|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
After a long fight, the Big Bad is finally defeated, his legions of robotic minions smashed to pieces, his living ones have been safely thrown in jail, The Dragon is dead, the Capulet Counterparts have gone off somewhere to be alone, and the Quirky Miniboss Squad has decided to go straight and make a new life for themselves.
Congratulations are given, the dead are mourned, the Unresolved Sexual Tension is resolved (or is just about to be)...
Say what now?
Kind of a non-ending, we know. This kind of ending can come when a series is canceled before the author can plan out a full ending, sometimes it's deliberate. Some stories just end before they can reach the Happily Ever After point. Sometimes, there is no Happily Ever After. Or it may be meant to imply that the adventuring life is their Happily Ever After, especially if they have recently contemplated quitting and decided against it, or recently regained their ability to continue.
The purpose behind this idea is to explain that the world that these characters inhabit is much, much larger than the stories that have been written about them. These characters, and all of their friends and foes that were encountered as we watched, continue on living their lives even if we aren't watching the story unfold. We can relax, knowing that they're still out there somewhere, still fighting the good fight, since that's how we saw them last.
Sort of like Here We Go Again, but the tone is usually more optimistic than the good-natured resignation of the former. The series acts as a window into the lives of the characters, and though it may be time for the audience (or the writer) to move on, their adventures or struggles will continue. But in this case, there's the implication that the worst is over, and despite the danger, things will be all right for them from now on.
Or, it could just be a Sequel Hook, depending on if anything comes later.
There have been several adventure stories that eliminate any sense of subtlety by featuring this phrase at the end. But since it is such a great cinematic technique, most people tend to not care.
This is an Ending Trope, so spoilers ahoy!
- Angel Densetsu wraps up the UST and gives us everyone finally acknowledging they are Kitano's True Companions, but the characters' lives are still going on.
- Azumanga Daioh offers a very sedate example. The girls' time at high-school is over... they're going to various colleges... the youngest, Chiyo, is moving to America... and it looks like the little world we've come to love over the last 26 episodes is disappearing, as the older girls walk off and Chiyo watches them go.... before they call to her to come on, so they can spend the day together, and Chiyo realizes that while this part of their lives might be over, they'll always be together. *sniffle*
- Season 2 of The Big O seems to close with Reset Button Ending, with Roger on his way to yet another negotiation. The sight of Angel and Dorothy watching him drive by, however, indicates that things aren't going to go exactly the same way.
- Ranma ½ ends with the wedding bombed out and Ranma's cure lost, just like every other time something like that happens, the reader is told that things will continue to go on as they have, although there is at least some implication that Ranma and Akane have grown closer.
- The Tokyo Mew Mew anime ends this way, with the girls returning to the cafe and Ryou announces there's a new threat they have to fight.
- Revolutionary Girl Utena ends with Anthy leaving Ohtori Academy at long last to go search for the now-missing Utena.
- Most forms of Slayers end this way, especially the anime. The only time it could be averted is at the end of the novels, where Gourry insists on coming to Lina's home kingdom. His reason for actually wanting to go is ambiguous, though.
- The ending of the Inuyasha anime is like this because it began to overtake the manga. Five years later, when the manga finally did end, a new anime season was made and wrapped the story up appropriately.
- In Princess Princess the manga, the anime and the TV series all end with their respective problems solved, but the job of the princesses continue.
- Godannar ends with a Mimetic Beast attack, just when the entire restored force happens to all be in one spot.
- SD Gundam Force ends with the members of the Gundam Force being called once again to save another world in danger.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's ends with the three Aces rushing off to a mission. Turned out to be a Sequel Hook for the A's to StrikerS manga.
- Outlaw Star's crew kicked ass, chewed gum, ran out of gum, ran out of ass (not literally). Once the Catgirl went home, they decided it was time to go get some more gum.
- Flint the Time Detective ended with the Goldfish Poop Gang escaping with a time traveling vehicle and the heroes chasing them down.
- Mon Colle Knights ends in a similar way, with the Big Bad beaten but the Goldfish Poop Gang getting away (albeit a bit embarrassingly) and the six treasures scattered to the winds and waiting to be found again.
- Dragon Ball ends with Goku going off to train with Uub, and the author promising that they have more adventures, which they solve somehow.
- A lot of Lupin III stuff ends like this. The very final chapter of the original manga ends with Lupin destroying his hideout and mentioning that he's hard at work on his next adventure.
- Dai-Guard ends with it being almost explicitly stated that the Heterodyne will never stop attacking, but now that people have the proper methods to deal with them it's just another part of life.
- Yakitate!! Japan ends when Kazuma vows to keep experimenting to create the perfect Ja-pan.
- Heroman ends with Dr. Minami and his gang breaking out of prison. There's a TO BE CONTINUED?.
- Eyeshield 21 ends with a Time Skip to Sena's college years, where he joins the Enma University football team and prepares to compete in the Rice Bowl.
- Giant Killing ended the series no more than half way into the season so it was either this or possibly a Sequel Hook
- Panty and Stocking With Garterbelt manages to combine this with a Gainax Ending - after defeating Corset and saving Daten City, Stocking suddenly kills Panty and Garterbelt before slicing Panty up into 666 pieces, revealing that she was actually a demon all along. Corset then emerges from Brief's penis and leaves with Stocking, declaring that he will use Panty's remains as a breadcrumb trail to lead Brief to Oten City, where there is another gateway to Hell. And then Garterbelt comes back.
