Cliffhanger

To be continuedcliffhanger endingcliff-hangercliff hangercliffhangerscliffhangingincompletelast sceneList of cliffhanger endingsRisco Total
A cliffhanger, or cliffhanger ending, is a plot device in fiction which features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma, or confronted with a shocking revelation at the end of an episode of serialized fiction.wikipedia
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Charles Dickens

DickensDickensianDickens, Charles
Cliffhangers later appeared as an element of the Victorian serial novel that emerged in the 1840s, with many associating the form with Charles Dickens, a pioneer of the serial publication of narrative fiction.
Cliffhanger endings in his serial publications kept readers in suspense.

One Thousand and One Nights

Arabian NightsThe Arabian NightsThe Book of One Thousand and One Nights
The Arabic literary work One Thousand and One Nights involves Scheherazade narrating a series of stories to King Shahryār for 1,001 nights, with each night ending on a cliffhanger in order to save herself from execution.
The narrator's standards for what constitutes a cliffhanger seem broader than in modern literature.

List of One Thousand and One Nights characters

ZumurrudShahryarMorgiana
The Arabic literary work One Thousand and One Nights involves Scheherazade narrating a series of stories to King Shahryār for 1,001 nights, with each night ending on a cliffhanger in order to save herself from execution.
For 1001 nights, Scheherazade tells her husband a story every night, stopping at dawn with a cliffhanger, forcing the King to keep her alive for another day.

Recap sequence

recapLast Time on Guinevere Jones...recapping
In movie serials and television series, the following episode sometimes begins with a recap sequence.
A recap will almost always be present in an episode that picks up from a cliffhanger.

Soap opera

soap operassoapdaytime drama
Cliffhangers are often used in television series, especially soap operas.
Soap opera episodes typically end on some sort of cliffhanger, and the season finale (if a soap incorporates a break between seasons) ends in the same way, only to be resolved when the show returns for the start of a new yearly broadcast.

Thomas Hardy

HardyHardy, ThomasHardy''', Thomas
By the 1860s it had become a staple part of the sensation serials, while the term itself originated with Thomas Hardy in 1873 when a protagonist from one of his serials, Henry Knight, was left hanging off a cliff. The term "cliffhanger" is considered to have originated with the serialised version of Thomas Hardy's A Pair of Blue Eyes (which was published in Tinsley's Magazine between September 1872 and July 1873) in which Henry Knight, one of the protagonists, is left hanging off a cliff.
A plot device popularised by Charles Dickens, the term "cliffhanger" is considered to have originated with the serialised version of A Pair of Blue Eyes (published in Tinsley's Magazine between September 1872 and July 1873) in which Henry Knight, one of the protagonists, is left literally hanging off a cliff.

The Perils of Pauline (1914 serial)

The Perils of PaulinePerils of Pauline1914
The most notable of these films was The Perils of Pauline, a serial which helped popularize the term cliffhanger.
The term "cliffhanger" may have originated with the series, owing to a number of episodes filmed on or around the New Jersey Palisades—though it is also likely to refer to situations in stories of this type where the hero or heroine is hanging from a cliff, seemingly with no way out, until the next episode or last-minute resolution.

Dallas (1978 TV series)

DallasKatherine Wentworthoriginal series of the same name
Cliffhangers then went on to become a staple of American primetime soap operas; the phenomenal success of the 1980 "Who shot J.R.?" third season-ending cliffhanger of Dallas, and the "Who Done It" fourth-season episode that finally solved the mystery, contributed to the cliffhanger becoming a common storytelling device on American television.
The show was famous for its cliffhangers, including the "Who shot J.R.?" mystery.

Serial film

film serialserialmovie serial
In movie serials and television series, the following episode sometimes begins with a recap sequence.
Each chapter was screened at a movie theater for one week, and ended with a cliffhanger, in which characters found themselves in perilous situations with little apparent chance of escape.

Dragonfire (Doctor Who)

DragonfireDragonfire Part OneDragonfire'' (Doctor Who)
Dragonfire Part One is notable for having a cliffhanger that involved The Doctor literally hanging from a cliff.
The literal cliffhanger at the end of episode 1 in which the Doctor lowers himself over a guard rail to dangle over an abyss from his umbrella for no apparent reason comes under frequent criticism for its seeming absurdity.

The Palisades (Hudson River)

Hudson PalisadesNew Jersey PalisadesPalisades
During the 1910s, when Fort Lee, New Jersey was a center of film production, the cliffs facing New York and the Hudson River were frequently used as film locations.
The most notable of these films was The Perils of Pauline, a serial which helped popularize the term cliffhanger.

