The Quick Report

The 10 Worst TV Finales OF ALL TIME

The only thing harder than making a great TV show is ending a great TV show. While art criticism is a matter of taste, many critics and audiences agree that these ten TV finales were bad enough to rob their associated series of their original oomph.


House Finale
Photo via Fox

What many fans wanted from the finale to House was for its titular doctor to finally get his comeuppance for all the ways he’d wronged the people in his life. Unfortunately, the show allows him to fake his own death and wriggle away from any responsibility for his actions. Frustratingly, it even frames this as a good thing.

How I Met Your Mother

Photo via CBS

Fans of How I Met Your Mother were deeply frustrated by its cop-out finale. Rather than letting protagonist Ted Mosby live happily ever after with the mother of his children, the show decided that Ted’s wife tragically passed away and that he actually ends up with his on-again off-again girlfriend Robin years later.

The X-Files

Image via Fox

The original finale to The X-Files had a very difficult job. When it wrapped things up in 2002, the show was in its ninth season and struggling to keep up with its own labyrinthine lore. “The Truth” simply couldn’t deliver on everything that had come before. Thankfully, the show came back with new seasons in 2016!

Star Trek: Enterprise

Star Trek Enterprise
Image via Paramount

When the final episode of Enterprise aired, it was meant to be the final episode of Trek, period. As such, there was a lot of weight riding on it. And it failed miserably, according to fans. Bizarrely, it’s just an episode of The Next Generation, a show that ended its run years before Enterprise started.


Screenshot of the show Lost

Lost is an easy shorthand for shows that squandered their potential. While the show started out with a genuinely captivating premise, it ultimately devolved into a completely nonsensical trainwreck. It’s yet another piece of evidence that showrunner JJ Abram’s “mystery box” storytelling method is ultimately hollow.


The Sopranos
Image via HBO

The Sopranos doesn’t go out with a bang, a whimper, or anything at all. The show simply cuts to black while Tony Soprano and his family eat in a diner. Maybe it’s a metaphor for death from an unseen assailant, maybe it’s just a signal that the show is over and we’ll no longer be watching Tony run his crime family. Either way, it sucks.

Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl
Image via The CW

Many fans were disappointed by the reveal that Dan Humphrey was the titular “Gossip Girl” all along. For many, it seemed like a late twist by the writers that didn’t square with Dan’s character or the way the show had portrayed him or his apparent alter-ego’s voice throughout the series.


Image via NBC

Throwing the entire cast in jail might have sounded funny in the writer’s room, but having Seinfeld pass such harsh judgement on its characters rings hollow. The show spent nearly a decade reveling in its outlandishly selfish characters only to pull the rug out from under them in the end. It just felt disingenuous to fans.

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Image via Showtime

Unlike Seinfeld, Dexter was a show with a protagonist in deep need of comeuppance. Dexter was, ultimately, a serial killer! The show instead gives us the strange reveal that Dexter just walked away from a life of murder and became a lumberjack, leaving all the bloodshed and chaos behind him.  

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Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones
Image via HBO

Game of Thrones spent about five seasons being the best thing to ever air on TV before the showrunners tragically ran out of George RR Martin books to adapt. Without Martin’s words to spin into compelling TV, Thrones went fully off the rails and never recovered. Fans are still bewildered by the whirlwind pace and truncated length of the final season.

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