On June 22, 1990, Gary King (Simon Pegg
) recalls himself and his four friends engaged in what was supposed to be a legendary pub crawl known as the Golden Mile in their hometown of Newton Haven, Herefordshire, England . Oliver Chamberlain was the straight-laced one who was called "O Man" for a birthmark on his forehead (which actually resembles a 6) that he eventually got removed. Peter Page was the youngest of the group. Steven Prince was usually competing with Gary for girls. Finally, Andrew Knightley was Gary's best friend. Gary, meanwhile, was the self-proclaimed leader of the group, dressed in all black and taking his friends through 12 pubs that night. The event was memorable for Gary, who managed to hook up with Oliver's sister Sam (Rosamund Pike
) in one pub, but then ditched her to continue drinking. As the night went on, however, Pete and Oliver were left behind until it was just Gary, Andy, and Steven. They failed to make it to the final pub - The World's End - and Gary considered that night a failure. He is shown sitting in a sort of AA circle with others sharing their stories. It is obvious from the look on Gary's face that he plans on making sure the pub crawl will happen again, and this time, it will be a success.
In the present day, Gary goes to round up his mates.
1. Pete (Eddie Marsan
) - Gary follows Pete from his house to his job at a luxury car dealership. While there, Gary meets Pete and Pete's father who owns the dealership. Gary first touts the idea of getting the guys back together so they can conquer the Golden Mile.
2. Steven (Paddy Considine
) - Steven is a construction manager working for a firm that specializes in building new houses. Gary goes and meets Steve at one of the construction sites. He tells them that they're getting the boys back together. They can get the band back together if he so desires.
3. Oliver (Martin Freeman
) - Oliver is a real estate agent. Oliver is first seen showing a couple a new house and Gary takes a tour as well. Oliver tells Gary that he had laser surgery to remove his birthmark so people would stop referring to him by his childhood nickname "O Man".
4. Andy (Nick Frost
) - Andy is a senior partner at a very prestigious looking law firm. Andy's secretary tells him that he has a visitor who turns out to be Gary. Andy wants nothing to do with Gary or his shenanigans after a past incident in which Andy and Gary were involved in a serious accident, and Gary miraculously recovered while Andy got arrested for driving while intoxicated. Andy has been sober ever since. Gary is able to convince Andy to join the crawl after telling him that Gary's mum died from cancer, and Gary paid back Andy the 600 quid that he owed him.
The four men relent and join Gary for the pub crawl and meet up in Newton Haven. They meet at the train station when Gary pulls up in his car, "The Beast", a beat-up 1980s Ford Granada Mark II, which he's had since before the pub crawl. On their way into Newton Haven, the four friends notice how stuck in the past Gary is. Gary still has the same Ford Granada Mark II he had since 1990 which has gone through a large number of changes in equipment. He also has the same mix tape that Steve made for him. On the highway, Gary decides to make a quick pit stop at a gas station. While getting coffee the four guys are reminiscing and talking about where they are and have been since 1990, and Andy remarks that Gary hasn't changed one bit when he notices that Gary instead of a bathroom break, is playing Need For Speed. Upon arriving into Newton Haven, Gary's car is pulled over by a police officer who tells Gary that the brake light on his car is out. To Pete's horror, Gary still has the car registered in Pete's name and always has since 1990.
The guys drop off their belongings at a local bed & breakfast inn, where Gary makes a speech about the activities they will be participating in for the night, and begin their pub crawl at:
1. The First Post
Gary begins the crawl by making a speech about the pub's history and enters the place excited, but since it's still early, there are hardly any patrons there, and it doesn't appear the same as he remembers. He orders five pints, but Andy decides to have water instead (since he is a recovering alcoholic). Gary berates him for drinking water instead of alcohol and implies he is less of a man for doing so.
2. The Old Familiar
This pub appears similar to The First Post in that it is quiet and mostly vacant. The interior, menu, and what happens are also identical to The First Post. Also, the bartender, much like the first, doesn't appear to recognize Gary, despite his insistence that he is "the king". While the guys are seated, Oliver gets a call from Sam, and he invites her to join them. When she arrives, Gary and Steven both get excited as they both fancy her. Gary follows Sam into the washroom, thinking she is looking for another hook-up, but she assures Gary he's got the wrong idea and then slaps him.
