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Last Episode Theme Reprise

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Since it's standard practice to make a Theme Song as awesome as possible, said theme likes to find its way into a privileged position in the final battle. At The Climax of the series, when things are at their most epic, the theme gets played over the show itself. Typically we'll get to hear the verses not played in the opening, and sometimes the whole song is strung together for once.

The opening or closing theme can be used. Often this serves as an ultimate Theme Music Power-Up. Often it serves in this capacity for the show itself.

This is also common in Video Games, the most common being a reprisal or orchestral version of the main theme over the final dungeon or ending sequences.

Sub-Trope of Title Theme Drop. Related to Diegetic Soundtrack Usage, where the theme is shown to exist in-universe. Compare Theme Music Withholding, when the theme song of the franchise as a whole is saved for an epic moment.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Cowboy Bebop plays "See You Space Cowboy", an alternate-lyric cut of "The Real Folk Blues", as Spike goes to face off against Vicious in the last episode.
  • The Twelve Kingdoms plays "Getsumei-fuuei" at the end of Episode 39, which finishes the last major story arc. However, that episode is a Series Fauxnale, as there are still six more episodes to go.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, with "Sorairo Days" during the climax of the final battle. While it's not the first anime to do this trope, it may have been the first to make the trope incredibly popular in action anime.
    • An inverted case happens earlier. The song "Happily Ever After" is used as Simon's Theme Music Powerup in episodes 11 and 15, then becomes the closing theme tune in episode 16.
  • Kill la Kill plays its second opening, "Ambiguous" during the final battle with Ragyo at Honnouji Academy.
    • Even more notably, just as Ryuko blasts off into space to face Ragyo for the final time in the last episode, the chorus of the first opening, "Sirius", plays.
  • The King's Avatar: In season 1, it happens in the final flashback on the beginnings of the rivalry between Ye Xiu and Han Wenqing.
  • Technically it's only the fourth-last episode, but it still counts when the extended mix of Yuusha Oh Tanjou kicks in for the final battle against the Primevals over Jupiter in GaoGaiGar.
  • Lucky Star, "Motteke! Sailor Fuku", a Dancing Theme, is used as the BGM to the cheerleader routine in the final episode.
  • Magic User's Club
  • Although the theme song 'Rondo Revolution' didn't play during the last episode of Revolutionary Girl Utena, the song 'Rose and Release', sung to a similar tune, was. This trope was played straight with the movie, which could be considered a finale to the series in many ways.
  • Happens in both season 1 and 2 of Shakugan no Shana and used best in the very final battle of the final season.
  • The first opening song for Full Moon is used for exactly six episodes than abruptly dropped for the rest of the fifty-episode series. This comes off as jarring, considering Mitsuki's musical repertoire literally consists of about three songs and she knows how to sing this one. It's brought back for effect for the last several minutes of the final episode.
  • In Japanese, "Moonlight Densetsu" plays in the first-season finale of Sailor Moon. (However butchered the rest of that episode was, most North American fans prefer the DiC dub song, "Carry On").
    • Sailor Moon does it again in the finale of the last season, using the "Sailor Stars" opening theme during the final battle against Galaxia. Then as the special end credits of the finale roll, the original opening theme plays once more.
  • Gundam:
    • Mobile Suit Zeta Gundam features a slower version of its opening tune at the end of its final episode.
    • Mobile Fighter G Gundam's first opening song, "Flying High in the Sky", is used as the closing theme of the final episode.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam Wing reprises its first opening song, "Just Communication", when after Libra's been safely broken up, to show that Heero and Wing Zero have survived.
    • The English dub of Mobile Suit Gundam SEED features an additional ending credits (for the English voice cast) with the show's original ending theme "Anna ni Isshodattanoni".
    • Mobile Suit Gundam 00 reprises the first opening song "Daybreak's Bell" at the end of both the first and second season's last episode.
    • Gundam Build Divers Re:RISE reprises the rest of its first opening song in its 26th and final episode as the New Eldorans rebuild their society and life and Hiroto's team, accompanied by their newest member Hinata, visit them.
  • Space Battleship Yamato, a.k.a. Star Blazers, did this a bunch with its opening theme being reprised as a slow violin-heavy instrumental towards the end of each season and in the movies.
  • The end of the last episode of Neon Genesis Evangelion', including the infamous "Congratulations!" scene, is accompanied by two different instrumental versions of its opening, "Cruel Angel's Thesis".
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The final episode of Dragon Ball GT plays the anime's opening theme "Dan Dan Kokoro Hikareteku" as Goku reminisce his life.
