5 Horrifying Aftermaths Implied by Movies With Happy Endings
Hollywood movies are all so predictable: family man, dramatic conflict, romantic subplot, rise to the occasion, happy ending, lather, rinse, repeat. Except, as we've illustrated time and time and again, those endings aren't always happy forever. Sometimes you kiss the frog and it turns into a prince. Sometimes you kiss the frog and you go to jail on bestiality charges. Here's some worrying stuff that must have happened after our favorite films rolled credits ...
Everyone in Wreck-It Ralph Dies the Next Time There's a Windstorm
Wreck-It Ralph is an unhappy video game villain going through an existential crisis, but by the end of the movie, he's made friends all across the arcade, gained the respect of his peers, and happily gone back to his regular job of being incessantly murdered by a man with a hammer.
The Horrible Aftermath:
When a game cabinet in the Wreck-It Ralph universe is about to be unplugged, its characters flee from that cabinet to the Game Central Station, which is a surge-protected power strip that all the games are plugged into. The movie specifically tells us that if they don't make it out, they die. What if the manager unplugs a machine for 10 seconds to retrieve a pog that fell there back in 1992? Tough shit. It's an adorable massacre.
"Thanks for getting my contact lens back. Hey, did you hear a bunch of MIDI screams?"
That means whenever the power goes out, whole worlds die. Or even if the arcade is just hit by a power spike, Game Central Station will still immediately cut off power to all the games -- that, by definition, is what surge protectors do. And if either of those (fairly frequently occurring) things happen, it means the death of every single character in the movie. Not even the nearly omnipotent Fix-It Felix can fix genocide.
"I even converted to Konamism. Nothing."
The Cloud of Space Debris in Gravity Screws Up All of Modern Civilization
In Gravity, a NASA astronaut gets stranded up in space when a cloud of debris from a Russian satellite destroys her ride home. After an hour and a half of breathing noises and bumping into things, the movie ends with Dr. Ryan Stone (Sandra Bullock) successfully re-entering Earth's atmosphere before crash-landing in the middle of nowhere.
The Horrible Aftermath:
Stone survived, and that's happy enough, but the debris is still orbiting the planet, and will continue to do so pretty much indefinitely. Earlier in the movie, George Clooney's character mentioned that the debris cloud is traveling around the earth at 50,000 miles per hour. Just to give you an idea of how tiger-in-a-daycare destructive that would be, a half-inch piece of space debris traveling at less than half that speed hits about as hard as a bowling ball launched at 300MPH. This is something that the movie actually got wrong: at those speeds, astronauts would not be able to see the debris coming. They would simply start seeing holes in the equipment around them.
Or the faces.
In the movie, the debris cloud destroys the Hubble telescope and satellites that NASA uses to communicate with the astronauts. Since the Hubble has one of the lowest orbits of all satellites (about 370 miles above Earth) and NASA's communication satellites have some of the highest (about 22,300 miles up there), this means that any debris cloud big enough to fuck up both of them is gonna do the same thing to just about every single human satellite in space.
The effect on society would be devastating. No more cell phones -- without satellites, they're just fancy bricks. No more GPS -- humanity will have to relearn how to ask other people for directions. The world's economy will be in the toilet. We couldn't even send missions to fix it, because the debris would shred anything else we sent up. And, perhaps more alarmingly, there would be no more mobile Internet pornography. Is that even a world worth living in? Suicides would be rampant. The ending of Gravity would be immediately followed by the X-rated version of The Happening.
"Half of North America just lost PornHub. May God help us all."
Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy Collapsed the Nation's Economy in Trading Places
Trading Places is a film with the wacky, totally preposterous premise that America is completely corrupt and rich old men can play games with people's lives for fun. The Duke brothers force a well-off, white guy (Dan Aykroyd) and a poor, black man (Eddie Murphy) to switch places, but by the end of the film, Aykroyd and Murphy manage to turn the tables and bankrupt Duke & Duke.
Huzzah, Dukes, you were hoisted by your own petard!
That's how you tell rich, old, white dudes to get fucked.
The Horrible Aftermath:
At the end of the movie, Duke & Duke is seized and liquidated with all assets sold off on the spot -- a classic "the dicks get what's coming to them" ending, right? Yeah, if it wasn't for the fact that those "assets" are mostly smaller companies, and by simply liquidating them and selling them off, they are dooming thousand, perhaps millions, to unemployment.
"In other news, there's record growth being reported in the Revenge Santa Suit industry."
