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Revised Ending

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When it comes time for an author to wrap everything up, the final judgment on his ultimate creation hinges on the conclusion: an ending can make or break an entire work or series. So important is the ending, in fact, that it's especially subject to Executive Meddling and public influence.

The biggest problem arises when the author has already written and/or produced the final ending and executives or test audiences dislike it, most commonly due to it being a Downer Ending. They pressure the author to change the ending to one they think the public will like better, usually to a Happily Ever After. The author reluctantly complies and the ending is changed (see also Happily Ever Before — a specific type of sub-trope).

If the endings were radically different, what usually happens is that the original ending is revealed to the public in a later edition, and fans become split between favoring the original or revised ending. For some reason, Downer Endings are usually considered to be the better of the two (partly because they are more likely to be the original, and people get hung up on "the director's original vision" — and of course, True Art Is Angsty). But as was previously mentioned it can be the exact opposite as well.

Can be seen as a form of Author's Saving Throw if the Revised Ending was created to appease audiences.

Be warned, considering this trope is specifically about the endings to works, it should be painfully obvious that spoilers are going to occur.

Focus Group Ending is a subtrope. When the revised ending changes an ending that was already shown, it's also an Orwellian Retcon. If an ending is only changed when it is adapted to another medium, see Adaptational Alternate Ending.

Since this is an Ending Trope, expect spoilers.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has what may be the most thorough revised ending, the final two episodes of the TV series being replaced by the movie End Of Evangelion. The original is notoriously incomprehensible; the movie is a Bittersweet Ending. And the manga's ending, with what we have so far (Adam giving Gendo god-like powers, Shinji making it in time to save Asuka, and Shinji starting to remember things from his childhood that he'd forgotten or repressed as Rei/Lilith interacts with him) is setting things up for yet another mind fuck. And then there's Rebuild, which has some implications that it's not an Alternate Continuity.
    • More specifically there is the epilogue: In the leaked original script for episode 26 (which was used for the last half of End of Evangelion) featured two different proposed versions, neither of which corresponded completely with the one in End of Evangelion: The first one ultimately ends as the finished film does, but portrays itself somewhat more positively. The second one however was much bleaker than the film with Shinji being the only human self-reflective enough to return from instrumentality, meaning he will be spending the rest of his life alone. The final version both takes and discards scenes from both versions and changes one piece of dialog (Asuka's "I won't let you kill me" to the infamous "I feel sick"). As for the manga's epilogue? It pulls a Cosmic Retcon and creates a world where Second Impact never happened.
  • The Big O had its ending revised numerous times before being broadcast, with the final product being subject to a request to be less conclusive than previous drafts, in case the network decided on a third series. It didn't, leaving the show with a Gainax Ending and no proper resolution. By most accounts, though, even the previous drafts didn't provide a concrete resolution.
  • Surprisingly, the anime adaptation of Full Moon had a more Bittersweet Ending compared to the original manga which had a true Happy Ending, given all the events and details of characters removed or changed in the anime.
  • The Movie version of Fist of the North Star had two different endings produced for it. The original theatrical ending (the same ending used in the Streamline Pictures dub) was a Gecko Ending which featured Kenshiro losing the final fight against his elder brother Raoh, with his life spared due to holy child Lin's intervention. When the movie was released on VHS and Laserdisc in Japan, the ending was changed to have Kenshiro and Raoh end their fight in a stalemate (but is otherwise identical), which is closer how their first fight ended in the manga. For awhile the theatrical ending was not available in Japan until the movie's DVD release in 2008, leading to the common misconception among western fans that the revised ending was the original ending.
  • The manga adaptation of Breath of Fire IV actually had both minor and not-so-minor versions of this (fan speculation is that these may be a setup for a possible sequel). Among major changes (besides the incorporation of both of the Multiple Endings of the game in a "bad ending to good ending" storyline) are Scias and Ershin clearing out hexes in Chamba and Fou-lu ultimately splitting from Ryu again and surviving. There has been a great amount of rejoicing with the latter.
  • The manga and novel versions of Mobile Suit Gundam Wing end with the five Gundam Pilots going to Mars to aid in the terraformation project started by Relena; the TV series has them staying on Earth, and this is the ending that all the sequels follow. Gets a lampshade in the Yonkoma for the manga version of The Movie, where someone asks the manga-ka "I thought the boys went to Mars?" and he nervously fumbles and tries to change the subject.
    • The manga and the novelization were written with no sequel in mind. Much like how Amuro died at the Battle Of A-Baoa-Qu in Mobile Suit Gundam's novelization. However, even though the "Gundam boys go to Mars" ending isn't canon, the Mars terraformation project itself still is, as it appears in Endless Waltz and its sequel, Frozen Teardrop.
  • Gatchaman Crowds wrapped up with what seemed to be a rather bizarre Gainax Ending in its broadcast, leaving the exact fate of the villain (Berg-Katze) rather unclear, as well as the manner in how he was defeated. It turned out that the final two episodes had to be edited for the broadcast, with episode 11 having a Clip Show slapped on to the beginning and the rest of the episode being broadcast as "episode 12", with only part of the actual final episode's footage utilized. Supposedly there was trouble with completing the deadlines for animating the footage as well. The Blu-Ray release contains the completed version of episode 12, giving a fuller ending to the plot.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Season 2 finale was supposed to be a straight-up Downer Ending where Rustal and Gjallarhorn come out victorious and everyone in Tekkadan dies, including Kudelia, because the director believed they deserved to be punished. The writing staff was against it and wanted the characters to live. The ending that was shown in the last episode is a "Ray of Hope" Ending where Gjallarhorn still wins, but the Tekkadan survivors began to have stable lives under their secret identities. Of course, this ending still displayed a good chunk of fans.

    Comic Books 
  • The Dark Phoenix Saga: The original ending had Phoenix surviving with her powers taken away. Editor-in-chief Jim Shooter insisted that Jean go through a great punishment (such as eternal torture) commensurate to the crimes she committed as Dark Phoenix, notably killing a planet inhabited by several billion aliens. In the end, Chris Claremont and John Byrne decided to just kill her. The original ending was eventually published in Phoenix: The Untold Story.
  • "Good Evening, Midnight", in the Batman: Black and White anthology series, revolves around a letter written by Thomas Wayne on his son Bruce's third birthday, addressed to the adult Bruce. In the story, Alfred re-reads the letter while Batman is out saving a Bus Full of Innocents, with the images of Batman at work juxtaposed against Thomas's words about how he hopes his son's life will turn out. As originally scripted, the story ended with Alfred burning the letter so Bruce would never read it; this ending was vetoed by Scott Peterson, the lead editor of the Batman comics, who felt it was out of character for Alfred, and the published version of the story instead ends with Alfred returning the letter to its hiding place until, presumably, he judges Bruce is ready to read it.

