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Montage Out

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Important characters are serially shown without dialogue, to show where the preceding action has left them emotionally. This typically happens at the end of a movie or episode and serves as a type of epilogue. Those dramatic TV shows (or movie franchises) that rely on cliffhangers and use this technique tend to throw the ending twist just in time for a intensity change that is already in the song that is being played and then fade to credits. A more theatrical than cinematic variation is done with dialogue, replaying clips of each major character saying a meaningful line.

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See also "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, when this is set in the distant future. Not to be confused with Really Dead Montage. Compare Sentimental Music Cue.


Examples

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     Film  
  • All nine Star Wars movies end with a scene like this, showing the protagonists wherever they may be, with John Williams' music playing.
  • The ending of Captain America: The Winter Soldier is like this with showing the aftermath of everything that happened at the Triskellion. Agent 13 is now in the CIA. Brock Rumlow, aka Crossbones, managed to survive the Triskellion falling on top of him. Many political allies of HYDRA are also picked up and arrested.
  • Donnie Darko ends with a montage of all major characters lying awake at night while Gary Jules' "Mad World" is playing.

     Live Action TV  
  • Dexter had a prototypical version of this in the early seasons, focusing almost exclusively on Dexter. Once the Wham Episode happened at the end of Season 6, these montages became more industry-standard — always including Dexter and Deb, with reminders of who else from Dexter's office had significant development that episode.
  • Sons of Anarchy rides this trope like a hog. Virtually every episode ends with a night-time musical montage, and begins with one in the morning-time as well.
  • Subverted in Fringe, in the episode "Northwest Passage." After catching a serial killer, Peter lies back on his bed to listen to the mix CD the victim had burned him right before she died. As the song plays "...is there a ghost in my house...," Peter's eyes pop open, and he discovers Newton standing over him.
  • Subverted in Spaced, in the final episode of the second series - an upbeat Lemon Jelly tune called 'The Staunton Lick' plays over closing scenes of each character moving on from their life in the series thus far.

     Tabletop Games 
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     Video Games  

  • The first two episodes of Life Is Strange end with a montage of major characters going about their daily work while indie folk music is playing in the background.

     Webcomics 
  • Mr. Boop: Mr Boop: Endgame is a series of strips which shows what all the characters are doing as the comic is cancelled.

     Western Animation  
  • When Futurama does this, expect to cry.
    • Jurassic Bark is the quintessential Tear Jerker moment for Futurama, where the ending is set to the tune of "I Will Wait for You". In the episode, Fry's dog Seymour, from the 20th century, was discovered fossilized at a museum. After spending the entire episode trying to get him back so he can be de-fossilized, an age check reveals he died at fifteen, well at the end of his life. Fry decides Seymour must have lived a full, happy life after him, and chooses not to resurrect him. Cut to the past, and the music starts playing, with Seymour waiting patiently at the spot Fry told him to stay at...for twelve years.
    • In Leela's Homeworld, Leela starts hunting two sewer mutants who have been collecting a Stalker Shrine of her discarded trash and who she suspects of murdering her parents. She ultimately discovers they are her parents, and took her to the surface so she could live a normal life, writing a note in an alien language so she could pass as an alien instead of a mutant. Instead of being disgusted, Leela is overjoyed, and embraces them. The song "Baby Love Child" plays, and shows a montage of moments in her life when her parents were looking out for her, without ever revealing their presence.
    • Lethal Inspections has Bender finding out he has no back-up drive, and is mortal if he dies. Normally this would make him a defective robot, but for some reason Inspector #5, who he considers somewhat like a father, let him pass. Feeling betrayed, he resolves to seek out Inspector #5 at the Central Bureaucracy with the help of Hermes, and kill him. Although they don't find the Inspector, they become friends, and eventually give up and return to Planet Express. At the end, to the tune of "Little Bird, Little Bird", it's revealed to the viewer that Hermes was the Inspector, and spared the defective baby robot Bender from termination at the cost of his job. Doubles as Once More, with Clarity!, as it includes some scenes of Hermes covering his tracks during the events of the episode.
  • South Park
    • At the end of the 15th mid-season finale, "You're Getting Old". As "Landslide" plays, Sharon and Randy separate and sell their house, with Stan, Sharon and Shelly moving into a new home. The police arrest the farmers and recover Randy's underwear. A new friendship appears to develop between Kyle and Cartman. And Stan, now completely alienated from his friends, shows no signs of his cynicism ending.
    • In the following episode "Ass Burgers", all of the changes are reverted, and Obama replaces a duck as president. All to the same song as the previous episode.

Alternative Title(s): Medley Exit

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