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So! You will help me find that treasure right Mario? The boat's waiting for you!—Peach:, Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door (at the end, of course)
A story or show that employs an infinite-loop motif, ending in the very way it was put into motion. The circumstances need not be exact.
The idea is that the events that led to the story are going to lead to a very similar story. If the story ends up back in the same place but the situation has changed that's Where It All Began. If the story starts and ends with similar scenes for dramatic irony/tension then that's Book Ends.
If the next iteration of the story happens to the next generation we have Generation Xerox.
Not to be confused with the Ray Charles song; or a Groundhog Day Loop, where time itself is repeating as a plot device within the story. Compare with Status Quo Is God. Opposite of We Are Not Going Through That Again, where the hero refuses to set off on another adventure.
Anime and Manga
- Gunslinger Girl. In the last episode of the (first season) anime, Henrietta and Jose are standing in the same places that they did in the first episode, but without the dialogue.
- Magikano ends this way by turning back time to the beginning of the first episode.
- The first half of the last episode of the fourth season of Galaxy Angel uses reincarnation to rewind back to the second half of the first episode of the third season. Not confused yet? This show isn't even supposed to have continuity!
- Madlax effectively opens and ends with the titular Action Girl receiving a call from her liaison who informs her about a new mission. Which is a plot point.
- After the climax of Tekkaman Blade II's second arc, the series ends with another Radam invasion, just like it began, only with a lot more Tekkamen on the side of the Earth.
- The Bittersweet Ending of Hell Teacher Nube concludes like this, with Nube going on another strange adventure with his brand-new class of fifth-graders (all of whom share some similarities to Doumori Elementary's 5-3 homeroom students.)
- Implied at the end of Paranoia Agent.
- At the end of Wolf's Rain some of the characters that died in the last episodes of the series appear alive (Possibly reincarnated)in a modern city. In the last scene, Kiba begins running, implying that the search for the Paradise started again.
- At the end of Elemental Gelade, Coud tries to pull off a very similar heist like at the start of the anime, but this time with his new partner Ren.
- Puella Magi Madoka Magica's Spin-Off Puella Magi Oriko Magica ended this way.
- V for Vendetta, V rescues/kidnaps someone and brings them to the Shadow Gallery.
- The original run of The Sandman ended with the rise of a new Dream, but also with Dream looking out upon and recreating his kingdom, which was a common theme in the beginning of the series.
- Superman Red Son. In the end, American President Luthor outwits and defeats Superman's global communist takeover and ushers in a new era of peace, prosperity, and technological mastery for mankind. For a billion years, Luthor's line of descendants help make humanity the most advanced species in the known Universe. Eventually, as the Earth ages and the Sun dims to an angry red, Luthor's great-grandson to the power fifty, Jor-L, discovers that the Earth is in imminent danger of being destroyed. His warnings ignored, he launches his only son Kal-L in a tiny rocket back in time to prevent the cold complacency of his society.
- Grant Morrison's JLA run ends with all the new members added during the run written out of the team, leaving the core seven back in place. Then a distress call comes in about a supervillain threat, and the League heads off to deal with him.
Films -- Live-Action
- The Robinsons using the hyperdrive again in Lost in Space (prompting the comment, "Here we go again").
- The Doctor Who Made for TV Movie opens with the Seventh Doctor in the TARDIS, where he settles down to read The Time Machine and listen to a gramophone record. The record starts skipping, so he abandons this. At the end of the movie, the Eighth Doctor settles in the same chair with the same book and music. When the record starts to skip he says "Not again!"
- At the beginning of the first Pirates of the Caribbean film, Cap'n Jack Sparrow has only a small boat to his name after his crew stole his ship and set off by themselves to get the treasure he'd found a guide to. The end of the third film finds him in the same situation again. Only this time, he was smart enough to keep the treasure map with him.
- Or more specifically, he cuts out the critical center section of the map, leaving the rest, rolled up to hide the missing section, on his ship so that the mutinous crew doesn't know until he's long gone that it's been stolen.
- It goes a bit further; Gibbs is back in Tortuga, while Barbossa and his surviving crew are back in possession of the Black Pearl after leaving Jack behind again.
- At the beginning of the 1996 Mission Impossible film, Jim Phelps (Jon Voight) receives his "This Page Will Self-Destruct" mission orders from a flight attendant on an aeroplane, who enquires whether he would like to watch an Eastern European film: a reference to the location of his next mission. The film ends with Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) on a plane, being asked if he would like to watch a film: "Would you consider the cinema of the Caribbean? Aruba, perhaps?"
