Follow TV Tropes


The Fellowship Has Ended

Go To

"Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea, comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil."
Gandalf the White, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

A Ragtag Bunch of Misfits is pulled together in an emergency to accomplish some grand goal. They succeed. And then realize that they are not exactly held together by much anymore, and the team falls apart, with each member now free to pursue their personal endeavors.

If this happens during the Time Skip between two installments of a series, it can become rather uncomfortable for the majority of the fans, who must suddenly start seeing The Protagonist's former siblings-in-arms, to whom they've become attached, as partial strangers again. In reality, groups of people grow close to each other and part ways again all the time, but this is always a gradual, continuous process, while in fiction, it is often fast-forwarded to save narrative space, coming across as abrupt and forcing the fandom to adjust on the fly.

If the team falls apart because the single member who held them together is gone, it's We Were Your Team instead. That said, to qualify for this trope, most of the team must survive the ending (see Everybody's Dead, Dave for when most don't). If the sequel rolls along, this may be followed by Putting the Band Back Together (to which this is a counter-trope of sorts). Compare Let's Split Up, Gang! and Breaking the Fellowship, which are temporary split-ups, either on purpose or because of external circumstances.

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


    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • Daitarn3: An example that seems strange in its simplicity; in the final chapter, after The Hero Banjō defeats the enemy on Mars, the next scene is at his mansion: Action Girl Reika Sanjo and Tag Along Kid Toppo say goodbye to Battle Butler Garrison and Beautiful "Beauty" Tachibana, who takes her limo to her parent’s mansion. Garrison closes the mansion and takes the bus to an unknown destiny. There is only a light in one solitary window at Banjo’s mansion. The End.
  • Dragon Ball: While not really a specific team or organization, this is how the main cast treat each other in the original manga. In between major events, they don't seem to visit each other or keep in touch at all. Even when several years pass, they don't even drop in to say "hi" until the next tournament starts or the next enemy shows up, and for a long time don't even seem to write and call.
    • To be specific: During the original Dragon Ball, the (at the time still rather small) group only met up during the World Martial Arts tournaments; even during most of the main conflicts, they are somewhat scattered, and in between, all the warriors are off training on their own while Bulma, Roshi, and Launch seem to do their own thing. During the five-year gap between Ball and Z, they apparently never met up again, with Bulma and Krillin not even knowing Goku and Chichi had a son until after they met by chance at the start of the series. After that, it's the threat of the Saiyan invasion that brings Tien, Chiaotzu and Yamcha back into the fold. After the Saiyans are dealt with, most of the group sans Krillin, Goku, Gohan, and Bulma are dead until the end of the Namek saga (with Piccolo being revived a bit sooner to help during the fight against Frieza). After that, Goku and his family keep in touch with Piccolo (who is basically Gohan's surrogate uncle at this point) and Krillin, but only meet the rest again the day the androids arrive, with Vegeta even leaving the planet for a bit despite having fathered a son with Bulma. After the Android/Cell saga, Tien and Chaotzu leave with the intention of not meeting up with the others again, Future Trunks leaves the present for his own timeline again, and Goku is dead, but Goku, Bulma, and Krillin's families are actually implied to somewhat keep in touch during the seven years until the Buu saga.
    • As shown in Dragon Ball Super, however, all of these events eventually developed them into a rather tightly-knit social circle. Outside of the many life-or-death scenarios they still had to face, they also spent a lot of the ten years between the Buu saga and the end of Z relaxing and having fun together.
    • Dragon Ball GT ironically went the other way; outside of Goku and Bulma's families, the group apparently really didn't keep in touch. Tien and Yamcha in particular are reduced to mere cameos, but Piccolo and Krillin don't fare that much better, either.
  • Frieren: Beyond Journey's End begins with this trope. The eponymous protagonist and her party of adventurers, having killed the Demon King, watch a meteor shower that occurs once every 50 years, then go their separate their ways. They meet up 50 years later to watch it again, just in time for Himmel to pass away.
  • Gundam
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: The original crew of the White Base disbands after the war and moves on with their lives, with most of them never returning to active duty ever again.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam SEED: The Archangel crew splits apart after the ending, however, most of them reassemble about half-way into Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans: It happens to the remaining members of Tekkadan in the ending. After all of their Gundams pilots are killed, their boss assassinated and the Big Bad smearing their organization to the ground, the survivors were forced to change their identities and went on their separate ways. Fortunately, they ended up having stable lives after working with Kudelia and Yukinojo and still got in touch with each other. However, Ride is the only one who hadn't contact with them due to his grief of failing to protect their boss.
  • Inuyasha the Movie: The Castle Beyond the Looking Glass: After seemingly killing Naraku, Inuyasha's group splits up; Inuyasha, Kagome, and Shippo stick together to track down the remaining Shikon Jewel shards while Sango and Miroku go their own way. It doesn't last long, with Kaguya stepping up to the plate, along with the revelation that Naraku was Faking the Dead.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Phantom Blood ended up having this happen tragically as, while Jonathan defeats Dio, parts with Tompetty, Straizo and Speedwagon on friendly terms, and gets married to Erina and planning for a honeymoon cruise, Dio ends up killing him in a sneak attack; though Jonathan manages to trap him on the ship he took over as well and save Erina and an orphan child from the blast of the boiler.
    • Battle Tendency plays this straight. After the battle with Kars and Joseph revealing he survived his final encounter with him, everyone carried on with their lives. Joseph marries Suzi Q; Lisa Lisa goes on with her life having avenged her husband; Stroheim, while surviving the events of the story, it's revealed later he dies in battle in World War II; Speedwagon lives on until he dies of old age, having never married, but building up the foundation that would be essential to the heroes in later stories; Erina likewise passes on peacefully; and Smokey would later become a politician and mayor of New York City.
    • Stardust Crusaders ends on a bittersweet note. Holly is saved from being killed by her Stand, but out of the six heroes of the story, only Jotaro, Joseph and Polnareff survive the battle against DIO. The story ends with Jotaro and Joseph parting wats with Polnareff at an airport. Though later stories reveal Jean-Pierre did keep in touch with Jotaro now and then.
    • Downplayed in Diamond is Unbreakable. Most of the cast are high schoolers, and by the end the story still going through their studies and staying in Morioh. But they do say goodbye to Remi and Arnold who pass on to the afterlife, their Unfinished Business achieved with the death of Kira; as well as Jotaro and Joseph, who came to speak with Josuke and stayed around to help with the Kira matter, leaving back to Japan once things were settled.
  • Lupin III: Dead or Alive ends with the gang splitting up; Goemon says that the wind calls him east. Jigen wishes to go west. Fujiko says she must go "down south". To make everything neat, Lupin heads north.
  • Riot Force 6 in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS, which unites pretty much every top combat mage in the TSAB, is disbanded after the JS Incident is taken care of and the rookies' training is complete. This is followed by Putting the Band Back Together under the name "Special Duty Section 6" in Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force.
  • Happens in the anime adaptation of MegaMan NT Warrior. The original core cast consisted of Lan, Maylu, Dex, Yai, Tory, Ms. Mari, Masa/Commander Beef, Higsby, and Chaud. By the time Stream hits, the only people who are still part of the regular main cast are Lan, Maylu, and Chaud.
  • One Piece: The Pirate King Gold Roger's crew disbanded on his orders. After Roger was diagnosed with an incurable illness, they made one final voyage to the end of the Grand Line. After that, the dying Roger disbanded his crew and eventually turned himself in to be executed, triggering a new pirate age. Rayleigh mentioned that he hasn't seen most of his old crewmates in years and has no idea what they're up to, though he apparently did run into Shanks not long after he met Luffy.
  • Persona 4: The Animation: Defied. It is Yu's greatest fear that when they have caught the killer, the investigation team will rapidly disband now that they haven't got a shared purpose anymore. The rest of the group assures him this will not be the case and indeed, when they think they have solved the case, they still spend much of their time together. The rest of the show has them growing into even bigger True Companions.
  • Pokémon: The Series: The conclusion to each main saga plays as this, with Ash and his companions going their separate ways. Though occasionally a previous companion returns for a few episodes, and Brock rejoined Ash after leaving four separate times (including his return during the series finale).
  • This also happens in some Pretty Cure series such as Go! Princess Pretty Cure, where the main heroes go on separate ways after the connection between Hope Kingdom and Yumegahama closed down.
  • Rurouni Kenshin: At the end most of the characters leave Tokyo to go on with their lives. Misao and Aoshi return to Kyoto. Sanosuke is forced to flee from Japan and become The Drifter. Megumi leaves to search for her family and only characters remaining are Kenshin, Kaoru and Yahiko. Then they all reunite five years later, with Kenshin and Kaoru now parents, Yahiko now the master of Kamiya Kasshin, Megumi an even more accomplished doctor, Sanosuke's arriving a bit later since he's being a badass in Mongolia having traveled all over the world, and Aoshi and Misao are there too!
  • Samurai Champloo ends with Fuu, Mugen, and Jin going their separate ways after spending most of the show travelling together to find the samurai who smells like sunflowers at Fuu's behest.
  • An interesting case in Tenchi Universe. After Tenchi kills Kagato and rescues Ayeka, the gang goes their separate ways: Ayeka and Sasami go back to Jurai, Washu returns to being part of a high group of scientists (only to be kicked out soon after), Mihoshi and Kiyone return to the Galaxy Police and become detectives, Ryoko's missing in action and presumed dead and Tenchi, Noboyuki and Katsuhito return to Earth. However, when Ryoko returns, she tells Tenchi that the others are coming back. And sure enough, they do - Washu reconnects to the stairway closet, Mihoshi and Kiyone return to their apartment and Sasami discovers Ayeka's already left and she races after her, wanting to return there, too.

