The 6 Most Depressing Happy Endings in Movie History

Let's face it: very few hit films end with the credits scrolling over dead puppies and weeping children. Movie audiences pretty much demand happy endings.

But sometimes Hollywood slips one past us, giving us a supposed happy ending that is actually depressing as hell once you give it a little thought. For instance:

#6. Return of the Jedi

The "Happy" Ending:

The evil Emperor Palpatine hatches a plan to defeat the Rebellion once and for all by telling them the location of his unfinished superweapon and then telling them how to defeat it. This plan goes about exactly as well as you would expect, and our heroes destroy the evil scourge with the help of some genocidal teddy bears.

Wait a Minute...

That epic battle at the end there? That only destroyed one base and a fraction of the troops the Empire had at its disposal. Sure, Vader and the Emperor were both blown up, but that wouldn't destroy the Empire any more than blowing up the Pentagon would dissolve the USA.

What it does do is create a horrific power vacuum, in an empire with fleets of Star Destroyers and millions of pissed-off troops roving around the galaxy (even more pissed off if the payroll office and all of their checks were in the Death Star).

"So... should we just keep being Stormtroopers, or what?"

Soon these power-hungry military officers would no doubt form factions and destroy entire planets in their brutal attempts to seize power. Eventually Palpatine would simply be replaced by a new Emperor, possibly even one competent enough to devise a plan that can't be foiled by developmentally stunted bears throwing rocks.

Sure, the Death Star was taken out, but that didn't exactly stop them last time. Not to mention that by the time they reach phase twenty-six of their patented "Let's just throw Death Stars at the problem until it goes away" strategy, [below] someone's probably going to decide that maybe the ship doesn't really need an unguarded, torpedo-shaped hole on the outside, thus allowing the Empire to swiftly conquer the entire universe.

#5. Superman Returns

The "Happy" Ending:

Lex Luthor fails in his attempt to kill Superman by stabbing him with kryptonite and leaving him in a shallow pool of water. Superman then stops Luthor's evil plan in a thrilling action scene that consists entirely of Superman holding stuff over his head.

Having saved the world again, Superman says goodbye to his son and flies off into space.


Wait a Minute...

And by "says goodbye to his son" we mean, "For the second time he abandons his crippled, illegitimate son."

The whole setup of Superman Returns centers on earth's greatest hero knocking up his girlfriend and then skipping town for five years. The combination of human and alien DNA resulted in the child becoming weak and sickly, with Lois mentioning that the child was failing gym class (wait, what kind of PE teacher fails a five year old for having asthma?). Also, he has occasional superpowers.

So how does our hero respond when he returns and learns about his son? By breaking into Lois's house, telling him "good luck with the whole outcast thing kiddo", and leaving him alone. Again. So we're left with a kid who has:

1. Superpowers;

2. Gross genetic defects;

3. Good reason to hate Superman.

We're betting that he's going to end up a supervillain, and you know what? If he takes on Superman we think we're rooting for the kid.

#4. Toy Story 2

The "Happy" Ending:

Cowboy dolls Woody and Jessie manage to narrowly escape the clutches of a greedy toy collector who tried to sell them to a Japanese toy museum. Our heroes all return home to their owner, where they can look forward to a care-free future of being violently jerked around by an increasingly strong boy. Everyone lives happily ever after!

Wait a Minute...

Or, at least until Andy throws them away.

In the Toy Story universe, the sentient toys appear to be immortal. The film makes a special point that the toys don't age along with their human owners, so the best-case scenario here is that Andy keeps them around long enough for them to watch him die of old age.

Of course, most people don't keep their toys around that long, and those who do seldom take them out of their original packaging. It's far more likely that they'll all eventually wind up at the bottom of a rotting compost heap, sandwiched between an empty pizza box and a copy of ASS! magazine. Forever.

Let's see Randy Newman compose a feel good ditty about that one. With a fate like that in store, it's no wonder ninety percent of all fiction involving sentient dolls ends with them trying to kill their owners.

Recommended For Your Pleasure

To turn on reply notifications, click here


The Cracked Podcast

Choosing to "Like" Cracked has no side effects, so what's the worst that could happen?

The Weekly Hit List

Sit back... Relax... We'll do all the work.
Get a weekly update on the best at Cracked. Subscribe now!