    Fan Works 
  • The infamous My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Dark Fic Cupcakes (Sergeant Sprinkles) ends with Pinkie Pie horrifically killing Rainbow Dash and getting away with it, but has a lot of alternate endings, few, if any, by the original writer. These range from her moving on to the rest of her friends, it being a dream, it being a fanfic written by one of the characters, it being a play, Rainbow Dash breaking free and killing Pinkie Pie instead, and Rainbow Dash being rescued, but losing her wings. The All Just a Dream version has a great many versions, including one called Rocket To Insanity where the dream causes Rainbow Dash to eventually kill Pinkie Pie...which in turn has its own alternate ending (Rocket To Insanity Alternate Ending) where she snaps out of it and gets Pinkie Pie to the hospital in time but has to earn forgiveness for it. Another pseudo-alternate ending is The Light in the Darkness, which goes with the All Just a Dream version and ends on a very heartwarming note (to the point it's been dubbed "the antithesis of Cupcakes"), but it's vague on if this is a true one or not, despite the fact the author originally intended for it to be before being rewritten.
  • The end of "The Sin of Envy, or a Mother's Love" was meant to foreshadow another story with Twilight Sparkle experiencing a nightmare similar to Rarity's (being consumed by pride instead, becoming an alicorn and wiping everyone else out). After she really did become an alicorn in canon, the author decided to change the Cliffhanger to lead into the confrontation with the demon responsible instead (having decided that the ideas for the other characters' stories/nightmares were subpar).
  • The Vow (which is basically Lord Shen's story included with a love interest named Lady Lianne) ends with Shen surviving one of his cannons crushing him and reuniting with his pregnant wife Lianne (though there is an epilogue included). According to the Word of God, the story had two possible endings in the early development stages, but neither were used.
    • One of the endings followed canon exactly and Shen died while unpregnant Lianne went onto the Swan lake to ask the moon to reunite her with her beloved. Though this ending was more ambiguous, it was still a heavily implied tragedy.
    • The other ending had a much longer draft: Shen survived partly thanks to monks after he became a cripple from being crushed under the cannon and went into self-imposed exile. Lianne remained in her father's house and raised her son alone, believing Shen to have died. However, when the Shan Palace was attacked by mercenaries, Lianne and her son had to flee. They reunited with Shen by him coming to their rescue.

