I know that there are plenty of Pandas here who simply adore movies just like me. So here’s a question for you, folks: what matters more in a film—the journey or the destination? Does a film have to have a decent ending in order to be good? And does a bad, cliched, and tone-deaf ending necessarily ruin what was otherwise a perfectly decent flick?

Well, these people over on Reddit certainly think so. In a viral thread created by Minecraftplayer48, these redditors shared how, in their opinion, some film endings went disastrously wrong and spoiled the entire experience. How bad can things really be? We’re about to find out.

Potentially huuuuge spoilers up ahead, dear Pandas, so read on at your own risk. (Or just, you know, shut your eyes really hard and scroll down blindly as far as you need to go.) Remember to upvote the opinions that you agree with and let us know why you think so in the comments.

I reached out to writer and Bram Stoker Award-winning editor Doug Murano from South Dakota to get his take on what it takes to create a good story and how to craft a great ending. "As strange as it may sound, writing and piloting an airplane share an important similarity: taking off and landing are the parts that are most fraught with peril. These are times of transition and uncertainty. Most competent writers can write a solid middle, but hooking the reader (taking off) and delivering a satisfying ending (landing) often separate the competent from the good and the good from the great," he told Bored Panda. You find the rest of my interview with writer and editor Murano below.

#1

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Signs.

You're telling me that this alien species that is vulnerable to water was trying to invade a planet that is 70% water?

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A Cat Named Dragon
Community Member
5 months ago

Agreed! It was a really fascinating set up only to have a lame letdown ending.

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#2

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Lucy. I hate that movie.

It's a really good concept and movie until the very. It tells the story about a girl that is kidnapped and used as a drug mule for this new drug, but the bag inside her leaks and she gets overdosed. This doesn't kill her though, she's now able to use more than 10% of her brain (which I know is complete bullsh*t cuz we use 100% of our brain but not at the same time) and gets superpowers. Then for some reason she needs to take more of the drug to reach complete usage of her brain and, when she does, she becomes a flash drive. A FLASH DRIVE. SHE BECOMES A FLASH DRIVE

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Eslamala
Community Member
5 months ago

Luc Besson is an acquired taste, but this is definitely one of his worse movies.

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#3

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) City Of Angels, where Meg Ryan (human) dies in a bike accident right after Nicolas Cage (angel) decides to give up immortality to be with her

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Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
5 months ago

The WORST remake of Win Wenders masterpiece Wings if Desire. Untouchable. City of Angels is as rotten as the bottom of a dumpster in a fish market. No one can touch Solveig Dommartin (rest in power)

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"At the risk of mixing metaphors, good writing places the variables in view and requires the audience to do the math in order to reach full understanding," Murano said.

"When it comes to endings, specifically, I think a lot of writers give into the urge to say too much and do the math for the audience. There's no fun in that—and it's especially disappointing to see it happen when the rest has been well executed," the writer and editor explained to Bored Panda that when writers trust that their audience will be able to put some things together themselves, instead of having everything handed to them on a silver platter. Your readers are smarter than you might think! Give them the chance to prove it to you.

#4

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) I gotta go with the flying car in Grease

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A Cat Named Dragon
Community Member
5 months ago

What?? OK yeah, you’re right. It was weird. But Danny and Sandy ended up together and isn’t that all that really matters? : )

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#5

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Indiana Jones and crystal skull. Big bloody spaceship just coming out the ground like that. That whole film was a farce actually.

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Sabse
Community Member
5 months ago

Yes. Why couldn't they just leave it at 3 movies. They ruined Indy.

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#6

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Superman (1978), he reverses time by flying backwards around the earth.

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Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
5 months ago

Physics for people who don’t understand physics.

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#7

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) I Am Legend.

Stupid test audience approved happy ending

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JohnFinch
Community Member
5 months ago

The alternate ending that was turned down was much happier than the actual ending.

