulls out some board games.
    • The follow-up, Homestuck, was known for having spectacular endings to Acts, but the final animation, "[S] Act 7", was downright incredible: a nine minute video in which the comic goes full anime, the new Genesis Frog is created, Vriska confronts Lord English with the Ultimate Juju, and Caliborn destroys his God Tier clock to gain immortality (thereby setting the events of the entire comic in motion). It also includes a flash-forward featuring the kids and trolls living together on the new Earth, along with the relocated Carapacians. Possibly subverted, as Hussie has also hinted that there will eventually be an epilogue to tie-up the many, many unresolved character arcs and plot threads.
  • Brawl in the Family drew to a close on October 3, 2014, the release date of Super Smash Bros for 3DS. The comic closed out with a finale story arc and a heartwarming musical video tribute to the six years of the comic.
  • ShiftyLook: Most of the comics on the site had endings despite many of them being Cut Short due to Namco axing the whole production.
    • Bravoman: The only comic that managed a conclusive ending. All the heroes unite to battle the Zula in one giant mecha clash. After they win, Alpha gives Bravoman a card which turns out to be from the writers of the comic. In which they thank the characters, as well as the readers, for sticking with them through their run.
    • Wonder Momo: Was in the middle of a storyline fighting the Waru Princess, but was hastily concluded with the Wonder Momo bots beaten, the princess beating a retreat, and Momo lampshading how weird her life is but accepting it and vowing to keep fighting for love and peace.
    • Legend of the Valkyrie: Likewise was in the middle of a storyline involving a golden seed and a Shadow version of Valkyrie. But the shadow is quickly beaten, the seed recovers, the prince added his feelings to Valkyrie herself and the king presented the prince to the people. At the very least, the initial storyline was concluded with Valkyrie and her friends managing to beat Zouna.
    • Katamari: All of the Prince's cousins come together to defeat the Robo-King. The world is saved and the group do what they do best, roll some Katamari.
    • Dig Dug: Despite being a Anthology Series with different artists. It's final strip ends with the digger drilling his way out from underground and giving up the digging life.
    • Galaga: The aliens are beaten and their invasion thwarted. Game over, enter Initials!
  • 1/0: In the last twentysomething strips Teddy Weddy (the setting of the series) gets resurrected, long-dead or deanthropomorphized characters are brought back even from other strips, then the cast gets turned into humans and get sent to Portland.
  • The Adventures Of Dr Mcninja: The final two part arc fittingly titled "The End". After Mcninja thwarts King Radical's plan to merge his dimension with Earth (long story). Radical partners with all of Mcninja's enemies (Franz Harper, Donald Mcbonald, and Dracula) to kill him. Mcninja and his family all invade Radical's stronghold to save the real president of the United States whom Radical had tricked into going into a phantom dimension which results in a final battle. Ultimately in the end Mcninja beats Mcbonald and kills Radical in a final fight. His family kill Dracula and Franz. The real president is freed but Mcninja leaves his family due to them "betraying" him (really nearly being forced to kill him by Franz who was holding them at gunpoint along with a troop of armed security) and no longer able to trust them. But all ends wells: The world is safe, the U.S is back in rightful hands, Gordito continues to live with the Mcninja family, Judy becomes vice-president of the U.S and Mcninja, freed from his ninja life, is finally able to discard his mask and opens up his own doctor's office.

    Web Original 
  • The Chaos Timeline has a really Grand Finale: Nothing less than a World War III which is prevented, and the world being taken over by the Logos (hackers) and AIs.
  • Cracked TV had Clippy attempt to take over the show while Michael Swaim tried to list "The 39 Most Astounding Celebrity Reinventions". Soon, Swaim aborts the list and went to erase Clippy's memory, at the cost of his own. He was then rebooted, complete with a new outfit. He finally pulls a switch and the show ends with a teaser for his next series, Does Not Compute.
  • In Dream's Minecraft Manhunt series, the "Minecraft Speedrunner VS 3 Hunters GRAND FINALE" is the finale to the 1v3 Manhunts... but not the finale to all Manhunts.

    Web Videos 

    Real Life 
  • This trope could be interpreted for any artist (musician, filmmaker, writer, painter, cartoonist, etc.) who has finished his career with his last work before opting for permanent retirement.
  • Perhaps showing how NASA's engineers knew of this trope, the final part of the Cassini mission to Saturn, in which the spacecraft orbited between the rings and the planet itself before it was finally deorbited into Saturn's atmosphere, was baptized "The Grand Finale".
  • In Australia, both the Australian Football League and National Rugby League (as well as several other sporting leagues) refer to their premiership-deciding game as the Grand Final.
  • Francis Fukuyama's 1992 book The End of History and the Last Man famously portrayed the Cold War as the Grand Finale of human history. He predicted that the ideological conflict between the West and the Soviet Union (i.e. democracy vs. authoritarianism, and capitalism vs. communism) would be the world's last major ideological conflict, and that its outcome would set the stage for all of human history to come—signaling the advent of the final evolution of human society and government. Notably, the book became rather outdated in the following decade, when the The War on Terror and the Great Recession led many historians to question Fukuyama's conclusions.
  • Network Death and the like can result in this for television and radio stations if they are shutting down or changing formats. Some may be just be a brief or abrupt sign-off with little to no fanfare, but some do go the extra mile to pay tribute to their history before turning off the transmitter for good (or switching to "stunt" transitional programming).
    • In 2019, New York City adult contemporary station WPLJ was sold to a Christian radio network, and ended a 71-year run as a commercial station. Their final days on-air in May 2019 were met with much fanfare, including a promotion in which the station would play through songs from 1971 (the station's first year under the WPLJ calls) to the present to "clean out" its music library, while there were also on-air reunions of past personalities, and a final toast to the station at around 7:00 p.m. on May 30, after which the station flipped to the K-Love network.
    • British movie channel Carlton Cinema folded with the rest of the short-lived ITV Digital operation in 2003: its closedown included a montage of film scenes set to Alice Faye's "You'll Never Know".
    • Fox Soccer shut down with a clip of soccer footage being interrupted by that one It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia scene where a couch gives birth to Frank, hailing the official launch of its replacement — the comedy-oriented FX spin-off FXX.
    • During the transition to digital television in the UK, Northern Ireland was the final region to perform the analogue shutdown. BBC One Northern Ireland's final sign-off culminated with the blue and yellow mirror globe ident from the 70's, followed by a scene of a control room with a plush of Digit Al (the mascot used in campaigns informing viewers of the transition) on top of a screen with said mirror globe, and the monitors behind it showing a series of classic BBC One idents from each subsequent era (beginning with the Computer Originated World) and an obituary for Ceefax (which also shut down due to the transition). BBC Two Northern Ireland had a similar sign-off done over the classic BBC 2 animated stripes of the early 80's, which animated off-screen in reverse

Alternative Title(s): Series Finale

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