    Comic Books 
  • Despite the absence of any internal conflicts, the All-New Ultimates break up in their last issue.
  • The Avengers are supposed to have disbanded after the events of Avengers Disassembled, only for a new group (admittedly with a few returning members) to take up the name a couple months later.
  • At the end of Demon Knights #12, the team is tapped to become the first incarnation of Stormwatch (2011), but for various reasons, the various members decide that they'd rather go off and do their own thing for a while.
  • Firefly: Brand New 'Verse has Zoe as the only original Serenity crew member left. Wash and Book died in The Movie. Mal doesn’t appear at all and Simon and Kaylee have settled down on a farm. Inara is the priestess of the companion house and River shows up near the end of the arc. We don’t see anything of Jayne, either.
  • The Superior Foes of Spider-Man ends with all of the Sinister Six except Overdrive and Beetle going their separate ways, as there's nothing holding them together anymore and most of the group hate each other now.
  • X-Factor (2006): After the conclusion of the "Hell on Earth War", the X-Factor Investigations team is split up for good with them all going their separate ways.
  • Subverted in X-Statix; in the second-to-last issue, the team finally reassembles Doop and its members decide to go their separate ways. However, Guy convinces them to come together for one last job. The job goes south very quickly, resulting in the entire team dying.

    Fan Works 
  • Better Bones AU: The forget-me-nots gradually drift apart due to them all having their separate ambitions within their Clans.
  • Devil Trigger: By the start of the story, New Wave has been disbanded. Among the many contributions behind the dissolution of the independent cape group, and arguably the major factors, were Flashbang's death in 2001, Manpower being crippled in that same fight, and Fleur's death in 2007. The only active capes left from the remains of New Wave are Sarah and Crystal Pelham, with Crystal's brother Eric having joined the Wards.
  • In Fallen King, at the end of the story, Joey decides that he, Tristan, and Tea can't be friends and must stay away from each other to save the world.
  • It happens in Peanuts story Everybody's Gotta Leave Sometime. After hearing that their creator is retiring, Charlie Brown calls the whole gang for a final meeting before they go separate ways.
  • In the Sailor Moon/Harry Potter fic Father Mine, the Sailor Senshi have all gone their separate ways to live their own lives following the end of their series.
    • Ami is in Germany, studying to be a doctor.
    • Rei is studying in an unknown location to become a true Miko.
    • Makoto has opened her own restaurant in France.
    • Minako has started a job in modeling, taking Luna with her.
    • Haruka is going around the world pursuing her racing career, while Michiru is following her while pursuing her musical career.
    • Hotaru has gone back to her father.
    • Setsuna has returned to tending the Gates of Time.
    • And Mamoru has returned to the States, for good, saying that he thinks it's too dangerous to pursue a relationship with Usagi.
  • In A Thing of Vikings, the original six dragon riders already had a more distant relationship than in canon, given Snotlout's frustration with following Hiccup's orders, but they permanently 'break up' after the trip to Norway to meet with Magnus, with the twins remaining in Norway after Ruffnut marries Magnus while Snotlout relocates to the Roman Empire to find a new place for himself, leaving just Hiccup, Astrid, and Fishlegs in Berk.
  • What It Takes: The Original Team Arrow is permanently broken after Oliver learns that Felicity was keeping what was happening in Starling City away from him, causing them to break up. John similarly loses most if not all high regard he had for her when Oliver tells him about what she did. While Oliver and John reconcile after ironing out all the issues and misunderstandings between them, John has taken a back seat on vigilantism due to joining A.R.G.U.S. and raising his daughter with Lyla. Meanwhile, Felicity's refusal to return to Starling with Oliver to help out ends any hope of her reconciling with either of them, and the rest of the superhero community for that matter.

  • Avengers: Endgame was marketed as the End of an Era for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, emphasized by the original six Avengers each going their separate ways. Black Widow and Iron Man both sacrifice their lives to defeat Thanos. Hawkeye retires to be with his restored wife and children, and Hulk's arm is still damaged, implying a super-powered variant of a Career-Ending Injury. Thor relinquishes his title as king of New Asgard and joins up with the Guardians of the Galaxy to, at least temporarily, do the outer-space equivalent of Walking the Earth. Finally, Captain America chooses to take The Slow Path as he returns the Macguffins, living a long full life with the woman he loves, and when he meets his friends again in the present day, he passes the shield and asks Sam Wilson to be the next Captain America, which he accepts.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3: After the Guardians defeat the High Evolutionary, most of the founding members of team decide to go their separate ways, except Rocket and Groot, who stay to be apart of the new Guardians of the Galaxy, with Rocket leading them.
  • As in the novel, in It, after the Loser's Club defeat the titular monster as teenagers, they go their separate ways, and become estranged until 27 years later, when Mike Hanlon decides to put the band back together and defeat It once and for all. Unlike the novel, however, after It is defeated for good, the surviving members of Loser's Club vow to keep in touch afterwards.
  • Ocean's Eleven ends with most of the crew going their separate ways. Subverted in the sequel, where the first movie's opponent forces them into getting back together in order to pay him back what they stole. In the third movie, they once again get back together in order to punish the new Big Bad for hurting one of their own.
  • Discussed in Power Rangers (2017), when Trini asks whether or not the group will remain friends once Rita Repulsa is defeated, and the rest of the Rangers are uncertain of the answer themselves. They do.
  • At the end of The Replacements, the replacement team goes back to their lives. The coach's voice-over states that none of them would be receiving any offers or promotion deals. They would simply fade into obscurity, but they would always know what a second chance feels like.
  • As the passengers of Bus 2525 zoom away in the rescue vehicle in Speed, after some extensive cooperative self-preservation, the only ones who remain together are Annie and Jack, and they break up before the sequel.
  • In A Story of Floating Weeds, Kihachi is boss of a traveling theater troupe. The mess with his actresses Otaka and Otoki—the former, out of jealousy, gets the latter to seduce Kihachi's son—leads Kihachi to break up the troupe for good. They get together for one last melancholy dinner before going their separate ways.
  • Enforced by Roland Bozz at the end of Tigerland when he's about to leave his friend Jim Paxton behind at the end, taking his spot in Vietnam. Paxton offers to write to Bozz, but Bozz turns him down and wishes him a final farewell instead.
  • In the 2010 remake of True Grit, the epilogue reveals that, after their quest ended, Mattie never saw Cogburn and LaBoeuf again.
  • In The World's End, the five protagonist part ways after finishing school. They get together to repeat a failed pub crawl from their youth and go their separate ways again.

