Cliff Hanger Examples
A cliff hanger is a sudden abrupt ending to a plot. There is not a resolution to the problem-the reader is left hanging. Writers often end chapters in a book with a cliff hanger-the reader must read the next chapter to find out what happens to resolve a tense situation. Cliff hanger endings are also common is books or movies that are a series-we are left "hanging" at the end of the first book or movie so that we will want to read or see the next one.
1. The chapter ends with the protagonist entering the door and finding a burglar in her house.
2. A book ends with the protagonist safe and sound but the villain still on the run.
3. A movie about a baseball team ends with the team winning the series, but with a new rookie joining them in the locker room for spring training.
4. A chapter ends with the protagonist facing a tough decision about whether or not to forgive a friend.
5. A television series goes to commercial when the bad guys have tied the hero to a chair.
Examples of Cliff Hangers from Literature and Film
1. In "One Thousand and One Nights," Sheherezade delays her execution by telling the king a story with a cliff hanger ending every night for 1,001 nights.
2. In the Harry Potter series, we are left hanging at the end of all of the books (except the last) about Voldemort-who is always weakened, but never destroyed.
3. The second book in the Hunger Games series, Catching Fire, ends with Katniss being rescued from the games, but Peeta is still stuck in the capital.
4. The movie, The Italian Job, ends with the team pulling off a heist, but literally hanging off of a cliff in a bus accident.