Here Are the Worst TV Show Endings of All Time, Ranked | 22 Words

Sometimes being a fan can feel like rolling the dice: will your favorite show get the ending that it deserves, or will it flop? Even in shows with tons of fans and stellar writers, that perfect ending is never a guarantee.

And this is the crisis now facing thousands of Game of Thrones fans. The masses were by no means agreed on what a "perfect" GoT ending looked like, but they pretty much all agree that it wasn't what they got. Disappointment (and lots of sarcastic memes) are flooding the internet in the wake of the show's ending.

But Game of Thrones is hardly the first show to start with a bang and end with a whimper. Plenty of TV shows have struggled with this problem. But which disappointing ending was really the worst? We've got plenty of contenders for this position--and there's been way worse than GoT in the past. Keep scrolling and check them all out!

Let's get this out of the way: "Game of Thrones" does indeed deserve a place on the list.

“Was it right?", Jon Snow asks Tyrion in reference to his assassination of Queen Daenerys Targaryen in the Game of Thrones finale. “What I did? What we did—it doesn’t feel right." “Ask me again in 10 years," Tyrion replies. And maybe in 10 years, the sting will indeed have faded away. But right now? Fans are pretty unhappy.

So let's get to ranking.

Game of Thrones may be fresh in your mind, but there are some real doozies besides that to consider.

36. House of Cards

House of Cards had an opportunity to explore new places when its main character, Frank, was written off due to actor Kevin Spacey's firing after multiple sexual predation and rape allegations came to light. But it really didn't; the show's final season was still about Frank - his absence, rather than his presence. Not a good move.

35. Charmed

Charmed was all about rebelling against fairy-tale ideals. Yet for all that, its ending was pretty much fairy tale levels of "perfect." Everyone ended up in a flawless relationship and a happily ever after... which may not have been what people were looking for.

34. Star Trek Enterprise

Star Trek: Enterprise ended by jumping forward in time, attempting to connect Enterprise with The Next Generation. But the attempt fell flat and existing character stories didn't get the attention that they deserved.

33. Dinosaurs

Yeah, so this was rough. I mean, we get it. We know that dinosaurs went extinct. Did they really have to show the beginning of the ice age and the dinosaur family facing its likely death?

It's so bleak.

It's like ending with a news anchor saying goodbye to the world level of bleak. Not even your average live-action natural disaster movie ends that depressingly.

32. The Sopranos

Fans can be pretty divided on this one. It ends with Tony Soprano looking up as "Don't Stop Believin'" plays. And to this day, we still don't know whether Soprano lived or not. Ah, well!

31. St. Elsewhere

via: Getty

St. Elsewhere was groundbreaking as television dramas go. But it turned out that the entire story took place inside of a snow globe in the imagination of an autistic child. Which basically invalidated all of the show's past episodes in one fell swoop.

30. ALF

So the series finale of ALF was supposed to be a season finale only. But when a network takes an axe to one of their shows, there's not much you can do.

We got an unsatisfying ending, to say the least.

Namely, ALF getting captured by the Alien Task Force, followed by a fade-to-black and "To Be Continued". They did eventually continue with a TV movie 6 years later, but that was pretty bad too.

29. Gossip Girl

Gossip Girl's finale, “New York, I Love You XOXO," ties up all of the show's remaining loose ends... but nothing else. The end of a series is supposed to be memorable and have depth, but this one didn't. Plus, the true identity of "Gossip Girl" really didn't make sense in context with the rest of the show.

28. Castle

This was another weird one - we see Castle and Beckett, happy together, years in the future... then we find out that that's all basically a vision and we see them more or less dying side by side. No thank you.

27. Quantum Leap

It's been over twenty-five years and the ending to Quantum Leap is still memorably bad. The show wasn't renewed for another season so the ending that we got was deeply unsatisfying. There's also an alternate ending floating around out there.

26. The X Files

By the time The X-Files was wrapping up, David Duchovny had already left, and, with him, a good deal of the show's viewership. He returned for the finale, but the episode as a whole was lacklustre.

25. Game of Thrones

This one is particularly painful to put on the list because Game of Thrones was such a unique show for its time and was so, so good. Even in season 8, the effects, the music, the visuals, the acting—all of it was absolutely top-notch. 

Nevertheless, fans were left wanting.

When it comes to writing, they did our Mother of Dragons wrong with that rushed and poorly handled “Mad Queen" storyline. In fact, a lot of character story arcs weren’t written to fans’ satisfaction (Jaime Lannister, anyone?). It seemed as though Thrones just never quite figured out how to handle its female characters and people of color. 

Some plot twists are just too much of a stretch.