Garterbelt: ...ahem. Go forth, Brief and Chuck! Onward!
- Gun Blaze West ended with Viu and his allies managing to pass the Baron's test and being permitted to continue on to GBW. An Indian guide comes to pick them up on buffaloes and they ride on to the next challenge. But not before Viu leaves his now damaged gun behind for his mentor Marcus to find so he can follow after them.
- Tsubasa Chronicle, of course. The epic legendary Mind Screw might have been in danger of actually making something approaching sense had there been any other kind of ending.
- Baccano (the anime only) ends after a three-part OVA wrap-up, ending many character arcs and putting most of our questions to rest (it even actually tells us What Happened to the Mouse?). However, rather than end on the same note as the main series, saying "Many Birthdays To Come" (It Makes Sense in Context), which came across as cheerfully final, the OVA ending says the traditional "What's Next On Baccano!", implying the characters' continued adventures. And it is awesome.
- Kero Kero Chime ends with the pages of the book that could have restored the main character from his curse scattered once again in the process of stopping the Big Bad, and the main cast heading out to gather them all over again.
- Kekkaishi ends with Kokoburo completely destroyed and Yoshimori and the others returning to the real world. Tokine was worried sick after Yoshimori impulsively uses a hidden power to destroy Kaguro, and the entire series wraps up with Yoshimori and Tokine at Karasumori where they continue to stop Ayakashi from claiming it.
- The Mysterious Cities of Gold ends like this, with Esteban, Tao and Zia setting off on the Golden Condor to find the remaining six Cities of Gold.
- The second season of the anime for The World God Only Knows ends this way, with Elsie running up to tell Keima about a large number of Runaway Spirits being detected in the area, followed by a montage of the next several capture targets from the manga.
- Super Atragon: The OVA ends with the Ra, repaired after her huge battle against the Liberty and half the subterranean race's weaponry, launching out towards the gigantic hole in Antartica left by the emergence of the black cylinders. Appropriately enough, the view is of the Ra going into the sunset.
- The Grand Finale of Tiger and Bunny shows the two main characters coming out of their One-Year Retirement and joining the "Second League Heroes", because Kotetsu's happy ending is continuing to help people, and Barnaby's happy ending is staying by Kotetsu's side.
- THE iDOLM@STER - The characters keep stressing that even though 765 Pro is a huge success, this is only the beginning for them. Plus, they're financially back at square zero after getting scammed by Kuroi.
- The first series of Mahoujin Guru Guru concludes with Nike and Kukuiri at the door of the final Boss Room, before deciding, in true RPG fashion, that they're having too much of a good time and are going to go off and level up some more – much to the frustration of said final boss, who was anticipating some form of closure.
- Michiko to Hatchin, with Hatchin leaving her new home with her baby daughter and reuniting with Michiko, years after the initial story.
"Michiko. How far will we go next?"
- The final episode of Popotan has its main characters reunite to continue time travelling. The very last shot sees them arriving in a time period where one of the previously seen side characters has grown up from teenager to adult.
- In ARAGO, the main villain defeated, but Seth is trapped in something between a Lotus Eater Machine and A Fate Worse Then Death. The series ends with Arago and the remaining nakama going off to find a way to set him free.
- Watchmen ends with Nite Owl and Silk Spectre coming out of retirement to fight crime together. Then there's The Stinger, implying that they may have to deal with the fallout from Rorschach exposing Ozymandias' crimes...
- Happens a lot in superhero comics, especially ones published by DC and Marvel. Since almost all their series are Long Runners which go on indefinably, many departing writers finish off their runs on a particular hero's title with this trope; thus putting a capstone on their own run on the character while ensuring readers that the hero will be back with new adventures (written by someone else) next month.
- The Justice League Unlimited quote listed at the top of the page was anticipated by several years by Grant Morrison, who ended his run on the Justice League comic with a similar scene. Having just saved the entire universe from a rampaging cosmic war machine, the League are given a few precious minutes to relax before receiving word that another of their old enemies is up to no good. Batman sighs, but Superman gives him a grin and says "Come on, Bruce. You know you love it."
- The first 12-issue run of Young Avengers ends with this. Everyone on the team except new member Tommy are hanging around Avengers Mansion. Then they hear an explosion from across town, and Tommy comes zooming in, complete with his new costume and codename ("Speed"), explaining that a bunch of supervillains are at the United Nations building - which he's going to need Billy to magically put back together ("You can do that, right?")
Billy: "This is not going to end well, is it?"
Teddy: "No way. But I have to admit -" (Everyone starts running) "I can't wait to see what happens next!"
- At the end of the SLG Gargoyles comic book sequel series, Goliath is almost giddy that his clan has literally just doubled in size in less than half an hour with the arrival of an older Brooklyn and his family from their timedancing adventures as well as Coldstone and Coldfire to stay. At that, the call that The Pack is on the loose again is not merely an emergency to attend to for Goliath, but also a moment of celebration as the whole clan takes off to kick bad guy butt together with relish.
