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Season Finale

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The last episode or episodes of a season, consisting of a story which ties up most of that season's loose ends and aims to be as dramatic as possible. They may be The Climax of an ongoing Story Arc, or simply a new story, the most dramatic yet. They may kill off main characters, bring back villains from earlier in the series, and set up the next season. Cliffhanger endings are common.

Season finales are pretty much guaranteed to draw in large audience figures.

While this is by no means universal, it's still very common. A more recent phenomenon has been the mid-season or winter finale — where networks hype the final episode before a mid-season hiatus in a similar manner.

Of course, when the show is ending for good, they really pull out all the stops.

See "What Now?" Ending, Series Fauxnale, Cliffhanger and Dénouement Episode for specific varieties of Season Finale.

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


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    Video Games 
  • Both seasons of Telltale Games' episodic Sam & Max games have ended with a big reveal of the mastermind behind the season's events.
  • maimai FiNALE is the final version of the game for the game's original hardware. Sega would later release maimai DX, which uses brand new hardware and cabinets.

    Web Animation 
  • DEATH BATTLE! always tend to end their seasons on a high note, the fight the episode centers around usually being either a particularly popular and highly debated fight, features a character who is extremely popular at the moment, is an especially large scale battle, or some combination of the three. These episodes are also usually much higher in production quality than the usual episode of the show.
    • Season 1 ends with "Goku VS Superman". This episode was notably meant to be the series finale, but ended up as just the season finale when it was decided to continue the show.
    • Season 2 ends with "Pokémon VS Digimon". Specifically, the fight is between Red and Charizard and Tai and Agumon.
    • Season 3 ends with "Deadpool VS Pinkie Pie". It should be noted, however, that this episode was not the intended finale for the season, as the episode that was meant to be the finale, "Power Rangers VS Voltron", wasn't finished on time, resulting in that episode being pushed back to season 4 as the 75th episode, while "Deadpool VS Pinkie Pie" took its place as the finale.
    • Season 4 ends with "Vergil VS Sephiroth".
    • Season 5 ends with "Thanos VS Darkseid".
    • Season 6 ends with "All Might VS Might Guy".
    • Season 7 ends with "Hulk VS Broly".
    • Season 8 ends with "Saitama VS Popeye". This finale is particularly notable, as it, alongside season 8 as a whole, serves as a celebration of the show's 10 year anniversary.
    • Season 9 ends with "Gogeta VS Vegito".
    • Season 10 ends with "Galactus VS Unicron". This finale is particularly notable, as it is the single most requested fight in the series, as noted by both the previews for the episode and the episode itselfnote .
  • Meta Runner:
    • Season 1: MD-5 almost gets away with their plan only to get cornered by Lucks, who shoots Masa's arm off, destroys Theo's cartridge, and forces Tari to join TASCorp for everyone’s safety. However, Sofia leaves a backup of her data for Belle, and it’s implied Lucks is keeping Lucinia alive through cryostatis.
    • Season 2: Tari and Theo defeat Evelyn escape the corrupted Ultra Jump Mania cartridge as MD-5 reveals Lucks' crimes to the public, while Tari learns that she is an AI merged with a fragment of Lucinia’s mind. However, an alive Sheridan hacks into Masa's arm to make him kill Lucks, framing him for murder, and promises Tari's abilities to none other than Evelyn. Even more, MD-5 go on the run while Belle stays behind with Masa, only to run right into Marco, whose intentions for them are left up in the air.
  • Red vs. Blue ends all of its seasons on a pretty grand note, resolving its major plotlines while adding a cliffhanger for the next season to resolve.
    • Season 1: O'Malley (Omega) takes over Caboose and causes him to act strangely, while Donut kills Tex.
    • Season 2: O'Malley takes over Lopez's body, shoots Tucker, and runs away. Upon learning that both teams have the same Command officer, the Reds and Blues team up to stop O'Malley, only to be sent to completely different locations. In case that's not enough, Donut and Tex are stuck together, and Tex wants revenge for what happened in the Season 1 finale.
    • Season 3: While O'Malley and Lopez's army is defeated, the Reds accidentally stumble back into Blood Gulch, and the Great Destroyer is about to kill Church.
    • Season 4: Tucker gives birth to an alien, Sarge calls for a calvary ship that crushes Donut, and O'Malley leaves Doc for an unknown host.
    • Season 5: This episode chronicles the big final battle between the Reds, Blues, and O'Malley. It ends with Tex, Junior, Andy, and O'Malley all having been blown up.
    • Season 6: In their fight against the Meta, Church uses an EMP that wipes out all of the A.I.s, including himself. The finale ends with the Reds plotting against the Blues again, Caboose trying to bring Church back, and Wash and the Meta's fates unknown. Oh, and it turns out that the Director's name is Leonard Church.
