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No, not that The End. Or that one. Or even that one.

The characters are about to do something, but are interrupted by the end of the episode, often in the form of a "The End" card. This isn't a Cliff Hanger that will be resolved when the characters finish their plans next episode; either the end of the episode actually prevents them from ever getting it done, or they at least express dismay that the episode's ending has stopped or delayed them.

Examples of Interrupted by the End include:


Anime and Manga

  • Bobobobo Bobobo: The last episode of the anime has absolutely no lead-in to the ending, which is simply announced by The Narrator while every character is about to charge into a fight. No one is pleased.


Film

  • Though it also appears in an earlier scene, My Fellow Americans ends with a verbal cutoff. One character distracts the other and seizes a microphone in front of a large audience. As the latter begins My fellow Americans," the former sees he's been deceived and mutters "you son of a--"
  • The film The Rules of Attraction ends mid-sentence. It also begins mid-sentence. The book did the same thing with the exact same two lines.
  • The ending of the Lost Boys cuts off right before the cast reacts to grandpa who apparently knew that vampires existed in the town.


Literature

 So anyway, that's where we get our ideas from. I was going to go on from this point and tell you exactly who V really is, but I'm afraid that I've run out of room. The only real hint I can give is that V isn't Evey's father, Whistler's mother, or Charley's aunt. Beyond that, I'm afraid you're on your own.

England Prevails.


Live-Action TV

  • Used in the Spanish Inquisition episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus; when the three cardinals finally reach the courtroom where they are most definitely not expected, the screen goes black before Cardinal Ximenez can finish announcing their presence, prompting him to cut himself off with "Nobody expects - oh, bugger!"
  • Several seasons of The Morecambe and Wise Show would end with a harmonica player walking onstage after the closing credits had rolled, and being cut off after playing a few notes.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, when Spikes discovers the chip in his head only prevents him from hurting humans

  Spike: What’s this? Sitting around watching the telly while there’s evil still afoot. That’s not very industrious of you. I say we go out there and kick a little demon ass! What, can’t go without your Buffy? Is that it? Too chicken? Let’s find her! She is the Chosen One, after all. ... Come on! Vampires! Grrr! Nasty! Let’s annihilate them. For justice... and for... the safety of puppies – and Christmas, right? Let’s fight that evil! ... Let’s kill something! [Fade to black.] Oh, come on!


Music

  • Subverted by Pink Floyd's The Wall: the last track ends with someone quietly (almost inaudibly) saying "Is this where...", while the similar first track starts with the same voice saying "...we came in?".


Tabletop Games

  • The Warhammer 40,000 universe is self-contained (possibly a historical account) within the 41st millennium... and only the 41st millennium. This is particularly painful to the Tyranids, who are not only one of only two races that lack faster-than-light travel, but they first appear in force around the year 40,950. Yep. While other armies have a few thousand years (Tau), ten thousand years (Marines, Chaos Marines), millions of years (Eldar, Necrons, the Orks' ancestor race), or a literally infinite span of time (Daemons) to play with, Tyranids get fifty years.
    • Weeell, strictly speaking the Tau get much less than that: it's true that they were first encountered around 789.m35[1], but at that point, they were pretty much an alien avian equivalent of homo neanderthalis. One of the "big things" the Imperium's and Mechanicum's biologists and xenanthropologists were excited about was the fact that in the roughly 4 millennia between First and second contact [2] with the Tau was just how much they have developed (culturally, technologically and physically). So, put Tau at around 2000 years as an interstellar polity/army, even though their first major war (with humanity, anyway) was the Damocles Gulf Crusade, in around 600.m41[3].
    • And the judgment for the 'nids depends on what you consider "appearing in force": Hive Fleet Leviathan arrived around 40,950, true, but Kraken and Behemoth were earlier. The First Tyrannic War started in 40,745 with the destruction of Tyran by Hive Fleet Behemoth, but Tyranid precursor fleets (including the predominantly zoat Colossus) have been retroactively identified as entering the galaxy centuries, if not millennia earlier. And that ignores the existence of Tyranid remnants and scout forms on worlds never touched by the identified hive fleets (indeed, some theories suggest that Catachan and Fenris harbour Tyranid remnants, and have done for over ten millenia), such as Ymgarl, which for a long time was thought to be the home planet of the genestealers (now known to be a Tyranid scout/shock clade).


