The Coward Ending, (also known as Reluctant Ending) is the ending in The Stanley Parable that occurs when the player chooses to close the door at the very beginning of the game. It is the shortest ending and invokes the least amount of effort on Stanley's part.
Obtaining The Ending
Close the door to Stanley's office. To close the door, you must USE it while in Stanley's Office. Closing the door from outside the room will lock it and prevent this ending from being obtained.
The Narrator will comment on Stanley's inability to make decisions for himself and indirectly insinuates about his cowardice. Stanley decided to stay in his office, no matter what will happen, convinced that at some point "they" would arrive, and he would be instructed what to do. This may refer to whoever is conducting the mind control experiment on Stanley's complex. The game will restart after a bit more dialogue.
- This ending was inspired by a glitch in the original mod, where the player could backtrack into the room before the door closes, trapping them in the room.
- This is one of the very few endings in Ultra Deluxe where there is no special dialogue for holding The Bucket. This is likely because it is unintended for the player to even obtain the bucket at this stage in the game, as the bucket is found in the office and Stanley's door closes behind him when he leaves to obtain it.
- However, if the player encounters the random alternate Narrator Dialogue in which the Narrator poses the question "Was [Stanley] really sure that the orders had stopped coming in", the door does not close behind Stanley, allowing him to return with the Bucket and experience the Coward Ending bucket in hand. Although, it is still unchanged.
Does not require the Two Doors Room