    Films — Animated 
  • Both The Lion King films have alternate, unproduced original endings:
    • The first one would've had Scar throw Simba off Pride Rock, but Scar would then perish laughing hysterically as the flames consume Pride Rock. Simba survives, but doesn't get his revenge. In the final film, he ends up throwing Scar off of Pride Rock where the evil lion is eaten by his angry Hyena Mooks.
    • The second film's original ending would've had Zira commit suicide by letting go of the cliff with the line "No...never..." in response to Kiara's attempts to save her life. In the final version, she simply slips and falls. The original ending was considered too dark, so it was changed; however, the animators accidentally left in her smile just as she falls.
  • Aladdin had at least two alternate endings. Originally, it was supposed to end with a reprise of "Arabian Nights", which was later used in the second sequel, Aladdin and the King of Thieves. The second deleted ending starts with the reprise of "A Whole New World" as seen in the final movie, but then cuts to a sequence where the peddler from the beginning of the movie reveals himself to be the Genie. This is followed by a cruder version of the "made you look" gag from the final ending.
  • Lilo & Stitch was originally going to end with the heroes stealing a passenger jet from an airport to save Lilo from Gantu, and destroying most of Honolulu while they are chasing each other, but because of what happened on 9/11, the airplane was replaced with a spaceship and the chase itself takes place mostly over either the ocean or Hawaiian wilderness.
  • The original ending of Finding Dory was revised after the film's crew watched Blackfish (a documentary condemning the treatment of animals at marine parks) and realized that the movie's original ending (which involved characters staying at the Marine Life Institute at the story's conclusion) would come off as more than a little awkward in light of the subject matter brought up in the documentary.
  • Gaston in Beauty and the Beast was originally going to survive his fall from the castle, albeit with a broken leg, only to end up surrounded by the same wolf pack that the Beast saved Belle from earlier in the film (and being Devoured by the Horde). This fate was deemed too gruesome even for him, so the final version limits it to a traditional Disney Villain Death.
  • In BIONICLE: Mask of Light, Takanuva orders all the islanders underground to rush through a gate and seal themselves on the other side for safety. Judging by the dialogue and storyboards, all the islanders were meant to be there, but in the film there are a little more than a dozen characters present while the others are perfectly safe above ground, making the gate scene a pointless remnant of an earlier script version. In both the storyboards and the novelization, Takanuva appears unharmed and a faraway city is discovered in the underground cave. In the film, Takanuva is crushed to death by the gate but is resurrected via an unexplained ritual, and the underground city is an actual island, complete with an underground sea and sky. No new lines were recorded to make sense of this, but for a 2004 airing on Cartoon Network, an extended narrated scene was added to explain this development and tie the film to its prequel, Legends of Metru Nui.
  • The Chinese release of Minions: The Rise of Gru has an alternate ending in which Wild Knuckles was caught by police and served 20 years in jail, pursued his love of acting and started his own theater troupe, while Gru has returned to his family.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • James Cameron's sci-fi film The Abyss originally had an ending more complex than the theatrical release, with Bud engaging in more dialogue with the underwater aliens, a giant tidal wave, and a Humanity on Trial and Armies Are Evil Aesop. Unfortunately, the effects technology to make the tidal wave were not yet advanced to Cameron's tastes, so he shortened the ending into a more ambiguous conclusion that left many critics unhappy. A few years later, the original intended ending was included in the Special Edition version, which garnered a lot of praise.
  • Orson Welles' second film, The Magnificent Ambersons, was taken from him in post-production, savagely edited down, and given a new Happy Ending. It is considered a classic despite this Executive Meddling.
  • Army of Darkness originally had a Downer/Twist Ending, in which Ash is given a potion in order to sleep until he awakens in his own time, but he takes too much of the potion and (in a Cruel Twist Ending) awakens in a post-apocalyptic England. This was changed to a happier ending (through Executive Meddling), which does admittingly have a few more catchy One Liners than that ending. The original ending was retained in the film's international release.
  • The ending of The Bad Seed (1956) was changed to conform with The Hays Code, which required that "the sympathy of the audience should never be thrown to the side of crime, wrong-doing, evil, or sin". Thus Enfante Terrible Rhoda could not get away with her crimes like she did in the ending of the stage play, and the novel it was based on, in which she survives after her mother Christine, having realized Rhoda is a sociopathic little murderess, poisons her and then kills herself. So, in the movie, Christine survives a bullet to the head at point-blank range — judging from her actions earlier in the film, the viewer can only surmise that it missed her brain — and eight-year-old Rhoda is killed by a literal bolt of lightning.
  • Blade Runner's original ending wasn't really a Downer Ending, but left a lot to the imagination, especially with the implication that the main character's love interest, an android-like replicant, had only a few more years to live. Also, Deckard may be a replicant as well, which means that he might not have long to live either. Executives insisted that the ending be changed to an unambiguously happy one with the love interest turning out to have a long life after all. The film was restored back to its original vision in the Director's Cut DVD.
  • The edited-for-TV broadcast version of Brazil ended with the hero living happily ever after with his love interest. What television audiences didn't see was a scene cut out in which this win-all ending is revealed to be a delusion of the main character. (The American theatrical release has been Mis-blamed for this; its ending is identical to the European theatrical version, except with more footage of clouds.) There's a book detailing the hard fight Terry Gilliam fought to have the original ending in all versions: The Battle for Brazil.
  • The theatrical release of The Butterfly Effect had a bittersweet "things are ok-ish but Evan and Kayleigh never knew each other and pass in the street with only a wistful sense of what might have been" ending. The director's cut has what may well be the only prenatal suicide in film history, as Evan concludes the only way to avoid all the bad things that happen to the people he loves is to not survive birth. This results in the latest in a series of miscarriages for his mother, implying that this whole series of events has happened before.
  • The original Downer Ending to Clerks was changed to a Bittersweet Ending by removing the very last scene, which would have been the shooting of Dante. This meant that a whole lot of Foreshadowing went to waste. However, Clerks II and Clerks: The Animated Series would have been nullified by this original ending.
  • In the original cut of The Crow: City of Angels, after Judah kills the crow, Ashe's link to the afterlife is severed and he receives a vision from his dead son, Danny, urging him to return to the afterlife or he will never be able to pass on. Knowing that Judah needs to be stopped, Ashe decides to stay on Earth with Sarah. However, after she is killed, he is condemned to roam the Earth for eternity as an immortal spirit, forever separated from his loved ones. After the studio had the film majorly re-edited to resemble the first film as much as possible, Ashe's vision is recontextualised to Danny telling him to keep fighting. After killing Judah, Ashe returns to the afterlife anyway and is reunited with Danny and Sarah, proving that sometimes, love is stronger than death.
  • The Infernal Affairs Trilogy: In this Hong Kong cops-and-robbers movie, Lau Kin-ming, a mole placed in the police by triads he betrayed, leaves a building besieged by police forces holding a police badge after betraying and killing everyone inside out of desperation in the final climax to ensure his real identity remains a secret. However, an alternate ending was made for the theatrical releases in China, Singapore, and Malaysia, showing that the character was arrested by police upon leaving the building when it is stated, without explanation, that there was proof of his complicity in the crime. This, apparently, was to please the governments in those three countries stating that crimes do not pay.
    • The American rendition of the movie, The Departed, changes the twist. Colin Sullivan, the equivalent to Lau Kin-ming, does indeed manage to leave the building keeping his identity a secret, but, perhaps to please American audiences, he is eventually confronted by Sean Dignam, who discovered the truth at the movie's end, and is killed.
    • The difference between Lau Kin-ming and Colin Sullivan is that Ming genuinely wanted to change when he realized that his secret life was going to make him lose his wife, whereas Sullivan was just trying to protect himself. Ming certainly didn't want to go to prison, but the ending at the funeral (and Ming shooting the other mole) showed that his character had changed.
  • The ending of the film The Descent was revised for the US release, with the director's approval. In the US version, the film ends with Sarah escaping from the cave, but seeing the friend she left to die, bloodied and corpselike, implying that she's been driven insane by her experiences, but has at least escaped. In the original version, after this, she wakes up, still in the cave, and lingers, completely insane and hallucinating her late daughter is there with her, as the crawlers close in and presumably kill her. The sequel follows the ending of the US version.
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) initially had a Downer Ending, with the hero hysterically screaming "You're next!" to oblivious highway drivers (and the audience) as truckloads of Pods are shipped all over the country. The execs didn't care for this ending, and slapped on a prologue and epilogue that showed the military discovering the threat, and preparing to fight back.
  • Little Shop of Horrors: The film adaptation of the musical originally had a Downer Ending with our heroes eaten by Audrey II and several Audrey II saplings growing throughout America. This was changed in Executive Meddling to a happy ending. Director Frank Oz explained that in a play, the characters' death is no big deal, because it's obviously just a play and they all come out for a curtain call at the end. In a movie, it's much more real, and it felt like a crime to kill the two characters that the audience has spent the whole movie falling in love with. The stuff they shot for the original ending was pretty damn cool, though.
  • Wes Craven planned for the original A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) to have a happy ending, but this was changed by the executives, and the Downer Ending (where Nancy's mother is killed, and Nancy's own fate is left ambiguous) was created.
  • The 1932 version of Scarface featured an alternate ending to comply with the then-recently released Hays Code. In the original ending, Tony Camonte gets shot to death by the police while trying to escape, while in the Hays-approved ending, Camonte is arrested, tried, and executed by hanging.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day featured an ending where Sarah Connor reflected on her experiences many years after the events of the movie, as she watches her son playing with his daughter at a park. Cameron has stated that the Dark Highway ending was better for the film since it better represented the ambiguous nature of the future. The playground ending would imply that the future was now set, and thus deterministic.