- This type of ending is mocked in The Boys - along with most of the other conventions of comic books and superheroes, unsurprisingly. Jack From Jupiter says, of the winners of "Best New Team", "There's a 'Feels more like a beginning' waiting to happen if I ever saw one", going on to say that when the team inevitably break up and begin their long, painful slide in obscurity and worse, the comic book always ends with one of them "gazing off-panel" and saying that, for an end, it feels more like a beginning.
- At the end of the Camelot 3000 comic series, King Arthur is dead and the surviving knights set about rebuilding the civilization of Earth. Meanwhile, on some distant planet, a small alien creature stumbles across Arthur's sword Excalibur (which it then wields against a group of aliens who had been pursuing it) as we are told "The road goes ever on..."
- The final line of the ongoing Batgirl series is Stephanie's narration as she swings into the Gotham night for her next adventure.
"Here we go."
- The ending of Red Robin is similar since both it and Batgirl ended because the DC Relaunch.
- The first Back to The Future movie ends this way (not necessarily a guaranteed Sequel Hook, since the "To Be Continued" was added for home video releases). And then they go and continue it directly in the second movie. (The second movie also ends like this, but since they made the second and third movies at the same time, there was never any actual doubt that the story would be continued at that point.)
- The Incredibles ends with The Underminer emerging from below in a huge Drill Tank, and the titular heroes about to go after him. (The Incredibles isn't getting a sequel... yet, but fighting The Underminer was the premise of the second video game.)
- True Lies ends with the Taskers working together on a new mission.
- Star Trek VI the Undiscovered Country: while the Enterprise is being decomissioned, the adventure most assuredly continues:
Kirk: Captain's log, stardate 9529.1. This is the final cruise of the starship Enterprise under my command. This ship and her history will shortly become the care of another crew. To them and their posterity will we commit our future. They will continue the voyages we have begun and journey to all the undiscovered countries, boldly going where no man, where no one, has gone before.
- The deleted final scene of Star Trek Nemesis ends with the Enterprise repaired, and Captain Picard ordering that it be taken out once more to system "where no one has been before."
- Monsters vs. Aliens ends with the monster heroes responding to an emergency in Paris. Seeing how the team has just triumphed in their first mission and Paris was where Susan wanted to go for her honeymoon before her jerk of a fiance talked her out of it for his career, going on this new mission is definitely a happy ending for them.
- The end of the Samuel L. Jackson film SWAT.
- Ditto for Mortal Kombat.
- The first National Treasure film originally ended like this, but it was cut after test audiences mistook it for a Sequel Hook. Then it got a sequel anyway.
- The sequel, however, does end this way.
- The Master and Commander movie, The Far Side of the World ends with Jack Aubrey realizing that the captain of the Acheron (the ship he just captured and sent away with part of his crew) is actually alive and still aboard the ship disguised as a doctor. He immediately cancels his plans to relax on the Galapagos and sails off in pursuit as the credits begin to roll.
- "James Bond Will Return."
- Jay and Silent Bob Will Return...
- In two movies, this tag incorrectly names the next movie. The same thing happened with at least one of the early Bond films.
- Jay and Silent Bob Will Return...
- Conan the Barbarian: "And this story shall also be told..." The sequel completely ignored the planned story arc, though.
- Super Mario Bros ends with Koopa defeated, the barrier between the worlds restored, and Daisy running the kingdom. But one day, while the Mario Bros. are relaxing...
Daisy: (Bursts in, dressed for war) You're not going to believe this!
Mario: I believe it.
Luigi: You believe it?!
Mario: (Grins) I believe.
- "And now, back again after 18 years: The New Adventures of Galaxy Quest!"
- With a brand new Plucky Comic Relief!
- Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ends with many of the loose ends tied up, but Barbossa once again steals the Black Pearl from Jack Sparrow. Sparrow, meanwhile, appears to know just where Barbossa is headed next, and seems to be looking forward to the adventure of getting his ship back again.
- But now there's going to be a fourth movie, so this turned into a Sequel Hook.
- The Fourth Movie ended similarly, with Barbossa in command of a different ship of his own now, while Jack has to work to restore the Black Pearl (which Barbossa "wrecked")...along with a whole fleet of powerful pirate ships.
- But now there's going to be a fourth movie, so this turned into a Sequel Hook.
- The Specials ends with the team, having patched their differences and renewed their sense of purpose, getting a call from the president. Giant ants are attacking the Pentagon and none of the A-list teams are available, leaving them to jet off and save the day.
- Blade movies tended to end in this manner. Like in the first one, after the defeat of Big Bad, Blade is offered a cure for vampirism. "There's still job to be done. You want to help? Make me a better serum." The original planned ending for the third one was going to be this as well. The idea was that they had wiped out the vampires...and now were going to deal with werewolves instead.
- Mystery Team, alright!
- Starship Troopers: The movie ends with Johnny Rico in charge of the Roughnecks and a Federation propaganda spot, enticing civilians to enlist for the war effort.
- After the credits of the Yatterman movie, a fake "next episode" trailer plays, featuring the Big Bad's brother seeking revenge, Dorombo Gang building a 2.0 version of the mecha used in the final battle, Doronjo in a white version of her usual costume (referred as a "wedding version") and the Yatterpelican.