    • The final episode of the original run of Dragon Ball Z Kai featured a full version of the show's opening theme, "Dragon Soul." For "The Final Chapters" season's final episode, it featured a cover of "CHA-LA-HEAD-CHA-LA" from Dragon Ball Z as Goku takes off to take Uub as his pupil.
  • Slayers Evolution-R does this with the second season's theme song "Give a Reason" during the final battle of the fifth season.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood uses the second opening "Hologram" over the final episode's picture montage.
    • An earlier episode also had a longer version of the ending theme, with the credits sequence intercut with part of the show (was it flashbacks?)
  • F-Zero: GP Legend used the opening theme during the final climactic scene. The song used for this was "The Meaning of Truth" by Hiro-X.
  • Cardfight!! Vanguard used this during the endgame phase between Aichi and Ren. The song used for that was "Believe in My Existance". The second opening to the series by JAM Project.
  • The Bomberman Jetters anime used this in the last episode during the picnic scene after the series climax. The song used was "Boku Wa Gakeppuchi". The first opening to the series by Hideo Suwa.
  • ARIA uses the opening theme from its first season in the last episode of... the third season.
  • The second season finale of Minami-ke used the opening theme from the first season in the climactic Group Hug scene.
  • Inverted in two senses in Ga-Rei -Zero-, where "Paradise Lost" is put as the ending theme in the third episode, before being used as the official opening theme from episode 4 on.
  • The final episode of Daily Lives of High School Boys has the series' theme song played one last time over the ending credits.
  • The Kids on the Slope finale has two instances. First, Sentaro and Kaoru play "Moanin", the jazz standard they played together in the first episode, and then "Sakamichi no Melody", the series' opening theme, plays over the end credits.
  • The final episode of the first season of A Certain Scientific Railgun does with both the first and second opening themes.
  • The World God Only Knows uses the theme as Background Music for the last TWO episodes.
    • Not quite as repetitive as one might expect, as this is an 8-minute song which is varied to say the least.
  • SD Gundam Sangokuden Brave Battle Warriors: As Liu Bei becomes Celestial War God Dragon Liu Bei in the penultimate episode, the first ending theme, 'Mirisha Densetsu ~The Brave Legend~' plays for great effect.
  • Buso Renkin's finale featured a reprise by the opening theme and the first ending theme.
  • Eureka Seven has the theme playing for the last-minute rescue on the last episode.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds has the second verse of the current opening, "Road to Tomorrow ~Going my Way!!~" playing during Yusei's last turn of the final episode.
  • The English dub of Pokémon: The Series ended the first and thirteenth seasons this way. In both cases, the extended version of that season's theme was used.
  • Inverted in Umi Monogatari, as the theme plays at the beginning of the last episode in a more somber tone as Marin and Kanon are near death.
  • Nurarihyon No Mago season 2 played the first opening theme of the season during the final attack of the last battle.
  • Macross Frontier has its original theme song "Triangler" reprise over the epilogue, which also serves as the ending credits, only this time sung by the two lead females. Being a song about a Love Triangle in a SHOW about a Love Triangle, this could be expected. Of course, the original show never actually resolved said Love Triangle.
  • Witchblade switched its opening theme song for the last half of the series. The original opening theme song XTC comes back for the final episode, along with a new ending theme song by the same band.
  • Steins;Gate uses the opening theme for the video game it was based on in the scene of Heroic Resolve when Okabe discovers how to save the world in the penultimate episode.
  • In the last scene of the first season of Bakuman。, the full version of the opening theme plays. Earlier in the episode, as the serialization meeting begins, the full version of the second ending plays.
  • In the last scenes of My-HiME, "Shining Days" plays. The extended ending has a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue of sorts, with the full version playing over clips of the cast members. Both this show and My-Otome also pull a variation of this trope by giving the finale the same title as the opening theme.
  • In the Japanese versions of Digimon:
    • Digimon Adventure has Butterfly replay in the final moments of the last episode as the Chosen Children leave the Digital World on the trolley, waving goodbye to their partners. The theme also plays during the epilogue scene of Digimon Adventure 02, when the whole main cast of both seasons are shown visiting the Digital World with their children.
    • In the penultimate episode of Digimon Tamers, Biggest Dreamer plays as the Tamers make a last stand against the D-Reaper.
  • The anime of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure used "Sono Chi no Sadame", the show's first intro (which had been phased out after the end of the "Phantom Blood" arc) during "Battle Tendency"'s final moments in the battle against Kars, as Joseph sends him into space.