  • Dawn of the Dead (2004) remake originally ended on an ambiguous bittersweet note; after test audiences complained, an additional, more pessimistic, sequence was filmed and interspersed through the credits. The irony of all this is that the exact opposite happened with the original.
  • The 2007 film I Am Legend has a particularly striking case of this. The original ending is far more in tune with the theme and morality of the book, clearly fits with the foreshadowing of the creatures' intelligence, and is in general a more original and thought-provoking ending. However, test audiences apparently reacted poorly to it, so it was changed to a pretty standard Christ-like Heroic Sacrifice ending, complete with a fireball explosion (caused by a grenade of all things). This is an even more startling case as the original is not strictly a Downer Ending; it's simply ambiguous.
  • The cult classic zombie college film Night of the Creeps was originally supposed to end with a funny parody of standard horror movie The Stinger endings, with a zombie parasite seemingly escaping to cause more mayhem, only to be vacuumed up by alien zookeepers. Due to Executive Meddling, this was replaced in the final film with a more cliche The Stinger Downer Ending where an alien parasite suddenly jumps out of an infected dog at the camera, presumably zombifying the female love interest.
  • Nineteen Eighty-Four: The original book has a complete Downer Ending in which Winston is completely broken by torture and rendered just another fanatical supporter of Big Brother, with it being heavily implied that he's about to be shot. One of the 1956 film's endings is relatively similar, with Winston blending into a crowd screaming "Long live Big Brother!" — but there is also another ending made on behalf of its CIA investors that makes it clear that Winston dies — but his last words of "Down with Big Brother!" prove that his rebellious spirit was unbroken to the very end.
  • Averted by the 1963 X: The Man With X-Ray Eyes. In its theatrical release, the lead character ultimately blinds himself, because his super-eyesight has shown him the swirling madness that underlies reality. For years, rumors circulated that his self-mutilation was originally meant to be followed by the terrifying line: "I can still see!" The DVD commentary, however, reveals that this line was inserted as a spur-of-the-moment improvisation by director Roger Corman, who found it unsatisfying and opted to stick with the original script.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. The World has an alternative ending, which consists of Scott getting with Knives rather than Ramona. This was due to the fact that the original story hadn't actually been completed yet, so during filming they didn't know how it actually ended. A lot of the foreshadowing of the original ending is still in the movie, but after the ending to the graphic novel came out, they rewrote the final scene to be more in line with it.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon's original ending can be read in the movie adaptations. According to those, Megatron finally decides to end the war after his constant failures, forms a truce with the Autobots, and heads back to Cybertron. The movie ending gives us a complete opposite scenario: Megatron proposes a truce, but Optimus Prime kills him without hesitation. Cybertron is (apparently) destroyed, and though the war is over, there are still many Decepticons lurking around Earth whose fate is never touched upon.
  • The Golden Compass was originally filmed to stay true to the book's ending, but executives didn't want a Downer Ending to launch a franchise, so scenes of Roger's death were cut and moved to the sequel that never happened. Additionally, many audiences were left confused and mistakenly thought Lyra travelling to another world was actually her dying and going to Heaven.
  • National Treasure originally ended with the protagonists learning of a new treasure to search for. It was intended to be an And the Adventure Continues ending, but test audiences assumed it was a Sequel Hook.
  • Referenced by director Kasi Lemmons on the commentary track of the director's cut of her film Eve's Bayou. The original ending was much more ambiguous, giving no final interpretation of the movie's central event (Did Louis molest Cisely or did she come on to him?), leaving the truth locked in the mind of a disabled character who witnessed the event (and was subsequently cut from the theatrical release). Kasi laments that she did not have experience taking test audiences' judgments with a grain of salt, so she thought she had no choice but to change the ending to something more satisfying, though she prefers the ambiguity.
  • The movie version of Stephen King's Dreamcatcher has an original ending that's considered far superior to the theatrical version. While in the theatrical version, Duddits turns into another alien and fights Mr. Gray, in the original ending, he uses his psychic powers to force Mr. Gray out of Jonesy, then destroy him, then he throws up his arms triumphantly, yells "I Duddits!", and then dies of his cancer.
  • The Big Blue: Besides making many cuts, the American theatrical release replaced the Downer Ending with one in which Jacques is rescued by the dolphin.
  • Godzilla vs. Destoroyah's original ending was different than what was the film's ending now. After having his wings being destroyed, Destoroyah is forced to fight Godzilla to the death without any retreat. Godzilla, having witnessed his son being killed by Destoroyah, is on the verge of a planet-destroying meltdown, and is being fired on by the military while at his weakest state, beats Destoroyah into a disintegrating pulp until both monsters are consumed by the military's firepower, which destroys them both. Fortunately, Toho cut this ending due to it being too anti-climactic and instead had Destoroyah killed quickly so that Godzilla could have center-stage for his meltdown.
  • War of the Gargantuas had a different proposed ending to the film that was considerably darker than the one in the film. After the Gargantuas were killed by a surprise volcano, the lava flow released from it winds up engulfing all of Tokyo, killing the main cast and destroying all of the remaining cells of the gargantuas left behind in their fight. Tomoyuki Tanaka dropped this idea due to the enormous budget that would be required to film such an effect, so the ending was more toned down.
  • The original ending of The Wolfman (2010), in the rough draft of the screenplay that was leaked online before the movie's release, had Lawrence throw himself off a cliff in order to save Gwen from himself.
  • Beastly had an ending more in line with the book where Kyle gets shot trying to protect Lindy from the men her father owed money to — and would transform back into himself as he apparently died. This was filmed but changed to a different ending where Kyle shows up at school for an Anguished Declaration of Love and then transforms back as he leaves.
  • The PJ Hogan version of Peter Pan filmed an ending where the narrator would have been revealed to be the adult Wendy (and the actual film only implies it) telling the story to her young daughter Jane. Peter would then arrive and take Jane to Neverland as in the book.
  • Scream 3 had two different endings shot, one with Detective Kincaid in it and one without — as producers weren't sure whether or not they wanted to kill him off. Additionally, the climax had to be re-shot several months later, as producers felt the stakes weren't high enough. This adds in a Disney Death for Sidney which wouldn't have happened in the original cut.
  • The first Final Destination movie had a radically different ending. Alex would sacrifice himself to spare both Clear and Carter from death's design. It would then cut to Clear giving birth to Alex's baby, and a scene between her and Carter at the memorial. This was changed to Alex surviving his sacrifice, visiting Paris six months later with the gang, and Carter being killed by a falling sign. As a result, any intimate scenes between Alex and Clear were deleted — relegating their romance to subtext (though the sequel does claim they did become a couple). Ironically, a lot of fans prefer the original ending nowadays, despite focus groups hating it at the time.
  • 28 Days Later had about five different endings. The first planned one would have had the protagonists never meeting the soldiers like they do halfway through the final cut. They would meet the scientist who first developed the rage virus, and he would help Jim get a blood transfusion to save the infected Frank, thereby switching their infections. Danny Boyle storyboarded this ending and then realised there was no way it could work. The rest of the endings all take place after the climax in the manor. A potential ending would have been an outright Cliffhanger, cutting off as soon as Hannah drives at the gates. Another would have had Jim dying on the hospital bed, while having a Dying Dream of his bike accident. Another would have kept this canon but added on a different version of the true farm ending — just with Selena and Hannah. They eventually had Jim survive too and added him into the farm ending months later — explaining why Cillian Murphy's hair is notably longer after only a month.
  • The sequel 28 Weeks Later had a slightly different climax. Scarlet would have died first, and then Doyle. They chose to swap this around, feeling it amped up the fear if Scarlet was left to take care of the children instead of Doyle. The film would have ended just with Flynn flying Tammy and Andy out in the helicopter. They added the extra scene of an outbreak in Paris at the last minute.
  • Black Narcissus filmed an ending where Sister Clodagh apologizes for her failures to Reverend Mother, expecting to be reprimanded. Instead, Reverend Mother comforts her. While shooting the goodbye between Clodagh and Mr Dean, the cinematographer came up with the idea for a shot where rain drops start falling on the leaves. Michael Powell loved that shot so much, and the following one of Clodagh watching the convent seemingly disappear into the mist, that he cut the other ending.
  • Hard Candy shot two different versions of the ending. In the first, you'd actually see Jeff hanging from the roof, confirming that he'd died. The second, which was used in the final cut, leaves his fate more ambiguous. Patrick Wilson preferred the second ending.
  • First Blood: The original ending saw Rambo die at the hands of Col. Trautman, due to his inability to re-adapt to civilian life. After test audiences threatened to lynch the production team, the ending was revised into Rambo going through a Heroic BSoD and being taken away by Trautman, hopefully to get his soul patched back together.
  • The original ending of The Wind (1928) had Letty to go completely mad and wander out into the wind to die. After filming, the executives disliked the Downer Ending. According to Lillian Gish, she had already had seven unhappy endings and thus the executives didn't want this latest film to be her career killer. So, the film ended on a happy note instead.
  • The United States cut of The Rocky Horror Picture Show omits the songs Super Heroes and the Dark Reprise of Science Fiction Double Feature due to 20th Century Fox thinking they were too depressing. We still see Brad, Janet, and Dr. Scott crawling around singing Super Heroes, but we hear The Criminologist's closing Fauxlosophic Narration dubbed over it.
  • When The Human Centipede 3 (Final Sequence) was released in the home video market, the ending was updated to serve as a Book End to the trilogy, revealing that the entire movie was All Just a Dream of Dr. Heiter from the first movie, who is inspired by the dream to create his own Human Centipede. The movie ends with the opening scene of the first movie from Dr. Heiter's point of view.
  • The Wrong Cheerleader almost certainly has one. The movie first aired on Lifetime in 2019 with a relatively simple climax, but trailer footage indicates the original ending had a major plot twist with a surprise villain. There's a lot of foreshadowing to indicate this twist ending, but no payoff.
  • The Spy Who Loved Me: According to Richard Kiel, there was an alternate ending where Jaws died when the Atlantis base was destroyed, instead of the ending where he survived, and he didn't know which ending they would go with till he saw the finished film.