  • The Animorphs provide a particular bittersweet example in the last book, considering that what's left of the team in question is only sixteen years old when they all end up drifting apart. K.A. Applegate stated she deliberately used this trope for two reasons. The first was to show that war can bring people together, then make them split afterward. The other was that to subvert the usual happy ending teenage heroes get where they suffer no consequences from their actions.
  • The end of The Belgariad is interesting, as the fellowship ends well before the climax. The main goal of the series is to reclaim the Orb of Aldur and return it; this done, the fellowship's purpose has ended, but the purpose of the Orb itself remains to be fulfilled: Garion has to take two of his companions to go meet and kill the Big Bad. Some of the original team get back together for the Malloreon, and break up again at the end of that series; however, because most of the party members are people of some political power, they have good reason to keep in contact and there's every indication that they still visit one another from time to time.
  • In The Dark Tower series, after Eddie's death, the ka-tet, and the closeness inherent in it is broken. The remaining members of the group still pursue their quest, but it's not the same.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Diper Överlöde: Near the end of the book, Löded Diper breaks up and Bill gets a job with another band (although he comes back after they fire him) while Mackie and Drew accept that they are never going to be rock stars and enroll in college and go to work at the deli, respectively. Downplayed in the sense that Rodrick and Bill are revealed to have reformed the band on the final page.
  • Dragonlance: The New Adventures: The Dragon Quartet ends with the party splitting, though at first they only split into two groups: Nearra, Jirah, and Davyn have adventures together in the Trinistyr Trilogy, while Elidor, Catriona, and Sindri have their own in the Elidor Trilogy. After those, the groups further fracture, with Nearra and Jirah, Sindri, and Catriona having their own trilogies.
  • Harry Potter: While they never really drift apart (being married or in-laws by the book's end), the main trio's days of fighting evil as a group don't last very long after the seventh book: only Hermione finishes her seventh year and ends up working in the Ministry of Magic while Harry and Ron hunt down Death Eaters, and while Ron initially joins up with Harry as an Auror, he eventually works with his brother in their joke shop.
  • In Stephen King's It, after the Loser's Club defeat the titular character for the first time, they never meet again as a complete group of seven — not even when they relive history 28 years later, due to one of them having died before the reunion. And as soon as they defeat It for the second and last time, the surviving five part ways for good. This is because It, however powerful, only exerts influence on Derry, so anyone who leaves is compelled to lose their memories of the town. The Losers would have not even reunited at all had Mike not opted to stay (and thus retain his memories).
  • Happens in the first Kiki Strike book. Ananka, Kiki, Luz, Betty and Oona solve a drug smuggling ring in the Shadow City under Manhattan's streets. After selling the patent to an invention they use to explore the city, they split the profits and (for the most part) go their separate ways. Later on Kiki Strike reunites them to stop the Evil Princess Sidonia.
  • Happens in the Kris Longknife series at the end of Unrelenting. Kris and her now-husband Jack return home to Wardhaven hoping that Kris can get a reasonably safe desk job at Main Navy from which they can raise a family, but Penny, Abby, and most of their other friends stay at Alwa to continue fighting the war against the Planet Looters. The main series follows Kris, while the others' adventures are continued in a series of ebook novellas.
  • The Trope Namer, of course, is The Lord of the Rings. While physically separated for much of the actual story, the Fellowship breaks apart after the Ring is destroyed and the members go about the rest of their lives. Aragorn rules Gondor as King Elessar with Arwen as his wife, Faramir and Éowyn get hitched in Rohan and go rule their own principality, Legolas and Gimli founded enclaves of the people in Aglarond and Ithilien, the four Hobbits return to and take back the Shire from Saruman and Grí­ma Wormtongue, and then Frodo and Bilbo leave with Gandalf and the Elves for the Undying Lands. Years, later Sam departs the Shire after his wife's death and follows Frodo over the Sea. Merry and Pippin travel to Gondor and spend their last few years there reunited with their old friends. And once Aragorn himself passes on, Legolas and Gimli depart Middle-Earth for good bringing the Fellowship to its final end.
  • Super Powereds has the so-called Class of Legends, an unusually powerful crop of HCP graduates at Lander University. Of the original ten graduates, one retires to become the dean of Lander's HCP, one quits Hero work and becomes a high-priced healer for the rich, one went rogue and killed his best friend (also from this class), one retired and is living off the grid, one had his license revoked after causing a disaster and is currently on the run, one retired and is raising three kids, one was caught stealing and went to jail, one became a coach for a team in the Super Athletics Association, and one was so obscure even the author forgot about him (seriously, the fans had to point out that the author never mentioned a tenth member of the class). Averted in the Distant Finale with the main characters, who have stayed close throughout the years. In the spin-off Corpies, Titan's original team Gentle Hammers eventually broke apart as its members went their separate ways. During the novel, Titan meets a former member of the team, who is officially retired but is mentoring a team of newbies. In the epilogue, Titan joins this team of newbies and gets approval to have it renamed to Gentle Hammers in order to carry on the legacy.
  • Tailchaser's Song:
    • The First-Walkers note that, though they're allies now, they'll soon part because cats shouldn't stay in groups for long.
    • The book ends with Tailchaser going his separate ways from Pouncequick and Roofshadow. He promises to reunite with them at a later date and has a Maybe Ever After with Roofshadow.
  • After the whole Queen-and-Buckingham incident in The Three Musketeers is resolved, the eponymous heroes and D'Artagnan each go their own way (but come back together in the sequels).