    • "Diamond is Unbreakable" features an even bigger one, as the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue is underscored by a remix of "Great Days" (the series' final opening theme) performed by the singers for all of the JoJo theme songs up to that point.
    • The final scene of Stone Ocean brings back "Roundabout" by Yes, the original end credits theme from the first season, signifying the end of the original timeline thanks to the Cosmic Retcon.
  • The Last: Naruto the Movie includes a reprise version of the main theme heard in Part I of the anime. The original theme is used during the final battle.
    • Boruto: Naruto the Movie has a reprise of "Reverse Situation" for the climatic battle as well as a reprise of "Heaven-Shaking Event" for the final attack.
  • In the English dubbed version of the last episode of Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, the original theme song (episodes 1-73) plays during the last scene.
  • Star Driver uses the first ending theme for the final battle between Takuto/Tauburn and Samekh. It seems a little weird at first, since it's a girl band pop song playing over a huge fight between two Humongous Mecha in space while Earth is slowly in the process of dying, but still works.
  • Captain Earth has the first opening theme, "Believer's High" by Flumpool, playing when Daichi commences the final battle.
  • Get Backers uses its original opening theme "Stardust" as the ending to the 49th (final) episode. However, the North American DVD version, like The Twelve Kingdoms above, added the standard closing sequence afterwards to accommodate translated credits.
  • Tokyo Ghoul uses its first opening 'Unravel' during the final episode of season 1, as well as a softer version in the final episode of season 2.
  • Little Witch Academia (2017) has its first opening theme, "Shiny Ray", play when Akko rescues Diana from her fall in the final episode.
  • Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine plays the finale of the penultimate episode to the instrumental version of the opening; ostensibly, to let us appreciate the opening in the next and final episode in a new light.
  • The very last scene of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The MOVIE 1st (discounting the epilogue and the credits) featured a cover of the "Little Wish, Lyrical Step", the ending theme from the first season.
  • The final episode of Fairy Tail has a reprise from the very first opening "Snow Fairy" when Lucy is shown getting an award for one of her novels. 'Don't say goodbye' takes on a rather heartbreaking context for longtime fans in that sense.
  • The final episode of Ojamajo Doremi Dokka~n! has the theme of the first series, "Ojamajo Carnival!", play over the scene where we see the girls' lives after the events of the series.
  • Pretty Cure:
  • Episode 50 of GO-GO Tamagotchi! (the Grand Finale of the anime television series in general) has a montage of clips from past episodes at the end featuring the theme song playing in the background one last time.
  • The final episode of One-Punch Man's first season forgoes an opening sequence, instead including the show's theme as a backdrop for the climactic battle between Saitama and Boros.
  • Major: The first opening, "Kokoroe", is used as the ending theme for the 1st, 5th and 6th season finales in the anime. Given how the song's lyrics reflect Goro's growth from childhood to adulthood as he chases after his dreams, in every instance the song is played with a recap montage of his experiences up until that point in the series.
  • Food Wars!: Season 4's second-to-last episode features the first Season 1 opening, "Kibou no Uta" as an insert song during Azami's Villainous Breakdown, when Soma and Erina defeat Rindou and Eishi in the final bout of the Regiment de Cuisine. A piano version of the song plays during the final scene of the last episode, when Soma comes back from abroad and Erina welcomes him at his restaurant.
  • Vandread uses its original opening theme "Trust" as the ending theme to the 26th (final) episode.
  • The final episode of the Kuroko's Basketball anime has a reprise of its original opening theme "Can Do It" as Kagami scores the winning dunk to secure the Winter Cup championship.
  • The final episode of Wolf's Rain has an opening Silent Credits to highlight how grim the situation is. The regular opening is later played as the closing theme for the final curtain call.
  • The final episode for season 3 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War reprises the season 1 ending theme "Sentimential Crisis" during Kaguya and Shirogane's First Kiss. While it isn't the end of the series, it does mark a major shift in the status quo.
  • Pokémon: To Be a Pokémon Master: the final episode ends with Type: Wild playing over the credits; the theme song most heavily associated with Ash's character in Japan, being a fitting send off for him finally being retired as the protagonist.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Austin & Ally ends with the now married Austin and Ally rehearsing the theme song on piano.
  • After nixing the very beloved theme tune "Overkill" in 2009, The Bill brought the theme tune back to close their last ever episode.
  • Kamen Rider:
