It’s no fun arriving at a TV series finale…not for anyone really. To some extent, there’s always going to be those who just don’t get the closure they need. The goal is always to leave your fans in a comfortable place to put their addiction down, but it just doesn’t always work out the way the producers intend. It can feel devastatingly disappointing when the conclusion to these long journies comes to a less-than-desirable end. We’ve gathered the top 20 worst TV Show endings ever!
Fans of Lost waited for a long time to finally understand all of the lingering questions behind the mysterious island the cast found themselves trapped on after a tragic plane crash. This series ended in the worst way possible. It was actually as if they laid out a few different paths they could’ve traveled down, and picked the worst one just because it was the least predictable. It revealed that the “flash-sideways” storyline, in which the main characters lived in an alternate world where they’d never crashed on the Island at all. This finale basically left it up to the fans for interpretation, with the obvious understandings being that they are all in purgatory or that it was all just a dream made up by one of the surviving characters. Either way, this became one of the hardest endings to swallow ever.
19. How I Met Your Mother
How I Met Your Mother is one of those shows that’s purely addictive. True fans rewatch this show from start to finish several times over because it’s just that entertaining. The show spends so much energy getting you to think Ted and Robin don’t belong together, that Barney and Robin are meant to be, and that Ted lives happily ever after with the wife of his dreams, only to rip it all away. The mother gets sick and passes away after we finally get to enjoy her presence for a blink of an eye, and Barney’s marriage to Robin all falls apart which was a decision that just didn’t seem necessary. The final scene shows the prospective future that Ted and Robin were meant to be after all that time they spent driving those two apart. That final episode was just a heartbreaker in every which way.
18. Mad Men
Granted, we might have a lot of people who disagree with this one, but we can’t hide from the fact that the entire final season was dull, to say the least. It dragged on and seemed pointless, unlike the many seasons before that always packed a punch. If Mad Men were to really hook its fans into a happy ending, they would’ve taken the time to make us care about their characters, but that effort defeinitely fell short in their lackluster final season. So when the final scene of Don smiling as he comes up with the idea for the iconic ‘I’d Like To Teach the World to Sing’ Coke advertisement, we were left thinking nothing but “meh”.
17. True Blood
This was the time where the Twilight saga was at an all-time high, and True Blood stood for everything that Twilight wasn’t, which is why so many people loved it. The final season was hard to watch as it made you care less about everyone in the show. All relationships we truly cared about were worthless by the end of it all and to top it all off, there was no danger worth worrying about because they just stopped making threats realistic.
We were all hoping for a dramatic ending here, but instead, after seasons of killing and sadistic behavior, we get a happy and peaceful lumberjack. This weird ambiguous end was not what fans wanted from a show which focused so much on how Dexter had an unwavering belief in the righteousness of his deeds. Fans desperately wanted to know if he would get away with all of his crimes by the end, but it felt more like a cliffhanger we just couldn’t live with. They could have given the fans a definitive end to find comfort in knowing, but instead they left us all frustrated.
15. Two And A Half Men
When Charlie Sheen left the show, most of its viewership did too, and he knew that would happen by the way. He was the heartbeat of the show, and it should have ended when his time on the show did, but instead, they made the worst mistake by bringing on Ashton Kutcher to fill his shoes (which was a failed attempt, to say the least). The final scene saw Charlie return to the house, only for him to be killed by a piano falling from the sky (only it wasn’t really Charlie Sheen which is why they couldn’t show his face). It’s like they knew just how bad this show had become and didn’t care about any kind of fan service. The final frame was a solemn explanation from the producers to the fans, detailing how they wanted the finale to go, and how Sheen wouldn’t agree to it…so this is the path they chose instead.
Everything that made it such a great series about a blue-collar family, basically flipped on its nose in the series finale. The episode revealed that John Goodman’s Dan had actually died after his heart attack at Darlene’s wedding, so the entirety of season 9 never actually happened. To experience the final season as a total reversal of the reality we knew leading up to that, was a disappointment at best.
