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Sudden Musical Ending

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"If there's one thing to learn, it's you just can't go wrong,
If you follow your heart, and end with a song."
[elaborate song and dance number]
The Narrator, Ella Enchanted

A film or TV show, despite not previously having been a musical, ends with a Crowd Song (possibly a traditional musical number, more likely lip-synced to an existing recording) involving a significant portion of the cast without regard for the previous relationships (or even physical locations, or even aliveness) of the characters involved. American examples are possibly derived from the straightforward (over)use of this trope in Euro cinema. Bonus points if it uses Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again".

Frequently overlaps with Dance Party Ending. Probably related to Big-Lipped Alligator Moment and to Gainax Ending. Contrast with Dancing Is Serious Business. Not to be confused with Musicalis Interruptus, which is when a musical performance suddenly ends.

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


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Episode 46 of the first series of Magical Princess Minky Momo ends with all the characters who had appeared in the show so far dancing and singing the show's theme song. It'd make more sense if it had been the actual finale.

    Film — Animation 
  • Shrek:
    • Shrek ends with all the characters singing "I'm a Believer".
    • Shrek 2 ended with "Livin' La Vida Loca".
  • The Blue Sky Studios animated movie of Horton Hears a Who! has all the characters break into "Can't Fight This Feeling" at the end. According to the DVD Commentary, this was because they wanted to avoid a Bittersweet Ending where Horton has to leave Whoville behind and never talk to the mayor again, and that's all they could think of.
  • At the end of Open Season 2, everyone begins to sing "Close To You" after the wild animals and pets settle their differences and become friends.
  • At the end of Recess: School's Out, the main six sing "Green Tambourine". Subverted as the credits have already started, but it's the only part of the film where the cast do a musical number.
  • Toy Story 2 ends with Wheezy the Penguin spontaneously bursting into song ("You've Got A Friend In Me" from the previous movie), with the Barbie dolls as backup singers/dancers and his normally high, raspy voice inexplicably replaced with a deep, rich one.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Mr. Bean's Holiday ends with everyone on the beach, lip-syncing to the song "La Mer".
  • Inland Empire. A nice cherry on top of a film that is Mind Screw all through.
  • "Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" at the end of The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
  • There's Something About Mary ends with the entire cast singing along to "Build Me Up Buttercup", switching around to different locations used in the movie.
  • Slumdog Millionaire, as a nod to the film's Bollywood influence. Bollywood flicks are generally loaded with song and dance numbers.
  • The movie version of Ella Enchanted ends with all the characters singing "Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Including the villain, who was supposed to be dead. Eric Idle as narrator provides the page quote.
  • Bring It On ends with the cheerleaders lipsynching to "Hey Mickey". Clip.
  • Casper ends with the entire cast breaking out into a Little Richard cover of "Casper the Friendly Ghost".
  • The final scene of Who Framed Roger Rabbit shows the main cast of the movie and half the population of Toontown parading out of the factory as "Smile, Darn Ya, Smile" plays in the background from out of nowhere. A less out-of-left-field example than most, since the song had been heard earlier and it had already been established that Toontown was a naturally song-filled place.
  • Get Over It has the cast singing Earth, Wind & Fire's "September".
  • Evan Almighty has the cast singing and dancing to "Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now)" during the credits.
  • Beetlejuice rather bizarrely ends with a crowd dance scene to Harry Belafonte's "Jump in the Line". While the film is not really a musical per se, there has been some plot-important singing before that. It's still kind of a non-sequitur.
  • Gulliver's Travels (2010) features Jack Black singing "War".
    Gulliver: Why do war? What is it good for?
    Horatio: Absolutely naught!
  • Bend It Like Beckham ends with a Bollywood version of "Hot Hot Hot".
  • Mirror, Mirror ends with "I Believe (In Love)" being sung by Lily Collins.
  • Damsels in Distress ends with the main characters dancing the Sambola, Violet's attempt at a dance craze.
  • Scrooged ends with the cast singing "Put A Little Love In Your Heart".
  • This Is the End ends with the majority of the cast singing and dancing along to "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" by Backstreet Boys in heaven.
  • Hot Fuzz has an in-universe example in a play the main duo are made to attend. In a production of Romeo and Juliet of all things. This trope, combined with the horrible performance, is a contributing factor in the lead actors' murder.
  • Federico Fellini's ends with all the people from the protagonist's past coming together to dance around him on a circus stage, while he is the ringmaster in the middle.
  • Save Your Legs! ends with a sudden Bollywood song and dance number.
  • Jackass Number Two ends with the cast doing a rendition of "The Best of Times".
  • Jackie Chan's Kung Fu Yoga ends with a sudden Bollywood-esque Chinese song with both heroes and antagonists dance together along with Indian people.
  • White Noise (2022) ends with the entire cast performing an elaborate dance routine to "New Body Rhumba" by LCD Soundsystem.