3. The Famous Cock
Gary is recognized at this pub, but as it turns out, he is barred from it. The others leave and decide they can just drink two pints at the next pub. Gary still wants to accomplish his dream of completing the Golden Mile, and this would defeat the purpose by not having one at every pub. While at this pub they spot an old friend of the group - Old Man Basil - they would come into the bar and listen to him talk for hours about extra terrestrials and alien conspiracy theories. While leaving, Gary spots three barely-full glasses of beer that he presumably figures adds up to a pint, and he starts to drink all of them before rejoining his friends. Andy and Steve are talking about the positives and negatives of going organic.
4. The Cross Hands
The guys have a meal at this pub while Gary goes to get more drinks. A large man comes to their table and asks if he can take an available seat, and Pete looks at him fearfully. Turns out this man, Shane Hawkins (Darren Boyd), was a bully who constantly harassed Pete in his youth, and Pete is mostly upset that Shane does not recognize him, as though all the bullying meant nothing. Andy and Pete are having a lengthy discussion about why they're there in the first place, as encountering Shane has made Pete extremely uncomfortable. As they confront Gary about this matter, Andy berates Gary about why he decided to do this pub crawl in the first place. Oliver notices a trio of girls who they fondly remember from high school and are known as "The Marmalade Sandwich" (two blondes and a redhead). Oliver and Steve ponder approaching the ladies. Gary then disappears and comes back with a round of shots. Andy decides this has gone way too far and he, Pete, and Oliver discuss leaving and going back to the bed and breakfast. But then as Gary heads to the restroom, he leaves his cell phone on the table and it begins ringing. Andy picks up the phone and is horrified to discover that it's Gary's mum and that Gary lied about his mum passing away.
In the restroom, Gary is visibly frustrated that things aren't going exactly according the plans he had laid out in the beginning. As he slips on the urine-soaked floor, he is about to punch a hole in the wall and realizes that the same wall he punched out during the first crawl is still there. He then confronts a teenager and invites him to join the crawl with them, but the teenager doesn't pay attention to Gary. Gary then confronts the teenager and the two begin fighting. But then Gary slams the teenager's head against the urinal, and his head pops off, revealing a stump and blue goo coming out. Gary is horrified at this image, but then a very angry Andy confronts Gary about the big lie about his mum. Just as Gary's trying to explain what happened, the other guys come to the realization that there are far more sinister forces at work here. More teenagers show up and the two groups begin fighting with lots of head smashing and body parts flying. After the fight Gary comes to the realization that the reason why people don't recognize them is that everyone in town has been replaced with these things.
Upon exiting the restroom the guys realize they have no idea how far what they've just witnessed goes. They're then confronted by the same police officer who pulled them over while on their way into Newton Haven. The officer asks them how many pubs in they are. After leaving Gary decides they need to continue the crawl so as to not look suspicious to the new beings they've just encountered. Andy, to everyone's amazement downs all five shots and decides that it's pointless arguing with Gary. They then drink up and leave for the next pub.
5. The Good Companions
To the tune of the Doors' "Alabama Song", the guys quickly and quietly exit the Cross Hands and walk toward the Good Companions, trying to convince everyone around them that they're five friends on a night out having a good time. While inside, the guys quietly have a pint here and act normal, trying hard not to seem unusual to those around them.
6. The Trusty Servant
Gary spots an old drug dealer known as Reverend Green (Michael Smiley), whose real name is Trevor. Gary tells Andy that if Reverend Green is one of them, he won't remember the code that Gary and Green had set up prior to the first crawl. Gary asks to buy some weed from him, but Trevor says he doesn't sell any more. Gary also asks if he is a robot, but the mere mention of the word appears to draw glares from the other patrons. Trevor and two other patrons make it clear to Gary and the others that they are not robots, as robot implies that they are slaves, which they are not. The phone rings and the bartender tells Trevor he is getting a call from his supervisor. He quietly walks into the bathroom, which Oliver walks out of.