    • Happens in the final two episodes of Kamen Rider Double, the first one being a Dark Reprise of the ending song "Cyclone Effect" as Philip and Shotaro fight together for what they believe to be the last time. The same episode had the main theme "W-B-X" play earlier during Shotaro’s solo confrontation against the Final Boss after coming to terms with succeeding his late mentor. The final epilogue episode uses the main theme to symbolize Philip and Shotaro once again reuniting to become Double.
    • Kamen Rider OOO has a slightly different approach, playing a slowed-down emotional version of the theme as Eiji, Hina, and Ankh spend one last night together before the final battle.
    • Kamen Rider Gaim's final episode is similar to Double's, being an epilogue and using the theme to symbolize a broken relationship being restored. In this case, Mitsuzane is guilt-ridden over his actions over the course of the series, but when Kouta returns to help deal with a threat, Micchy gets closure by fighting alongside his friend one last time.
  • A Super Sentai tradition. The theme plays in full to serenade the show out, while the ending footage is intercut with montages showing each Ranger's glory moments.
  • The Grand Finale of Liv and Maddie ends with everyone singing an acoustic version of the theme song.
  • In the final scene of Buffy the Vampire Slayer's final episode, a careful listener can hear a slower version of the main title song in the Background Music. Considering the events of that episode overturn all the premises of the entire series, it's eerily appropriate.
    • This trope also makes a more standard appearance, regular theme tune and all in "Prophecy Girl" when Buffy gets her second wind and goes after the Master in the season 1 finale. Not the last episode of the series, but good enough.
  • The original series finale for Scrubs (the last episode of season 8) ends on a banjo instrumental of the theme song. A behind-the-scenes reel of the cast and crew saying goodbye to one another over the credits is accompanied by an a capella cover of the theme song by the in-universe cover band The Worthless Peons.
  • Used in the finale of the first season of Dexter, played while Dexter gives a narration and everyone cheers in his imagination.
  • Stargate SG-1: Used at the end of the 8th season finale, which was believed to be the series finale before it was renewed. After SG-1 defeats Ra when they travel back in time, the Egyptian slaves wave their stolen weapons around and a glorious rendition of the Stargate theme plays in almost its entirety, signalling that the series had come full circle and returned to where the movie ended.
  • The main theme from Rome plays over the last scene of the finale, as Pullo and Cesarion melt into the city's bustling crowds.
  • The final episode of ER played the original theme song over the beginning and the end. It really stands out as the theme song had not been used in several years.
  • The final episode of Fraggle Rock ended with the Fraggles, the Doozers, the Gorgs, the Trash Heap, and Doc and Sprocket all singing the theme.
  • The Wire's theme song changed every season—originally a cover of Tom Waits' "Way Down in the Hole" by the Blind Boys of Alabama, Waits' original version was used as the theme in season two, and three more covers were used for the following seasons. The series finale ended with a montage of what the most important characters were doing as the events of the series came to a close, the montage set to the Blind Boys of Alabama version of the theme song.
  • The Wire inspired the closing montage of Community's Series Fauxnale (last episode of season 3) and the use of the show's theme song over it.
  • Father Ted's finale closed with the intro music playing over a montage of the characters' various exploits throughout the show. It was especially touching as the actor playing the title character, Dermot Morgan, had died shortly after shooting had completed, so the whole thing worked as a send-off to him.
  • The final scene in the final episode of Star Trek: Enterprise did this with not just its own closing theme (aka "Archer's Theme") but also bits of the themes from Star Trek: The Next Generation and Star Trek: The Original Series.
  • The very final minutes of the third series of The Bridge (2011), as Saga and Henrik set out on their unofficial investigation of the murder of Henrik's wife, use the theme music as incidental music leading into the end credits. Notably, this includes portions of the song, "Hollow Talk" by Choir of Young Believers, that were cut from the opening and closing credits edit.
  • Auf Wiedersehen, Pet had different opening and closing themes for each season, but the very last episode plays out with "Breakin' Away", the opening theme from Season 1.
  • An acoustic version of the theme song is played on the last scene of the The Big Bang Theory.
  • Ultra Series:
    • Ultraman Tiga: The last episode has a slightly remixed version of "Take Me Higher", the series' opening theme song, playing as Daigo/Tiga has his Heroic Second Wind against Gatanothor in his Glitter Tiga form.
    • Ultraman Ginga has the series' second opening theme "Ginga no Uta" play in the final battle between Ultraman Ginga and Dark Lugiel.
      • Ultraman Ginga S has the opening theme "Eiyuu no Uta" play in the series finale in the battle of Ultraman Ginga and Victory against Vict Lugiel.


