Only Janelle Monáe (aka Andi/Helen) could pull off such a brilliant movie ending. Like, the way she stared directly into the camera after burning Miles' Mona Lisa portrait (looking just like Mona Lisa herself?). Not to mention her iconic rendezvous with Benoit Blanc at the end as they're waiting for the cops to arrive — absolutely genius.
2. Barbie (2023)
This was probably the funniest, most satisfying movie ending in the past 10 years. After a lifetime of being perfect and being unfamiliar with feeling emotions, Barbie totally flipped the script in the movie. And what better way to show how she was humanized at the end? Getting her to the gynecologist!! (A hilarious line I truly did not expect — god bless Greta Gerwig).
3. Coco (2017)
"I loved the final scene of Coco — you could see how far the Rivera family had come. Miguel AND his cousins were playing instruments, the ghosts accepted Héctor, and Mamá Coco got to see her grandchildren and father all together. The visuals were so pretty, and it was such a sweet ending."
4. Crush (2022)
Crush has quickly become one of the best teen, queer rom-coms of our time — it totally combated the "bury your gays" narrative in the most wholesome way possible. Paige declared her love for AJ in front of the whole school through her art, drawing all of the little, romantic moments between them. Who says a queer teen who's caught up in a classic high school love triangle can't get a happy ending?
5. Get Out (2017)
"I absolutely LOVED the final scene in Get Out — when Rose's face sunk when she realized it was Chris's friend in the police car there to save him instead of her? Brilliant."
"Little Women (2019) had a satisfying conclusion, which ended with a shot of Jo clutching her published book to her chest. It was a sweet scene of her life finally coming together and her family being reunited again, and she got to publish her book like she always wanted."
"Jo's small smile turning to frown, and the way her hands wrapped around the book — it brings tears to my eyes every time. It was so perfect."
7. What's Love Got to Do with It (1993)
I fully understand it's a biopic, so you already knew how the ending was going to play out going into the movie, but oh, man — watching it was a completely different experience. Angela Bassett singing as Tina Turner when she was on top of the world as a solo artist in the 1980s, then cutting to the real Tina performing live in concert to hundreds of fans was BRILLIANT. How this movie never won an Academy Award, I'll never know.
8. Saving Face (2004)
"Saving Face was the ultimate happy ending for me — as an Asian-American lesbian, I think that it grappled with intersectionality and cultural challenges really well (in a heartbreaking way). But, the happy ending meant the world to me. It showed me (a 'baby gay' teenager) that I, too, could have a happy ending, even as an Asian-American lesbian — happy endings aren’t just reserved for straight people."
9. Love, Simon (2018)
"Love, Simon gave me a lot of hope for LGBTQ+ representation in entertainment because the story actually approached Simon as a typical teen instead of just 'the gay kid' (like many other coming out plots in movies do)."
"I loved how the movie showed that it's okay to be afraid to come out, even if you're sure everyone in your life will be accepting. The movie was diverse in its casting (even though the lead was played by a straight actor), and Simon and Bram weren't portrayed in a stereotypical light."
10. The Color Purple (1985)
"The Color Purple definitely had a satisfying ending. Shug got redemption and her father's forgiveness, Mister did right by Celie and Nettie, and Celie was finally reunited with Nettie and her children."
11. The Lion King (1994)
"I gotta go with The Lion King (1994 version). The movie ended with Simba taking Mufasa's place while 'Circle of Life' played in the background — the final scene was just like the opening scene, only with a new generation ascending. It's literally the circle of life."
12. Moana (2016)
"I've watched this movie more times than I'd like to admit with my kids, but the scene near the end when Moana realizes Te Ka is Te Fiti is so, so good. Moana instinctively makes the connection and sings the heartbreaking 'Know Who You Are' song to Te Ka and ultimately saves the day."
13. To Sir, with Love (1967)
"I always got choked up during the last scene of To Sir, with Love — Sidney Poitier was amazing."
14. But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)
"But I'm a Cheerleader is one of my all-time favorite lesbian movies, and Megan and Graham are my favorite movie couple. When Megan returned to the camp to get Graham back and did that whole cheer for her, it was sooooo romantic. As a lesbian who's very feminine, Megan and Graham are the kind of love I want to have with someone one day, and the kind of relationship I wish was shown in movies more often ❤️❤️❤️."
"These were the first gay main characters I saw in a movie who didn't end up dying!"
"But I'm a Cheerleader is my favorite — it's funny and lighthearted, and I love Clea DuVall and Natasha Lyonne together."
15. I Can't Think Straight (2008)
"I Can't Think Straight is a movie with two BIPOC women as the lead characters, who show how it's hard to realize you're gay and be accepted in Indian culture. It's an absolute favorite of mine, and it has a very happy ending!!!"
16. And finally: Matilda (1996)
"The final scene in Matilda, hands down — it was such a sweet and happy ending. Miss Honey adopting Matilda was perfect, and I loved the montage of them having a picnic and roller skating after Matilda’s home life had been so lonely and sad. The actors were exactly how I imagined them in my head after reading the book so many times as a kid — I loved Danny DeVito’s narration and Rusted Root’s 'Send Me on My Way' in the background. And, of course, the movie coming full circle with Miss Honey and Matilda reading Moby Dick — there are so many reasons why this is one of my favorite movies!"
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.