    Live Action TV 
  • The season finale of the first television season of Our Miss Brooks ("June Bride") ends with an impromptu square dance. Miss Brooks had been filling in as proxy for Mr. Leblanc's French bride. At the last minute the wedding is called off. Mr. Boynton uses the opportunity . . . not to propose marriage to Miss Brooks, but to call for a square dance. Mrs. Davis plays the square dance music on the organ, while Miss Brooks, Mr. Boynton, Mr. Conklin, Harriet Conklin, Walter Denton, Mr. Leblanc, the judge, and the telegraph delivery boy all join in.
    Mr. Boynton: Oh come on in and form a line, come on in the dancing's fine!
    Miss Brooks: Oh look at me, instead of being wed, I'm dancing with a fella with corners on his head!
  • The series finale of Hart of Dixie ends up with the entire town of Bluebell performing a musical number in the town square.
  • Skins series one ends on a performance of "Wild World" sung by Sid, Tony, Chris, Angie, a few guys in the toilet, and a bus driver.
    • The American remake ends with Stanley leading a performance of "Shout" on stage at a club.
  • The hundredth episode of How I Met Your Mother ends with an unexpected musical number about Barney and his suits.
  • An episode of 30 Rock featuring numerous references to Gladys Knight sees Kenneth deciding to go home to Georgia. By rail. Around 12ish. Most of the cast burst into song at the end of the episode... until Gladys Knight finally shows up, just to tell them to cut it out.
  • An early episode of Kingdom Hospital ended with the medical staff breaking into a musical number, dancing in the OR, corpses in the morgue singing along. It comes completely out of nowhere, and yet for a series that runs on equal parts Surreal Horror and Black Comedy it somehow works.
  • 2point4 Children:
    • Every Christmas Episode of ends with the characters in a parody of a cheesy American Bing Crosby-style Christmas Special, singing 1950s Christmas songs. In the first one, it was justified as an Imagine Spot into Bill's mother's fantasy Christmas. In subsequent years, though, it just happened.
    • A more justified example in the episode "Frenzy", which almost ends with Jenny's school talent contest and Ben and David accompanying her singing "Everybody Needs Somebody to Love". Then they get home and discover the house is on fire.
  • Season 7A of Mad Men ends with Bert Cooper singing "The Best Things in Life are Free", complete with secretarial backup dancers, completely out of nowhere. It's even more random considering Bert died earlier in the episode.
  • In an unusual example of this being played for Tear Jerker, the Scrubs episode "My Philosophy" ends with a patient - who had previously said she liked to imagine death as a big Broadway number - coding. As JD watches, his Imagine Spot has her singing "Waiting for My Real Life to Begin" with some of the regulars. As the song ends, so does the Imagine Spot, and we fade back to the medical team realising they've lost her.
  • The Colbert Report ended this way, with Stephen starting to sing Vera Lynn's "We'll Meet Again" before being joined by all the guests he's had over the years.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017) ends its first season with the cast singing a somber tune emphasizing the downbeat nature of the story.
  • The Big Bang Theory episode "The Thespian Catalyst" ends with Raj and Bernadette performing a Bollywood musical number, one of the many Imagine Spots Raj has during the episode.
  • Following Mildred's promotion in the final episode of The Worst Witch, it all ends with a Good-Times Montage as the cast sings One Direction's "One Thing".
  • Donkey Hodie will sometimes end episodes with a musical number:
    • "Treasure Nest" ends with the song "Quackity Quack, Quack On Back", sung by the Duck Family Songbook.
    • "Swoop A Rino" ends with a reprise of "You've Got To Do It", sung by Donkey Hodie, Bob Dog and Duck Duck.
    • "Cheesy Con" ends with a reprise of the last song from the Cheesy Con Sing-Along sung by Donkey and Panda.
    • "A Donkey Hodie Halloween" ends with "Hey-O Halloween", sung by the entire cast.

  • The Twelfth Night Show, a BBC comedy special telling the story of Twelfth Night via clips from different reimaginings "from the archives" (all fictional), ends with the big finale of the cheesy 80s musical The Chick Wears Pants; a cheesy 80s version of "The Rain it Raineth Every Day".

    Video Games 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Super Why!: "Hip, hip hooray! The Super Readers saved the day!"
  • Some episodes of U.S. Acres ended this way such as "Banana Nose" which closed with a song whose moral was "Whatever the name, I'm still the same nice person!" or "Short Story" where Booker comes to terms with being short.
  • The Series Fauxnale to Reboot ended this way, as the entire second half of the episode was a musical performed by actors summing up the entire season to the tune of "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General", while the main characters all enjoyed the performance.
  • The last episode of Freakazoid! had its story end, then everyone appeared for a curtain call and a teary rendition of "We'll Meet Again".
  • The Bugs Bunny cartoon Fresh Hare ends with Bugs, ready to be executed by a Mountie firing squad, being told by Elmer that he can have a Last Request. Bugs sings "I wish I was in Dixie, hooray, hooray!", which results in everyone suddenly down South dressed as blackface minstrels singing "Camptown Races".
    Bugs: Fantastic, isn't it?
  • There are several episodes of The Chocolix (including the first, "First Day of School") that end with the characters doing a happiness dance called the "Chocolele", despite there having been no musical numbers before.


Video Example(s):


Horton Hears A Who

The Blue Sky Studios animated movie adaptation of Horton Hears a Who! has all the characters break into ''Can't Fight This Feeling'' at the end. According to the DVD Commentary, this was because they wanted to avoid a Bittersweet Ending where Horton has to leave Whoville behind and never talk to the mayor again, and that's all they could think of.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / SuddenMusicalEnding

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