    • Season 7: Wash has teamed up with the Meta, making a full-on Face–Heel Turn from the last time we've seen him. He shoots Lopez and Donut, and takes Simmons hostage.
    • Season 8: The Meta is finally defeated, and Wash becomes a good guy again. However, Church locks himself in the Epsilon unit so he could save Tex, waiting in his Blood Gulch memories until she appears.
    • Season 9: Church is rescued from the Epsilon unit against his will, leaving Tex there in the process. He learns that Agent Carolina is responsible for his rescue and needs his help to take down the Director.
    • Season 10: Carolina and Epsilon confront the Director, but ultimately decide not to kill him, especially when we learn that Carolina is his daughter. Once they leave, the Director deletes all of the Freelancer files and commits suicide. Meanwhile, the Reds and Blues move back to Blood Gulch, while Carolina and Epsilon leave to get some more Freelancer equipment.
    • Season 11: Tucker, Simmons, Grif, and Caboose join the New Republic Army to save their friends from Locus, while Carolina makes her first appearance.
    • Season 12: The Federal Army and New Republic hold a truce, as Epsilon deduces that Charon Industries, which has been a big enemy of Project Freelancer for many years, is behind Felix and Locus's attempted genocide on the people of Chorus. Meanwhile, it's revealed that the Chairman of Charon has old freelancer tech, including FILSS and the Meta's old suit.
    • Season 13: The Reds and Blues save the people of Chorus, but are trapped on the Charon's spaceship. The episode ends with Church sacrificing himself to power the Meta's old suit to help the Reds and Blues fight their way out.
  • RWBY:
    • Season 1: Blake learns that Roman is working with the White Fang to steal dust, and tries to stop his operation. Cinder finally reappears with Mercury and Emerald.
    • Season 2: Beacon Academy unites to stop the Grimm invasion that Roman caused, culminating in Roman being arrested. We also learn that Adam is working with Cinder too.
    • Season 3: Pyrrha and Ozpin die while fighting Cinder, Ruby activates her Silver Eyes for the first time, Team RWBY splits up, and we learn that the narrator of the first three seasons has been the Big Bad, Salem, all along.
    • Season 4: Team RNJR defeat the Nuckelavee and take a plane to Haven, with Yang and Weiss heading to Mistral as well. However, we learn that Professor Lionheart of Haven is allied with Cinder. We also see a teaser of next season with Oscar meeting Qrow for the first time.
    • Season 5: The White Fang is defeating and Haven is saved, but Adam runs away. Yang confronts Raven for the Relic, and Team RWBY finally reunites.
    • Season 6: Team RWBY finally makes it to Atlas, only to realize just how heavy security has gotten. Meanwhile, Ruby finally learns to control her Silver Eyes, and Cinder and Neo hijack an airship to Atlas. Oh, and we finally see a glimpse of Summer Rose.
    • Season 7: Neo steals the Relic from JNR, Penny takes the Winter Maiden's powers before Cinder can, Qrow and Robyn are arrested, Watts is alive, Ironwood crosses the Moral Event Horizon and shoots Oscar off of Atlas, Ozpin reawakens, and Salem arrives with her army.
    • Season 8: Team RWBY, Jaune and Neo fall into a void between worlds and end up in an unknown location, Elm sacrifices himself to save Qrow, Robyn, and the other Ace OP's, Penny sacrifices herself to hand the Winter Maiden power to Winter, Cinder betrays Neo and gives Salem the two Relics herself, and Atlas crashes into Mantle resulting in Ironwood and Watts most likely dying.
  • Sonic for Hire tends to end its seasons by setting up the next one:
    • Season 1: Sonic is turned into an eggplant, while Tails is stuck in a coma. The fact that such an episodic series ended its season with a cliffhanger was a twist in and of itself.
    • Season 2: Sonic kills Mario and becomes the new mob boss.
    • Season 3: As the main cast splits apart, Sonic and Tails fight over who should be the mob boss. Tails blows up the money and the business forcing Sonic to get back to work.
    • Season 4: The movie is revealed to be a scam so that Sonic can blow up the theater with Tails in it. The theater blows up with the entire cast in it, and Sonic and Tails getting blasted off to space.
    • Season 5: Fox gets his ship back as Sonic and the group crash-lands back on Earth, destroying Sonic's home in the process.
    • Season 6: In an attempt to save the universe, Sonic resets everything, turning everyone into pixels.

    Web Video 
  • lonelygirl15 has so far ended two series with multiple episode dramatic stories. The first ended with the 12 episode epic "lonelygirl15 Season Finale", the second with the four-part story "Bloodlines".