- The ending of The Hurt Locker, though an odd variant. Sergeant James walks back into Iraq for the beginning of another year-long rotation, not just because he's Married to the Job, but because it's the only thing he knows how to do anymore.
- The Adventures of Tintin: Amid the treasure recovered by Sir Francis Haddock, Tintin discovered a scroll leading to the rest of the treasure of the Unicorn.
Tintin: What was it you said, four-hundred weight of treasure? How's your thirst for adventure, Captain?
Captain Haddock: Unquenchable, Tintin!
- The five-book main series of the Liaden Universe by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller ends like this, with a new character running up to Our Heroes on the second-to-last page of the book to explain that she is in really bad trouble. The book ends on the line:
She nodded. "It's kind of complicated," she started . . .
- Several years later, two side-story novels were written to explain the nature of the "complicated" problem, followed by Ghost Ship which picked up where the last book left off.
- Star Gate ends with the heroes having built another Cool Gate to find yet another Alternate Universe, and the very last words are:
Sometimes he thought that an endless quest had been set them for some purpose, and that the seeking, not the finding, was their full reward. And it was good.
- The final book in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel series ends with both the Story Arc and the storyline of the book itself unresolved (but with a resolution in place, once they have the chance to use it), and the Doctor and his companions leaping into danger.
- In Michael Ende's original novel The Neverending Story, many secondary plot threads are left hanging with the phrase "But that's another story, and will be told another time," thus implying that...uh...the adventure continues.
- Sidney Sheldon's If Tomorrow Comes ends with Classy Cat Burglar Tracy on a flight to Brazil to marry her partner-in-crime Jeff; having pulled off one last big score they intend to go straight. It turns out that her seat mate on the flight is the uber-rich, uber-juicy target Maximilian Pierpont, whom Jeff always wanted to go after, and the lecher wants to get acquainted with her...
- The Chronicles of Narnia ends with everyone living in Aslan's perfect kingdom and evil being gone forever. But now the real adventure begins, each chapter more exciting than the last, and never ending.
- More than one book in the Hank the Cowdog series has ended with this tone, implying that the work as Head of Rance Security never ends.
Hank: Case closed, and back to work!
- The Animorphs series ends this way... so much so that the final book is titled The Beginning.
- The Harry Potter series ends this way as well. According to Word of God, Harry and Ron do become Aurors after the war (Harry rising to Head of the Auror Office at 27), which means they spend the rest of their lives doing the very same thing they've been doing for the last 7 years: stopping Dark wizards. Add the fact that Dark Lords seem to crop up quite frequently, the last two being active within 30 years of each other, and that wizards live long lives, and the adventure really has just started.
- Tad Williams' Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn sets this trope up by having the Sitha woman Aditu recite a prophecy over The Wise Prince Josua's twin children. As the characters openly wonder what it means, they discuss the fact that history isn't going to end with their current woes, and there will be more great deeds and adventures to come once the Storm King is defeated.
- Starship Troopers: The book ends with newly commissioned Lieutenant Johnny Rico in charge of the Roughnecks, still assigned to the Roger Young, and reunited with his father, who ended up a sergeant in the unit with him.
- The first series of Percy Jackson and The Olympians ends this way with not only another prophecy, but with Annabeth and Percy running down the camp hill and not looking back leaving a very ambiguous feel to what is yet to come.
- All of the books in the series seem to end this way for the most part. It usually ends with Annabeth and Percy, or another mix of campers saying goodbye before telling each other they'll see each other next summer.
- In "Miss Peregrines Homefor Peculiar Children", Jacob and Emma defeat the Wight and manage to save Miss Peregrine, but not Miss Avocet. They then discover that the home has been destroyed by a German bomb, disabling their Time Loop and forcing Miss Peregrine and the peculiar children to not live the same day over and over again. Concurrently, Horace discovers that Wights have taken Miss Avocet to an unknown location that could easily be in an alternate loop in any continent at any time. The book ends with everyone rowing out to sea.
- Who P-P-P-Plugged Roger Rabbit ends with Roger bursting into Eddie's office with a new crime for him to solve, adding that he suspects Jessica of dating Cary Grant.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn:
But I reckon I got to light out for the Territory ahead of the rest, because Aunt Sally she's going to adopt me and sivilize me, and I can't stand it. I been there before.
- The Sword of Truth grays the difference between this and a Sequel Hook. The main arc does wrap up, but there remains both some very specific things left to be done and some adventures to be had.
- Since each book is designed to be somewhat stand-alone, the entire series has this feel. In more than half of the books they end up cleaning up their mistakes from previous books, so it's somewhat justified, bizarrely.
- The Orphans Tales ends with Aerie, Lantern, Solace, Scald, and Sleeve showing up to embrace Sorrow as her family. The prince is sad, as he thinks his role in the story is over... until Sorrow reaches out to him, asking him to join her on her future adventures, and he follows her with great enthusiasm.
