A story or show that employs an infinite-loop motif, ending in the very way it was put into motion. The circumstances need not be exact.
The idea is that the events that led to the story are going to lead to a very similar story. If the story ends up back in the same place but the situation has changed that's Where It All Began. If the story starts and ends with similar scenes for dramatic irony/tension then that's Bookends.
Differs from Oh, No... Not Again!, which refers to a repeating event in the middle of a story.
A form of Status Quo Is God. See also Yo Yo Plot Point, for individual plot-points or concepts, rather than whole episodes, arcs, seasons, or series. If the next iteration of the story happens to the next generation we have Generation Xerox.
Compare with And the Adventure Continues, The End... Or Is It?, and Eternal Recurrence, which does this to the entire 'verse. Opposite of We Are Not Going Through That Again, where the hero refuses to set off on another adventure. Can inspire an Oh, No... Not Again! from an exasperated character.
Not to be confused with the Ray Charles song; or a "Groundhog Day" Loop, where time itself is repeating as a plot device within the story.
As this is an Ending Trope, beware of spoilers.
- Cells at Work!: The "Influenza" episode ends with the white blood cells taking out the Influenza B virus infection, only for an Influenza A virus to show up and curb-stomp the Effector T Cell, requiring the exhausted cells to come up with a new strategy in a hurry...
- Gunslinger Girl. In the last episode of the (first season) anime, Henrietta and Jose are standing in the same places that they did in the first episode, but without the dialogue.
- Magikano ends this way by turning back time to the beginning of the first episode.
- The first half of the last episode of the fourth season of Galaxy Angel uses reincarnation to rewind back to the second half of the first episode of the third season. Not confused yet? This show isn't even supposed to have continuity!
- Madlax effectively opens and ends with the titular Action Girl receiving a call from her liaison who informs her about a new mission. Which is a plot point.
- Mazinger Z ends up right like it began: a mysterious army of Robeasts attacks the Photon Atomic Power Research Institute, and they are defeated by the sudden appearance of a Super Robot named Mazinger the enemy knew nothing about. Cue the sequel Great Mazinger starting the next week in the same time slot.
- After the climax of Tekkaman Blade II's second arc, the series ends with another Radam invasion, just like it began, only with a lot more Tekkamen on the side of the Earth.
- The Bittersweet Ending of Hell Teacher Nube concludes like this, with Nube going on another strange adventure with his brand-new class of fifth-graders (all of whom share some similarities to Doumori Elementary's 5-3 homeroom students.)
- Implied at the end of Paranoia Agent.
- At the end of Wolf's Rain some of the characters that died in the last episodes of the series appear alive (Possibly reincarnated) in a modern city. In the last scene, Kiba begins running, implying that the search for the Paradise started again.
- At the end of Elemental Gelade, Coud tries to pull off a very similar heist like at the start of the anime, but this time with his new partner Ren.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Spin-Off Puella Magi Oriko Magica ended this way.
- .hack//SIGN's ending cuts to the scene with which the anime series began.
- In an outtake of the Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood dub, this exchange occurs in a scene from the final episode.
Al: So, I've been thinking about something lately.
Ed: Me too. I think we should try to bring Mom back.
- Majokko Meg-chan ended with both Meg and Non failing the Magical Girl Queenliness Test and having to start over note . Meg is happy because she had grown to love her family, while Non is less impressed.
- In chapter 188, the main cast has its first day back to Ishiyama High. Some things never change.
- Thanks to the school being reconstructed (twice), the Balance of Power has been shifted, meaning that Oga has to conquer the school all over again. Thus, the aptly named "Return to Ishiyama" arc is basically a redone version of the first arc of the series, except with more demons, more danger, and the stakes hiked up where it risks a civil war in the demon world.
- Japan Animator Expo: ME!ME!ME! is an infinite loop of the protagonist's obsession with fictional girls. after he was decapitated by HANA, the scene loops back to where he slept in his room, and opens his eyes.
- Ranma ½: One episode has a man turning up saying that Genma sold Ranma as a fiancé to his daughter for a fish and some noodles. Hilarity and a fast-food takeout race ensue, and the man and daughter leave. Right afterwards another man turns up with telling how Genma promised him Ranma as a son-in-law for another meal.
- Zekkyou Gakkyuu has this for several chapters.
- Black Forum shows Misa's friend finding a new thread with her name on it.
- Make-Believe Sisters shows another family, with heavy implications that the older brother is bullying and beating his younger brother, eating dinner and a shooting star across the sky.
- Best Friend Chocolate shows Mari being the next recipient of Chiyoko-san's chocolate.
- In Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: Joys of Seasons episode 14, the goats have to go find special immortal grass to stop Mr. Slowy from laughing uncontrollably as a side-effect of having eaten laughing grass. The episode ends with them realizing that they fed him crying grass by mistake.
- V for Vendetta, V rescues/kidnaps someone and brings them to the Shadow Gallery.
- The original run of The Sandman ended with the rise of a new Dream, but also with Dream looking out upon and recreating his kingdom, which was a common theme in the beginning of the series.
- Superman: Red Son. In the end, American President Luthor outwits and defeats Superman's global communist takeover and ushers in a new era of peace, prosperity, and technological mastery for mankind. For a billion years, Luthor's line of descendants helps make humanity the most advanced species in the known Universe. Eventually, as the Earth ages and the Sun dims to an angry red, Luthor's great-grandson to the power fifty, Jor-L, discovers that the Earth is in imminent danger of being destroyed. His warnings ignored, he launches his only son Kal-L in a tiny rocket back in time to prevent the cold complacency of his society.
- Grant Morrison's JLA run ends with all the new members added during the run written out of the team, leaving the core seven back in place. Then a distress call comes in about a supervillain threat, and the League heads off to deal with him.
- An in-universe example from the Scrooge McDuck story Only A Poor Old Man by Carl Barks. Scrooge enlists his nephews to move his money to a secret location when the Beagle Boys start preparing to launch a heist. (This was eaaaarly Scrooge McDuck, who kept his money in the city and not on a private hill.) After the money is moved, Scrooge is comforted by the thought of his fortune safe...until he learns that the Beagle Boys know about the hiding place. Scrooge once again enlists his nephews for the fight, and Huey, Dewey and Louie sing, "Once more around on the merry-go-round..." as they head off into battle.
- In a Don Rosa story, this is the triplets' reaction when they learn that Scrooge has gotten into yet another petty contest with Glomgold, this time over who can find lost Aztec gold, meaning they're on another treasure hunt.
- Defied in another Don Rosa story, "The Money Pit". After a harrowing incident in which Donald was briefly Buried Alive trying to dig up rare coins in Scrooge's money bin, Scrooge puts him to work dealing with something less likely to get him killed... namely, cataloging Scrooge's old mail. After a bit of this, Donald complains about being overworked, saying that one of the stamps seems to be upside-down. Rather than tell their uncle that he's found a real-life rare stamp and set him off again, Huey, Dewey, and Louie agree with their uncle that he needs a break.
- Another Donald Duck comics story, "The Head of Rama Putra", had Uncle Scrooge receiving only the body of an idol of the (fictional) Indian deity Rama Putra, and sending Donald and his nephews off on a crazy jungle adventure to retrieve his eponymous head. When Don and company get home with the head, they find out not only did the head of Rama Putra arrive as a separate package, but they head they did find belongs to an idol of Ra-men Nu-dol, god of yeast extracts, and now Uncle Scrooge wants them to go back and find the body of the idol.
- Most stories with Donald's Neighbor Jones usually end this way; Once the Escalating War ends, Donald or Jones would say or do something that causes it to start up again. In one story, an attempt of Donald's to borrow Jones' lawnmower results in both of their houses being destroyed by automated cutters. Once he's moved into a new house, Donald notices that his new lawn needs cutting and goes to borrow the mower from his new neighbor...who happens to be Jones!
- Bone starts and ends with the three Bone cousins journeying through the desert, with Phoney and Smiley getting into almost the exact same argument both times.
- "Get Lost," a story with The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy (Cartoon Network Block Party #52), has a dazed Billy found by a policeman who goes through white heat to find Billy's home. When he does return Billy home, Grim and Mandy appeared to have had a bet on how long it would take Billy to return. After debating the time, Grim uses his scythe to zap Billy back to where the story started.
- At the end of the Vampirella story "... And be a Bride of Chaos" a looter comes across a coffin and is tempted to lie in it... which was how Dracula Body Surfed his way between hosts.
- Issue 6 of The Bad Eggs ends with Ript and Claude having to find more ingredients to stop the forest from flooding due to the seemingly endless rain. This happens directly after they spent the entire issue finding ingredients to make it rain so they could stop a drought.
- In Kick-Ass, one "post-credits scene" at the very end of Volume 3 shows Hit-Girl inviting another bullied kid, just like Dave was at the beginning of the trilogy, to become the new Kick-Ass.
- 2000 AD:
- The short strip Life Cycle begins and ends with a child waking up from hibernation, then growing up and heading out to explore the Landfill Beyond the Stars that they're living inside, before ultimately being killed by the spider-like parasites. This is because of a fault in the cloning process of the space station that causes memory loss, forcing him/her to relive the cycle indefinitely.
- Anderson: Psi-Division: One story involved an eco-terrorist dumping some Mutagenic Goo on plants so that they'll grow in size and attack people. She's apprehended, but the last panel shows some of the goo leaking into a crevasse full of cockroaches.
- Bruchbach Serenade's take on Faust ends with Mephisto offering a new deal to Gretchen.
- Batman Black and White: "Devil's Trumpet" is about a jazz musician's obsessive quest for a legendary instrument that he believes will make him the best player in the world, which ends in murder and an encounter with the Batman. The story begins with the obsessed musician discussing the legend of the trumpet with an old bluesman, and ends with the same old bluesman having a very similar conversation with a new character, implying that somebody else is now on the same quest.
- Calvin and Hobbes: The Series: "Calvin's Batman Adventure" ends with Calvin putting on a Superman suit, mirroring the opening.
- In the Total Drama story, Courtney and the Violin of Despair, Courtney acquires the similarly cursed Violin of Doom at the end of the story under circumstances very similar to how she acquired the Violin of Despair ten years earlier.
- Friendship Is Magical Girls: Sunset Shimmer gives herself a massive power boost in the second half of the Magic Arc by breaking and absorbing one of the Lunar Seals. During the Loyalty Arc, it is revealed that Gilda is planning to do the exact same thing to further her own plans.
- Nosflutteratu: Just after Twilight manages to get over / become used to the fact that Fluttershy's a vampire, she nonchalantly mentions this to Spike... who did not know either and is just as shocked as Twilight was at the start of the story.
- Children of an Elder God: In the prologue, two main characters get ready to fight Eldritch Abominations. In the final scene, Maya and Ritsuko get ready to fight a new set of cosmic horrors who menace humanity again.
- The Wind in the Willows segment of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad starts with Toad wreaking havoc with his mania for caravans. At the end, when it seems Toad has finally overcome his self-destructive passions, we see that he's found a new interest- aeroplanes!
Toad: I'll show you the world! Travel, change, excitement! Ha Ha Ha!
- This is Passepartout's response at the end of Around the World in 80 Days (Burbank Animation), when Fogg claims that a journey around the world would be possible in only 66 days.
- Happens at the end of Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!: Everyone besides Fred is at the same café in Paris when they get a phone call. Fred has somehow ended up in the Amazon. The gang runs off to save him while yelling something along these lines.