- The classic horror anthology Dead of Night begins with the protagonist arriving at a house and telling the guests that he has seen that house, and those guests, in a prophetic dream. It ends with him waking up, then driving out to a familiar house...
- The Bourne films begin and end with the titular protagonist drifting in water.
- Big Trouble in Little China begins (apart from a brief pre-credits scene) and ends with sequences of Jack Burton driving the Pork Chop Express through pouring rain while delivering one of his grandstanding bullshit speeches over the CB. Of course, in the latter scene, we also move into Cliff Hanger territory. Just a shame that there wasn't a sequel...
- This is basically the plot of Jumanji. It stars with some kids getting rid of the game. Then the lead boy finds the game, they have to finish, then they try to get rid of it. And it ends with another pair of kids finding it and wanting to play. A cycle is reborn.
- Infernal Affairs III ends with a flashback scene that ends at precisely the same moment that the first film began.
- All About Eve
- The Happening has it happen again in France.
- Similarly, 28 Weeks Later ends with Infected rushing into Paris.
- The Crazies used this trope while simultaneously treading into Shoot the Shaggy Dog Story territory. The movie starts with US Government setting up a quarantine around a small town due to a virus epidemic. The main character couple survived through the whole thing, escaped the town, and the movie ends with the two of them walking to a nearby city. Cue the US Government setting up the same quarantine around that city.
- Subverted in Dude, Where's My Car?. The movie starts with two guys waking up not remembering what happened yesterday and found out that their car is missing. The end of the movie (after Laser-Guided Amnesia) seems to follow the same route with the two not remembering what happened yesterday and realizing that their car is missing, before another car got out of the parking spot, revealing their own car.
- The Incredible Shrinking Woman ends with Lily Tomlin, restored to normal size, hearing the sound of fabric tearing. She looks down to see her (growing) foot break out of her shoe, smiles, and rolls her eyes as if to say it.
- Smokey and the Bandit: Throughout the film, Bandit had been racing to win an $80,000 bet to get a load of beer from Texas to Georgia in 28 hours. Having won the bet in the end, said clients then get a hankering for genuine Boston clam chowder...in 18 hours. "Double or nothing?" they offer. His answer? "You're on." And Bandit hits the road again.
- Manos: The Hands of Fate: The movie starts with Mike and Margaret and their daughter Debbie arriving at a dilapidated motel, where they encounter an odd man who greets them saying "I aM TORgo. I Take CARe oF THe pLaCE whILE the MASTer is awAY.". In the end, another couple arrives, but are greeted by Mike who says "I am Michael. I take care of the place while the master is away.".
- Jumanji ends with two French girls walking on a beach hearing strange drumming that was coming from the game, lying not too far away from the girls.
- Stephen King's The Dark Tower series uses this as well. The final book ends with Roland making it to the top of the tower, and finding himself in the desert following the man in black - and it isn't the first time he's been sent back to the beginning. There's an ambiguous clue that he might change things this time around, though.
- Another King instance in Needful Things, which starts with a narrator talking to the reader about the new store coming into town and telling us a bit about the town, and ends likewise in a different town.
- Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents ends with Maurice finding another stupid-looking kid to help earn his fortune.
- The first Artemis Fowl book starts with the titular character researching a hunch he has about fairies. At the end of the sixth book, he's gone through a Stable Time Loop back to before the first book with past!Artemis getting mind-wiped to preserve the timeline. The last scene is him waking up post mind-wipe, back in the past, and half remembering "Fairies. Something about fairies."
- If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, arguably Laura Numeroff's most famous work, begins with the mouse being given a cookie, and asking for various other favors until the end, where he wants a cookie again. Numeroff herself described it as a "circular story."
- Several of Numeroff's other books follow the same pattern, either with the same mouse (If You Take a Mouse to the Movies) or with other animals (If You Give a Pig a Pancake).
- Robert Cormier's I Am The Cheese
- E.R. Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros
- Word of God says that this is the basic premise of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series, although the series only depicts one Age rather than a full turn of the Wheel.
- The epilogue of The Aldous Lexicon ends by describing events like those which began the books, with Naia's child in place of Alaric/Naia, and a collage made by Naia replacing the sculpture by Alaric's mother. Which raises the question of whether Naia's mother had known about the other worlds, among other things.
- Every book in the Captain Underpants series always ends with George and Harold being dragged into another adventure. Yeah, that's how it goes. The Genre Savvy kids even comment on this in one book, when one says that he's surprised that they made it to the end of the book without going "Oh no!" and "Here we go again!". Of course, they don't really.
