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Tropical Epilogue

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"I want to lie, shipwrecked and comatose
Drinking fresh mango juice
Goldfish shoals nibbling at my toes
Fun, fun, fun in the sun, sun, sun"

The final shot of a story is a character relaxing on a sun lounger with a fruity umbrella drink, looking pleased with themself. Most likely wearing a colorful Hawaiian shirt amid a sea of Hula and Luaus. Neither of which is to say this is actually supposed to be Hawaii (which would be a really stupid place for an American to flee to...) — it's more likely to be somewhere in Latin Land, the Caribbean or Oceania in general. British media has its own variation, usually involving the Costa del Sol, a famed retreat of British gangsters, or even Blackpool, where many Scottish gangsters avoided heat. Some works will substitute Southeast Asia.

As far as music goes, either "Aloha Oe" or something generically calypso will be playing in the background.

This can serve as a "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue for a Karma Houdini villain, in which case a triumphant Evil Laugh is rather likely. It's also commonly Invoked, or Discussed by characters who never ultimately manage to fulfill it (having clearly never heard of Retirony, One Last Job or the Unspoken Plan Guarantee).

This is the natural result of a successful Run for the Border.

Contrast You Wake Up on a Beach, when the story begins with the character on the beach.

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


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Hunter × Hunter: At the end of the Chimera Ant arc we get to know that Diego, the dictator of East Gorteau, has been enjoying a peaceful retirement in the countryside for 30 years. The Diego killed by Meruem was a Body Double.
  • One episode of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex had the team doing a heist in order to complete their mission. The end of the episode has the leader and her lancer lounging next to a pool in the sun reflecting on their success... and then Da Chief shows up and turns off the holographic backdrop.
    Aramaki: Will you two stop with this cat burglar nonsense already? The work is piling up here, people.
    Motoko: ...Maybe I really should consider a new line of work...

    Comic Books 
  • Spider-Man
    • In one story, Mysterio's ultimate goal when he takes over the Maggia is to grab as much money as he can, and "buy an island in the tropics where I can sit under palm trees and drink things out of coconuts". At the end of the story, Mysterio is taking a sunbath wearing a colorful Hawaiian shirt under the palm trees... of an enormous sign at his department roof, thinking about how much he hates Spider-Man.
    • In another, the epilogue is in the form of a letter sent by Black Cat from the safety of such a refuge.
    • After the first battle between the original Hobgoblin and the original Green Goblin, we get an epilogue where Hobby is sitting on a tropical island with no extradition treaties, sipping a cocktail and happy to retire on what's left of his original fortune. Given that at the start of the story he'd been outed and in jail, and any time he's returned it's been used to show that he's a Magnificent Bastard.
  • Batman
    • The storyline Heart of Hush ends on this note. Catwoman is relaxing at a resort while recovering from getting her heart ripped out, recording a message for Hush explaining how she got her revenge.
    • Another story, made by the creative team of The Long Halloween, has the story's secondary antagonist, a Black Widow who almost got her claws into Bruce Wayne, chilling on a beach in South America, planning her next 'conquest'...until someone passes a note along from Batman.
  • The Sandman: The "Season of Mists" storyline ends with Lucifer, who has resigned his job and closed up Hell, sunning himself on an Australian beach. He even admits that God's sunsets are pretty nice.
  • The Losers: The surviving Losers are somewhere with palm trees, apparently off of the agency's radar. When Stegler tries to recruit them for a new unit to fix the company's mistakes, Jensen declines him quite decisively in a splash page.
  • Played with in the Astro City story "Show 'Em All": The Junkman, having pulled off the perfect crime, gets his tropical epilogue before the story is more than two-thirds over. Then he realizes that the problem with pulling off a crime so perfect that nobody knows who did it is that nobody knows who did it (which is a problem because he became a supervillain in the first place to make a point about what people like him are capable of), and goes back to have another go.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man: Kingpin escaped from the country and ended in a tropical location. But, contrary to tradition, it was not a happy ending for him. He was angry about the whole thing, and expecting his lawyer to solve everything asap, so he can return.
  • A one-shot comic book with Sandman, Vulture, Juggernaut (while he was still in the X-Men), Sabertooth, and a few others had them forced to work for a mysterious criminal mastermind who supposedly controlled New York's crime (as opposed to the Kingpin). Sandman refused to believe the guy was for real and was promptly disintegrated for his arrogance. It was eventually revealed that SHIELD was actually running the op in order to destroy a file linking SHIELD to criminal activity. Then the end panel showed Sandman on a beach next to a mysterious shadowy figure with a Hawaiian shirt and clawed feet, who thanked Sandman for taking a dive to preserve his reputation.