  • Charles Dickens' Great Expectations originally ended with Pip and Estella, who Pip had spent the entire book hopelessly in love with, meeting briefly and parting ways. Dickens gave his friend Edward Bulwer-Lytton a preview of the ending. Bulwer-Lytton disliked the Downer Ending and asked him to write a happier one for his readers. Dickens obliged and wrote a new ending that reunited Pip with Estella, but left it up to the readers to decide if they were able to start a relationship or not. Unlike some other examples of this trope, Dickens himself was pleased with the new ending.
    Pip: I saw no shadow of another parting from her. (last line of revised ending)
  • Sir Arthur Conan Doyle killed off Sherlock Holmes in "The Final Problem" to be able to focus on other literary projects. Public demand and mourning was so great that he eventually wrote a new short story that retconned Holmes' death as only a faked one and continued his adventures. (It didn't hurt that Watson Never Found the Body, either.)
  • A Clockwork Orange is an unusual case: the revised ending is actually the Downer Ending, and the "true" ending is more optimistic. The film adaptation was based on the revised ending (the American publication that cut out the last chapter), either because True Art Is Angsty, or, as is claimed, Stanley Kubrick had never seen the original until some time into production and when he did he didn't like it. The supposed reason he didn't like it is that it's done in a way to show that Alex matures and grows out of his violent nature. It's a classical example of Teens Are Monsters and this whole thing was just a phase. Kubrick thought it completely removed the message of the story.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's Podkayne of Mars had an original ending where Podkayne dies, intending it to be An Aesop about a working mother not properly taking care of her children. The publisher made him use a revised ending where she is injured but survives. It was eventually published with both endings, which differ only on the last page.
  • H. G. Wells' story The Country of the Blind has an original and revised version which diverge at a point where the protagonist is going to agree to have his eyes removed to become a member of the titular society. In the original, he ditches his Jungle Princess fiance in the middle of the night and is implied to have died in his efforts to climb down a mountain back to civilization. In the revised version, he escapes with her and they have sighted children and live Happily Ever After.
  • Stephen King:
    • At the end of Black House and Dark Tower, King offers up a happy ending in the penultimate chapter, and then a warning that "if you like happy endings, stop reading here." The "real" ending in the last chapter is more of a downer. The Dark Tower case is actually somewhat interesting: it's very much a Bittersweet Ending, but it fits Roland's character arc, and is suitably Mythic, as the series itself has been.
    • Christine's two endings work similarly, but without the warning.
  • Thomas Hardy's The Return of the Native originally ended with the deaths of Eustacia and Wildeve, Tamsin is left a widow and single parent and there are implications that Clym might be going insane. However popular demand encouraged Hardy to write a sixth volume in which Clym manages to pull through his depression and Diggory Ven marries Tamsin.
  • Older Than Feudalism:
    • The Binding of Isaac is a composite of two sources. The first (E) contributes the descriptions of Isaac being bound and readied for sacrifice — and then conspicuously fails to mention him ever again. That bit about God changing his mind at the last minute is usually attributed to the redactor (whatever person or group pasted together the different sources/traditions of the Torah into one more-or-less-coherent narrative).
    • The Gospel of Mark seems to have originally ended with a report of the resurrection of Jesus; a later revision incorporated events up to the Ascension.
  • The deleted last chapter to Joan Lindsay's Picnic at Hanging Rock, which explains what happened to Miss McCraw, Marion, and Miranda, was first published in 1987. The reader discovers that Hanging Rock is in the middle of some kind of mystical temporal anomaly; the three women change shape and vanish into the rock itself, leaving Irma (in an echo of "The Pied Piper of Hamelin") stuck outside.
  • According to many scholars, the Happily Ever After ending to the Book of Job in the Bible was a revision by editors who wanted to make the moral of the story as clear as crystal.
  • The ending of Alexey Tolstoy's The Hyperboloid Of Engineer Garin (a.k.a. The Garin Death Ray) was revised two times. In the original serialized version, Zoe Montrose dies, captain Jansen lives, Magnificent Bastard Garin is a Karma Houdini. In the second version, Jansen dies, Garin and Zoe are Karma Houdinis, and the novel ends with a Sequel Hook. In the final edition, Jansen dies, and Garin and Zoe were punished by Laser-Guided Karma (but are still not as punished as one could expect).
  • Fans of Ted Dekker's Circle series were so unhappy with the conclusion of Green (which ends with the protagonist deliberately trapping himself in a seemingly unending Stable Time Loop) that Dekker wrote a new, "happier" ending for the series's compilation novel.
  • Later editions of Henry Williamson's Tarka The Otter have a revised ending. In the original, Tarka fights a hunting hound called Deadlock, and neither survives. In the revised ending, Tarka fights a hunting hound called Deadlock, and neither survives. Despite the plot being the same, Williamson became horrified by the way he had originally described it. He even kept the original ending as a postscript after the revised ending, followed by a note expressing his disbelief that he ever wrote it.
  • Discworld:
    • Gaspode the Wonder Dog was supposed to make a Heroic Sacrifice at the end of Moving Pictures, but beta readers protested, and he was upgraded to a Disney Death.
    • Sir Terry's editor felt sorry for Mr Tulip in The Truth, so the finished book added a sort of coda to his death where he gets a happy reincarnation.
  • In "Belief" by Isaac Asimov, the protagonist discovers he can levitate, and finds that everyone accuses him of being mad (if he doesn't demonstrate the ability), or trying to trick them (if he does). In the original version, he eventually kills himself. The revised version that was published instead has him discover a way to convince people his ability is genuine.
  • The Alex Rider books originally had a Grand Finale which contentiously ended with one of the series' few female characters being killed off. A few years later, author Anthony Horowitz came to regret ending the series on such a bittersweet note, and decided to write a new entry which retconned in the character's survival. The series remains a going concern following this, with another book having been published and at least one more still to come.
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles: Agatha Christie's debut novel originally ended with Hercule Poirot summing up the case, and identifying the real murderer, while testifying as a witness at a murder trial. After her publisher argued that this was nonsense and court proceedings don't allow for extended monologuing, Christie wrote a new ending where Poirot explains the case to all the characters back home at Styles. The revised ending may be the Trope Maker for Summation Gathering.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: The Season 23 finale, "The Ultimate Foe", originally ended on a cliffhanger with the Doctor and the Valeyard trapped in the Matrix, locked in a seemingly endless battle. However, John Nathan-Turner felt that the ending would've given The BBC an excuse to cancel the show (having already tried to do so after the previous season, which became an 18-month hiatus) and rejected it, resulting in writer and script editor Eric Saward walking out and legally prohibiting the show's staff from using any of his material. As a result, the serial's last episode was rewritten from the ground up by Pip and Jane Baker, with a new ending where the Doctor triumphs over the Valeyard and returns to the TARDIS with Mel.
  • The original ending of Hannah Montana was an All Just a Dream scenario. The show was revealed to be the dream of a young Miley Cyrus. Thanks to Executive Meddling, it was thought to be too confusing for children and the ending was changed to Miley giving up the movie in Paris to attend college with Lily.
  • MADtv (1995):
  • Red Dwarf:
    • "Only the Good...", the Season Finale of Red Dwarf VIII went through three different endings (not including the fact it was originally going to be a completely different story but the budget ran out). The original cliffhanger was hated by test audiences (i.e. Doug Naylor's kids), and was replaced by Rimmer being rescued by Ace, only for Naylor to suddenly come up with the existing ending just before they started filming it.
    • The ending of Out of Time, the finale of Red Dwarf VI, was changed from an already filmed scene of the crew celebrating Rimmer saving Starbug from destruction at the hands of their future selves with a glass of "urine re-cyc", to a cliffhanger ending that was hastily put together in the edit utilizing the filmed scenes and a new model effects shot, due to the writers feeling the original ending wasn't up to scratch.
  • How I Met Your Mother had an infamously controversial finale, which did not satisfy the vast majority of its fanbase. The main complaints, among other issues including pacing and sidelining Lily's character arc, were Ted/Robin being the endgame couple rather than the much preferred Ted/Mother and Barney/Robin, both of which are brutally sunk in the finale when the Mother dies and the latter couple gets divorced. When the show was released on DVD, an alternate ending was released with it, changing things so that the Mother is still alive in 2030 and happy with Ted. Robin and Barney still get divorced, but Future! hints that they end up rekindling their romance.
  • In the pitch reel for Sesame Street, a member of the team Rowlf hired to come up with the name of the show reasons that the target audience is kids who can't read or write, suggesting the show should be called "Hey, Stupid!" This originally ended with the rest of the naming team, after a Beat, looking at the guy who suggested the name and disapprove it, and he responds, "No good, huh? Eh, just a thought." The reel then moves on to the scene where Rowlf asks Kermit to star in the show. The pitch reel was later updated when the name of the show was decided — this time, the suggestion of such a condescending name like "Hey, Stupid!" serves as the last straw for Rowlf, who fires the team. Left with no one else to name the show, Kermit offers to help come up with the title for Rowlf. Rowlf explains to Kermit that he needs a title that says the show will open up new worlds for kids, but not too cute. Kermit then asks for the core setting of the show, and Rowlf tells him it will be a street, on the front steps of a house. Working with the information he's just given, Kermit suggests they call the show "Sesame Street". Rowlf falls in love with the title, since it's just the thing he's looking for. Then things proceed as in the original reel, with Rowlf asking Kermit to star in the show.