  • Pokémon Talk ends all of its seasons with some sort of big event:
    • Season 1: Squirtle and Bulbasaur unite all of their past guests to get the rights to Pokemon Talk back from Sir Pikachu. They do this by using a Thunder Stone to evolve Sir Pikachu to a Raichu, which Squirtle happened to get from Mew. However, this results in Squirtle and Bulbasaur getting the rights themselves rather than the producers, meaning that they're now in charge of the show's direction.
    • Season 2: A Q&A session is interrupted when Raichu returns for revenge, culminating in a Mega Pokemon battle between Squirtle and the Kalos Starters and Raichu.
    • Season 3: The special guest for this episode is none other than Arceus, and Mew appears for the first time since the Season 1 finale.
    • Season 4: The final battle between Squirtle and Raichu, with Bulbasaur finally learning how to mega evolve. Raichu admits defeat, making it clear that he'll stop trying to get revenge.
    • Season 5: For the 50th episode, Hoopa appears and teleports Squirtle and Bulbasaur around to meet some of their previous guests. However, during this tour, they end up angering Mewtwo, who now wants to kill them.
  • Scott The Woz ends all of his seasons with an ambitious Christmas episode, with the biggest being Season 2's "It's Awesome, Baby", a big alternate universe episode with musical numbers, a giant mecha battle, and tons of special effects.
  • VG Myths: Three of them as of this writing:

  • Homestuck always ends an Act spectacularly.
    • Act 1: The main character's neighborhood is hit by a meteor, with him escaping just in the nick of time.
    • Act 2: It's revealed that the desert a secondary character is wandering around on is post-apocalypse Earth. Meanwhile, Rose's mother opens a secret doorway that leads to a nearby laboratory, and Dave prepares to fight his brother.
    • Act 3: Rose finally enters the Medium. Jade gets her hands on the SBURB discs, which turn out to somehow be Dave's copy, hidden in a time capsule, and John finally goes through his first gate.
    • Intermission: The Midnight Crew Intermission is canon, and it turns out Slick is Karkat's exile.
    • Act 4: Jack slaughters WV's army and starts the Reckoning weeks ahead of schedule. He then wrecks Prospit, sending its moon plummeting to the Battlefield below. Dream Jade throws Dream John out of the way, but is too late to escape the blast radius herself and is killed, causing her dreambot to explode and the real Jade to fall from her bedroom. The resulting chaos wakes Dream John up. Finally, Rose decides she's had enough of destiny and blows up her first gate. And that's not even getting into what happens in between acts 4 and 5.
    • Act 5 Act 1: The kids activated a rift called the Scratch, which somehow sent an unstoppable demon into the troll's universe. This meant that they were unable to claim their ultimate reward for completing SGRUB: entry into the kid's universe, which they had CREATED.
    • Act 5: The big one.
      • John starts the Scratch. As a number of huge enemies approach him, he takes them out with lava tornadoes and a single, well-placed hit of his now very-powerful hammer.
      • Courtyard Droll kills Jade, sending Jack into a furious rage. He kills CD, then takes Jade's body to her Quest Bed before hiding in the Frog Temple's time capsule. He's finally released 413 million years later on post-apocalyptic Earth, ten seconds after the White King is. He murders WK, WQ, and AR, and mortally wounds WV in order to get the uranium from his stomach. He then uses the uranium to power a transportalizer in WV's station, which sends him to the trolls' universe and allows him to destroy their Prospit, Derse and Lands, as well as kill all of the Trolls' dream selves. Finally, Jack uses Red Miles to attack the Genesis Frog representing Earth's universe.
      • Piloting Derse's moon through the Furthest Ring using a map Dave drew, Rose and Dave are surprised to find that the Green Sun isn't where it should be. Undaunted, they take the Tumor to a crypt in the center of the moon, where their Quest Beds await. They set up the Tumor, and it opens up to reveal ectobiological equipment, with Earth's universe on one side and Alternia's on the other. As Jack's Red Miles ravage Earth's universe, Spades Slick finally kills Snowman, ending Alternia's universe as well.
      • Jadesprite and Davesprite are about to be obliterated on the Battlefield when Jade and Jadesprite merge to become God Tier Jade, with Witch of Space powers, Bec's reality-warping powers, and a sprite's knowledge of the game. She then shrinks the meteor to the size of a baseball, and using her new-found powers, enlarges a battleship, and shrinks the Battlefield, LOWAS, LOLAR, LOHAC, and LOFAF, picking up John along the way. On Earth, PM witnesses the approaching Red Miles. She finds the White Queen's Ring, which WV had had the whole time. Jade enlarges a Fourth Wall, which she had had on standby ever since she created Jadesprite. Finally, as the Critical Moment approaches, a dying Doc Scratch takes a moment to send a final message to Gamzee, informing them that they are all suckers.
