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 CardsHouse 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. CharmedCharmed 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 EnterpriseStar 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. DinosaursYeah, 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 SopranosFans 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: GettySt. 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. ALFSo 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 GirlGossip 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. CastleThis 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 LeapIt'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 FilesBy 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 ThronesThis 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 90210It'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 CityThe 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
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. HeroesProbably 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. WeedsA 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 DiariesAfter 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 GirlsThe 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.
via: TwitterAny 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.