- The Inheritance Cycle ends like this, with Eragon leaving Alagaesia for good to raise the dragons, leaving Nasuada and Arya the Queens of their respective people, Roran as the new runler of Palancar Valley, and Murtague as the The Drifter. It's implied that, because all the Dragon Riders are almost immortal, most of the magical cast will see each other again, leaving the story open for both C.P. and fanfict writers to return to if they wish. Really, it just leaves open more questions then it actually answers.
- The end of Corambis. The author has said she wanted to make it clear that the story didn't end with the narrative, and she definitely did.
- The end of Quantum Leap is not just And the Adventure Continues..., it's And The Adventure Will Never End: "Sam Beckett never returned home."
- The Adventures of Brisco County Jr
- The original run of Doctor Who ends with the Doctor and Ace, having defeated the villain of the week, happily wander back to the TARDIS to continue adventuring, with the accompanying voice over: "There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream; people made of smoke and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, somewhere else the tea's getting cold. Come on, Ace. We've got work to do."
- The Sarah Jane Adventures, partly due to the tragic loss of Elisabeth Sladen, ends with a retrospective montage and the tagline, "And the story goes on... forever." Lis Sladen may be gone, but Sarah Jane will never die. It's a fitting tribute to the most beloved Companion of the classic era, and one of the most beloved actresses in English television history.
- The last episode of The A-Team ended with this discussion:
Hannibal: Chasing thugs through the park...it's got a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
Face: It has a terrible ring to it.
Murdock: Just think, if we get a pardon, we may never have to eat a knuckle sandwich again.
B.A.: I wouldn't bet on it, Crazy Man. Looks like Hannibal's on the jazz again.
Face: What, what, wha-
Murdock: No, you - you tell me right now, you tell me right to my face, you tell me that you don't have a plan.
Hannibal: Well I - I was thinking, what are we gonna do when this thing's over? I mean, what are we really qualified to do?
Face: Go after...thugs in the park?
Hannibal: And...outlaw motorcycle gangs, organized crime figures...why, there's a world of slimeballs out there.
Murdock: I knew it. I just knew you had a plan.
Hannibal: Comforting, isn't it?
B.A.: I'll get the van.
- The series finale of ER ends as a series of ambulances carrying patients from a mass casualty pulls into the ambulance bay of the hospital, effectively showing that the circle keeps turning, the adventure continues and there will always be work for the doctors of the ER. The series also pays tribute to the old gang; prospective medical student Rachel Greene - daughter of original main character Dr. Mark Greene, who died roughly halfway through the show's run - joins in on the action after being introduced to emergency medicine by a Back for the Finale Dr. Carter, implying that within a few years there will be another Dr. Greene at County General. In a neat bit of Book Ends, Dr. [Mark] Greene called to "Dr. Carter" at the end of the first episode; the series ends with Dr. Carter calling to (future) "Dr. [Rachel] Greene." Meanwhile the old gang - including Drs. Corday, Weaver, and Rasgotra - are shown to be happily settled in to their lives post-County.
- Stargate SG-1 ends with the team heading through the gate on yet another mission. Things aren't completely settled, but with the "nullification" (read: death) of the Ori, and the knowledge of the Asgard in Earth's hands, we are confident of a final victory against the remaining, corporeal followers of the Ori (which is shown in the
11th seasonfirst SG-1 movie "The Ark of Truth"). Both sequel movies end in this way too.
- The ending of Xena: Warrior Princess. (Well, except for the title character dying and choosing to stay dead.)
- And Hercules: The Legendary Journeys.
- Engine Sentai Go-onger ends with the Go-Ongers on their way to fight the remnants of the Gaiarc forces who are attacking another dimension.
- Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue ends with the Rangers rushing off as they hear the sounds of an emergency nearby.
- Likewise, at the end of Power Rangers SPD, though Jack has left the force to pursue his true calling of helping the poor, the remaining Rangers -- sporting new colors -- stop by to visit, then rush off to another call.
- These examples are atypical in Power Rangers history, as in all the other post-Zordon-era series, the finale has the Rangers lose their powers (Dino Thunder, Ninja Storm), return their powers back to their mentor since they are no longer needed (Wild Force, RPM), give up their powers to pursue other vocations (Operation Overdrive, Jungle Fury, Lost Galaxy) or leave the scene (Time Force). Since SPD is set some decades in the future, Lightspeed Rescue is the only series to end with a set of Rangers still active in another city at the time of the following season (Wes and Eric kept their powers at the end of Time Force, but the rest of the team went back to the 31st century).
- Power Rangers Operation Overdrive has a variation - there's no more need for the team as superheroes, but Andrew and Mack are going on an Archaeology Adventure just like the one that prompted the need for superheroes in the first place.
- A rare instance of this trope ending a single episode - in Chuck, one story ended with the title character getting ready to enjoy a short vacation from spy work while his partners/handlers were called away called on another mission. Chuck decides to forego the vacation and come along.
- Star Trek the Next Generation was so classy it got two of these for its finale, and neither of them felt cheap. The first comes in Q's courtroom, where Q drops some cryptic hints on the fate of humanity, including this dialogue:
Q: That is the exploration that awaits you. Not mapping stars, or studying nebulae, but charting the unknown possibilities of existence.
Picard: Q, what is it that you're trying to tell me?