  • Franz Liszt's "Faust Symphony" was originally written with a straightforward coda following a final cadence in C major. Liszt later expanded this into a choral Grand Finale, with the organ-accompanied chorus intoning the words of Goethe's "Chorus mysticus" and a tenor solo singing, "Das Ewig-Weibliche zieht uns hinan."
  • Harry Chapin admitted he had a great deal of trouble coming up with an ending for the song "30,000 pounds of bananas", with his bandmates telling him that his first two efforts sucked, the first rejection even becoming memetic (Harry, it sucks). The third attempt went over better, however.

  • In the original ending of Henrik Ibsen's A Doll's House, Nora leaves her stifling marriage with Torvald. This was so controversial in the late 19th century that Ibsen, a Norwegian, was persuaded to write a new ending for the German productions in which she is reminded of her duties as a mother. Don't get him wrong, he hated it. Later he would openly refer to the alternate ending as "a barbaric act of violence towards the play. Its use is absolutely contrary to my wishes, and I hope that it will not be used by many German theatres."
    • So why did he write it? According to a letter from Ibsen to a Danish newspaper, a lack of intellectual property laws meant that Scandinavian plays were at risk of disastrous 'adaptations' when performed in other countries. "I prefer," Ibsen stated, "to commit such violence myself, rather than surrender my works to treatment... by less careful and less skillful hands than my own."
  • In-story example: In Man of La Mancha, Cervantes declares his story finished after Don Quixote's defeat and humiliation by Dr. Carrasco. The Governor declares the ending unsatisfying, but Cervantes begs to "have a little more time" to continue the tale before he is sent off to the Inquisition. (And indeed, the ending the fictional Cervantes invents differs from what the real Cervantes wrote.)
  • Pippin is occasionally produced with the alternate ending: instead of a few spoken lines between Catherine and Pippin, Theo starts singing "Corner of the Sky" and the Leading Player and the musical accompaniment return. Stephen Schwartz admitted he actually likes this ending better.
  • The first version of Mussorgsky's opera Boris Godunov ended with a scene in St. Basil's Cathedral (drawn from Pushkin's original play, though it was not the final scene there), in which the Simpleton is accosted by street urchins, and as Boris approaches and asks him to pray for him, refuses and calls him "Tsar Herod." The last act was replaced in the 1870s with an entirely new King on His Deathbed scene, followed by a scene in Katyn Forest where there is much rejoicing over Boris's death as the Pretender rides on to victory. This second scene incorporated most of the Simpleton's part from the older version in between triumphant choruses. Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov then rearranged much of the opera, reversing the order of the scenes in the new final act to end the opera with Boris's death. Productions in Soviet Russia from the 1920s onward restored the St. Basil's scene (in a Rimsky-Korsakov-like arrangement by Nicolai Ippolitov-Ivanov), even though it conflicts with or duplicates the musico-dramatic content of the revised final act.
    • Rimsky-Korsakov's edition has a revised ending on a lesser scale: Act III, which Mussorgsky ended with Rangoni joining Dimitri and Marina in a quiet trio, now ended with a loud choral climax.
  • King Lear, which normally ends with a complete Downer Ending, received an alternate ending in 1681, where Cordelia survives and marries Edgar (this adaptation omits Cordelia's marriage to the King of France). The original ending wasn't restored until the 1840s.
  • Hedda Gabler was originally simply Driven to Suicide by Brack's threat to make her submit to him, but one alternate ending has her perform a Mind Screwy choreography ending with a gunshot, and it is not determined whether she actually shot herself.
  • Chess has had a complex history of plot revisions, including many different variations on the ending, mostly regarding who Anatoly plays in the final match, whether he wins, and whether Florence gets reunited with her long-lost father. There's no clear consensus on which is best. Tim Rice has said he considers the plot of the 2008 Royal Albert Hall concert, which uses the original ending, to be the new canon, but this hasn't done anything to prevent the other variations — and new ones, even — from continuing to appear.
  • The original ending of the theatrical adaptation of Miss Lulu Bett has Lulu leaving not only her uncaring, exploitative relatives, but her suitor Cornish as well, going on a journey to find herself. This was good enough to win the Pulitzer Prize for drama, but dissatisfied audiences of The Roaring '20s, so playwright Zona Gale came up with a more straightforward happy ending, in which Lulu reunites with Ninian, briefly her husband before his Oops! I Forgot I Was Married confession.
  • Kim's farewell song in Miss Saigon was re-written prior to its opening on Broadway. This was because the song gave away the ending in the original West End production.
  • L'Orfeo's original ending was closer to the myth, with Dionysus's followers pursuing Orpheus out of anger. By its second performance, it was revised to have Apollo come down and take Orpheus to Olympus, where he could watch Eurydice from the stars. Since the original ending's music was lost, the revised one is most commonly used.