  • In the first arc of the Warrior Cats series, all four clans come together as one to drive off BloodClan. Once the battle was over, all four of them pretty much split up and went back to their own territories.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Grand Finale of Arrow, Oliver's Heroic Sacrifice to stop the Crisis miraculously erases all crime from Star City, and the remainder of Team Arrow all decide that their mission is complete and go their separate ways.
  • With the exception of the very last episode (a Distant Finale), the last few episodes of Babylon 5 are all about the cast splitting up and going their separate ways.
  • Band of Brothers ends with a narration of how the surviving soldiers went home and led separate lives. A few stayed in touch but most only met up again at reunions.
    • Done visually in Spiritual Successor The Pacific, as Sledgehammer's friends all depart the train to Mobile at various stops along the way. Most heartbreaking is Snafu, who leaves the train without waking his sleeping friend to say goodbye, and who you later learn didn't speak to any of his war buddies for nearly forty years.
  • The Grand Finale of California Dreams, where Jake is the only one of the lot to stay behind when everyone else goes their own way. When he is offered a recording deal, he does, too.
  • Doctor Who:
    • It goes without saying that no matter how close the Doctor is to his companions, they'll all leave him eventually since he's practically immortal and they aren't. He's had friends join and leave since The '60s. And to quote the Tenth Doctor, "they break my heart".
    Eleven: Things end. That's all. Everything ends, and it's always sad. But everything begins again too, and that's always happy. Be happy. I'll look after everything else.
    • An example probably most befitting this trope is the episode "Journey's End", in which every companion the Doctor has had in the new series (including Sarah Jane and K-9) team up to save reality...only to all go their separate ways at the end.
  • The Freaks of Freaks and Geeks have all joined a new group by the end of the series. Lindsay and Kim are following the Grateful Dead, Daniel has joined the Geeks, and Nick has started dancing disco, leaving only Ken.
  • By the end of Game of Thrones, the surviving Stark children went on their separate ways: Bran becomes King of the Six Kingdoms, Arya travels to the west of Westeros, Sansa becomes Queen of the North, and Jon is exiled in the far North where he reunites with Tormand and the Free Folk.
  • Leverage has the group split up several times. The end of the first episode, and the end of the first season, and the end of the second season. It never sticks. In the finale, Nate and Sophie leave to live their lives, but the rest of the group remains together, stronger than ever.
  • Mako Mermaids: An H₂O Adventure: The finale reveals this happened to the cast of H₂O: Just Add Water. According to Rikki, she and the others grew distant after graduation and found other interests to occupy their time. While it does end on a hopeful note, with Ondina saying Rikki is welcome to join the Mako pod at any time and Rikki expressing interest in reaching out to Cleo, Emma, and Bella, the Mako gang is noticeably on the verge of splitting up as well. Zac, Evie, and the humans will be graduating soon, Ondina and Weilan are going off to Shanghai, Sirena will most likely go wherever David goes, and Nixie and Lyla are still MIA, leaving only Mimmi and Rita accounted for.
  • Power Rangers
    • Implied with the cast of the initial Rangers from Zeo to Turbo. Zordon deciding it was time for them to move on with their lives and allow them to retire and hand their reins over to others. Indeed other than Tommy and Adam, we never see these rangers again. Kat, plus the forcibly retired Rocky, would return in the 25th anniversary reunion, but Tanya has never returned period.
    • Wild Force ended on this note as it was unknown if the franchise would continue. So they decided to have a series that had a definitive end with the Rangers giving up their powers (and jackets for some reason), bidding goodbye to Princess Shayla and the Animarium before resuming with their lives.
    • Time Force: After Ransik was finally defeated and arrested. Wes and Eric stay in the present time and work together for the Silver Guardians as co-captains, while the other rangers returned to their future timeline. Though they apparently still keep in touch.
    • Dino Thunder: Not shown in their series but the crossovers in SPD showed that, after high school, the leads left to pursue their careers and wouldn't see each other again until their high school reunion.
    • Operation Overdive: With all the villains defeated and the Corona Aurora now gone. Operation Overdrive was successfully completed. There was no need for the rangers any more and they went back to their careers save Mack and his father, Andrew, who go on a expedition together.
    • RPM: Venjix is defeated and the world needs to rebuild after it's near takeover by robots. All the rangers go their separate ways with Dillion and Tenaya leaving Corith to explore the world.
    • Samurai: After many grueling struggles, the Samurai finally take out Xandred and end the Nighlok threat once and for all. Allowing the rangers to return to their civilian lives before their familial obligation to stop the monsters put a halt to their plans.
  • Compared to the other Star Trek series (which concluded with the crews all together for the most part and every impression they would remain so, barring such 'exceptional circumstances' as Tucker's death in Star Trek: Enterprise), this happened at the end of Deep Space Nine: Sisko sacrifices himself to stop Dukat, but ends up with the Prophets and hints he'll return one day. Worf leaves to become the ambassador to the Klingons. Chief O'Brien returns to Earth to teach at Starfleet Academy. Finally, Odo goes home to his people to cure them and reform them. The last shot is a zoom-out from Kira and Jake standing at a viewport on the station.
  • The Walking Dead (2010): The integration of Rick's group into Alexandria and the other communities ends the small, tight-knit group that had been the focus of the first six seasons. The focus of the show shifts to several entire communities with the pre-Alexandria veterans dispersing among them due to extenuating circumstances or simply moving on with their lives (for example, Maggie becomes leader of Hilltop while Carol eventually marries and starts a life with Ezekiel at the Kingdom).

