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One Last Field Trip

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"Soon you're gonna leave, so leave us one more weekend."
The Academy Is..., "One More Weekend"

A group of friends reach a turning-point in their lives, a moment when they're coming of age. What do they do? Go back to a favourite haunt and re-enact an important ritual from the life they are leaving behind.

Maybe they go to their regular pub or coffee shop for one last time, or spend a day or evening revisiting all their usual haunts and reminiscing. Whatever they do, it's made clear to the audience/readers that this marks a turning-point in their lives. They're growing up, moving on and they want to revisit their youth and fix this period of their lives in their memories before they leave.

Related to Growing Up Sucks. This is often an Ending Trope, so there be spoilers ahead.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Azumanga Daioh ends with the girls all having graduated High School and soon to begin college the following semester. Before going their separate ways, they decide to take one last trip to the Magical Land amusement park, for old time's sake. Chiyo's voice-over, along with the music at the end, makes it bittersweet.
  • The sequel short story to Onani Master Kurosawa has Kurosawa and his friends go on one of these to an amusement park. It was specifically organized by Magistel, who deliberately wanted to invoke this trope. It unfortunately starts to go south, as Magistel and her boyfriend, Broly, begin arguing over the trip. Initially, Kurosawa is shaken because they're fighting... but he then realizes that two people who accepted him after his painful attempt to reform himself are two people who can overcome anything together, and that their reconciling will bring them closer together. It also intensifies his resolve to improve his own relationship with the similarly Heel Face Turned Sugawa.
  • At the end of Digimon Adventure, the kids and their digimon learn that the digital gate is about to close and they only have a few hours to spend together before the kids have to leave the Digital World. Everyone fans out to say private goodbyes, except for Palmon, who is overcome with emotion and doesn't meet up with Mimi until the trolley is leaving. Gabumon asks Matt to play his harmonica for him before he leaves.

    Comic Books 
  • Robin: When Tim Drake's father forces him to transfer to boarding school during his sophomore year of high school he and his friends from Gotham Heights all go out to their favorite hangout one last time with him acknowledging that due to his father's interference he probably won't ever see any of them again, and even if he does it won't be the same. He does ends up remaining friends with Ives though they lose touch for months, but he was right for the rest.

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Toy Story 3 ends with Andy, having outgrown his toys, giving them to a playful Shrinking Violet named Bonnie. His loving one-by-one description of his old favorites sparks him to join Bonnie for one last big play session in an emotional farewell.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The World's End focuses on the main character, Gary King. Having never really grown up, and struggling with mental health issues, Gary decides to gets his old buddies together to return to their home town to finish a pub crawl they attempted as youths. It soon becomes tragically clear that he's the only one who really wanted to do this, and the others are along because of a mixture of pity and having been manipulated by Gary. Then they stumble upon an Alien Invasion.
  • Save Your Legs! features Teddy realising that his friends are growing up and that cricket is not as important to them as it once was, and so he organises a tour of India as one last chance for him to live his childhood dream.