      • The Tumor detonates, creating the Green Sun, rather than destroying it. The light finally arrives in the troll session, and Sollux expends the last of his energy to hurl their meteor towards the Sun. Rose and Dave ascend from the Sun as freshly minted God Tiers, and meet God Tier Aradia and half-ghost Sollux. A prototyping PM arrives in the Trolls' session, visibly shocking Jack for the second time in the whole series. Finally, Jade finishes enlarging the Fourth Wall, and hurls her battleship through it right before the Scratch resets the universe.
    • Act 6 Act 1: Jane Crocker, Nanna's post-Scratch incarnation, goes to her mailbox to get the Sburb alpha...and it explodes. Andrew Hussie (who is now a robot for some reason) muses about dead characters, and in lieu of messing with John and Jade (who are passing through his study at light speed at the moment), he levels them up, then introduces Act 6 Intermission 1.
    • Act 6 Intermission 1: Prototyped PM heads for the Green Sun at top speed, in pursuit of Jack, who is in turn pursuing the trolls, Rose and Dave. Dreaming on Prospit, Jane sees visions of things to come in the Skaian clouds, including Imperial Drones bearing the Condesce's sigil, Roxy Lalonde (Rose's Mom's post-Scratch incarnation) hurling a cat through a Fourth Wall, and Jake English (Grandpa's post-Scratch version) on his island as the volcano there erupts. Jane witnesses the miracle of a new beginning, but is stabgreeted by post-scratch Jack Noir, who absconds just as Jane is about to do a "lifey thing".
    • Act 6 Act 2: As a meteor quickly approaches her house on Earth, Jane does all the setup she needs to enter the Medium, but is confused when her Cruxite Artifact never appears. The countdown ends, and she enters anyway, but as she does, she gets a glimpse of what the "meteor" really is — Her Imperious Condescension's flagship. Years in the future — but not many — we see a flooded Earth where Troll society has been rebuilt under the Condesce's rule, with humans and Dersites apparently reduced to struggling minorities. It is further revealed that Roxy and Dirk have been living in this time all along, as they prepare to fight hordes of Imperial Drones. Meanwhile, back in the past, Jake has descended into the Frog Temple for reasons that aren't further elaborated on.
    • Act 6 Act 3: Dirk and Jake are knocked out and Jane and Roxy are both killed. Dirk enacts a plan to save them which involves decapitating himself and sending his head to Jake for him to kiss so his dreamself is awoken which travels around on his hoverboard collecting Jane and Roxy and kissing them alive, too. The three of them travel back to where Jake is and, after ordering Sawtooth and Squarewave to enter Roxy and Dirk's mediums, enter Jake's. Then, Caliborn awakens, chews his leg off to free himself from the chain, and releases his kernelsprite, which turns into a black hole, sucking in everything around it. Also, Lord English appears and destroys a dreambubble, vaporising all of the dead characters inside it.
  • The author of Rain has described several chapters as "season finales", and they usually live up to the hype:
    • "No More Fake Smiles": Emily joins Rain's friend group and reveals that she's pregnant, while Rain meets Aiken's ex-girlfriend who reveals that she wants to help her go through transition.
    • "Cut": Kellen cuts Rain's hair while she's sleeping, causing a huge rift in the family. In addition, Heather finally reveals her big secret.
    • "Weather The Storm": This is the big one. Marie gets expelled from high school, so she runs away from her parents and attends a Kylie's school. Collete tells Rudy that she's transgender. Father Quenton resigns after having been the antagonist for the entire comic.
  • Gunnerkrigg Court ends most of its books with a Wham Episode.
    • Book 1: "The Fangs Of Summertime". Annie gets called to a meeting between the court and the forest, and meets Ysengrin and Coyote for the first time. In the process, she learns a ton of secrets about the court's relations with the forest.
    • Book 3: "Fire Spike". Annie gets into a brutal fight with Reynard, revealing more of the characters' backstories, and she decides to runs away to stay at the forest with Ysengrin.
    • Book 4: "Changes". Andrew suddenly gets chosen as the new medium, instead of Annie.
    • Book 6: "Jeanne". Annie and her friends finally go on their mission to free Jeanne so she can move onto the afterlife.
  • Housepets! ends almost all of its years, with the exception of Years 2 and 10 on a big plot twist or cliffhanger.
    • Year 1: A PETA employee, later revealed to be King, tries to take Fox away.
    • Year 3: Pete is caught trying to mess with the cosmic game.
    • Year 4: Pete wins the Trial of Heaven.
