Series finales tend to leave us feeling the same way we would after a breakup: bitter and disappointed. Actually, committing to a TV show and watching it on a regular basis is kind of like being in a serious relationship. You know that there will be some rough patches (or rough episodes), but you’re optimistic about what new things it could bring into your life, and you’re hopeful your expectations will be met.
So that’s why it’s a huge slap in the face when the ending of a series is total garbage. After pledging allegiance to a show and all of its storylines — this is the ‘thank you’ we receive? What did we do to deserve such treatment? Our hearts can hardly take it. But luckily there are other shows that do get it right, and we’re forever thankful for those.
16. Boy Meets World
We’re throwing it way back to TGIF nights with the family and what is almost certainly the best show that lineup had to offer. This two-part series finale was comprised of hilarious flashbacks to old episodes and the gang deciding on what their futures hold. In the end, Rachel and Jack join the Peace Corps while Cory, Topanga, and Shawn decide to move to NYC. Before heading off to the Big Apple, the three of them and Eric need to make one last stop – Mr. Feeny’s old classroom. There, they all share teary, heartfelt goodbyes with Mr. Feeny and in the final scene, Mr. Feeny walks out of the classroom and says, “Class dismissed.” BRB, we’re going to go cry our eyes out now.
15. The Mindy Project
We were devastated when Danny and Mindy broke up, so we’re glad the finale ended in a much-deserved reunion. After Danny offers Mindy a loan to keep her clinic open, Mindy realizes she still has feelings for him. Similar to the pilot episode, she rides spastically on a bike to see Danny, hoping he feels the same way. This scene gave us all kinds of rom-com vibes when the guy finally gets the girl. In the final scene, Danny finds Mindy on the floor of hospital break room with her arm up a vending machine. She tells him she never stopped loving him and the two share a passionate kiss. Danny + Mindy forever.
14. Gilmore Girls
No, we are NOT referring to the revival episodes (we wish those episodes didn’t exist). We mean the original series finale where Rory lands a writing gig covering Obama’s campaign and Stars Hollow throws Rory a huge graduation party. Not gonna lie – we were prepared for some serious disappointment since the series creator had left the show by that point, but we ended up pleasantly surprised.
Unlike the revival episode, this finale didn’t leave us on a cliffhanger (we’re still a little bitter). Everything is resolved. Lorelai and Luke get back together. Rory gets a job. And it’s insinuated that Friday Night Dinner will continue with Emily, Richard, and Lorelai in spite of Rory’s departure. The best part? The series ended the same way the pilot episode did: Rory and Lorelai in Luke’s diner, laughing over coffee and ordering an obscene amount of food.
13. Sabrina the Teenage Witch
In the series finale, Sabrina wakes up with cold feet (but, actually though… her feet are literally frozen) the day of her wedding to Aaron. She eventually decides to call it off and runs off with Harvey (on his motorcycle, no less) at exactly 12:36 – the same exact time the two first met in episode one. How cute is that? If the teenage witch had actually ended up with anyone except Harvey, NGL, it wouldn’t have made this list. A series finale really doesn’t get any better than this, especially since we were on Team Harvey since the beginning. We know that happy endings don’t always exist in reality, but let’s be real – we weren’t watching a show about a teen who can magically change her wardrobe (and other things) for its similarities to real life.
12. Gossip Girl
We still don’t fully understand how Dan could have been Gossip Girl, but we’re gonna let that slide since the time jump in the episode was so great. The final scenes in this episode flash-forward five years for the ultimate event: Dan and Serena’s wedding. We’re really glad these two were endgame. In the end, everyone got their happy ending, and the series wrapped up everything with a neat bow. Chuck and Blair are happily married and parents to the cutest 4-year old in the world; Nate is planning to run for mayor (lol); Eric and Jenny come back, and Rufus and Lily are friends despite their nasty divorce. This episode deserves a solid B+ in our opinions, which – in terms of series finales – is pretty good.
11. The Vampire Diaries
After an incredibly shaky (read: really bad) last season, the finale for The Vampire Diaries turned out pretty well. We’re still pissed and heartbroken Stefan had to die sacrificing himself for the greater good, but we loved the message behind this episode: that finding peace exists and redemption is possible. Without delving into all the shenanigans that occurred in this episode, we’ll just give you the highlight reel as to why it was so good: Elena is reunited with her family in the afterlife. We see her hugging her parents and Aunt Jenna (!!) on the porch of her house. After all the death and heartbreak she experienced, she deserved a happy ending. Then there was the Stefan-Damon reunion hug so sweet it made us ugly cry. It might not have been the ending we wanted or expected, but still, it was pretty good regardless.