    Fan Works 
  • The surviving mercenaries in Respawn of the Dead eventually wind up in a coastal Mexican town.
  • A Certain Crazy Christmas Special: Bad Santa has wrecked the town and kidnapped several girls. He forces them to listen to music that will slowly brainwash them into being his slaves. He reveals that once the brainwashing is complete and permanent, he will take them and retreat to a tropical island. Fortunately, he is defeated.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Gene Hackman's character does this at the end of Enemy of the State, broadcasting a hilarious video message to Will Smith's television.
  • Charlie's Angels (2000) ends with the Angels and Bosley enjoying a beach vacation that Charlie had rewarded them for completing their mission.
  • Milton in Office Space is a subversion because he's still getting ignored, and starts plotting his revenge all over again.
  • The protagonists of Trading Places have one of these.
  • Johnny English has a scene like this, with a twist: earlier in the film, the title character bungles up preventing a robbery, and invents a highly improbable "villain" to cover up his ineptness. The "villain" is shown to be a real person at the end in this scene, but that's pure coincidence.
  • The Silence of the Lambs ends with Hannibal Lecter phoning Clarice from Bimini, where he's having an old friend for dinner.
  • The Producers plan on having one of these in Rio de Janeiro once their scheme comes to fruition, but it doesn't work out as planned.
    You'll find your happiness in Rio
    The beaches there are strewn with pearls
    The Latin breezes always blow there
    And so, we hear, do the girls!
  • The final conspirator in Wild Things is on a boat and is assumed to be off to some sort of island paradise with her ill-gotten money.
  • The ending of Bullseye (1990) with Michael Caine talking with someone on the phone, telling her that she can't have her money back; she has already spent it.
  • Also the ending of Buddy Buddy (1981). In that one, it is stated earlier that hitman Trabucco has already picked a tropical island to retire to that he intends to buy if he finishes his last job.
  • The Man Who Knew Too Little has this—only interrupted by the American agents trying to recruit Wallace.
  • At the end of The Chase (1994), we see that fugitive lovers Jack Hammond and Natalie Voss have fallen into this lifestyle after fleeing to Mexico.
  • In The Shawshank Redemption, Andy Dufresne does this after breaking out of prison.
  • xXx ends by Vin Diesel finally traveling to Bora Bora.
  • In Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, the criminal group that main characters run in will often say, "Boat drinks," to remind each other of their ultimate dream: retiring to some tropical paradise to sip cocktails on a yacht. In the end, we see all of the main characters doing exactly that, except they're all dead.
  • Referenced in Out of Sight. Karen (Jennifer Lopez) mockingly asks bank robber Jack (George Clooney) if he imagines he'll retire to some tropical paradise. He counters that he always preferred mountains.
  • Kathleen Turner's character in Body Heat ends this way, whatever her name may be.
  • Burn Notice: The Fall of Sam Axe ends like this for Sam in sunny Miami (with an ice-cold beer in hand, no less), putting him in position to be Mike's go-to guy in the series.
  • Dark Passage ends with Bogart and Bacall reuniting in Peru.
  • Amusingly subverted with Alec Guinness' character in The Lavender Hill Mob: Holland is relating the story to a fellow Englishman in the comfort of sunny Rio, but the man is revealed to be the police officer extraditing him back to England a year after the events.
  • At the end of the Boris and Natasha movie, the title characters get warped back in time to the beginning of the movie. They then decide that they really don't want to go through all the grief they experienced throughout the film again, so they decide to quit their jobs and retire to Tahiti.
  • In Matilda, Mr. and Mrs. Wormwood move to Guam after Mr. Wormwood's car dealership is under investigation for fraud, and their daughter is legally adopted by Ms. Honey.
  • Subverted in Repo Men, while it does end in a tropical setting, we find out that the entire last half of the movie is really a dream-sequence in the protagonist's mind, so long as his buddy can keep up the payments.
  • The bank robber in Inside Man brags about this plan (though it's probably misdirection), though the cop he's talking to begs to differ:
    Dalton Russell: This time next week I'm going be sucking down pina coladas in a hot tub with a couple of girls named Amber and Tiffani.
    Keith Frazier: Next week you're going to be showering with a couple of guys named Jamal and Jesus. And that thing you're sucking on? Not a pina colada.
  • The bad ending to the first Wayne's World movie has the villain and Wayne's love interest end up in one together (she's wearing a tiny bikini and tells him how great he was in bed last night as she hands him a drink). Then he turns to the camera and mocks the audience for expecting her to end up with a loser like Wayne. Good thing it's not the real ending.
  • Dunston Checks In ends with the Grants adopting Dunston and moving to manage a new hotel in Bali. And then the same hotel inspector turns up...
  • Referenced by Zephram Cochrane in Star Trek: First Contact; this is what he plans to do after his warp engine makes him filthy rich, to Will Riker's amusement. According to the series, he would later retire to a human colony in the Alpha Centauri system. Canon is as yet silent about what the beaches are like there.
  • The Australian comedy Malcolm ends with the protagonists escaping to Portugal.
  • Buffalo Soldiers: At the end, Pvt. Elwood gets away basically scott-free with his crimes and ends up getting redeployed to a U.S. base in Hawaii where he can continue his schemes.
  • Cypher: The ending scene features the protagonist and his love interest spending time together on a sailboat in some tropical location.
  • After the Sunset is notably an entire film set in a Tropical Epilogue; A Gentleman Thief and his Classy Cat-Burglar paramour retire to an island paradise after succeeding at their One Last Job... and though the woman is more than ready to settle down, the man — though never once faltering in his love for her — finds himself in Thrill Seeker withdrawal... just as Inspector Javert tracks him down, fully aware of this and waiting for him to slip up.
  • Subverted in Spider-Man: Far From Home. The ending makes it look like Nick Fury has decided to take a vacation and is briefly seen on one of these. Then he gets up and reveals he's really taking a break in a hologram room from his new work onboard a Skrull spaceship.
  • Judas Kiss: The 'Three Months Later' epilogue shows Junior lying on a sunlounge on a beach in Mexico as a bikini-clad waitress brings him a fresh round of cold drinks. Junior looks up to discover that the waitress in actually Coco, who shoots him with a silenced gun hidden under the tray. She puts the tray down on his chest cover the wound and walks off.

