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.
- Aggretsuko: The final episode of the fourth season has a message after the credits stating that "RETSUKO WILL RETURN," with a "5" briefly appearing behind it to effectively confirm a fifth season.
- The first season of Goblin Slayer ends with the words, "Goblin Slayer Will Return".
- Sword Art Online: Alicization concluded with a "Kirito Will Return" message entirely in English.
- 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.
- 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"
- 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: The Man of Bronze 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, most of which (except for the very first, Dr. No) 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.
- The American release of Goldfinger had "James Bond will return in On Her Majesty's Secret Service" while Thunderball came next. The international release had the correct "James Bond will return in Thunderball". On Her Majesty's Secret Service wouldn't come out until two other movies had been made in the meantime.
- The Spy Who Loved Me announced that For Your Eyes Only would be the next film, when Moonraker came between (due to the Star Wars craze).
- Octopussy ended with "James Bond will return in From a View to a Kill. The next film's title was slightly changed to A View to a Kill.
- Even No Time to Die had the caption though the film ended with Bond's death. It was likely done to assure audiences that the franchise will continue (via Continuity Reboot) after the Grand Finale of the Daniel Craig era.
- 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.
- Thor does this just before The Stinger - "Thor will return in The Avengers."
- Iron Man 3 ended with a "Tony Stark will return" caption, to explain to the audience that the film's ending with Tony seemingly retiring permanently from superheroing wouldn't stick (but keeping a bit of ambiguity about whether Iron Man would be seen again), and that Tony-only fans should still go and see Avengers: Age of Ultron.
- Captain America: Civil War ends with a "Spider-Man will return" to explain that Spidey will get his own film.
- Thor: Ragnarok and Black Panther both state that the titular hero will return in Avengers: Infinity War.
- Avengers: Infinity War ends with a "Thanos will return" caption, lampshading the film's The Bad Guy Wins ending.
- Ant-Man and the Wasp, which ends on a Sudden Downer Ending, ends this caption with an uncertain question mark.
- Captain Marvel ends with "Captain Marvel will return in Avengers: Endgame", though this time it's after the mid-credits scene rather than after the credits.
- At the end of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Shang-Chi mentions that his sister Xialing is working to dismantle the Ten Rings organization. But the second Stinger shows that she's taken it over instead, with the promise that "the Ten Rings will return".
- Spider-Man: No Way Home has a post-credits scene which doubles as a trailer for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It ends on the caption "Doctor Strange will return".
- 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.
- Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song ends with a caption like this, but no sequel was ever intended; instead, it serves as confirmation that the title character has survived and will one day claim his revenge on those who have wronged him.
- 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'!"
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
TV Tropes will return in... Revenge of the Sequel!