Q: [Leans forward to whisper in Picard's ear and then coyly pulls away] You'll find out. In any case, I'll be watching. And if you're very lucky I'll drop by to say hello from time to time. See you... out there.
- Then, in the next (and final) scene Picard, finally joins the weekly poker game with the rest of his senior officers. After he sits and has a moment of contemplation, we get this dialogue, just before we see the Enterprise fly off into space.:
Picard: I should have done this a long time ago.
Troi: You were always welcome.
Picard: [starts to deal] So, five card stud, nothing wild, and the sky's the limit.
- Star Trek Enterprise ended its final episode by combining the legendary "Space, the final frontier" narration split between Picard era, Kirk era and Archer Era Enterprises. In this case since the show was a prequel, we most certainly know that the adventure continues. Even though the final episode was sub-par, that was about the best final scene you could hope for.
- After Monk finally solved the mystery behind his wife's murder, we see him going to advise on a crime scene before the final credits roll.
- In Angel, the final episode ends just as the heroes are just going into the start of the apocalypse battle -- message being that "you never stop fighting." There are probably some other reasons for the ambiguous ending, as the show was suddenly canceled by the WB. And the series was picked back up in comic book form, anyway.
- Kamen Rider Kiva - just as two major characters tie the knot, Wataru's Kid From the Future comes rushing in, seeking help against the "Neo-Fangire". All the Riders suit up, the Arms Monsters transform, and they all leap at the screen. Wonder if the Neo-Fangire had any connection to Dai Shocker...
- Kamen Rider Double ends with the protagonists taking down a Big Bad Wannabe, followed by this conversation:
- The last episode of the original run of Red Dwarf ended with the closing credits:
THE SMEG IT IS!
- 24, season 3.
- Law and Order: Criminal Intent.
- Hill Street Blues: The final scene is the precinct office, still in business after a fire. The last words: a police officer answers a phone with "Hill Street."
- Spooks ends on a particularly bittersweet version of this. Ruth is dead, her name added to MI 5's enormous memorial wall , but Section D still has a job to do, and despite being in the grips of one of the most painful HeroicBSODs in TV history, Harry picks up the phone and gets back to work.
- 'Every episode of Zoboomafoo ends with Zoboo leaping back to Madagascar and the Kratts running off to visit some new environment.
- Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger ends with the Rangers departing Earth in search for the Second Greatest Treasure in the Universe, which Marvelous believes is on The Empire's homeworld.
- At the end of Brazilian Soap Opera "A Próxima Vítima" ("The Next Victim"), the detective was called to solve another murder.
- Desperate Housewives ends with the main characters eventually leaving Wisteria Lane, but the ending narration notes that as new neighbors move into the neighborhood, there will still be dark secrets to hide and protect.
- The last strip of Calvin and Hobbes. "It's a magical world, Hobbes ol' buddy. Let's go exploring!"
- In one of the Multiple Endings of Chrono Trigger Crono, Marle, and Lucca end up piloting the Epoch once more to rescue Crono's mom (and 1-11 cats) that accidentally went through a Gate.
- The end of Raidou Kuzunoha vs. the Soulless Army shows Narumi and Raidou taking on another case.
- Psychonauts ends this way - when Raz fulfills his lifelong dream of becoming a psychonaut and reunites with his father he is immediately thrust into another adventure.
- Both Knights of the Old Republic games, as your Player Character vanishes into the Unknown Regions to find out just what set off the inciting incident in the first place.
- Dragon Age could end this way, though special mention goes to the ending if you romanced Morrigan and decide to try to find her. The DLC module Witch Hunt can end with you and Morrigan stepping off into the unknown together.
- Neverwinter Nights is made of this trope.
- A rather epic version of this happens in Alundra, where after destroying Melzas and saving Inoa, Alundra walks off into the proverbial sunset, only to see ominous clouds gathering over a distant valley. Heroic music starts playing as Alundra smiles and walks towards them, signifying the beginning of a new adventure.
- Kingdom Hearts II after the credits. "A letter from the King?" And the first installment, with the main party chasing after Pluto who is carrying another such letter.
- Freedom Fighters ends with Chris and Isabella getting ready to defend themselves from a retaliatory attack from the Soviet army.
- Threads of Fate gets this treatment with a stinger clip after winning both scenarios, with Rue and Mint joining Claus in the search for another relic.
- The first ending of No More Heroes ends with Travis being ambushed by a challenger while on the toilet. The "true" ending went straight into Mind Screw territory.
- Devil May Cry 4's secret ending ends with one of these, with Dante getting another call and Lady and Trish joining him on another assignment.
Dante: Come on, babes...
All Three: ...LET'S ROCK!
- Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy ends with this:
Kyle: "There's still a whole galaxy of trouble out there. Ready for another mission?
Jaden: "As luck would have it, I am." [Credits roll to Star Wars theme]
- Batman: Arkham Asylum ends with the Joker apprehended, Arkham reclaimed by Gotham PD, and Batman -- who's just been beaten from here to kingdom come in the course of the night -- talking with Jim Gordon. When Gordon says he should go home and rest, an APB goes out saying that Two-Face has just robbed a bank... and Batman flies back into Gotham on the Batplane.
- Every The Legend of Zelda game since Majora's Mask.