- The ending of The Rugrats Movie has one of these, the movie kicks off when Angelica kicks the Reptar Wagon out the door with the babies inside causing it to eventually end up in the woods. In a scene after the ending credits, a goat Boris had given the Pickles earlier headbutts the Reptar Wagon with Grandpa Lou inside causing it to roll down the street and the goat chases after him.
- In Tangled Ever After, Maximus the horse and Pascal the chameleon cause all sorts of chaos trying to recover the rings for Rapunzel and Eugene's wedding. They manage it, but then the cartoon ends with Maximus accidentally sending the cart carrying the wedding cake rolling away.
- In Downstairs, Karl the evil chauffeur arrives at the mansion and, over the course of the movie, blackmails half the people there and has sex with the other half. Eventually, Alfred the sympathetic butler throws him out on his ear—but the film ends with Karl gaining employment with another sexy rich lady.
- The Robinsons using the hyperdrive again in Lost in Space (prompting the comment, "Here we go again").
- The Doctor Who Made-for-TV Movie opens with the Seventh Doctor in the TARDIS, where he settles down to read The Time Machine and listen to a gramophone record. The record starts skipping, so he abandons this. At the end of the movie, the Eighth Doctor settles in the same chair with the same book and music. When the record starts to skip he says "Not again!"
- At the beginning of Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Cap'n Jack Sparrow has only a small boat to his name after his crew stole his ship and set off by themselves to get the treasure he'd found a guide to. The end of the third film finds him in the same situation again. Only this time, he was smart enough to keep the treasure map with him.
- Or more specifically, he cuts out the critical center section of the map, leaving the rest, rolled up to hide the missing section, on his ship so that the mutinous crew doesn't know until he's long gone that it's been stolen.
- It goes a bit further; Gibbs is back in Tortuga, while Barbossa and his surviving crew are back in possession of the Black Pearl after leaving Jack behind again.
- At the beginning of the 1996 Mission: Impossible film, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) receives his "This Page Will Self-Destruct" mission orders from a flight attendant on an airplane, who enquires whether he would like to watch an Eastern European film: a reference to the location of his next mission. The film ends with Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) on a plane, being asked if he would like to watch a film: "Would you consider the cinema of the Caribbean? Aruba, perhaps?"
- The classic horror anthology Dead of Night begins with the protagonist arriving at a house and telling the guests that he has seen that house, and those guests, in a prophetic dream. It ends with him waking up, then driving out to a familiar house...
- Big Trouble in Little China begins (apart from a brief pre-credits scene) and ends with sequences of Jack Burton driving the Pork Chop Express through pouring rain while delivering one of his grandstanding bullshit speeches over the CB. Of course, in the latter scene, we also move into Cliffhanger territory. Just a shame that there wasn't a sequel...
- This is basically the plot of Jumanji. It stars with some kids getting rid of the game. Then the lead boy finds the game, they have to finish, then they try to get rid of it. And it ends with another pair of kids finding it and wanting to play. A cycle is reborn.
- Defied in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Unlike the original, the teens dont just bury the Jumanji game somewhere, they destroy it. However, the beating drums following the end credits suggest it still exists somehow.
- Infernal Affairs III ends with a flashback scene that ends at precisely the same moment that the first film began.
- All About Eve. Margot, a successful but aging stage actress gains an obsessive fan in Eve. Eve seems nice at first, but is revealed to have gotten close to Margot to destroy her career and take her place. Then Eve becomes famous and is introduced to a very similar fan at the end.
- The Happening has it happen again in France.
- Similarly, 28 Weeks Later ends with Infected rushing into Paris.
- The Crazies used this trope while simultaneously treading into Shoot The Shaggy Dog Story territory. The movie starts with US Government setting up a quarantine around a small town due to a virus epidemic. The main character couple survived through the whole thing, escaped the town, and the movie ends with the two of them walking to a nearby city. Cue the US Government setting up the same quarantine around that city.
- Subverted in Dude, Where's My Car?. The movie starts with two guys waking up not remembering what happened yesterday and found out that their car is missing. The end of the movie (after Laser-Guided Amnesia) seems to follow the same route with the two not remembering what happened yesterday and realizing that their car is missing, before another car got out of the parking spot, revealing their own car.
- The Incredible Shrinking Woman ends with Lily Tomlin, restored to normal size, hearing the sound of fabric tearing. She looks down to see her (growing) foot break out of her shoe, smiles, and rolls her eyes as if to say it.
- Smokey and the Bandit: Throughout the film, Bandit had been racing to win an $80,000 bet to get a load of beer from Texas to Georgia in 28 hours. Having won the bet in the end, said clients then get a hankering for genuine Boston clam chowder...in 18 hours. "Double or nothing?" they offer. His answer? "You're on." And Bandit hits the road again.
- Manos: The Hands of Fate: The movie starts with Mike and Margaret and their daughter Debbie arriving at a dilapidated motel, where they encounter an odd man who greets them saying "I aM TORgo. I Take CARe oF THe pLaCE whILE the MASTer is awAY.". In the end, another couple arrives, but are greeted by Mike who says "I am Michael. I take care of the place while the master is away.".
- In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Kevin says, "Here we go, another Christmas in the trenches." just before kicking off another booby-trap war against the bandits.
- The title character mentions this by name at the tail (sorry) end of Francis The Talking Mule, after Sterling brings his boss to see him to convince him that Francis is real. This comes after he spent the entire plot of the movie in a flashback trying to convince the Army that Francis was real.
- The Caller ends with The Girl, having almost won her freedom from the forces keeping her from her family, receiving The Caller again at her house in the middle of nowhere as she did at the beginning of the movie - although he says she might actually succeed this time...
- C-3PO says this word for word in Return of the Jedi as the heroes go off on their mission to destroy the second Death Star.
- By the end of Ghost Ship, sole survivor Epps eventually succeeds in sinking the Graza, all the souls are released and Ferriman is destroyed, and she's rescued from the ocean by a passing ship. Then in the last scene she sees an unharmed Ferriman walk by, taking the gold onto another ship and starting the cycle anew.
- Avi's arc in Snatch. ends with the same sequence that began it when he flies back to London (after implicitly swearing never to go back) to retrieve the diamond.
- Lifetime tends to use this for some of their thriller movies.
- The Perfect Teacher ends with Devon becoming infatuated with her prison counsellor as they begin one of their sessions.
- The Perfect Roommate shows Rachel in her cell looking at a magazine with another rich man on it.
- The Stalked By My Doctor movies. The first movie implies that Beck is either expecting Sophie to appear in the café he's sitting at or he's waiting for another beautiful woman to walk into his life. The second movie, however, shows him becoming infatuated with a female security guard he saved with the Heimlich maneuver.
- Although it led into the next film, the ending of Back to the Future was intended as an example of this trope as no sequel was planned. The film's main problem (that Marty accidentally erased himself from history) resulted because he used the time machine; just when everything is perfect, Doc arrives and whisks them off in it again.
- Cabin by the Lake ends with the reveal that Stanley has survived. Disguised, he presents his idea for another script to a new agent about a killer who buries people alive.
- In A Country Coyote Goes Hollywood, after his big adventure through the Hollywood hills, the titular coyote was captured by animal control and taken back to the desert outside the city limits. Soon after, he ends up hitching a ride on a truck that took him to Hollywood in the first place. The narrator closes with him saying, "Whether he planned it or not, he's going to town again."
- Charlie says it in the 1971 film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory after Veruca starts whining that she wants something for about the tenth time.
- Elevated: When it seems like the madness is over and Hank was just insane, a mass of people from outside the parking lot rush to get into the elevator, the same way that Hank rushed to get inside at the start.
- The Killing Room. The Sole Survivor of the experiment apparently escapes his captors, only to end up in another room with two more prisoners, to undergo Phase 2 of the experiment.
- After going to jail for their Springtime for Hitler scam in The Producers, the movie ends with Leo and Max pulling the same scam with their fellow inmates. And the warden.
- Code Unknown clearly implies a cyclical nature to the lives of the main characters. At the end, Georges is once again returning from a war torn country. Anne once again does not answer her phone, as something she says at the beginning informs us, 'In the bath I can't hear the phone'. Maria is back in the place she was deported from doing exactly as before.
- The bulk of Funny Games is neither the first nor last time these killers will play their game. We see them with the neighbors early on, who later show up dead, and see them starting the whole thing over again with some other neighbors at the end.
- Deep Rising. The remaining protagonists destroy the monster and wash up on an island, which turns out to be host to another monster.
John Finnegan: NOW what?
- The screwball comedy Easy Living begins with a mink coat landing on an unsuspecting girl leading to a sustained case of misunderstandings, and ends the same way with another girl getting rained on by a fur coat, suggesting the same thing happening once again.
- The last scene of Twentieth Century has Oscar and Lily rehearsing the same play they were at the beginning, with Oscar giving the same talk, though this time his "I love you all" clearly means more to Lily. Lampshaded by Owen O'Malley.
Owen O'Malley: Here we go again, Oliver. With Livingstone through darkest Africa.
- Buffalo Soldiers: While the soldiers' drug plant is destroyed in a huge explosion in the end, none of the crimes committed on the base are tied to Elwood and he is reassigned to a base Hawaii where it's clear that he's up to his usual schemes.
- Dead Before Dawn: The Ash Demon is sealed away, and time is rewound so that nobody actually died. Last shot of the film involves Casper accidentally breaking the urn again.
- The Windmill Massacre ends with another busload of tourists setting off on a tour of the windmills; including someone boarding the bus without a ticket.
- The Crush. After stalking and terrorizing her parent's tenant throughout the movie, Adrian is committed to a mental hospital. . . and develops a crush on her doctor. (To make matters worse, she isn't even over the first guy yet, as evidenced by the numerous letters she's sent him).
- Dead Birds: After shooting Creature!William, one of the soldiers gets the brilliant idea to go to that big, foreboding house in the midst of the dead cornfield. Which means more victims for Hollister.
- Ernest Saves Christmas features two deliverymen having to deal with Santa's reindeer. The movie ends with them now having to deal with the Easter Bunny.
- The final scene of Sleepy Hollow High implies that the events of the Dream Within a Dream might be about to kick off for real.
- Fear, Inc. ends with the eponymous company receiving a phone from a new client, implying that the cycle is about to start over again.
- The ABCs of Death: "C is for Cycle" ends with Bruno in exactly the same place he was at the start, with the implication that he is now trapped in a unending loop (hence the title).
- Twilight Zone: The Movie: "Kick the Can" ends with Mr. Bloom arriving at Driftwood Convalescent Home, where he will once again use his powers to make the residents young.
- The Swedish comedy film Äppelkriget (The Apple War) begins with a German businessman arriving in Änglamark (the pastoral setting of the movie) and deciding to build a giant recreation park there, with stopping this taking up the rest of the film. It ends, after this is achieved, with an Anglophone businessman arriving in Änglamark and deciding to build a giant recreation park there...
- Stephen King's The Dark Tower series uses this as well. The final book ends with Roland making it to the top of the tower, and finding himself in the desert following the man in black - and it isn't the first time he's been sent back to the beginning. There's an ambiguous clue that he might change things this time around, though.
- Another King instance in Needful Things, which starts with a narrator talking to the reader about the new store coming into town and telling us a bit about the town, and ends likewise in a different town.
- "The Nothing Equation": The story ends with Green cracking from paranoia and being replaced by another scientist, Larkin, who is likewise convinced that the same thing won't happen to him.
- Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents ends with Maurice finding another stupid-looking kid to help earn his fortune.
- The first Artemis Fowl book starts with the titular character researching a hunch he has about fairies. At the end of the sixth book, he's gone through a Stable Time Loop back to before the first book with past!Artemis getting mind-wiped to preserve the timeline. The last scene is him waking up post mind-wipe, back in the past, and half remembering "Fairies. Something about fairies."
