The Best Series Finales

54k votes 5.4k voters 104k views 155 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Finale episodes of TV shows

This list of the best series finales in television is a somber reminder that no matter how much you love a TV character or a show, in time, they all will end. Your favorite TV couple, your favorite villain, and even your favorite television businesses will all close up shop at some point, and these are the best final episodes of those series that are no longer on the air. And believe it or not, some of the best TV shows ever didn't make the list because they straight up had bad finales.

This list includes the greatest television series finales in the history of television, ranked by TV viewers who had a strong reaction - good or bad - to the final episodes of their favorite shows. Some of these TV shows had the highest ranked series finales of all time while others are on the list simply for resonating with their fans. Some series finales, like the final episode of Newhart, are still talked about because people can't believe the show actually ended that way. Others, like M*A*S*H, rank high because they were emotionally fulfilling to the fans who had turned on their TVs and opened their lives to those most loved TV characters week after week, right up until the end.

What show had the best series finale? That's what this list is here to decide. Remember, the top series finales both wrapped up the storylines AND left viewers wanting more. Go easy on the series finales that came as a result of a show being cancelled, and make sure to add your favorite TV series finale/ending if it's not already on the list.

Collection Photo:  via hbo
  • 58 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,103
    - 675

    the people's #1 & most listed
    Alan Alda, Wayne Rogers, Loretta Swi

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,637
    - 600

    added by HoserUSC
    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

    ;
  3. 3
    + 1,198
    - 802


    Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

    ;
  4. 4
    + 760
    - 575


    Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston

    ;
  5. 5
    + 690
    - 566


    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

    ;
  6. 6
    + 529
    - 487


    Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Skitch Henderson

    ;
  7. 7
    + 456
    - 506

    often listed
    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

    ;
  8. 8
    + 602
    - 552


    Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

    ;
  9. 9
    + 694
    - 569


    Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

    ;
  10. 10
    + 536
    - 696


    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

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  11. 11
    + 447
    - 465


    Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

    ;
  12. 12
    + 295
    - 370

    ranked high on reranks & added by BrianSkeith
    Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

    ;
  13. 13
    + 492
    - 776

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

    ;
  14. 14
    + 549
    - 1,015

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Naveen Andrews, Matthew Fox, Jorge Garcia

    ;
  15. 15
    + 409
    - 283

    ranked low on reranks & added by detectivepookie
    Hugh Laurie, Omar Epps, Robert Sean Leonard

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  16. 16
    + 269
    - 154

    ranked low on reranks & added by ludwig848
    Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer 2005

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  17. 17
    + 296
    - 185

    ranked low on reranks & added by SensitivePsych0
    Charlie Hunnam, Katey Sagal, Mark Boone Junior

    ;
  18. 18
    + 355
    - 495


    Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

    ;
  19. 19
    + 325
    - 470


    Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

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  20. 20
    + 305
    - 434


    Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

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  21. 21
    + 453
    - 413

    ranked low on reranks
    Will Smith, James Avery, Alfonso Ribeiro

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  22. 22
    + 302
    - 472

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Edward James Olmos, Mary McDonnell, Jamie Bamber

    ;
  23. 23
    + 323
    - 444


    Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

    ;
  24. 24
    + 375
    - 449


    Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern

    ;
  25. 25
    + 356
    - 468

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    David Boreanaz, Charisma Carpenter, Alexis Denisof

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  26. 26
    + 394
    - 414

    ranked low on reranks & added by KennySlattery1
    Zach Braff, Donald Faison, Sarah Chalke

    ;
  27. 27
    + 163
    - 108

    ranked low on reranks & added by Ariel Kana
    Amy Poehler, Jim O'Heir, Nick Offerman

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  28. 28
    + 306
    - 322


    Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

    ;
  29. 29
    + 369
    - 350

    added by Dismalhead
    Holly Marie Combs, Alyssa Milano, Brian Krause

    ;
  30. 30
    + 254
    - 418


    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

    ;
  31. 31
    + 342
    - 324


    Ben Savage, Rider Strong, William Daniels

    ;
  32. 32
    + 263
    - 375


    Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

    ;
  33. 33
    + 232
    - 468

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Bill Cosby, Phylicia Rashad, Keshia Knight Pulliam

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  34. 34
    + 232
    - 321


    Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett

    ;
  35. 35
    + 275
    - 399


    Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally

    ;
  36. 36
    + 207
    - 235


    Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

    ;
  37. 37
    + 209
    - 312


    Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner

    ;
  38. 38
    + 237
    - 243

    ranked low on reranks
    Ed O'Neill, Christina Applegate, Katey Sagal

    ;
  39. 39
    + 258
    - 319


    Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack

    ;
  40. 40
    + 232
    - 323

    added by Dismalhead
    Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins

    ;
  41. 41
    + 302
    - 457

    added by Ann-CatrinJansson
    Timothy Hutton, Gina Bellman, Christian Kane

    ;
  42. 42
    + 209
    - 365


    Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden

    ;
  43. 43
    + 202
    - 284


    Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

    ;
  44. 44
    + 76
    - 111

    added by phoebelouise
    Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan

    ;
  45. 45
    + 201
    - 313


    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

    ;
  46. 46
    + 88
    - 63

    ranked low on reranks & added by WestenBabb
    Timothy Olyphant, Nick Searcy, Joelle Carter

    ;
  47. 47
    + 183
    - 401

    often listed & added by WarrenMitchell
    Zachary Levi, Yvonne Strahovski, Joshua Gomez

    ;
  48. 48
    + 191
    - 285


    Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter

    ;
  49. 49
    + 105
    - 240

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    William Conrad, Richard Anderson, David Janssen

    ;
  50. 50
    + 138
    - 221


    Tony Danza, Judith Light, Alyssa Milano

    ;
156 +

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