19 of the most-hated series finales of all time, according to fans

The CW‘Gossip Girl’ made no sense.
  • Fans become invested in TV shows but sometimes they don’t end like the fan wants.

  • Fans then become disillusioned with the show.
  • “Game of Thrones” joins “Lost” and “How I Met Your Mother” on the list of divisive endings.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

It’s not always easy to bring a beloved show to a worthy conclusion.

After devoting hours to watching a series, fans expect to feel satisfied by the ending. But sometimes, the show struggles to finish. “Lost” upset many viewers with its purgatory turn, and “How I Met Your Mother” felt out of touch with what fans wanted.

Here are 19 of the worst finales according to fans.


“How I Met Your Mother” didn’t make sense to fans.

CBSTed and the mother had a brief life.

Fans waited nine seasons to finally meet the titular mother only to have her die shortly after because of a terminal illness. To top it all off, Barney, who went through some immense character growth throughout the seasons, reverts to his playboy self and he and Robin divorce. And after their whole back-and-forth, Ted and Robin somehow go back to each other and nothing makes sense.


The final season of the original “Roseanne” was wacky from start to finish.

ABCRoseanne at her desk.

But nothing was as surprising as the finale when it was revealed that Roseanne “made up” most of the events following Dan’s heart attack for a book she was writing. Oh, and the Dan people thought had cheated on his wife actually died from a heart attack. The finale was such a disaster that the entire ninth season was basically ignored when the show returned in 2018 for a revival.


Fans were angry with this final image given on “Dexter.”

ShowtimeDexter on the finale.

The “Dexter” finale ended with Dexter somehow sailing into a hurricane and surviving, while his boat was a total wreck, and making it to the Pacific Northwest where he changed his identity and became a lumberjack. The serial killer should have gotten caught or died in the storm or gone out fighting – anything except the bleak ending he was given.


The “True Blood” finale was infuriating and disappointing on multiple levels.

HBOSookie and Bill say goodbye.

Bill and Sookie’s romance was a major part of the series and basically how Sookie got into the mess that became her life in the first place. So Bill’s death at the end wasn’t necessarily the worst part, but it was his insistence that Sookie kill him so she could be happy that was the worst. Sookie was fighting to make her own choices for so long and the fact that he forces her to kill him, the man she loves, for her own sake takes all of the choice away from her. She ultimately stakes him instead of giving up her powers, but still. Then at the end, Sookie is pregnant with the child of some man viewers don’t even get to see. It hurt to put so much time and energy into these characters and then just watch it all fall flat at the end except for Eric and Pam. They were still great.


The two-episode “Lost” finale was polarising.

ABCJohn Locke smiles in the church.

For those who were disappointed, it was frustrating to watch. The series raised many questions over its six seasons, and the finale never really answered them. The flash-sideways plot was thrown in at the end, and the revelation that it was all a form of purgatory felt lazy. Many fans felt that the flashes took away from the mystery of the island. It felt like a cop-out to ignore the unanswered questions.


“Girls” should have ended with episode nine.

HBOHannah at the end.

At its core, “Girls” was about friendships and the difficult times that come with it, but the finale skimped on featuring the cast of characters and instead focused on Hannah almost the entire time as if she was the singularly most important aspect of the last six seasons.


The original conclusion to “Gilmore Girls” — before Netflix brought the series back in 2017 — was met with mixed feelings.

The CWRory and Lorelai at the end.

To some fans and even some cast members, the finale didn’t feel like a proper conclusion. It was assumed Lorelai and Luke got back together, but nothing was talked through. Rory was leaving to cover Barack Obama’s campaign trail with no other thought. It was hurried, and there was no closure.

Like actress Kelly Bishop, who played Emily Gilmore, said, “I see a series of dots after the last scene of the show, rather than a period, or better yet, an exclamation point.”


The “Gossip Girl” finally was infuriating.

The CWBlair and Chuck got married.

Chuck and Blair finally got married, which was great, but the reveal that Dan was “Gossip Girl” the whole time? Oh, come on. He nearly destroyed the lives of people he cared about to do what exactly? It was a cheap choice and made no sense. And instead of ending with the people we cared about, the show chose to show that the Upper East Side stays the same the whole time by showing some other random kids being elitist? Fans didn’t need that.


“St. Elsewhere” had a big twist.

NBCThe autistic boy looking at a snow globe.

“St. Elsewhere” was a medical drama following the lives of teaching doctors at a Boston Hospital. Fans spent six seasons getting to know the doctors and their lives only to learn in the series finale that it was all made up in the mind of an autistic child. While some people liked the twist, others weren’t so fond of it. Norman Lloyd, who played Dr. Auschlander on the series, was disappointed with it.