- The last book ends with one of the characters reciting the first lines from the first book.
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, arguably Laura Numeroff's most famous work, begins with the mouse being given a cookie, and asking for various other favors until the end, where he wants a cookie again. Numeroff herself described it as a "circular story."
- Several of Numeroff's other books follow the same pattern, either with the same mouse (If You Take a Mouse to the Movies) or with other animals (If You Give a Pig a Pancake).
- Word of God says that this is the basic premise of Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series, although the series only depicts one Age rather than a full turn of the Wheel.
- The epilogue of The Aldous Lexicon ends by describing events like those which began the books, with Naia's child in place of Alaric/Naia, and a collage made by Naia replacing the sculpture by Alaric's mother. Which raises the question of whether Naia's mother had known about the other worlds, among other things.
- Every book in the Captain Underpants series always ends with George and Harold being dragged into another adventure. Yeah, that's how it goes. The savvy kids even comment on this in one book, when one says that he's surprised that they made it to the end of the book without going "Oh no!" and "Here we go again!". Of course, they don't really.
- This even extends to the film adaptation, Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie. At the end, just when George and Harold comment on how everything is back to normal, the radioactive leftovers that powered the Turbo-Toilet 2000 bring to life an army of talking toilets, prompting an "Oh, no!" from both George and Harold. When the killer toilets interrupt Mr. Krupp's dinner date, he shouts "Check, Please!" and snaps his fingers... accidentally triggering his Captain Underpants persona, who flies in to save the boys from the Talking Toilets as Harold remarks "Here we go again!"
- Ted Dekker's Circle series. The first three books came and it was quite a gripping story that seemed to lead to a happy ending. But then along came Green where Thomas is sent back in time to have another chance to set things right, to the beginning of book 1, with the condition that his memories of what is to happen are erased. Effectively crating a loop, for without the knowledge of what is to happen, he is bound to make the same choices.
- In-universe example: The Dragaera novels are set in an empire governed in accordance with the Cycle, a system by which each of the 17 Houses rules in turn. The compiled editions of the Vlad Taltos books open with an in-universe poem to illustrate this, that gives every House a line in order, both starting and ending with the House of the Phoenix.
- An odd Timey-Wimey Ball variation in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel "Borrowed Time"; the opening scene is set during the sub-prime mortgage bubble, and has two mysterious figures in dark suits offer a beleaguered banker a wristwatch that lets him "borrow" time. The epilogue is set during the 16th-century tulipmania bubble and has two mysterious figures in dark doublets and hose offer a beleaguered tulip trader a pocket watch that lets her "borrow" time. Less "Here We Go Again" and more "There We Went Before".
- In the epilogue of Replay, the "Groundhog Day" Loop is happening to someone new, but his replay date is when Jeff's end date was.
- The Walter de la Mare poem "Sam's Three Wishes, or Life's Little Whirligig" ends with Sam in the exact same situation he was at the beginning, and contains some great Fridge Brilliance if you're willing to start the poem all over again.
- The first three Vernon Bright books end like this.
- In the first book Bright de-magnetizes himself only to discover he's become electrically charged.
- The second ends with their "Faster Than Light Machine" creating infinite Bright's
- The third has two. Bright's father has to go and stop a meteor crashing into the planet and destroying all life on Earth and at the same time the gravity machine has inverted and is creating a miniature black hole.
- The fourth book is different because John realizes that the "Frankenstein's Hamster" could just be hibernating ...
- Steve Barlow and Steve Skidmore's Vernon Bright books for children always ended with the main characters solving the problem they'd been facing - by creating a very similar, different one.
- In the short story "Devil's Marauders" from the Warhammer 40,000 anthology book Deathwing, a squad of soldiers fight their way through a hostile jungle sector to reach an evacuation point before they are bombarded. Once the remnants of the said squadron reach their destination, they learn that the area has been compromised and the evacuation point has been moved, and they have to fight through another area.
- Finnegans Wake is in some ways a more literal example of this trope than most, as it ends in the middle of a sentence that is completed at the beginning of the novel.
- The children's picture book How to Make an Apple Pie and See the World sets up for an idea similar to the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie books, but actually subverts this. The book begins with a trip to the store for ingredients for apple pie, only for the store to be closed, resulting in a journey around the world. At the end of the book, it's said that apple pie is good with ice cream, so you should go to the store for ice cream. But if the store is closed... you can eat it plain.
- Arrested Development almost repeats itself as well. Just like in the pilot, the family is having a party on a boat to celebrate Michael becoming the new CEO, and the SEC arrives. (Buster even acknowledges that "They still have boats?") However, this time, they arrive to arrest Lucile. Inverting this trope at the last minute, Michael leaves with his son (and apparently his father) instead of staying to keep his family and the business intact.
- Battlestar Galactica, possibly. The series was all about a Robot War (actually multiple Robot Wars in the distant past) so it's Arc Words ("All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again") sound a bit... chilling upon the series finale ending with the camera panning onto a present-day TV headline titled ADVANCES IN ROBOTICS. Head!Six and Head!Baltar even lampshade this.
Six: Commercialism, decadence, technology run amok... remind you of anything?
Baltar: Take your pick: Kobol... Earth... the real Earth before this one... Caprica before the Fall...
- In episode 6, Season 2 of The Big Bang Theory the episode begins and ends with Sheldon having a fangirl graduate student asking him if he wants dinner. He should have learnt after the first time.
- Cheers began the series with Sam Malone coming out of the back room, turning on the lights and opening the bar. The series ended with Sam locking the bar, turning off the lights, and strolling back into the back room.
- On an episode of Clarissa Explains It All, Clarissa develops a crush on the local TV weatherman. At the end, she gets rid of her crush after realizing that the weatherman was just a big airhead, and develops a new crush on the sports guy.
- Doctor Who: "Planet of the Spiders" ends with the Doctor regenerating. His friend the Brigadier reacts by saying, "Well, here we go again."
- In the Series Finale of Gossip Girl, former outsider Dan Humphrey, alias Gossip Girl, has passed on the mantle to another guy on the outside looking in on the rich kids.
- Kenan & Kel often ended their episodes this way with the two addressing the audience after their latest misadventure. Kenan would come up with another zany scheme and tell Kel to meet him somewhere and bring something before dashing off. Kel would complain for a bit before yelling out "Awwwww, here it goes!"
- The Masters of Horror episode "Jenifer" ends with Jenifer attaching herself to yet another ignorant man whom she plans to use to cover up for her continuing murders after he kills the hero to save the "helpless" woman.
- An episode of The Monkees that dealt with gambling addiction ended with Mike telling the viewer that they were going with the Here We Go Again! ending by cutting to Micky winning big at a slot machine.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000:
- While the final episode of the show does have Mike and the Bots escaping the Satellite of Love and returning to Earth, the episode ends with Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo sharing an apartment, riffing on a TV broadcast of The Crawling Eye (the same movie that was featured in the very first episode, albeit with an entirely different cast of actors).
Crow: This movie looks kinda familiar, doesn't it?
- "The Giant Spider Invasion" ends with Pearl, upset that she missed her test subjects' reactions to the movie due to being caught up in an extended parody of Invasion of the Body Snatchers, re-send the movie to the Satellite of Love.
Mike & the Bots: Movie sign! Again!
- While the final episode of the show does have Mike and the Bots escaping the Satellite of Love and returning to Earth, the episode ends with Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo sharing an apartment, riffing on a TV broadcast of The Crawling Eye (the same movie that was featured in the very first episode, albeit with an entirely different cast of actors).
- Once Upon a Time ends its sixth season with a moment of this: with Emma's story finally concluded and all the main characters having finally reached their happy endings, the camera slowly pans back from a final Crowded Cast Shot...to reveal that the same image is contained in a new version of the "Once Upon A Time" book, owned by a young girl traveling alone on a light rail in Seattle. It's then revealed, in a scene strikingly similar to the first episode, that this girl is the daughter of a post-Time Skip Henry Mills, and that a member of the Charming family who has lost their memory of magic must now help their long-lost child break a curse affecting their family in a remote town.
- The Outer Limits (1995):
- In "First Anniversary", a hideous (but nice) alien turns herself into a beautiful woman to marry an average-looking dude. After he finds out what she really looks like when the effect wears off after a year and is driven to madness, the alien is last seen changing her form again to seduce one of her husband's colleagues. (Considering that the revelation left the last husband insane and the one before dead, maybe she wasn't so nice after all.)
- In the final scene of "The New Breed", the cut on Judy Ledbetter's finger is healed within seconds, indicating that her fiancée Dr. Andy Groenig passed the nanobots onto her while they were having sex and that she will experience the same transformation that he went through.
- At the end of "Donor", it is revealed that the supposedly dead Dr. Renee Stuyvescent is still alive, having received a full body transplant. She is secretly observing Dr. Peter Halstead and Deirdre Laird at a soccer match. The implication is that she will once again try to kill Deirdre so that Peter can be hers.
- In the final scene of "Under the Bed", one of the child snatching creatures is hiding under the bed of a little girl in Paris.
- In the final scene of "The Gun", the alien calling himself Donald Finley is at another gun show trying to recruit mercenaries to fight for his people in their ongoing war.
- At the end of "Sandkings", a colony of Sandkings has established itself in an isolated wooded area. In "The Voice of Reason", Randall Strong warns of the threat that they pose while "Final Appeal" reveals that it took the better part of a decade to eradicate them.
- In the final scene of "The Surrogate", Dr. Deanston introduces a young surrogate mother named Debbie, who has recently been implanted with an alien parasite, to the surrogacy support group in his clinic.
- The Partridge Family: At the beginning of "My Son, the Feminist," the family discovers that Keith accidentally signed them up to perform at a feminist rally. At the end of the episode, they find out that Danny accidentally signed them up to perform for a group of Moral Guardians. The ensuing argument is almost identical to the one at the beginning of the episode.
- The Prisoner (1967) ended with... the opening credits.
- Seinfeld did this for the entire series, ending its last episode with the main characters in jail, having exactly the same conversation that opened the first episode.
- Space Precinct: One episode opens with Brogan and Haldane under Internal Affairs investigation after a pursuit ends in a shootout and a dead suspect. After they deal with a plot to destroy evidence and interfere with witnesses to set Brogan up and are returned to active duty, the last scene has the two officers in their police cruiser starting their shift... and then Dispatch sends out an all-call about a vehicle fleeing the scene of an armed robbery, which is eerily similar to the call that got them benched in the first place. Brogan and Haldane hang an exasperated lampshade on this trope, and then hit the lights and siren. Roll credits.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: The episode The Wire has Bashir and Garak reference this while talking about The Never-Ending Sacrifice, an example of a form of Cardassian literature known as the Repetitive Epic. In this case, the characters of the novel in question are seven generations of the same family going through the same experiences working to serve the Cardassian state. Garak considers it a classic; Bashir considers it boring.
- On Johnny Carson's 17th anniversary telecast of The Tonight Show, a clip of Dom DeLuise's trick with raw eggs was shown. The trick, while successful, led to Johnny going a little wacky and tossing eggs at everyone and cracking eggs on Dom's head, in Dom's pants, and finally his own pants. It had presumably settled down as Johnny introduced the next guest, Burt Reynolds. Johnny, in voiceover, said "Here we go again," as Burt had brought out a can of whipped cream, starting up another slapstick episode, this time with him and Burt.
