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Moving Away Ending

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It's all part of being human.
So your show is ending and you want to add some drama? Why not have the characters move away? This trope is when a piece of media ends with the characters moving away from their home to another place. It can be anything - a new job, finally getting the chance to go to a dream location, evil being still out there. What matters is that it's where the media ends. Generally, these endings feature the character having achieved their Goal in Life, and the show may end there as they may have nothing more to say about the characters. It's also used as a form of fitting dramatic conclusion - after all, Nothing Is the Same Anymore.

If the character has suffered over the course of said media, then it can serve as a form of Earn Your Happy Ending - they're finally able to escape the past and move on with their lives elsewhere. Whilst it usually occurs as part of a standalone, it can apply to series as well. Focus may be put on the character experiencing Moving Angst before being given An Aesop that life changes all the time. It may also be used to show off an end-of-series Continuity Cavalcade via the character seeing their favorite locations in their home location a final time before leaving. This is generally a Bittersweet Ending - the character is usually heading off to somewhere better, but they have to say goodbye to all their friends as they do so.

Of course, if it proves to be a Series Fauxnale or a sequel is created, then it can go a few ways. One involves doing a Sequel Reset and have the characters return. Another way is to simply set the sequel to where the character has moved and use the opportunity to tell different stories using the changed setting. Alternatively, the opportunity may be utilized to simply write out the character.

May occur as part of a Stock Sitcom Grand Finale. Can overlap with Babies Ever After if the reasons for moving involve raising a child and Wedding Finale if it involves a wedding. It can also overlap with Starting a New Life, especially if in moving away the character completely disconnects from their old life. Compare But Now I Must Go, when itinerant heroes move on at the end of the story; I Choose to Stay, where the character has already left home and opts not to return; and Graduate from the Story, where the characters complete school and are often getting ready to move away. Contrast Home Sweet Home and Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence, when a character moves away after death to a greater spiritual realm. If this is subverted, it's With a Foot on the Bus.

As this is an Ending Trope, unmarked spoilers abound. Beware.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Megalo Box's second season ends with Sachio moving away from Megalo City to go to college and become an engineer like his father. The last shot of the show is of Joe driving with him outside the city limits and seeing him off.
  • The near-ending scene of Twilight Star Sui and Neri shows Sui, Neri and Shida watching at the fireworks after the concert, before she parted ways to both of them, where she ultimately left the island and the planet at the same time as soon as her summer vacation ended. She headed back to her grad school via commuting with a spaceship to another planet. It was nonetheless a more memorable parting-ways moment between her and the main characters.


    Film — Animated 
  • Toy Story:
    • Toy Story ends with Andy and his family at their new home, having completed the move that they were planning all movie long.
    • Toy Story 3 ends with Andy leaving home and heading off to college, with the toys changing ownership from Andy to a new kid named Bonnie.
    • Toy Story 4 ends with Woody leaving Buzz and the whole gang to start his new life with Bo.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Belfast ends with Buddy and his family leaving Belfast for England, leaving behind only Buddy's grandmother.
  • Played with by Booksmart. Amy is having a gap year in Botswana before she goes to Columbia. The movie ends with Molly driving her to the airport, though Amy still has some time before her flight so she comes back and the two get pancakes together.
  • Bridge to Terabithia: The Burkes moved into Lark Creek shortly before the events of the film, but at the end, they're moving away, possibly back home to Arlington since the death of their only daughter, Leslie.
  • CODA (2021) ends with Gertie driving Ruby away from Gloucester, so she can attend Berklee in Boston. Despite her reluctance, she does go.
  • Defied by The Goonies. A local developer plans to foreclose on the neighborhood where the eponymous kids live and turn it into a golf course, forcing their families to move away. Then the kids find the treasure map and go after the treasure of One-Eyed Willy to pay off the mortgage. They find just enough to pull it off.
  • Jason's Lyric: After going through so much, Jason and Lyric finally earn their wishes: escaping town to start a new life.
  • Lady Bird: The movie ends with Christine leaving Sacramento to go to NYU, though there's a brief epilogue where Christine gets alcohol poisoning in New York and comes to terms with her mother's love of Sacramento.
  • Let the Right One In: Unlike the novel, the film adaptation has this happen more obliquely, as Oskar and Eli are shown riding a train out of Stockholm a short while after the swimming pool massacre. It's less clear than in the novel that they're leaving for good and because of the murders, but it's still heavily implied.
  • Marie Antoinette (2006) ends with Marie Antoinette and Louis being forced to leave Versailles for Paris due to angry rioters.