    Video Games 

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney has leitmotifs for various situations, with a new Pursuit theme in every game that ordinarily plays when the protagonist corners the true culprit. At the end of Bridge to the Turnabout, the final case of the original trilogy, when Phoenix Wright is about to prove the trial's prosecutor Godot is the one who killed Misty Fey, who had been spiritually channeling Dahlia Hawthorne at the time, a remix of the Pursuit theme from the first game begins to play in preparation for the final showdown.
Phoenix: I'm going to bring your magnificent vengeance to fruition, just as you want it.
  • Danganronpa typically uses the series' main theme music at the climax, as hope triumphs over despair.
    • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony uses it in quite the different manner, as the truth behind the killing game is revealed: Danganronpa is a fictional world within the game's universe, and that the characters are taking part in the killing game as part of a reality show.
  • The theme song of Daughter for Dessert plays during the protagonist's not-going-to-prison party at the end of the story.
  • Dies Irae plays its main theme songs for the leadup to the final battles of the various routes. For Marie's route it will play "Einsatz" which was the main theme of the original release while for the final battle of Rea's route and the whole VN it will play "Jubilus" which is the main theme of the Amantes Amentes release and also the one translated to a global audience.
  • During the graduation finale of Double Homework, the theme song plays.
  • Fate/stay night: An instrumental of the opening theme "This Illusion" plays in the epic final showdown between Tohsaka Rin and Dark Sakura while the former is wielding the Second Sorcery and the latter the Third Sorcery, both considered to be incredibly powerful magic for a setting known for story-breaking powers
  • Galaxy Angel: The song "Eternal Love" performed by Mari Iijima is considered iconic for the franchise as a whole, being the opening theme of the first two games. On every route, it plays as the background music during the final battle of the first game, and the second-to-last battle of the third game.
  • As Akira finds the resolve to fight back against Kakuya in the climax of Spirit Hunter: NG, the game's main theme kicks in as he tells her, in no uncertain terms, that he hates her. Later on, it picks up again once Akira discovers the method to trap her in Kakuriyo.
  • Muv-Luv Alternative does this twice. The first time is when they Alternative's theme as the main cast begin their assault on the Original Hive as part of Operation Cherry Blossom. The second time is at the end credits, where a remix of the original Muv-Luv theme plays.

