An alternate ending (AE) story is one in which the writer rewrites the ending of a particular Daria episode, or adds more material immediately following the last scene of that episode in an effort to change the outcome of the given storyline. Certain fanfics are sometimes given alternate endings as well. The purpose of the alternate ending is usually (but not always) to turn aside an unwanted outcome or negate unwanted events in the episode or fanfic at hand. Telling the difference between a fanfic done out of outrage or wish-fulfillment and one done out of a desire to explore alternate outcomes is difficult, of course, unless the author makes plain the reasons for writing the story. The author's personal issues are fortunately not relevant here.

By their nature, AE stories are always alternate-universe fanfics. However, AE stories are always written so as to be completely dependent on the episode or fanfic they modify. They begin literally in the middle of the action, often repeating a segment of canon right up to the point where the plot divergence is made. The full consequences of the plot change are not always played out, though the immediate results are made clear and the future can be discerned in general terms. Most AE stories are scriptfics, but some are in prose.

The archetypal alternate-ending Daria story would have to be Kara Wild's "A Desperately Needed Ending (to "Depth Takes a Holiday")," in which the wild and woolly events of "Depth Takes a Holiday" are revealed to have been the result of Daria's hallucinations after food poisoning. The "reality" of Daria is thus preserved.

In other fandoms, AE stories written to avert unwelcome canon developments are called denialfics.

Examples edit