  • After the Revolution: At the end of the book Manny leaves his family and home city of Austin behind to live with the anarchists in Rolling Fuck. Sasha and Roland (who have no permanent homes any more) move away from Rolling Fuck and the acquaintances they've made there; Sasha becomes a mercenary with Jim, and Roland goes back to being a hermit.
  • City of Bones by Martha Wells: The protagonist of Khat's Family of Choice finally decides to move away to a city with more of their relatives and less Fantastic Racism. Khat goes with them for the same reasons, explaining to the deuteragonist that they're too different for their romance to go anywhere.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Subverted in Wrecking Ball. The story sets up an ending where Greg and his family would move, but a last-minute disaster strikes and forces the family to stay in their old house after all.
  • Flowers for Algernon ends with Charlie stating his intention to move away from New York.
  • Hearts in Atlantis: "Low Men In Yellow Coats" has a VERY Bittersweet Ending when Bobby moves away from Harwich with his mother, leaving Carol behind after finally telling her he loves her. She keeps in touch with him for a while through letters but they lose contact as he becomes a juvenile delinquent.
  • Let the Right One In: After the murder of Oskar's bullies, Eli and Oskar run away from Stockholm at the end of the novel.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The ending of The Return of the King shows Frodo, Bilbo, and Gandalf the White moving away from Middle Earth.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Combined with Breaking the Fellowship leading up to the finale of Babylon 5:
    • Sheridan and Delenn have moved to the new alliance capitol on Minbar.
    • Ivanova was promoted to command of her own ship at the end of the previous season.
    • Garibaldi has moved to Mars as the new CEO of Edgars Industries.
    • Dr. Franklin has taken a prestigious position back on Earth.
    • Lennier has left in disgrace for parts unknown.
    • Londo has become a puppet emperor for the Drakh on a ruined Centauri Prime.
    • G'Kar and Lyta are exploring beyond the boundaries of known space.
    • Lochley, Zack, Ta'Lon, and Vir remain behind as Bablyon 5's new command and ambassadorial staff.
  • black•ish: The Grand Finale has the Johnsons moving from their old home and into a new neighborhood.
  • The Brittas Empire: Although not shown on-screen, Series 5 (then intended to be the final series) ends with this fate for several characters. Brittas (alongside his wife Helen and children) is due to be moving to Brussels to take up the role of European Commissioner of Sports, Carole is moving to Austria to teach singing lessons to a man's children, and Laura is moving to America to raise a child with her reconciled husband. When this proved to be a Series Fauxnale, some of the fates had to be backtracked. Brittas also had a stint being dead at the end of Series 5, so this is revealed to have led to him failing the medical for said job, and the man who Carole was heading off with cheated with a nun, leading to both's return. Laura's departure stuck, however, and she's never mentioned again.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine ends with the original squad effectively breaking up as Jake retires from the NYPD to raise his and Amy's son, Terry (who stays on, along with Boyle) is promoted to captain to replace Captain Holt (who himself, along with Amy, get promotions out of the precinct). Rosa had resigned at the start of the final season; presumably Scully and Hitchcock also retired due to age.
  • Subverted on Cougar Town. The final episode reveals that Travis and Laurie have received an offer to start their new business together in another city while Ellie and Andy have to move to another town to get their son into an exclusive school. After they drive off, Grayson reveals that the whole thing was a prank on Jules to help her realize how much they mean to each other and everybody comes back.
  • Desperate Housewives: All four of the main characters move away from Wisteria Lane in the series finale.
  • Dexter: The final season ends with Dexter faking his own death, leaving Harrison with Hannah, and moving from Miami to Alaska, where he works as a logger.
  • Ever Decreasing Circles: The final episode (called "Moving On") focuses on Martin being promoted to his employer's branch in Oswestry and having to move. He is initially reluctant to leave but the revelation that his wife is pregnant is enough to convince him to leave, with the final scene of the series being them exchanging farewells with their neighbors.
  • Everything's Gonna Be Okay ends with Matilda marrying Drea and moving away, leaving Nicholas and Genevieve as the sole remaining occupants of the Moss household.
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air: The series ends with the family moving out of the Banks Mansion, with the Banks relocating to the East Coast for various reasons while Will stays in California to finish college. The Banks children — including Will — all promise to call Phil and Vivian every Sunday. The last shot lingers on the empty house.
  • Friends: The original series ended with Chandler and Monica preparing to move out of the city, making all of their friends have to give up their keys to that apartment. But, instead of ending with the two of them leaving, it ends with everyone heading down to Central Perk one last time.
  • Growing Pains ends with Maggie, Jason, Ben, and Chrissy moving to Washington, D.C. because Maggie's been offered a top-notch job as a journalist there. Mike and Carol decide to remain in New York. After the cars are loaded and the family shares one final picnic on the empty floor, they make their way out, with Carol looking back and tearfully telling the house, "Goodbye."
  • The third season finale of Hannah Montana ended with Miley leaving her beloved Malibu beach home for the new ranch house Robbie bought so she would feel like she was in her birth home in Tennessee more.
  • The final episode of Hold The Sunset features Edith and Phil finally leaving the UK for their retirement in Portugal, having sold off the house to Jack Dugdale and his fiancee Sandra.
  • iCarly: Before the 2021 revival series, the show ended with Carly deciding to join her dad in moving to Italy, saying goodbye to Spencer, Freddie, and Sam before taking off.
  • Mimpi Metropolitan ends with Alan leaving the dorm for a one-year long job with his favorite band, Pipin leaving for a month to fix her ruined house with her newfound money, and Bambang leaving Jakarta for good to take care of his late father's farm in the village.
  • Modern Family: The series finale has several characters moving. Cam and Mitch move to Missouri, while Hayley, Dylan, and their kids move into Cam and Mitch's old house. Alex's job is located in Switzerland and Luke is accepted into the University of Oregon.
  • The Nanny: The series finale has the Sheffield family relocating from New York City to Los Angeles, while Maggie and Brighton, the two Sheffield children who are adults by this point, are traveling to Europe (Maggie to be with her model husband, and Brighton taking a gap year before starting college).
  • In the finale of The Office (US), Pam agrees to move to Austin with Jim so he can work at Athlead headquarters. As they are about to quit, Dwight fires them—so that he can pay them hefty severance packages.
  • Red Riding ends with B.J. leaving the North to become "the one who got away" rather than risk being killed by the conspiracy.
  • Six Feet Under ends with Claire moving away from the Fisher family home and saying goodbye to her whole family. As she drives away, she sees flash-forwards into the future of their deaths, including her own.
  • Stranger Things season 3 ends with the Byers family and Eleven leaving behind Hawkins, Indiana, and moving to California.
  • You (2018): All three seasons end with Joe moving to a new location, both to get away from his crimes and the people who're suspicious of him and to try and start fresh, hoping this time he won't hurt anyone. This shuffles away the old cast, forces him to adapt to a new setting, and acts as a continuing sign of his growing desperation for normalcy.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Fraggle Rock begins with Doc and Sprocket moving into a new residence which happens to have a tunnel to Fraggle Rock, and ends when they move away. Even if their new residence also has such a tunnel.