  • Invoked in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince after Dumbledore's funeral. Harry has lost his mentor and broken up with his girlfriend. He is going to drop out of school to hunt down Voldemort's Horcruxes. He is glad that he has "one last golden afternoon" to spend with Ron and Hermione before his life enters a new chapter.
  • Even If We Break has five teens who have been meeting for the last three years to roleplay. Now three of them are about to go off into the adult world, so they decide to go to a cabin owned by Liva's family for one last game.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Friends:
    • Played for Laughs when Ross and Monica try to revive their childhood tradition of the Thanksgiving American Football game.
    • In one episode Ross & Chandler's party animal friend from college calls and says he wants to come to town and party with them. He ends up being stuck where he is and having to break their plans, so Ross, Chandler and Joey decide to go out on their own, only to discover that they needed a guy like that to really be able to party hard. (Or that they're simply older now, and while they like the idea of partying like when they were in college, they don't really want to do so.)
    • Played straight in the Series Finale when they all go to Central Perk for one last cup of coffee.
  • The last episode of The Inbetweeners, as well as The Film of the Series which followed, dealt with the last summer before the boys leave and go to university, knowing that their friendships may not survive.
  • One episode of Moesha sees Mo and her friends decide to have a slumber party before the former goes off to college; It's also a Clip Show. Moesha's monologues are about not knowing where everyone will end up and her hopes that her friendships last.
  • In How I Met Your Mother, Ted and Marshall do one last of those Tantrum-fueled road trips they used to do during their college years. Only by now, Marshall is married to Lily, and thus she tags along...
  • In the Series Finale of Boy Meets World, Feeny pays a visit to his old classroom from the beginning of the series, and is quickly followed by the main cast, who proceed to sit at the exact same desks they did back then (as applicable) before saying their farewells and expressing their thanks to their series-long Mentor Archetype.
  • In the first season finale of Better Call Saul, Jimmy returns to Cicero, Illinois and reunites with his old buddy Marco. The two spend a week pulling scams on people like they used to. When Jimmy gets ready to head back to Albuquerque, Marco pleads for him to stay long enough for them to do their signature fake Rolex scam one last time. We later find out why he was so insistent: During the scam, he dies from his Incurable Cough of Death, and his last words were to thank Jimmy for giving him the best week of his life.
  • In the Series Finale of The Big Bang Theory, after the Nobel Prize ceremony, the gang meets up in Apartment 4A with Chinese food for one last group meal, ending with a slow zoom-out and a Last Episode Theme Reprise.
  • The Wonder Years: In one episode the gang fight for Harper's Wood to be saved from becoming a mall. They fail, but decide to play there one last time.
    • The episode "Fishing" is about Kevin, Wayne and his dad going into a fishing trip. Adult Kevin says: "I remember that particular trip very well, not because it was the best, nor even because it was the worst, but because it was the last" (their dad would be dead years later).
  • Cobra Kai has members of the original Cobra Kai from The Karate Kid (1984) one in the episode "Take A Right", where Johnny, Bobby, and Jimmy going on a final road trip with their terminally-ill friend Tommy. They ride motorcycles, share drinks and stories of their childhoods (and engage in a brawl) at a bar, and camp out. Tommy ends up passing away in his sleep during the night.
  • In the Grand Finale of Parks and Recreation, the gang fixing a swing set one last time is used as a Framing Device for the Flash Forward scenes.


    Visual Novels 
  • The summer school class in Double Homework goes on a field trip for the end of the summer. Itís really an excuse for Dr. Mosely/Zeta to fulfill the conditions of her grant.

    Web Comics 
  • Golden Age of Adventurers flips the concept around with its premise: four elderly adventurers want to have one final quest together before settling into retirement.

    Western Animation 
  • In one episode of American Dad!, after some classmates make fun of them, Steve and his entourage decide to have one last slumber party (and try to make it a memorable one).
  • Subverted and Played for Laughs in The Simpsons: When Bart starts worrying about growing up he does some childish things to prove he's not, such as going on a mechanical riding pony outside a store. Then we see him thoroughly bored doing it.
  • The second season final episode "Destinies Collide" from Tangled: The Series opens with Cassandra, Rapunzel and Eugene singing the song "With you by my side" while arriving to the Dark Kingdom to help Princess Rapunzel, The Chosen One, fulfill her destiny. This is the end of their quest, and they reflect about what they will do in the future, so they try to truly enjoy their last day together. The turning point of their lives is not only for Rapunzel, but for Cassandra, who after a Tomato in the Mirror moment has Gone Mad from the Revelation and so she had secretly resolved to betray the other two and will become the Arc Villain of the third season, but geninually enjoys Rapunzel and Eugene company, so she darkly invokes this trope.

    Real Life 
  • This is the original idea behind the Bachelor Party and the Bachelorette Party just prior to a wedding: nothing more than one last chance for a Boys' Night Out or a Girls' Night Out before the groom and bride transferred the focus of their lives from their friendship circles to each other. This is why, in some places, only the first person in the group to get married had a Bachelor's Party or a Bachelorette's Party, because, in effect, his or her marriage marked the end of that friendship circle as a male or female Band of Brothers or True Companions group.
  • High school and college graduation parties often have the feel of this, especially if the event involves one last ski trip or one last vacation together.

Maybe tomorrow we'll find, to our sorrow
Our story has come to an ending.
Maybe we're fated to be separated
Who knows where our paths might be bending
How I wish we could stay here forever this way
But perhaps there's no point in pretending
If we're destined to head in our own different ways
Let's make the most of these sweet final days
Why not go out in a glorious blaze?
— "With you by my side", Tangled: The Series