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#8

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Ready player one

the guy is the gameworld every day all day long because his life sucks and that's understandable

the movie ends with him getting the company, and one of the rules he implements is that the gameworld gets shut of 1 or 2 days every week... AFTER HE GOT A GIRLFRIEND! what an unbelievable ass that guy is, he was literally online every single day when his life was [miserable], but now that he has a girlfriend he shuts it off so people can ''enjoy life'' you didn't seem to enjoy it in your abuse household earlier in the movie...

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grey galah
Community Member
5 months ago

The whole "girlfriend" problem of Hollywood where a female role turns into an accessory is the rotten core of this movie. The nostalgia for US pop culture that the last two generations would have no clue of, yet a future one embraces like religion rang false, and 'the pot at the end of the rainbow' ending was as authentic as leprechauns in Antarctica.

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#9

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Spielberg version of War of the Worlds, somehow Robbie is still alive and waiting for them in Boston. Not only did the circumstances make his survival virtually impossible, but his character was so annoying that the twist of him being alive just destroyed all my previous satisfaction in him being deceased

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Raine Soo
Community Member
5 months ago

I watched "War of the Worlds" when it was first released. Seeing that it was a Steven Spielberg movie, I guess I went in with some high expections. Needless to say, I was underwhelmed.

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The ending of any creative project, whether it’s a movie, a book, or a play, is important because it sets the mood with which the audience goes back into their daily lives. End the movie with the fabled Hollywood happy ending and your audience will feel picked up. (Though according to some researchers, there are various types of happy endings in films and we can’t just mix them up into one single blob.)

Meanwhile, ending the film on a sad or depressing note will leave your audience feeling deflated. Surprise surprise! And, well, from a business perspective, that’s not what you really want, is it?

You want your viewers to keep coming back for round two of the silver screen (Netflix during the pandemic, but you know what I mean), instead of wistfully looking out the window, thinking philosophical thoughts.

#10

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Downsizing. Great concept that could've been done without the forced love story.

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ravina nimje
Community Member
5 months ago

End was just a mess.

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#11

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Hancock. Loved the premise and seeing Hancock start as this sarcastic, alcoholic, and bitter hero who's hated by everyone and then turn into an actual hero who people look up to and respect is touching. The PR angle for a superhero movie was interesting and unique. But then all of that is ruined by the lovers twist. I'm fine with either the superhero PR angle or the tragic lovers angle, but they're way too different and the latter is introduced too suddenly. Hancock really feels like two separate movies stitched together

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Nerdlife
Community Member
5 months ago

Agree!

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#12

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) The Aladdin remake. I was beyond disappointed to not see a battle between Jafar as a snake and Aladdin. Nobody asked for the giant nameless parrot to chase them through the city. No one. Give me a snake battle

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Ozacoter
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

That was a pity, it would have been a great battle. But I liked the “Bollywood” spirit that the movie has. At the end the movie isn’t about Aladdin. It is about genie being bored for millennia and wanting to party ;)

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So there’s a certain amount of pressure that moviemakers feel to make audiences feel happy. Of course, this doesn’t happen in every single case (the viral Reddit thread alone proves that), however, some films really do feel as though they’ve had happy endings shoehorned in, no matter that the tone of the project was very different, to begin with.

At the end of the day, what viewers really want (besides a bucketful of popcorn nom nom) is to be entertained. And one of the ways this can be achieved is by making the story immersive. If the viewer forgets they’re watching a film and feels like they’re inside the story and that it’s real, you’ve got them: hook, line, and sinker.

However, immersion means believability. And believability means consistency. Or rather, a certain amount of consistency in the plot. The audience has to believe that the inner workings of the story and the world make sense. There must be a logical consistency to how all the pieces interconnect.

#13

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Frozen II. I don't think it was nice of Elsa to miss her sister's coronation! She wasn't even doing anything important

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Stephanie Did It
Community Member
5 months ago

The coronation wasn't shown. Why assume Elsa wasn't there?

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#14

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) The Circle...seemed to be a film warning of the dangers of sharing too much online, only to do A COMPLETE 180 on the message at the end!

