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When a work's finale serves as an encapsulated version of all the events that came before it. They may appear in a different context this time, but somehow or other, every single part of the succession of continuity nods moves the finale's story along in a way that's very much like a Plot Tailored to the Party. This can manifest itself in the form of Gondor Calls for Aid and the Combined Energy Attack during a Grand Finale, but it's not uncommon in shows that have a lower key setting than epic battles.

This one may have originated in Fairy Tales. For the usual video game version, see Final Exam Boss.

Examples of Final Exam Finale include:


Anime and Manga

  • The finale of High School Girls has every element that appeared in past episodes return during the School Festival in some form or another.
  • Maria Holic, through a series of increasingly goofy circumstances, plays this out as Kanako attempts to get to the school pool.
  • Special A makes use of everything the Special A class can do in the finale, one after the other.
  • In Persona 4: The Animation, episode 12 (the mid season finale) has the entire team needing to work together, and Yu needs to unleash all the Arcana he's gathered over the past 11 episodes to take down Shadow Mitsuo.
  • In the Grand Finale of Digimon Adventure 02, the first part of the final battle takes place in an alternate dimension where wishes come true. The Digidestined used this to manifest every form their partner digimon had gained during the series to fight MaloMyotismon. And it was very impressive.


Film

  • Although it's a film, rather than a series Kung Fu Panda uses this for its climax, with Po's fight with Big Bad Tai Lung involving everything he's learned throughout the film -- both martial arts, and more... unusual skills for combat.
  • The big closing number of The Muppet Movie recreates Kermit's journey on an obvious movie set. Which then blows up, because this is the Muppets.


Literature

  • Very obvious in Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows, which seems determined to revisit everything that has ever happened in the series continuity. Detractors of the book claimed the plot being all over the place as one of the book's weaknesses.


Live Action TV

  • Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman uses elements from previous challenges in the season finales, leading to a literal Final Exam Finale as the next-to-last challenge.
  • The Amazing Race: Several finales have involved a final puzzle that included remembering location and tasks from all the previous legs. Season 9's finale (US Edition) had a Roadblock (a task only one player per team can complete) where he or she had to find 9 specific of 285 flags detailing the countries they visited. After that, the player had to arrange the flags in order by which country they visited. Seen here.
  • Done quite literally in The Mole -- the finale of each season has a quiz on everything that has happened over the course of the season, particularly details from the various challenges that the contestants have faced, with the jackpot going to the player who answers the most questions correctly.


Video Games

  • Metal Gear Solid 4 was basically about Ocelot harnessing the power of Continuity Porn to save the world.
  • Used as one of the few genuinely clever design ideas in Painkiller Overdose: The movie studio level includes movie sets themed after the previous levels in the game, featuring cardboard cut-out versions of the past levels' enemies.


Western Animation

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