The Best Series Finales

50k votes 4.9k voters 96k views 159 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
  • 54 ReRanks
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  1. 1
    + 1,040
    - 606

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

    ;
  2. 2
    + 1,448
    - 554

    ranked low on reranks & added by HoserUSC
    Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, Anna Gunn

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  3. 3
    + 1,115
    - 724


    Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow

    ;
  4. 4
    + 695
    - 535


    Bob Newhart, Mary Frann, Tom Poston

    ;
  5. 5
    + 653
    - 518


    Ted Danson, Rhea Perlman, John Ratzenberger

    ;
  6. 6
    + 494
    - 450


    Johnny Carson, Ed McMahon, Skitch Henderson

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  7. 7
    + 557
    - 508


    Peter Krause, Michael C. Hall, Frances Conroy

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  8. 8
    + 643
    - 522


    Johnny Galecki, Jim Parsons, Kaley Cuoco

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  9. 9
    + 419
    - 465


    Patrick Stewart, Brent Spiner, Jonathan Frakes

    ;
  10. 10
    + 415
    - 427


    Kelsey Grammer, Jane Leeves, David Hyde Pierce

    ;
  11. 11
    + 483
    - 645


    James Gandolfini, Lorraine Bracco, Edie Falco

    ;
  12. 12
    + 275
    - 335

    added by BrianSkeith
    Mary Tyler Moore, Edward Asner, Gavin MacLeod

    ;
  13. 13
    + 250
    - 134

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

    ;
  14. 14
    + 456
    - 713


    Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Michael Richards

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  15. 15
    + 509
    - 940

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

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  16. 16
    + 331
    - 465

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Anthony Edwards, George Clooney, Julianna Margulies

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  17. 17
    + 429
    - 384

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

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  18. 18
    + 299
    - 439

    often listed & ranked high on reranks
    Dominic West, Lance Reddick, Sonja Sohn

    ;
  19. 19
    + 363
    - 253

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

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  20. 20
    + 216
    - 122

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

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  21. 21
    + 304
    - 418


    Tim Allen, Patricia Richardson, Earl Hindman

    ;
  22. 22
    + 281
    - 402


    Kiefer Sutherland, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Carlos Bernard

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  23. 23
    + 348
    - 427


    Fred Savage, Dan Lauria, Daniel Stern

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  24. 24
    + 278
    - 443

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

    ;
  25. 25
    + 334
    - 441

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

    ;
  26. 26
    + 365
    - 393

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

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  27. 27
    + 130
    - 83

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

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  28. 28
    + 351
    - 325

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

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  29. 29
    + 319
    - 304


    Ben Savage, Rider Strong, William Daniels

    ;
  30. 30
    + 290
    - 303


    Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan

    ;
  31. 31
    + 234
    - 395


    Scott Bakula, Dean Stockwell, Deborah Pratt

    ;
  32. 32
    + 246
    - 353


    Bob Saget, John Stamos, Dave Coulier

    ;
  33. 33
    + 223
    - 444

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

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  34. 34
    + 267
    - 374


    Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally

    ;
  35. 35
    + 222
    - 297


    Ray Romano, Patricia Heaton, Brad Garrett

    ;
  36. 36
    + 241
    - 299


    Tom Welling, Michael Rosenbaum, Allison Mack

    ;
  37. 37
    + 216
    - 301

    added by Dismalhead
    Michael Chiklis, Catherine Dent, Walton Goggins

    ;
  38. 38
    + 291
    - 437

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

    ;
  39. 39
    + 193
    - 217


    Ron Howard, Henry Winkler, Marion Ross

    ;
  40. 40
    + 194
    - 347


    Kyle Chandler, Connie Britton, Aimee Teegarden

    ;
  41. 41
    + 222
    - 226

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

    ;
  42. 42
    + 195
    - 294


    Carroll O'Connor, Jean Stapleton, Rob Reiner

    ;
  43. 43
    + 189
    - 265


    Tom Selleck, John Hillerman, Roger E. Mosley

    ;
  44. 44
    + 65
    - 94

    added by phoebelouise
    Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Tracy Morgan

    ;
  45. 45
    + 186
    - 295


    David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi

    ;
  46. 46
    + 177
    - 272


    Michael J. Fox, Michael Gross, Meredith Baxter

    ;
  47. 47
    + 64
    - 47

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

    ;
  48. 48
    + 162
    - 379

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

    ;
  49. 49
    + 132
    - 205


    Tony Danza, Judith Light, Alyssa Milano

    ;
  50. 50
    + 125
    - 235


    Kevin James, Leah Remini, Jerry Stiller

    ;
160 +

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