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MrLoufoque
Community Member
5 months ago

Agree, the whole movie depicts the company as evil and Emma Watson's character as realizing what it and the social media craze really are, only for her at the end to embrace the whole 24/7 surveillance at an even worse level.

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#15

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) The Breakfast Club.

The premise of the whole film is, "teenagers can be judgy and awful to each other, but everyone is fighting their own battles so we should try to be nicer to each other"

Then they give the weird quirky girl a makeover to look more like the normal girl, people partner up in order of attractiveness and the nerdy dude is left on his own...

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A Cat Named Dragon
Community Member
5 months ago

Mmm... “People partner up in order of attractiveness” is maybe one way to put it, but another way is that people who wouldn’t have ordinarily given each other a chance ended up doing that. The jock was attracted to the weird girl and the prom queen and the burnout were attracted to each other. I get your point that attractiveness isn’t really an indicator of growth, but I don’t think it’s an inconsistent ending.

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And that respect for the inner logic of the story applies to all films. Yes, even fantasy and sci-fi films! For example, you can’t be adding dragons willy-nilly to a story where dragons have been extinct for thousands of years or one where there are giant flying whales instead. You also wouldn’t add someone who speaks in a modern dialect, unless it’s a comedy or you’re doing it on purpose for whatever other reason.

So if an ending doesn’t match the tone or the inner logic of a story, the audience will notice and (odds are) won’t like it very much. There’s a bond of mutual respect between the audience and filmmakers that gets cut if the latter don’t abide by the laws of the story they’ve created. Or, in other words, it’s simply not polite to invite others into a world you’ve created only to pull the rug from under their feet (unless it’s a slapstick comedy or the twist is really, _really_ gosh darn good).

#16

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Batman v Superman was pretty weak. Hyped up a big fight throughout the movie which was fizzled out to some other bs.

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Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
5 months ago

Ben Affleck phoning it in as usual

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#17

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Toy Story 4, almost as if Woody had a complete personality shift

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Gurnox
Community Member
5 months ago

Could not agree more. His character was just totally off.

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#18

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Passengers. It could have been an amazing sci-fi movie where Jennifer Lawrence was forced to make the same decision Chris Pratt's Marvel character Star-Lord did. Instead they went for a happily ever after

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Johnny
Community Member
5 months ago

I think the fact that she (and everyone on the ship) would have perished without his heroic action to save the ship swayed her decision to stay awake with him. Though the real problem with the ending is how a ship supporting 5,000 people had only a single auto-doc!?

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If for some reason you’ve accidentally spoiled an ending to a movie that you really wanted to watch, there’s really no reason to get upset. At least, according to psychology professor Nicholas Christenfeld, whose research has shown that spoilers don’t ruin a story. Rather, they make you enjoy it even more.

“What we found, remarkably, was if you spoil stories they actually enjoy them more,” Christenfeld said, who repeated his experiment with mystery stories, ironic twist stories, and literary fiction. “Across all three genres, spoilers actually were enhancers. The term is wrong.”

#19

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) My Sisters Keeper. Especially since I read the book. I very nearly threw my remote at the TV I was so pissed

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Tacocat
Community Member
5 months ago

Saaame! I almost didn't finish the movie because I kept pausing to say how it was so different from the book. I was excited to watch the movie after the book, but I despised it. Like, it took the depth out of the book.

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#20

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) The ending of the horror movie 1408 where he dies. The version I saw was way creepier where he lived and they were going through the box of stuff and found the tape recording he had used while in the hotel room and they heard his daughter on the tape. That was a damn good ending

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Zuila
Community Member
5 months ago

That ending is the only ending I have seen! Never realised there was an alternative ending where he dies.

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#21

The Village

Turns out it’s just a bunch folks that can’t handle living in the real world. Also, what happens if a jet airplane were to fly over a supposed farming village from the 1700s?

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Steve Barnett
Community Member
5 months ago

They paid to ensure no planes would fly over, it's in the film.