  • BIONICLE: after defeating the Bahrag and the Bohrok swarms, the Toa Nuva decide to split off and defend their own regions. Considering this is a franchise that promotes the power of teamwork, it doesn't last long.
  • This happened in Dino Attack RPG after the Final Battle, with the dissolving of Dino Attack Team. Most noticeable in Greybeard's goodbyes to Sam Race and Frozeen, and the goodbyes between Zachary, Minerva, Holly, and Zelda.
  • In the Dutch song "Fanfare van Honger en Dorst" (Orchestra of Hunger and Thirst) Jan De Wilde sings about 6 college friends and how they always got back together, but eventually they all went their own way - 'exchanging freedom for a job in the bank, a car, a kid'.

    Video Games 
  • Cassette Beasts: At the end of the story, after the player and their companions succeed in finding a way to leave New Wirral and return home, the companions bid goodbye to the player before traveling back to their own worlds, knowing that they will most likely never meet each other again, since leaving New Wirral is a one-way trip. Barkley instead follows the player to their universe.
  • Happens in most endings of Chrono Trigger. Since most of the characters come from different time periods, this is only natural.
  • Agent Brown makes this discovery in Detectives United III, when the Big Bad flings him thirty years into the future. His first act, once he gets his bearings, is to try to contact HQ to see if they can help, only to hear a voicemail recording telling him that the detective group disbanded three years earlier. There's no indication of why, though, and back in the present they're still a united front.
  • Divinity: Original Sin II, all the party members go their separate ways in the ending slides, with no mention of what happened to the Player Character. The closest thing to an aversion is that some party members promise to stay with you into the far future if you romanced them, the implication being that your character is accompanying them on the path they go on in their ending slide. Of these, only Sebille (and the narrator in her scene) explicitly doubles down on it in the Playable Epilogue.
  • In the Dragon Age series:
    • In the end of Dragon Age: Origins, all surviving party members leave to pursue their own business, with the possible exception of the Warden's love interests and Morrigan, who leaves even before that. The most you get is making Alistair king and staying in Denerim, where Wynne remains as an advisor and Leliana has business with the Grand Cleric.
    • Happens again after Dragon Age II. Varric tells Cassandra that Hawke's party drifted apart for various reasons, again with the exception of the love interest. It's vaguely implied that the fact this happened to both protagonists (neither of whom have been seen since) is not a coincidence.
    • Dragon Age: Inquisition:
      • Once the Breach and the Elder One are dealt with, several party members announce that it's been fun, but they have lives / plans of their own to get back to. They mostly stick around during the Playable Epilogue, except Solas, who leaves no matter what.
      • And then for good in the Trespasser DLC. No matter which fate for the Inquisition you choose, be it downsizing to a simple peacekeeping force, or disbanding it completely, the final cutscene makes it abundantly clear that their days as a complete team are over. The last scene of the DLC is the group getting together one last time, and then, one by one, going their separate ways (except for the Inquisitor's love interest, who returns to their side after everyone leaves). The Modular Epilogue drives this home, describing the various fates of the party members post-Inquisition, though in most cases, it is made clear that the Inquisitor keeps in touch with at least their love interest.
  • Fallout: New Vegas:
    • The game ends this way with its companion segments during the ending. No matter what the Courier accomplishes together with them or what they do to help with their personal quests, after the War of the Mojave ends they eventually part ways with the Courier. Some can be bittersweet, others find happiness in their paths, and some like Lilly and Veronica meet heartbreaking fates.
    • This also happens at the ending of Dead Money DLC. The reason the group (The Courier, Dean Domino, Dog/God, and Christine) banded together was pretty flimsy to begin with and they did not trust each other. As soon as the threat of mutual destruction was gone, they went their own way without even exchanging goodbyes. The narration mentions that they wanted to get away before they all turned against each other.
  • Final Fantasy
    • The Epilogue Letter from Final Fantasy V has Krilenote  describe where everyone went after defeating Exdeath. Bartz and Boko are Walking the Earth again, Lenna is reigning on Tycoon's throne, Faris returns to captaining her pirate ship, and Krile herself has also traveled the new world while the throne of Bal is in limbo. Although she's saddened by the break-up of the party, they reunite at the Guardian Tree a year later to affirm that they'll always be there for each other in spite of leading separate lives.
    • Final Fantasy XIII-2 reveals that the ex-l'Cie from Final Fantasy XIII (at least the ones who weren't trapped in crystal stasis and/or at the end of time) drifted apart after the Cocoon crisis.
    • In the finale of the Endwalker expansion for Final Fantasy XIV, the Scions of the Seventh Dawn disband to pursue their own personal dreams and for the Grand Companies of Eorzea to take charge in protecting Hydaelin's safety. Though with the understanding that they may need to reuinite some day.
  • Happens at the end of every Fire Emblem game, usually shown in the form of a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, but the ones in Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones and Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance stand out, as every character personally says what they intend to do now before venturing off.
  • The Galaxy Angel trilogy ends when Tact Mayers and the Moon Angel Wing save the galaxy from the Valfask at the end of Eternal Lovers. In the 4-year interlude before Galaxy Angel II rolls around, with the discovery of ABSOLUTE and the Chrono Gates leading to other universes, the Angels go their separate ways to pursue different careers: Milfie becomes the Gatekeeper between the EDEN and NEUE universes, Ranpha becomes an ambassador for EDEN in Magiic, Mint succeeds her father as head of the Blancmanche Corporation while also running the NEUE branch personally, Forte and Chitose staying active in the military training their successors in the Rune Angel Wing, and Vanilla becomes a nanomachine researcher in Pico. However, they do come back together to assist at crucial moments during the first and the final game of the trilogy.
  • In all of the endings of Grand Theft Auto V, the protagonists part ways. In the case of endings A and B, either Trevor or Michael die, and whoever is still alive parts ways with Franklin, the two never meeting again. In ending C, where all three survive, the trio part ways on more amicable terms. While they don't pull anymore heists, they can still meet and interact with each other.
  • Grandia II ends with a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue to drive the point home. Roan now rules Cyrum Kingdom and occasionally goes out to travel incognito. Tio works as a nurse, also in Cyrum. Millenia, now separate from Elena, is a grade school teacher in Lilique City (where Tongue of Valmar used to be) and faithfully waits for Ryudo's return. Skye lives with her. Mareg has been dead since the battle on Valmar's Moon; Roan places Tio's pendant upon the monument erected in his village. Elena joined a performer troupe and tours as a singer, likewise waiting for Ryudo, who is currently Walking the Earth, looking for a safe place to bury the Granasaber and finally end the Granas-Valmar war.
  • Destiny's Edge, the Five-Man Band of famous heroes from Guild Wars 2 wound up splitting up five years before the start of the game when Logan ran off on his own to save the queen from the dragon's minions, resulting in Zojja's mentor Snaff and another member being killed. Caithe later tries to reunite them in the character's personal story, but it ends explosively; only Caith and Eir seem to have gotten over the mistakes of the past and Destiny's edge fails to pull together again.
  • The epilogue of The Legend of Dragoon has this with only two of the final party members sticking together. Obviously justified in that most of them had non-quest-related business to get back to, including running two countries and rebuilding the Doomed Hometown.