    Video Games 
  • The ending of Snatcher on the PC-88 and MSX2 was a rather dark one, with many of Gillian's allies dead and the Snatcher menace still a lingering threat. This was because the ending was actually the climax before the real ending — the development of the game was behind schedule and the game's third and final act had to be excluded. When Snatcher was remade for the PC Engine and Sega CD years later, the actual intended ending was included. A very different version of the ending was already featured in the previous RPG remake SD Snatcher.
  • After finishing all three routes of the PS2 Realta Nua version of Fate/stay night, a Last Episode is opened up, which offers a happy conclusion to the Fate route, the only route which had only one bittersweet ending, giving Shirou and Saber a happy reunion in what might be Avalon. Overlaps with Died Happily Ever After, Together in Death, and I Will Wait for You.
  • One of the proposed endings for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots had Solid Snake and his sidekick Otacon being convicted for terrorism and executed by the government. The ending was vetoed by Kojima's staff before it was even produced; it's been described as a full on revolt. The ending theme "Here to You", a song about two real-life anarchists executed for murder who were believed to be innocent, is an allusion to the proposed ending.
  • The PS2 port of Higurashi: When They Cry replaced the happy-ending Matsuribayashi-hen (Festival Music Chapter) with the Bittersweet Ending Miotsukushi-hen (Canal Drying Chapter). The main plot of each differs wildly, but come to similar conclusions, with one MAJOR difference. Matsuribayashi focused mainly on Rika and Hanyuu getting everyone to believe them, and working together to prevent the Big Bad's plans from succeeding. It ends with (in the anime) Takano pointing a gun at the group, and Hanyuu stepping forward to shield them; Takano fires, and the bullet misses in an Ironic Echo of the time she dared God to strike her with lightning. (The miss was explained more in the original sound novel, where Hanyuu uses her powers to stop time, and Rika plucks the bullet out of the air. It's reasonable to assume that Hanyuu's powers are the reason it missed in the anime was well.) Miotsukushi, on the other hand, had three of the 'insane' plotlines get triggered at once: Watanagashi (Cotton-drifting), Tatarigoroshi (Curse-Killing), and Tsumihoroboshi (Atonement): Rika and Keiichi are left alone, and have to rescue everyone from their respective plotlines before anything bad can happen. They manage to do it, and it ends with the same confrontation with Takano that Matsuribayashi does: Pointing the gun at the group, Hanyuu steps forward to shield them. The difference is when Takano fires, the bullet hits and kills Hanyuu. (No idea why she didn't use her powers that time.) So, the group does reach their happy ending, and none of the horrible murders happened, but it comes at the Heroic Sacrifice of the one who enabled them to reach that ending in the first place.
  • Peter Jackson's King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie has an alternate ending as an unlockable extra, in which Kong lives and returns to Skull Island. The last level of the actual game may count, as Kong can smash many more of the attacking biplanes than he ever could in the film.
  • The 1996 point-and-click Adventure Game Fable (no relation to the more famous game series from the 2000s) originally had an ending which reveals that the entire story was indeed a "fable"... told by a delusional murderous criminal in a prison cell. For obvious reasons, especially considering the game's overall humorous nature, such a conclusion did not go over well with the players — this Let's Play video has a mild example of what happens if you weren't prepared for it. The US game publisher naturally freaked out and managed to get the developers to change the ending, but apparently not before the original version got an international release. The new ending, while feeling slightly rushed, was generally seen as an improvement anyway. What's worse, a bit of Fridge Logic could tell you that the original ending pretty much explains all the Anachronism Stew throughout the game...
  • Mass Effect 3, after very negative reaction to the original ending, released a free "Extended Cut" DLC to try to placate the fans.
  • In general, The Binding of Isaac Rebirth just updates the artwork of the preexisting endings. However, certain endings have been revised:
    • The "Transcendence", "A Quarter", "Dr. Fetus", "Everything is Terrible!!!", and "It Lives" endings, which were originally the second, fourth, fifth, sixth, and ninth endings, were made into the third, eighth, ninth, fifth, and eleventh endings instead.
    • "The Nail" and "Money Equals Power" endings, the third and ninth endings in the original game, are gone.
    • The first ending, the "Judas Ending", has been replaced with the "Eden Ending".
    • The new second ending is the "Rubber Cement Ending".
    • The new fourth ending is the "Wire Coat Hanger Ending".
    • The new sixth ending is the "Ipecac Ending".
    • The seventh ending, "The Wafer Ending", has been replaced with the "Experimental Treatment Ending".
  • Fallout 3's original ending required the player to choose either themself or a certain companion to make a Heroic Sacrifice and suffer lethal radiation poisoning to turn on the water purifier. One might have been inclined to send in one of the three radiation-immune companions who could perform the same task without suffering any harm at all, but if one tried, they would arbitrarily refuse. After much criticism, the DLC changed the ending to allow this incredibly practical decision, and then added an extended storyline complete with destruction of the remaining Enclave base — which naturally required changing the ending to allow the player to get better if they had sacrificed themself.
  • By beating the Arrange Mode in Astebreed, an alternate ending depicts Roy, Fiona, and Estina visiting Grato's grave.
  • The ending in the original Famicom release of Earthbound Beginnings was... well, nonexistent. You beat the Final Boss, he flees, the protagonist faces the camera, the credits roll. That's it. The unreleased-for-decades English localization added a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue and a Sequel Hook, which was carried over to all future releases.
  • The ending of River City Girls was changed in an update after fans complained that the original ending felt too mean spirited.