10. One Tree Hill
This finale was pretty cheesy, but we wouldn’t expect anything else from our beloved OTH. It starts off with a montage of emotions as the characters remembered their pasts, look to their futures, and say goodbye to all the fans. Near the end of the episode, Gavin DeGraw plays the show’s theme song, “I Don’t Wanna Be,” and the scene then moves from Tric to Karen’s Café, with the entire cast eating together. Then there’s a time jump (we’re sensing a pattern here), and the group is reunited at Tree Hill High watching a basketball game — Jamie’s game. Millie is pregnant, and the other couples’ children are much older. The final shot was of the Tree Hill gang, cheering in the stands. TOO MANY FEELS.
The finale of Awkward. was a little open-ended for sure, but it’s safe to say that everyone seemed to get a happy ending. We don’t really love the fact that Jenna cheated on her boyfriend (even it was with Matty) but no judgment – the girl just never seems to learn her lessons! We still feel like the show deserved another season, but all good things must come to an end.
8. Fresh Prince of Bel-air
This episode was pretty traumatic as far as finales go. The entire Banks clan moves to the East Coast, while Will stays behind to finish college. The scene where he stood alone in the empty house was completely devastating. Even though this episode left us ugly crying, it was still super satisfying because even though everyone was moving on with their own separate lives, we know they’ll see each other again. That’s kind of just the way it is growing up – and that’s totally okay!
The finale was dramatic as hell. Ade and Navid almost die, Silver gets diagnosed with cancer, and Liam proposes to Annie. It was a lot to handle. But despite the drama, the finale provided some much-need closure for the fans. We’re still bummed about Silver’s cancer, but she did agree to undergo treatment and fight the disease. We can imagine she’ll get her own happy ending down the line, and most likely with Dixon.
6. The O.C.
The final season of The O.C. was by far the worst one, but it redeemed itself with the finale episode. Seth and Summer get married, and Ryan and Taylor are best man and maid of honor (obvi). Ryan grows up to be a construction foreman and, in a very melodramatic scene, he leaves work one day and encounters a brooding punk kid in Vans. “Do you need help?” Ryan asks – suggesting a history repeat. And our hearts melt a little bit. Nothing could bring Marissa back, but this was pretty good, all things considered.
#tbt to this secret gem of a show (if you’ve never seen, we highly recommend it). The best part about the finale and the show, in general, is that the characters know who they are and are consistently inconsistent. The Casey, Evan, Cappie, and Rusty we met in the pilot are not super different from the ones we said goodbye to in the finale. Major highlights: Evan reconciles with Casey and Cappie, Casey and Cappie are off to start their new life together in Washington, and after four seasons of waiting, we finally learn Cappie’s real name.
4. White Collar
This one left us a little teary-eyed and gave us all the feels. After faking his death, Neal jets off to Paris. Meanwhile, Peter and Mozzie mourn the loss of their pal for a year (an entire year!) until, of course, they discover Neal’s secret storage locker, full of medical research and an article about the Louvre’s upgraded security system. With a small smile, Peter realizes his partner is still alive. This finale made us fall in love with the show all over again.
3. Sister, Sister
This show was seriously so good, no wonder it’s getting a reboot. Like most family-oriented shows from the ’90s, this one also had a happy ending. In the series finale of Sister, Sister, Lisa gets married. To make things even sweeter, Roger comes back and sings for Lisa at the wedding. Tyreke and Tia were still together, Jordan and Tamera were still together, and Roger continues to get on the twins’ nerves – even though they secretly love him. All is right with the world.
2. Pretty Little Liars
Okay – we’re not even going to pretend that this finale wasn’t all kinds of awful and made absolutely no sense. We could literally write an entire novel on how bad it turned out. But, bad as it was – it was also still pretty satisfying. Who would’ve thought the two classifications weren’t mutually exclusive?! Aria, Emily, Spencer, Hannah, and Alison are happy, mentally stable, and finding new lives after ‘A.’ They’re finally able to have normal lives, and we think they deserve one after all that BS. Oddly enough, almost every single one of them is either married, pregnant, or trying to get pregnant with their high school sweetheart. Pretty Stepford-ish, but whatever makes them happy. After seven years, we’ve learned not to question any of the plotlines on this show.
This series wrapped up with fans feeling a sense of intense closure. Ross and Rachel were in it for the long haul (not on a break). Monica and Chandler had twins and were moving off to the ‘burbs. Phoebe and Mike were married, and Joey had a new chick and a duck and a room in Chan and Mon’s new house. With new sets of goals all around, the characters seemed ready to move on with their lives. Now let’s just forget the spin-off Joey ever existed.