- Ted Dekker's Circle series. The first three books came and it was quite a gripping story that seemed to lead to a happy ending. But then along came Green where Thomas is sent back in time to have another chance to set things right, to the beginning of book 1, with the condition that his memories of what is to happen are erased. Effectively crating a loop, for without the knowledge of what is to happen, he is bound to make the same choices.
- In-universe example: The Dragaera novels are set in an empire governed in accordance with the Cycle, a system by which each of the 17 Houses rules in turn. The compiled editions of the Vlad Taltos books open with an in-universe poem to illustrate this, that gives every House a line in order, both starting and ending with the House of the Phoenix.
- The Harry Potter series combines a variation of this with Distant Finale, in which Harry and Ginny's son and daughter are sent to start their first year at Hogwarts. At the same time Ron is sending his and Hermione's daughter to her first year. The variation occurs since it's not Harry and Ron themselves, but rather their children.
- An odd Timey-Wimey Ball variation in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe novel "Borrowed Time"; the opening scene is set during the sub-prime mortgage bubble, and has two mysterious figures in dark suits offer a beleaguered banker a wristwatch that lets him "borrow" time. The epilogue is set during the 16th century tulipmania bubble, and has two mysterious figures in dark doublets and hose offer a beleaguered tulip trader a pocket watch that lets her "borrow" time. Less "Here We Go Again" and more "There We Went Before".
- In the epilogue of Replay, the Groundhog Day Loop is happening to someone new, but his replay date is when Jeff's end date was.
- The Walter de la Mare poem "Sam's Three Wishes, or Life's Little Whirligig" ends with Sam in the exact same situation he was at the beginning, and contains some great Fridge Brilliance if you're willing to start the poem all over again.
- The first three Vernon Bright books end like this.
- In the first book Bright de-magnetises himself only to discover he's become electrically charged.
- The second ends with their "Faster Than Light Machine" creating infinite Bright's
- The third has two. Bright's father has to go and stop a meteor crashing into the planet and destroying all life on Earth and at the same time the gravity machine has inverted and is creating a miniature black hole.
- The fourth book is different because John realises that the "Frankenstein's Hamster" could just be hibernating ...
- Seinfeld did this for the entire series, ending its last episode with the main characters in jail, having exactly the same conversation that opened the first episode.
- The eighth season ending of Stargate SG-1, "Moebius", would have been this if the show hadn't been renewed; through time travel, the main characters end up fighting Ra again, and in an altered timeline, discovering the Stargate and being brought together to form the Stargate program, and even recruiting Teal'c again.
- While the final episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 does have Mike and the 'bots escaping the Satellite of Love and returning to Earth, the episode ends with Mike, Crow, and Tom Servo sharing an apartment, riffing on the cable broadcast of The Crawling Eye (the same movie that was featured in the very first episode).
- In the Twilight Zone episode "Mr. Dingle the Strong", comical Martians give the milquetoast title character Super Strength. Hilarity Ensues until the Martians take Dingle's strength back--but they then recommend him to comical Venusians who need a human test subject to give super intelligence...
- In episode 6, Season 2 of The Big Bang Theory the episode begins and ends with Sheldon having a fan girl graduate student asking him if he wants dinner. He should have learnt after the first time.
- The episode "Shadow Play" ends with a character waking up from his dream... but it turns out, it's a recurring one.
- The Prisoner ended with... the opening credits.
- Cheers began the series with Sam Malone coming out of the back room, turning on the lights and opening the bar. The series ended with Sam locking the bar, turning off the lights, and strolling back into the back room.
- Yes, Dear started out with Jimmy and Christine, with their kids (Dominic and Logan), at Greg and Kim's house asking for shelter. The series ended with the same four people at said residence asking Greg and Kim whether the guesthouse they had stayed in before moving out was still available.
- Battlestar Galactica Reimagined, possibly. The series was all about a Robot War (actually multiple Robot Wars in the distant past) so it's Arc Words ("All of this has happened before and all of it will happen again") sound a bit... chilling upon the series finale ending with the camera panning onto a present-day TV headline titled ADVANCES IN ROBOTICS. Head!Six and Head!Baltar even lampshade this.
Six: Commercialism, decadence, technology run amok... remind you of anything?
Baltar: Take your pick: Kobol... Earth... the real Earth before this one... Caprica before the Fall...
- Arrested Development almost repeats itself as well. Just like in the pilot, the family is having a party on a boat to celebrate Michael becoming the new CEO, and the SEC arrives. (Buster even acknowledges that "They still have boats?") However, this time, they arrive to arrest Lucile. Inverting this trope at the last minute, Michael leaves with his son (and apparently his father) instead of staying to keep his family and the business intact.