Duke & Duke is simply too big to fail: if the same thing that happened to the Dukes were to happen to their real-world inspiration, the Koch Brothers, 100,000 people would show up to work to find out they're out of a job. But, OK, let's say every single person who worked in every Duke & Duke company was a jerk ... what about the people in the companies that depended on those companies? For instance, if a meteor shower were to wipe out every single GM factory tomorrow, various auto parts manufacturers, car dealerships, mechanics, etc. would also be screwed. The same waterfall of shit would likely cascade downward once the Dukes went under, meaning that in order to get momentary vengeance on a couple of jerks, the heroes of the movie inadvertently triggered a global recession.
If there's a Trading Places 2, it will be about corrupt prison wardens sending the Duke brothers to different security-level jails.
So we guess we're saying, if you have the chance to take out the Koch brothers, maybe just give them some well-deserved wedgies instead.
The Friendly Aliens from Galaxy Quest Are All Doomed
In Galaxy Quest, aliens called Thermians abduct the cast of a Star Trek rip-off, which they mistake for a documentary. They ask the supposedly heroic cast for their help defeating an evil galactic empire, which they do, and then fly off to find a new home and repopulate the species.
The Horrible Aftermath:
When Tim Allen and crew were mincing about space, the bad guys killed almost all of the Thermians. The ones on the ship are all that's left of the entire species. But that's not so bad, right? If apocalyptic fiction has taught us nothing else, it's that all you need is a man and a woman and some sangria, and a population on the brink of extinction will be all right in a few generations, right?
They may not look it, but according to the fan fiction we read they're surprisingly virile.
Nope! No matter how hard you start desperation-bonin', there's no getting around the "minimum viable population," the number of breeding members a species needs in order to not die off. There's no hard and fast number, but it generally hovers around 1,000 individuals for most species, and even then that includes some inbreeding. It's probably safe to assume the Thermians reproduce sexually, since they clearly have distinct genders, so the 20 or so survivors have a pretty bleak future in front of them -- especially since a huge percentage of their female population (one girl) stayed on Earth as Mr. Monk's girlfriend.
It doesn't matter how tirelessly the Thermians hump their way through the galaxy, their population will still dwindle into nothing but inbred squidlings who will probably fly their ship into a star because it's so bright and shiny. And that's how the last people in the entire universe who admire Tim Allen will cease to exist.
Yeah, that's about how we pictured Tim Allen fans.
Fight Club's Tyler Durden Indirectly Killed Thousands
At the end of Fight Club, the Narrator finally rids himself of his destructive alternate personality, Tyler Durden, but not before Tyler blows up a bunch of skyscrapers that house credit card companies. But hey, we're told that the buildings were all empty, and credit card companies are jerks. That'll teach them to loan you money, the bastards.
The Horrible Aftermath:
We hope the Narrator and Marla had some good masks on hand, because otherwise, there's a good chance they'd be dead within a decade. Why? The same reason almost a thousand 9/11 responders died by 2010, while 2,500 now have cancer, and 15 freaking thousand more struggle with chronic diseases. The dust from a massive, unplanned building demolition is incredibly harmful. The toxic dust cloud released by the collapse of the Twin Towers was horrific, and that was from just two buildings. The explosion at the end of Fight Club destroys at least eight, so the death cloud will be much, much bigger.
It's a good thing they're already familiar with cancer support meetings.
So the buildings were deserted -- what about the people who lived around them? What about the emergency services, city cleaners, homeless folks, and graveyard-shift hot dog vendors? Yeah, you didn't think about the midnight dog-hawkers, did you, Durden? Nobody ever does.
They fed you when you'd stumble drunk out of Fight Club, dick.
Of course, it's not just Fight Club that gets this awful aftermath. Consider Die Hard, where they blew up five floors of a building, or Die Hard: With a Vengeance, where they blew up a train and collapsed part of a city block. And then there's the insane destruction caused by the aliens in movies like Independence Day, The Avengers or Man of Steel. The heroes may have saved the day in those films, but the villain in the sequel is going to be cancer. Cancer is really, really hard to punch.
The writers would like to thank Isaac Cabe for his help in writing this article. Nyameye is a freelance writer and aspiring novelist. You can read his short stories on his blog and his tweets on his Twitter. Send him an email here. David makes up science at SciTechGadget and can be found polluting the Internet on Twitter and Zombiechops.
For more knowledge bombs about films, check out The 5 Ugly Lessons Hiding in Every Superhero Movie and 9 Famous Movie Villains Who Were Right All Along.
Are you on reddit? Check it: We are too! Click on over to our best of Cracked subreddit.
Ruin these movies for others, click the Facebook 'share' button below.