  • The main villain (and the titular character) and his love interest of Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy's The Garin's Death Ray enjoy a nonvoluntary version, having been shipwrecked in the end of the novel on an uninhabited tropical island.
  • Played with in Matthew Reilly's Ice Station. The fate of a minor character from the backstory is revealed when the epilogue zips to a South American beach, where a scavenger finds debris in the ocean from the character's crashed plane.
  • At the end of Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, after what initially seems to be a case of Reassigned to Antarctica, Ivan manages to alter it to this instead by realizing that there's absolutely no reason why their planetary embassy needs to be in the rainswept capital rather than somewhere near the equator.
  • After the events of Twelve Days, Terry, Olympia, Nicki, Hannibal, and Pax move to the isolated Mexican village of Santa Tia, where they can live in peace. Months later, they're joined by Terry's friends, who are now multimillionaires from selling the Salvation Sanctuary's rare books. Mark offers Terry his cut of the money, but Terry refuses, saying he only wants to be with his family.
  • In The Mermaid, Amelia, who can transform between a human woman in a mermaid, is hired by P.T. Barnum as an attraction. She marries Barnum's associate, Levi Lyman, and becomes pregnant with his child. Levi and Amelia plan to start a new life in Rarotonga after Amelia's contract is up, but when Amelia is almost killed in Charleston by an angry mob, the two agree that it isn't safe for her to live in America any longer. Amelia runs into the ocean and swims away. Four years later, Levi finally makes it to Rarotonga, where he finds Amelia living in a hut on the beach with their daughter Charity.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Cruelly subverted in the Monk episode "Mr. Monk and the Bad Girlfriend". Captain Stottlemeyer had intended to take his girlfriend Linda on a trip to Hawaii to propose, instead she's arrested for murdering her real estate partner. Stottlemeyer goes to Hawaii, but ends up giving Linda's ticket to Lieutenant Disher. The episode ends with Disher asking Stottlemeyer if Linda was just using the Captain all along; meanwhile Stottlemeyer throws the engagement ring he bought for Linda into the ocean.
  • In Stargate SG-1, Harry Maybourne spends some time like this after being pardoned of his earlier treasonous activity, though he eventually ends up opting for an off-planet exile instead.
  • In the Sherlock episode "The Great Game", one of the crimes that Moriarty arranges and subsequently has Sherlock expose is a character's plan to do this.
  • As perhaps evidenced by the theme song, Red Dwarf's Lister dreams of getting back to Earth and setting up a burger bar on Fiji with his cat. Technically speaking, this is the Series Goal of the whole program - if only because the main characters are so hopelessly screwed that no-one can come up with a better plan.
  • In Due South this is a Discussed Trope. The villain, in a standoff with Fraser, brags that he'll soon be in Tahiti living off his spoils.
  • Farscape appears to do this. At the end of the final episode, John and Aeryn are on a boat in very tropical-looking waters, he asks her to marry him, and it looks like a perfect setup for a Happily Ever After ending. Then an alien ship appears from nowhere and blasts them to pieces. The subsequent miniseries shoves them right back into the war.
  • An episode of Grimm involves a congregation of Seelengut (sheep people) being led by an, apparently, reformed Blutbad reverend (that's right, a wolf preaching to sheep), who is secretly stealing from the church along with his Seelengut wife. When the wife finds out that he has knocked up another Seelengut, she throws him to the angry Seelengut to be ripped apart and runs away with the money and her husband's girlfriend to a tropical beach.
  • One Midsomer Murders episode ends with the murderers getting away with it because the woman in their Menage A Trois refuses to cooperate, enduring jail for their sake. So Barnaby shows her a picture taken of the happy couple somewhere warm having obviously replaced the woman. The episode ends with him getting a call implying she's started talking.
  • The third season of Legends of Tomorrow ends with the entire team on vacation in Aruba (after they tried and failed to do so in the second season finale). Of course, it ends with a Sequel Hook thanks to Constantine, but still.
  • The final scenes of the Strike Back series finale are in beautiful and sunny Mexico, with the team enjoying drinks in a cantina before going their separate ways.
  • Season 2 of Money Heist (the show's original ending) has Raquel reunite with the Professor in Palawan, Philippines.