- Kenan and Kel often ended their episodes this way with the two addressing the audience after their latest misadventure. Kenan would come up with another zany scheme and tell Kel to meet him somewhere and bring something before dashing off. Kel would complain for a bit before yelling out "Awwwww, here it goes!".
- The first season of Red vs. Blue did this; the first and last episodes began with the camera rising up to view Simmons and Grif having the same conversation. Grif has a different response each time, though.
One of the series' Multiple Endingsthe series' canonical ending does this as well, albeit with the red and blue team switching roles.
- The children's favorite, "The Song That Never Ends" (aka "The Song That Doesn't End").
- Coldplay's Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends ends with the hidden track "The Escapist" which plays directly into "Life in Technicolor," the first track.
- "Where Have All the Flowers Gone". The flowers have gone to young girls, who have gone to young men, who have gone to be soldiers, who have gone to graveyards, which have gone to flowers...
- A variation of this is in Snow Patrol's music video for "Chocolate". The entire video revolves around people panicking while an hourglass and digital timer count down to 0. When it gets there, everybody huddles down, only for nothing to happen. The singer walks up and flips the hourglass over, which causes the timer to reset and the panic to resume.
- In Harry Nilsson's "Coconut", putting the lime in the coconut and drinking them both up gives a woman a bellyache, prompting her to call the doctor and wake him up. He advises her to put the lime in the coconut and drink them both together, assuring her that "then you'll feel better". And so forth.
- "There's a hole in the bucket, dear Liza, dear Liza..."
- The Flanders and Swann song "The Gasman Cometh" utilizes this.
- Taylor Swift seems to be very fond of this.
- Alice Cooper's Concept Album Along Came a Spider does this. The prologue begins with "We found his diary today", and the epilogue begins with "They found my diary today". A close listening reveals that the events keep on repeating themselves.
- Radiohead's album OK Computer does this. The first song, "Airbag", describes the aftermath of a car crash. The last song, "The Tourist", features the lines "They ask me where the hell I'm going / at a 1000 feet per second" and "Hey man, slow down / Hey idiot, slow down", suggesting an imminent car crash.
- Pink Floyd's Rock Opera The Wall begins with, at the very first second, Pink saying "we came in?". The very last song cuts off with Pink saying "Isn't this where". Note that the background music in both the last song and the beginning of the first one is the same. So if you play the whole album on a loop, it will be seamless. The Floyd did this earlier with the heartbeat sound effect (actually a treated bass drum) on The Dark Side of the Moon.
- Almost identical to the Coldplay example, the AFI album Sing The Sorrow has a hidden track called This Time Imperfect whose ending (deliberately-inserted static) blends seamlessly into the beginning.
- "In the Year 2525" goes to the end of mankind, then starts all over far away.
- "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves" The daughter winds up repeating the mother's life.
- In Dream Theater's 24-minute epic "Octavarium," the entire theme is coming full circle. In the second section, for example, the narrator wakes up from a 30-year coma. By the end, he has fallen back into the coma.
- All Along the Watchtower by Bob Dylan has "Two Riders were approaching" as the second-to-last line. This (likely) refers to the the Joker and Thief who are quoted at the beginning of the song.
- Whitesnake has a song all about this:
"Here I go, again on my own..."
- The album BE by Pain of Salvation opens with the birth of a god, the first track beginning with heartbeats and faint whispers of the line "I'm at the line, I see it all." This same line appears in its original form in the second to last song as a space probe begins to gain sentience. The final track begins identically to the first, implying that it an endless loop similar to that in "The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov.
- Terrorvision's "How To Make Friends and Influence People" has the same "Tick... Tock... " at the beginning and the end.
- Machine Head's "The Burning Red" has the same riff at the beginning and the end.
- Many video game soundtracks tend to loop, so guess this counts.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic's "I Lost on Jeopardy!" ends with:
Well, I sure hope I do better
Next weekend on The Price Is Right
- Invoked in Tom Lehrer's "A Christmas Carol."
- In the video for the Foo Fighters song "Monkey Wrench", Dave and the band find an apparent group of their clones singing the song in his apartment. Eventually, they get in to find them running away. So they finish the song, however, we pan out of the apartment to see another group of clones looking inside, wondering what's going on.
- The House in Cypress Canyon, a horror story featured in a 1946 episode of the CBS show Suspense, concludes in this manner.