King Bran? I’m sorry (not sorry), but I genuinely burst out laughing when Tyrion said those words. 

But most finales have their small graces.

At least Ghost got his pets. Because no matter what happens, GHOST IS THE BEST BOY. You pet that dog, Jon. 

24. Beverly Hills 90210

It's almost a lay-up to dunk on the finale of a show that had fallen off for seasons before, and yet, here we are to do it anyway. Donna and David get married (expected) and Jason Priestly sends in a VHS tape to say congrats to the bachelor parties. Lame.

And poor Kelly.

Kelly catches the bouquet and goes to dance with Dylan. Freakin' Dylan. Imagine going back to your high school boyfriend 10 years after you broke up with him the first time. Move on, Kelly.

23. Sex and the City

The worst thing a finale can do is betray a series' core premise, and Sex and the City's last episode did just that. This was a show about four single women dating but doing it their own way. Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda, and Carrie weren't waiting for no man.

But then Mr. Big came back around.

And Carrie just marries him? Come again? No one liked Mr. Big — most fans didn't even bother to learn his name — and besides, we want to imagine Carrie out there for the rest of time doing what she does best: dating and drinkin' martinis.

22. That '70s Show


The gamble every show makes when it dubs one of its characters the main character is this: will that character leave the show before the end? That '70s Show had to deal with its lead, Eric Foreman, peacing out of Wisconsin for Africa (?!) a season prior.

But at least he got back together with Donna?

Another case of people who dated in high school ending up together forever, That '70s Show's finale of course had to bring Eric back, making it feel like an episode that was neither what is was before or what it become. Weird.

21. Heroes

Probably the best-known of the many Lost knock-offs, Heroes did it's damnedest to answer questions, like the fans (say they) wanted. And in its finale, I guess Heroes did that?

The heroes... talked it out.

The final season saw the titular heroes fighting a villain named Samuel, and when it was finally time to confront him, there was a 15-second fight, and then Claire talked him out of being a bad guy. God bless you, Heroes. Dumb to the last.

20. Weeds

A precursor to Breaking Bad, Weeds was about Nancy Botwin, a mom who sold pot out in the suburbs. It's first three seasons were good! Its other five were... less great!

But one big silly choice made the finale utterly laughable.

After growing her pot business into a wild success post-marijuana legalization, Nancy is offered the chance to sell her franchise to Starbucks. Yeah, the Starbucks. As though they'd want to be in the marijuana business. Legalized pop would only lead to an increase in muffin and cake pop sales, which... oh. Oh, maybe Weeds was prescient.

19. The Vampire Diaries

After eight seasons of drama, The Vampire Diaries wrapped up in 2017 with not a bang, or even a bite, but a whimper.

It ended, somehow, with both what fans thought they wanted and also didn't want.

You either want a show to fulfill its obligations and get together the couple you want to get together, or surprise you with an interesting decision that reframes the show. The Vampire Diaries did both, upsetting everyone. The main couple, Damon and Elena, got together (even though Damon didn't deserve a happy ending, what with all the vampire murder), and everyone else ended up alone or dead!

18. Gilmore Girls

The story of Gilmore Girls got a little wobbly when original creator Amy Sherman-Palladino left the show before its last season, leaving the ending to be handled by, well, a bunch of not Amy Sherman-Palladinos. In the last season, Rory leaves to go cover the Obama campaign? Was Gilmore Girls really ever political, or even explicitly framed up as a show set in our real world? Strange choice.

17. But Gilmore Girls kind of had two endings.

When it came back on Netflix, Gilmore Girls' creator got the ending she'd always dreamed of — Rory telling Lorelai she was pregnant. The mother-daughter relationship had come full circle, and all was well.

16. Nip/Tuck

via: Twitter

Any show about partners has to end with the partners splitting up. But Nip/Tuck? It ended maybe four years after those partners should have broken up.

15. Girls

This is the opposite of That '70s Show — while that show lost its main character and had to bring him back, Girls cut most of its cast out of its final episode to focus only on two of its main characters — Hannah and Marnie.

They were decided to raise a baby together?

It seems like a nice, fitting ending to the show — Hannah finally made a decision she had to deal with — but where was Adam Driver? He was the breakout star of the show!

14. Prison Break

How was Prison Break not a single-season show? What were they going to do after they, you know, broke out of prison? And the finale proves how ill-informed the choice was to keep it going.

Everything was just wiped away.

After five seasons of wildly-complicated scenarios getting Michael Scofiled to break out of more and more prisons, in the finale they just... wipe it all away! Michael is cleared, and he get to go back to a normal life. He should at least go to an escape room for one last break.