“I really had very little to say about that episode because I thought it was a letdown,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “We went through this experience and I wanted it to be maintained as a real one, not a dream.”


Creator Chuck Lorre ended “Two and a Half Men” on a weird and meta note that didn’t sit well with some viewers.

CBSChuck Lorre on the finale.

The final few seconds show a person who is supposed to be Charlie Sheen’s character approaching the house when a piano falls on him. Then it cuts to Lorre sitting in a chair. He turns around and says, “Winning,” the catch-phrase of Sheen’s character, and then a piano falls on him. The episode had built up Sheen’s possible return and never delivered. Lorre’s vanity card at the end explained that Sheen didn’t like the plot of the finale so he chose not to return.


“Quantum Leap” ended suddenly and disappointingly.

NBC‘Quantum Leap’ ended suddenly.

To be fair, the episode wasn’t filmed to be an ending, but it had to suffice. Sam Beckett is able to leap through time and he spends the series trying to return home. In the end, he learns that he can return home. But in the epilogue, a black screen pops up at the end an says “Dr. Sam Becket never returned home.” And yeah, they did spell his name wrong on the card.


“Seinfeld” ended with the cast in prison.

NBCThe cast in jail.

Many fans were angry that the four main characters end up in prison for being bad people after making fun of a guy being mugged. The entire finale is a rehashing of all of the rude and awful things they have done throughout the seasons, but felt out of place within the entire context of the show.


The original “X-Files” finale was a letdown.

FoxMulder and Scully together.

Mulder’s trial was dragged out and they tried to answer all of the questions that had built up for nine seasons, but it was all in such a boring way. Though, not everything was answered because they were leaving it open for a movie.


The “Smallville” finale was disappointing to fans for a few reasons.

The CWClark Kent with his ‘suit.’

One of the biggest complaints was never seeing Clark Kent in full Superman costume. It was expected, and it almost happened, but the best shot was of Clark ripping off his shirt and that’s about it. It was a choice, actor Tom Welling explained, but one that fans didn’t particularly like.


“Game of Thrones” ended on a divisive note.

HBOSer Podrick Payne is now part of the Kingsguard.

While the HBO series was praised for years for its character development and story, the eighth and final season disappointed a number of viewers. Fans were shocked to see Daenerys lean into the “Mad Queen” theory and slaughter thousands of innocent people in King’s Landing and even more surprised by Jon Snow’s betrayal when he stabbed her. To top it all off, Drogon melted the Iron Throne and Bran Stark was voted by surviving lords and ladies as the new king. Thousands of angry fans even signed a petition for the final season to be remade, but a show this big can’t please everyone.


“The Originals” ended with the loss of two major characters.

The CWKlaus and Elijah together.

Fans didn’t get the happy ending that they wanted for the Mikkelson brothers when “The Originals” ended. Both Klaus and Elijah ultimately died and fans were even more upset not to get closure on their afterlife. Klaroline shippers (those who wanted Klaus and “Vampire Diaries” character Caroline together), were also shattered when it was clear that Klaus and Caroline wouldn’t get to travel the world together for the rest of eternity.


Fans were disappointed by the reveal of “A.”

FreeformThe group of friends gathered for Aria’s wedding.

For seven seasons, the titular Liars on “Pretty Little Liars” tried to figure out who the mysterious “A” terrorizing them was. On the finale, the real “A” all along was revealed to be Spencer’s surprise twin sister, Alex Drake, who also happened to have a British accent. Fans questioned the plot holes and the surprise twist, asking how it was all even possible.


“Scrubs” lost a lot of its magic on the final season.

Buena Vista TelevisionOnly a few of the original cast returned.

“Scrubs” was supposed to end with its eighth season, but the show was brought back for one more, and it wasn’t as enticing as before. Only a few of the original cast members returned for the final season, and instead, it focused on new characters that were med students at a school instead of interns at a hospital. Though a number of guests returned for the actual finale, it still wasn’t enough to satisfy fans who liked the season eight finale more.


Fans were disappointed in the “Star Trek: Enterprise” finale and some of the cast agreed.

CBS Television Distribution‘Enterprise’ ran for four seasons.

Fans of “Star Trek: Enterprise” were angry with the ultimate outcome of “Enterprise.” Set 10 years after the original series, the show ended as a re-creation of events from a holodeck on the Enterprise from the “Next Generation” series, leaving many fans feeling cheated. Additionally, the death of Commander Trip Tucker angered fans because it was unnecessary.

Actor Anthony Montgomery, who played Travis Mayweather,said in an interview, “I feel there could have been a more effective way to wrap things up for our show as well as the franchise as a whole. It just seemed to take a little bit away from what the ‘Enterprise’ cast and crew worked so diligently to achieve over the past four years.”

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.