- Used word for word in an alternate ending to one of the Gehenna scenarios in Vampire: The Masquerade. This ending, titled "Here We Go Again," involves the Tzimisce Antediluvian being defeated just as it was in the original ending; however, the player characters do not transform back into humans. Not only do they remain vampires, but they appear to have become more powerful than ever before, and their clan weakness no longer affects them: now that the old Antediluvians are all dead or beyond all human concerns, the players have taken their place to start the entire history of vampires all over again.
- The Skin of Our Teeth by Thornton Wilder, ends with Sabina coming out onstage, acting out her first scene of the show. She then stops and tells the audience that the play hasn't been finished yet, and they can go home whenever the like, with the implication that the play-within-a-play is on an infinite loop. This is itself meant to symbolize how human history keeps repeating itself, and that most things don't change in the long run.
- On the Town: Chip, Ozzie and Gabey's twenty-four hours are up, and they return to the ship... but three new sailors get off the ship on their shore leave, singing "New York, New York." (The ending of the film version is the same.)
- Woody Allen's play God ends with the two leads repeating their opening lines, which are complaining about the play not having an ending.
- Candide has the comic ballad "What's the Use?" The Old Lady, who operates a rigged roulette wheel, is exploited by her employer, who pays protection to a police chief, who is being blackmailed by a crook, who has a terrible roulette habit.
- JB Priestley's An Inspector Calls begins with the titular inspector visiting the upper-class Birling family to interrogate them about the death of a young working-class woman, gradually revealing that each of them was partly responsible for her eventual suicide. At the end, it is revealed that the inspector who visited them was not a real policeman. The double-twist comes when Mr Birling receives a phone call telling him that the girl's suicide really is being investigated, and an inspector will be sent round to ask some questions.
- Chicago: Moments after the jury finds Roxie Hart not guilty, three pistol shots are heard, and the crowd rushes out to investigate. It seems that another woman has shot her boyfriend and his wife.
- The main plot All's Well That Ends Well starts with Helena curing the King of France, being offered the hand of any nobleman she likes in reward, and having Bertram, who she chooses, reject her. At the end of the play, she's managed to win him back with the help of Diana; when she tells the story to the King, he says Diana can have the hand of any nobleman she likes as a reward for helping Helena...
- The Man Who Came to Dinner ends with Sheridan Whiteside, having fully recovered from his injury, walking out the front door of the Stanley home and slipping and falling on the steps once again.
- Prince of Persia: The Sands Of Time also did a time-reset to the beginning. However, this was followed by a final fight scene in which the Big Bad is defeated, meaning that the events of the game never actually take place, and only the Prince remembers them.
- Prince of Persia, the next-gen game features this: Before the game, The Mourning King offers up his soul to resurrect Elika. At the end, Elika sacrifices her life to re-imprison Ahriman. Ahriman then whispers the offer to resurrect the Prince's love if he frees the dark god. The Prince accepts.
- The Infocom text game Trinity begins and ends with your character spending the last few minutes before the start of World War III performing identical tasks in the Kensington Gardens. Complete with a foreshadowing/ironic slogan and "you feel you should do X" epilogue.
- Many video games from the 80s "ended" in this way. Perhaps most memorable was the game The Legend of Kage, which described the happy times of your character and the princess he just saved, and then with a foreboding "However....." begins the kidnapping process all over again.
- The 2004 version of The Bards Tale has "good" ending do this. Incidentally, the other two are much more awesome. The good ending is siding with Fionnaoch and killing Caleigh, with The Bard ending up having to con people for a living once again.
- The original Spyro the Dragon begins with Gnasty Gnorc, infuriated by the dragons' badmouthing of him, petrifying nearly every dragon in the land into a crystal statue. At the end of the game, after Spyro defeats Gnasty, frees all the dragons and re-collects all the treasure in the kingdom, Spyro makes a snide comment about Gnasty "not being a worthy opponent", which sets the original plot in motion again, prompting Spyro to speak the name of this trope.
- In the platformer Gods (the PC version, at least; other versions differ), at the completion of the game you are given the reward of immortality. Then the game suggests you should use your new power to do something challenging, and warps you back to level one.
- Shadow Hearts: Covenant had a version of this in the good ending. With his friends scattered throughout time and his lover dead (the bad ending of the first game was the canonical one) Yuri chooses to die rather than allow the curse he's under to rob him of the memories of his friends and loved ones. When next we see him, he's at the beginning of the first Shadow Hearts game, clearly planning to change the past and get the good ending.
- In Mario vs. Donkey Kong Mario says it in a cutscene after you complete every world where Donkey Kong accidentally loses all his Mini Mario Toys and proceeds to kidnap the Toads who produce them instead. Then you have to complete a new set of levels, albeit set in the same worlds as your first run. After you complete these levels, a similiar cutscene appears, where Donkey Kong had the Mini Mario Toys in his bag all along and takes these away with him. Mario then says "Here we go again ... again!" and goes to the final boss battle.