    Video Game 
  • Cloudpunk: City of Ghosts: Whether Rania leaves Nivalis to follow CORA's child to the City of Dreams, or stays and tries to make a life for herself in it with Pashta, is the final decision of the game. Choosing the former creates this ending, with Rania's HOVA last seen leaving the city.
  • Within the Criminal Case franchise, the first, second, and fifth seasons end with the player resigning the current police force to go work onto the next one.
  • Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and Damned: After completing the main story and killing their former president, Billy Grey, Johnny, Terry, Clay and Angus return to the Lost MC Clubhouse to find it ransacked while they were gone. With everything destroyed beyond repair, the four take a brief moment to reminisce and remember the Club's glory days, before Johnny tells Terry to "put the place out of its misery". Johnny, Angus and Clay leave the clubhouse while Terry douses it with gasoline and sets the building on fire, before joining the others outside. The remaining members of the Alderney Chapter watch on as the clubhouse burns to the ground. Years later, the remnants of the gang travel to San Andreas, where they finally meet their ends.
  • In OMORI, the good/neutral hikikomori route endings have Sunny moving away after confessing to his friends the truth about Mari's death and Sunny moving away without ever reconciling with his friends, respectively.
  • Persona 4 and Persona 5 both end with their protagonists respectively leaving Inaba and Tokyo, as they were only supposed to stay there for a year. This leads to them saying goodbye to the friends they made throughout the games, but later spinoffs do show them returning and reuniting with said friends.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pokémon Sun and Moon ends with Lillie and Lusamine heading off to Kanto in an attempt to cure Lusamine's affliction after her temporary fusion with a Nihilego.
    • Pokémon Ultra Sun and Moon play with the original Sun and Moon's ending by showing Gladion leaving to Kanto instead. For him, it's a continuation of his journey as a Pokemon Trainer. Once a month, he may also return to Alola to challenge the player for their Champion title, using Pokemon from the Kanto region.
  • Way of the Samurai: This is pretty common in the many endings the games in this series have to offer, due to the nature of the protagonists as Ronin. The most prominent is probably Setting Off To Distant Lands in the fourth instalment, where the protagonist leaves Japan to head to Britain with the ambassadors, after building up a bond with them. The player can also choose to subvert this by jumping off the ship and returning to town so they can go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Big Bad.
  • Xenosaga Episode III mixes this with And the Adventure Continues as it ends with Shion beginning her journey to Lost Jerusalem with Allen, Jr. and the Elsa crew accompanying her, while the rest of their friends stay behind in the Dämmerung.

