After the plot is done, multiple couples are paired off and there's a massive wedding ceremony.
According to Christopher Booker, the definition of a comedy (in the classical sense) is where three or more relationships are in disarray and/or kept apart by one central relationship being kept apart, so fix the hero's relationship, and the others fall into place. By that logic the most logical ending to a comedy would be to have the side relationships work out when the central one does, so it makes sense that things become fine in the end.
Or it could be that people like a happy ending and marriage is one of the accepted happy endings so multiple marriages is even happier.
See: Pair the Spares and Cleaning Up Romantic Loose Ends. May result in a Babies Ever After epilogue. Sillier shows might have one character Marry Them All instead. Compare and contrast Why Waste a Wedding? (mainly type 1).
Examples of this trope from media:
- Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, of all movies, ends with a triple wedding, which is witnessed by one of the main villains, who is now a homeless bum. The other villains are all dead, since they were hustlers, Nazis, lesbians, or trans-sexuals, who are considered Too Filthy To Live. Roger Ebert insists that this ending was meant to be a parody of skin-flick moralism...
- The Lord of the Rings films concludes with Aragorn and Arwen's coronation and marriage, followed by the hobbits returning home and Sam and Rosie getting married. In the book Faramir and Éowyn get married, too; but this is cut from the films, leaving only a Falling-in-Love Montage in the Extended Edition.
- The ending of Saving Silverman features a three-couple wedding at a Neil Diamond concert.
- The 1954 Tony Curtis film The Black Shield of Falworth ends with Tony and his lordship's daughter (the alpha couple) getting engaged, and Tony's best friend and his sister also. Notable because the friend and sister were not a couple, and it was Tony's girl that both proposed for the man and accepted for the woman!
- The end of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers features, not surprisingly, a sextuple Shotgun Wedding. (One of the brothers already got married earlier in the film.)
- The Belgariad ends with most of the Loads and Loads of Characters getting married (or reconciling a strained marriage in one case). Everyone who doesn't as well as all the new characters end up getting married at the end of the sequel series The Malloreon.
- The Redemption of Althalus also worked out like the above mentioned example. The Elenium and Tamuli, not so much as the Belgariad and the Malloreon. Tynian and Ulath remain confirmed bachelors while Berit and Bevier remain without any permanent attachments as well.
- Jane Austen is fond of this trope, often lampshading the tendency for one marriage instantly to inspire expectations of another:
- Northanger Abbey: While the character who mentions it, a stupid John Thorpe, is disappointed as he did not get the girl; and the engagement which actually inspired his witty comment was broken off, one marriage does make another possible. General Tilney is so pleased with his daughter being married into Blue Blood that he stops preventing his son Henry from marrying Catherine, a young girl of upper-middle class whose only mistake was apparently not being a very wealthy heiress.
- Sense and Sensibility: Ends with three couples married: Lucy Steele to Robert Ferrars, Elinor Dashwood to Edward Ferrars, and after some time Marianne Dashwood to older Colonel Brandon. Also, in the middle of the novel, there was a much-gossiped-about wedding of John Willoughby with a wealthy, yet plain lady.
- Pride and Prejudice: Ends with three couples married. Mr. Darcy wanted to show Elizabeth that he was a good person so he paid for one of her sister's weddings (and persuaded the groom to acually marry the seduced girl) and reunited another one with the man she loved (Jane Bennet and Mr Bingley).
- Mansfield Park: Not too long after getting her niece Maria engaged to Mr. Rushworth, Mrs. Norris starts shipping Julia with Mr. Crawford, and is furious to hear that he later proposed to Fanny and thus her plans to invoke this trope fail. Mrs Grant also tries to play a match-maker for her half-siblings Mary and Henry with the Bertrams, but with similar results. At the end of the novel, however, the Rushworths' marriage crashes and ends with a scandalous divorce, which breaks a possibility of the match between two other couples (Fanny/Henry Crawford and Edmund/Mary Crawford). However, it makes Julia elope with her suitor, and after an appropriate amount of time, Edmund marries Fanny.
- Emma: Starts with one wedding, another one happens in the middle, and there are three more at the very end.
- Persuasion has three weddings in some undisclosed order after the end: Henrietta Musgrove to Charles Hayter, Captain Benwick and Louisa Musgrove, and of course Anne Elliot to Captain Wentworth.
- In the final book of The Roman Mysteries, three couples get married or are stated to have been recently married:Flavia and Flaccus, Nubia and Aristo and Diana and Marcus, Pulchra and an unnamed person.
- A Brother's Price had the wedding between Cullen and the older Whistler sisters happen off-page, and the wedding between Jerin and the princesses happen a few months later. It was also hinted a little earlier that Cullen might try to hook Jerin's male cousin up with his sisters, in the hopes of a stronger alliance between the families.