13. Quantum Leap
Fans had watched for five seasons hoping to see Sam finally make that leap home. But they had to spoil everything by giving him a depressing purgatorial ending instead. The existential episode saw Sam meet God, who informs Sam that technically he could have reached home whenever he wanted but the final scene showed a note that he would never return home. It was a boring finale that punched like a poke.
In the Scrubs’ finale for Season 9, most of the original characters were mostly absent. So it makes a little more sense that this one wasn’t really enjoyed by long-time fans. This left so many questions unanswered, making this episode a tough pill to swallow.
Over the course of time, interest in this show steadily declined, making the series finale in-line with the amount of entertainment it was producing in the episodes leading up to it. One last scene involving most of the core cast sharing a joint on a snowy porch may have touched a nostalgic chord, but it couldn’t mask that old buzzkill feeling.
10. The Office
The last episode is excessively mawkish, and not in the spirit of the “comedy of awkwardness” that had been its stock-in-trade, even though they brought Michael Scott back for one last bow. The lack of quality storyline ending was sugar coated with as many cop-out tricks as possible for the easy applause, which was widely frowned upon by long-time fans of The Office.
Fans could have watched this crew go on until they were grey and old, but the sense you get from witnessing this last episode is that everyone involved was ready to be done with it. Even as the cast trudges out of the empty apartment for one last shared cup of coffee, there’s the feeling that Friends had dragged on for such a long time, they were all just exhausted and they lost their joy in it all.
This final episode of Larry David’s was a way to give these four a taste of karma after their nine seasons of causing everyone around them misery. At worst, the show about nothing went out on an ironic note. Still, this was a game-changing sitcom. Still, it’s worth pointing out that, even in jail, our heroes didn’t hug and definitely hadn’t learned a thing.
By the time the show was ready to close its curtains, it took a turn for the absurd. When your big dramatic set piece involves a convict’s staging of Macbeth and switching out a prop knife for a real one you’re basically ready to nosedive that plane right into the ground. Our last moment with Oz’s residents finds them stuck on a bus going nowhere. However poetic this metaphor may have been for the convicts, it left fans unsatisfied.
6. Sex and the City
It seems antithetical that in the series’ last episode, the leader of the gang, Carrie, gets a “happily ever after” ending where her on-and-off boyfriend finally proposes after the theme of the show has been one where women stick together and men aren’t necessary. It kind of negates all the girl power the show had been building up for years.
5. Will & Grace
This seminal sitcom wrapped up eight seasons with Will and Grace having the fight that separates them for good. Grace and her husband raise a daughter, while Will and his partner raise a son. The children don’t meet until college, which reconciles Will and Grace – but then the kids get married and everyone lives happily ever after. It feels like a lazy way to end a series, but now the show has taken up its bootstraps once again to continue on. It would seem even they weren’t happy with the way it went last time.
With a devoted fanbase, they managed five seasons despite terrible ratings. The series ends with Sarah and Chuck on the beach, with him trying to remind her of their love. He kisses her, in the hopes that will jog her memory as if it were all a fairytale story, but the show fades to black before the kiss ends.
The final fight that we were all waiting to see, could only be seen in the reflection of Claire’s eye. You’ve got a show with characters who can do almost anything…and you don’t show us the climactic clash of the titans? Do they just not know how to do action anymore? Plain and simple, they blew it on this one.
The final episode honored the main guys’ family of four when Turtle calls Sloan and Eric’s unborn child “our baby”, but it really only showcased the importance of two out of the four character’s future. Two of which didn’t receive any more attention than being considered followers. Also, it was beyond disappointing that Ari had to give up everything for he had in his career just so his wife could be happy getting all of his attention. No fan wanted her to win that battle, so it was a frustrating end to the show in a number of ways, only to be followed up with a less than desirable movie.
1. The Sopranos