- The Twilight Zone (1959):
- In the episode "Mr. Dingle the Strong", comical Martians give the milquetoast title character Super Strength. Hilarity Ensues until the Martians take Dingle's strength back—but they then recommend him to comical Venusians who need a human test subject to give super-intelligence...
- The episode "Shadow Play" ends with a character waking up from his dream... but it turns out, it's a recurring one.
- The 80's revival did this was "The Curious Case of Edgar Witherspoon." Psychiatrist Jeremy Sinclair is visited by a young woman who asks him to try and help the title character, a kindly but eccentric man who spends all of his time maintaining a massive Rube Goldberg Device in his apartment. When Dr. Sinclair visits, Witherspoon explains that a mysterious voice that only he can hear tells him when and where to add various strange objects, such as a doll's head, to the machine—apparently, it's a localized Cosmic Keystone that keeps the entire planet in order. After a mishap with the machine makes Sinclair realize that Edgar was telling the truth, he rushes back to the apartment (just in time to keep the landlady from dismantling it). Edgar arrives and explains that the voice has told him to take a long vacation, and Jeremy protests that he can't do that, because the machine already needs maintenance—which he begins to do. The episode ends with Dr. Sinclair listening to a voice only he can hear, and rushing around desperately trying to find a tambourine...
- The initial premise Yes, Dear is that Greg Warner has to put up with his Obnoxious In-Laws the Hugheses (his wife's sister, her husband, and their two sons) living in his guest house. The Hugheses eventually move out into their own place, but in the series finale, an earthquake causes a tree to fall on top of the house. The last scene is the Hugheses showing up at the Warners' door, asking if the guest house is still available.
- Subverted in the season 1 finale of You. Joe gets away with his murder of Beck. As the series ends, Joe spots another woman and ends up repeating his ominous narration from the first episode, implying that the cycle will repeat again. But then, surprise! The woman turns around and is revealed to be his assumed to be dead ex-girlfriend Candace, who has some unfinished business with him. It should be noted that this did not happen in the novel, where it was played completely straight.
- The children's favorite, "The Song That Never Ends" (aka "The Song That Doesn't End").
- Coldplay's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends ends with the hidden track "The Escapist" which plays directly into "Life in Technicolor," the first track.
- "Where Have All the Flowers Gone". The flowers have gone to young girls, who have gone to young men, who have gone to be soldiers, who have gone to graveyards, which have gone to flowers...
- A variation of this is in Snow Patrol's music video for "Chocolate". The entire video revolves around people panicking while an hourglass and digital timer count down to 0. When it gets there, everybody huddles down, only for nothing to happen. The singer walks up and flips the hourglass over, which causes the timer to reset and the panic to resume.
- In Harry Nilsson's "Coconut", putting the lime in the coconut and drinking them both up gives a woman a bellyache, prompting her to call the doctor and wake him up. He advises her to put the lime in the coconut and drink them both together, assuring her that "then you'll feel better". And so forth.
- "There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza..."
- The Flanders and Swann song "The Gasman Cometh" utilizes this.
- Taylor Swift seems to be very fond of this.
- Alice Cooper's Concept Album Along Came a Spider does this. The prologue begins with "We found his diary today", and the epilogue begins with "They found my diary today". A close listening reveals that the events keep on repeating themselves.
- Radiohead's album OK Computer does this. The first song, "Airbag", describes the aftermath of a car crash. The last song, "The Tourist", features the lines "They ask me where the hell I'm going / at a 1000 feet per second" and "Hey man, slow down / Hey idiot, slow down", suggesting an imminent car crash.
- Pink Floyd's Rock Opera The Wall begins with, at the very first second, Pink saying "we came in?". The very last song cuts off with Pink saying "Isn't this where". Note that the background music in both the last song and the beginning of the first one is the same. So if you play the whole album on a loop, it will be seamless. May be inspired by Finnegans Wake above. The Floyd did this earlier with the heartbeat sound effect (actually a treated bass drum) on The Dark Side of the Moon.
- Almost identical to the Coldplay example, the AFI album Sing The Sorrow has a hidden track called This Time Imperfect whose ending (deliberately-inserted static) blends seamlessly into the beginning.
- "In the Year 2525" goes to the end of mankind, then starts all over far away.
- "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves" The daughter winds up repeating the mother's life.
- In Dream Theater's 24-minute epic "Octavarium," the entire theme is coming full circle. In the second section, for example, the narrator wakes up from a 30-year coma. By the end, he has fallen back into the coma.
- The entire album Octavarium is an example of this. Track 1, The root of all evil begins with wavering synthesizer. Octavarium, the final track, ends in the same way.
- "All Along the Watchtower" by Bob Dylan has "Two Riders were approaching" as the second-to-last line. This (likely) refers to the Joker and Thief who are quoted at the beginning of the song.
- Whitesnake has a song all about this:
"Here I go, again on my own..."
- The album BE by Pain of Salvation opens with the birth of a god, the first track beginning with heartbeats and faint whispers of the line "I'm at the line, I see it all." This same line appears in its original form in the second to last song as a space probe begins to gain sentience. The final track begins identically to the first, implying that it an endless loop similar to that in "The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov.
- Terrorvision's "How to Make Friends and Influence People" has the same "Tick... Tock... " at the beginning and the end.
- Machinehead's "The Burning Red" has the same riff at the beginning and the end.
- Many video game soundtracks tend to loop, so guess this counts.
- Bowling for Soup's song Highschool Never Ends includes the line 'And here we go again' when listing a few things on how adult life has people in it still acting the way they did in highschool.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic's "I Lost on Jeopardy!" ends with:
"Well, I don't know what I was thinking
I guess it just wasn't my night
Well, I sure hope I do better
Next weekend on The Price Is Right
- In the video for the Foo Fighters song "Monkey Wrench", Dave and the band find an apparent group of their clones singing the song in his apartment. Eventually, they get in to find them running away. So they finish the song, however, we pan out of the apartment to see another group of clones looking inside, wondering what's going on.
- Towards the beginning of the video for Tom Petty's "Into the Great Wide Open", Eddie (Johnny Depp) gets a heart-shaped tattoo in his rise to fame as a rock star. In the end, after his fall from fame, he returns to the same tattoo parlor where he finds another man (Matt Le Blanc) getting a heart-shaped tattoo, who'll presumably rise and fall from fame as a rock star like he did.
- Perhaps inspired by Finnegans Wake above, the last word sung on Joanna Newsom's Divers is the first syllable of the word "transcending", and the first word on the album is "sending".
- NRBQ's "It Was a [sic] Accident". Guy and girl impulsively have sex, then they're terrified that she's gotten pregnant. They learn she isn't pregnant, they celebrate and end up impulsively having sex again.
- They Might Be Giants:
- The video for "Shape Shifter" involves an app on a tablet computer transporting a girl and her boyfriend to the studio of an indie rock band, who turn their heads into various objects for their own amusement. The two escape back to their home and close the portal by deleting the app, but as the video ends it shows malware causing the app to reinstall itself...
- The video for "I'll Be Haunting You" has a guy fall off a ladder and challenge death to a game of ping-pong for his life. He wins, but the video ends with the guy getting hit by a falling toolbox, and having a re-match with Death in the more traditional game of chess.
- Happens in the nigh-univeraally banned music video for Nine Inch Nails' 'Happiness in Slavery'. A nameless man enters a room with an altar and machine and performs some sort of ritual before being brutally tortured to death by the machine. The video ends just as Trent enters the room and performs the same ritual implying that he's going to meet the same gorey fate as the other man.
- "Vice" from Miranda Lambert's The Weight of These Wings is her admitting to her flaws of being The Alcoholic and having meaningless hook ups but she can't do anything to stop it because of her loneliness. The music video also employs this trope: When Miranda is about to make a decision at a crossroad, a car comes up to her and she went to its backseat similar to her position at the start of the video, implying that it will crash like that car.
- After the teens in the Cool Kids Table game Bloody Mooney are successful in containing Mooney in the government van to stop its rampage, everything seems fine. Then the police they called arrive and try to open the van, leading the story to end as the three teens shout at them to stop.
- The House in Cypress Canyon, a horror story featured in a 1946 episode of the CBS show Suspense, concludes in this manner.
- Used word for word in an alternate ending to one of the Gehenna scenarios in Vampire: The Masquerade. This ending, titled "Here We Go Again," involves the Tzimisce Antediluvian being defeated just as it was in the original ending; however, the player characters do not transform back into humans. Not only do they remain vampires, but they appear to have become more powerful than ever before, and their clan weakness no longer affects them: now that the old Antediluvians are all dead or beyond all human concerns, the players have taken their place to start the entire history of vampires all over again.
- The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder, ends with Sabina coming out onstage, acting out her first scene of the show. She then stops and tells the audience that the play hasn't been finished yet, and they can go home whenever the like, with the implication that the play-within-a-play is on an infinite loop. This is itself meant to symbolize how human history keeps repeating itself, and that most things don't change in the long run.
- On the Town: Chip, Ozzie and Gabey's twenty-four hours are up, and they return to the ship... but three new sailors get off the ship on their shore leave, singing "New York, New York." (The ending of the film version is the same, and the ballet the musical was modeled on, Fancy Free, had a very similar ending, with the exuberant opening music of "Enter Three Sailors" making a sudden return.)
- Woody Allen's play God ends with the two leads repeating their opening lines, which are complaining about the play not having an ending.
- Candide has the comic ballad "What's the Use?" The Old Lady, who operates a rigged roulette wheel, is exploited by her employer, who pays protection to a police chief, who is being blackmailed by a crook, who has a terrible roulette habit.
- An Inspector Calls begins with the titular inspector visiting the upper-class Birling family to interrogate them about the death of a young working-class woman, gradually revealing that each of them was partly responsible for her eventual suicide. At the end, it is revealed that the inspector who visited them was not a real policeman. The double-twist comes when Mr Birling receives a phone call telling him that the girl's suicide really is being investigated, and an inspector will be sent round to ask some questions.
- Chicago: Moments after the jury finds Roxie Hart not guilty, three pistol shots are heard, and the crowd rushes out to investigate. It seems that another woman has shot her boyfriend and his wife.
- The main plot All's Well That Ends Well starts with Helena curing the King of France, being offered the hand of any nobleman she likes in reward, and having Bertram, who she chooses, reject her. At the end of the play, she's managed to win him back with the help of Diana; when she tells the story to the King, he says Diana can have the hand of any nobleman she likes as a reward for helping Helena...
- The Man Who Came to Dinner ends with Sheridan Whiteside, having fully recovered from his injury, walking out the front door of the Stanley home and slipping and falling on the steps once again.
- Tenderloin ends with Reverend Brock moving on to Detroit to try to shut down the Red Light District there. It reacts the same way the one in New York did, with a reprise of their Protest Song.
- Twice Charmed ends with the wicked fairy godfather helping an evil queen being chased by seven dwarfs up a mountain.
- The Bald Soprano opens with Mr. and Mrs. Smith having a conversation alone on stage before their maid enters to announce the arrival of their guests, Mr. and Mrs. Martin. It ends with Mr. and Mrs. Martin alone on stage, at which point they segue into the same conversation Mr. and Mrs. Smith were having at the beginning.
- In Summer of the Seventeenth Doll, Olive is in a long-standing informal relationship with Roo, who comes to town each summer to spend the money he saves up working the rest of the year up north as a cane-cutter. Over the course of the play, they have to face up to the fact that their arrangement can't last indefinitely and sooner or later they will have to either settle down to a steadier lifestyle or fall apart entirely. Near the end of the play, their young friend Kathie, oblivious to the troubled waters their relationship is in, heads out on a date with a cane-cutter her age, hoping it will be the start of a relationship like theirs.
