Tiny Beautiful Things Ending Explained

Warning: The Following contains spoilers from Hulu’s Tiny Beautiful Things.


All eight episodes of Tiny Beautiful Things served as a buildup for an emotional ending that was the perfect payoff for Clare’s struggles throughout the season. Tiny Beautiful Things was adapted for Hulu by Liz Tigelaar, who has a successful history with the streaming service as the showrunner of Little Fires Everywhere season 1. The collection of essays by Cheryl Strayed inspired the main character of Clare in Tiny Beautiful Things, who is forced to reexamine her life and past trauma when she begins writing “Dear Sugar,” an anonymous advice column.

Tiny Beautiful Things focuses on Clare’s past and present as she tries to fix her messy life and properly give advice in her “Dear Sugar” column. Young Clare is played by Sarah Pidgeon, who had her breakout role in 2020 in The Wilds, while the present-day version of Clare is played by Kathryn Hahn, who will also be starring in the upcoming Agatha Harkness spinoff. Present-day Clare is working to heal her marriage and relationship with her daughter after a decision she made without their consent. Everything comes to a head in the Tiny Beautiful Things finale.


Do Clare And Danny Get A Divorce In Tiny Beautiful Things?

Throughout Tiny Beautiful Things, Clare and her husband, Danny (Quentin Plair), spend time in couples therapy addressing all that has gone wrong in their relationship and trying to figure out how to potentially repair it. Unfortunately, their problems go far beyond the decision Clare made without Danny’s knowledge to give their daughter’s college fund to her brother, to the point where they seem unsolvable. In Tiny Beautiful Things episode 7, Clare is finally honest with Danny and ready to do what she feels is necessary to save their relationship and feel alive again, to which Danny says he wants to go after ironically being inspired by “Dear Sugar.”

Danny isn’t a major part of the Tiny Beautiful Things finale, though the idea of them getting divorced is brought up. In real life, Strayed and her husband never divorced, but Clare is simply inspired by Strayed, and Tiny Beautiful Things isn’t entirely autobiographical. While Hahn plays a fictional character in Clare, Strayed has been depicted onscreen before in the film Wild starring Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, who are both executive producers on Tiny Beautiful Things.

The last time viewers see Danny in the Tiny Beautiful Things finale, he is at their therapist’s office alone and needs someone to speak to. While the answer to whether they get divorced is left up in the air, it is clear that whatever happens, they will be okay. More importantly, Clare can repair the relationship that matters most, the one between her and her daughter, Rae (Tanzyn Crawford).

Why Clare Gave Lucas The Money In Tiny Beautiful Things

Clare giving her brother Lucas the money from Rae’s college fund to save their mother’s house was the main inciting incident in Tiny Beautiful Things, but it’s unclear how Lucas even knew about the money until the finale. Rae confesses that she’d mentioned her fund to Lucas, though she hadn’t known he would ask Clare for it and had been secretly carrying around the guilt of doing so. Viewers learn from the start that the house is important to Clare, but the Tiny Beautiful Things finale also gives further insight as to why.

When it comes to Frankie’s house, Clare is at her most desperate. First, in giving Lucas the money, and then in going to the house in the Tiny Beautiful Things finale to dig up her mom’s ashes after finding out that her dad, Gene, who was absent from most of their life, had been the one to repay Clare the $15,000 Lucas had borrowed. Clare is livid when she discovers that her father bought the house from Lucas. Frankie had built it to escape Gene (Ted Levine, perhaps best known for playing the villain in villain in Silence of the Lambs).

Clare grew up poor, and her mother couldn’t leave much behind except for that house. Beyond that, her ashes being buried there makes it the last physical piece she has of Frankie, which is the biggest reason Clare did everything in her power not to let it go. Giving Lucas the money without talking to Rae and Danny about it first was wrong, but it becomes more understandable in the Tiny Beautiful Things finale.

Clare’s Ending With Her Mother Gives Her Closure In Tiny Beautiful Things

Throughout Tiny Beautiful Things, Clare is haunted by her mother’s memory. Clare has many regrets, but the finale reveals that her biggest is that she wasn’t with her mother when she died. It isn’t until the final moments of the series, when she imagines her mother there with her for the last time that she can forgive herself. The vision of Frankie tells Clare, “it’s time,” referring to both her imminent death and the fact that it’s time for Clare to let go of her pain and regret. Clare can finally do so, giving her the closure she’s needed but could never get before.

How “Dear Sugar” Showed Clare’s Growth In Tiny Beautiful Things

At the start of Tiny Beautiful Things, Clare is reluctant to start writing for “Dear Sugar” because she feels she isn’t qualified to advise anyone when her own life is such a mess. However, as the episodes went on, she was able to provide good advice to the people who wrote to her. To do so, she had to look back on times in her life in which she could have used some advice, which in turn helped her grow and realize her true purpose and why she was the right person for “Dear Sugar” in the first place.

Clare had kept “Dear Sugar” a secret from everyone in her life because of how unqualified she felt. In Tiny Beautiful Things episode 7, Clare could see first-hand for the first time that her column was affecting people positively, and it was because of her honesty and her failures that people were listening in the first place. It allowed Clare to be proud of her writing for the first time in a long time and helped her realize that everyone has flaws, and learning from her past mistakes to help others, not make them is her true purpose.

The Real Meaning Of Tiny Beautiful Things’ Ending

Through everything that Clare was struggling with in Tiny Beautiful Things and all the mistakes she’d made and regrets she’d had, and problems she didn’t know how to fix, a lack of love was never one of them. Instead, she had a problem recognizing how loved she was and letting the people in her life know how much she loved them. It was fitting that her mother’s final word to her was “love,” In the Tiny Beautiful Things finale, Clare was reminded just how powerful that word is, especially in healing, beginning anew, and growing.

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