7. The Two-Headed Dog
Gary and Steven see Sam coming into the pub with her twin friends. Gary goes to warn Sam of what is happening, asking her if the twins seem suspicious. She dismisses his claims and goes to hang with the twins outside for a drink and smoke. Sam tells them what Gary said, and in unison, the twins stand over Sam menacingly. Gary comes in and attacks one twin, ripping her head off and exposing the blue goo and neck base to Sam's horror. The other twin attacks, but Gary subdues both of them, until one of them returns with the other twin's legs on her arms, swinging at Gary and Sam, until Steven joins the fight, and they defeat the twin blanks. Steven then takes this opportunity to confess his love for Sam, saying she deserves better than Gary. Meanwhile, Andy, Stephen, and Pete try to come up with a name for the humanoid robots, eventually settling on the term "blanks" since nothing else they've suggested has any relevance.
8. The Mermaid
The guys and Sam head to this pub next. It's having a student disco event which is widely populated and the guys can't tell whether the bar is populated by blanks or humans. While there, the guys spot the trio of women they call the "Marmalade Sandwich". They're too drunk to realize these ladies haven't aged a day since they last saw them. Meanwhile Peter disappears and runs into Old Man Basil. Basil reveals that the beings they've encountered are part of a terrifying group called "The Network" and that they're out to merge their beings with humanity, just as they've done with other planets. The Network will make exact copies of humans and dispose of the human bodies in favour of the blank bodies. Basil who's normally known as a conspiracy theorist, is horrified by this prospect.
Back on the floor, Peter tells Sam this news, and how the Network is out to collect human DNA any way they can - and it appears Gary and Andy are "blending in" with the blanks. Sam and Peter tell Steve the news they've received from Basil about "The Network". One of the girls in the Marmalade Sandwich swallows Andy's wedding ring. And then Steve discovers something truly horrifying - a man that Sam once dated named Adrian Keane was believed to have been killed in a motorcycle crash. But there Adrian was - alive and well, much to Sam's horror.
Upon joining up with the rest of the group, Gary and the group are trying to flee the blanks while heading to the next pub. Gary then remarks about how good O Man is doing, since he very fondly recalls during the first crawl that O Man was put out of commission by pint 6. This has the rest of the group suspicious.
9. The Beehive
The group enters this pub and finds their old high school guidance counsellor Mr. Shepherd (Pierce Brosnan
), welcoming them with pints. He is asked if he is like everybody else they've encountered, to which Mr. Shepherd responds by encouraging the group to give in and join the other blanks. Oliver seems relaxed at the proposition when Andy notices the birthmark on his forehead. Andy bashes Oliver, splitting half his head off and revealing the blue goo. This initiates a brawl, in which Mr. Shepherd and other blanks are torn apart or bashed. Gary, meanwhile, tries to finish his pint, but joins when Sam is threatened. Somehow, the blanks manage to repair themselves, and Mr. Shepherd once again tells the group to join them, but they flee. Gary attempts to make things easy by jumping off the building, landing on Sam's car. Gary makes sure that Sam gets away in her car before he runs off to join the others.
Gary rejoins Andy, Steven, and Pete in a location that they refer to as "The Bowls Club". In the first attempt of the crawl, this location is where the entire thing went south. Once inside, Gary tells Andy, Steve, and Pete that he put Sam in a car and told her to go to London. They are floored that Gary would do such a thing after what happened to O Man. They then force Gary to prove that he's human. Gary fondly has them do the same recalling various injuries that happened to the guys during their youth and demanding to see the scars. Andy then very angrily reminds Gary of the accident and tries to force the proof of it out of him.
The guys run through the woods to keep going. Pete runs into Shane, who apologizes to him for his bullying. Pete enacts his revenge by beating Shane senseless, even though it becomes apparent that Shane is a blank. Other blanks suddenly start surrounding the woods before they gang up on Pete. One blank places his palm against Pete's face and extracts his DNA. The other three are forced to leave their friend behind.
Gary is still hell bent on finishing the Golden Mile, but Andy and Steven are set to get out of Newton Haven. Andy knocks Gary out, and they try to evade the blanks so they can get back to Gary's car. Unfortunately, in order to get to the car, they have to go through...
10. The King's Head
Andy places an unconscious Gary on the bar while he and Steven try to unlock the back exit. Gary comes to and pours himself a pint. He tosses Andy his car keys and runs off to the next pub. Refusing to abandon his friend, Andy gives Steven the keys and he runs after Gary.