  • Jimmy Buffett's song "Banana Republic" is about precisely this sort of person — "expatriated Americans, hoping to find some fun." Buffett in general likes to present himself as such - the fact that he's extremely wealthy means it is some degree of Truth in Television for him.
  • Subverted in the Zac Brown Band song "Toes", where everything is great for the tourist... until he runs out of money.
    • Another song of theirs, Knee Deep, is perhaps a slightly more successful example.
  • The Twist Ending of Rammstein's "Haifisch" video.
  • The Karma Houdini Villain Protagonist of Mister Bad Example does this twice. First, he flies to Adelaide with a Monte Carlo prostitute's stolen passport, then to Sri Lanka on a Malaysian Air flight he paid for with stolen wages from his Australian opal mining company.
  • Dire Straits' "Twisting By The Pool" is about the fun things the singer expects to do on vacation in a beach resort.
  • Wall of Voodoo: Stan Ridgway (in his solo after the split) sings of the taxi driver who dreams of this trope, being together with the bank robber woman who hijacked his car as a getaway. No such luck - "Drive She Said"!


    Tabletop Games 
  • The "Lost and Found" adventure in GURPS Discworld Also states that, in accordance with the Theory of Narrative Causality, the Howondaland trading post must contain at least one white-suited Ankh-Morporkian expat, who can never return for some unspecified reason.

  • Deckchairs by Jean McConnell is a collection of one-act plays that are all designed so they can be performed with two actors and a couple of deckchairs. One of them, "Last Post", ends with a con artist sitting in a deckchair somewhere tropical enjoying the proceeds of her latest scam.