- Even then, Wind Waker's ending stands out, featuring Link sailing out with the pirates to find a new land. Possibly the most unambiguous And the Adventure Continues... moment in the series. And one of the saddest.
- The one from The Legend of Zelda Oracle Games is a "you know what happens next" ending.
- The Homeworld Series, especially HW2.
- The ending for Mega Man V (otherwise known as Rockman World 5) for the Game Boy. The Stardroids are destroyed, Wily cowers, but leads to a chase.
- Similarly, Sonic Adventure ends with Eggman escaping, and Sonic chasing him.
- The ending to the fourth Quest for Glory game ended with the main character being teleported out of the middle of his award ceremony in order to save Silmaria. One of the endings to the final game in the series has the main character turning down the chance to be king in order to continue adventuring and fighting evil in other lands.
- Ratchet and Clank Future: A Crack in Time. Ratchet was going to Ride Into the
SunsetStars on his own, but eventually Clank decides to go with him until they find Ratchet's family, leaving Sigmund as Senior Caretaker of the Great Clock.
- Dragon Quest IX takes this trope to an extreme. Not only does the ending message say "To Be Continued...", it immediately puts you in the post-game epilogue ready to take on new quests.
- Golvellius: Valley of Doom ends with hero Kelesis defeating the title character and freeing Rena. The seven crystals he had collected in his journey enter Golvellius' body and restore him to the side of goodness, and Kelesis and Rena return to their kingdom but both leave almost immediately to search for Kelesis' sister. They're even met on their way by Golvellius who accompanies them.
- SaGa 2/ Final Fantasy Legend II ends as the protagonist, this time joined by both parents, set off on another adventure, soon after completing the one that comprised the game's plot.
- Okami ends with Amaterasu and Waka sailing the Ark of Yamato back to the Celestial Plane. A Sequel Hook of the finest order.
- Okamiden also ended with one of these, with Kuni leaving home, and saying that this wasn't the last adventure he'd have with Chibiterasu.
- The GBA version of Super Mario World starts with an intro that ends with a Last-Note Nightmare, as seen here; however, if you beat the game, the result is a textbook example of this very trope... and boy, does it make up for all your efforts.
- Shortly before Portal 2 was officially announced, the ending for Portal was changed from Chell escaping the Aperture Science testing facility to fall unconscious on the ground outside to add an Aperture Science robot dragging her back in.
- Happens at the end of Stinkoman 20 X 6 where after defeating Harvax XVII with his Stinkowing, Stinkoman actually flies toward the villain's castle where his friends Pan Pan and 1-Up are held captive. The game ends with a caption saying "Last Level to Come!"
- Apollo Justice Ace Attorney has two of these moments, the first coming right before the (short-term) Where Are They Now credits and the second at the end of said credits:
(Before credits) Apollo: ...And that's pretty much the end of my story. For now, anyway. I've still got a long way to go. And this power of mine... well, it needs some work. But... there's hope now. We'd lost it, but somehow, we found it again. That's why people are smiling again... Hope. Yeah, I think I'll keep at this lawyer thing for a while. Oops, training time. Gotta go. Chords of Steel... here comes Justice!
(After credits) Vera: The door is open. The world is waiting. Thank you.
- The ending monologue that is heard during the credits of Street Fighter IV:
"This marks the end of an epic battle. The winner emerges with the pride and honor of a hard won victory, but also with a nagging sense of uncertainty. The loser walks away with a heart heavy with shame and anger, ready to make a new start and fight again another day. Both warriors know that this isn't truly the end. Neither one's potential has been truly reached, and there is much hard training ahead. They'll never forget the days of exchanging blows at a fevered pitch. They'll never forget the days of lost hope, of self-loathing. Once they've caught their breath, the warriors will return to the ring. This is the burden of the true fighter. There is no other choice. Who knows where their next opponent lies? This story may be over, but the battle is just beginning!"
- The ending of Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots. Sort of. Snake knows that he has less than a year left to live, but he wants to stick around long enough to see what a world without the Patriots will look like. He knows that his fight is over, but he decides to take Otacon and Sunny along with him for one last adventure. Cue road trip.
- Although they don't really have any 'endings',MMORPGs often give this treatment to the aftermath of major global events. The world has been saved and its would-be destroyer is now on farm status, but (barring developer abandonment) who knows what the next update will bring? This is especially evident in games with an Expansion Pack structure.
- Burning Stickman Presents...Something! ended like this, with the main characters, having beaten the villain and saved the world, being sent out to stop an armored car robbery, with Franco remarking, "It's gonna be a good day." The author was going to quote the Justice League Unlimited ending instead, but his brother, on whom Franco was based, objected and suggested the actual ending line.
- Eight Bit Theater ends with a Where Are They Now? Epilogue where everyone else has settled down, but Fighter and Black Mage are still adventuring around like at the beginning of the strip.
- Girly ends with the daughters of Winter and Otra, and Autumn and Chuy having an adventure as hero and sidekick.
Never the end.
- Irregular Webcomic ends this way for all of the themes.
- The Platypus Comix Spider-Man story "True Believers" ends with Peter Parker and Mary Jane still Happily Married, and Joe Quesadilla eliminated...and then MJ gets kidnapped by the Green Goblin, prompting Spidey to swing to her rescue.