- The main plot of All's Well That Ends Well kicks of when Helena's allowed by the king to choose any husband she likes. At the end of the play, Diana's reward for her kindness towards Helena is the king's permission to choose a husband.
- Noah Smith's stage version of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ends with Utterson looking thoughtfully at a copy of Jekyll's lab notes while the greek chorus tempts him to try the formula out himself.
- Silent Hill. This is a concept in the series wherein if a main character makes a massive mistake and/or refuses to come to terms with their inner demons during his/her time in the town, it will refuse to let said person escape or it will give the person a reason to come back. This was unofficially coined as "Full Circle".
- Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time did a time-reset to the beginning. However, this was followed by a final fight scene in which the Big Bad is defeated, meaning that the events of the game never actually take place, and only the Prince remembers them.
- Prince of Persia (2008) features this: Before the game, The Mourning King offers up his soul to resurrect Elika. At the end, Elika sacrifices her life to re-imprison Ahriman. Ahriman then whispers the offer to resurrect the Prince's love if he frees the dark god. The Prince accepts.
- The Infocom text game Trinity begins and ends with your character spending the last few minutes before the start of World War III performing identical tasks in the Kensington Gardens. Complete with a foreshadowing/ironic slogan and "you feel you should do X" epilogue.
- Many video games from the 80s "ended" in this way.
- Perhaps most memorable was The Legend of Kage, which described the happy times of your character and the princess he just saved, and then with a foreboding "However....." begins the kidnapping process all over again.
- In the NES version of Bump 'n' Jump(not the arcade version, which is a pure Endless Game), after defeating the Final Boss and saving the Damsel in Distress, she gets captured again and the game begins anew.
- The 2004 version of The Bard's Tale has the "good" ending do this. Incidentally, the other two are much more awesome. The good ending is siding with Fionnaoch and killing Caleigh, with The Bard ending up having to con people for a living once again.
- The original Spyro the Dragon begins with Gnasty Gnorc, infuriated by the dragons' badmouthing of him, petrifying nearly every dragon in the land into a crystal statue. At the end of the game, after Spyro defeats Gnasty, frees all the dragons and re-collects all the treasure in the kingdom, Spyro makes a snide comment about Gnasty "not being a worthy opponent", which sets the original plot in motion again, prompting Spyro to speak the name of this trope.
- In the platformer Gods (the PC version, at least; other versions differ), at the completion of the game you are given the reward of immortality. Then the game suggests you should use your new power to do something challenging, and warps you back to level one.
- Used in the beginning of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas where CJ says this quote verbatim after getting dumped in the Ballas' block by Tenpenny via police car. Since then, the aforementioned quote becomes a Memetic Mutation.
- Shadow Hearts: Covenant had a version of this in the good ending. With his friends scattered throughout time and his lover dead (the bad ending of the first game was the canonical one) Yuri chooses to die rather than allow the curse he's under to rob him of the memories of his friends and loved ones. When next we see him, he's at the beginning of the first Shadow Hearts game, clearly planning to change the past and get the good ending.
- In Mario vs. Donkey Kong, Mario says it in a cutscene after you complete every world where Donkey Kong accidentally loses all his Mini Mario Toys and proceeds to kidnap the Toads who produce them instead. Then you have to complete a new set of levels, albeit set in the same worlds as your first run. After you complete these levels, a similar cutscene appears, where Donkey Kong had six Mini Mario Toys in his bag and takes these away with him. Mario then says "Here we go again ... again!" and goes to the final boss battle.
- Subverted in killer7. The end of the first mission has Harman Smith asking Kun Lan "You're awake from your dream?" to which Kun Lan responds "Harman, the size of the world has changed." In the end of the final mission, Harman asks Kun Lan, "You're awake from your nightmare?" The response is "Harman, the world doesn't change, all it does is turn."
- Also, their confrontation at the beginning of the game takes place in Seattle; their confrontation at the end takes place in an unspecified Chinese city. You can probably fill in the blanks.
- Happens in the Best Ending in Metal Max Returns.
- Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door ends with Princess Peach and Toadsworth arriving at Mario's house, telling him that they found a new treasure map and need him to help them find the treasure. The big difference is that the second treasure presumably isn't secretly an Eldritch Abomination trying to trick someone into releasing it.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy has an extreme example : in the last cutscene, the heroes are in a beautiful land, and all warp back to their respective worlds... except the Warrior of Light, who just walks away with his crystal in hand to a town that's obviously Corneria, the City of Dreams. aka. the very first town of the entire series, effectively starting the plot of the very first game.
- In the Sega Genesis platformer Saint Sword after you hack your way through multiple levels, defeat various bosses and climb to the top of Gorgan's sinister castle you'd think you would emerge victorious after felling the evildoer. This is not the case, he promptly mocks you saying that you are too weak and cannot defeat him then sends you back to the first level, stripping you of all your items and transformation icons whilst generously letting you keep your score. Although there is a slight variation in the second playthrough, such as nighttime versions of the levels and enemies that now have ranged attacks, this is probably a fair example of Nintendo Hard, he can be beaten the second time though. The evil bastard.
- Super Mario Galaxy features a galaxy unlockable only after collecting all 120 stars and again as Luigi. The Grand Finale Galaxy is actually just the game's intro level (Awesome Music and Scenery Porn included), where most of the characters in the game congratulate you on being awesome.
- Comix Zone invokes the trope without lampshading it: if you beat the final boss, but don't do it quickly enough to save the girl, the protagonist will attempt to recreate the circumstances that led to the beginning of the game, so that he can bring her back.
- Chrono Trigger's true ending is this way, as well as most variations of it. After finishing their main quest, the main character's mother hops into the last Time Gate just before it closes, forcing the party to hop into their time machine for one more adventure.
- The Path, after the girl in white visits the grandmother, returns to the empty character select room. Each of the girls in red enters, takes up her original position, and they become selectable again.
- You just can't keep Carmen Sandiego in jail.
- Cho Ren Sha 68k: That explosion you see at the beginning of the game? Complete Stage 0 (the last stage of a given loop in this game) of the first loop and as the result screen shows up, you'll notice that the boss doesn't explode right away like other bosses. After the result screen disappears, then it explodes, you see the very explosion you saw at the beginning of the game, and you start Stage 1 of the second loop.
- The bad ending of Suikoden Tierkreis is somewhere between this and Shoot the Shaggy Dog. The One King you fight wasn't the original—he chose to sacrifice the lives of his allies to kill the previous One King, and wound up replacing him. Sacrifice your own allies, and guess what happens?
- In Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay, this is lampshaded by the MerLeader when McGillicutty repeatedly attempts to drown him/her as "torture":
- CarnEvil ends with a sick, twisted version of this. After surviving the evil circus, you end up back at the grave where it all began. A moment later, the token used to start the whole business pops out of the bottom of the tombstone like a prize coin. A hand picks it up...and then (even as the girl screams in the background) puts it back in the tombstone. Without saying them, the ending scene depicts the three most dreaded words one can hear at the end of a scary ride: "Wanna go again?"
- Journey gets somewhat meta on one of these, the mountain that you've journeyed to reach merely re-incarnates you at the first stage of the game, giving a justified reason for doing multiple playthroughs.
- Conker's Bad Fur Day ultimately ends with a drunken Conker stumbling off into a dark and stormy night, just as in the beginning.
- The end of Futurama is the same scene as the beginning; at some point during the game, the three main characters go back in time.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures ends with the characters escaping from Game Land, only for the Nerd to find out that the game was specifically made to do so. He remarks that you'd have to be a "total nerd" to play it again... three guesses as to what happens immediately afterwards.
- A side mission in Borderlands 2 involves breaking up a cult inspired by original Vault Hunter Lilith. Unfortunately, the human sacrifices rescued in the process begin to worship the Player Character.
- If you survive Five Nights at Freddy's, you'll get your paycheck and a note from your boss saying "See you next week". Aw, hell... This trope is averted after completing the seventh "Custom Night", where you'll get a pink slip from management for messing with the animatronics' AI. Yaaaay!
- It seemed like it'd be this trope when Five Nights at Freddy's 2 was announced, that management hadn't learned and you'd have to go through the hell of this game again. Then The Reveal showed that FNAF 2 was a prequel. So the original game is the game this trope applies to.
- Five Nights at Freddy's 3 is absolutely this trope, as the plot revolves around the creation of a theme park horror attraction based on the events of the first two games, with the creators managing to get a hold of the last remaining animatronic. No one seemed to think this would be a bad idea.
- Yoshi's Safari uses the trope as an excuse to justify hard mode. The dialogue and narration even acknowledges that the king, prince, and the twelve MacGuffins have been taken yet again. Said king and prince will even note that you saved them not once, but twice.
- In Night Trap, Megan says, "Oh boy, here we go again!" when Danny tries warning the girls again in the kitchen about the Augers, as she knows that she's heard that warning that she ignored before, in the living room.
- The postgame sidequest for Ali, one of the supporting characters in Octopath Traveler, reveals that he and his father last parted on bad terms after a fight. The player can bring them back together so they can open a shop, only for them to start fighting again on how it should be run.
- Operation: V.I.D.E.O.G.A.M.E. ends with the revelation that the entire story was just a video game Sector V was playing. Then the beginning of the game happens again in exactly the same way, including the Toiletnator breaking into Sector V's Treehouse.
- Super Treadmill: Each day effectively repeats a cycle - Billy starts fat, exercises and loses weight, becomes fit and thin, then the next day he's fat again.
- The first season of Red vs. Blue did this; the first and last episodes began with the camera rising up to view Simmons and Grif having the same conversation. Grif has a different response each time, though.
One of the series' Multiple Endingsthe series' canonical ending does this as well, albeit with the red and blue team switching roles.
- The "Vicious Cycle" videos sport characters from Team Fortress 2 killing each other in wacky and elaborate ways. At the end of the video, the first character respawns and heads off to start the killing spree again.
- One work-safe Imbapovi video starts with Miku finishing to vacuum her apartment room, then she notices the reverse button and the box of balloons she had received, so she removes the broom. She proceeds to have fun inflating to pop the giant balloons, until she notices that her room is covered with pieces of them. It ends with Miku preparing to clean it up all over again, to her dismay.
- Ollie & Scoops: In "Gimme a Hand," Scoops goes to Dr. Toodles to get (large, disturbing) human hands grafted over his paws. The hands come to life and jump off of Scoops' paws, terrorizing Catlifornia. Ollie and Scoops defeat the hands, only for the audience to learn immediately after that Dr. Toodles has put another pair of hands on himself.
- Bronze Skin Inc:Just as the coatis are dealt with, the water is stolen again, this time by saguis, who are said to fill in the niche vacated by the coatis.
- City Face's first story lampshaded this. On the bottom right of the last panel, where there would normally be a "The End" symbol, there is instead a box saying "goto #1".
- Penny Arcade gives a single strip-wide example about a cyclical argument.
- XKCD, being XKCD, puts a non-orient-able spin on the concept here.
- Full Frontal Nerdity pastiches If You Give a Mouse a Cookie as "If You Give Your Mom Some Memory".
- The Perry Bible Fellowship: "Reset", on a cosmic scale.
- Freefall: Florence has trouble positioning herself for the eye scanner. When she finally gets a successful scan on her right eye, the machine says: "Due to number of failed scans, a second verification is required. Please present left eye to the lens for scanning."
- Atop the Fourth Wall: After Missingno is convinced to kill itself and everything is back to what passes for normal in a That Guy with the Glasses show, That Dude in the Suede is seen playing Pokémon Red, in the process of enacting the Old Man Glitch in order to spawn Missingno..
