The 10 Most Disappointing Television Finales of All Time

Chicago's Field Museum Cleans Its Preserved T. Rex "Sue"

I have some bad news to share with you. It is inevitable that your favorite TV shows will come to an end. Unless your favorite show is The Simpsons, and if that is the case you could be watching that forever. A TV finale should give a proper send off to the characters you have grown to love and also give you a feeling of satisfaction. However, not all shows give us want we want, some even make us angry. Here is a list of the most disappointing television finales of all time.

Tim Gerstenberger received a BA degree in Communication from Saginaw Valley State University and a MSA degree in Human Resources from Central Michigan University. He currently works as a Recruiter for Chemical Bank, one of the largest banks headquartered in the state of Michigan. His past work has been published on Yahoo! and Examiner. He also contributes to other television/celebrity based websites. He has had a passion for TV since an early age and some of his current favorite shows include: Friends, The Office, How I Met Your Mother, Happy Endings, Friday Night Lights, Bones, The Mindy Project, Chicago Fire, and The Good Wife. He currently resides in the Bay City, Michigan area.
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  • hornacek

    Dinosaurs ended as it *had* to end. If you’re doing a show where the characters are dinosaurs, you know that eventually they are all going to die, sitcom or no sitcom.

    • Steve

      Aren’t there like 20 “Land Before Time” movies?

    • Tim Gerstenberger

      You are correct, dinosaurs did eventually die out. However, that does not mean a sitcom, with a largely young fan base needed to kill off the entire cast.

      • hornacek

        It just would have been fake to end the show indicating that everything continued on indefinitely and that everyone lived happily ever after.

  • hornacek

    Lost is #1 on your list. Oh please, get over it. You didn’t get it. Move on.

    • Tim Gerstenberger

      To be honest, I have never watched Lost. I was basing this on the countless articles I read devoted to Lost claiming how disappointed fans were with the outcome. Thanks for reading the article.

      • hornacek

        There was no finale to that show that would have satisfied everyone, unless it was just 2.5 hours of the characters sitting down and asking each other questions and giving answers. Would that have been more satisfying? It definitely would have been more boring.

        And you put Lost on your list, #1 even, and you never watched the show before? Isn’t that like reviewing a movie that you didn’t see?

        • Tim Gerstenberger

          In order to be able to include every television show, I have to base some of my findings on research. I am only one person after all and can’t watch every TV show.. I read numerous articles, not just fan posts, when I came to my conclusion. And since so many fans were disappointed at the ending, that is why it was number one. Hornacek, I wrote a paper in college about the effects of cocaine usage and I have never done drugs. In order to write the paper, I used articles related to the topic like I did for this piece.

      • James Gingold

        LOST is an awesome series with a ton of questions answered over it’s run, and even into the finale, including definitively answering if they were dead the whole time (They weren’t, what happened, happened).

        The only real questions left hanging were plot threads from early on in the show that had to be abandoned for very obvious production issues, like the 8 year old kid hitting puberty like a brick wall, and in demand actors leaving to pursue film roles. I heard a few of them also had to leave Hawaii after a couple DUIs.

        I highly recommend sitting down and watching the series. I’ve convinced a few friends to marathon it and no one who pays attention is let down by the finale. Fans of the first season who tuned in for the finale were the vocal confused internet majority. It definitely gets a worse rap than it deserves. Unlike the sopranos or some of the other shows on your list, LOST has a very tidy “this is what happened to everyone” ending.

        • Tim Gerstenberger

          James, I have always wanted to watch the show. It is on my must watch list before I turn 30. I have two more years. Thanks for reading the article.

      • Hector Navarro

        Tim. TIM. You can’t NOT watch Lost and then make that your number one. That’s SUPER unfair.
        If you’re basing it on the complain-y Internet’s reaction, that’s also unfair.
        My experience is that for every fan that was disappointed, there was a fan who LOVED the finale, and was totally satisfied by it.
        And also from my experience, most fans who didn’t like it, also didn’t GET it, or didn’t understand that the characters were NOT all dead, but the show instead fast-forwarded in time to when after ALL the characters were dead, and their meeting in the afterlife/heaven/whatever. I’ve had to explain that to MULTIPLE people. Usually because they watched the first two seasons, and then skipped to the last episode. You have to watch every episode.
        TIM. Haha, come on, man!

  • CBalleChaud

    every was dead, but they didn’t die from the plain crash come on, that prediction from season was false!

  • Kristy Anderson

    Alf’s cliffhanger was resolved, in a telemovie years later

    • hornacek

      Project ALF

    • Tim Gerstenberger

      It is sad that viewers had to wait 6 years to see the outcome.

  • hornacek

    They didn’t have to answer whether Tony lived or died definitively. Just end the show with the end of a scene, not cut it off in the middle of one. Very disappointing.

  • Me

    Although i do not agree with this list, it was still a good article buddy. I love nostalgia

  • Kalifornia Kats

    The X Files ended with 2 hours of Fox Mulder explaining in a hearing what happened over 7 seasons, boring the audience, and then with some unresolved bs from the smoking man at the end about 2012. Much worse ending that Friends.

    Roseanne, the famous sitcom from the late 80’s early 90’s, ended with it being some kind of dream or in her head, which was really lame, which had already been done on other shows.

    Actually the ending of Alf was appropriate. They probably dissected him. But didn’t it continue in that cartoon in the 80’s? So it didn’t end. He ends up on Melmac.

    The Friends ending made sense. The show ended with the babies, not continued, but then they made a spin off that quickly didn’t make it.

    Dinosaurs should not be on the list. You just needed 10, right?

    Agree with Lost and the Sopranos.

    The Little House ending was kind of cool. They realized the show needed to go out with a bang.

    What about the ending of Happy Days?

    What about the ending of Murphy Brown, the show that coined the net expression ‘the baby factor’ and forgot about that baby by the final season. Nobody even remembers how it ended.