- In Grimms' Fairy Tales, in Snow-White and Rose-Red, after the bear transforms into the prince, Snow White marries him while Rose Red marries his (up until then completely unmentioned) younger brother.
- In Lord of the Rings pretty much everybody who survives gets married and settles down to Babies Ever After; Aragorn and Arwen, Eowyn and Faramir, Eomer and Lothiriel, Sam and Rosie, Pippin and Diamond Took, Merry and Estella Bolger.
- Boston Legal, of all shows, ends with a double wedding Denny/Alan and Shirley/Carl and the possibility of more.
- Subverted in Noah's Arc. Just before Chance and Eddie's wedding Alex comes across a ring and two plane tickets in Trey's jacket, and thinks Trey is getting ready to propose. When Eddie and Chance sign the commitment papers, Alex jumps up to ask if they can do another wedding, and says he'll marry Trey. Turns out the tickets were for him andGuy to go on a six month relief mission in Africa, and the ring is just to remind Alex that Trey loves him.
- Punky Brewster concludes with a Clip Show wrapped around the central plot of Punky's dog Brandon getting married to a female Golden Retriever named Brenda.
- The Arrowverse Crisis Crossover Crisis on Earth-X ends with Barry and Iris finally getting married, and Felicity being inspired by their vows to accept Ollie's proposal from earlier, so they get married as well. Partly subverted later, when it's revealed that Barry and Iris aren't completely okay with Olicity hijacking their wedding. Meanwhile, Felicity's mother and Thea are both upset that they weren't invited to the wedding.
- Nearly every comedy by William Shakespeare. The most notorious example is As You Like It, which has four couples getting married at the end by Hymen, the God of Marriage. This trope is averted by Loves Labours Lost, in which no less than five couples have every reason, including desire, to get married by the end, but they can't get married right away for reasons which do not match up with a tragedy. But Love's Labour's Lost is still a comedy in every other sense of the Shakespearian word. There is also some evidence to suggest that there was supposed to be a sequel that would have put everything right.
- Mozart's The Magic Flute ends with both the hero Tamino and his comedy-relief sidekick Papageno paired up with their love interests.
- Cosė Fan Tutte: The finale of this opera involves a double wedding.
- The Drowsy Chaperone ends with this. Basically, everyone except the two gangsters are married by a passing aviatrix. In some productions, even these end up together, resulting in a quintuple wedding.note
- Anything Goes, another musical on the list: The cast breaks up Evelyn and Hope's wedding so Billy can marry Hope, freeing up Evelyn to marry Reno, prompting Whitney to propose to Mrs. Harcourt. Some productions even take it Up to Eleven and marry off Moon and Bonnie also.
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum doesn't exactly marry everyone off, since a lot of the girls are concubines, but just about everyone's paired off in the ending montage.
- Gilbert and Sullivan liked to marry off multiple couples or even the entire cast. The latter happens in The Pirates of Penzance (except the Major-General and policemen), Patience (except for Bunthorne), Iolanthe ("'tis death for fairy not to marry a mortal")
- In some productions of Pirates, the Major General and Ruth get together at the end too.
- In The Movie, the Police Captain and Ruth get together.
- Spamalot ended with Arthur marrying Guinevere (AKA "Lady of the Lake") and Lancelot marrying Herbert. It's hinted in the "Not Yet Wed" number that the male members of the chorus marry the female members of the chorus.
- Lady, Be Good! ended with the main characters singing a reprise of "Fascinating Rhythm" with different lyrics, proposing a quadruple wedding.
- Endymion ends with Eumenides and Semele, Tellus and Corsites, and Sir Tophas and Bagoa paired up to be married, and Dipsas and Geron to be reunited in marriage. Notably, this outcome does not include the title character and his love, the moon goddess Cynthia.
- In the (normal) ending of Arfenhouse 3, all the characters line up along an aisle, and a minister marries Housemaster to Evil Kitty, Pikachu to Dog, Old Mahn to Noze Mahn, the Gay Laguna Action Figure to Joseph (over the latter's objection), the Pringles can to Evil Slut, Woogy to Wuzzie Et, Snayk Mahn to Jehova, and Wuzzer to Team Rocket.
- A Magical Roommate has four weddings during the strip's run, and the Where Are They Now epilogues mention several more. Of all the major characters that have their ultimate fate described, the only major one who remains single is X.
- At the end of the Arthur, King of Time and Space version of "The Tale of Sir Gareth of Orkney", Gareth and Gaheris marry Lyonesse and Lynette (or the other way round in the Space Arc, based on Idylls of the King) in the same ceremony.