Video Games

 Lloyd: The name of this tree shall be...

* Credits roll*


Web Comics


Web Original

 "Now it's time for some Bakura Fanser-oh bugger!"

    • In a variation, in one episode Ishizu predicts that another guy will be interrupted by the opening credits.

 "In five seconds you will be interrupted by the opening credits"

"What the hell are you talking ab-"

  • In the very first Decemberween cartoon, Homestar Runner cuts off Strong Sad, claiming they're out of time, but a few seconds then pass before the end screen actually appears.
    • Another animation called "Strong Bad is a Bad Guy", which is done on Mario Paint, has Strong Bad, Strong Mad, and The Cheat talking about tattoos, but they are all interrupted by Homestar Runner, who tells them about his design for a perfect tattoo. When Strong Mad realizes that Homestar cannot have tattoos because of his lack of arms, he yells out "YOU DON'T HAVE AR-" but the episode ends.


Western Animation

  • One episode of Futurama had Zoidberg try to start up his own musical routine at the end (copying Hermes who had one earlier in the episode):

 Zoidberg: "Now it's time for Zoidberg's song - When I was two there was a tidal wave..."

* Credits start*

Zoidberg: "Awww..."

  • The Simpsons used this in the episode "22 Short Films About Springfield," when Professor Frink showed up too late.
    • A later episode has Moe complain about the absurdity of the Snap Back. A prop wall fell on him, magically reversing the plastic surgery he underwent. He notes the inherent Fridge Logic in this and is cut halfway through his speech.
    • At the end of the fourth-season episode "Homer The Heretic", Homer convinces God to tell him the meaning of life as they stroll through Heaven together. God gets as far as "The meaning of life is--" before the credits cut Him off.
      • Word of God: The writers thought that when the episode aired, the end would be immediately followed by a Fox promo (rather than just the credits). The idea was that the viewers would be pissed off by having a revelation from God being cut off by a promo.
  • Used in the Krusty Krab Training Video on SpongeBob SquarePants. "The secret Krabby Patty formula is--"
  • In the episode "Here Comes The Neighborhood" of South Park, Mr. Garrison convinces others in town to got rid of all the rich blacks, with methods such as burning a lowercase t on their lawns and scaring them by dressing as ghosts. At the end he states they can now become rich themselves by selling the homes only for the others to point out that what they did was meaningless since there will still be rich people. Garrison says "Well, at least we got rid of those damn ni-".
    • Also done in a Zero Punctuation of a 50 Cent game. Yahtzee spends the entire review insisting that he isn't racist, going so far as to include subliminal messages about his lack of racistness. He ends the review with an inspiring speech about how we should all put aside our differences and work together to build a better world. "Not that they'd know anything about work, the lazy nig-" * CREDITS*
    • The episode "Trapper Keeper" had Cartman constantly make fun of Kyle, who saves him in the end. When Stan demands Cartman apologize, he utters "Kyle..." before the credits roll.
  • One episode of House of Mouse was about Goofy attempting to sing the national anthem because Mickey Mouse and friends are preparing to start a show about sports and focusing on athletic Disney characters such as Casey at the Bat, Hercules, and Mulan, but ends up singing other patriotic songs like "America the Beautiful", "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "Stars and Stripes Forever", and "A Grand Old Flag" instead. Eventually Goofy finally finds out that the national anthem is actually "Star-Spangled Banner", and is about to sing it only to find out that the episode is over. The episode ends with him singing the first few lyrics of the anthem, but is then cut off.
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast often ended this way. This was lampshaded in one episode when the show was hijacked by an angry fan, who among his demands wanted "a real ending for once, not one that's just suddenly interrupted by the cre-" *credits roll*

The most important thing to remember about this trope is that...

...The End is not the end.

Notes

  1. 34,789 CE
  2. Sometime in the late 39th millennium
  3. 40,600 CE
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