A Pair of Blue Eyes

The term "cliffhanger" is considered to have originated with the serialised version of Thomas Hardy's A Pair of Blue Eyes (which was published in Tinsley's Magazine between September 1872 and July 1873) in which Henry Knight, one of the protagonists, is left hanging off a cliff.
A focus of critical interest of the novel is the scene in which Henry Knight reviews the entire history of the world as he hangs over the edge of a cliff (reputedly the origin of the term 'cliffhanger'), and is eventually rescued by a rope of Elfride's underwear.

Doctor Who

Brian MinchinDr WhoDr. Who
During its original run, Doctor Who was written in a serialised format that usually ended each episode within a serial on a cliffhanger.
An affectionate parody of the television series, it was split into four segments, mimicking the traditional serial format, complete with cliffhangers, and running down the same corridor several times when being chased (the version released on video was split into only two episodes).

Who Done It (Dallas)

Who Done Itresolution episodeWho Done It?
Cliffhangers then went on to become a staple of American primetime soap operas; the phenomenal success of the 1980 "Who shot J.R.?" third season-ending cliffhanger of Dallas, and the "Who Done It" fourth-season episode that finally solved the mystery, contributed to the cliffhanger becoming a common storytelling device on American television.
'"Who Done It'" resolved the "Who shot J.R.?" cliffhanger from the previous season, entitled "A House Divided".

Soap (TV series)

SoapJessica TateSoap'' (TV series)
The sitcom Soap was the first US television programme to utilise the cliffhanger, at the end of its first season in 1978.
Therefore, the final one-hour episode, which originally aired on April 20, 1981, did not serve as a series finale and instead ended with several unresolved cliffhangers.

Who shot J.R.?

Who shot J. R.?iconic episodeWho Shot J.R.
Cliffhangers then went on to become a staple of American primetime soap operas; the phenomenal success of the 1980 "Who shot J.R.?" third season-ending cliffhanger of Dallas, and the "Who Done It" fourth-season episode that finally solved the mystery, contributed to the cliffhanger becoming a common storytelling device on American television.
The great success of this 1980 stunt helped popularize in the United States the practice of ending a television season with a cliffhanger.

Unfinished creative work

unfinishedunfinished novelunfinished work
Such was the case with the second season of Twin Peaks, which ended in a cliffhanger similar to the first season with a high degree of uncertainty about the fate of the protagonist, but the cliffhanger could not save the show from being canceled, resulting in the unresolved ending.
In such situation, the series' creators may make a passionate bid to keep the series going by intentionally ending the current season finale on a cliffhanger to give fans the impression that the series' overarching story hasn't been resolved and/or there are much more stories to tell, as well as emphasize that it would not make sense to discontinue it.

Plot device

narrative deviceplot devicesdevice
A cliffhanger, or cliffhanger ending, is a plot device in fiction which features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma, or confronted with a shocking revelation at the end of an episode of serialized fiction.

Fiction

fictionalRealistic fictionfictitious
A cliffhanger, or cliffhanger ending, is a plot device in fiction which features a main character in a precarious or difficult dilemma, or confronted with a shocking revelation at the end of an episode of serialized fiction.

Television show

television seriestelevision programTV series
In movie serials and television series, the following episode sometimes begins with a recap sequence. Cliffhangers are often used in television series, especially soap operas.

Arabic literature

literatureArabicArab literature
The Arabic literary work One Thousand and One Nights involves Scheherazade narrating a series of stories to King Shahryār for 1,001 nights, with each night ending on a cliffhanger in order to save herself from execution.

Scheherazade

SheherazadeShahrazadShahrzad
The Arabic literary work One Thousand and One Nights involves Scheherazade narrating a series of stories to King Shahryār for 1,001 nights, with each night ending on a cliffhanger in order to save herself from execution.

List of stories within One Thousand and One Nights

Ali the Cairene and the Haunted House in BaghdadList of stories within ''One Thousand and One Nights496th night
The Arabic literary work One Thousand and One Nights involves Scheherazade narrating a series of stories to King Shahryār for 1,001 nights, with each night ending on a cliffhanger in order to save herself from execution.

Serial (literature)

serialserializedfascicle
Cliffhangers later appeared as an element of the Victorian serial novel that emerged in the 1840s, with many associating the form with Charles Dickens, a pioneer of the serial publication of narrative fiction.

The Old Curiosity Shop

Little NellOld Curiosity Shopnovel
Writing in the New Yorker, Emily Nussbaum captured the anticipation of those waiting for the next installment of Dickens' The Old Curiosity Shop;