- Subverted ever so slightly in Killer 7. The end of the first mission has Harman Smith asking Kun Lan "Are you awake from your dream?" to which Kun Lan responds "The size of the world has changed." In the end of the final mission, Harman asks Kun Lan, "Are you awake from your nightmare?" The response is "The world doesn't change, all it does is turn."
- Also, their confrontation at the beginning of the game takes place in Seattle; their confrontation at the end takes place in an unspecified Chinese city. You can probably fill in the blanks.
- Happens in the Best Ending in Metal Max Returns.
- Paper Mario the Thousand Year Door ends with Princess Peach and Toadsworth arriving at Mario's house, telling him that they found a new treasure map and need him to help them find the treasure. The big difference is that the second treasure presumably isn't secretly an Eldritch Abomination trying to trick someone into releasing it.
- Dissidia Final Fantasy has an extreme example : in the last cutscene, the heroes are in a beautiful land, and all warp back to their respective worlds... except the Warrior of Light, who just walks away with his crystal in hand to a town that's obviously Corneria, the City of Dreams. aka. the very first town of the entire series, effectively starting the plot of the very first game.
- Every sports game ever made.
- I'm not sure if this fully applies but in the Sega Genesis platformer Saint Sword after you hack your way through multiple levels, defeat various bosses and climb to the top of Gorgan's sinister castle you'd think you would emerge victorious after felling the evildoer. This is not the case, he promptly mocks you saying that you are too weak and cannot defeat him then sends you back to the first level, stripping you of all your items and transformation icons whilst generously letting you keep your score. Although there is a slight variation in the second playthrough, such as nighttime versions of the levels and enemies that now have ranged attacks, this is probably a fair example of Nintendo Hard, he can be beaten the second time though. The evil bastard.
- Super Mario Galaxy features a galaxy unlockable only after collecting all 120 stars and again as Luigi. The Grand Finale Galaxy is actually just the game's intro level (Awesome Music and Scenery Porn included), where most of the characters in the game congratulate you on being awesome.
- Comix Zone invokes the trope without lampshading it: if you beat the final boss, but don't do it quickly enough to save the girl, the protagonist will attempt to recreate the circumstances that led to the beginning of the game, so that he can bring her back.
- Chrono Trigger's true ending is this way, as well as most variations of it. After finishing their main quest, the main character's mother hops into the last Time Gate just before it closes, forcing the party to hop into their time machine for one more adventure.
- The Path, after the girl in white visits the grandmother, returns to the empty character select room. Each of the girls in red enters, takes up her original position, and they become selectable again.
- You just can't keep Carmen Sandiego in jail.
- Cho Ren Sha 68K: That explosion you see at the beginning of the game? Complete Stage 0 (the last stage of a given loop in this game) of the first loop and as the result screen shows up, you'll notice that the boss doesn't explode right away like other bosses. After the result screen disappears, then it explodes, you see the very explosion you saw at the beginning of the game, and you start Stage 1 of the second loop.
- The bad ending of Suikoden Tierkreis is somewhere between this and Shoot the Shaggy Dog. The One King you fight wasn't the original--he chose to sacrifice the lives of his allies to kill the previous One King, and wound up replacing him. Sacrifice your own allies, and guess what happens?
- In Tales of Monkey Island Chapter 2: The Siege of Spinner Cay, this is lampshaded by the MerLeader when McGillicutty repeatedly attempts to drown him/her as "torture":
- The gun game Carn Evil ends with a sick, twisted version of this. After surviving the evil circus, you end up back at the grave where it all began. A moment later, the token used to start the whole business pops out of the bottom of the tombstone like a prize coin. A hand picks it up...and then (even as the girl screams in the background) puts it back in the tombstone. Without saying them, the ending scene depicts the three most dreaded words one can hear at the end of a scary ride: "Wanna go again?"
- Gunnerkrigg Court's filler "City Face" lampshaded this. On the bottom right of the last panel, where in the comic proper there would be an antimony symbol marking the end of the chapter, there was a box saying "goto #1".
- Penny Arcade gives a single strip-wide example about a cyclical argument.
- Xkcd, being XKCD, puts a non-orientable spin on the concept here.
- Atop the Fourth Wall: After Missingno is convinced to kill itself and everything is back to what passes for normal in a That Guy With The Glasses show, That Dude in the Suede is seen playing Pokémon Red, talking to the old man who sends you to Cinnabar Island where you can catch Missingno.