    • Year 5: King and Bailey get married.
    • Year 6: Pete takes Bailey away to fight in the cosmic game, and King is turned back into his human form.
    • Year 7: Bailey reveals to King that she is pregnant.
    • Year 8: Keene Milton dies and goes to heaven, before he's unceremoniously brought back to life.
    • Year 9: Breel is suddenly brought back to life as well.
  • Bittersweet Candy Bowl ended most of its volumes on a big note:
    • Volume 1: The end of the Acapulco arc. Daisy and Abbey start dating, and Mike declares that nothing will happen between him and Lucy
    • Volume 3: After finally getting the chance to meet up with Sandy, Mike destroys the remnants of his friendship with Lucy, leaving her emotionally wrecked. Abbey also learns that his mother is dead.
    • Volume 4: Everyone learns about what happened between Mike and Lucy, and Daisy blurts out that she still has feelings for Mike.
    • Volume 5: Tess graduates from high school.
    • Volume 6: Lucy returns and allows Augustus to move in with her, Abbey and Daisy break up, Paulo and Rachel break up, Paulo asks Lucy out on a date, and Lucy declares that she wants nothing to do with Mike anymore.
  • Kirby Adventure ends most of its chapters with a Wham Episode.
    • To The Tower: The first major mission for the KAS, and we learn about the orbs.
    • Jetting Across The Ice: The KAS goes on another mission only to learn that it was a trap set by Talzo's gang.
    • Master Of Puppets: The KAS are forced by Master Green to fight their dopplegangers, some of which survive the chapter and stick around for the rest of the series.
    • Infiltration: Talzo's gang infiltrates the KAS base, as NAVO joins the good guys, and Zykan kills Keito.
  • Like the games it was based on, RPG World ends its discs on a big cliffhanger:
    • Disc 1: Cherry reveals she's an elf, and Galgarion appears and knocks everyone out.
    • Disc 2: Galgarion kills Reka.

    Western Animation 
  • Amphibia ends each of its seasons with game changers:
    • Season 1, "Reunion": Anne and Sasha are reunited, only for Anne to learn that Sasha is willingly working with Grime in a plan to execute Hop Pop for inadvertently instigating frog rebellions against toad leadership. With Sprig's encouragement, Anne finally breaks free of her toxic friendship with Sasha, defeating her in a duel and forcing her to retreat with the toads after Toad Tower is destroyed.
    • Season 2, "True Colors": Grime and Sasha launch their coup in Newtopia, but are defeated. Afterwards, King Andrias is revealed to have been Evil All Along, as he uses the Calamity Box to activate Lost Technology he plans to become a Multiversal Conqueror, starting with Earth; he also reveals that Marcy knew all along that the Box would bring her and her friends to Amphibia. During the subsequent fight, Anne is revealed to have a Super Mode from the blue gem, and Marcy is stabbed by Andrias while Anne and the Plantars are sent through a portal to Los Angeles.
    • Season 3, "The Hardest Thing": Its invasion of Earth having been thwarted, the Core tries to crash Amphibia's moon into it. Anne, Sasha, and Marcy tap into the full powers of the Calamity Gems to fight it, with surprise help from Andrias; when even this isn't enough, Anne takes on all the power herself to destroy the Core, killing herself in the process, though she's soon after revived by the Guardian of the Multiverse for her selflessness. Afterwards, the last of the Gems' power is used to send the girls home after a tearful goodbye. This is then followed a ten-year Time Skip and a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue.
  • After the epic "Siege of the North" and the Wham Episode that was "Crossroads of Destiny", the incredible Grand Finale of Avatar: The Last Airbender managed to blow both out of the water completely.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes Season One ended with a three-part episode in which the Avengers thwart Loki's efforts to conquer the universe-and in the process, discover that he instigated the breakout of 74 criminals back in episode #6, which motivated the founding Avengers to team up in the first place. Season Two (also the last season of the show) officially ended with an episode in which the Avengers team up with 15 other crimefighters to save the Earth from becoming devoured by Galactus.
  • Beast Wars:
    • "Other Voices" - the Vok decide that the Maximals and Predacons have contaminated their experiment, and activate their Planet Buster, which will destroy the entire planet by detonating every energon deposit. Primal stops it, but at the cost of his life...apparently.
    • "The Agenda" - Megatron delivers one of the biggest TF cliffhangers of all time by shooting the stasis-locked Optimus Prime in the face, creating a massive time storm.
    • "The Nemesis" - Grand Finale.