11. The Hole in the Wall
Gary quickly gets his pint here. Steven bursts through the wall of the pub, but he is taken by the blanks. Gary starts running off again, and Andy continues giving chase, fighting off any blank that stands in his way.
12. THE WORLD'S END
There is already a pint sitting on the table waiting for Gary. He goes to take his drink, but Andy throws it out of his hand. They start fighting as Gary tries to get another glass, and Andy grabs his wrists. They are bandaged up, revealing that Gary attempted suicide. He hates what his life has become, going to meetings to get help, and he feels that the Golden Mile was the last good bit about his life. Gary wants what Andy has - two children, a beautiful wife, a fancy job, and so on. But Andy tells Gary that his life isn't as glorious as he thinks - Andy's wife left him a few weeks before the pub crawl began, citing irreconcilable differences. Andy then reveals the reason why he's so angry at Gary in the first place - Gary had overdosed and Andy drove him to the hospital. Along the way, Andy had crashed the car and suffered serious injuries because of it. Gary didn't have a scratch on him and wound up fleeing into the night. After several hours of surgery Andy had been arrested for driving while intoxicated and spent a year in jail. He starts to pour himself a pint, but when Gary pulls the lever, the whole pub shakes. The bar lowers Gary and Andy down underground to a mysterious chamber.
A bright light and booming voice appears. Standing all around the place are other blanks. The voice (Bill Nighy) says they are The Network. Their mission is to recreate a more civilized society on Earth, as they have done in other places before. According to The Network, Earth is the most uncivilized planet in the galaxy. They also provide the humans with eternal youth, which explains why the schoolgirls, among others, still look so young. The voice also explains what happens when a human being is replaced with their blank counterpart, and it's every bit as horrifying as anyone could imagine. The Network brings forth the young versions of Gary and his friends. Young Gary tries to convince Gary to let him be the person he used to be, but Gary rips his young counterpart's head off. Steven then comes in, having evaded the blanks. Together, he, Gary, and Andy defy The Network, saying that humans don't need to be changed. They may be fuck-ups, but they are proud to be fuck-ups. The Network decides that it's impossible to argue with Gary and declares "Fuck it" before leaving the place. The place begins to rumble as it starts to self-destruct. Basil shows up to lead the guys out of there. Once they're back outside, Sam drives up and drives them away. The World's End is destroyed, but the self-destruct emits a pulse blast that starts spreading all across Newton Haven. Sam drives like hell and gets herself and the guys away from the blast radius as it consumes the town. Gary lays against Andy as he watches his home town burn. Just as the first pub crawl ended, this one ends the exact same way - Gary, Andy, Steve and Sam all head for the hills, and they sit up there and watch the town burn, wondering what is going to happen next.
Some time passes after the Network leaves Newton Haven. Andy is sitting around a camp fire telling the story and how the next morning gave a whole new meaning to the term "hangover". When the Network left, the explosion that triggered from The World's End set off a pulse that completely shut off the world's technology, forcing the entire planet back into the dark ages. Everyone remembers where they were that night. Andy was right at the switch, with Gary, Steve and Basil. He then tells the tale of what happened to the participants of the crawl that led to the World's End. But the blanks? Despite the Network leaving, the blanks mysteriously rebooted and a new world order was born.
The blank Oliver returned to his job as a real estate agent. Even in the new dark ages people still need to have a roof over their heads. The blank Pete returned to his family. And neither his wife, nor his children, apparently seemed to care that he was a blank. Steve married Sam and the two settled in a small town outside London. Andy reconciled with his wife, and the reason is that since technology was shut off, their problems didn't seem quite as bad in the grand scheme of things. The shut off forced everyone to go organic in a huge way while dumpsters were filled with computers and unusable technology. Andy tells the camp fire he doesn't remember any processed foods that he missed.
As for Gary? Andy has no idea what happened to Gary. Andy hopes that Gary has found true happiness and that it's not at the bottom of a glass. Cut to the ruins of Newton Haven. Gary and the younger, blank versions of his friends enter a pub called "The Rising Sun". The music playing at the pub suddenly stops and the bartender refuses to serve the blanks. Gary then gives a similar speech to what he said before entering The First Post. The bartender again refuses. He asks who Gary is. Gary replies "Me? They call me The King!", and he and the blanks draw weapons and begin fighting.