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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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    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"

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension ended with the announcement that he would return in Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League. The movie wasn't a success, so he didn't.
  • The 1975 Doc Savage film ended with a "Doc will return in Doc Savage: The Arch Enemy of Evil" caption. Unfortunately, due to the film's poor commercial and critical response, this hasn't happened yet.
  • Parodied by Doctor Detroit, whose end credits proclaim that Doctor Detroit will return in Doctor Detroit II: The Wrath of Mom.
  • The Trope Codifier is the James Bond films, all of which end with a caption "James Bond will return in [TITLE OF NEXT FILM]" when the title of the next film is known, or simply "James Bond will return" when it isn't. Sometimes they changed their minds, for example when The Spy Who Loved Me announced that For Your Eyes Only would be the next film, when Moonraker came between.
  • Mac and Me ended with the titular alien and his family becoming American citizens and driving off in a car, with a sign on the back with a big pink bubble popping up saying "We'll Be Back". The movie's poor reception ensured that would not happen.
  • Machete ends with the narrator claiming "Machete will return in "Machete Kills" and "Machete Kills Again" ". When Machete Kills was released, the third film's name changed to "Machete Kills Again... IN SPACE!"
  • Maradonia and the Shadow Empire, the film adaptation of the first Maradonia Saga book, ends with a caption promising a sequel titled Maradonia and the Escape from the Underworld. It seems to be a Stillborn Franchise.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe has several, both before and after its first big crossover.
  • Some The View Askewniverse films parody this with a "Jay and Silent Bob will return" caption, referring to two characters who are usually recurring minor ones.
  • The 1960's Matt Helm film series. At the end of the last film, The Wrecking Crew, the caption says "Matt Helm will return in The Ravagers". The Ravagers would have been the fifth Matt Helm film, but it was never made.
  • Roller Gator ends with "Watch for Roller Gator 2", but the sequel was never made.
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    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".

    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 

    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.
  • Infinity Train: The premiere U.S. broadcast of "The Engine" ended what had been announced as a ten-episode miniseries with One-One informing the audience "See you next time!" followed by the caption "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 season had many long breaks between episodes 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.

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