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The expert pointed out that we don’t always watch movies for the ending. Case in point—we’re more than happy to watch the same films over and over and over again. As someone who rewatches The Lord of the Rings trilogy twice a year, I think he might be on to something.

“The point is, really we're not watching these things for the ending,” Christenfeld said. “I point out to the skeptics, people watch these movies more than once happily, and often with increasing pleasure.” 

So, dear Readers, which movies do you think are brilliant but have truly awful endings? What endings would you have loved to see instead? And do you know of any awful movies that have actually well-written endings? Let us know what you think below. The end. That's it, we're done. It's the ending that you wanted, right? Oh, fine, let's end things on a wrong (but thematically really correct) note: here's a list of wholesome pics to boost your mood and make you enjoy life way, way more.

#22

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) The very last moment of The Crimes of Grindelwald. Hey let's upheave tons of established lore in the last 30 seconds! The [hell] was that?!

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deathrose
Community Member
5 months ago

Both of the movies really irked me because of this. I won't be seeing the third.

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See Also on Bored Panda
#23

Allegiant. I was actually tempted to break my (rented) DVD in half. Literally everything after like the first 10 minutes was completely made up by Hollywood. The book ending is completely different and so much better.

Why does everything have to have a happy ending hollywood? WHY?!?! Can't we just have a good story with a fitting ending?

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Stitches
Community Member
5 months ago

YES THANK YOU

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#24

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Click. A fantastic movie about how life can pass you by if you let it and the consequences of your actions. If they ended it in the hospital as he was dying, it would have been a fantastic, insightful movie. But no, let's let him rewind and live happily ever after.

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Eslamala
Community Member
5 months ago

Yes! Exactly that!

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#25

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) "500 Days of Summer. Ooh, he met 'Autumn.' How quirkyyyyy. Lame."

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Madison Feehan
Community Member
5 months ago

I feel the chilliness of winter approaching with this clap back...

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#26

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) A Simple Favor. It was all mysterious with some good twists, then she just gets hit by a car and the moms group is like, 'Don’t mess with moms' or some sh*t? The ending felt like it was meant for a different movie

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Eslamala
Community Member
5 months ago

Yes! So WTF!

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#27

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) I hate the ending of a classic 1940s film called Gentleman's Agreement. Gregory Peck plays a journalist who pretends to be Jewish in order to write an article about antisemitism. His girlfriend knows about the ruse and as the story unfolds, it becomes clear that she's a closet antisemite. They argue about this but in the end he stays with her.

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Grumble O'Pug
Community Member
5 months ago (edited)

I think it’s more of an awakening. Plus with Hays, you need a happy ending.

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#28

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Bridge to Terabithia broke me as a child. No one can watch that movie/read the book more than once. I went into the theater as an 8-year-old expecting a fun fantasy movie and that is not what I got.

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Monday
Community Member
5 months ago

As an adult I like it, as a kid it was rough. I think the problem was advertising, they marketed it like a fantasy movie about kids exploring a magical kingdom. I kept waiting for them to go to the "real" Terabithia but it never happened.

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#29

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Justice League, Superman gets resurrected and immediately beats the sh*t out of Steppenwolf. The conflict was just gone, the heroes had no difficulty after he came in

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Serial pacifist
Community Member
5 months ago

In Hollywood, there is absolutely no concept of death anymore. All directors just go on with the Jesus effect. Everyone gets revived. Jon Snow, Superman, Coulson (SHIELD), Sherlock, Gandalf, Spock...it really ruins much of the natural concept of catharsis.

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#30

People Are Sharing What Movie Endings Were So Bad, They Ruined The Entire Film (30 Pics) Zootopia. The teeth for all the animals had been spot on (appropriate and detailed morphology for each taxon) but the final bit where they have Flash open his mouth revealed they gave him additional and inappropriate teeth for a sloth. As a slothologist and mammalogist, this was a huge letdown and betrayal.

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Gandalf the Pink
Community Member
5 months ago

That's a hint about the sequel where Flash is a predator, hence the teeth. The world's. slowest. predator.

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Note: this post originally had 53 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.