  • Carmen Sandiego:
    • Season 1, "The French Connection Caper": Mistaking Chase for Carmen's partner, V.I.L.E. kidnap and torture him for information. Carmen manages to rescue him, but in the process accidentally gives the Chief the implication that she was helping V.I.L.E., and is nearly killed by Coach Brunt. Shadow-san saves her, revealing himself to be Good All Along, and leaves her with a new hard drive containing more data on new V.I.L.E. plots.
    • Season 2, "The Deep Dive Caper": Carmen goes in search of information about her past, learning from Shadow-san that her father was a V.I.L.E. leader trying to defect, who was killed by the future Chief of ACME; while looking for confirmation of this, she hacks ACME, causing the infuriated Chief to bring Chase back into action to hunt her. Meanwhile, V.I.L.E. destroy their base and relocate, while promoting Roundabout to the Faculty.
    • Season 3, "The Jolly Good Show Caper": Roundabout baits Carmen with the theft of the British crown jewels to lure her into a trap which Team Carmen turns around on him, leading to his exposure and arrest. Chase starts to question his belief in Carmen's criminality, while the Chief decides to bring in Gray for questioning.
    • Season 4, "The Dark Red Caper": Shadow-san and Crackle work with ACME to save the brainwashed Carmen, who afterwards leads ACME to V.I.L.E.'s headquarters to arrest the faculty. In the epilogue, Zack and Ivy have joined ACME in hunting the remaining V.I.L.E. operatives, with Carmen occasionally helping.
  • Codename: Kids Next Door has four:
    • Season 1, Operation GROW-UP: The Delightful Children from Down the Lane destroy the treehouse and turn Nigel into an adult, forcing the rest of the kids to take on the Delightful Children and Father without their leader or technology. Notably, this was the first episode to span the full half hour as opposed to the Two Shorts format used up to then.
    • Season 2, Operation END: Sector V are falsely scheduled for decommissioning, and Hoagie, Kuki, Wally, and Abby have their memories erased. Nigel and Chad attempt to find out what's really going on, and Nigel is forced to bring in Tommy for help. This one brought Tommy into the KND, concluded a plot thread about Cree accessing the moonbase, and ended with Chad defecting to the teenagers.
    • Season 5, Operation IT: Rachel resigns as supreme commander, launching an epic game of tag to decide the new leader. It's won by Father, who attempts to subvert the KND toward forcing all children everywhere to eat nothing by broccoli.
    • Season 6, Operation TREATY: The teenagers propose a treaty with the kids, but there are mysterious forces operating behind the scenes. There is a major revelation about Chad's true motives, and some tantalising hints about the splinter cell and their interest in Nigel, which sets up Operation INTERVIEWS.
  • The season 2 finale of Danny Phantom ends one of the biggest ongoing Story Arc in the show: Vlad's quest to obtain Danny as his protégé and son. It ends with him throwing off a HUGE Villainous Breakdown and the next season has the two in completely different circles.
  • The Dragon Prince:
    • Season 1, "Wonderstorm": Ezran, Callum, and Rayla meet the elf illusionist Lujanne. With her advice, they're able to hatch the Dragon Prince's egg by sacrificing Callum's primal stone; the dragon, named Zym, chews off Rayla's magically constricting armband. Meanwhile, Claudia and Soren magically track down the group's location.
    • Season 2, "Breathe": Callum's fever dream gives him an epiphany that enables him to tap into the Sky Arcanum. Claudia delves deeper into dark magic in order to heal the paralyzed Soren. Ezran decides to return to Katolis with Corvus and take his duties as king. Viren is arrested by the high council, but not before sending shadow assassins after the other human monarchs in a False Flag Operation. Callum and Rayla cross into Xadia, but are confronted by the dragon Sol Regem.
    • Season 3, "The Final Battle": Viren marches his mystically mutated army on the Storm Spire, leaving the heroes and their allies to Hold the Line until reinforcements arrive. Viren manages to drain some of Zym's energy via Aaravos' familiar, before Rayla tackles him off the spire; Callum fully taps into his magic to save her, while Viren is left to fall to his death. After the battle, the Dragon Queen awakens from her coma and is happy to see humans and elves standing together as friends. Claudia resurrects Viren, and reveals that the familiar has entered a giant cocoon.
    • Season 4, "Escape From Umber Tor": The heroes fight Viren, Claudia, and Terry over the map leading to Aaravos' prison, before both groups have to flee the enraged Rex Igneous; the villains escape, Viren being corrupted by taking up his dark magic staff again, but Rayla manages to get ahold of the coins containing her parents' and Ruunan's spirits. Meanwhile, Janei fights her brother in a Duel to the Death over leadership of the Sunfire Elves.