- In The Nostalgia Critic's review of Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, he incurs the wrath of convention fans when he says he doesn't like the movie. At the end, he manages to calm them down, only to get hated again when he says he doesn't like Howl's Moving Castle.
- The final installment of Don't Hug Me I'm Scared sees h the date, which has been June 19th for the past six episodes, switching to June 20th. Besides that and the colors of the main characters, the entire scene is the same as the first episode, and it abruptly ends after the first line of the song from the original Don't Hug Me I'm Scared, implying the series will repeat itself.
- At the end of "Bowser Junior Loses Thomas!", Chef Pee Pee finds Junior's Thomas toy and gives it back to Junior. A few minutes later, Junior loses the dinosaur toy he played with at the beginning of the video and calls for Chef Pee Pee to help him find it.
- At the end of "Bowser Junior's Broken Leg!", Chef Pee Pee beats Junior up to the point of breaking his left leg after finding out that he was lying about his right leg being broken.
- In "Bowser Junior's Cookies!", after a whole shenanigans full of sticky notes saying "cookies" all over the apartment and Chef Pee Pee raging, he finally goes to the store and brings cookies for Junior, only to find out that the kind of cookies were not what Junior wanted, and he really wants Chips Ahoy cookies. Junior then starts writing "Chips Ahoy" on the sticky notes and sticks them for a second time.
Chef Pee Pee: Not again!
- At the end of "Bowser Junior Gets Rabies!", a biting Bowser Junior bites Chef Pee Pee, causing him to catch rabies from him, and he later gets the same symptoms Junior had from the disease. Bowser Junior and Cody then start poking him with a stick.
- Subverted in "Bowser's Depression", wherein Bowser goes into a deep depression when his favorite Show Within a Show, Charleyyy and Friends is cancelled and replaced with a spin-off called Fishy and Friends. Bowser eventually gets over it when he watches a video made by Junior and Chef Pee Pee, and later gives the latter show a chance and begins to like it, only for it to get cancelled. When it looks like Bowser is about to go into another breakdown, it is revealed that Charleyyy and Friends was renewed, much to Bowser's relief.
- The Aaahh!!! Real Monsters episode "A Wing and a Scare" has Ickis, Krumm, and Oblina being forced to sneak onto an airplane to get at their latest scare target. They accidentally damage the plane and force it to make an emergency landing, leaving nearly everyone on the plane terrified... unfortunately, as the Gromble points out, all those humans are now afraid of airplanes, not monsters. Cue our heroes having to do their assignment over, including getting stuck in a suitcase going through the baggage carousel again.
Ickis: There must be a better way to travel...
- Adventure Time, "Evicted": Finn and Jake finally reclaim their home from Marceline, only to find a bunch of worms crawling around their living room. Then a giant "king worm" descends from the second floor and brainwashes them into giving him a hug.
- The Amazing World of Gumball: "The Console" ends with the evil video game defeated and Elmore back to normal, but Gumball wants to play the game again so he can get 100% Completion. Cue Big "NO!" from Darwin and Anais as they try (and fail) to stop their brother from restarting the console.
- In the American Dad! episode "Old Stan in the Mountain", Stan is cursed by an old man to rapidly age. When he learns how hard the elderly have it he becomes young again, but he's now black.
Hayley: All right, Dad, think. What was the last interaction you had with a black person?
Stan: It was at the T-Mobile store and it was not positive.
- The Angry Beavers: At the end of "Stinky Toe", Dagget manages to cure his brother's case of the eponymous disease, only for Dagget to fall victim to a bad case of "Gunky Ear".
- Arthur also likes this trope, so much they've even composed an annoying music cue to accompany these kind of endings (such as in "Arthur Makes the Team", "Team Trouble", "Buster Baxter, Cat Saver", "Arthur's Dummy Disaster", "Francine and the Feline", "Locked in the Library!", and "Is There a Doctor in the House?").
- It's a safe bet than an average Beary Family cartoon from Walter Lantz would contain a variation of the following dialogue:
Charlie Beary: Okay, Bessie, we'll get a _________, but I won't pay the $10.00 to install it. I'll do it!
Bessie Beary: Here we go again!
- Lydia says this at the end of the Beetlejuice episode "Laugh of the Party" after Beetlejuice says he flushed the rest of his Party People In A Can (which, when water is added, caused a ruckus earlier in the episode) down the toilet.
- Bunnicula: In "Sunday Bunnday", Bunnicula gets trapped outdoors and, being a vampire rabbit, must evade sunlight and get home safely. Once he finally does, Mina, his human owner who doesn't know that he is a vampire, announces that she is taking him on a trip to a sunny beach the next day.
- One of the stories from the Candyland VHS game, "Don't Say Fluffypuffer", revolved around Candyland being invaded by the Fluffypuffer, a strange little creature that multiplied whenever someone said its name. The Candylanders eventually find a way to reverse the process and get rid of the duplicates, but the cartoon ends with the narrator saying "Fluffypuffer", then going "Uh-oh..." as the Fluffypuffer laughs mischievously.
- In "Fetch", Dog spends the whole episode chasing a ball around town, which causes Cat (and eventually himself) to get badly injured. At the end of the episode, Winslow throws another ball, making Dog chase it all over town again.
- In the episode "CatDogumentary", Lola is given several thousand dollars by her boss to make a documentary about CatDog, but spends the money on an electric hammock instead. On the final day when she is supposed to present the film, she enlists Cat, Dog and a few others to help her pull together a cheap, shoddy movie which fortunately becomes a hit. The director orders a sequel and gives them more money to make it with. Having learned nothing from the events of the episode, Lola and the twins spend the money on a jetski.
- In "CatDogula", everyone gets bitten by "Peruvian Vampire Ticks" and turned into vampires. At the end of the episode, Cat manages to save everyone from becoming vampires forever and turns them back to normal, but Winslow gets bitten by a werewolf and turns into one.
- Courage the Cowardly Dog: After saving Eustace from being eaten by the titular antagonist of the episode "Queen of the Black Puddle", Courage takes a bath where he's greeted by a dog version of her (or the Puddle Queen assuming a canine form) that likely has similar plans for him.
- Subverted in the Cow and Chicken episode "Tongue Sandwich", where Cow's tongue becomes sentient and escapes her mouth, never returning until he gets in trouble with the law. By the end of the episode, Chicken's wattle tries to escape after coming to life and detaching from Chicken, but Chicken stomps on him before he can get away.
- The Curious George episode "Doctor Monkey" has George dealing with a high class lady who had hiccups. She seemingly gets rid of them in the end only to hiccup again.
- The Dave the Barbarian story "Bad Food" consists mostly of Dave unknowingly cooking animated food using the Cuisinum Mysterium cookbook. When the food is finally defeated, Dave decides to go into knitting, pulls out the Yarnum Mysterium Guide to Knitting, and the episode ends with them running away from a giant fanged ball of wool.
- Dexter's Laboratory:
- "Nuclear Confusion": Dee Dee steals an unstable isotope Dexter was using to power his new reading lamp and forces Dexter to follow a series of clues to get it back (and Dexter has to get it back in a hurry before the isotope goes critical and explodes). At the end of the episode, Dexter discovers Dee Dee has stolen his book and set up another series of clues for him to follow.
- "Faux Chapeau": Dee Dee convinces Dexter to market one of his inventions as a hat, but it ends up causing the wearers' heads to swell up. At the end Dee Dee reveals that she also used another of his inventions as shoes, and there's a long line of people with swollen feet banging on their door.
- At the end of "Ice Cream Scream", it turns out that the reason the ice cream truck won't stop for Dexter is because a while back, Dexter once paid the man in pennies, which resulted in an over the top Disaster Dominoes sequence in which he lost his girlfriend, his car, and his apartment thanks to tripping over his shoelaces and chipping a tooth. After all is forgiven, the ice cream man relents and lets Dexter buy some ice cream.
Ice Cream Man: Dollar-fifty, please.
Dexter: You got change for a hundred?
Ice Cream Man: AAUUGGH!
- Disney Fairies Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue is one of the examples that uses this just before the climax.
Tinker Bell: Look, Lizzie's Father trapped Vidia in a jar while she was saving me. We have to hurry and rescue her.
Rosetta: Here we go again.
- Taken Up to Eleven in the Drawn Together episode where the gang plots revenge on a critic of the show, beginning with them watching a show with a flying kangaroo. Spanky farts for an extended period of time to show his distaste of the show. At the end of the episode after they finally confront the critic, Spanky calls a flying kangaroo to fly him out of the window. It zooms out to the flying kangaroo, being watched on TV by the gang, when Spanky farts for an extended period of time to show his distaste of the show.
- DuckTales (1987):
- At the end of the Five-Episode Pilot, Scrooge pretends to be relapsing in "gold fever", and one of the nephews can be heard saying this as the episode ends.
- In "A Case of Mistaken Secret Identity" Huey, Dewey and Louie think Launchpad McQuack is Gizmoduck. In the end of the episode, when Huey, Dewey and Louie realize they were wrong, they resume making wrong guesses about Gizmoduck's identity, this time Mrs Beakley.
- Defied in the Earthworm Jim episode "Hyper Psycrow", when Psy-crow goes back to the coffee shop to try and regain his Caffeine Bullet Time powers.
Psycrow: Oh well, here we go again!
Jim: Hold it! You are NOT doing a "here we go again" ending on my show!
- Implied at the end of the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "Dueling Eds". After Eddy accidentally insults Rolf and subsequently gets pummeled in a duel with Rolf, the "son of a shephard" proceeds to dump "the Eels of Forgiveness" down the pants of the Eds and himself. When Rolf asks Kevin (who had been watching the duel) to join in:
Kevin: I'll pass, dude.
Rolf: [angry] Son of a gun! You insult Rolf by denying the eels?! [walks off-camera, presumably to give Kevin what-for]
- The Fractured Fairy Tales version of Rapunzel, like the ordinary version, starts with Rapunzel's pregnant mother getting a craving for the rampion growing in a witch's garden. It ends:
Rapunzel: Darling, I know this sounds fantastic and utterly absurd, but I have this uncontrollable desire to have a salad made from that variety of European bell flower.
Rapunzel: Yes dear, rampion!
Witch: Well, here we go again! (Evil Laugh)
- Green Eggs and Ham: Guy gives a knowing smirk as he watches Sam run out of the restaurant shouting that they're off to East Flubria on another adventure at the end of the last episode.
- The Heckle and Jeckle cartoon "Rival Romeos" has the two fighting over a girl, only for them to take their lumps collectively at the conclusion and swear off girls. However, when a buxom Mae West-type girl passes by them, they primp themselves all over as Heckle looks to the audience and says "Here we go again!"
- Hey Arnold! loves this trope:
- "Door #16": Arnold accepts a package for Mr. Smith, a reclusive boarder at the apartment house his grandparents run. Hijinks ensue as he tries to keep the other boarders from opening it and deliver it to Smith. The boarders end up opening the package to reveal a photo of the boarders besides Smith. Arnold then discovers he has to accept another package for Mr. Smith.
- "Save the Tree": Arnold and friends have prevented Helga's dad from cutting down a tree they've built a tree house in to build a beeper shop... but he's now focusing his attention on the lot they play baseball in.
- "Timberly Loves Arnold": The plot of the episode is that Timberly, the sister of Arnold's friend Gerald, develops a crush on Arnold for telling Gerald it was all right for her to accompany them playing frisbee in the park; fast-forward to the end of the episode, where it's their mutual buddy, Sid, who talks them into letting her accompany them to a game of baseball. No points for guessing what happens as the episode ends.