  • The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky the 3rd: After defeating the Final Boss and putting Rufina's copy to rest, the party decides to split. With the events in the real world increasingly pushing everyone to new locations, jobs, and responsibilities, they resolve to have one last, happy farewell in Phantasma, as the nature of its world was more of a temporary reunion than anything. Kevin and Ries have resolved to work together as Gralsritter of the Church, Tita and Agate have a lot of work in Zeiss's Factory, Mueller and Olivier are needed in Erebonia, Zin's going back to the Calvard Republic to join with Kilika, Richard has an intelligence-gathering company to manage, Kloe will be busy as Liberl's ambassador and princess with Julia by her side, Josette and her brothers are busy with their new delivery company, Schera and Anelace are still with the Liberl bracer Guild, and Renne's whereabouts in the real world are still unknown as she runs off, with Estelle and Joshua determined to find her. While some of the party reunite in pairs or trios across the franchise, it would take 8 games until the group as a whole meet up again in one place.
  • Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine contains an evil example, with the characters ( deciding they don't want to split the take from all their larceny, resulting in a PvP only throw down in a what was originally a co-op game.)
  • Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate plays with this as after defeating Shagaru Magala the Caravan members all go their separate ways and even includes a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue, but they all regroup later for the next big adventure, taking place in Dundorma.
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door ends with Mario and his partners splitting up and moving on with their lives after defeating Grodus and the Shadow Queen. They're not so far apart that they won't immediately rejoin you for the postgame, though.
  • This happens at the end of the Bonus Campaign to Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong. The crew's final run puts the interests of your current client up against that of Kindly Cheng: The client offers the Player Character and Duncan the restoration of their SINs and exoneration for their previous crimes, while Kindly Cheng offers a continued life as a Prime Runner and alliance with the Yellow Lotus. Picking the client means the Player Character and Duncan returns to civilian life, while picking Kindly Cheng means Duncan abandons you because you screwed over his one chance to get his life back.
  • After final revenge has been enacted against Kage-sama in Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, the protagonist team of five is no more and each go off separately. The central figure of the group who brought them them together, the samurai warrior Mugen, commits seppuku about 2/3 of the way through the story after being forced to betray the Shogun's son by Kage-sama. The others stick around mainly because they had been framed for the son's murder and have to both clear their names as well as exact revenge against Kage-sama for what he forced Mugen to do; once both are achieved, they go their separate ways with nothing more to tie them together.
  • Shin Megami Tensei:
    • For most of Shin Megami Tensei IV, you are part of a squad of samurai who are exploring a post apocalyptic Tokyo. Though they have their differences, the squad become very close allies over time. However, after their meetings with the transformed and opposing angels Lilith and Gabriel, the group breaks up over differences of belief. Walter sides with Lilith, Jonathan sides with Gabriel and the other angels, and Isabeau is unsure what to do. While Flynn does briefly work together with Jonathan and Walter for a time after this, that part of the story only serves to widen the divide between the two, and ultimately Flynn has to decide who of his three previous allies to side with. The other two will eventually die.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei V, you become part of the global demon alliance known as Bethel. While its branches get along for the most part, it becomes apparent that this is Teeth-Clenched Teamwork thanks to God's Condemnation keeping other deities from taking His place as Top God (something many of the branch heads want for themselves). Things come to a head at the pan-demonic summit once it becomes clear that God truly is dead and the Condemnation is no longer in play — after Abdiel fails to kill the Nahobino, the branches break all their alliances with each other and make plans to take His throne.
  • Skies of Arcadia: The epilogue states that nearly all of Vyse's crew members for the duration of the fight against Valua and the destruction of the world leave once the threat's been vanquished. Most Valuans return home to help rebuild the country, others start or continue a family life, the questers on board get back to doing their own thing, and so on.
  • A staple in the Star Wars Old Republic series:
    • Of the (surviving) party members from the first Knights of the Old Republic, KOTOR2 reveals the following: Revan has vanished into the Unknown Regions, T3-M4 stayed with the ship, HK-47 is found in pieces, Canderous fools absolutely no one who played the first game even though he's under a helmet and has taken the name/title of Mandalore (Kreia even calls him his real name once), Carth is an Admiral patrolling the Telos sector if you say Revan was light-sided. Bastila is hiding with Carth if you say Revan was light-side male, has vanished into the unknown in search of Revan if you say Revan was dark-sided (either gender), or conspicuously absent. The fates of Mission, Zaalbar, Jolee, and Juhani are "unknown", mostly because a Dark-sided Revan would have to kill them.
    • In Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords, Kreia's final speech to the player character reveals that this will be the case of the Exile's crew. Provided you trained them in the ways of the Force, the Exile's companions instead become the Jedi Masters who rebuild the Order.
    • Revan elaborates on this. Mission and Zaalbar run an import-export business (knowing Mission, it's probably a cover for smuggling). Canderous went back to his people and became Mandalore the Preserver. Bastila was left knocked up when Revan skipped town, resulting in a dynasty of Jedi Knights that ends up producing Satele and Theron Shan. Carth steps in to hide Bastila and help raise the kid. Juhani and Jolee went back to the Order (fates still unknown in the KotOR2 era). The Exile's crew go on to rebuild the Order. Meanwhile, Exile and Revan, T3-M4, and HK-47 try to take on the Emperor alone, ending up respectively dead, worse than dead, vaporized, and reprogrammed, respectively—and the Sith come in and curb-stomp the Republic anyway.
    • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
      • Shadow of Revan saw a small-scale Enemy Mine between the Player Character, Sith Lord Lana Beniko, and Republic SIS Agent Theron Shan against the Order of Revan, which grew to bring in Wookiee Space Pirate Jakarro and his droid C2-D4, Mandalorian chieftain Shae Vizsla, and eventually the respective armies of Jedi Grandmaster Satele Shan and Darth Marr. Once the expansion is over, the various parties go their separate ways: the Republic-Empire truce ends,note  Jakarro and C2 go back to Rishi, Shae and her clan leave to find new battles to fight, Lana takes a new position as head of Sith Intelligence, and Theron reports back to his superiors.
      • During the Time Skip in Knights of the Fallen Empire, the Player Character's crew turn out to have gone their separate ways. Some companions rejoin you during KOTFE's story, while some of the others can be re-recruited via Alliance Alert missions.
  • This is a staple with many a Super Robot Wars entry. Whenever the villains are shut down, many of the heroes go on their separate ways, sometimes locking away their stupidly powerful machines with the idea that, nah, they don't need them again.
  • Most Tales Series games end with the party members going their own way after finishing the journey, though most of the time they still keep in touch somehow.
    • Tales of Innocence and Tales of Xillia are such examples.
    • At the end of Tales of Symphonia, all of the player characters separate in order to focus on rebuilding the new world in their own way.
    • Similarly, midway through Tales of the Abyss, the world appears to be saved, so every party member parts ways. After it becomes apparent that their work was unfinished, your party ends up rejoining.
  • The end of Vandal Hearts combines this with a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue. After you defeat the Big Bad, each character moves on to something new, whether it's more adventuring the land, rebuilding the nation or collecting stamps.
  • The epilogue of Sands of Destruction shows the main characters doing different things in different parts of the world, each apparently on their own. Except for Kyrie and Morte, who are now a couple looking out over the new water-filled sea.