13. Scrubs

This is the first series to have a beautiful ending — a Scrubs finale was written years before the show was canceled, and it was a touching, heartfelt look at JD's time at Sacred Heart hospital during his final day. If only that had stayed its finale!

But for some reason, Scrubs went on?

After completely wrapping up JD's story, the final season of Scrubs focused on new interns, and the "last" episode was about the characters we don't care about doing something we don't care about.

12. The O.C.

I mean, when The O.C. killed off Marissa in the third season finale, you'd think the show was ready to peace out. And yet, it did a fourth season, where the angsty Ryan would date the sunny Taylor Townsend. It was weird.

The finale did a Seth/ Summer wedding...

... And Ryan and Taylor were the Best Man and Maid of Honor. And all we get is a little glance? Tell us whether they're together or not! Also Ryan adopts a young homeless kid and brings it all full circle. It's whatever.

11. Full House

There was no big narrative to wrap up with Full House, but on shows like that, you just get everyone together for a traditional episode that shows everyone doin' their thing. You do not do what Full House did.

Michelle lost her memory?

She just fell off a horse and forgot her whole family. In the last episode, you want to see Michelle be Michelle. I mean, she gets her memory back, but since since Michelle doesn't come back for Fuller House, maybe it would've been better if she didn't?

10. Smallville

Not a lot of shows make it clear what will happen in their finale in their first episode, but Smallville sure did. All they had to do was make Clark Kent Superman. How do you mess that up?

Lex Luthor got rushed back.

The problem was that Smallville had killed off Lex Luthor seasons ago, and how do you have Superman without Lex Luthor? The bald bastard just got cloned (or something?), Clark opened his shirt for one — one — S logo reveal, and we all went home, disappointed.

9. Fringe

Sometimes, I'd rather have a great final season and a finale that disappoints instead of a finale that can in no way be satisfying because the last season was so bad. This, sadly, was the case with Fringe.

The timeline gets rewritten.

The entirety of season five of Fringe gets erased when Walter saves an Observer child, causing everything that happened to not happen. Peter and Olivia get the happily ever after that they might as well have had in season four.

8. True Blood

True Blood's final episode (and season) was just really out of character. And at the end, we were left with Bill dead, Sookie married to some guy we never even see, and an unsatisfying conclusion.

7. Seinfeld

Seinfeld is a show universally recognized for its mark on the sitcom genre. It's iconic; it was back in its heyday, and it still is now. But that ending is arresting, to say the least. Really, though. Ending with the gang in jail for laughing at a carjacking? Not quite as funny as they hoped.

6. Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica was beloved, but the show was stumbling over itself at the end. Factor in the revelation of characters who were actually cyborgs the whole time, and other characters who were apparently angels, the whole finale turned into a truly strange creation theory.

5. Two and a Half Men

Lots of piano drops in this one. Well, two. The main source of criticism came from the finale's rushed and anti-climactic ending. I guess a falling piano will do that to an otherwise climactic scene!

4. Lost

Lost was known for its twists, turns, and supernatural mysteries. Which is why the finale just seemed too easy. All the main characters waltzed off into the afterlife! Meh.

3. Roseanne

And we're referring to the original Roseanne, here, because it took a weird turn at the end. In the finale, it turned out that Dan Connors had been dead for seasons and this had all been Roseanne's coping mechanism/daydream. Did we really need a super random twist like that in Roseanne, of all shows?

2. How I Met Your Mother

So fans waited a whole 9 seasons to meet the mother. Finally, the series finale aired, and we saw the mother (played by Cristin Milioti). It's great, and then... she's immediately killed off.

And the show ends with Ted and Robin getting together.

Oh, you know, it's not like the whole of season 9 was set at Robin and Barney's wedding... Also, Ted and Robin really didn't make that great of a couple in the first place. But go off, I guess.

You've gotta give the series creators credit for making such a long plan.

They just probably shouldn't have stuck to that plan... It didn't turn out so great.

There is an alternate ending on YouTube though!

You can find it right here, and it's actually very sweet, (plus it's only four minutes long). It features Ted and Tracy just being happy, and ending the story by saying "that's how I met your mother." That shouldn't have been so hard, guys!

1. Dexter

One word: lumberjack. After eight seasons of watching Dexter Morgan, the serial-killer-murdering serial killer, do his thing, he ends up faking his death to go be a lumberjack in the woods for the rest of his life. There were no big builds that culminate in Dexter going out in a blaze of glory or doing prison time. Nothing. Only lumber and chopping said lumber. Uh. Sure, Jan.

And that's the list!

Did you agree with the shows on this "worst of" list? Share this story with your fellow fans to see what they make of these well-known (if not beloved) TV finales!