The Kissing Booth 3 Ending, Explained

Since the first film came out in 2018, ‘The Kissing Booth’ franchise has become one of the most popular teen film series of all time. The third installment, ‘The Kissing Booth 3,’ perfectly concludes this much-loved group of movies. It’s essentially a coming-of-age tale. The audience gets to watch the characters they have come to know love and finally take the step beyond the threshold of adulthood. It’s nostalgic and wonderfully bittersweet. The films are based on the namesake series of books by Beth Reekles. Here is everything you need to know about ‘The Kissing Booth 3’ ending. SPOILERS AHEAD.

The Kissing Booth 3 Plot Synopsis

The film begins shortly after Shelly “Elle” Evans (Joey King) and Lee Flynn’s (Joel Courtney) graduation. She still hasn’t told Lee and Noah (Jacob Elordi) that she had been accepted to both Berkeley and Harvard. She can’t decide which one to pick as she knows her choice will make one of her two favorite people “very unhappy.”

Meanwhile, Lee and Noah’s parents decide to sell their beach house. Elle and the boys have spent every summer of their lives there, so they understandably become sad upon hearing the news. However, they and Rachel (Meganne Young) decide to spend one last summer at the house before the Flynn family loses it for good. They get permission from Mr. Flynn and Sara (Molly Ringwald) by promising to take care of the house and notifying them if an interested party shows up.

While cleaning the rooms, Elle and Lee find a list they made a while ago: the beach bucket list. Elle finally decides to attend Harvard. To make it up to Lee, she suggests that they should tick off the items from their list. As unhappy as Lee is about Elle’s decision, he agrees to complete the entire bucket list in the short time they have.

However, Elle soon starts to feel the pressure of trying to balance everything. Furthermore, her father tells her that he has started seeing a woman named Linda. Elle works as a waitress at a local restaurant, where she comes across Marco (Taylor Zakhar Perez). It becomes quickly evident that he is still very much in love with her. Elle feels extremely overwhelmed by her job, the news about her father’s new girlfriend, spending time with Noah, and doing the bucket list with Lee. She ends up confiding in Marco about her fears and stress. Meanwhile, Chloe (Maisie Richardson-Sellers) comes to stay at the beach house because of her parents’ marital issues.

The Kissing Booth 3 Ending: Does Elle Choose Noah or Marco?

The love triangle between Elle, Noah, and Marco is not as prominent in this film as in ‘The Kissing Booth 2.’ This is primarily because this movie focuses more on Elle adulting than on her love life. She spends most of the film trying to make other people happy, especially Noah and Lee, and completely overlooks her own needs and happiness. But no matter how much she tries to suppress her stress, it inevitably boils over. She finds in Marco a confidant, a person with whom she can talk about every problem in her life.

What she fails to realize is that Marco still loves her. He keeps showing up at things that she is supposed to do with Noah and others. This ultimately culminates in a confrontation between Noah and Marco at a party at the beach house, during which the latter punches Noah. Well aware of Noah’s history of violence, everyone at the party waits with bated breath to see what happens next. However, Noah simply says that he is not doing this and leaves.

Elle later finds him under the Hollywood sign. Noah, who is a bit more mature than both Elle and Lee, realizes the sacrifices that Elle is making for him. He knows that there might come a time in the future when she will regret these choices. As a result, he breaks up with her. Although Elle initially struggles to understand his reasons, she eventually gets it after deciding what she wants to do with her life.

Elle says goodbyes to all her friends from school. Marco tells her that he will have a gap year before he leaves for New York to pursue a career as a musician. And his and Elle’s story ends there. Chloe, who has always been a good friend of Noah’s and nothing more, departs as well. Rachel ends her relationship with Lee, fearing that they will become like Noah and Elle if they have a long-distance relationship.

6 years later, Elle and Noah reunite at their school’s charity fair in front of the kissing booth. He is now a Harvard law graduate with offers to join farms in Los Angeles and New York while she works as a game developer for an independent company. It becomes apparent that they still have feelings for each other. Elle reveals that she now has a motorcycle of her own, and Noah asks her to join him on a ride the next time he is in town.

As he is leaving, Noah climbs some stairs and stops. This scene is a throwback to the scene of Noah’s departure for Harvard in the first film. However, he turns back and waves at her this time, showing her that he can be as romantic as anyone. The film ends with Noah and Elle riding their motorcycles through the same scenic roads they used to when they were younger.

Although the film doesn’t explicitly mention it, the audience can presume that Noah has accepted the job offer in Los Angeles and decided to stay close to his family and Elle. If it already didn’t happen, Elle and Noah are bound to get back together. After their breakup, she thought that Noah wasn’t the one. She didn’t realize that it’s a temporary hiatus in their relationship that they both needed. Time has tempered them both, but the love that they felt for each other hasn’t gone away. And it had six years to do that. Now that they have figured out who they are, it’s time to rekindle the romance.

Which University Does Elle Attend: Harvard or Berkeley?

After Noah breaks up with Elle, she still considers attending Harvard. By then, everyone knows that she has gotten accepted to both colleges. When Lee learns about the breakup, he immediately suggests that she should come to Berkeley with him, prompting Elle to point out that this is the problem. For Elle, it has never been about what she wants to do with her life. After a conversation with Sara, a woman that has been a mother figure to her since her own mother’s death, Elle decides to make herself the priority. Elle has always been passionate about gaming. She visits the University of Southern California and successfully goes through the admission process to enroll in the game development department. As mentioned above, after the 6-year time skip, she works as a game developer in an independent company.

Do Elle and Lee Remain Friends?

Yes, Elle and Lee remain friends. After the 6-year time skip, Elle meets Lee and Rachel (who have reconciled and are getting married soon) at the charity fair. Their friendship has been one of the most important plot devices of these films, and it has endured its share of ups and downs. After Noah breaks up with Elle, she also has a fallout with Lee for not showing up for what was supposed to be their last dance on the arcade machine.

Ultimately, Elle makes Lee understand that she has to follow her own path and make her own choices. Before Lee leaves for Berkeley, Elle adds a new rule to their list: “Always call your bestie every time you miss them.” It is revealed that Lee has purchased the arcade machine and left it with Elle. Although they spend the next few years physically apart, they never lose touch with one another.

After graduation, Lee moves back to Los Angeles, and for him and Elle, it’s like no time has passed at all. They have both grown up in the intermediate period, but their friendship has remained the same. When they discover that the students have continued to organize kissing booths at charity fairs, they go on a happy stroll down memory lane.

Read More: The Kissing Booth 1 and 2 Recap and Plot Synopsis