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The Most Hated TV Finales of All Time

Fans have never forgiven these TV shows for their terrible series finales.

Creating a great TV show is hard enough—sticking the landing is even harder. That's why exceptional series finales are few and far between, and most shows end not with a bang, but a whimper. A list of the most shrug-worthy TV finales could be endless, which is why we decided to focus on the concluding chapters that provoked the most outrage from fans and critics. These aren't just mediocre last episodes of beloved series—they're the most hated TV finales of all time. Read on to see if any of the finales that still enrage you made the cut, but be warned there are MAJOR SPOILERS ahead. And for more heated television debates, check out The Most Hated TV Characters of All Time.

Read the original article on Best Life.


lost series finale on tv
Disney–ABC Domestic Television

There's a major misunderstanding when it comes to the Lost finale, which revealed that the characters were in purgatory during the show's final season—but not throughout the entire series. Nevertheless, enough people were sure the twist was that the characters had been dead all along, and that confusion caused serious outrage. And for more contentious series, these are The Most Hated Popular TV Shows.

How I Met Your Mother

how I met your mother series finale
20th Television

Imagine spending nine seasons telling the story of how you met your kids' mother—only for the show to kill her off in the final episode, thereby paving the way for a bait-and-switch that renders the entire series moot. While some fans have come around on the How I Met Your Mother finale, most are still feeling bitter.


dexter series finale

Everyone knows the Dexter finale was a disaster, including star Michael C. Hall, who has said the show's upcoming reboot will hopefully make up for the original series' abysmal conclusion. But it will be a challenge to get viewers to tune in again when the last image they were left with was Dexter never facing any justice for his crimes and… becoming a lumberjack. And for more entertainment content delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Game of Thrones

game of thrones series finale

It wasn't just the finale, of course. The last season of Game of Thrones was so derided by fans and critics alike that it made the series—once appointment viewing—into something people forgot about pretty quickly. And the final episode just underscored all the problems, rushing through plot without any attention to consistent logic or characterization. Bran becomes king? Sure, why not.


seinfeld series finale
Sony Pictures Television

If Dexter's series finale earned poor marks for the antihero getting away with it, Seinfeld may have gone a bit too far by leaving its core four in jail. The bigger crime, however, is that the episode just wasn't that funny, instead serving as an excuse to bring back a slew of recurring characters. (The X-Files tried the same thing in an equally disappointing finale, but that's been overshadowed by a bad movie and an even worse revival series.) And for more (mostly) adored shows, These Are the Most Popular TV Shows of All Time.

The Sopranos

the sopranos series finale

Is The Sopranos finale one of the greatest ever made or one of the worst? Critical consensus now leans more toward the former, but many viewers were left scratching their heads by the abrupt conclusion. Turns out prestige television is more interested in giving you the ending you need than the ending you want, even if a lack of closure can send fans spiraling (and listening to Journey on repeat).


roseanne series finale
Carsey-Werner Distribution

Like other series on this list, Roseanne's misguided series finale was effectively undone by the revival series (which was then undone by its star's racist tweets). Nevertheless, the original Roseanne finale is notorious for the way it retconned a final season that viewers were already iffy on. Casually killing off Dan? Unforgivable. And for more onscreen deaths we won't forget, check out The Most Heartbreaking Movie Deaths We're Still Not Over.

Pretty Little Liars

pretty little liars series finale

If you stuck with Pretty Little Liars all the way through, major kudos for keeping up with the myriad twists and turns, most of which required some pretty serious suspension of disbelief. The big reveal of the series finale—that A.D. was Spencer's evil twin, played by Troian Bellisario with a British accent—was predictably bonkers but somehow still infuriating.

Gossip Girl

gossip girl series finale
Giovanni Rufino / The CW

Yeah, yeah, Blair and Chuck get married, but that's not the reason the Gossip Girl conclusion is one of the most hated series finales ever. It all comes down to the revelation that Dan is Gossip Girl, a truly baffling twist that—as fans were all too eager to point out—doesn't really make any sense. And for more memorable twists, check out these TV Plot Twists That Completely Blew Our Minds.

Will & Grace

will and grace series finale
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

How do you end a series about two best friends? One great way not to do it is to force a friendship-ending fight that ends up lasting two decades. And yet, that is the path Will & Grace chose, dividing the title pair until a flash-forward reconciliation that didn't really make it any less of a bummer. Thankfully, the reboot retconned the whole thing.

True Blood

true blood series finale

True Blood was fun at one point, or so they say. The show slid into nonsense so quickly that it was hard to take it too seriously. The finale tried to wrap things up neatly and crashed hard, which shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. Sookie being forced to kill Bill and then ending up pregnant with a mystery man at her side was just icing on a really disappointing cake. And for more awful onscreen moments, revisit The Most Hated People in Reality TV History.

Quantum Leap

quantum leap series finale
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

In defense of Quantum Leap, the show was denied a proper ending when it was abruptly canceled. Forced to figure out a way to end things, the series threw in a title card letting viewers know that the final character was doomed forever. Oh, and as a final indignity—his name was spelled wrong.


smallville series finale
Warner Bros. Domestic Television Distribution

It was actually a conscious choice to not have Tom Welling's Clark Kent wear the Superman suit throughout Smallville's series finale, instead opting for a shot of it at the very end. Fans wanted more, however, and maybe DC Comics TV shows have learned from the backlash: The finale of Gotham had an aged-up Bruce Wayne in full Batman mode. And if you're a DC fan, check out this Ranking of Every DC Comics Movie, From Worst Reviewed to Best.

13 Reasons Why

13 reasons why series finale

A surprise death. Some questionable morals. And a total lack of accountability where it mattered. Anyone who was counting on 13 Reasons Why to reverse course or at least reckon with the mistakes it made along the way was disappointed by a conclusion that further exposed the emptiness of the series.

Two and a Half Men

two and a half men series finale
Warner Bros. Television Distribution

Remember when Charlie Sheen's catchphrase was "winning!" following his very public erratic behavior and firing from Two and a Half Men? That ends up being the punch line to the series, sandwiched by two separate gags of a person crushed by a falling piano. Even fans who had put up with years of questionable choices were turned off by the series finale's bizarre coda.


weeds series finale
Michael Desmond / Showtime

There's just something about Showtime series. As with Dexter, Weeds decided to end without the comeuppance that its lead character so richly deserved. Also like Dexter, Weeds is coming back, so perhaps there's a chance to finally give it a proper ending.

The Originals

the originals series finale
The CW

Listen, fans may love tuning into high-stakes genre series where major characters are killed off left and right, but that doesn't mean they'll accept any character death. And The Originals' choice to end with both Elijah and Klaus dying did not sit well with the most loyal viewers, many of whom were hoping they could at least imagine the latter ending up with Caroline.


house series finale
NBCUniversal Television Distribution

Another antihero, another lack of consequences. But the bigger crime the House series finale commits is letting the title character fake his own death and then ride off into the sunset on a motorcycle. What happened to the Sherlock Holmes-inspired medical drama viewers had fallen in love with years prior?


reign series finale
CBS Television Distribution

As with some other inclusions here, Reign suffered from a late cancellation, which meant the writers had to work quickly to wrap the story up. In the case of Mary, Queen of Scots, that meant ridiculously speeding through a couple decades of imprisonment and ending with her execution. Viewers knew there would never be a happy ending, but that fast-forwarded history lesson made for a brutal finale.

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