    Video Games 
  • Banjo-Kazooie features an ending sequence with our heroes relaxing on a tropical island somewhere.
  • Illbleed's good ending shows all the heroes (who have just won a ton of money at the titular Amusement Park of Doom) lounging on a beach together.
  • Possibly that easter egg Fanservice picture in Gauntlet Legends.
  • If the player amasses a tidy sum as an independent commander in MechWarrior 2: Mercenaries, they will get an ending of their character relaxing on the deck of a yacht in a tropical sea with a drink in one hand and a ring with a huge jewel on the other after the Battle of Tukayyid cutscene.
  • Crash Bandicoot:
    • Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back: The trope turns up as the bad ending; Crash and Coco sit on a beach with one of the crabs from the first game, and discuss what happened to the Cortex Vortex. The good ending, which is unlocked via 100% Completion, has them and N. Brio destroy the Cortex Vortex, but the weapon they use for that is in the jungle instead.
    • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped: Suggested by Dr. Neo Cortex in the bad ending of the game as an idea of what to do now that he's been beaten yet again, shortly before his boss, UkaUka reminds him they could still triumph by getting all the gems. The good ending, unlockable via 100% Completion, has instead the villains trapped in a past era after their time machine goes haywire.
  • More of a Tropical Prologue, unless you count it for the previous game, but the PC title 7.62: High Calibre begins with your mercenary crew lounging on a beach before getting the call to action.
  • Rock Band 3 plays this straight after you complete the tour modus. Your band presumably dies in a plane crash while they really just faked their deaths to escape stardom and enjoy their wealth in some tropical paradise.
  • If you lose the game Mario's Time Machine, then Bowser will do this.
  • Bad Mojo ends with the protagonist and his long lost father using a bunch of stolen money to retire to the Caribbean.
  • Discussed between Commander Shepard and Garrus in Mass Effect 3, and Zaeed will ultimately be shown enjoying his retirement as such assuming he survived the events of the game. Depicting the entire crew in this setting seems to be a pervasive theme for dozens of pieces of fan art in an effort to fix the controversial ending.
  • In Max Payne 3, the last scene is one of Max, having both successfully kicked his alcoholism and brought down Victor Branco's conspiracy, drinking a soda and watching a Coincidental Broadcast about Victor's death at a beach in Bahia, at peace with himself for the first time in a long time.
  • A Non Standard Game Over for Rayman 2: The Great Escape has Rayman accept a ton of money instead of the Plot Coupon and living life in a tropical paradise surrounded by money.
  • Inverted in Super Mario Sunshine: Mario spends most of the game on a tropical island... under arrest for a crime he didn't commit. It's only at the end of the game that he's finally released and gets to vacation there like he wanted.
  • Where in the U.S.A. Is Carmen Sandiego?: If the player loses by capturing the wrong member of V.I.L.E., the game ends by showing the acquitted villain enjoying a tropical vacation.
  • Throughout Red Dead Redemption II, Dutch Van der Linde claims that this is the end-goal the Gang is working towards; one big score of money that will be enough to get the whole group on a boat to Tahiti, where they can live out their lives away from government control. As the game progresses, however, it becomes clear this is a naive pipe-dream at best, a lie he uses to maintain control of his gang at worst, and every heist intended to round up the necessary funds ends in disastrous failure. Tellingly, the player can (and probably will) earn more than enough money to charter a boat through mundane side quests, yet Dutch never even discusses leaving unless it's in the context of preparing for a huge heist.
  • At the end of Oddworld: Soulstorm, Molluck goes into hiding after being scapegoated by the rest of the Glukkons for the havoc Abe's revolution has caused, and he is last seen heading off to the Yayman Islands, accompanied by the battalion of sligs he's coaxed to his side. Lampshaded in the epilogue, with a newspaper questioning the wisdom of hiding from the authorities in a popular tourist location.

    Visual Novels 
  • The High School Sweetheart Ending of Melody starts this way, with the protagonist and Isabella relaxing on the beach together.


    Web Video 
  • Discussed in Epic Rap Battles of History: in "James Bond vs Austin Powers," Bond complains that the battle against Powers is a waste of time and that he'd rather be vacationing on the beach.
    James Bond: I can't believe I'm wasting my time with this clown
    I should be on an island with a fucking model by now
    Sipping dry martinis and peeling off bikinis
    Not rapping against Swedish-penis-pumping weenies!

    Western Animation 
  • At least two Looney Tunes shorts "Ali Baba Bunny" and "The Abominable Snow Rabbit" end with Bugs Bunny lounging on the beach at wherever he was going before missing that fateful "left turn at Albuquerque" (Pismo Beach in the former short, Palm Springs in the latter). "Mutiny On the Bunny" ends with Yosemite Sam rowing Bugs to Rio in a rowboat, the latest part of a promised trip around the world.
  • An episode of Batman: The Animated Series titled "The Worry Men" features the Mad Hatter admitting that he's been thinking of retiring from crime, purchasing an island out in the middle of nowhere, and opening up a sun-bonnet shop. Of course, as even little islands cost a lot of money, he decided to put his criminal talents to use in one last big job to fund the dream.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Perpetual Tourist


Destroy All Humans! 2: Reprobe

The ending cutscene takes place on a beach in Takoshima (in the original game, it was inside Crypto's saucer on Solaris) in a homage to Dr. No, featuring Crypto sunbathing and Natalya coming out of the water.

How well does it match the trope?

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