The 2016 Ending of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

George Bailey

Mr. Potter: I’m foreclosing on you, George. Nothing personal, except I hated your father and it gives me a nasty thrill to close you down.

George Bailey: Please, Mr. Potter, just a little more time. I’ll raise the money somehow.

Mr. Potter: No, deadline’s tonight at midnight. I might move it earlier if I feel like it.

George: That’s not fair! You can’t move the deadline around.

Mr. Potter: I never said that. Who said I did? They’re so stupid. Really overrated.

George: You’re not making any sense.

Mr. Potter: I don’t need to make sense. I have all the money. Plus I’m, like, really smart.

George: If you say so.

George backs out of the office, walks the snowy streets dismally. Clarence the Angel appears.

Clarence: Why so glum, George?

George: Potter’s won. I can’t fight anymore. I guess the average person just doesn’t have a chance, and I need to accept it.

Clarence: That’s right. We live in a ruthless system that does nothing but undermine and destroy the lives of people who aren’t rich.

George: And it’s Christmas too.

Clarence: So what? You shouldn’t cling to sentimental iconography designed to fool poor slobs like you into thinking you have a good life.

George: Thanks for the holiday wishes.

Clarence: I’ve got my eyes open. And you should too.

George: Where are we going? Is that the bridge?

Clarence: Come on, come over to the railing. Look at that cold, swirling water. That’s it, George. That’s the solution.

George: I thought maybe – maybe something would happen. Like a last-minute miracle.

Clarence: Oh, George. You’re like a naïve schoolboy. Unfortunately, capitalism perpetuates these myths. The tragedy is you’ve subsumed your intelligence so you can cling to hope.

George: I guess that is tragic.

Clarence: It’s a casualty no one talks about.

George: But you’re an angel! People can believe in you, can’t they?

Clarence: I have limited value, and almost no power. It’s actually pathetic when people trust angels to lead them around town and talk sense into them.

George: God, I feel worse than ever.

Clarence: No wonder. There’s nothing to hope for.

George: Potter’s unstoppable, isn’t he?

Clarence: Sadly, yes. The forces of evil are winning.

Georges stares desperately into the water.

Clarence: Go on, jump.

George: But what about Mary and the children?

Clarence: They’ll be sad, but Mary’s pension from the library will support them as well as you could.

George: Thanks. That really makes me feel like a million bucks.

Clarence: Don’t think about it. Nothing’s worth anything anymore. Go on, jump.

George: Okay…if you really think there’s no other solution.

Clarence: There isn’t. Merry Christmas.

George jumps into the water. Clarence watches him somberly. George thrashes around for a while. Clarence checks his watch. Finally George is still. The credits roll as we hear the faint sound of a bell ringing.



Kristy Eldredge

Author: Kristy Eldredge

Kristy Eldredge writes happy, jolly humor for McSweeney's, The New Yorker, The Rumpus and other abstract ideas that we agree to call websites. She is also the writer/director of the web series Robot Secretary. She publishes the humor blog The Laffs Institute at

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