- Codename: Kids Next Door has had this happen on one occasion or another.
- "Operation SPROUT": Bored while listening to his father's stories at home during dinner time, Numbuh 4 accidentally eats a Brussels sprout, supposedly to turn him into an adult faster, but his teammates were able to remove it from his body in time before he digested it, and just before the shrink effect wore off within six minutes. Returning home after the mission, Numbuh 4 then accidentally eats a piece of liver.
- "Operation HOTSTUFF": Numbuh 3 finds it uncomfortable sleeping at her home on cold nights, but Mr. Sanban likes the cold. When Numbuh 3 turns up the thermostat, the Sanban home transforms into a volcano about to erupt. While Numbuh 4 is keeping an eye on Mr. Sanban back at the treehouse, the rest of Sector V is sent in turn down the thermostat to save the house from erupting, but not after contending with Numbuh 3, who had undergone a monstrous, volcanic transformation. After the mission is over and Numbuh 3 is back to normal, Mr. Sanban turns down the thermostat in the treehouse, causing it to freeze over into a block of ice and possibly causing Mr. Sanban to undergo a monstrous, icy transformation.
- Dexter's Laboratory, "Nuclear Confusion": The book Dexter had been reading gets stolen after he had to track down some nuclear fuel he was using in his lab to power the lamp he was using to read the book.
- Johnny Bravo, "Brave New Johnny": Johnny Bravo slips on hair gel, falls into a vat of the stuff. Wakes up in future. Eventually gets back to the present through a descendant of Carl's time machine. Promptly slips again.
- Hey Arnold loves this trope:
- "Door #16": Arnold accepts package for Mr. Smith, a reclusive boarder at the apartment house his grandparents run. Hijinks ensue as he tries to keep the other boarders from opening it and deliver it to Smith. Boarders end up opening package in the end to reveal a photo of the boarders besides Smith. Arnold then discovers he has to accept another package for him.
- "Save The Tree": Arnold and friends have prevented Helga's dad from cutting down a tree they've built a treehouse in to build a beeper shop... but he's now focusing his attention on the lot they play baseball in.
- "Timberly Loves Arnold": The plot of the episode is that Timberly, the sister of Arnold's friend Gerald, develops a crush on Arnold for telling Gerald it was all right for her to accompany them playing frisbee in the park; fast-forward to the end of the episode, where it's their mutual buddy, Sid, who talks them into letting her accompany them to a game of baseball. No points for guessing what happens as the episode ends.
- "Arnold Betrays Iggy": Arnold makes Iggy a laughing stock of the school when he indirectly reveals that Iggy wears bunny pajamas. After a series of favors and Iggy remaining mad at him, Arnold does Iggy one last favor and wears the same bunny pajamas on live television making him the new laughing stock instead of Iggy. The episode ends with Arnold now mad at Iggy and Iggy begging Arnold to forgive him.
- Recess, "The Game": It opens with Gus finding a card that was just thrown over the fence, and it's part of a very addictive game. At the end, after everything is straightened out, Gus throws it back over the fence, and the next kids to find it go down to the corner shop to buy some more cards.
- Rocket Power, "Double-O Twistervision": Opens with the RP gang complaining about a movie they just saw ("A monkey could make a better movie!") and deciding to make their own movie. After the finished product is shown at the Shore Shack (it takes up most of the story), Mackenzie does the same complaining to her friends, replete with monkey comment.
- The Earthworm Jim episode "Hyper Psy-Crow" almost has a Here We Go Again ending, but when Jim comes in and complains about it (even using this exact term), they decide to Drop the Cow instead. The dialog:
Psycrow: Oh well. Here we go again!
EJ: Hold it! We are not going to do a "Here we go again" ending on my show!
(after Psycrow asks what they'll do instead)
EJ: Take a guess.
Psycrow: Uh... The cow thing?
(a cow falls on Psycrow)
- The cartoon Mighty Max literally ended where it started, with time resetting back to the very first episode. The hero, however, remembered the events of the series and claimed that with that knowledge, the villain wouldn't know what hit him.
- Can be used at the end of an All Just a Dream ep, e.g., Codename: Kids Next Door, "Operation: SITTER"
- Sylvan, an obscure 80s cartoon was a 100% here we go again series The protagonist was found in the woods with amnesia. His skills and looks make him resemble a Prince Valiant from another realm, who apparently disappeared when saving his love. He eventually finds out that he really is the prince, and therefore he can marry the princess he loved. Who is unfortunately kidnapped by a Big Bad of the series, which, to avoid capture casts a powerful spell, which makes the Prince wake up in the woods with amnesia.
