12 TV Shows That Had the Worst Ending Ever

We never want our favorite TV shows to end, but it’s made so much worse when they end badly. Especially if it’s a storyline you’ve been invested in for months or, quite often, years. How disappointing! We tracked down some TV shows that had the worst ending ever, and this is what we found.

I tried my best to keep these mostly spoiler free, but since we are talking about TV show endings: this is your warning.

Game of Thrones

Emilia ClarkeHBO Game of Thrones Season 8 - Episode 4.
Image Credit: Photograph by Helen Sloan/HBO.

This one comes up over and over, so I thought I’d jump in with it right out of the gate. As a fan of Game of Thrones myself, I can totally understand the frustration people feel with the series’ ending. Especially considering how long it went on and all the storylines that were building throughout the show.

How I Met Your Mother

How I Met Your Mother
Image Credit: CBS.

Another one that I was into, How I Met Your Mother was uniquely disappointing because the show essentially starts with the ending. We know that the main character is going to meet their mother at some point – the show was supposed to get us there. After many hints and teases, Ted [and us] finally meets the mother at the end of season. Even then, we don’t get closure with her until the end of Season 9.

Except it’s not really closure. Without too many spoilers, let’s just say the ending is extremely disappointing.


Benedict Cumberbatch in Sherlock (2010).
Image Credit: Masterpiece.

I think the reason the ending of Sherlock upset fans so much is because it was such a great show otherwise. A massive cliffhanger was set up prior to the finale but it felt like the writer didn’t have clear direction for how they were going to tackle that issue when it came time.

Unfortunately, that build up combined with a lacklustre explanation of the mystery left us feeling let down.


Image Credit: Walt Disney Television.

Oh man, I’m not going to get into relitigating Lost’s ending too heavily here. Let’s just say that after 6 seasons of mystery and supernatural happenings, they just couldn’t continue the cycle of trying to ramp up the mystery. Somehow Lost both dragged out for too long and ended too soon. So many questions left unanswered!


Image Credit: Castle Rock Entertainment.

It’s kind of weird to think of Seinfeld as having an ending. Although the episodes have some plot progression, it’s mostly the kind of sitcom you can watch in any order. But yes, Seinfeld did have an ending – a terrible one. Even the show’s stars agree it wasn’t a great idea.


Michael C. Hall, David Zayas, and Jaime Murray in Dexter (2006).
Image Credit: CBS.

Dexter got to disappoint us with its ending not once, but twice since the show was cancelled and then brought back for the sequel “Dexter: New Blood”. The Season 8 ending back in 2013 was rushed and upset fans in a major way. Now that the new series has ended, some argue that the ending is even worse. Either way, we’re done with Dexter and its awful series endings.

True Blood

True BloodHBO.
Image Credit: Courtesy of HBO.

While the entire final season of True Blood was a let down, what really upset fans was the conclusion to Sookie’s storyline. I won’t give it away, but let’s just say the issue isn’t that she doesn’t end up with who we wanted her with. It’s that she appears to do a complete character 180 with the relationship the writers chose.


Dinosaurs (1991).
Image Credit: Jim Henson Productions.

This one was brought up so many times by fans I had to include it. I think the show is old enough now that I can spoil the ending here: the last episode of Dinosaurs has the meteor landing. This isn’t just the end of the series, but the end of the world for our Dinosaur friends.

While I appreciate the dark and literal scorched Earth approach, I can totally see why people weren’t too keen on learning all their favorite characters died in the end.

The 100

Eliza Taylor and Alycia Debnam-Carey in The 100 (2014)
Image Credit: The CW

I’m lucky that I bailed on this series after season 2 so I missed the ending, but apparently it was a huge let down. Fans weren’t super miffed about the final scene, but the concept of transcendence leading up to the ending’s climax didn’t make sense for the show. That, and the finale being really underwhelming as a whole.


Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica.
Image Credit: SYFY.

We’re talking about the new series here, not the original. No show kept me on my toes quite like Battlestar Galactica. Unfortunately the finale, which was shown over 3 parts, felt lazy, rushed, and most importantly, heavily religious. Maybe the writers were secretly replaced with Cylons?


Paul Fusco in ALF (1986).
Image Credit: Alien Productions.

What’s with this trend of sitcoms ending really weird? If you didn’t like Seinfeld or Dinosaur’s ending, you’re definitely not going to like how ALF wrapped up.

Unlike the other shows, though, this ending wasn’t intentional. The odd, cliffhanger ending was supposed to be resolved in the 5th season that never happened. A movie tried to bridge the gap but most fans don’t consider it to be canon.

Quantum Leap

Scott Bakula and Leila Lee Olsen in Quantum Leap (1989).
Image Credit: Universal Television.

I’m someone who loves books but when a TV show tries to make me read as much as Quantum Leap’s ending did I’m not going to be impressed. Besides the final episode being super weird and confusing, it ends with a huge info dump of text. Apparently the writers never heard of “show, don’t tell”.

For the record, this is another case of a rushed ending on purpose. The show was cancelled, leaving writers scrambling to give us some kind of ending.

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Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson in Mad Men.
Photo Credit: Michael Yarish/AMC.

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12 Shows Often Called “The Best TV Show Ever”

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Timothy Olyphant, Drew Barrymore in Santa Clarita Diet Season 2
Image Credit: Saeed Adyani/Netflix.

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Outer Banks. Rudy Pankow as JJ in episode 303 of Outer Banks

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Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives. Sarma Melngailis in Bad Vegan: Fame. Fraud. Fugitives.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Netflix.

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Jonathan Bailey as Anthony Bridgerton in episode 205 of Bridgerton

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Everett has been writing about media, technology, and parenting since 2014. His work has been featured on MIT Technology Review, HuffPost, and various blogs. When not writing or binge watching TV shows, you'll find him playing video games or spending with with his kids.