  • Gravity Falls has three:
    • The first season has "Gideon Rises" in which, following the events of the previous episode, Gideon has taken control of the Shack, and with the family being forced to live with Soos. The episode ultimately ends with the family reclaiming the building and the cliffhanger reveal that Grunkle Stan has been aware of the journals and the mysteries of Gravity Falls the entire time, and that he intends to use all three journals to activate a mysterious inter-dimensional portal.
    • The second season has a mid-season cliffhanger "Not What He Seems" where the portal arc comes to its climax when the agents arrest Grunkle Stan, forcing the twins to investigate to clear his name. They discover the portal and try to stop it from opening after reading warnings about it written in the journal. After a brief confrontation, the portal opens to reveal a man resembling Grunkle Stan: the author of the journals, Grunkle Stan's identical twin brother.
    • The second season has a four-parter series finale "Weirdmageddon", which manages to completely outdo the first season finale as Bill Cipher takes over Gravity Falls using his new powers and friends from his home dimension. In the climax, the cornered Stan twins trick Bill into going into Grunkle Stan's mindscape. He is then finished off by a left hook by Grunkle Stan after some pleading from Bill.
  • The Legend of Korra has BIG two-parters for the end of each Season, featuring things like Korra's Bending being taken by Amon, who turned out to be Tarrlok's brother, before getting it restored by Aang; a massive Kaiju-esque battle against Unalaq the Dark Avatar; the near-end of the Avatar cycle at the hands of Zaheer, and most spectacularly the Grand Finale, Day of the Colossus/The Last Stand, in which Team Avatar battles against Kuvira's giant robot in a no-holds-barred showdown that leaves Republic City leveled, Hiroshi sacrifices himself and Mako nearly does the same, Korra creates a new Spirit Portal in the process of saving Kuvira from her own out-of-control weapon, and Korra and Asami get a Relationship Upgrade. Wow.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • The first season finale, "The Best Night Ever", features the main characters attending the Grand Galloping Gala, which has been built up in several previous episodes as the biggest social event in Equestria, only to be disappointed in various ways.
    • The second season finale, "A Canterlot Wedding", blows the first season finale out of the water in terms of excitement. It's a two-parter that revolves around central character Twilight Sparkle's brother getting married to royalty, and features an evil shape-shifting Emotion Eater impersonating the bride and hypnotizing the groom, a huge fight between the Mane Six and an army of mooks, and a climax that involves a force-field bolstered by The Power of Love.
    • The third season finale, "Magical Mystery Cure", is a Musical Episode revolving around Twilight accidentally switching the cutie marks and destinies of her friends, ruining their lives. This gets resolved by the end of the second act, but sets up a stunning third act, wherein Twilight fulfills her own destiny by becoming an alicorn, and is then crowned as Equestria's newest princess.
    • The fourth season finale, "Twilight's Kingdom", like the season 2 finale is a two-parter. They deal with the escape of Lord Tirek — possibly the most terrifying villain in the franchise — and the attempts to defeat him. Which involves, among other things, Twilight being granted the power of all the other Princesses and engaging in the single most impressive fight sequence in the show's history, the Golden Oaks Library being completely destroyed, Tirek ultimately only being defeated when the Mane Six unlock the box they got from the Tree of Harmony and gaining Rainbow Power, and finally, Twilight gaining her own castle and being declared the Princess of Friendship.
    • The fifth season finale, "The Cutie Remark", is another two-parter. Starlight Glimmer, the villain of the season's two-part opener, returns and enacts a plot to go back in time and prevent Rainbow Dash from having her first Sonic Rainboom, thus keeping the Mane Six from earning the specific cutie marks that led to them coming together as the heroes we know and love, and Twilight trying to stop her from doing so. After this results in a series of increasingly dark Bad Future Alternate Timelines, Twilight ends the conflict by prompting a Heel Realization and subsequent Heel–Face Turn in Starlight, who undoes the damage to history and restores things to normal.
    • The sixth season finale, "To Where And Back Again", is yet another two-parter. Queen Chrysalis and the Changelings return and kidnap the Mane Six, the Princesses, and Shining Armor as part of a plan of taking over all of Equestria. To stop them, a group of secondary characters — Starlight, Trixie, Discord, and Thorax — team up to infiltrate the Changeling hive and rescue the heroes. It ends with Thorax becoming the new King of the Changelings, sharing love to bring about a Heel–Race Turn among his kind, forcing Chrysalis to flee, swearing revenge.
    • The seventh season finale, "Shadow Play", is once more a two-parter. Twilight and her friends succeed in releasing the Pillars of Harmony from their imprisonment in limbo, but in the process also unleash the Pony of Shadows. The Mane Six then have to work with the Pillars to defeat the Pony of Shadows until Starlight realizes that it's actually the Pillars' friend Stygian, who was consumed by darkness from trying to help his friends. Realizing this, they work together to return him to normal. Also, the Sirens from the second Equestria Girls movie make an appearance.