- "Arnold Betrays Iggy": Arnold makes Iggy a laughing stock of the school when he indirectly reveals that Iggy wears bunny pajamas. After a series of favors and Iggy remaining mad at him, Arnold does Iggy one last favor and wears the same bunny pajamas on live television, making him the new laughing stock instead of Iggy. The episode ends with Arnold now mad at Iggy and Iggy begging Arnold to forgive him.
- "Stuck in a Tree": Arnold, Eugene and Harold are stuck on a branch in a cherry tree. Despite their assumption that he won't come back, Chocolate Boy arrives with the fire department with a cherry picker to get them down... but as soon as they get in the cherry picker, it breaks down.
Eugene: (jovial) Gosh! First we're stuck in a cherry tree, now we're stuck in a cherry picker! Isn't life funny?
Harold: Oh, Eugene, I'm gonna pound ya!
- "Grudge Match" has Phil and Bob backing into each other's cars by mistake, and they play a match of golf to determine who pays for the repairs. After Phil wins, they back into each other again, and Phil proposes settling it over tennis this time, at which point the episode ends.
- Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi:
- In "Collect All 5", Ami becomes obsessed with collecting all the Huggle Buddies found in her favorite cereal and descents into madness over her inability to find Bunny Huggles. In the end, Yumi gets her friend a Bunny Huggles by selling one of her guitars, only for Ami to then become interested in collecting all 100 Panda Pals.
- The episode "Stop the Presses" has Ami and Yumi try to get rid of every copy of a newspaper that features an embarrassing photograph of Ami. They end up right where they started when Ami gets photographed while covered in manure and the photographer announces that the photo will be used in tomorrow's edition.
- At the end of Hot Stuff, the entire universe is on fire again after mankind fails to be careful with it. The gods agree that the next time, they'll give fire to a woman.
- The Jimmy Two-Shoes episode "There's Always a Hiccup" ends with Heloise cured of her hiccups, and Beezy getting them.
- Johnny Bravo, "Brave New Johnny": Johnny slips on hair gel, falls into a vat of the stuff. Wakes up in future. Eventually gets back to the present through a descendant of Carl's time machine. Promptly slips again. The vicious cycle continues.
- Kaeloo: The pilot (and the episode "Let's Play Red Light, Green Light", which was a remake of the pilot) ends with Kaeloo getting angry and Hulking Out all over again.
- In Episode 96, Stumpy and Quack Quack get addicted to carrots which produce the same effects as smoking tobacco. When Kaeloo finally manages to get them to stop eating carrots, they find out about tomato juice, which makes them high.
- Looney Tunes
- The original ending of 1941's "The Heckling Hare" had Bugs Bunny and Willoughby the dog falling down from three cliffs, and the cartoon ending as the third fall begins.note
Bugs: Hold on to your hats, folks. Here we go again!
- "Greedy for Tweety" features several hospital hijinks between Tweety, Sylvester, and Hector after their chase ends up in traffic. At the end of the episode, the three of them are released, only for them to start running in the streets again. Nurse Granny, who had just checked them out, simply sighs "Que sera sera" as she prepares to check them back in.
- The Speedy Gonzales cartoon "Tabasco Road" has Speedy protecting his drunken friends from a cat, only to have them pick a fight with every cat in the alley at the end.
- One Froggy Evening ends a hundred years in the future, when someone else discovers the box with the frog, and gets dollar signs in his eyes.
- The Road Runner holds up a sign that says "Here we go again" at the end of "Wild About Hurry" when the Coyote's indestructible steel ball returns and goes through the same hell he went through the first time around.
- The original ending of 1941's "The Heckling Hare" had Bugs Bunny and Willoughby the dog falling down from three cliffs, and the cartoon ending as the third fall begins.note
- Happens several times in the 2013 Mickey Mouse series.
- "Mickey Monkey": For most of the short, Mickey has his clothes stolen by a monkey, resulting in his friends Minnie, Donald, and Goofy mistaking the monkey for him and vice versa. After he finally gets his clothes back and chases the monkey away, his friends disappear and are replaced by three alligators wearing their clothes, meaning that somewhere Goofy, Minnie, and Donald are naked and will likely have a hard time convincing Mickey that they are his real friends and that the ones wearing their clothes are the alligators.
- "Coned!": To make Pluto feel better about having to wear a cone, Mickey chooses to wear one himself until it is time for Pluto's cone to be removed. Because he insists on wearing the cone even though it impairs his vision, Mickey causes all sorts of destruction and ultimately ends up injuring himself. After the two finally get their collars removed, both of them then have to spend some time confined to wheelchairs until their injuries healed. Mickey again tries to cheer his dog up by pointing out that they are in this together, only for his recklessness to get himself hurt yet again.
- "Gone to Pieces": Goofy ends up falling into pieces, resulting in Mickey and Donald spending the bulk of the short trying to put him back together. After they finally succeed, the short ends with Donald and Mickey falling apart after Goofy hugs them too hard.
- The cartoon Mighty Max literally ends where it started, with time resetting back to the very first episode. However, Max still remembers the events of the series and claims that with that knowledge, he and his team can successfully defeat the villain.
- After spending the episode being the one who bossed the other bad guys around for a change, Igon the Terrible, from the Moondreamers, is dethroned and ends up just as he started, as the lowest link in the villains pecking order that is. He is not too upset though, and ends up saying this word for word after getting group-punched in an accepting and resigned way as if he said its good to be home.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Suited For Success", Rarity works her hooves to the bone trying to make dresses for her friends based on their suggestions, and has a nervous breakdown when a fashion critic mocks the Impossibly Tacky Clothes that result. At the end of the episode, Rarity gets the chance to show off the dresses she originally designed, and the critic is impressed enough to offer to sell her dresses at his boutique... then proceeds to order "a dozen of each dress [...] by next Tuesday." Cue Twitchy Eye from Rarity as the episode ends.
- The New Looney Tunes episode "Hiccups And Downs" has Bugs get hiccups when he drinks his lemonade too fast. Porky does all he can to cure him, even sending him to Witch Hazel and a scary castle, but no luck. Porky then pulls a trick by saying he'll move in with him and stop at nothing to cure him, which scares Bugs into losing them. We then cut to a screen shot of both of them saying how they respect each other even if they don't want to live with each other, and then they both hiccup, ending the episode.
- The Oblongs episode "Flush, Flush, Sweet Helga" ends with Helga finally getting out of the sewers after Pickles inadvertently sets the sewage on fire with a discarded cigarette and ending up knocking Debbie's locket into the sewer again, making Helga retrieve it.
- The Oh Yeah! Cartoons short "Max and his Special Problem" had an office worker literally sneeze his brain out and spending the short desperately seeking a way to get it back in. After some doctors finally help him by poking his brain in a way that makes him sniff it back in, the short ends with Max coughing up his heart, leaving him with another situation where he has to get an organ back inside his body.
- Phineas and Ferb, "Phineas and Ferb Interrupted": Phineas and Ferb end up losing interest in their usual crazy projects after getting hit by a stray shot from Dr. Doofenshmirtz's "Dull-and-Boring-inator". Perry goes back to Doofenshmirtz Evil Inc. and convinces Doofenshmirtz to help him make a Dynamic-inator. When the machine is finally built, the shot fired misses Phineas and Ferb, but they manage to snap out of it by themselves in time to save Candace. When the kids go home, they find Linda acting weird after getting hit by the stray Dynamic-inator blast, and the episode ends with Perry going back to Doofenshmirtz to rebuild the Dull-and-Boring-inator.
- The Pink Panther holds up a sign that says "Here we go again" after encountering a second department store janitor at the end of "We Give Pink Stamps".
- The Pound Puppies (2010) episode "King of the Heap" had the Pound Puppies' attempt to get Tyson adopted by a junkyard owner going awry when the junkyard owner instead adopts Niblet. After the gang fight tooth and nail to get Niblet back and replace him with Tyson, the episode ends with Niblet being adopted by mistake instead of the intended dog again, this time having him adopted by a stuntman. The Pound Puppies' leader Lucky even says the trope name verbatim when this happens.
- The Powerpuff Girls
- In "Live and Let Dynamo", the Dynamo (which, for some reason, Professor Utonium never had the sense to dismantle) is on a rampage again, after an unknown villain steals it. After the Girls spend the entire episode trying to stop it and trying to figure out who's at the controls (and eliminating pretty much every villain they know of, because this doesn't fit anyone's MO) they finally knock it down and open the cockpit to find the very frightened Mayor inside. The Mayor says he only pressed one button, which he naturally presses again, causing the whole battle to start again, as the episode ends.
- Said outright by the narrator during "Mommy Fearest". The main plot of the episode begins when Professor Utonium falls in love with a mysterious, beautiful woman who ultimately turns out to be a disguise used by the villain Sedusa. At the end of the episode, another mysterious, beautiful woman appears at the girls' front door...
- In "Burglar Alarm", a burglar makes the mistake of breaking into the Utonium household and running afoul of the Powerpuffs. Hilarity Ensues, and then the episode ends with the burglar making another attempt... at Mojo Jojo's volcano-top lair.
- "Tooth Or Consequences" (from the 2016 reboot) had Blossom—hideously deformed from a swollen bad tooth—running for the hills from Townsville. Bubbles and Buttercup chase her to the edge of a cliff, where the Professor talks her down and takes her to the dentist for treatment. The Professor sees that Blossom's front teeth are coming in crooked, so he recommends braces. The episode ends with Blossom (deformed again) being pursued to the edge of the cliff.
Buttercup: Ugh!! Are you kidding me?!
- "Midnight at The Mayor's Mansion" deals with a monster roaming the Mayor's city hall headquarters. As the girls investigate, they find the monster is the Mayor himself, transforming after eating expired Transylvanian pickle chips. They tie the Mayor/Monster to a chair and wait out him turning to normal. The ep ends with Buttercup invoking the trope when Bubbles eats some of the pickle chips and turns into a monster herself.
- "The Game": It opens with Gus finding a card that was just thrown over the fence, and it's part of a very addictive game. At the end, after everything is straightened out, Gus throws it back over the fence, and the next kids to find it go down to the corner shop to buy some more cards.
- "The Economics of Recess": After a few days of sickness, T.J. returns to school and finds that "mon-stickers" have become the currency of the student body. He begins to do various odd jobs in exchange for stickers, and gradually works his way up the ladder to be the richest kid on the playground, only to go mad with power and become a profit-obsessed tyrant. The rest of the Recess Gang then teams up to make alien stickers the new currency, leaving T.J. at the bottom of the barrel again. They hope T.J. has learned his lesson...but he immediately rushes off to start doing more chores for people, and they all sigh.
- "Copycat Kid": After believing Vince has saved him from being killed by a baseball, Mikey decides to idolize and copy him throughout the course of the episode, leading Vince to act like Mikey temporarily in order for him to snap out of the phase. At the end of the episode, Mikey prevents a baseball from hitting Randall, the same way Vince did for him.
- In the Regular Show episode "This Is My Jam", Rigby gets the song "Summertime Lovin', Lovin' in the Summer(time)" stuck in his head. Near the end, the gang comes up with an even catchier song, "Aw, Snap!" to defeat the ghost tape. After the Ghost Tape has been destroyed, Rigby begins constantly repeating the song they just used to destroy it.
- Rocket Power, "Double-O Twistervision": Opens with the RP gang complaining about a movie they just saw ("A monkey could make a better movie!") and deciding to make their own movie. After the finished product is shown at the Shore Shack (it takes up most of the story), Mackenzie does the same complaining to her friends, replete with monkey comment.