    Web Animation 
  • The entirety of the oft-loathed theme tune for Zero Punctuation appearing at the end of the hundredth instalment. For some, the theme was Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
    • The final episode of Season One ends with a soft, chilled out reprise of the season's main theme, "Up" — appropriately named simply "Up (Reprise)".
    • The last episode of Season Two, appropriately titled UP, features the "UP" theme as we see Steve being banished from his home planet and crash-landing into the center of the Earth.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • Starting from the moment Aang spiritbends Fire Lord Ozai's bending ability away from him, the main theme of Avatar: The Last Airbender is played in a triumphant key at multiple moments as the series draws to a close.
  • Done in Megas XLR, where during the final battle, with dozens of robots on both sides, they all fight to an extended instrumental version of "Chicks Dig Giant Robots".
  • Transformers: Cybertron does this. As the Autobots taking part in the revived Space Bridge Project lift off in the four ancient starships, with Optimus Prime in command, the show's theme music - the first remix of the original theme to use the "Autobots wage their battles to destroy the evil forces of the Decepticons" line since the old cartoon- kicks in. The theme has to be looped because it's only thirty seconds, but it is so awesome. It wraps up with Optimus saying "Courage, teamwork, and hope for the future. Our adventure will continue as long as we remember the words of Primus: 'Til all are one." And then all the Autobots shout aloud "Transform!" The theme then plays one last time, straight-up during the Final Credits montage, which ends with a picture of Coby and Lori's wedding where Optimus is standing behind the newlyweds.
    • The original anime version did it too, with a version of one of its theme songs playing. The American version had to loop the song to fill the same amount of time.
  • In the first, and, as far as the creators knew at the time, last Futurama movie, a slightly remixed version of the theme is played during the climactic battle – and the Earth fleet is coordinated with it.
  • The Grand Finale of Justice League Unlimited has the opening notes of the show's theme song played over the final scene.
  • The final episode of King of the Hill has an orchestral rendition of the show's theme played over the closing scene, which has most of the main cast together one last time for a cookout.
  • The final episode of Fish Hooks features the cast singing the theme song.
  • Though not a Grand Finale, the Season 1 finale of Wander over Yonder features the theme song played instrumentally during the final scene, creating the mood that Wander and Sylvia are off to new adventures. It plays again at the end of "The End of the Galaxy" as Hater's ship chases Wander and Sylvia again.
  • The Grand Finale of Gravity Falls has the whole cast fight off against the Big Bad's minions by turning the Mystery Shack into a giant, Pacific Rim-esque robot. Of course, a rock version of the show's already incredible main theme starts playing.
    • The song "See You Next Summer" that plays over the final minutes of the show incorporates an acoustic guitar cover of the main theme.
  • The ending of the final song in the Grand Finale of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic contains a brief instrumental of the opening theme.
  • The last thing viewers hear from the final episode of Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts is the show's theme song. This time, lyrics had been added to this bop. It's all bittersweet and heartwarming to say farewell to this fearless burrow girl and her crew. Then the song continues in the credits one last time. Cue Tears of Joy from the fandom. You did good, Kipo. You did good.
  • The beginning of the Grand Finale of DuckTales (2017) has an animatronic Funso and band play an instrumental version of the opening theme.


Video Example(s):


Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann

The finale of Gurren Lagann plays the opening theme of the show, when they are about to defeat the Anti-Spiral.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (23 votes)

Example of:

Main / LastEpisodeThemeReprise

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