35 TV Show Finales that Disappointed Their Fanbase
Wrapping up a beloved show is tough enough, yet some of the most popular shows in TV history have had finales that left fans angry or disappointed. Incredible shows like How I Met Your Mother and Game of Thrones devastated many fans with unsatisfying finales.
Read on to see the worst show endings of all time. Warning: some of the conclusions will make you furious.
If you asked a loyal fan what The Sopranos was about, they would probably say sex, drama and violence. So it’s no surprise that fans anticipated this HBO series to end with a big bang after six strong seasons. However, viewers couldn’t believe what actually happened in the final episode.
Longtime viewers of Dexter thought the ending would’ve been more satisfying if serial killer Dexter (Michael Carlyle Hall) got arrested or died. But that never happened. In the series finale, the beloved serial killer faked his own death and took on a new identity as a lumberjack in Oregon.
Sons of Anarchy
Fans had no idea that the last episode of Sons of Anarchy would hit them as fast and hard as a truck. They were shocked when Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) rode his motorcycle right into a tractor-trailer in the season finale, killing himself after murdering Gemma Teller Morrow (Katey Sagal).
After seven seasons of build-up, audience reactions to the finale of Mad Men were mixed, with many fans arguing that the story seemed rushed and dull. In the last episode, Don Draper (Jon Hamm) experiences a breakdown, but quickly bounces back as an advertising hotshot. In the last shot, it’s revealed that Don creates the iconic Coke ad, “I'd Like To Teach the World to Sing.”
After six well-written seasons of Gossip Girl, viewers saw Chuck Bass (Ed Westwick) and Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) go on the run from police after pushing Chuck’s dad off of a building. Chuck and Blair finally get married, but that’s not the big reveal.
The season finale of the ‘80s and ‘90s comedy sitcom, Roseanne, left longtime viewers scratching their heads. For nine seasons, Roseanne was respected for representing blue-collar Americans, but the tone of the show changed after the Conners won the lottery and began living a luxurious life.
Welcome to the O.C., where teen drama runs rampant. This series followed the troubled Ryan Atwood (Ben McKenzie), who winds up in a wealthy family and falls in love with the girl-next-door, Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton). The O.C. became a cultural phenomenon when it premiered in 2003.
For six seasons, Girls featured the friendships of Hannah, Marnie, Shosh and Jessa, so fans were confused when the majority of the last episode was about Hannah (Lena Dunham). Fans also say that the finale, which featured Hannah becoming a mom and moving away from New York, felt rushed.
Ross and Rachel had a bumpy on-again,-off again relationship throughout Friends. Their relationship was also the focal point of the final episode, leaving no time for the other characters’ conclusive endings. Fans had grown tired of Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel’s (Jennifer Aniston) whole back-and-forth affair.
Longtime viewers became attached to Seinfeld’s hilarious characters, Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld), Kramer (Michael Richards), Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and George (Jason Alexander). However, the final episode of the popular NBC sitcom disappointed many fans.
FBI Special Agents Fox William Mulder and Dana Katherine Scully wowed viewers of The X-Files for nine seasons. When David Duchovny, who portrayed Mulder, left the show in 2000 following Season 7, many fans were disappointed. Duchovny made appearances throughout Seasons 8 and 9, but that didn’t stop the show’s creator, Chris Carter, from pulling the plug.
The insane and groundbreaking series, Nip/Tuck is known for portraying the dark and twisted acts of two plastic surgeons, Dr. Sean McNamara and Dr. Christian Troy (Dylan Walsh and Julian McMahon). Entertainment News warned Nip/Tuck fans in advance, saying, “If you're looking forward to a signature Nip/Tuck jaw-dropping, cringeworthy conclusion, you may want to lower your expectations just a teensy bit…”
Two and a Half Men
Some fans argue that Two and a Half Men became terrible after Ashton Kutcher joined the show in 2011. However, many viewers will say the most awful moment of the show occurred in the season finale. In the very last scene, a piano drops on a Charlie Sheen stunt double, killing him.
This storyline that highlighted the co-existence of vampires and humans in Louisiana made an extremely dark, yet excellent show. Many fans couldn’t help but fall in love with Sookie (Anna Paquin) and Bill (Stephen Moyer). However, fans were torn when Sookie took an interest in bad boy Eric (Alexander Skarsgård).
Beverly Hills 90210
Beverly Hills 90210 was full of teen angst and drama for 10 seasons. In the last episode, the audience watched Donna (Tori Spelling) and David (Brian Austin Green) tie the knot. Kelly (Jennie Garth) established a relationship with known drifter and ladies’ man Dylan (Luke Perry) instead of moving forward with her life.
Sex and the City
Sex and the City followed Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her friends, Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) in New York City. After six fabulous seasons, loyal fans expected a love story with a happy ending for Carrie and her friends. But that didn’t happen.