    Web Originals 
  • The author of the you could make a life NHL fiction universe originally had Mike and Liam's story end after eight chapters on an ambiguous Maybe Ever After, but she later added four more chapters to it to give ambiguous Maybe Ever After that nonetheless has a more conclusive feel and optimistic tone to it.
  • "Every Blue Sky Studios Movie Ranked" by Schaffrillas Productions originally ended with James admitting his top choice doesn't warrant the usual finale that his previous ranking videos boasted. Then, he laments that the studio, the closure of which he was indifferent to, was unable to reach its full potential, bringing up the topic of the NIMONA adaptationnote  as he does so. Finally, he decides to rank a promising studio, but finds he already ranked most of the major ones, ending with a Sequel Hook to the Illumination Entertainment ranking video. When the video was removed because of a copyright dispute over the music used in the ending, an updated version was eventually released. "I Fixed the Blue Sky Ranking", released on April Fools' Day, changed the ending so James instead realizes that Rio 2 is the greatest movie ever made, in retaliation to how viewers complained that he didn't hate the movie as much as was expected in his original video. He then sings a purposefully half-assed Song Parody of the remake version of "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" and "thanks" his viewers for "changing" his opinion on Rio 2.

    Western Animation 
  • The Smurfs (1981) episode "The Lure Of The Orb" has two similar endings, both in which the Smurfs have their comeuppance with Allura. In one ending, Jokey gives Allura one of his surprises and it simply explodes and reveals the true face of Allura behind her kind gentle persona. In the other ending, Papa Smurf sprinkles some magic dust on Jokey's surprise so that, when he gives it to Allura, it explodes and turns Allura into a frog. The version with the latter ending (with its other change being that the Smurfs held captive by Allura in her fortress have chains on their legs) is usually shown in markets outside the United States.
  • The original ending of Hero Factory: Invasion from Below was completely revised in the last 12 hours of production. Originally, the Heroes would have befriended the Beasts terrorizing the city. In the final version, this does happen, but after that, the Heroes kill them due to a misunderstanding. This has made the episode pretty controversial for the fans, since the rest of the story made it clear that the Beasts were innocent and only wanted to protect their nest, a fact which the Heroes were darn well aware of.
  • Hey Arnold!: In-Universe: A key part of the show, "Eugene, Eugene" has Eugene horrified that the guy producing his school's musical has changed a perfectly good Happy Ending into a downer (a result of his Creator Breakdown) which is at odds with the play's message.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls Friendship Games had an original ending that was changed when a subplot was removed. Here, Sunset Shimmer starts getting homesick for Equestria, but agrees to at least stick around to help out with the Friendship Games. After the events of the finale, Human! ends up returning to Crystal Prep with much friendlier classmates while Sunset decides to stay in the human world to help investigate the human world's unpredictable magic, though agrees to visit Equestria now and then. The actual movie dumps the subplot and Human! ends up transferring to Canterlot High.
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas originally ended with Snoopy singing along with everyone and Charlie Brown blushing at the end. The ending was later cut short and reanimated with Charlie Brown's face normal and Snoopy howling along to the song.