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"Will Return" Caption

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Sometimes, creators feel the need to stress to the audience that a work is part of an indefinite ongoing series, in order to make sure that they look for the next installment. A particularly unsubtle version of this is to simply announce it in an out-of-universe caption instead of "The End". The traditional format is some variation of "[HERO'S NAME] will return".

Sometimes this can be the sad sign that a work was intended to launch a Stillborn Franchise.

Not to be confused with And the Adventure Continues, which is where the intended final installment of a work doesn't have a permanent ending, but suggests that the characters will continue adventuring into the future, or with I Shall Return, which is a character saying this in story as a promise or threat. See also To Be Continued for more serialised works, and Sequel Hook for an intentionally conspicuous plot loose end that could provide the seed for a sequel.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Comic Books 
  • IDW Publishing's comic book prequel to Bumblebee ended with "Bumblebee will return" to complete the miniseries generally being an homage to the James Bond films. Ironically, the comic is incompatible with the continuity of the actual film due to being based on an earlier draft where Bumblebee had earlier adventures on Earth and the final film changing the script so that Bumblebee had not been on Earth prior to the events of the film.

    Fan Works 
  • In Alarm Clock, the author's note on the final chapter ends with "Ditzy Doo and Doctor Hooves will return..."
  • The Differentverse: A Quest for Harmony ends with an author's note stating that "The Bearers will return in... Different Bearers: A Case of Family", and confirms it will be centered around Scootaloo's family.
  • A Diplomatic Visit: The story ends with an announcement: "To be continued in… Diplomat at Large"
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    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 

    Literature 
  • The Saint books frequently ended in many editions with Simon's "haloed stick man" symbol and the words "Watch for the sign of The Saint, he will be back".
  • The author's afterwords in the Sharpe books (up to Sharpe's Waterloo) tend to end with the sentence "Sharpe and Harper will march again."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who:
    • The William Hartnell and the Patrick Troughton eras had "Next Week" captions after the credits aired after the last episode of a serial.
    • The 2005 revival has occasionally done this for mid-season hiatuses and season endings, such as "A Good Man Goes to War" ending with a caption reading "The Doctor will return in Let's Kill Hitler".
    • 2019 New Year's Day special "Resolution" has "The Doctor Will Return" after the episode ends.
    • It's done again at the end of "The Timeless Children".
      The Doctor will return in "Revolution of the Daleks".
  • Loki: A scene after the credits in the final episode of the first season shows a TVA document of Loki, being stamped with a mark that says "Loki will return in Season 2."
  • An occasional riff on Mystery Science Theater 3000, as Joel, Mike or one of the bots will announce that one of the characters will return in an unlikely film title. Toward the end of The Day the Earth Froze, for example, Crow announced, "Lemminkäinen and Annikki will be back in 'The Forests of Secrets and Lies'!"

    Theatre 
  • The epilogue of Henry IV, Part 2 promises a continuation "with Sir John in it". In the event, Shakespeare either changed his mind (according to one theory, after receiving complaints from the descendants of the historical Sir John Fastolf over how their ancestor was depicted, and according to another theory, he fell out with Falstaff's actor, William Kempe) or was trolling the audience, as Falstaff dies off-stage in Henry V without ever appearing.

    Video Games 
  • Bendy and the Ink Machine chapters finish with Bendy will return
  • The credits of Crash Twinsanity end with Crash Bandicoot will return.
  • Every game in the Kingdom Hearts series that has a secret ending ends with the phrase "Connect. KINGDOM HEARTS", which is the series' unique twist on this trope since the secret endings usually directly tie into a future installment, and in many cases one of the next two games. Starting from Kingdom Hearts III Re Mind, which ended the Dark Seeker Saga, this phrase is changed to "An Oath to Return", which more directly implies this trope.

    Webcomics 
  • In El Goonish Shive, the penultimate strip of the "Escape From The Mall" storyline promises "Kitty and Felix will return in A future storyline".

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied on the Hercules: The Animated Series episode "Hercules and the Golden Touch", as part of its James Bond homage, where the narration teases a non-existent sequel.
    Icarus: Hercules will return in From Sparta with Love.
  • Gravity Falls: The original airing of the season one finale had Grunkle Stan state over the credits sequence that "Gravity Falls will return", promising a resolution to the Sequel Hook put in place just seconds prior.
  • Infinity Train: The premiere U.S. broadcast of "The Engine" ended what had been announced as a ten-episode miniseries with a short promo clip before the credits sequence, in which One-One tells the audience he'll "See [us] next time!" before the screen states "Infinity Train will return".
  • Steven Universe:
    • Although it wasn't in the episode proper, the credits during the premiere of "A Single Pale Rose" (a Wham Episode that ended on a Cliffhanger) had a short preview from the next episode, followed by a caption of "Steven Universe will return." For context, this series had many long breaks between episodes that left audiences without any idea when they would resume.
    • The premiere of the Steven Universe: Future episode "Prickly Pair" ended with a caption of "The Story Continues", as no episodes beyond that had yet been announced.
  • The finale of the seventh season of The Venture Bros. made this claim. As the show was subsequently cancelled, the veracity thereof has been left to be seen.
  • The Teen Titans Go! episode "The Viewers Decide" ended with a version of the claim, saying that Bumblebee will not return, due to her going solo and becoming a Batman-esque superhero.

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