Fans say the well-respected and much-hyped show, Lost, left more plot holes than it closed in the series finale. Longtime viewers had many questions. Had the characters been dead the whole time? Did they die in the finale? Was it all a dream?
If you didn’t like how Desperate Housewives ended, you’re not alone. The show followed four female friends living on the fictional Wisteria Lane. After eight seasons of friendship, insane secrets and even a few deaths, fans had high hopes for a grand farewell.
Life on Mars
According to Indie Wire, the creators of Life on Mars had planned the show’s ending since the very beginning. The creators thought they could get away with concluding that the series was all a dream, but fans wished for a better conclusion. Plenty of fans say that the ending was definitely shocking, just not in a good way.
Pretty Little Liars
Pretty Little Liars took fans on many twists and turns throughout the show. It’s no surprise, then, that their last big reveal was also unexpected. After seven seasons of lies, creepy text messages and drama, fans finally learned the identity of the terrorizing “A.”
How I Met Your Mother
For nine seasons, viewers anticipated finding out how Ted Mosby met the mother of his children, Tracy Mosby, and learning about their love story. Many fans think the last episode of How I Met Your Mother, Last Forever, should be renamed because Ted and Tracy’s relationship actually didn’t last forever.
After 10 fun-filled seasons, Smallville fans couldn’t wait to see Clark Kent (Tom Welling) finally become Superman in the season finale. It (kind of) didn’t happen. Longtime viewers desperately wanted to see Clark Kent in his full Superman outfit (cape and all).
The Originals took place in a dark world filled with vampires, witches, werewolves and hybrids (a cross-breed of two or more different supernatural species). The series followed the drama-filled lives of vampire-werewolf Klaus Mikaelson (Joseph Morgan) and his family. No matter what they did, Klaus and his family suffered, often getting the short end of the stick.
The Big Bang Theory
The last episode of The Big Bang Theory angered some fans with its predictable storyline. The episode revealed that Penny (Kaley Cuoco) and Leonard (Johnny Galecki) were going to have their first child. Many fans called the pregnancy too predictable for a female character.
Game of Thrones
The highly-anticipated series finale of Game of Thrones disappointed many loyal fans who had stuck with the show for eight intense seasons. In fact, many of these fans were critical of the entire final season. Viewers were so disappointed, that over a million of them called for a remake of the last season in a Change.org petition.
Angel is a spin-off of the TV series, Buffy the Vampire Slayer. After five incredible seasons, viewers say they were ready for a satisfying ending. But for some fans, that didn’t happen. Many fans complained that Angel didn’t wrap up loose ends, and others called it thrilling, yet frustrating.
Season 8 of Scrubs ended on a good note, which is why many fans were surprised when the show came back for one more season. Season 9 crushed the hearts of many Scrubs fans, due to the fact that only a few of the original cast members made appearances.
The ending of Gilmore Girls fell short of expectations for many fans (and even a few cast members). Before Netflix rebooted the show in 2017, the final episode of Gilmore Girls just didn’t leave fans with a proper goodbye. In the original ending, longtime viewers believed Lorelai (Lauren Graham) and Luke (Scott Patterson) went back to each other in the last episode, but the show never confirmed their relationship.
That ‘70s Show
That ‘70s Show ran into trouble as soon as two of the main characters left the show: Eric Forman (Topher Grace) and Michael Kelso (Ashton Kutcher). Forman left to go to Africa in Season 7 and Kelso moved to Chicago, Illinois in Season 8.
Heroes started out as a thrilling and fun superhero show. However, after Season 1, the show’s viewership took a dive. Some fans called Season 2 “slow and boring.” Seasons 3 and 4 have also received harsh criticism as “nonsensical” and “sad.”
The Vampire Diaries
Fans are still not over the last episode of The Vampire Diaries. In the end, many of the characters remained alone or ended up dead. Matt (Zach Roerig), Caroline (Candice King), Bonnie (Kat Graham) and Alaric (Matthew Davis) all ended up alone. Stefan (Paul Wesley) died in the last episode right after getting married to Caroline, crushing the hearts of many fans.
Admiral Al Calavicci (Dean Stockwell) teamed up with Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula) for five grueling seasons to travel in time and try to right history’s mistakes in Quantum Leap. Throughout the series, Beckett repeatedly tries to leap back home, finding the task more difficult than expected.
Portraying the difficult reality of working at a hospital in a big city, St. Elsewhere was an incredible show. The ground-breaking medical drama made fans fall in love with the intense storylines of the doctors. However, imagine waiting for six seasons to find out the entire show existed in the mind of an autistic boy looking at a snow globe that contains a mini hospital.
Fans wanted some answers in Chuck’s series finale, but creators didn’t give them any. Chuck is about a computer geek whose life gets turned upside down after he uploads government secrets into his brain. CIA agent Sarah Walker protects him from assassins and international terrorists who want the information in Chuck’s head. Chuck and Sarah eventually develop romantic feelings for each other.