- Subverted and parodied in The Simpsons episode "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming". After Bart and Lisa thwart the villain, Grandpa rides up on a motorcycle and says that he's going to "haul ass to Lollapalooza!" (a Call Back to earlier in the episode, where a parody of Roseanne used the exact same dialog). The rest of the Simpsons exclaim "Here we go again!", with Marge lagging a little behind and obviously less than enthusiastic.
- Looney Tunes
- A cartoon features several Hospital hijinks between Tweety, Sylvester, and Hector after their chase ends up in traffic. At the end of the episode, the three of them are released, only for them to start running in the streets again. Nurse Granny, who had just checked them out, simply sighs "Que sera sera" as she prepares to check them back in.
- The Speedy Gonzales cartoon "Tabasco Road" has Speedy protecting his drunken friends from a cat, only to have them pick a fight with every cat in the alley at the end.
- One Froggy Evening ends a hundred years in the future, when someone else discovers the box with the frog, and gets dollar signs in his eyes.
- The Tom and Jerry cartoon "The Truce Hurts" featured Tom, Jerry, and Butch fighting each other, and Butch eventually talks all three into a truce. By the end of the cartoon, the truce breaks down, and the three of them pick up right where they left off.
- The Jimmy Two-Shoes episode "There's Always a Hiccup" ends with Heloise cured of her hiccups, and Beezy getting them.
- In Tiny Toon Adventures, every Baby Plucky segment ends by showing Plucky still hasn't grown out of whatever annoying habit he had in the flashback.
- After dealing with a mischievous Energy Being in the The Transformers episode "Kremzeek", a duplicate that hid out in Blaster jumps out and hops away, leaving the Autobots to chase it all over again.
- The Fractured Fairy Tales version of Rapunzel, like the ordinary version, starts with Rapunzel's pregnant mother getting a craving for the rampion growing in a witch's garden. It ends:
Rapunzel: Darling, I know this sounds fantastic and utterly absurd, but I have this uncontrollable desire to have a salad made from that variety of European bellflower.
Rapunzel: Yes dear, rampion!
Witch: Well, here we go again! (Evil Laugh)
- Here Comes the Grump employs a variation: the Here We Go Again moment is always at the beginning of the episode.
- Taken Up to Eleven in the Drawn Together episode where the gang plots revenge on a critic of the show, beginning with them watching a show with a flying kangaroo. Spanky farts for an extended period of time to show his distaste of the show. At the end of the episode after they finally confront the critic, Spanky calls a flying kangaroo to fly him out of the window. It zooms out to the flying kangaroo, being watched on TV by the gang, when Spanky farts for an extended period of time to show his distaste of the show.
- The ending of The Rugrats Movie has one of these, the movie kicks off when Angelica kicks the reptar wagon out the door with the babies inside causing it to eventually end up in the woods, in a scene after the ending credits a goat Boris had given the Pickles earlier headbutts the reptar wagon with Grandpa Lou inside causing it to roll down the street and the goat chases after him.
- The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin seems to end with Teddy, Grubby, and Gimmick returning to Rillionia, only for the final episode to end with the trio taking off in their airship for more adventure.
- The Oblongs episode "Flush, Flush, Sweet Helga" ends with Helga finally getting out of the sewers after Pickles inadvertently sets the sewage on fire with a discarded cigarette and ending up knocking Debbie's locket into the sewer again, making Helga retrieve it.
- Phineas and Ferb, "Phineas and Ferb Interrupted": Phineas and Ferb end up losing interest in their usual crazy projects after getting hit by a stray shot from Dr. Doofenshmirtz's "Dull-and-Boring-inator". Perry goes back to Doofenshmirtz Evil Inc. and convinces Doofenshmirtz to help him make a Dynamic-inator. When the machine is finally built, the shot fired misses Phineas and Ferb, but they manage to snap out of it by themselves in time to save Candace. When the kids go home, they find Linda acting weird after getting hit by the stray Dynamic-inator blast, and the episode ends with Perry going back to Doofenshmirtz to rebuild the Dull-and-Boring-inator.
- Adventure Time, "Evicted": Finn and Jake finally reclaim their home from Marceline, only to find a bunch of worms crawling around their living room. Then a giant "king worm" descends from the second floor and brainwashes them into giving him a hug.
- Arthur also likes this trope, so much they've even composed an annoying music cue to accompany these kind of endings (such as in "Arthur Makes the Team," "Team Trouble," "Buster Baxter, Cat Saver," "Arthur's Dummy Disaster," "Francine and the Feline," and "Is There a Doctor in the House?")