- Cartoon Network website features a Ben10 game based on the episode where the Mayan Sword was the McGuffin. In the end, a Mad Scientist abducts Ben, Foreshadowing the plot of another game.
- Red vs. Blue: Revelation ends with the Reds and Blues (along with Doc and a disguised Washington) deciding to return to their zany adventures at their Training bases; even after all the intensity of their adventures, they decide that their Training program might be considered mere practice by the higher-ups, it's real enough for them, and that's what matters. Meanwhile, Epsilon is still trapped inside the capture unit in his search for Tex, but he's made peace with his painful memories and knows that he has all the time in the world to find her.
- Justice League Unlimited ends with the quote above, as the League gets ready to chase down and arrest the Legion of Doom after defeating the forces of Apokolips, whom they give a 5 minute head start because of their help in the whole ordeal. As if it isn't clear enough, it is followed by what is essentially an animated superhero curtain call, set to the Epic Rocking Justice League Unlimited theme.
- Previously to that was the ending of the original Justice League after Hawk Girl resigns from the league.
Flash: "What's going to happen to the league now?"
Martian Manhunter: "We Rebuild..."
- Similarly, Teen Titans ends its final season arc as Dr. Light (the Evil one) having the bad luck to be out doing villainy while the entire Titans roster happens to be in town. The episode ends right before one massively unfair beatdown commences.
The last episode itself has the Titans repeatedly clash with some sort of elementally-metamorphic robot, while Beast Boy's distracted by the apparent return of Terra who insists she's just a regular girl who doesn't know him. Neither of these issues really gets a resolution, as BB decides to leave her be and join his friends in fighting the good fight once again.
- The Rescuers ends with the arrival of another call for help, and Bianca volunteering herself and a reluctant Bernard.
- The call for help may have come from Australia.
- And then the sequel ends with Bernard and Bianca getting engaged and presumably going off to continue their rescue work.
- The Sam and Max Freelance Police cartoon ended with the duo defeating their Rogues Gallery, with Sam wondering worriedly now that they've dispatched their long-time nemeses, what are they going to do now. Max assures him not to worry, because there will always be a need for them and looks expectantly at the phone. Then waits some more nervously. Then he yells at the phone to ring, which it does, and Sam and Max are happy to know that their adventures continue. Then they fight each other to pick up the phone.
- Mighty Max's final scene appears to be a massive Reset Button until Max picks up the Cap and reads the summons Virgil sent him, reminding him not to take so long this time. Max realizes they have another chance, and this time things will be different.
- "Our quest begins." -- tells us Toa Mata Nui at the end of Bionicle: The Legend Reborn. A quest that involves traveling through a dangerous maze, dealing with ancient elemental warriors and finding an energy source for re-powering a dead Humongous Mecha and duking it out with another planet-sized robot that cast Mata Nui's people into slavery. A sequel was planned, but LEGO pulled the plug on Bionicle before the script could have been finalized.
- The final episode of Xiaolin Showdown ends with every member of the monks Rogues Gallery standing outside the temple, ready for another battle. The monks happily charge forward, and it's almost certain they'll win again.
- Storm Hawks ends this way, with the war over, except that the heroes have departed to the Far Side in pursuit of the Big Bad. The final scene gives us a glimpse of the Far Side and the Storm Hawks' awe-struck reactions before Aerrow simply grins and says: "This is gonna be fun."
- At the end of the Adventure Time pilot, after saving Princess Bubblegum, Pen and Jake spot ninjas stealing an old man's diamonds and chase after them.
- Finding Nemo ends with Nemo deciding to live a normal life in the ocean and making sure he will never be captured again, and climbing onto Mr. Ray's back after returning to school so that his class can go on a field trip.
- The 2009 animated movie Wonder Woman polishes off her big adventure, but before the credits roll, a new villain attacks and she launches into action with confidence, as if to suggest that from now on she'll be flattening monsters on a regular basis.
- The Batman the Brave And The Bold episode "Time Out For Justice!" ends with one of the twelve pieces of Equinox's mind destroyed. The other eleven are out there somewhere in time and space.
- Recess: Taking the Fifth Grade ends with T.J. telling the audience that the fifth grade year is going to be their best year yet, right before the movie ends. This was also the "true" ending to the series.
- The last episode of the Tintin animated series consisted of an adaptation of Tintin in America, the oldest comic not considered an Old Shame. This episode ends with Tintin receiving a phone call presumably informing him of a disaster he must investigate, then rushing out the door as the epic theme song plays.
- Most major sporting tournaments. The World Cup and the Olympic Games, to name just two examples, explicitly feature "See you at [name of next tournament host]" messages as part of their closing ceremonies.
- Your life. After any major adventure, crisis, meeting, test, funeral, heartbreak, or parking ticket your life continues. Until you die anyway. Even then depending on your religion of choice you either continue in a New Game+  or a Playable Epilogue .
- On a smaller scale, school takes a lot of years before it's out for good. After years of growing up without even noticing it, the day you graduate you realise this Training From Hell has just been the beginning. Such a way to see the first part of a whole lifetime has been used as the premise of many works of fiction.