    Western Animation 
  • 6teen: In the series finale "Bye Bye Nikki?", Nikki's father gets a new job in Iqaluit, which means Nikki has to move away, so her friends do everything in their power to keep her from leaving them. Nikki ultimately decides to let her father follow his heart, so her friends give her a going-away party. The episode ends with them giving Nikki one last call while she's on the airplane that's about to take off.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force: The episode "The Last One Forever And Ever" ends with a scene of the ATHF moving out of their house and saying goodbye to Carl. The music used for the scene is a tragic lament despite the fact that Carl is just telling them that his videotapes are coming back to him. Then Shake gets into the driver's seat of the car and says goodbye to Carl, forever. While they drive off, Carl comments that "Truly, they were an Aqua Teen Hunger Force.", then yells at them that they left the emergency brake on. It is then Subverted in the next episode, where they just move into the house on the other side of Carl's.
  • In the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends Grand Finale, "Goodbye to Bloo", Bloo thinks that his owner Mac is moving away from his neighborhood when he finds out from Mr. Herriman that he is moving out of his old apartment. Since Mac made a deal with Madame Foster that Bloo won't get adopted by someone else as long as he visited him every day, Bloo is worried that he will get adopted once Mac moves away. Bloo tries unsuccessfully to convince Mac to stay by listing things they can do, all of which were the plots of previous episodes. Unfortunately for Bloo, Mac tells him they've done all those things already. In the end, Mac has some good news and some bad news; the good news is, he's only moving into his neighbor Louise's apartment, since his Mom got a promotion at work and she needs a bigger office space. The bad news is, Louise is moving somewhere that doesn't allow imaginary friends, so Cheese is going to live at Foster's with the other imaginary friends, much to their horror.
  • Gravity Falls: The series finale ends with the Pine twins departing Gravity Falls for their home in California.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: The last episode of the series is "The Last Problem", which has Twilight Sparkle, now the sole Princess of Equestria, is due to move from Ponyville to Canterlot. She's initially worried that she won't be able to maintain the friendships that she developed in Ponyville, but it is eventually resolved by having the Mane Six agree to meet once a moon as the Council of Friendship.
  • Rugrats (1991): In the third season finale, "Moving Away", the babies find out that Angelica is moving away because Charlotte got a promotion from Merge Corp. that will require her to move. Chuckie, Phil, and Lil are all happy about this, as it means she won't cause trouble for them anymore, but Tommy, Angelica's baby cousin, tells them that it's terrible because Angelica was the reason they became friends in the first place. Angelica overhears the story Tommy tells and remembers when the babies pulled her head out of the fence, now feeling bad that she has to move away. In the end, it's revealed that the promotion was instead given to Charlotte's assistant, Jonathan, meaning that Angelica isn't going to move away after all. Originally, this was to be the Series Finale, but because reruns of Rugrats were performing well in the ratings, Nickelodeon renewed the series for six more seasons.
  • Steven Universe: Future: In "The Future", Steven decides to leave Beach City and travel the country. He is initially reluctant to tell this to the Gems, but they do accept his decision (although they admit that they are sad about it) and the series ends with him leaving.


Video Example(s):


The Last Problem

Twilight is preparing to move back to Canterlot as part of her ascension to ruler of Equestria, and has to cope with it.

How well does it match the trope?

3.4 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / MovingAwayEnding

Media sources: