I admit it:  I’m a little bummed about the end of Letterman’s late night career.  Of course, there’s no real valid reason for me to be so, as I haven’t watched the show regularly since it was my job to do so throughout the 1990s.  Still, somehow the end of the Dave Era has me feeling down, down down, karma karma down…  Of course, I’ve always kind of been terrible at accepting endings.  I can still get emotional of the 1994 ‘End Of An Era’ storyline where the original Pre-Crisis Legion of Super-Heroes was wiped out of existence by the Zero Hour event.  (If you ever wonder where my resentment of Hal Jordan has its roots?  Wonder no further.)  Even though Marvelous finally gets his curry, any viewing thereof is immediately followed by a more upbeat episode to curb my ennui, which leads us to today’s grand finale (but not really because there’s gonna be another one tomorrow) query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) is pretty lucky to be a comic book fan, as nothing EVER ends there, asking: What are the most devastating endings in your favorite stories?


About Author

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.


  1. Until the second volume/series came about because of the TV deal & did the worst thing I ever saw, CLAMP’s Magic Knights Rayearth had one of the most heartbreaking & memorable endings in anything I ever read. (*SPOILERS AHOY!*) Short version – the three heroines discover that the person they’ve been fighting to save is the actual threat, and said person knows this & is basically putting themselves into a “suicide by Magic Knight” situation to save everyone else. It ends with three teenaged girls who’d been on a fun, magical adventure returning to Earth in tears. It’s stayed with me for years, even after the awful second volume & its “we can’t think of an ending, so you just give this new world a name & we’ll call it a day” finale.

  2. The ending to the original Berserk anime utterly crushed me the first time I saw it. Luckily, I found out that there were 20 more volumes of story after that, but holy cow, my brother and I just sat there in stunned silence as the credits rolled.

  3. Malone_hasco on

    Here’s couple that come to mind: Last season of Critical Hit, for obvious reasons. Metal Gear Solid 3, that ending narration really got me.

  4. The epilogue of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay irked me. Of course, I’m talking about the books, as the final movie hasn’t been released yet. I felt like the ending was an afterthought, and the characters didn’t behave the way they should have based on everything that happened up until the epilogue. Big let down.

    • Oh, wait. Devastation, not let down.

      This, then, absolutely goes to the end of the very first Fallout game. Truly satisfying, but heart-wrenching. I only wish that Dogmeat were by the Vault-Dweller’s side in the final frame of him wandering off into the wastes.

  5. This is hard to choose since so many series, novels, comics and so on left me heartbroken or otherwise devastated at the end.

    The ending of “Forever Knight”. While it was left open to interpretation, it was heavily implied that Nick and Natalie were staked by LaCroix. It just broke my heart that it ended like that, like the last few seasons all amounted to nothing in the end. Granted, I like to imagine that LaCroix didn’t go through with it, but it feels like I’m lying to myself about it.

    The finale of Choujin Sentai Jetman was pretty devastating, particularly once Gokaiger came along and confirmed that Gai Yuki did indeed die in the finale. While we knew he died in the continuation manga and it was heavily implied in the TV series finale, it was never confirmed within the Super Sentai multiverse until Gokaiger (apparently the Gokaiger writers nearly came to blows over whether he died or not).

    And I still think the finale of “3rd Rock from the Sun” was pretty sad. They just made Mary forget everything and left her behind!! Not only that, THEY had to leave Earth rather than getting to stay.
    Though, thankfully, there is an alternate ending that aired in syndication and as an extra on the DVD set where after beaming up, Dick beams back down naked, grabs Mary, screams “Alien abduction! Alien abduction!” and beams back up with her.

  6. Animorphs, Quantum, Leap and maybe Angel.

    But really when things end devastatingly, I’ve mostly felt that ending worked.

    • I thought about Quantum Leap, but I couldn’t list it because my interpretation isn’t that he couldn’t leap home, but that he simply didn’t because he made a choice to continue leaping and helping people. It is still sad that he didn’t make it home, but it takes the level down from devastating to a lower degree of sadness for me.

      But that is just how I interpret it.

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