    Visual Novels 
  • CLANNAD ~After Story~: Tomoya, Youhei, Kotomi, Ryou and Kyou graduate, and Nagisa is unable to revive the drama club when she repeats her senior year again due to her illness. Youhei, Kotomi and the Fujibayashi sisters do later visit Tomoya and a pregnant Nagisa, but that's the last we see of them, except for Kyou, until the finale. In the Recap Episode, Tomoya mentions that everyone reunited for New Year's as well.
  • In the Golden Ending of Collar × Malice, this is what happens to the detective agency as everyone goes their own ways but promise to stay in touch. Yanagi decides to open a detective agency for real. Enomoto and Sasazuka rejoin the police. Shiraishi turns himself in to atone for being an Adonis spy.
  • At the end of Double Homework, with summer school done, the avalanche over, and Dennis and Dr. Mosely/Zeta gone, everybody the class as a whole drifts apart, though a couple of close friendships/relationships remain.
  • In episode 18 of Higurashi: When They Cry: Gou, there are inklings of this: in 1984, Mion (and likely Shion as an extension) have graduated and are attending high school thus leading to Keiichi taking on the leader role. And, Rika herself expresses a desire to attend St. Lucia Academy which means leaving Hinamizawa. With all of her friends seemingly parting ways, this could be the building blocks towards Satoko becoming the second looper.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY: Ruby and Yang's family belonged to Beacon Academy's former star students, Team STRQ, who permanently fell apart due to personal flaws and hidden agendas. Yang's mother Raven abandoned her shortly after birth and Ruby's mother Summer disappeared during a mission. They were raised by their father Taiyang and uncle Qrow. Qrow keeps a battered old team photo that is stained with glass rings and tear drops. Raven wasn't the family type and Summer's last mission was a secret only Raven knows the truth about. Team STRQ used to help Professor Ozpin fight the Big Bad, but that ended once Raven abandoned the Secret War upon learning Ozpin's secret: that Salem is an Invincible Villain.

  • 8-Bit Theater's epilogue shows that this has happened to the protagonists- Thief went back to Elfland, Red Mage tried to start up his own group (of people who are the last surviving members of an ordernote ), and Fighter and Black Mage are still Walking the Earth looking for work.
  • The characters of Homestuck were rarely together in one place, but at least kept in contact via chats. After the final battles, the cast all attain different responsibilities and slowly drift apart. Karkat, Dave, and Jade apparently live together, Jane took over Crocker Corporation, Roxy and Calliope rule the Prospitian Kingdom, Dirk and Jake rule the Consort Kingdom, Rose and Kanaya are married with Matriorb duties, Terezi searches the Furthest Ring for those unaccounted for (Aradia, Vriska, Sollux, etc.), and John lives alone in an isolated location (until Caliborn challenges him to a duel, which he answers).
  • The Order of the Scribble from The Order of the Stick's back-story fell apart after securing the rifts to the Snarl's prison. It doesn't help that tensions had been strong the entire journey, and one of their number had died in the final battle. You Should Have Died Instead ended up being a huge reason this trope happened.
    • It almost happened to the Order of the Stick: their contracts obligated them to stay together until Xykon is defeated once and for all. After apparently defeating Xykon, and then discovering his survival, the contracts were ripped up by Roy, not wanting to use the law to force the others to cooperate like Lord Shojo did during their trial, and the rest of the team voluntarily chose to stay. Except Belkar.

    Web Original 
  • In The Gamer's Alliance, the Union tries to assemble the special task force called the Dresdens once more from a ragtag group of heroes and send them on a new mission to thwart the Union's enemies only for it to fall apart when several members choose not to associate themselves with the group anymore or have left on missions of their own as their priorities have changed.

    Western Animation 
  • Gravity Falls: The final episode ends with Bill Cipher defeated and the universe saved; Dipper and Mabel, who were only visiting for the summer, take the last bus back to California while Stan and Ford, their differences reconciled, leave town to explore a mystery in the Antarctic Ocean together. The rest of the cast continue to live in Gravity Falls, with Soos taking over the Mystery Shack, and Mabel and Dipper plan to come back next summer.
  • Masters of the Universe: Revelation: A consequence of He-Man and Skeletor's final battle was breaking the morale of He-Man's friends, causing them to go their separate ways. However, Teela wants to bring them back together again so that they can save Eternia.
  • Regular Show: After the cast saves the universe in the Grand Finale, they eventually split up and go their separate ways, aside from Benson and Skips, who remain at the park. Mordecai becomes an accomplished artist, meeting his wife at one of his exhibitions and starts a family with her. Rigby and Eileen start a family, while Muscle Man and Starla (who married before the groundskeepers went to space) continue growing their family. High-Five Ghost and his girlfriend Celia become a successful DJ duo and eventually have a son. Benson settles down with Pam and raises animals with her. Pops watches over them all from the afterlife, having died to save the universe from Anti-Pops. They all meet up for a 25th year anniversary party at the park with the old gang and their families interacting.
  • The Distant Finale of Star Wars Rebels reveals what became of the Ghost crew after the Battle of Endor. Zeb took Kallus with him to Lira San, where the ex-Imperial learned of the Lasat race's survival and was welcomed as one of their own. Rex and Hera continued to serve in the Alliance until after Endor. Hera is revealed to have given birth to Kanan's son, who by then was several years old. Sabine stayed on Lothal, and is seen at the end of the episode leaving with a white-robed Ahsoka Tano to search for Ezra, who had disappeared pulling a Heroic Sacrifice in the final battle.
  • Steven Universe: Future: In "Little Graduation", Steven discovers most of his older teenage friends are about to leave Beach City for either regular deejaying in Empire City, medical school elsewhere, a touring life on the road, or the stars.

    Real Life 
  • World War II. The allies were united against a common Obviously Evil villain, the Nazis. When the Nazis were defeated, each of them pursued their own interests and sometimes turned on each other during the Cold War. Shows that sometimes a great evil is necessary to make the good guys act good.
    • They never really broke apart, though; instead they went from The Alliance to The Federation (the United Nations). Of course, this did little to stop them from plotting against and threatening each other with Bigger Sticks.
    • It was as much a case of Enemy Mine as anything else.
    • The battle lines shifted rather significantly between World War I and World War II as well.
  • Chris Hedges, and others cited in his work, have written that soldiers in combat often form an intense bond; but once the war ends they just as often go back to being strangers.
  • Going off to university or college. Depending on where you live, it may happen several other times before then.
    • A college recruiter has said that the friends you made in high school won't matter as much as those you make in college...depending, of course, on where you end up going.
    • Graduating from university/college as well.
    • And now with the weak world economy, many in America find themselves back in their hometowns, along with the people they grew up with, ergo Putting the Band Back Together.
    • Social networking has averted this somewhat. While you may not be able to get back together if everyone's spread out, you can at least see what everyone's doing these days.
  • Mid Night Club, a famous Japanese street racing team that, among other things, stressed the importance of never endangering pedestrians and other drivers during their racing sessions, disbanded permanently after a few of their members got caught up in a challenge with some bosozoku bikers only to end up in a major traffic accident that ended with two people dead and eight other motorists in the hospital.