    • The eighth season finale, "School Raze" is, yet again, a two-parter. Cozy Glow, working with the assistance of Tirek, sets in motion a plan to imprison the Mane Six and take over the School of Friendship. It is then up to the six main students to work together to stop her.
    • The ninth season ends with the series' Grand Finale, starting with another two-parter, "The Ending of the End", wherein the heroes face off in a Final Battle with the Legion of Doom composed of all the remaining Big Bads. This is followed by the Distant Finale episode, "The Last Problem", which shows what's become of all the main character years into Twilight's reign over Equestria.
  • Episode 26 of Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated is the season finale and it ends in a cliffhanger. The gang has been fragmented by the revelation that Fred's dad, the Mayor of Crystal Cove was the Big Bad all along and isn't his real dad, so he's broken the gang up to find who he really is. Meanwhile, his engagement to Daphne is now in indefinite abeyance, Shaggy is being sent to military school, Scooby is being sent to a farm, Daphne is taken home to wallow in misery and Velma is taken home to stew about not coming clean to her friends about who Angel Dynamite really is.
  • The Simpsons did this deliberately as a publicity stunt in 1995: the series' firstnote  Multi-Part Episode was the famous Who Shot Mr. Burns? arc, which ended the sixth season in May. The following summer was dedicated to a FOX-promoted contest where fans attempted to guess the identity and motive of the would-be assassin for a chance at a Contest Winner Cameo (or cash prize). There was even attempt by the production staff to leak Foiler Footage to throw media outlets off the scent. By September, the contest ended and the mystery was revealed for the seventh season premiere episode.
  • Super Robot Monkey Team Hyperforce Go!:
    • Season 1, "Hidden Fortress": Mandarin returns, more powerful than before. He nearly destroys Jinmay before facing off with Chiro. After the others are captured and taken to Skeleton King, Chiro and Gibson swear to rescue them.
    • Season 2, "I, Chiro": Skeleton King launches a full-scale invasion of Shuggazoom as he prepares to release the Dark One Worm buried in the planet's core. In the resulting showdown, Skeleton King merges with the Worm, which swallows Mandarin, while Antauri sacrifices himself to keep it from fully emerging. Chiro transforms into a feral monkey and runs off.
    • Season 3, "Belly of the Beast": Swallowed by the Worm, the team must struggle to survive, facing off with a now undead Mandarin and the Skeleton King Droid, and escape in time to destroy the Worm before it destroys anymore planets. They succeed, but Mandarin escapes with the Skeleton King's severed head.
    • Season 4, "Soul of Evil": The team must race to stop Mandarin, Valeena, and a corrupted Sparx from resurrecting the Skeleton King. While Sparx is saved, the Skeleton King is reborn; he proceeds to kill Valeena and invade Shuggazoom again.
  • Transformers: Animated:
    • "Megatron Rising" - after eleven episodes as a scheming head, Megatron regains his body and makes his move for the Allspark, eventually forcing Optimus to shatter it, scattering fragments of it everywhere.
    • "A Bridge Too Close" - Megatron's space bridge plot comes to a head, and two big reveals set up since the first season are made: that beat-up repair ship is really Omega Supreme, and Sari is part-robot.
    • "Endgame" - the Grand Finale.
  • Teen Titans ended every season with an epic two (or in one case, three) parter:
    • Season One: "Apprentice" I and II - Slade blackmails Robin into being his apprentice by threatening to kill the other Titans. They eventually break Robin free and curbstomp Slade's ass.
    • Season Two: "Aftershock" I and II - Terra fully becomes Slade's Dragon, and they take over the city by nearly killing the Titans. Terra pulls a Heel–Face Turn and performs a Heroic Sacrifice to stop Slade.
    • Season Three: "Titans East" I and II - Cyborg starts his own team, which Brother Blood then brainwashes. Cyborg defeats Brother Blood and goes back to the main Titans.
    • Season Four: "The End" I, II, and III - Raven becomes the portal for her father Trigon to enter the world and destroy it. The Titans are forced to ally with Slade to stop him.
    • Season Five: "Calling All Titans"/"Titans Together" (with one more episode, "Things Change", as a sort of epilogue) - The Brotherhood of Evil gathers every villain from throughout the series (except the other Big Bads) and use them to capture most of the Titans and other young heroes from around the world. Beast Boy leads the remaining heroes in a rescue attempt that leads to an epic Final Battle.
  • What If…? (2021): Season 1 climaxes with the Watcher bringing together heroes from all the timelines seen over the course of the season in order to stop Infinity Ultron from destroying the multiverse.