- Rocko's Modern Life:
- In "With Friends Like These", Heffer and Filbert constantly try to butter up Rocko in order to get him to share his two tickets to a wrestling match. When the two take it so far as to handcuff themselves to Rocko and drag him to the stadium, Rocko snaps and tears up the tickets in a fit of pique. The three make amends and go out for lunch, only for a radio to announce they're giving away tickets to a monster truck show to whoever shows up at the station handcuffed to their best friend...
- In "Feisty Geist", one of Heffer's past lives leads to him being haunted by the vengeful spirit of Mortimer Khan (Genghis Khan's conqueror-wannabe son). After Rocko and friends deal with Mortimer, the episode ends with the ghost of General Custer mad at Heffer because one of his past lives messed things up for him, too.
- In "Old Fogey Froggy", Ed is disappointed when his boss tells him that he's too old to work in the hot tub department. He spends the next two days feeling depressed over not being young anymore. At the end of the episode, Ed gets his confidence back and fells young again. However, Ed's boss than tells him that he's too young to work in the hot tub department, and Ed is depressed all over again.
- In "The Emperor's New Joe", Rocko goes to a hip new club, but hates the taste of their coffee. The Chameleon Brothers tell Rocko a story about how their coffee became such a hit and hope it will encourage Rocko to change his mind so they can get more customers. It does not work as Rocko gives a speech about how being an individual is better than following the crowd. The episode ends with Rocko getting thrown out of the store and the Chameleons suggesting he try the cheesecake. When another customer hates the cheesecake, the Chameleons tell him a similar story.
- Rugrats: "Chuckie Gets Skunked" ends with Stu and Chas having a run-in with the Smelly Skunk that sprayed Chuckie near the beginning of the episode. Cue Scream Discretion Shot, followed by a fade to black.
- At the end of the Rupert episode "Rupert and the Dragon Race". A mishap with Pong Ping's wish granting couch means he and Rupert must rescue Bill, his brother Toby and Edward from a valley of wild dragons. When they're all safely at the Emperor's palace at the end Rupert explains to Bill how they had help from a yeti they saved a while back. When he says "I wish you could see how much he's grown" the couch whisks them off to see the Yeti. Bill even remarks "I'll get you for this Rupert!"
- Scooby-Doo says this in "Foul Play In Funland" after the amusement park manager asks the kids to help him retrieve his robot Charlie, who had run amok in the park.
- The Simpsons:
- The episode "Two Bad Neighbors", which centers around the neighborhood chaos that unfolds when George H.W. Bush moves in across from the Simpson family ends with the Bushes bitterly moving away... only to be replaced by another former president, Gerald Ford. Luckily, Homer and he seem to get along better.
- Subverted and parodied in "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming". After Bart and Lisa thwart the villain, Grandpa rides up on a motorcycle and says that he's going to "haul ass to Lollapalooza!" (a Call-Back to earlier in the episode, where a parody of Roseanne used the exact same dialog). The rest of the Simpsons excitedly exclaim "here we go again!", with Marge lagging a little behind and obviously less than enthusiastic.
- "Bart After Dark" features Bart having to Work Off the Debt at what turns out to be a burlesque house, Maison Derriere. The episode ends with the house being saved from being demolished by protesters, only for Marge to accidentally crash a bulldozer into it, forcing her to work as a ventriloquist to pay off the damages.
- South Park
- In the episode "Death", Kyle's mom rallies the other parents to protest against The Terrence & Phillip Show in New York City to get the network to cancel it. In the end, the show is replaced with She's the Sheriff, but when the show makes a risque joke, well...guess.
- Humorously subverted at the end of "Pinkeye." Kenny rises from the dead again, and it looks like he's going to start yet another zombie outbreak... only to be crushed to death (again) by a statue. And then a crashing plane.
- SpongeBob SquarePants:
- In "Porous Pockets", SpongeBob becomes rich after he and Patrick find a massive pearl, and after becoming a stuck-up socialite from his newfound wealth eventually finds that he's expended all of it. At the end of the episode, when SpongeBob apologizes to Patrick for letting it go to his head, Patrick reveals that he found an equally massive diamond in a mine.
- In "SpongeBob's Bad Habit", SpongeBob develops a habit of biting his nails at work, and cannot stop. After several failed attempts, he goes to a hypnotherapist to try to resolve the issue. The therapist discovers SpongeBob subconsciously implemented the habit from Squidward and breaks it, and it seems everything is okay... but then SpongeBob sees the doctor in the full light, Hans the hand, and starts biting his nails in response.
- Star Wars Resistance: In the short "The Search for Kaz", Yeager sends BB-8 out to look for Kaz. After an unsuccessful search, BB returns to the repair shop to find Kaz there. Kaz then asks him to find Yeager, prompting BB to headdesk.
- Played for Drama in an A Very Special Episode of Static Shock. After an incident where a bullied student brings a gun to school, leading to Vergil's friend Ritchie getting shot in the leg, it's clear that people are shaken up by the entire incident. However, when Ritchie returns to school and expresses hope that people learned a lesson from it, he and Vergil find another kid being bullied, leaving poor Vergil to have a grim look on his face, screaming this trope.
- Sylvan, an obscure 80s cartoon was a 100% Here We Go Again series: The protagonist was found in the woods with amnesia. His skills and looks make him resemble a Prince Valiant from another realm, who apparently disappeared when saving his love. He eventually finds out that he really is the prince, and therefore he can marry the princess he loved. Who is unfortunately kidnapped by the Big Bad of the series, who, to avoid capture casts a powerful spell, which makes the Prince wake up in the woods with amnesia.
- Subverted in Teen Titans Go!. After Beast Boy and Cyborg fight all episode over whether hamburgers or burritos are the superior food, they make up and decided to get dessert. But Cyborg wants pie, while Beast Boy wants ice cream. Just as it looks like they're gonna fight all over again, they decide to get pie ala mode.
- In Tiny Toon Adventures, every Baby Plucky segment ends by showing Plucky still hasn't grown out of whatever annoying habit he had in the flashback.
- Tom and Jerry
- In "Saturday Evening Puss", Tom throws a wild party with his alley-cat friends while Mammy Two-Shoes is out of the house for the evening. This disturbs the sleep of Jerry, who tries all sorts of ways to stop the noise from their party, and eventually resorts to calling Mammy Two-Shoes home. After she throws out Tom and his friends, Mammy decides to stay in and listen to some "soft, soothing... hot music!" Cue Jerry looking annoyed as the jazz music from earlier starts playing again.
- "The Truce Hurts" opens with Tom, Jerry, and Spike fighting each other, and Spike eventually talks all three into a truce. By the end of the cartoon, the truce breaks down, and the three of them pick up right where they left off.
- After dealing with a mischievous Energy Being in the The Transformers episode "Kremzeek", a duplicate that hid out in Blaster jumps out and hops away, leaving the Autobots to chase it all over again.
- This kind of ending happened in two episodes of The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat.
- In the episode "Order of the Black Cats", Felix accidentally get involved with a secret cult of people wearing black cat costumes. After attempting to run away from them, Felix ends up crowned their king when it's discovered that he looks just like their giant cat statue. On his way home, Felix's crown is noticed by a king who tries to recruit Felix into a secret club of kings.
- "Five Minute Meatball" has Felix do his best to deliver a meatball to an old man before the five-minute time limit is up. He then has to go back and get another meatball when the man's wife decides she wants a meatball, too.
- Wander over Yonder:
- In "The Ball", after Wander saves the people of a tennis ball-shaped planet from a giant puppy, the episode ends with him and Sylvia passing by a yarn-shaped planet and hearing the distant meows of a giant kitten.
- Subverted in "The Void"; after Sylvia finally convinces Wander to leave a wacky reality-altering dimension behind a mysterious door hanging in space, the pair come across a similar window hanging in space, but Sylvia convinces Wander to leave it alone.
- "The Day" and "The Night" combine this with an Hourglass Plot. "The Day" has Sylvia trying to wake a sleeping Wander as the two escape Lord Hater's ship, while "The Night" has Wander trying to help Sylvia, who's worn out by the events of the previous episode, get some sleep, while Hater's watchdogs try to capture them. "The Night" ends with Sylvia and Wander back in Hater's dungeon, right down to Sylvia waking up and seeing where they are.
- In the We Bare Bears episode "The Kitty", the bears find a cat that turns out to be a cougar cub, and it leads its pack into the bears' cave. After getting rid of the cougars, the episode ends with Grizz finding a baby hawk.
- Several What A Cartoon! Show shorts used this type of ending.
- In "Godfrey and Zeke in: Lost Control", the eponymous zoo animals take a trip to the sewage treatment plant after Godfrey accidentally flushes their TV remote down the toilet. They have an exciting adventure getting it back, but just end up watching TV in a bored fashion after they do so. This inspires Godfrey to flush the remote down the toilet again so they have an excuse to visit the plant tour again, and Zeke even mutters "Oh, not again..." as the cartoon ends.
- "Swamp and Tad: Mission Imfrogable" was about a pair of frog-like aliens coming to Earth in order to retrieve a package for their king, the mission being made difficult because a dog finds the package. Eventually, Swamp manages to get the package by being nice to the dog, and it turns out the package Tad spent the short working his ass off to get back was a pizza, which the king messily devours. After all is said and done, the two are then told that they must go back to Earth to retrieve more pizzas, much to Tad's dismay.
- In "Awfully Lucky", a mean and greedy man named Luther comes across the Parodox Pearl that delivers both fortune and misfortune and it is tossed in the ocean by an old man until Luther finds out the Pearl is worth 10 million dollars and tries to go to the museum and sell the pearl there. After a series of bad events and ultimately no money, Luther learns the hard way that the pearl is far more trouble than it's worth and tosses it back towards the ocean only for it to land in a fisherman's bucket. The fisherman ends up with both a treasure chest full of priceless objects and a huge object about to crush him.
- Averted in "Help?". Jof the Cat pricks his finger while doing needlepoint, and goes to the hospital trying to get help. Instead, he's put through hell by a sadistic doctor and his orderlies, until he finally manages to escape. At the end of the short, he's doing another needlepoint, and ends up pricking his finger again, but this time, wraps his tail around his mouth to keep himself from screaming.
- The 1965 animated short A has a man tormented by a giant letter A. Once the A disappears and the man celebrates the end of his suffering, he is then menaced by a giant letter B.
- In the Toonsylvania episode "Darla Doily: Demon Doll", Igor buys Phil a Darla Doily doll for his birthday. While Phil is happy at first, it eventually turns out that Darla Doily wants to kill Phil, Igor and Dr. Vic. After Igor builds a Sergeant Kilko action figure to combat Darla Doily and ends up defeating her by getting her pull-string stuck to a bomb, Phil goes to bed with the Sergeant Kilko has his new birthday present, but the poor monster calls out for Igor when it turns out Sergeant Kilko is also intent on harming him like Darla Doily was.
- House of Mouse: "Goofy for a Day" has Max make a remark on how easy he thinks Goofy's job as a waiter is, resulting in Goofy having his son temporarily take over his responsibilities as waiter. Max learns the hard way that setting tables and handling orders isn't as simple as he assumed, but manages to make it through with help from his father. At the end of the episode, Goofy states a desire to take over Max's job as parking valet, similarly assuming that his son has the easy job.
- Love, Death & Robots: At the end of "Ice Age", after the miniature civilization vanishes in a flash of light after achieving The Singularity, Gail and Rob leave the fridge unplugged for the night. When they check on it the next morning, the ice has melted and early hominids have evolved, hinting the whole thing is going to play out again.